Evening Open Thread: In God We Trust – Richard Spencer, However, Must Pay Cash!

I’m pretty sure that UF did NAZI see this coming:

Remember, when dealing with neo-NAZIs, white supremacists, neo-fascists, neo-nationalists, and other extremists you want cash or money orders or an electronic funds transfer and you want it up front before providing goods and/or services.

Also, obligatory:

Trump Graft Watch: White Fish, Two Fish Employees, Red Fish, Screw Fish Puerto Rico

Disaster capitalism at its “finest”!

I’m beginning to think Kay has the right idea — we need to bust these bastids on (their all-too-) common theft and graft. Even people who “don’t keep up with politics” understand Trump’s crony Zinke handing a three-million-dollar contract to the neighbor that gave his teenage kid a job last summer…

The Washington Post reports:

Puerto Rico’s financial oversight board is moving to install an emergency manager at the island’s state-owned utility amid criticism of a $300 million contract it awarded to a small Montana energy firm for work on the territory’s crippled electrical grid.

The board said Wednesday that it intends to appoint Noel Zamot, a retired Air Force colonel and member of the oversight panel, to oversee daily operations of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

The decision comes as House and Senate Democrats called for an investigation into the utility’s agreement with Whitefish Energy. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) pledged to examine the grid-rebuilding efforts at an upcoming hearing of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, which she chairs. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Tuesday told Yahoo News that the contract should be “voided right away.”

Whitefish and the utility struck an agreement on Sept. 26, six days after Maria swept through, without a formal bidding process. About 80 percent of customers still have no electricity.

Under the contract, Whitefish is charging $330 an hour for a site supervisor and $227.88 an hour for a “journeyman lineman.” The cost for subcontractors, which make up the bulk of Whitefish’s workforce, is $462 per hour for a supervisor and $319.04 for a lineman.
Read more

Russiagate Open Thread: Cambridge Analytica Apocrylyptica

Alexander Nix, who heads a controversial data-analytics firm that worked for President Donald Trump’s campaign, wrote in an email last year that he reached out to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about Hillary Clinton’s missing 33,000 emails.

Nix, who heads Cambridge Analytica, told a third party that he reached out to Assange about his firm somehow helping the WikiLeaks editor release Clinton’s missing emails, according to two sources familiar with a congressional investigation into interactions between Trump associates and the Kremlin. Those sources also relayed that, according to Nix’s email, Assange told the Cambridge Analytica CEO that he didn’t want his help, and preferred to do the work on his own.

If the claims Nix made in that email are true, this would be the closest known connection between Trump’s campaign and Assange…

Those 33,000 messages were a central focus of Trump and his allies during the campaign. At least one Republican operative tried to recruit hackers to obtain those emails, according to The Wall Street Journal. And at a press conference on July 27, 2016, while the Democratic National Convention was underway, Trump—then the Republican nominee—said he hoped the Kremlin would recover those emails.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’ll be able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said.

And on the campaign trail, Trump praised WikiLeaks and tweeted about its findings. Politifact calculated that he mentioned the site about 137 times during the campaign….
Read more

Grand Theft Banker Open Thread: The GOP Gives Its Donors Another Gift


No, seriously:


Brave, bold, independent, public-spirited Republicans…



Great Powers Intrigue: Red October Hunt for Fugitive Billionaire

From an American perspective, making Donald ‘Pissy Galore‘ Trump the James Bond stand-in pretty well guarantees a box-office failure. But in the booming Chinese viewing market, who can tell?

(All I know for certain is that it would be kharmic justice if every single individual name-checked in this story were to come to a bad end. But if anyone has better information, please share!)

The Wall Street Journal broke the story, which is some kind of indicator right there. (Since I don’t have a WSJ subscription, I found a screencap of the article, which may or may not have infected my laptop with unknown malware.)

The Guardian picked it up, today:

The Wall Street Journal described a Chinese government attempt to put pressure on Guo Wengui, a real estate tycoon living in exile in New York, to halt his allegations of corruption in high places in China.

A group of officials from China’s ministry of state security, who entered the US on visas that did not allow them to conduct official business, visited Guo in his New York apartment in May, and used veiled threats in an attempt to persuade Guo to stop his accusatory tweets, which have a wide following in China, and return home. Guo shrugged off the pressure and made a recording of his conversation with the officials, part of which he posted online.

After that visit, FBI agents confronted the Chinese officials at New York’s Pennsylvania Station. The Chinese visitors first claimed to be cultural diplomats and then admitted they were security officials. The agents warned them they were violating the terms of their visa and told them to leave the country.

However, two days later, just before leaving the country, the Chinese officials paid a second visit to Guo, triggering a debate within the administration over whether they should be arrested. FBI agents were posted at John F Kennedy airport ready to carry out the arrests before the officials boarded their flight, but they were not made, after the state department argued it could trigger a diplomatic crisis.

Guo has filed an application for political asylum in the US, which is pending. But according to the Journal’s account, Trump called for Guo’s deportation in a discussion on policy towards China, describing him as a “criminal” at an Oval Office policy meeting in June, on the basis of a letter from Beijing accusing him of serious crimes…

The Financial Times had an earlier article about why the Chinese government is unhappy with Mr. Guo:

China’s choreographed politics is not designed for public participation or questioning. But Mr Guo’s determined assault has questioned the reputation of Wang Qishan, the second-most powerful politician, and cast doubt on the integrity of the anti-corruption purge that Beijing claims is a success.
Read more


Open thread

Root for injuries

Open thread