Richard Stanley

Administrator
https://medium.com/startup-grind/ho...facebook-ads-to-win-the-election-4ff7d24269ac

For example, Trump’s digital team created a South Park-style animation of Hillary Clinton delivering the “super predator” line (using audio from her original 1996 sound bite), as cartoon text popped up around her: “Hillary Thinks African Americans are Super Predators.” Then, Trump’s animated “super predator” political advertisement was delivered to certain African American voters via Facebook “dark posts” — nonpublic paid posts shown only to the Facebook users that Trump chose.
Trump had a $150 million budget for these Facebook ads, which dwarfs the Russian effort.
I sent your link to a former work colleague, who forwarded it to yet another former work colleague, one of the Soviet ex-pats. The intended focus (ill framed) of their discussion was about why the highly disproportionate media focus on the reputed $150K Russian social media campaign and not on the $150 million dollar Trump digital campaign, three orders of magnitude greater. Instead, my first friend got a more general reply which I have taken the liberty to post anonymously below, FWIW:

1. I am not subscribed to Facebook
2. I don't give a crap about advertisements.
3. I have 30 years experience of falsified news back in “motherland”and learned how to read between lines.
4. The only way to navigate is independent “critical thinking and analysis” and they don't teach that in schools, do they?

BTW Russians made a research and found out that the only way to completely avoid propaganda influence is not to watch or listen to it..And if you paid attention in all these movies/books about dictatorships they always showed that “not to listen to propaganda is already crime”.

I see two problems:

1. The majority of the population is tribal and so polarized that it did not matter much how valid was what he said or promised: he won using outrages lies, as a human he deserves 0 respect, and his voters did not care much. The opposite party also promised all kind of stuff to the other group and also were lying all the time. You need to have extremely frustrated population, tell all kind of crap, create for them a common enemy: this recipe worked in the past, so why not?
2. T voters did not vote for T, they voted against the system but were so stupid that considered T as a valid Messiah and not a potential dictator who is just a common crook. BTW have u tried to compare looks of Mussolini and T after they said something important from their point of view? They are like brothers.

The funny part that the current T voters will suffer not less then the opposite tribe.

At the end the extreme polarization of the population bring less and less rationale to what is happening. So maybe dissolution in the current system had more impact then the Facebook propaganda which brings even more frustration. As a matter of facts Russian FSB in US were injecting lies about both sides.

The idiots on the top (98% crooks in making) with their policies are destroying the middle class which always was the stronghold of the country. But most they care about is themselves and very little about their voters: too much money in the politics.

Maybe in the future AI could solve the problem as the majority of the population will get “welfare” anyway: there will not be enough jobs. And what the mob always wants: food and entertainment? They will get it for free. And maybe AI will rule the world in fair and honest way, and human parasites will be taken care of :)
Still, so far, this system is better then the big brother country.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Russia is in the east of Europe and the west of Asia. Therefore it is Western by your logic. It is Western, it is Eastern, it is Western, it is Eastern, ........ .
Most of Russia is not west of Asia, it *is* in Asia. I suppose it's West of Alaska. But my main point is, it's not "faux" one direction or another.

In any case I don't assume or assert that the Chinese and the Russians are vassal states. I only assert that the USA is the designated tip of the old Roman spear, ... for the time being at least. Statistically, too many Romans and Jews in the WH kitchen to think otherwise.
In that case, I'm not sure what we're even arguing about. If China and Russia are not vassal states, and clearly they are not enthusiastic charter members of the Anglo-American Roman-Judaic Alliance, then doesn't it follow that: "owing to historical circumstances, the Russians etc. are on the outside of the most world-threatening empire of the moment, not inside it." But you say that's not your argument. Or are you saying it's not your argument, because you agree with it?

You're the second person to call me a Calvinist, and from the perspective that the elites have always been our Lord(s) then yes this is true. Their ancestors wrote the script and it's being followed. So, I'm an operative Calvinist, not a speculative or spiritual one.
The problem is that Calvinism works much better if there is an omnipotent God who can know and plan the future in every detail. Human beings aren't that powerful.

I'm willing to go this far with you: certainly, that the ancient script still has some power as a meme.

"Может быть", it might be true that insiders of the Catholic Church, Illuminati, Ancient Noble Families & etc., are self-consciously implementing the script in an organized fashion; but I don't think the evidence we've got is sufficient proof of that.

But I certainly can't sign up for the idea that this insider group is monolithic (eternally faction-less and schism free), or omnipotent, or able to carry out "the script" without adapting to contingencies.

it is numerous activities like this that made Paul Manafort a national security threat
I am not sure what you mean by "National Security". He was bribing former European chancellors to become "lifetime actors" of a sort, in promotion of Ukrainian and Russian interests. This was a sleazy thing to do, and possibly a violation of laws requiring disclosure of lobbying activities on behalf of foreign governments. I say "possibly" because as I understand it, those laws are full of loopholes, and very spottily enforced.

And what seems to be worse from the indictment's perspective, Manafort didn't pay all the income taxes due on his sleazy lobbying income.

Kushner is bad news, and not just because of his attempts to get the Russians to bail him out of his apartment building.

But when I think of "National Security" I think of actual risks of invasion or bombing attacks. Manafort was most likely pushing Russian and Ukrainian economic interests, and trying to contain the Western cold war fervor that could lead to trade sanctions.

So how is that a "National Security" problem? Seriously, are the Ukrainians going to invade Alaska?

If Kushner is a "National Security" threat, it's more because his Zionist agenda could create a nuclear war with the Russians, with Syria or Lebanon as the flash point. The Russians are smart cookies if they think that by exploiting Kushner's vulnerabilities, perhaps they can get him to defuse that threat.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Most of Russia is not west of Asia, it *is* in Asia. I suppose it's West of Alaska. But my main point is, it's not "faux" one direction or another.
Russia proper is west of the Ural Mountains, like Rome started out as the city-state of the city, called Rome (on the Tiber). East of the Urals was all imperialist expansion, as was much west of the Urals, like Ukraine ....

In that case, I'm not sure what we're even arguing about. If China and Russia are not vassal states, and clearly they are not enthusiastic charter members of the Anglo-American Roman-Judaic Alliance, then doesn't it follow that: "owing to historical circumstances, the Russians etc. are on the outside of the most world-threatening empire of the moment, not inside it." But you say that's not your argument. Or are you saying it's not your argument, because you agree with it?
Being an operative Calvino-Humanist I believe in the tree and root model of the Bible, like the Flavians and Josephus's Maccabees.

Thus, I believe that the Russians, even post-Tsarian, are yet part of the same fucked up schema.

Besides which, your issue was whether or not the Chinese and Russians are vassals of the USA, which I say no. That is a different issue of whether or not the Russians, the Chinese, or ... the Americans are vassals of some other entity, say like the green cheese Martians. My metaphor of "the tip of the Roman spear", for the USA, more than implies that there is some other entity metaphorically holding the spear.
The problem is that Calvinism works much better if there is an omnipotent God who can know and plan the future in every detail. Human beings aren't that powerful.
We'll just have to disagree.
I'm willing to go this far with you: certainly, that the ancient script still has some power as a meme.

"Может быть", it might be true that insiders of the Catholic Church, Illuminati, Ancient Noble Families & etc., are self-consciously implementing the script in an organized fashion; but I don't think the evidence we've got is sufficient proof of that.

But I certainly can't sign up for the idea that this insider group is monolithic (eternally faction-less and schism free), or omnipotent, or able to carry out "the script" without adapting to contingencies.
Well, it's probably time for my idea to die on the vine. I'm too tired just making it through each day to advance it any further, no matter how much I believe it.
I am not sure what you mean by "National Security". He was bribing former European chancellors to become "lifetime actors" of a sort, in promotion of Ukrainian and Russian interests. This was a sleazy thing to do, and possibly a violation of laws requiring disclosure of lobbying activities on behalf of foreign governments. I say "possibly" because as I understand it, those laws are full of loopholes, and very spottily enforced.
Ouch!!!

From any conventional analysis means (i.e. Conservative, Liberal, Nationalist, etc.) any such crimes, or such grave financial straits (sans any 'crimes'), represents a 'national security threat'. People with such criminal and/or credit issues are subject to compromise. This is Security basics 101.

Of course, if you have adopted a new frame that allows one to see the destruction of the imperial 'Matrix' as a good thing, or the destruction of the current "tip of the spear" as a good thing, then one might become inclined to not care about 'conventional' national security threats. This, even though perhaps a 'spear holder' is not being changed, but only the 'spear'.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Russia proper is west of the Ural Mountains
You mean like California isn't "America proper", but rather a late Imperial conquest from Mexico?

From any conventional analysis means (i.e. Conservative, Liberal, Nationalist, etc.) any such crimes, or such grave financial straits (sans any 'crimes'), represents a 'national security threat'.
Yes, I suppose my definition of "National Security" is narrower than conventional analysis. I can see that according to such conventional analysis, Manafort probably should lose his security clearance.

If the USA is a vassal state to some more powerful external entity, isn't that a far more serious "National Security Risk" than Manafort taking money from the Ukrainians and not paying his taxes on it? And wouldn't the "Tip of the Spear" be far better off without being placed in such a position?
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Did the Russian government provide funding & direction for the Internet Research Agency, or was it an independently funded and organized Russian oligarch's business plan?
"Moon of Alabama" argues rather persuasively that the Internet Research Agency was a commercial business, and their motivation for getting involved in the US election was to generate clickbait, and revenues.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html

In the early 1990s some dude in St.Petersburg made a good business selling hot dogs. He opened a colorful restaurant. Local celebrities and politicians were invited to gain notoriety while the restaurant served cheap food for too high prices. It was a good business. A few years later he moved to Moscow and gained contracts to cater to schools and to the military. The food he served was still substandard.

But catering bad food as school lunches gave him, by chance, the idea for a new business:

Parents were soon up in arms. Their children wouldn’t eat the food, saying it smelled rotten.
As the bad publicity mounted, Mr. Prigozhin’s company, Concord Catering, launched a counterattack, a former colleague said. He hired young men and women to overwhelm the internet with comments and blog posts praising the food and dismissing the parents’ protests.

“In five minutes, pages were drowning in comments,” said Andrei Ilin, whose website serves as a discussion board about public schools. “And all the trolls were supporting Concord.”

The trick worked beyond expectations. Prigozhin had found a new business. He hired some IT staff and low paid temps to populate various message boards, social networks and the general internet with whatever his customers asked him for.

You have a bad online reputation? Prigozhin can help. His internet company will fill the net with positive stories and remarks about you. Your old and bad reputation will be drowned by the new and good one. Want to promote a product or service? Prigozhin's online marketeers can address the right crowds.
The blogger points out that the indictment sets a rather broad precedent: any foreigner who posts on American social media and comments about American politics, could be threatened with prosecution.

As most of you will know your author writing this is German. I write pseudo-anonymously for a mostly U.S. audience. My postings are political and during the U.S. election campaign expressed an anti-Hillary view. The blog is hosted on U.S, infrastructure paid for by me. I am not registered as Foreign Agent or with the Federal Election Commission.

Under the theory on which the indictment is based I could also be indicted for a similar "Conspiracy to Defraud the United States".

(Are those of you who kindly donate for this blog co-conspiractors?)
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
You mean like California isn't "America proper", but rather a late Imperial conquest from Mexico?
Yes.
Yes, I suppose my definition of "National Security" is narrower than conventional analysis. I can see that according to such conventional analysis, Manafort probably should lose his security clearance.
He never got a security clearance, as he was gone long before the election itself. It is Kushner, and supposedly over 100 other WH staff that yet cannot obtain security clearances for such reasons.
If the USA is a vassal state to some more powerful external entity, isn't that a far more serious "National Security Risk" than Manafort taking money from the Ukrainians and not paying his taxes on it?
Depends on whose perspective one cares about, I guess. In one sense the question is moot if Georgetown Manafort is ultimately controlled or steered by the same entity that controls and steers the USA.

In the different context of the general Facebook issue, marketing people are commenting that there is an old maxim in the business, 'that if you are not the Client, then you are the Product.' In the context of the geopolitical realpolitik then, the various populations are the Product. In other words: the various flocks of Sheep being fleeced and manipulated.

Of course, such cannot be possible. Not even an advocate of secret society manipulation would go so far as me.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
I found the following 15 minute audio interview interesting. The interviewee, Masha Gessen, immigrated to the USA from the USSR with her parents in the 70's. The discussion is about the relationship between Putin's Russian and Trump's America. She sees that perhaps the Russiagate business, whether there is anything to it or not, may be distracting us from something or somethings else.

https://www.newyorker.com/podcast/political-scene/masha-gessen-on-putins-russia-and-trumps-america

I think that such a distraction may indeed be what is occurring, and such overtly cozy public messaging and 'differential' deference shown from Trump to Russia seems designed to fuel the distraction - as well as fueling the domestic political polarization.

But a distraction from just what?

The following excerpted Atlantic article expresses more pessimism that Trump can be brought down by Russiagate, comparing today with Iran-Contra more than to Watergate. It does not mention that Trump seems to have remade the Republican Party almost completely, and thus even more determine to protect 'their' President. And who knows what will happen as the fallout of the oncoming of no more Net Neutrality on already dismal political discourse and dissent.

...
The evidence that we have thus far from the Russia investigation seems familiar from the perspective of 1987. It is not clear that there is any smoking gun evidence that Trump was behind the multiple contacts that have been exposed between campaign officials and Russians. This might be enough to save him. It is unlikely that such evidence will emerge given the way that Russian operatives seem do their business: indirectly, through third parties, and through shadowy and complicated deals.

Most important, partisanship will probably be an even more powerful force in 2018 than in 1987. Republicans now control Congress, a conservative media propagates a Trumpian point of view, and the red electorate won’t budge. All of this will lend support to the president’s efforts to discredit the investigation, and prevent Republicans from seeing any “there” there with the findings. Notwithstanding all the enthusiasm about each piece of news coming from Mueller’s investigators, it is hard to imagine a Republican Congress doing anything with this information. ...

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/why-the-russia-investigation-could-end-more-like-iran-contra-than-watergate/554345
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
The following MSNBC segment is a discussion on Trump's tariff announcement. At about 9:00 it is brought up how the effect on steel prices will positively effect current commercial real estate holders ... like Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner (especially in light of his financing issue with the underwater 666 Fifth Avenue).

http://www.msnbc.com/velshi-ruhle/watch/trump-s-controversial-tariffs-explained-1175226947788

Several ironies abound, for one, that China is not close to being the largest exporter of steel products to the USA, rather they are close allies, like Canada, which is number 1. Secondly, the resulting increased cost of goods, including from foreign retaliation will wipe out the benefits of the temporary tax cut to Trump's base. The EU is threatening retaliation on Harley Davidson, American whiskey, and blue jeans. The latter is ironic because almost all American blue jeans are made off-shore these days. As with the vacuum created by pulling out of the TPP without a backup plan, this action will further strengthen the trading hand of China vis-a-vis the USA.

The second clip, below, purports to explain the 'scandalously' unrattled state of mind of Trump in taking this action, supposedly laid at the hand of Wilbur Ross, Trump's money laundering and bankruptcy crony, now running the Commerce Department. The narrative created, again, presents Trump as an emotion driven dolt -- who only thinks of the benefit to himself, and to how he can make his base think that he is serving them. Actually the latter is somewhat at odds with the former, as he appears pretty savvy at benefiting himself. And at the same time continuing to sow discord near and far.

http://www.msnbc.com/craig-melvin/watch/trump-s-tariff-on-steel-and-aluminum-announced-without-internal-review-1175257155598

I wonder just how much former American production capacity, of steel and aluminum, is still in a functional state?
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
The following excerpted WaPo piece discusses growing discontent in the Trump media. It provides numerous quotes and video clips from Trump media luminaries expressing their concern over recent Trump statements about seizing guns without due process, exceeeding Obama on immigration leniency, not funding the Wall, and expanding foreign interventions. The list could have grown larger on his reversals, perhaps epitomized by his golf and 'executive time' situations. Or, was it his massive and unneeded giveaway to the .1% (and himself)? And all of which should be shouting out that the faux populist Trump is on a far different agenda than his yet adoring core can yet bring themselves to consider. They are yet like the woman who constantly forgives her man that beats her. While Trump does not deign to beg for forgiveness he constantly doubles down and distracts with more and more chaos. They correctly see him as a genius, however, he is a genius at screwing them ... and us.

The normally fawning Trump pundits mostly regurgitate what they think Trump's base wants to hear, the latter being emotionally unable to separate Trump's rhetoric from reality ... and Trump's historical and current behaviors. The abused girlfriend needs to believe that her man is really into her. And yet they all know what now silent Bill Clinton said about the meaning of "is".

Tucker Carlson opened his Fox News show Thursday night with a succinct explanation of why President Trump's backers stick with him — which, viewed in reverse, doubles as a guide to what could cause supporters to lose faith.

“The shortcomings of this administration are clear,” Carlson said, citing Trump's Twitter habit — which even many Republicans dislike — as an example. “They are usually worth it, though, for two reasons. First, the ideas the president ran on are basically right. 'America first' ought to be the operating principle of every American administration, by definition. ... Second, the alternatives to what we have now are scary and getting scarier. The Democratic Party is completely irresponsible and increasingly anti-American. They prefer illegal aliens to our middle class.”

Carlson was channeling the perspectives of Trump voters, but pro-Trump media is similar. The president's boosters in the press are generally willing to overlook the daily drama because they view (or at least portray) him as a defender of American interests and culture.


Thus, anything Trump says or does that appears counter to American interests and culture, as his supporters define those terms, can set off alarms. Here are some of those things: ...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/03/03/this-is-what-shakes-the-faith-of-the-pro-trump-media
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Manitowoc-gate?

Carl Icahn sold about $30 million of shares in crane manufacturer Manitowoc Co. in the weeks before President Trump said he would impose new tariffs on U.S. steel imports.

The billionaire investor sold more than a third of his stake in the Manitowoc, Wisconsin-based company, which has a sizable exposure to U.S. steel imports, from Feb. 12 through Feb. 22, according to a regulatory filing last Friday. Icahn remains Manitowoc’s fifth-largest holder with about 4.8 percent of the company’s common shares.

...
Icahn didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. The investor quit his role as a special regulatory adviser to Trump in August after Democratic lawmakers asked questions about potential conflicts of interest with his business dealings in oil refining and insurance. Icahn at the time denied profiting from his advice-giving role, a possibility raised by critics who had asked administration officials to investigate his work.

A spokesman for Manitowoc declined to comment.

Manitowoc’s suppliers include Belgium’s Bekaert SA, which makes wire products and steel cables, as well as South Korean construction-parts manufacturer Dongil Metal Co., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It also sources equipment from U.S. industrial manufacturer Dana Inc., the data show. ...

http://fortune.com/2018/03/03/carl-icahn-steel-shares
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
The following excerpted article discusses the divergence between Trump's account of his financial comeback from near financial ruin and the account of some of the bankers that he had to deal with. From these dealings, American bankers would refuse to lend him money, making him dependent, going forward, on laundered money and branding his name to others' developments and products.

Donald Trump, who often says he only likes winners, tells one grand tale of loss: In 1990, he nearly went bankrupt and was forced to ask dozens of banks to whom he owed money to change the terms on their loans and forgive some of his debts.

It was, the real estate developer admits in his 1997 book The Art of the Comeback, the darkest period of his professional life. In his telling, it’s a story of redemption, of resilience, and proof of his exceptional negotiating skills and shrewd thinking.

Six people who participated in the loan workout negotiations have a different recollection, raising questions about a key part of the personal narrative that many of Trump’s supporters have found compelling as he campaigns to be the next president of the United States on Nov. 8. On the campaign trail he has portrayed himself as a survivor and a master negotiator.

Trump says his comeback began when he recognized a downturn in the real estate market and quickly asked banks to renegotiate his loans. “That decision was perhaps the smartest thing I did,” he wrote.

The six bankers and lawyers involved in the talks say the bailout wasn’t based on any overture Trump initiated with the banks – and the terms of the deal were dictated by what was best for the banks, not Trump.

Three of the participants say Trump didn’t acknowledge he had a problem until his lenders reviewed his books, realized he was on the brink of collapse, and summoned him for debt restructuring talks.

While much has been written about Trump’s financial troubles at the time, there has been little examination of his description of the bank negotiations in The Art of the Comeback, including his assertion that he chose to initiate those talks. ...

http://fortune.com/2016/07/17/trump-financial-comeback-story/
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
The following excerpt mentions a comment about dictatorial ambitions that Trump made to his fans at Mar a Lago during another 'light-hearted' rant against the Deep State actors, including Hillary and Dubya, and in praise of Xi Jinping's recent power grab. His comment, couched as a joke, ponders whether he should give that a try, using the 'royal we'll' as deniability. Or maybe he meant the royal 'weal'.

I did not find the video clip on Youtube, but it plays on the CNN link. One can hear that the adoring brownshirts loved it. As I have discussed before, such positioning is advanced Machiavellianism, in cynically using the inherent positions of those who hate such as the Clintons and Bushs to achieve one's goals.

...
In the closed-door remarks, a recording of which was obtained by CNN, Trump also praised China's President Xi Jinping for recently consolidating power and extending his potential tenure, musing he wouldn't mind making such a maneuver himself.

"He's now president for life. President for life. No, he's great," Trump said. "And look, he was able to do that. I think it's great. Maybe we'll have to give that a shot some day."
The remarks, delivered inside the ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago estate during a lunch and fundraiser, were upbeat, lengthy, and peppered with jokes and laughter. But Trump's words reflected his deeply felt resentment that his actions during the 2016 campaign remain under scrutiny while those of his former rival, Hillary Clinton, do not. ...

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/03/politics/trump-maralago-remarks/index.html
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Continuing on from the previous post, the following link claims positive Trump mentions of 9 dictators, but I only counted 8. The author mentions Ferdinand Marcos for context, but does not state that Trump had praised him. However, the article neglected to mention that Trump's first wife (Ivana Zelnickova, a Jew no less), asserted that Trump used to keep Hitler's Mein Kampf beside his bed.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/03/trump-xi-jinping-dictators/554810/

As I have asserted on other threads, this return to a state of autocracy fits the typological pattern of the implementation of the prior New World Order announced by Virgil in his famous 4th Eclogue, written announcing Octavian Augustus Caesar as the Prince of Peace, the creator of the Pax Romana. His predecessor, Julius Gaius Caesar, turned the Roman Republic into a dictatorship just before (with a nasty civil war in between of course). The hero of the people, the faux populist Julius, allegedly came to a sacrificial end, the numerous details of which typologically match that of the next JC rather remarkably well, the main difference perhaps being that the Jews of Rome were said to be the loudest in mourning at Julius's funeral.
 
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Richard Stanley

Administrator
It would be remiss of me, and grossly unfair to Trump to not acknowledge the previous long history of American support for authoritarian dictators. The following link briefly discusses 35 such countries we've supported since assuming the global mask of control from Great Britain after WWII. This is only the short list, as it does not include support for repressive monarchical regimes like Saudi Arabia and the Shah of Iran, all done for the sake of oil money, and/or to fend off the dialectic bogeyman of Communism. It also does not include pre-war support for similar, many as a consequence of the Spanish-American War, i.e. Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, etc..

Vietnam is mentioned, but indirectly. Besides supporting the assassination of Diem, we also supported the later President Nguyen Cao Ky who was previously the general in charge of the SV air force, ... and the leader of a heroin ring that sold heroin to American GIs supposedly defending his country.

https://www.alternet.org/world/35-countries-where-us-has-supported-fascists-druglords-and-terrorists
 
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Richard Stanley

Administrator
We had to know it was only going to get more lurid and crazy. Recordings of phone conversations by the oligarch Deripaska, by a Belarussian escort and apparent publicity seeker. Deripaska is the oligarch who Manafort owed millions to, and was taken to US Federal Court to recover the debt. Then, after Manafort went to work for the Trump campaign, the pressure to repay the debt was relaxed.

Anastasia Vashukevich, and her associate, are seeking asylum in Donald J. Trump's [sic] USA, so as not to return to Russia, where they don't feel safe in doing so. Donald J. Trump's personal State Department, run by crony Rex Tillerson (who almost had a $500 billion Exxon oil deal with Russia -- now under Obama sanctions BTW) runs the Trump's State Department. As such, AV might want to consider a different country for asylum, if possible. Heck, shoot for the Moon.

BANGKOK — A Belarusian escort with close ties to a powerful Russian oligarch said from behind bars in Bangkok on Monday that she had more than 16 hours of audio recordings that could help shed light on Russian meddling in United States elections.

The escort, Anastasia Vashukevich, said she would hand over the recordings if the United States granted her asylum. She faces criminal charges and deportation to Belarus after coming under suspicion of working in Thailand without a visa at a sex-training seminar in the city of Pattaya.

Ms. Vashukevich, who described herself as close to the Russian aluminum tycoon Oleg V. Deripaska, said that audio recordings she made in August 2016 included discussions he had about the United States presidential election with people she declined to identify.

Mr. Deripaska, a billionaire with close ties to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, also has business ties to Paul J. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman. Mr. Manafort is under investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel looking into the campaign’s connections to Russia.

“If America gives me protection, I will tell everything I know,” Ms. Vashukevich said on Monday. “I am afraid to go back to Russia. Some strange things can happen.”

Her assertion could be easy to disregard were it not for a 25-minute video investigation posted last month on YouTube by the Russian opposition figure Aleksei A. Navalny, which relies heavily on videos and photographs from Ms. Vashukevich. ...

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/05/world/asia/nastya-rybka-trump-putin.html

Related Coverage
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Maureen Dowd, my favorite red-head, gives us: "You know that's an illusion ..."

Excerpts from Dowd's riff on Trump's riff on Johnny River's The Snake.

...
“Oh, shut up, gullible woman,” said the reptile with a smile. “I can’t believe I fooled you all with my huckster’s guile.”

As she felt his venom coursing through her body, she moaned in despair, “We kept praying there would be pivots, but instead there were only divots.”

He gave a snakey shrug and said: “I’ve had the greatest first year with the biggest crowds and the best people of any president. I’ve certainly put to shame that disastrous previous resident.”

...
“Speaking of family, you want your son-in-law to run the world, but he can’t even get a security clearance. Unfortunately, to the law and his disclosure forms, Jared never gave adherence. Oh, what a dork. Given your interest in trade, you might want to export him back to New York and in him stick a fork.”

The woman mocked the snake even as the toxins won, reminding him that his coldblooded dad would not tolerate a loser as a son. “The Mueller net is growing tight with more convictions within reach, and now it probably won’t be long until you hear the word ‘impeach.’

“Papadopoulos, Flynn and now Gates have all flipped. How long can Manafort keep his lips zipped? Those Russian indictments show that Mueller is digging like mad, so the special counsel’s path could ultimately lead to Vlad. Sad!”

“Oh, daffy woman,” the snake hissed disdainfully. “You know that’s an illusion. As I like to say, THERE WAS NO COLLUSION.” ...

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/24/opinion/sunday/donald-trump-snake-dowd.html

If The Donald is our republic's Julius Caesar, and immanent dictator, does this mean that Jared is indeed the intended Octavian? Jared was given the 'impossible' Prince of Peace task of solving the Middle East issues, well over a thousand years old. But the Donald said that Jared was the only one that could succeed, as it was easy for him.

Maybe the Fix Is Indeed?
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
The following 17 minute interview with Sam Nunberg is pretty amazing, in a most bizarre way. Nunberg is a former protege of Roger Stone, long time legendary political trickster and lobbying business partner of Paul Manafort. Nunberg was also part of the early Trump campaign.

http://www.msnbc.com/katy-tur/watch/former-trump-aide-sam-nunberg-refusing-to-comply-with-mueller-subpoena-1177240643765

Nunberg is now refusing to cooperate with the Mueller investigation, after having just gone on media record the week before saying how professional the Mueller investigation seemed to be operating, from his time being interrogated by them. Nunberg has now been requested to turn over his emails with Roger Stone and a few others, and Nunberg has reversed course 180 degrees. Because, it will be too time consuming to go through his emails. It only takes a few minutes, using a thing called a computer, to sort through emails. However, we are talking about people who are well known to be highly shady in their domestic and foreign political operations. Nunberg admitted that he had started to look through his emails .... and then decided that this was a bad idea. Better to risk jail time and even more legal bills than comply.

Then, near the end, he admits that he thinks that Trump may have done something naughty, contradicting his statement earlier in the interview that Trump is correct in calling the whole thing a witch hunt. Well, which witch is it? There are real witches out there.

As Katy Tur, the interviewer, stated, it's all "unbelievable". Why would this corrupt Washington Swamp Idiot ever agree to such an interview?

From the just prior post I say "You know that's an illusion".
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
The following excerpt mentions a comment about dictatorial ambitions that Trump made to his fans at Mar a Lago during another 'light-hearted' rant against the Deep State actors, including Hillary and Dubya, and in praise of Xi Jinping's recent power grab. His comment, couched as a joke, ponders whether he should give that a try, using the 'royal we'll' as deniability. Or maybe he meant the royal 'weal'.

I did not find the video clip on Youtube, but it plays on the CNN link. One can hear that the adoring brownshirts loved it. As I have discussed before, such positioning is advanced Machiavellianism, in cynically using the inherent positions of those who hate such as the Clintons and Bushs to achieve one's goals.

...
In the closed-door remarks, a recording of which was obtained by CNN, Trump also praised China's President Xi Jinping for recently consolidating power and extending his potential tenure, musing he wouldn't mind making such a maneuver himself.

"He's now president for life. President for life. No, he's great," Trump said. "And look, he was able to do that. I think it's great. Maybe we'll have to give that a shot some day."
The remarks, delivered inside the ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago estate during a lunch and fundraiser, were upbeat, lengthy, and peppered with jokes and laughter. But Trump's words reflected his deeply felt resentment that his actions during the 2016 campaign remain under scrutiny while those of his former rival, Hillary Clinton, do not. ...

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/03/politics/trump-maralago-remarks/index.html
The following is an interesting 10 minute discussion about Trump's comment about Jinping's power grab.

http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/joe-trump-s-praise-of-xi-jinping-is-not-a-joke-1176899651803

Of course, they fail to mention some important context, such as the world is increasingly figuring out America's gross hypocrisy hidden under the Shining Beacon on a Hill.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
As Katy Tur, the interviewer, stated, it's all "unbelievable". Why would this corrupt Washington Swamp Idiot ever agree to such an interview?

From the just prior post I say "You know that's an illusion".
The Internet and general new media have gone bonkers over speculating about Sam Nunberg's insane media blitz 'performance' yesterday. The excerpted article below discusses 6 possibilities of what it was was about. The sixth may get closest to the real truth. The MSM is calculated by some to have given Trump somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 billion in free campaign coverage. Now Nunberg, a former munchkin of Roger Stone, decides to go on a somewhat incoherent media kvetching tour, complaining that he is being made to reveal emails that will show his and Roger Stone's innocence, while professing that he thinks that Trump did something wrong in this same theater.

Given Nunberg's protege relationship with dirty trickster Stone, it seems more likely that Nunberg is setting a pretext trap for Mueller. This would allow Trump to engage with his threat to shut down the special investigation as exceeding its original mandate, which Trump has been priming his loyal base with this persecution narrative. This persecution aspect was the subtext for Nunberg, who repeatedly voiced the complaint that he should not be subjected to such as waste of time. Numberg's 'persecution' can then easily be reflected onto Poor Liddle Trump.

If Trump is indeed planning to become like Xi Jinping, then he only needs to justify his actions to his base, as, by definition, the present constitutional government and the Liberal media will be moot once the Rubicon is crossed.

6. Cable-news organizations and the Trump world have a symbiotic relationship. To be sure, we’ve known this since the 2016 campaign, when the cable networks goosed their ratings by providing extensive coverage of Trump’s rallies. But it has seldom been as obvious as it was on Monday, when MSNBC and CNN kept showing Nunberg even when he appeared to be coming unglued, and when he was largely repeating statements that he had made earlier to the same networks. “Journalism folks - an ethics question,” Chip Stewart, a journalism professor at T.C.U., said on Twitter on Monday evening. “At what point in Sam Nunberg’s ill-advised afternoon do you turn off the cameras, or at least stop airing it live? - he’s clearly harming himself - he may not be mentally OK - he could be trolling you.” As far as cable-news executives are concerned, the answer to these questions is obvious: you never turn off the cameras. To quote my editor, Eric Lach: “Cable news’s purest form is self-immolation.”
https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/six-takeaways-from-sam-nunbergs-big-day-out
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
WTF? Am I missing something here?

President Donald Trump is pushing for a $1 billion reduction in China’s trade deficit with the U.S.

“China has been asked to develop a plan for the year of a One Billion Dollar reduction in their massive Trade Deficit with the United States,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

In 2017, the deficit between Chinese goods imported to the U.S. and American goods exported to China reached $375.2 billion — an 8 percent jump from $347 billion in 2016. Overall, the U.S. trade deficit rose 5 percent in January to $56.6 billion, marking the highest monthly level since October 2008 — a fact that Trump has largely attributed to a series of bad trade deals. ...

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/07/trump-china-trade-deficit-444164
 
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