do ya head in

The war in East Lebanon
As’ad AbuKhalil, Angry Arab (Blog), Jul 21 2017

Do you have doubt that in the war between Hizbullah-Lebanese Army against AQ-Daesh, that the Western correspondents in Beirut are cheering AQ?

Pindo liberation of other countries continue unabated
As’ad AbuKhalil, Angry Arab (Blog), Jul 21 2017

DFRYdm5XUAAm2fK.jpg-large

Pindosi invasion of Syria
As’ad AbuKhalil, Angry Arab (Blog), Jul 21 2017

The list published by the Anadolu news agency points to a Pindosi presence from one end to the other of the Kurdish self-administration region, a distance of more than 200 miles. (thanks Amir)

Western correspondents in Beirut can’t stop weeping
As’ad AbuKhalil, Angry Arab (Blog), Jul 21 2017

“Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria”

A propaganda blitz for Israel in Pindo media
As’ad AbuKhalil, Angry Arab (Blog), Jul 21 2017

So Israel summoned the Western media and told them that it is humanitarian and shipping aid to Syrians near the border with Golan. Of course, in such cases, all Pindosi media oblige and report verbatim what they are fed by Israeli professional propagandists. This reminds me of how Pindosi media reported Israeli role in the Lebanese civil war. Reporters back then were less misinformed and less pro-Israel. Israel would report that it is delivering aid to the “Security Zone” near the border with Lebanon, while not reporting to the press about its shipment of bombs and arms to the right-wing death squads of Lebanon. Look how NYT and WaPo reported the same Israeli propaganda talking points.

Crimes of Toads, like crimes of Israel, are casually reported and in passing
As’ad AbuKhalil, Angry Arab (Blog), Jul 21 2017

This is the WaPo:

The Toad-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen prevented a UN flight carrying aid agency staff from traveling to the Houthi-controlled capital, Sanaa, on Tuesday because three international journalists also were aboard, aviation officials said

Can you imagine the uproar if this was an anti-Pindosi regime? HRW would have released four reports on this incident.

A man who lived in China and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese is appointed ambassador in…Russia
As’ad AbuKhalil, Angry Arab (Blog), Jul 21 2017

Jon Huntsman as ambassador to Russia.

What happened on UAE and Toad Twitter and Facebook accounts has been unprecedented
As’ad AbuKhalil, Angry Arab (Blog), Jul 21 2017

Basically, while Western media continue to coverup abuses and tyranny in Gulf countries, UAE and Saudi Arabia managed to silence every single Twitter and Facebook account except the vulgar and cheerleaders of the despots.  When Sultan al-Qassemi becomes silent on social media, you know the extent of repression.

How China takes dissent on the internet? David Ignatius speaks
As’ad AbuKhalil, Angry Arab (Blog), Jul 21 2017

Of course, Ignatius would not report on the same phenomenon by his friends, the ruling tyrants of the Gulf.

NYT’s Ben Hubbard and his deep knowledge of Saudi Arabia
As’ad AbuKhalil, Angry Arab (Blog), Jul 21 2017

An article on Wednesday about infighting among members of the Toad royal family misstated the relationship between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. Mohammed bin Salman is Mohammed bin Nayef’s cousin, not his nephew. (Thanks Basim)

Western media are clueless: you don’t think that Western embassies in the ME do the same to Arab visa applicants?
As’ad AbuKhalil, Angry Arab (Blog), Jul 21 2017

Here the Telegraph:

Russia wants to see your salary and social media accounts before letting you visit …

bourgeois motherfuckers

Brexit crisis tearing apart British Conservative Party
Chris Marsden, WSWS, Jul 22 2017

This week’s talks on the terms of Britain leaving the EU largely proceeded in the absence of one of the key negotiators. Brexit Minister David Davis met for one hour with the EU negotiator Michael Barnier Monday, before flying back to the UK and then returning for a brief discussion and joint press conference Thursday. At the conference, Barnier condemned Davis for a “lack of clarity” on the UK position on key issues, above all the so-called “divorce settlement” and the future status of EU nationals. Clarification is “indispensable,” Barnier declared, while Davis spoke of “robust” discussions and compromise on both sides. Barnier replied that the EU is not in a game of making concessions. Davis could do little but stall, because he represents a government that is in the middle of bitter factional infighting over Brexit. Indeed, the leading Brexiteer went back to the UK to hear Prime Minister Theresa May warn against briefing and leaks against cabinet colleagues by their factional opponents. Since her disastrous political miscalculation in calling June’s snap general election, the vultures have been circling over May, who is almost certain to face a leadership challenge in the autumn. The delay in deposing her is in large part due to concern that a precipitous move might hasten a fresh general election, amid warnings that Labour might win it. However, it is Brexit that underpins the political paralysis of the government. The days leading up to the latest round of negotiations saw leaks against Chancellor Philip Hammond, that he had called public sector workers “overpaid” and made sexist comments at a function. The feigned outrage was motivated by Hammond’s advocacy of a “soft Brexit,” including maintaining access to the Single Market and urging a two-year disengagement process. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who said the EU can “go whistle” for a settlement, and Michael Gove, the leading pro-Brexit Tories along with Davis, are accused of authoring the leaks. A senior Tory said:

Everyone knows it’s them behind the briefing against Philip and it’s all to do with Brexit. They are so obsessed with a hard Brexit that they are prepared to run the economy off a cliff. In addition, they do not like the fact that Philip is pointing out that we will deservedly lose the next election if we do that. They are dangerous and deranged.

The “Brexiteers” are no more diplomatic, with one telling the Daily Telegraph:

What’s really going on is that the establishment, the Treasury, is trying to fuck it up. They want to frustrate Brexit.

There is no honour among thieves. Michael Gove’s former aide, Dominic Cummings, who now backs Johnson, said that preventing an implosion is now the main argument in the party for keeping May in office. He stated of Davis:

He’s as thick as mince, lazy as a toad, and vain as Narcissus. That’s why we have to keep Theresa there. Otherwise the whole thing will fall apart.

With reports of a letter of no confidence in May circulating among MPs and 30 reported to be backing Davis, three senior members of the influential 1922 Committee of backbench MPs said they would support May in taking disciplinary action. May duly issued her warnings, while Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told the Policy Exchange think-tank:

I think we in the cabinet would also do well to reflect on those military virtues, loyalty, discipline, cohesion, that might better enable us first to concentrate our fire on a dangerous enemy in reach of Downing Street, somebody who would lower our defences, scrap our deterrent, and weaken our response to terrorism.

In reality, May’s threats are toothless, with former Deputy PM and leading Europhile Michael Heseltine stating:

She can’t sack leading Brexiteers, because she has no authority, so you have an enfeebled government, and everybody knows this… The Europeans have worked it all out. This is a government without authority.

Hammond is in tune with the concerns of leading sections of big business, who recognise the UK’s weakened position against its imperialist rivals. According to PwC’s UK Economic Outlook, GDP is expected to drop from 1.8% growth last year to 1.5% in 2017 and to 1.4% in 2018. Pay levels continue to fall, even as inflation continues to rise to near 3% with house prices rising even faster, threatening an end to the consumer spending-driven growth. Deloitte, the Institute of Directors, and the CBI have all recently warned of the damaging impact of Brexit or Brexit “uncertainty”. A CBI survey suggested that 42% of UK firms believe Brexit has hurt their investment plans. Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the CBI business lobby group, said:

That’s why the CBI has suggested staying in the single market and a customs union until a final deal comes.

One report after another complains of delegations from Germany, France, Switzerland and Ireland seeking to poach business from the City of London. Hammond has even reached out to the Labour Party. Blairite Labour MP Chris Leslie said that his pushing for a longer transitional period maintaining close economic ties with the EU was “welcome news” and “might be able to secure a lot of support on all sides of the House.” In reply, Hammond welcomed “any opportunity to build consensus across the House and across the nation.” Such overtures point to a possible political realignment to rescue the bourgeoisie from the crisis it faces. In the Financial Times, Gideon Rachman suggested that “revelatory moments in the next two years” would “create a clear demand for a second vote” because the “vision of a pain-free Brexit was an illusion.” He added:

The sheer incompetence and infighting of the current May government can also be relied upon to undermine the case for Brexit on a weekly basis.

Brexit was advanced by the Tory right as a way of liberating the City of London from the restraints placed on it by its rivals Germany and France. Instead, it has exposed the underlying economic and political decline of British imperialism. Those in ruling circles who opposed Brexit, and saw preserving Britain’s place in Europe’s trade block as vital, want to reverse the disastrous outcome of last year’s referendum. However, the inter-imperialist tensions that gave rise to Brexit have only deepened. It is not merely that Berlin and Paris will now only accept London back on the most humiliating terms. The stepped-up pursuit of economic, political and military integration led by Berlin to strengthen Europe’s hand against Pindostan risks closing the door to even this possibility. Moreover, Europe itself only appears strong in contrast to the UK. It is rent by deepening political and social tensions that would blow up in the event of any serious downturn in the global economy. Politically, the Tory Party appears broken. Labour’s pro-business ‘Soft Brexit’ agenda should be an attractive alternative, but a Corbyn-led government remains anathema to those who fear that his anti-austerity rhetoric will spark genuine opposition in the working class. This is why Labour is still in the midst of a civil war that many in ruling circles hope will produce a new, pro-EU party or coalition. Political turmoil and economic dislocation has dramatically undermined the authority of Britain’s rulers, not only in Brussels but also in the eyes of millions of workers, offered only further austerity from the pro and anti-EU wings of the bourgeoisie alike. As indicated by the reaction to the Grenfell Fire, the situation is becoming ever more politically and socially explosive.

hit me with some analysis, boys

White House in turmoil as special counsel expands Russia probe
Barry Grey, WSWS, Jul 22 2017

Amid reports that Mueller is expanding his investigation into alleged Russian interference in the elections and collusion by the Trump campaign, the intensifying conflict within the Pindo ruling class and state is bringing long-simmering conflicts within the Trump administration to the boiling point. The internal crisis erupted Friday with the resignation of Sean Spicer. This followed by one day the resignation of the chief spox for Pres Trump’s outside legal team, Mark Corallo, and the demotion of the lead attorney, Marc Kasowitz. These developments came after Trump’s extraordinary interview with the NYT, in which the president denounced AG Sessions for recusing himself in the Russia probe, and criticized the deputy AG and acting head of the FBI, then went on to accuse Mueller of conflicts of interest and attack his decision to investigate his business dealings as well as those of family members and close associates as a “violation” of the special counsel’s mandate. Insiders suggested that Trump was seeking to create a justification for firing Mueller, prompting the LA Times to editorialize in favor of impeachment should that occur. Spicer’s resignation was triggered by Trump’s appointment of Anthony Scaramucci, a multi-millionaire Wall Street hedge fund operator, former Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers banker and Fox News commentator, as White House communications director. Spicer, who had been filling that role since the resignation last May of Mike Dubke, vehemently opposed Scaramucci’s appointment, according to multiple media reports. In this he was joined by White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief White House political adviser Stephen Bannon. Aligned against them and pushing for Scaramucci’s appointment were Ivanka and Jared. Priebus, the former chairman of the RNC, had a long association with Spicer, who served as the RNC’s spox. He brought Spicer into the White House. While Priebus declared his support for Scaramucci following the announcement of his appointment, Priebus’s own position is increasingly problematic and his departure is widely considered only a matter of time.

With the elevation by Trump of a fellow member of the Wall Street kleptocracy to head White House communications, the billionaire president is increasingly narrowing his circle to fellow oligarchs and close family and distancing himself from the Thug party establishment. This appears to coincide with a decision to adopt a more aggressive posture toward Mueller. Mark Corralo, the legal spox who resigned on Thursday, was known to have opposed public criticism of the special counsel. Both the WaPo and the NYT escalated the factional warfare against the White House on Friday with front page reports, citing anonymous administration sources, of efforts by Trump lawyers to document conflicts of interest within Mueller’s team of prosecutors. The Post reported that Trump is making inquiries about his powers to pardon potential targets of the investigation, including himself. These actions are in response to aggressive moves by Mueller to expand his probe. On Thursday, Bloomberg News reported that Mueller’s team is looking into Trump business operations going back a number of years and has subpoenaed banks for Trump’s financial records. Media reports say Trump is particularly agitated over the likelihood that Mueller will obtain his tax returns, which the president has refused to release to the public. Parallel investigations by congressional committees are also expanding. On Monday, Kushner is scheduled to be interviewed in private by the Senate Intelligence Committee on the meeting held in Jun 2016 involving him, Donald Jr, Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin as well as other prominent Russians. The Senate Judiciary Committee has summoned Trump Jr and Manafort to testify in a public session next Wednesday to discuss the meeting, and the Thug chairman, Charles Grassley, has said he will subpoena them if they balk at appearing. It was also reported Friday that Mueller instructed the White House and the Trump campaign members who attended the Jun 2016 meeting to preserve all records relating to it.

It is increasingly unlikely that the factional battle within the ruling class will end in a peaceful compromise. There are powerful sections of the corporate-financial elite who would like to see Trump removed, but are not sure how to do it and fearful of the implications. At the same time, the longer the impasse drags on, the greater the dangers. At some point, the political crisis will trigger an implosion of the massively inflated financial markets, plunging world capitalism into an even deeper crisis than that of Sep 2008. And the longer the political warfare in Faschingstein continues, the greater the danger that it will provide an opening for the pent-up anger and frustration of the working class to explode into mass struggle. This is a crisis of class rule without historical precedent. It unfolds against the backdrop, and is fueled by, intensifying economic, social and geopolitical crises. World capitalism remains mired in economic stagnation, intensifying the descent into trade war and, ultimately, military conflict among the major powers. Militarism and war are on rise in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and the Pentagon is operating without any civilian restraint. Class tensions are rising in parallel with relentless austerity and growing social inequality. Global Pindo hegemony is breaking down. Large sections of the ruling elite are appalled and frightened by the growing isolation of Pindostan in the affairs of world imperialism, as demonstrated at the recent G20 summit in Germany. And at the summit of the state, the White House is occupied by an outright gangster, the product and embodiment of the degraded and criminal state of bourgeois political culture. In Trump, the ruling class confronts a nightmare of its own making, a would-be Bonaparte who has brought into the White House the mafia methods he employs in his business operations. Scaramucci summed up the outlook of the oligarchy both he and Trump represent when on Friday, at his first White House press briefing, he wished Spicer well and said:

I hope he goes on to make a tremendous amount of money.

Nor is there the slightest progressive or democratic content to the anti-Trump opposition of the Demagog Party and major media outlets, in alliance with the intelligence agencies. The Demagogs are not conducting a struggle against Trump’s brutal social attacks or his onslaught on immigrants and democratic rights. They are entirely focused on their hysterical campaign against Russia, attacking Trump for refusing to prioritize and intensify the warmongering drive against Moscow initiated by the Obama administration. They demand an escalation of the war for regime change in Syria and the military confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia in Eastern Europe. At the same time, Trump’s ruling-class opponents are concerned over the new administration’s open and unabashed corruption, fearing that Trump is subordinating the basic geopolitical interests of Pindo imperialism to his own business interests and those of his family. It is imperative that the working class take advantage of the political crisis to intervene independently in defense of its own interests, for jobs, health care, education, immigrant and democratic rights, and peace, against both factions of the ruling elite. It must not allow its opposition to Trump to be channeled behind the Demagog Party. There is a real danger that Trump will respond to the isolation of his administration by escalating the ongoing wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan or initiating new ones to channel political and social opposition against a foreign “enemy” and undercut his ruling-class opponents. Without a revival of working-class struggle on the basis of a socialist program in opposition to the entire economic and political system, the outcome of the crisis, whoever is president, will be a further shift to dictatorial methods of rule and an expansion of militarism and war. The conditions for such a struggle are rapidly maturing.

Trump pulls plug on CIA’s Syrian “revolution”
Bill Van Auken, WSWS, Jul 22 2017

The news first reported by the WaPo on Jul 19, that the Trump administration is winding up a five-year-old, formally covert CIA operation to train, arm and even pay the salaries of Islamist militias in Syria, has further fueled the ferocious political war in Faschingstein over allegations of “collusion” between Trump and Moscow. Walnuts McCain issued a statement from Arizona, where he is recovering from surgery related to brain cancer, saying:

Any concession to Russia, absent a broader strategy for Syria, is irresponsible and short-sighted.

A more hysterical denunciation came from WaPo columnist and former chief speechwriter for Bush 43, Michael Gerson (Presbyterian of Jewish descent – RB), who accused Trump of carrying out a “complete surrender to Russian interests in Syria” and acting “precisely as though he has been bought and sold by a strategic rival” with his “ignoble cutoff of aid to Pindo proxies.” The claims that cutting off the spigot of arms and money to the so-called “rebels” in Syria represents some kind of a strategic capitulation to Russia are ludicrous. The decision, reportedly taken by Trump together with McMaster and Pompeo in advance of the G20 summit in Hamburg, was a foregone conclusion. What used to be referred to as the FSA has ceased to play any major role in Syria. Syrian government forces, backed by Iranian-aligned militias and Russian air support, have driven the “rebels” out of every major urban center and into the rural areas of Idlib province, where they have been engaged in bitter internecine combat against each other. The government’s retaking of eastern Aleppo in Dece 2016 spelled the final debacle for the Pindosi war for regime change using CIA-backed Jihadis as proxies. This criminal strategy was initiated in the wake of the 2011 war for regime change in Libya which ended in the lynch-mob murder of Muammar Gaddafi (by public sodomizing to death with a bayonet, on video shown to our sweet mother of god hillary, who responded with giggles – RB). Islamist fighters and huge quantities of weapons were funneled from the eastern Libyan port city of Benghazi into Syria.

By 2013, this had turned into what one boxtop described to the NYT as a “cataract of weaponry,” poured into Syria by the CIA, working with the Toads and the other right-wing Gulf oil monarchies and Turkey. Tens of thousands of Jihadis were also funneled in to wage a bloody sectarian civil war whose victims now number in the hundreds of thousands of dead and millions of displaced refugees. Some of these same elements, whose crossing of international borders was facilitated by Western intelligence agencies, returned to carry out terrorist attacks in Europe. The CIA claimed to have “vetted” some 40 “moderate rebel” militias deserving of arms and money. In reality, most of these groups were largely indistinguishable from Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian AQ affiliate, or surrendered their Pindosi weapons to it. The defeat of the CIA-backed “rebels” was a function not merely of the increased firepower supplied by Russia and Iran, but of the hostility toward these militias on the part of broad layers of the Syrian population, which viewed the Assad regime, despite its repression and corruption, as the lesser evil. Contrary to the propaganda put out by the State Dept and its pseudo-left apologists, the rebels were not the champions of some struggle for democracy or “revolution” but rather right-wing sectarian gangsters who systematically looted the areas under their control and beheaded those who expressed any opposition to their obscurantist ideology.

The ending of the CIA’s arming and funding of the largely spent AQ-linked “rebels” signals not an end to the conflict in Syria or any significant rapprochement with Moscow, but is rather part of the preparations for a wider war. The Pentagon is continuing to train and arm its own proxy forces, both the so-called SDF, comprised primarily of the Kurdish YPG, in the north, and Jihadis in the south-east, near the SOF base established at al-Tanf near a strategic Syrian border crossing with Iraq and Jordan. This is only one of a string of bases set up by CENTCOM in what amounts to a stealth invasion and occupation of Syria. The Turkish state-run news agency, reflecting the hostility of the regime in Ankara to Pindostan’s alliance with the Syrian Kurds, published an article pinpointing the location of 10 secret bases in the north of Syria along with detailed information about the number of troops and type of weaponry and equipment deployed at each of them. Earlier this month, the Trump administration asked Congress to vote its approval for the building of new “temporary” bases in both Iraq and Syria. Meanwhile, the Pentagon continues to carry out deadly airstrikes against Syrian targets, with the independent monitoring group Airwars reporting at least 415 civilians killed by Pindo bombs and missiles last month alone. This estimate undoubtedly leaves many of the dead uncounted, and the numbers will rise dramatically as Pindostan escalates its siege of Raqqa.

While Reuters quoted one boxtop as saying that the scrapping of the CIA program was a “signal” to Russia that Faschingstein wants to improve ties, the real aim is to drive a wedge between Moscow and Iran in order to better prepare for war against the latter. This is the central purpose of the military buildup in Syria and Iraq, where Iranian influence has steadily grown. Those setting policy in the Trump administration, largely the cabal of retired and active duty generals who hold all the key security posts, see Iran as the principal obstacle to their bloody and protracted campaign to establish Pindosi hegemony over the Middle East and Central Asia. The Pentagon is particularly bitter over the fact that Faschingstein’s war of aggression in Iraq served largely to strengthen Iranian influence in the region. Two days before the report in the WaPo on the ending of aid to the “rebels,” the Trump administration provided formal certification that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear agreement. The move came only after hours of wrangling in the White House, with Trump agreeing reluctantly to certify only on the basis of a decision to impose a new set of unilateral sanctions against Tehran that are themselves in violation of the accord and designed to provoke a confrontation. Faschingstein is also reportedly mounting a campaign to pressure the Yurps to adopting a punitive policy toward Tehran. But the other signatories to the agreement are all looking to conclude major trade and investment deals in Iran, with the French energy conglomerate Total leading the way with a $1b agreement to develop gas production. Such tensions with Europe will only fuel Faschingstein’s drive toward a wider war. Faced with the decline of its economic and political global dominance, the parasitic and criminal Pindosi ruling class, personified in the figure of Trump, increasingly sees war as the only way out of economic and social crises for which it can offer no progressive solution. A war against Iran, a nation of over 77 million people, would eclipse even the bloodbaths carried out by the Pentagon and the CIA in Iraq and Syria, while posing the real threat of a nuclear WW3.

super tweetstorm donald heads our way

In Furious, Bizarre Tweetstorm Trump Slams Jews Things In General
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Jul 22 2017

Trump may have broken a personal tweetstorm record on Saturday morning, when starting shortly after 6:30am, in a furious blast of ten tweets (and still going), Trump lashed out at the “Amazon WaPo,” the “failing NYT,” touched on his right to pardon, questioned why the AG isn’t looking at the “many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes” and the “33,000 emails deleted,” asked “what about the Clinton ties to Russia including Podesta Company, Uranium deal, Russian reset, big dollar speeches,” compared Donald Jr’s email disclosure to Hillary Clinton’s email deletion “and acid wash” of her 33,000 emails, slammed “dead ObamaCare”, and finally (at least for now) slammed both Thugs who must “step up to the plate and vote to Repeal and Replace,” as well as Demagogs who are “obstructionists, no ideas or votes.” The tweet that has attracted the most media attention so far is Trump’s assertion that he has “complete power to pardon” following reports that he was discussing his ability to pardon people in the ongoing investigation into ties between his campaign and Russia. The WaPo reported last week that Trump’s new lawyers are looking into his authority to grant pardons in the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The WaPo also said that Trump has also talked to his advisers about his ability to pardon his aides, family members and even himself in the investigation. One adviser who spoke to the newspaper said the president’s inquiries were merely made out of curiosity. The adviser said:

This is not in the context of ‘I can’t wait to pardon myself.’

Meanwhile on Friday, the White House on Friday would not rule out the possibility that Trump would issue pardons in the investigation. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said:

The president maintains pardon powers like any president would.

Additionally, in one of the more bizarre tweets, Trump alleged the NYT “foiled” an attack on Daesh leader al-Baghdadi, suggesting the paper has a “sick agenda” that hurts national security. It was unclear why the president held the NYT responsible or what attack he meant. On Friday, Mad Dog Mattis said that he believes al-Baghdadi is still alive. The NYT quoted Mattis telling Pentagon reporters:

I think Baghdadi’s alive. Until I see his body, I am going to assume he is alive.

Ironically, while Trump slammed the “failing NYT” on Saturday, and many times in the past, it was the NYT that Trump recently gave a rare wide-ranging one-on-one interview in the Oval Office. Here are the tweets, in all their bizarre tweetstorm glory:

more who cares

Christopher Steele, Man Behind Trump “Dossier” Refuses To Testify
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Jul 22 2017

For all the talk of obstruction and interference by the Trump camp, it’s neither Donald Trump Jr nor Paul Manafort who are challenging their scheduled testimony in the Senate next Wednesday, but rather the man who according to many started the whole “Trump Russia collusion” narrative, who is doing everything in his power to avoid testifying next week. On Friday, attorneys for Glenn Simpson, a former WSJ reporter who now runs the infamous Washington political intelligence firm Fusion GPS, best known for compiling the salacious “dossier” of unverified research about Pres Trump, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a letter that their client was on vacation through Jul 31 and traveling abroad through Aug 3, and would be unavailable for next week’s hearing. Perhaps for writers of opposition research fiction, vacations take precedence over being summoned to Congress. As a reminder, Steele and Orbis are currently being sued in Britain and Pindostan by Aleksei Gubarev, a Russian tech executive who says he was falsely accused in the dossier of hacking the DNC’s email systems. McClatchy News recently reported that Steele filed new documents in that lawsuit. In one, dated May 18, Steele says that he was instructed by Fusion GPS to meet with reporters at various outlets in order to publicize some of the allegations made in the dossier. It has been widely known that Fusion GPS and Steele were in contact with reporters to discuss the dossier. It has been reported that rumors of the dossier were floating around in Washington, D.C. political and journalist circles for months prior to BuzzFeed’s decision to publish it on Jan 10.

Intelligence agencies made the existence of the dossier known to Trump in a January meeting. The dossier contains unverified, hyperbolic and in some cases disproven information about Trump’s activities and engagement with Russians. It served as a the basis for many of the ongoing allegations of Trump camp collusion with Russia. In any case, Simpson’s attorneys asked that their client be excused from appearing, adding that allegations he had failed to register as a foreign agent were “nothing more than an effort to smear him.” The lawyers also said that they were “profoundly disturbed” that the hearing had been expanded due to “partisan agendas” to include allegations of Russian meddling in the election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. The letter also said they were prepared to fight a subpoena and invoke Simpson’s constitutional right not to give testimony if compelled to appear. According to the WSJ, the letter explaining Simpson’s refusal to appear cites his obligations to keep his client information confidential and his First Amendment right under the Constitution to engage in political speech and political activity, as well as his Fifth Amendment reight to refuse self-incriminating testimony, also known as the “I admit I am guilty” option. His gambit did not work however, and late on Friday the Committee issued a subpoena to compel Simpson to testify next Wednesday. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and the committee’s top Demagog, Dianne Feinstein, in a joint statement said:

Glenn Simpson, through his attorney, has declined to voluntarily attend Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing regarding compliance with the FARA. Therefore, a subpoena has been issued to compel his attendance. Simpson’s attorney has asserted that his client will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights in response to the subpoena.

Yet while the vacation-challenged Simpson is afraid of revealing the true identity of his “client(s)” who commission the Trump smear piece, also on Wednesday appearing in the Senate will be Donald Trump Jr and Paul Manafort, along with Russia sanctions activist and businessman Bill Browder. The Judiciary Committee said Trump Jr and Manafort are providing documents to the committee and are still negotiating the terms of their testimonies. As the WSJ adds, in addition to the dossier compiled on Trump, Grassley has alleged that Simpson’s firm has worked with a Russian-American lobbyist on a campaign against a package of Russian sanctions that was being considered by Congress. That lobbyist was present in a meeting in Trump Tower in Jun 2016 with Trump Jr. Grassley has raised questions about whether Simpson’s firm should have registered as a foreign agent for its work on the Russia sanctions. And while Simpson’s attorney called those questions and allegations “nothing more than an effort to smear him and his firm”, many are curious to find out just who it was that worked with Fusion GPS to launch the narrative that Trump’s victory in the elections was the result of Kremlin interference.

who cares par excellence

CNN Readies Russophobic Show To Scare Suburbia
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Jul 21 2017

2017.07.20cnndoc

Much of the Pindo sheeple no longer cares about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. They also don’t care about the Senate investigation, or the House investigation. So it’s unsurprising that CNN, in a semingly blatant example of suburban scaremongering, will attempt to revive the anti-Russia hysteria that permeated the political climate just a few months ago, by preparing to debut “The Spies Next Door: Operation Ghost Stories.” The documentary focuses on the story of undercover Russian sleeper living in Pindostan. The show details “one of the largest counter-intelligence investigations in the history of the FBI,” reads a release from the network via the Hill. The series airs Saturday nights at 9:00 pm EST and is hosted by former Thug Rep Mike Rogers. Rogers was until recently a contender to succeed James Comey as FBI director. In an interview with the Hill, Rogers touches on why the documentary could inflame tensions with leftists who see Russian operatives around every corner, saying:

These were Russian spies with Pindo-sounding names who were posing as your neighbor, your work colleague, your friend. Having the possibility of a spy living next door draws people in who are not only interested in spy stories, but also those who are interested in learning more about how the Russians intelligence services operate after being exposed to the current news about their activities in Pindostan.

Rogers is also apparently a fan of FX’s popular drama “The Pindosis” about two KGB spies posing as a Pindo couple in suburban Faschingstein during the Reagan administration. “The Pindosis” mirrors the plot of the documentary in many ways. Rogers said:

My wife and I love it. I can say that the spy tradecraft you see is fairly accurate.

The Hill, in a tone verging on tongue in cheek, also noted that “The Spies Next Door” is premiering as investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with members of Trump campaign frequently receives heavy coverage on CNN and other broadcast news outlets. The series will air in eight parts and will run through Labor Day Weekend.

the fed is still printing phony shekels for the jew-nazis

Broke And Bleeding Cash, DNC Ends June $3.3M In Debt
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Jul 21 2017

2017.06.20 - GA 18_0

After spending a truly obscene amount of money on the Georgia special election last month, money that was proven to be completely wasted after Jon Ossoff was destroyed by Karen Handel, the DNC’s balance sheet is looking a little deflated.

2017.06.21 - Dollar Per Vote 2

Of course, spending $22m for a seat where candidates usually spend about $1m each tends to take a toll on your political war chest. Unfortunately, even $176 per vote, or roughly 7.6 times more than what Karen Handel spent, wasn’t enough to buy a Georgia House seat. Oops. And while we’re sure that the new DNC Chair would love to forget all about that Georgia race, as the FEC’s June financial reports reveal, his deflated balance sheet, which included only $7.5m of cash and $3.3m of debt, serves as a constant reminder of the wasted money that he’d undoubtedly love to get back.

2017.07.21 - DNC 1

As The Observer reported last month, this is hardly a new phenomenon for the DNC, as May 2017 was the worst fundraising month since the Iraq War in 2003: 

DNC Chair Tom Perez recently sent out a fundraising email to supporters claiming, “I know garbage when I see it,” citing that he once worked on a dump truck. It’s ironic that he referred to the GOP health care bill as a “flaming dumpster fire” because he has been presiding over the disaster that is the DNC. The organization reported that May 2017 was its worst fundraising month since the Iraq War in 2003, and Apr 2017 was its worst fundraising month since 2009. In May, the DNC also reported that it has $1.9m in debt. Despite the fact that former Sec Labor Tom Perez was recruited by Obama to appease the party’s donors, lobbyists and PACs, even they have refused to prop up the failing brand. Not approving of the strategies laid out at a retreat for donors in Jan 2017, billionaires Mark Pincus and Reid Hoffman started their own political organization, Win the Future. As donors are increasingly tired of seeing their investments go to waste, many have started their own funds or used their access to take over leadership positions themselves, such as Florida billionaire donor Stephen Bittel did to become the Florida Democratic Party chair earlier this year. Democratic billionaire J B Pritzker is running for governor of Illinois, and billionaire Tom Steyer is debating running for governor of California. Haim Saban and James Simons poured millions into Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, but they have yet to be listed by the FEC as DNC donors in 2017. Soros has given just under $40k to the DNC in 2017, while he poured millions of dollars into the Demagog Party in 2016.

By contrast, as The Hill notes, June was a record-breaking fundraising month for the RNC bringing their YTD haul to over $75m, or roughly double what the DNC has managed to raise so far in 2017.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) raised a record $13.4m in June, bringing its total 2017 fundraising to $75.3m. In a release provided first to The Hill, the RNC announced another strong monthly haul and has $44.7m in the bank. It’s the most the RNC has raised in June of a nonpresidential year. RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel credited the record fundraising to the committee’s “loyal network of grassroots donors” due to their support for Pres Trump and the GOP’s agenda. McDaniel said in a statement: “Because of the generous contributions, the RNC will continue to promote conservative values while bolstering our efforts to support, defend and elect more Thugs.”

So what makes up the DNC’s $3.3m debt balance?  Well, it consists of a $1m bank loan and roughly $2m of overdue bills primarily due to telemarketers. Ironically, of all the vendors that the DNC apparently can’t afford to pay on a timely basis, one of the few that actually has a zero balance is their paper-shredding company!

2017.07.21 - DNC 2

the pindo creeple have probably got intrigue fatigue by now

Sessions Reportedly Discussed Trump Campaign With Former Russian Ambassador
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Jul 21 2017

The WaPo just made Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s rotten week even worse. In what appears to be yet another leaked NSA intercept, WaPo reports citing ‘current and former Pindo boxtops’ that Sergei Kislyak, former Russian ambassador to Pindostan, told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters with Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, including policy issues important to Moscow, yet another straw on the camel’s back of Sessions’ relationship with the former ambassador, who has been at the center of many of the Pindosi media’s stories alleging collusion between Russian boxtops and the Trump campaign. When he announced his intentions to recuse himself from the DOJ’s probe into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign back in March, Sessions adamantly denied allegations that he had discussed the campaign with Russian boxtops, including Kislyak. Sessions opted to recuse himself after he failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak during his confirmation hearing with the Senate back in February. In March, he announced that he would recuse himself from matters relating to the FBI probe of Russian interference in the election and any connections to the Trump campaign. Nevertheless he said again:

I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign.

Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign. However, Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions were intercepted by Pindo spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian boxtops both in Pindostan and in Russia (really? – RB). As WaPo details, one former boxtop said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for Pindo-Russia relations in a Trump administration. Officials emphasized that the information contradicting Sessions comes from Pindosi intelligence on Kislyak’s communications with the Kremlin, and acknowledged that the Russian ambassador could have mischaracterized or exaggerated the nature of his interactions. However,the WaPo waited until the end of the story to disclose one key detail about Kislyak’s reports to his superiors concerning his meetings with Sessions. According to Kislyak, Sessions didn’t discuss anything that could have influenced the election. Nothing here fits in with the Don Jr collusion narrative and, more importantly, there’s no way to corroborate Kislyak’s characterization of the meeting. Apparently, Kislyak isn’t a meticulous notetaker, unlike former FBI Director James Comey. As the ambassador, Kislyak is expected to meet with congress critturs. DoJ spox (((Sarah Isgur Flores))) said n a statement:

Obviously I cannot comment on the reliability of what anonymous sources describe in a wholly uncorroborated intelligence intercept that the WaPo has not seen and that has not been provided to me. Sessions did not discuss interference in the election.

However, after the tempestuous week that Sessions has had, this casts more doubt on the AG’s “answers” in the past. In an interview this week, Trump expressed frustration with Sessions’ recusing himself from the Russia probe and indicated that he regretted his decision to make the lawmaker from Alabama the nation’s top law enforcement officer. Trump also faulted Sessions as giving “bad answers” during his confirmation hearing about his Russian contacts during the campaign. When asked earlier this week about a falling out between himself and Trump, Sessions denied that he has any problems with the president, adding that he has no intentions of stepping aside. Finally we note that, although the WaPo report is unconfirmed, as the Flores quote above clearly indicates, it could give Trump just the cover he needs to fire Sessions. In that case he can appoint another attorney general who won’t have conflicts and does not need to recuse from the Russia probe, thus giving Trump justification to fire Mueller and have the new DoJ head continue the probe, likely quashing the Russia narrative once and for all. Not that this would even matter. As recent polls show, the Pindo creeple stopped caring about Russia months ago.

Mueller Tries To Turn Manafort In Trump Russia Probe
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Jul 22 2017

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full-court press on anyone and everyone involved with the Trump campaign has finally begun, and of course the first target in his sights is former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, by far the easiest mark. According to Reuters, Mueller and his team are trying to recruit Manafort as a cooperating witness in the Russia investigation in exchange for immunity for possible money laundering charges. The focus on Manafort isn’t a surprise. Not only did Manafort attend the now-infamous Jun 2016 Russia meeting organized by Donald Jr, but investigators have already been scrutinizing his ties to Yanukovych, along with several shady real-estate deals.

Federal investigators examining money laundering accusations against Pres Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort hope to push him to cooperate with their probe into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia, two sources with direct knowledge of the investigation said. Mueller’s team is examining Manafort’s financial and real estate records in New York as well as his involvement in Ukrainian politics, they said.

Specifically, Mueller’s team is investigating several New York City real estate deals involving Manafort for evidence that the properties might have been paid for with money funneled to Manafort by former Ukrainian Pres Yanukovych, who hired Manafort’s firm to do political consulting work. Last summer, ledgers ‘found’ (my sneer quotes – RB) by Ukrainian investigators surfaced purporting to show millions of dollars in undisclosed payments to Manafort’s firm, though they haven’t been proved genuine. According to Reuters’ anonymous presumably government sources, Manafort bought three NYC properties between 2006 and 2013, arousing suspicion from then-federal attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, who had been looking into the source of Manafort’s funds up until he was fired by Pres Trump, along with dozens of other Obama-appointed federal attorneys. 

Between 2006 and 2013, Manafort bought three New York properties, including one in Trump Tower in Manhattan. He paid for them in full and later took out mortgages against them. A former senior law enforcement boxtop said that tactic is often used as a means to hide the origin of funds gained illegally. Reuters has no independent evidence that Manafort did this.

Because collusion isn’t a specific crime, obtaining evidence that could justify a criminal charge against Manafort is believed to be crucial if the government wants to turn him against Pres Trump, or another figure involved in the campaign, Reuters noted. One of the sources said:

If Mueller’s team can threaten criminal charges against Manafort, they could use that as leverage to convince him to cooperate.

This should be obvious to anyone who’s at all familiar with the workings of the Pindosi criminal justice system. But what’s infuriating about this strategy is that the threatened charges don’t necessarily need to be related to Manafort’s activities as Trump’s campaign manager. Apart from the fact that one of the properties was a condo in Trump Tower, Manafort’s dealings with Yanukovych have nothing to do with Trump, yet hysterical liberals, and now maybe the DoJ, will fixate on the optics of the situation without regarding the facts. Not to mention that Manafort was forced out of the Trump campaign after only two months because of his dealings with Yanukovych. Manafort’s representatives denied assertions that he is already cooperating with Mueller’s team. His spox said:

Paul Manafort is not a cooperating witness. Once again there is no truth to the disinformation put forth by anonymous sources and leakers.

Mueller is focusing on the Trump associates involved in the June 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, including the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner and Manafort. Kushner has risked losing his security clearance for failing to disclose meetings with certain Russian officials, and Don Jr set up the meeting with Veselnitskaya and her associates, responding enthusiastically to publicist Rob Goldstone’s claim that Trump would be given damaging opposition research on Hillary Clinton that was compiled by Russian intelligence, answering an email with the now-famous line:

If it’s what you say it is, then I love it.

Manafort and Trump Jr have managed to put off a public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee by agreeing to provide records to the panel and to be privately interviewed ahead of any public session. But their day in the spotlight likely can’t be avoided indefinitely. In the meantime, presuming Mueller comes up short in his investigation into Manafort, we wonder who the special counsel will put the screws to next?

lots of reuters today

Hezbollah, Syria army launch offensive at Syrian-Lebanese border
Laila Bassam, Lisa Barrington, John Davison, Reuters, Jul 21, 2017

Labwe, Arsal, eastern Bekaa Valley, Jul 21 2017 (Photo: Ali Hashisho)

BEIRUT – Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Syrian army launched an offensive on Friday to drive Islamist insurgents from their last foothold on the Syrian-Lebanese border, a pro-Damascus military commander said. The operation targeted Nusra units in the mountainous outskirts of the Lebanese town of Arsal and areas near the Syrian town of Fleita, the commander said. Media run by Hezbollah reported significant gains in the early stage of the operation. Thery later said Hezbollah had captured the Sahl al-Rahwa area. At least 23 Nusra had been killed in the first day of fighting, a security source said, as well as five Hezbollah. The Lebanese army, which assumed a defensive position around the town of Arsal, raised its alert level and was patrolling and guarding the entrances to the town. The army later stopped an attempt by militants to breach its defenses, military sources said. A Lebanese security source said refugees living in the area were fleeing toward Arsal and the Lebanese army was facilitating their passage with UN supervision, but UNHCR spox Lisa Abu Khaled said:

UNHCR has only received confirmation … that two Syrian families have arrived in the town of Arsal from the outskirts.

Several thousand Syrian (Sunni & suspected Jihadi) refugees occupy camps east of the town in an area known as Juroud Arsal, a barren mountainous zone between Syria and Lebanon that has served as a base for Daesh and other Jihadis and rebels. Al-Manar TV said Nusra were under attack in Juroud Arsal and in areas near the Syrian town of Fleita. A military news outlet run by Hezbollah reported Syrian army air strikes on Nusra positions near Fleita. Al-Manar broadcast footage showing an artillery gun being fired from the back of a truck flying the Hezbollah flag. Plumes of smoke were shown rising from the hills. The Lebanese army is not taking part in the operation, according to the commander in the pro-Damascus military alliance and the Lebanese security source. The Lebanese source said the army had assumed a defensive position, was monitoring militant movements, and would fire if it came under attack. The Lebanese National News Agency later reported that the army had fired on a group of militants trying to flee the fighting toward Arsal. The Lebanese army deployed reinforcements on the outskirts of Arsal in anticipation of the operation this week to prevent militants crossing into Lebanon. PM Hariri’s Future Movement said on Thursday the anticipated Arsal battle was part of “the services” offered by Hezbollah to “the Syrian regime.” Hariri said on Tuesday the Lebanese army would carry out a carefully planned operation in the Juroud Arsal area, but there was no coordination between it and the Syrian army. In 2014, Arsal was the scene of one of the most serious spillovers of the Syrian war into Lebanon when Jihadis briefly overran the town. Negotiations failed to secure the militants’ withdrawal from the Juroud Arsal area to other rebel-held parts of Syria. Earlier this month, Nasrallah said time was running out for Syrian militants along the border near Arsal to reach deals with Syrian authorities. He said it was “high time to end the threat of militant groups in Arsal.”

not forgetting reporting on site from ammar awad the collaborator

Six dead in worst Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed for years
Luke Baker, Ori Lewis, ‘additional’ reporting (but not writing) by Nidal al-Mughrabi, Reuters, Jul 21 2017

JAYLOOMIA – Six people were killed on Friday in the bloodiest spate of Israeli-Palestinian violence for years, prompted by new security Israeli measures at Jerusalem’s holiest site. Three Israelis were stabbed to death in a Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, hours after three Palestinians were killed in violence prompted by Israel’s installation of metal detectors at entry points to the Noble Sanctuary-Temple Mount compound in Jayloomia’s walled Old City. PA Pres Abbas ordered the suspension of all official contact with Israel until it removed the metal detectors. He gave no details, but current contacts are largely limited to security cooperation. Abbas said in a brief televised speech:

I declare the suspension of all contacts with the Israeli side on all levels until it cancels its measures at al Aqsa mosque and preserves the status quo.

The three Israelis stabbed to death and a fourth who was wounded were from the fenced-in West Bank settlement of Neve Tsuf. Israeli media said the three dead were all members of the same family, two men aged 60 and 40 and a woman of 40. The wounded woman, 68, was hospitalised with stab wounds to her back, Israeli media said. A still photo carried by Israeli television showed a kitchen floor completely red with blood. The family had sat down to a traditional Friday evening meal when the attack occurred, according to Israel Radio. The Israeli army and media said the assailant slipped into the settlement under cover of darkness to carry out his attack. Israel Radio identified him as a 19-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank village of Khobar near Ramallah. It said he was shot, but his condition was not initially known.

Earlier, Palestinian worshippers clashed with Israeli security forces. Tensions had mounted for days as Palestinians hurled rocks and Israeli police used stun grenades after the detectors were placed outside the sacred venue, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount. The Palestinian Health Ministry said Mohammed Sharaf, 17, and Mohammad Hassan Abu Ghannam, age unknown, died of gunshot wounds in two neighbourhoods of East Jayloomia somewhat away from the epicentre of tension in the walled Old City. It reported a third Palestinian fatality, Mohammed Lafi, 18, later. There were unconfirmed media reports that an Israeli settler was responsible in Sharaf’s death. Thousands of worshippers gathered for Friday prayers at various entrances to the sacred compound, which sits on a marble and stone plateau in the Old City. They refused to enter, preferring to pray outside, in some cases filling the narrow alleyways of the Old City’s Muslim quarter. Grand Mufti Mohammad Hussein said:

We reject Israeli restrictions at the Aqsa Mosque.

Muslim leaders and Palestinian political factions had urged the faithful to gather for a “day of rage” on Friday against the new security policies. Israeli police mobilised extra units and erected barriers to carry out checks at entrances to the Old City. Access to the shrine for Muslims was limited to men over 50 but open to women of all ages. Roadblocks were in place on approach roads to Jayloomia to stop buses carrying Muslims to the site. At one location near the Old City, stone throwers did try to break through a police line, and police used stun grenades to drive them back. Israeli police spox said four officers were injured in the sporadic clashes and the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service said at least 377 protesters had been hurt, some suffering from tear gas inhalation. Salaam (who? – RB) said:

This is our place of prayer, we have sovereignty here.

Tear gas scene from Jayloomia’s ‘Day of Rage’
Reuters, Jul 21 2017

JAYLOOMIA – When Muslim elders called for a “Day of Rage” on Friday to protest at new Israeli security measures at Jayloomia’s holiest site, photographer Ammar Awad knew where he had to be. A native of Jerusalem Good Darky who has covered the city for Reuters for 17 years, Awad headed to Ras al-Amud, directly across the valley from the Old City, from where the Aqsa Mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock stand out in the near distance. Knowing there were likely to be clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian worshippers, and that Muslims intended to pray in the street outside, he climbed up to the roof of a nearby mosque to gain a higher vantage point. Awad the Good Darky explained how he managed to gain access to the mosque, which was shut by the imam to ensure that the faithful held their prayers outside. As the sound bombs erupted, many of those who had been praying started to run. Others were still completing their prayers as the scene turned chaotic. Awad fired off 20 frames as a tear gas canister was unleashed on the crowd. The light from the blast lit the scene, highlighting the colors as scores of men cowered from the bang. The Good Darky told us proudly:

I know all these areas and the people know me, so it helps. I was on the roof and took lots of pictures of the men praying in the street, with the Old City and the Dome of the Rock in the background. After they finished praying, they started shouting ‘Allah wa-Akbar’ (sic – RB) and some were chanting “I will sacrifice myself for al Aqsa” in Arabic. The Israeli police started to explode sound bombs to disperse the crowd. I was going to come down, but I decided to stay and see what more pictures I could get. I was lucky to get the picture above. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the picture of the day. The men were finishing prayers. There’s al Aqsa and the Old City in the background. It told the whole story. It’s been an emotional week and an emotional day.