Monday, October 2, 2017

Last Call For Russian To Judgment, Con't

The Trump regime is turning over documents on Trump's Russian contacts and surprise!  Turns out that the White House has been lying again about the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, yet again. This time it's Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in the hot seat.

Associates of President Trump and his company have turned over documents to federal investigators that reveal two previously unreported contacts from Russia during the 2016 campaign, according to people familiar with the matter. 
In one case, Trump’s personal attorney and a business associate exchanged emails weeks before the Republican National Convention about the lawyer traveling to an economic conference in Russia that would be attended by top Russian financial and government leaders, including President Vladi­mir Putin, according to people familiar with the correspondence. 
In the other case, the same Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, received a proposal in late 2015 for a Moscow residential project from a company founded by a billionaire who once served in the Russian Senate, these people said. The previously unreported inquiry marks the second proposal for a Trump-branded Moscow project that was delivered to the company during the presidential campaign and has since come to light
Cohen declined the invitation to the economic conference, citing the difficulty of attending so close to the GOP convention, according to people familiar with the matter. And Cohen rejected the Moscow building plan. 
Nonetheless, the information about the interactions has been provided to congressional committees as well as special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as they investigate whether Trump associates coordinated with Russian efforts to interfere in the U.S. election, according to people familiar with the inquiries who, like others cited in this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the inquiry. 
Details of the communications were turned over by the Trump Organization in recent days to the White House, defense lawyers and government investigators and described to The Washington Post. 
Though there is no evidence that these Russia-related entreaties resulted in further action, the email communications about them show that Trump’s inner circle continued receiving requests from Russians deep into the presidential campaign.

In other words, the Trump organization had no problem with listening to "requests" from Putin's circle of Russian oligarchs for the purpose of putting a Trump Tower in Moscow.  It really is all about greed with these guys, pure, unadulterated avarice.

Trump sold our country for a goddamn chunk of prime Moscow real estate, but hey, the Russians had some help, and that was from an all too eager Silicon Valley who wanted in on the presidential ad campaign millions.  Turns out that Vlad and friends know a little something about catapulting the propaganda, and they were more than happy to use social media to do it.

Russian operatives set up an array of misleading Web sites and social media pages to identify American voters susceptible to propaganda, then used a powerful Facebook tool to repeatedly send them messages designed to influence their political behavior, say people familiar with the investigation into foreign meddling in the U.S. election.

The tactic resembles what American businesses and political campaigns have been doing in recent years to deliver messages to potentially interested people online. The Russians exploited this system by creating English-language sites and Facebook pages that closely mimicked those created by U.S. political activists.

The Web sites and Facebook pages displayed ads or other messages focused on such hot-button issues as illegal immigration, African American political activism and the rising prominence of Muslims in the United States. The Russian operatives then used a Facebook “retargeting” tool, called Custom Audiences, to send specific ads and messages to voters who had visited those sites, say people familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details from an ongoing investigation.

People caught up in this web of tracking and disinformation would have had no indication that they had been singled out or that the ads came from Russians.

One such ad featured photographs of an armed black woman “dry firing” a rifle — pulling the trigger of the weapon without a bullet in the chamber — the people familiar with the investigation said.

Investigators believe the advertisement may have been designed to encourage African American militancy and, at the same time, to stoke fears within white communities, the people said. But the precise purpose of the ad remains unclear to investigators, the people said.

Another showed an image of Democrat Hillary Clinton behind what appeared to be prison bars.

A Facebook spokesman declined to comment on Russia’s exploitation of the Custom Audiences system. Facebook officials have previously said that they were caught off guard by the Russian propaganda campaign because the accounts, pages and ads appeared to be legitimate.
In addition to Custom Audiences, Russian operatives used other Facebook tools to target groups by demographics, geography, gender and interests, according to the people familiar with the investigation. The Custom Audiences tool differs because it allows advertisers to feed into Facebook’s systems a specific list of users they want to target. 

You mean exploiting technology to micro-target your message directly to the people most susceptible to that message has a dark side?  Gosh, who knew.

Ahh, but the Russians were more than eager to lead us down the path of destruction, after all were more than happy to follow the trail of blood where their propaganda led America.

And now we have Trump.

Another Day In Gunmerica

The death toll from last night's domestic terrorist attack in Las Vegas is now 58 with at least 400 injured, and over in the House, Republicans are hoping you won't notice two pro-gun bills they're trying to pass, because what we really need is more lethal guns in more places.

The House could pass legislation as early as this week that would roll back decades-old restrictions on gun silencers, opening up the market for a device that critics say would make it difficult in a mass shooting to detect where gunfire is coming from.

The House is also expected to move this fall on separate legislation that would allow people to carry their legally concealed weapons across state lines into jurisdictions, such as California, that tightly restrict weapons concealment.

The silencer measure is part of the Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, a broad-ranging gun bill delayed in June after House GOP Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and two Capitol Hill police officers were wounded by a gunman who opened fire on a congressional baseball practice session. 
Critics say silencers — called noise suppressors by supporters and heavily regulated by the federal government for more than eight decades — would make it harder for police officers to locate a shooter in an attack. 
“What it does is it disperses the sound, so you can’t identify where the sound is coming from,” said Rep. Mike Thompson, a St. Helena Democrat and avid hunter who opposes the bill. “It puts both law enforcement and the public at risk.” 
But Republicans say the provision, called the Hearing Protection Act, doesn’t really silence the sound of gunfire, only diminishes it enough to shield hunters and recreational shooters from hearing damage. 
“It isn’t a silencer because it still makes sound, but what it does is cuts the percentage of the noise down to make shooting sports a little nicer for people’s hearing,” said Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale (Butte County). 
“There’s a lot of false narrative being driven by this,” he said. “Anything to do with making guns more available or more convenient for people is going to find opposition by the left.”

Sure, because the real problem is hunters shouldn't have to wear ear protection.  Jesus wept.

Oh, and the bill would basically trash the Endangered Species Act by allowing more types of weapons to be used to hunt on federal land, and more animals to be hunted.  Even cops hate this silencer bill, but apparently this is one of those situations where cops are dirty government union employees and not cops, because what America really needs right now is more silencers.

Oh well.  Just another day in Gunmerica.

CHIP Off The Old Blockheads

While Republicans were busy trying to take health care coverage away from tens of millions over the last week, their incompetence actually did accomplish something: they took away health coverage from 9 million kids as federal funding for CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Program, expired Saturday night.

Congress just allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provided low-cost health insurance to 9 million children, to expire.

If action is not taken soon to restore the funding, the effects will become obvious in schools across the country, with many of the children in the program unable to see a doctor for routine checkups, immunizations, visits when sick and other services.

The program, created under a 1997 law passed with bipartisan support during the administration of President Bill Clinton, provided coverage for children in families with low and moderate incomes as well as to pregnant women. It was instrumental in lowering the percentage of children who were uninsured from nearly 14 percent when it started to 4.5 percent in 2015. It was last reauthorized in 2015 and was due to be renewed by Sept. 30, 2017.

Amid unsuccessful efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the Republican-led Congress allowed the CHIP deadline to pass without action.

The program was primarily funded by the federal government, with states paying a good deal less. States still have some CHIP money available, but if Congress does not act quickly to restore the program, they will start to run out. Several states and the District of Columbia are expected to drain CHIP funding by the end of this year and many more by March 2018, according to this government report.

There doesn't seem to be any effort by the GOP to want to restore CHIP funding either, but hey, playing with the lives of millions of kids in order to get political leverage sure makes things fun, right?

Again, CHIP covered basic services like checkups, dental services, immunization and emergency services for kids from families that needed the most help.  It was very successful and helped a generation of young people over the last 20 years.

Right now it's broke, and there's zero urgency from Republicans in Congress to get anything done to reauthorize the program.  None.

As I've said numerous times, Trump is far from the only monster leading our government right now.


Related Posts with Thumbnails