Someone has come up with a Jewish Space Laser Agency T-shirt:
Only S20.00 on Teepublic.
I am amused.
Someone has come up with a Jewish Space Laser Agency T-shirt:
Only S20.00 on Teepublic.
I am amused.
So, the Republican House Caucus has refused to take actions against Marjorie Taylor Greene for posting death threats to other members of congress, AND asserting that Jewish Space Lasers™ started the California wild fires, AND asserting that the Sandy Hook Elementary and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings were frauds promulgated by “crisis actors”, AND the whole pedophile lizard alien cannibal thing.
This means that the whole House will be voting to strip her of her committee assignments tomorrow.
The flip side is that the Republican Caucus did not remove Liz Cheney as their #3 for voting to impeach Trump, which I’ll call neutral because any good news for a Cheney is simply not good news ever:
House Republicans voted to keep Rep. Liz Cheney in party leadership despite her harsh criticism of former President Donald Trump, while declining to punish a Trump loyalist who made comments embracing conspiracy theories and political violence.
After a dizzying week of recriminations, both Ms. Cheney, of Wyoming, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R., Ga.) remained within the fold of the House GOP, highlighting Republicans’ efforts at stitching together a still-fractious party.
Facing Democrats’ demands that Mrs. Greene be stripped of her committee assignments, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) condemned her comments but declined to take further steps. With no action from Republicans, Democrats scheduled a full House vote Thursday to remove Mrs. Greene from the education and budget committees.
“Past comments from and endorsed by Marjorie Taylor Greene on school shootings, political violence, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories do not represent the values or beliefs of the House Republican Conference,” Mr. McCarthy said. He said that he stressed in a private meeting with Mrs. Greene on Tuesday night that she must now hold herself to a higher standard as an elected official. He also said that she apologized for her comments during Wednesday’s closed-door party meeting.
At that same gathering, Ms. Cheney defeated a motion from Mr. Trump’s allies to oust her as House GOP conference chairwoman in a 145-61 vote, conducted by secret ballot after hours of intense debate.
Mr. McCarthy’s decision to leave Mrs. Greene on committees shifts some of the political heat to Democrats, who will now try to remove her. But it also opens up Mr. McCarthy to frustration among some House Republicans that he hasn’t done more to manage the fallout over Mrs. Greene. Thursday’s vote could also put some House GOP lawmakers in a difficult spot in deciding whether to vote to protect Mrs. Greene from Democratic attempts to punish her, a stance that could be off-putting to donors and voters skeptical of both her and Mr. Trump.
To quote Napoleon, “Never stop your enemy from stepping on his own dick,” I guess. (It’s a loose translation from the original French)
Still, this is an unbelievable clusterf%$#.
It turns out that Google and Facebook colluded to keep Facebook out of the advertising market in exchange for preferential rates.
This is pretty much a slam dunk, and yes, both organizations should broken up in the long term (Other limits fail over time) and be prevented from acquiring any other companies in the short term:
In 2017, Facebook said it was testing a new way of selling online advertising that would threaten Google’s control of the digital ad market. But less than two years later, Facebook did an about-face and said it was joining an alliance of companies backing a similar effort by Google.
Facebook never said why it pulled back from its project, but evidence presented in an antitrust lawsuit filed by 10 state attorneys general last month indicates that Google had extended to Facebook, its closest rival for digital advertising dollars, a sweetheart deal to be a partner.
Details of the agreement, based on documents the Texas attorney general’s office said it had uncovered as part of the multistate suit, were redacted in the complaint filed in federal court in Texas last month. But they were not hidden in a draft version of the complaint reviewed by The New York Times.
Executives at six of the more than 20 partners in the alliance told The Times that their agreements with Google did not include many of the same generous terms that Facebook received and that the search giant had handed Facebook a significant advantage over the rest of them.
The disclosure of the deal between the tech giants has renewed concerns about how the biggest technology companies band together to close off competition. The deals are often consequential, defining the winners and losers in various markets for technology services and products. They are agreed upon in private with the crucial deal terms hidden through confidentiality clauses.
Google and Facebook said that such deals were common in the digital advertising industry and that they were not thwarting competition.
The Wall Street Journal had reported on aspects of the draft complaint earlier.
“This idea that the major tech platforms are robustly competing against each other is very much overstated,” said Sally Hubbard, a former assistant attorney general in New York’s antitrust bureau who now works at Open Markets Institute, a think tank. “In many ways, they reinforce each other’s monopoly power.”
Because maintaining a monopoly is more profitable than developing a superior product.
One need only look at the cost and speed of broadband in the US to know that this is true.
The agreement between Facebook and Google, code-named “Jedi Blue” inside Google, pertains to a growing segment of the online advertising market called programmatic advertising. Online advertising pulls in hundreds of billions of dollars in global revenue each year, and the automated buying and selling of ad space accounts for more than 60 percent of the total, according to researchers.
In the milliseconds between a user clicking on a link to a web page and the page’s ads loading, bids for available ad space are placed behind the scenes in marketplaces known as exchanges, with the winning bid passed to an ad server. Because Google’s ad exchange and ad server were both dominant, it often directed the business to its own exchange.
A method called header bidding emerged, in part as a workaround to reduce reliance on Google’s ad platforms. News outlets and other sites could solicit bids from multiple exchanges at once, helping to increase competition and leading to better prices for publishers. By 2016, more than 70 percent of publishers had adopted the technology, according to one estimate.
Seeing a potentially significant loss of business to header bidding, Google developed an alternative called Open Bidding, which supported an alliance of exchanges. While Open Bidding allows other exchanges to simultaneously compete alongside Google, the search company extracts a fee for every winning bid, and competitors say there is less transparency for publishers.
The threat of Facebook, one of the biggest ad buyers on the internet, supporting header bidding was a grave concern at Google. The draft of the complaint reviewed by The Times cited an email from a Google executive calling it an “existential threat” that required “an all hands on deck approach.”
Before Google and Facebook signed the deal in Sept. 2018, Facebook executives outlined the company’s options to Mark Zuckerberg, its chief executive, according to the draft of the complaint: hire hundreds more engineers and spend billions of dollars to compete against Google; exit the business; or do the deal.
Facebook disclosed that it had joined Google’s program in one line in a Dec. 2018 blog post. But it did not reveal that Google, according to the draft complaint, provided Facebook with special information and speed advantages to help the company succeed in the auctions that it did not offer to other partners — even including a guaranteed “win rate.”
In this market, where fractions of a second count, a speed advantage was decisive. Facebook had 300 milliseconds to bid for ads, according to court documents. But the executives at Google’s partner companies said they usually had just 160 milliseconds or less to bid.
Facebook had yet another advantage: Direct billing relationships with the sites where ads would appear, according to the court documents. For most other partners, Google controlled pricing information, effectively putting up a wall between Open Bidding participants and site owners and hiding how much of winning bids sites end up receiving, the executives at other companies said.
Facebook promised to bid on at least 90 percent of auctions when it could identify the end user and committed to spending a certain amount of money — as much as $500 million a year by the fourth year of the agreement, according to the draft of the complaint. Facebook also demanded that data about its bids not be used by Google to manipulate auctions in its own favor, a level playing field not explicitly promised to other Open Bidding partners.
Perhaps the most serious claim in the draft complaint was that the two companies had predetermined that Facebook would win a fixed percentage of auctions that it bid on.
“Unbeknown to other market participants, no matter how high others might bid, the parties have agreed that the gavel will come down in Facebook’s favor a set number of times,” the draft complaint said. A Google spokeswoman said Facebook must make the highest bid to win an auction, just like its other exchange and ad network partners.
While both companies said that the deal is not an antitrust matter, they included a clause in the agreement that requires the parties to “cooperate and assist” each other if they are investigated for competition concerns over the partnership.
“The word ‘antitrust’ is mentioned no less than 20 times” throughout the agreement, the draft complaint said.
Seriously, this is not just unlawful, this is an actual criminal offense.
Executives used to be jailed for this sort of crap, at least until the 1980s, when Reagan gutted antitrust enforcement.
I’d like to see Sundar Pichai, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg frog marched out of the corporate offices in handcuffs.
A Native American woman I know said that she and her friends have jokingly named this guy “Dances with Karens” and I find that pretty darn funny. 😆 (No offense to the decent Karens in the world, of course.) pic.twitter.com/rnBn523L0E
— Heidi Social (@HeidiSocial) January 15, 2021
Well, now I know how I’m going to refer this turd in the future.
In an otherwise anodyne story about lawmakers impressions during the assault on the Capitol, this little gem is buryed about ⅔ of the way down:
As people rushed out of other buildings on the Capitol grounds, staffers in [Representative Ayanna] Pressley’s office barricaded the entrance with furniture and water jugs that had piled up during the pandemic. [Pressley’s Chief of Staff Sarah] Groh pulled out gas masks and looked for the special panic buttons in the office.
“Every panic button in my office had been torn out — the whole unit,” she said, though they could come up with no rationale as to why. She had used them before and hadn’t switched offices since then. As they were escorted to several different secure locations, Groh and Pressley and her husband tried to remain calm and vigilant — not only of rioters but of officers they did not know or trust, she said.
This was not an accident.
This operation prepared weeks in advance, and there were people on the inside.
More evidence of this is the fact that Congressmen led what appears to be “Reconnaissance Tours” the day before the riots.
It was alarming enough that people complained to the House Sergeant at Arms that day:
More than 30 House Democrats are demanding information from Capitol security officials about “suspicious” visitors at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 5 — a day before violent insurrectionists swarmed the building — that would only have been permitted entry by a member of Congress or a staffer.
“Many of the Members who signed this letter … witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex on Tuesday, January 5,” wrote the lawmakers, led by Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), in a letter to the acting House and Senate sergeants-at-arms, as well as the acting head of the Capitol Police.
The lawmakers, some of who “have served in the military and are trained to recognize suspicious activity,” noted that Capitol tours have been prohibited since March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and they said the tours were so unusual that they were reported to security on Jan. 5, ahead of the following day’s violence.
Finally, the orginizer of the “Stop the Steal” ralley, Ali Alexander, was caught ont ape admitting that he coordinated the demonstration with 3 Congressmen, Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ):
Weeks before a mob of President Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, right-wing activist Ali Alexander told his followers he was planning something big for Jan. 6.
Alexander, who organized the “Stop the Steal” movement, said he hatched the plan — coinciding with Congress’s vote to certify the electoral college votes — alongside three GOP lawmakers: Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Mo Brooks (Ala.) and Paul A. Gosar (Ariz.), all hard-line Trump supporters.
“We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting,” Alexander said in a since-deleted video on Periscope highlighted by the Project on Government Oversight, an investigative nonprofit. The plan, he said, was to “change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside.”
This is beginning to sound like a vast right-wing conspiracy.
If it sounds outlandish, remember that Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and William Casey arranged for the continued detention of the Iranian hostages in 1980 in order to improve Reagan’s election chances.
Fomenting an insurrection, and attempting to incapacitate Democratic legislators is really not much of a step beyond the October Surprise.
As a bit of an FYI, there are two terms that frequently find their way into discussion, MIHOP (Make It Happen On Purpose), and LIHOP (Let It Happen On Purpose).
In the case of the recent riots and invasion of the US Capitol, at best the latter seems to be the case, particularly given the fact that there was a greater police presence at the March for Science headlining Bill Nye, The Science Guy. (Read the whole Twitter thread, it is chilling)
Now we have a report that the FBI is investigating the possibility that there was inside support from law enforcement and the bureaucracy.
The FBI has reasons to believe the mob of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol not only premeditated the assault, but might have been aided by police and staffers in the building … TMZ has learned.
High ranking sources inside the Capitol Police Dept. tell TMZ the FBI is looking at several facts that stink of an inside job. For starters, the Bureau is puzzled by the ease with which the mob found its way to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s office.
It’s not off any main hallway or next to other Congressional offices … in fact, the path to get to the entrance is maze-like and not open to the public like other parts of the Capitol. The rioters who took it over — vandalizing it and stealing a laptop — got there within 10 minutes of entering the Capitol.
We’re told the FBI feels someone must have provided a roadmap for them to find it that quickly. Remember, the Capitol has been closed to the public since March due to the pandemic so it’s not like these guys could have been casing it to plot their path.
It is patently obvious that the law enforcement response by both by the Capitol Police and the DC Police was intentionally lackadaisical, and since neither of those organizations answer to the White House, this cannot be attributed to Trump administration rat-fuckery.
The lackadaisical response from the FBI and the National Guard, however, might very well have been told to stand down by Trump and his Evil Minions™.
It’s almost certain that a thorough investigation will see deliberate dereliction of duty, and I’d bet dollars to navy beans that that there were people inside of both the White House and the Congress who were actively aiding the rioters.
I am referring of course, to the “White Shoe” consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, which has increasingly made justifying the illegal and immoral, and whose latest bit of evil was a proposal for Perdue Pharma to pay distributors a bounty for overdose deaths, because, like any good dope dealer, it’s all about the Benjamins.
The short version is that in order to convince distributors not to share their concerns about how Oxycontin was resulting in an explosion of deaths with regulators, or ending their relationship with Perdue, McKinsey & Company proposed a $14,810.00 payment for death or hospitalization.
It’s blood money, and it is a criminal conspiracy to bribe those distributors not to take actions that would harm the bottom line.
Even if the Sacklers and their Evil Minions™ never took up this suggestion, it is a felony to even discuss this, and McKinsey is guilty.
They really need to get the Arthur Anderson treatment.
Their name, and memory, should be effaced:
When Purdue Pharma agreed last month to plead guilty to criminal charges involving OxyContin, the Justice Department noted the role an unidentified consulting company had played in driving sales of the addictive painkiller even as public outrage grew over widespread overdoses.
Documents released last week in a federal bankruptcy court in New York show that the adviser was McKinsey & Company, the world’s most prestigious consulting firm. The 160 pages include emails and slides revealing new details about McKinsey’s advice to the Sackler family, Purdue’s billionaire owners, and the firm’s now notorious plan to “turbocharge” OxyContin sales at a time when opioid abuse had already killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.
In a 2017 presentation, according to the records, which were filed in court on behalf of multiple state attorneys general, McKinsey laid out several options to shore up sales. One was to give Purdue’s distributors a rebate for every OxyContin overdose attributable to pills they sold.
The presentation estimated how many customers of companies including CVS and Anthem might overdose. It projected that in 2019, for example, 2,484 CVS customers would either have an overdose or develop an opioid use disorder. A rebate of $14,810 per “event” meant that Purdue would pay CVS $36.8 million that year.
Though McKinsey has not been charged by the federal government or sued, it began to worry about legal repercussions in 2018, according to the documents. After Massachusetts filed a lawsuit against Purdue, Martin Elling, a leader for McKinsey’s North American pharmaceutical practice, wrote to another senior partner, Arnab Ghatak: “It probably makes sense to have a quick conversation with the risk committee to see if we should be doing anything” other than “eliminating all our documents and emails. Suspect not but as things get tougher there someone might turn to us.”
Why the F%$# haven’t they been charged?
They not only engaged in a criminal conspiracy which would include bribery and other racketeering, they initiated the proposal to do so.
Mr. Ghatak, who also advised Purdue, replied: “Thanks for the heads up. Will do.”
It is not known whether consultants at the firm went on to destroy any records.
The two men were among the highest-ranking consultants at McKinsey. Five years earlier, the documents show, they emailed colleagues about a meeting in which McKinsey persuaded the Sacklers to aggressively market OxyContin.
The meeting “went very well — the room was filled with only family, including the elder statesman Dr. Raymond,” wrote Mr. Ghatak, referring to Purdue’s co-founder, the physician Raymond Sackler, who would die in 2017.
Mr. Elling concurred. “By the end of the meeting,” he wrote, “the findings were crystal clear to everyone and they gave a ringing endorsement of moving forward fast.”
McKinsey’s involvement in the opioid crisis came to light early last year, with the release of documents from Massachusetts, which is among the states suing Purdue. Those records show that McKinsey was helping Purdue find a way “to counter the emotional messages from mothers with teenagers that overdosed” from OxyContin.
“This is the banality of evil, M.B.A. edition,” Anand Giridharadas, a former McKinsey consultant who reviewed the documents, said of the firm’s work with Purdue. “They knew what was going on. And they found a way to look past it, through it, around it, so as to answer the only questions they cared about: how to make the client money and, when the walls closed in, how to protect themselves.”
McKinsey put together briefing materials that anticipated questions Purdue would receive. [At an FDA oversight hearing] One possible question: “Who at Purdue takes personal responsibility for these deaths?”
The proposed answer: “We all feel responsible.
Shut them down, and shame and jail anyone associated with McKinsey and Company.
They are ineluctably evil.
*Immortalized by Douglas Adams as, “A bunch of mindless jerks who’ll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.“
Trump supporters are threatening to boycott the Senate election runoffs in Georgia because the Governor and the Secretary of state are not swallowing Trump’s false allegations of voter fraud.
Don’t Throw Me into That Briar Patch!!!
I would gladly, and repeatedly make obnoxious phone calls to Republicans explaining that Trump has lost, and that they need to get over it, and vote for Kelly “Covid Positive” Loeffler and David Perdue.
I think that I could depress votes all on my own.
Certainly, it will be a more cost effective course of action than anything that the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) will be doing down there, which will spend money like water, and take their cut of the media buy:
President Donald Trump supporters protesting the outcome of the 2020 election have a new and surprising opponent: the Republican Party.
A viral video of protesters, as well as posts on social media platform Parler, indicate that Trump supporters are looking to boycott the upcoming Georgia Senate runoff elections.
A video, shared on Twitter on Saturday, shows a protester speaking into a mic criticizing Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who are both Republicans. The protester calls them “traitors.”
Seemingly reacting to certification from Georgia election officials that President-elect Joe Biden had indeed won the Peach State following an election recount, the protesters disavowed the GOP.
My mother was accused of raising a “Russian child” when I was age 6, so I think that rat-f%$#ing an election is something well within my wheel house.
Is anyone surprised that Fox News is where conspiracy theories get their wings:
We’ve discussed in the past Yochai Benkler’s excellent book “Network Propaganda,” (and had Benkler on our podcast) showing (with a ton of data) how the inclination many have to immediately blame social media for the spread of disinformation is, in its own way, misinformation itself. What the research found was that crazy conspiracy theories didn’t really spread as fast until they showed up on Fox News. That was basically the catalyst for them to then spread wildly on social media.
I’m not particularly surprised.
Jon Stewart documented the Fox News bullsh%$ factory many years ago.
Unemployment claims fell to below 1 million again, but the actual adjusted number rose by 8000.
The fall is because the DOL changed its seasonal adjustment formula for this report.
Also note that Pandemic Unemployment Assistance(PUA) initial claims for self-employed and gig workers, rose by over 150,000 to 759K.
I know that people dismiss the possibility that eh “Professionals” at the Department of Labor are bending to the political winds blowing from 1600 Pennsylvania avenue, but every one of these adjustments seems to favor the Trump administration:
Note: The DOL has changed their seasonal adjustment method, so to compare to the previous week, we need to use the NSA data. See Technical Note on Weekly Unemployment Claims
The Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA) claims increased to 833,352 from 825,761 the previous week. These are directly comparable since the Seasonal Adjustment Factor was identical for both weeks.
The DOL reported:
In the week ending August 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 881,000, a decrease of 130,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 5,000 from 1,006,000 to 1,011,000. The 4-week moving average was 991,750, a decrease of 77,500 from the previous week’s revised average.
The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,250 from 1,068,000 to 1,069,250.
The previous week was revised up.
This does not include the 759,482 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was up from 607,808 the previous week.
I’m not saying that the DOL is juicing the numbers, the seasonal adjustment needed to be ……… well ……… adjusted, but it does seem that the DOL is spinning the numbers.
Is anyone surprised that,”Nearly half of Twitter accounts pushing to reopen America may be bots?”
The question is who, and who benefits? (Cui Bono)
Kathleen M. Carley and her team at Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Informed Democracy & Social Cybersecurity have been tracking bots and influence campaigns for a long time. Across US and foreign elections, natural disasters, and other politicized events, the level of bot involvement is normally between 10 and 20%, she says.
But in a new study, the researchers have found that bots may account for between 45 and 60% of Twitter accounts discussing covid-19. Many of those accounts were created in February and have since been spreading and amplifying misinformation, including false medical advice, conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus, and pushes to end stay-at-home orders and reopen America.They follow well-worn patterns of coordinated influence campaigns, and their strategy is already working: since the beginning of the crisis, the researchers have observed a greater polarization in Twitter discourse around the topic.
They follow well-worn patterns of coordinated influence campaigns, and their strategy is already working: since the beginning of the crisis, the researchers have observed a greater polarization in Twitter discourse around the topic.
So, who is behind this?
We need to find these people, and expose them, and end their grip on power.
Caitlin Johnstone has a very interesting take on QAnon.
Specifically, she thinks that it is a deliberate attempt to sideline the. “Revolutionary Impulse,”.
If you subscribe to Marx’s theories on religion, there, as Zathras would say, “Symmetry.” There is an astonishing level of similarity between the tin-foil hat brigade and the more extreme religions:
The U.S. president has moved from tacit endorsement and evading questions on the toxic QAnon psyop to directly endorsing and supporting it, telling reporters “I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” and saying they’re just people who love their country and don’t like seeing what’s happening in places like Portland, Chicago and New York City.
Asked about the driving theory behind QAnon — that Trump is waging a covert war against a satanic pedopheliac baby-eating Deep State —Trump endorsed the idea but reframed it by saying that he’s leading a fight against “a radical left philosophy.”
I write against QAnon periodically for the exact same reason I write against the plutocratic media: it’s an obvious propaganda construct designed to manufacture support for the status quo among people who otherwise would not support it. It presents itself as an exciting movement where the little guy is finally rising up and throwing off the chains of the tyrannical forces which have been exploiting and oppressing us, yet in reality all it’s doing is telling a discontented sector of the population to relax and “trust the plan” and put all their faith in the leader of the US government.
As the United States becomes less religious over time, classic Marxist analysis would suggest that something else would take its place, and that capital would support this to distract the masses.
QAnon does seem to check all the right boxes.
So, we have now learned that the “Umbrella Man”, the one who started the looting at the Minneapolis demonstrations, was a white supremacist provocateur engaging in a false flag operation.
It was obvious from the start that this individual was not a supporter of the protests, though I would wait until an arrest is made before ruling out any possibility of police involvement.
Even if this guy is a member of the Hell’s Angels and of prison white supremacist gangs, I would want his name, and an investigation to rule out that he is an informant of the like:
A masked man who was seen in a viral video smashing the windows of a south Minneapolis auto parts store during the George Floyd protests, earning him the moniker “Umbrella Man,” is suspected of ties with a white supremacist group and sought to incite racial tension, police said.
A Minneapolis police arson investigator said the act of vandalism at the AutoZone on E. Lake Street helped spark a chain reaction that led to days of looting and rioting. The store was among dozens of buildings across the city that burned to the ground in the days that followed.
“This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the city,” Sgt. Erika Christensen wrote in a search warrant affidavit filed in court this week. “Until the actions of the person your affiant has been calling ‘Umbrella Man,’ the protests had been relatively peaceful. The actions of this person created an atmosphere of hostility and tension. Your affiant believes that this individual’s sole aim was to incite violence.”
Police identified “Umbrella Man” thanks to a tip that came via e-mail last week, Christensen said.
The Star Tribune could not independently verify the police account, which has so far only surfaced in the search warrant, and isn’t naming the man because so far he has not been charged with a crime. The man, who has a criminal history that includes convictions of domestic violence and assault, did not respond to messages seeking comment. Spokespersons for the Minneapolis Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is also involved in the investigation, declined to comment.
Christensen wrote in the affidavit that she watched “innumerable hours” of videos on social media platforms to try to identify “Umbrella Man,” to no avail. Investigators finally caught a break when a tipster e-mailed the MPD identifying him as a member of the Hells Angels biker gang who “wanted to sow discord and racial unrest by breaking out the windows and writing what he did on the double red doors,” she wrote.
Police have also connected the 32-year-old man to a widely publicized incident in Stillwater late last month, in which a Muslim woman was confronted by men wearing white supremacist garb.
A subsequent investigation revealed the man was also an associate of the Aryan Cowboy Brotherhood, a small white supremacist prison and street gang based primarily in Minnesota and Kentucky. Several of its members were also present at the Stillwater incident.
One would hope that whoever ends up investigating this is not connected with the Minneapolis PD or DA, because only through a truly independent investigation give us a credible narrative.
Of course, Ivana is not Russia of Soviet, but, to quote Mason Williams, “Who needs truth if it is dull.”
MSNBC analyst Malcolm Nance, long one of the network’s loudest voices when it comes to pushing Russiagate conspiracies, claimed Tuesday morning that President Donald Trump is a Russian asset who was compromised “as early as 1977” via his first marriage to Czech-born Ivana Trump.
Having established that he was aware that Russia was looking to interfere in the election at an early stage, Nance then dove headfirst into conspiratorial waters about Trump.
“They had ten years of collection and then they brought him to Moscow for what he wanted, which is Trump Tower,” Nance added. “But from that moment on, an enormous dossier of information was collected on him and more importantly, how to exploit him and his simple exploit—as we call it in the intelligence community—and he is avaricious to a fault. He wants money, they now own him. Modern Russia, with a former KGB director as president, they know how to exploit people, they know how to manipulate people, and they know how to buy people.”
According to Nance, “supervillain” Putin “took all the files of everyone he had ever flipped” during his Soviet days and “brought that into the business world when it became modern Russia,” claiming it was around 2014 they decided to move Trump from “useful idiot” to an “unwitting asset, where he’s being used and he doesn’t know it.”
Seriously, I Malcolm Nance is a walking avatar of Sinclair Lewis’ observation that, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
Seriously this is f%$#ed up and sh%$.
Clearly this means that the Village People were Soviet targets as well: They came to prominence at around the same time, and they had access to military facilities:
I have nothing in the way of direct knowledge of the events, but Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide does appear to solve what was a troubling situation for his rich and powerful friends.
Whether this was the final act of a psychopathic narcissist, or the desperate act of those billionaires who he had damning evidence on, it doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that these people, and there were dozens, if not hundreds, of people who were willing partners in this horror show, and now there will be no accounting:
It was Friday night in a protective housing unit of the federal jail in Lower Manhattan, and Jeffrey Epstein, the financier accused of trafficking girls for sex, was alone in a cell, only 11 days after he had been taken off a suicide watch.
Just that morning, thousands of documents from a civil suit had been released, providing lurid accounts accusing Mr. Epstein of sexually abusing scores of girls.
Mr. Epstein was supposed to have been checked by the two guards in the protective housing unit every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed that night, a law-enforcement official with knowledge of his detention said.
Again, how convenient.
In addition, because Mr. Epstein may have tried to commit suicide three weeks earlier, he was supposed to have had another inmate in his cell, three officials said. But the jail had recently transferred his cellmate and allowed Mr. Epstein to be housed alone, a decision that also violated the jail’s procedures, the two officials said.
At 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, guards doing morning rounds found him dead in his cell. Mr. Epstein, 66, had apparently hanged himself.
I’ll be spending the next few days considering the tin-foil hat possibilities.
More than 450 former federal prosecutors who worked in Republican and Democratic administrations have signed on to a statement asserting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings would have produced obstruction charges against President Trump — if not for the office he holds.
The statement — signed by myriad former career government employees as well as high-profile political appointees — offers a rebuttal to Attorney General William P. Barr’s determination that the evidence Mueller uncovered was “not sufficient” to establish that Trump committed a crime.
“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,” the former federal prosecutors wrote.
“We emphasize that these are not matters of close professional judgment,” they added. “Of course, there are potential defenses or arguments that could be raised in response to an indictment of the nature we describe here. . . . But, to look at these facts and say that a prosecutor could not probably sustain a conviction for obstruction of justice — the standard set out in Principles of Federal Prosecution — runs counter to logic and our experience.”
The statement is notable for the number of people who signed it — 375 as of early Monday afternoon, growing to 459 in the hours after it published — and the positions and political affiliations of some on the list. It was posted online Monday afternoon; those signing it did not explicitly address what, if anything, they hope might happen next.
Among the high-profile signers are Bill Weld, a former U.S. attorney and Justice Department official in the Reagan administration who is running against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination; Donald Ayer, a former deputy attorney general in the George H.W. Bush administration; John S. Martin, a former U.S. attorney and federal judge appointed to his posts by Republican presidents; Paul Rosenzweig, who served as senior counsel to independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr; and Jeffrey Harris, who worked as the principal assistant to Rudolph W. Giuliani when he was at the Justice Department in the Reagan administration.
The list also includes more than 20 former U.S. attorneys and more than 100 people with at least 20 years of service at the Justice Department — most of them former career officials. The signers worked in every presidential administration since that of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a former federal prosecutor, joined the letter after news of it broke, and Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted his support for its premise .
The signatures were collected by the nonprofit group Protect Democracy, which counts Justice Department alumni among its staff and was contacted about the statement last week by a group of former federal prosecutors, said Justin Vail, an attorney at Protect Democracy.
The fact is that conspiring to interfere with a federal investigation is a crime, even if it is later determined that no crime happened, and even if your co-conspirators refuse your instructions.
I am looking forward to Mueller’s testimony on this, which has tentatively been scheduled for next Wednesday.
In a New York Times has an article about how the wealthy donor class of the Democratic Party is colluding with the party leaders to take down Bernie Sanders.
This isn’t exactly secret, but this quote pretty much explains the whole scene in a remarkably vivid way:
From canapé-filled fund-raisers on the coasts to the cloakrooms of Washington, mainstream Democrats are increasingly worried that their effort to defeat President Trump in 2020 could be complicated by Mr. Sanders, in a political scenario all too reminiscent of how Mr. Trump himself seized the Republican nomination in 2016.
The whole “Ancien Régime” vibe is vivid, and it is appaling.
Jeff Bezos: “Alexa, send nudes to my secret admirer.”
Alexa: “Got it. Sending nudes to the National Enquirer.”
— Pranay Pathole (@PPathole) February 8, 2019
Best Twitter Take on All of This
It now appears that Jeff Bezos’ Girlfriend’s brother leaked his texts to the National Enquirer.
This is not a surprise. He has frequently been described as an, “Acquaintance of provocative Trump backers Roger Stone and Carter Page.”
It appears that, in the world of the radical right at least, politics trumps filial obligations.
The brother of Jeff Bezos’ mistress, Lauren Sanchez, supplied the couple’s racy texts to the National Enquirer, multiple sources inside AMI, the tabloid’s parent company, told The Daily Beast.
Another source who has been in extensive communication with senior leaders at AMI confirmed that Michael Sanchez first supplied Bezos’ texts to the Enquirer.
AMI has previously refused to identify the source of the texts, but a lawyer for the company strongly hinted at Sanchez’s role during a Sunday morning interview on ABC.
“The story was given to the National Enquirer by a reliable source that had given information to the National Enquirer for seven years prior to this story. It was a source that was well known to both Mr. Bezos and Ms. Sanchez,” attorney Elkan Abramowitz told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
If only there is some way for both Bezos and Trump to lose.
Because he just got banned from Twitter.
Twitter is not being particularly forthcoming about the proverbial straw that broke the proverbial camel’s proverbial back, but I think that what got Dorsey to stop protecting him was that, he finally had to meat Jones in meat space:
A peanut gallery of three white supremacists and conspiracy theorists are watching Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testify before Congress Wednesday.
All three have been banned from major social media platforms for violating their rules — and they’re using today’s hearings to confront them, and to try to force members of Congress to stand by them.
Alex Jones, a well-known internet conspiracy theorist, sat in the audience at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing to “face his accusers,” referring to Sandberg and Dorsey. Also in the front row at the hearing was internet troll Charles Johnson; Twitter banned him from the site permanently after he threatened to “take out” a Black Lives Matter activist. Present on the Hill as well was Laura Loomer, an alt-right activist who alleged that the shootings at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, were staged; she has been suspended from Facebook and Twitter in the past.
That’s Jones on the right, and Dorsey on the left, and, rather inexplicably, a glass-hole* wearing a congressional staffer (see the name tag) and a really tall guy in between them.
So the reason that Alex Jones is gone from Twitter, is not for doxxing the families of victims of mass shootings and forcing them to move, and not for calling for violence against people, it is for coming within about 2 meters of Jack Dorsey, and as a very rich man, Dorsey wants to remain apart from such unpleasantness.
Jack Dorsey is an asshole ……… standing next to a glass-hole.
*Someone out there is still wearing Google Glasses, and they are known as glass-holes.
But perhaps it does explain why America’s legions of puffed-up generals have been such abysmal failures for onwards of a half-century now.
—David Stockman, former Reagan budget wonk, explaining just how arrogant and stupid someone has to be to blithely lie to the FBI the way that Michael Flynn did.
I don’t agree with his thesis, that the FBI laid a “Perjury Trap” with Mr. Flynn, but it is mind-boggling just how stupid he was, and I do agree that its origin comes from the toxic culture of general officers in the US military.