[REDACTED] | Tai-One Percent President | Five Star Frauds

APRIL 19, 2019  /   SUBSCRIBE


“The people who lie the most are nearly always the clumsiest at it, and they’re easier to fool with lies than most people, too. You’d think they’d be on the look-out for lies, but they seem to be the very ones that will believe almost anything at all.” – Dashiell Hammett

“There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself.” – Raymond Chandler



[REDACTED]: President Trump’s hand-picked attorney general William Barr finally released a redacted copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference with the 2016 campaign and Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice. Mueller had ended his investigation and sent his 448 page confidential report to Barr on Friday March 22. Over that weekend Barr prepared his own four page summary of the report, which concluded that Mueller had found no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, and no substantive evidence of obstruction of justice. Trump and his supporters then declared the report had completely exonerated the president of any wrongdoing. Over the next several weeksBarr continued to withhold the report from congressional committee headswho had requested it as part of their constitutional oversight duties. Eventually Barr admitted Justice Department officials had given the administration a “heads up” by discussing the report’s findings with White House counsel, in effect skirting department norms and assisting the Trump team’s preparations of their rebuttals.

Prior to the report’s release, Barr held an extraordinary “press conference”in yet another attempt to spin the information and soften any impending damage. He repeatedly declared that Mueller had cleared the president of conspiracy with Russia and sympathized with the frustration Trump felt at the “endless speculation” over his purported ties to the Kremlin. The remarks, more those of a defense lawyer for Trump than America’s top law enforcement official, were confirmation for the president’s critics that Trump had finally gotten the attorney general he’d always wanted.

A reading of the redacted report does not exonerate the president of crimes. Rather, Mueller said the evidence was “insufficient” to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a criminal conspiracy with Russia to interfere in the election. That is a tough legal standard to be met if a case is going to trial. On the obstruction of justice issue, the report details numerous efforts by Trump to thwart the inquiry. As to why the special counsel didn’t reach conclusions per se, this: although Mueller did not fully agree with the proposition, he intended to accede to the justice department’s position that a sitting president cannot be indicted. Thus, since he would not be indicting Trump, all the evidence collected would be left to the purview of Congress to decide whether it was sufficient to hold impeachment proceedings. Barr’s intercession in the process was clearly meant to benefit the president, and the public can now see for itself that his declarations regarding the investigation’s conclusions are not only inaccurate, but a far cry from his mandate to impartially represent the entire government.



Tai-One Percent President: Terry Gou, multi-billionaire founder of Foxconn, best known for manufacturing iPhones, announced Wednesday he would make a run for president of Taiwan. Current president Tsai Ing-wen, of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, has been in office since 2016, during which relations with China have been strained over a furtherance of Taiwanese independence. Gou, who became serious about making a presidential run after Donald Trump was elected, will seek the nomination of the opposition party, the China-friendly Kuomintang at its June primary. In 2017 Foxconn announced a multi-billion dollar investment in Wisconsin, after which Gou was feted at the White House and praised by Trump as “one of the great businessmen of our time.” Gou’s wealth, his personal relationship with Trump, and his direct access to China’s top leadership will likely benefit his campaign. (NYT)

Kim Jong-uneasy: North Korea has announced the testing of a “new-type tactical guided weapon.” Its official newspaper said leader Kim Jong-un supervised the weapon test at the Academy of Defense Science on Wednesday. The report offered few details about the weapon, except that it was test-fired at various targets, carried a “powerful warhead” and had a “peculiar mode of guiding flight.” A former South Korean army colonel said: “Tactical weapons are for attacking South Korea, not the U.S. In these tense times, North Korea wouldn’t conduct a test lightly. The weapon must be something that can pose a threat or incite terror” and therefore is likely to contain some new technology or capability. North Korea hasn’t tested any strategic weapons since late 2017, but with nuclear negotiations between the US and North Korea stalled, Kim emphasized he is continuing to upgrade his country’s military, setting goals for “keeping munitions production going, and putting national defense science and technology on [a] cutting edge level.” (NPR)

A Rock Meets With A Hard Place: Russian president Vladimir Putin has invited North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a summit. The visit is expected to take place in late April, somewhere in Russia’s far east. It will be Kim’s and Putin’s first face-to-face meeting. The announcement came after North Korea said it had tested a new tactical weapon with a “powerful warhead,” and denuclearization talks with Washington appeared stalled. In 2011 Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, had met with Russia’s then president Dmitry Medvedev in Siberia. At the time Kim told Medvedev his state was prepared to renounce nuclear testing. But Kim Jong-il died shortly after the visit, and his son has taken a different path. (Guardian)



Mother Nature’s Got Nothing On Duluth: A Harvard University climate adaptation expert provides reasons why people in the future should consider moving to Duluth, Minnesota, “the most climate-proof city in America,” to escape the inevitable extreme heat and rising sea levels that will make places like Miami, Florida and New Orleans, Louisiana uninhabitable. Even with global warming the region around the Great Lakes will remain relatively cool. By 2080, even with somewhat high concentrations of carbon dioxide emissions, Duluth’s climate is expected to shift to something like that of Toledo, Ohio, with summer highs maxing out in the mid-80s Fahrenheit. Cooler temperatures mean a reduced risk of wildfires compared to the West and Southwest. And being inland means it’s mostly protected from the effects of sea level rise. Overall, considering Duluth’s cold temperatures, abundance of fresh water from Lake Superior, and industrial infrastructure, it’s the ideal climate refuge. (NYT)



Five Star Frauds: On Tuesday the consumer group Which? claimed online retail giant Amazon’s website is flooded with fake five-star reviews for products from unfamiliar brands. Amazon said it using automated technology to weed out false or unverified reviews. But Which?’s probe suggested fake reviews were commonplace, and that thousands of reviews were unverified, meaning there was no evidence the reviewer bought the product. But one person explains that, in his spare time, to supplement his income, he writes fake reviews online in exchange for money and free products. “I think it’s bad – but I think everyone’s doing it,” the man says, adding: “Since I started doing it I tell my family and friends not to trust reviews. “If you are going to buy something you should do more research than look at a couple of five-star reviews on Amazon.” He says writers are paid to buy the product and then leave a review, meaning the review can be verified. In another scam, called “brushing,” sellers obtain people’s names and addresses to send goods they didn’t purchase. On Amazon, that leaves a paper trail showing the goods had been bought on the site and were delivered. The seller then uses an individual’s details to set up a new account which allows it to post glowing reviews of its products. (BBC)




“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. ” – Raymond Chandler

Please consider making a donation to Daily Pnut, an independently operated and bootstrapped publication. Many thanks to everyone who already supports us!

[related_posts_by_tax format="images" posts_per_page="4" taxonomies="category" orderby="post_date" order="DESC" image_size="thumbnail" before_title='

' after_title='


Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: