Tag Archives: Paul Manafort

Smear Slander Rinse and Repeat, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

More often than not, news is no longer simply reported, it’s made up or its opinion masquerading as news. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

The way ‘news’ is reported through known outlets changes so fast hardly a soul notices that news as we once knew it no longer exists. This is due to a large extent to the advent of the internet in general, and social media in particular. On the one hand this has led to an absolute overkill in ‘news’, forcing people to pick between sources once they find they can’t read or view it all, on the other hand it has allowed news outlets to flood the former news waves with so much of the same that nobody can compare one source with the other anymore.

Once you achieve that situation, you’re more or less free to make the news, rather than just report on it. The rise of Donald Trump has made the existing mass media realize that one-sided negative reporting on the man sells better than anything objective can. The MSM have sort of won the battle versus the interwebs, albeit only in that regard, and only for this moment, but that is enough for them for now; just like their readers, they don’t have the scope or the energy to look any further or deeper.

This is in a nutshell, and we really should take a much more profound look but that’s another chapter, what has changed the news, and what will keep on changing it until the truth sets us all free. This is what drives outlets like CNN, the New York Times and the Guardian today, because it provides them with readers and viewers. Which they would not have if they didn’t conduct a 24/7 war on a set list of topics they know their audience can’t get enough of.

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Never, Ever Forget The Guardian/Politico Psyop Against WikiLeaks, by Caitlin Johnstone

The number of people who believe the mainstream media is dwindling, and this latest by The Guardian and Politico will accelerate the process. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

For the first few hours after any new “bombshell” Russiagate story comes out, my social media notifications always light up with poorly written posts by liberal establishment loyalists saying things like “HAHAHA @caitoz this proves you wrong now will you FINALLY stop denying Russian collusion???” Then, when people start actually analyzing that story and noting that it comes nowhere remotely close to proving that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election, those same people always forget to come back afterward and admit to me that they were wrong again.

This happens every single time, including this past Tuesday when the Guardian published a new “bombshell” report saying that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had had secret meetings with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. When experts all across the political spectrum began pointing out that the story contained no evidence for its nonsensical claims and was entirely anonymously sourced, nobody ever came back and said “Hey sorry for calling you a Russian propagandist, Caitlin; turns out that story wasn’t as fact-based as I’d thought!” When evidence for a single one of the article’s claims failed to turn up for a day, then two days, then three days, nobody came back and said “Gosh Caitlin, I owe you an apology for mocking you and calling you Assange’s bitch; turns out WikiLeaks and Manafort are suing that publication and its claims remain completely unproven.”

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Assange Never Met Manafort. Luke Harding and the Guardian Publish Still More Blatant MI6 Lies, by Craig Murray

The Guardian has offered no evidentiary support for its assertion that Julian Assange met Paul Manafort. From Craig Murray at craigmurray.org.uk:

The right wing Ecuadorean government of President Moreno continues to churn out its production line of fake documents regarding Julian Assange, and channel them straight to MI6 mouthpiece Luke Harding of the Guardian.

Amazingly, more Ecuadorean Government documents have just been discovered for the Guardian, this time spy agency reports detailing visits of Paul Manafort and unspecified “Russians” to the Embassy. By a wonderful coincidence of timing, this is the day after Mueller announced that Manafort’s plea deal was over.

The problem with this latest fabrication is that Moreno had already released the visitor logs to the Mueller inquiry. Neither Manafort nor these “Russians” are in the visitor logs.

This is impossible. The visitor logs were not kept by Wikileaks, but by the very strict Ecuadorean security. Nobody was ever admitted without being entered in the logs. The procedure was very thorough. To go in, you had to submit your passport (no other type of document was accepted). A copy of your passport was taken and the passport details entered into the log. Your passport, along with your mobile phone and any other electronic equipment, was retained until you left, along with your bag and coat. I feature in the logs every time I visited.

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Do Democrats Want an Impeachment Fight? by Patrick J. Buchanan

The Democrats want to impeach Trump because he won the election, which is outside of the offenses specified in the Constitution. Do they have the stomach for taking it all the way through on a couple of dubious campaign finance infractions? The Republicans faltered on Bill Clinton’s impeachment. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

“If anyone is looking for a good lawyer,” said President Donald Trump ruefully, “I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen.” Michael Cohen is no Roy Cohn.

Tuesday, Trump’s ex-lawyer, staring at five years in prison, pled guilty to a campaign violation that may not even be a crime.

Cohen had fronted the cash, $130,000, to pay porn star Stormy Daniels for keeping quiet about a decade-old tryst with Trump. He had also brokered a deal whereby the National Enquirer bought the rights to a story about a Trump affair with a Playboy model, to kill it.

Cohen claims he and Trump thus conspired to violate federal law. But paying girlfriends to keep past indiscretions private is neither a crime nor a campaign violation. And Trump could legally contribute as much as he wished to his own campaign for president.

Would a Democratic House, assuming we get one, really impeach a president for paying hush money to old girlfriends?

Hence the high-fives among never-Trumpers are premature.

But if Cohen’s guilty plea and Tuesday’s conviction of campaign manager Paul Manafort do not imperil Trump today, what they portend is ominous. For Cohen handled Trump’s dealings for more than a decade and has pledged full cooperation with prosecutors from both the Southern District of New York and the Robert Mueller investigation.

Nothing that comes of this collaboration will be helpful to Trump.

Also, Manafort, now a convicted felon facing life in prison, has the most compelling of motives to “flip” and reveal anything that could be useful to Mueller and harmful to Trump.

Then there is the Mueller probe itself.

Twenty-six months after the Watergate break-in, President Nixon had resigned. Twenty-six months after the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta emails, Mueller has yet to deliver hard evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Putin’s Russia, though this was his mandate.

To continue reading: Do Democrats Want an Impeachment Fight?

The Sh*tocracy and Donald Trump

The latest paroxysms of puerile petulance.

Rick Hasen, a professor of law at the University of California, Irvine, said Mr. Cohen’s admission could amount to an “impeachable offense,” particularly if Democrats retake the majority in the House this fall.

The Wall Street Journal, “Cohen Says President Told Him to Pay Women,” August 22, 2018

Mr. Cohen has virtually guaranteed that Democrats will not “retake the majority in the House this fall,” or the Senate either. Setting aside for a moment the legally problematic nature of making out a case for President Trump’s impeachment, is his base more or less likely to show up to the polls if the media and Trump’s legions of enemies are bandying the “I” word? The above quote, and similar quotes from other sources, are fire-em-up locker room fodder, right up there with Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” comment.

The media and political class vastly overestimate their importance to most Americans. On a stellar night a network newscast is lucky to hit 10 million viewers, or about 3 percent of the American population. Fox, the leading cable news network, gets a little over 2 million viewers, or less than 1 percent. The nation’s leading newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, has a daily average circulation of just over 1 million, or less than one-half of one percent.

It’s a good bet a majority of people in this country can’t name the vice president, a Supreme Court justice, their congressional representative or even one of their senators, their governor, or the anchors on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN or MSNBC. People pay attention to politics and the news media around presidential elections and during crises, but mostly they tune it out. Alternative media commentators fret about the mainstream media’s control of the “narrative.” Such commentary overlooks the fact that most people aren’t listening.

Commentators both mainstream and alternative deplore the “masses’” inattention to all those issues and personalities they find important, but the masses know a few things. In the days of the Soviet Union, when its government had full control of the “narrative” and most everything else, average Ivans and Natashas knew the commissars and apparatchiks were full of shit. It was reflected in the humor: “You pretend to pay us, we pretend to work.” It’s a valuable evolutionary adaptation, this ability to tell when someone’s pissing on your foot and calling it a rainstorm. They may not know who’s the vice president, but that innate mechanism, honed in the school of hard knocks, allows many Americans to separate truth from lies.

Few outside their own little circus will argue that the media and politicians aren’t full of shit. Nobody will argue that Donald Trump is the fulfillment of Diogenes’ quest, but he questioned the shit, mocked the shit-peddlers, and presented an alternative to shit gone stale. When he told Clinton during a debate that she belonged in jail, he was saying what many Americans justifiably believed but were never going to hear from the mainstream shit-peddlers. When he said build a wall, he challenged a consensus that welcomed any brand of immigration “reform” as long as it welcomed any brand of illegal immigrant.

His willingness to say things many people believe, but which never make it to the mainstream, more than his positions on the issues, propelled Trump’s candidacy. Trump’s support came not from dispassionate intellectual analysis, but because he appealed to strong emotions, the strongest of which was: stick it to those assholes in the media and government.

Trump won. So much for the power of mainstream narratives; you can’t fool all the people all the time. Neck-deep in their own manure, the shitocracy went into paroxysms of puerile petulance. Their response: shovel more shit.

Russia-Trump collusion was only meant to be a Clinton talking point, discarded the day after she won. Once she lost, it was the only story the shitocracy had. They’ve tried to run with it, but it pulled up lame when Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity pointed out that DNC servers couldn’t have been remotely hacked, they had to have been leaked via a direct download on site. There’s no Russiagate without a Russian hack.

The conviction of Paul Manafort has been painted as a huge loss for Trump. It’s probably the opposite. The average person has no idea of the ins or outs of Manafort’s case, but there’s no hiding one central fact: fifteen months after his appointment to investigate Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 election, Robert Mueller’s big legal “victory” has nothing to do with Trump, Russia, collusion, or the 2016 election. That’s why Trump keeps calling it a witch hunt: the charge resonates.

So now the “smart” money is shifting to “Campaign Finance Violations Impeachment,” going off as a 99 to 1 long shot. As Mark Penn argued at thehill.com, even if Michael Cohen’s story is, for the sake of argument, accepted as true, it’s a huge stretch to call a payment he made to Stormy Daniels and a payment made at his behest by American Media to Karen McDougal campaign contributions. This is true even if the payments helped Trump’s campaign by keeping potential damaging stories from the public. The Federal Election rejected similar arguments in the John Edwards case in 2012.

Talented tweeter Trump immediately noted that Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign paid a $350,000 fine for accepting millions in unreported contributions, but nobody pressed for Obama’s impeachment. Trump has also claimed he didn’t know about Cohen’s payment to Daniels until after it was made, contradicting Cohen’s claim it was directed by Trump. The contradictory stories will never be tested in court under oath and subject to cross-examination, because Cohen has pleaded guilty to eight counts to avoid a trial. (And presumably win some leniency from prosecutors; he’s looking at a long prison sentence.) A sitting president cannot be indicted.

The only forum in which this all could be adjudicated would be an impeachment proceeding. Democratic “prosecutors” would be impeded by Cohen’s tattered reputation and credibility, the hearsay nature of much of his evidence, their own blatantly political motives, and the obvious double standard between the rule of law as applied to Trump and not applied to Obama or Clinton. A fair number of people know a kangaroo court when they see one.

Once a person recognizes the shitocracy for what it is, there’s no reversal. You don’t say to yourself one day: “The media and the politicians are lying sacks of filth,” and the next day: “I think I’ll go back to believing them.” Trump appealed to enough fed up voters to win the election. They won’t bat an eye at Manafort’s verdict or Cohen’s story.

Since the election, with Russiagate, the disclosures about the FBI and the intelligence agencies, the mainstream media’s obvious bias and hostility, and now this week’s “big” news, the ranks of the fed up have only grown. The more shit the shitocracy shovels, the less they’re believed. Microchip us all, put cameras everywhere, track our every electronic move, institute martial law, shut down the internet, ship us off to FEMA camps, and the word will still get out, just as it did in the Soviet Union: they’re full of shit.

Get rid of Trump and he’ll be replaced with a shitocracy turd. That prospect, plus a decent economy, no new wars, progress in a couple of hot spots, eroding support for Democrats among blacks and hispanics, rampant socialist and political correctness lunacy, and what’s undoubtedly going to be a hyperventilated but counterproductive campaign by the mainstream and social media to stoke a blue wave this fall may usher in a red wave instead. The ever-expanding ranks of the cognizant know that America would be irretrievably lost were Trump to be impeached by a kangaroo court on trumped-up charges. They won’t let that happen without a fight.

You Should Be Laughing At Them!

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Fixers, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Fixers fixing things for other fixers who are in a fix. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

If there’s one thing that is exposed in the sorry not-so-fairy tale of former Trump aides Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, it’s that Washington is a city run by fixers. Who often make substantial amounts of money. Many though by no means all, start out as lawyers and figure out that let’s say ‘the edges of what’s legal’ can be quite profitable.

And it helps to know when one steps across that edge, so having attended law school is a bonus. Not so much to stop when stepping across the edge, but to raise one’s fees. There’s a lot of dough waiting at the edge of the law. None of this should surprise any thinking person. Manafort and Cohen are people who think in millions, with an easy few hundred grand thrown in here and there.

But sometimes the fixers happen to come under scrutiny of the law, like when they get entangled in a Special Counsel investigation. Both Manafort and Cohen now rue the day they became involved with Trump, or rather, the day he was elected president and solicited much more severe scrutiny.

Would either ever have been accused of what they face today had Trump lost to Hillary? It’s not too likely. They just gambled and lost. But there are many more just like them who will never be charged with anything. Still, a new fixer name has popped up the last few days who may, down the line, not be so lucky.

And that’s not even because Lanny Davis is a registered foreign agent for Dmytro Firtash, a pro-Russia Ukrainian oligarch wanted by the US government. After all, both Manafort and Cohen have their contacts in that part of the world. Manafort made tens of millions advising then-president Yanukovich in the Ukraine before the US coup dethroned the latter. Cohen’s wife is Ukrainian-American.

Lanny Davis is a lawyer, special counsel even, for the Clintons. Has been for years. Which makes it kind of curious that Michael Cohen would pick him to become his legal representation. But that’s not all Davis is involved in. Like any true fixer, he has his hands in more cookie jars than fit in the average kitchen. Glenn Greenwald wrote this in August 2009 about the health care debate:

Lanny Davis Disease

After Tom Daschle was selected to be Barack Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services and chief health care adviser, Matt Taibbi wrote: “In Washington there are whores and there are whores, and then there is Tom Daschle.” One could easily have added: “And then there’s Lanny Davis.” Davis frequently injects himself into political disputes, masquerading as a “political analyst” and Democratic media pundit, yet is unmoored from any discernible political beliefs other than: “I agree with whoever pays me.”

To continue reading: Fixers

If Paul Manafort Is Going To Prison, Tony Podesta Should Be Joining Him, by Duane Norman

Paul Manafort’s going to prison; Tony Podesta is getting an immunity deal. Guess which one is the Republican operative and which one is the Democratic operative. From Duane Norman at fmshooter.com:

Following a lengthy jury deliberation, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted on eight counts, including tax fraud, failure to disclose foreign bank accounts, and bank fraud – even though jurors were still hung on another ten counts:

“If we cannot come to a consensus for a single count, how can we fill in the verdict sheet?” the jurors asked in the note. 

“It is your duty to agree upon a verdict if you can do so,” said Ellis, who encouraged each juror to make their own decisions on each count. If some were in the minority on a decision, however, they could think about the other jurors’ conclusions.

Notably, the case has nothing to do with “Trump, the Trump campaign or the 2016 US election” – it has to do with work Manafort did with former Ukranian President Victor Yanukovych from 2005-2014.  The case was referred to the federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) by Special Investigator Robert Mueller… who also referred Democrat superlobbyist Tony Podesta for prosecution as part of similar work he did for Yanukovych.  

All of this begs the question – if Tony Podesta committed the same crimes as Paul Manafort, why hasn’t the SDNY brought charges against him?

Last year, Tucker Carlson exposed just how close Tony Podesta and the Podesta Group were to the Ukranian and Russian governments…

Former Podesta Group Exec: Paul Manafort was in PG offices “all the time” representing Russian political and business interests. #RussiaGate pic.twitter.com/6dFB1MJRdP

…which was summed up in the below list originally complied by iBankCoin – detailing Manafort’s close ties with the Podesta Group regarding Russian/Ukranian lobbying:

  • Lobbyist and temporary Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is at the center of the Russia probe – however the scope of the investigation has broadened to include his activities prior to the 2016 election.
  • Manafort worked with the Podesta Group since at least 2011 on behalf of Russian interests, and was at the Podesta Group offices “all the time, at least once a month,” peddling Russian influence through a shell group called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU).
  • Manafort brought a “parade” of Russian oligarchs to congress for meetings with members and their staffs, however, the Russia’s “central effort” was the Obama Administration.

To continue reading: If Paul Manafort Is Going To Prison, Tony Podesta Should Be Joining Him