Friday, August 31, 2018

Breaking the Chain

And I thought we were friends!

"Calif. man charged with making threatening calls to Globe" by Milton Valencia and John R. Ellement Globe Staff  August 30, 2018

A California man was charged Thursday with threatening to shoot and kill Boston Globe journalists, calling them “the enemy of the people,” in response to the newspaper’s nationwide editorial campaign denouncing President Trump’s political attacks against the press.

Robert Darrell Chain, 68, was arrested at dawn in his home in Encino, Calif., by an FBI SWAT team armed with military-style weapons and what neighbors believe were flash-bang grenades. Authorities said they found 20 firearms in the home, including a semiautomatic rifle purchased in May.

Chain made a brief appearance Thursday afternoon in a federal court in Los Angeles. He was released on $50,000 bond, and is slated to appear in a federal court in Boston on Sept. 24 to face a single charge of making a threatening communication in interstate commerce. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. It was not immediately clear if he would face additional charges related to the weapons.


Speaking to reporters outside federal court Thursday, Chain said “there’s no free press in America.”

“Yeah, I’m making a statement,” he said to reporters who had gathered as he left the courthouse. “The United States got saved by having Donald J. Trump elected as president. Now take a hike, you bozos.”

Federal prosecutors said that Chain made 14 calls to the Globe’s main newsroom number between Aug. 10 and 22 after the newspaper’s editorial page called on media outlets to unite in opposition to Trump’s angry rhetoric against the press, including repeated references to reporters as “the enemy of the people.”

Yeah, the Globe fired the first shot.

Authorities said the calls were “profane, lewd, and peppered with antigay slurs.”

“Anyone — regardless of political affiliation — who puts others in fear for their lives will be prosecuted by this office,” said Andrew Lelling, the US attorney in Massachusetts. “In a time of increasing political polarization, and amid the increasing incidence of mass shootings, members of the public must police their own political rhetoric. Or we will.”

As Ari Fleischer once said, YOU NEED TO WATCH WHAT YOU SAY!

So what are we going to do about lying, war-promoting rags that put fear into other peoples lives, huh?

Lelling, a Trump administration appointee, said law enforcement officials take threats of violence seriously. In the past few months, local prosecutors have charged people with threatening to bomb a black commencement event at Harvard University, threatening to shoot people at a Second Amendment rally, and offering to pay $500 to anyone who killed an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

They have instigators, 'er, informants working the inside of the cases?

“Everyone has a right to express their opinion, but threatening to kill people takes it over the line and will not be tolerated,” said Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston office.

Unless you head a government that wants to invade someone on false pretenses.

The threats came less than two months after a Maryland man shot and killed five employees at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, although there was no suggestion that the suspect in that case was motivated by Trump’s rhetoric.

Notice how Jacksonville has faded into oblivion (as predicted here)?

In a court affidavit filed in support of the charge against Chain, FBI agent Thomas M. Dalton wrote that “Boston Globe employees reported feeling threatened and scared” after the threats were called in. The newspaper reported the threats to law enforcement and brought in a private firm to bolster security. After one of the threats, made the day the newspaper ran its coordinated response to Trump’s attacks, Boston police officers patrolled the lobby of the Globe’s downtown office building.

If nothing else, it made them sh*t their pants.

In a memo to staff Thursday, Globe spokeswoman Jane Bowman thanked authorities. “We are grateful to the FBI, the US Attorney’s Office, the Boston Police, and local authorities in California for the work they did in protecting the Globe while threats were coming in, for investigating the source, and for making this arrest. We couldn’t have asked for a stronger response. While it was unsettling for many of our staffers to be threatened in such a way, nobody — really, nobody — let it get in the way of the important work of this institution,” she said.

They are so conceited! 

Give yourself an A for humility!

Before Chain’s arrest was announced, Trump continued his attacks against the media Thursday on Twitter, calling it dishonest and the “Enemy of the People!”

Chain’s alleged threats began Aug. 10, after the newspaper’s editorial page first called on news outlets nationwide to use their opinion pages to support the free press. Authorities determined that all of the threats, some of which were recorded, were made by the same caller.

In one of the calls, on Aug. 13, the caller threatened, “We are going to shoot you [expletives] in the head . . . shoot every [expletive] one of you,” court papers said.

On Aug. 16, the day the Globe and hundreds of newspapers published editorials in support of the free press, the caller again threatened, “You’re the enemy of the people, and we’re going to kill every [expletive] one of you.”

read that and the enemy of our enemy is..... Iran?

The caller made a reference to Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is leading an independent investigation into the Trump political campaign team’s connections to Russian authorities, and threatened that he was “going to shoot you in the [expletive] head later today, at 4 o’clock.”

Oh, he threatened Mueller!

The initial 12 calls were listed on caller identification logs as “blocked.” Authorities later determined the calls were made by a landline registered to Chain at his home.


Yeah, why don't you just lay out a trail of bread crumbs right to your door for them!!

Chain then allegedly made two more calls using his wife’s cellphone. His wife, Betty, an attorney, did not return a call for comment.

And did she ever let him have it!

In one of the final calls, on Aug. 22, a Globe employee asked the caller why he was calling. Chain allegedly replied, “Because you are the enemy of the people . . . as long as you keep attacking the president, the duly elected president of the United States, in the continuation of your treasonous and seditious acts, I will continue to threat, harass, and annoy the Boston Globe.”

Yeah, okay.

Chain did not appear to have a criminal record. He was named as a defendant in a civil personal injury case, but the case was dismissed.

One of Chain’s neighbors in California, who asked to remain anonymous to avoid any political backlash, said she was shocked by the allegations. She knew Chain as friendly, saying he liked to garden and was known to feed stray cats in the neighborhood.

“The person I know is the one who helps you, watches to see if everyone is OK,” she said, describing a recent incident in which Chain knocked on her door to remind her to move her car before street cleaners arrived.

Chain lived with his wife and appeared to be retired, she said. He had a heart condition, but often took walks through the neighborhood.

They never talked politics, she said, and she did not know he had guns.

“He has been really helpful to us,” she said. “I’m in shock right now.”

Looks like another set up.

Chain, who had graying hair and wore a ponytail, said in court records related to a student loan debt that he had suffered a heart attack and has not worked for two decades, but Pamela Meyer, another neighbor, said Chain was prone to angry outbursts that made her uncomfortable. Several years ago, he confronted a neighbor who was having a party because one of the guests parked in front of his driveway, Meyer said. The neighbor had to restrain Chain by pinning him to the ground, and police were called.

Meyer said she could sometimes hear him through the window screaming at the television over news reports and sports. When Trump won the presidential election, Chain shouted in celebration, she recalled.

So? A lot of people did.

“He rants,” she said. “He’ll just shout things out, whatever is upsetting him.”


Meyer said Chain never tried to push his politics on other people, but was opinionated.

“He just has a trigger, whatever is on his mind at the moment,” she said. “I think he was a person prone to excesses.”

“I’ve always wondered if there was something a little not-right with him,” she added.

This would be funny if it were not so pathetic.

Chain had some legal problems in the past. He was ordered to pay around $22,000 in 2014 to the federal government for failing to pay off his student loans dating back to the 1980s, according to records filed in federal court in California.

He and his wife filed for bankruptcy protection three times in the late 1990s, according to court records.

She also filed for divorce but did not follow through with the request.


The problem is the "news" has become not about Trump, but it's become ‘‘about them.’’

Hi, neighbor!

"Man dies after woman allegedly drove truck into N.H. couple walking dog" by J.D. Capelouto, Laura Crimaldi and John R. Ellement Globe Correspondent and Globe Staff  August 30, 2018

SEABROOK, N.H. — Finally, the VanDalindas were going to find peace, after nearly two years of toxic encounters with next-door neighbor Catrina Costello, who, court records show, had threatened and sworn at the couple, and whose pit bulls had once attacked the family dog.

Stephen and Erin VanDalinda had recently found a buyer for their home of nearly two decades on Greenleaf Drive and had stationed a portable storage container in the driveway to get them ready to move north to Raymond, N.H., but as the couple walked their German shepherd, Lucy, Wednesday at about 6:20 p.m. on a nearby street, authorities allege, an intoxicated Costello, 38, mowed them down with her silver pickup truck, killing Stephen VanDalinda, 64, and seriously injuring his 61-year-old wife. Their dog was also killed, prosecutors said.

“They didn’t have a chance,” said Brian Henderson, who also lives on Greenleaf Drive. “They didn’t see it coming at all.”

The New Hampshire attorney general’s office announced Thursday evening that Costello had been charged with second-degree murder after an autopsy found Stephen VanDalinda died of blunt trauma to his head and body. His death was ruled a homicide.....


There was a NIMBY factor, and it is almost as troubling as the shark stories on the front page of the B-section and beyond. Has a very summer of 2001 feel to it. Something wicked this way comes and me shut down?

"National Enquirer had decades of Trump dirt. He wanted to buy it all" by Jim Rutenberg New York Times  August 30, 2018

It is not known how much of the material on President Trump is still in American Media’s possession.

For the better part of two decades, chairman, David Pecker, a loyal Trump ally of two decades who has cooperated with investigators, had ordered his staff at American Media to protect Trump from troublesome stories, in some cases by buying up stories about him and filing them away.

In August 2016, American Media acquired the rights to Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story in return for $150,000 and commitments to use its magazines to promote her career as a fitness specialist, but American Media never published her allegations about a relationship with Trump.

Shortly after American Media completed the arrangement with McDougal at Trump’s behest, a troubling question began to nag at Trump and his lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, according to several people who knew about the discussions at the time: What would happen to America Media’s sensitive Trump files if Pecker were to leave?

Cohen, those people said, was hearing rumors that Pecker might leave American Media for Time magazine.

There was perennial talk about American Media’s business troubles. And Trump appeared to take a world-wearier view of the wisdom of leaving his sensitive personal secrets in someone else’s hands:

“Maybe he gets hit by a truck,” Trump said of Pecker in a conversation with Cohen, musing about an unfortunate mishap befalling his good friend.

Like if something happens, Trump is to be implicated in murder.

Cohen captured that conversation on a recording that his adviser released roughly a month before his guilty plea.

When The Times first reported that the recording had been discovered by the FBI, people close to Cohen and Trump initially described it in the narrow context of McDougal’s deal, but Cohen, in fact, indicates in the audio that he and Trump are speaking about an arrangement involving far more.

“I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info, regarding our friend David,” Cohen says in reference to Pecker.

The plan got far enough along that Cohen relays in the recorded conversation that he had discussed paying for all the information from American Media with the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.

“I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up,” he says, adding about Pecker, “We’ll have to pay him something.”

Did you hear a pop?

In the end, the deal never came together.....

That's because the New York Times wrecked it.


Btw, WTF does this national lead have to do with Russia and 2016 collusion? 

It's all from when he lived in New York City (enough with the self-serving oopsies and false flags that reinforce the pervasive victimhood narrative, okay? It's enough to make you sick, God help you.)


Trump hints he’s chosen McGahn successor

Don't be late for court.

Manafort DC judge to let jury hear evidence he knew lobby rules

Friends call John McCain hero, maverick at Arizona funeral

"Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said Thursday that the way President Trump responded to John McCain’s death was ‘‘disturbing,’’ and he acknowledged that he has been upset by some of the derogatory things Trump has said about the late senator. ‘‘It bothers me greatly when the president says things about John McCain,’’ Graham said during an interview on ‘‘CBS This Morning.’’ ‘‘It pisses me off to no end, and I let the president know it.’’ In recent months, Graham, who gave an emotional tribute to McCain on the Senate floor on Wednesday, sought to balance a friendship with the Republican senator from Arizona with his stated desire to work with Trump, a difficult task given the friction between the men. During the CBS interview, Graham criticized Trump for belatedly issuing a proclamation for US flags to fly at half-staff until McCain’s burial this weekend. ‘‘The way he’s handled the passing of John is just . . . was disturbing,’’ Graham told CBS host John Dickerson. ‘‘We finally got it right.’’ Asked if he had called Trump after the White House flags were raised on Monday, Graham said: ‘‘No, but I called some people around him.’’ Graham also said he would offer Trump some advice: Act more like McCain. ‘‘You’ve got a lot of people you think are treating you unfairly. Fight back,’’ Graham said. ‘‘But you’re going to have to be a big man in a big office. McCain was a big man, worthy of a big country. Mr. President, you need to be the big man that the presidency requires.’’ Even as McCain battled brain cancer, Trump continued to harshly criticize him for a vote against Republican health care legislation. Trump also recently declined to mention McCain’s name at a signing ceremony for a defense bill named after him....."

The Globe loves a parade.

Don't know who will show up, though.

Have you seen how India handles leftists?

"Friday is not the real deadline for ‘NAFTA 2.0’" by Heather Long Washington Post  August 30, 2018

President Trump is telling Canadian officials they have until Friday to sign on to his major new North American trade deal, threatening to leave them behind, rip up the continent’s existing trade pact, and even possibly hit Canada with draconian auto tariffs, but according to Congress, foreign officials, and members of Trump’s own administration, Friday is not in fact the drop-dead deadline for Canada that the president is suggesting.

Getting that window started by Friday matters to Trump because he wants to get a deal done by Dec. 1. That’s when Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto will step down, making way for President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador. López Obrador has had representatives at the US-Mexico trade talks, but Trump doesn’t want to risk the new Mexican administration’s balking at a deal his team brokered with the old one, but the pressure here is on the US-Mexico side.

Trump has what he needs from Mexico, but getting a deal done with Canada by Friday is no easy task, given the substantive policy disagreements between Trump and Trudeau — as well as their acrimonious past.

Trade experts say the likely scenario is that Canada and the United States announce something comparable to the ‘‘preliminary deal to later make a final deal’’ that Mexico signed, or, at least, issue a statement of progress by the end of the week. From there, the two sides would have another month to finalize the details.

Many members of Congress are telling Trump they won’t approve a new NAFTA deal unless all three North American countries are part of it. That puts some pressure back on the president, and it’s why the administration is likely to cut Canada some slack if it’s not ready to sign by Friday.

Although the Trump administration would love to have all three countries sign on to the Friday letter, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has already set up a contingency plan. They could send the letter with just a US-Mexico deal and then add Canada later in September — all without restarting the clock on the 90-day notice requirement.

Many trade lawyers say it’s not entirely legitimate for the administration to send Congress the letter Friday and try to tack Canada on later, noting it violates the terms of ‘‘fast track’’ authority the president has for renegotiating NAFTA, but veterans of trade negotiations say it is up to Congress to allow it or not. Lawmakers have pushed for Canada to be included, and lawmakers would prefer to see Trump strike a new trade deal rather than attempt to walk away from the old one without anything to replace it. So there’s reason to believe Republican leaders would let the administration get away with tacking Canada on after Friday.

‘‘It really comes down to Congress,’’ said Jennifer Hillman, a former US trade negotiator in the Clinton administration. ‘‘Trump is setting this up to blame Canada for failing to agree.’’

They are an easy target.

That sets up a more firm, more important deadline for Canada as Sept. 29, the date by which Trump owes Congress a finalized deal if he wants to get it done before Dec. 1,

‘‘Canada needs an agreement with the United States, but it doesn’t need it by Friday,’’ said Doug Holtz-Eakin, an economic adviser to many Republicans and former head of the Congressional Budget Office.

With that in mind, Friday’s deadline is, for Canadian officials, more a bonus than a necessity. It might buy them some good will with the administration as they try to hammer out a final deal.

That good will could come in handy, as the United States and Canada remain at odds over major trade policies, especially those affecting dairy products, but if Trump’s team can get it done, it will go a long way toward Trump’s goal of turning NAFTA into a deal of his own.....

He just keeps on winning.


He has even subjugated Europe:

"Specter of car tariffs forces allies to give ground in talks" by Jack Ewing, Ana Swanson and Motoko Rich New York Times  August 30, 2018

President Trump’s threat to impose auto tariffs on imported cars has hit the United States’ trading partners in a sensitive spot, sending foreign leaders from Mexico to Japan racing to the negotiating table and, on Thursday, encouraging a significant concession by Europe.

The European Union’s top trade official said in Brussels that the bloc would be willing to remove all tariffs on cars and other industrial products as part of a limited trade deal with the United States, but only if the US dropped its own similar tariffs. That offer will require Trump to decide whether he is willing to eliminate US tariffs, like a 25 percent tax on imported trucks, as he has previously said he is willing to do, or if Europe will call his bluff.

I wouldn't do that.

Europe is willing to reduce “car tariffs to zero, all tariffs to zero, if the US does the same,” Cecilia Malmstrom, the European commissioner for trade, told members of the European Parliament on Thursday. “We would do it, if they do it. That remains to be seen.”

Europe’s change in position is the latest indication that Trump’s threat to impose 25 percent levies on foreign-made Toyotas, Mercedeses, and BMWs is forcing trading partners to give ground. On Monday, the Mexican government agreed to effectively cap exports of cars, SUVs, and auto parts into the United States, subjecting any exports above those levels to Trump’s tariffs if they go into effect.

While Trump’s use of car tariffs as a cudgel may be winning concessions, it comes with big risks, potentially disrupting the international flow of billions of dollars in parts and vehicles in ways that could hurt the US auto industry, raise sticker prices, and cost jobs. Tellingly, US carmakers are just as opposed to the tariffs as their Asian and European competitors and have expressed concern that the deal with Mexico could ultimately hurt consumers.

Now they care about us!

“If we run up against these quotas, we are going to make manufacturing more expensive in the United States. Period,” said Ann Wilson, senior vice president of government affairs at the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.

Trump is unlikely to back down, given that his threats helped bring reluctant trading partners to the table in the first place. Mexico, Canada, and Europe initially insisted that they would not negotiate about trade “with a gun to the head,” but existing tariffs on steel and aluminum, and the specter of tariffs on automobiles, helped change their minds.

The threat of car tariffs, coming on top of Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, also sped up negotiations on revising the North American Free Trade Agreement. On Monday, Trump said he had struck a deal with Mexico and threatened to leave Canada behind and hit it with auto tariffs if it did not get on board.

“I think with Canada, frankly, the easiest thing we can do is to tariff their cars coming in,” Trump said.

Canadian officials responded by cutting short a trip to Europe and rushing to Washington, where they are currently working to reach an agreement.

And Europe was right behind them!

The stakes are high. Auto tariffs could affect roughly $350 billion worth of foreign automobiles and auto parts, more than three times the value of the foreign products currently subject to import taxes. The measure would fall heavily on US allies: Roughly 98 percent of US car imports come from the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and South Korea, but US carmakers would also suffer. They are among the biggest importers of foreign components. US-made substitute parts will most likely be in short supply, if they are available at all, driving up costs for everybody.

Europe’s willingness to compromise Thursday reflected the danger that car tariffs pose to Europe, in particular to Germany, the Continent’s largest economy and a major automotive exporter, but Malmstrom’s comments on Thursday signaled that the European Commission was willing to pursue a less ambitious pact in order to avoid further escalation of the trade war with the United States.

“We are not restarting TTIP,” she said, referring to the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the pact that foundered.

In Japan and South Korea, the threat of auto tariffs is causing more severe complications.

Japanese government officials continue to resist the Trump administration’s invitation to enter bilateral trade talks or offer any concessions, but Japanese auto industry leaders are increasingly concerned about the fate of the 1.7 million cars that Japan exports to the United States annually.....

It's now on to China!


Also see:

US consumer spending up a solid 0.4 percent in July

That is despite the interest rate hikes.

He is the Great Trumplestiltskin, and everything he spins turns to gold!