Tag: Former Soviet Union

The Ukraine Being the Ukraine Again

In news that should surprise no one, a Ukrainian Jewish professor was fired for protesting a monument to a man who organized murderous pogroms against Jews.

Guys, you need to stop this.  You are making the Russians look like David Ben Gurion:

A Jewish journalism professor says he was fired from a Ukrainian university for his opposition to a statue honoring a militia leader whose troops killed Jews in pogroms.

The case is a rare example of real-life implications stemming from the heated debate in Ukraine on nationalist memory that has stayed for the most part in the realm of theoretical exchanges.

Zoriy Fine, a photographer from the city of Vinnytsia, says he was fired from the Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University just two weeks after he was appointed to work there as a lecturer on journalism in 2017, according to an 11,000-word account he published last week.

Fine says his former employers told him he was dismissed for speaking out against a statue of Simon Petlyura, a politician and militia leader who fought for Ukrainian independence in the wake of the 1917 Russian Revolution.

Some of Petylura’s loyalists killed 35,000 to 50,000 Jews in a series of pogroms between 1918 and 1921.


The university denies Fine’s claims. He resigned “of his own will” and the university had no intention of firing him, a spokesperson told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Fine says the experience made him leave Ukraine for Poland, where he lives as a “21st century dissident,” he wrote.

According to Fine, he was dismissed shortly after publishing on his website a letter to his late father telling him that “it’s good that you didn’t live to see” the veneration of Petlyura, whose militiamen killed Fine’s paternal great-grandfather in 1919.

Fine says he has remained silent on the affair until now for fear that speaking out might harm the chances of his daughter graduating from medical school, he wrote. He published his story upon her graduation.

It should be remembered that the worst of the Ukrainian body politic was specifically empowered by  the Obama administration, in particular Victoria Nuland, as a matter of policy.

Collaborating with Nazis never works out well.

They Will Collapse in a Major Accounting Scandal Scandal

A Kazakh “Fintech” company just debuted on the London Stock Exchange with a $6.5 billion valuation

The people hawking this company are touting it as the future of personal finance and E-Commerce of Kazakhstan.

It’s Wirecard all over again, or the third film in the Borat Sagdiyev movie trilogy, but this sets off my scam warning something fierce:

With most staff working from home, the headquarters of Kazakhstan’s fintech hero Kaspi.kz exudes a sleepiness ill-fitting for a company whose rapid rise has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Kaspi, Kazakhstan’s payment systems and e-commerce leader, became the Central Asian country’s most valuable firm after it was valued at $6.5 billion on the London stock exchange in October in what was the United Kingdom’s second largest float of this year.

The listing took commentators by surprise, coming after a failed attempt — falling short of a $4 billon market cap valuation — the year before.

But Kaspi’s Georgia-born CEO Mikheil Lomtadze, told AFP that the company and its investors, including Goldman Sachs and CIS-focused Baring Vostok — were not fazed by the false start.

“We believe that we have a lot of space for further growth, and we were not in any hurry to do our IPO,” said Lomtadze in the company’s head offices in Almaty.

Lomtadze, sporting an open-necked shirt and jeans, told AFP that beyond China, where online payment systems Alipay and WeChat have become ubiquitous, there are few markets that have seen user behaviour so utterly transformed by mobile payments as Kazakhstan.

“We are frontrunners in digitising the country,” Lomtadze said.

I don’t know about you, but I just filled up my bullsh%$ bingo card.

Nostalgia for Classic Russian Humor

Technically Belarusian humor, but still humor like this has been a part of the former USSR since before it was the USSR:

Good joke from #Belarus. Riot police (OMON) officers are beating a guy on the street. “Why are you beating me? I voted for Lukashenko!” he said. “Don’t lie to us. Nobody voted for him” they said. Classic dark Communist-time humor @thespybrief https://t.co/ePYJUnomhz

— Paweł Burdzy (@pburdzy) August 19, 2020

This sort of humor appeals to me on a very deep and profound level.

Common Sense Rule of Foreign Policy: Don’t Ally Yourselves with Nazis

A Ukrainian lobbying group located in Washington, DC has invited a Neo-Nazi convicted of hate crimes to speak at on of their events:

The influential Washington-based U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF) hosted a webinar on July 15 about a documentary about Vasyl Slipak, a famed Ukrainian opera singer who died in 2016 fighting alongside the ultranationalist Right Sector’s “Volunteer Ukrainian Corps” (DUK) in eastern Ukraine.

The webinar featured an appearance by Diana Vynohradova (Kamlyuk), a sieg-heiling neo-Nazi decorated with white supremacist tattoos. Vynohradova was convicted of participating in a notorious racist murder and has incited hatred against Jews, denigrating them as “kikes.”


Zaborona reported that Vynohradova was convicted in the early 2000s for her participation in the racist murder of a Nigerian citizen. “I don’t like Negroes,” her friend replied when asked why he stabbed the Nigerian to death.

While in prison, Vynohradova wrote poems for the notorious neo-Nazi band Sokyra Peruna. During the 2013-14 “Revolution of Dignity,” she advised protesters from the main stage on Kyiv’s Independence Square “not to give in to supplications from the kikes.”

In the past, Vynohradova wore a neo-Nazi “1488” tattoo on her right arm, but she has since covered it up. She has not bothered to hide the white supremacist Celtic Cross above it, however, and continues to sport a kolovrat necklace — a Slavic pagan symbol that resembles a swastika.

I get that foreign policy ain’t beanbag, but experience shows that appeasing Nazi movements is not a good long term strategy.

The Ukraine is Being the Ukraine Again

As part of an investigation into “Organized Crime”, a senior Ukrainian law enforcement official demanded a list names, addresses, and phone numbers of all Jews in the city of Kolomyya.

Yeah, there is noting at all suspicious or antisemitic about this:

A Ukrainian Jewish group accused the nation’s police force of “open anti-Semitism” after a high-ranking police official requested a list of all Jews in the western city of Kolomyya as part of an inquiry into organized crime.

The official request to the head of Kolomyya’s Jewish community is dated February 18, 2020, according to a photograph of the document that Eduard Dolinsky, director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, shared on Twitter Sunday.

“Please provide us the following information regarding the Orthodox Jewish religious community of Kolomyya, namely: The organization’s charter; list of members of the Jewish religious community, with indication of data, mobile phones and their places of residence,” read the letter.

The letter was signed by Myhaylo Bank, a high-ranking officer in the national police force who handles organized crime. The letter did not explain his unit’s particular interest in Kolomyya’s Jews.

They just need this information so as to smoothly conduct the annual Stepan Bandera memorial march and pogrom.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Oh, Snap

It appears that in John Bolton’s book, he explicitly states that Donald Trump withheld aid to the Ukraine to coerce an investigation of political rivals:

President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.

The president’s statement as described by Mr. Bolton could undercut a key element of his impeachment defense: that the holdup in aid was separate from Mr. Trump’s requests that Ukraine announce investigations into his perceived enemies, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, who had worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was in office.

Mr. Bolton’s explosive account of the matter at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial, the third in American history, was included in drafts of a manuscript he has circulated in recent weeks to close associates. He also sent a draft to the White House for a standard review process for some current and former administration officials who write books.


Over dozens of pages, Mr. Bolton described how the Ukraine affair unfolded over several months until he departed the White House in September. He described not only the president’s private disparagement of Ukraine but also new details about senior cabinet officials who have publicly tried to sidestep involvement.


The White House did not provide responses to questions about Mr. Bolton’s assertions, and representatives for Mr. Johnson, Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Mulvaney did not respond to emails and calls seeking comment on Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Bolton’s lawyer blamed the White House for the disclosure of the book’s contents. “It is clear, regrettably, from the New York Times article published today that the pre-publication review process has been corrupted and that information has been disclosed by persons other than those properly involved in reviewing the manuscript,” the lawyer, Charles J. Cooper, said Sunday night.

He said he provided a copy of the book to the White House on Dec. 30 — 12 days after Mr. Trump was impeached — to be reviewed for classified information, though, he said, Mr. Bolton believed it contained none.


Mr. Bolton would like to testify for several reasons, according to associates. He believes he has relevant information, and he has also expressed concern that if his account of the Ukraine affair emerges only after the trial, he will be accused of holding back to increase his book sales.


Mr. Bolton also described other key moments in the pressure campaign, including Mr. Pompeo’s private acknowledgment to him last spring that Mr. Giuliani’s claims about Ms. Yovanovitch had no basis and that Mr. Giuliani may have wanted her removed because she might have been targeting his clients who had dealings in Ukraine as she sought to fight corruption.

This has got to be a bit awkward for Trump, McConnell, and their Evil Minions.

OK, Had a Chance to Review the Parnas Documents

First, it has to be noted that these documents have been in the possession of the Department of Justice for months, and the fact that there has not been more filings against the co-conspirators in the Ukraine affair indicates that Attorney General Bob Barr has unequivocally engaged in an active covered up.

He needs to be tried, convicted, and disbarred. (pun not intended)

The shocker here(so far) is that some of people involved were considering having the US ambassador to Kiev, Marie Yovanovitch, assassinated:

In April 2019, Rudolph W. Giuliani believed he was on the cusp of achieving an important goal: ousting the United States ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch. As Ms. Yovanovitch’s standing with the White House grew more precarious, Mr. Giuliani texted an associate.


The exchange was included in an array of documents released by House Democrats on Tuesday that offered new details on the shadow diplomacy campaign at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment and highlighted the effort to remove Ms. Yovanovitch.

Mr. Parnas, who is facing federal charges in Manhattan, recently turned the documents over to the House Intelligence Committee as part of its impeachment inquiry.

One of the new documents shows Mr. Giuliani saying that he had Mr. Trump’s blessing to seek a meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president-elect, last spring, potential new evidence on the eve of the president’s impeachment trial.

Mr. Giuliani has previously said he was acting at Mr. Trump’s direction in his dealings with Ukrainian officials, but the letter released on Tuesday is the first public document that says he was doing so.


Mr. Lutsenko added: “And here you can’t even get rid of one [female] fool,” an apparent reference to Ms. Yovanovitch. He also inserted a frowning emoji.

“She’s not a simple fool[,] trust me,” Mr. Parnas responded. “But she’s not getting away.”

Mr. Trump ultimately recalled Ms. Yovanovitch from her post in late April.

In a separate series of cryptic text messages, Mr. Parnas communicated with another man who appeared to be monitoring the movements of Ms. Yovanovitch. The texts, exchanged in March on WhatsApp, indicated that the second man, Robert F. Hyde, was in touch with people in Ukraine who were watching Ms. Yovanovitch.

They are willing to help if we/you would like a price,” one message from Mr. Hyde to Mr. Parnas read.

It was not clear who was watching the ambassador or why.

“Needless to say, the notion that American citizens and others were monitoring Ambassador Yovanovitch’s movements for unknown purposes is disturbing,” said Lawrence S. Robbins, a lawyer for Ms. Yovanovitch. “We trust that the appropriate authorities will conduct an investigation to determine what happened.”

In a brief interview conducted via text on Tuesday, Mr. Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate in Connecticut, denied that he had tracked Ms. Yovanovitch’s movements in Kyiv, and called Representative Adam B. Schiff, the intelligence committee chairman, a “commie.”

The Department of Justice has already ignored evidence that a US ambassador was stalked, and possibly targeted for death, so I think that Mr. Robbins is being optimistic.

Mr. Hyde appears to be completely unhinged, BTW.  (Here and here)

Pass the Pop Corn

The House of Representatives have just released a treasure trove of documents incriminating Trump:

House Democrats just unveiled a trove of fresh impeachment evidence against President Trump in a surprise move that came just days before his impeachment trial is set to kick off in the Senate.

The files include a copy of a letter from Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani addressed to the President of Ukraine that casts Trump as fully aware of Giuliani’s actions in Ukraine — at a moment when Giuliani was publicly calling for the country to investigate Trump’s Democratic 2020 challenger, former vice president Joe Biden.

That letter, which requests a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, directly links Trump to a trip Giuliani described at the time as “meddling in an investigation.”

“In my capacity as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent, I request a meeting with you on this upcoming Monday, May 13th or Tuesday, May 14th,” Giuliani wrote.

Republicans have repeatedly defended the president by arguing that the evidence and testimony in the impeachment hearings haven’t linked him closely enough to efforts by those around him, like Giuliani, to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into Biden. But the letter says explicitly that Giuliani had Trump’s full backing and consent, at a time when Giuliani told The New York Times: “I’m asking them to do an investigation.”

The disclosures deliver a large new pile of hard evidence to Democrats on the eve of their Wednesday vote to send articles of impeachment to the Senate for a trial. In December, the House voted to impeach Trump for abusing his office by pressuring Ukraine to announce an investigation of Biden and for obstructing the Congressional investigation into what happened.

Giuliani’s letter and other documents released Tuesday were recently delivered to House Democrats by an embattled associate of his named Lev Parnas, a Ukranian-born businessman who helped Giuliani navigate the country and seek damaging information about Biden.


The new records include an apparent memo, written by Parnas, about getting Zelensky to announce an investigation of Biden. It’s a rare hardcopy piece of evidence suggesting what the whole scheme was about.

“Get Zalensky [sic] to Annonce [sic] that the Biden case will Be Investigated,” the note reads.

This is getting good.

Oh, Snap!

It appears that Congressman Devin “Moo” Nunes just got caught soliciting foreign support for Trump’s 2020 campaign.

Likely ethics investigation to follow:

The top Democrat on the House armed services committee said Saturday that Republican Rep. Devin Nunes is likely to face an ethics investigation over allegations he met with an ex-Ukrainian prosecutor at the center of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

“Quite likely, without question,” House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash) said when asked by MSNBC’s Joy Reid whether Nunes (R-Calif.), the House Intelligence Committee’s top Republican and a longtime Trump ally, could be investigated.

CNN reported late Friday that an associate of Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, has information on meetings Nunes allegedly had with former Ukrainian prosecutor general Victor Shokin.

The CNN report says that Lev Parnas, according to his attorney, put Nunes in touch with Shokin to help him gather damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings with Ukraine.

I do not expect any serious consequences for this, because it’s OK if You are a Republican. (IOKIYAR)

Who Lives in a Politburo Under the Sea?

Patrick Starfish, it appears:

A Soviet-era star on the tower in the city of Voronezh has been given ‘Patrick’ styling, adding a touch of Bikini Bottom to the place. Would the overweight pink starfish ever have thought of traveling so far?

While social media users were quite amused with the stunt that surfaced online Thursday evening, Voronezh police were not so entertained. Now the fans of the US animated series – if found – could face 15 days in detention.


A poll under the photo in one of Voronezh online communities showed that most people – around 60 percent – found the stunt funny, while 39 percent say that it was an act of vandalism that shouldn’t go unpunished.

This is a beautiful prank.

Yeah, His Demeanor Screams Client from Hell

Rudolph Giuliani is under investigation in the Ukraine affair, and so needed a lawyer, but no one wanted him as their client:

President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said on Wednesday that he had assembled a legal team to represent him in the criminal investigation into his activities related to Ukraine, an announcement that came after weeks of sputtered attempts to find a lawyer willing to take him on as a client.

Mr. Giuliani said on Twitter that he would be represented by three lawyers, including his longtime friend, Robert J. Costello. The hires show how seriously Mr. Giuliani is treating the inquiry by federal prosectors in Manhattan, who are investigating whether he violated lobbying laws in his efforts to dig up damaging information about Mr. Trump’s rivals.


The hires came after a weekslong search to find a lawyer who would represent Mr. Giuliani, who rose to prominence as the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, the same office that is now investigating him. He has a wide range of close associates — including former prosecutors and judges — who could have taken him on as a client.

But at least four prominent attorneys declined for various reasons, according to people familiar with the matter. They included Mary Jo White, who also once led the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District, as well as Theodore V. Wells Jr., a trial lawyer at Paul, Weiss, according to people familiar with those discussions.

Another was Daniel L. Stein, a former senior prosecutor who recently held top posts in the Southern District, where he oversaw the prosecutions of public officials including Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the New York State Assembly, and Dean Skelos, the State Senate majority leader.


Big law firms are, for the most part, conservative institutions that often represent a wide range of clients with varying business interests, many of whom tend to shy away from controversy, regardless of their politics. Mr. Giuliani’s connection to Mr. Trump, his unpredictability and his recent history of outbursts in his frequent television appearances could make him a challenging client.

Lawyers who are solo practitioners were concerned that Mr. Giuliani, who is known to have difficulty delegating, would try to manage his own case, according to a person close to Mr. Giuliani.

So basically, Rudy is a complete asshole, and there is not enough money for most white-shoe lawyers to be willing to work with him.


Mixed Emotions

While making it official will remove a (clearly unconstitutional and corrupt) justification for Federalist Society hacks to rule against Congressional subpoenas, it also appears that this is an artifact of the permanent Democratic permanent protective crouch, because they have responded to Republicans saying mean things about them.

F%$# the Republicans with Cheney’s dick:

House Democrats unveiled new procedures for the impeachment inquiry of President Trump on Tuesday, responding to Republican demands for due process by setting out rules for future public hearings delving into whether Trump should be removed from office.

The resolution backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hands the lead role to the House Intelligence Committee and its chairman, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), who would have broad latitude to organize extended questioning of potential public witnesses. Two other committees that have so far participated in the closed-door investigation into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine — Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform — would not be permitted to directly participate in the open proceedings under the legislation.

It also sets out for the first time the ability of House Republicans to make their own requests for testimony and documents, though those requests will be subject to a vote of the Democratic-majority committee — a practice that matches the minority powers in the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

I expect Republicans will continue to make Democrats jump through hoops, because, after all, this is what they do.

In less ambiguous news, a new witness has emerged, whose testimony strongly implies that the so-called transcript of Trump’s call to the Ukraine was altered to cover up evidence of attempted extortion:

Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that the White House transcript of a July call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president omitted crucial words and phrases, and that his attempts to include them failed, according to three people familiar with the testimony.

The omissions, Colonel Vindman said, included Mr. Trump’s assertion that there were recordings of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. discussing Ukraine corruption, and an explicit mention by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, of Burisma Holdings, the energy company whose board employed Mr. Biden’s son Hunter.

Colonel Vindman, who appeared on Capitol Hill wearing his dark blue Army dress uniform and military medals, told House impeachment investigators that he tried to change the reconstructed transcript made by the White House staff to reflect the omissions. But while some of his edits appeared to have been successful, he said, those two corrections were not made.

Colonel Vindman did not testify to a motive behind the White House editing process. But his testimony is likely to drive investigators to ask further questions about how officials handled the call, including changes to the transcript and the decision to put it into the White House’s most classified computer system — and whether those moves were meant to conceal the conversation’s most controversial aspects.

Drip  ……… drip  ……… drip  ……… drip  ………

What the Actual F%$#?????

Note the cell phone and the sign prohibiting them

Taking a chapter from the “Storm Area 51” movement, Congressional Republicans just rushed the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) where the House Intelligence Committee was interviewing Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia about the Trump administration using military aid to extort opposition research from the Ukraine.

They were literally tweeting about it on their phones as they ran into the secure room.

On Wednesday, Republican lawmakers committed a major breach of security guidelines when they carried cell phones as they tried to force their way into a secure room where a closed-door impeachment hearing with a Defense Department official was taking place.

At least one House member, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, got inside the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in the basement of the House of Representatives. Despite strict rules barring all electronics inside such closed-off areas, Gaetz openly tweeted: “BREAKING: I led over 30 of my colleagues into the SCIF where Adam Schiff is holding secret impeachment depositions. Still inside—more details to come.”

It should be noted that not only were there Republicans in the hearing already, but about ¼ of the Representatives rushing the SCIF were already authorized to be at the hearing.

This was basically an attempt to recreate the Brooks Brothers riot of 2000, and intimidate the current, and future witnesses.

Lawyers said bringing phones into the secure area was a potential felony. Security officials, meanwhile, stressed how damaging the move could be to national security. The SCIF is designed to prevent electronic eavesdropping so members of Congress can receive sensitive information that is often classified. Often, the materials in the room reveal sensitive operations or show how intelligence officers collect information on adversaries. SCIFs are carefully controlled to prevent electronic signals or electronic devices from leaving the rooms. Chief among these restrictions is no unauthorized electronic devices.

Lock them up!!! Lock them up!!!

Wednesday’s event occurred as members of the House Intelligence Committee were preparing to hear from Laura K. Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. Chanting “let us in, let us in,” the protesting lawmakers prevented the hearing from proceeding. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff turned the protesters away and called on the sergeant-at-arms to break up the crowd.

Schiff should have asked for the Sergeant at Arms to put them with cuffs and leave them face down on the floor for 3 or so hours.


At a press conference today, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney admitted that there was an explicit quid pro quo from demanded by Trump for the military aid to the Ukraine:

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged for the first time that President Donald Trump withheld aid from Ukraine until the country agreed to investigate Democrats, before walking back those comments hours later.

Mulvaney told reporters during a contentious press conference Thursday that the aid was “absolutely no question” withheld in part because Trump wanted Ukraine to look into “corruption that related to the DNC server.”

Mulvaney said that the military aid was withheld for three reasons: Trump’s worries about corruption in Ukraine, his feeling that other countries were not contributing enough money to aid Ukraine, and “whether or not they were cooperating in an ongoing investigation with our Department of Justice” into Democrats and the origin of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump has particularly zeroed in on an unfounded conspiracy theory that the Ukrainians have access to a missing Democratic National Committee server, as part of the false theory that Democrats faked the hack of their servers to blame Trump and defeat him in 2016.

“That is it. And that is why we held up the money. … The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about in corruption with that nation. And that is absolutely appropriate,” Mulvaney said.

Pressed by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl on the fact that what he was describing was quid pro quo — something the president and congressional Republicans have repeatedly said did not happen with respect to military aid — Mulvaney suggested the administration’s actions were common and normal.

“Common and normal,” huh?

It’s heartening when the enemy steps on his own dick.

Another CIA Officer is Lawyering Up

Someone else in the US state security apparatus has contacted the IG in preparation of making a whistle-blower complaint:

A second intelligence official who was alarmed by President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine is weighing whether to file his own formal whistle-blower complaint and testify to Congress, according to two people briefed on the matter.

The official has more direct information about the events than the first whistle-blower, whose complaint that Mr. Trump was using his power to get Ukraine to investigate his political rivals touched off an impeachment inquiry. The second official is among those interviewed by the intelligence community inspector general to corroborate the allegations of the original whistle-blower, one of the people said.

The inspector general, Michael Atkinson, briefed lawmakers privately on Friday about how he substantiated the whistle-blower’s account. It was not clear whether he told lawmakers that the second official was considering filing a complaint.

A new complaint, particularly from someone closer to the events, would potentially add further credibility to the account of the first whistle-blower, a C.I.A. officer who was detailed to the National Security Council at one point. He said that he relied on information from more than a half-dozen American officials to compile his allegations about Mr. Trump’s campaign to solicit foreign election interference that could benefit him politically.

I still think that Congress should have a broad impeachment investigation, because the complete lawlessness of this administration needs to be made public, but this does make things for Trump and his Evil Minions.

As an aside, excluding Trump’s rather incendiary tweets,  the reception that these whistle-blowers have received from the establishment and the intelligence agencies have been far more supportive than (for example) Binney, Drake, and Kiriakou.

The only logical explanation for this is that this (relatively) benign behavior is a result of their being more supportive of the whistle-blowing regarding the Ukraine than they are of whistle-blowing regarding torture, spying on American citizens, and going to war under false pretense.

Whistle-blowers are generally treated like sh%$, and this needs to change.

The Cancer on the Presidency* Metastasizes

We already know that Trump tried to coerce the President of the Ukraine into digging dirt up on the Bidens, because of the now-public whistle-blower complaint filed by an intelligence operative.

It’s what led to the Democrats in the House officially opening an impeachment investigation.

What we have now learned that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in on the call, which makes the Secretary of State complicit, and that  Attorney General William Barr was personally involved in an investigation to discredit the Mueller report to the point of his personally going to Rome to listen to tapes of a crucial witness, which is certainly inappropriate, and almost certainly conflicted and corrupt.

So pretty much everyone in his most senior cabinet members are implicated in the coverup, but wait, there is more!

It now appears that Trump also strong-armed Australia in his efforts to discredit the Mueller report.

The impeachment investigation should be broadened, because the level of crime here makes the Nixon and Reagan investigations look like an exercise in good governance.

*It’s a quote from Nixon White House counsel John Dean. Seriously, know your history.

Whistleblower Details Emerge

We now know that the person who filed the report about Trump’s shakedown of the Ukrainian President was CIA agent who was assigned to the White House.

Given that Christine Blasey Ford had to go into hiding with her family because of death threats, I am not particularly sanguine with the New York Times revealing so much information about them.

It is reasonable for the Times to get this information, but I think that publishing in a story that is basically a time line of events was not necessary, and will likely face threats and intimidation as a result.

The White House learned that a C.I.A. officer had lodged allegations against President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine even as the officer’s whistle-blower complaint was moving through a process meant to protect him against reprisals, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The officer first shared information about potential abuse of power and a White House cover-up with the C.I.A.’s top lawyer through an anonymous process, some of the people said. She shared the officer’s concerns with White House and Justice Department officials, following policy. Around the same time, he also separately filed the whistle-blower complaint.

The revelations provide new insight about how the officer’s allegations moved through the bureaucracy of government. The Trump administration’s handling of the explosive accusations is certain to be scrutinized in the coming days and weeks, particularly by lawmakers weighing the impeachment of the president.

Lawyers for the whistle-blower refused to confirm that he worked for the C.I.A. and said that publishing information about him was dangerous.

“Any decision to report any perceived identifying information of the whistle-blower is deeply concerning and reckless, as it can place the individual in harm’s way,” said Andrew Bakaj, his lead counsel. “The whistle-blower has a right to anonymity.”

I believe that the Times published this (and other) information in this article because they believed that subjecting whoever this is to harassment was somehow a way of showing their “fair and balanced” bonafides.

There was no need to do this, because, as is stated in the article, “Multiple people had raised concerns about Mr. Trump’s call,” which should serve as an indicator of reliability.

The rest of the article is largely a time line, but it is a useful timeline.

Clearly, They Are Barbarians, and We Must Invade to Convert Them to Democracy and Capitalism

Kazakhstan has a problem with bad banks.

The oil rich former Soviet Republic has spent billions attempting to save its failing banks, and now, it is ditching the banks, and will write down its people’s debts, the exact opposite of what Geithner and the Federal Reserve did in the USA.

I expect the new Kazakh President to become Hitler of the Week shortly, because bailing out people and letting the banksters and their investors take the the hit is just unAmerican.

I am aware that there is very little to recommend Kazakhstan.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was elected in an unfair election, hand picked by his predecessor, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is notorious for the suppression of free speech, torture, etc.

This is a case of a stopped clock being right twice a day:

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said he’ll write off bad loans held by a sixth of the central Asian country’s population, while signaling a sharp change in policy to end costly state bailouts of private banks.

The loan-forgiveness program is Tokayev’s first major policy announcement since he was elected president on June 9 in a choreographed transfer of power that began when longtime leader Nursultan Nazarbayev stepped down as head of state in March. His victory was met with rare and widespread protests.

Bank bailouts are also a sensitive issue in Kazakhstan, which has been mired in a decade-long crisis in which the government has pumped at least $18 billion into lenders to keep the sector from collapsing under the weight of bad debts. The central bank is conducting a review of asset quality, prompting speculation that a new round of bailouts may be in the works.


While the debt-relief initiative may help lenders, the total cost is likely to come in at “a bit less than $1 billion,” according to Tokayev. More than 3 million Kazakhs in the energy-rich country of 18 million will get help to escape debts averaging 300,000 tenge ($790), he said. It is aimed at “people who find themselves in very difficult living circumstances,” he said.

About 4,000 people were detained by police during a rare outburst of protests against what activists said was a lack of real choice in the recent vote, which Tokayev won easily with 71% support. Leader-for-life Nazarbayev, 78, handed the presidency to Tokayev in March, who called the early election “to remove any uncertainty.” International observers criticized the conduct of the vote.

The math is pretty simple:  $18 billion did not solve the problem, versus less than $1 billion to write down personal debt, and let the banks and the banksters burn.

Works for me.

Ukrainian Court Rules Against Naming Streets After Nazis

But the government of Kiev plans to appeal:

A court in Ukraine issued an injunction against the naming of two streets in Kiev after nationalists who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.

The district administrative court of Kiev ordered the municipality to undo the 2016 renaming of two main streets for Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych on Tuesday.

But Mayor Vitaly Klitschko on Wednesday wrote on Facebook that the city will appeal the ruling, the Regnum news agency reported. In the meantime, the streets in question will be renamed Moscow Avenue and another will be named for Nikolai Vatutin, a Soviet general who was killed in 1944 by soldiers from Shukhevych’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army, or UPA.

Bandera and Shukhevych were two of Ukraine’s several Nazi collaborators. Some were SS volunteers and mass murdered Jews and Poles, and are now celebrated as anti-communist heroes in Ukraine and by its government.

Several collaborators? More like tens of thousands, and now the Ukraine is glorifying them.

Yes, this sort of crap does effect my view of the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine.

Civil Society Organization is an Oxymoron

At least where the Ukraine is concerned.

Sure enough one of the signatories is “NGO ‘CentreUA'”—same NGO, funded by Omidyar, Soros, USAID, that organized Maidan revolution. That’s like a gun pointed at Zelensky’s head. Outrageous. https://t.co/JiWAXEpUp0

— Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) May 24, 2019

These organizations are threatening to foment a coup against the new President of the Ukraine unless he acquiesces to their demands.

Here is a list of the most significant of their demands:

  • Don’t revisit the Ukrainian language law, which has the effect of removing citizenship from Russian speakers and other minorities.
  • No coalition talks with opposition parties.
  • No negotiations with the Russians without a US minder.
  • Attempt no rapprochement between the Ukrainian and Russian churches.
  • Don’t fight the IMF restrictions on the country.
  • Continue to move toward joining NATO.
  • Continue to move toward joining the EU.
  • Don’t attempt wealth redistribution. (In one of the most unequal countries on earth)
  • Continue the blockade of Russian media.

These are not the demands of concerned non-governmental agencies, this is a CIA wet dream.

If you wonder why so many governments seem to feel that “Civil Society” organizations are CIA fronts, it’s because so many of them ARE CIA fronts.