Tuesday 23rd of April 2019

a special counsel to oversee the allegation Russia interfered with the US prez elections will come up with a fat zero...

besieged...

Besieged from all sides, the Trump administration appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into allegations Russia and Donald Trump's campaign collaborated to influence the 2016 presidential election.

The appointment came as Democrats insisted ever more loudly that someone outside Mr Trump's Justice Department must handle the politically charged investigation.

An increasing number of Republicans, too, have joined in calling for Congress to dig deeper, especially after Mr Trump fired FBI director James Comey who had been leading the bureau's probe.

"My decision [to appoint a special counsel] is not the finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination," Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement.

read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-18/former-fbi-director-appointed-to-o...

 

transcripts are available...

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to provide a record of US President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in which it is alleged the President revealed classified information.

Key points:
  • Mr Putin says Russia is ready to hand a transcript of Mr Trump's meeting to officials
  • US officials said on Monday Mr Trump had disclosed classified information to Russia
  • Israeli officials declined to say whether they are the source of information Mr Trump shared

At a press conference alongside Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Mr Putin referred to "political schizophrenia" in the US and laughed off allegations that Mr Trump revealed classified information to Mr Lavrov.

But he said Russia was able to provide a "record" of the conversation.

A Kremlin aide, Yuri Ushakov, later said Moscow had in its possession a written record of the conversation, not an audio recording.

Mr Putin said Mr Trump was not being allowed to do his job properly.

"It's hard to imagine what else can these people who generate such nonsense and rubbish dream up next," Mr Putin said.

read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-17/donald-trump-did-not-pass-russia-s...

the blue pill...

In an extraordinary moment this week, Russian leader Vladimir Putin offered Washington a challenge to discover the truth over sensational US media claims that President Trump had leaked top-secret information to Russia. Washington rebuffed Putin’s offer.

It was akin to the iconic scene in the sci-fi movie, The Matrix, in which protagonists are offered a red or blue pill. Consuming the former leads them to awaken to the truth, however painful that awakening might be from shattering erstwhile illusions. Ingesting the alternative blue pill allows one to continue in a state of illusion, albeit in the form of slavery to The Matrix.

The US media this week went into overdrive with claims that President Donald Trump disclosed highly classified information during his meeting last week in the White House with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Those claims of Trump talking about highly sensitive intelligence on the Islamic State terror group in Syria were rejected by the White House and separately by the Kremlin.

Trump’s top National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster has since repeatedly denied US media reports of Trump’s alleged indiscretion in front of his Russian guests. McMaster called them “false.”

read more:

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/388730-putin-washington-red-pill/

a crisis of its own making...

America is in crisis. It is a crisis of greater magnitude than any the country has faced in its history, with the exception of the Civil War. It is a crisis long in the making—and likely to be with us long into the future. It is a crisis so thoroughly rooted in the American polity that it’s difficult to see how it can be resolved in any kind of smooth or even peaceful way. Looking to the future from this particular point in time, just about every possible course of action appears certain to deepen the crisis.


What is it? Some believe it stems specifically from the election of Donald Trump, a man supremely unfit for the presidency, and will abate when he can be removed from office. These people are right about one thing: Trump is supremely unfit for his White House job. But that isn’t the central crisis; it is merely a symptom of it, though it seems increasingly to be reaching crisis proportions of its own.

When a man as uncouth and reckless as Trump becomes president by running against the nation’s elites, it’s a strong signal that the elites are the problem. We’re talking here about the elites of both parties. Think of those who gave the country Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee—a woman who sought to avoid accountability as secretary of state by employing a private email server, contrary to propriety and good sense; who attached herself to a vast nonprofit “good works” institution that actually was a corrupt political machine designed to get the Clintons back into the White House while making them rich; who ran for president, and almost won, without addressing the fundamental problems of the nation and while denigrating large numbers of frustrated and beleaguered Americans as “deplorables.” The unseemliness in all this was out in plain sight for everyone to see, and yet Democratic elites blithely went about the task of awarding her the nomination, even to the point of employing underhanded techniques to thwart an upstart challenger who was connecting more effectively with Democratic voters.

At least Republican elites resisted the emergence of Trump for as long as they could. Some even attacked him vociferously. But, unlike in the Democratic Party, the Republican candidate who most effectively captured the underlying sentiment of GOP voters ended up with the nomination. The Republican elites had to give way. Why? Because Republican voters fundamentally favor vulgar, ill-mannered, tawdry politicians? No, because the elite-generated society of America had become so bad in their view that they turned to the man who most clamorously rebelled against it.

The crisis of the elites could be seen everywhere. Take immigration policy. Leave aside for purposes of discussion the debate on the merits of the issue—whether mass immigration is good for America or whether it reaches a point of economic diminishing returns and threatens to erode America’s underlying culture. Whatever the merits on either side of that debate, mass immigration, accepted and even fostered by the nation’s elites, has driven a powerful wedge through America. Couldn’t those elites see that this would happen? Did they care so little about the polity over which they held stewardship that their petty political prejudices were more important than the civic health of their nation?

So now we have some 11 million illegal immigrants in America, a rebuke to territorial sovereignty and to the rule of law upon which our nation was founded, with no reasonable solution—and generating an abundance of political tension. Beyond that, we have fostered an immigration policy that now has foreign-born people in America approaching 14 percent—a proportion unprecedented in American history except for the 1920s, the last time a backlash against mass immigration resulted in curtailment legislation.

And yet the elites never considered the importance to the country’s civic health of questions related to assimilation—what’s an appropriate inflow for smooth absorption. Some even equated those who raised such questions to racists and xenophobes. Meanwhile, we have “sanctuary cities” throughout Blue State America that are refusing to cooperate with federal officials seeking to enforce the immigration laws—the closest we have come as a nation to “nullification” since the actual nullification crisis of the 1830s, when South Carolina declared its right to ignore federal legislation it didn’t like. (Andrew Jackson scotched the movement by threatening to hang from the nearest tree anyone involved in violence stemming from the crisis.)

 

read more:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/removing-trump-wont-solv...

his defeat of the blonde bimbo meant civil war...

 

President Donald Trump says the decision to appoint a special counsel to oversee the inquiry into Russian influence on his election "hurts our country terribly".

He said the US was being made to look "divided, mixed up", media reported.

Earlier, he tweeted that the decision was "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history".

Former FBI director Robert Mueller has been selected to lead the inquiry.

"I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country," Mr Trump told CNN and CNBC.

read more:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39965107

 

From the day he defeated Hillary Clinton, Trump was going to be the anti-Christ. Most of the media (the MMMM -- the Mediocre Mass Media de Mierda -- minus the MMMMM -- the Murdoch Mediocre Mass Media de Mierda) plus the various elites from Washington swamps to the Hollywood hills, plus the career politicians, plus the majority of the people would feel obliged to attack The Donald because he defeated their blonde bimbo. 

He has supporters, nonetheless. So how is this going to play out? Trying to prove that Russia interfered in the US Presidential elections is fraught with so many pitfalls, holes and impossible dreams that no-one in their right mind would go there. The first thing to consider is HOW would the Russians be able to manufacture a victory for Donald Trump? Basically impossible. Not even with propaganda, as the US did with using George Soros in Ukraine plus adding about US$5 billion to finance the "revolution".

Whether Putin preferred Trump to Clinton is irrelevant considering that 90 per cent of the US psyche has been primed to hate the Russians. 

Below the plimsol line, in the murky waters, laid the former Australian -- Mr Murdoch. Here is a master manipulator of minds, simple minds. If you want to find a culprit for the defeat of Hillary, the Princess Warrior, do not go further than the Murdoch media empire. Forget the Ruskies. Murdoch could manipulate the mind of people with simplistic images 100 times more powerful than 1000 words editorials in the NYT, the WP and all the Liberal media combined.

The trick, as usual for Mr Murdoch, is not to convince all the people, but to convince some of the people in key numbers. And please don't be fools. Even in the DNC, there are enough dumb strategists to fall for the trick learnt from the dog of a man whose uncle knew someone who was the descendant of the Roman who had an affair with Jesus Christ's sister.

I don't think that Uncle Rupe expected so much venom from the defeated, who claim to be the saviours of the whatever sacred text of the US Constitution which they themselves have disregarded in the past. In this regard, I think that Uncle Rupe is playing it cool, until the dirt subsides into the mud... But it's taking a long time as the mad crowds are maddening some more, stirred by the "liberal" media (MMMM).

The Evangelical Christians had no choice but to vote for Trump, despite no liking him. And here lies another quandary for the bleeding hearts. 

Pursuing the "Russian" angle of Trump's victory can only show that the US is admitting it is weak and opened to foreign manipulation and that the average Russians are cleverer than the best intellectual US mind. It's convenient though. This focus on the Russians is designed to unite the American people to believe that they did not shoot themselves in the foot -- which they did. 

When the "Russian" probe prove fruitless, more anti-Russian sentiment will have to be stirred by the "liberal thinking mobs" in order to prevent any NAVEL GAZING that would show the rot came from within the US... See:

 

a crisis of its own making... above...

 

 

no collusion between his trump's campaign and Russia...

 

WASHINGTON — President Trump insisted on Thursday that there was no collusion between his presidential campaign and Russian officials.

Mr. Trump, speaking in the East Room of the White House, said he respected the appointment of a special counsel to investigate ties with Russia.

“But the entire thing has been a witch hunt,” he said. “And there is no collusion between, certainly, myself and my campaign — but I can always speak for myself — and the Russians.”

The president also said the questions surrounding his campaign and Russia were divisive.

“I think it divides the country,” Mr. Trump said. “I think we have a very divided country because of that and many other things.”

The president then pivoted to listing what he called the achievements of his administration, from creating jobs to restoring America’s standing in the world, and noted he was embarking Friday on the trip to the Middle East.

Read more:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/18/us/politics/trump-back-on-twitter-complains-of-witch-hunt.html

 

On this score, Trump will be proven correct: there was no collusion between his presidential campaign and Russian officials. But the bleeding hearts will still push the Russian angle because "Russia is the enemy"...

read his defeat of the blonde bimbo meant civil war...

 

the CIA is far more dangerous than trump...

 

Back in my time in the CIA, there were two places in the headquarters building one could go that were free speech zones—places where it was safe to vent about senior management without necessarily being admonished or even reported. They were the Historical Intelligence Collection room off the library, where no one ever went to look at the books, and the office supplies storage room in the basement. The supplies room had a lot of dark corners and concealing shelves where it was possible to be anonymous and it was completely unsupervised in the belief that true-blue CIA officers would never stoop to taking even a single pencil more than was actually needed to get the job done.

I don’t know if those rooms still exist, but I sometimes think of them when the subject of government conspiracies come up. I have this vision of two or three conspirators huddled in the corner behind the staplers back in 1975 discussing how one would go about eliminating the likes of Senator Frank Church, who at that time was heading a major congressional investigation into CIA improprieties.

If there had been such a gathering, I would imagine that the Washington Postwould have found out about it on the next day as intelligence officers are gregarious and like to talk. This has been my principal problem with the debate in some quarters about the 9/11 Commission. Their report did indeed miss many important angles in order to protect certain governmental interests, but if there had been a genuine conspiracy involving what must have been hundreds of people to demolish the Twin Towers with explosives, it surely would have leaked long ago.

Two months ago, I would have dismissed as fantasy any thoughts of a conspiracy based in America’s national security agencies to bring down Donald Trump. But now I am not so sure. Many of my friends who are former intelligence officers are increasingly asking questions. It is worth pointing out that none of us are fans of what the White House has been doing and saying—quite the contrary. Still, alerting the country to concerns over what might be a developing soft coup orchestrated by the intelligence and law-enforcement agencies to nullify the results of a national election in no way equates to trying to protect Donald Trump and his uncouth and ill-informed behavior. It is rather a defense of the Constitution.

Donald Trump said on Wednesday that “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!” He might be right. He was referring to Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein’s appointment of the highly-respected Robert Mueller as independent counsel to investigate “any links and/or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

Trump’s bombast puts everyone but his most tone-deaf supporters on edge, but there are two points that he has been making repeatedly that are essential to any understanding of what is going on. First, the investigation into Russia and the Trumpsters has been a high priority at FBI and also in Congress for nearly a year. Yet so far no one has produced evidence that anyone broke any law or even that someone did something wrong. Second, and more importantly, the vilification of Trump and Russia has been driven by a series of leaks that come from the very top of the national security apparatus, leaks that appear not to have been seriously investigated.

This involvement of FBI and CIA in the campaign, whether inadvertently or by design, was particularly evident in the various reports that surfaced and were leaked to the press during the campaign and right up to the inauguration. The leaks of that type of information, to include technical intelligence and Special Access Program “codeword” material, require top-level access as well as the ability to arrange clandestine contacts with major players in the media, something far beyond the reach of most employees at CIA or the FBI.

Similar leaks have been appearing since that time. I confess to finding Monday’s detailed account of what President Trump discussed with Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov, which included corroborating material that likely did more damage than the information that was actually shared, highly suggestive of the possibility that something like a conspiracy is, in fact, functioning. Given the really tight-security control of that transcript after it was determined that it contained sensitive information, one might reasonably assume that the leaks to the media came directly out of Donald Trump’s own National Security Council or from the highest levels of the office of the DNI, CIA, or FBI.

Yesterday, the anonymous sources struck again, revealing that “Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race.” That sort of information had to come from the top level of the FBI and would have been accessible to only a few, but even though the leaks of what constitutes highly-classified information have been recurring for many months, no one has been fired or arrested.

The emphasis on Russia derives from the government and media consensus that Moscow was behind the hacking of Democratic National Committee (DNC) computers that led to the exposure of what the DNC was doing to destroy the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. There is also a related consensus that the Russian hacking was intended to damage American democracy and also to help the Trump campaign, a narrative that the president has described as a “made-up thing,” a view that I share. All of these assertions are regarded as unquestionably true as measured by inside-the-beltway groupthink, with even the White House now conceding that there was Russian interference in the election.

Sometimes the hysteria over Russia produces over-the-top stories in the mainstream media, including last week’s completely speculative piece wondering whether the entourage of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had sought to sneak a recording device into the White House during his White House visit. It was the type of tale that might have been inspired by a leak from someone in the National Security Council who personally observed the context of the meeting and was able to provide corroborating details.

Nevertheless, in spite of the overwhelming groupthink, it has been repeated ad nauseam by people like myself that no actual evidence has been produced to support any of the claims being made about Russia and Trump. There is more evidence that the White House was penetrated by Ankara—through the good services of Michael Flynn—than by Moscow, but Congress has not called for an investigation into Turkey’s lobbying. Ray McGovern, a former senior CIA analyst, is even speculating that the Agency might have been the actual hacker into the DNC, leaving a trail behind that would have suggested that it was done by the Russians. His concern arises from the recent WikiLeaks revelation that the CIA had developed cyberwarfare capabilities to do just that.

McGovern, like myself, is also asking why former CIA Director John Brennan has not been summoned by the Senate Committee looking into Russia-gate. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has testified twice, while former FBI Director James Comey, current NSA Director Mike Rogers, and former Justice Department senior official Sally Yates have all appeared once. Brennan’s absence is conspicuous as he was the senior national security official most closely tied to the Obama Administration, may have had the tools at hand to fake the Russian connection, and has also been plausibly linked to “encouraging” British Intelligence to provide damaging information on Michael Flynn.

I now suspect that there is indeed a group at the top of the U.S. national security system that wants to remove Donald Trump and has wanted to do so for quite some time. If that is true, I believe that they have been operating with that goal in mind for at least the past year. It is not a traditional conspiracy or cabal in that it does not meet and conspire together, but I suspect the members know what they are doing in a general sense and are intervening whenever they can to keep Trump off balance. Their program is simple: convince the nation that the president and his team colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 election in his favor, which, if demonstrable even if not necessarily true, would provide grounds for impeachment. They are motivated by the belief that removing Trump must be done “for the good of the country” and they are willing to do what they consider correcting a mistake made by the American voters. They are assisted in their effort by the mainstream media, which agrees with both the methods employed and the overall objective and is completely on board with the process.

Saving the country from Trump is certainly an attractive notion. I suspect the Comeys, Clappers, and Brennans, together with a host of former senior officers who appear regularly on television, if they were involved, see themselves as great patriots. But they must understand that the blunt instrument they are using is far more dangerous than the current occupant of the White House. A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more threatening to our democracy than anything Donald Trump or even the Russians can do.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

 

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/do-high-level-leaks-sugg...

 

apparently, pokémon was the trojan horse...

In a report as explosive as a Golem using Self Destruct, CNN has accused Russian agents of using Pokémon Go to “exploit racial tensions and sow discord among Americans.” The only issue with their allegations is that they’re about as flawed and wishy-washy as one of Team Rocket’s myriad plans to capture Pikachu.

On Thursday, CNN published an article entitled "Even Pokémon Go used by extensive Russian-linked meddling effort" by Donie O'Sullivan and Dylan Byers.

"Don't Shoot Us," an organization whose website claims its purpose is to "improve the situation in the US and the lives of its citizens" by posting "recent videos of outrageous police misconducts," is the target of the latest CNN Hex Maniac hunt. Supposedly, Don't Shoot Us capitalized on the Pokémania of summer 2016 by encouraging players to use the game to spread awareness of police brutality.

The campaign was pretty simple. Pokémon Go has "gyms," locations where players can battle their Pokémon and receive in-game rewards for victory. Don't Shoot Us encouraged players to claim gyms close to police crime scenes with Pokémon bearing nicknames of "US police brutality victims." Then screenshot it, email it to Don't Shoot Us, and become eligible for an Amazon Gift Card.

If this was an attempt at election interference, it was a pretty shoddy one. For starters, players cannot see the nicknames other players give their Pokémon. Secondly, Pokémon Go has virtually no social features, so the screenshots couldn't even be shared in-game. CNN also admitted that they had no evidence anyone actually entered the contest.

read more:

https://sputniknews.com/science/201710131058186253-pokemon-go-cnn-russia...

putin had nothing to do with it. uncle rupe did...

 

Mr Trump said Mr Putin had reiterated that he did not meddle in last year's US presidential elections, which brought Mr Trump to the White House.

"He says he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times," Mr Trump said.

"Every time he sees me, he said: 'I didn't do that.' And I believe, I really believe that when he tells me that he means it."

 

read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-11/trump-says-us-deal-with-russia-on-...

 

Read from top...

 

a big fat zero...

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump on Friday bashed the Justice Department for appointing a special counsel to probe claims of his collusion with Russia after a year-long inquiry by a House committee found no proof.

"House Intelligence Committee rules that there was NO COLLUSION between the Trump Campaign and Russia. As I have been saying all along, it is all a big Hoax by the Democrats based on payments and lies. There should never have been a Special Councel appointed. Witch Hunt!" he tweeted.

As Sputnik reported earlier, the US House Intelligence Committee “did not find any evidence of collusion, conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” according to the 253-page report on “Russian meddling” that was declassified in a redacted version Friday.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/us/201804281063983772-trump-counsel-russia-never...

 

Read from top...

a democracy reduced to cinders by tweet-tweet...

"We spent $30 for two tweets, and those two tweets destroyed their democracy,”  RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan quipped on Twitter, summarizing the report. “And we criticized both Hillary and Trump, but Hillary more often. And that’s offensive.”

Understandable bewilderment aside, let’s look at the two stories in question. The first one was a five-point listicle about affairs, such as Whitewater, Travelgate, Benghazi and Hillary’s emails - all of which have been reported on by the mainstream US media. In each instance, the Clintons were not charged. Did the headline read a bit like Fox News? Sure. Was it also true? Yes.

The second promoted tweet was on a Sunday before the election, reporting about the 33rd batch of emails from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s personal account, which were being released by WikiLeaks. And no, RT did not get advance warning on any of the drops, despite some serious tinfoil-ruffling by various US media and Clinton campaign officials. We just watched out for them very hard, because that’s journalism.

That particular batch of emails contained no bombshells, though. One message accused Chelsea Clinton of using her parents’ foundation funds for her wedding. Another included Hillary’s aide Philippe Reines urging staff not to joke about the private server emails, “because email retention = Benghazi.”

Then there was a 2008 message addressed to Podesta, David Brock of Media Matters and Tom Matzzie of MoveOn.org, saying that Arianna Huffington was “enthusiastic” about Progressive Media USA, but that it would be more useful if HuffPo would “echo our message without any perceived conflicts.”

Yet Congress would have you believe that RT promoting these two stories to the tune of $30 (and getting very little for the money) somehow broke American democracy.

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/usa/425356-rt-tweets-meddling-democracy/

 

Read from top.

the idiot keeping the other idiots busy...

 

Many have raised concerns over the constitutional crisis that would ensue if President Trump tries to exercise his presidential authority, as he has threatened, to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible Trump-Russia political “collusion.” Those concerns are well-founded.

Other voices warn of a constitutional crisis if the Justice Department and the FBI continue to stonewall congressional committees exercising their oversight function in seeking information on the origins of that investigation. Again, the expressed concerns are entirely apt.

But the fact is that the country is already in a constitutional crisis, spawned by the Russia investigation and all of its surrounding swirls and eddies. It is a crisis of two narratives. One is the narrative of possible collusion and what is perceived as the legitimate investigation that ensued after evidence of that collusion reached the FBI. The other is a narrative of out-of-control law enforcement officials who sought to drum up what is seen as a phony investigation to thwart Trump’s campaign and then to undermine his presidency.

The battle between the political and journalistic adherents of these two narratives is so intense, bitter, and brutal that a fundamental reality of the controversy has been missed—whichever narrative proves to be the more accurate, the American political system has been polluted in ways that can’t help but erode citizen confidence in it. Here we have official Washington and nearly all of its figures, high and low, divided into two factions that define themselves by their allegations of bad action and evil intent on the part of the other faction.

In other words, we seem to have moved into a new era in which our political system is subject to insidious manipulation of a magnitude never before seen or suspected. We just don’t know yet which faction is the more culpable. For ordinary Americans, it’s a case of “pick your poison,” not a very palatable choice.

 

Read more:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/mueller-or-trump-pick-yo...

 

See toon at top.

 

Plus populist crap from the libertine to his little world's acclaim...

 

Meanwhile the Four Corner's investigation on the "Trump/Putin" connection in his victorious Presidential election is still dancing on the same spot around our Mr Clowner and Mr Padapopoulos... In it the 4C made the assumption of attributing the hacking of the DNC to Russia, when it was Wikileaks who released the info and never divulged the source — except to say "IT WAS NOT THE RUSSIANS". Most likely the info came from within the DNC itself.

a wish upon a star like donald...

“Yes, I wanted him to win, because he talked about the need to normalize US-Russia ties,” Putin said, answering a direct question from a journalist during the joint press conference with Donald Trump following the Helsinki summit.

“Candidate Trump was talking about the need to re-establish relations with Russia. That led to an opinion among the Russian people that he was the preferable candidate. That’s natural,” Putin said.

The Russian president left the second part of the question unanswered, however, regarding whether he “instructed” his officials to help Trump, since he had discussed the allegations of meddling earlier during the press conference.

“Russia did not interfere and is not going to interfere into American domestic affairs,” Putin stated, adding that this point had been made repeatedly. Moscow was ready to participate in a joint investigation with the US of any such allegations, however, if any real evidence was presented, the Russian leader said. Such work could be conducted by a joint Russian-US cybersecurity group, the idea of which was floated by Putin during his last meeting with Trump in Hamburg.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/433397-wanted-trump-to-win-putin/

 

See toon at top... And please remember that our own Uncle Rupe with his "evangelicals" GOT TRUMP OVER THE LINE — not Putin.

declassifying documents...

Donald Trump has threatened to deliver a devastating blow to his critics by declassifying documents related to Robert Mueller’s probe unless his political opponents stop harassing witnesses into lying about Russia collusion.

After securing the majority in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, the Democrats have vowed to launch investigations on a wide range of topics involving the administration, including Trump’s alleged attempts to influence the ongoing Russia probe. The Republican president, who earlier warned of a “war-like posture” if his opponents continue to gang-up on him, stressed on Wednesday that he is ready to challenge this “harassment.”

“If they go down the presidential harassment track, if they want go and harass the president and the administration, I think that would be the best thing that would happen to me,” Trump told the New York Post.

I’m a counterpuncher and I will hit them so hard they’d never been hit like that.

As a means of getting back at his opponents, Trump said he could declassify documents from Robert Mueller’s probe, the public release of which was shelved on Presidential orders in September.

“I think that would help my campaign. If they want to play tough, I will do it. They will see how devastating those pages are,” Trump stated, noting that it would be “more powerful” to release the documents when the new Congress takes over next year.

In September the White House said it would declassify the Russian probe documents –including surveillance warrant applications on former campaign adviser Carter Page– before Trump announced the delay of their release due to their sensitive intelligence content. Democrats and the intelligence community have both opposed declassifying the documents, saying that would interfere with Mueller’s probe into Trump's alleged collusion with Russia.

Trump on Wednesday accused Mueller’s team of harassing witnesses into lying about alleged collusion, amid his supporters’ calls for key Democratic figures to be investigated for treason.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/usa/445111-trump-threatens-release-mueller-documents/

 

 

 

Read from top.

So far the Mueller investigation has found a big fat zero regarding Russian interference in the election of Trump-the-Puncher. And talking to the New York Post (a Murdoch post) is like a prize fighter looking in a mirror narcissistically rehearsing boxing moves... 

the rooskies had nothing to do with it...

And herein lies the best, deepest explanation of “how we got Trump.” Trump’s improbable likeness to a mega-church preacher allowed him to capture the love of a huge swath of the electorate that previously tuned out or voted for Democrats. The people who came to Trump, especially early in the primaries, weren’t really joining the GOP and they weren’t primarily seeking policies. They didn’t even necessarily believe Trump would bring back their jobs. Many of Trump’s earliest and most dedicated supporters were seeking a deeper fulfillment. 

They came to Trump seeking what they had lost because they had lost church.

When Trump caught so many political commentators off guard, we looked for an explanation amid the closing factories, but we should have been looking for the closing churches.

And this is a story much bigger than Trump. Trump’s early appeal was his declaration that “the American Dream is dead,” as he put it in his campaign launch. Faith in the American Dream is the weakest where people lack strong religious institutions where they can seek deeper meaning.

The best way to describe Trump’s support in the Republican primaries—when he was running against the likes of Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich—would be: white evangelicals who do not go to church.

Geoffrey Layman, a political science professor at the University of Notre Dame, noticed this during the primaries, writing: “Trump does best among evangelicals with one key trait: They don’t really go to church.”

While writing my forthcoming book, Alienated America, my research assistant Nick Saffran and I crunched some numbers provided by Emily Ekins of the Voter Study Group. We broke down Republican primary voters by church attendance. Among the most frequent attenders—those going more than once a week—Trump got about 32 percent of the vote.

Trump also got a minority of those who simply go once a week. Among those who reported going “a few times a year,” Trump got about half. He got an easy majority (55 percent) of those Republicans who “seldom” attend, and a full 62 percent of those who never attend. That is, every step down in church attendance brought a step up in Trump support, and vice versa. The most frequent attenders were half as likely to support Trump as were the least frequent attenders.

This confirmed what others had noticed. Liberal Peter Beinart wrote for The Atlantic that the GOP electorate has secularized, and that this secularization “helped Trump win the GOP nomination.”

In March, as the GOP field was narrowing down to Trump and Cruz, one Pew Research Center survey found Trump trailing by 16 points among white evangelical voters who attended church weekly, but leading by 19 points among those who do not.

The nuances of this picture shouldn’t be blurred over. It would be wrong to say that Trump’s base was less religious. Ekins, the pollster, divided the GOP electorate into clusters, defined by various traits. There were “Free-Marketeers” and “Staunch Conservatives,” for instance. There was one cluster defined by being non-ideological and being pessimistic about the future. Ekins labeled them the “Preservationists.” This was Trump’s strongest cluster in the GOP primaries, by far.

The Preservationists, Ekins found, were the most likely to say religion was very important to them. They were also the least likely to attend religious services.

This gave an easy and satisfying explanation during the primaries to Christian conservatives put off by Trump and his base: Oh, these are hypocrites, not real Christians.

That dismissive explanation misses the point. We shouldn’t see this as a story of working-class whites slacking off and turning away from God, as much as one of working-class whites finding themselves in places where institutions of civil society—most importantly the church—are drying up.


Back in the 2008 and 2012 Republican primaries, analysts saw the GOP electorate in two categories: (a) establishment Republicans or (b) Evangelicals. The Establishment types voted for Mitt Romney or John McCain in 2008, and the “evangelical vote” went for Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012.

It turns out we were all oversimplifying things. That supposedly “evangelical vote” was a combination of two electorates: (1) the evangelical vote and (2) the rural populist vote. The 2016 primaries illuminated this distinction. 

In Michigan, for instance, 2012 saw Romney carry the stretch of the state from Ann Arbor to Detroit, while Santorum won most of the rest of the state. Four years later, it was much more complex: Kasich won Ann Arbor, Trump won Detroit and most of the rural counties, while Cruz dominated in the handful of counties around Holland and Grand Rapids, where the Dutch Reformed church dominates.

The best illustration, though, came in Iowa. Look at two rural counties in Iowa, Fremont County and Winnebago County. Fremont is in the bottom left corner of Iowa, and Winnebago is in the middle-top of the state.

Fremont’s median income was just below $53,000, a bit better than Winnebago’s $49,000. In both counties, just about 21.5 percent of the population 25 years or older has a bachelor’s degree of more. Both are rural counties, mostly corn and soy fields.

Huckabee dominated Winnebago in 2008, and Santorum did the same in 2012, both finishing in the 40s percentage wise, with a 20-point-plus margin. Huckabee and Santorum effectively tied Romney down in Fremont County. 

Just from the slight advantage in income and the better Romney vote, you would think Fremont was something of an “establishment Republican” county, while Winnebago was a typical rural county.

Checking back after the 2016 campaign shows a different picture. 

Up in Winnebago, Trump finished in third place, with only 18.6 percent of the vote. This was Trump’s fourth-worst county in the state, and it was one of only about three dozen in all of America where Trump scored less than 20 percent in the primaries. 

Fremont, meanwhile, was Trump’s single best county in Iowa, giving him 42.7 percent of the vote.

Why did Trump do twice as well in rural Fremont as he did in rural Winnebago?

The economic tale, which is not totally wrong, would point to the layoff of 71 workers from Eaton, the automotive parts maker in Shenandoah in late 2015. Trump’s populism and protectionism appealed there.

But that account doesn’t explain enough of the difference. Fremont’s unemployment rate in February 2016 was still only 3.5 percent, below the state average, and below Winnebago County’s 4.1 percent.

There’s got to be another explanation than strictly the material one.

The Association of Religion Data Archives has a telling number. Winnebago is in the top 10 Iowa Counties in religious adherence, while Trump-voting Fremont is in 84th place. 

Packed with a handful of overflowing Lutheran churches, Winnebago is a little Norway on the plains—35 percent of the county claims Norwegian ancestry (another 35 percent are German). Buffalo Center boasts Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Lake Mills has Salem Lutheran Church and Winnebago Lutheran Church. For the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Winnebago County is the densest county in the country, according to ARDA.

Things look different down in Fremont County.

“Memorial Baptist Church Closes its Doors,” blared the headline in the Valley News, in Fremont’s county seat of Shenandoah, on October 13, 2013. A year later, the story in the Valley News was similar. “Locust Grove Methodist Church, located about 13 miles southwest of Shenandoah, voted to begin the process of closing and abandoning the church. Pastor Buck Buckham said there just aren’t the funds and members available to keep churches afloat in these times.”

In 2016: “Sunday, June 26 will be the final service for the Norwich United Methodist Church located east of Shenandoah on Highway 2.”

This correlation generally holds up across Iowa. While there are no great county-level measures of church attendance, and so we need to rely on ARDA’s adherence numbers, the higher the religious adherence, the lower the Trump vote. The correlation is far stronger when you focus on the more rural counties. Exclude the 10 most populous counties in Iowa, and look at the 89 least populous. Among those, differences in median weekly wages explain about 2.4 percent of the variation in the Trump vote, while religious adherence explains about 10.5 percent of the variation. If we could track attendance, the correlation would probably be much stronger.

Control for education a bit you see an even stronger negative correlation between religious adherence and Trump vote—when you exclude the 10 most educated counties in Iowa, the predictive value of religious adherence more than doubles. With this control in place, about 13 percent of the variation in Trump vote in the Iowa caucuses can be explained by differences in religious adherence.

This suggests that the two things that reduced Trump support in Iowa’s caucuses were (a) education, and (b) living among a critical mass of Christians.

And Trump’s single worst county in all of Iowa—far worse than Polk County (where Des Moines is) or Story County (home to Iowa State), or Johnson County (University of Iowa)—was Sioux County. Trump finished fourth place there, behind Ben Carson. Ted Cruz won every precinct of Sioux County.

Sioux is home to Orange City and Sioux Center, and it is the Dutchest county in America. Dutch ancestry is probably one of the best proxies the Census has for religious attendance. 

Jordan Helming, a transplant whom I met at a Jeb Bush rally in Sioux Center, was astounded by the religiosity of the place, including the sheer number of churches. “There are 19 of them in this town—a town of 7,000 has 19 churches.”

Different strains of Reformed Christianity dominate in this overwhelmingly Dutch county, from austere old-world Calvinism (“the frozen chosen” they call themselves) to more evangelical flavors. Attendance (often twice on Sundays) is high, and the churches build strong community bonds.

“You care about your neighbors,” Helming explained, “you care about your environment, but you also take care of it yourself—don’t rely on the government.”

A New Yorker profile of Orange City characterized the pitch the locals make to potential residents: “When you have children, we’ll help you take care of them. People here share your values, it’s a good Christian place. And they care about you: if anything happens, they’ll have your back.”

The devout and close-knit Norwegian and Dutch pockets on the Great Plains had a larger echo in the Mountain West—the Mormons. Not counting D.C., Trump’s second worst state in the primaries was Utah. His biggest drop-off from Romney was in Utah. Utah tops all measures of religiosity, and not coincidentally it also tops most measures of happy, well-adjusted lives. 

Utah boasts the highest rate of upward mobility. It tops the charts in terms of intact families and measures of social capital. Various measures of the “happiest state” all put Utah at or near number one. 

Again, the Trump vote in the early primaries seems to be inversely correlated with belief in the American Dream.

The most Mormon county in the U.S., however, is not in Utah, but is Madison County, Idaho, home to BYU Idaho. Trump’s share of the primary vote there: 7.6 percent, making the most religious county in America Trump’s worst county in the primaries.

The more people worshipping and studying with neighbors with whom they shared a higher cause, the less belief that the American Dream was dead.

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dark days indeed for democracy....


For over two years RussiaGate has accounted for a substantial proportion of all mainstream US media political journalism and, because US media have significant agenda-setting propulsion, of global media coverage as well. The timing has been catastrophic.

The Trump Administration has shredded environmental protections, jettisoned nuclear agreements, exacerbated tensions with US rivals, and pandered to the rich.

In place of sustained media attention to the end of the human species from global warming, its even more imminent demise in nuclear warfare, or the further evisceration of democratic discourse in a society riven by historically unprecedented wealth inequalities and unbridled capitalistic greed, corporate media suffocate their publics with a puerile narrative of alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia.

The RussiaGate discourse is profoundly mendacious and hypocritical. It presumes that the US is a State whose electoral system enjoys a high degree of public trust and security. Nothing could be further from the truth. The US democratic system is deeply entrenched in a dystopian two-party system dominated by the rich and largely answerable to corporate oligopolies; it is ideologically beholden to the values of extreme capitalism and imperialist domination. Problems with the US electoral system and media are extensive and well documented.

US electoral procedures are profoundly compromised by an electoral college that detaches votes counted from votes that count. The composition of electoral districts have been gerrymandered to minimize the possibility of electoral surprises. Voting is dependent on easily hackable corporate-manufactured electronic voting systems.

Right-wing administrations reach into a tool-box of voter-suppression tactics that run the gamut from minimizing available voting centers and voting machines through to excessive voter identification requirements and the elimination of swathes of the voting lists (e.g. groups such as people who have committed felonies or people whose names are similar to those of felons, or people who have not voted in previous elections).

Even the results of campaigns are corrupted when outgoing regimes abuse their remaining weeks in power to push through regulations or legislation that will scuttle the efforts of their successors.

Democratic theory presupposes the formal equivalence of voice in the battlefield of ideas. Nothing could be further from the reality of the US “democratic” system in which a small number of powerful interests enjoy ear-splitting megaphonic advantage on the basis of often anonymous “dark” money donations filtered through SuperPacs and their ilk, operating outside the confines of (the somewhat more transparently monitored) ten-week electoral campaigns.

Regarding media, democratic theory presupposes a public communications infrastructure that facilities the free and open exchange of ideas. No such infrastructure exists.  Mainstream media are owned and controlled by a small number of large, multi-media and multi-industrial conglomerates that lie at the very heart of US oligopoly capitalism and much of whose advertising revenue and content is furnished from other conglomerates.

The inability of mainstream media to sustain an information environment that can encompass histories, perspectives and vocabularies that are free of the shackles of US plutocratic self-regard is also well documented.

Current US media coverage of the US-gestated crisis in Venezuela is a case in point. The much celebrated revolutionary potential of social media is illusory. The principal suppliers of social media architecture are even more corporatized than their legacy predecessors. They depend not just on corporate advertising but on the sale of big data that they pilfer from users and sell to corporate and political propagandists often for non-transparent AI-assisted micro-targeting during ‘persuasion’ campaigns.

Like their legacy counterparts, social media are imbricated within, collaborate with, and are vulnerable to the machinations of the military-industry-surveillance establishment. So-called election meddling across the world has been an outstanding feature of the exploitation of social and legacy media by companies linked to political, defense and intelligence such as – but by no means limited to – the former Cambridge Analytica and its British parent SCL.

Against this backdrop of electoral and media failures, it makes little sense to elevate discussion of and attention to the alleged social media activities of, say, Russia’s Internet Research Agency. Attention is being directed away from substantial, and substantiated, problems and onto trivial, and unsubstantiated, problems.

Moreover, in a climate of manufactured McCarthyite hysteria, RussiaGate further presupposes that any communication between a presidential campaign and Russia is in itself a deplorable thing. Even if one were to confine this conversation only to communication between ruling oligarchs of both the US and Russia, however, the opposite would surely be the case. This is not simply because of the benefits that accrue from a broader understanding of the world, identification of shared interests and opportunities, and their promise for peaceful relations.

A real politik analysis might advise the insertion of wedges between China and Russia so as to head off the perceived threat to the USA of a hybrid big-power control over a region of the world that has long been considered indispensable for truly global hegemony.

Even if we address RussiaGate as a problem worthy of our attention, the evidentiary basis for the major claims is weak. The ultimate unfolding of RussiaGate discourse now awaits the much-anticipated report of Special Counsel and former FBI director Robert Mueller. Mueller’s indictments and investigations have to date implicated several individuals for activities that in some cases have no connection whatsoever to the 2016 Presidential campaign.  In some other instances they appear to have been more about lies and obstructions to his investigation rather than material illegal acts, or amount to charges that are unlikely ever to be contested in a court of law.

The investigation itself is traceable back to two significant but extremely problematic reports made public in January 2017. One was the “Steele dossier” by former MI6 officer Christopher Steele. This is principally of interest for its largely unsupported allegations that in some sense or another Trump was in cahoots with Russia. Steele’s company, Orbis, was commissioned to write the report by Fusion GPS which in turn was contracted by attorneys working for the Democratic National Campaign.

Passage of earlier drafts of the Steele report through sources close to British intelligence, and accounts by Trump adviser George Papadopoulos concerning conversations he had concerning possible Russian possession of Clinton emails with a character who may as likely have been a British as a Russian spy, were instrumental in stimulating FBI interest in and spying on the Trump campaign.

There are indirect links between Christopher Steele, another former MI6 agent, Pablo Miller (who also worked for Orbis) and Sergei Skripal, a Russian agent who had been recruited as informer to MI6 by Miller and who was the target of an attempted assassination in 2018. This event has occasioned controversial, not to say highly implausible and mischievous British government claims and accusations against Russia.

The  most significant matter raised by a second report, issued by the Intelligence Community Assessment and representing the conclusions of a small team picked from the Director of Intelligence office, CIA, FBI and NSA, was its claim that Russian intelligence was responsible for the hacking of the computer systems of the DNC and its chairman John Podesta in summer 2016 and that the hacked documents had been passed to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. No evidence for this was supplied.

Although the hacking allegations have become largely uncontested articles of faith in the RussiaGate discourse they are significantly reliant on the problematic findings of a small private company hired by the DNC. There is also robust evidence that the documents may have been leaked rather than hacked, and by US-based sources.

The fact that the documents revealed that the DNC, a supposedly neutral agent in the primary campaign, had in fact been biased in favor of the candidature of Hillary Clinton, and that Clinton’s private statements to industry were not in keeping with her public positions, has long been obscured in media memory in favor a preferred narrative of Russian villainy.

Why then does the RussiaGate discourse have so much traction? Who benefits?

First, RussiaGate serves the interest of a (1)corrupted Democratic Party, whose biased and arguably incompetent campaign management lost it the 2016 election, in alliance with with (2)powerful factions of the US industrial-military-surveillance establishment that for the past 19 years, through NATO and other malleable international agencies, has sought to undermine Putin’s leadership, dismember Russia and the Russian Federation (undoubtedly for the benefit of western capital) and, more latterly, further contain China in a perpetual and titanic struggle for the heart of EurAsia.

In so far as Trump had indicated (for whatever reasons) in the course of his campaign that he disagreed with at least some aspects of this long-term strategy, he came to be viewed as unreliable by the US security state. While serving the immediate purpose of containing Trump, US accusations of Russian meddling in US elections were farcical in the context of a well-chronicled history of US “meddling” in the elections and politics of nations for over 100 years. This meddling across  all hemispheres has included the staging of coups, invasions and occupations on false pretext in addition to numerous instances of “color revolution” strategies involving the financing of opposition parties and provoking uprisings, frequently coupled with economic warfare (sanctions).

A further beneficiary (3)is the sum of all those interests that favor a narrowing of public expression to a framework supportive of neoliberal imperialism. Paradoxically exploiting the moral panic associated with both Trump’s plaintive wailing about “fake news” whenever mainstream media coverage is critical of him, and social media embarrassment over exposure of their big data sales to powerful corporate customers, these interests have called for more regulation of, as well as self-censorship by, social media.

Social media responses increasingly involve more restrictive algorithms and what are often partisan “fact-checkers” (illustrated by Facebook financial support for and dependence on the pro-NATO “think tank,” the Atlantic Council). The net impact has been devastating for many information organizations in the arena of social media whose only “sin” is analysis and opinion that runs counter to elite neoliberal propaganda. The standard justification of such attacks on free expression is to insinuate ties to Russia and/or to terrorism.

Given these heavy handed and censorious responses by powerful actors, it would appear perhaps that the RussiaGate narrative is increasingly implausible to many and the only hope now for its proponents is to stifle questioning. These are dark days indeed for democracy.

Oliver Boyd-Barrett is Professor Emeritus at Bowling Green State University. He is author of the forthcoming book RussiaGate and Propaganda: Disinformation in the Age of Social Media (Routledge).

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dark days are getting darker...

 

House lawmakers have exhumed some old issues in an attempt to blow a second wind into the US-Russian antagonism narrative.

The US House of Representatives passed three bills and one resolution targeting Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin personally, The Hill reported Tuesday.

The resolution — called "Calling for accountability and justice for the assassination of Boris Nemtsov" — calls the Russian president and government accountable for what US lawmakers consider a poor investigation of the murder of Russian politician Boris Nemtsov.

"It's been four years since his death, but there's been no proper investigation of his assassination and the cover-up and zero accountability for those responsible — that's certainly an outrage," House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) said in a floor speech ahead of the vote. "This resolution condemns the Kremlin's systematic targeting of its political opponents and calls on the administration to impose sanctions on those responsible for Nemtsov's murder and cover-up."


Nemtsov was a governor, federal minister and lawmaker during the Boris Yeltsin administration. He mostly faded away after 2000, and was considered a minor opposition figure. However, he became an icon after his unexpected assassination in 2015. Although five Russian nationals have been charged with the crime, US House lawmakers claim there are other people responsible for Nemtsov's death, and that Putin and the Russian government are covering up the facts of the case.

 

The first House bill passed Tuesday — Crimea Annexation Non-recognition Act — would ban US federal departments and agencies from recognizing Crimea as part of Russian territory.

The second bill — Vladimir Putin Transparency Act — guides the US intelligence community to expose "key networks" that the Russian leadership allegedly uses as a mechanism of strengthening political control and weakening democratic states.

The third bill — Keeping Russian Entrapments Minimal and Limiting Intelligence Networks Act, or KREMLIN Act for short — would require the US director of National Intelligence to submit three different assessments on what bad things Russia could potentially do to US and NATO countries: one each to provide information on potential Russian action against NATO members; potential Russian responses to the expanded role of the US and NATO countries in eastern Europe; and potential areas of weakness the Russian government could attempt to capitalize on, according to The Hill's report.


The series of bills appears to be another attempt to fan the flames of antagonism between Washington and Moscow — something US lawmakers have been trying to do for years now. Back in 2017, the House passed a bill giving Congress the power to block any effort by the White House to weaken sanctions on Russia.

 

According to CNN report at the time, the bill was a "direct challenge to President Donald Trump's authority."

Earlier this week, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo accused Russia of being responsible for creating political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, while the US supports non-legitimate leader Juan Guaido as interim president against Nicolas Maduro, the elected president.

Critics of Trump have accused of him "not being tough on Russia," as if being tough on Russia is by itself a defining trait of a good US president. It should be noted that the Trump administration has imposed additional sanctions against Russia in recent years. Earlier this week, Trump reportedly demanded Germany to drop its energy projects with Russia, including the Nord Stream 2, a major gas pipeline project.

 

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https://sputniknews.com/us/201903131073179217-us-house-russia-legislation/

 

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london and washington knew the crimean question was settled....

 

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the FBI never bothered analyzing the DNC's computers...

 

...

 

"Politically of course, if the hack is proven to be technically impossible, and if it became major news, that would throw out the entire case [investigated by Mueller]", Vereycken told Sputnik. "The scandal is even worse, since the FBI has never even bothered analyzing the DNC's computers! So, the fact they got away with that simple proves they never intended to find out the truth, they just wanted to target a person".

 

The French journalist opined that the FBI was nothing but "a mercenary force for the ruling financial forces for whom Trump, who's not part of the two-party system they control, is a factor of potential disorder".

 

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