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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Day of the Sun, the MOAB, Bannon's revenge, impeachment -- and more

When a month's worth of history can happen in 24 hours, a blogger can't take a day off.

I came across an interesting bit of "fake news" vis-a-vis the North Korea situation. The salacious right-wing UK tabloid Daily Express -- best-known for publicizing conspiracy theories about Princess Di and the McCann family -- says that Kim Jong Un has ordered the evacuation of Pyongyang. The named source for this report is Pravda. (Insert traditional Pravda joke here.)

This claim is, of course, untrue: There was a massive military parade in Pyongyang not too many hours ago, marking the national celebration of the birth of dynasty founder Kim Il Sung. The parade displayed the new North Korean ICBMS which are at the heart of the current crisis. Chinese air travel to Pyongyang is continuing as normal, despite earlier reports that air service would be put on hold.

Update: Daily Kos has also announced the "partial evacuation" of Pyongyang. However, if you trace the source for this article, it goes back to the same announcement in Pravda. At this writing, I can find no independent verification.

Did Pravda really print a fake news story about Pyongyang? If so, why would the Russians issue such a report?

Note, too, this story about an important Russian politician who places all blame for the increased tensions at the feet of Donald Trump. In his characteristically hyperbolic fashion, Trump has said that relations with Russia have reached an "all time low." This, from a man old enough to recall the Missile Crisis.

I continue to believe that the Putin/Trump rift is a coup de théâtre designed to dampen enthusiasm for investigations into Russiagate. Do you agree? Or do you think that a genuine animosity now divides former pals Vladdy and Donnie?

The MOAB. Originally, we were told that the Mother of All Bombs killed 36 ISIS combatants. Today, that number has been raised past 90. Even the higher number raises questions about the cost of each kill.

Abby Martin pegged the price of the bomb at a staggering $300 million, but that is actually the cost of the entire program; each MOAB costs $16 million. The lower original casualty estimate put the cost-per-corpse at an embarrassing $450,000, which may explain why the figure was raised this morning -- based on God-knows-what evidence. Dividing $16 million by 96 cadavers offers up the delightfully demonic figure of $166,666.66 per kill. (Try it yourself.) The number still seems wastefully high.

I'm pretty sure now that I did find the actual tunnel entrances via Google Earth, as displayed in the post below. The same river shows up in photos of the blast site. More importantly, we do have confirmation that the tunnels were located near civilian homes, although we are assured that thousands of local families had already fled the area in recent months of fighting.

Is this true? Did all of those people abandon the farms -- probably poppy farms -- which were their sole source of income? Where did they go and how are they living? It all seems a little hard to believe.
"The enemy had created bunkers, tunnels and extensive mine fields, and this weapon was used to reduce those obstacles so that we could continue our offensive in Nangarhar," General John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, said on Friday.
This fine piece at Covert Book Report argues that the CIA originally built those tunnels during the war against the USSR.

Alt Right Confidential. The reported rift between Steve Bannon and Trump has led to some fascinating developments. Conspiracy writer Mike Cernovich, one of the leading Pizzagators, warns that he will reveal many a dirty secret if Bannon is forced to take a hike.
“If they get rid of Bannon, you know what’s gonna happen? The motherlode. If Bannon is removed, there are gonna be divorces, because I know about the mistresses, the sugar babies, the drugs, the pill popping, the orgies. I know everything,” said Cernovich.

“If they go after Bannon, the mother of all stories is gonna drop, and we’re just gonna destroy marriages, relationships—it’s gonna get personal.”
Who are "they"? I dunno. In Conspiracyland, people often speak of an amorphous THEY.

I would love to see Cernovich show his cards. The fact that he is now keeping those cards hidden tells me that either Cernovich is bluffing or he is motivated by ideology rather than the establishment of truth.

Frankly, it's annoying to live in a world in which fringe freaks like Cernovich are taken seriously. What's next -- will Politico be quoting David Icke? Or even, God forbid, me?

Vanity Fair has published a Seutonius-like account of the West Wing civil war. There aren't too many completely new revelations...
Bannon was said to have been persuaded to stay in part at the urging of Rebekah Mercer, the wealthy Republican donor whose family is part owner of Breitbart News, which Bannon had run. She had been instrumental in getting him hired by Trump in the first place, and she urged him, according to Politico, to put aside differences and think about his position in the White House as “a long-term play.” Bannon, who has denied that he ever threatened to resign or that he ever insulted Kushner, has been pushing back. “There is a concerted effort to paint Jared and Ivanka as anti-movement” among the Bannon faction of the staff, said one senior administration official.
But, according to a senior administration official, Bannon’s effort to put himself on the National Security Council, without Trump having been fully briefed, made Ivanka and Jared suspicious of his motives. “This was honestly a dark-of-night operation,” this official told me.
Bannon’s other big mistake has been taking credit for Trump’s own popularity, such as it is. Referring to the Time cover, a senior administration official told me, “He is very talented at making himself seem the hero of the conservatives who elected Donald Trump”—the implication being that if you lose Bannon, you lose them. “It’s a very smart thing to do on his part,” this official added, “but ultimately it’s not a sustainable strategy for him. The president sees through that kind of thing, and he’s aware of what’s happening.” The official went on: “The reality is, if he keeps this up he’s not going to be here.”
The most fascinating of all the "civil war" articles is this Politico piece, which describes in detail how the alt right will turn its guns on Trump.
I asked friends and foes alike to imagine how, should Bannon get the boot, the pugnacious populist might exact his revenge.

Taken together, their suggestions amount to an epic, Kill Bill-style revenge saga that starts with Bannon leaking personal dirt on his enemies to the tabloids, using the megaphone of Breitbart News to exacerbate divisions inside the administration, and siccing an army of internet trolls on his adversaries to harass and defame them. It ends with Bannon using Cambridge Analytica data to identify and primary their vulnerable allies in Congress, then releasing a “Where Trump Went Wrong” documentary on the eve of the November midterms and finally—in this revenge fantasy’s epic climax—running against Trump himself in 2020.
“He’ll have his minions eviscerate you on Twitter and write articles with fake information. You will be attacked and lied about,” said Republican operative Cheri Jacobus, who was the subject of critical coverage in Breitbart in 2015 after saying Trump was popular with “low-information voters” and who blames Breitbart for a campaign of online harassment she has endured since then.

“Bannon can launch something, and there’s an army of people who are part of the alt-right that will then pick up on it and they know what to do,” Jacobus said. “It’s like a chain reaction.”
Here comes Cernovich again:
Meanwhile, Bannon could launder more salacious hits through the tabloids. “You go National Enquirer on them,” said blogger Mike Cernovich, a self-described student of Bannon’s work who said he has discussed the eventuality of Bannon’s firing with people close to him.

“There’s sex scandals people are sitting on,” Cernovich said. “All the gossip and drama and stuff that might be a little more personal is going to get leaked.”
The big gun, of course, will be Cambridge Analytica, the computer psy-war powerhouse which shapes reality itself for millions and millions of rubes.
“We would see House and Senate races in 2018 to, you know, go after Trump’s agenda,” said internet troll Charles Johnson, an ally of Bannon who worked for him at Breitbart. “Everything would slow down. His presidency would essentially be over. Bannon is more than just a man. He is honestly something of an idea because he represents something that both the establishment and the left-wing media hate.”
"More than a man." Savor that. That's the kind of 1930s-style ideological mania we're dealing with.
In years past, Bannon produced several political documentaries, an experience that one Breitbart insider suggested he could call on in a scorched-earth campaign against Trump.

“He does have skills, like high-end skills,” said the insider. “One of his high-end skills is he could actually put together a documentary. What if he came out with something before the 2018 midterms, ‘Where Trump Went Wrong’?”
The thing is, producing a documentary isn't a very high-end skill these days. A $500 camera will suffice; hell, you can get perfectly usable B-roll shots with a iPhone and MoviePro. Professional-quality editing can be done on a thousand-dollar computer and Premiere Pro, which can be rented for 20 bucks a month. Of course, you have to find people who know about lighting and capturing good audio, and you have to have some kind of travel budget. Bottom line, you can make a slick documentary for only a few thousand dollars. Distribution is the real difficulty.

What I find most fascinating about the above-quoted piece is that it gives away the entire game of how Hillary was besmirched in 2016. These people use smears, blackmail, and psychological warfare techniques in order to destroy enemies and acquire power. They will use hidden truths and outrageous lies.

The conspiracy buff subculture plays a huge role here. Right-wing paranoia-addicts always think that they are the hippest of the hip. In fact, they are usually naive dullards just begging to be manipulated by scoundrels like Bannon, who know how to press their buttons.

The poorly-educated proles who read Breitbart and Infowars are correct to suspect that hidden skullduggery plays a massive role in human events. The conspiracy-buff subculture exists to misdirect their inchoate angst and suspicion. Within the Alt Right conspiracy cult, the sheep-like followers are kept in a state of constant fear in order to fulfill the ambitions of the leadership. I've said it before and I'll say it again: The right-wing conspiracy theorists are the conspiracy.

Impeachment prediction. Professor Allan Lichtman, basking in glory because he predicted Trump's triumph at a time when nearly everyone else felt assured of a Hillary win, will soon have a book out which predicts that Trump will be impeached before the year is out.
Lichtman’s list of possible offenses that could get Trump to that point are familiar: charges of treason with Russia, abuse of power and emoluments violations. Lichtman also cites now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then a senator, who argued that a president could be impeached for offenses committed before he took office. Among those potential offenses, Lichtman lists Trump’s housing violations, charity problems, potential violations of the Cuba embargo and Trump University.

It’s all part of a brief — designed to be damning — tour through Trump’s history. It includes section headings like “Trump Towers Become Vacant Lots” and “Lying His Way to the Presidency.” It eventually leads Lichtman to the conclusion that Trump might serve himself up for impeachment: “Trump’s disregard for lying in sworn testimony, examined in the context of the Bill Clinton precedent, shows how Trump’s opponents could set an impeachment trap for him through a civil lawsuit.”
That idea has occurred to me as well. Trump has a history of prevaricating during depositions, and his impulsiveness means that he'll continue to do as he has always done, even though his testimony as president will receive the kind of hyper-scrutiny he has never faced before.

But: Where is the lawsuit? The law is a slow and lumbering beast. If impeachment is to take place before the dawn of New Year's Day, 2018, then now is the time for someone to bring a serious case against Trump.

Would the new Supreme Court reverse the Paula Jones precedent? Possibly. We know that Trumpers care only about power, not about consistency or principle.

I, too, predicted that Hillary would lose. I also said -- well before Lichtman caught on -- that Putin was involved in bringing Trump to power. Yet I strongly doubt that Donnie will be shown the exit door in 2017.

If events prove me wrong -- fantastic!
Comments:
Kabuki. It may even include Kim Jong Un.
 
The MOAB only killed militants because they definition of militants is such that it must be so. And no-one's off to eastern Afghanistan to check, are they?

For some reason the news media have been reporting that Trump is planning to glass North Korea over the weekend.

Distributing the documentary isn't the problem, marketing it is. That's a high-level skill. I keep my eyes on the torrent sites. You know the last documentary that turned up on the trending movies lists? Clinton Cash. Free distribution, you just need people to go looking for it.

Trump won't be impeached. That would require the House of Representatives to vote for it, right? Not happening.
 
I noticed that myself, Stephen -- the thing about Clinton Cash ranking high on the torrent sites. If your purpose is widespread distribution, not the making of money, then you would do everything in your power to encourage the circulation of illegal copies. You can even write a program that downloads the torrent hundreds of times each hour, which would insure that lots of eyeballs see the listing for that torrent.
 
A lot of people tend to dismiss the sexual angle to things either because it seems distasteful/gossipy or because they themselves do not realize how powerfully sex drives the hornier percentage of the population. Some think "private lives should be private" and resist connecting the dots even when the evidence is massive.

But sex intrigues and the desire to cover-up same are a prime factor in everything that is being revealed now.

Consider our current situation.

Trump? Anyone who's followed him has heard the stories and knows the odds of real blackmail material being held by someone are high. He has bragged of most of his sleaze and many have reported it goes far deeper still.

Stone? Google "Roger Stone" "swinger" "cuckold" etc. Throw in Roy Cohn for good measure.

Manafort? Read the texts from his daughters. Appears to have the same lifestyle.

All three have known each other for decades.

Now look at Milo and Bannon and Cernovich and some of the other alt-right players.

Starting to see any decadent patterns yet?

OK - next - read up on the history of sexual blackmail in politics. Know about how Hoover operated? How about the photos Dulles (and maybe the mob too) had of Hoover and Tolson? Now look into the reputation of the Russian and Israeli intelligence services for using such "kompromat" - in setting up sexual honeytraps.

If that's all starting to click for you, how about making a list of Trump's cabinet members and top GOP and googling a bit...

Sessions
Pence
Price
Perry
Mcconnell/Chao
etc

Any common threads besides histories of anti-gay politics? Any common rumors?

Put it together and you soon realize that sexual blackmail is at the heart of this whole mess.

For every Larry Craig forced screaming from the closet by accident there are a dozen other powerful closeted politicians, and likely as many video tapes in the hands of those who own them - whether domestic billionaires or foreign intelligence services.

Therefore "Pizzagate". Disinfo so obviously ludicrous and repulsive that it has the effect of making rational people turn away from genuine and obvious covert sex and the blackmail accompanying it. "Hillary is murdering child sex slaves in satanic rituals?? That's absurd!" leads to "Trump's core are all swingers together and half the cabinet/GOP leadership are covert homosexuals being blackmailed? Get out of here!"

That's how it works....


 
Fascinating, detailed article about the Mercers in the March 27 TNY, mapping out connections with Renaissance, Breitbart, Cambridge Analytica, fake films, all in one place! http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/the-reclusive-hedge-fund-tycoon-behind-the-trump-presidency

 
MoA makes some points on North Korea. Apparently they made the same repeated offer to the Obama and Trump administrations:

"As a first step, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises."

Those offers have been summarily rejected. Yet they have the support of China. Why is it important? Because the US-South Korea exercises occur very year at North Korea's harvest time when they need their soldiers to bring in the crop. Food scarcity is rife in North Korea. NK has no incentive to scale back its nuclear weapons program when it has invasion threats repeatedly pushed in its face. Trump's sabre rattling is driving the current crisis.
 
@Citizen K, the article should be required reading. Jane Mayer points out two (among many) scary things: computer scientist Mercer's polymath genius had developed algorithms that transformed the banking/financial sector into the world-ruling entity it has become (and enabled him to make billions), and he's developing algorithms to accomplish the same regarding electoral politics; that, and his daughter Rebekah had conniption fits when the family's millions failed to elect their candidates in the past. Alas, there's no comparable liberal billionaire group as a foil (duh); even if every reader of Cannonfire gave our host a billion dollars, it wouldn't amount to the Mercer asset treasures.
 
The wedge used to create all the anti Hillary Clinton sentiment probably swirled around her 24 million dollars in Wall Street Speaking fees over a 2 year time period, and her health and supposed health issues. To this day, there is no evidence that Hillary Clinton does cardio of any kind.
Trump and Clinton were the first two presidential opponents to basically have no cardio game plan to show the public. Go back over the past couple of decades and presidential candidates cardio was used to make them look human and like one of us.
Political candidates have a narcissism issue that they must battle with at all times, one way to quell their own narcissism and appear more human is to be involved in cardio sports. Obama had basketball, Bush jr ran several miles every day and I think had a resting pulse in the low sixties, maybe even lower. The normal is around 70 to 76. Even Bill Clintnn jogged and played the Sax. Not sure about George Bush Sr. but Reagen chopped wood with an axe on his ranch and was seen as being somewhat physically fit. Romney never really connected with the public and I don't recall ever seeing him doing public cardio.
To this day, there have been no Hillary Clinton sightings at a 5k run, a 10k run, or doing half an hour on an elliptical. If you ever go into the bowels of the anti Clinton crowd, they come up with some doozies about her health that would all become nonsense if Clinton did public cardio.
Instead, she is doing public speaking. I hope to God she is not accepting speaking fees but if she continues down the same path of speaking fees and no public display of cardio health, she will be toast in 2020.
 
"...she will be toast in 2020."

Why does Machi assume she even wants to run in 2020?
 
Good Question, Ivory Bill. Hillary Clinton won't be able to run in 2020 if she does not get into some serious cardio to stall mother time.
As for why Hillary Clinton should run, hopefully she can rein in some of her immigration at all cost platform that she fell into, in large part as a way to keep the fight on Trump and AWAY from Obama and Sanders, who both deserved some criticism but Clinton wisely demurred because it would have split the party badly.
In 2020 Hillary Clinton does not need Obama's blessing and she can come across more mainstream by fighting back against Sander's entitlement platform. Hillary Clinton can pretty much set her presidential agenda as she see's fit, something she could not do in 2016.
 
I should have added two comments ago that debunking Cernovich's poor health claims against Hillary Clinton would discredit Cernovich to a significant percentage of Cernovich's followers and could possibly lead to a ratcheting down of the fake news rhetoric as well.
A Physically active / Physically fit Hillary Clinton would also help discredit her image as a money grabbing public speaker who values money over doing things that normal americans do, such as exercise.
Hillary Clinton should also use Bill Clinton's foundation as a vehicle to go into middle america and help fix things that Donald Trump is breaking, such as the Appalachian fund that Trump is about to decimate even though the fund has proven a solid investment.
 
$170,000 per MOAB bomb. The air force makes them themselves, no third party involved.

http://www.businessinsider.com/real-cost-of-moab-mother-of-all-bombs-170-000-2017-4
 
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