Friday Reads: Kompromat AmeriKKKan style

Good Afternoon Sky Dancers!

I seriously do not know how much more of this bulldozing our way of life and our Constitutional Democracy that I can take. I watched Rachel Maddow unfurl the parade of Russian Oligarchs that attended the inauguration. I listened to how bad it’s going with North Korea after that summit which basically was a big splash by a fat orange ass cannonballing into a pool too deep for his bad swimming skills.  It was such a big show of nothingness but propaganda coups for the NK state and its worst human rights record on the planet. They didn’t take KKKremlin Caligula seriously at all.   From CNN: “Satellite images show North Korea upgrading nuclear facility”.  Yeah. Stopped him alright with the talk of a Trump Hotel on NK beaches.

I also watched Malcom Nance refer to him as a Spy Master’s wet dream while outlining all the things he could give away and blow up in Helsinki in a Putin tete a tete. Nance think he’s a willing Russian asset because all of his foreign policy statements or twitters or blurts at rallies are basically kremlin worded and sanctified.  I’ve pretty much accepted that Trump probably wants to dump NATO and start a Dictators club to replace it.

And, I now am of full belief that Trump and the Republican Party used Russian campaign donations and as much dirty tricks as the Russians could muster to stage a coup. Nance believes he’s stoking a civil war now.

This man is stoking civil war, he’s stoking violence

The retirement of Justice Kennedy is just too perfect.  Kennedy just wrote some bizarre narrative on the Muslim ban extolling executive power which was as odd and rambling as his statements the last few days.  He was fully staffed up to go in October.  It was weird even by Republican appointees to SCOTUS weird.

Then, I read this on the NYT: “Inside the White House’s Quiet Campaign to Create a Supreme Court Opening”.  Yeah, yeah, some of it is how things usually work. BUT, anything handled by this White House is always way outsides most boundaries of constitutionality, law, protocol, humanity, etc.  So, I got to this part and gulped.

One person who knows both men says there is an affinity between Mr Trump and Mr Kennedy. This is not obvious at first glance. Mr Kennedy is bookish and abstract, whereas Mr Trump is abrasively direct.

But they had a connection – one Mr Trump was quick to note in the moments after his first address to Congress in February 2017. As he made his way out of the chamber, Mr Trump paused to chat with the justice.

“Say hello to your boy,” Mr Trump said. “Special guy.”

Mr Trump was apparently referring to Mr Kennedy’s son, Justin. The younger Mr Kennedy spent more than a decade at Deutsche Bank, eventually rising to become the bank’s global head of real estate capital markets.

During Mr Kennedy’s tenure, Deutsche Bank became Mr Trump’s most important lender, dispensing well over $1bn (£761m) in loans to him for the renovation and construction of skyscrapers in New York and Chicago at a time when other mainstream banks were wary of doing business with him because of his troubled business history.

About a week before the presidential address, Ivanka Trump had paid a visit to the Supreme Court as a guest of the elder Mr Kennedy. The two had met at a lunch after the inauguration, and Ms Trump brought along her daughter, Arabella Kushner.

Deustche Bank was the only real bank outside Russian mobsters that would touch Trump and his toxic business deals associated with his proclivities to take the money and run via bankruptcies.  It’s also awash with the darkest of dark money.  This 2017 investigative report gives you the idea of the kinds of laundering services they offer. It’s a 2017 BuzzFeed article.

The German giant processed hundreds of millions of dollars of suspicious transactions into the US for a Cyprus bank awash with dirty money linked to the Kremlin, Syrian chemical weapons, organised crime, and ISIS.

You cannot find something Trump does without uncovering about a gazillion Kremlin connections at the same time.    A Josh Marshall writes “As many of you will remember, Deutsche Bank isn’t just any bank.”

As I noted in the first post I wrote about Trump’s ties to Russia and Vladimir Putin back on July 23rd, 2016, by the mid-90s, every major US bank had blackballed Donald Trump. as the Times put it in 2016, “Several bankers on Wall Street say they are simply not willing to take on what they almost uniformly referred to as ‘Donald risk.’” None would do business with him. With one big exception: Deutsche Bank.

Deutsche Bank of course is not actually an American bank. But it has a major business in the US. And it was the bank’s effort to gain a bigger foothold in the US that seems to have been behind the special relationship with Trump.

As The Financial Times put it last year, in the middle 1990s, Deutsche was looking for a foothold in the US and “the bank saw a niche in serving rich developers who had hit a few bumps along the way, such as Harry Macklowe and Ian Bruce Eichner, both celebrated owners and losers of New York real estate.” Donald Trump fit the bill to a tee.

Deutsche also had its own problems with money laundering, particularly money laundering tied to Russia. Days after Trump became President, New York State announced a $425 million fine Deutsche Bank had agreed to pay over a $10 billion Russian money laundering scheme, one of many investigations the bank is still embroiled in.

So, it gets more elucidating after the background.

When I first read the Times story I wasn’t sure whether the younger Kennedy, whose title was Managing Director and Global Head of Real Estate Capital Markets, would have been someone to actually make loans to someone like Trump as opposed to overseeing more complex or synthetic efforts like mortgage backed securities and such. But it turns out he definitely was. The FT says Kennedy was “one of Mr Trump’s most trusted associates over a 12-year spell at Deutsche.” A review of Kennedy’s bio suggests those twelve years were 1997 through 2009 – key years for Trump.

Kennedy was one of the few bankers to accurately predict the 2007/08 mortgage backed securities meltdown and made an astonishing amount of money for Deutsche Bank by shorting mortgages starting in 2006. As Crain’s New York put in 2010, “in just the first half of 2007, [Kennedy’s group’s] bet generated as much as $540 million in revenue for Deutsche Bank as subprime mortgages fell apart, according to Bloomberg News, and the wager proved even more lucrative as the rot spread.”

Kennedy left Deutsche Bank at the end of 2009, apparently because post-financial crisis regs on over-risky bets by banks were making it difficult for him to operate. He left to found LNR Property LLC with partner Toby Cobb, which would become a big player in the distressed-commercial-property space.

Alex Shephard writing for TNR believes “Trump’s relationship with Justice Kennedy sounds shady in this new report”.  I’ll say.

Last year, the Financial Times reported that Kennedy’s son was “one of Mr Trump’s most trusted associates over a 12-year spell at Deutsche.”

Oh, really.

Then, there’s this about a Trump-Kennedy “back channel” from Shane Goldmacher at Politico from a few months back.  Where ever Trump is there are Russians, shady, deals and likely Kompromat.  There’s another son.  Now read this knowing we had a spontaneous outburst the other day about a “Space Force” and reanimating NASA.

One back channel is the fact that Kennedy’s son, Justin, knows Donald Trump Jr. through New York real estate circles. Another is through Kennedy’s other son, Gregory, and Trump’s Silicon Valley adviser Peter Thiel. They went to Stanford Law School together and served as president of the Federalist Society in back-to-back years, according to school records. More recently, Kennedy’s firm, Disruptive Technology Advisers, has worked with Thiel’s company Palantir Technologies.

In fact, during the early months of the Trump administration, Gregory Kennedy has worked at NASA as a senior financial adviser as part of the so-called “beachhead” team. Both Kennedy boys were spotted at the White House last month for the administration’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration (Justice Kennedy is Irish Catholic). In February, Ivanka Trump attended oral arguments of the Supreme Court with her daughter. She was a guest of Justice Kennedy.

The White House has also closely monitored retirement chatter by tapping into the network of former Kennedy clerks, a group that includes Gorsuch himself. Some in the legal world viewed Gorsuch’s selection — he would be the first Supreme Court clerk to serve alongside a former boss — as an olive branch to Kennedy that, should he retire next, his seat would be in reliable presidential hands.

Those close to Trump’s judicial-selection process stress that they’re not pressuring Kennedy to hang up his robe, only seeking to put him at ease.

But as they wait for a decision they cannot control, White House officials have already set in motion plans to fill the more than 100 lower court vacancies, including more than 10 percent of the crucial seats on various U.S. Courts of Appeals, in a bid to tug America’s courts in a more conservative direction for decades to come.

Also, there’s my personal observation that Kennedy–during his announcement–didn’t look like he was all that excited. He looked resigned to it more than into the idea of spending time with the wife and fly fishing or what ever. Don’t forget that hearing yesterday when House Republicans appeared ready to tank Mueller and dump Rosenstein.

A battle has raged for weeks between President Donald Trump’s conservative allies in the House of Representatives and the Department of Justice over documents related to the Russia investigation — egged on by tweets from the president himself.

Now, on Thursday, that battle escalated with a vote by the full House of Representatives on a resolution to insist the DOJ comply with the House subpoenas and other document requests by July 6. The resolution passed along party lines, 226 to 183 votes.

Lawmakers put on hold a contentious House Judiciary hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray — where GOP lawmakers were grilling them about those subpoenas — to take the vote.

The resolution is nonbinding, but it will effectively put every House member on record on where they stand in this feud — with the Justice Department, or with the president and his congressional allies who have tried to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

It could also set up a showdown over the fate of deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller’s investigation, and who Trump has reportedly considered firing.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the House Freedom Caucus chair leading the charge against the DOJ, said Wednesday that “contempt and impeachment” of Rosenstein “will be in order” if he continues to refuse to hand over documents congressional Republicans want. Republican committee chairs like Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) are also on board, and so far, they’ve been backed by Speaker Paul Ryan too.

The DOJ maintains it is complying with subpoenas, but that it also has an obligation to protectthe ongoing investigation and its confidential sources. That response hasn’t satisfied House leaders — and it plays into the main gist of their allegation, which is that the DOJ and FBI are trying to protect themselves and prevent oversight into potential misconduct.

It was ugly all over.  Democrats have a lot of fronts that have been opened in the war to stop this nasty blend of theocracy and fascism.  HuffPo outlines the current strategy in the Senate to stop Trump’s vile SCOTUS plans.  While the religious nutter base wants to outlaw abortion and stop any more rights headed towards any one but white straight christians, Trump wants a justice that will block any attempts to oust him or jail him. Remember what Roy Cohn taught Trump:  “I don’t want to know what the law is, I want to know who the judge is”.

During a judiciary committee hearing Thursday, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) noted that a challenge to the investigation could very well end up before the Supreme Court at some point ― potentially creating a conflict of interest for a president who has asked nonpartisan officials for their loyalty.

“If we’re not going to thoroughly discuss what it means to have a president with this ongoing investigation happening, who is now going to interview Supreme Court justices, and potentially continue with his tradition of doing litmus tests, loyalty tests, for that person, we could be participating in a process that could undermine that criminal investigation,” Booker said. “I do not believe this committee should or can in good conscience consider a nominee put forward by this president until that investigation is concluded.”

Trump is moving us closer to his ideas and Putin’s goals of a US Tinpot dictatorship including rewriting the mission statement at the Pentagon.  It’s not so much “to deter” as  “to employ lethal force”.  Trump’s limp dick sure needs  some help thinking it’s strong.

Life in Trump’s American continues to be disheartening.  We know no that they actually started grabbing kids at the border earlier but it was not fully ramped up until recently.

The government was separating migrant parents from their kids for months prior to the official introduction of zero tolerance, running what a U.S. official called a “pilot program” for widespread prosecutions in Texas, but apparently did not create a clear system for parents to track or reunite with their kids.

Officials have said that at least 2,342 children were separated from their parents after being apprehended crossing the border unlawfully since May 5, when the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy towards migrants went into effect.

But numbers provided to NBC News by the Department of Homeland Security show that another 1,768 were separated from their parents between October 2016 and February 2018, bringing the total number of separated kids to more than 4,100.

More than 1,000 children were separated between October 2016 and September 2017, and 703 were separated between October 2017 and February 2018, according to DHS.

It’s unclear how many of those 1,768 children were separated after President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. NBC repeatedly asked DHS for comprehensive data, but the agency declined to provide month-by-month figures, did not provide data prior to October 2016 and did not supply any numbers for March and April 2018.

This is truly outrageous!

You can add crimes against humanity to that list too.  The more you crack the eggs open, the more Russians, dark money, and crimes you find.  I want my country out of this now.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

 

Advertisements

22 Comments on “Friday Reads: Kompromat AmeriKKKan style”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Have a good weekend ! I’ll be doing this tomorrow:

    https://www.bestofneworleans.com/thelatest/archives/2018/06/25/new-orleans-organizers-plan-march-to-abolish-ice-and-reunite-immigrant-families

    New Orleans joins a national protest against U.S. immigration policies under President Donald Trump with a call for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement — the Department of Homeland Security wing enforcing immigration on the ground — at a march against the agency June 30.

    New Orleans’ “Freedom for Families” march calling for the abolition of ICE joins a nationwide rally to reunite immigrant families. It begins in Congo Square in Armstrong Park at noon.

    The march, coordinated by the New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice and the New Orleans Peoples’ Assembly, follows Trump’s executive order that reverses course on his own mandate but also enshrines a policy that will continue to incarcerate children with their families in detention centers. The center says the order only builds a legal framework for the same policy he rejected by putting more resources into a “carceral system that can cage vastly more families.”

    There should be a similar event near you!!!

  2. Pilgrim says:

    Wheels within wheels. Dak, your piece is a good illustration of that image.

  3. dakinikat says:

    • Enheduanna says:

      Because we do not have a functioning 4th estate in this country?

      Makes you wonder what else we don’t know.

    • NW Luna says:

      Knowing Trump, and knowing what you’ve written and quoted about the Kennedy son’s financial, uh, style, I’d assume there’s a corrupt link or two or three between them even now.

    • NW Luna says:

  4. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Makes me furious that 1) he dares to do this, and 2) only a minority in Congress have raised this as an issue, and 3) he’s getting away with it. So far.

      Wonder about that Emoluments suit, and if enough courts have already been stacked with Trump henchjudges to stop any legal recourse.

  5. dakinikat says:

    Five Immigrant Children In Detention Have Filed A Lawsuit Against The Government For “Cruel” Treatment
    The complaint states the unaccompanied children have experienced “irreparable trauma” while in detention, leading to depression and anxiety.

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/tanyachen/immigrant-children-filed-lawsuit-against-government-cruel?utm_term=.jgDLgLALd#.tq0rMrvrw

  6. dakinikat says:

    every freaking real economist told them it would be a burst of activity and then a total bust with a gigantic bill

  7. NW Luna says:

  8. NW Luna says:

  9. NW Luna says:

  10. Minkoff Minx says:

    This post is a hell of a way to get back into things. Fucking hell.