Ides of March Reads

It’s Mueller Friday Sky Dancers!

And it’s the Ides of March!  Who needs to beware today?

Let’s start with this from Reuters: “Mueller, in U.S. court filing, says multiple probes continue” and asks for a sentencing delay for Rick Gates.  I imagine he’s cooperating on the Trump inauguration scam but it’s just a guess on my part.

 The U.S. Special Counsel’s Office on Friday asked a court to delay sentencing for U.S. President Donald Trump’s former deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, amid “ongoing investigations” stemming from the Russia investigation.

In a filing with the U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller cited Gates’ continued cooperation with multiple probes and asked permission to update the judge on the case again by May 14.

“Gates continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations, and accordingly the parties do not believe it is appropriate to commence the sentencing process at this time,” Mueller’s team said in the court filing.

Gates is probably the one person who is still in the best position to spill a lot of beans in a lot of areas.  He was active during and past the campaign and transition.  This is from the AP via ABC News.

Gates is a central figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian election interference and possible coordination with the Trump campaign. But he is also helping federal authorities in New York who are looking into Trump’s inaugural committee as well as lobbying on behalf of foreign interests by prominent Washington insiders.

The joint filing by Mueller’s office and Gates’ attorneys comes amid signs the Russia investigation is winding down. But it’s unclear if Friday’s delay is an indication that Mueller may submit his confidential report soon or if it’s related to the status of the other investigations.

The filing asked for another 60 days to update U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on whether Gates can proceed to sentencing. The judge granted the request later Friday.

Gates pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy and false statement charges related to Ukrainian lobbying and political consulting he carried out with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison.

Gates helped the government in obtaining a trial conviction of Manafort last year. Prosecutors have noted that he continues to provide information about Manafort’s time on the Trump campaign, though neither man has been charged with any crimes related to Russian election interference.

Still, Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, who led the Manafort case, told a federal judge earlier this year that a meeting Gates attended with Manafort in August 2016 went to the “heart” of the Russia investigation. The meeting at the Grand Havana Room cigar club in New York was with Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Manafort associate who the FBI says has ties to Russian intelligence.

Prosecutors have not revealed exactly what piqued their interest in the meeting, though court papers show it involved a discussion of a possible Russia-Ukraine peace plan.

Separately, federal prosecutors in New York are investigating the Presidential Inaugural Committee, where Gates served in a senior role. Investigators are looking into whether foreigners illegally contributed to the committee, which raised $107 million for Trump’s inaugural events, and how that money was spent.

The same office is also investigating lobbying for Ukraine in which Gates was involved.

Another mass murder by white nationalist terrorists shocks the world.

Yesterday, New Zealand became a site of right wing white nationalist terror.  There were mass shootings at Muslim Mosques that have taken many lives. A video from the attacks has been streaming on the internet and is said to be from an attacker.

Facebook, where a man claiming to be the attacker livestreamed footage of the shootings, removed the original video about an hour later, but by that time copies of the footage had started to circulate across other social media sites.

Facebook’s community standards explicitly ban “individuals engaged in mass murder” from having a presence on its network, and the company has deleted the account associated with the suspect. But eight hours after the attack videos were still live, obscured behind a warning that they may “show violent or graphic content” but not deleted.

Traditional news outlets have taken starkly different positions. MailOnline’s version of the story features an autoplaying clip of 18 seconds of the suspect’s livestream, showing him leaving his car, weapon in hand, cutting it as he enters the front door of Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue. There was a version of the clip autoplaying on its homepage.

The Sun took a similar approach. A spokesman for the paper told the Guardian: “We recognise that in the aftermath of horrific events such as these there will be sensitivities around reporting, and we take those responsibilities seriously.

“We have thought long and hard about how much of the easily available material currently on social media we should host on our site in order to shed light on this barbarous attack and the twisted ‘motive’ behind it. We have not published any video which depicts any act of actual violence, nor have we published or linked to the hate-filled manifesto.”

On the Mirror’s website, a longer clip of the same video led the story, showing the same footage of the attacker entering the mosque, cutting over the footage of the attack, and resuming the clip as the gunman walks back out of the building towards his car. That video was removed following inquiries from the Guardian, and the paper’s editor later apologised, saying “It is not in line with our policy relating to terrorist propaganda videos.”

A Fox News Analyst has found bottom on what not to say about an attack of this magnitude.  No thoughts and prayers from the Fox propaganda lair. This is from the Daily Beast.

Fox News analyst Walid Phares called Friday’s white nationalist terrorist attackin Christchurch, New Zealand, that killed 49 people and injured 40 others, “very understandable” on a “political level.” Phares said that New Zealand has now joined countries fighting terrorism “on all sides” adding, it’s very understandable what (the shooter) was trying to do on a political level, obviously it’s horrific and should be condemned completely on the action level.” Earlier in the segment, Phares called the horrific attack “pure evil, more than that it’s successful pure evil.” “Unfortunately New Zealand now has joined the community of probably 100 countries that are fighting terrorism from any side and all sides, mosques, churches have been attacked by extremists on all sides.” Phares is an author and right-wing political pundit. He worked for the Republican presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney in 2012, and President Donald Trump in 2016.

The primary attacker has left a manifesto which can be found on The Daily Mail.  The DM also shared the first person footage of the attack.

The Daily Mail’s website uploaded the Christchurch mosque attacker’s 74-page “manifesto”, allowing readers to download the entire document just hours after the massacre on Friday which left at least 49 people dead.

The Mail was one of several British news outlets which defied requests from New Zealand police on Friday not to spread the terrorist’s first-person footage, which had been repeatedly shared across social media platforms in the wake of the attack.

The latest news is that there are 49 confirmed dead.  Four suspects have been arrested to include one woman.

KEY POINTS:
• 49 confirmed dead in ‘terrorist’ shootings at two Christchurch mosques
• Seven died at Linwood, 41 at mosque near Hagley Park
• Four people initially arrested, including one woman
• Man, 28 due in court tomorrow charged with murder
• One of the gunmen livestreamed shooting at Al Noor Mosque in chilling 17-min video

Forty-nine people have been killed and 48 more hurt after mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques in the worst terror attack on New Zealand soil.

Nour Tavis said he was in the front row of the Al Noor Mosque in Deans Ave with his friend when the shooting started. At first they did not know what the noise was.

“Then we heard screaming … everyone panicked,” he said. “There was shooting and shooting and shooting … people were running and all of a sudden you saw them fall.”

Tavis saw someone smash a window and jump out. “It was the only way to escape,” he said. “I followed.”

As he and others ran for cover the shooting carried on inside the mosque.

The questions now start about where these folks are getting their inspirations.  Here’s some speculation from WAPO’s James McAuley.  The sources is the main suspect’s manifesto.

Before embarking on a deadly shooting rampage Friday targeting Muslim worshipers in Christchurch, New Zealand, the suspected gunman — a 28-year-old, self-styled “regular white man from a regular family” — posted a 74-page manifesto on Twitter.

The sprawling, angry text sheds some light on the motivation behind an attack that killed 49 Muslims during Friday prayers and wounded dozens of others. Among other things, that suspect — who Christchurch police say posted the manifesto and whom they have since charged with murder — wrote that a trip to France in 2017 convinced him that the country was under “invasion” by “nonwhites.”

“The final push was witnessing the state of French cities and towns. For many years I had been hearing and reading of the invasion of France by nonwhites, many of these rumors and stories I believed to be exaggerations, created to push a political narrative,” the suspect wrote.

“But once I arrived in France, I found the stories not only to be true, but profoundly understated,” he continued. A significant detail is that the suspect titled his manifesto “The Great Replacement,” a clear reference to the title of a 2012 book by right-wing French polemicist Renaud Camus.

In that book, Camus expounds on the “theory” that Europe’s white majority is being replaced by nonwhite North African and sub-Saharan African immigrants, many of whom are Muslim.

The “great replacement” has been a battle cry of the French far right, even after immigration arrivals into Europe fell significantly after their peak in 2015. In the words of Marion Maréchal, granddaughter of convicted Holocaust denier Jean-Marie Le Pen and a darling of the American far right, the idea perfectly corresponds to reality.

Unsurprisingly, the shooter also finds inspiration in the current occupant of the US White House.  I am fully ashamed of this.  This is from Salon and the keyboard of Chauncey DeVega.

Words are weapons. Those weapons can be lethal.

The president of the United States gives both permission and encouragement for public’s behavior, values and norms. This is true both in the United States and around the world. He or she is that powerful.

Earlier on Friday, a 28-year-old white man who appears to have described himself as “an actual fascist” entered two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, armed with assault rifles and killed at least 49 people, injuring many 20 others. New Zealand authorities also report that the attacker had placed two explosive devices on his vehicle, which apparently did not detonate.

In an especially gruesome contemporary twist, the gunman apparently streamed parts of the terror attack live on Facebook. Although that feed and other accounts apparently associated with the shooter have been taken down, the New York Times reports that both the 17-minute video and a manifesto apparently posted by the shooter have been widely disseminated on social media.

Three men and one woman have been taken into custody by New Zealand law enforcement, who have since said that one of those people is likely not involved. At this writing, reports suggest that the 28-year-old man, who by his own account was born and raised in Australia, may have been the sole shooter.

hat man appears to have posted his hate-filled manifesto online before the attack. In it, he rages against “Islamic invaders” who are “occupying European soil,” and specifically writes that he used guns to commit this massacre in order to call attention to debate about the Second Amendment in the United States. The alleged mass murderer also wrote that he had donated money to American white supremacist organizations, and quoted the “14 words” pledge often used by white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

According to various reports, the alleged terrorist specifically cited President Trump as an inspiration. His online manifesto praises Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”

Friday’s massacre appears to be another example of what is known as “stochastic terrorism” or “scripted violence.” It is also another case study in how right-wing terrorists, with no official group affiliation, can be radicalized online

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.–writing for The Root– leaves us with this lede. “New Zealand Mosques Shooting Suspect Called Trump a ‘Symbol of White Supremacy’ and Claimed He Was Just a ‘Regular White Man’ Ensuring a ‘Future for My People’ “

The suspected gunman who killed dozens of worshippers inside two New Zealand mosques is an Australian man who reportedly posted a 74-page manifesto that called Donald Trump as a “symbol of white supremacy” before the shooting .

According to Yahoo News, the alleged killer who live-streamed the attack identified himself as Brenton Tarrant. He claimed that he was motivated by “far-right extremism he saw in the United States to carry out the attack at Al Noor Mosque.”

The shooting left 49 people dead inside two mosques. Some 41 people were killed inside Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch while several more were killed inside Linwood Masjid Mosque.

The suspect was captured and has been charged with murder. Three other people are also being held in custody, Yahoo News reports.

Someone using the username ‘Brenton Tarrant 9’ posted footage of the attack that “shows the gunman firing 205 times on men, woman and children and stopping only to reload his weapons.”

The last few years have put the worst of our country on display.  It is out there inspiring the worst of humanity.  Not a day goes by that I do not wonder what type of hell realm beings find inspiration in this atrocious lump of air brushed flesh.  Well, we see at least one of them today.  It’s at this point where you know that thoughts and prayers can never be enough.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


28 Comments on “Ides of March Reads”

  1. dakinikat says:

  2. dakinikat says:

  3. RonStill4Hills says:

    Trump’s fascist threat that the military, cops and or bikers who support him will do something bad, very bad, if he is opposed is another in a long series of stop the presses moments.

    We tolerate this blatant authoritarian despot talk at our peril.

    • dakinikat says:

      nice democracy you got there, be a shame if something happened to it

    • Sweet Sue says:

      We don’t tolerate it, Ron, but our “free press” does day after day after day.
      They chuckle at his “antics’ and long for the day when he’ll start acting presidential.

      • RonStill4Hills says:

        I just want the press to walk out en masse one time. Just say to his face, “Don’t waste our time with lies and fascist propooganda! It won’t do!”

  4. RonStill4Hills says:

    “I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough – until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad,” Trump said.

    “But the left plays it cuter and tougher. Like with all the nonsense that they do in Congress . . . with all this invest[igations] – that’s all they want to do is – you know, they do things that are nasty. Republicans never played this.”

    Talk about projection. They are the KINGS of NASTY and FRAUDULENT bogus investigations.

    Whitewater and Benghazi are just the ones targeting the Clintons. There are too many others to name, and if you include state and local witch hunts it grows exponentially.

    They are the EMPIRE of thuggery and intimidation.

    All hail Pompous Magnate! Imperator of the Invisible Empire

    • quixote says:

      Have you seen this twitter thread about all the parallels to dictators’ amateur goons all over the world?

      • NW Luna says:

        Trump loves dictators and despots. Insecure men copy his role so they have people whom they think are beneath them.

        “understandable” like hell. No I don’t understand it. Then the hideous irony of the white man in New Zealand complaining that whites in Europe are being invaded. He lives in a country invaded by whites! Trump’s goons in the US ignore that whites invaded the continent.

  5. NW Luna says:

    Contrast this coverage (obviously written by someone with no medical background) with the treatment Hillary received after resiliently continuing despite pneumonia. Scalp wounds will bleed like crazy all out of proportion to their seriousness. And there’s a reason outpatient surgery is outpatient surgery — it’s not that bad. If you notice, they say he returned to “workin the Senate” (as if he does much besides sit in the Senate) the next day but not to the campaign trail until later. Pneumonia, on the other hand, puts strong healthy 20-year olds in bed for days to weeks.

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) maintained his presidential campaign schedule Friday despite receiving seven stitches on his head at a walk-in clinic after what a spokeswoman described as an injury from the edge of a glass shower door.

    Sanders, 77, exhibited a similar resilience during his 2016 campaign. He returned to work in the Senate a day after an outpatient hernia repair procedure in Washington and returned to the campaign trail later that week.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bernie-sanders-gets-seven-stitches-on-his-head-maintains-campaign-schedule/2019/03/15/fc938d10-474a-11e9-aaf8-4512a6fe3439_story.html?utm_term=.26de1a6e4019

    • NW Luna says:

      Why don’t they say “77-year-old man bashes head on shower door, raising doubts about his ability as a candidate.”

      Grrr. He’s a candidate in the Democratic race, but he’s listed as (I-Vt).

      • quixote says:

        “Did Sanders Really Walk Into A Door? Sanders Losing It! Or Is Jane That Mad At Him? Up Next: Our Expert Looks At Who Uses Doors As An Excuse. Stay Tuned!”

        etc etc etc etc etc etc etc. Followed by escalating BS I can’t even imagine.

        (Yes, I do know partner violence is nothing to joke about. But how much do you want to bet that would be the instant angle on the whole thing if it was Hillary?)

        Plus, yes, getting stitches for a cut and then sitting is not even on the same scale as toughing it out through pneumonia.

      • dakinikat says:

        They’re not speculating on strokes? Aneurisms? Something earthshatteringly wrong with him?

        • Mary Luke says:

          See my comment above. They kept speculating about strokes and seizures through Hillary ‘s entire campaign.

      • Mary Luke says:

        Are you kidding me? A shower door and no one is making an issue of it? Remember all the ugly accusations about Hillary after she traveled around half the world and back, extended her trip with no sleep to meet BIbi in Israel and singlehandedly stop him from war in the middle east, got sick with norovirus, (which anyone who has ever had it knows will cause you to pass out with lightning speed), hit her head as she collapsed, got a blood clot, and ugly rumors flew and never let up throughout her campaign.

  6. NW Luna says:

    IOW, people with Medicare won’t be “directly” affected, they just won’t find anyone who takes Medicare.

    The Medicare changes would not directly affect benefits for patients, although their care could be affected if physicians leave the program because they object to lower payments.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/trump-pledges-support-for-health-programs-but-his-budget-takes-legs-out-from-underneath-the-system/2019/03/14/84e1f880-45ae-11e9-8aab-95b8d80a1e4f_story.html?utm_term=.9c34ea39f618

  7. NW Luna says:

  8. dakinikat says:

  9. dakinikat says:

    • dakinikat says:

      • 2012: White supremacist kills 6 at Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin
      • 2015: White supremacist kills 9 at historic black Christian church in Charleston
      • 2017: White supremacist kills 6 at Islamic mosque in Quebec City
      • 2018: White supremacist kills 11 at Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh
      • 2019: White supremacist kills 49 at Islamic mosque in Christchurch

    • quixote says:

      “fueled by tech platforms that have proved unable to prevent lend themselves from to being used” because it’s profitable.

      There. Fixed it for them.