Bye Bye My Love Goodbye

It’s sad to see long-time lovers breaking up. Somebody even wrote a song about it:

Bye bye love
Bye bye happiness
Hello loneliness
I think I’m-a gonna cry-y
Bye bye love
Bye bye sweet caress
Hello emptiness
I feel like I could die
Bye bye my love goodbye

[With apologies to the Everly Brothers.]

What’s even worse is when the breakup is above the fold on most news outlets. Double worse is when it’s about crime and politics and worse still when it’s presidential politics. Bye bye, my love, goodbye. The breakup is streaming now on ABC World News Tonight with David Muir on Hulu, where I obtained these screen shots.

This continuing saga has a history stretching back in time, before some of us were reborn. Like before the election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States.

That’s right. Porn movie actress Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a. Stormy Daniels, and private citizen Trump had their own one-night stand a decade or so back. Actually, it may not be possible to classify this as a one-night stand, since (my understanding) a one-night stand lasts until morning. Furthermore, I cannot assure readers that anybody actually took their clothes off.

But that’s history, and although history may not always repeat itself, it does sometimes come back to haunt. Like when you are running for election for the highest office in the land, and election is a fortnight away, and you suddenly remember. “Oh, shit. There’s this Stormy Daniels business. That could put me down a half a point in the polling, and since I’m already 10 points down, it might be worth while shedding some cash and shaving a half point. Can somebody get Michael on the phone for me?”

Few deny that Michael Cohen, friend, attorney, and fixer for Donald Trump for over a decade, paid Ms. Clifford $130,000 to claim she did not hump the Trump while Donald’s sweet wife was preggers. So the money was paid, and the lady kept her mouth shut, and Trump eked out a win, and we have what we have today. Except…

Except the mouth did not stay shut. It’s amazing how mouths tend not to do so. At a point Ms. Clifford decided she had been screwed, and we wonder how long it took for her to figure that out. So she obtained another lawyer, figuring her then-lawyer Keith M. Davidson had been in bed (figuratively not literally) with Trump’s lawyer Cohen. So Clifford obtained new legal council in the person of Michael Avenatti, and Mr. Avenatti proceeded to unravel the NDA Mr. Cohen had negotiated on behalf of Mr. Trump.

Other lawyers began to look at the arrangement, and those lawyers work for the United States Government, and what they saw was possible violation of election law. Specifically, the payment to Ms. Clifford was a campaign expense, since it was an essential part of getting Mr. Trump elected, but said payment never showed up on any campaign financial disclosure filings. As lawyers, government lawyers at that, began to dig into the matter, other interesting stuff started to come out. Apparently government lawyers came to believe Michael Cohen had been practicing beyond the limits of established statutes, and they did what government lawyers often do:

Agents of the FBI seized documents and more than a dozen phones and electronic devices.

Yeah, here is some of the stuff the government lawyers suspect:

To obtain a warrant to carry out this search on Mr. Cohen’s office, house, and hotel room, they demonstrated to a magistrate they had probable cause Mr. Cohen had engaged in bank and wire fraud. Mr. Cohen is in deep trouble.

If Mr. Cohen is in deep trouble, then President Trump is in an inch of trouble, because Mr. Cohen had been doing a lot of dirty stuff for Mr. Trump. How about if Mr. Cohen would tell the government lawyers about this stuff he had been doing for Mr. Trump?

No way.

“I would do anything to protect Mr. Trump.”

“Mr. President, is Michael Cohen going to flip, sir?” I just love the way the report added the superfluous “sir” at the end of that question. Anyhow, the president has been adamant:

The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will “flip.” They use….

….non-existent “sources” and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family. Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected. Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if….

….it means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!

I take that as a “no.”

Oops! That was then. This is now.

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News:

My wife and my son have my first loyalty and always will. I put family and country first.

ABC News now has it that Michael Cohen sees losing everything over his loyalty to the president, which loyalty has historically never been reciprocated. Will Mr. Cohen cough up incriminating details on a sitting president in exchange for leniency on some serious charges? There are issues.

If Michael Cohen says, “Give me a break, and I’m going to tell you about some criminal stuff in Donald Trump’s past,” then prosecutors, and worst of all a judge, will be asking, “Is he going to make up stuff about the president in order to save his own hide?” It is a concern, but it doesn’t work that way. What Mr. Cohen can do is tell what he knows, and then prosecutors can use his statements in an affidavit, which they will take to a judge to obtain search warrants and subpoenas to obtain information that will corroborate what Michael Cohen has told them. Then, providing the there is verifiable criminal activity, they can begin criminal proceedings. Does anybody doubt the President of the United States has committed criminal acts worthy of prosecution? Not within shouting distance of where I now sit.

Michael Cohen has turned from “All the way with Donald Trump” (I know that doesn’t rhyme), to “Not so fast there, Mr. Trump.” He is expressing his legal view on the infamous Trump Tower of June 2016, saying…

“…an example of poor judgment.” You think?

Multiple news outlets, those which the president calls out as “fake news,” are reporting that Michael Cohen has obtained new legal counsel independent of the president’s legal team. That means that the Trump-Cohen partnership is coming asunder—the two will be going their separate ways. What’s about to play out could be very interesting and will likely end up in the history books.

Bye bye, my love, goodbye.

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Your Friend The Handgun

Number 117

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir streaming on Hulu

The Second Amendment ensures the right of citizens to arm themselves for their own protection and for the protection of others. Tell that to Jeremy Webster of Colorado:

DENVER — A 12-year-old boy told police he saw a driver open fire on his family during a road rage confrontation in Colorado, killing his older brother and critically wounding his mother and younger brother, authorities said Friday. Police arrested Jeremy Webster, 23, hours after the shooting that killed a 13-year-old boy and also wounded a bystander not related to the family.

Apparently that did not turn out well for Jeremy. Fortunately for him, or maybe not, he had no past criminal record, so he was allowed to possess a firearm. Knowing he had “mental issues” and was on “new medication,” he failed to relinquish his right to carry. I’ve been told by others that people can obtain insurance coverage to protect themselves in case their use of a firearm causes harm. I’m guessing instances such as this are addressed by exclusion clauses somewhere down in the fine print. Tell that to Meghan Bigelow, who is now hospitalized in critical condition, her oldest son dead and another wounded. I am sure Meghan would rather not sue if she could only get her son back.

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir streaming on Hulu

It’s what we are willing to pay for the right to  “protect ourselves.”

This is your President speaking.

Number 118 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Democrats are the problem. They don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our Country, like MS-13. They can’t win on their terrible policies, so they view them as potential voters!

Although I do so much appreciate hearing what the president has to say, there are times I wish he would discuss matters related to home-grown criminality.

This is your President speaking.

Number 117 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Why was the FBI giving so much information to the Fake News Media. They are not supposed to be doing that, and knowing the enemy of the people Fake News, they put their own spin on it – truth doesn’t matter to them!

Somehow the word is getting out. Must be osmosis.

Don’t drop the soap.

Number 9 in a Series

Facing possibly the rest of your life behind bars? There are a number of things you will need to  keep in mind. One is that you can only go so long before you will need to take a shower. No problem. Just don’t drop the soap.

Screen shots are from MSNBC on YouTube and ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, streaming on Hulu.

Paul Manafort was born on 1 April 1949 (bad omen), making him 69 years old. During these past 69 years he has accumulated a number of notable accomplishments, including a short law career and working for the Gerald Ford,Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Robert Dole, and Donald Trump campaigns. He also did some consulting work for now deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, some of this work involving lobbying the United States government. A problem is that some of the work Manafort performed involved illegal activities, and the FBI has been on his trail for several years.

Come the 2016 election, and American intelligence services, including the FBI became aware that the Russian government was inserting its influence into the process. Time passed, and Donald Trump was elected president, and he fired FBI Director James Comey, who persisted in investigating this stuff. The Deputy Attorney General appointed Robert Mueller as special prosecutor to look into the business behind Comey’s firing and the Russian misdeeds, and Paul Manafort came into his gun sights. Last October Mr. Mueller had enough evidence, and he filed criminal indictments against Manafort. Others were similarly indicted, with some pleading guilty and at least one serving his term and walking out.

Paul Manafort was not one of those to plead, so he remained out of jail on bail, confined to his quarters and wearing two ankle bracelets to track his movements. The problem was they forgot to put ankle bracelets on his cell phone, and shortly the FBI, having obtained a warrant, noticed criminal activity salted among his communications.

Yes, he was caught attempting to influence potential witnesses against him. He wanted them to lie.

Of course, when Robert Mueller’s prosecutors presented evidence of this to federal judge Amy Berman Jackson she laughed it off.

Just kidding. She had some choice remarks relating to what actions she could take.

And she didn’t. She revoked Paul Manafort’s bail and ordered him to jail on Friday, where he has been since. Given his age and given the charges against Paul Manafort, if convicted he will possibly spend the remainder of his life behind bars. President Trump came forth quickly to comment on this obvious miscarriage of justice.

And, we have to wonder why, since Mr. Trump assures us that Paul Manafort was not a major player in his campaign. Here he is with Paul Manafort’s not being a major player in his campaign.

Here is some more of Paul Manafort not being a major player in the Trump campaign.

Here is Paul Manafort not being a major player in the Trump campaign by being the person who brought in Mike Pence as the Donald Trump vice presidential nominee.

Here is President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliano lawyer reminding us how matters will really turn out.

Mr. Giuliani, and possibly Mr. Trump, may be thinking that dangling the promise of a presidential pardon will reassure Paul Manafort and encourage him to keep his mouth shut. This is short on two levels.

  • Paul Manafort is additionally under investigation on state charges in New York. The president cannot pardon somebody from other than federal charges.
  • Once pardoned, Paul Manafort loses his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, since he will no longer be able to incriminate himself. At that point prosecutors can force him to  testify about what he knows relating to the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and any other criminal matter. If he refuses to testify he can be held in contempt of court, and will serve some jail time. If he testifies falsely, he can be prosecuted for perjury.

In any event, Paul Manafort can look forward to the shower experience in the slam. He needs to take care to not drop the soap.

This is your President speaking.

Number 116 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns. Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!

Tough break, Mr. President. It’s a good thing you didn’t hire crooked campaign managers the way the Democrats did.

Dying to Believe

Some more of the same – number 105 in a series

Even in 21st century America, Jesus continues to take innocent lives. Most recently:

Jonathan Foster, 35, and Grace Foster, 34, also were convicted Friday in Berks County court of child endangerment in the November 2016 death of daughter Ella Grace in Upper Tulpehocken Township.

The parents of a 2-year-old Pennsylvania girl who died of pneumonia have been convicted of involuntary manslaughter after prosecutors said they declined to seek medical care for the child on religious grounds.

Jonathan Foster, 35, and Grace Foster, 34, also were convicted Friday in Berks County court of child endangerment in the November 2016 death of daughter Ella Grace in Upper Tulpehocken Township, The Reading Eagle reported.

This is not some Mississippi River Delta town, tucked away in a stand of yellow pines. Reading, PA, is the county seat, located a short drive north of Philadelphia. The child’s parents, who were trusted to ensure her development into a healthy adult, attributed her death to “God’s will,” meaning Jesus. May Jesus have mercy on their souls.

This is your President speaking.

Number 87 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

If I wanted to fire Robert Mueller in December, as reported by the Failing New York Times, I would have fired him. Just more Fake News from a biased newspaper!

He’s calling somebody a fake?

This is your President speaking.

Number 76 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

The Fake News is beside themselves that McCabe was caught, called out and fired. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars was given to wife’s campaign by Crooked H friend, Terry M, who was also under investigation? How many lies? How many leaks? Comey knew it all, and much more!

Something smells here, and the odor is coming from higher up.

Breitbart Mentality

Number 2 of an Infinite Series

Full disclosure: I signed up for a subscription to the Breitbart News email back in July, and I now receive daily (sometimes more) missives from the right-leaning news group. See the screen shot above. Breitbart’s position on what matters is something that speaks for itself.

A recent mail had the above headline. With a whole bunch of earth-shaking stuff coming across the news wires, this is what Breitbart News figured was important enough to mail out to me. Here’s the story:

Louisiana Cops Searching for Previously Deported Honduran Wanted for Rape

Law enforcement officials in Louisiana are looking for a previously deported illegal alien fugitive who is wanted on charges of third-degree sexual assault.

The Sheriff’s Office in Lafayette Parish is asking the public for help in locating 35-year-old Marco Antonio. The wanted foreign national also goes by the names of Marco Contreras-Martel and Marcos Antonio Contreras Martel, reported KLFY, a CBS affiliate in Lafayette, Louisiana. Sheriff’s officials said immigration officials previously deported Antonio in 2014.

Breitbart Texas reached out to Sheriff Mark Garber’s office for more information about the charges in the case. A spokesman for the sheriff said they cannot release any information about the suspect or details of the alleged crime at this time. He said the suspect is known to work and travel back and forth between Louisiana and East Texas.

There is more, but not much. This is the story that usurped the information about 39 unintentional shootings by children in 2018:

Nearly two million American children live in homes with guns that are not stored responsibly. This interactive map tracks every publicly reported incident since 2015 where a person age 17 or under unintentionally kills or injures themselves or someone else with a gun.

Additionally:

Two 16 year-old boys were handling a gun “in an unsafe manner,” according to police, when it unintentionally discharged. One of the boys was hit and transported to a local hospital. He was treated for non-life threatening injuries. Police arrested the uninjured 16 year-old on preliminary charges of criminal recklessness with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a child.

The key item here is that a third degree (statutory) rape was supposedly (most likely) committed by a person here illegally after having previously been deported. It’s the matter of an illegal alien who committed a crime that’s important to readers of Breitbart News, disregarding that illegal aliens tend to be very law-abiding due to their need to avoid encounters with the law. This is the Breitbart Mentality on parade.

Draining The Swamp

How is that working out?

I’m sure I said this before. Fact is, I checked my archives and verified I did say this before. I seldom go to liberal sources for these posts. Liberals are so dull. Conservatives, on the other hand, brighten my day. In the same sense as a stink bomb at a birthday party. Take, for example, the soap opera that has become the life and time of Rick and Paul. That’s Rick Gates and Paul Manafort.

To get readers up to speed, Paul Manafort was the campaign manager for candidate Donald Trump from March 2016 until 19 August 2016.

In August 2016, Manafort’s connections to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russian Party of Regions drew national attention in the US, where it was reported that Manafort may have illegally received $12.7 million in off-the-books funds from the Party of Regions.

On August 17, 2016, Donald Trump received his first security briefing. The same day, August 17, Trump shook up his campaign organization in a way that appeared to minimize Manafort’s role. It was reported that members of Trump’s family, particularly Jared Kushner who had originally been a strong backer of Manafort, had become uneasy about his Russian connections and suspected that he had not been forthright about them. Manafort stated in an internal staff memorandum that he would “remain the campaign chairman and chief strategist, providing the big-picture, long-range campaign vision”. However, two days later, Trump announced his acceptance of Manafort’s resignation from the campaign after Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway took on senior leadership roles within that campaign.

Upon Manafort’s resignation as campaign chairman, Newt Gingrich stated that “nobody should underestimate how much Paul Manafort did to really help get this campaign to where it is right now.” Gingrich later added that, for the Trump administration, “It makes perfect sense for them to distance themselves from somebody who apparently didn’t tell them what he was doing.

Mr. Manafort’s fortunes have gone downhill since that time. He now stands indicted for multiple federal felonies and stands to spend his remaining years in the federal slam. I’m not going to recap the complete story, just the high points. In fact, I am going to  fall back on having MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow do the recount for me, in pictures pulled from YouTube, which is currently carrying an episode from 22 February (last week). Start with this:

On 21 February, federal prosecutor Robert Mueller issued an additional 32-count indictment against Manafort.

MSNBC acquired a copy of a letter used by Manafort approximately February and March 2016 to solicit the position of campaign manager for candidate Trump. It’s an interesting proposal that Manafort put forward. He had not been involved in American  politics for years, decades according to Rachel Maddow. He had previously been doing work for the Ukrainian government, at the time having difficulties with Russia, its former benevolent protector. However, in 2014 the people of Ukraine tired of elected president Viktor Yanukovych, who, to them, seemed to be too cozy with mother Russia, deposed him, and Yanukovych retreated to the safety of Russia. At this point the lucrative dealings Manafort had been enjoying dried up to the loss of millions of dollars annual income. My take is this hit Manafort hard, as a review of his lavish lifestyle indicates he was living on the margin. He needed cash. Mucho dinero. Pronto. How, then, to  explain  his offer to work for free on the Trump campaign.

This came at an opportune time for Manafort. The Trump campaign was roiling and in turmoil. Corey Lewandowski was Trumps first campaign manager, but he quickly proved to be problematic:

On March 10, 2016, Michelle Fields, a reporter for Breitbart News, wrote that, after she asked Donald Trump a question when she approached him after a March 8, 2016, press conference in Jupiter, Florida, she was forcefully grabbed by Lewandowski. On March 29, Lewandowski was charged with one count of simple battery by the Jupiter Police Department and surrendered himself to the authorities, after releasing a statement maintaining his innocence.

Two weeks later, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said that his office would not prosecute Lewandowski; they believed that “there was probable cause to make an arrest” and “the facts support the allegation that Mr. Lewandowski did grab Ms. Fields’ arm against her will,” but “the evidence cannot prove all legally required elements of the crime alleged and is insufficient to support a criminal prosecution.”

On March 19, 2016, during a campaign event in Tucson, Arizona, Lewandowski drew criticism for his handling of a protester. Although a video showed Lewandowski grabbing the protester by the collar, the campaign and Lewandowski denied doing so.

But back to the entry of Paul Manafort. In particular, note the underlined in this job pitch. “I am not looking for a paid job.” Where is the money to come from? That, apparently, is the crux of the story to follow.

Here is Manafort in his new job with the Trump campaign (second from the right).

Watch the video. Maddow interprets.

She points out these details from the new indictments.

Between at least 2016 and 2015… Manafort and Gates generated tens of millions of dollars in  income as a result of their Ukraine work…

Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that  income.

This is the point at which Manafort begins, as far as the indictments go, to get cross-ways with United States law. Willfully avoiding to pay taxes owed is a federal offense.

The saga continues:

In the second part of the scheme, between approximately 2015 and at least January 2017, when the Ukraine income dwindled after Yanukovych fled to Russia, Manafort, with the assistance of Gates, extracted money from Manafort’s United States real estate..

At this point, Manafort, with the assistance of Gates, piled on additional criminal offenses.

Manafort, Gates, and others devised and intended to devise, and executed and attempted to execute, a scheme and artifice to defraud, and to obtain  money and property, by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, from banks and other financial institutions.

The government has  already been offended by this failure to pay taxes. Now the pair engage in schemes to defraud other parties, in essence to steal from them.

Continuing…

Manafort falsely represented to the bank that he did not derive more than 50% of his income/wealth from a country outside the United States.

I’m guessing this falsification is in violation of the law.

Continuing…

In late 2015 through early 2016, Manafort sought to borrow cash…after promising Lender A that approximately $1,400,000 of the loan would be used solely for construction…

It makes a difference to a lender what you intend to do with the money. If you intend to put it into a business that will return income, enabling you to repay the loan, then the lender will be more favorable. Manafort lied, putting the lender at a risk beyond what was agreed upon in the lending contract.

Federal prosecutors—Mueller’s team—determined from evidence they have that Manafort was defrauding the lender.

Manafort never intended to limit use of the proceeds to construction as required by the loan contracts and never did.

He had no intent to abide by the terms of the contract, and he carried through with his plan to violate  the contract.

Prosecutors presented further evidence of criminal activity.

In late 2015 through early 2016, Manafort applied for a mortgage on the Howard Street condominium from Lender B… Manafort falsely represented to the lender and its agents that it was a secondary home used as such by his daughter and son-in-law and was not held as rental property.

Yes, that does make a difference when you are lending money for real estate.

At this point, Manafort sucks his closest kin into his criminal enerprise. He advises his son-in-law to lie for him, placing the son-in-law in jeopardy for criminal prosecution.

…on January 26, 2016, Manafort wrote to his son-in-law to advise him that when the bank appraiser came to assess the condominium, his son-in-law should “[r]emember, he believes that you and [Manafort’s daughter] are living there.

This just plain dumb. When you discuss a scheme to commit a crime, you do not put the discussion in writing. You meet on a rowboat out beyond the three-mile limit and hide under a blanket to discuss the details face to face.

Gates’ complicity in the scheme is detailed.

Gates, on Manafort’s behalf, caused an insurance broker to provide Lender B false information…

Continuing…

After Gates contacted the insurance broker and asked her to provide Lender B with false information, he updated Manafort by email on February 24, 2016. Manafort replied to Gates, on the same day: “good job on the insurance issues.”

Jesus Christ! They discussed it in an email?

The pair further involved (unwitting?) others.

Manafort and Gates caused Manafort’s tax accountant to send t Lender B back-dated documentation that falsely stated that the $1.5 million Peranova Loan had been forgiven  in 2015, and falsely inflated income for 2015 to mask Manafort’s 2015 drop in income.

My interpretation: Manafort needed cash. His lucrative business with Ukraine was gone, and he felt no need to retrench, to live at a lower standard, such as I am doing now. Since he was not earning the money he needed, he figured to borrow it. How it would be paid back is beyond my comprehension. In any event, his finances at the time and his future prospects made him a poor risk for a loan. He decided to defraud lenders by falsifying his circumstances.

Here is some detail to explain the “Peranova loan.”

MANAFORT and GATES also disguised, as purported “loans,” more than $10 million transferred from Cypriot entities, including the overseas MANAFORT–GATES entities, to domestic entities owned by MANAFORT. For example, a $1.5 million wire from Peranova to DMI that MANAFORT used to purchase real estate on Howard Street in Manhattan, New York, was recorded as a “loan” from Peranova to DMI, rather than as income. The following loans were shams designed to reduce fraudulently MANAFORT’s reported taxable income

The scheme becomes ever more involved.

In  approximately February 2016, Manafort applied for a business loan from Lender C. Manafort made a series of false statements to Lender C.

Yet another series of criminal offenses.

At this point Manafort and Gates began to get their hands dirty, performing the detailed work that would put their fingerprints (figuratively) on the crime.

in approximately March 2016, Manafort and Gates submitted a doctored 2015 DMI P&L that overstated DMI’s 2015 income by more than $4 million.

DMI is Davis Manafort, Inc., and P&L is profit and loss.

At this point professional scruples raised its ugly head. Somebody refused to assist in perpetrating the ruse.

Gates asked DMI’s bookeeper to send him a “Word Document version of the 2015 P&L for [DMI]” because Manafort wanted Gates to add the accrual revenue which we have not received in order to send to [Lender C].”

Counting accrual is legitimate in some cases, but was not one of those cases. I am guessing the accruals were not expected to materialize.

Yeah, the bookkeeper did not want any of this stuff to rub off on him. Smart man (woman).

The bookkeeper refused, since the accounting method DMI used did not permit recording income before it was actually received.

Unable to enlist the assistance of an innocent party, Gates took the crime into his own hands.

Having failed to secure a falsified P&L from the bookkeeper, Gates falsified the P&L.

This means jail time for Gates.

Ensuring his children would do without their father during their formative years, Gates signed his own ticket up the river.

Gates then sent the altered P&L to Lender C, which claimed approximately $4.45 million in net income, whereas the true P&L had less than $400,000 in net income.

To put this into perspective, $400,000 net income is what a contract computer programmer might expect to pull down in two years. Not a healthy cash flow for a multi-million-dollar business concern.

Not to be greedy, Manafort and Gates inflated their cash flow by just the amount needed to get the loan.

In March 2016, Manafort, with the assistance of Gates and others, applied for a $5.5 million loan… The falsified 2016 DMI P&L overstated DMI’s income by more than $2 million, which was the amount that Lender B told Manafort he needed to qualify for the loan.

Apparently Manafort and Gates had somebody working inside with Lender B to help pave the way. How would you like to be that person right now, watching the Manafort/Gates indictments unfold on your TV screen?

When the document ws first submitted to Lender B, a conspirator working at Lender B replied: “Looks Dr’d. Can’t someone just do a clean excel doc and pdf to me??” A subsequent version was submitted to the bank.

Again, incriminated evidence put into an email. Dumb follows dumber.

As evidence of income, Gates dummied up an invoice that anybody would suspect was phony.

Gates, on Manafort’s behalf, provided the bank with a fake invoice for $2.5 million, directed “To Whom it May Concern.”

Who sends a $2.4 million invoice “to whom it may concern?”

Sanity continued to seep in. What responsible financial institution would accept such a sham? Not this one, apparently.

The bank, unwilling to rely on the invoice to support Manafort’s stated 2016 income, requested additional information. The bank was unable to obtain satisfactory support for the stated income, and the loan application was denied.

Smart move. You just saved your bank from a $2.4 million loss. But this leaves Manafort and Gates still in limbo for the cash. They need to scramble and locate another sucker. This is the point at which the scheme gets close to candidate Trump.

Enter Lender D. The Trump tie-in is beginning to take shape.

Between  approximately July 2016 and January 2017, Manafort, with the assistance of Gates, sought and secured approximately $16,000,000 in two loans from Lender D.

It turns out it’s going to matter who is Lender D.

Manafort provided the bank with doctored P&Ls… Gates converted that .pdf into a “Word” document so that it could be edited, which Gates sent back to Manafort. Manafort altered that “Word” document by adding more than $3.5 million in income.

Lender D still had to worry about this questionable loan.

Lender D questioned Manafort about a $300,000 delinquency on  his American Express card… Manafort supplied Lender D a letter from Gates that falsely stated that Gates had borrowed Manafort’s credit card to make the purchases…

What a different world these people live in. I get nervous when my balance broaches $5000. (Swallow hard.)

Continuing…

The delinquency significantly affected Manafort’s credit rating score.

If I were short $300,000 on my MasterCard, the bank would have armed guards standing around my house until I whittled the leverage down to a manageable size.

So, who is this mysterious Lender D, and why are they willing to shell out $16 million to a couple of Beltway deadbeats?

Filings show Manafort was in financial trouble just as he offered to  work for Trump for free.

It turns out that Lender D is (possibly) The Federal Savings Bank in Chicago. It’s supposed to lend to military veterans. Manafort never served in the military. Why was he getting a loan from The Federal Savings Bank? Good question.

Maddow raises the question whether Manafort promised a White House job in return for being granted the loan.

…three loans were questioned by other officials at the bank…

Certain people at the bank (any bank) are required to approve a loan of this size. Apparently some pressure was applied.

…at least one of the bank employees who felt pressured into approving the deals is cooperating with investigators.

It’s one way to wipe you slate clean. When the feds come around, show you are willing to cooperate.

The bank’s CEO is a Mr. Steve Calk, and he is figured to have expected something personal in return for granting the loan, approximately 25% of the bank’s authorized lending. From The Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Calk was seeking to become Mr. Trump’s Army secretary.

Who would have thought the job paid that much?

Again, apparently from The WSJ:

chief executive Steve Calk … was placing calls to the Pentagon and specifically to Army headquarters, asking for briefings to obtain information and prepare himself for a possible job … Mr. Calk’s overtures raised questions among military leaders as to how to respond

The previous Manafort/Gates indictments of October 2017 alleged the pair laundered $18 million. The new indictments bump that figure up. It’s now $30 million. That’s more than some people make in a whole year.

The story continues.

…in light of additional conduct

additional evidence related to this and the other bank frauds and conspiracies

Revelations concerning Manafort’s finances put a shadow on his current bail status. To obtain bail, Manafort had to put up tangible assets, and it now appears those assets are encumbered, making them unworthy as bail collateral. There is the possibility he will spend the remainder of the time leading up to his trial behind bars. Once inside, he may stay for the remainder of his life.

Maddow speculates how the additional $12 million came to be added to the indictments. Possibly, now that Gates has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors, he could be disclosing additional malfeasance.

This item was published on YouTube the day before a slew of additional indictments was issued. One of several things will happen next:

  • Manafort will hoe the line and play canasta with other inmates until he dies.
  • Manafort, currently insisting on his innocence and refusing to take a plea deal, will soon cave and will give up valuable information.
  • Manafort will have no additional information to give up and will play canasta for the rest of his life.

What prosecutors may be counting on (I hope) is that Manafort was close enough to the Trump campaign to have dirt on illegal dealings with a foreign government (Russia, China, Guatemala, who knows?). What many of us watching this play out daily on the tube hope with great fondness is that President Trump’s daily ranting of “No collusion, no collusion!” indicates delusion and desperation. Good people across this nation would love to chomp popcorn while watching The Donald do the perp walk.

Is this a great country or what?

The Government You Paid For

Number 25 in a Series

People have been complaining for decades. We heard them. They elect politicians. They pay taxes. They obey the law. And for what. We hear people complain they are  not getting the government they paid for.

Good news, boys and girls. Those days are over. We are now getting the government we paid for.

Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pleads guilty in Mueller investigation

“The third Trump associate” to plead guilty? Only the third? Where is the government I paid for?

I mean, I paid good money for indictments. Where are the other plea deals—I want to see the perp walks.

Where is my money going?

Not that money. Where is my tax money going for convictions and hard time? I guess I will have to wait.

Meanwhile, at the CPAC:

Friday Funny

Number 85 of a series

It’s Friday again, and something must be funny. How about a criminal who figures it’s cool to come to court flashing police lights in traffic:

Holland-Harris, 31, of Norwood, pleaded guilty to five counts of trafficking in a controlled drug and faced a maximum $50,000 fine, 10-year jail term or both.

She was arrested at Enfield on May 26, 2016 inside a blue Kia sedan that used flashing police-style lights to move through traffic. The car was being driven by Benjamin Michael Stacey, who was also charged over the incident.

Police seized the sword, a loaded air rifle and stolen tools from the vehicle, while Holland-Harris had both drugs and $4760 cash on her person.

In sentencing, Judge Stretton said Holland-Harris had a total of 12.35g of MDMA in various forms, including powder and tablets, and 5.34g of methamphetamine.

He said a subsequent search of her house yielded a further 48.5g of MDMA and 9.28g of methamphetamine.

Yes, that does show a certain level of humor.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks.

Yes, at the first sign of trouble, what you need to do is whip out your trusty side arm and start blazing away. That’s the way to make sure the rest of your day is going to be interesting:

Three charged in shooting after Spencer talk

Three supporters of white nationalist Richard Spencer were arrested Thursday in connection with an incident in which a shot was fired.

Three supporters of white nationalist Richard Spencer were arrested Thursday in connection with a shooting, according to Gainesville police.

William Henry Fears, 30; Colton Gene Fears, 28; and Tyler Eugene Tenbrink, 28; were charged with attempted homicide and held in the Alachua County jail. Tenbrink was also charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon.

People, the Second Amendment gives you the right to keep and carry weapons. But what good is it if you never get a chance to open fire? Opportunity awaits. Use your imagination.

Friday Funny

Number 84 of a series

And I thought, “This is really funny.” Then I thought maybe it’s not so funny. Actually, it is funny. Here it is:

Woman Arrested For Training Squirrels To Attack Her Ex-boyfriend

45-year old Janice Smith was captured toward the beginning of today by officers of the Detroit Police Department, for supposedly catching various squirrels and preparing them to assault her previous sweetheart.

The casualty, 51-year old James Robinson, was probably assaulted by the rodents on more than twelve events in the course of the most recent month.

These assaults caused him numerous genuine wounds, including the loss of two fingers and one gonad, gnawed off by his assailants.

The poor man had no clue why squirrels continued assaulting him until the point when he saw his ex, a previous carnival creature coach, cheering the creatures amid one of the assaults.

What I’m thinking is I ‘m not even going to check with Snopes to see whether this is genuine. It is just too funny.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks.

I like to remind my readers that the National Rifle Association is their friend, always ready to protect their Second Amendment freedoms. Nobody appreciates this concern more than Radee Labeeb Prince, 37 years old:

The man believed to have killed three people in a “targeted attack” near a Maryland business and also suspected in a later shooting in Delaware was apprehended by police in Delaware Wednesday evening after a manhunt that stretched on for hours.

Thankfully for Mr. Prince, the NRA was there to look out for his rights. Although Mr. Prince may not have been allowed to possess a handgun legally, that would not have been much of a problem. If a dealer had sold him the weapon he used, it’s possible a considerable waiting period and a comprehensive background check would not have thwarted the transaction. If Mr. Prince had purchased the weapon at a gun show, there would have been no background check, and there would have been no record of the transaction forwarded to legal authorities. Similarly if Mr. Prince had purchased the gun from an individual. Same for if an individual had given Mr. Prince the weapon with no money changing hands. Had Mr. Prince stolen the weapon, it would have been the first time in its recent history that a law had been broken, but there would have been no requirement for the previous owner to report the theft, along with the weapon’s serial number.

No, there was little if anything to prevent Mr. Prince, despite his legal history, from having the weapon he used to kill three and to  injure three others. We can be so thankful that Mr. Prince’s Second Amendment rights have organizations such as the NRA to protect them. And the elected officials who take their money.

Friday Funny

Number 80 of a series

A Burger King in Cadiz, Spain

Humor comes in multiple flavors. Sometimes it is somebody else’s bad luck. Other times it is something so bizarre you cannot imagine somebody doing it. Like this:

A randy couple are facing jail for allegedly making a series of explicit public porno films including one in a Burger King.

Police in Louisiana say they discovered images which suggest the pair filmed graphic scenes inside a public library, supermarket and the popular fast food restaurant.

The Smoking Gun reports the married couple are now facing obscenity charges — which could lead to a jail term.

Funny for us. Not so much for  Elizabeth and Rex Jernigan. Out on bail, the pair are exploiting the publicity to promote their porn site. They have truly come to conclude that at Burger King you can have it your way.