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Member since: Tue Jul 10, 2007, 02:49 PM
Number of posts: 39,454

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Trump campaign manager admits he's getting help from man working for Russian media and hackers

This was posted on Brad Parscale's (Trump's campaign manager) Twitter feed recently:


Brad Parscale‏Verified account @parscale Oct 7

The irony that @stranahan is probably right on Ukraine is I have known him since I was a teenager, 30 years ago! We worked together in Topeka Kansas.

Another Kansas patriot.

Keep digging Lee.

7:12 AM - 7 Oct 2019

The man he mentions, Lee Stranahan, is an employee of Sputnik News, which is owned/controlled by the Russian government. He is also the man who has openly admitted to helping to get Roger Stone in contact with Guccifer 2.0 during the 2016 election. Guccifer 2.0 is who US intelligence has said is the outfit run by Russian intelligence agencies and who is responsible for hacking the DNC.

And if you visit his Twitter feed, it's full of demands to repeal the Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia (you know, the ones the Russians lobbied about during their 2016 Trump Tower meeting.)

(According to his Wikipedia page, he also is a part time erotic photographer, but that's neither here nor there.)

More on Stranahan here:


Anyways, Stranahan's most recent work seems to be pushing the theory that it was the DNC who was the real miscreant in the 2016 elections, not Trump or the Russians. He's been focusing--almost obsessively--on a woman named Alexandra Chalupa, who is the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants and who did some contract work with the DNC. Their theory is that the DNC sent Chalupa to Ukraine, where she was able to get proof of illicit payments Paul Manafort was getting from deposed autocrat and Putin ally Viktor Yanukovych. These items then helped with Manafort's ultimate conviction for tax fraud.

Now, it is true that Chalupa was able to get a hold of the Manafort payment records, which were actually proven to be genuine by Manafort's own accounting; however, there's no evidence whatsoever that the DNC sent Chalupa to get those records, or even if it did, whether that would actually constitute a crime.

But that truth's all secondary to these guys---they just desperately want any shiny non-story to distract from the actual story of Russian interference and hacking in the 2016 campaign on behalf of Donald Trump.

And the fact that the Trump campaign is still--still!--in 2019 reaching out to persons known to be agents of Russian media and Russian hackers is absolutely astounding IMHO.

But we're seeing these guys at their last resort. They're desperate at this point, and will do anything. Anything.

Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Thu Oct 10, 2019, 10:28 AM (2 replies)

BREAKING NEWS: White House sends second letter, asks Trump not be subjected to contested elections

In the wake of a letter sent yesterday by counsel for President Trump indicating the White House's intent not to comply with ongoing impeachment inquiries in the House of Representatives, the White House counsel has sent a second letter which states that Trump should not be forced the "indignity" of having to run for re-election next year.

"Forcing the President to take time out of his busy schedule to run a cross-country campaign, all while he could be using such ever valuable time to focus on important matters of policy and governance, is an unjust burden," the letter reads. "Frankly, it is something that no President should be forced to have to do, and we are not aware of any President before Donald Trump being subjected to such ridiculous requirements of having to pander to the public's often frivolous demands."

The letter went on to request that the traditional form of elections--wherein after a series of primary elections and caucuses, each party nominates a candidate, who then face off in a general election in November--be scrapped in 2020 and replaced with a more simplified public referendum on President Trump's job performance.

This unified national referendum would ask a simple question: "Has President Donald J. Trump #MadeAmericaGreatAgain?" and would be followed by two separate answers. One would read, "Yes, I'm all aboard the Trump Train! Woo-woo!", while the second would read, "Not yet, all because of the obstructionist Democrat (sic) Party."

"We believe the notion of a Presidential election that involves dueling candidates places an unnecessary emphasis on personalities over the idea of the one person whose job it is to serve the best interest of his people," the letter added.

The letter went on to question the necessity of other long-running facets of American democracy, such as the checks-and-balances system, judicial oversight of the executive branch, Presidential term limits, and the concept of opposition political parties in general.

Details at Eleven.

Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Wed Oct 9, 2019, 09:28 AM (27 replies)

Trump's goal is to do to the terms "impeachment" or "treason" what he did to "fake news."

Because "fake news" used to be a real thing. It used to be about false stories being spread via dubious fly-by-night websites over social media, which overwhelmingly favored Donald Trump and was heavily supported by foreign governments (i.e. Russia).

Then after he was elected, and knowing how he was elected and who was responsible for getting him elected, Trump began to use the "fake news" term not to describe any actual news that was fake, but instead towards any media outlets who dared not to paint him in the most flattering light.

Trump having run the term completely into the ground, it is now functionally meaningless to the public. It's now nothing more than a joke, a meme, a silly retort.

And now Trump is doing the same thing to the notion of "impeachment" and "treason."

Representative Schiff, Speaker Pelosi....even Republican Senator Mitt Romney must now be "impeached" for the "high crimes and misdemeanors" of criticizing Donald Trump. Their actions--in Schiff's case doing little more than paraphrasing the contents of a telephone call--constitute nothing less than "treason."

Never mind that members of Congress cannot be "impeached."

Never mind that the President of the United States should know that members of Congress cannot be "impeached" and certainly not for the mere "crime" of criticizing a sitting President, which is something that has taken place for over 230 years now and is a sign of a healthy democracy.

Trump's intent is to strip all terms of their actual meanings and turn them into cheap jokes. Nothing more and nothing less.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Mon Oct 7, 2019, 10:57 AM (4 replies)

On open carry....

This past Saturday, while my area was still in the proverbial Cone of Death of a major hurricane, I went out to get some Chinese takeout at our local takeout establishment.

As I pulled into the left-hand turning lane and turned on my signal to pull into the plaza where the takeout place was located, I noticed a motorcycle travelling in the opposite direction. It slowed and moved into its right hand turning lane, meaning it was also headed towards the same plaza.

Figuring it had the right of way, I dutifully sat in the left hand turn lane and waited for the motorcycle to turn in. However, when it came for him to turn into the plaza, he instead came to a stop and sat there for a second or two.

Reminding him that he had the right of way, I waived my arm to tell him to turn in.

Still nothing. He just sat there for a couple more seconds like a bump on the log, seemingly oblivious to me.

Not wanting to lose any more time, I figured he had forfeited his right of way and I began to make my left turn in. And just as I did, the man on the motorcycle started to angrily gesture and wave his arm, only then realizing that I was there and turning in.

I pull into the plaza parking lot, and I notice that the man on the motorcycle is directly behind me and has also parked in the same parking lot.

Not one for awkward confrontations, I pray that he was heading towards one of the other two restaurants in the plaza, but as I walk towards the takeout place, I notice there he is, walking right behind me.

Now, I have been cut off many times in traffic. And typically I'll react with an angry wave of my hand, and I'll be upset for a grand total of maybe 3 seconds. 5 seconds, tops. And by then it's ancient history. But I have no guarantee how others might react.

I open the door, and the motorcycle man is literally 5 feet behind me. As I open the door, the lady at the counter announces, "Next person!"

I don't have a second to say a word to her before the motorcycle man immediately barges in front of me and asks for his order, without any regard for the fact that I was technically the next person in line.

Whatever. If he feels I somehow cut him off earlier, let him take my place in line and get his order. As long as he doesn't say anything to me.

And yet, just as he finishes his order, he turns directly to me and says to me in a thick New York/New Jersey accent--not in a shouting manner, but very bluntly--"If you ever pull that stunt on me ever again, I guarantee you that you won't be coming out in one piece."

Now, I'm a pacifist by nature. I've never gotten into a fistfight in my life, and have no plans to do so. Still, I'm forever situationally aware of things and if I ever am forced to defend myself, I will.

So I assess him up. He's at least 20 years older than me, probably in his 60s, and a foot shorter than me. So I feel reasonably confident about my situation if it were to come to blows.

I simply shake my head at him.

"Chill out, man," I tell him. "You're going to give yourself a heart attack if you keep acting like this. Besides, you ended up taking my place in line, so consider things square between us."

"Oh, my heart just bleeds for you," he responds sarcastically, seemingly not aware of my honest peace offering.

Without saying anything else he takes his food and leaves the store. I approach the lady at the counter--who is a familiar face--and she just has an expression on her face like, "What the hell was that about?"

"Must be the stress from the hurricane," I say.

She's clearly sympathetic towards me and tells me not to worry about it, people yell at her on a daily basis. I thank her and take my food.

Thinking about this in retrospect, I have to wonder how the situation might have played out if it were not simply an angry old man spewing empty threats, but someone with a gun displayed at his side.

The dynamic of the situation would have changed considerably.

How would I have reacted differently?

How would the lady behind the counter reacted differently?

We're told by the gun apologists, "An armed society is a polite society," but such a case, I can't see the outcome being any more polite or civilized.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Wed Sep 4, 2019, 10:41 AM (24 replies)

These facts are not in dispute:

1. Russia actively worked to get the presidential candidate of its choosing elected president.
2. That candidate and his campaign was actively aware of these efforts by Russia and--at a bare minimum--did nothing to dissuade or stop these efforts.
3. When an investigation about these efforts from Russia was taken up, the candidate--now President--undertook multiple efforts in an attempt to impede the investigation.

Those are things that neither side can deny as being fact at this point.

This is not a political problem. This is a goddamn national security problem and it needs to be addressed with the seriousness it demands.

Balls to the wall.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Thu Apr 18, 2019, 03:20 PM (15 replies)

SCENE: Jay Sekulow's office, this morning.

SEKULOW (thinking to himself): Dammit, Cohen just implicated me in obstruction of justice. What the hell am I going to do? I think I'm going to need....another lawyer.

SEKULOW grabs rolodex on his desk, starts furiously scrolling through it until he finds a section titled "Other Lawyers". He pulls out a card.

It reads, "Michael Cohen"


SEKULOW continues to scroll. There is only one other card. He pulls it out.

It reads, "Rudy Giuliani."

: Mother fu---

Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Wed Feb 27, 2019, 02:39 PM (31 replies)

Shout out to Bill Christeson, a.k.a. the "Sign Guy."

He is truly the personification of the voice of the American conscience against treason in its midst.

May you have many more signs to make in this coming year, Bill.

Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue Jan 29, 2019, 02:59 PM (37 replies)

We need a running betting pool on the date Roger Stone's bail gets revoked.

Because you just know that asshole isn't going to abide by the judge's instructions not to contact potential witnesses in this case.

So when does Roger go back to jail?

(To make it interesting, winner will be based on the closest to the date that the Prosecution or court moves to revoke bail, not the actual date of the revocation hearing)

Winner gets your standard Ten Bucks or a Toyota.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue Jan 29, 2019, 02:05 PM (8 replies)

A word to Roger Stone: Your life is about to be completely turned upside down.

I don't mean that in the sense that an embarrassing joke photo of you from years ago might surface, or that there might be a few vague, unsubstantiated claims that you grabbed women's rears while posing for photos with them. While that might be enough to derail a career, we're looking at something a little more serious than that.

No...while that might be your idea of having one's "turn in the barrel" to you, what awaits you in the next weeks....months....and years....is actually going to be much, much, much worse than that.

What we're talking about is the indignities of your arrest, arraignment, court appearance after court appearance after mind-numbing court appearance, and--since we know you think somehow think you'll be able to beat it all--a very public trial.

And you won't beat it. You think you will because you are a haughty, narcissistic vain asshole of the highest degree, but Robert Mueller cleaned the clock of your old business partner Paul Manafort, and he's going to do the same with you.

You're going to lose it all, Roger. That home on the ocean in Florida--gone. Your assets--seized. Those outrageous outfits you like to wear--traded for prison scrubs. Social media accounts.....please. They'll be gone.

Even those dumb ass Panama Jack hats you like to wear will be a thing of the past, Roger. They're not coming with you.

You might think you'll end up with three years, like Michael Cohen, and sure, you think, you can handle that.

But you're not getting three years, Roger. Sure, Michael Cohen was a weak little coward who mistakenly thought that being one of Donald Trump's goons would somehow give his life purpose and meaning. And of course, it didn't, and he realized that all after the fact and after the search warrant.

But you're far worse than him, Roger. You're a pathological piece of shit. Your track record over the decades--the lives you've ruined, the injustices you've caused--underscores that fact.

So no, Roger, you won't be getting away with three years. You're going to be doing some hard, hard time.

And here's the thing, Roger--you're not exactly a spring chicken there. You're already 66 years old. Time's a'ticking.

You will die in prison, Roger. When you die, it won't be surrounded by your wife or your son or your grandkids in your bed or even at some hospital or nursing home. It will be at an infirmary at some Federal Correctional Facility out in the middle of BFE.

And you--the great political fixer Roger Stone--will die all alone.

And when you die, after the fact, they'll shove your remains into a plastic bag for your loved ones to claim, like you are piece of dry cleaning or lost luggage at the airport.

And that is how it will end for you, Roger.

You'll be known as Roger Stone, the fixer and dirty political trickster who sold out his country and died in prison.

I hope it was all worth it, Roger. That living the way Roy Cohn taught you--tearing people apart, always lying, always spinning, never admitting the truth--was somehow the way you wanted to live.

If not....well, too bad, so sad.

Welcome to the Barrel, Roger Stone.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Thu Dec 20, 2018, 05:40 PM (16 replies)

Regarding speculation as to the "mystery candidate" who received hacked docs from Russia.

Back in July, the Special Counsel's office indicted multiple Russian military intelligence (GRU) officers for various hacking related offenses during the 2016 election season.

In the middle of the indictment, Mueller drops an interesting little tidbit:

The conspirators--aka GRU--set up the Guccifer 2.0 account and communicated with several individuals known to associate with political figures. This includes the ever lovely Roger Stone (any chance we get an indictment of him before the new year?) as well as a Florida based blogger and political consultant by the name of Aaron Nevins.

Based on the timing and the Nevins connection, it's believed that the alleged leak by Guccifer 2.0 to the mystery candidate means the candidate requesting that info was from Florida. Here's a story from Politico that lays it out:


The big question of course is....who is the candidate?

A lot of speculation has centered on Rep. Brian Mast, who was elected the representative of Florida's 18th District in 2016. The reason is obvious--Nevins acted as a political consultant for Mast during his 2016 campaign. So it immediately creates the specter of motive and opportunity.

I'm a little bit skeptical Mast is the man, however. Mast is essentially a run-of-the-mill, boring, typical back bencher Republican congressman. Besides from having an admittedly sympathetic military resume, there's nothing really remarkable about Mast's behavior either before or after he was elected that suggests he was one to engage in--shall we call it--light treason. Unlike, say, Dana Rohrabacher, there's no major red flags about Mast that suggest he is one to conspire with Russian military intelligence. If he's hiding those sort of sentiments, he's been hiding them pretty well.

Other Florida-based congressional candidates who've been bandied about as suspects include Rep. Matt Gaetz of the 1st District and the now Governor-elect but then representative of the 6th District, Ron DeSantis. And opposed to Mast, some of their behavior since 2016 and their attitudes towards the Mueller investigation have been a little bit more suspect.

But I think we still are forgetting another suspect, one who I think has both strong motive, opportunity and red flags galore.

That would be Tim Canova, who was Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's primary opponent in 2016. What makes me suspect Canova is things in the indictment that might be overlooked.

Notably, the indictment says the person was a "candidate." There's no mention whatsoever that the person was actually elected to office in the end. Moreover, there's nothing that says that the candidate was seeking information for the purposes of the general election. And with that in mind, the information was released on August 15th, which was roughly two weeks before the Florida primary elections. People assume it was a Republican seeking information for the general election and that Republican was the ultimate victor. That's not necessarily the case.

Why else Canova? Because he has multiple red flags and motive to seek that information:

1. The release came just a couple weeks after Guccifer 2.0's leak right before the DNC convention. That leak created a huge embarrassment for DWS, so much so that she was forced to step down as chair of the DNC before the convention started. So DWS was certainly in the crosshairs for the Russian hackers. And who would benefit most from another hack that involved DWS but DWS's own primary opponent, that being Tim Canova.

2. Canova acted in ways that were rather unconventional for what you might expect a Democrat from Broward County to act. For example, on more than one occasion, he appeared on the radio show of Joyce Kaufman, a right-wing extremist who was almost named the congressional chief of staff for one-term Tea Party firebrand Allen West.

3. Throwing the race for the congressional seat of the one-time DNC chair into chaos and creating division amongst Democratic voters (in order to suppress turnout) is the typical MO of Russian interference actions in elections.

4. Canova is based in Broward County, where Nevins (and his father, Buddy Nevins) have made a well-known name for themselves in political circles. And while Roger Stone has a more national footprint, he too is based out of Broward. So both of Guccifer 2.0's contacts had close ties to Broward.

4. Since that election, Tim Canova has quit the Democratic party.

5. Since that election, Tim Canova has heavily criticized the Mueller investigation and explicitly expressed doubt that it was Russia who hacked the DNC, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

6. Since that election, Tim Canova has engaged in spreading wild conspiracy theories similar to the ones being spread over social media by Russian propagandists, such as the claim that the DNC and the Clintons were behind the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.

And yes, on the day of the apparent release (August 15, 2016), Tim Canova did get a few very interesting messages from followers on Twitter.

Now, as tantalizing as this might seem, it's not quite a smoking (or smocking) gun for Canova. Delivering materials via a Twitter post is a rather public way that leaves the risk of exposure if it were indeed a response for a request for hacked materials. Furthermore, the Guccifer 2.0 WordPress link doesn't actually contain any materials related to the DWS-Canova race (District 23). (For that matter, it doesn't contain any info on the race for Gaetz or DeSantis' district, either, although it does contain info on the race for Mast's district.)

So more likely than not this was just a coincidence and just some zealous followers of Guccifer 2.0 wanted to pass on this material to Canova (which is still very, very odd, don't you think?). But there's nothing in the Indictment that says the materials sent to the mystery candidate were part of the WordPress post; it's possible and likely they were sent using more encrypted means.

That all being said, with DWS already being in Guccifer 2.0's crosshairs before these documents were leaked, with Canova's curious subersive and disruptive behavior both before and after the leaks, and the various connections to Broward County, I think a further inquiry into the possibility that Tim Canova was the mystery candidate is warranted.

Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Wed Dec 19, 2018, 12:03 PM (2 replies)
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