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Tommy_Carcetti

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Member since: Tue Jul 10, 2007, 03:49 PM
Number of posts: 38,408

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Over a year ago, I reported on a Trump social media booster who went by the name "Gary Forbes".

You can read it here:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/10027708476

This was back during the Republican primaries before Trump had clinched the nomination, let alone the Presidency.

Basically, "Gary Forbes" had a heavy presence on Twitter and other forms of social media. He produced various slides promoting Donald Trump that were easy to share with other people. The slides typically contained information that was either highly dubious or out-and-out false. For example, there was the claim that Donald Trump had an IQ in the 99.9904590555 percentile (he doesn't). There was the claim that aviation legend Chuck Yeager had endorsed Trump (he didn't). And then there were the various conspiracy allegations regarding George Soros and everything else.

Now, it only took about a half hour's worth of amateur online investigating using publicly available information to determine that the person claiming to be "Gary Forbes" was actually someone named Gary Pasquariello, who lived in New York state. There was no evidence that his purported company "The Forbes Group" (not to be confused with Forbes magazine or anyone within the Forbes family) actually existed as a legal entity, nor that any of the 5 or 6 people he claimed to be staff of the Forbes Group were actual live human beings.

What we did know is that long before the 2016 election, Gary Pasquariello had created the "Gary Forbes" persona to peddle various services and products. First, he used it to co-author a little known/little sold business self-help book called "Take This Job and Love It." When that didn't pan out, he advertised himself as an inspirational speaker. And when that didn't work, he attempted selling new age piano compositions he claimed he wrote and that he was available to perform.

Forbes' Amazon profile is still available here:

https://www.amazon.com/Gary-Forbes/e/B0041KTIUI

And his music can still be found on his Youtube page here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpyvaE9zG4uk8IVn5MfQM8Q

Back in Spring 2016, the fact that some failed author and musician going by the alias "Gary Forbes" was now peddling blatantly false propaganda for Donald Trump was enough of a WTF headscratcher. Subsequently, Forbes/Pasquariello got some attention when he apparently advocated threatening Republican convention delegates who might decline to nominate Trump:

https://wonkette.com/600818/trump-guy-has-this-one-weird-trick-to-ratfck-all-the-republican-delegates

On another front, Twitter eventually suspended the original Gary Forbes account--@gqforbes--for reasons unknown in the Summer of 2016. An alternate account--@gqforbes4--has popped up to replace it and continues to spread Trump propaganda to this day, albeit without nearly as many followers.

But at its heyday, Forbes was being rapidly retweeted over and over, including by the likes of people like Ann Coulter. And not to mention a couple of times by this guy:

https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/628019666506645505

https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/625123443118358528

Now, there are a couple of ways to view the curious case of Gary Pasquariello/Gary Forbes and his peak of glory during the Republican primaries.

The first is that Gary Pasquariello/Gary Forbes just so happened to be a really, really, really, really enthusiastic fan of Donald Trump, and that he spent his own time and capital creating various websites and slides in support of Trump (without any respect to the actual truth, mind you), and that over the Twittersphere people like Ann Coulter and Donald Trump himself picked up on this enthusiasm and threw him some love out of a mere sense of appreciation.

The second possibility, however, is that Gary Pasquariello/Gary Forbes was being paid to churn out enormous amounts of Donald Trump propaganda by someone else. The question in that situation is....who?

Was it the Trump campaign itself?

A Trump surrogate?

Someone with money in the US?

Someone with money outside the US, like say, a large certain Eurasian country ruled over by a shirtless autocrat?

So much attention has been paid to the efforts for Donald Trump to beat Hillary Clinton in the general election, and potential collusion by the Trump campaign with Russia to make that happen.

But far less attention has been paid to how Trump got to the nomination in the first place, because without that, we wouldn't have gotten to the efforts to derail Hillary at the end. And there was a full court social media press by shady sources like "Gary Forbes"--as well as dozens of others--to sway opinion in favor of Trump and against other potential GOP nominees.

What's fascinating about this is that there's a real person behind this effort--Gary Pasquariello aka "Gary Forbes". As far as I know, there's been no efforts by either the media or any type of investigating agencies to interview or speak to Mr. Pasquariello. But I wonder if he might offer some sort of insight into the online campaign to prop up Donald Trump from the moment he descended the escalator and announced his candidacy for Presidency.

And if so, how and why would someone with such an innocuous--and almost comical--background be recruited into being an influential Donald Trump social media booster?

It might just be the tip of the iceberg, but it could possibly reveal a whole lot more.

Any thoughts?
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue May 30, 2017, 05:10 PM (9 replies)

Kim Dotcom: The absolutely bizarre man Sean Hannity claims is his Seth Rich bombshell evidence.

This is Kim Dotcom's former house:



This is Kim Dotcom's former wife:




And *this* (drumroll, please)....is Kim Dotcom:



No. Really. That's Kim Dotcom.

Actually, it's not. It's actually Kim Schmitz, who was born in Germany in 1974. So just in case you were wondering, "Dotcom" was not actually his birth name.

Until yesterday and Sean Hannity going full Alex Jones on the Seth Rich story, I had never heard of Kim Dotcom. I still wish that I hadn't. But I'm a little surprised that I hadn't, because old Kimmy appears to have made quite a name for himself over the years.

Kim fashions himself something of a computer hacking whiz, dating all the way back to the wee days of the internet in the 1990s, hacking into entities like NASA, the Pentagon, and PBX. He was arrested and jailed in Germany for trafficking in stolen credit cards.

He then made himself a fortune on a not-yet bankrupt dotcom company right before it went bust, in what amounted to insider trading. Hence, that's how he gave himself his new last name.

He fled to Thailand, faked his death, but was arrested again by German authorities on embezzlement charges, to which he pleaded guilty and received a two year suspended sentence.

He then left for Hong Kong where he set up a bunch of shell companies claiming they were an AI driven hedge fund. After the Hong Kong authorities got hip to him, he then left for New Zealand.

Getting New Zealand to waive its "good character" residency requirements, he settled into his new country and started throwing his money around at politicians and various other entities, as well as amassing the aforementioned mansion, and a fleet of exotic sports cars and helicopters.

He also set up an illegal file sharing company called Megaupload in 2003. This of course raised the ire of the FBI for copyright infringement of various US films and music. In 2012, he was indicted by the United States, and a raid was conducted on his mansion and his assets were frozen. However, he fought off extradition to the US in the New Zealand courts claiming the FBI overstepped its authority in the raid, and he remains in New Zealand to date despite the outstanding charges. Recently, New Zealand courts have ruled he is eligible for extradition but the process has been held up in appeals.

Meanwhile, his extracurricular activities include at one point being the number one rated Call of Duty video game player in the world. And releasing his own EDM DJ music album. And if you thought EDM DJs were obnoxious and shallow and vapid, well.....Kim pretty much confirms that fact. Here's one of his videos, and as you can see, he's a humble, low key kind of guy:



It sort of makes you yearn for the simple, older days of Chuggo.

He also attempted to start his own political party in New Zealand called "the Internet Party". It participated in New Zealand's elections and won zero seats in parliament, on account that unlike in the United States, shady funny looking rich guys with trophy wives and a background wrought with financial fraud are written off as jokes and not to be taken seriously.

Anywho, throughout all of this, somehow Kim became the go-to guy of Sean Hannity regarding Seth Rich. How did this happen, and what rock solid evidence formed the basis for the claims that a low level DNC staffer was snuffed out by Hillary Clinton and the corrupt DNC?

Well, in May of 2017, Kim ran to old man Hannity and told him he had unequivocal proof that Seth Rich was murdered for the sins of Hillary and the Democratic Party. And this proof was......(another drum roll, please)....that in 2014, someone named "Panda" contacted him and asked him about starting his own "Internet Party" for the US. And Panda was an expert in voter analytic tools. And of course "Panda" was undoubtedly Seth Rich because apparently one time Seth Rich dressed up as a panda at an office costume party. And somehow, something Wikileaks and Julian Assange and boom, Hillary Clinton goes all Frank Underwood on Seth Rich.

I'm not making any of that up. I promise you. I'm not.

And Kim said he'd be happy to share this email correspondence with newly appointed Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, so long as he's guaranteed "safe passage" both to and from the US without threat of arrest on his pending criminal charges. I've been assured Mueller's office is taking this proposition with all the seriousness it deserves.

That anyone could possibly think a guy with the name of Kim Dotcom, let alone his actual reputation and persona, could be in any way, shape or form a reliable source of information is laughable beyond belief. But this is Sean Hannity, so it makes absolute sense that he'd be the only person dumb enough to take this bait.

And you can see the appeal of Kim Dotcom to the folks on the alt-right. Frankly, he's far more of a believable patron saint and champion for their cause than Milo Yiannoppolis. He's essentially their wish fulfillment embodied in lumpy, sweaty flesh: he's the epitome of everything you'd expect of a computer hacking nerd, but instead of the proverbial basement dwelling, he's living in a mansion with sick cars and a supermodel (ex)wife who's sticking it to the establishment with his wizardry, all while dropping sick beats and kicking ass at Call of Duty. He's basically the Jordan "Wolf of Wall Street" Belfort for the alt-right neckbeard crowd.

I mean, what else would explain the love from the alt-right's favorite not-a-parody-although-he-should-be cartoonist, Ben Garrison:



So that's the guy. That's the guy who we can only hope will bring down the righteous hammer of karma upon Sean Hannity. Because only someone as utterly stupid and completely incapable of complex thought would choose to take someone named "Kim Dotcom" at his word.

Oh, and also....this is Kim Dotcom's current girlfriend:



Let me introduce you to the Good Life.

Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Wed May 24, 2017, 11:44 AM (9 replies)

Trump's gridlock with Congress: Short term blessing, long term concern?

So Donald Trump's second attempt to repeal and replace the ACA looks to have about as much promise in succeeding as the first. The budget resolution bypassed a large deal of Trump's desired draconian cuts to government agencies. And "the Wall" remains a mere figment of Trump's sad, ever faltering not-so-beautiful mind.

And all of this failure with a Republican controlled Congress, no less.

So this is all a good thing, yes?

The short answer is, yes, it's a good thing. It's always a good thing to see those who want to dismantle functions of government denied like a blocked shot right under the basket.

However, I can't help but consider the unique situation we're in right now, and the type of person who is in charge. And I see what is currently a blessing potentially morphing into a concern if the situation turns dire.

Donald Trump is not a normal person. That's an understatement to say the least. He does not think like a normal person, like a normal politician, like a normal human being. As we saw yesterday, he has demonstrated no deep knowledge of history nor any desire to learn about history. He publicly blamed the Constitution for the inability to get more of his agenda passed. So he has no deep seated respect for the Constitution, except talking about his views on the Second Amendment to get him brownie points in front of NRA conventions.

We already know that he has little respect for the courts, especially when they dare to challenge his desired course of action. We first saw that manifest itself during the campaign when we saw his comments about Judge Curiel, the judge on the Trump University lawsuit. Later as President, he attacked the judges rejecting the implementation of his travel ban, calling them "so-called judges". Sure, he appointed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, but it was a task I believe he probably delegated to others in the administration (my guess it was Mike Pence). He only really bothered to brag about Gorsuch when it became clear it was his only real notable accomplishment of his first 100 days.

To Trump, courts are typically hindrances and annoyances (unless in the instances where he decides to use the power of the lawsuit to his own advantage...then, they are okay, but strictly for that purpose.)

But what happens when the other branch of government also becomes a stumbling block to his agenda? Will he just take it, and decry the entire process as unfair, in which case he'll just moan and complain? Right now, that's more or less where we're at in terms of his relationship with the legislative branch.

Or will the man who openly admires autocratic strongmen both past and present take his animosity towards the other branches of government to another level not yet seen in this country?

Right now, we still have at least the workings of a Constitutional series of checks and balances (even if all the branches are controlled either by Republicans or Republican appointees). It's an easy thing to take for granted because it's always been like that for the past 241 years in this country. Even at our worst, we've never had a President with the temperament or inclination to want to upset those checks and balances.

Until now.

And, no, he can't just waltz in and abolish the other two coequal branches of government. I strongly believe neither the American people or elected representatives of both parties would stand for that in the here and now. Impeachment would be swift, nearly unanimous and bipartisan.

But that's not considering the situation of Trump acting in a crisis situation. A major war (with North Korea? Sure, why not?) Another 9-11 scaled terrorist attack. Massive civil insurrections. Something like that. It doesn't have to be created artificially, although it could be. (Let's not forget that most historians think that the Reichstag fire was actually set by a German dissident and not the Nazis themselves, but it didn't stop Hitler from exploiting the incident for all it was worth.)

If we're suddenly thrown into crisis mode, all bets are off with Trump (especially if he continues to keep company with the likes of Steve Bannon). A crisis could give Trump the impeditive to actually act on his urges as opposed to doing what he does now, which is just bitching and moaning over Twitter. I'm not convinced that his authoritarian desires are simply a puffery act. I'm not convinced of that at all.

He's demonstrated he has little respect for the judicial branch. And what we see right now, while undoubtedly welcome, could show that he has little admiration for the workings of the legislative branch, too.

Let's not let our guard down. We're still in quite the perilous situation with this Madman in charge.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue May 2, 2017, 11:41 AM (0 replies)
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