Donald Trump Jr is exactly like his father: A spineless coward and a genuine piece of shit

Donald Trump Jr. questioned the military service of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and was sprayed with venom.

The president’s eldest son posted a link to a Federalist article suggesting Vindman is not a dedicated military officer and public servant, a line of questioning which Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) also pursued during an impeachment hearing.

“Let’s Stop Pretending Every Impeachment Witness Is A Selfless Hero,” Trump Jr. tweeted, quoting the piece’s headline.

His suggestion infuriated other social media users.

Let’s remember:  Through 150 years, five generations and two world wars, NOT A SINGLE MEMBER OF THE TRUMP FAMILY HAS SERVED ONE MINUTE IN UNIFORM.

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In Mississippi, Democrat ousts long-time Republican Congresscritter

Shanda Yates, a 38-year-old Jackson-area attorney, has ousted Billy Denny, a top Republican in the Mississippi House of Representatives who first won his seat in 1987—when Yates was just 6 years old. The Democratic political newcomer beat the longtime House District 64 incumbent by about 51% to 49%, the Hinds County Election Commission confirmed to the Jackson Free Press after finishing counting provisional ballots on Monday.

In 2015’s legislative elections, Democrats did not even field a challenger in House District 64, which includes a precinct in Madison County. Denny’s last Democratic challenger was Jackson attorney Dorsey Carson, who lost by about 13 points in 2011.

“It’s really exciting. It’s also a little surreal if I’m being honest. … Always in the back of my mind, I thought, ‘This is probably not going to pan out,'” Yates told the Jackson Free Press shortly after the final vote totals came in on Monday afternoon.

Unlike other Democrats trying to unseat incumbents, Yates did not try to run as a conservative Democrat. She was honest when voters asked her about issues where she takes a more liberal view, she said, but she focused mainly on “things people cared about and were concerned about,” like education and fixing the state’s roads and bridges. Her campaign knocked on more than 10,000 doors, she said.

https://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2019/nov/18/its-official-dem-shanda-yates-ousts-32-year-republ/

One of Giuliani’s thugs reports he was on a “mission from Trump”

Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani who helped the former New York mayor hunt for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden in Ukraine, allegedly claimed that President Donald Trump personally tasked him with a “secret mission” to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden at a White House party.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were indicted last month on charges alleging that they funneled foreign cash into U.S. elections, including a $325,000 contribution to a pro-Trump super PAC, appeared in a photo taken alongside Giuliani, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at the White House Hanukkah party last year.

During the party, Parnas and Fruman slipped out for a private meeting with Trump and Giuliani, two acquaintances who Parnas confided in told CNN. Parnas allegedly told his confidants after the meeting that the “big guy,” which is how he purportedly referred to the president, had assigned him and Fruman a “secret mission” to pressure Ukraine into investigating Biden and his son Hunter.

Parnas and Fruman were reportedly assigned to be Giuliani’s operatives on the ground in Ukraine. Parnas allegedly described it to at least one associate as a sort of “James Bond mission.”

“Parnas viewed the assignment as a great crusade,” one of his confidants told CNN. “He believed he was doing the right thing for Trump.”

Giuliani’s attorney denied any private meeting between Trump and Parnas that night, claiming that Parnas suffered from “delusions of grandeur.” But CNN reported that Parnas was very close to Giuliani at that point, and he attended the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush as the Trump attorney’s guest one day before the party.

Joseph Bondy, one of Parnas’ attorneys, told CNN, “Mr. Parnas at all times believed that he was acting only on behalf of the president, as directed by his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and never on behalf of any Ukrainian officials.”

Former federal prosecutor Kenneth McCallion, who has multiple high-level clients in Ukraine, told CNN that he also heard about the Hanukkah party meeting from some of his clients, who had allegedly spoken to Parnas.

“Parnas told everyone in Ukraine about the White House meeting. He was adamant he was ‘their guy’ — that they chose him to be their ambassador in Ukraine,” McCallion said.

Parnas’ account, if true, directly links Trump to the efforts of the indicted operatives and contradicts the president’s claim that he did not know either Parnas or Fruman.

“Now it’s possible I have a picture with them, because I have a picture with everybody,” Trump claimed after their arrest last month. “I don’t know what they do, but I don’t know. Maybe they were clients of Rudy.”

The Hanukkah party is not the first time Parnas was reported to have met with Trump. Parnas met the president at a small fundraising dinner at his Washington hotel in April 2018, where he convinced the president to fire then-Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, according to The Washington Post. Yovanovitch later testified under oath that she was ousted following a smear campaign by Giuliani and his associates.

Parnas also appeared in photos with Trump at a fundraiser in August 2018, where attendees “got the impression that Trump and Parnas knew each other” and the president called him “by his first name,” CNN reported. The network identified at least eight times where Parnas and Trump appeared together in photographs.

Following the Hanukkah party, Parnas and Fruman met with then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, where they told the Ukrainian officials that Poroshenko would receive an invitation to a state dinner at the White House if he publicly committed to the investigations for which Trump and Giuliani had pressed, according to The Wall Street Journal.

After the indictment, Parnas initially hired former Trump attorney John Dowd. After Trump claimed that he did not know Parnas, the Giuliani associate fired Dowdand vowed to comply with the House impeachment inquiry.

“Mr. Parnas was very upset by President Trump’s plainly false statement that he did not know him,” Bondy told The Times, adding that Parnas was now “willing to comply with the subpoena” from House investigators.

Trump’s attempt to bribe Ukraine rooted in Republican love of bullshit, lies, and bizarre conspiracy theories

Last week, the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee shoehorned into the permanent record of the impeachment inquiry a conspiracy theory about the “real” attackers against the 2016 election. This defiant linkage to agitprop of dubious origin was yet another chapter in the GOP’s hopeless descent into complete make-believe.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Before we dig into the madness, there’s a history here that needs to be underscored, since the Republican appetite for crapola didn’t quite begin with Donald Trump.

For example: in addition to disconnecting itself from science and evidence-based reality long ago — in the name of manufacturing an ignominious alliance with right-wing evangelicals in the early 1980s — the modern GOP has repeatedly accepted as real the continuing series of selectively edited prank videos by James O’Keefe and his copycats.

O’Keefe’s work has been debunked by every fact-checking organization around. The hidden-camera videos infamously appear to show workers with left-leaning organizations like ACORN incriminating themselves, but only because they’ve been deceptively edited to mislead viewers, stitching together outrageous allegations against the targets.

Most recently, David Dalieden, the video scammer who attempted to frame the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), was forced to pay $2.2 million to the organization after falsely accusing PPFA of selling aborted fetal tissues on the black market. More than a dozen state investigations followed, and each one, including in red states like Florida, North Dakota and Texas, found zero wrongdoing on behalf of Planned Parenthood. It turns out PPFA routinely donated tissues to medical research facilities in pursuit of cures for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases. PPFA merely requested compensation for shipping expenses.

Reality, however, didn’t stop the Republicans from using the fake video as a pretext for voting to de-fund PPFA, just as they did with ACORN and others. Now, it’s an undeniable fact that the modern Republican Party openly legislates based on obvious forgeries — prankster footage that’s about as serious as videos starring Johnny Knoxville and Bam Margera.

It’s no wonder Donald Trump and the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have tethered themselves to another ludicrous conspiracy theory, one that originated with a nefarious source.

The CrowdStrike conspiracy theory

The new-ish Trump Republican theory about Ukraine and the Democratic National Committee goes like this: The Democrats teamed up with the cyber-security firm CrowdStrike to hack the DNC server in 2016 in order to frame Russia, while also somehow sabotaging Trump’s campaign. A key component to this theory is the false claim that CrowdStrike’s founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, is Ukrainian.

According to witnesses in the impeachment inquiry, Trump and his lackeys attempted to extort from Ukraine an investigation into both the Bidens and the CrowdStrike allegations in exchange for U.S. military aid necessary to help fight off the Russian invaders in the eastern Donbass region.

Not surprisingly, the CrowdStrike theory is 100 percent, unpasteurized nincompoopery. (Reportedly, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky didn’t know what Trump was talking about; his aides had to look up this nonsense on the internet.)

Let’s start here: CrowdStrike’s Alperovitch isn’t Ukrainian. He’s a U.S. citizen, born in Russia. The theory gets flimsier from here.

It’s also worth noting that CrowdStrike was the firm that initially discovered the hacking of the DNC, as well as the other fronts of the attack, which was conducted by the Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU, as well as the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, each acting on orders from the Kremlin. (Both those entities were later indicted by Robert Mueller’s prosecutors.) Here’s another fact that undermines CrowdStrike’s alleged relationship with the Democrats: The firm was also hired by the National Republican Congressional Committee after a hacking attempt during the 2018 midterms.

To be clear, the Russian attack against the 2016 election has been unequivocally confirmed by all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, the Mueller report, and the Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Sen, Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican.

Not one reputable organization has debunked or even disputed the fact that Russia attacked the 2016 election in order to help Donald Trump win the election — other than Trump and his Republican Party, of course, neither of which can be considered “reputable.”

Making matters worse, according to the intelligence community and Burr’s Senate committee, as well as both FBI Director Chris Wray and Robert Mueller, each during sworn testimony, the Russian attack against our national sovereignty and the integrity of our electoral system is ongoing and aimed squarely at the 2020 election as well.

The origins of the theory

How did this conspiracy theory begin? The answer to that question serves to further highlight the absurdity of it all.

It comes as no surprise that it all began with a former student of the Russian GRU and infamous Paul Manafort fixer, Konstantin Kilimnik, back in the summer of 2016. According to testimony by indicted Manafort co-conspirator Rick Gates, the Ukraine-CrowdStrike counter-narrative was being developed and pitched around by Manafort while he was still serving as Trump’s campaign chair. He was told about the theory by Kilimnik. Gates also testified that Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, who has since pled guilty for lying to the FBI, also marketed the theory.

BuzzFeed News first unearthed the Gates testimony earlier this month:

According to the FBI’s memo of Gates’ April 2018 interview, Gates told Mueller’s office that the idea that Ukraine was involved was a theory pushed by Konstantin Kilimnik, another longtime associate of Manafort; Kilimnik is a dual citizen of Russia and Ukraine, according to the Washington Post. Kilimnik also suggested that the DNC hack could have been carried out by Russian operatives in Ukraine, Gates said.

Manafort and Flynn, acting on orders from Kilimnik, were apparently the first Americans to mention this theory.

Kilimnik, who was also indicted by Mueller’s prosecutors, was born in Soviet-era Ukraine and attended a Moscow academy run by the GRU before joining the International Republican Institute. In the context of the Trump-Russia scandal, Kilimnik served as a runner between Manafort and Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch and Putin ally who is a key figure in the investigation. You might recall news of Manafort’s effort to provide internal Trump campaign polling data to Deripaska. The data was offered to Deripaska via Kilimnik as part of an attempt by Manafort to “get whole” — to repay debts owed to Deripaska, apparently.

Winners and losers

From a strategic point of view, the Kremlin’s scheme to exonerate itself, including this cockamamie theory about Ukraine and CrowdStrike, is a matter of economics. Punitive sanctions as a collective consequence of Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine, its annexation of Crimea and the attack on the 2016 election are wreaking havoc with the already minuscule Russian petro-economy, not to mention Putin’s kleptocracy. So, deflecting the blame onto Russia’s enemy, Ukraine, is a move to justify the easing of sanctions, and thus to improve Russia’s GDP as well as its foothold in Ukraine and eastern Europe.

For Trump, the benefits of the conspiracy theory are myriad. Primarily, as the president continues to indulge the Kremlin by further declaring his fealty to Moscow over his own intelligence community, he’s also redirected his compliant attorney general, Bill Barr, to overwrite evidence of the Russian attack with bogus evidence of an alleged Ukrainian attack. Trump also gets to frame the Democrats as the real plotters, the real election attackers with the help of the “deep state,” augmenting his “swamp” metaphor and, more importantly, tweaking the under-siege victimhood complex of the Red Hat cult.

In the context of the impeachment inquiry into the Ukraine extortion plot, Trump has obviously handed down strict marching orders to his disciples in Congress, including Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, John Ratcliffe and Devin Nunes, each of whom are crow-barring this theory into the record of the impeachment proceedings. The orders from Trump are apparently to push the CrowdStrike nonsense, while derailing the investigation into Trump’s extortion plot.

Indeed, many of the biggest names in the Republican Party, along with Fox News and the red hat entertainment complex, are busily selling malevolent pro-Kremlin propaganda to American voters over the conclusions emerging from two branches of our own government. Not only that, but Trump’s unspoken accord with Vladimir Putin is actively subverting the cause of democracy and anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine, just as that nation is under attack by Russian invaders.

If Putin wins in Ukraine, eastern Europe will be next on his target list.

We have no choice but to question the patriotism of every American involved with this gibberish. It never ceases to confound logic how these Trump Republicans are so tenaciously circling their wagons around a goofus like Trump, a mentally unfit clown who’s frantically huffing and puffing aboard his dictator’s treadmill. What, exactly, is motivating these fanboys to stake their reputations and the political future of their party, not to mention the very destiny of freedom in Ukraine, all in the name of defending the former host of “Celebrity Apprentice,” whose presidency is rapidly vaporizing itself? The possible answers to this question are chilling, especially knowing the Russian origins of too many plot points orbiting the story.

When this is all over, there has to be a reckoning. When Trump leaves office, certain members of the press will attempt to rehabilitate the Trumpers, while many Red Hats will deny ever having supported Trump in the first place. We can’t let them get away with it. They can’t simply walk away from this damage without commensurate accountability. It’s one thing to be loyal to a president, it’s another thing to erase the proof of an invasion by a hostile foreign power, replacing it with viral agitprop conceived by the invader, in the service of that loyalty.

This is just a partial list of Trump’s foreign policy failures

Americans have never seen a more inept and insubstantial chief executive – literally NO other nation respects Trump

– China is sitting him out
– No NATO member has coughed up one $ more in aid
– Russia interferes in our elections with impunity
– Turkey forced Trump to withdraw from Syria
– Venezuela laughed off Trump’s feeble efforts to initiate a military coup
– North Korea labeled him a dotard, treats him as such and now calls off all meetings
– Mexico has contributed $0.00 to Trump’s wall and will not contribute
– Saudi Arabia lies to his face with no hesitation
– Iran shoots down US military spy drones and laughs as Trump does nothing in response

and this is a partial list!

Little Rocket Man tells the Dotard to go piss up a rope.

Remember back in the early days of the Trump Freak Show when Trump raved about how every other president had been slapped around by the North Koreans but he and he alone would bring peace and de-nuclearization to the Korean peninsula?  Remember that?

Not gonna happen.  Kim Jong-Un just slapped the Dotard like a red-headed stepchild.

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Monday responded to a tweet by President Donald Trump that hinted at another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying it has no interest in giving Trump further meetings to brag about unless it gets something substantial in return.

The statement by Foreign Ministry adviser Kim Kye Gwan is the latest call by North Korea for U.S. concessions ahead of an end-of-year deadline set by Kim Jong Un for the Trump administration to offer mutually acceptable terms for a deal to salvage nuclear diplomacy.

Following a U.S. decision over the weekend to call off joint military exercises with South Korea to create space for diplomacy with the North, Trump in a tweet urged Kim Jong Un to “act quickly, get the deal done” and hinted at another summit between them, saying “See you soon!”

But Kim Kye Gwan reiterated his government’s stance that Washington must discard what North Korea sees as “hostile” policies to keep the negotiations alive.

“Three rounds of DPRK-U.S. summit meetings and talks were held since June last year, but no particular improvement has been achieved in the DPRK-U.S. relations … the U.S. only seeks to earn time, pretending it has made progress in settling the issue of the Korean Peninsula,” he said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, referring to North Korea by the initials of its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“We are no longer interested in such talks that bring nothing to us. As we have got nothing in return, we will no longer gift the U.S. president with something he can boast of, but get compensation for the successes that President Trump is proud of as his administrative achievements.”

Kim Kye Gwan is a veteran diplomat who led the North Korean delegation at much of the now-dormant six-nation nuclear disarmament talks held in Beijing in 2003-2008.

His statement came hours after KCNA reported that Kim Jong Un supervised a parachuting drill by military sharpshooters and vowed to build an “invincible army,” displaying more defiance despite the decision by the U.S. and South Korea to shelve their drills.

It was North Korea’s second publicized military drill in three days. A report Saturday said Kim urged combat pilots to prepare against enemies “armed to the teeth” while attending a flight demonstration.

News you will not hear from Fox

I know you rightwingerdingers keep your heads buried in Fox, so, as a service to you, I’m posting some articles you will not hear on Fox . . . because Fox does not report the truth.

Trump’s European golf courses lost $20 million.  Never fear.  Russians bailed him out.

For the fifth year in a row, Donald Trump’s Ireland golf course, Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Doonbeg, reported a loss of $1.7 million in 2018. According to a report from The Washington Post, filings made public by the Irish government this Monday “underscored that the Trump Organization has yet to find a profitable formula at its European golf courses,” despite large sums of money going into the properties.

Although all of Trump golf courses in Europe saw revenue rise, there was no overall profit. As the Post points out, losses last year for the properties totaled more than $20 million. However, Trump’s course in Doonbeg, Ireland, saw a slight improvement, posting an operating profit of over $3,300, contrasted with an operating loss of nearly $400,000 in 2017. Additionally, the 2018 loss was an improvement over the previous year, which saw losses of $2.1 million.

Read the full report over at The Washington Post.

Republican NRA operative who bonked Maria Butina found guilty of several crimes

Yet another Republican operative caught up in the 2016 scandal into Russian election interference will plead guilty to federal crimes.

“Paul Erickson, the former boyfriend of convicted Russian agent Maria Butina, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering according to a plea agreement filed in a South Dakota federal court Monday afternoon,” The Daily Beast reports. “In a two-page statement detailing the factual basis for the plea, Erickson said he conned someone called only “D.G.” into wiring him $100,000, under the pretense that the money was for a real estate investment in North Dakota.”

Erickson also admitted wiring $1,000 of the money to somebody called only “M.B.” in court records.

“The case against Erickson, a well-known conservative operative who shuttled between D.C. and South Dakota, was separate from the one lodged against Butina in Washington, D.C.,” The Beast reported. “Erickson became involved in relationship with Butina in 2013. As The Daily Beast previously reported, the duo dressed up as Rasputin to Butina’s flame-haired Empress Alexandra during a 2016 birthday party. The over-the-top gathering included an ice sculpture of a bottle imprinted with the Soviet hammer and sickle from which vodka flowed.”

Read the full report.

IRS whistleblower reports Trump officials prevented IRS from obeying the law

U.S. Senate investigators are probing a whistleblower’s complaint charging that a political appointee may have “meddled” with an IRS audit of either President Donald Trump’s or Vice President Mike Pence’s taxes, or the returns of both.

Of note is the investigation is bipartisan, and is moving forward, The Washington Post reports.

Investigators are on the staffs of both Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Vice Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Staffers met with the whistleblower last month and follow up interviews are being scheduled.

The whistleblower is identified only as a “career IRS official.”

Last month the whistleblower reportedly said they were “told at least one Treasury Department political appointee attempted to improperly interfere with the annual audit.”

GOP demanded half-a-million in exchange for ambassadorship

Newly uncovered emails reveal that the Republican National Committee demanded that President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas donate $500,000 ahead of his Senate confirmation hearings.

CBS News reports that RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel asked billionaire Doug Manchester for more cash at a time when his confirmation as Bahamas ambassador had seemingly stalled.

“Would you consider putting together $500,000 worth of contributions from your family to ensure we hit our ambitious fundraising goal?” she asked him in an email.

Manchester replied and told McDaniel that he’s “not supposed to” be donating to the RNC at the same time he’s up for an ambassadorship. All the same, he said his wife would send along a check for $100,000.

He then asked McDaniel to put pressure on the Senate GOP to move his confirmation hearing along.

CBS News investigative reporter Jim Axelrod confronted Manchester about the emails and told him that “you know what this looks like.”

Manchester responded defensively and insisted that his wife’s contribution had nothing to do with getting confirmed by the Senate.

“Well — it looks like it to you,” he said. “But it’s not the facts. My wife gave out of separate funds and she in fact loves Donald Trump.”

Trump owes $50 million to a paper LLC

The biggest mystery in @realdonaldtrump’s financial disclosures: he owes more than ***$50 million*** to an LLC that exists mostly on paper. No employees, no office, no assets of its own.
That mystery lender, Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC,
just filed its annual report. This is it.

 

 

This one-page doc from the Illinois Sec. of State is the only annual public proof that this LLC even exists.
It shows — as always — that this huge creditor of @realdonaldtrump’s is owned by Trump’s own company.
@trump Org has not explained why or how.

 

Pelosi threw out the bait and Trump swallowed it !!!!

Left to his own devices, Trump would surely love to testify in person on live TV.

So — Speaker Pelosi made an off-hand comment that Trump is welcome to testify before the impeachment inquiry.  Her comment was dismissed as being, well, you know, not serious.  However, she is not in the habit of just tossing something out there.

Trump couldn’t resist the bait. He thinks he can charm anybody. Just think of the thrill of taking down his enemies and accusers face-to-face on live television. Huge ratings. I mean HUGE.

And he would win bragging points for juicing the ratings for the hearings – which he would say were a snooze until he took the stage and woke everybody up!

Of course, no sane lawyer or adviser would urge him to do it. But Trump has now surrounded himself by a bunch of yes-persons. Even some of his legal “briefs” are clearly dictated at least in part by the man himself. He thinks he knows more about war than the generals, more about diplomacy than the diplomats, more about the economy than the economists, so why not more about the law than the lawyers?

Of course, the people around him will try to sit on him, chain him to his desk, etc. And his supporters had better hope that they succeed, for once, in making him keep his mouth shut.

But you gotta admire Pelosi’s attempt. This is surely her most brilliant bit of gamesmanship yet . . . she’s trying to goad Trump into being a witness against himself . . . and given Trump’s self-centered immature personality, he just may swallow the bait.