A Happy New Year to everyone! Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018!
The continuing Trump Chronicles have now reached the first week in December. While Americans had their fill of Thanksgiving turkey and shifted into Christmas mode, plenty was happening elsewhere.
Q’s breadcrumbs: the Marines and Langley
In the first week of December 2017, parts of the Internet buzzed over a weeks-old Q Anon ‘breadcrumb’ notionally implying that the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia was about to be raided.
This supposedly happened on November 27.
Hal Turner, whom I don’t follow, had a radio show about it, a transcript of which is here. An excerpt follows:
Many (very many) residents of McLean, VA have confirmed they found themselves hearing large numbers of loud aircraft overhead on Saturday, and that the sounds lasted more then 30 minutes!
As far as a definitive statement from any of my former colleagues . . . . NONE of them would reveal any details about whatever is going on down there. But they did confirm to me today “something is going on.”
I expect to have several additional contacts overnight and will again update this story if I am able to offer something more concise and verifiable.
People had been expecting this to happen over the weekend of November 18-19. Armstrong Economics had a piece on it, which concluded:
I do not know why people make up this sort of stuff. What is the purpose? They have created a firestorm among the conspiracy theory sites. Why? Do they just have a vivid imagination? Are they deranged? They heard one helicopter and turn that into an invasion of the CIA, which makes no sense? Then they claim it must be true and there is a news blackout. Astonishing!
No, it was a hope against hope that Q’s breadcrumbs indicated imminent and definitive action. In reality, a Marine invasion of Langley is unthinkable.
It seems some misinterpreted or read too much into Q’s breadcrumbs. These near daily drops were interesting while they lasted. Only the smallest things came true. This isn’t to say that The Storm isn’t happening, but, if it becomes obvious, it will be in 2018. That said, those of us following the breadcrumbs learned a bit more about spycraft — assembling random pieces of information. Q went off the air, as it were, on Christmas Day.
On Saturday, December 2, another sex scandal story emerged. This one involves the legendary American conductor James Levine. I went to one of his concerts once many years ago when he was just starting out. Anyway, the New York Post reported about a 48-year-old man who alleged in 2016 that Levine had molested him several times beginning when he (victim) was 15. At that time, Levine was guest conductor at the Ravinia Music Festival outside of Chicago:
The alleged victim’s 2016 claims came nine years after the statute of limitations on a possible child sex crime in Illinois had expired. The age of consent in that state is 17. The Lake Forest Police Department investigated the allegations anyway, and turned its findings over to the Lake County State’s Attorney. A State’s Attorney spokeswoman told The Post Friday the case is still under review and no charges have been brought.
On December 3, the New York Post reported that Levine’s current employer, the Metropolitan Opera in New York had suspended him pending further investigation:
Officials revealed the move in a statement, as two more alleged victims have come forward and accused the 74-year-old of sexual abuse …
“Based on these new reports, the Met has made the decision to act now, while we await the results of the investigation,” explained Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager. “This is tragedy for anyone whose life has been affected.”
This is a big deal, because Levine was one of the last people one would have suspected of such behaviour. However:
The sexual misconduct allegations against Levine date back to the 1960s — during the earlier part of his conducting career at the Met. The famed opera house says his alleged abuse continued until at least the 1980s.
Three men have now come forward and publicly accused Levine of misconduct, saying it occurred several decades ago when they were teenagers.
On Friday, December 8, the paper reported that no criminal charges would be brought against Levine in Illinois. It appears that the alleged sexual contact did not take place until the alleged victim turned 16:
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office said they had to follow the law in place at the time of the alleged abuse in 1986 and 1987 when the age of consent was 16. It has since been raised to 17.
On December 9, the paper reported that Levine’s brother allegedly acted as his wingman. The aforementioned victim from Illinois told police that the brother had written cheques to him totalling $50,000. Hmm. That’s a massive amount of money. Back then, one-fifth of that would have paid for his university education, room and board included.
In other sex pest news, US senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) has still not stood down, even though he said he would.
Jefferson Beauregard Sessions
Regarding Al Franken, Lame Cherry opined:
For the women of America, the Senate should have voted already to vote him gone and for Jeff Sessions to open an investigation concerning Al Franken. It though all comes down to not protecting women from perverts, but the perverts who will protect themselves by making an example of Al Franken to cover their crimes.
Heh. Jeff Sessions.
Public opinion among Trump supporters is divided. Many think Sessions is playin’ possum and has loads of Swamp-related criminal charges to bring. Others among us think that Ol’ Sleepy is going back home to Alabama sometime in 2018.
Sessions is great when it comes to criminals but looks the other way when it comes to his longtime buddies in the Swamp. A Tucker Carlson interview of Sleepy on December 1 illustrates this beautifully. Sleepy had plenty to say about Kate Steinle’s murderer, declared not guilty in California — wanted by the DOJ on another charge, violating terms of his release in Texas — but nothing at all to say about the Mueller investigation. Yes, Sessions recused himself, but this is part of the problem. Tucker made that pretty evident with his facial expression.
I think Trump’s base will get so cheesed off at the DOJ’s inactivity in that regard that Beauregard will be sent packing, his position untenable. I don’t think Trump would have a problem doing that, and he could make a lateral transfer to install someone else in the Attorney General position.
On December 1, a Washington Post guest editorial by Republican consultant Ed Rogers suggested that Democrats were straining at gnats with regard to the outcome of the Mueller investigation. Concerning Michael Flynn’s guilty plea:
Flynn admitting to having made false statements is nowhere near where the Democrats want this to go. Of course, the story is big and the fact that a former White House official has been charged with anything and pleaded guilty is consequential, but it doesn’t suggest any collusion occurred and it doesn’t even get close to confirming that Donald Trump or his campaign was somehow complicit in a nefarious scheme.
Democrats are already straining themselves trying to suggest that Flynn’s plea is just the beginning and that there is more to come. But as far as Flynn is concerned, that is unlikely. It is just wishful thinking on their part. It’s not as though he pleaded guilty only to leave unresolved matters for later.
Rogers also reminded readers that:
Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were indicted on matters associated with foreign-agent registration and money laundering that predated any engagement they had with Trump. Flynn has pleaded guilty to a crime that occurred after the campaign was over. To be precise, none of this involves the president or his campaign. It’s all ugly and ragged, but this White House has a lot of ugly and ragged.
Rogers is accurate but, with that last sentence, reveals himself to be loyal to the man for whom he once worked: George H W Bush.
On December 2, the PA reported that Jared Kushner is:
the “very senior transition official” referred to in court papers filed in the case of Michael Flynn, who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, sources said.
Again, so what? All this was during the transition period. Once more, we still have ‘sources said’.
Twitter supremo Imperator_Rex said that Flynn likely agreed to an interview by the FBI in January without lawyering up because:
Flynn WANTED to be interviewed by the FBI. He did it deliberately.
Flynn’s deliberate actions suggest that he had a specific objective and plan in mind, which would be consistent with a master spook. What do you think he was up to? Nothing good for Obama & Co, that much I can guarantee.
As much as I enjoy Imperator_Rex’s tweets, he seems to have forgotten something: would Flynn have done that if he knew he’d go broke?
On December 1, Trump was furious with reports alleging that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was going to leave the cabinet:
The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soon – FAKE NEWS! He’s not leaving and while we disagree on certain subjects, (I call the final shots) we work well together and America is highly respected again!
Two days later, Mike Cernovich tweeted a thread with several examples of fake news from CNN. It’s a fascinating read. Most of it follows:
Jake Tapper is upset about Trump’s use of “fake news.” Well let’s look at CNN’s track record.
1. Jim Acosta claimed Trump did not visit Scalise after shooting. That was FAKE NEWS!
2. CNN had to retract a FAKE NEWS story about Anthony Scaramucci, after he threatened a big lawsuit.
4. CNN White House Reporter Jeremy Diamond claimed Trump was first POTUS since H.W. Bush to not take questions at China press conference. Jake Tapper himself RT’ed Diamond. This was FAKE NEWS!
5. CNN claimed Trump fed fish improperly, which would have been frivolous if true. But it wasn’t true. Fish Food Gate was FAKE NEWS!
8. Those are 7 clear and recent examples of CNN spreading fake news, and that’s just CNN. Don’t get me started on WaPo.
@NolteNC is America’s top media watch dog. He can give you dozens of examples of CNN’s fake news. If Jake Tapper doens’t like the label, here’s the solution: —Raise your standards.— When Tapper himself is blowing stories (Comey testimony), he has no right to complain.
In early December, the tax bill was still undergoing change prior to voting approval and Trump’s signing it into law at the end of the month. On December 1, the Senate repealed the mandate that all Americans had to buy Obamacare. This is where the IRS levied penalties on Americans with no coverage. It was cheaper to pay the fine than to get health insurance. That is just the insurance — prohibitive health care costs are on top of that.
Republican lawmakers failed several times this year to scrap the mandate as part of a broader repeal of Obamacare, blocked by opposition from a few of the party’s senators, including Susan Collins of Maine.
At that stage, the tax bill was not yet final:
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate must now reconcile the differences in their respective versions of the legislation.
At the end of November, New Jersey completed a nine month long bust of kiddy fiddlers that extended all the way to California.
A child porn bust in New Jersey netted nearly 80 arrests, including 14- and 17-year-old boys, prosecutors said.
The complaint alleges that the victims were as young as 2 or 4 …
Investigators said George Castillo, 36, of Inglewood, California thought he was picking up a 4-year-old and 9-year-old girl from LAX but instead he was met by detectives. He allegedly had a stuffed animal and sex toys stashed in his car.
Some of the men communicated with detectives online, who pretended to be children or parents who were willing to sell their children for sex.
Other arrests include a youth minister, Michael DeBlock, 22, of Hopatcong; a 17-year-old Bergen county student accused of recording other kids in a bathroom; a Toms River piano teacher named Bryan San Andreas, 37; a Trenton Police officer; and James Cutrone, 52, a Hazlet swimming coach.
I mention this article because they list all those arrested and the professions of several. It is truly shocking. One man is a captain in the Air Force, stationed in New Jersey. He:
is charged in Delaware with sexual solicitation of a minor and attempt to commit unlawful sexual contact with a minor.
NSA security breaches
The last story for today is about security breaches at the NSA, some of which had been taking place since 2006.
On December 1, The Baltimore Sun reported that a former NSA employee:
Nghia Hoang Pho, 67, removed the documents over a period of five years ending in 2015, according to a plea agreement made public by the Justice Department. The material is reportedly believed to have been stolen from his computer by Russian hackers exploiting his personal antivirus software.
Pho took the documents home to help him write his resume but hackers are believed to have accessed them through antivirus software made by Kaspersky Lab, The New York Times reported Friday based on interviews with unnamed government officials.
The paper said that, although this is not a new story, it was the first time Pho’s name was made public.
Why would someone need to take classified documents home to write a CV? That’s the worst excuse ever, on a par with ‘The dog ate my homework’.
Pho has pleaded guilty and will receive his sentence on April 6, 2018.
Mike Cernovich made an excellent point:
NSA employee took home some documents to help him work on his resume. Hillary kept 33,000 emails on a private server. Guess who is going to prison.
E Deploribus Awesome, replying to Cernovich, was furious, recalling Bill Clinton’s administration:
THAT DOES IT! I’M SCREAMING NOW, .
GUESS WHO DIDN’T GO TO PRISON FOR HAVING CLASSIFIED INFO AT HIS HOME COURTESY OF BILL CLINTON’S
#PardonGate WHICH JAMES COMEY SUPPOSEDLY INVESTIGATED?
THIS GUY FORMER CIA DIRECTOR
This is why Sleepy Sessions will have to go. Trump’s base is furious that the higher-ups in the Swamp still don’t have to worry about being brought to rights. Americans elected Trump in the hope that a strong Attorney General would reset the scales of justice. So far, nothing at all.
The Baltimore Sun article says there were also two NSA contractors were also under investigation this year. One has an unlikely, yet real, name, Reality Winner:
Reality Leigh Winner, a Texas native who had been stationed in Maryland, was charged in June with sending a classified report to a news organization. Winner is a former NSA contractor and Air Force veteran.
Meanwhile, Kaspersky software has been removed from government computers.
More to come soon.
In the meantime, have a good New Year’s celebration!