Humint Events Online

Friday, January 01, 2100

BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT, the official 9/11 story is very very wrong.

(PERMANENT TOP POST)
Please see here for an overview of the 9/11 Frame-Up. Summary: they faked the plane crashes, they faked the videos, and they nuked the towers.

"The powers that be" are very sick, evil creatures.

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Please note that "Anonymous Physicist", who has contributed articles here in the past, is a different person from "Spooked", the owner of this blog. Also please see here for a note regarding the commenting policy on this site.
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Sunday, June 24, 2018

We're Mad as Hell and Not Going to Take It Anymore

The salient fact about US politics is that the right has been going steadily more crazy for decades -- breaking the law, disregarding norms, sinking into a hermetically sealed media bubble filled with paranoid conspiracy theories, seeking to disenfranchise opponents, etc.
At every stage, it gets worse. Norms & values we thought inviolate are crapped on, lawlessness becomes more brazen, ugly prejudices we thought buried, or at least suppressed, roar back to the surface. And with every increment, the question re-presents itself: What should the rest of us do?
The ~25% of Americans who believe & want horrible, illiberal shit ("deplorables," you might call them) have taken over the GOP. They are driving it toward fascism as fast as the system will allow them.
What's the right response? For years, lefties have been warning about this devolution of the GOP, going back to Reagan. They have been dismissed as crazy partisan hippies, condemned as "uncivil," told they are part of the problem, because being mad about illiberalism is just like illiberalism.
The question has always been, where do you draw the line? At what point in the GOP's devolution do we say: OK, that's too far. We're no longer in Normal Politics. We're in a crisis situation, on the verge of losing our democracy. Where is the line?
The most insidious thing about the descent into illiberalism is that it is incremental. There's no dramatic moment, no Rubicon. Every step seems bad, but only a little worse than the previous step. Smart autocrats are careful not to provide that moment. As this slide into illiberalism has continued, the mainstream DC establishment, including the sorts of Very Serious People that write major newspaper editorials, have *helped prevent that moment*.
They have normalized, normalized, normalized, greasing the skids. When lefties have tried to draw a line, create a moment, force a reckoning, the establishment has united in a single voice to say: calm down. Let's be civil & work together. Let's not raise our voices or be shrill. Both sides do it. We're still in Normal Politics.
Now here we are with a president who very openly pines for tyranny, explicitly disregards laws & norms, is nakedly racist, lies as often as he breathes, and oh yeah, is now JAILING TODDLERS TO DETER LEGAL IMMIGRATION.
By jailing toddlers, Trump has potentially made a mistake. Instead of incremental illiberalism, this seems like a jump, something to shock the conscience. It is yet another opportunity for a Moment, a time for the rest of us to say: no. This is not normal. It's not ok.
That what's the owner of the Red Hen was doing by refusing to serve Sanders: saying, No. This is not just a normal political dispute that can remain confined to the political sphere. You cannot support this & still expect to be treated like a normal, decent person.
The owner was trying to draw a line, disrupt the normal daily patterns of civility & accommodation, create a Moment around which people can rally to echo the message: No. This is not normal, not "just politics."
We must stop pretending it is; we must snap out of hypnosis. And so, right on cue, the Very Serious People ride to the rescue of the aspiring tyrants, saying, yet again: Calm Down. Let's not get crazy here. Let's not be RUDE. Heavens no. We must retain our decorum at all costs.
WaPo editors say that accepting incivility (gasp) is a "slippery slope." But that gets it exactly wrong. WE ARE ALREADY ON THE SLIPPERY SLOPE.
It's a slope that leads to illiberalism, violence, & collapse. It's a slope greased accommodation & civility. What the Red Hen owner (& others) are trying to do is jerk us awake, push of OFF the slippery slope.
They're trying desperately to draw a line, to cease the slide. And every time they try -- even now, even to this day, even with toddlers in cages -- the MSM scolds them. The Very Serious People who serve as tone police in DC need to decide what they value more: democracy or civility.
Because we're just sliding, sliding, sliding down this slope, pretending all the while that things are still Normal.
To get off the slide ... will, almost by definition, require a break with Normal. It will require some sand in the gears, some raised voices, some violations of decorum and precedent.
I dunno if restaurant service is the right mechanism, or even a good one. No one knows. The WaPo editorial board, like the MSM establishment more generally, has been utterly fucking useless in slowing our slide to illiberalism.
They've done nothing but obscure what's happening behind a veneer of Normal. They have failed.
But for the luvagod ... ... the very least they can do is refrain from concern trolling citizens who are (RIGHTLY) in a panic about the loss of their country.
Maybe the agents of this cruelty, the ones lying on its behalf, should feel a little discomfort. There are worse things in the world.
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Mueller!!!

The Mueller investigation is, I suspect, coming to a head.
I don’t claim I know how it will turn out.
The president has an enormous amount of power and his flunkies in Congress promise they’re about to end Rod Rosenstein’s bend-don’t-break defense by impeaching him (though Rosenstein and Chris Wray have just thrown more documents out to slow the Republicans).
It’s certainly possible that Trump will make a last ditch effort to undercut the Mueller investigation and that effort will be competently executed and none of the secondary fall-back defenses Mueller has put into place will work.
For now, though, the Trump team seems intent on a delay and discredit strategy, which won’t stave off any imminent steps. So we shall see whether Trump succeeds in undercutting the investigation.
I keep thinking, “that’s why they play the game,” but this is no game.
There are a number of reasons I think Mueller’s investigation is coming to a head. But consider one detail. I’ve long explained that Mueller seems to be building a series of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States indictments that will ultimately incorporate the entire Russian operation (and may integrate the Trumpsters’ international self-dealing as well).
As Mueller’s team has itself pointed out, for heavily regulated areas like elections, ConFraudUs indictments don’t need to prove intent for the underlying crimes. They just need to prove,
(1) two or more persons formed an agreement to defraud the United States;
(2) [each] defendant knowingly participated in the conspiracy with the intent to defraud the United States; and
(3) at least one overt act was committed in furtherance of the common scheme.
Let’s see how evidence Mueller has recently shown might apply in the case of Roger Stone, Trump’s lifelong political advisor.
We already knew that Stone had communications that he did not immediately disclose with Guccifer 2.0 and Wikileaks. With both, Stone has contributed to and reinforced claims the entities were not Russian operations, though his conversion about the source of the Hillary emails was pretty sudden and curiously timed.
Now we know that in May, Stone had lunch with someone calling himself Henry Greenberg offering dirt on Hillary. His explanation — based only on the texts that Michael Caputo was asked about in a Mueller interview — is not that he didn’t entertain the offer, but that he didn’t take Greenberg up on the offer as made in late May because Greenberg was asking for big money. Both clearly recognized Greenberg as a Russian, therefore a foreigner offering something of value during an election.
Bizarrely, in trying to rebut the import of this exchange publicly, Caputo and Stone are doing nothing more than working the public refs, claiming to assume this was an FBI sting. Mueller knows whether it was an FBI sting, and there’s virtually no way he’d be asking questions about it if it were (particularly if Stone really didn’t take the bait).
In short, Stone has no justification for this he’s willing to offer publicly; instead, he’s just adopting the SpyGate narrative in an attempt to discredit the investigation. And that’s assuming there were no follow-ups or other damning texts that didn’t involve someone willing to leak them to the press.
Et cetera. Bottom line, is there is extensive legal evidence against the Trump team, implicating them in serious conspiracy with Russia to sway the US 2016 presidential election.

We will find it all out soon, hopefully.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

US-NK Freak Show


It's all a show... PR and no real steps towards denuclearization. Legitimizing a truly murderous and brutal dictator. Nothing mentioned on human rights.

And those hairstyles... both are disgusting.

But check out this mad video the White House played for KJU:



Kind of creepy all the way around. But what's most disturbing is at 1:48 in, the narrator says "One destiny" and the video shows a missile/rocket flare rising up from planet earth. WTF is that? Is that hinting at a quarantine breakout, perhaps?
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Over 500 Days of Kakistocracy

We have a president determined to piss off our allies, even Canada for Christ's sake, over delusional claims of unfair trade practices, while clearly beholden to Russia, and the party in power does NOTHING.

That this is TREASON by Trump and the GOP cannot be emphasized enough.

Oh and look here:
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s daughter and son-in-law, brought in at least $82 million in outside income while serving as senior White House advisers during 2017, according to financial disclosure forms released Monday.
It's just so wrong. A true kleptocracy.

What's really depressing is how for now at least, Trump is getting away with the biggest political scandal is US history.

On the lighter side, there does seem to be a semi-amusing historical precedent for Trump: Kaiser Wilhelm II.
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Uglier and Uglier

There are countless horror stories about what’s happening to immigrants under Trump.
Just last week, we learned that a teenager from Iowa who had lived in America since he was 3 was killed shortly after his forced return to Mexico. This month, an Ecuadorean immigrant with an American citizen wife and a pending green card application was detained at a Brooklyn military base where he’d gone to deliver a pizza; a judge has temporarily halted his deportation, but he remains locked up. Immigration officers are boarding trains and buses and demanding that passengers show them their papers. On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions decreed that most people fleeing domestic abuse or gang violence would no longer be eligible for asylum.
But what really makes Trump’s America feel like a rogue state is the administration’s policy of taking children from migrants caught crossing the border unlawfully, even if the parents immediately present themselves to the authorities to make asylum claims.
“This is as bad as I’ve ever seen in 25 years of doing this work,” Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the A.C.L.U.’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, told me. “The little kids are literally being terrorized.”
Family separations began last year — immigrant advocates aren’t sure exactly when — and have ramped up with the administration’s new “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting everyone who crosses the border without authorization.
Over two weeks in May, more than 650 children were snatched from their parents. The human consequences have been horrific. (snip)
Pramila Jayapal, a Democratic congresswoman from Washington State, recently met with migrant women being held in a federal prison, many of whom, she said, were forcibly separated from children as young as 1. Some had their kids physically torn from them. Others were told that they had to go have their photograph taken; when they returned, their children were gone. In some cases, Jayapal said, the women could hear their kids screaming in the next room.
“Many of them were told by Border Patrol that they would never see their children again,” she told me. America’s immigration system was capricious and cruel before Trump. Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon, recently visited an immigrant processing center in McAllen, Tex. Describing how men, women, boys and girls were separated and kept in chain-linked enclosures, he emphasized that the site wasn’t new: “It’s essentially the same construction that was there during Obama,” he said. The difference is that, until recently, the kids’ section held older children who had crossed the border on their own. Now, he told me, the youngest was 4 or 5. These kids are being used as pawns to persuade parents to give up their asylum claims and to warn others against coming to America.
The administration, Merkley told me, has “decided that treating kids in this fashion would influence the adults not to seek asylum. They would hurt children to influence the parents.”
There are still mechanisms in American government that can stop this evil. Last Friday, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, proposed a bill that would keep most families detained at the border together. The A.C.L.U. has filed a lawsuit on behalf of parents whose children were taken from them and is asking a federal court for a nationwide injunction to stop family separations.
But for now, what is happening is the sort of moral enormity that once seemed unthinkable in contemporary America, the kind captured in the Martin Niemöller poem that’s repeated so often it’s become a cliché: “First they came …” There is no reason to believe that undocumented immigrants will be the last group of people deemed beyond the law’s protection.
Senator Merkley told me he asked people working in the detention center if they were concerned about the impact that family separation would have on the children who had been put under their authority. The answer, he said, was, “We simply follow the orders from above.”
Sound familiar???

Ultimately the Nazi holocaust was about racist hatred taken to extreme ends, and we are seeing the early stages of it in Trump's America.
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Monday, June 11, 2018

Stargate Archives

For sale!
Reports of the United States Government Sponsored Psi Program, 1972–1995. Volume 1: Remote Viewing, 1972–1984 $95.00
During the Cold War, the U.S. government began testing paranormal claims under laboratory conditions in hopes of realizing intelligence applications for psychic phenomena. Thus began the project known as Star Gate. The largest in the history of parapsychological research, it received more than $20 million in funding and continued into the mid–1990s.
This project archive includes all available documents generated by research contractor SRI International and those provided by government officials. Remote viewing (RV) is an atypical ability that allows some individuals to gain information blocked from the usual senses by shielding, distance or time.
Early work benefited from a few “stars” of RV who were successful at convincing investigators of its existence and its potential as a means of gathering intelligence. Research focused on determining the parameters of RV, who may have the ability, how to collect and analyze data and the best way to use RV in intelligence operations.
Volume 1 Remote Viewing (1972–1984) and Volume 2 Remote Viewing (1985–1995) include laboratory trials and several operational results.
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Tuesday, June 05, 2018

50th Anniversary of the RFK Assassination

Suffice it to say, without going into the details, I'll say the evil PTB had him killed. The bigger question is why?

In the words of the great Charles Pierce:
Ultimately, the great unknowable is whether the country would have taken the turns it took in the 1970s and 1980s, the dangerous detours that have brought us to our present moment, if there had been no guns in the kitchen that night.
The reactionary forces against the gains of the Civil Rights Movement already were gathering force, and it’s not unreasonable to conclude that the Republicans would have formed their dark alliance with the remnants of American apartheid even more swiftly had Nixon been defeated by yet another Kennedy.
I would like to think that Robert Kennedy would have been able to stand against the foul gales that were then rising. I prefer to think that he would have, because I prefer to think of this country as perpetually redeemable.
So many of our wounds are self-inflicted, and, by and large, through our history, we’ve at least made some good faith effort to heal them and to atone to ourselves for having inflicted them in the first place.
That, ultimately, is what Robert Kennedy stood for and, alas, what he died for as well. Wisdom, through the awful grace of God.
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Friday, June 01, 2018

"The Press is Failing Us"

Melissa McEwen feels my pain:
I am totally fed up with press coverage of Donald Trump that is rooted in failing to understand, still, who he is.

Or conspiring to pretend that he is something other than what he decidedly, demonstrably is. And has been. For decades.

In some cases, it's just an unwillingness to accept the reality that he is actually as terrible and as dangerous as he actually is, either because it's too painful to contemplate or because that would mean facing up to their own complicity in his ascension to power by having treated him like a joke and failing to take him seriously far sooner.

In other cases, it's an active attempt to enable and protect him, and abet his vile agenda. (I'm looking at you, New York Times.)

In any case, it's fucking depressing. And enraging. And scary.

Even the outlets and/or individual reporters who are doing a decent job of reporting accurately on what he's doing, day in and day out, are still just documenting, without meaningfully conveying to the public how extraordinarily grave a predicament we're in.

It is just a colossal failure by the press to honestly talk about what's happening; how quickly and profoundly the erosion of our public institutions is happening and how difficult all of it will be to restore.

The comprehensive insistence on treating all of this as "bad, but still within normal range" is gaslighting on an unfathomable sale.

We need facts, and we need straightforward discussion of those facts.

He is a liar. He is a manipulator. He is wildly unethical. He has contempt for the rule of law. He is corrupt. He is colluding, right out in the open. He is cruel. He thinks his abuse is wit.

He is an authoritarian. He hates democracy. He is disloyal to the nation he is meant to lead.

The 2016 election was a coup. Everything since has been a consolidation of power behind a white supremacist, nativist, patriarchal despot.

And we can't even begin to address any of that, if we can't even speak about it plainly.

If the people who try to speak about it plainly are demeaned and dismissed as alarmists hysterics crackpots conspiracists bitches.

If being a person who speaks about it plainly is considered somehow worse, more toxic, embarrassing by the political press than being the authoritarian who thrives in a vacuum of accountability.

The only fate worse than being doomed to lose what you value to the crushing oppression of an authoritarian tyrant is to lose it to the echoing memory of that tyrant being called a clown, until it was far too late.

Of course, the press, the media has always failed us, but I thought that was more a problem with them covering up deep unpleasant conspiracies and I thought they would at least wake up for the wholesale dismantling of the rule of law by the president.

But the way the corporate media works is sadly all too susceptible to manipulation by ruthless liars and crooks, and Trump is the master there.
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33 of the Day: Civil Asset Forfeiture Edition

This is a good example of a manufactured 33, and a disturbing story overall:

A 64-year-old Cleveland man is suing U.S. Customs and Border Protection after agents strip-searched him at an airport in October and took more than $58,000 in cash from him without charging him with any crime, according to a federal lawsuit filed this week in Ohio. (snip)
The Kazazi family did not hear anything about their cash or why it was taken until more than a month after it was seized, when Customs finally sent a seizure notice to their home. “This is to notify you that Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) seized the property described below at Cleveland, OH on October 24, 2017: $57,330 in U.S. Currency,” the notice states.
“Enforcement activity indicates that the currency was involved in a smuggling/drug trafficking/money laundering operation.”
The first thing the Kazazis noticed was that the dollar amount listed was $770 less than the amount that Kazazi said he took with him. The family said that the cash was all in $100 bills, making it impossible for it to add up to $57,330.

Note, the government agents took the exact amount out of the original money to make it now equal to a number with 33 in it.

Also, note the amount of money they took out had another Illuminati/Masonic number in it-- 77.

Nice coincidence there.
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Monday, May 28, 2018

Is the Trump Administration Running a Child-Trafficking Ring?

Given the way Trumpsters went after Hillary for Pizzagate, and the way the Trumpsters love to project, it would be irresponsible not to speculate:

Donald Trump has been the conspiracy whisperer throughout his entire public life. Even before he was president, he was convinced that the Central Park Five were guilty (they weren’t).
He spent years claiming that former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya (he wasn’t).
He suggested that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death may have been Democratic foul play (it wasn’t).
Those are just the theories he was spouting before he got into office.
This week, CNN’s Jake Tapper listed the half-dozen unfounded or disproven conspiracy theories that Trump and his administration have spewed since getting into the White House.
These include everything from Obama using transformer microwaves to spy on the Trump White House (Optimus Hot Pockets?); Black Lives Matter being a terrorist organization; and the Democrats running a child sex trafficking ring out of a pizza place in Washington, D.C. (also known as “pizzagate”).
Of course, all of these theories are unfounded or disproven, but they still rile up the base and keep Reddit full of traffic, so why should khaki-wearing “alt-righters” have all the fun?
Now it turns out that the Trump administration may have an equally implausible conspiracy on its hands: Is the administration involved in child sex trafficking or just white nationalism?
Follow me down the rabbit hole and see for yourself.
August 2017: Immigration and Customs Enforcement asks permission from the Trump administration to start destroying old files and documents relating to 11 subjects. These include reports of violence, solitary confinement, death and sexual abuse inflicted on those detained by ICE agents while still in their custody. It is still being determined how long these reports would be held before being destroyed. Two years? Twenty years? Six weeks? ICE isn’t saying. Some congressional candidates have found this policy so disturbing, they’ve begun to campaign on it.
April 26, 2018: During a Senate hearing, Steven Wagner, acting assistant secretary of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, says that the department has lost nearly 1,500 unaccompanied minors who had been placed in homes or facilities since being picked up at the border. Over a thousand human beings lost, like luggage, a cellphone or a fancy hat. Our government can track what porn sites ISIS, or the Islamic State, is clicking on in the mountains of Afghanistan, but can’t find 1,500 kids in America? What’s worse, nobody seems to know what to do about it. This is despite reports that children have been placed in homes where they were sexually assaulted, abused or possibly trafficked.
May 8, 2018: Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces that if you are caught sneaking across the border as a family, you will be prosecuted and separated from your children. Which will lead to more children being taken from the safety of their parents and then suspiciously “lost” in the system somewhere in America.
May 11, 2018: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly doubles down on the new Trump white nationalist and human-rights-violating policy of separating parents from minor children. When asked what will happen to separated kids, Kelly states: “The children will be taken care of — put into foster care or whatever." Obviously, “whatever” includes everything from being placed in a nice, loving home and adopted by Daddy Warbucks, or Mitt Romney, to falling off the grid and being abused, sold or worse by any random stranger who shows up at Homeland Security offering to “help” these displaced kids
We’ve seen this before with “good samaritans” from the United States attempting to snatch Haitian children temporarily separated from their families and take them who knows where.
Now Trump and Sessions—with the help of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen—are putting even more children at risk, breaking up families and contemplating throwing kids into internment camps or sending them off into homes with unvetted or unmonitored adults, and losing kids right and left.
If someone did want to traffic a bunch of barely literate, frightened, lost brown children fleeing poverty and violence in South America, Trump and Sessions just made it a lot easier. Now, of course, none of this means that Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump are part of some vast conspiracy to sell minority children to the highest bidder like some scene out of Taken 4: Bad Hombres. This could all just be a series of unfortunate policies and events. It could just be white nationalism at work, destroying black and brown families seeking a better life, and demonstrating a careless disregard for nonwhite children.
However, why be hamstrung by the facts, as bad as they are? Trump has shown America that you can get away with whatever salacious, ridiculous and unfounded conspiracy you want as long as you say it loudly enough and find enough other people to repeat it.
Which story sounds better: Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions continue their white nationalist policies by destroying refugee and undocumented immigrant families, or Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions let missing children fall prey to sex traffickers?
If you can’t figure out which is the better conspiracy, imagine any of this happening at this level—the missing children, the separation of families and lack of concern for finding them—under the Obama administration. Which story do you think Trump would actually tweet?
He’s never been one to let facts get in the way of a good conspiracy.
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Tales of Our Continuing Kakistocracy

A lot of people are waiting for something dramatic to happen, some line to be crossed, an epic event like the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller III that will allow them to say that now we have had a coup and now we are ready to do something about it.
We already had the coup. It happened on November 8, 2016, when an unqualified candidate won a minority victory in a corrupted election thanks in part to foreign intervention.
Any time is the right time to pour into the streets and demand that it all grinds to a halt and the country change direction. The evidence that the candidate and his goons were aided by and enthusiastically collaborating with a foreign power was pretty clear before that election, and at this point, they are so entangled there isn’t really a reason to regard the born-again alt-right Republican Party and the Putin Regime as separate entities.
Take the recent revelations about the president’s personal errand boy, Michael Cohen. He ran a shell company from which money was used to pay Stormy Daniels to remain silent in what was quite likely an illegal campaign contribution. Money came in, along with major corporations, from a Russian oligarch close to Putin, Viktor Vekselberg, or rather from a corporation called Columbus Nova, run by a cousin of his apparently appointed to mask Vekselberg’s own role.
The New Yorker reports, “It is a company technically owned by others but which looks after money owned and controlled in large part—if not entirely—by Vekselberg and his family.” Or as Frank Rich put it at New York Magazine, it’s “an example of collusion so flagrant that it made Trump and Rudy Giuliani suddenly go mute: a Putin crony’s cash turns out to be an essential component of the racketeering scheme used to silence Stormy Daniels and thus clear Trump’s path to the White House in the final stretch of the 2016 election.”
The Washington Post reports that Columbus Nova “is listed as the organization behind a string of websites targeted toward white nationalists and other members of the alt-right.” That is, this Russian oligarch’s company was illegally attempting to influence the election, and they were giving money to the bagboy of the election’s winner.
Pro Publica reports that another personal lawyer of the president’s, Marc Kasowitz, also worked on behalf of Columbus Nova. There are a thousand other details like that of financial dealings—real estate sales, investments, odd transfers of wealth, social connections, meetings—that tie the Trump mob to the Russian mob—because most of the oligarchs are, in that autocratic regime, in one way or another mobsters, because Putin himself runs that vast country as though he was a mob boss intent on exerting control through fear, and profit through extortion.
The Trump family aspires to mafia status, a thuggocracy, but they are manipulable and bumbling where Putin and company are disciplined and Machiavellian. They hire fools and egomaniacs and compromised figures—Scaramucci, Giuliani, Bannon, Flynn, Nunberg, the wifebeating Rob Porter—and then fire them, with a soap opera’s worth of drama; the competent ones quit, as have many lawyers hired to help Trump navigate his scandals.
The Trumps don’t hide things well or keep their mouths shut or manage the plunder they grab successfully, and they keep committing crimes in public. Remember when Trump revealed highly classified data to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister when they visited him in the Oval Office, not long after he fired FBI director James Comey (but before he admitted it was to obstruct Comey’s investigation of his ties to Russia?). There’s a picture of that visit in which the Russians are laughing at him and he looks befuddled.
Remember when Donald Jr. met with the Russian agent in Trump Tower in June of 2016 to get purloined data on Clinton and tried to cover it up by saying it was about adoptions? Remember when the Trump team was forced out of the Panama hotel that Trump still profited from, and how his lawyers appealed directly to the president of Panama? How he profits from that business and others despite the emoluments clause of the Constitution? Or the various lawsuits for violating that clause, including one pending from the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia? Or the women suing Trump for defamation? Perhaps not, as so many scandals have piled up on those ones.
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Bluffers bluff, and President Trump just tried to bluff his way through one of the worst weeks of his administration.It's not working. Donald Trump is a terrible poker player.
His tells are so clumsily obvious and that we mistakenly give him credit for guile where none exists, and for some cinematic, supervillain cunning where there is only a howling, feral mass of insecurity and need.
The delta between reality and spin with Trump is always broad, and last week it was unspinnably vast. It's also been a stunning illustration of just how powerful the division between reality and fantasy has become in the two hermetic media silos that now exist in America.
For some Americans — a minority, I pray — Trump is a pied piper luring the credulous and the uninformed into accepting lies over truth, comfort over reality and conspiracy over fact. In Trump's world and that of his angry minions, the winning doesn't stop, the vast left-wing conspiracy's witch-hunt against him is both broad and insidious, and the truth is what he wants it to be on any given day.
Maintaining the Trump illusion requires an endless suspension of disbelief; denying facts, logic, reason, the law and the utterly evident cluster-you-know-what that this administration represents. The pinnacle of that illusion-at-all-costs philosophy came after the revelation that an FBI informant followed up on leads that Trump campaign foreign policy aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos had been playing footsie with the Russians. On Fox News, talk radio and in the Trump-right online media armies, the innocent Trump campaign was the victim of FBI spying against them, ordered by notorious Kenyan Muslim sleeper agent Barack Obama, evil sorceress Hillary Clinton and their army of Deep State apparatchiks.
The President wants you to call the FBI's Russian counterintelligence program Spygate, but rational people have declined to indulge him. Stupidgate is instead just a ludicrous new chapter in the long chronicle of Trump dumbassery. It's only one of the many examples of Trump's behavior of which historians in the far future will look upon with the same stunned disbelief and discomfort as we now consider tulip manias, Beanie Baby investment schemes, Milli Vanilli and acid-washed jeans. There might have been a moment where those ideas were intriguing, but in the hard light of history, they're grim reminders that fads and passions are fleeting.
For the FBI actions Trump calls Spygate to be a real concern, it would require malice. Instead, we've seen justification after justification for a robust counterintelligence response to Russian malfeasance. Drawn to the Trump campaign like flies to the biggest manure pile in the universe, the FBI wasn't after him, but rather — quite properly — the Russians who sought to (and may have succeeded) in subverting American democracy and corrupting our elections.
There's a line in the 1990s film "Grosse Point Blank" where John Cusack's assassin character defends his line of work. He says, "If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there." It couldn't have been that an FBI counterintelligence investigation against the Russians kept finding lead after lead headed straight back to Trump associates, family members, friends, business partners and his senior campaign officials, could it? It couldn't have been because Trump advisers were boasting they had the Russian goods on Hillary Clinton, that his sons were taking meetings in Trump Tower with platoons of Russians tied to Vladimir Putin, or that his attorney Michael Cohen was signing letters of intent to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, right? And there's no way it was the opinion of every American intelligence agency that the Russians were all in with a program of information warfare in support of Donald Trump. No way? Way.
The central unspinnable story of the past week is the one over which Trump feels the most pressing anxiety. Three new stories reported on Michael Cohen's latest avenues of legal jeopardy, all of which increase the risk Cohen flips on Trump to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. First, Cohen's longtime business associate Evgeny "The Taxi King" Freidman copped a plea deal and agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York against Cohen. This development is bad news from every angle for both Cohen and Trump. There's not a chance in hell Freidman would have been given an easy plea deal unless he had something to provide prosecutors on Cohen, and by extension, Trump. Freidman comes from the same Russian circles as Cohen and Trump partner Felix Sater.
I know you're asking the same question I do all the time: for a President who claims to have never had anything to do with Russia, Russian business interests or Russian money, why are there so many Russians and so much Russian money tied to him?
As if that wasn't bad enough, the BBC's Paul Wood delivered another hard blow. In an impeccably sourced piece, Wood revealed this week that Cohen (along with the aforementioned Sater) worked illegally on behalf of Ukraine, adding "lobbyist" to his usual roles as the fixer for and conduit to Trump. The BBC reports that Cohen took a $400,000 to $600,000 payoff from Ukrainian interests without bothering the register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Oh, that Foreign Agents Registration Act. You know, the law that requires anyone doing paid work on behalf of a foreign government to register with the United States Department of Justice.
On Friday, one more piece of bad news ratcheted Cohen's stress level even higher when it was revealed that he met with Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian oligarch deeply tied to Putin, in January of 2017, just before Trump's inauguration. The denials from Team Trump that they have anything to do with Russia, their assertions that they have no business in Russia, didn't collude with Russia, didn't coordinate with Russia, never borrowed money from Russians, didn't accept dirt on Hillary Clinton from Russia, don't know any Russians, have never met any Russians and have never heard of the country of Russia ring more hollow with every revelation. The vise squeezing Cohen is tightening, and every day that passes increases the chances he'll turn Judas on his friend and boss. Trump knows what Cohen knows, and what Cohen knows about Trump's business dealings, finances, taxes, serial infidelities, hush money to adult film stars (and Lord knows who else) isn't pretty.  

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If you dabble at all in the odd world of far-right conspiracy theories, or happen to be a nazi-sympathizing, jew-hating, 4chan user who frequents the /pol/ thread on that site, then you have undoubtedly stumbled upon the person or people known as QAnon.
For the rest of you who believe in reality and don’t frequent message boards where hate groups congregate, QAnon first emerged on October 28, 2017 in a /pol/ thread on 4chan, titled “Calm Before the Storm,” clearly in reference to an odd quote by Trump in early October where he stood with military leaders and stated “Maybe it’s the calm before the storm. Could be, the calm. The calm before the storm.”
While it’s pretty clear he was talking about the military’s possible use of force, this individual, or group of individuals who have been posting cryptic images and messages on what amounts to an internet hate-group message board, believes that Trump was referring to something else entirely. They believe that Trump has been pretending to be influenced by Russia in order to force the FBI, DOJ and Special Counsel to investigate what really amounts to Russian ties on the part of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and others.
They also argue that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is not really investigating Trump, but instead is investigating Obama, Clinton, and their associates. Since October, QAnon has been suggesting that a “Storm is coming” any day now. It’s been 7 months now and as Trump associates continue to plead guilty, get indicted, or flip, not a single individual within the Obama administration or Clinton campaign has even been interviewed by Mueller, as far as we are aware.
Despite the lack of any evidence, what-so-ever, to verify any of these clearly baseless claims, QAnon continues to promise that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, Huma Abedin, and even John McCain will soon all be arrested, or are already under house arrest.
Besides the general “Trump is a superhero” rhetoric coming from the anonymous QAnon, the lost souls who follow every word of this account, almost as if it’s god himself coming to speak to them, also believe that Clinton and Obama were covering up child sex rings, and that the Las Vegas massacre was an inside job connected to a cabal led by the Saudis and Hillary Clinton.
There are always conspiracy theorists out there, but the group congregating around this QAnon pseudonym are incredibly vile, disguise themselves on 4chan with anonymity, and seem to be lost in a fantasy world where their hero is someone so heroic that he/she will only post on a known Nazi-sympathizing message board, anonymously. It’s one thing to question authority. It’s something entirely different when you unquestionably follow an anonymous user on an anonymous message board, posting theories which don’t remotely add up. This group is dangerous, not because they will influence the Mueller probe in any way, but because they are convincing an incredibly large number of internet users that reality is not reality and that hate, bigotry and lies are the norm.
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