WTF Community

What The Fuck Happened Over The Weekend?

Axios claims that they found a spread sheet of all the expected congressional inquiries Democrats could bring up if they win the House back. Seems about right, what’s missing? Let’s add to their list. :smirk:

Here are some of the probes it predicts:

President Trump’s tax returns
Trump family businesses — and whether they comply with the Constitution’s emoluments clause, including the Chinese trademark grant to the Trump Organization
Trump’s dealings with Russia, including the president’s preparation for his meeting with Vladimir Putin
The payment to Stephanie Clifford — a.k.a. Stormy Daniels
James Comey’s firing
Trump’s firing of U.S. attorneys
Trump’s proposed transgender ban for the military
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s business dealings
White House staff’s personal email use
Cabinet secretary travel, office expenses, and other misused perks
Discussion of classified information at Mar-a-Lago
Jared Kushner’s ethics law compliance
Dismissal of members of the EPA board of scientific counselors
The travel ban
Family separation policy
Hurricane response in Puerto Rico
Election security and hacking attempts
White House security clearances


Extensive list which covers so much

-Exclusion of press for briefings (why critics need to be present)
-Inquiry into T’s fitness for office (Article 25 questions)
-Role in suppressing fair elections despite the multitudes of warnings
-misuse of pardon power- needs vetting


If you have 50 mins - we here were enriched by an excellent interview of Rebecca Peters with Kim Hill on RNZ Saturday morning.

Australian Rebecca Peters is considered by many governments to be the world’s foremost expert on gun control. She was chair of the Australian National Coalition for Gun Control at the time of the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, and was a driving force in introducing stricter gun control in the wake of that tragedy, including a ban on semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. In 1996 she won a Human Rights Medal for her work. Peters later worked for George Soros’ Open Society Institute, now know as the Open Society Foundation, and then became the director of the International Action Network on Small Arms. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2016. Peters has lived in Guatemala since 2014, where she continues to lobby that country’s government over its lax gun laws, while also fundraising for a charity, the Transitions Foundation of Guatemala, that assists its many citizens disabled by gun violence.

Thank you.

This issue is SO entangled here…Not sure what may break this horrid situation, perhaps our student activists from Parkland may be our best leaders on this. Gun advocates are supported by the 2nd Amendment, NRA’s money (now bankrupt?) and a recalcitrant Senate (read: deaf mute.)

Always inspiring to find someone who makes sense. There are plenty of people who are advocating for serious change with the gun laws but there are very few to legislate it. thanks for the link.

We can hope…but the deeply entrenched gun lobby, money (Russian and otherwise) are calling the shots (so to speak.)


Yes nina I know you have a huge problem there and far be it for me to try to tell anyone in the USA how to deal with it. The above interview gives some insight into the circumstances which emboldened the politicians in Australia to act. The Port Arthur Massacre was an horrific killing with 35 killed and 23 wounded and fortunately the new PM at the time, John Howard, felt he had the political mandate to introduce legislation to regulate firearms and even buy back fire arms. I remember the Aussies at the time protesting loudly and telling their politicians (as only they can) to get off their B***dy Backsides and do sometime!! :slight_smile: Excuse my 'Strine.


Get this, Bruce Ohr was trying to flip Russian Oligarch, Oleg Deripaska. The effort failed and Deripaska notified the Kremlin. Now President Trump is openly trying to discredit and bully Ohr out of the Justice Department.

Read more below :point_down:



Full McCain memorial service :point_down:




explains the tweets


Kavanaugh hearings begin on Sept 4th. Getting him on the Supreme Court is the GOP’s holy grail.

Citing executive privilege to keep these away from the Dems is another WTF moment in our highly partisan politics.

Maybe Chuck Schumer’s remarks will ignite a firestorm of controversy…but it (his assured spot on the SC) maybe a foregone conclusion, unfortunately.

WASHINGTON — The Trump White House, citing executive privilege, is withholding from the Senate more than 100,000 pages of records from Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s time as a lawyer in the administration of former President George W. Bush.

The decision, disclosed in a letter that a lawyer for Mr. Bush sent on Friday to Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, comes just days before the start of Judge Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings on Tuesday. It drew condemnation from Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader.

We’re witnessing a Friday night document massacre,” Mr. Schumer wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “President Trump’s decision to step in at the last moment and hide 100k pages of Judge Kavanaugh’s records from the American public is not only unprecedented in the history of SCOTUS noms, it has all the makings of a cover up.”

NYTimes: White House Cites Executive Privilege to Withhold 100,000 Pages of Kavanaugh Records


Different strokes for different folks…

Message to POTUS

You don’t buy RESPECT you EARN it.


Happy Labor Day…

A recap with more questions…

We fight on.

swamp diary
Week 67: The Mueller Rumor Mill Is Working Overtime

As Labor Day approaches, the mythic deadline looms for the special counsel to finish the job.


September 01, 2018

The waiting is the hardest part, Tom Petty sang through his nose in 1981, predicting the agony of anticipation that has settled on Washington journalists this Labor Day weekend like a smoggy August warm front.

We’re waiting for the rumored Roger Stone indictment to come down, and so is he. We’re waiting for the charges that might be filed against Don Jr. We’re waiting for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to deliver his collusion and obstruction report to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. We’re waiting for Rudolph Giuliani’s counter-report to the Mueller report, which is almost finished even though Rudy hasn’t seen Mueller’s work. We’re waiting for Paul Manafort’s second trial, which starts on September 24, and aren’t sure whether to be happy or blue about his plea deal falling apart.

We’re waiting to see what new fur balls the Michael Cohen prosecutions will cough up, and we’re waiting to see whether a November red tide will spark the impeachment machinery to life and activate the dozen-and-a-half investigations of Trump world that Axios says the Democrats have dreamed up, wish-list style, on a spreadsheet. We’re waiting for Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House. (One measure of our towering anticipations: It has been decades since anybody looked forward to a Woodward book.)

We’re waiting for President Donald Trump to find new boundaries to melt with his indignation and fury. (“I view it as an illegal investigation,” the president insisted to Bloomberg this week.) We’re waiting for him to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions. We’re waiting for him to fire Rosenstein. (At his Thursday rally in Indiana, he threatened to take charge of the Department of Justice and the FBI.)

Most of all, we’re waiting for him to fire Mueller.

Not that we’re impatient for news, mind you. Well, not that impatient. Journalism requires reporters to look down time’s tunnel to map out the many possibilities a breaking story might take, so in weeks like this, when the news seems incremental, it’s only natural for us to use our periscope into the future. We’ve had difficulties enough writing accurately about the present, I know, but cover the future we must.

Of all the Trump countdowns currently ticking down, the most pressing is the timing of Mueller’s report. Department of Justice guidelines recommend that prosecutors avoid filing charges or taking other investigatory measures close to Election Day, so as to avoid contaminating the vote. A rule of thumb suggests (but in no way requires) a 60-day buffer between hot prosecutorial action and an election. Today, we’re 65 days away from the midterm elections, and the closing window prompted Trump attorney Giuliani to tweet a suggestion, again, to Mueller this week to hurry up.

At least Giuliani was consistent for once. Speaking to Fox News Channel last week, Giuliani was more precise about the timing. “If it isn’t over by September, then we have a very, very serious violation of the Justice Department rules, and he shouldn’t be conducting one of these investigations in the 60-day period,” Giuliani said, reiterating the hurry-up idea he circulated in May.

Everybody in Washington who can read a chyron has an opinion on Mueller. And they’ll share it. Some insist that he’s a by-the-book sort, a duty first, rule-following automaton who never saw a guideline he wouldn’t follow. Others say he’s an independent cuss who will deploy his report when it’s ready, ignoring the nonbinding guidelines. Journalists love leakers, but they love Mueller even more because he doesn’t leak, which allows them to map their speculations on him and write epic paragraphs about his stony character like this one. He’s the sphinx of southwest Washington, and he remains unmoved by the Trump’s lawyers’ expectations. Some of us are old enough to remember that Trump attorney Ty Cobb predicted almost a year ago that Mueller would soon end his probe. “I’d be embarrassed if this is still haunting the White House by Thanksgiving and worse if it’s still haunting him by year end,” Cobb told Reuters, proving that he’s at least as bad as a reporter at the art of crystal gazing. “I think the relevant areas of inquiry by the special counsel are narrow.” Cobb, given his reputed ancestry, should know as well as anyone that, like a baseball game, there is no time limit on the work of a special prosecutor.

Trump’s lawyers have a lot of moxie to suggest that Mueller shift his investigation into higher gears. As Bloomberg News noted, the president’s attorneys have been dickering over the conditions of a Trump interview for almost nine months, a dispute that is still not resolved.

I suspect that what Trump and his legal team fear almost as much as the complete Mueller report dropping just before the midterms is the continued drip-drip-drip of its allied and sibling investigations in New York (Cohen) and in Washington. This week, Sam Patten, a lobbyist associate of former Trump campaign director Paul Manafort, pleaded guilty to failing to register as a foreign lobbyist. He also told prosecutors that he had arranged for the purchase of four tickets to Trump’s inauguration with $50,000 of a foreign oligarch’s money. Foreigners are prohibited by law from giving money to inauguration organizations.

The New York Times surmises that the oligarch who supplied the money was Serhiy Lyovochkin, a member of the Ukrainian parliament. The purchaser of the ticket was Konstantin V. Kilimnik, a Russian political operative believed to have ties to a Russian intelligence agency. Kilimnik worked with Manafort and was previously indicted in the Mueller probe, the New York Times reported.

This is the first time foreign money has been discovered flowing into a Trump political operation. Did the president know about it? Was the money used to compromise him?

We’ll just have to wait to find out.


More pages out tonight. But there are still big questions.

Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said late Monday that the Senate had been given an additional 42,000 pages of documents about Brett Kavanaugh, the night before confirmation hearings are due to start. The White House said Friday that it would not be releasing 100,000 Kavanaugh’s records from the Bush White House on the basis of presidential privilege.

The late Monday release “underscores just how absurd this process is. Not a single senator will be able to review these records before tomorrow,” Schumer tweeted.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing is set to start Tuesday. He is expected to be questioned on topics that include abortion, guns, healthcare and even President Trump, CBS News chief Washington correspondent Paula Reid reports.

Kavanaugh has an “extensive” paper trail after decades of life in public service, including his work investigating former President Bill Clinton and his time in the second Bush, Reid said.

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So many parallels to Watergate. Infuriated and off-the-rails President, threats to press and his staff…explosive allegations. And the start of many indictments…with one last big suspect to get. Feels ominous, and too close for comfort.


The Professor Papadopoulos was speaking with about getting “dirt” on Hilary Clinton has ghosted and may have died. WTF?

On the day Donald Trump’s former foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos was sentenced to two weeks in jail for lying to investigators about his contacts with a U.K. professor peddling dirt from Russian officials about Hillary Clinton, lawyers in an unrelated case raised the prospect the professor, Joseph Mifsud, may be dead.

The Malta Independent writes,

The court was told that Mifsud disappeared after giving an interview to Italian newspaper La Repubblica published on 1 November, 2017.


Trump Administration Discussed Coup Plans With Rebel Venezuelan Officers

The Trump administration held secret meetings with rebellious military officers from Venezuela over the last year to discuss their plans to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, according to American officials and a former Venezuelan military commander who participated in the talks.

Establishing a clandestine channel with coup plotters in Venezuela was a big gamble for Washington, given its long history of covert intervention across Latin America. Many in the region still deeply resent the United States for backing previous rebellions, coups and plots in countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil and Chile, and for turning a blind eye to the abuses military regimes committed during the Cold War.

The White House, which declined to answer detailed questions about the talks, said in a statement that it was important to engage in “dialogue with all Venezuelans who demonstrate a desire for democracy” in order to “bring positive change to a country that has suffered so much under Maduro.”

But one of the Venezuelan military commanders involved in the secret talks was hardly an ideal figure to help restore democracy: He is on the American government’s own sanctions list of corrupt officials in Venezuela.

This is not a good idea.


Yes, it looks like the FBI may have erred in making this one claim – and it is important to keep the record straight. At the same time, we should remember that this was not a key part of the FBI’s case against Maria Butina. There remains a preponderance of evidence that she has been acting as an agent for Russian Intelligence.

For example, here’s a screen shot from the CNN video showing a note that investigators found when they searched the apartment where Butina was living with Paul Erickson. See the “to do” item: “How to respond to FSB offer of employment?” (The FSB being the current incarnation of the KGB.) The note is in Erickson’s handwriting and appears to be a list of things related to Butina, e.g.: “Process for green card/work visa?”

Footnote: Considering the thousands upon thousands of pieces of evidence our intelligence services have been gathering in the various investigations that have been underway for many months, their track record is holding at %99.999 which is pretty darn amazing, IMHO.


So Mr. Trump, like a little kid who closes his eyes and believes that makes him invisible, is hoping that this whole Stormy Daniels thing will just go away. Not so fast, says Mr. Avenatti.

President Donald Trump does not believe porn actress Stormy Daniels’ hush-money deal, which his former personal lawyer said was done to influence the 2016 presidential election, is valid and will not carry out threats to sue her for breaking the agreement by discussing details of their alleged affair, Trump’s attorney [Charles Harder] said in a court filing Saturday.

Hours earlier an attorney for [Michael Cohen’s] company set up to handle the deal offered to rescind Daniels’ nondisclosure agreement. The company, Essential Consultants, also scrapped a threatened $20 million lawsuit against Daniels. . . .

Both Trump and Cohen have asked Daniels to now drop her lawsuit. . . .

[Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti,] told The Associated Press that he did not have to accept the offer and would not settle the case without deposing Trump and Cohen. He said he was still reviewing his options but wasn’t worried about the developments.

Avenatti said he thought Harder’s court filing was “worthless,” had “numerous problems” and “means nothing.”

“We are tired of the constant delays and games being played,” he said. “We want these depositions as soon as possible.”

Regardless of how a court views the offer by Trump and Cohen’s company to drop efforts to enforce the agreement, Avenatti has other possible legal routes to pursue the president. Daniels is also suing Trump and Cohen for defamation.

For Stormy Daniels litigation junkies, here’s the actual court filing:

Two dates to mark on your calendar:

  • A hearing on this matter is set for Sept. 24 in Los Angeles before U.S. District Judge James Otero.

  • But first, on Sept. 12 (this Wednesday), Daniels and Avenatti will make an appearance on “The View.” They are teasing a big reveal, but even if that turns out to be hype, I’m sure they will both have something to say about these latest developments and what their legal options are for holding Trump accountable.


Here’s an intriguing mystery for a Sunday afternoon – what’s this all about? Sam Patten, the lobbyist and Manafort associate who has pleaded guilty to secretly working in the U.S. for pro-Russian interests and to secretly funneling foreign money into a Trump/GOP-controlled organization, has threatened the former head of the Georgian Republic. Why?

You’ll find clues in Active Measures, the explosive new documentary that exposes how boldly and successfully Russia has been attacking democracies by assaulting their electoral systems:

  • 2010 - Ukraine – Victory for Russia with the defeat of pro-Western Yulia Tymoshenko and the election of pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych. Time

  • 2012 - Georgia – Victory for Russia with the defeat of pro-Western Mikheil Saakashvili and the election of pro-Russian Bidzina Ivanishvili. (In the TPM article above, Saakashvili is the person that Patten is threatening – so that’s your first clue.) Poltico

  • 2016 - United States – Victory for Russia with the defeat of pro-European Hillary Clinton and the election of pro-Russian Donald Trump.

I’m painting with broad brush strokes here, but it’s plain to see that, just as Manafort aided “Russia’s man in the Ukraine” (and later the pro-Russian candidate in the U.S.), so did Patten aid “Russia’s man in Georgia.” They both helped install pro-Russian oligarchs as the heads of those countries. They may have been acting knowingly on Russia’s behalf or simply been serving their own self-interests, but regardless, the subversive tactics and end results were the same.

In fact, the parallels between the Russian interference with those two elections and with the U.S. election are truly chilling. Consider this: Manafort and Patten are associates and they both also partnered with the known Russian Intelligence operative, Konstantin Kilimnik – who Manafort continued to communicate with while he was Trump’s campaign manager.

So now the fact that Patten would threaten the former President of Georgia makes perfect sense. He’s trying to silence the pro-Western Saakashvili who he helped defeat in the Georgian elections of 2012 because Saakashvili undoubtedly has information that could lead to additional charges against him. In fact, just as Kilimnik and Manafort attempted to tamper with witnesses in Manafort’s trial, Patten is trying to suppress evidence against himself. From the TPM article:

Patten’s Sunday messages . . . were first noted by [George Washington University Law School] professor Jonathan Turley, who followed Saakashvili as a guest on CNN that day and was taken aback by the messages he read on-air. . . .

“Manafort was a certifiable moron to reach out to potential witnesses while on house arrest — and most certainly under surveillance by the FBI,” Turley wrote. “If the allegations are true, Patten would rival the level of recklessness in the alleged text to the chief of state of Saakashvili.”

Further reading/viewing:

  • A more detailed explanation from Jonathan Turley:
  • The CNN interview with Saakashvili where he talks about being blackmailed by Patten:

Footnote: Active Measures is highly recommended. You must watch this film and get your friends to see it as well – rent on iTunes for $3.99 – don’t wait!


Always a sad memory for all Americans coming up.:frowning_face:


Photograph taken by Canadian tourist 17 years ago tomorrow, on September 10, 2001: #Kuz


Jim Sciutto Retweeted Michael Beschloss

It’s like seeing a picture of a lost relative.