Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Special Counsel Robert Mueller applies increasing pressure on Paul Manafort.

Courtesy of the Miami Herald:  

Paul Manafort’s place in the crosshairs of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the Kremlin’s attempts to sway the 2016 presidential election seems to be growing more uncomfortable. 

Two sources familiar with the inquiry tell McClatchy that investigators are working to confirm information indicating that Manafort and the consulting firms he led earned between $80 million and $100 million over a decade from pro-Moscow Ukrainian and Russian clients. 

Mueller’s expanded focus on Manafort’s complicated financial picture is zeroing in on whether he may have evaded taxes or engaged in any money laundering schemes, the sources say, and the hunt for his financial records through a labyrinth of offshore bank and business accounts has become an important prong of the investigation. 

Given his pro-Kremlin connections and his closeness to the campaign, Manafort was uniquely positioned to play a role in any collusion between the campaign and operatives working on behalf of the Russian government to help elect Trump. 

Whether Manafort can be squeezed depends in part on whether he failed to report foreign income and overseas bank accounts annually to the Internal Revenue Service as required by law. The volume of money said to be involved and the time elapsed could put him at significant risk.

The IRS is involved? Well Manafort is screwed now.

There is some evidence that Manafort is already cooperating with the investigators, but whether he has flipped or not the existence of this increasingly bad information now being leaked to the press means that he may have little choice but to cooperate or face a rather lengthy prison term. 

All in all this should have Trump shitting bricks.

37 pro-Trump rallies cancelled. Will be held online instead where it is much safer for the little snowflakes.

Courtesy of Gizmodo: 

Pro-Trump rallies that were originally being planned for roughly 37 locations across the US have been canceled. The rallies, scheduled for September 9th, were being coordinated by ACT For America, a pro-Trump and anti-Muslim hate group best known for its “March Against Sharia” back in June. The group said it will instead hold online demonstrations. 

ACT For America released a statement to Breitbart, America’s number 1 website for adult virgins, claiming that the cancellations were due to “the recent violence in America and in Europe.” ACT For America, which calls itself “the NRA of national security,” is now proclaiming Saturday, September 9th an online “Day of ACTion.” It’s not yet clear what the organization has planned, but it’s probably a safe bet that it will involve plenty of shitty memes.

"America’s number 1 website for adult virgins," I love that!

Clearly this is for the best because I have it on good authority that when internet trolls are exposed to the public it is kind of like when vampires go out in the sun, they simply whither and die.

Or have warrants sworn out for their arrest:

Officials at the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office of Albemarle County in Charlottesville said on Monday morning that four warrants had been issued for Mr. Cantwell’s arrest. The office referred questions about the nature of the charges to the University of Virginia Police Department. A spokesman at the department did not respond to requests for comment on Friday, Saturday and Monday. 

The Boston Globe reported on Thursday that the warrants were related to the “illegal use of gases, and injury by caustic agent or explosive.”

Just in case you forgot exactly which pathetic POS this is, it's this guy.

You know personally I think that ALL Trump supporters should avoid going out in public and acting like they are actual human beings and stuff, and should instead  stay on the internet where they can freely associate with others of their kind, like pedophiles, bronies, and people who still miss Crystal Pepsi.

Now that he is president Donald Trump goes all in for endless war in Afghanistan.

And in closing I would just like to point out that it's more of the same.
Courtesy of the New York Times:

President Trump put forward on Monday a long-awaited strategy for resolving the nearly 16-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, but he declined to specify either the number of troops that would be committed, or the conditions by which he would judge the success of their mission there. 

In a nationally televised prime-time speech to troops at Fort Myer, Va., Mr. Trump said there would be no “blank check” for the American engagement in Afghanistan. But in announcing his plan, Mr. Trump deepened American involvement in a military mission that has bedeviled his predecessors and that he once called futile. 

“My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts,” Mr. Trump said. “But all my life, I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.”

Gee, no shit Sherlock.

By saying that there will be no troop numbers provided to the media, and no timelines made public, Trump is essentially working to remove any tools that can be used to hold him accountable for failure.

Of course that is a little late since continuing the war itself is already a measurable failure.
Courtesy of HuffPo: 

To the wall that Mexico is not going to pay for and the Iran nuclear deal that hasn’t been torn up, to China still not being labeled a currency manipulator and an embassy in Israel still not being moved to Jerusalem, President Donald Trump can now add the Afghanistan war still not ending. 

Seven months into his presidency, not only is he not withdrawing from what he had called a “terrible mistake” during his campaign, he is reportedly approving thousands of more troops, along with an open-ended commitment to remain.

It can be argued that opposition to the wars is what separated Trump from his fellow Republican candidates in the primaries, in fact he even used it to portray Hillary as a war hawk in the general. 

With this speech about staying in Afghanistan, and removing any metrics to gauge success or failure, Trump is essentially committing to sending an unknown number of American soldiers into combat, to achieve an unspecified goal, for an undetermined number of years. 

THAT is exactly what the American people DON'T want.

Donald Trump lied to virtually everybody about what he was going to do as president, and now that he is failing to keep ANY of his promises one has to wonder if that small but rabid group of Trump supporters will finally start to turn on him. 

One Idaho state representative is pretty sure he knows who was behind the violence in Charlottesville. Obama!

Courtesy of The Hill: 

An Idaho state lawmaker is facing backlash for sharing a conspiracy theory that former President Obama helped to orchestrate the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., as part of a plot to take down President Trump. 

Idaho Rep. Bryan Zollinger on Friday posted a story on Facebook that suggested Obama and other top Democrats like billionaire George Soros and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe were part of a conspiracy to set up the rally, the Post Register reported. 

“I’m not saying it is true, but I am suggesting that it is completely plausible,” Zollinger wrote on Facebook. The story claims that Obama has set up a “war room” to fight against the Trump administration — a claim that has largely been debunked — and that Charlottesville was a part of his plan. 

The lawmaker later told the Idaho Statesman that it was “maybe a mistake” to share the story but doubled down on his statement that the claims were “plausible.”

Plausible?

So it is plausible that a bunch of Nazis, KKK members, and White Supremacists gathered in Virginia to foment violence at the direction of the first black president in American history?

Sure, plausible, right.

But do you know what IS plausible?

That these racists assholes will continue to blame Barack Obama for every single thing that goes wrong in their lives for the next twenty years despite the fact that he is no longer in office, or wields any real power.

Because THAT is what racists do.

In recent months more than 2,500 companies have stopped advertising on Breitbart News.

Courtesy of The Independent: 

More than 2,500 advertisers have reportedly stopped advertising on right-wing news website Breitbart News in recent months, underscoring the swelling power of a grassroots campaign to boycott the platform, especially amid escalating political tensions in the US. 

According to a tweet by Sleeping Giants, a campaign group aiming to pressure companies into cutting ties with media they deem to be racist or sexist, the number of advertisers that have ceased advertising is “climbing towards 2,600”.

Gee does that mean that most advertisers do not want to be associated with an outlet that promoted white nationalism? 

It looks like Steve Bannon is returning right on time to watch the last exodus of anybody idiotic enough to have every advertised with Breitbart.

No real problem though, not at long as the Mercer family is still willing to waste their money on keeping it afloat.

Somebody fixed Trump's Hollywood star.

Looks way more accurate now.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Vice reporter discounts the idea that the White Nationalist protest in Charlottesville had anything to do with Confederate statues.

Vice reporter Elle Reeve.
Courtesy of the Independent Journal Review: 

In the aftermath of the violence at the “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, footage captured by HBO's “Vice News Tonight” has routinely been cited as showing what happened with the most accuracy and clarity. While usually there is a delay before episodes hit YouTube, Vice posted this one right away. 

Elle Reeve, the Vice reporter who helmed the piece, was a guest on Sunday's edition of “Face the Nation” on CBS to discuss what she witnessed in Charlottesville and the reaction to the episode as part of a panel. In light of President Donald Trump's comments that “good people” were protesting quietly on the first night, she was asked what she saw. 

“This was an unannounced event, but a very well-organized one,” she began. “When we arrived, there were vans dropping off white nationalists at the field. On the field, there were organizers doing crowd control, security, handing out tiki torches. They picked tiki torches as to be menacing, sometimes they call it a torch-lit vigil, because it’s supposed to be an offensive spin on a candlelight vigil.” 

“Once they started marching, they didn't talk about Robert E. Lee being a brilliant military tactician, they chanted about Jews,” she said. “They wanted to be menacing, it's not an accident.”

That whole thing about protesting the taking down of Confederate was just a thin cover for the REAL reason they were protesting and that was to  incite violence and gain national attention.

And if there is any lingering doubt about that then just remember this guy:

This is actually how I see most of these White Supremacists.

Tough talking macho men online, pathetic little bitches in the real world. 

I think this actual image of Donald Trump looking up at the solar eclipse is all you need to know about his presidency. Update!

To be fair he DID eventually put on those "science specs" though he is pretty sure the idea that the sun can hurt your eyes is just "fake news."
Still it's important to remember that this is how Trump first started his observation of the eclipse.
Remember folks THIS is the guy that millions of your fellow Americans actually thought should be in charge of your country.

I also heard that a number of Trump voters were in a blind panic because they did not understand what was happening and thought that Obama's renewable energy policies broke the sun.

Update: I've now heard from a number of sources that there were people in the crowd yelling at Trump to put on his eclipse glasses but he took quite some time to respond.

The Secret Service is going broke trying to protect Trump and his family, and keep up with their extravagant lifestyle.

Courtesy of USA Today: 

The Secret Service can no longer pay hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission – in large part due to the sheer size of President Trump's family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast. 

Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex'' Alles, in an interview with USA TODAY, said more than 1,000 agents have already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year. 

The agency has faced a crushing workload since the height of the contentious election season, and it has not relented in the first seven months of the administration. Agents must protect Trump – who has traveled almost every weekend to his properties in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia – and his adult children whose business trips and vacations have taken them across the country and overseas. 

"The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,'' Alles said. "I can't change that. I have no flexibility.'' 

Alles said the service is grappling with an unprecedented number of White House protectees. Under Trump, 42 people have protection, a number that includes 18 members of his family. That's up from 31 during the Obama administration. 

It is not just the large number of Trump family members and associates that is draining resources, it is also the number of locations the Secret Service is expected to cover and the amount of traveling they are required to do.

In response a number of agents are leaving the agency.

And that situation does not appear to be changing anytime soon:

The compensation crunch is so serious that the director has begun discussions with key lawmakers to raise the combined salary and overtime cap for agents, from $160,000 per year to $187,000 for at least the duration of Trump's first term. 

But even if such a proposal was approved, about 130 veteran agents would not be fully compensated for hundreds of hours already amassed, according to the agency. 

"I don't see this changing in the near term,'' Alles said. 

So not only do you have to protect Cheeto Hitler, but you may have to do it on your own time without any hope of compensation. 

I don't know why anybody should be surprised. After all this is EXACTLY how Trump treated contractors that worked for him in the past.

Donald Trump responds to news of a US Navy destroyer crash with a flippant "That's too bad." However Breitbart says that's not his fault.

Courtesy of WaPo: 

Ten U.S. Navy sailors were missing and five were injured after the USS John S. McCain guided missile destroyer and an oil tanker more than three times its size collided near Singapore early Monday. 

American and Singaporean ships and helicopters launched a search-and-rescue mission after the pre-dawn collision at the entrance to one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Five injured and ten missing, but when Trump was asked about the incident, this was his response:  President Donald Trump’s initial reaction to the crash of the USS John McCain with a merchant ship east of Singapore that left five sailors injured and ten missing was: “That’s too bad.”

Later of course after the blowback Trump's advisers apparently got hold of his Twitter account and tweeted this:
I think that is like the Hallmark card version of a presidential condolence.

"Sorry to hear your ship got smashed. Hope you get well soon."

Kind of makes you wonder if the fact that the ship was named after the guy whose vote spiked Trumpcare has anything to do with Trump's dismissive attitude?

No, don't be silly. According to Breitbart there is really a simply answer that deflects the blame away from Trump: 

A source with direct knowledge of these matters tells Breitbart News that the senior staff at the White House, including National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, did not brief President Donald Trump on the collision the Navy destroyer USS John McCain had with an oil tanker near Singapore before he originally seemingly dismissed the incident saying, “that’s too bad.”

Yes, it's not that Donald Trump is an insensitive POS, it's that the guy who Stephen Bannon just lost a power struggle with in the White House is incompetent at his job.

Seems perfectly clear.

New bill would force Donald Trump to submit to a mental health evaluation.

Courtesy of HuffPo: 

A new bill introduced in the House of Representatives would require President Donald Trump to undergo a physical and mental health exam to determine if he is stable enough to stay in office. 

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) introduced the bill on Friday. Should the results of the said exam be unfavorable, the bill calls for Vice President Mike Pence and members of the Cabinet to remove Trump from office. 

The move would invoke the 25th Amendment, a rarely-used constitutional provision that allows the vice president and a majority of Cabinet members to jointly remove the president from office and replace him with the vice president. 

"Does the President suffer from early stage dementia," Lofgren asked in a statement announcing the bill. 

"Has emotional disorder so impaired the President that he is unable to discharge his duties," she continued. "Is the President mentally and emotionally stable?"

Let me take a moment to answer that last part. No, no he is not. 

As I have explained in the past, I am not psychiatrist, though I have worked in the mental health field for almost 25 years, but I know batshit crazy when I see it.

But hey if you need a professional opinion, don't forget that a leading psychiatry group broke protocol to give its members permission to publicly provide their opinion of Trump's mental health.,

And it was not good.

Let's face it you could smell crazy on this guy from a hundred yards away.

Personally I feel that ALL sitting presidents should undergo a psychiatric examination annually.

And Trump is way, WAY over due for his.

I'd watch the hell out of this.

Courtesy of NBC News:  

Missing the infamous bromance that is former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden? The justice fighting dynamic duo has joined forces in a new show titled “Barry & Joe: The Animated Series”, created by director and writer Adam Reid.

In the trailer of the adult animated sci-fi sitcom, Obama and Biden travel back in time after the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, with the mission to alter the course of history and save the future. 

Barry and Joe, as they are affectionately called in the series, are guided through history's ups and downs by present day astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Tyson appears in the form of an augmented reality that only they can see.

I actually stopped watching cartoons when I was a kid.....when I stopped going to college.....okay last year. But I would TOTALLY watch every episode of this just to get a little of that sweet Obama/Biden magic back again.

God they were magnificent together, weren't they?

What? Are you saying you can hardly remember that?

Well sit back and enjoy the awesomeness of the Obama-Biden bromance.

Pretty much the only way.

This is of course referring to the fact that Obama's tweet in response to Charlottesville, is the most liked tweet in history.

I think this meme was a little tongue in cheek but if you think about it you realize that it is also completely accurate.