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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

All Politics is Now... International?

I've written a few times now about how interlinked all of the crap going on in the world is. The last week or so has been quite the case in point.

The Brexit "win" and Trump's "victory" go hand in hand. They were both engineered by Putin and his people, designed to destabilize the West and put people with fascist tendencies in charge everywhere. Last week, the amazing Carol Cadwalladr detailed new findings concerning the Brexiteers' and Trump's ties with Russia:

This was the campaign headed by Nigel Farage, whose close friend and ally, Steve Bannon, had been Trump’s campaign manager and who said, on Wednesday: “I have never received any Russian financial or political support...”
And it plunges Britain directly into the same nexus of relationships that is the focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Two years on, we are in the dark about so much. What was the exact nature of Farage’s Leave.EU campaign’s relationship to the Russian government? Why did it exist? And to what end?
Just last week, Farage robustly denied any improper relationship with the Russians on his radio show.
So far, all that we can say for sure is that, for the last two years, Banks and Wigmore have lied about it. And, it’s this, perhaps, that raises the most critical question of all: why?
A week and a half ago, a fellow journalist, Peter Jukes, showed me this material for the first time, and my jaw dropped. I’d left parliament where I’d heard Alexander Nix, the chief executive of Cambridge Analytica, give evidence to the investigation into fake news to a parliamentary inquiry over many hours. And later that night, I found myself looking at a computer screen that shone on a light on a part of the investigation that I had never expected to uncover.
But wait, there's more! Nigel Farage and pals apparently used a combination of real and fake polling to manipulate the market for the British Pound by pretending Brexit was going to fail while they knew it was likely to succeed:

Farage, who had not detailed since that night what he learned or how he knew it, told Bloomberg that the only external exit poll results he received on June 23 were Survation’s—and that Lyons-Lowe gave them to him. “He got it right,” Farage said of Lyons-Lowe. “And whoever, whichever clientele, whichever City hedge funds paid him that day, did very well out of it.” Others with knowledge of the results also said that Lyons-Lowe’s hedge fund exit poll accurately called the vote for Leave.
Farage, however, repeatedly told Bloomberg that he learned the results from Lyons-Lowe’s poll only “minutes after” Sky put his market-moving statement on the air just past 10 p.m.—not before. “That would have been, that would have been—for he and I to have spoken ahead of that 10 o’clock—would have been wrong at every level. Wrong for me, wrong for him, just would have been wrong,” Farage said. After saying he heard the results from Lyons-Lowe, Farage then changed his story, saying they came not from Lyons-Lowe personally, but from someone affiliated with Survation's operation. (In a subsequent telephone interview, Farage again changed his story to say he had indeed spoken by phone with Lyons-Lowe. He said Lyons-Lowe intimated that the U.K. had voted for Leave, but he didn’t share specific data. Farage also said that, at the time, he didn't believe what Lyons-Lowe had told him, and that another contact, whom he declined to identify, mentioned other polling showing Remain would win.)
In response to questions, Lyons-Lowe released a statement: “Survation Ltd. has established itself as a leading opinion poll and research provider, including in respect of referendums and other elections where innovative methodologies are required. We work regularly for a wide variety of newspapers, private clients and political parties. Survation Ltd. does not comment on any confidential client work.”
Farage called his statement to Sky “a terrible mistake,” but he also asserted that he did not give the network’s reporter a true concession. “It was an acceptance that we might not win, but it was hardly, but it was not how—they [Sky] overegged it. They overegged it. But that’s journalism,” he said.
What Farage could not explain, however, is why he gave a further concession about 70 minutes after the Sky broadcast, which not only echoed the statement aired on Sky, but was more adamant. In it, he also specifically cited a financial-firm exit poll as his reason for conceding.
Farage made the second concession in an interview with the Press Association, a U.K. news cooperative. Its report says: “Mr. Farage told the Press Association: ‘I don't know, but I think Remain will edge it, yes. The massive increase in voter registration will be the reason for that.’ Asked if he was just experiencing election-night jitters, the UKIP leader replied: ‘It is a calm and rational feeling. If I am wrong, I would be thrilled. But it is what we have seen out and about, and what I know from some of my friends in the financial markets who have done some big polling.’” Bloomberg sent a series of headlines from that interview to its more than 300,000 financial clients around the world.
You can bet that the Mercers, who were the money behind Cambridge Analytica, made some money off of this:

And Cambridge Analytica isn't just working in the U.S. and Great Britain:

Mexico’s ruling party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, paid Cambridge Analytica millions of dollars ahead of Sunday’s presidential election—to keep the data consulting firm out of it.
In 2017, the now-bankrupt company proposed to bolster the PRI’s candidate, José Antonio Meade, with the same tactics it deployed to promote Donald Trump during 2016 election in the US, according to a New York Times report. After considering the offer, the PRI decided it was sufficiently equipped to mess with the election itself. But it hired Cambridge Analytica anyway, to prevent it from helping the other candidates in the race, according to the newspaper. The PRI denied any involvement with the firm, according to the story.
The deal shows the PRI’s desperation in boosting its poor-performing candidate, a gray technocrat who had trouble connecting with voters. It’s also a sign of the growing importance of data mining as a voter-influencing tool—at least in politicians’ eyes. Cambridge Analytica has been active in more than 200 elections around the world, including the Brexit vote in the UK in 2016.

200 elections? Jesus Christ on a cracker.

Meanwhile, in Turkey, another one of Trump's authoritarian buddies has "won" his "election" and is set to take more power for himself:

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for the past 15 years, will extend his rule and take on sweeping new powers after his victory in the country's landmark presidential and parliamentary elections.
Turkey's High Electoral Board on Monday declared Erdogan the winner of Sunday's dual votes, which usher in a new system in which the prime minister's post is eliminated and executive powers are transferred to the president, who rules with only limited checks and balances.
The Turkish leader is accused by critics of adopting increasingly authoritarian tactics but is loved by supporters for bringing prosperity and stability to the country that lies at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Erdogan may be facing rough times ahead, however, because analysts predict an economic downturn for Turkey amid rising inflation and the struggling lira currency.

Trump's pretty happy about it:


It's all tied together. J.J. Patrick explains:

And how and when did Putin put that plan into motion?

That's like, not ominous or anything... Not at all.

Americans are markedly provincial, but we have GOT to be paying attention to what's going on around the world -- it's all connected. Fortunately, I think Bob Mueller knows that and is trying to do more than just take out Trump. At least, I hope so.

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