Schlemiel-in-Chief

Number 31 in a series

The question should not be why I have been posting so many of these, rather the concern should be why I have not posted one every day. There is a daily supply of material coming in volume and absent of any prompting, courtesy of our national Schlemiel-in-Chief. Schlemiel is defined as an inept and clumsy person, also a dolt, also a bungler. It’s from the Yiddish shlemil, which comes from the Hebrew word for ineffective. Yes, that fits, and the joy is ours to behold. Here’s the latest.

Sanctions Flap Erupts Into Open Conflict Between Haley and White House

Apparently, Haley had gotten the idea that President Trump was about to impose new sanctions on Russia in response to that country’s complicity in a Syrian gas attack. We now wonder where the U.N. ambassador got such an idea. Where, indeed?

Haley created a firestorm Sunday when she said the new sanctions would be imposed by the Treasury Department on Monday, when, in fact, no such announcement was planned, according to two officials familiar with the matter.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to clarify the situation, but her explanation created more confusion and led to suggestions that President Donald Trump had personally intervened to halt the sanctions from taking effect Monday.

“We are considering additional sanctions on Russia and a decision will be made in the near future,” Sanders said in a statement.

In response to allegations that Ambassador Haley was “confused” about when and if sanctions will be imposed, she let those in charge know that she does not ordinarily get confused:

This is a real sequence of events that have unfolded over the course of the past 72 hours or so:

  • On Sunday, Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley went on CBS’s Face the Nation and, relying on White House talking points, announced the US would impose new sanctions on Russia.
  • President Donald Trump, who was apparently watching TV, became furious. He hadn’t yet approved the sanctions, and apparently hadn’t seen talking points his own administration had produced, so he immediately demanded to know what Haley was talking about.
  • On Monday, the White House announced that Haley was not correct and that sanctions weren’t approved. National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow then told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that Haley had had an episode of “momentary confusion.”
  • On Tuesday night, Haley issued a statement blasting Kudlow, saying, “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”
  • Kudlow apologized to Haley and clarified in a comment to the New York Times that she wasn’t confused — just out of the loop on a vital policy initiative. “As it turns out, she was basically following what she thought was policy,” Kudlow said. “The policy was changed, and she wasn’t told about it.”

The saga of the schlemiel administration will continue to entertain us so long as there is a God in Heaven.

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This is your President speaking.

Number 88 in a long series

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

DOJ just issued the McCabe report – which is a total disaster. He LIED! LIED! LIED! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey – McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!

Yes, Mr. President, I also recall those great times in junior high school.

The Golden Shower

Number 30 of a Series

The matter of Donald Trump, current President of the United States, and some supposed Russian prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room keeps coming up. I try to avoid the topic as much as I can. Not really:

However, there were other aspects to TRUMP’s engagement with the Russian authorities. One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit TRUMP’s person  obsessions and sexual perversion in order to  obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him. According to Source D, where s/he had been present, TRUMP’s perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew president and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on  one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him. the hotel was known to be under FSB control  with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.

What brings us back to the matter of the Golden Shower is a book due out next week by fired FBI Director James Comey. It’s A Higher Loyalty, and it will be on sale Tuesday. I will get a Kindle edition and report on some of the juicier sections. In the meantime from The Mirror we have some insight into Director Comey’s interchange with President Trump on the matter:

Donald Trump wanted the FBI to prove claims Russia had evidence of lewd behaviour in a hotel room were untrue, it has been reported.

Former Brit spy Chris Steele compiled the so-called ‘Dirty Dossier’ which alleged Russian security services had successfully obtained compromising material on Trump.

It included video of Trump being given a ‘golden shower’ by prostitutes on a hotel bed in Moscow, Steele claimed.

Now former FBI director James Comey says Trump asked if the agency could publicly prove the claims untrue, because it bothered him if there was “even a one per cent chance” his wife Melania believed them.

As much as I lament the advent of President Trump, if these allegations—the allegations about Mr. Trump paying Russian prostitutes to pee on a bed while he watched—are eventually demonstrated to  be untrue, then I will be one of the first to report the story. Of course that is unlikely, because

  • The facts may never be known.
  • Even if the facts are never known, Donald Trump’s moral character is such that people are going to accept the story as true in any event and say, “So what?”
  • The facts are true, and the truth will come out.

Anyhow, join me in holding our collective breath.

I have mulled this matter for months, and a few thoughts (feeling lonely) entered my mind. Here is one.

Suppose Donald Trump, having found Jesus, went to that hotel room to pray for forgiveness. Suppose then, while he was kneeling beside that still unstained bed, former KGB agents left over from the Soviet Union picked the lock to the door and entered with drawn guns. They also brought prostitutes.

Now, while born-again Donald Trump sits, guns pointed to his head, in a chair, he is forced to watch as prostitutes despoil the immaculate bed. The KGB guys make a video.

I bring this up, readers, to remind us that anything is possible, and we should withhold judgment on President Trump until such time he gets together with Billy Bush and tells him in the presence of an open mic, “You know, when you’re famous you can get away with anything. You can hire prostitutes to pee on a bed. Don’t believe me? Let me tell you about what I did one time in Moscow.”

Like you, I am waiting.

This is your President speaking.

Number 85 in a long series

Trump and McDougal

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

Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

Winston Churchill, why did you abandon us to this?

This is your President speaking.

Number 81 in a long series

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

“Special Council is told to find crimes, whether a crime exists or not. I was opposed to the selection of Mueller to be Special Council. I am still opposed to it. I think President Trump was right when he said there never should have been a Special Council appointed because…..

…there was no probable cause for believing that there was any crime, collusion or otherwise, or obstruction of justice!” So stated by Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz.

Mr. President, you need to tell this to your lawyer. Forget about us. We’re enjoying the show.

This is your President speaking.

Number 79 in a long series

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

Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added…does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!

Everybody is not talking about collusion, everybody that is except for President Trump.

The Government You Paid For

Number 31 in a Series

 

I know we spend a lot of money on our government, and I (we?) often wonder whether we are getting the government we paid for. For my part, I check in from time to time to see how it’s going. Are we getting the government we paid for? Let’s have a look.

Recently Russian tough guy Vladimir Putin won re-election in a race that was not even close, extending his tenure of control in the former Soviet Union well past the quarter-century mark. Nobody was surprised at the outcome, since Putin and his pals have a tight grip on the country’s news outlets, and too often those who oppose Putin are jailed, killed, or disappeared. For this reason Putin is immensely popular in Russia. Other places as well. Back in Dallas a few years ago I had a conversation with a Russian ex-pat, and she pushed back mightily on my derogatory comments about Putin, saying I knew nothing of world affairs. I forgot to mention to her that I speak a smattering of Russian.

Anyhow, came time for the United States government to react to the surprising news of Putin’s re-election, and the job fell to American President Donald J. Trump. He promptly phoned the Russian president-for-life. It’s for sure he heaped some congratulations, some praise it would seem We know this because, well because first of all it is no state secret. The Russians know the full contents of the phone conversation, and they are not bound by any kind of confidentiality. Additionally, somebody close to the American side of the call mentioned to others what transpired, and The Washington Post picked up the story. To this news the President reacted in true form.

Yes, the President said, “The Fake News Media is [sic] crazed because they wanted me to excoriate him. They are wrong! Getting along with Russia (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing…” There was one small problem, however. The National Security Advisor (Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs—APNSA) H.R. McMaster, who works for the President in the capacity of advising him in such matters, is hired for the position because he is supposed to know more about this kind of thing than most anybody else. And the APNSA advised President Trump, in capital letters, “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” Vladimir Putin on winning the election.

Obviously the President paid no heed to what might have been good advice. Some tell that he did not bother to read his cue cards. Our President likes to wing it.

Of course, the fallout, even among loyal Republican elected officials, was tremendous. For example, Florida Senator and on-time presidential candidate Marco Rubio loudly declaimed the action of the President, telling any and all who would listen that the President needs to reign in his impulses and to start thinking of America first. Here he is saying just that.

Was he ever mad.

Not so fast there. I took the precaution of rewinding the tape and reviewing this clip just be sure. Sorry.  My mistake. What Senator Rubio is really heard saying is:

I really hate that there’s someone in his inner circle that’s [sic] willing to leak this stuff…

And a bit more. So that’s it. That’s what we got for the money we paid. The President fumbles a major foreign relations matter, disregarding the advice of APNSA H.R. McMaster, and the person who clues us in does not receive a heap of praise from Congress, only disparagement. Apparently we are getting the government we paid for.

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.

This is your President speaking.

Number 75 in a long series

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

The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!

They are closing in on you, Mr. President. You are going to need to tweet harder.

This is your President speaking.

Number 74 in a long series

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

As the House Intelligence Committee has concluded, there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign. As many are now finding out, however, there was tremendous leaking, lying and corruption at the highest levels of the FBI, Justice & State.

Keep talking. You have the right to remain silent, but keep talking.

This is your President speaking.

Number 65 in a long series

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

Why did the Obama Administration start an investigation into the Trump Campaign (with zero proof of wrongdoing) long before the Election in November? Wanted to discredit so Crooked H would win. Unprecedented. Bigger than Watergate! Plus, Obama did NOTHING about Russian meddling.

People, I don’t make this stuff up. Fortunately, I don’t have to.

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?

People Unclear

This is number 37 of a long series

There are two points that need to be cleared up:

  • Don’t invite your mistress to your wedding.
  • Maybe there’s no need for a second point.

With today’s revelations regarding Russian meddling how long will the leftist witch hunt against continue?

Don Jr., I hope this has been of some help to you.

This is your President speaking.

Number 56 in a long series

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

Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!

How many different ways are there to say Manchurian Candidate?

This is your President speaking.

Number 51 in a long series

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

Great jobs numbers and finally, after many years, rising wages- and nobody even talks about them. Only Russia, Russia, Russia, despite the fact that, after a year of looking, there is No Collusion!

I’m beginning  to think the big guy has something on his mind.

This is your President speaking.

Number 50 in a long series

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

The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans – something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago. Rank & File are great people!

Love the way he works to unify the country.

The Government You Paid For

Number 21

I’ve been around  a few years, and I’ve seen governments come and go. Entertainment value has varied. I absolutely do not recall Roosevelt, but I understand there were tense times. I recall Truman, reviled at the time, recognized only later. Eisenhower was deadly dull. Ozzie and Harriet Nelson provided the drama in those days. If not for McCarthy, we could have swept the ’50s under the rug. The Kennedy years were short and memorable, and then I went All the Way with LBJ. So did a lot of the world. Nixon, now those were the times. We thought something like that would never come again in our life time. Fast forward—even watching Bill Clinton, caught between a failed real-estate venture and a blue dress, failed to live up. George Bush blossomed and faded into fond memories, followed by eight years of deadly dull Obama. There is a reason he picked up the sobriquet “No Drama.”

The waiting has paid off, readers. Enter, stage right, Donald J. Trump, the gift that keeps on giving. During his first year this amazing specimen of American intellect has drained our blood lust dryer than James Buchanan was able to during his entire four years. The Lord has shined his blessing upon us.

When candidate Trump bragged about grabbing women by the pussy, we salivated, hoping for more of the same. Then, days before inauguration last year the specter of the Golden Shower hit like thunder, and our eyes came alight like the sun rising in Arizona. It has only gotten better. To help you enjoy what may be the once in your lifetime reddest of meat, here’s what I’m observing come across the wire.

Where to start? How about what is currently racing across the national fiber this week? ABC World News Tonight with David Muir is my source for these screen shots, but everybody is carrying the story. Advisio: when I say “everybody” I don’t necessarily mean everybody. I need to check with Fox News first. Start with some background.

January last year word leaked out that citizen Trump obtained top billing in a dossier prepared by a British spy:

However, there were other aspects to TRUMP’s engagement with the Russian authorities. One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit TRUMP’s person  obsessions and sexual perversion in order to  obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him. According to Source D, where s/he had been present, TRUMP’s perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew president and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on  one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him. the hotel was known to be under FSB control  with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.

Whoa! That was hot shit. The man who was to become President could possibly be in the pocket of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin? What could be worse? Grabbing pussies faded to black. It turns out there was more.

While the Trump campaign was still trying to maintain momentum back in 2016, advisor George Papadopoulos offered to arrange a meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. The problem is that soon-to-be Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied in formal filings any contacts with the Russian government during the campaign. It came out that by “Russian government” Mr. Sessions did not mean “the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.”

Fast forward, and the now Attorney General has been forced by some cruel facts to admit numerous contacts with the Russian government, said contacts previously disclaimed. He also spoke of having no knowledge of the Papadopoulos scheme, despite having sat inches away when Papadopoulos set it forth.

The drama drags on. When Congressman Jerrold Nadler read to General Sessions, “There are reports that you ‘shut George down’ when he proposed the meeting, Mr. Sessions was forced to admit his earlier recollection had been in error.

The source of our joy had more to say on the matter. When FBI Director James Comey declined to neatly wrap up the investigation into Russian meddling in the campaign, President Trump fired him last May. President Trump seemed at one time to confirm this connection of events. Explaining the firing of James Comey, he remarked, on-camera, “When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story…'” And Comey was out.

Now Attorney General Sessions has recused himself from the investigation, and an independent counsel Robert Mueller, has been put in charge. George Papadopoulos has admitted to lying to the FBI and is under indictment. Likewise, three others connected to the Trump administration or the campaign have been indicted, with some guilty pleas already tendered.

General Sessions, himself, has now been questioned by Counselor Mueller, and Mr. Mueller has turned his sights on the President. ABC reporter Jonathan Karl is seen unloading sources from within the White House. The opinion is there is no way the President is going to agree to a one-on-one with Mr. Mueller.

This is despite President Trump telling Jonathan Karl and others last year that he would be “100% willing to do it.”

President Trump said Friday he would be willing to testify under oath about his interactions with former FBI Director James Comey, whom he fired in May.

The president said Comey’s testimony on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee mostly vindicated his previous claims about their interactions.

Oh, my God! What is the government coming to  when politicians go back on their word?

In the meantime, there is more drama concerning George Papadopoulos:

George Papadopoulos is the ‘John Dean’ of the Russia investigation, his fiancee says

 January 22

He has been mocked by President Trump as a “low level volunteer” and “proven to be a liar.”

But the fiancee of George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign adviser who pleaded guilty in October to lying to the FBI about his Russia contacts and is cooperating with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, says he is being miscast.

“I believe history will remember him like John Dean,” said Italian-born Simona Mangiante, referring to the former White House counsel who pleaded guilty to his role in the Watergate coverup and then became a key witness against other aides to President Richard Nixon.

Dean told Nixon in 1973 that Watergate was a “cancer on the presidency,” warning him that it was an existential crisis that could imperil his term in office.

Yes, people, we are truly getting the government we paid for. Please enjoy.

There will be more to come. Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your souls.

The Golden Shower

Number 29

Not so much this week are there updates on the supposed encounter between Donald Trump and some Russian prostitutes in Moscow:

However, there were other aspects to TRUMP’s engagement with the Russian authorities. One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit TRUMP’s person  obsessions and sexual perversion in order to  obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him. According to Source D, where s/he had been present, TRUMP’s perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew president and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on  one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him. the hotel was known to be under FSB control  with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.

Possibly because, who needs it?

Bannon Is Subpoenaed in Mueller’s Russia Investigation

There is a temptation to jump all over this and conclude the President has been playing too footsie with a hostile foreign power. I say, “Not so fast.” The President denies emphatically there was no collusion with the Russian government. He also said:

But who am I to quibble?

There’s going to be a lot more of this. Keep reading.

The Golden Shower

Number 28

Sorry, this is a story that will not go away. I mean, once word came, albeit unconfirmed, that Donald Trump paid prostitutes to pee on a bed in a Moscow hotel room, then that should have been the end of the story. As a reminder:

However, there were other aspects to TRUMP’s engagement with the Russian authorities. One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit TRUMP’s person  obsessions and sexual perversion in order to  obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him. According to Source D, where s/he had been present, TRUMP’s perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew president and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on  one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him. the hotel was known to be under FSB control  with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.

Anyhow, that’s what supposedly happened. Apparently the story was not enough for the FBI. These guys get paid to dig, so they elected to dig further:

FBI knew of possible Trump-Russia collusion, according to Glenn Simpson’s Senate testimony

Glenn Simpson, a former newspaper reporter and the founder of a research firm called Fusion GPS, spoke to the Senate Judiciary Committee for more than 10 hours in August about his research into Trump, and on Tuesday more than 300 pages of his testimony were released by the committee’s ranking Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California.

To be sure, the FBI received ample encouragement and able assistance from Democrats, all eager to dig some dirt on Mr. Trump. And that is true if you decide to call George Papadopoulos a Democrat:

How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political Dirt

Of course, this has nothing to do with the aforementioned Steele dossier. Except the Republicans don’t seem to think so:

Republican Senators Raise Possible Charges Against Author of Trump Dossier

Yes, there is a lot more to this story than I’m putting out today. It’s the kind of thing we like to savor. What would really be swell if this business were to drag out into 2019 and beyond. Joy, be unbounded.

The Golden Shower

Number 27

I am telling you, this bunny has a life of its own. They should start using it in ads for Energizer Batteries. The story goes back a bit. In 2015 The Washington Free Beacon hired private research concern GPS Fusion to conduct opposition research on presidential candidate Donald Trump. The Free Beacon ceased its interest in the research when Trump became the presumptive Republican candidate. At that point the Clinton campaign, no friend of Donald Trump, started picking up the tab for the research. GPS Fusion hired former MI-6 operative Christopher Steele to continue the work, but they lost interest once Trump won the election on 8 November 2016.  Glenn R. Simpson of Fusion GPS continued supporting the research, eventually handing off the results to British and American intelligence services. Sources for this are the Wikipedia entries for the Donald Trump–Russia dossier and GPS Fusion.

Parts of the Steele Dossier have been independently corroborated, but essential sections have not. One that possibly has not been verified is among the most salacious. A paragraph labeled 3 relates the following:

However, there were other aspects to TRUMP’s engagement with the Russian authorities. One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit TRUMP’s person  obsessions and sexual perversion in order to  obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him. According to Source D, where s/he had been present, TRUMP’s perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew president and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on  one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him. the hotel was known to be under FSB control  with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.

Anyhow, President Trump is vigorously pushing back against the FBI investigation of possible collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government. The implication of such collusion is that a foreign government, particularly one unfriendly to the United States, has assisted in the election of a preferred candidate. The drama has been playing out on the President’s Twitter account and also on television news. President Trump spent the Christmas holiday weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort, and ABC News followed the story from there. Trump is denying any collusion with the Russian government,  and he is particularly bearing down on the Steele dossier.

This ignores, of course, that the Steele dossier is not the main concern of the FBI investigation. The feds are really going after a meeting Trump campaign operatives had with representatives of the Russian government at Trump Tower in New York City on 9 June 2016. From all appearances, Donald Trump and his supporters are attacking the Steele dossier as a distraction.

“WOW, [Fox and Friend] ‘Dossier is bogus,'” Trump tweeted. “‘Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI Tainted.'”

The president added, “And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!”

Trump appeared to reference an interview between the “Fox & Friends” panel and former Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who is now a political pundit for the channel.

Chaffetz stated: “The dossier we have long known is bogus. The question is, how was it funded?”

Fueled by his cheering section at Fox News, this is a strident refrain on Trump’s Twitter feed.

WOW, “Dossier is bogus. Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI TAINTED.” And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!

President Trump’s war with his own intelligence services, particularly the FBI, has been unrelenting of late. Currently bearing the brunt of the President’s assault is FBI acting director Andrew McCabe, who’s wife’s political campaign last year obtained funding from Hillary Clinton associates. McCabe obtained advice from the Bureau ethics arm prior to continuing his work investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Meanwhile, President Trump announced he would return to work the day following Christmas, but 26 December found him still playing golf at one of his Florida properties. Say what you will about President Trump, but he continues to set records.

If the FBI needs to learn one thing, it is to not mess around with a guy swinging a golf club.