Saturday, November 11, 2017

Last Call For The Void Of History

About 60,000 anti-Islam, anti-immigrant nationalists and fascists trooped through Warsaw on Saturday, marking Poland’s Independence Day in a striking display of right-wing strength.

For the event, the marchers chose the slogan “We Want God,” a phrase from a Polish religious song that was uttered by President Trump during his visit to Poland in July.

The march, organized by a Polish youth movement, drew extremists from around Europe. The Wall Street Journal reports that banners displayed slogans such as “White Europe,” Europe Will be White,” and “Clean Blood.” Al Jazeera reports that some of the marchers’ chants “directed expletives at refugees, leftists, liberal media outlets, and the U.S.”

As Poland’s government has veered hard to the right in recent years, the march has become the premier event every Independence Day, supplanting official commemorations in visibility. Poland’s government appears to be supportive of that development.

“It was a beautiful sight,” Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said. “We are proud that so many Poles have decided to take part in a celebration connected to the Independence Day holiday.”

November 2017 is starting to feel like November 1937, and that's not a good thing.

Not a good thing at all. 

The Tale Of A Lesser Moore, Con't

Alabama Republicans are scrambling to do something about accused pedophile Roy Moore being their state's next senator, with several (mostly male) state lawmakers weighing in to say Moore is fine and that he should run and win next month, no problem.  One Alabama Republican went as far to say that the women who brought up these allegations should be prosecuted and jailed.

Prominent Republicans are calling on Roy Moore to drop out of the Alabama Senate race after multiple women have come forward to accuse him of propositioning them when they were teens. But at least one conservative is in Moore’s corner: Alabama State Rep. Ed Henry.

Henry, who represents Hartselle in Cullen County, claims that if the allegations are true, his accusers deserve to be prosecuted for not reporting his actions sooner.

“If they believe this man is predatory, they are guilty of allowing him to exist for 40 years,” he told The Cullman Times on Thursday. “I think someone should prosecute and go after them. You can’t be a victim 40 years later, in my opinion.”

Republicans know this is another Todd Akin situation developing and they are willing to try anything in order to save themselves, and that means finding a way for current placeholder Sen. Luther Strange to win.

Some Senate Republicans have encouraged Mr. Strange — who lost to Mr. Moore in a bitterly contested Republican runoff election in September — to run as a write-in candidate, an option Mr. Strange is considering, according to Republicans who have spoken with him. But some Republicans believe he would do little more than play spoiler, ensuring either that Mr. Moore is elected by taking votes Mr. Jones would otherwise get or that the Democrat wins by siphoning support from Mr. Moore among Republicans seeking a palatable third option.

Mr. McConnell and Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, spoke with Mr. Strange about the prospect immediately after the Moore news broke on Thursday, according to Republicans familiar with the conversation. And Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who won re-election in 2010 as a write-in candidate, was planning to discuss logistics with Mr. Strange this weekend.

Asked Friday if he thought Mr. Strange should run as a write-in candidate, Mr. McConnell said only that “you’d have to ask Luther what his intentions are, given this development.”

Republicans in Washington and Alabama have also approached other potential candidates about a write-in effort, including Representative Robert B. Aderholt, a mainstream conservative from northern Alabama. But it is unclear that any prominent Republican will be willing to mount a wild-card campaign for the Senate unless Mr. Moore stands down first.

Absent Mr. Moore’s cooperation, Republicans in Washington have conferred with election lawyers to explore other long-shot options for replacing or marginalizing him, several of which would probably lead to a clash in court with Mr. Moore and his supporters.

But the manuevering is getting Byzantine for a reason.

One approach that Republicans are considering, according to people briefed on the deliberations, would involve asking Gov. Kay Ivey to order a new date for the election — sometime early next year — and giving the party time to ease Mr. Moore from the race.

Alabama election law requires candidates to withdraw at least 76 days before an election in order to be replaced on the ballot, a deadline Mr. Moore has already missed.

State law gives the governor broad authority to set the date of special elections, and Ms. Ivey, who is a Republican, already rescheduled the Senate election once, after inheriting the governor’s office in April when her predecessor, Robert Bentley, resigned in a sex and corruption scandal. Ms. Ivey’s advisers have not ruled out exercising that power again, according to Republicans in touch with her camp, but she has signaled that she would like reassurances of support from the White House before taking such an aggressive step.

Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist close to Mr. McConnell, said presidential intervention was needed to bring any order to the situation in Alabama. He suggested that President Trump could personally nudge Mr. Moore out of the race and back a write-in campaign by Mr. Strange, or perhaps Mr. Sessions, a popular figure with Alabama Republicans.

You catch that last part?

The part where Jeff Sessions runs a write-in campaign to get his old Senate seat back?

Now how many problems would THAT solve for Trump?  Sessions would no longer be Attorney General. Trump would have to appoint a new one.

One who would end the Mueller investigation and go after Clinton and the Democrats instead.

Stay tuned.  I think there's going to be some serious movement on this.

Russian To Judgment, Con't

On Friday the White House remarked that Donald Trump would not be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam because of "scheduling conflicts". Then all reporters were kicked out except for FOX News US state media.

Nearly all U.S. journalists covering U.S. President Donald Trump’s appearance at a major economic summit in Vietnam were barred from attending key events Friday and Saturday, including photo-ops featuring interactions between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The small group of U.S.-based reporters who track Trump’s movements abroad, known as the travel pool, was largely relegated to a holding room on Saturday while nearly two dozen world leaders posed for photographs and mingled at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Danang.

A Fox News video crew and an official White House photographer were granted access to the meetings. Fox was the news organization that was tasked with providing pool video to other news outlets. But the rest of the pool reporters, including independent photographers from U.S. news organizations, were blocked from covering the event.

A similar situation unfolded Friday night, when planned coverage of an APEC dinner with Trump and other leaders was scrapped, leaving print reporters, photographers and other members of the pool without the ability to cover the event.

New York Times Photographer Doug Mills, who is traveling with the president as part of the pool, tweeted his frustration at the lack of access, with an image of a black square attached. “This what our APEC Summit photo coverage looks today (sic) in Da Nang Vietnam. Blank. No coverage by the White House Travel Pool photographers traveling with @realDonaldTrump.”

The White House said it asked for more access for pool reporters, but was denied.

“We have been negotiating since the pre-advance and have made progress on almost every event for this swing,” Michelle Meadows, a White House official helping to organize the trip, told reporters in an email Friday when asked why they were not given access to the event. “We ALWAYS ask for the full Pool to have access but we do not always get what we want.”

Which naturally meant Trump met with Putin and didn't want the world to know.  Afterwards we got some very strong and very curious statements from both men.  First, US and Russia joint military cooperation in Syria will continue pretty much forever.

President Vladimir Putin and U.S. leader Donald Trump agreed to support a political reconciliation in Syria with the participation of Bashar el-Assad while maintaining the existing two-nation communication channels used to fight Islamic State.

The leaders are satisfied with the “successful U.S.-Russia” military efforts that have “dramatically accelerated” the group’s battlefield losses, according to a joint statement issued after the leaders met briefly on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam.

“These efforts will continue until the final defeat of Islamic State,” according to the statement. A U.S. official who requested anonymity said the joint statement shows both leaders back a political solution and peace process.

We're currently giving Moscow an effectively permanent military foothold in the Middle East and helping them do it, giving Putin military ground access to Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Israel and of course Lebanon, the current Saudi-Iran flashpoint.  Oh, and Moscow's money laundering capital of Cyprus is just 150 miles off the coast of Syria.  Vlad couldn't ask for a better base of operations.

He's got us cold, so he's feeling pretty confident, enough to publicly accuse the Democrats of making up the entire Mueller investigation.

An alleged link between U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Russia is being fabricated by Trump’s opponents as a weapon against Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday.

Reports that Putin’s relatives were involved in contacts with Trump administration were untrue, Putin told a briefing at the end of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam. 

And here's the kicker - Trump not only copped to meeting with Putin, Trump of course believes him 100%.

While agreeing to renew peace efforts in Syria, President Trump said Saturday that Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin denied interfering in the 2016 election.

President Trump confirmed the agreement, telling reporters that he and Putin had "two or three very short conversations," in which they largely discussed Syria — though he said Putin also denied Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

He said he didn't meddle,” Trump said. “He said he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did." 

In fact on the way home from Vietnam Trump attacked his own intelligence agencies. Again.

President Trump on Saturday lashed out at U.S. intelligence leaders for their conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, calling them “political hacks” and slamming the investigations into Russian interference as a “Democratic hit job.”

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump blasted former U.S. intelligence officials by name, including former CIA director John Brennan, former director of national intelligence James Clapper and former FBI Director James Comey."I mean, give me a break, they are political hacks," Trump said, according to CNN
"So you look at it, I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey. Comey is proven now to be a liar and he is proven now to be a leaker.”

“So you look at that and you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with them," he continued, referring to the Russian president.

Trump said that the investigation into Russian interference in the election was a “Democratic-inspired thing” and a “pure hit job."

If there's somehow any doubt that Moscow has metric craptons of compromising information on Trump, well understand that Putin is now in charge of our Syria policy and the Justice Department for starters.

Meanwhile here stateside, as many people suspected, the "senior policy adviser" in Robert Mueller's announcement of George Papadapoulos's guilty plea is Trump's Nazi buddy Stephen Miller.

At midday on March 24, 2016, an improbable group gathered in a London cafe to discuss setting up a meeting between Donald J. Trump, then a candidate, and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

There was George Papadopoulos, a 28-year-old from Chicago with an inflated résumé who just days earlier had been publicly named as a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trump’s campaign. There was Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic in his mid-50s with a faltering career who boasted of having high-level contacts in the Russian government.

And, perhaps most mysteriously, there was Olga Polonskaya, a 30-year-old Russian from St. Petersburg and the former manager of a wine distribution company. Mr. Mifsud introduced her to Mr. Papadopoulos as Mr. Putin’s niece, according to court papers. Mr. Putin has no niece.

The interactions between the three players and a fourth man with contacts inside Russia’s Foreign Ministry have become a central part of the inquiry by the special prosecutor, Robert S. Mueller III, into the Kremlin’s efforts to interfere with the presidential election. Recently released court documents suggest that the F.B.I. suspected that some of the people who showed interest in Mr. Papadopoulos were participants in a Russian intelligence operation.

The March 2016 meeting was followed by a breakfast the next month at a London hotel during which Mr. Mifsud revealed to Mr. Papadopoulos that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” That was months before the theft of a trove of emails from the Democratic National Committee by Russian-sponsored hackers became public.

Mr. Mueller’s investigators are seeking to determine who — if anyone — in the Trump campaign Mr. Papadopoulos told about the stolen emails. Although there is no evidence that Mr. Papadopoulos emailed that information to the campaign, Mr. Papadopoulos was in regular contact that spring with top campaign officials, including Stephen Miller, now a senior adviser to President Trump, according to interviews and campaign documents reviewed by The New York Times.

The revelations about Mr. Papadopoulos’s activities are part of a series of disclosures in the past two weeks about communications between Trump campaign advisers and Russian officials or self-described intermediaries for the Russian government. Taken together, they show not only that the contacts were more extensive than previously known, but also that senior campaign officials were aware of them.

Miller is still in the White House.  I don't think that will be the case much longer.

Have a nice day.

Meanwhile, In Minnesota...

Our old friends the Three Percenters are back in the news, and they're ready for The Second Civil War (which they are totally not trying to cause, you guys.)

Joshua Raider is a commanding officer in the United Patriots of Minnesota 3% and one of the few willing to talk about the movement publicly. He said people told him not to do an interview. His brother video-taped the conversation between Raider and the Fox 9 Investigators.

When asked what the group stands for he replied: “Protecting community, gun rights, the 2nd amendment, that kind of stuff. Pretty straight up stuff.” 
The name, 3 Percenters, comes from the American Revolution, a belief, long-disputed, that only three percent of the colonists took up arms against England.

The 3 Percenters share ideological DNA with other right wing extremist groups, like the Posse Comitatus, The Oath Keepers, and Sovereign Citizens, and especially the militia and patriot movements.

The group, about 400 members strong, has become social media savvy, spreading their message and sharing pictures on Facebook.

3 Percenters have regular training exercises around the country, like this one in Colorado. They say they’re preparing for natural disasters, a terror attack or if everything goes to hell. One of the participants said there were people from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado taking part in the training. 
I think our country is possibly heading toward civil war,” said Raider. 
When asked if the groups are racists he said: “I disagree with the white supremacist movement. I disagree with the black supremacist movement.” 
“We do not accept hate mongering in our group,” he added. 
According to Raider, their members in Minnesota come from all walks of life, including law enforcement, but he also admits they’ve had a few bad apples.

“I run into nuts here and there who try to join our group. You have to weed them out right off the bat,” he said. “Obviously no one thought to check out Jason Thomas.” 
Jason Thomas was the leader of the 3 Percenters in Minnesota, until his home in Red Wing was raided by the FBI earlier this year.

“Simply just to protect civilian population from man-made and natural threats,” he told the Fox 9 Investigators. 
When asked if the government is a man-made threat he replied, “Yes, governments have historically killed more of their people than anyone else.” 
According to a previously sealed search warrant, the FBI considers the Minnesota 3 Percenters a “militia group which believes in the violent resistance to or intended overthrow of the U.S. Government.” 
“I don’t know why they’re targeting us, just the ideology we have,” said Thomas. 
The FBI said it was also what Thomas wrote on Facebook: “I can guaranty (sic) you that I’ll be one of the first to start killing feds…. And am actually trying to build up our capacity to challenge them” (March 12, 2016). 
When asked if he meant federal agents he replied, “can’t comment on that”.

Just because Obama is no longer president doesn't mean that militia groups have gone away.  It just means the FBI and the media isn't watching them as closely.

I guarantee you though that as soon as removing Trump from office becomes a real option, these guys are going to be the first to say that if Trump goes, so do the safeties on their weapons.

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