A New Conspiracy Theory

For serious discussion of politics, political news, policy, political theory and economics and events happening round the world
Koyaanisqatsi
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:34 pm

Just to add this into the mix (because I'm currently watching a documentary on Roger Stone on Netflix and the man is far worse than I ever knew and I actually met him once; creepy man, no doubt about it). This piece in Salon, Trump adviser Roger Stone fears that a “suspicious hit and run” incident in Miami meant someone was targeting him and this companion piece written by the same journalist later, WATCH: Roger Stone is hiding something when it comes to Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia.

If you don't know who Roger Stone is (or the extent of his king-making evil that would have made Machiavelli shudder in disgust), he is perhaps best known for coining the phrase "rat fucking" during the Nixon days as well as being the one who caused the riots in Florida that in turn shut down the recount, which led to Bush, Jr.'s illegitimate Presidency. He also (allegedly) deliberate destruction of the Reform Party when Buchanan ran (after Ross Perot put it on the map) and Stone backed Trump to run against Buchanan supposedly to destroy Buchanan's effort so as not to repeat the damage Perot did to Bush, Sr that arguably led to Bill Clinton in the WH.

You follow that? Stone initially backed Buchanan, then backed Trump against Buchanan and the whole point was to take down the Reform Party because it had become a legitimate third party thanks to Perot, so it had to be taken down and that's how he did it. He was also accused of having forged the documents on Bush, Jr's national guard/Vietnam avoiadance that led to Dan Rather's eventual "retirement" and evidently encouraged Trump (for 2016) to push the "birther" nonsense because it's what his target demographic believed.

Here is what Stone said in regard to almost being murdered:
“After hitting the car I was sitting in the passenger side at the front door, the driver of the car that hit us put it in reverse and then drove away at a high speed,” Stone told Salon. “The number from the paper tag on their car which was taken down by a witness turned out to be a fake. The windshield and windows of the car were so darkly tinted that you could not see who was at the wheel. Coming on the same day that house committee called on me to testify, I find the entire incident suspicious.”

Stone added, “I am more than anxious to testify before the house committee that I have had no contact with the Russian state and that my limited contacts with Guccifer 2.0 were innocuous in content and came only after hacking of the DNC documents which is the crime we are accused of colluding on. Impossible.”

Although the Broward Sheriff’s Office report confirming the crash did not mention Stone as a passenger in the vehicle, Stone told Jim DeFede of WFOR-TV that it was because he left the scene after realizing a deputy was not being imminently dispatched. The report confirmed that no one was dispatched until 11:56 AM, more than an [sic] after the crash occurred at 10:45 AM, and one of the witnesses to the accident confirmed seeing a man matching Stone’s description talking on his cell phone after the incident.

“You could make the case that the Russians want to off me because they do not want me to testify because it would show their hand. That would be obvious,” Stone told the TV station. He added that “it is more likely to some like it to look like the Russians tried to bump me off.”

Stone told Salon that he wasn’t sure who was behind the wheel, so to speak. “Impossible to say but perhaps someone who does not want me to testify. I am more than ready to do so.”
So, who could he be referring to if it were not the Russians? Was he seriously trying to blame unknown Democrats or perhaps members of the intelligence community not wanting a known liar like Stone to testify for some ridiculous reason, or did he genuinely fear for his life and was sending a message to the only "people" that would have any reason to try and kill him--the Russians and/or Trump's inner circle--and then, like muscle memory, tried to backtrack it?
Last edited by Koyaanisqatsi on Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Gná
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Post by Gná » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:06 am

This article claims that one of the reasons for the current crisis in the Middle East, between Saudi Arabia and its Arabian allies on the one hand and Qatar on the other hand, is a fake news article planted by Russian hackers on a Qatari news site according to the FBI. The fake article was posted on Qatar News Agency and in it, the Qatari ruler was supportive of Israel and Iran and dismissed the prospects of a long reign of our dear Donald. As a big fan of fake news, Trump is obviously supporting Saudi Arabia et al. in this escalation, officially blaming it all on Qatar's alleged support of terrorism.
CNN Exclusive: US suspects Russian hackers planted fake news behind Qatar crisis

US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar's state news agency and planted a fake news report that contributed to a crisis among the US' closest Gulf allies, according to US officials briefed on the investigation.

The FBI recently sent a team of investigators to Doha to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hacking incident, Qatari and US government officials say.

Intelligence gathered by the US security agencies indicates that Russian hackers were behind the intrusion first reported by the Qatari government two weeks ago, US officials say. Qatar hosts one of the largest US military bases in the region.

The alleged involvement of Russian hackers intensifies concerns by US intelligence and law enforcement agencies that Russia continues to try some of the same cyber-hacking measures on US allies that intelligence agencies believe it used to meddle in the 2016 elections.

(...)

The Qatari government has said a May 23 news report on its Qatar News Agency attributed false remarks to the nation's ruler that appeared friendly to Iran and Israel and questioned whether President Donald Trump would last in office.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told CNN the FBI has confirmed the hack and the planting of fake news.
"Whatever has been thrown as an accusation is all based on misinformation and we think that the entire crisis being based on misinformation," the foreign minister told CNN's Becky Anderson.
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/06/polit ... index.html
Although Qatar hosts the largest US military airbase in the Middle East, Trump threw his weight behind the Saudi-led effort to isolate the emirate in a surprise move on Tuesday. He suggested Qatar was funding extremism.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... sis-report
During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/sta ... 9789985792
Last edited by Gná on Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:24 am, edited 4 times in total.

Koyaanisqatsi
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:33 am

Well, although there are many reasons I can think of itt for all of that, I'm afraid at this point we're in an even deeper rabbit hole (precisely because that's the best way to bury the lede). Now that it's very public knowledge what Russia has been up to and how they do it, it will be exceedingly difficult to tell what's legit and what's a cover for something else; feints within feints within feints.

Usually I go by the rule of hiding in plain sight, but this is high level chess and Kasparov has already pointed out that Putin's a master, so we're talking about any visible move more than likely hiding a good four to five (or more) moves we can't see that have already been set in motion. And since sacrifice and misdirection are the keys to chess, I'd say we're midway through the game and Putin already sees his checkmate, but perhaps not. Perhaps the Steele dossier was the unexpected and it threw off his game.

He would have known, of course, that our intelligence would have been monitoring any interference in the election directly, which is why they weaponized social media instead in the first place. They should have been anticipating the revelation that Trump is a Russian asset as this can't be the first our intelligence community has heard of that. Again, the StB revelations alone would have likely been within our files as well, if only at a low level (i.e., non-actionable).

But it could also be the old standby; that people are basically incompetent fuck ups and the best laid plans of mice and men are clumsy and prone to failure when implemented on such a large scale. The fact is that Trump surrounded himself with the absolute best scumbags the political world has to offer, second only to Rove and Atwater.

Well, strike that. Roger Stone is the mack-daddy dirty trickster; he is the Anti-Carville and makes Rove look like a choir boy.

I don't know. I need to digest this new shit, but I feel like this is a pawn or a bishop being sacrificed to hide a rook or a queen.
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Gná
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Post by Gná » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:53 am

James Clapper says Watergate 'pales' in comparison with Trump Russia scandal

The former US director of national intelligence James Clapper says events in Washington now are more serious than the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, and that it is imperative investigators get to the bottom of the Trump administration’s links with the Putin regime.

Clapper used a speech to Australia’s National Press Club on Wednesday to launch a critique of the US president, Donald Trump, describing his decision to cultivate Russia and share intelligence with the Putin regime as “very problematic”. He described Trump’s firing of the FBI chief Jim Comey as “egregious and inexcusable”.

The former intelligence director was asked how current events compared to Watergate and he said the behaviour under scrutiny now was more serious. “I think you compare the two, that Watergate pales, really, in my view, compared to what we’re confronting now.”
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... ia-scandal

And an older article, about half a month, in which Clapper speaks about the internal (Trump) and external (Russian interference) assault on America's institutions. Unfortunately, he is either not willing and/or able to clarify these comments.
James Clapper: democratic institutions are 'under assault' by Trump

Former national intelligence director hammers the president’s actions, calling James Comey’s firing ‘another victory for Russia’

James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, has accused Donald Trump of placing American democratic institutions “under assault” following the sacking of James Comey – and cautioned that the former FBI director’s removal is “another victory” for Russia.

The forceful criticism comes as the Department of Justice began screening candidates for Comey’s replacement and Democrats renewed calls for a special prosecutor to oversee an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

“I think in many ways our institutions are under assault,” Clapper told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “Both externally, and that’s the big news here, is Russian interference in our election system. And I think as well our institutions are under assault internally.”

When asked to clarify if the internal assault came from the president directly, the former spy chief added: “Exactly.”


In a later interview on ABC news, Clapper added that “the Russians have to consider this [Comey’s sacking] as another victory on the scoreboard for them”.

The bleak assessment came days after Trump claimed on Twitter that Clapper had determined “there is no collusion” with reference to his presidential campaign and Russia, a characterization that Clapper has refuted.

The former national intelligence director, who served under the Obama administration from 2010 until Trump’s inauguration, said during a March interview that he had no knowledge of any collusion between the Republican’s campaign and Russian operatives. He has since clarified that during his time in office he was also unaware of an FBI investigation into such collusion, adding on Sunday: “I don’t know if there was collusion. And I don’t know of any evidence to it so I can’t refute it and I can’t confirm it.”

Koyaanisqatsi
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:08 pm

Some may recall my earlier comments in other threads during the election regarding social media and how it is only effective at putting a wedge between like-minded people. Here is an excellent in-depth article in that regard, but about Google and how its search algorithm (a closely guarded and ever changing system, btw) was likewise gamed: How The Trump/Russia Data Machine Games Google
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Koyaanisqatsi
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:34 pm

And in light of the earlier posts about voting systems: Sen. Mark Warner: More State Election Systems Targeted By Russians. Once again the focus is misplaced; it's not necessarily about whether or not actual votes were tampered with (though that of course would be a concern). It's about what information on the locally registered voters would have been taken from those systems and then used in a coordinated misinformation campaign (re: Google/email/social media) etc.

We know advertising works through immersion/repetition and that's on a broad level. We know propaganda works through same (on a broad level). Let's say, on average, such media (as in "The medium is the message") approaches work to influence something on the order of 30% of those who are subject to it and that's because it's broad-based.

Now imaging being nearly 100% immersed and fully isolated; just you and your computer. And you don't know that you are fully isolated and immersed. Everything you see and respond to has literally been programmed directly for you and your tastes. That is, after all, precisely where we are in regard to the current state of the science involved in e-commerce, so imagine the impact it would have when weaponized (something that is just in its infancy and only became possible to the extent we're seeing over the last five years or so).

So, basically, imagine a key swing county of say 1200 registered voters and you know not only where they live and their email addresses and the like, but you also know their voting history and can view their facebook pages, etc., etc., etc. in a VERY short time you would have compiled a complete marketing breakdown of every single registered voter in that county. Now factor in months of carefully crafted and coordinated manipulation of just about everything those individuals see online (in their emails; in their facebook feed; in the ads on the websites they visit). Near total immersion for months coordinated and reinforced by everything Trump says (and against anything Clinton says). And, again, NOT broad based; targeted specifically to the things you personally care about and have posted about and argued about with others online, etc. Just imagine a team of very intelligent people following you for months with complete control over every thing you see and do online.

How easy would it be for them to get you to say, go to McDonald's, especially when you've made it known in various ways how much you love chicken McNuggets? Now just ramp that up a bit.

I still don't think people understand the full extent and power of what we're talking about here. Again, if broadbased messaging like advertisements and political propaganda (i.e., TV ads, print ads, op-ed pieces and the like) work on, say 30% then we're easily looking at doubling that by "weaponizing" this new mainstream medium. Let's not forget that a sea change occurred, where the "traditional" msm flipped and instead of google/the interwebz following what was being reported, news organizations instead started following what every one was googling and tweeting and facebooking, etc.

Look at the power fucking tweets have. Trump only communicates--the President of the United States--to the entire world in tweets; in 140 characters or less. One tweet can crash the market ffs.

Russia's influence is not some dismissible, "Why TV is just a fad and talking pictures will never catch on!" excuse. It's the whole fucking ball game and WHY Comey's October surprise was so effective in swaying late voting undecideds; themselves the product of that weaponization. As we've heard many times in the liberal chambers, how could Hillary have lost to such a monster, there must be something wrong with her; there must be some truth to all the accusations; etc.

Nope.
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Koyaanisqatsi
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:10 pm

While I don't like the source ("occupydemocrats" is just another regurgitation site), this is relevant: Trump Just Got Exposed As A Pawn In Russian Plot To Destabilize Middle-East.
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Koyaanisqatsi
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:34 pm

Btw, here is just one example of the many fruits of Putin's labors that are starting to manifest: France is offering US scientists 4-year grants to move to the country and do research. While it's a wonderful offer and with all the best intentions (I particularly like the four year span giving tacit acknowledgement that it's directly related to Trump), the idea that America's top scientists would have to leave the country in order to continue their work is demoralizing to say the least, but it's also the obvious intent of Putin's plan to have Trump bankrupt/fire sale America.

We're already losing billions in tourism dollars (directly impacting small business owners the most) and his economic plan only make things far worse for the economy overall. And, of course, his foreign policy and destruction of NATO (among other things) could not be more perfectly aligned with Putin's wish list.

Again, from the standpoint of someone who has only made his fortune by deliberately bankrupting--not building--just about everything he's ever touched, this all makes perfect sense. He is literally unplugging every life line so that America has no choice left but to collapse in its own footprint, with the .01% being the only ones to benefit. Well, and Putin of course.

But this goes way beyond typical GOP kleptocracy; they're just too enraptured by the short term gains to see Putin's long term goal. This is a fire sale, with the end result being that Americans are no longer anything but consumers, completely dependent upon Russia as the new Saudi Arabia.

"THE world leader." And the Republicans are helping him do it because they either can't see it or don't give a fuck.
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Koyaanisqatsi
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:21 am

While the source is dubious, the information is exhaustive: Trump Russia Dossier Decoded: Yes, There Really Was A Massive Oil Deal (UPDATED).

And this could actually be considered a companion piece (only from Esquire): Everyone In Washington Knows The Disaster Is Coming.
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Koyaanisqatsi
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:30 pm

The hole just keeps getting bigger and bigger: Russian Breach of 39 States
In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states, one of them said.
...
One of the mysteries about the 2016 presidential election is why Russian intelligence, after gaining access to state and local systems, didn’t try to disrupt the vote. One possibility is that the American warning was effective. Another former senior U.S. official, who asked for anonymity to discuss the classified U.S. probe into pre-election hacking, said a more likely explanation is that several months of hacking failed to give the attackers the access they needed to master America’s disparate voting systems spread across more than 7,000 local jurisdictions.

Such operations need not change votes to be effective. In fact, the Obama administration believed that the Russians were possibly preparing to delete voter registration information or slow vote tallying in order to undermine confidence in the election. That effort went far beyond the carefully timed release of private communications by individuals and parties.
OR (drives me fucking crazy), what they were after is personal information so that they could then target them individually and immerse them with tweets and facebook "shares" and emails etc.
Last edited by Koyaanisqatsi on Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:33 am

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Gná
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Post by Gná » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:39 pm

Lobbyist for Russian interests says he attended dinners hosted by Sessions

Richard Burt contradicts Jeff Sessions’ testimony that he didn’t believe he had contacts with lobbyists working for Russian interests during Trump’s campaign.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... -testimony

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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:49 pm

While significant in regard to the current situation, this NYT piece also shows evidence of a key continuity from when the StB stopped their active Trump dossier around 1990 (slightly after the wall came down and the StB was officially dissolved, though of course that really just meant transitioning to the KGB/FSB) and Trump's business ventures with Russia (emphasis mine):
Last year, while hacking Democrats’ emails and working to undermine the American presidential election, the Russian government also granted extensions to six trademarks for Mr. Trump that had been set to expire. The Trump trademarks, originally obtained between 1996 and 2007 for hotels and branding deals that never materialized, each had terms that were coming to an end in 2016.

Despite their inactivity, the Trump Organization sought extensions for the trademarks from Rospatent, the Russian government agency in charge of intellectual property. In a series of approvals starting in April 2016 and ending in December, Rospatent granted new 10-year terms for the trademarks, the agency’s records show.

Four of the approvals were officially registered on Nov. 8 — Election Day in the United States.

Under normal circumstances, renewing trademarks in Russia is generally a routine matter, and there is nothing to suggest from the few public records available that Mr. Trump was shown favoritism. Still, extensions are not guaranteed and can be subject to challenge — particularly if, as in this case, the trademarks went unused for years, according to interviews with a half-dozen lawyers specializing in intellectual property law.
Recall from the StB notes we do have (from the dossier on Ivana's father; not the evidently missing dossier's on Ivana or Trump) that the StB knew in 1988 that Trump was planning on running for President in 1996 (in spite of the fact that Trump had publicly floated the notion of running in 1987--but specified he would not be running for office in the '88 election). So how would they know 1996 and not 1992, the next more logical election for Trump to be shooting for, even if it were only idle thoughts of his? That would have had to have meant that at some point in 1988 Trump--while under surveillance or as related by Ivana to her father--categorically stated, "I will not run in '92, but instead plan on running for '96" which makes no sense.

In '88, Bush had won, marking an extremely rare three consecutive term Republican hold over the WH. The most logical election for Trump would have been to shoot for '92 as either a conservative Democrat (which he could have easily lied about) or an Independent. But he doesn't even throw his hat into the '92 ring. Why and how would StB be so sure in '88 that he was planning on running in '96?

From the Guardian piece (again):
In 1988 a further informant working under the cover name “Milos” reported that Trump was being put under considerable pressure to run for the US presidency. The Czech authorities should be made aware, he said, that Ivana was under pressure herself to not put a step wrong during visits to Czechoslovakia, or else she risked putting her husband’s potential candidacy in jeopardy.

“Any false step of [Ivana's] will have incalculable consequences for the position of her husband who intends to run for president in 1996,” Milos wrote. He added that Trump was convinced he could win the presidency.

An earlier report on the 1988 US election campaign noted that Trump had donated two payments of $10,000 each to the Democrats and the Republicans. Ivana Trump had been convinced that George HW Bush would win and had been proved right, the report added.

The StB went so far as to send a spy to the US to monitor Trump, believing that if he was to succeed in becoming US president it could have a significant impact on Czechoslovak-US relations. A note by an StB spy named “Al Jarda” of 10 October 1989 details a visit made to Trump by a delegation from a communist agricultural production cooperative from Slusovice, the village where Ivana Trump’s father lived.

“They were given a welcome by one of the richest men in New York, Mister Donald Trump. He got them to explain to him extensively about the work of the cooperative and its further plans in the field of trade,” Al Jarda wrote. At the end of the visit Trump was invited to visit Slusovice. It is not believed that he ever took them up on the offer.
So in 1988 they somehow know that Trump plans on running for President in 1996, skipping an election. In 1989 they actually sent a spy to America apparently to embed himself within Trump's inner circle or the like, but certainly to continue whatever mission they had in regard to Trump up close. That's a significant risk/resource/effort--whatever you wish to call it--to waste on someone you are not actively seeking to turn into your own asset.

The wall comes down in '90, but of course it would have been a known and much discussed event--the dissolution of the Soviet state--certainly within the upper echelons long before any official notification. Which likely means that it would have been--at the very least--well established in the higher chambers in 1989 that a massive transition was about to unfold.

The point being, that the "why" of Trump not running in '92--and the surety of the agents following him in '88 that he would run in '96--may have more to do with active measures, not passive ones. Iow, if you look at the report from the StB as an update on two already turned assets (in particular the bizarre warning that Ivana can't make any missteps or it won't happen; what missteps and how would a passive surveillance operation be able to prevent any such missteps?), then the timeline fits.

Whoever is running the show at the KGB would have known in '87-'88 that significant change within Soviet structure was coming. Hell, that was pretty much all everyone talked about in America at that time as well. The point being that any active effort to assist Trump (their asset) in achieving the Presidency in '92 would have to be aborted as that would coincide with the dissolution and transition. '96, however, would be a perfect goal. Or, at the very least, the next possible window for the KGB's timeline, not Trump's.

Meanwhile, what does Trump do during that downtime? Well, we now know from the above that he was pursuing multiple Russian trademarks and business permits. They may have been granted in '96, but of course they would have been requested much earlier (at least '95, if not earlier as they would have to go through "normal" channels/red tape process to make them not seem more suspicious; in fact they likely would have paid special attention--just as they did in regard to Ivana--to put them on a slower track deliberately for just that reason).

So, just as we have today in regard to the Rosneft/Exxon/Tillerson deal (that even the Senate just put in a lock box for precisely this reason), we have at least circumstantial evidence showing Trump preparing for capitalizing on a Russian/Trump presidency as far back as the early nineties and continuing such pursuits for almost a decade (until 2007), but supposedly none of those bookmarks are ever acted upon by Trump. Just re-upped, but never capitalized upon. They just basically lie dormant during Obama's entire presidency until...? April of 2016.

What's happening in April of 2016?
March 29, 2016: On Roger Stone’s recommendation, Paul Manafort joins the Trump campaign as convention manager, tasked with lining up delegates. [Added March 27, 2017]

April through November 2016: Mike Flynn and other advisers to the Trump campaign have at least 18 phone calls and emails with Russian officials, including six contacts involving Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. According to a later report by Reuters, Jared Kushner has at least two phone calls with Kislyak. [Revised May 30, 2017]

April 20, 2016: Paul Manafort becomes Trump’s campaign manager. Reports surface about his 2007 to 2012 ties to Ukraine’s pro-Putin former president, whom Manafort had helped to elect.

Late April 2016: The Democratic National Committee’s IT department notices suspicious computer activity, contacts the FBI, and hires a private security firm, CrowdStrike, to investigate. [Added March 13, 2017]

May 2016: CrowdStrike determines that highly sophisticated Russian intelligence-affiliated adversaries — denominated Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear — had been responsible for the DNC hack. Fancy Bear, in particular, had indicators of affiliation with Russia’s Main Intelligence Department (also know as the GRU). [Added March 13, 2017]

May 19, 2016: Paul Manafort becomes Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist. [Added March 27, 2017]
So, while all of that is going on, evidently someone (my money's on Kushner) at some point--perhaps in one of those 18 phone calls--is re-activating all of Trump's dormant Russian trademarks and permits. In April.

But, of course, April is when the calls were made. The question is, when was the decision to re-activate them made? Well, let's go back a bit in the months leading up and see what was happening:
Late 2015: Late 2015: Britain’s spy agency GCHQ became aware of suspicious “interactions” between members of Trump’s campaign and Russian intelligence operatives. Over the next six months, a number of western agencies from Germany, Estonia and Poland share more information on contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russians. [Added May 22, 2017] [Added May 22, 2017]

Mid-January 2016: Flynn applies for a five-year renewal of his security clearance. [Added May 25, 2017]

Feb. 11, 2016: According to a May 22, 2017 letter from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), investigators meet with Flynn to discuss his security clearance application. When asked about his Moscow appearance, Flynn reportedly says, “I didn’t take any money from Russia, if that’s what you’re asking me.” [Added May 25, 2017]

Feb. 17, 2016: As questions about Russia swirls around Trump, he changes his story: “I have no relationship with [Putin], other than he called me a genius.”

Feb. 28, 2016: Jeff Sessions formally endorses Donald Trump’s candidacy for president. Three days later, Trump names Sessions chairman of his campaign’s national security advisory committee. [Added March 3, 2017]

Feb. 29, 2016: Paul Manafort submits a five-page, single-spaced, proposal to Trump. In it, he outlines his qualifications for helping Trump secure enough convention delegates to win the Republican presidential nomination. Manafort describes how he had assisted rich and powerful business and political leaders, including oligarchs and dictators in Russia and Ukraine: “I have managed presidential campaigns around the world.” [Added April 10, 2017]

March 14, 2016: Investigators issue a report on Flynn’s security clearance application. According to the summary in Rep. Cummings’ May 22 letter, Flynn told investigators that he was paid by “US companies” when he traveled to Moscow in December 2015. The report also says that Flynn told investigators he had not received any benefit from a foreign country. [Added May 25, 2017]

March 17, 2016: Jeff Sessions discusses Trump’s foreign policy positions, saying, “I think an argument can be made there is no reason for the US and Russia to be at this loggerheads. Somehow, someway we ought to be able to break that logjam. Strategically it’s not justified for either country.” [Added March 3, 2017]

March 21, 2016: In a Washington Post interview, Trump identifies Carter Page as one of his foreign policy advisers. Page had helped open the Moscow office of investment banking firm Merrill Lynch and had advised Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom, in which Page is an investor. He blames 2014 US sanctions relating to Russia’s annexation of Crimea for driving down Gazprom’s stock price. Earlier in March 2016, Iowa tea party activist Sam Clovis had recommended Page to the Trump campaign. [Supplemented April 24, 2017]
So in the roughly five months prior to April, the whole shitstorm about Russia's interference is revealed at the higher levels and during all of that, Trump still orders someone to re-activate his Russian-held trademarks and business permits, etc. It could be no one else who makes that call.

And no, it would not have been a "routine" request made by some wonk at the Trump Organization simply because they were set to expire in 2016. Such a request at such a time would have been flagged and sent to Trump directly for approval, not merely "gee shucks, I just done gone ahead and submitted it cause my calendar said it was time!"

Everything Trump is doing in that timeline is systematically preparing for--and connecting with--Russian interests as if he knows exactly what Russia is doing to help him win.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:20 pm

Here are other key dates to consider (from the previously posted timeline on Bill Moyers' site):
June 18, 2013: Trump announces that the 2013 Miss Universe beauty pageant, which he owns, will take place in Moscow. The next day, he tweets: “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow — if so, will he become my new best friend?” While preparing for the pageant, Trump says, “I have plans for the establishment of business in Russia. Now, I am in talks with several Russian companies to establish this skyscraper.”

July 8, 2013: After a BBC reporter questions Trump about Felix Sater’s alleged prior connections to organized crime, Trump ends the interview. [Added March 3, 2017]

Oct. 17, 2013: On The Late Show, David Letterman asks Trump, “Have you had any dealings with the Russians?” Trump answers, “Well I’ve done a lot of business with the Russians…” Letterman continues, “Vladmir Putin, have you ever met the guy?” Trump says, “He’s a tough guy. I met him once.”

Nov. 5, 2013: In a deposition, an attorney asks Trump about Felix Sater. “If he were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn’t know what he looked like,” Trump answers. When asked how many times he had ever spoken with Sater, Trump says, “Not many.” When asked about his July 2013 BBC interview during which he was questioned about Sater’s alleged connections to organized crime, Trump says he didn’t remember it. [Added March 3, 2017]

Nov. 11, 2013: Trump tweets, “TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next.”

November 2013: At the Miss Universe pageant, Trump says: “I do have a relationship [with Putin] and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today… I do have a relationship with him… He’s done a very brilliant job in terms of what he represents and who he’s represented.” While Trump is in Moscow for the pageant, he and Alex Sapir (whose family’s company was one of the co-developers of Trump SoHo with Trump and Felix Sater) meet with the Russian real estate developer who had facilitated Trump’s $20 million deal to host the Miss Universe contest in Moscow. They discuss plans for a new Trump project in Russia. “The Russian market is attracted to me,” Trump tells Real Estate Weekly upon his return. “I have a great relationship with many Russians, and almost all of the oligarchs were in the room.” [Added March 3, 2017]

Feb. 22, 2014: Popular uprisings lead the Ukraine Parliament to oust President Viktor Yanukovych from office for gross human rights violations and dereliction of duty. With the help of Putin’s security forces, Yanukovych flees the country. But he leaves behind a handwritten ledger — the “Black Ledger” — with 22 entries for 2007 to 2012 purporting to show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Paul Manafort or his firm from Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. [Added April 17, 2017]

March 6, 2014: At the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump says: “You know, I was in Moscow a couple of months ago. I own the Miss Universe Pageant and they treated me so great. Putin even sent me a present, a beautiful present.” On the same day, President Obama signs an executive order imposing sanctions on Russia for its unlawful annexation of Crimea.
Note that the oil reserves in the Kara Sea region were first discovered some time in 2012. It wasn't until 2014 that Exxon/Rosneft first drilled to confirm the discovery, but their existence (and their potential) had been known as far back as 2012.

Now, as the timeline above indicates, Obama had put the sanctions that would stop the Exxon/BP/Rosneft deal in March, but he had threatened Putin with reprisals (sanctions) back in February (of 2014), which means that there was a LOT of initial back-and-forth (at least internally) in the Obama WH/State department about what America's official position should be, so push all of that back at least to late January.

The point being, of course that Russian spies would have known that Obama was planning something--likely sanctions--in the months leading up to the time Obama actually announced and implemented the sanctions should Russia act in any way in the Ukraine. That kind of thing isn't a spur of the moment, what the hell, sanctions. It would take a long time of discussions over exactly what to sanction and/or if that would be the only reprisal, etc.,etc., etc.

So, realistically, push that all back probably several months. And that includes the Russian actions. Putin had designs on the Crimea/Ukraine long before any actions were taken and this of course was known to the Obama administration/our intelligence community. Iow, the timeline above shows only the end actions; not when any of those actions would have been either known about or being planned within the corridors of power.

Trump announced the Miss Universe/Moscow back in June of 2013, but that too would have been planned long before hand; at least six months if not longer? So push that back to late 2012 as a likely time for the initial idea of a Miss Universe/Moscow pageant, let alone all of the planning and permits and deals that would have had to be put in place long before hand leading up to Trump being able to finally announce it was happening in June.

In short, we have several key events happening around the same time in late 2012 (not the least of which was Putin's return to the Presidency). In case it's not obvious, I'm trying to pin down the timeframe/catalyst for deciding it was time to "activate" Trump and gear up for the 2016 election and it all seems to coincide perfectly with the known timeline under the cover of the Miss Universe pageant.

The oil reserves were just discovered; Putin has regained the Presidency and the threat of retaking Ukraine/Crimea is already out there, at least within higher echelons. We know what they're up to and they know what Obama's likely response will be (not the extent, but that sanctions would be a part of it and that would likely be in the form of the biggest deal they have, the Exxon/Rosneft deal).

And let's not forget the Russian "troll farms" are taken over by Putin in 2012 (emphasis mine):
The boom in pro-Kremlin trolling can be traced to the antigovernment protests of 2011, when tens of thousands of people took to the streets after evidence of fraud in the recent Parliamentary election emerged. The protests were organized largely over Facebook and Twitter and spearheaded by leaders, like the anticorruption crusader Alexei Navalny, who used LiveJournal blogs to mobilize support. The following year, when Vyascheslav Volodin, the new deputy head of Putin’s administration and architect of his domestic policy, came into office, one of his main tasks was to rein in the Internet. Volodin, a lawyer who studied engineering in college, approached the problem as if it were a design flaw in a heating system. Forbes Russia reported that Volodin installed in his office a custom-designed computer terminal loaded with a system called Prism, which monitored public sentiment online using 60 million sources. According to the website of its manufacturer, Prism “actively tracks the social media activities that result in increased social tension, disorderly conduct, protest sentiments and extremism.” Or, as Forbes put it, “Prism sees social media as a battlefield.”

The battle was conducted on multiple fronts. Laws were passed requiring bloggers to register with the state. A blacklist allowed the government to censor websites without a court order. Internet platforms like Yandex were subjected to political pressure, while others, like VKontakte, were brought under the control of Kremlin allies. Putin gave ideological cover to the crackdown by calling the entire Internet a “C.I.A. project,” one that Russia needed to be protected from. Restrictions online were paired with a new wave of digital propaganda. The government consulted with the same public relations firms that worked with major corporate brands on social-media strategy. It began paying fashion and fitness bloggers to place pro-Kremlin material among innocuous posts about shoes and diets, according to Yelizaveta Surnacheva, a journalist with the magazine Kommersant Vlast. Surnacheva told me over Skype that the government was even trying to place propaganda with popular gay bloggers — a surprising choice given the notorious new law against “gay propaganda,” which fines anyone who promotes homosexuality to minors.

All of this has contributed to a dawning sense, among the Russian journalists and activists I spoke with, that the Internet is no longer a natural medium for political opposition. “The myth that the Internet is controlled by the opposition is very, very old,” says Leonid Volkov, a liberal politician and campaign manager to Alexei Navalny. “It’s not true since at least three years.” Part of this is simple demographics: The Internet audience has expanded from its early adopters, who were more likely to be well-educated liberal intelligentsia, to the whole of Russia, which overwhelmingly supports Putin. Also, by working every day to spread Kremlin propaganda, the paid trolls have made it impossible for the normal Internet user to separate truth from fiction.
It was also no secret that Putin and Obama did not get along prior to any of this:
Since Putin returned to the presidency last year, Russian relations with the U.S. have been marked by a series of hostile gestures.

The U.S. passes a law punishing Russian officials for human rights violations, so Russia bans American parents from adopting Russian children. Russia gives sanctuary to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, so Obama cancels a planned sit-down with Putin.

Last month, Obama angered Putin by describing him as "looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom."

Those remarks came in the context of Obama's insistence that he doesn't "have a bad personal relationship with Putin."

But the "bored kid" comment was only his latest cranky characterization of Putin. Prior to meeting with the Russians in 2009, Obama said in an interview, "I think Putin has one foot in the old ways of doing business and one foot in the new."

"It was diplomatically incredibly clumsy, because obviously Putin would react badly to that," says Rutland, the Wesleyan government professor. "The relationship was dead on arrival, the personal relationship."
Combine all of these events along this timeline and you get Putin pretty much deciding to "activate" Trump in early 2013. Hence the Miss Universe pageant being the perfect cover to discuss with Trump what Putin was planning. It wouldn't matter--necessarily--what Obama did in regard to any threats over Putin's plans for Ukraine. Yes, sanctions would be a delay, but one he would have likely anticipated. Hence the plan to put Tillerson into State, etc., etc., etc.

And, again, exactly why the Senate has recently reinforced the sanctions and specifically barred Trump from lifting them. They know.

Now it's a question of how to end Trump's presidency. Do they do it overtly--force him out--or do they simply castrate him and let him stay, but without any real teeth? Again, with ALL of the investigations going on, it does not look like they're planning on letting him stay.

ETA: Also of note is that, on June 6, 2015, Putin tells the West not to fear Russia. Then on June 16, he announces he will add 40 nuclear missiles to Russia's arsenal. Guess what else happens on June 16, 2015? Yep. Trump announces he's running for President in what CNN described as a "lengthy and meandering 45-minute speech."

Iow, guaranteed to take the spotlight away from Putin's (literal) bombshell anouncement on the same day.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:00 am

Here's a fun wrinkle: Russia considers opening military base in Cuba.

Now that Trump has reversed Obama's opening of Cuba, Putin can justify opening a military base there. That will mean Russian WMDs two minutes--as the missiles fly--from any target on the Eastern seaboard. And no one to stop him in the WH.

It's a win-win for Putin/Trump. Either it's legitimate and Putin gets a big fucking gun point-blank in our face seconds away or it's bullshit--like the Syrian airport strike that did nothing--and Putin is setting up another "See, Trump is being hardcore big bear against Russia, so he is big man fighting Putin, not controlled by heem, not kompromat!"
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:08 pm

Note also that Putin said that about Cuba back in October of 2016 (just before the election). As a friend of mine noted, Obama did not just normalize relations with Cuba because it was past time to do so; he did it to lessen Russia's influence in Latin America.

And when you think about it, Trump--of all people--should have instead embraced the opening of Cuba because it would mean a whole new market for luxury hotels and casinos (the way it used to be). The "Trump Organization" should have been gobbling up real estate hand over fist down there, connecting Mar-A-Lago with a whole Cuban resort package. Instead and with the only explanation being "anything Obama did I must undo" (which doesn't track anymore), we now have yet another thing done that only benefits Putin and fits Russian expansion.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:17 pm

Finally someone is taking a deeper look (but not deep enough): Qatar: What Are Trump's Financial Links to the Region?
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:31 pm

Getting back to the timeline, here is yet another piece of the puzzle confirming that in regard to the 2016 election, Putin first started the preparation in "early 2014":
Russian Cyber Intrusions Into State and Local Electoral Boards. Russian intelligence accessed elements of multiple state or local electoral boards. Since early 2014, Russian intelligence has researched US electoral processes and related technology and equipment.
So, once again, that is when it was implemented, which means the decision and planning occurred much earlier. Such an operation would have taken considerable planning, but more importantly would be the fact that no one was running yet, just vague rumblings, the loudest of which were from Hillary. Iow, it was a safe bet that Hillary would be the frontrunner for the Democrats no matter what. She officially announced in April of 2015, but had been hinting at it (and asked about it) for some two years prior:
Ending two years of speculation and coy denials, Hillary Rodham Clinton announced on Sunday [April 12, 2015] that she would seek the presidency for a second time, immediately establishing herself as the likely 2016 Democratic nominee.
If we take that to be more or less accurate, that would mean that since April of 2013 it was known among inner circle DC (as well as the outer circle press) that Clinton was going to run in 2016.

Now look at the timeline again for what was going on in the months before (and during) "early 2014":
June 18, 2013: Trump announces that the 2013 Miss Universe beauty pageant, which he owns, will take place in Moscow. The next day, he tweets: “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow — if so, will he become my new best friend?” While preparing for the pageant, Trump says, “I have plans for the establishment of business in Russia. Now, I am in talks with several Russian companies to establish this skyscraper.”

Oct. 17, 2013: On The Late Show, David Letterman asks Trump, “Have you had any dealings with the Russians?” Trump answers, “Well I’ve done a lot of business with the Russians…” Letterman continues, “Vladmir Putin, have you ever met the guy?” Trump says, “He’s a tough guy. I met him once.”

Nov. 11, 2013: Trump tweets, “TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next.”

November 2013: At the Miss Universe pageant, Trump says: “I do have a relationship [with Putin] and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today… I do have a relationship with him… He’s done a very brilliant job in terms of what he represents and who he’s represented.” While Trump is in Moscow for the pageant, he and Alex Sapir (whose family’s company was one of the co-developers of Trump SoHo with Trump and Felix Sater) meet with the Russian real estate developer who had facilitated Trump’s $20 million deal to host the Miss Universe contest in Moscow. They discuss plans for a new Trump project in Russia. “The Russian market is attracted to me,” Trump tells Real Estate Weekly upon his return. “I have a great relationship with many Russians, and almost all of the oligarchs were in the room.” [Added March 3, 2017]

Feb. 22, 2014: Popular uprisings lead the Ukraine Parliament to oust President Viktor Yanukovych from office for gross human rights violations and dereliction of duty. With the help of Putin’s security forces, Yanukovych flees the country. But he leaves behind a handwritten ledger — the “Black Ledger” — with 22 entries for 2007 to 2012 purporting to show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Paul Manafort or his firm from Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. [Added April 17, 2017]

March 6, 2014: At the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump says: “You know, I was in Moscow a couple of months ago. I own the Miss Universe Pageant and they treated me so great. Putin even sent me a present, a beautiful present.” On the same day, President Obama signs an executive order imposing sanctions on Russia for its unlawful annexation of Crimea.
And why, in particular, would Putin give a shit if Clinton were President? Because at the same time Clinton was letting it be known that she would be running for President, she was saying things like this (emphasis mine):
On June 4, 2013, at the verdant plantation-style Inn at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina, Hillary Clinton spoke in strikingly ambitious terms of her plans for America’s energy boom to a private audience in a speech for the global investment bank Goldman Sachs. “The energy revolution in the United States is just a gift,” she said in one of three speeches that year for which the bank paid her $675,000. “We can have a North American energy system that will be unbelievably powerful. If we have enough of it, we can be exporting and supporting a lot of our friends and allies.”

Clinton meant exporting oil and gas to allies who are heavily reliant on Russian imports. The Democratic nominee’s private positions on energy, as indicated in speeches released by WikiLeaks in October, suggest how she might use America’s oil and gas industry as a bludgeon against Moscow. While her campaign declined to comment for this story, her speeches also made it clear that Clinton wants the U.S. to lead an environmentally friendly energy revolution to tackle climate change.

“I’ve promoted fracking in other places around the world, because when you look at the stranglehold that energy has on so many countries and the decisions they make, it would be in America’s interest to make even more countries more energy self-sufficient,” she said in a private speech to Deutsche Bank in April 2013. “So I think we have to go at this in a smart, environmentally conscious way, pursuing a clean-energy alternative agenda while we also promote the advantages that are going to come to us.”
Again, what had just recently happened in Russia a year prior to Clinton saying such things? The discovery of the world's largest oil reserves. So we have a fairly clear correlation of events and motives. Russia discovers they can surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's largest distributor (and owner) of oil at the same time that Hillary Clinton is strongly opposed to their being any such leader and taking active measures against them while at the same time letting it be known that she will likely be running for President again in 2016. This is all happening in early to mid 2013.

What was Putin going to do about that? Well, he is going to activate his asset for starters and at the same time start laying down the groundwork for weaponizing American social media in exactly the same way he had done in Russia. A sweetheart, multi-million dollar deal is presented to host the Miss Universe pageant as the perfect cover to get Trump to Moscow where they either inform him of what is about to unfold or otherwise gather "kompromat" (my bet is he knew all along) or some combination of both.

At the time, Trump would have been nothing more than a realty TV star-fucker, so whether he knew what was going on and actively participated or was easily manipulated really doesn't matter. The time spent in Moscow would have been invaluable time for Putin and his people to study Trump up close and personal to see exactly how he would respond to any number of situations. Again, my money is on Trump knowing what was happening and either having no problem with it (big cash prizes) or certainly easily manipulated into having no problem with it as I'm sure the most Putin's people would have let Trump know is that they planned on backing him--financially--and maybe helping him in any way they could in the campaign. They may have gone into deeper detail, but that likely would have come later as they coordinated on his speeches and the people they would want him to use and surround himself with (e.g., people like Manafort).

Whatever it was, I can think of a dozen ways Trump could have been manipulated into committing treasonous acts without him ever thinking he was doing anything wrong (just as we see him doing now). I think the key aspect of the Miss Universe cover would have been more for the Russian special agents to have sufficient alone time with Trump--taking him out to parties and the like--to get a true measure of the man for how they would then use him in the election.

Once that assessment was made--whatever it may have been--phase two was to then put into operation the long-haul con of infiltrating America's internet, let's call it. I.e., putting in place all of the cyber-warfare/social media fake news sites and troll farms that they had previously been so effective at using in regard to Russia. So that's in "early 2014" that it begins in practice.

And the rest just follows the timeline.

ETA: And then there is this: The Day Trump Came To Moscow: Oligarchs, Miss Universe and Nobu. Snippets:
The last time Donald Trump made an appearance in Moscow was November 2013 for the Miss Universe contest he famously owned. It was a glittering event filled with carefully choreographed photographs and parties. Then another, more private, invitation arrived: Come to Nobu to meet more than a dozen of Russia’s top businessmen, including Herman Gref, the chief executive officer of state-controlled Sberbank PJSC, Russia’s biggest bank.

Gref, who was President Vladimir Putin’s economy minister from 2000 to 2007, organized the meeting together with Aras Agalarov, the founder of Crocus Group, one of the country’s largest real-estate companies, which was hosting the beauty pageant at one of its concert halls.

“There was a good feeling from the meeting,” Gref said in an interview. “He’s a sensible person, very lively in his responses, with a positive energy and a good attitude toward Russia.”

Trump’s two-hour gathering at Nobu, a 15-minute walk from the Kremlin, suggests that the president-elect’s circle of contacts in Russia is wider than previously reported and includes a close confidant of Putin’s.
...
There’s no evidence to suggest that Trump’s contact with Gref or any others he met in Moscow in 2013 had anything to do with recent events. But Gref is a powerful figure who holds regular meetings with Putin, while Sberbank is close enough to the Russian government for the U.S. to have imposed sanctions on the bank’s subsidiaries in 2014 in response to the Ukraine conflict.
So, basically non-stop blowjobs from the world's most beautiful women; rockstar parties every night where Trump is the absolute King of the walk; and multi-billion dollar business meetings and promises from Russia's ruling elite during the days. And, more than likely, talk and promises that they can put him in the White House in 2016.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:36 pm

And this little tidbit that I missed from that 2016 Bloomberg article (emphasis mine):
Trump’s election has been warmly received by Russian officials and businessmen alike. Agalarov said he’d corresponded with Trump during the campaign and congratulated him on his victory.
Well what do you know? Now we have at least one of the ways by which Trump had a direct line to Putin during the campaign, but in a manner that no one would question. Sure would like to see copies of that correspondence!
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:10 pm

Thought I'd re-quote this post from an earlier page in light of a very interesting article I'll link to at the end...

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]
lpetrich;672157 wrote:Seems like Vladimir Putin and his friends have succeeded where their predecessors had failed during the Cold War -- getting a lot of influence over US politicians.
Well, it doesn't take a super genius to figure out how Trump in particular would be such an easy target for someone like Putin. Then it was just a matter of "beta-testing" Trump's forays into politics with an emphasis on timing.

When I was in college (84-88) I did the whole cliche American student backpacking through Europe thing. One of the places I went to was East Germany (I speak German), back when it still was East Germany of course. I remember in particular going to a bookstore and looking at a US history book, only from Soviet perspective. The thing that struck me the most was that it wasn't full of lies as I expected it to be; quite the contrary. It was all true, it just was selectively true.

For example, it focused on America's oppression of blacks, marking a distinct unbroken timeline from slavery to the civil war to the sixties/seventies and "current" showing in detail how white America still had not embraced black America in spite of the hypocrisy of its laws and "freedom" and the like. Basically, the perspective was "they say one thing, but they do another."

It was also notable to me (a naive white boy from Eugene, Oregon via St Louis, barely 18 at the time) in that it showed absolutely no prejudice against blacks; again, quite the contrary. I got the impression that Russians felt kindred to American blacks and believed they were much like the oppressed workers of the 1917s on the verge of revolution from their aristorcratic overlords.

I mention that only because it was the first time in my life where I gestalted another culture's perspective (indeed, that there could be another culture's perspective) and that such a world view showed deep insight into our own culture that I had never before even thought of. I always hated the prejudice I saw in my St. Louis friends, but I thought I understood it. They weren't bad people; just ignorant is all. Then seeing the Russian perspective (in an East German bookstore) and how systemic the racism and how it was carefully cultivated by the ruling (white) elite, well, it completely flipped everything around. It may have been ignorance in my friends, but it was calculated manipulation of that ignorance by the ruling institutions that kept it alive and kicking in every generation in spite of all of the supposed "progress" that seemed to be happening on the surface.

Point being, that such an outside insight--I believe--would have naturally been triggered upon seeing how Americans responded to their first black President. And seeing how the same did not exactly embrace Putin, it's not a wonder that he decided it was time to "activate" an asset (Trump) that Soviet intelligence had been using for decades and evidently grooming for politics as well.

LONG way of saying, the timing was right to put into place everything the Soviets (yes, I use that term deliberately) had learned and cultivated over decades of patient study and understanding. And, again, that one phrase from Trump says it all: "I think he wants to become the world leader." Not "a" world leader; the world leader. And that's something that must have been in place decades ago as well.

Putin plays the long con. So he found himself a short-con wannabe in Trump. And now all of the planets aligned--starting with the discovery of the arctic oil, thanks to climate change, which Putin must surely see as more evidence of his "destiny"--so he let slip the dogs of war. It's pretty straightforward, but it is something like a John Grisham novel. That doesn't make it untrue. We know it's true. What we don't know (yet) is the extent and the timeline, but with all of the evidence already presented (I doubt I've even scratched the surface in my third hand cultivation attempt here), it's a fact that Trump has been specifically, consistently and deliberately targeted by Soviet intelligence for over forty years.

You don't waste that much time and effort and resources. He has very clearly been used (knowingly used) by various Russian interests--all tied to Putin at the very least--for decades. And its extent--based on nothing more than what I've been able to piece together itt--is huge, but until now, just business. Corrupt, felonious business involving hundreds of millions of dollars in money-laundering schemes and the like, but now its treason.

Whether he ever gets charged with it is irrelevant to the fact that he's committed it.

ETA: Technically, we have to be in a state of war for the crime of treason to be applicable. What he did was treasonous, but technically not treason.[/QUOTE]

Now the article that connects the above in regard to racism and how Putin was able to sink a wedge and split that wood: Economic Anxiety Didn't Make People Vote Trump, Rasism Did. Snippet:
In our models, racial attitudes towards blacks and immigration are the key factors associated with support for Trump. The way that these variables impact Trump support can be seen in the charts below. Both racial resentment and black influence animosity are significant predictors of Trump support among white respondents, independent of partisanship, ideology, education levels, and the other factors included in the model. The results indicate a probability of Trump support higher than 60 percent for an otherwise typical white voter who scores at the highest levels on either anti-black racial resentment or anti-black influence animosity. This compares to less than 30 percent chance for a typical white voter with below average scores on either of the two measures anti-black attitudes. There is approximately a 10 percent probability of a Trump vote for an otherwise typical white voter at the lowest levels of racial resentment.

The effect of immigration attitudes for white people is even stronger than anti-black attitudes. The results predict an approximately 80 percent probability of voting for Trump for an otherwise average white person with the most anti-immigrant attitudes, compared to less than 20 percent for a white person with the most pro-immigrant attitudes. To put these results in context, the magnitude of the effects of each of the three variables—racial resentment, black influence animosity, and immigration attitudes—is comparable to the effect of partisan identification. The change in probability of a Trump vote for a white person with the highest to the lowest levels of racial animus is similar to changing their party identification from Republican to Democratic.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:44 am

And now we see Tillerson laying the groundwork for his imminent resignation: Tillerson Blows Up At White House Aide. If you'll recall, the biggest indicator so far (beyond the number of concurrent Congressional investigations) that Congress is going to oust Trump was the nearly unanimous doubling down by the Senate on Russian sanctions (with a fine point put on specifically against Trump being able to lift them without Congressional approval). Oddly enough, Rand and Bernie Sanders were the only two "no" votes.

Getting those sanctions lifted was the primary motivation for Putin and certainly the reason why he instructed/ordered Trump to install Tillerson at State in the first place. Now that it's firmly off the table (at least in regard to the Senate, who would therefore fight Trump should he attempt any such actions even if the House does not pass this bill and/or he tries to veto it), there is no reason for Tillerson to be wasting his time tied to a sinking ship, so my guess is we'll see at least one or two more of these headlines--escalating, of course--and then Tillerson's resignation letter. And soon (like over the next two months or so).
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:45 pm

Doubled-down! Senate re-passes Russia sanctions bill. Snippet:
Ahead of President Donald Trump's first face-to-face encounter with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week at the G20 summit, the Senate passed Thursday for a second time a Russia sanctions package that had stalled on Capitol Hill.

The Senate has passed a technical correction to its Russia sanctions bill by unanimous consent, making minor changes to the bill to address House concerns that the original language violated the Constitution.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, had said earlier Thursday an agreement had been struck to bring the revised version of the bill back to the floor, in order to make technical changes to the legislation that would satisfy the House.

Two weeks ago, the original bill passed 98 to 2 despite concerns raised by the Trump administration. It would impose new sanctions on Russia and provide Congress with the authority to review any effort to weaken them.

After the overwhelming vote, bipartisan backers in the House hoped to take it up quickly and approve it to send to President Donald Trump. But after reviewing the Senate bill, House GOP leaders reported that there was language in it that violated the Constitution.
That's how badly they want to lock this down. Which is a full blown admition by the Republicans that they know Trump--personally--colluded with Putin.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:27 am

Now that is prescient: Trump D.C. Hotel Contractors Say They're Owed Millions. Note the dates mentioned: September 2014 - December 2016
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:08 pm

And--once again--we have the manner by which Putin/Trump/Tillerson will try to get the sanctions lifted: US - Russia - Syria Cease Fire. It will likely break down along the following strategy: Russia will make some sort of grand showing of power (perhaps even ousting or otherwise convincing Assad to step down), but in order to fully route ISIL/end the numerous civil wars going on in Syria they will need the sanctions lifted. Iow, somehow lifting the sanctions will be paramount to their continued/final success.

It will have to be something that Republicans want, however and regime change was more what Obama wanted. Perhaps this CBS poll holds a key? We provide air cover while Russia sends in their troops, thereby giving the appearance of Russia taking the biggest risk on our behalf and allowing us to dump hundreds of millions of dollars worth of munitions that will all need to be replaced from companies in key Republican districts.

Something along those lines. At the very least, this gives Trump the perfect cover for vetoing the Senate bill designed to prevent him from lifting or otherwise changing the sanctions on his own, so at least that is taken care of conveniently. Without this, Trump would have been effectively forced into signing the bill and/or the Senate would have blocked any efforts on Trump's part to remove the sanctions even if he had vetoed the bill. A successful joint military operation--where it is perceived as Russia being in the greatest risk--however, will give Trump all he needs to paint Republicans in the Senate trying to block his "necessary" actions as ISIL sympathizers (or the like).

And did anyone else find it interesting that Trump allegedly pressed Putin on a "fake news" hoax that was concocted by the US intelligence community because Hillary lost? Why in the world would he do that?
Stupidity is not intellen

Koyaanisqatsi
Posts: 8403
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:23 pm

Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:51 pm

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]Now that is prescient: Trump D.C. Hotel Contractors Say They're Owed Millions. Note the dates mentioned: September 2014 - December 2016[/quote]

Of further note on this: 11 Things You'd Should Know About Trump's New DC Hotel:
Anything with the name ‘Trump’ stamped on the side of it is likely to kindle strong feelings this election season, perhaps nothing more so than the new $212 million hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation’s capital.
...
In 2013, the Trump Organization signed a 60-year lease for the building, requiring that the company pay the federal government $3 million a year in rent beginning from the opening date. Not being able to outright purchase the building prevented the company from offering part of the hotel as condominiums, which it has done in Chicago and Soho in New York.
...
Although the federal government does not pay property taxes for its buildings (same as colleges and universities) a few years ago the D.C. government created a rule requiring private entities in public buildings to pay a tax. This didn’t sit well with the Trumps, who initially inquired about getting the tax revoked and are now suing the District to get their tax bill lowered.
...
Historic preservation experts have been impressed by the Trumps’ attention to detail in restoring the building. The Trumps removed all 1,184 windows, dissembled them, removed the old glass, then stripped and painted them before reassembling and reinstalling them. They restored old mail boxes, mail shoots and elevators — polishing the brass until it shines. And they elevated the entire main lobby floor to the level it was when the building opened in 1899.

There is a museum area in the basement dedicated to the history of the building and Washington. And Damelincourt said the first guests have asked enough about the building that he is considering hiring a historian to accentuate their stay.
So, what are the takeaways? Well, first that the planning for this was evidently done in 2013. Again, check the timeline. 2013 is when Trump takes the Miss Universe pageant to Russia, the most likely time period--and cover story--for when Putin decides to "activate" his asset. Considering the fact that contractors were evidently hired in September of 2014, that puts the planning/negotiations for the hotel in late 2013. Iow, after the Miss Universe pageant.

Second is the fact that Trump was clearly trying to get the building tax-exempt and/or was trying to get it declared a national landmark (which would also establish it as tax-exempt) and made a ridiculous deal. A 60 year lease with no possibility of ownership paying at least $3M/year in rent and requiring $212M in renovations (as well as whatever likely maintainance provisions were required of federal buildings)? Why in the world would he have made such a horrible deal in 2013 if it were not in preparation for his own presidency?

Note also that the renovation schedule was evidently pushed--to the detriment of the building itself and therefore to Trump's "brand"--in order to be open in December of 2016. Why? Again, that schedule would have been set way back in 2013. Even if, at that point, Trump thought the Obama presidency was ending and therefore he could capitalize on a likely Republican taking over the WH in 2016, so what? He spends all that money--stiffing multiple vendors in the process and risking the liens and lawsuits now against him--because he wants to "soft open" with only 150 rooms available for people interested in being in DC for the inauguration of some Republican candidate Trump doesn't give a rat's ass about, or something?

Iow, if you remove the notion that Trump knows Putin's plan for him, then the rush to open this hotel--and the lousy deal made to do so--makes no sense at all. If, however, Trump is fully aware of how Putin is going to be the force behind Trump's ascendency, then all of these actions (and many others Trump has done in the past four year at the very least) makes perfect sense.

Is it a calculated risk? Absolutely, but then, so is every investment Trump has ever made, but the key to any investment of course is mitigating those risks. Knowing that someone like Putin is going to be throwing the full force of everything he already used to stunning effect in Russia on Trump's behalf in order to put him in the WH after two terms of a black man in charge? And the most likely competition is a woman that has been very carefully targeted by the GOP for decades of lies and abuse?

Well, yeah, that's mitigating the risk.
Stupidity is not intellen

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