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Messages - meepmeep

rolling in more cash than they've had since the 90s

umm ...
In case anyone needed more proof that the NRA is trash:

The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy.

FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia's central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said.

However, the NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections, including $30 million to support Trump - triple what the group devoted to backing Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race. Most of that was money was spent by an arm of the NRA that is not required to disclose its donors.

Two people with close connections to the powerful gun lobby said its total election spending actually approached or exceeded $70 million. The reporting gap could be explained by the fact that independent groups are not required to reveal how much they spend on Internet ads or field operations, including get-out-the-vote efforts.

Torshin, a leading figure in Putin's party, has been implicated in money laundering by judicial authorities in Spain, as Bloomberg News first revealed in 2016. Spanish investigators alleged in an almost 500-page internal report that Torshin, who was then a senator, capitalized on his government role to assist mobsters laundering funds through Spanish properties and banks, Bloomberg reported

A summary obtained by McClatchy of the still-secret report links Torshin to Russian money laundering and describes him as a godfather in a major Russian criminal organization called Taganskaya.

Investigators for three congressional committees probing Russia's 2016 operations also have shown interest in Torshin, a lifetime NRA member who has attended several of its annual conventions. At the group's meeting in Kentucky in May 2016, Torshin spoke to Donald Trump Jr. during a gala event at the group's national gathering in Kentucky in May 2016, when his father won an earlier-than-usual NRA presidential endorsement.


Torshin was a senior member of the Russian Senate and in recent years helped set up a Moscow gun rights group called Right to Bear Arms. He not only spoke with Trump Jr. at the NRA convention, but he also tried unsuccessfully to broker a meeting between Putin and the presidential candidate in 2016, according to the Times. He further sought to meet privately with the candidate himself near the 2016 NRA convention.

Torshin's ties with the NRA have flourished in recent years. In late 2015, he hosted two dinners for a high-level NRA delegation during its week-long visit to Moscow that included meetings with influential Russian government and business figures.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent letters in November to two senior Trump foreign policy aides, J.D. Gordon and Sam Clovis, seeking copies of any communications they had with or related to Torshin; the NRA; veteran conservative operative Paul Erickson; Maria Butina, a Torshin protege who ran the Russian pro-gun group he helped launch, and others linked to Torshin.

Erickson has raised funds for the NRA and is a friend of Butina's. Shortly before the NRA's May 2016 convention, he emailed Trump campaign aide Rick Dearborn about the possibility of setting up a meeting between Putin and Trump during the campaign, according to the Times.

Erickson's email to Dearborn bore the subject line "Kremlin Connection." In it, Erickson solicited advice from Dearborn and his boss, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a top foreign policy adviser to Trump's campaign, about the best way to connect Putin and Trump.

Both Dearborn and Butina, who has been enrolled as a graduate student at American University since mid 2016, have been asked to appear before the Judiciary Committee, but so far Erickson has not, sources familiar with the matter said.

Bridges LLC, a company that Erickson and Butina established in February 2016 in Erickson's home state of South Dakota, also is expected to draw scrutiny. Public records don't reveal any financial transactions involving Bridges. In a phone interview last year, Erickson said the firm was established in case Butina needed any monetary assistance for her graduate studies -- an unusual way to use an LLC.

Erickson said he met Butina and Torshin when he and David Keene, a former NRA president, attended a meeting of Right to Bear Arms a few years ago in Moscow. Erickson described the links between Right to Bear Arms and the NRA as a "moral support operation both ways."

this country resembles argentina more and more each day :awgee:
Shocking, I know.  :ohmy:

urning Point casts itself as a grassroots response to what it perceives as liberal intolerance on college campuses. Kirk has called college campuses "islands of totalitarianism"; he and his supporters contend that conservatives are the true victims of discrimination in America, and he has vowed to fight back on behalf of what he has called his "Team Right." Kirk is a frequent guest on Fox News, and last summer he was invited to give a speech at the Republican National Convention. That was where he met Donald Trump, Jr., and "hit it off" with him, Kirk said. After the convention, Kirk divided his time between Turning Point activities and working for the Trump campaign as a specialist in youth outreach. "I helped coördinate some rather successful events with him," Kirk told me, referring to Don, Jr., "and I also carried his bags."

"And I also carried his bags." lololol

omg there are RACISTS in their group?!?!?:
As Turning Point's profile has risen, so has scrutiny of its funding and tactics. Internal documents that I obtained, as well as interviews with former employees, suggest that the group may have skirted campaign-finance laws that bar charitable organizations from participating in political activity. Former employees say that they were directed to work with prominent conservatives, including the wife of the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in aid of Republican Presidential candidates in 2016. Perhaps most troubling for an organization that holds up conservatives as the real victims of discrimination in America, Turning Point USA is also alleged to have fostered an atmosphere that is hostile to minorities. Screenshots provided to me by a source show that Crystal Clanton, who served until last summer as the group's national field director, sent a text message to another Turning Point employee saying, "I HATE BLACK PEOPLE. Like fuck them all . . . I hate blacks. End of story."

Clanton, who resigned after serving as the group's second-highest official for five years, at first declined to comment. "I'm no longer with Turning Point and wish not to be a part of the story," Clanton told me over e-mail. Later, in a second e-mail, she said, "I have no recollection of these messages and they do not reflect what I believe or who I am and the same was true when I was a teenager."

John Ryan O'Rourke, the former Turning Point employee who received the text messages from Clanton, requested that the messages "not be used in any article or background information concerning Turning Point" and declined to comment on them. Kirk said in an e-mail that "Turning Point assessed the situation and took decisive action within 72 hours of being made aware of the issue." Soon after, Clanton left the organization.

hahahahaha I love how these geniuses think that telling a reporter they don't want their shit to be reported on will accomplish something.

Former Turning Point employees say that the organization was a difficult workplace and rife with tension, some of it racial. Gabrielle Fequiere, a former Turning Point employee, told me that she was the only African-American hired as a field director when she worked with the group, three years ago. "In looking back, I think it was racist," she said. "At the time, I was blaming myself, and I thought I did something wrong." Fequiere, who now works as a model, recalled that the young black recruits that she brought into the organization suddenly found themselves disinvited from the group's annual student summit, and that when she herself attended, she watched speakers there who "spoke badly about black women having all these babies out of wedlock. It was really offensive." (Kirk, through a spokesman, denied that any such incidents occurred, and said, "These accusations are absolutely baseless and even absurd.")

The Origin Story:
Kirk grew up in Wheeling, Illinois, and was an Eagle Scout; in a 2015 speech to the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley, he said that his "No. 1 dream in life" was to attend West Point, but the slot he considered his went to "a far less-qualified candidate of a different gender and a different persuasion" whose test scores he claimed he knew. (Kirk said he was being sarcastic when he made the comment.)

Shocked to learn this big fucking baby is a mediocre resentful white guy who blames everyone else for his mediocrity.

Violating campaign finance laws by funneling shit through a 501(c)(3) is super cool:
Several former Turning Point employees told me in interviews that they felt they were asked to participate in activities that crossed lines drawn by campaign-finance laws for groups like theirs. Payden Hall, who worked for Turning Point during the 2016 Presidential campaign, told me that Clanton, who was her boss, e-mailed her at her Turning Point address to make arrangements for her to coördinate with Ginni Thomas, the wife of the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to help Ted Cruz's Presidential campaign. "That's where the ambiguity began," Hall recalled. Soon after, she said, Ginni Thomas, who was supporting Cruz's candidacy and is on Turning Point's advisory council, left a voice message for Hall and her sister, who also worked for Turning Point, saying that she was sending two hundred Cruz placards to them to distribute in the coming Wisconsin Presidential primary.

Crystal gave Ginni Thomas my private mailing address without my permission," Hall recalled. "They gave out employees' personal information to the wife of a Supreme Court Justice." The next thing she knew, she said, hundreds of Cruz placards arrived at her home. "We threw them out," Hall said. She was a Cruz supporter, but, she says, "We wanted to volunteer on our own terms, not to give in to pressure from a boss. I felt that if it wasn't crossing a legal line, it was crossing a professional one."

Susan Walker, who worked for Turning Point USA in Florida, in 2016, told me that the group did aid Republican political campaigns. Walker said that a list she created while working for Turning Point, with the names of hundreds of student supporters, was given without her knowledge to someone working for Marco Rubio's Presidential campaign. "That list had, like, seven hundred kids, and I worked my ass off to get it," she said. "I had added notes on every student I talked to, and they were all on it still." The Rubio operative, she added, "shouldn't have had that list. We were a charity, and he was on a political campaign."

E-mails and interviews from other former Turning Point employees in South Carolina and Ohio showed crossover between Presidential-campaign work and work for the charity, as well. In South Carolina, a chain of e-mails shows, Kirk asked a Turning Point USA employee to round up students to support Cruz at the behest of two officials with a pro-Cruz super PAC. In a January 25, 2016, e-mail, Drew Ryun, a Turning Point advisory-council member who was helping run one of the pro-Cruz super PACs, asked Kirk to get another Turning Point employee to "send" the super PAC "as many kids as possible." Ryun, a former deputy director of the Republican National Committee, explained that he needed "as many kids as you can generate for a WSJ piece on efforts in" South Carolina. After Kirk agreed to help, the e-mail thread shows, Kirk coördinated with Dan Tripp, Ryun's associate at the pro-Cruz super PAC, who headed its operations in South Carolina and is the founder and president of Ground Game Strategies.

"Yes!" Kirk answered Tripp when asked for help from Turning Point. "What part of SC?"

"Greenville, Spartenburg or Anderson Counties," Tripp replied.

"Time of day and how long?" Kirk asked.

"I'm thinking 2 hours late Sunday afternoon. Canvassing, training and pizza," Tripp responded.

"You got it, will recon shortly," Kirk e-mailed back. Kirk explained that a Turning Point employee in South Carolina named Anna Scott Marsh would be the point person, and added that "Anna will be helping. Let's rock this!"

ok lol maybe "send as many kids as possible" is not the best phrasing here

But where does their money come from?
In a phone interview, Kirk declined to identify the donors who have supplied his group's eight-million-dollar-plus annual budget, noting that many prefer to remain anonymous. But Kirk has spoken and fund-raised at various closed-door energy-industry gatherings, including those of the 2017 board meeting of the National Mining Association and the 2016 annual meeting of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. In our interview, Kirk acknowledged that some of his donors "are in the fossil-fuel space."

Kirk's ties to fossil-fuel magnates are controversial because Turning Point has helped organize opposition on campuses to students calling for schools to divest from fossil-fuel companies. Turning Point distributed a guide for college students with a foreword by Kirk, titled "10 Ways Fossil Fuels Improve Our Daily Lives." In it, he argues, "Across the nation, college students are clamoring for their campuses to divest from fossil fuel . . . students are indoctrinated to believe the myth that fossil fuels are dirty and renewable energy is a plausible alternative . . . " Turning Point, which also runs an online "Professor Watch List" that targets professors it believes are liberal, blamed "leftist professors" in its booklet for having "perpetuated" these "myths." In the interview, Kirk told me that "We think targeting fossil fuels is rather unfair, and it is not really in the best interests of the universities to favor one type of political agenda over another." It's a message that "went great," he said, when he delivered it at energy-industry meetings.

Also I went to Pepsi's headquarters and told them that Pepsi cures cancer and it was a message that went great!

Oh, btw, they're also involved in poisoning higher ed directly:
Last May, The Chronicle of Higher Education published an investigative report on what it called Turning Point's "stealth plan for political influence." The story recounted accusations on multiple campuses that the group had funnelled money into student elections in violation of the spending caps and transparency requirements set by those schools. It detailed how student candidates backed by Turning Point had been forced to drop out of campus elections at the University of Maryland and Ohio State "after they were caught violating spending rules and attempting to hide the help they received from Turning Point." It also quoted Kirk saying in an appearance before a conservative political group in 2015 that his group was "investing a lot of time and money and energy" in student-government elections. (In the story, Kirk denied any wrongdoing and said it was "completely ludicrous and ridiculous that there's some sort of secret plan.")

A copy of a Turning Point brochure prepared for potential donors that I obtained provides a glimpse into the group's tactics. (A former Turning Point employee said the brochure was closely held, and not posted online so that it couldn't leak.) Its "Campus Victory Project" is described as a detailed, multi-phase plan to "commandeer the top office of Student Body President at each of the most recognizable and influential American Universities."

Once in control of student governments, the brochure says, Turning Point expects its allied campus leaders to follow a set political agenda. Among its planks are the defunding of progressive organizations on campus, the implementation of "free speech" policies eliminating barriers to hate speech, and the blocking of all campus "boycott, divestment and sanctions" movements. Turning Point's agenda also calls for the student leaders it empowers to use student resources to host speakers and forums promoting "American Exceptionalism and Free Market ideals on campus."


Kirk, in his interview, denied that any of these funds would directly pay for students' campaigns. "We do not directly fund any of these candidates," he said. Instead, he explained, "We will support them through levels of leadership," including training and what he called "leadership scholarships."

Hey next time you hear anyone take these dumbass campus free speech arguments from conservatives as being in good faith, you should probably slap them for being so fucking gullible.
realtalk, I don't hate her and I have mixed feelings about the leaks, but I also think her running for Senate is really fucking dumb.
If she pushes whatever Dem she's running against even a tiny bit left, it's worth it.

Cardin is pretty solidly left. Seems like a waste of time to me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
those whites are at it again
Politics and Current Events / Re: Trumpocalypse
can i borrow dr. ronny's scale, asking for a friend
realtalk, I don't hate her and I have mixed feelings about the leaks, but I also think her running for Senate is really fucking dumb.
Politics and Current Events / Re: The Fourth Estate
Pro-Erdogan hackers have broken into Greta Van Susteren and Eric Bolling's Twitter accounts:

And they're directly messaging Trump because this is quite literally the dumbest timeline possible:

my favorite chelsea manning story is how she punched her female supervisor in the face but it's okay because something
Arts and Entertainment / Re: Thor: Ragnarok
In part because Hela is the coolest, I'm sure.
Politics and Current Events / Re: Trumpocalypse
asteroids aren't all bad.

one of em killed off the dinosaurs.

um that was one of the bad ones

Dinosaurs were terrible. It's even in the name. Terrible lizards. Terrible.

that's only because racists gave them that name

That asteroid was the best thing that ever happened to this dumb planet.

no, the best thing that will ever happen to this planet is the next asteroid

Their debut album was my jam.
Politics and Current Events / Re: Trumpocalypse
asteroids aren't all bad.

one of em killed off the dinosaurs.

um that was one of the bad ones
Boy, I am sure hearing a lot of terrible opinions related to that story!
Politics and Current Events / Re: Trumpocalypse
We really need a French revolution style response to the new aristocracy

I'd like to think you are referring to our shiny, new squeaky clean president, Emmanuel Macron, and his sweeping "revolution" at the ballot box after reinventing French politics from the centre with his brand new, out-of-the-box En Marche movement.

no he's probably not referring to electing a quasi-monarchist shitbag like macron
Yeah, and don't forget his investment banking background. On the other hand he's a good skier and an excellent linguist.

I'm an excellent linguist and can ice skate. Why can't I be President of France? :sadcheer:
I hope you all appreciate that my reaction to seeing potential news of nuclear war was to shitpost on here to give you ungrateful bastards a head's up.
It's okay, everyone. President Soupbrains is here to address the nation and reassure everyone after this scary little fuck-up:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)