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Shia LeBouf Arrested on LiveCam After Shouting Down Racist

January 26, 2017

It’s a form of performance art, one that has already drawn attention from people looking to thwart it. If you thought that Trump’s presidency attracted white supremacists, racists and bigots, and if you feared that they now have a voice to spew across the nation, you might have proof from the video clips below.

It sounds innocent enough: Shia LeBouf has set up a live cam for people to approach and say “He will not divide us.” It is simple, but it’s message threatens white supremacists, because the live cam was set up on Donald Trump’s inauguration. Or, because white supremacists are just easily threatened and incredibly rude. Someone has a video stream set up, and people are talking on it, and the racist enters and wants to ruin it. Why?

At some point during the charged interactions, LeBouf is arrested. Watch that video below. But why was he arrested?

What is certain about that video is that Shia appears unrepentant. Perhaps his arrest stems from this incident below, in which a white supremacist approaches the camera to shout inflammatory comments. I watched the seen and thought there was a fight brewing. It’s clear that Labeouf doesn’t appreciate racists shouting into his camera, but is this really enough for arrest? Why not arrest the man who clearly is shoulder to shoulder with Lebeouf to shout racist comments? He is laughing. Shia is not.

Lest you think that this sort of harassment was unintentional, accidental maybe, check out the conversations below, where BuzzFeed reported that white supremacists have been using chat rooms to try to organize to take down Shia’s protest.

We can ask why, but I don’t think there is a good answer except that the discourse has changed. Trump has made it politically acceptable to attack people with outright lies (Alternative Facts, a term coined by Kellyanne Conway, but that’s a whole other post), and it’s not met with rebuttal.

The white supremacist using Shia’s feed approaches to make incendiary commentary, words used by white supremacists and Nazis, a tribute to Hitler and the deeply disturbing concept of the Aryan race (white, blonde hair, blue eyes). According to BuzzFeed, the commentary from the the disruptor means this:

“14, 88” is a code among neo-Nazis and white supremacists referring to one of two 14-word pledges repeated by members of the Aryan Nation: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” or “Because the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the earth.” The repetition of “88” refers to the eighth letter of the alphabet, “H,” which is how neo-Nazis abbreviate “heil Hitler” so they can quietly signal each other.

Not only does Shia instantly grasp what the white supremacist is saying, he actively blocks it. While I hate to see two men pushing in a dance that leads to punching, I am proud of Shia for not letting his project be railroaded. I am proud that there is a person who is willing to fight to block the rising level of racist dialogue emanating from Trump’s presidency, not to mention Nazism, which has been name-dropped more frequently with a Trump presidency than any other in recent history.

It’s an amped up “discussion,” with pretty sick commentary.

It’s pointed, and it’s designed to attack Shia, very intentional.

Confession time: I made a mistake and read the comments under posts like this.

It’s shallow, and usually I don’t indulge because one person’s “comment” is another’s form of hate speech, but this time, I wanted to see if there was any brevity. For some Trump supporters, there is the argument that America was “great in the 60’s” because Republicans led the civil rights movement (no, I didn’t make that up), and for others, it’s a point of person pride to attack people who profess Nazi beliefs. There were also comments about how Shia succeed in producing performance art, pretty indicative of what is going on in American politics, and my own perspective? It’s fascinating that so many people are willing to join in the performance art. So many people have started alternate threads, argued points, showed up to speak. Pretty amazing involvement. Now, if we can just prevent violence there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serena Williams Calls On Rude Reporter To Apologize For Criticizing Her Performance: Reporter Wins Asshole of the Week Award

January 25, 2017

Part of the problem with the Trump presidency seems to have spilled over into Australia, namely: criticizing women, particularly for a perceived lack of “womanly” (as defined by white men) daintiness (which would be way less threatening to the impotent male ego dishing here than say,equality). Most men, good men, recognize value in other people, even if those other people are of a different gender, nationality, or appearance, because only an idiot writes off the human race when it is different from oneself. But, there are plenty of assholes out there apparently, and this one wins the Asshole of the Week Award for criticizing Serena’s performance by calling her “scrappy.”

Let’s put “scrappy” into context here. “Scrappy” translates to “bossy,” as applied to women here, meaning that which is threatening to men suffering from ego issues. “Scrappy” relates the same way, as if a woman playing tennis should be concerned with her eyeshadow as opposed to her total physical dominance of a sport, worldwide dominance actually. Fuck that guy. “Scrappy” is not accurate, but “world domination” is. Dude, any time you call Serena “scrappy,” you just exposed your impotence.

Not just my aggravation with that term being applied to women as a form of insecure male misogyny. Check out the internet definition:

  1. consisting of disorganized, untidy, or incomplete parts.
    “scrappy lecture notes piled up unread”
  2. 2.
    NORTH AMERICANinformal
    determined, argumentative, or pugnacious.
    “he played the part of a scrappy detective”

“Pugnacious” or “Argumentative,” and Serena might as well apologize for having breasts AND, gasp, being determined. This is the issue with all white men (like Trump and his cabinet) spewing their insecurity: it leaks around the edges and spills into normal conversation as if it were accepted, apparently worldwide. It just infected the Australian Open. It just festered enough that women  wrote about it. My daughter showed me this clip, asked me to write about it, saying: “Mom, you have got to see this…”

The New York Post provided a transcript of the exchange here:

Reporter: Looked a little bit of a scrappy performance. A few more unforced errors, a few double-faults.

Williams: I think that’s a very negative thing to say. Are you serious?

Reporter: Just my observation.

Williams: Well, you should have been out there. That wasn’t very kind. You should apologize. Do you want to apologize?

Reporter: I do. I’m sorry.

Williams: Thank you very much. That was a great performance. I played well. She’s a former top-10 player. The last time we played together was in the finals of a Grand Slam.

Honestly, Serena doesn’t look totally comfortable dressing him down, looking away, but maybe that is just holding her temper. She calmly holds him accountable for his offensiveness, and then she moves on. In reality, no woman should have to apologize for not having a dainty tennis game, ever. Slayed, Serena.

 

Men Doing the Dishes Leads To Better Sex And Staying Married: Wives Will Divorce Over Housework “Second Shift”

January 19, 2017

Sounds like every woman’s dream, watching a man lather up and suds the dishes? Actually, it is, especially if he rinses well and puts them away. Studies show that men who do more housework get better sex. No, for real, do the dishes, man.

A new study from the University of Alberta found that male-female couples hadbetter and more frequent sex when men chipped in with the chores. The findings revealed that when a man felt he was making fair contributions to household chores, the couple had more sex and each partner reported more sexual satisfaction.

Could be about investment. A partner who does the daily maintenance in a house is willing to do the daily maintenance in a relationship. The dishes may just be a symptom of a partner who is willing to work at the relationship. One of the people who authored the study described it as  respect, but in either case, having another adult pull his own weight to maintain his own home is, shockingly, healthy…

“A division of household labor perceived to be fair ensures that partners feel respected while carrying out the tasks of daily life,” Johnson wrote in his paper. “Completing housework may or may not be enjoyable, but knowing that a partner is pulling his weight prevents anger and bitterness, creating more fertile ground in which a (satisfying) sexual encounter may occur.”

 

 

It’s a lot of wording, but a 2014 study demonstrated that concepts of egalitarianism, such as who actually does the work versus who perceives how the work is done, matter greatly in a marriage. Need it broken down further? Does he actually do the housework he says he does, or does he just believe he pitches in more than he does:

We used multi-level modeling to examine associations between cognitive egalitarianism, behavioral egalitarianism, and marital quality with a specific focus on discrepancies in the reports of husbands and wives. As hypothesized, both husbands and wives had lower marital quality when their cognitive egalitarianism was discrepant from their partner, and such a discrepancy had a greater influence on wives’ reports of marital quality, especially for wives with higher cognitive egalitarianism. Although we expected similar results for the associations between behavioral egalitarianism and marital quality, we found that the strength of the association between wives’ behavioral egalitarianism and marital quality decreased as the discrepancy from their husbands’ behavioral egalitarianism increased.

In other words, if he doesn’t walk the walk, a wife can tell, and it never makes her happy to do all the housework. “Man Tip #42” may well be accurate…

Expectations and follow through seem to most affect wives, when it comes to household chores, but tellingly, men didn’t notice either way:

“These results were interesting because usually marital satisfaction is studied in only one spouse. Here we were able to see what happens when there’s a discrepancy in spouses’ attitudes on this issue,” Brian G. Ogolsky, a lead author of the study, said in a press release. “If a woman believes that household chores should be divided equally, what happens if they adopt a traditional approach to the matter? The most satisfied couples have similar expectations and follow through on them.”

The takeaway? Ogolsky notes that since expectations play such a large role in marital happiness, couples should discuss these matters early on. “Newlyweds need to thoughtfully plan how they can make their expectations about sharing chores work out in real life, especially if the new spouses strongly value gender equality in household labor. This issue will only matter more after children start arriving,” he advised.

Guys, just do the dishes already. Clean the bathroom… No, really, the idea is about setting expectations in the concept of preparing to get married and follow through once the marriage begins.

The problem is that almost 70% of divorces are filed by women, so when expectations don’t meet practice, those seemingly unimportant household chores can be predictor of divorce trends.

So what is it about marriage that leaves women less satisfied and more likely to walk away? Rosenfeld told HuffPost that the findings give credence to the feminist idea that some women feel stifled and oppressed by heterosexual marriage. 

“It supports the theory that sociologists refer to as ‘the stalled gender revolution,‘  meaning that as much as women’s roles in society have changed, women’s roles within the families have changed very slowly,” he said, citing husband’s expectation for wives to do the bulk of the housework and childcare, even when both spouses work.

“Women feel stifled and oppressed by heterosexual marriage…” Sounds like a post I wrote before, one of my most famous posts and most popular among women: Women Don’t Want to Get Married and Have Children Because It’s A Lot Of Work–Who Is Surprised.  The reality amongst my friends who got divorced is that they separated from their husbands because they wanted to lower their workload. They haven’t chosen to get remarried. So I pulled this from my old post, an oldie but goodie:

Today’s European Union-funded report, which examined working practices across member states, says that the average man in full-time employment works about 55 hours a week.In the UK that figure includes about 3.6 hours commuting, and eight hours of domestic work such as cleaning, cooking and child care.By contrast, the average working week for a woman in full-time employment in the EU is 68 hours.

For British women that comprises 40 hours in the office, 3.3 hours commuting and 23 hours a week spent doing domestic work.

“The stalled gender revolution,” as it was more famously made into a book, “The Second Shift,” by Arlie Hochschild and Anne Machung. The Second Shift refers to the stats of women performing more work than men in the home, and therefore, no matter their careers or jobs, are force to work a “second shift” not shared by men. Heterosexual marriage seems to reinforce this increased workload for women, which also leads to the statistic of almost 70% of divorces being filed by women.

The NY Times summed it up as a woman working an extra month more than her husband each year, or marriage forcing women to just work harder and longer:

Women, Ms. Hochschild reports, bear the brunt of what she calls a ”stalled revolution,” one that got wives out of the home and into the first shift of paid employment but resulted in surprisingly meager change during the domestic second shift. The wife, her research confirms, typically is still the primary parent and remains ultimately responsible for keeping house. In most marriages, the woman’s paid work is still considered a mere job, in contrast to the man’s career. Thus the woman’s first shift – her employment – is likely to be devalued, thereby rationalizing her continuing responsibility for the second shift. The language of domestic economics, in which husbands still ”help” wives, suggests how little conceptual change has taken place. The additional hours that working women put in on the second shift of housework, she calculates, add up to an extra month of work each year.

When this second shift plays out in a family situation, unsurprisingly women with fewer financial resources complain about the added work, but in situations where the couples have more money, it is simpler to just pay for the “role of of the mother,” whatever that may mean, and hire household help that would normally be assigned to the woman.

In principle it’s easier to traverse these chasms if you’re rich. After all, professionals address the conflict of home and career by hiring small armies of surrogate wives. But as it turns out, very few use their enhanced income to purchase leisure or more time with their children. Surprisingly few husbands choose to work part time. In general, the upper-income professionals in Ms. Hochschild’s sample tend to be the worst hypocrites. ”Other couples, however, seemed to capitulate to a workaholism a deux, each spouse equitably granting the other the right to work long hours, and reconciling themselves to a drastically reduced conception of the emotional needs of a family.” Such couples ”almost totally parceled out the role of mother into purchased services.”

The trick is the role of a wife. Does hiring a “surrogate wife” mean household help? I have always said that marriage is a demotion for women’s roles when it means taking on a maid’s status without pay. The role of a wife has changed in our society, from being a woman who supervises household help to the wife being the only one who works in the house.

Consider the following graphic, which while a funny assertion on the value of cleanliness, nevertheless assigns cleanliness to women.

Getting married may actually hurt a woman’s relationship, as dating couples tend to equally break up around gender lines (meaning the dating splits are initiated equally between genders), while divorce filling are disproportionately filed by unhappy wives, as opposed to girlfriends. What makes this statistic true? The role of a wife is inherently unsatisfying to 70% of women filing for divorce because of gender roles. According to a social scientist who studies the phenomenon, marriage doesn’t favor gender equality:

“I think that marriage as an institution has been a little bit slow to catch up with expectations for gender equality,” Rosenfeld said. “Wives still take their husbands’ surnames, and are sometimes pressured to do so. Husbands still expect their wives to do the bulk of the housework and the bulk of the childcare. On the other hand, I think that non-marital relationships lack the historical baggage and expectations of marriage, which makes the non-marital relationships more flexible and therefore more adaptable to modern expectations, including women’s expectations for more gender equality.”

So I look up the term “unhappy wives” in Google images, because why not choose photos to demonstrate how people view marital relationships? Any trends? Well, not very good ones…

She is angry and he doesn’t care. Or, she is angry and it’s not rational.

She is unhappy in bed, or with sex, and he is oblivious.

He doesn’t listen to you unless you cry. Use tears to get what you want.

Notice the heading doesn’t say “Girlfriends” and use that title to cry for a toaster. The role of crying to receive an appliance to reduce work is aimed directly at a wife, who is assumed to be doing all the household chores by hand. The husband is assumed to control the money, and the gender roles of marriage reinforce women as domestic servants rather than as equal partners.

According to a recent paper, published in 2015, it’s the institution of marriage that causes the problems, because the institution of marriage imposes gender roles that are unequal and unrewarding for women, something a dating relationship doesn’t do:

Jessie Bernard (1982) famously wrote: “There are two marriages, then, in every marital union, his and hers. And his… is better than hers.” The feminist critique of heterosexual marriage is consistent with wives being more likely than husbands to want to divorce. The feminist critique of heterosexual marriage, however, has less direct application to nonmarital heterosexual relationships. Nonmarital heterosexual relationships generally involve lower levels of commitment, fewer children, and nonmarital unions are less influenced by the legal and cultural history of marriage as a gendered institution (Cherlin, 2009; Poortman & Mills, 2012; Rosenfeld, 2014).

It comes down to what most men in heterosexual marriages expect women to do for housework and care taking, and that role is that the wives will take care of all the housework and childcare:

Research on housework has consistently found that the gender housework gap was larger in marriage than in nonmarital cohabiting relationships (Davis, Greenstein, & Marks, 2007; Gupta, 1999; Shelton & John, 1993; South & Spitze, 1994). Married men resist housework to an extent that cannot be explained by practical considerations and constraints (such as the presence of children or men’s higher earnings, see Brines, 1994; Shelton & John, 1993).

“Married men resist housework to an extent that cannot be explained…” makes me laugh and laugh. There is no logical reason married men resist housework more than dating men, other than the reactions of men to marriage roles.  He’s a man, and even he can’t explain the gendered behavior patterns.

Is it the kids? Who takes care of the kids? Who makes more money? Who has the higher education? Nope, turns out that marriage isn’t as good for women as it is for men. When all other factors have been taken into consideration, women don’t get as much out of marriage as men do:

Table 3 provides an explanation: women’s relationship quality is slightly lower than men’s relationship quality in marriage regardless of whether the marriage later broke up.8 In additional analyses (available from the author), I show that the gender marital satisfaction gap in HCMST is not mediated by age, relationship duration, earnings gap, religious affiliation, education, income, race, prior marriages, or the presence of children.

It’s not the kids or the money, but the relationship that drives the divorce rate, and since women initiate far more divorces than they do dating break-ups, marriage plays a part in a women’s relationship satisfaction rates.

The researcher studying the trend of why women file for divorce more so than men lays it on the line for marriage: catch up or be thrown out:

“I think that marriage as an institution has been a little bit slow to catch up with expectations for gender equality,” Rosenfeld said. “Wives still take their husbands’ surnames, and are sometimes pressured to do so. Husbands still expect their wives to do the bulk of the housework and the bulk of the childcare. On the other hand, I think that non-marital relationships lack the historical baggage and expectations of marriage, which makes the non-marital relationships more flexible and therefore more adaptable to modern expectations, including women’s expectations for more gender equality.”

Just not as good for her as it is for him, or maybe it’s not that simple. Dating couples tend to break up more frequently than married couples, but among married couples, women overwhelmingly exit the marriage when their expectations of gender equality erode their lives. According to one paper, most marriages are stable, but more women are unhappy in marriage than men:

Most married women are happily married, and married couples are relatively stable. Across 6 years of HCMST data, the weighted marital breakup hazard rate was 1.2% per year for heterosexual married couples,9 compared to 9.4% per year breakup rate for unmarried heterosexual couples who ever cohabited, and a 30.3% per year breakup rate for unmarried heterosexual couples who never lived together. Even though most married women are happily married, a modest difference in husbands’ and wives’ marital satisfaction can result in most divorces being wanted by the wife.

Guys, doing the dishes, taking care of your own housework, showing gender equality, those are the things that lead to better sex and long-lasting marriages.

As Trump Cozies Up To Russia, US Deploys Troops To Poland and States That Gave US Intel That Russia Pushed Money Into Trump Campaign

January 13, 2017

As Trump leans in to Putin, a daily bromance through Twitter, Obama deploys troops to Poland to help secure the border as Russia inexorably edges closer.

American soldiers rolled into Poland on Thursday, fulfilling a dream some Poles have had since the fall of communism in 1989 to have U.S. troops on their soil as a deterrent against Russia.

Some people waved and held up American flags as U.S. troops in tanks and other vehicles crossed into southwestern Poland from Germany and headed toward the town of Zagan, where they will be based. Poland’s prime minister and defense minister will welcome them in an official ceremony Saturday.

“This is the fulfilment of a dream,” said Michal Baranowski, director of the German Marshall Fund think tank in Warsaw. “And this is not just a symbolic presence but one with a real capability.”

U.S. and other Western nations have carried out exercises on NATO’s eastern flank in past years, but the new deployment — which includes some 3,500 U.S. troops — marks the first-ever continuous deployment to the region by a NATO ally.It is part of a larger commitment by President Barack Obama to protect a region that grew deeply nervous when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and then began backing separatist rebels in Ukraine’s east.

The link above focuses on the Golden Showers element of Trump (read about the Golden Showers here: Russian Documents Leaked Showing Trump’s Campaign Links to Russia And “Perverted Sexual Acts” “Golden Shower Presidency”), but setting Trump aside for just a moment, let’s take a look at the significance of NATO-backed troops moving into Poland.  Why is it so important that US troops move into Poland? Putin considers it an act of aggression, moving into his back yard, if you will. It appears he already believes Russia controls Poland, as he has taken this latest installment of US troops as an insult.

“These actions threaten our interests, our security,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday. “Especially as it concerns a third party building up its military presence near our borders. It’s not even a European state.

How near is Poland to Russian borders?

Actually, Poland doesn’t directly border Russia, but it’s telling that Putin believes that US troops in Poland are at its border. Sounds like Russia believes that US troops in Poland are in its borders.

When Russia first started talking about nuclear arms, Obama promised Poland that the US would match it, but Poland feels that this latest move is yet another round of promises by the US that fall short of real protection.

Poles still feel betrayed by Obama’s “reset” with Russia early on in his administration, which involved abandoning plans for a major U.S. missile defense system in Poland and replacing it with plans for a less ambitious system, still not in place.

All recent U.S. presidents have thought there can be a grand bargain with Russia,” said Marcin Zaborowski, a senior associate at Visegrad Insight, an analytic journal on Central Europe. “Trump has a proclivity to make deals, and Central and Eastern Europe have reason to worry about that.”

Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski expressed hope this week that any new effort at reconciliation with Russia “does not happen at our expense.”

The armored brigade combat team arriving in Poland hails from Fort Carson, Colorado. The troops arrived last week in Germany and are gathering in Poland before units will fan out across seven countries from Estonia to Bulgaria. A headquarters unit will be stationed in Germany. After nine months they will be replaced by another unit.

In a separate but related mission, NATO will also deploy four battalions to its eastern flank later this year, one each to Poland and the three Baltic states. The U.S. will also lead one of those battalions.

Baltic states were also the region from which intelligence accounts from Russian interference were verified. I wrote about this in the Golden Showers post:

Last April, the CIA director was shown intelligence that worried him. It was – allegedly – a tape recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign.

It was passed to the US by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States. The CIA cannot act domestically against American citizens so a joint counter-intelligence taskforce was created.

In other words, those very states to which we are now sending troops were the same states that had intercepted intel info that money from the Kremlin was going directly to the US presidential campaign of Donald Trump.  The information about the money flow from Russia to the US came from none other than our allies in the Baltic States.

How back can hacking be? Trump declared “hacking is bad,” but his simplistic rendition means he is no match for a former KGB operative like Putin. Newsweek reports that Russian hacking is more extensive than finding out that Clinton got debate questions before Trump:

The Russian penetration in the United States is far more extensive than previously revealed publicly, although most of it has been targeted either at government departments or nongovernment organizations connected to the Democratic Party. Russian hackers penetrated the White House, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the State Department. The State Department cyberattack, which began in 2014 and lasted more than a year, was particularly severe, with Russian hackers gaining entry into its unclassified system, including emails. (Hillary Clinton left the State Department in 2013, which means that if she had used its unclassified email system rather than her private server—a decision that has dogged her throughout the campaign—any of her emails on the government system could have been obtained by Russian hackers.)

The breadth of the cyberattacks of nongovernmental organizations is astonishing. Russian hackers have obtained emails and other information out of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, but also have struck at organizations with looser ties to the party, including think tanks such as the Brookings Institution, where some of Clinton’s longtime friends and colleagues work.

Dismissing the intelligence information that determined Russia had “kompromat” on Trump requires disbelieving European states to whom we have just delivered military troops. While the United States blithely determined there was no factual merit to the intelligence briefings, Trump’s organization had been disseminating Russian media to the United States media outlets at news to cover:

Even as Trump was disputing the role played by the Kremlin in the hacking, his campaign was scouring sites publicly identified by American intelligence as sources for Russian propaganda. Ten days before the third debate, Newsweek published an article disclosing that a document altered by Russian propagandists and put out on the internet—ultimately published by Sputnik—had been cited by Trump at a rally as fact. (The information distributed on the internet placed words that had appeared in Newsweek into the mouth of Sidney Blumenthal, a Clinton confidante. Taken in that context, they suggested that her closest allies believed she bore responsibility for the attack on the American mission in Benghazi, Libya.)

Subsequently, Sputnik, which took down that article, published another one essentially denying the news organization was controlled by the Kremlin and attacking Newsweek. Before the day was out, the Trump campaign was emailing links to the article from the Russian propaganda site to multiple reporters, urging them to pursue the story.

Before we launch into our denial diatribe again, let’s just remember that troops haven’t entered the Baltic states like this since the Cold War. It’s as though the US government is run by two different arms attached to the same body. Trump is Putin’s mouthpiece, and Obama deploys troops to push back against Putin. Think that the US deployment is a joke? No joke when tanks are sent in. The chilling statement echoed by Germany of war, is starting to look more and more real, even as Putin and Trump puppets deny the reality.

While Trump denounces Golden Showers as “fake news,” which may occupy him for years to come, we are inexorably drawn closer and closer toward the flame of war. It’s as simple as distracting a crying baby, and with Trump, it appears nothing else is needed. Compliment him or attack him, any attention given, and Trump immediately becomes fixated on the attention and its inescapable ego stroking. Trump argues about “fake news” while NATO deploys troops to bolster Baltic states. It’s as though Trump can’t even feel his own hands when they move from the from of his face.

Luckily for Americans, Trump’s cabinet picks, who aren’t agreeing with him, have responded to this threat of military troops. NATO is hoping that Trump being just one person, that the US will continue to back NATO efforts to push back against Russia’s expansion through Europe. The Guardian, a UK based news outlet, has already moved on from salacious Trump details and is more focused on the pressing matters of Russian aggression and the newly appointed cabinet response to troop deployment Poland, namely hoping that US troops won’t be prematurely withdrawn:

That prediction was reinforced by Trump’s proposed defence secretary, James Mattis, and his proposed secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who backed Nato during Senate confirmation hearings.

Mattis, in rhetoric at odds with the president-elect, said the west should recognise the reality that Putin was trying to break Nato.

Tillerson, who has business dealings in Russia, described Russia’s annexation of Crimea as “as an act of force” and said that when Russia flexed its muscles, the US must mount “a proportional show of force”.

Nato was caught out by the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has struggled to cope with Russia’s use of hybrid warfare, which combines propaganda, cyberwarfare and the infiltration of regular troops disguised as local rebels.

Of course everyone in the US is distracted with Trump’s sexual perversion and maybe won’t acknowledge Russia’s advances. However, the CIA nominee from Trump’s cabinet is a former veteran who fought in the last Cold War against Russia, and he doesn’t underestimate Russia. The NYTimes reports that Pompeo, Trump’s CIA nominee, is literally a Cold War veteran:

 The first battle that Representative Mike Pompeo prepared to fight was against the Russians, when he commanded a tank platoon in Germany in the twilight of the Cold War. On Thursday, he made clear he was ready to take on America’s old adversary if confirmed as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

…The question hanging over Mr. Pompeo, and America’s 17 intelligence agencies, is how to handle a president who embraces President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia while the agency tries to keep Russia in check. So far, nothing in the C.I.A.’s 69-year history has prepared it to deal with a president who is as openly derisive of its work as Mr. Trump.

Trump never commanded a platoon of tanks against Russia, and it appears that Pompeo is not swayed by Trump’s bromance with Putin or Trump’s Golden Showers distraction. Pompeo appears committed to keeping Russia in check, despite NATO fears that the President Elect won’t understand Russia’s moves:

Mr. Pompeo may have somewhat assuaged those concerns on Thursday when he was asked at his Senate confirmation hearing if the C.I.A., under his leadership, would continue to pursue intelligence on Russian hacking — allegations that have come amid a swirl of unsubstantiated rumors about links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

“I will continue to pursue foreign intelligence with vigor no matter where the facts lead,” Mr. Pompeo said. He added that he would do this “with regard to this issue and each and every issue.”

The C.I.A. under his leadership, he said, would provide “accurate, timely, robust and cleareyed analysis of Russian activities.”

Perhaps the Republicans won’t let Trump slide on Russian war tactics, but while Putin may have sent in a clown when he pushed to elect Trump, Putin may have underestimated other Americans who remember all too well the last time they engaged with Russia. Putin has made lots of enemies, and one man, no matter what news-grabbing headlines he may command, even as salacious as sexual perversion, can hold the attention of the country when troops are deployed. This is a much more arresting sight, wouldn’t you say?

News commentators have also noticed escalating tensions between the US government and Russian government, outside of the Trump/Putin tango, and I am not the only one forecasting dangerous times ahead. PressTV commentators note that US troop deployment could be viewed as a ramp in more hostile relations:

Press TV has spoken to Brian Becker, member of the ANSWER Coalition, as well as Brent Budowsky, columnist with The Hill, to discuss this issue.

Brian Becker sees the US troop deployment to Poland as a very “provocative” move, adding that Washington and NATO have been “relentlessly” pushing eastward toward Russia’s border since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

“25 years ago when the Soviet Union collapsed, there was an agreement – ratified again in 1996 – that the United States would not take advantage of the end of the Soviet Union by expanding NATO into Eastern and Central European states that had been Russia’s principal allies. And in fact, it has done just that. It has pushed relentlessly,” he said.

He also opined that Russia has no intention of invading the Baltic States, but that it perceives the United States’ continuation of setting up missile shields in those countries as an attempt to gain “military superiority.”

The analyst went on to say that the United States initially positioned the missile shield systems in Poland and Romania under the pretext of stopping Iran’s nuclear threat which never really existed.

Therefore, he argued, now that the United States and the P5+1 countries have signed the nuclear agreement with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Washington must remove those missile shields.

He further stated if the United States has no intention to start a war, there is no reason for it to carry out military exercises with NATO on Russia’s doorstep.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Becker noted that NATO troop deployment to Eastern Europe is like a “gravy train” that will connect the commercial interests in the region to the US military-industrial complex.

He also asserted that it is not the people of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia who have called for NATO troops to come in and save them from the “Russian menace,” rather the right-wing governments of those countries.

ANSWER stand for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, and bills itself as a US organization, but the quote above was published by PressTV.ir, an Islamic Republic of Iran news organization. ANSWER’s stated mission is to end war; however, Iran has used that information to portray the US as engaging in war against Russia, which would only serve Iran well if it could also inflame tensions between the US and Russia, distract both countries who want to stamp out ISIS. Iran has nothing to lose by highlighting tensions between the US and Russia in hopes to destabilize them further.

Lest we Americans miss what has been happening, troops were sent to Poland back in April 2014, when Russia moved into the Ukraine, and more troops were deployed in October 2016 when Russia amped up nuclear arms missiles plans:

NATO defense ministers are meeting throughout Wednesday and Thursday to map out plans for each of the groups.

‘Close to our borders, Russia continues its assertive military posturing,’ said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday.

‘This month alone, Russia has deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad and suspended a weapons-grade plutonium agreement with the United States.

‘And Russia continues to destabilize eastern Ukraine with military and financial support for the separatists.

This above pronouncement was published by the UK on Oct. 26, 2016, when the Americans were eclipsed by Russian hacking scandals and its Presidential election. The Russians distract Americans from electing Clinton while moving troops closer to Baltic states and preparing nuclear arms.

Americans played along, jumped on the bandwagon to fight Clinton, all the while playing into the Kremlin’s hands. Thank goodness NATO wasn’t distracted enough to miss Russia’s nuclear ams proliferation during that time. While Trump played the Clinton “hacking scandal,” Putin played with nuclear arms:

The pictures were revealed online by chief designers from the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau.

A message posted alongside the picture said: ‘In accordance with the Decree of the Russian Government ‘On the State Defense Order for 2010 and the planning period 2012-2013’, the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau was instructed to start design and development work on the Sarmat. ‘

The RS-28 Sarmat missile is said to contain 16 nuclear warheads and is capable of destroying an area the size of France or Texas, according to Russian news network Zvezda, which is owned by Russia’s ministry of defence.

The weapon is also able to evade radar.

Putin is capable of playing a shell in cups game, and Trump is only capable of watching one hand at a time. Unfortunately, Americans were bogged down by shaming Clinton, and couldn’t admit that Russian interference might have been subterfuge all along. I wondered why Russia would go to such lengths to antagonize Americans, and whenever Russia starts a campaign like this, I am always looking for the end game. What did Russia really want? Aside from hacking Clinton’s email? Russia wanted a distraction, cover for its nuclear arms program.

Trump Debate Question Scandal and Golden Showers vs. Putin Nuclear Arms Development. According to The Daily Mail.UK, this is what Putin has been working on, proving his ability to multitask far exceeds Trump’s:

It is expected to have a range of 6,213 miles (10,000 km), which would allow Moscow to attack European cities as well as reaching cities on America’s west and east coasts.

 Dr Sutyagin points out that the SS-18 missiles which the Russians currently rely on were designed in 1988 during the Soviet Union and were built at a factory in Dnipropetrovsk, in what is now the Ukraine.

He said: ‘Not only are they too fast but they have got rid of the predictable flight path.

‘It manouevres all the way so it is terribly difficult for any missile defence system to shoot it down.’

The Russian Defence Ministry plans to put the Sarmat into service in late 2018 and remove the last SS-18 by 2020.

The Sarmat has been in development since 2009 and is scheduled to start replacing the old ICBMs in 2018.

The new missile is said to be undergoing testing near Miass in Russia.

While the US is engaged in managing their clown, Iran uses propaganda to claim the US has declared war with Russia, Russia is developing nuclear warheads in the Ukraine, which Russia just happened to invade when it needed to upgrade its old nuclear weapons in the Ukrainian plant. Russia has had a plan all along: use propaganda to distract the US, use propaganda to get ISIS to fight the US and weaken it, use propaganda to destabilize the Presidential election and all the while, use the distraction as cover to build its nuclear weapons while it invades the Baltic states and moves across Europe. Once KGB, always KGB. Let’s not underestimate this man and call him a mere chauvinist, let’s just call him dangerous. And really, America, let’s wake up to the reality that he planning for war.

Amid Russian Hacking and Interference In US 2016 Presidential Election Justice Department Begin Investigation of FBI Influencing Elections With “Improper Considerations”

January 12, 2017

If all of you at home have been wondering why the US FBI has not reported on the explosive allegations of Russian involvement in Trump’s campaign, his sexual predilection for Golden Showers, or the fact that the Russians hacked the Democratic emails, news reports have just been released showing the Justice Department fears the FBI may have been influencing elections with “improper considerations,” or in other words “Russian shit has hit the fan.” The US Justice Department is investigating why the FBI chose to release documents the Russians hacked on Clinton’s email, but protected Trump:

The Justice Department is opening an investigation into whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s decisions during the 2016 presidential campaign were appropriate, Reuters reports.

According to a statement released by the department’s inspector general, the review will examine the following:

  • Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI director’s public announcement on July 5, 2016, and the director’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016, and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations;
  • Allegations that the FBI deputy director should have been recused from participating in certain investigative matters;
  • Allegations that the Department’s assistant attorney general for legislative affairs improperly disclosed nonpublic information to the Clinton campaign and/or should have been recused from participating in certain matters;
  • Allegations that department and FBI employees improperly disclosed nonpublic information; and
  • Allegations that decisions regarding the timing of the FBI’s release of certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a Twitter account to publicize same, were influenced by improper considerations.

The Justice Department’s announcement on Thursday follows growing evidence that FBI Director James Comey’s decision to inform members of Congress that it had comes across a new batch of emails connected to the Hillary Clinton campaign swung the election in favor of Donald Trump.

Why Didn’t We Hear About Trump’s Golden Shower In August? Links To The Golden Shower Memo Circulated in August 2016

January 12, 2017

Trump attacked news organizations, CNN and BuzzFeed during his “press conference,” and I use the term loosely, because it routinely turned into a press jab or Clinton punch, not exactly a briefing on foreign policy. He claimed that the memo that was leaked about his Golden Shower was “fake news,” and he yelled about how it should never have been released. BuzzFeed’s decision to release the memo has been called “controversial.” I covered the details of the memo yesterday, and you can click here to read it: Russian Documents Leaked Showing Trump’s Campaign Links to Russia And “Perverted Sexual Acts” “Golden Shower Presidency” 

What I want to know: Why were Americans the last to know?

I checked multiple international reports, and BBC and Reuters both confirm that the documents were called “unsubstantiated” by CNN but don’t offer any veracity of their own. Unsurprisingly since the BBC is “British Broadcasting,” the reports investigating the MI-6 British operative who provided the dossier are less damaging, more thoughtful in their nuance.

The BBC reports on the warrant requested to determine whether or not Russia contributed to Trump’s campaign, thereby deflecting the British operative’s report and emphasizing that the US government felt there was a serious enough Russian breach to request a warrant three times from international agencies to investigate that link, an investigation whose full report has not been published:

Last April, the CIA director was shown intelligence that worried him. It was – allegedly – a tape recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign.

It was passed to the US by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States. The CIA cannot act domestically against American citizens so a joint counter-intelligence taskforce was created.

The taskforce included six agencies or departments of government. Dealing with the domestic, US, side of the inquiry, were the FBI, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Justice. For the foreign and intelligence aspects of the investigation, there were another three agencies: the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Security Agency, responsible for electronic spying.

Lawyers from the National Security Division in the Department of Justice then drew up an application. They took it to the secret US court that deals with intelligence, the Fisa court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They wanted permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks.

Their first application, in June, was rejected outright by the judge. They returned with a more narrowly drawn order in July and were rejected again. Finally, before a new judge, the order was granted, on 15 October, three weeks before election day.

Neither Mr Trump nor his associates are named in the Fisa order, which would only cover foreign citizens or foreign entities – in this case the Russian banks. But ultimately, the investigation is looking for transfers of money from Russia to the United States, each one, if proved, a felony offence.

I don’t doubt that we will find evidence of MORE Russian interference in our elections. It’s already happened, but what I wonder is: what happens if it’s determined that Russians contributed to Trump’s campaign. The investigation into the foreign banks hasn’t been completed, but if the US intelligence agencies knew about possible Russian money transfers, as did an international court, why try to hide Trump’s alleged links to Russia from the American people? Why vilify a news agency that only put out there what the international community has known since August2016?

Why rely on intelligence agencies and spies when cold hard cash might just open up this whole ordeal? The BBC reports that the American pornography outlets are putting a million dollar price tag on serving up Trump’s other “head,” to prove he was in compromising positions, which would just validate the whole ordeal, FBI not included:

If a tape exists, the Russians would hardly give it up, though some hope to encourage a disloyal FSB officer who might want to make some serious money. Before the election, Larry Flynt, publisher of the pornographic magazine Hustler, put up a million dollars for incriminating tape of Mr Trump. Penthouse has now followed with its own offer of a million dollars for the Ritz-Carlton tape (if it exists). 

It is an extraordinary situation, 10 days before Mr Trump is sworn into office, but it was foreshadowed during the campaign.

During the final presidential debate, Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump a “puppet” of Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin. “No puppet. No puppet,” Mr Trump interjected, talking over Mrs Clinton. “You’re the puppet. No, you’re the puppet.”

In a New York Times op-ed in August, the former director of the CIA, Michael Morell, wrote: “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr Putin had recruited Mr Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

Agent; puppet – both terms imply some measure of influence or control by Moscow.

Michael Hayden, former head of both the CIA and the NSA, simply called Mr Trump a “polezni durak” – a useful fool.

Because Golden Showers and Puppet are both distracting terms, I want to redirect you to the phrasing used by the BBC, the most important phrasing: ” before the election…” American pornography outlets knew of the existence of this alleged sexual dossier before the American public. So why is everyone blog-shaming  BuzzFeed?

BBC points out that the reports were credible enough to warrant a Presidential briefing by the CIA and FBI, so why is everyone blaming the former British operative for providing them?

The claims of Russian kompromat on Mr Trump were “credible”, the CIA believed. That is why – according to the New York Times and Washington Post – these claims ended up on President Barack Obama’s desk last week, a briefing document also given to Congressional leaders and to Mr Trump himself.

Mr Trump did visit Moscow in November 2013, the date the main tape is supposed to have been made. There is TV footage of him at the Miss Universe contest. Any visitor to a grand hotel in Moscow would be wise to assume that their room comes equipped with hidden cameras and microphones as well as a mini-bar.

At his news conference, Mr Trump said he warned his staff when they travelled: “Be very careful, because in your hotel rooms and no matter where you go you’re going to probably have cameras.”

Just so we don’t leave out any inflammatory comments to other companies, Trump then asked, via Twitter, of course, whether or not we were living in Nazi, Germany. The Germans were not thrilled with this comment, just as the British aren’t happy that when it’s convenient to trash a British operative, the incoming US President will do so if the information relates to him.

The BBC goes on to point out that other Eastern European agencies had knowledge of the “Golden Showers” tape and Russian interference over the summer of 2016:

And the former MI6 agent is not the only source for the claim about Russian kompromat on the president-elect. Back in August, a retired spy told me he had been informed of its existence by “the head of an East European intelligence agency”.

Later, I used an intermediary to pass some questions to active duty CIA officers dealing with the case file – they would not speak to me directly. I got a message back that there was “more than one tape”, “audio and video”, on “more than one date”, in “more than one place” – in the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow and also in St Petersburg – and that the material was “of a sexual nature”.

The US news media completely discounts the fact that international intelligence communities may be able to validate the information, that if it was ripe for the picking, more than one international intelligence agency may have the same information that Americans are just now finding out about. It’s like an extramarital affair when the wife is always the last to know, and then someone yells at the informant asking: “Who told her?” Why are the American people the last to know about this?

Reuters, a UK based news organization gave a more thorough background of  the man who wrote the dossier, Christopher Steele,  and pointed out that the US intelligence community had used information Steele collected in the past to issue indictments in various cases of corruption between a soccer organization (football) and the World Cup.

Christopher Steele, who wrote reports on compromising material Russian operatives allegedly had collected on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, is a former officer in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, according to people familiar with his career.

Former British intelligence officials said Steele spent years under diplomatic cover working for the agency, also known as MI-6, in Russia and Paris and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

After he left the spy service, Steele supplied the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with information on corruption at FIFA, international soccer’s governing body.

 It was his work on corruption in international soccer that lent credence to his reporting on Trump’s entanglements in Russia, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

Emails seen by Reuters indicate that, in the summer of 2010, members of a New York-based FBI squad assigned to investigate “Eurasian Organized Crime” met Steele in London to discuss allegations of possible corruption in FIFA, the Swiss-based body that also organizes the World Cup tournament.

People familiar with Steele’s activities said his British-based company, Orbis Business Intelligence, was hired by the Football Association, Britain’s domestic soccer governing body, to investigate FIFA. At the time, the Football Association was hoping to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cups. British corporate records show that Orbis was formed in March 2009.

Amid a swirl of corruption allegations, the 2018 World Cup was awarded to Moscow and Qatar was chosen to host the 2022 competition.

The FBI squad whose members met Steele subsequently opened a major investigation into alleged soccer corruption that led to dozens of U.S. indictments, including those of prominent international soccer officials.

Senior FIFA officials, including long-time president Sepp Blatter, were forced to resign.

International news organizations are correctly pointing out that the US Intel community will use Steele’s information to take down World Cup corruption, but when it comes to a US President, the FBI claims Steele’s work is “unverified.”

Steele’s dealings with the FBI on Trump, initially with the senior agent who had started the FIFA probe and then moved to a post in Europe, began in July. However, Steele cut off contact with the FBI about a month before the Nov. 8 election because he was frustrated by the bureau’s slow progress.

The FBI opened preliminary investigations into Trump and his entourage’s dealings with Russians that were based in part on Steele’s reports, according to people familiar with the inquiries.

However, they said the Bureau shifted into low gear in the weeks before the election to avoid interfering in the vote. They said Steele grew frustrated and stopped dealing with the FBI after concluding it was not seriously investigating the material he had provided.

American seem to be caught flat-footed, even while the rest of Europe is taking notice and trying to block Russian attempts to interfere with their own elections. For a threat that is considered “fake news,” the rest of the world is stepping up to fight it. Strange that when there is direct evidence that Russia hacked the US election to influence it, the US appears the last to know and the last to admit it happened. Across the world, other countries are setting up surveillance to monitor Russian activities specifically:

The EU foreign service is slated to expand a 30-person strategic communications office set up in March 2015 to counter what it sees as fake news and Russian campaigns for influence.

The second EU source said the effort was “a badly under-funded, tiny team with close to no support”, and added Brussels did not see Russian intervention as a priority.

Individual members are now setting up their own offices to monitor and respond to disinformation, including the Czech Republic, which set up a 20-member team on Jan. 1.

Berlin is considering an office to evaluate fake news, but that effort has already run into political concerns that the government is setting up a “truth ministry” that would limit free speech or influence national elections.

German intelligence cited the high-profile case of a German-Russian girl who Russian media said was kidnapped and raped by migrants in Berlin, a claim later refuted by German authorities. The case underscored mutual suspicion between Moscow and Berlin.

Some other countries banned Russian-language television from broadcasting for spreading disinformation or inciting hatred. Lithuania, Latvia, Britain, Estonia and Denmark have also urged the EU to create news sources for Russian speakers.

In Latvia, facing municipal elections in June, officials cite a barrage of propaganda aimed at 500,000 Russian speakers and a cooperation agreement between the pro-Russian opposition party Harmony with Putin’s United Russia party.

Lithuania this week said it had barred construction of a data center for cloud computer operations last year over concerns it could be infiltrated by Russian intelligence once it was connected by fiber-optic cable to Russia…

German officials say a hack in December of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) used methods seen in a 2015 hack of the German parliament that was linked to APT28, a Russian hacker group, blamed for U.S. election hacks.

“We are already at war, and for many years,” Darius Jauniskis, head of Lithuania’s counter-intelligence State Security Department told Reuters in an interview.

Cyber security is a pressing concern for NATO, whose ambassadors discussed specific fears raised by Germany about Russian election interference in December, two diplomats said.

France and Germany recently set up cyber warfare units, and NATO officials have told Reuters they suspect Russia sponsors attacks against their networks before key summits.

“We are already at war…” Seems the Americans have been the last to know.

Russian Documents Leaked Showing Trump’s Campaign Links to Russia and “Perverted Sexual Acts” “Golden Shower Presidency”

January 11, 2017

Document Cloud has the documents from Russian operatives linking President Elect Trump’s campaign operatives and himself to Russian interference. The link I just provided gives a dossier of Russian operative reports linking Trump’s involvement with Putin back 5 years, at least. According to reports, Trump’s senior campaign director, Carter Page, held secret meetings in Russia regarding their support of Trump as a US presidential candidate.

According to the source, “kompromat” was gained on Trump and his “perverted” sexual acts while Trump was in Russian, orchestrated by the equivalent of the KGB, in order to have blackmail material to control Trump.  Business Insider quoted some of the most damning reports, which Trump has declared “fake news,” but for all of us wondering what has happened to the investigation of Russia’s interference and just how far it reached, this news is unsurprising:

The operative claimed that Russian intelligence sources said they had “compromised” Trump during his visits to Moscow and could “blackmail him” with evidence of his conduct, which included “perverted sexual acts arranged and monitored” by the Russian federal security service (FSB).

But the Russians, the operative says in the dossier, ” promised not to use the ‘kompromat’ they hold on Trump as leverage, given high levels of voluntary cooperation forthcoming from his team.”

The memo asserts that the Kremlin has “been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years.  Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance.”

When Comey, head of the FBI was questioned during a hearing about the validity of the intelligence reports on Trump, Comey dodged:

When asked about reports that Trump’s campaign had contact with Russia during the election, Comey told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Tuesday that he could “not comment in an open forum” on whether his agency is pursuing an investigation into the alleged ties.

Is there any more “open forum” than the presidency? The presidency which Trump is supposed to handle in mere weeks?

According to the report, not only is Trump’s team involved in Russia now, Trump’s team collected and sourced intelligence information for Russian officials for the last 8 years. Premier Peskov is apparently to be made the scapegoat for the fallout of Russian interference, the fact that sanctions have been ordered, that Russians have been deported from the US, and that the investigations have led to international comment. The documents linking Russian interference to the US election are dated 5 August 2016 (see page 14 of the document), months before the election took place. The FBI knew about Russian interference, but only put Clinton in the crosshairs, strategically before the election.

The New York Daily News has published information that the documents are unsubstantiated, but it focuses entirely on the sexual acts, not the collusion with the Russian government:

A two-page summary of the unsubstantiated allegations was presented to Trump and President Obama last week in meetings with the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency and director of national intelligence, CNN reported Tuesday.

A longer document that the summary was allegedly based on was published in full by BuzzFeed News on Tuesday. It said that during a 2013 trip to the Russian capital, Trump made Russian prostitutes defile a Ritz-Carlton bed where President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama had stayed on a previous occasion.

It said the incident was captured on surveillance cameras.

Putin’s team calls U.S. probe into Russian hacking a ‘witch hunt’

The accusations in the BuzzFeed documents are unconfirmed, though Trump did travel to Russia in 2013 when he hosted the Miss Universe pageant there. The Obamas traveled to Moscow in July 2009.

Pesky, in a panic, says that there was no compromising information on Trump. Of course, Russia has also denied interfering in US elections, even when Russian operatives breached the DNC, so protestations of innocence are tough to believe. CNN reports that Peskov says the information provided by operatives is “pulp fiction”:

During a conference call on Wednesday, Peskov said the claims were false. “No, the Kremlin does not have ‘Kompromat’ on Trump,” he said in response to a question from CNN. “The information does not correspond to reality and it is complete fiction.”
Peskov added: “The fabrication of such lies in terms of the previous open part of the report, and this one which is a comparable lie, it’s called pulp fiction in English.”
“Clearly there are those who are creating hysteria, who are trying to support this witch hunt, and President-elect Trump himself described it like this.”
Not only did the report say that the Kremlin had supported Trump’s campaign, but it also stated that the Kremlin paid for trips to Moscow for other US officials, with the express purpose of creating an alliance with them. Russian officials have been asking US officials how they can “support them,” perhaps leading to a wider probe of Russia’s interference in US politics.
Instead of belittling the reports, and instead of immediately believing Trump, who has been so cozy with Russia from the beginning that it has drawn ire, let’s just imagine what might happen if Trump is found to have a Russian connection. If that is true, not only would the Russians have succeeded in electing the US President of their choice, proving their might in digital espionage, but then they can also prove that they can topple that candidate when they choose. It’s a position of incredible power. In effect, then, Russia has destabilized the entire US political system with nothing more than a few covert operatives working on laptops.
Here’s the other important piece of the picture: the operative finding Russian information was British, not part of the United States, and therefore more likely to be believable. The operative has provided credible intelligence information to the US government in the past, and is well-respected in his field. It would be virtually impossible to verify this information without access to classified intelligence documents, but our international allies have provided us with information on the Russian spies and interference, so it’s not linked to any political party here in the States.
The irony of Comey, US head of FBI, releasing unsubstantiated information on a political candidate without verification, is not lost on most in the US. Come famously released information on Clinton months after he got the intel, right before the election, to stunning effect, but now he claims he can’t answer investigative questions regarding Trump:
…then-Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to contact FBI Director James Comey.
He wrote in a letter in October: “It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government — a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States.”
At a senate hearing on Tuesday, Comey refused to comment on whether the agency was investigating any potential connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“I would never comment on investigations,” Comey told Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who repeatedly pushed the FBI director to release any information it had before Inauguration Day.
Sen. Angus King of Maine, an Independent, alluded to Comey’s decision to go public on the FBI’s additional investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails in the closing stages of the 2016 campaign. “The irony of you making that statement I cannot avoid,” King said.
After the hearing, Wyden tweeted: “Director Comey refused to answer my question about whether the FBI has investigated Trump campaign contacts with Russia.”
When do we get rid of Comey? When do ethics investigations start? With FBI investigations like this, why do we need enemies abroad?
 What is Trump’s response? He tweets all of his responses, actually, and he calls it “fake news,” again:
Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to “leak” into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?
Go ahead and just lump the Germans in here, who have been thus far “just standing there,” geographical location and all. Misdirect, misdirect…
So, what does Trump do when cornered about having Russian allegiance? He asks Russia if they are involved, and then tweets that they are not:
Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is “A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE.” Very unfair!
Ah, the internet is a beautiful thing… Trump tweets that the Russian ties he supposedly has aren’t verified by Russia. The sheer stupidity amazes me, but then I don’t think I am alone in these things.
“Golden Showers Presidency” Who knew pee could change the world?
Fox News, an ardent supporter of Trump and neoconservatives in the past, had unwittingly but accurately tweeted this gem…
President-elect Donald Trump’s plane given a water salute as it takes off from NY to the White House for his meeting with President Obama (11/10/16)
I. Can’t. Stop. Laughing. The news has gotten wonderful.
Here’s what you may have missed: As CNN acknowledges, those same claims were first reported before the election. Now CNN is reporting that FBI Director James Comey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, have presented information summarizing the claims to Obama and Trump. That shows that the intelligence community takes the allegations seriously enough to investigate them, summarize them, and brief the president and his successor on them.
I don’t think Trump ever felt he would be under such a microscope when he pushed to be president, but sexual misbehavior is part of what propelled him to the top in the first place. Is it worse if sexual “perversion” takes place in Moscow? Worse if it’s with prostitutes? Worse if it’s with Russian prostitutes? Only the FBI can tell us what that tipping point is. Trump, who loves to “grab women by their pussy,” might have been letting loose a bigger stream of intel than even he knew.
Why publish the report? Well, it has been circulating for months, and the American public never knew. People claimed they couldn’t verify the information, which they couldn’t unless they had a KGB operative on their side, and at a certain point, everyone else had seen it, so why not?
HuffPost claims that the document was published because Trump keeps picking on the Intelligence Community (US Intelligence Agency), and he also derides the media for its publications, so this is a kind of last-minute shot to undermine him:

But the timing is especially interesting. Trump has been criticizing the intelligence community’s work on Russian interference in last year’s election. “My take is that this is the IC trolling Trump,” one former top intel official who works on Russia issues speculated. “Because Trump stupidly picked a fight with the IC, they’re just releasing stuff to generate bad headlines.”

On Tuesday night, Mother Jones updated its original story. “In Mother Jones’ original report,” the editors noted, “we did not publish the memos drafted by the intelligence official or cite specific details from the documents because the allegations could not be confirmed.”

“I didn’t publish all of the memos because the allegations in them couldn’t be confirmed, and I couldn’t confirm the FBI was mounting a thorough investigation of these allegations,” David Corn, my ex-boss and the author of the piece, told me Tuesday. “So I thought it was responsible to note the memos’ existence and characterize the information within them without providing all the details. Even Donald Trump deserves fairness.”

Realistically, if the dossier had been circulating for months with top US officials, and Senator Jon McCain verified its existence,

The report was verified, but now everyone is wondering if there are videos of Presidential Golden Showers. Do the Golden Showers matter as much as the link to the Kremlin? Apparently Golden Showers are more easily verified or discussed than links to Russian governmental agencies with the US President. Talk about taboo.
How about the planning for coronation day, I mean inauguration…
So what we’ve done instead of trying to surround him with what people consider A-listers is we are going to surround him with the soft sensuality of the place. It’s a much more poetic cadence than having a circus-like celebration that’s a coronation. That’s the way this president-elect wanted it. I think it will be contributive. It will be beautiful. The cadence of it is going to be “let me get back to work.”
I love America.
Soft and warm sensuality? Body temp warm, maybe? Shower him in sensuality? I can’t stop…
The Guardian, which is a UK news agency, had this to say, namely that the British operative who reported this wasn’t lying:

An official in the US administration who spoke to the Guardian described the source who wrote the intelligence report as consistently reliable, meticulous and well-informed, with a reputation for having extensive Russian contacts. 

Some of the reports – which are dated from 20 June to 20 October last year – also proved to be prescient, predicting events that happened after they were sent.

One report, dated June 2016, claims that the Kremlin has been cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least five years, with the aim of encouraging “splits and divisions in western alliance”.

Why ask Russia if the information about Russia is a lie, Trump? Why not ask Britain, the country that employed the operative?

Senator Jon McCain had seen the information and had the report independently investigated, but Trump, apparently, is afraid to do the same. The Guardian, the UK news source, states that Jon McCain “dispatched an emissary overseas to meet the source,” more than Trump or Obama did:

The Guardian can confirm that the documents reached the top of the FBI by December. Senator John McCain, who was informed about the existence of the documents separately by an intermediary from a western allied state, dispatched an emissary overseas to meet the source and then decided to present the material to Comey in a one-on-one meeting on 9 December, according to a source aware of the meeting. The documents, which were first reported on last year by Mother Jones, are also in the hands of officials in the White House.

McCain is not thought to have made a judgment on the reliability of the documents but was sufficiently impressed by the source’s credentials to feel obliged to pass them to the FBI.

The Senate armed services committee, which Senator McCain chairs, launched an inquiry last week into Russian cyber-attacks during the election.

McCain was reluctant to get involved, according to a colleague, for fear the issue would be dismissed as a personal grudge against Trump. He pushed instead for the creation of a special Senate committee to look into connections between campaign staff and Moscow, but the proposal was blocked by the Republican leadership.

McCain told the NBC programme Meet the Press on Sunday: “I would like to see a select committee. Apparently that is not in agreement by our leadership. So we will move forward with the armed services committee and I’m sure foreign relations and intelligence committee will as well.”

But the senator added: “It is possible if enough information comes out, that that decision could be reversed. I still think it’s the best way to attack the issue.”

All the hype about the information being unverified neglects the fact that the source has been verified by a United States Senator, a well-respected veteran, and a political conservative, nixing the idea that this was motivated by the Democratic party. The Guardian reports that Trump’s aides, and now his pick for foreign policy advisor, Carter Page were also part of the Russian collaboration, and the FBI had been investigating Page’s visits to Russia:

Another report, dated 19 July last year said that Carter Page, a businessman named by Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers, had held a secret meeting that month with Igor Sechin, head of the Rosneft state-owned oil company and a long-serving lieutenant of Vladimir Putin. Page also allegedly met Igor Divyekin, an internal affairs official with a background in intelligence, who is said to have warned Page that Moscow had “kompromat” (compromising material) on Trump.

Two months later, allegations of Page’s meetings surfaced in the US media, attributed to intelligence sources, along with reports that he had been under FBI scrutiny.

Page, a vociferous supporter of the Kremlin line, was in Moscow in July to make a speech decrying western policy towards Russia. At the time he declined to say whether he had been in contact with Russian officials, but in September he rejected the reports as “garbage”.

Page has not denied he was in Russia, nor has he denied having ties with Russia, but he says that the reports are “garbage.” Apparently the FBI requested a warrant to monitor, ostensibly, Page’s interaction with Russian officials but was initially denied for requesting a warrant that was too broad. Details haven’t yet surfaced as to whether or not the investigation leading to the original warrant request was completed:

The Guardian has learned that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. The Fisa court turned down the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its focus. According to one report, the FBI was finally granted a warrant in October, but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation.

A month after Trump’s surprise election victory, Page was back in Moscow saying he was meeting with “business leaders and thought leaders”, dismissing the FBI investigation as a “witch-hunt” and suggesting the Russian hacking of the Democratic Party alleged by US intelligence agencies, could be a false flag operation to incriminate Moscow.

Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, appears to have been coordinating Trump’s campaign statements to coincide with Russian interests while the campaign was actively running, timing campaign announcements to suit agreements Trump’s campaign made with Russian operatives, as reported by The Guardian:

Another of the reports compiled by the former western counter-intelligence official in July said that members of Trump’s team, which was led by campaign manager Paul Manafort (a former consultant for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine), had knowledge of the DNC hacking operation, and in return “had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue and to raise US/Nato defence commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine”.

A few days later, Trump raised the possibility that his administration might recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea and openly called on Moscow to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails.

In August, officials from the Trump campaign intervened in the drafting of the Republican party platform, specifically to remove a call for lethal assistance to Ukraine for its battle against Moscow-backed eastern rebels.

Manafort stepped down in August as campaign manager and the campaign steadily distanced itself from Page. However, Trump’s praise of Putin and defence of Moscow’s actions in Ukraine and Syria remained one of the few constants in his campaign talking points.

Why use The Guardian’s information as a main source? The operative who broke the links to Trump and Russia was employed by the British, in the UK.

I couldn’t resist that addition by Reason.com, who attacks BuzzFeed’s publication of the Trump dossier. Of course, if everyone else has seen the dossier, why not the American public? Reason.com says it wouldn’t publish the dossier without its own verification, but a sitting US Senator already verified the source, so I feel free to publish away. Let’s make America great again with “soft sensuality,” “golden showers,” and a Russian mafia. Only in America.