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They All Lied. They’re All Guilty.

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Sometimes it’s worth stepping back and stating the obvious. Over the course of these thirty months of cover-ups, every player in the Trump/Russia story has lied about their role in the conspiracy. And not hedging and spinning fibs but straight up lies about the core nature of their involvement, their overt acts. Most – though here what we know is a bit more tentative – seem to have lied under oath, whether to congressional committees or a grand jury. Not a single one of them told a story that wasn’t eventually contradicted and disproved. Not a single one.

Who? Well, let’s see. Donald Trump, Jr., Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Donald Trump, Jerome Corsi, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Carter Page, Jared Kushner. These are ones who lied, the ones we can state definitively. I’m not including the marginal players, folks like Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan. I’m not including those who just never spoke at all – at least not in public.

We can now see documentation and confessions that outline some of what has always seemed probable. During the campaign – for roughly the first year of the campaign! – Donald Trump was actively trying to strike business deals in Russia with the help of Vladimir Putin’s government and working closely with members of the Russian intelligence services. Felix Sater was working with all these people. Trump’s deal-maker and Russian money channel handler, Michael Cohen, literally reached out to Putin’s press office and spoke to a member of the staff to enlist the Russian government’s assistance. This was while Trump was already the clear frontrunner for the nomination.

As this was happening, Putin’s intelligence services were stealing emails and documents from various arms of the Democratic party. They were mounting various information operations within the United States. As this was happening a bankrupt and desperate political fixer who’d been working for a Putin loyalist for a decade showed up wanting to work for the campaign for free. That’s Paul Manafort, a longtime business partner of Roger Stone, another member of the conspiracy.

Did they work with Wikileaks? Yes, there was a back channel between Trump and Wikileaks murkily conducted through Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi and likely others – requests for help in one direction, information and assistance in the other.

President Trump has been at war with the Russia investigation from the get-go for an obvious and totally logical reason: the depth of his personal involvement in and knowledge of the conspiracy amounts to a devastating indictment of him and his presidency. It all makes perfect sense.

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HaveABeer
619 days ago
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Steve Mnuchin stole Cesar Sayoc's house

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Before Steve Mnuchin was in charge of the nation's economy, he was a foreclosure kingpin who left Goldman Sachs to found OneWest Bank (with money from George Soros!) in 2008; after the crisis, OneWest Bank acquired busted mortgage lender IndyMac, and became a notorious foreclosure mill, using robo-signed, back-dated, fraudulent documents to steal peoples' houses.

One of Mnuchin's customers was Cesar Sayoc, the man accused of sending bombs to a collection of people vilified by Donald Trump (including George Soros!).

IndyMac foreclosed on Sayoc in 2009, having converted his mortgage to a MERS ("a shell company that housed an electronic spreadsheet where mortgages could be quickly traded between buyers") using the Law Offices of David J. Stern, notorious for sleazy, fraudulent tactics.

Sayoc's foreclosure was typically fraudulent: backdated documents, never served, fraudulently executed, used to steal a home, signed by a woman who eventually admitted to forging signatures on documents used in foreclosure frauds.

Mnuchin denied wrongdoing for years, before finally accepting a consent decree and stipulating to wronging homeowners. Mnuchin might have faced prosecution in California, except Kamala Harris -- then California Attorney General -- declined to prosecute the case her staff built against Mnuchin and his bank. Harris is one of the people targeted by the bombs that Sayoc is accused of mailing. At the federal level, Eric Holder (Obama's Attorney General and another bombing target) declined to bring criminal charges against any of the bankers involved in the crisis of 2008 and the epidemic of house thefts that followed it (today, Holder earns $3m/year working for an elite lawfirm servicing the banks he declined to prosecute).

Life sure comes at you fast.

Not even two years after the mortgage sale, on January 7, 2009, IndyMac Bank filed for foreclosure. The docket in the case indicates that Sayoc did not receive notice of this lawsuit; the summons was returned unserved in February.

The legal representation for IndyMac was the Law Offices of David J. Stern, a notorious foreclosure mill that prosecuted about one-fifth of all foreclosures in the state at the height of its powers, many of them in slipshod ways and with fraudulent documents. They often served “notice by publication,” placing the foreclosure notice in a local paper called the Daily Business Review.

In order to foreclose, IndyMac needed to assign the mortgage back from MERS to IndyMac, making them the mortgage holder and therefore eligible to enforce the lien. This appears to have been done after the fact. The documents state that the assignment was executed on January 5, 2009, but elsewhere in the document the date is listed as January 23. And the document was not filed with the county clerk’s office until April 23.

Cesar Sayoc’s Home Was Foreclosed On By Steve Mnuchin’s Bank, Using Dodgy Paperwork [David Dayen/The Intercept]

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HaveABeer
653 days ago
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1 public comment
sarcozona
648 days ago
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The lack of accountability for the financial crisis was such a huge mistake of the Obama administration

Right wing snowflakes moaning about Michelle Wolf's hilarious White House Press Corps monologue show us real "PC"

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDbx1uArVOM

Michelle Wolf delivered the best White House Press Corps monologue since Colbert's amazing 2006 performance, and it has made the right (as well as establishment handwringers) really angry! (more…)

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HaveABeer
832 days ago
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It's Bad To Waterboard People

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This seems like it should be pretty self-explanatory.

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HaveABeer
880 days ago
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American teens have had it with this authoritarian crap

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Dina Leygerman is a high school teacher who teaches George Orwell’s novel 1984 to her students every year. Before she does, with the assistance of other teachers and the school’s administration, she turns her classroom into a totalitarian regime to give the kids a taste of life in Oceania. Rules are strict and favor is given to students who report on rule-breaking by their classmates.

I tell my seniors that in order to battle “Senioritis,” the teachers and admin have adapted an evidence-based strategy, a strategy that has “been implemented in many schools throughout the country and has had immense success.” I hang posters with motivational quotes and falsified statistics, and provide a false narrative for the problem that is “Senioritis.” I tell the students that in order to help them succeed, I must implement strict classroom rules.

However, when Leygerman tried the experiment this year, the students weren’t having it. They rebelled. They protested. They fought harder as the rules became more onerous.

The President of the SGA, whom I don’t even teach, wrote an email demanding an end to this “program.” He wrote that this program is “simply fascism at its worst. Statements such as these are the base of a dictatorship rule, this school, as well as this country cannot and will not fall prey to these totalitarian behaviors.” I did everything in my power to fight their rebellion. I “bribed” the President of the SGA. I “forced” him to publicly “resign.” And, yet, the students did not back down. They fought even harder. They were more vigilant. They became more organized. They found a new leader. They were more than ready to fight. They knew they would win in numbers.

An upcoming book edited by Cass Sunstein asks if authoritarianism can happen in America. The experiment in Leygerman’s classroom and the inspiring movement started by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL suggest perhaps not. The nation’s youth, raised on The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, are reminding the baby boomers that considering what their own parents went through in the Great Depression and World War II, they should fucking know better than to slam the door on succeeding generations.

Tags: 1984   books   Dina Leygerman   George Orwell   politics
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HaveABeer
901 days ago
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Hope.
popular
900 days ago
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tedgould
890 days ago
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A limited case study, but perhaps a window of hope.
Texas, USA
TimidWerewolf
900 days ago
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This is some wonderful news!

Wood that's stronger than steel

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Researchers demonstrated a new process that makes wood stronger than steel. According to the University of Maryland mechanical engineers, their novel process could lead to a greener alternative to metal in automobiles, airplanes, or buildings. “This could be a competitor to steel or even titanium alloys, it is so strong and durable," says researcher Liangbing Hu. "It’s also comparable to carbon fiber, but much less expensive.” From the University of Maryland:

The team’s process begins by removing the wood’s lignin, the part of the wood that makes it both rigid and brown in color. Then it is compressed under mild heat, at about 150 F. This causes the cellulose fibers to become very tightly packed. Any defects like holes or knots are crushed together. The treatment process was extended a little further with a coat of paint.

The scientists found that the wood’s fibers are pressed together so tightly that they can form strong hydrogen bonds, like a crowd of people who can’t budge – who are also holding hands. The compression makes the wood five times thinner than its original size.

The team tested their new wood material and natural wood by shooting bullet-like projectiles at it. The projectile blew straight through the natural wood. The fully treated wood stopped the projectile partway through.

More: "Crushed wood is stronger than steel" (Nature)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rj7GWDUXDU

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HaveABeer
909 days ago
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