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#trump #mastodon #truthsocial
 

TRUTH Social


Kann mich irren, aber für mich sieht es so aus, als hätten Sie eine #Pleroma Installation vorgenommen. #Trump #SocialMedia
Da kannste schon mal anfangen zu sperren. Das ist zum Glück schnell erledigt.
 

TRUTH Social


Kann mich irren, aber für mich sieht es so aus, als hätten Sie eine #Pleroma Installation vorgenommen. #Trump #SocialMedia
Da kannste schon mal anfangen zu sperren. Das ist zum Glück schnell erledigt.
 
The headline we've been waiting for

Trump Organization and CFO Allen Weisselberg arraigned on multiple criminal charges as prosecutors alleged a 15-year tax fraud scheme


[Now, will we be disappointed?]

NEW YORK — Prosecutors charged the Trump Organization with a 15-year "scheme to defraud" the government and its chief financial officer with grand larceny and tax fraud in a Manhattan courtroom on Thursday, describing what they said was a wide-ranging effort to hide income from tax authorities.

In charging papers, prosecutors alleged that Allen Weisselberg, former president Donald Trump's longtime CFO, had avoided more than $900,000 in taxes by concealing the value of benefits he got from Trump's company — including a free apartment, free Mercedes-Benz cars, new furniture and tuition payments for his relatives.

[Only $900k?? Look harder.]

In internal records, the Trump Organization treated these benefits as part of Weisselberg's compensation, prosecutors said. But it did not report them to taxing authorities, allowing Weisselberg and the company to avoid taxes, the documents said.

The indictment said that other, unnamed Trump Organization executives were given similar benefits. It also said that Weisselberg had orchestrated the scheme along with "others" at the company but did not name any of the others. Weisselberg was the only executive charged on Thursday.

[Not Trump. Yes, we are deeply disappointed (which is not to say surprised).]

Weisselberg, who has worked for the Trump Organization since the 1970s, pleaded not guilty during a brief arraignment hearing that began about 2:20 p.m. He walked into the courtroom in a dark suit, surrounded by detectives and court officers. He did not respond to questions from reporters in the hallway outside.

Weisselberg, 73, had surrendered at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office early Thursday, the morning after a grand jury filed indictments against him and the Trump Organization. He was released after the hearing, but he was required to surrender his passport after prosecutors said he was a "flight risk."

An attorney for the Trump Organization also pleaded not guilty on the company's behalf. Prosecutors also charged a subsidiary called Trump Payroll Corp., which handles the company's benefits and payments to employees.

In all, 15 criminal charges were filed against Weisselberg, according to a copy of the indictment obtained by The Washington Post. They included counts of conspiracy, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records. In many of the counts, the two Trump entities were charged along with Weisselberg.

Carey Dunne, a prosecutor with the District Attorney's Office, said in the hearing that the charges were related to an "off-the-books tax fraud scheme" that lasted for 15 years. He said that the scheme allowed Trump Organization executives to get "secret pay raises" while not paying proper taxes.

[But not Donny himself? Is that what you're intimating by omission?]

"To put it bluntly, this was a sweeping and audacious illegal payment scheme," Dunne said. He rejected an allegation from the Trump Organization that the charges were part of a politically motivated effort to hurt Trump: "It's not about politics," Dunne said. [emphasis mine]

Trump Organization attorney Alan Futerfas, in comments outside the courthouse, said cases such as Thursday's are always resolved "in a civil context" — not a criminal one.

"We're all aware, all of you and all of us, are aware of the very significant financial crimes that have occurred by large financial institutions where this office did not take them on, did not prosecute, going back to the 2008 financial collapse of the United States," he said.

An attorney for Weisselberg, Mary E. Mulligan, said only that her side disputes the facts of the case. Earlier, in a statement on Weisselberg's behalf, she said he would "fight these charges."

These are the first charges to result from an investigation of Trump's company by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. (D) and New York Attorney General Letitia James (D). Both Vance and James were present in the courtroom for the arraignment, sitting one seat apart to observe social-distancing rules.
Weisselberg arrived at the Manhattan criminal courthouse through an employee entrance at about 6:20 a.m., according to journalists who saw him enter. Mulligan, confirmed the surrender in a text to The Washington Post.


The Trump Organization, in a statement, lauded Weisselberg as “a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather who has worked at the Trump Organization for 48 years.”

“He is now being used by the Manhattan District Attorney as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former President. The District Attorney is bringing a criminal prosecution involving employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other District Attorney would ever think of bringing,” the statement said. “This is not justice; this is politics.”

Trump, in a written statement issued shortly after the indictment, repeated his assertion that the prosecution was political in nature.

“The political Witch Hunt by the Radical Left Democrats, with New York now taking over the assignment, continues,” he wrote. “It is dividing our Country like never before!”

Although the indictments could pose trouble for the former president, exposing his company to potential fines and intensifying pressure on Weisselberg, neither the former president nor anyone else in his firm is expected to face charges this week. Prosecutors hope Weisselberg will offer testimony against Trump in exchange for lessening his own legal risk, according to a person familiar with the case. [emphasis mine]

Weisselberg, who has worked for Trump since the 1980s, is considered the most important figure in the Trump Organization apart from Trump family members. The Washington Post has previously reported that Weisselberg was a key figure in the investigations by Vance and James. Both have scrutinized whether Trump misled lenders or tax authorities, or evaded taxes on forgiven debts or fringe benefits for employees, according to court papers and people familiar with the cases.

In recent months, both sets of investigators have spoken to Jennifer Weisselberg, the chief financial officer’s former daughter-in-law, who said that Weisselberg’s son Barry had been given a free apartment and a hefty salary while he worked at the Trump Organization’s Central Park ice rink. Prosecutors were looking into whether taxes were paid on the benefits, people close to the investigation said.

The now-merged investigations of Trump’s company appear to be the longest-lasting and most extensive prosecutorial examination ever undertaken of the Trump Organization.

Vance’s office opened an investigation in 2018, responding to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s charges that Trump had directed improper payoffs during the 2016 presidential campaign to women who said they had affairs with Trump.

But Vance’s probe then broadened, encompassing years of business transactions. Vance examined tax breaks that Trump got on an estate in suburban New York, loans Trump took out on his Chicago tower, and statements Trump made to New York tax authorities about the value of his Manhattan towers, according to previous court filings.

Vance did not seek reelection this year; that means the bulk of the case against Trump’s company could be handled by Vance’s successor.

Trump and his organization have never faced criminal charges, but Trump has been the target of lawsuits from the office of the New York attorney general.

In one, he was sued for allegedly defrauding students at Trump University, a case that ended with Trump paying a $25 million settlement in 2016 in that and other cases. Two years later, Trump was sued for misusing money in a charity he controlled; a judge ordered Trump to pay damages of $2 million.

#Trump #Finances #Investigation #CriminalAllegations #Weisselberg
 
The headline we've been waiting for

Trump Organization and CFO Allen Weisselberg arraigned on multiple criminal charges as prosecutors alleged a 15-year tax fraud scheme


[Now, will we be disappointed?]

NEW YORK — Prosecutors charged the Trump Organization with a 15-year "scheme to defraud" the government and its chief financial officer with grand larceny and tax fraud in a Manhattan courtroom on Thursday, describing what they said was a wide-ranging effort to hide income from tax authorities.

In charging papers, prosecutors alleged that Allen Weisselberg, former president Donald Trump's longtime CFO, had avoided more than $900,000 in taxes by concealing the value of benefits he got from Trump's company — including a free apartment, free Mercedes-Benz cars, new furniture and tuition payments for his relatives.

[Only $900k?? Look harder.]

In internal records, the Trump Organization treated these benefits as part of Weisselberg's compensation, prosecutors said. But it did not report them to taxing authorities, allowing Weisselberg and the company to avoid taxes, the documents said.

The indictment said that other, unnamed Trump Organization executives were given similar benefits. It also said that Weisselberg had orchestrated the scheme along with "others" at the company but did not name any of the others. Weisselberg was the only executive charged on Thursday.

[Not Trump. Yes, we are deeply disappointed (which is not to say surprised).]

Weisselberg, who has worked for the Trump Organization since the 1970s, pleaded not guilty during a brief arraignment hearing that began about 2:20 p.m. He walked into the courtroom in a dark suit, surrounded by detectives and court officers. He did not respond to questions from reporters in the hallway outside.

Weisselberg, 73, had surrendered at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office early Thursday, the morning after a grand jury filed indictments against him and the Trump Organization. He was released after the hearing, but he was required to surrender his passport after prosecutors said he was a "flight risk."

An attorney for the Trump Organization also pleaded not guilty on the company's behalf. Prosecutors also charged a subsidiary called Trump Payroll Corp., which handles the company's benefits and payments to employees.

In all, 15 criminal charges were filed against Weisselberg, according to a copy of the indictment obtained by The Washington Post. They included counts of conspiracy, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records. In many of the counts, the two Trump entities were charged along with Weisselberg.

Carey Dunne, a prosecutor with the District Attorney's Office, said in the hearing that the charges were related to an "off-the-books tax fraud scheme" that lasted for 15 years. He said that the scheme allowed Trump Organization executives to get "secret pay raises" while not paying proper taxes.

[But not Donny himself? Is that what you're intimating by omission?]

"To put it bluntly, this was a sweeping and audacious illegal payment scheme," Dunne said. He rejected an allegation from the Trump Organization that the charges were part of a politically motivated effort to hurt Trump: "It's not about politics," Dunne said. [emphasis mine]

Trump Organization attorney Alan Futerfas, in comments outside the courthouse, said cases such as Thursday's are always resolved "in a civil context" — not a criminal one.

"We're all aware, all of you and all of us, are aware of the very significant financial crimes that have occurred by large financial institutions where this office did not take them on, did not prosecute, going back to the 2008 financial collapse of the United States," he said.

An attorney for Weisselberg, Mary E. Mulligan, said only that her side disputes the facts of the case. Earlier, in a statement on Weisselberg's behalf, she said he would "fight these charges."

These are the first charges to result from an investigation of Trump's company by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. (D) and New York Attorney General Letitia James (D). Both Vance and James were present in the courtroom for the arraignment, sitting one seat apart to observe social-distancing rules.
Weisselberg arrived at the Manhattan criminal courthouse through an employee entrance at about 6:20 a.m., according to journalists who saw him enter. Mulligan, confirmed the surrender in a text to The Washington Post.


The Trump Organization, in a statement, lauded Weisselberg as “a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather who has worked at the Trump Organization for 48 years.”

“He is now being used by the Manhattan District Attorney as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former President. The District Attorney is bringing a criminal prosecution involving employee benefits that neither the IRS nor any other District Attorney would ever think of bringing,” the statement said. “This is not justice; this is politics.”

Trump, in a written statement issued shortly after the indictment, repeated his assertion that the prosecution was political in nature.

“The political Witch Hunt by the Radical Left Democrats, with New York now taking over the assignment, continues,” he wrote. “It is dividing our Country like never before!”

Although the indictments could pose trouble for the former president, exposing his company to potential fines and intensifying pressure on Weisselberg, neither the former president nor anyone else in his firm is expected to face charges this week. Prosecutors hope Weisselberg will offer testimony against Trump in exchange for lessening his own legal risk, according to a person familiar with the case. [emphasis mine]

Weisselberg, who has worked for Trump since the 1980s, is considered the most important figure in the Trump Organization apart from Trump family members. The Washington Post has previously reported that Weisselberg was a key figure in the investigations by Vance and James. Both have scrutinized whether Trump misled lenders or tax authorities, or evaded taxes on forgiven debts or fringe benefits for employees, according to court papers and people familiar with the cases.

In recent months, both sets of investigators have spoken to Jennifer Weisselberg, the chief financial officer’s former daughter-in-law, who said that Weisselberg’s son Barry had been given a free apartment and a hefty salary while he worked at the Trump Organization’s Central Park ice rink. Prosecutors were looking into whether taxes were paid on the benefits, people close to the investigation said.

The now-merged investigations of Trump’s company appear to be the longest-lasting and most extensive prosecutorial examination ever undertaken of the Trump Organization.

Vance’s office opened an investigation in 2018, responding to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s charges that Trump had directed improper payoffs during the 2016 presidential campaign to women who said they had affairs with Trump.

But Vance’s probe then broadened, encompassing years of business transactions. Vance examined tax breaks that Trump got on an estate in suburban New York, loans Trump took out on his Chicago tower, and statements Trump made to New York tax authorities about the value of his Manhattan towers, according to previous court filings.

Vance did not seek reelection this year; that means the bulk of the case against Trump’s company could be handled by Vance’s successor.

Trump and his organization have never faced criminal charges, but Trump has been the target of lawsuits from the office of the New York attorney general.

In one, he was sued for allegedly defrauding students at Trump University, a case that ended with Trump paying a $25 million settlement in 2016 in that and other cases. Two years later, Trump was sued for misusing money in a charity he controlled; a judge ordered Trump to pay damages of $2 million.

#Trump #Finances #Investigation #CriminalAllegations #Weisselberg
 
The Republican Party consists entirely of grifters and their petty, selfish, gullible patsies

Sen. Ron Johnson is 'highly suspicious' of vaccination program, because it seems to … help people


Johnson then turned to the ultimate basis of all Republican policy: selfishness. “If you have a vaccine quite honestly what do you care if your neighbor has one or not?” said Johnson said. “What is it to you? You’ve got a vaccine and science is telling you it’s very, very effective. So why is this big push to make sure everybody gets a vaccine?”

The Republican Party no longer has a platform beyond “Obey Trump,” but if they were adding planks, “I’ve got mine, why the hell should I care about anything else?” would certainly be high on the list.

["Ive got mine, so why should I care about anyone else?" is not a "plank" in the republican platform, it is the 4X4 that undergirds all the planks.]

... By discouraging everyone from getting vaccinated, the people Ron Johnson is most putting at risk are his Republican followers. Which makes it tempting to adopt a Johnson-esque attitude and just sort of … snicker. However, these are human lives on the line. And in addition to Republican vaccine conspiracy theorists,...

[Sorry. I have to step in here. Lest you be misled, these are not the human lives in question. These creatures are already braindead; they are mindless zombies that contribute nothing to the universe except a massive carbon footprint. We'd all be much better off without them. (Find that offensive? Prove me wrong.)]

... in every community there are a small number of people who legitimately cannot get vaccinated. That can be due to very specific allergies, or to immune system issues. Those people are protected when the population reaches herd immunity, because the disease is no longer readily spread within the community. Efforts of bozos like Johnson also put those people at risk.

[These are the human lives in question. And as always, the republicans who can't bear to infringe on their "freedom" for the sake of other living things think their lives aren't worth the inconvenience of a mask or a prick in the arm. It's that same 4X4: "I've got mine. Fuck you and yours."]

#Johnson #Vaccine #Trump #Zombies #WhatTheActualFuck?
 
The Republican Party consists entirely of grifters and their petty, selfish, gullible patsies

Sen. Ron Johnson is 'highly suspicious' of vaccination program, because it seems to … help people


Johnson then turned to the ultimate basis of all Republican policy: selfishness. “If you have a vaccine quite honestly what do you care if your neighbor has one or not?” said Johnson said. “What is it to you? You’ve got a vaccine and science is telling you it’s very, very effective. So why is this big push to make sure everybody gets a vaccine?”

The Republican Party no longer has a platform beyond “Obey Trump,” but if they were adding planks, “I’ve got mine, why the hell should I care about anything else?” would certainly be high on the list.

["Ive got mine, so why should I care about anyone else?" is not a "plank" in the republican platform, it is the 4X4 that undergirds all the planks.]

... By discouraging everyone from getting vaccinated, the people Ron Johnson is most putting at risk are his Republican followers. Which makes it tempting to adopt a Johnson-esque attitude and just sort of … snicker. However, these are human lives on the line. And in addition to Republican vaccine conspiracy theorists,...

[Sorry. I have to step in here. Lest you be misled, these are not the human lives in question. These creatures are already braindead; they are mindless zombies that contribute nothing to the universe except a massive carbon footprint. We'd all be much better off without them. (Find that offensive? Prove me wrong.)]

... in every community there are a small number of people who legitimately cannot get vaccinated. That can be due to very specific allergies, or to immune system issues. Those people are protected when the population reaches herd immunity, because the disease is no longer readily spread within the community. Efforts of bozos like Johnson also put those people at risk.

[These are the human lives in question. And as always, the republicans who can't bear to infringe on their "freedom" for the sake of other living things think their lives aren't worth the inconvenience of a mask or a prick in the arm. It's that same 4X4: "I've got mine. Fuck you and yours."]

#Johnson #Vaccine #Trump #Zombies #WhatTheActualFuck?
 
Dominion vs. Powell

docket at plainsite

For those interested, here's the sequence of filings in the famous 1.3-gigadollar libel lawsuit pending against Sidney Powell, the Trump lawyer who alleged (with a straight face) that Dominion had helped rig the election, among many other crazy-sounding claims. The case number is 1:21-cv-00040-CJN in the US District court for DC.

One paragraph, in particular, is getting a lot of attention. It's on page 27 of attachment 2 to filing 22 (motion to dismiss):
Determining whether a statement is protected involves a two-step inquiry: Is the statement one which can be proved true or false? And would reasonable people conclude that the statement is one of fact, in light of its phrasing, context and the circumstances surrounding its publication. Keohane, 882 P.2d at 1299. This inquiry is determined as a matter of law. Bucher v. Roberts, 595 P.2d 235, 241 (Colo. 1979) (“Whether a particular statement constitutes fact or opinion is a question of law.”). Analyzed under these factors, and even assuming, arguendo, that each of the statements alleged in the Complaint could be proved true or false, no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact.
Interestingly, attachment 1 to the same filing is a prefilled pro-forma draft order to dismiss, lacking only the judge's signature. I have no information on whether a ballpoint pen was attached to the filing as a further convenience.

#kraken #powell #dominion #trump #factchecking
 

Why are the #Republicans still lining up behind #trump?

Is it because they don't have the courage to stand up for their "principles"? No.

It is because they are still #fascists. They have always been fascists.

Those are their "principles".
 

Why are the #Republicans still lining up behind #trump?

Is it because they don't have the courage to stand up for their "principles"? No.

It is because they are still #fascists. They have always been fascists.

Those are their "principles".
 
Grifters gonna grift.

Trump's D.C. hotel nearly triples its rates for his 'second inauguration' on March 4


If you had any doubt that the Trump presidency was just an elaborate four-year grift, this story should dispel your quaint Pollyannish notions.

Because their brains are the functional equivalent of an ‘80s-era Texas Instruments calculator that has not yet learned how to spell “boobs,” the world’s daffiest fucks (aka Trump’s most ardent MAGAs) still think he’s going to serve a second term.

That means—duh!—there will have to be a second Trump inauguration.

And because of something called the “sovereign citizens movement,” they think that blessed day is coming on March 4 because … ah, who the fuck cares? Explaining the theory would be like faxing y’all the specs for the perpetual-motion taffy-pulling machine/Easy-Bake Oven I invented last night while snorting crushed Apple Jacks in an Ambien/turpentine fugue.

... Business Insider:

"QAnon's most dedicated followers still believe that former President Donald Trump, who lost the 2020 presidential election, is yet to be sworn in.

"March 4, 2021 is a day they have marked in their diaries, insisting that is the date when Trump will be inaugurated in Washington, DC, and, ultimately, return to power.

"Coincidentally, Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC is hiking up the prices of suites around that period. The hotel, just blocks away from the White House, has almost tripled the rates for some rooms on the nights of March 3 and 4, according to Forbes."

... Oh, and just before the Capitol coup attempt—when MAGAs alighted on D.C. like flies on a shitty president—the Trump International raised its rates through the roof. According to Forbes, the cheapest room available the night of the insurrection was $8,000.

#Trump #Grifter #March4 #TrumpHotel #Fraud
 
Grifters gonna grift.

Trump's D.C. hotel nearly triples its rates for his 'second inauguration' on March 4


If you had any doubt that the Trump presidency was just an elaborate four-year grift, this story should dispel your quaint Pollyannish notions.

Because their brains are the functional equivalent of an ‘80s-era Texas Instruments calculator that has not yet learned how to spell “boobs,” the world’s daffiest fucks (aka Trump’s most ardent MAGAs) still think he’s going to serve a second term.

That means—duh!—there will have to be a second Trump inauguration.

And because of something called the “sovereign citizens movement,” they think that blessed day is coming on March 4 because … ah, who the fuck cares? Explaining the theory would be like faxing y’all the specs for the perpetual-motion taffy-pulling machine/Easy-Bake Oven I invented last night while snorting crushed Apple Jacks in an Ambien/turpentine fugue.

... Business Insider:

"QAnon's most dedicated followers still believe that former President Donald Trump, who lost the 2020 presidential election, is yet to be sworn in.

"March 4, 2021 is a day they have marked in their diaries, insisting that is the date when Trump will be inaugurated in Washington, DC, and, ultimately, return to power.

"Coincidentally, Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC is hiking up the prices of suites around that period. The hotel, just blocks away from the White House, has almost tripled the rates for some rooms on the nights of March 3 and 4, according to Forbes."

... Oh, and just before the Capitol coup attempt—when MAGAs alighted on D.C. like flies on a shitty president—the Trump International raised its rates through the roof. According to Forbes, the cheapest room available the night of the insurrection was $8,000.

#Trump #Grifter #March4 #TrumpHotel #Fraud
 
You knew it was true. Here are some details.

Trump left behind a damaged government. Here’s what Biden faces as he rebuilds it.


[What kinds of things did Trump do to cripple the government? Short story: Simply fire, move, or mistreat all its most important people. Behaviors that are right up Trump's alley.]

More than 18 months after the Agriculture Department relocated two research agencies from Washington to Kansas City, Mo., prompting a major exodus from both divisions, the agencies are still struggling to regain their strength.

[Yeah, that's a good tactic: Moving things from one city another is incredibly disruptive. In addition to all the physical changes, it also mixes up personnel, since some of the most experienced and useful people will simply not make the move.]

Even after a round of hiring in the past year, the permanent staff of the Economic Research Service is down 33 percent from where it was near the end of the Obama administration, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture workforce has declined 34 percent. According to USDA, they have 115 and 130 job vacancies, respectively.

“We lost some of the nation’s best economists and agricultural scientists in the previous administration,” USDA spokesman Matt Herrick said in an email. “It will take time for the new administration to rebuild USDA’s scientific and research agencies and restore their confidence and morale.”

The problems at the Agriculture Department are reflected across the government. A few weeks after taking office, Biden and his team are confronted with numerous challenges, including smoothing over chaotic operations, boosting flagging morale and staffing up agencies that dwindled. To achieve their policy goals, they must move quickly to communicate a sense of mission, build expertise, improve performance, assure stability and regain public confidence, analysts say.

... “You had a president who went to war with his own workforce,” Stier added. “It’s not like you flip a switch and the loss of expertise and harm to morale reverse themselves.”

Looking across the agencies, Stier and other experts on the federal government see symptoms of the damaged bureaucracy: Key jobs are unfilled, talent has departed, departments were politicized, and morale was harmed. Civil servants have hunkered in a defensive crouch as Trump and his allies demanded political loyalty, tested their professionalism and called them the intransigent “deep state.”

[So in other words, Trump just did to the Federal government what he has done to every employee of every business he has ever owned.]

“The more time I spend in DC at the start of this Administration, the more I see what the career civil servants were forced to endure these last 4 years,” Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser for Biden’s coronavirus response, wrote on Twitter recently, praising the “quiet heroism” of the federal workforce.

... Good-government groups have advised the new administration to consider launching a broad effort to rehire civil servants who left or were forced out during the past four years, particularly those with hard-to-replace expertise in their fields.

#Trump #Biden #Transition #Damage #FixingTrumpsDamage
 
You knew it was true. Here are some details.

Trump left behind a damaged government. Here’s what Biden faces as he rebuilds it.


[What kinds of things did Trump do to cripple the government? Short story: Simply fire, move, or mistreat all its most important people. Behaviors that are right up Trump's alley.]

More than 18 months after the Agriculture Department relocated two research agencies from Washington to Kansas City, Mo., prompting a major exodus from both divisions, the agencies are still struggling to regain their strength.

[Yeah, that's a good tactic: Moving things from one city another is incredibly disruptive. In addition to all the physical changes, it also mixes up personnel, since some of the most experienced and useful people will simply not make the move.]

Even after a round of hiring in the past year, the permanent staff of the Economic Research Service is down 33 percent from where it was near the end of the Obama administration, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture workforce has declined 34 percent. According to USDA, they have 115 and 130 job vacancies, respectively.

“We lost some of the nation’s best economists and agricultural scientists in the previous administration,” USDA spokesman Matt Herrick said in an email. “It will take time for the new administration to rebuild USDA’s scientific and research agencies and restore their confidence and morale.”

The problems at the Agriculture Department are reflected across the government. A few weeks after taking office, Biden and his team are confronted with numerous challenges, including smoothing over chaotic operations, boosting flagging morale and staffing up agencies that dwindled. To achieve their policy goals, they must move quickly to communicate a sense of mission, build expertise, improve performance, assure stability and regain public confidence, analysts say.

... “You had a president who went to war with his own workforce,” Stier added. “It’s not like you flip a switch and the loss of expertise and harm to morale reverse themselves.”

Looking across the agencies, Stier and other experts on the federal government see symptoms of the damaged bureaucracy: Key jobs are unfilled, talent has departed, departments were politicized, and morale was harmed. Civil servants have hunkered in a defensive crouch as Trump and his allies demanded political loyalty, tested their professionalism and called them the intransigent “deep state.”

[So in other words, Trump just did to the Federal government what he has done to every employee of every business he has ever owned.]

“The more time I spend in DC at the start of this Administration, the more I see what the career civil servants were forced to endure these last 4 years,” Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser for Biden’s coronavirus response, wrote on Twitter recently, praising the “quiet heroism” of the federal workforce.

... Good-government groups have advised the new administration to consider launching a broad effort to rehire civil servants who left or were forced out during the past four years, particularly those with hard-to-replace expertise in their fields.

#Trump #Biden #Transition #Damage #FixingTrumpsDamage
 

77 Days: Trump’s Campaign to Subvert the Election

Historic. History described in near-real-time with details, context, and stunning images.


This is the tour de force piece appearing this week in the NY Times, and generating a great deal of attention & commentary.

#UShistory #history #2021coup #sedition #treason #trumpvirus #trump #corruption #criminality

The New York Times: 77 Days: Trump’s Campaign to Subvert the Election (By Jim Rutenberg, Jo Becker, Eric Lipton, Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Martin, Matthew Rosenberg and Michael S. Schmidt)

 
#TheGuardian #Russia #USA #Treason #Espionage #Trump
 
#TheGuardian #Russia #USA #Treason #Espionage #Trump
 

‘The perfect target’: Russia cultivated Trump as asset for 40 years – ex-KGB spy | Donald Trump | The Guardian

Donald Trump was cultivated as a Russian asset over 40 years and proved so willing to parrot anti-western propaganda that there were celebrations in Moscow, a former KGB spy has told the Guardian.
#politics #USA #Trump #Russia #spying
 
Image/Photo

#ZombieTrump #1 (2021) #MaratMychaels Cover & Pencils, Story, You're Fired Edition Say goodbye to #Trump with an homage to #ToddMcFarlane's ASM #300!!! The infamous late night meal has been compromised. And now #POTUS is turning into a ravenous zombie with a never ending craving for junk food! Can even the biggest wall keep Zombie Trump from your double cheeseburger with fries! Pledge and find out! 1 Item Left In Stock VERY RARE https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B08V4T3NZ7/ref=tmm_other_meta_binding_new_olp_0?ie=UTF8&condition=new

 

Chronicling Trump's 10 most egregious abuses of power | CNNPolitics

Former President Donald Trump flouted the limits of presidential power unlike any of his recent predecessors, leaving behind a legacy of unmatched abuses that range from violations of longstanding norms to potentially criminal behavior.
#politics #USA #Trump
 

Axios Launches Jonathan Swan Podcast on Trump’s Final Days

Swan scored some major scoops during the Trump years, and conducted a memorable interview with the president last July, in which he challenged him on the government’s pandemic response. For the podcast, Swan aims to deliver scoops about unreported meetings and the breakdown of Trump’s relationships within his own government, while also delivering a propulsive narrative.

The arc begins on election night, when Trump delivered what Swan calls a “premeditated, cynical victory speech that he planned out privately since at least early October,” and traces “the direct line that goes from that speech to the sacking of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.”

Swan’s sources all spoke on deep background, and would not agree to go on tape, creating a challenge for a podcast. As the narrator, Swan will be channeling his sources, offering precise detail about White House meetings, including where people were sitting and what food was served.
I've already listened to episode one and it's going to be a very intriguing series. I'm in!

#JonathanSwan #Axios #podcast #Trump #election2020
Axios Launches Jonathan Swan Podcast on Trump’s Final Days
 

Axios Launches Jonathan Swan Podcast on Trump’s Final Days

Swan scored some major scoops during the Trump years, and conducted a memorable interview with the president last July, in which he challenged him on the government’s pandemic response. For the podcast, Swan aims to deliver scoops about unreported meetings and the breakdown of Trump’s relationships within his own government, while also delivering a propulsive narrative.

The arc begins on election night, when Trump delivered what Swan calls a “premeditated, cynical victory speech that he planned out privately since at least early October,” and traces “the direct line that goes from that speech to the sacking of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.”

Swan’s sources all spoke on deep background, and would not agree to go on tape, creating a challenge for a podcast. As the narrator, Swan will be channeling his sources, offering precise detail about White House meetings, including where people were sitting and what food was served.
I've already listened to episode one and it's going to be a very intriguing series. I'm in!

#JonathanSwan #Axios #podcast #Trump #election2020
Axios Launches Jonathan Swan Podcast on Trump’s Final Days
 
Image/Photo
Private Eye's best cover for a while.

#politics #usa #trump #privateeye #satire
 

Bombshell report links Trump insiders to Washington rally that led to Capitol riots | The Independent

At least three people from the campaign team of Donald Trump allegedly played a key role in organising the rally in Washington that culminated in a deadly assault on the US Capitol building, belying the campaign’s claim that they did “organise, operate or finance” the event.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/capitol-riots-trump-rally-mulvaney-b1788720.html

#capitol #trump #DonaldTrump #riot #riots #washington #politics #USPolitics #USCapitol
 

Bombshell report links Trump insiders to Washington rally that led to Capitol riots | The Independent

At least three people from the campaign team of Donald Trump allegedly played a key role in organising the rally in Washington that culminated in a deadly assault on the US Capitol building, belying the campaign’s claim that they did “organise, operate or finance” the event.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/capitol-riots-trump-rally-mulvaney-b1788720.html

#capitol #trump #DonaldTrump #riot #riots #washington #politics #USPolitics #USCapitol
 

Bombshell report links Trump insiders to Washington rally that led to Capitol riots | The Independent

At least three people from the campaign team of Donald Trump allegedly played a key role in organising the rally in Washington that culminated in a deadly assault on the US Capitol building, belying the campaign’s claim that they did “organise, operate or finance” the event.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/capitol-riots-trump-rally-mulvaney-b1788720.html

#capitol #trump #DonaldTrump #riot #riots #washington #politics #USPolitics #USCapitol
 

Misinformation dropped dramatically the week after Twitter banned Trump | The Seattle Times

Online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent after several social media sites suspended President Donald Trump and key allies last week, research firm Zignal Labs has found, underscoring the power of tech companies to limit the falsehoods poisoning public debate when they act aggressively.
The new research by the San Francisco-based analytics firm reported that conversations about election fraud dropped from 2.5 million mentions to 688,000 mentions across several social media sites in the week after Trump was banned from Twitter.
#politics #USA #Trump #Twitter #FakeNews
 
● NEWS ● #CommonDreams ☞ 'Talk About a Super Spreader': Analysis Finds Online #Election #Misinformation Fell by 73% After #Trump Barred
 
● NEWS ● #CommonDreams ☞ 'Talk About a Super Spreader': Analysis Finds Online #Election #Misinformation Fell by 73% After #Trump Barred
 

Pro-Trump Extremists Got $520,000 in Bitcoin a Month Before Capitol Coup Attempt | Gizmodo

At least 22 individuals and groups, most with extremist pro-Trump sympathies, received roughly $520,000 in bitcoin a month before the violent siege on the U.S. Capitol that sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election, according to a new report from Yahoo News. And while there’s no evidence that the Dec. 8 distribution of funds has any direct ties to last week’s coup attempt, the timing is raising plenty of questions.
#politics #USA #Trump #Capitol #bitcoin
 

Capitol building riot: List of key arrests thus far | CNNPolitics

More than 30 people have been arrested on federal charges relating to last week's deadly pro-Trump riot at the US Capitol.
Some of the defendants are accused of bringing weapons to Capitol Hill. Others were photographed ransacking the building. Many are charged with unlawful entry or violent entry.
Here's what we know about some of those who have been arrested and two people who have been charged but their custody status is unknown.
In many countries, if you drive to a government building with firearms or any other kind of ordnance, even if you leave most of it outside, or if you walk into a government building while armed (unless you have some special permission), you'd likely be charged with offences related to terrorism. And yet the word doesn't appear anywhere on the page.

#politics #USA #Capitol #terrorism #DomesticTerrorism #Trump
 

Can Trump pardon himself? President is said to have asked aides about consequences | World News | Sky News

No president has ever pardoned himself before and the constitution is not entirely clear on whether it is possible.
#politics #USA #Trump
 

Revealed: walkie-talkie app Zello hosted far-right groups who stormed Capitol | US Capitol breach | The Guardian

Audio and chat logs show insurrectionists communicated via the app, which has avoided proactive content moderation
#politics #USA #Trump #Capitol #Zello
 

Trump Administration Executes Only Woman On Federal Death Row | HuffPost UK

The government killed Lisa Montgomery despite objections that her mental state rendered her incompetent for execution.
The latest victim in Trump's killing spree.

Trump "had not even the decency to formally deny ― or even acknowledge ― Lisa’s clemency application, though it is hard to imagine a case more deserving of executive intervention than this one," said her lawyer. Not surprising, given Trump's own mental disorders.

#politics #USA #crime #punishment #MentalHealth #CSA #Trump
 
They knew.

FBI report warned of ‘war’ at Capitol, contradicting claims there was no indication of looming violence


A day before rioters stormed Congress, an FBI office in Virginia issued an explicit internal warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and “war,” according to an internal document reviewed by The Washington Post that contradicts a senior official’s declaration the bureau had no intelligence indicating anyone at last week’s pro-Trump protest planned to do harm.

A situational information report approved for release the day before the U.S. Capitol riot painted a dire portrait of dangerous plans, including individuals sharing a map of the complex’s tunnels, and possible rally points for would-be conspirators to meet up in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and South Carolina and head in groups to Washington.

“As of 5 January 2021, FBI Norfolk received information indicating calls for violence in response to ‘unlawful lockdowns’ to begin on 6 January 2021 in Washington. D.C.,” the document says. “An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating ‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.” [emphasis mine]

Yet even with that information in hand, the report’s unidentified author expressed concern that the FBI might be encroaching on free speech rights.

The warning is the most stark evidence yet of the sizable intelligence failure that preceded the mayhem, during which five people died, although one law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid disciplinary action, said the failure was not one of intelligence, but of acting on the intelligence.

[Given this information, we can no longer call this an "intelligence failure". This was an "error" in judgment to put it politely, or active collusion to put it more bluntly.]

An FBI official familiar with the document said that within 45 minutes of learning about the alarming online conversation, the Norfolk FBI office wrote the report and shared it with others within the bureau. It was not immediately clear how many law enforcement agencies outside the FBI were told, but the information was briefed to FBI officials at the bureau’s Washington field office the day before the attack, this official said.

The official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss ongoing investigations, added that the report was raw intelligence and at the time it was written the FBI did not know the identities of those making the online statements.

[In someone's defense (?):]

... The document notes that the information represents the view of the FBI’s Norfolk office, is not to be shared outside law enforcement circles, that it is not “finally evaluated intelligence,” and that agencies that receive it “are requested not to take action based on this raw reporting without prior coordination with the FBI.”

[These insurgents were prepping for war]

... The document notes that one online comment advised, “if Antifa or BLM get violent, leave them dead in the street,” while another said they need “people on standby to provide supplies, including water and medical, to the front lines. The individual also discussed the need to evacuate noncombatants and wounded to medical care.”

[But then the overt lie]

... On Friday, the head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Steven D’Antuono, told reporters “there was no indication” of anything planned for the day of Trump’s rally “other than First Amendment-protected activity.” D’Antuono added, “we worked diligently with our partners on this.”

... For weeks leading up to the event, FBI officials discounted any suggestion that the protest of pro-Trump supporters upset about the scheduled certification of Joe Biden’s election could be a security threat on a scale with racial justice protests last summer in the wake of George s death in Minneapolis police custody.

... Some law enforcement officials took the view that pro-Trump protesters are generally known for over-the-top rhetoric but not much violence, and therefore the event did not pose a particularly grave risk, according to people familiar with the security discussions leading up to Jan. 6.

[Have we learned our lesson about that boys and girls?]

... FBI agents had in the weeks before the Trump rally visited suspected extremists hoping to glean whether they had violent intentions, a person familiar with the matter said, though it was not immediately clear who was visited or if the FBI was specifically tracking anyone who would later be charged criminally. These visits were first reported Sunday by NBC News.

Additionally, in the days leading up to the demonstration, some Capitol Hill staffers were told by supervisors to not come into work that day, if possible, because it seemed the danger level would be higher than a lot of prior protests, according to a person familiar with the warning. Capitol Police did not take the kind of extra precautions, such as frozen zones and hardened barriers, that are typically used in major events around the Capitol.

#Trump #FBI #Insurrection2021
 
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