Miami, Florida. December 2017.
The Bronx & Brookyn, NY 21nov17
Week 53 of trump’s presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.
This week the headlines and narrative were dominated by women (and men) sharing their stories of sexual assault and harassment — a historic movement. Stories entered the political domain with accusations against men of both parties, reopening questions about Trump’s sordid past. Trump tweeted himself into the sexual assault discussion, almost as if to be part of the zeitgeist, despite the perilous risks. This is the shortest list in many weeks as Trump was largely absent from the narrative and headlines.
This week the Russia probe entered Trump’s inner-circle, as more lines of direct and indirect communications surfaced, and efforts at cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia were revealed. A political backlash against Trump continued as a special election in Oklahoma 37, a district Trump comfortably won by 40 points, went to a Democrat — a 26 year-old lesbian whose wife is African American.
- Despite messaging during his Asia trip about using diplomacy with N. Korea, late Saturday, Trump tweeted, “Why would Kim Jong-Un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat’?”
- On Sunday, in response to Trump siding with Putin over US intelligence on Russian interference in Week 52, ex-intelligence chiefs James Clapper and John Brennan said Trump is being “played” by Putin.
- When asked about why his regime had yet to implement sanctions on Russia after the Senate and House voted almost unanimously to do so,Trump said he would rather have Russia “in a friendly posture.”
- As Trump returned from his trip, former diplomats and Asia experts said China came out ahead and Trump came home largely empty-handed. Theformer Australian PM wrote Trump ceded economic leadership to China.
- During Trump’s Asia trip, world leaders from 11 countries reached agreement on the core elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, without the US.
- On Monday, Trump met with controversial leader Duterte. Trump boasted of their “great relationship,” and laughed when Duterte called journalists “spies.” At least 177 Filipino media workers have been killed since 1986.
- The WH said the two leaders “briefly” discussed human rights, but Duterte’s spokesman denied that the issue was discussed. Tuesday,Trudeau did bring up human rights, which Duterte called an “insult.”
- On Tuesday evening, as Trump returned from his Asia trip, he tweeted “May God be with the people of Sutherland Springs.” That shooting took place 9 days prior. Tuesday, there was a mass shooting in Northern CA.
- NYT reported Trump is rapidly reshaping the judiciary, including eight appellate judges, seats Republicans held open during Obama’s final two years in office, with extremist conservative judges.
- On Monday, WAPO reported Jeff Sessions is considering a second special counsel to investigate GOP concerns, including the Clinton Foundation, Uranium One, and Hillary’s emails. Trump has been encouraging this.
- NYT reported Sessions is shattering longstanding norms by doing so, and so the credibility of any investigation presumably would be called into question since Trump is publicly going after a political rival.
- On Saturday, Trump was once again tweeting about his former political rival: “Crooked Hillary Clinton is the worst (and biggest) loser of all time…give it another try in three years!”
- WAPO reported in Trump’s first 298 days, he has made 1,628 false or misleading statements.
- Despite having no criminal record, a MI woman Zahrija Purovic, 50,who lived in the US for 30 years, worked and paid taxes and raised her three children here, was deported to Montenegro.
- Seattle Times reported on Pacific County, which voted for Trump but now laments a spike in deportations of their neighbors. There have been 28 ICE arrests this year so far, up from eight last year and zero many years before.
- NYT reported due to the Post Office unusually long delays of delivering DACA applications, including ones sent by certified mail, at least 74 young immigrants’ applications in NYC and Chicago were rejected for being late.
- Vox reported the Trump regime has rejected 4,000 “late” DACA renewal applications, some of which were sitting in mailboxes. A lawsuit alleges USCIS is being stricter than usual, and arbitrarily denying applications.
- On Thursday, in a reversal, acting DHS director Elaine Duke instructed the immigration agency to allow applicants to re-submit their paperwork if they have proof that they mailed their renewal on time.
- San Francisco Chronicle reported the Trump regime plans to stop granting work permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders, overturning a 2015 rule. Last year, 100K spouses and children of H-1B holders came to the US.
- AP reported Trump is choosing white men as judges at the highest rate in decades. So far, 91% of Trump’s nominees are white, and 81% are male.
- After nine months of trusting Trump to protect them for living in pro-Trump states, farming groups are moving to fight Trump’s effort to withdraw from NAFTA, saying the move would be a disaster for farmers.
- The Trump administration’s US Fish and Wildlife Service said it plan to reverse an Obama-era ban on bringing elephant trophies back from two African countries. The regime claims Zimbabwe and Zambia support reversing the ban.
- On Friday, following public backlash, Trump said he would delay the new policy on elephant trophies until he can review “all conservation facts.”
- ABC News confirmed the Trump regime’s US Fish and Wildlife Service also began issuing permits for lion trophies hunted in Zambia and Zimbabwe about a month ago.
- The University of SC women’s basketball team declined an invitation from Trump to celebrate their 2017 NCAA championship at the WH.
- Trump’s controversial judicial nominee Brett Talley did not disclose he is married to Donald McGahn’s chief of staff. In Week 52, Talley is also viewed as unqualified to be a federal district judge due to lack of experience.
- On Wednesday, Richard Cordray announced he would step down as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency created by Sen. Elizabeth Warren after the 2008 financial crisis. Republicans have taken steps under Trump to dismantle the agency.
- Trump is expected to nominate Mick Mulvaney to acting head of the CFPB, an agency Mulvaney said he wanted to kill. Mulvaney will not require confirmation since he is serving as WH budget director.
- Jamie Johnson, a Trump DHS appointee, resigned after CNN uncovered tapes of his radio show in which he claimed blacks turned cities into “slums” and Islam’s only contribution to society was “oil and dead bodies.”
- On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of Senators wrote a letter to Rex Tillerson expressing “deep reservations” about lack of staffing, which threatens “to undermine the long-term health and effectiveness” of US diplomacy.
- The FCC repealed a 1970s rule put in place to ensure a diversity of voices and opinions by prohibiting ownership of a newspaper and tv-station in the same market. Trump ally Sinclair will be the biggest beneficiary.
- On Wednesday, 13 Senate Democrats called for the FCC Inspector General to open an investigation into potential quid pro quo between FCC chair Ajit Pai, the Trump regime, and Sinclair Broadcasting.
- The Koch brothers provided a half-billion dollar equity investments in a Meredith bid for Time Inc., potentially moving another major media company into the hands of conservative billionaires.
- On Wednesday, Steven Mnuchin and his wife caused a stir by posing for pictures with him holding sheets of money at the Bureau of Engraving, while the Republicans push a tax plan which benefits the rich and corporations.
- USA Today reported taxpayers are paying the legal costs for at least 10 DOJ lawyers and paralegals to work on four lawsuits related to Trump’s unprecedented decision not to divest of his private businesses.
- WAPO reported the Interior Department’s watchdog Deputy IG Mary Kendall sent a letter to Ryan Zinke’s office saying management of his travel was “deficient” and lacked oversight. Zinke has failed to keep complete records.
- A federal judge heard arguments Friday on whether Trump’s own tweets about the Steele dossier should force the federal government to reveal more information about its efforts to verify the claims in the dossier.
- On Friday, Bloomberg reported Trump will begin paying his legal bills related to the Russia probe from his own pocket, relieving the Republican Party of future payments.
- WH lawyer Ty Cobb said the OGE and a tax firm are also working on amechanism for Trump to contribute to staffers’ legal bills, raising ethical concerns that Trump is doing this to influence staffer testimony.
- On Monday morning, WAPO released a list of at least 30 known times the Trump campaign was in contact with Russians during the campaign.
- On Monday, Russian state-funded RT registered with the DOJ as a foreign agent. RT is now required to publicly disclose details about its funding and operations, and mark certain content with labels.
- Reuters reported, in retaliation, Russia named nine US-government sponsored media outlets likely to be labelled “foreign agents” in a new law that is being rushed through Russian parliament.
- On Monday, The Atlantic reported on Twitter direct messages betweenWikiLeaks and Donald Jr. starting September 20, 2016 and through July 2017. The messages have been turned over to Congressional investigators.
- US intelligence believes WikiLeaks was chosen by Russia to disseminate hacked emails. Donald Jr. forwarded one email to Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, and Brad Parscale. Kushner in turn forwarded the message to Hope Hicks.
- Kushner has told congressional investigators he did not communicate with WikiLeaks, and did not recall anyone on the campaign who had.
- On October 3, 2016, the day after Roger Stone tweeted, “Wednesday @Hillary Clinton is done. #Wikileaks,” Donald Jr. messaged WikiLeaksasking, “What’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?”
- On October 12, 2016, WikiLeaks messaged Donald Jr. about the upcoming release of Podesta hacked emails and asked that Trump tweet about it. Trump did in fact tweet about it, fifteen minutes later.
- In the last 30 days of his presidential campaign, Trump mentioned WikiLeaks 164 times.
- In a message on Election Day, WikiLeaks encouraged Donald Jr. that if Trump loses he “DOES NOT concede,” and instead focuses on “CHALLENGING the media and other types of rigging.”
- WikiLeaks suggested they be the means for releasing Trump’s tax returns to help them appear impartial. After Trump won, WikiLeaks asked to have Trump suggest “Australia appoint Assange ambassador to DC.”
- On July 11, 2017, three days after the NYT reported on Donald Jr.’s June 9 Trump Tower meeting and emails, WikiLeaks suggested they make the emails public. Hours later, Donald Jr. tweeted the emails himself.
- CNN reported the Russia-linked trolls that meddled in US politics posted dozens of pro-Brexit messages on the day of the UK referendum.
- CNN reported the House Intelligence Committee will interview Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin next week about his involvement in the June 9 Trump Tower meeting.
- BuzzFeed reported the FBI is investigating 60 money transfers sent through Citibank accounts by the Russian Foreign Ministry, most with a note saying the money was to be used “to finance election campaign of 2016.”
- On Thursday, NBC News reported Reza Zarrab, a dual Turkish-Iranian national with close ties to Turkey’s Erdogan is cooperating with federal investigators in a money-laundering case.
- Legal experts say prosecutors may be looking for ties to Mike Flynn. Mueller is investigating whether Erdogan offered Flynn $15 million to use his position as NSA to extradite a cleric and drop charges against Zarrab.
- In Week 20 in March 2017, the acting US attorney told a judge Rudy Giuliani and Marc Mukasey had joined Zarrab’s defense team to “explore a potential disposition of the criminal charges.” Both met with Erdogan in Turkey.
- WSJ reported Mueller has subpoenaed more than a dozen top Trump officials seeking documents and emails that reference a set of Russia-related keywords. This is Mueller’s first official order to the campaign.
- In a letter, the Senate Judiciary Committee said it has uncovered evidence that Kushner was forwarded a document about a “Russian backdoor overture” that he failed to turn over the Congressional investigators.
- Kushner also failed to turn over a September 2016 email he received about WikiLeaks, and communication with Russian-born businessman Sergei Millian, former head of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce.
- The letter also criticized Kushner for not turning over a copy of a government document that Mr. Kushner completed to obtain a security clearance, a SF-86, which has been amended at least twice.
- On Friday, CBS News reported the “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” to Kushner was requested by Alexander Torshin in May 2016 and his assistant, Maria Butina.
- Torshin has close ties to Putin. He was a senator and appointed deputy governor of the Bank of Russia. He also is suspected of having ties to organized crime.
- Torshin and Butina had requested to meet with Trump, and then have Trump travel to Russia to meet Putin. The request was made through an intermediary who was attached to a NRA event in Kentucky.
- The intermediary forwarded the five-page request to the Trump campaign, including Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Eventually it was forwarded to Kushner.
- NBC News reported the two hoped to meet Trump on the sidelines of the NRA convention in Louisville. Torshin also hoped to meet a high-level Trump campaign officials, saying he may have a message from Putin for Trump.
- Kushner received a lengthy email exchange between the intermediary and Rick Dearborne, who now serves as deputy chief of staff in the WH.Kushner told Dearborne and others in the campaign not to move forward.
- While Kushner was telling Dearborne and others not to accept, Torshin was seated with Donald Jr. at a private dinner on the sidelines of the NRA event, according to an account Torshin gave to Bloomberg.
- Yahoo reported the WH abruptly canceled a February meeting between Trump and Torshin after national security discovered Torshin was named by Spanish police as a suspected “godfather” of an organized crime ring.
- Politico reported Kushner is still operating on interim security clearance ten months in. He continues to work on sensitive foreign policy issues while his application for a permanent clearance remains under review.
- NYT reported the US Office of Acquisitions has hired Elite Security to guard the Moscow Embassy and consulates in St. Petersburg, after Putin ordered the US to slash their staff by 755 employees in July in retaliation.
- The contract was no-bid. Elite Security is a company with run by Putin’s former KGB boss, an 82-year-old veteran spy who spent 25 years planting agents and hunting down operatives in Western countries.
- A new book, Collusion: How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win, quotesSteele as telling friends he believes 70–90% of the dossier is accurate, and his report will be vindicated by the Mueller investigation.
- On Wednesday, in nearly seven hours of testimony to the House Intel Committee, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson defended the Steele dossier, saying nothing in it has been disproven and some has been corroborated.
- Simpson also said Steele did not pay the sources he used to compile the dossier. Simpson is now cooperating with the three congressional committees investigating Russian meddling.
- CNN reported the DOJ’s probe into Deutsche Bank’s role in a $10 million Russian money laundering scheme has gone dormant. The DOJ and the US attorney for SDNY were investigating how the bank missed red flags.
- The investigation has been closely watched Democrats, who have asked Deutsche to turn over documents, but the bank has been non-responsive. Trump and Kushner have extensive banking relationships with Deutsche.
- Judicial Watch filed under the FOIA against the DOJ for all records relating to Veselnitskaya’s immigration parole. At the time she met with Donald Jr. at Trump Tower, Veselnitskaya wasn’t supposed to be in the US.
- British publicist Roger Goldstone, who helped set up the Trump Tower meeting between Donald Jr. and Veselnitskaya, is ready to come to the US and meet Mueller’s team. Goldstone is currently living in Bangkok.
- Foreign Policy reported Kushner’s newspaper, The Observer, pursued a relationship with WikiLeaks starting in 2014. During the 2016 election, the newspaper actively published hacked emails shared by WikiLeaks.
- Although Kushner claimed to keep a distance from his newspaper, he spoke to EIC Ken Kurson daily. Kurson also sat with the Trump family at the RNC.
- Politico reported in interviews with Greek media last year, George Papadopoulos boasted of a “blank check” for a job in the Trump regime, and to representing Trump in meetings overseas with foreign leaders.
- AP reported Congressional investigators are looking into a June 2017 meeting between Rinat Akhmetshin and Ike Kaveladze in Moscow. Both had attended the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Jr.
- Congressional investigators want to know if the meeting was to knowwhether there was some effort to get their stories straight before it became public on July 8, when the NYT broke the story.
- Mueller is also investigating the June 9 meeting which occurred weeks after Trump clinched the nomination. A grand jury has already heardtestimony about the meeting which Kushner and Manafort also attended.
- NYT reported Whitefish Energy billed PREPA $319 an hour for linemen, 17 times higher than what is typical in Puerto Rico. Senior linemen coming from Florida to work in Puerto Rico were paid $100 or less.
- Power in Puerto Rico is spotty almost two months after Hurricane Maria.Early in the week, 50% of the island had power, then a major transmission line failed, reducing it to 22%. Whitefish Energy had repaired the line.
- The USNS Comfort departed Puerto Rico. Since arriving Comfort staff have treated 1,899 patients, performed 191 surgeries, provided 76K liters of oxygen, and ten tons of food and water.
- On Tuesday, Sessions testified before the House Judiciary Committee.Sessions again revised his account of what he knew about the Trump campaign’s dealing with Russia, despite saying, “my story had never changed.”
- Asked about Papadopoulos statements placing Sessions in a meeting where Russia was discussed, he answered, “I had no recollection of this meeting until I saw these news reports.”
- Sessions claimed his memory was refreshed after reading Papadopoulos’ account, and said to the best of his recollection, Papadopoulos “was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government.”
- The day after Sessions’s testimony, Sergey Kislyak told Russia-1, a popular Russia state-owned channel, that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he’s met with or spoken to on the phone.
- On Friday, Sessions joked before a speech at the Federalist Society, “Is Ambassador Kislyak in the room? … Any Russians?”
- On Tuesday special elections, Allison Isley-Freeman, a 26 year-old lesbian, won in an Oklahoma district Trump had carried+40. Democrats won the mayor of Albuquerque, NM for the first time in eight years, in a blowout.
- On Wednesday, six Democrats demanded impeachment hearings citing the Comey firing, violations of the emoluments clause, and Trump’s undermining of the federal judiciary and freedom of press.
- A Texas woman, Karen Fonseca, made news for a pickup truck bumper sticker with an expletive-filled message to Trump and his supporters. Fonseca said she’s been stopped by police, but is exercising free speech.
- On Wednesday, Sheriff Troy Nehls posted a photo of the truck on Facebook and asked for information on the driver. The post was taken down. On Thursday, Fonseca was picked up for an outstanding warrant from August.
- Breaking with tradition of nearly two decades, Trump will not meet with the eight American Nobel laureates before they travel to Sweden to receive their prizes. One honoree said he was “relieved.”
- On Thursday, the Department of Defense’s Twitter account retweeted, then deleted a post calling on Trump to resign. The chief spokesperson tweeted, the account “erroneously retweeted content that would not be endorsed.”
- On Tuesday, Speaker Paul Ryan announced a new mandatory anti-harassment and discrimination training for all House members and staff.
- On Thursday, Trump tweeted about Al Franken’s sexual misconduct, saying “The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad […] Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?……”
- Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a press briefing that the difference between Trump and Franken, she said, is that “Franken has admitted wrongdoing” but Trump has not.
- In an interview with Mother Jones, Hillary questioned the legitimacy of the 2016 election citing Russian interference and voter suppression. In WI, voter suppression possibly impacted 45K voters, Trump won by 23K votes.
- Politico reported Trump is obsessed with polls, and decries those that show his popularity falling as fake. Aides in the WH often show him only the polls that make him feel good.
- Air Force Gen. John Hyten, a top US nuclear commander of the of the Strategic Command (STRATUM), said he would push back against Trumpif he ordered a nuclear launch the general believed to be illegal.
The New York City art scene continues to RESIST!
Pixel Pancho is a renowned street artist from Turin, Italy.
16nov17. Chelsea, NYC. 10th Ave & 22nd St.
23october17 Brooklyn, NY
September 2017 New York City
In a parking lot on Nagydiófa Street 12:
9sep17 Budapest, Hungary
In a parking lot on Nagydiófa Street 12:
9sep17 Budapest, Hungary.
Location: Rumbach Sebestyén Utca
Story: On 25 November 1953, an international football match was played between Hungary—then the world’s number one ranked team, the Olympic champions and on a run of 24 unbeaten games, and England, that became known as the Match of the Century. Hungary won 6–3; the English were shown to be technically and tactically inferior to the Hungarian side, known as the Mighty Magyars, in every way. The result led to a review of the antiquated training and tactics used by the England team, and the subsequent adoption of continental practices at an international and club level in the English game. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Match_of_the_Century_(1953_England_v_Hungary_football_match)
7sep17 Budapest, Hungary.