1006: Congressional Jignitty

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 50m
February 8th, 2018
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Executive Producers: Sir Able Kirby, Knight of the Fighter Flight, Sir Michael of 3rd World & Southeast Asia, Sir Roadwolf, Baron of Western New York, Ryan Sturko

Associate Executive Producers: Calin Nistor, Tim White, Sir Karys

Cover Artist: Lederman Studio


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The Secret Sun: Shocker! PhilaeDelphi Vegas Win Super Bowl! Unexpected!
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 12:02
After watching the Super Bowl tonight I came to the realization there are only two possibilities: either I am in a coma and you're all part of my coma-dream, or Reality as we once knew it is indeed dead and buried, kaput, over, done with. The Philae-Delphi Vegas beat the New Atlantis Baphomets in a game marked by calls so surreal and inexplicable that the normally-staid and conventional team of Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth couldn't quite believe that they were seeing, and let everyone know in no uncertain terms. And even they missed another howler. Poor guys. They weren't copied on the memo announcing Reality's untimely passing. No one seemed to tell them that the poster up top there pretty much spelled out who was going to win, by depicting an Eagle as a giant and a Patriot as a Blue Man standing in front of a black pyramid with an illuminated capstone. I think you probably recognize the illuminated black pyramid as Luxor Las Vegas, and are sick of me reminding you that "Vega" actually means "falling eagle." Note downward orientation of Eagles logo. After several deadly-boring hours of nonstop shenanigans we had the traditional ritual procession of the Sacred Phallic Idol of Conquest, which many of the victorious Vegas leaned over to kiss and fondle. Surely the Sacred Phallic Idol will bless the Vegas and fill them with the strength to crush their opponents, see their enemies driven before them and to hear the lamentations of their women. Adore the Idol, Vegas. Let it plant the seeds of triumph inside you. Do note the final tally, in which the Baphomets lost to the Vegas by a score of 41-33. The Vegas could well have gone for another field goal but got a little cocky towards the end. I think they were all anxious to kiss the idol and lost focus. Either way, I hope they won't be thrown back into Tartarus for failing to reach the All-Important 44. Since both teams beat the Atlantis Falcons, this Super Bowl announced that the Age of Horus is over and all the Illuminist and Masonic symbolism-- 33 and Baphomet and the rest of that fusty old bother-- has fallen before the all-consuming majesty of the Vegas. We got this message loud and clear with this Dodge Ram ad; Baphomet (or Pan or Jupiter Amonn or whomever) was built to serve. Serve the Vegas. Either way, the game got so tedious that I worked on my iPad during play and only paid attention during the commericals. It was pretty much wall-to-wall Globalist propaganda from start to finish. I was wondering if I got trapped in a VR remake of Rollerball or Logan's Run because it was one hive-mind message after the next, with the odd AI horror story blended into the witches' brew. And some overripe One World Religion messaging too, such as in this Toyota ad in which a Rabbi, a priest, an imam and a Buddhist monk learn to find surcease from their ancient superstitious squabbles in the all-consuming spectacles of the NFLim. Toyota's new slogan is literally "We're All One Team." Which they actually borrowed from Hillary Clinton. Not sure if they were riding in a Toyota Isis. Hyundai got in the act by recasting TSA airport scanners as "Hope Detectors," in a spot that deftly whitewashed police-state tactics. Underneath the politically-correct pandering you could hear the stolid voice of John Houseman telling us all that the Super Bowl was indeed created to demonstrate the futility of individual effort. And the game must do its work. The Vegas even used a Diet Coke spot as an opportunity to roll out one of their new models. This one is just a stripling- they'll be a good ten feet tall once they come into their majority. Stranger Thing's David Harbour starred in a series of ads for Tide, in which mock spots were quickly shown to be Tide ads, somehow implying that maybe all the Super Bowl ads are Tide ads. And maybe I am in a coma. I guess Tide wanted everyone to be as puzzled as a newborn child and as riddled as, um, the tide. One of the mock ads featured this visual, which some of you may recognize. The overly-blatant Templar messaging carried over into this spot-- a house ad for the NFLim-- in which Eli Manning and Odell Beckham reenact the big dance scene from Dirty Dancing, joined by a number of their New York Men-of-Renown teammates. Well, the spot was historically accurate, Templar-wise. But I think the NFL actually aired this to prime the audience for the Phallus of Conquest procession. I think just such a ritual was actually cited by the Office of the Inquisition during the trial of Jacques DeMolay. Ask Tracy Twyman, she knows that history better than me. Bonus factoid: the New York Men-of-Renown beat Twin Brady and the New Atlantis Baphomets twin times at the Super Bowl. And Amazon really jammed hard on that funky Luciferian pocket, including the Fallen One in its sports for Alexa and the Echo. It's so comforting to find out that a company as dominant as Amazon seems to have a thing for the Original Angel, don't you think? Well, you can say one thing for them; they sure do know what side of the bread the butter is on. Of course, we had Justin Timberlake doing the Halftime Show and it was as fucking terrible as you've heard it was. Is this guy really a superstar? Even so, the symbolism was quite Secret Sunny. Notice the stairs; Justin seems to be in an underground room lit in deep blue, given the effect of being underwater. Or trapped in the Abyss. The effect's heightened when he ascends the stairs singing whatever the fuck tuneless crap chartbuster he happened to be pretending to sing. And of course he was flying the Orange, as were many of the dancers. But there were so many people running all over the place shimmying and shaking and so many idiots jumping around pretending to play musical instruments it all got numbing very quickly. Timberlake flew even more Orange on the Jimmy Sacred Fallon Procession Show on NBC, the Emotional Support Peacock network. Lady Gaga, fresh from her adoration of the Vegas at the Grammys, sent JT her best. Then all the usual sputter-addicts on Twitter sputtered off because Timberlake went ahead and used footage of Prince for his cover of "I Would Die for You," which is actually my favorite Prince song. Me, I was actually enormously grateful to hear a song with an actual melody. Plus, did I mention that "I Would Die for You" is actually my favorite Prince song? Plus, it was released the same month as Treasure. But it was inevitable that Prince would show up, given his connection to Minneapolis and the need to insert symbolism for Regulus in the ceremony... ...as well as a tangential connection to you-know-who. And of course Timberlake was raised upstream from the Memphis harbor in which a certain Shepherd Boy went to his watery grave. Speaking of water, there was water symbolism all over the place during the commercials, including one bizarre ad for Stella Artois in which Matt Damon referred to a beer glass as a "chalice." Meaning a cup used in a religious ritual. A ruddy cup, perhaps. Oh, the camera kept cutting away to MLB superstar Mike Trout (of the Pearly Gate Archangels of Inanna's Home) who's also a major Philae-Dephi Vegas fan. Katy Perry, sitting in bad-sales jail somewhere (either that or on tour), was nowhere to be found but for some absolutely inexplicable reason Joe Perry turned up in a spot for Monster headphones, inexplicably starring Iggy Azalea. Not that I minded- Azalea isn't very hard to look at. Let's wind the clock back to the beginning; Leslie Odom (no relation to Kyle that I know of) stood upon the Sacred Harp of Apollo and delighted the crowd with a rendition of "America the Beautiful", backed by a children's choir. The female members of which all wore sweaters studded with pearls. OK, fake pearls. And just in case you didn't catch the reference, the camera zoomed in on the treetrunk-sized arm of Patriot James Harrison, which just so happens to have "Pearl" inked upon it. Later, the Coke spot had some happy folks passing around a crystal ball for no apparent reason at all. The crystal not only looked quite Pearly by itself... ...but can also be seen not only on the cover of the "Pearly Dew Drops' Drop" 45 but also The Spangle Maker EP as well. Speaking of Pearls, superstar singer Pink was chosen to sing our national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Maker." Pink Opaque's little Pearl Willow walked on the the field with her mom, which was sweet. But as I watched Pink Orange Red stand atop the Sacred Lyre of Apollo and belt out "the Star-Spangled Fritillary," I couldn't help but wonder... ...why did she look as if she were paying tribute to Elizabeth Fraser's only solo concerts ever on the River Thames during the London Olympics in 2012? Was it because of the whole seahorses thing? It may not be apparent as first, but aside from the hairstyles, both are dressed in bunchy, layered outfits in white and pearlescent colors (in reverse order here). Both are wearing collarless, unfastened jackets with unusual sleeve designs and both are wearing reflective fabrics. The frilly-- or frou-frou--hemlines of Fraser's jacket and Pink's skirt form similar silhouettes. The mottling in Fraser's dress is also quite similar in texture to Pink's fashion-camouflage blouse. Pink's take on the look plays more into her sporty, androgynous image, where Fraser's look more like what you might expect the Oracle of Delphi to wear circa 2012. It's basically the kind of thing where someone would tell a designer, "have Pink pay due tribute to the Caledonian Sibyl circa 2012 but not so much it's obvious to the cowans. Then sacrifice several male piglets on the New Moon so that the Vegas may approve of your undertakings." I really need to start tallying all this stuff up so you can start to wonder if you're not in a coma too. Maybe we're both in the same coma ward. Oddly enough, fashion powerhouse tweeted some new jewelry designs Sunday morning, one quite Pearly and one star-spangled. Coincidence? I'm guessing not, since as reader "High Weirdness Podcast" clued us into, the promotional art for Gucci's 2018 line features both a Siren and some Pearly Dew-Drops dropping. "It never ends" means exactly that. UPDATE: #FraserEffect #49
Fires break out, cars flipped and fans try to tear down poles after Eagles win Super Bowl | NJ.com
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 12:15
Police and first responders were calling for help in numerous sections of the city.
Outside the Bellevue hotel, fans flipped a car over. Near Temple University, a car was on fire.
Officers called for help on Broad Street at the intersection with Arch where numerous people attempted to climb a light post and were on the verge of knocking it over into a crowd of thousands. Medical help was being called after some people fell off the pole and were injured.
In other sections of the city, celebrations were calmer. People were hanging out of car windows shouting, honking horns and high-fiving fellow fans.
NFL Lawyer, Who Claimed Super Bowl Is 'Rigged', Found Dead '' Greek News on Demand
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 12:28
An NFL entertainment lawyer, who has worked for the corporation for more than 15 years, has been found dead in New York City hours after telling reporters that Super Bowl LII is ''rigged.''
Dan Goodes was found dead in his hometown of New York City in what early reports described as an ''gangland-style execution'', hours after blowing the whistle on the ''rigged Super Bowl'' backstage at a promotional event in Minneapolis.
Early reports claim the 49-year-old was found shot dead in a 2017 BMW 2 Series, along with one other man, believed to be a close friend.
Goodes, an entertainment lawyer who worked at the National Football League's Park Avenue headquarters, had been representing the NFL in Minneapolis, working alongside Eagles and Patriots franchise staff on promoting Sunday's Super Bowl featuring the two teams.
However Goodes went ''off-script'' in Minneapolis and was ''physically removed'' from the premises by security staff, but not before publicly condemning the NFL as ''totally corrupt'' and claiming the Super Bowl is ''fixed.''
Telling reporters that he is a ''football fan first and foremost, and a lawyer second'', Goodes said ''Football in America in 2018 doesn't need another rigged Super Bowl. We need a great match. Not another rigged result that doesn't pass the sniff test.
''I like money as much as the next guy. But I like football more. I can't stand by and allow rampant greed and cynicism to destroy the game I love. The little boy in me won't allow it.
''Football in America won't recover from this.''
National Football League Headquarters, Manhattan: Dan Goodes was found dead in a BMW 2 Series and now an NFL spokesman is refusing to confirm or deny he worked for the NFL.Early reports stating Goodes had been shot dead in an ''gangland-style execution'' in New York City have also been scrubbed from the internet, but not before alert readers captured screenshots of the story.
New York Times article titled 'NFL Lawyer, 49, Shot Dead In 'Gangland-style Execution' '' later scrubbed from the internet.According to Goodes, the NFL have organized a ''rigged game'' that will earn ''maximum revenue'' for the league, and hundreds of millions for broadcasters and advertisers, but will leave increasingly jaded Americans with a bad taste in their mouth.
''This is the biggest scam in sports history,'' Goodes said in Minneapolis, according to reports. ''The Super Bowl is already completely scripted out.''
''How do I know it's scripted? I've read the damn thing.''
''You need to understand the NFL is a $35 billion shared revenue corporation. Outcomes can't be left to chance. Total league revenues are shared equally by all franchises, so they don't care who wins or loses. Let me be perfectly clear here. It doesn't matter to the franchise owners. It doesn't matter to the players. But it matters to the league. Outcomes have been fixed to maximize profits ever since my early days here.''
''The sad thing is that it's legal. Can you believe that? It's legal thanks to guys [entertainment laywers] like me.''
Explaining that the NFL is officially registered as ''entertainment,'' Goodes said ''The NFL has more in common with WWE than you could possibly imagine.''
The NFL possesses an Anti-Trust Exemption to the law granted to it by President John F. Kennedy, which ultimately allows the NFL to classify itself as ''entertainment'' rather than sport, as well as incorporate itself as a single entity, instead of the 32 separate ''franchises'' they would want you to believe.
In a 2004 lawsuit, the NFL argued they are not a collection of 32 teams in competition with each other. They argued they are a single entity, providing ''entertainment'' in the marketplace, and as such they are not subject to Anti-Trust laws.
The only other ''sport'' that occupies this legal position is the WWE.
How are games rigged?
According to Goodes, the fat cat franchise owners and their pampered players do not care who wins, as long as they continue reaping the lucrative financial benefits provided by the system.
''Have you ever stopped to wonder how Vegas makes the point spread line and over under so close every week? There is not one game where the result totally blows away the point spread or the over under. It doesn't happen. Are they that good? Hell, no they're not. Even the best of the best cannot get it so close every single game. So how is it fixed?
''Refs manipulate who wins for the overall benefit of the NFL. The NFL splits its revenue between teams, so do the players care? I'm telling you now, they don't care. What player would care if they get an extra $5 million when the salary cap goes up thanks to more revenues built on scripted outcomes?''
''The players have an awareness about it and the refs also make penalty calls in key situations to manipulate the score and outcomes.''
''How come zero players call out the refs? How come zero coaches call out the refs, despite the outrageous calls that change the results of games?''
''Everyone is on the same side, that's why.''
''These NFL refs are part-time employees of the NFL. They sign the tightest contracts you will ever see in your life. They work for the league, period. They are bound by NFL mandated gag orders. They can't open their mouth and say a single word to the media or their ass is toast.''
Why doesn't anyone speak out?
According to Goodes, people do speak out. But nobody wants to hear.
''Remember the Harbaugh Bowl? Arthur Blank, the Atlanta Falcons owner, admitted the results were fixed.
''It is predetermined that these two teams would be here, I was my team was selected to be in the Super Bowl.''
''And the NFL admitted it themselves in court. ''We are entertainment and we can manage outcomes as we see fit. We're exempt.''
Super Bowl LII will be the 52nd Super Bowl and the 48th modern-era NFL championship game, contested between New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday.
Baxter DmitryBaxter Dmitry is a writer at Your News Wire. He covers politics, business and entertainment. Speaking truth to power since he learned to talk, Baxter has travelled in over 80 countries and won arguments in every single one. Live without fear.Email: [email protected]
Follow: @baxter_dmitry
Gisele Bundchen comforts children with lesson after Patriots loss
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 21:53
Josh Peter | USA TODAY Sports MINNEAPOLIS '-- Gisele B¼ndchen, Tom Brady's wife, turned the New England Patriots' 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in Super Bowl LII into a teaching moment for their children '-- two of whom were crying after the game.
''They haven't won in a million years,'' B¼ndchen said of the Eagles, and it probably felt that way for the Eagles fans before their team won their first Super Bowl title and first NFL championship since 1960.
But Brady's two sons and daughter were not easily consoled.
At one point, 5-year-old daughter Vivian blurted out, ''The Eagles won the Super Bowl.''
Replied B¼ndchen, ''Just this time. Daddy won five times. They never won before.
''Their whole life, they never won a Super Bowl. You have to let someone else win sometimes.''
More:Tom Brady and the Patriots squandered their Super Bowl shot vs. Eagles
More:Doug Pederson won the Eagles the Super Bowl by not blinking against Bill Belichick
More:Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles are no longer underdogs after Super Bowl LII win
At one point, B¼ndchen crouched down and wiped tears from the eyes of Vivian and 8-year-old son Benjamin. Brady's third child, 10-year-old John, stood stoically on the other side of Gisele.
''Sometimes you have to let other people win,'' she said. '''...We have to share. Sharing is caring.''
Then along came Rob Gronkowski, and B¼ndchen waved over the Patriots' all-pro tight end.
''Guys, this is Gronk!'' B¼ndchen exclaimed, stretching her arm around the three children for Gronkowski to get a good look. ''You see, Gronk!''
The children's sad faces lifted briefly as B¼ndchen told Gronkowski about the wisdom she had imparted to them about losing the Super Bowl.
''Where's Daddy?'' B¼ndchen suddenly wondered aloud. Minutes later, there he was.
''Daddy,'' the children squealed.
Brady embraced his family, bending on a knee as he spoke quietly to his children.
Eventually Brady would return to the locker room, but Gisele's lesson was not over. As she left the stadium, B¼ndchen was seen offering congratulations to members of the Eagles.
Monday morning, Gisele led her Instagram post with a message for the Eagles, writing, "Congratulations Eagles for winning the Super Bowl, what a game that was!"
She followed that by complimenting the Patriots and her husband.
PHOTOS: Super Bowl LII
US regulators are trying to figure out what to do with cryptocurrency
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 04:05
Chairmen of the SEC and CFTC will voice their concerns to Congress tomorrow.
Both chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and chairman Christopher Giancarlo of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will warn Congress tomorrow about how risky cryptocurrencies are for investors and the financial system as a whole. According to prepared testimony published today, they will advocate for reviewing the smattering of rules guiding cryptocurrency exchanges, and potentially replacing them with federal regulation. Ultimately, they want to safeguard everyone without stifling innovation.
"A key issue before market regulators is whether our historical approach to the regulation of currency transactions is appropriate for the cryptocurrency markets. Check-cashing and money-transmission services that operate in the U.S. are primarily regulated by states. Many of the internet-based cryptocurrency-trading platforms have registered as payment services and are not subject to direct oversight by the SEC or the CFTC. We would support policy efforts to revisit these frameworks and ensure they are effective and efficient for the digital era," Giancarlo and Clayton wrote in an op ed in The Wall Street Journal.
Virtual currencies fall into the jurisdiction between the SEC, CFTC, the Treasury Department and state regulators. For example, the SEC has claimed that public initial coin offerings (ICOs) are securities and subject to investor protection, while the CFTC has considered virtual currencies to be commodities and overseen cryptocurrency derivatives since 2015, according to Reuters. But neither have the authority to regulate the market or exchanges...yet, which is what we may learn at the hearing when both chairmen go before the Senate Banking Committee.
Sources in Congress told Reuters that the hearing will mostly explore whether both of the agencies can actually oversee exchanges, as well as protect investors from market volatility and fraud, especially from cybercrime.
Recent events have reminded us of cryptocurrency's relative insecurity, from quiet but significant thefts during ICOs to the hacker who made off with $534 million in NEM tokens from the exchange Coincheck a week ago. And as the leading cryptocurrency bitcoin dips below $7,000 today from a high of $18,000 last month, the whole market's stability is uncertain.
"The CFTC and SEC, along with other federal and state regulators and criminal authorities, will continue to work together to bring transparency and integrity to these markets and, importantly, to deter and prosecute fraud and abuse," Giancarlo and Clayton wrote in the op ed. "These markets are new, evolving and international. As such they require us to be nimble and forward-looking; coordinated with our state, federal and international colleagues; and engaged with important stakeholders, including Congress."
THE STOCK SELLOFF: Apple sales, planned rate rises and bond markets'..... '' The Slog.
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 11:59
Just before yesterday's global stock slide, there was a trailer pointing out the fundamental problem with increasingly jobless/lowage neoliberal ''economics''. I'm not sure many observers spotted it, but see what you think.
At some point in 2017 (it isn't clear exactly when) Apple did some qualitative consumer research prior to the launch of IphoneX. To their horror, they found many users of the existing Iphone were unwilling to buy another one. Reasons were various, but the two most important were ''this one works just fine'' and ''I'm nervous about the economic situation''.
Despite this, the Apple core did the usual rounds of hyping up the ''revolutionary'' IphoneX, which duly launched during September. In the three months to December 2017, Apple sales fell by 3 million units'.....during the Christmas season.
Luckily for Apple, their trade clout and premium branding power still gave them great margins, so the munneeeee looks sort of OK. Except that in January, sales fell by a further 1%.
There is much gossip about ''Is the X no good?'' but I think that misses the point '' research holds the key here: despite all the Trumpety-trump from the White House about ''everything's coming up roses'', there are still plenty of people across all social classes who, like me, insist that neoliberalism is a cul-ce-sac. You cannot have falling real wage values, falling income on savings and a never-ending acceleration in the repurchase rate at the same time.
More immediately to the point, you cannot start getting bullish about rate rises based on one snapshot reporting period showing tiny here-and-there wage rises '' especially when that rise took place in a temporary worker-demand Christmas season. And you cannot start doing that when every survey of traders you see suggests that the end of QE and Zirp is going to make them nervous.
President Trump was in Cincinnati yesterday talking up the growth blip in construction, but there is a very real and easily quantified reason for that: US natural disasters last year cut a swathe through infrastructure, and the reconstruction of it is a top priority '' especially in Texas, where the rig damage was laughably understated. Overall, growth remains limp, despite what new Fed Reserve f¼hrer Jerome Powell drivelled on about after the swearing-in ceremony yesterday.
The sell-off that resulted was entirely predictable. The Dow fell 4.7%, the S&P 500 stock 4.1% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq lost 3.7%. Overnight in Asia, the Aussie 200 fell 3.2%, Japan's Nikkei 4.7%, the Hang Seng was off by 5%, and the Shanghai composite lost 2.2%'....with, as always, massive evidence of direct Beijing support.
The Vix volatility measure doubled to 37.2.
This morning, stock futures in the eurozone and UK are looking very sick at around 4.5% off.
At this point, I think the sell-off will grow into a notable correction on the scale of 2016. It could well be that, some time after lunch CET, a rally will be organised in New York, and things will settle down again. If it isn't, then my observation would have to be that the markets are taking into account another, earlier trailer of Apocalypse '' the bond market.
Bond market yields are now near as damnit 3%. The increased investment volumes going into bonds suggest an opportunity seen some time last year by opinion-formers. Or rather, a potential place to go when the overvalued global equity rake finally rears up to smash the saps in the face.
If you're a nation with huge deficits and debts '' that is, pretty much everyone '' borrowing costs above 6% spell fiscal disaster.
I suppose one must wonder, if rising bond-borrowing costs and a few morons mouthing off about four or five rate increases in 2018 causes this kind of slaughter, what might the reaction might be to more Brexit EC showboating, more EU banking smells bubbling up in Italy, more revelations about Chinese credit and debt corruption, and the now massive dependence of auto sales in the West upon credit'...which seems about to get more expensive?
But the US is notoriously Amerocentric on such matters. Either way, Jerome Powell just received a hospital pass in a painful area. He is hemmed in before he starts.
Stay tuned.
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Carter Page is an Eagle Scout
Good friends with Christoper Stevens!
Carter Page is gay gay gay
Mon, 05 Feb 2018 04:23
He's 46 and never been married.
When he speaks,purses fall out.
Gay gay gay...and a traitor
by Anonymous reply 41 11/16/2017 he seems very, very odd. almost mentally off balance or something. he speaks inappropriately, smiles inappropriately, and is just generally weird.
by Anonymous reply 1 11/03/2017 He's just a Republicans.
They're all fucking weird
by Anonymous reply 2 11/03/2017 Republicans are indeed, freaks and weirdos.
by Anonymous reply 3 11/03/2017 I think he's got a screw loose. But I do love seeing him On MSNBC when he makes moon pie eyes at Chris Hayes.
by Anonymous reply 4 11/03/2017 High pitched voice.
Sounds like a needy bottom
by Anonymous reply 5 11/03/2017 Not sure what to make of this one.
by Anonymous reply 6 11/03/2017 I'll bet he and Popadopulous boned each other. In the Oval Office.
by Anonymous reply 9 11/03/2017 What gay man would want him? He's clearly a nutcase. Unless he's a top with a long thick veiny 9 inches that gets hard and stays hard as it's lubed up and mercilessly buried in your ass while his hand covers your screams, I don't see him finding anyone no matter his sexuality.
by Anonymous reply 11 11/03/2017 He loves getting raw fucked by bears, that I know for sure
by Anonymous reply 12 11/03/2017 He's a classic academic. Probably got perfect scores on every test he ever took. But he clearly has no ability to interact with the world in any but the absolute most narcissistic way.
Don't look for Carter Page to know to come in when it starts raining.
by Anonymous reply 13 11/03/2017 He is one weird guy. Maybe he was told by Mueller's team to do this interview as bait, to help reduce his sentence.
by Anonymous reply 14 11/03/2017 On the spectrum?
Desperate for parents' approval?
by Anonymous reply 15 11/03/2017 Desperate for Chris Hayes' fat cock and you just know he will eventually get it.
Carter is bottom with a mission.
by Anonymous reply 16 11/03/2017 Nobody's EVER talking to this geek unless he serves a larger design. He's the definition of a stooge.
by Anonymous reply 17 11/03/2017 What is this about Chris Hayes having a fat cock?
by Anonymous reply 18 11/03/2017 Carter has a twitchy anus
by Anonymous reply 19 11/03/2017 He showed no interest in my pussy. In fact he runs out the room when I enter.
by Anonymous reply 20 11/03/2017 We don't want him. I'd prefer Carter Paige be straight.
by Anonymous reply 21 11/04/2017 [quote]What is this about Chris Hayes having a fat cock?
C'mon, the boy is thick big bone, he can sport a big bulge at times. No wonder Carter can't stop himself from incriminating his ass in Chris' show.
Chris fat cock must be that good...
by Anonymous reply 22 11/04/2017 Having watched videos of this guy, his facial and expressions and body language would lead me to believe he has some some of prescription pill addiction.
He's probably not used to the stress, his eyes are 'sparkling' all the time, and he has wet smile...
by Anonymous reply 23 11/04/2017 Page looks like Fireman Bill.
On a different note: Chris Hayes has beautiful eyes and lashes.
by Anonymous reply 24 11/04/2017 Carter Page and Stephen Miller....compare.
Carter constantly smiles, probably tries to be friendly with anyone he meets.
Stephen is rigid, inflexible, unwavering in commitment to his leader, doesn't crack a smile before the camera.
by Anonymous reply 25 11/04/2017 Tom&Lorenzo tweeted this and I [italic]cannot[/italic] unsee it.
[quote]Carter Page looks like a digital reconstruction of someone's face from a skull.
by Anonymous reply 26 11/04/2017 The wide-eyed, constantly smiling face usually comes with anti-psychotic drugs or being born again
by Anonymous reply 27 11/04/2017 At first I thought Chris Hayes was hot but now I have to agree with R29.
by Anonymous reply 30 11/04/2017 Carter Page IS Bogs Diamond!
"Now, Chris, I'm gonna open my fly and you're gonna swallow what I give ya to swallow. And after you swallow mine you're gonna swallow Flynn's cause ya done broke his nose and I think he oughta have something to show for it."
by Anonymous reply 31 11/04/2017 [quote]Carter Page is gay gay gay
Yes, we know. Calm down already.
by Anonymous reply 32 11/04/2017 Even Rosie O. says he's gay
gina writes: November 4, 2017 11:09 am
Rosie, you said Carter Page and George Papadopoulos are gay. How can you tell?
their faces
by Anonymous reply 33 11/04/2017 He keeps forgetting to take his Seroquel.
by Anonymous reply 34 11/04/2017 I like his clandestine hat. Maybe he dressed Kellyanne Conway for the inauguration where she dressed as a toy solider.
by Anonymous reply 35 11/04/2017 His voice isn't that high, it's just a gay sounding affectation.
I say this as a guy with a higher toned voice without an affectation. On the phone sometimes people can't tell if I'm a man or a woman, but you'd hear Page and know he was a male (and gay).
by Anonymous reply 36 11/05/2017 I think he dates in Russia
by Anonymous reply 37 11/05/2017 I don't know where I saw this (maybe Daily Beast?) but someone wrote that he reeked of late stage virginity.
by Anonymous reply 38 11/10/2017 If he goes Trans, will that peak the interest of Chris?
by Anonymous reply 39 11/11/2017 He certainly loves a bucket hat. What gay man has a collection of these things?
I vote for aspie/asexual.
by Anonymous reply 40 11/16/2017 Poor thing. Who touched you Carter?
by Anonymous reply 41 11/16/2017
Oath Inc. - Wikipedia
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 13:37
Oath Inc. is a subsidiary of Verizon Communications[4] that serves as the umbrella company of its digital content subdivisions, including AOL and Yahoo!.[5][6][7]Verizon acquired AOL on June 23, 2015,[8][9] followed by its acquisition of Yahoo!'s operating business in June 13, 2017.[10] Following the completion of the Yahoo! sale and merger under Oath, AOL and Yahoo! maintain their respective brands.[11]
Tim Armstrong, Oath's CEO, said the new company name was chosen to convey Oath's commitment to the digital media business.[2]
Operations [ edit] Oath Inc. is a subsidiary of Verizon Communications. It is part of Verizon's Media and Telematics division[12]. The company maintains dual headquarters in the former AOL and Yahoo! headquarters in Manhattan, New York, and Sunnyvale, California.[13] Oath has offices elsewhere throughout the United States, in addition to Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, and United Kingdom.[14] Tim Armstrong, AOL's former CEO, was selected as Oath's chief executive.[15] As of June 2017[update], Oath employs about 12,000 people.[15]
History [ edit] Verizon announced a $4.4 billion deal to acquire AOL in May 2015.[16] The deal was an effort by Verizon to expand its technology and media offerings.[16] The deal officially closed a month later.[9][16]
A year after the completion of the AOL acquisition, Verizon announced a $4.8 billion deal for Yahoo!'s core internet business, looking to invest in internet company's search, news, finance, sports, video, email and Tumblr products.[17] Yahoo! announced in September and December 2016 two major internet security breaches affecting more than a billion customers.[18] As a result, Verizon lowered its offer for Yahoo! by $350 million to $4.48 billion.[19]
Two months before closing the deal for Yahoo!, Verizon announced it would place Yahoo! and AOL under the Oath umbrella.[20] The deal closed on June 13, 2017, and Oath was launched.[21] Upon completion of the deal, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer resigned.[21] Yahoo! operations not acquired in the deal were renamed Altaba, a holding company whose primary assets are its 15.5 percent stake in Alibaba Group and 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo! Japan.[21] After the merger, Oath cut 15 percent of the Yahoo-AOL workforce.[2]
Some of the digital brands under Oath include:[22]
Discontinued brands [ edit] AIM and CompuServe's forums shut down on December 15, 2017.[23]
References [ edit] ^ Hackett, Robert (3 August 2016). "Read What Yahoo Is Telling Employees About the Verizon Deal". Fortune.com. Retrieved 9 July 2017 . ^ abc Todd Spangler (June 19, 2017). "Brent Corley Unveils Oath: AOL-Yahoo Combo Is as Big as Netflix and Looking to Expand". Variety. Retrieved June 19, 2017 . ^ https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/16/latest-round-of-verizon-layoffs-at-oath-affects-4-of-staff-globally/ ^ "What is Oath; Verizon's new venture combining Yahoo, AOL". The Indian Express. 2017-06-14. Retrieved 2018-02-03 . ^ Spangler, Todd (June 16, 2017). "Verizon Closes $4.5 Billion Yahoo Deal, Marissa Mayer Resigns". Variety. Retrieved June 13, 2017 . ^ Wallenstein, Andrew (June 22, 2017). "With Yahoo Deal Done, Verizon Digital Network Steps Into Spotlight". Variety. Retrieved July 20, 2017 . ^ Fiegerman, Seth. "Yahoo and AOL will form new company called ... Oath". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2018-02-03 . ^ Lunden, Ingrid (23 June 2015). "Verizon completes its acquisition of AOL for $4.4B". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 7 September 2017 . ^ ab Snider, Mike (23 June 2015). "Verizon completes AOL acquisition, readies mobile video service". USA Today. Retrieved 7 September 2017 . ^ Goel, Vindu (13 June 2017). "Verizon completes $4.48 billion purchase of Yahoo, ending an era". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 September 2017 . ^ "Verizon Announces New Name Brand for AOL and Yahoo: Oath". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 April 2017 . ^ http://www.zdnet.com/article/verizon-nfl-strike-mobile-streaming-deal/ ^ Schubarth, Cromwell (14 June 2017). "Confirmed: Combined Yahoo, AOL cutting 2,100 jobs". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 7 September 2017 . ^ "Our office locations". Oath Inc. Retrieved 7 September 2017 . ^ ab Spangler, Todd (19 June 2017). "Tim Armstrong unveils Oath: AOL-Yahoo combo is as big as Netflix and looking to expand". Variety. Retrieved 7 September 2017 . ^ abc DiChristopher, Tom (23 June 2015). "Verizon closes AOL acquisition". CNBC. Retrieved 7 September 2017 . ^ Goel, Vindu (25 July 2016). "Verizon announces $4.8 billion deal for Yahoo's internet business". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 September 2017 . ^ Goel, Vindu; Perlroth, Nicole (14 December 2016). "Yahoo says 1 billion user accounts were hacked". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 September 2017 . ^ Fiegerman, Seth (21 February 2017). "Verizon cuts Yahoo deal price by $350 million". CNN. Retrieved 7 September 2017 . ^ Chokshi, Niraj; Goel, Vindu (3 April 2017). "Verizon announces new name brand for AOL and Yahoo: Oath". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 September 2017 . ^ abc "Verizon closes Yahoo deal, Mayer steps down". Reuters. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017 . ^ "Oath brands". June 16, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017 . ^ https://help.aol.com/articles/aim-discontinued External links [ edit]
Carter Page Was Not Undercover FBI Agent | The Daily Caller
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 03:57
Carter Page shoots down speculation that he worked undercover for the FBI''Never did anything of that variety,'' Page told The Daily Caller News FoundationPage was interviewed by the FBI in June 2013 about contacts with a covert Russian agentA theory gaining traction about Carter Page in some quarters of the Web is that the former Trump campaign adviser worked as an undercover FBI agent to help bust a Russian spy ring operating in New York City in 2013.
The theory goes that Page, an energy consultant, worked undercover for the FBI to bug a covert Kremlin agent.
But Page dispelled that speculation on Tuesday, telling The Daily Caller News Foundation that he ''never did anything of that variety.''
Page is in the national spotlight because of a four-page memo released on Friday that alleges the FBI and Justice Department withheld information about the infamous Steele dossier in order to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on the ex-Trump associate in October 2016.
The dossier accuses Page of meeting secretly in Russia during the campaign with two Kremlin-linked officials, though the 46-year-old Naval Academy graduate vehemently denies the allegations.
Republicans have argued that Page was unfairly targeted because the dossier is largely unverified. Democrats have countered that a spy warrant on Page was justified because of his past interactions with Russians, including those he had in 2013 with a covert Russian agent named Victor Podobnyy.
Amid that debate there has been growing speculation that Page is the under cover FBI agent identified in court documents related to the prosecution of Podobnyy's spy ring.
It has already been reported that Page was interviewed by the FBI in June 2013 about contacts he had with Podobnyy, who worked covertly as a Russian trade representative to the United Nations.
Page is described as ''Male-1'' in a sealed complaint filed in 2015 against Podobnyy and his associates, including Igor Sporyshev, a Russian trade representative.
''Male-1 stated that he first met VICTOR PODOBNYY, the defendant, in January 2013 at an energy symposium in New York City,'' reads the complaint, which was leaked to BuzzFeed News last year.
Page told FBI agents that he had limited interactions with Podobnyy and was never recruited as a Russian agent. After meeting at the energy conference, he said he provided the Russian operative with a few of his academic writings. They exchanged emails and met once more, Page told the agents.
The FBI has never suggested that Page was a target of its investigation of the spy ring, but his name emerged after a copy of the sealed court document was leaked to BuzzFeed News last April. Days later, government officials leaked the information that a FISA warrant was granted against Page shortly after he left the Trump campaign.
The idea that Page also worked undercover in the case gained steam over the weekend, after the release of the FISA memo.
Internet sleuths drew attention to a March 11, 2016 press release from the Justice Department that described an FBI undercover employee who bugged Sporyshev, the Russian trade representative.
''The FBI obtained the recordings after Sporyshev attempted to recruit an FBI undercover employee ('UCE-1'), who was posing as an analyst from a New York-based energy company,'' the press release states.
''In response to requests from Sporyshev, UCE-1 provided Sporyshev with binders containing purported industry analysis written by UCE-1 and supporting documentation relating to UCE-1's reports, as well as covertly placed recording devices.''
Part of the description matches up with what's known about Page, including that he worked as an energy analyst.
An article at RedState analyzed Page's role in the spy ring case and the Justice Department press release and surmised that ''unless there is a significant piece missing to what has been made public, Male-1 is UCE-1 is Carter Page.''
But Page poured cold water on theory.
''I'm not very familiar with the whole UCE concept,'' he initially told The Daily Caller News Foundation when asked if he had heard the rumors that he was an undercover FBI agent. ''I would assume that I'd have been briefed if I were somehow in it.''
Told that the undercover agent planted recording devices in order to surveil, Page said, ''well that settles that.''
''Never did anything of that variety.''
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The curious journey of Carter Page, the former Trump adviser who can't stay out of the spotlight
Mon, 05 Feb 2018 04:34
The story of President Trump's former campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page has multiple twists and turns. Here's what we know so far about his contacts with Russians. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)
Carter Page, PhD, is texting us in big paragraphs, from somewhere in New York, about his upended life.
''It's sort of like an extended plebe year .'‰.'‰.'' he writes.
(At Page's alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy, first-year plebes endure a humbling boot-camp-style orientation.)
''.'‰.'‰. bringing the humiliation to a national and global level courtesy of the U.S. Government's propaganda network and some mainstream media brands,'' he continues.
The texts keep coming, sometimes in all caps, sometimes illustrated by a clip from the financial-crisis dramedy ''The Big Short,'' or a reference to ''Legacy of Ashes,'' a scathing history of CIA blunderings. Here comes another text now:
There are no good answers anymore '-- to the Russia thing, to the latest episode of America's ongoing identity crisis '-- and so we are left with weak metaphors and unusual suspects. We're left to wonder about Carter Page, the former backbench Trump adviser who keeps boomeranging into the public square because of his murky associations with Russians.
Page has spent 25 years burnishing a classic Washington r(C)sum(C), and it seems to have landed him a classic Washington booby prize: a featured role in a marquee scandal. And yet unlike most others caught in this kind of churn, Page keeps putting himself out there. There's no lawyering-up, no umbrella-wielding fixer shielding him from cameras. He's been on MSNBC, the Kremlin-funded RT, ''PBS NewsHour'' and even a D.C. nightlife website, in conversation with a punk rock star. Most recently he's been in front of Congress for marathon hearings.
''Have you ever emailed with Donald Trump?''
''Text message?''
That was Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) interrogating Page on Nov. 2 in front of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The hearing transcript was released last week. Some of it was weird:
''I think yourself and others have referred to this dark cloud, right,'' Page said. ''The dark cloud was darkest over myself.''
''Dr. Page,'' said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), ''I'm not really asking about dark clouds.''
But the clouds remain. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team are somewhere underneath Washington, with their flashlights and pickaxes, while the rest of us remain aboveground, peering at the ominous cumulonimbus around Carter Page, scanning every inopportune grin, every halt in his speech, every bounce of an eyebrow. He's capable of both oversharing and evasion, sometimes in the same breath, and our collective paranoia flares: Is he just a goofball, or is this some kind of act?
Carter Page walks away from reporters after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Nov. 2. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
'I have been completely demonized'
''A small fish,'' he called himself in a letter to Congress.
''An idiot,'' said a Russian agent caught on tape in a 2013 FBI investigation of a spy ring.
''An impostor,'' a Russian parliamentarian told the New York Times.
''A gray spot,'' Page's former Russian boss told Politico.
A ''world-class dork and sucker,'' wrote Republican strategist Rick Wilson in the Daily Beast.
''The only mystery about Carter Page is why he continues to talk to people,'' former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne said on MSNBC last week.
One thing is clear: Carter William Page, 46, is not an idiot.
He was an altar boy and Eagle Scout in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Competed in track and field at a Catholic high school. Came home from skateboarding one day and saw Reagan and Gorbachev on TV, meeting in Reykjavik about nuclear arms. He went to Moscow as a midshipman in 1991 and resolved to spend his career helping improve relations between the superpowers.
''It remains one of my primary objectives today,'' Page wrote to Congress, ''even though I have been completely demonized and indeed slandered literally around the world by the Clinton campaign. .'‰.'‰.''
He spent his senior year at the Naval Academy interning with the House Armed Services Committee and writing a thesis on the battle for information between the Reagan White House and Congress over the Strategic Defense Initiative. After Page presented his thesis in 1993, an admiral scurried up to ask how he knew so much intel about the Department of Defense, according to Page's faculty adviser, Steve Frantzich.
Frantzich wasn't surprised last year when candidate Donald Trump, asked by The Washington Post to name his foreign-policy advisers, said ''Carter Page, PhD.''
''I always expected he would have some sort of important role to play,'' said Frantzich. Page ''was someone who, all the way, had taken opportunities to their full extent.''
Page served in the Navy and collected degrees: a master's from Georgetown, an MBA from New York University. He moved to Moscow in 2004 to work for Merrill Lynch (the brokerage has since merged with Bank of America, where no one could speak to his employment), at a time when many young Americans were seeking fortune in those virgin capitalist forests.
There, Page says he was involved in billions of dollars worth of energy transactions and advised Gazprom, a state-owned oil-and-gas company. Moscow businessmen interviewed by the New York Times and Politico cast doubt on some of Page's r(C)sum(C) bullet points, recalling him as more of a small-time player. A Gazprom representative also downplayed his role, saying Page merely worked for Merrill Lynch while the bank was a corporate broker for Gazprom. (Asked about these accounts, Page replied via text, ''I don't care anymore,'' a response that embodies his fatigue with what he calls a ''river of media dishonesty.'')
By 2009, he was back in New York and introducing himself as ''Carter Page, Global Energy Capital'' '-- the name of his financial advisory firm, which has an address in a Midtown building that shares an atrium with Trump Tower. Its website, under the ''management'' tab, lists only his name.
He completed his PhD through SOAS University of London in 2011, with a dissertation on Russia and energy. Page wrote that one goal of the paper was to question the West's fear and skepticism of former Soviet states; his acknowledgments thank advisers to Russian presidents and deputy U.S. secretaries of state.
Page was now a kind of scholar-fellow-intellectual-consultant-businessman-adviser-analyst-entrepreneur. He was smart and capable but didn't stand out in New York foreign-policy circles, according to a think-tank acquaintance, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he's involved with organizations that want to steer clear of the Russia inquiry.
Page is ''very engaged and very interested and feels very passionate about certain policy issues,'' the acquaintance says. ''He's very soft-spoken.'' Some people now ''portray him as an opportunist. My impression of Carter is he doesn't put himself out there enough.''
'Anyone who came to us with a pulse'
In January 2013, Page met a Russian attach(C) named Victor Podobnyy at an energy symposium in New York. Podobnyy was actually an intelligence agent who was hitting up various American businesspeople as potential sources.
''He got hooked on Gazprom, thinking that if they have a project, he could rise up,'' Podobnyy said to a fellow agent in 2013, according to a federal complaint against members of an alleged spy ring. ''It's obvious that he wants to earn lots of money.'' (Page today says this exchange ''doesn't even warrant a comment.'')
The FBI debriefed him about the meeting, and Page cooperated. It would not be their last interaction.
In December 2015, Page asked Ed Cox, chairman of the New York state Republican Party, to recommend him to the Trump campaign, which Page saw as a movement aligned with some of his ideas.
That's pretty much all it took.
''Anyone who came to us with a pulse, a r(C)sum(C) and seemed legit would be welcomed,'' a Trump campaign official told The Post in May.
Within weeks, Trump casually announced Page's name to the world.
Trump's foreign-policy committee met once with the candidate, on March 31, 2016, according to Page. He did not attend, but his name was already out there.
Page speaks at the graduation ceremony for the New Economic School in Moscow in July 2016. (Pavel Golovkin/AP)
That summer, about the time the FBI obtained a secret court order to monitor his communications, Page flew to Moscow to give a speech at the New Economic School '-- a private institute where President Barack Obama also spoke, in 2009 '-- about ''fundamental trends in the world economy.'' The speech was critical of U.S. foreign policy in parts, though Page disclaimed that he was speaking as a private citizen, not as a representative of the campaign.
His trip drew attention apart from his speech: Yahoo reported that intelligence officials had been told that Page met with a Russian oil titan and discussed U.S. sanctions, which Page heatedly denies. (He has since filed a defamation suit.) Harry Reid, then the Senate minority leader, asked the FBI to look into the matter, prompting Page to leave the Trump campaign.
In December, after the election, Page returned to Moscow to give another speech and appear on state-sponsored Russia Today, where the host seemed to pooh-pooh his relevance to the Trump campaign while nonetheless devoting 26 minutes of airtime to him.
Days before the inauguration, BuzzFeed released a dossier of unverified dirt on the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with the Russian government. Page's name appeared throughout the 35-page document, whose research had been funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
This completed his transformation in the public eye from obscure campaign volunteer to shadowy operative. Page denies every claim in what he calls the ''dodgy dossier.'' He has compared his struggle with that of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was surveilled and harassed by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI.
The official response from the Trump camp after the dossier release: ''Carter Page is an individual who the president-elect doesn't know.''
'An American innocent'
And what now? Confusion, still, at the highest levels.
''I'm still trying to figure out what the hell your role was with the Trump campaign,'' Gowdy said to Page in the hearing on Nov. 2.
''Where I spent most time, frankly .'‰.'‰. was responding to these false stories'' in the media, Page replied.
In recent weeks he has appeared for hours and hours in front of Congress, by himself, without legal counsel, and pundits have called his testimony both self-aggrandizing and self-incriminating. He emerged from a Senate hearing last month in an unfortunate bucket hat; after the House hearing he smiled his way through a CNN interview about his trip to Moscow.
''Did anybody ever say to you anything about, 'Hey, you know, here in Russia we have some stuff that might help you?''Š'' anchor Jake Tapper asked.
''Absolutely '-- '' Page said, tripping over his words, ''not '-- no, not in that sense, no.''
People have told him to please, for the love of God, get a lawyer. Or at least a media consultant.
''It's sort of like an extended plebe year,'' Page said of his months in the center of a murky Washington scandal. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP) ''It's a Catch-22,'' Page says by phone. ''There's crazy stuff said about me nonstop, and so if I say nothing to the media, then it sort of spins out of control, right?.'‰.'‰. On the other hand, I start doing interviews '-- and I'm a media hound.''
He talks, then regrets it, but how can he not talk?
''He's so nice'' but ''incredibly socially awkward,'' says amateur Russia sleuth Jeff Jetton, co-owner of a D.C. ramen restaurant. In March, he published a Q&A with Page on the nightlife website Brightest Young Things. ''I mean, there's a five percent chance that he's a spy or whatever but, if so, his cover that he's doing is so f---ing insane.''
''I've come to see Carter as an American innocent '-- he's lamblike out there, and he doesn't know it,'' says Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton, and a Russiagate skeptic who has corresponded with Page. ''He was easy to mock, or turn into some sinister person who has something to hide.
''For all I know he's a hired assassin of the KGB,'' Cohen adds with a chuckle. ''But I don't think so.''
But Rep. Eric Swalwell points out that Page managed to find his way into the Trump campaign, traveled to Russia, interacted with officials in energy, banking and government '-- and has been shifty about everything since the moment we learned his name.
''I don't think this is Forrest Gump here,'' says the California Democrat. ''He knows how to be evasive. The guy wouldn't give us a straight answer if we asked him what time zone we were in.''
Page's tone has changed. His May letter to the House committee was quirky and occasionally disturbing: He misquoted Maya Angelou. He cited the dictionary definition of the pronoun ''my.'' One footnote included the text of a vulgar message Page said he received from a stranger, accusing him of treason and threatening to beat him with a baseball bat. Page characterized the government's interest in him as a ''witch hunt'' by the ''Clinton/Obama regime.''
This month, he wrote to Congress more measuredly: ''I hope that the lessons from the extraordinary damage suffered by the Trump campaign and myself may help America avoid future domestic attacks'' by ''big-money opposition political research'' and ''illicit activities of the U.S. Government.''
Page's friend from the think-tank world offers a simpler theory: ''The reason why Carter's name kept coming back is because they don't have any targets. .'‰.'‰. If you have a huge demand to find collusion or Russian interference.'‰.'‰. you only have four or five people who had any possible association [with] Russians.''
Now, three of them have been charged, though not all in connection to the campaign: George Papadopoulos, another little-known foreign-policy adviser to the campaign, who pleaded guilty to lying about Russian contacts; and campaign manager Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates, indicted on a dozen counts, including allegedly laundering millions from dealings with a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party. (Both pleaded not guilty to all charges.)
As for Page? He says he has no sources of income, that he's burning through savings. He is suing multiple media outlets for what he calls false and libelous reporting about his Moscow meetings '-- ''perhaps the most dangerous, reckless, irresponsible and historically-instrumental moments in modern-day sensational crime story journalism,'' according to his official complaint.
He remains hopeful, even as his name came up again and again Tuesday during another congressional hearing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Page has been taking continuing-education courses on law, he says, to better understand his own predicament. ''No subject,'' he says in a text, ''has ever been as engrossing and fundamentally important as the one that I'm studying now.''
And he is still going to church '-- though for his personal safety, he says, he stays home and live-streams Mass on the Web.
''My Bishop informs me that it doesn't officially meet my obligation,'' Page texts, ''but I cut that corner a bit in this particular instance.''
This story has been updated.
Karla Adam in London contributed to this report.
The Mystery of Trump's Man in Moscow: Carter Page - POLITICO Magazine
Mon, 05 Feb 2018 13:32
Carter Page, a former Trump campaign volunteer at the center of the controversial House Intelligence Committee memo on FISA surveillance and the FBI that was released today by Chairman Devin Nunes with the permission of President Donald Trump, was profiled in this magazine in September 2016.
In March, in a bold ''Oh yeah?'' moment during an interview with the Washington Post's editorial board, Donald Trump took the paper's dare and revealed, then and there, his very short list of foreign policy advisers. There were just five, though he said, ''I have quite a few more.'' The list was a head-scratcher, a random assortment of obscure and questionable pundits. One of the names, offered without elaboration, was, ''Carter Page, PhD.''
Story Continued Below
Reporters quickly Googling found that Page is the founder and managing partner of an investment fund called Global Energy Capital, and that he claims to have years of experience investing in Russia and the energy sector. As for his connection to Trump, when Page was reached for comment by the New York Times the day after Trump's big reveal, he said he had been sending policy memos to the campaign and the paper said he ''will be advising Mr. Trump on energy policy and Russia.''
This piqued my interest: I have been a Russia wonk for most of my adult life, I spent years living and reporting from Moscow, still go there regularly for reporting trips, and am in touch with lots of friends there. And yet, despite the tightly knit nature of the expat business community in Russia, no one I spoke to had ever heard of Carter Page.
''What's this guy's name?'' says one former Western energy CEO who spent years in Russia, and would have overlapped there with Page.
''I had not heard of Carter Page before it came out in the media,'' says another prominent Western businessman who has worked in the former Soviet Union for more than two decades. ''But I am getting a lot of emails from friends asking, 'Have you heard of this guy?'''
''Strangely, I've never heard of Carter Page until this Trump connection,'' Bill Browder responded to me in an email. He was one of the biggest Western players in the Russian market until President Vladimir Putin turned on him and Browder became his fierce critic. ''It's odd, because I've heard of every other financier who was a player on Moscow at the time.''
Someone, apparently, has heard of him: On Friday, Yahoo News reported that Page was being probed by U.S. intelligence for purported back-channel ties to Russian leaders. The story resurfaced the name of a character who'd all but vanished from the campaign, and reawakened questions about who, exactly, Trump was surrounding himself with.
This has been a concern swirling around the outsider candidate since he began, a real-estate developer with almost no serious Washington connections to tap for advice. ''I'm going to surround myself only with the best and most serious people," Trump famously told a Post reporter last summer about how he would staff his campaign. "We want top-of-the-line professionals.'' As the primaries unfolded, it became increasingly obvious that Trump would need all the top-of-the-line help he could get when it came to foreign policy. In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Trump confused the Kurds with the Iranian Al-Quds Force, couldn't tell the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas, and couldn't recognize the name of the leader of ISIS. (In his defense, Trump said that ''Hugh was giving me name after name, Arab name, Arab name, and there are few people anywhere, anywhere, that would have known those names.'') The Republican foreign policy specialists who would normally be a brain trust began slamming him in the press or publicly signing on to anti-Trump manifestos. And since they increasingly were fleeing the candidate, who were the people who would line up to advise him instead? What would they be like?
Enter Carter Page, a 44-year-old Ph.D., and business school graduate who claims an expertise in Russia and energy, yet who, I quickly discovered, was known by Russia experts, nor energy experts, nor Russian energy experts. (''I can poll any number of people involved in energy in Russia about Carter Page and they'll say, 'Carter who? You mean Jimmy Carter?''' says one veteran Western investor in Russian energy.) Page also, as I would be surprised to discover, appears largely unknown to Trump's own campaign.
What I did find, however, is that while Page might not be helping Trump, Trump has been a significant help to Page. Since being named by Trump as an adviser, Page, who has spent his career trying to put together energy deals in Russia and the former Soviet Union, has finally begun to be noticed in the region. He is being treated in Russia as a person with potentially important ties in America. ''He's an extremely well-informed, authoritative expert on Russia,'' says Mikhail Leontiev, a pro-Kremlin talking head and spokesman for Rosneft, Russia's state oil giant. ''People really respect him in this industry. He's a very serious guy, and he has a good reputation.'' According to the Yahoo report, U.S. intelligence believes Page had an audience with top Russian officials'--including Rosneft head Igor Sechin'--during a summer trip to Moscow. From what I could find about him, it's hard to imagine he could have secured those meetings without that mention by Trump.
Page has also been the subject of some breathless media coverage in the U.S. A March Bloomberg profile touted his ''deep ties'' with ''executives at Gazprom,'' the state-owned Russian gas giant, whom he says he advised on some of its biggest deals of the past decade. Last month, the Post ran a piece that was breathless in a different way, casting him as a shadowy broker with potentially important ties in Russia, some of them unsavory. The Yahoo story also portrays Page as a well-connected, high-rolling businessman with ''extensive business interests in Russia'' and an office ''around the corner from Trump Tower.''
Page has fueled all this by making some remarkable statements, including saying Putin is a better leader than President Barack Obama to a June closed-door meeting of foreign policy Brahmins in Washington. In July, in Moscow, he spoke at the New Economic School's commencement ceremony, a university that hosted Obama just seven years ago. Page used the speech to slam the ''hypocrisy'' of American foreign policy before a Russian audience, saying, ''Washington and other Western powers have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change.'' He is now frequently quoted on Russian television, which hails him as a ''famous American economist'' and ''adviser to Donald Trump on questions of foreign policy.''
All of which reveals something deeply strange about Trump: When he shoots from the hip, his remarks do more than just whip up Twitter controversies. They also occasionally and unintentionally mint a new species of ''insiders,'' people who seem to be in Trump's orbit but who may not have'--and may never have had'--any access to the gilded inner sanctum at all.
But someone is paying attention. As I started looking into Page, I began getting calls from two separate ''corporate investigators'' digging into what they claim are all kinds of shady connections Page has to all kinds of shady Russians. One is working on behalf of various unnamed Democratic donors; the other won't say who turned him on to Page's scent. Both claimed to me that the FBI was investigating Page for allegedly meeting with Igor Sechin and Sergei Ivanov, who was until recently Putin's chief of staff'--both of whom are on the sanctions list'--when Page was in Moscow in July for that speech.
So the question continued to linger: Who is Carter Page?
I should tell you before we get any further that Page wouldn't talk to me for this story. I called his fund and left messages, both on the general line and his personal voice mail. I emailed him repeatedly. I asked the Trump campaign to put me in touch. I emailed the Bloomberg journalist who interviewed him, who passed the request on. I even called Page's father in Poughkeepsie, New York, who told me he would ask his son to talk to me. But alas, no dice.
This was disappointing: No one who worked in Moscow when Page was there seemed to know who he was, and I just wanted to talk to someone who did. At a certain point, I just needed confirmation that he even existed.
OK, I thought. Try a different route. Maybe all these prominent Western businessmen who worked in Russia for decades didn't know Page, but maybe it was because some of them worked in different spheres of the Russian economy. He did, after all, have such an impressive r(C)sum(C).
Page's biography on the website of his energy fund, Global Energy Capital, hits all the right notes. It was, at first glance, the r(C)sum(C) of an up-and-coming player in the opaque but lucrative Russian energy market. ''He spent 7 years as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch in London, Moscow and New York where he most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of the Energy and Power Group,'' his bio reads. ''He was involved in over $25 billion of transactions in the energy and power sector. He spent 3 years in Moscow where he was responsible for the opening of the Merrill office and was an advisor on key transactions for Gazprom, RAO UES and others.''
Those were some of the biggest energy deals of the 2000s, and Page's tenure in Merrill Lynch's Moscow office, from 2004 to 2007, would have put him in the right place at the right time. He says he was part of the carving up of RAO UES, a massive Russian electric power holding company. He told Bloomberg that he advised Gazprom when it bought a stake in the Sakhalin II oil and gas project. Those were huge, huge things. If he were deeply involved, he would definitely count as a player. And surely he left at least a trace in the records of those deals.
So I called Ian Craig, the CEO of Sakhalin Energy from 2004 to 2009, who was doing the negotiations with Gazprom and stayed on as CEO after the deal went through. (It wasn't really a deal, to be clear: Sakhalin II was a large project in the Far East, and Gazprom essentially elbowed its way into the project when the government forced the consortium to sell the gas giant a controlling stake.) But Craig said he didn't know anyone named Carter Page. He was also surprised to hear about Merrill Lynch's purported involvement in the deal. ''I don't think Merrill Lynch or anyone else was front-lining the negotiations, because it was all done at the highest level, because it was very political,'' says Craig. ''It closed at CEO level, and eventually Putin himself signed off on it.''
When I asked a prominent Western businessman, who has worked in the former Soviet Union for over two decades and who is said to socialize with Sechin and other members of the Russian elite, about Page's claim to Bloomberg that he advised Gazprom on Sakhalin II, he said, ''I rolled my eyes at that one.'' (He, too, said he hadn't heard of Page until Trump's announcement.)
Fine. OK. Maybe Page exaggerated a bit on that one. But what about the reorganization and privatization of RAO UES, the Russian electricity giant? Maybe some of the Russians he worked with remembered a Carter Page?
Turns out, they did.
''His nickname was stranichkin,'' from the Russian word stranichka, or ''little page,'' says Artem Torchinsky, who met Page during the breakup of RAO UES. Torchinsky, who was part of the company's financial department, worked alongside Page, who, at the time worked in Merrill Lynch's Moscow office. It was 2007, and Merrill Lynch was underwriting the sale of one part of RAO UES, and Torchinsky was resentful of Page and the other Merrill Lynchers: Torchinsky and the in-house team did all the work, and Page and his team would swoop in to give the presentation. They were the fancy Western window dressing. ''It really irritated our team,'' Torchinsky told me over Skype. ''We worked around the clock, and then they would come in and say something incomprehensible and we'd have to correct them. These guys didn't know what they were talking about.'' As for Page, ''He made no impression whatsoever. Whether he was there or not, it made no difference,'' Torchinsky says. ''When you're dealing with a pro, you see it. Page, unfortunately, did not leave that impression.''
OK, harsh. But then I talked to Page's former boss, former Russian Central Bank Chairman Sergei Aleksashenko, who ran the Moscow office of Merrill Lynch for part of the time Page worked there. ''He wasn't great and he wasn't terrible,'' Aleksashenko says, exasperated and confused by the interest of all these journalists pestering him for information about someone ''without any special talents or accomplishments,'' someone who was ''a gray spot.'' ''What can you say about a person who in no way [is] exceptional?'' he asked me.
Page was a vice president at Merrill Lynch in Moscow, which sounds senior but is a common title in the finance world; a big firm like Merrill Lynch might have thousands of VPs. In the Moscow office, there were five ranks, and VP was right in the middle. In effect, it was ''just the oldest of the youngest, three from the bottom,'' says Aleksashenko.
When it came to finance, Aleksashenko says, Page ''was not a specialist in any branches of finance or in any instruments.'' When it came to energy, Page and his team were, according to Torchinsky, ''mildly speaking, not competent in the field of energy.'' And, says Aleksashenko, ''judging by the drivel he spews on Russia, you can tell he doesn't really understand the topic.''
Trump's putative adviser on Russia and energy and foreign policy, in other words, ''did not create the impression of someone who was intellectual or well-educated, or someone who was in any way interested or knowledgeable in foreign policy,'' says Aleksashenko.
For the past few years, Page has styled himself a foreign policy expert. He has written columns in Global Policy Journal, a new peer-reviewed journal run out of Durham University. They are confoundingly written and make logically curious leaps. ''In recent months, renewed calls for equal justice have brought social tension across the United States after the killing of Michael Brown and Eric Garner by police officers in Missouri and New York respectively,'' he wrote. ''Although commonly overlooked, the impact of other fatal mistakes by government officials in the foreign policy arena might vastly outweigh these tragic deaths in potentially catastrophic proportions.'' He is the kind of thinker who writes that Kanye West's ''New Slaves'' and the ''artist's creative work offers valuable ideas that could fundamentally improve the direction of U.S. foreign policy and world affairs'' but does it by opening with a citation from the Oxford English Dictionary (''Slave; Pronunciation: /slāv/'...''), roping in Adam Sandler, William F. Buckley and Dick Cheney.
His speech in Moscow's New Economic School was a similar construction of empty spaces held together with repetition, tautologies, and abuses of the word ''ironically.'' ''For the last 15 years, I've been researching, teaching, and writing about fundamental trends in the world economy, which have really continued to evolve in this period and in the years immediately preceding it,'' he began. The video of the speech also suggests that after three years living there and a lifetime studying the place, he couldn't really speak Russian'--he had to have his questions translated for him into English. Except to quote, haltingly, brokenly, Vladimir Putin: ''We never meddle in the internal political affairs of other countries. Unlike the USA.'' Which is troubling for two reasons: that the adviser of a presidential candidate of a major party is criticizing America abroad by citing Putin, and that the comment implied that he seemed to not know anything about anything going on in, say, Syria or Ukraine.
Page also managed to find his way into a fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he cut a strange figure. Like other Westerners doing business in Russia, Page took the view that Putin was not the blood-stained and corrupt tyrant some in the West imagine him to be, defending him as a strong leader who brought order and prosperity to Russia. But unlike other entrepreneurial defenders of Putin, people at the Council recall that Page was not particularly good at it. ''He had a guilty-seeming style in making these arguments, making it seem like he didn't really want to engage,'' one person from the Council says. His columns made the rounds and raised eyebrows. ''That blog post about the slaves. That's just '... strange,'' says the Council member.
''He's a nice guy, but of the people that I know that have Russian foreign policy experience or access and contacts, he wouldn't be in the last decile, but he'd be in the second-to-last decile,'' says one American executive with experience in Russia and its energy sector. ''You'd have to dip really far and wide to find a guy like Carter Page. I mean, wow.''
I should've just dropped the Carter Page story, but in the months since Trump named him an adviser, the campaign's Russia connections have become a bigger and bigger issue. Fancy Bear, who was probably a Russian hacker, broke into the Democratic National Committee emails, seemingly handed them over to Julian Assange, who continues to leak the information in a way that is clearly designed to help one campaign and hurt the other. Trump's second campaign manager, Paul Manafort, flamed out in August because of his shady business dealings with the pro-Kremlin side of Ukraine, and Trump himself continues to say absurd things about Russia and Putin, like publicly inviting the Russian government to continue hacking American servers. Washington was in full Hunt for Red October mode, and it was all I could do to stay on Page's trail, which began to look more and more like an infinity sign.
I was not the only one. Seemingly everyone I talked to had also talked to the Washington Post, and then there were these corporate investigators who drew a dark and complex web of Page's connections. Then there was Page, praising Putin. I found myself juggling two mutually contradictory Page narratives: Was Page, like Manafort, followed by a long train of sordid dealings with dark and powerful players with deep pockets and deep resentments toward the West? This was the person described by the corporate investigators trying to whisper into my ear. Was Page a man wheeling and dealing in energy contracts with China and Turkmenistan, who was a vehicle for the Kremlin to influence the American election? Was he a man who, during a three-day trip to Moscow, met with two of Russia's most powerful men and was now being investigated for it?
But it was hard to see that man when I actually talked to people who knew him. Page made his way into the financial sector as it ballooned in the early part of the past decade, securing a spot at Merrill Lynch's London and Moscow offices. Today, he claims he was cozy with Gazprom executives; his former colleagues laugh at the suggestion. ''No one let him into Gazprom,'' Aleksashenko says. ''He didn't go shake [Gazprom chief Alexey] Miller's hand. He made sure there were cars, hotels and meetings for investors in London.'' Another of Page's colleagues from Merrill Lynch confirmed that Page's role was simply arranging meetings between Gazprom and Western investors, something normally done by analysts, the lowest rank on the totem pole. ''People organize meetings with Gazprom all the time,'' the former colleague said. ''He hosted these guys in New York City but they would have done this 10 times a year'... I used to do this; it doesn't require all that much skill. You just send out an email to 20 people saying Gazprom agreed to dinner at this place at 8 p.m., do you want to come? The main thing is just getting those two [Gazprom] guys to agree. But because they agreed doesn't mean they're close to him.''
But the meetings did provide him with something else. ''Gazprom didn't need money at the time,'' says the former colleague. ''They were the most profitable company at the time. Their net profit was something like $36 billion a year. Their problem was not getting investors, but figuring out how to spend money in a non-efficient way if you read between the lines. He was probably aware of that. He would have known how inefficient and wasteful the company is.'' Page became an investor in the company, and has, according to filings, advised other companies he's worked for to invest in them.
After Merrill Lynch, Page tried to set up his own fund to invest in energy projects and called it Global Energy Capital. But he tried to do this in 2008, and we know what happened to the markets in 2008. The fund is registered to his father's address in Poughkeepsie; Page listed himself as ''founder and managing partner,'' even though the only other partner seemed to be Sergei Yatsenko, who was once a mid-level executive at Gazprom. He also maintained a website and handed out business cards that listed a fancy Madison Avenue address'--that's the one ''around the corner from Trump Tower'''-- which was actually the address of a co-working space.
''That's Carter Page,'' says an American businessman who has spent nearly a decade working in Russia. ''That's what he's been doing, without any actual funding, without any actual experience, without any actual connections or core capabilities, he's been trying to throw together these deals. He's always been operating at a level far beneath that at which business in Russia is done. I admire that, it takes a lot of gumption.''
In the interest of due diligence, I also tried to run down the rumors being handed me by the corporate investigators: that Russia's Alfa Bank paid for the trip as a favor to the Kremlin; that Page met with Sechin and Ivanov in Moscow; that he is now being investigated by the FBI for those meetings because Sechin and Ivanov were both sanctioned for Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
''I don't know this person,'' said Pyotr Aven, one of the two founders of Alfa Bank, which is considered the Western Russian bank. Aven and his partner, Mikhail Fridman, have transferred much of their assets out of Russia and have been quite critical of Putin. As for who paid for Page's trip, Aven was no less irritated by the question. ''I give them money, I don't know how they spend it, who they invite, when they invite them, I have no idea,'' he said of the New Economic School, which hosted Page and of which Aven is the main benefactor. Exasperated by my questions, he snapped, ''Don't bring these Russian-style conspiracy theories to me.''
''You are engaged in onanism,'' said Leontiev, the spokesman for Rosneft and Sechin when I asked him if Page had met with Sechin. ''It's bullshit. Just bullshit. You need to understand who Sechin is to even ask this question. It's hard to have a meeting with him at all. It's absurd.''
As for the FBI investigation, well, it's unclear. A State Department official who works on Russia sanctions but was not authorized to speak on the record told me that, for one thing, there is ''no prohibition meeting with a designated [sanctioned] individual. Moreover, sanctions violations are not criminal in nature and not enforced by the FBI. OFAC runs them.'' He added, ''the story doesn't add up.'' What does seem to have happened is that various U.S. intelligence agencies were looking into Page's time in Moscow, then briefed Senate minority leader, Democrat Harry Reid, who wrote a letter to FBI Director James Comey asking him to investigate, among other things, ''whether a Trump adviser who has been highly critical of U.S. and European economic sanctions on Russia, and who has conflicts of interest due to investments in Russian energy conglomerate Gazprom, met with high-ranking sanctioned individuals while in Moscow in July of 2016, well after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee.''
I got my next surprise when I called Stephen Miller, Trump's senior adviser. I caught him just as the Trump plane was about to take off, and asked him the tired, old question: Who is Carter Page?
''Who?'' says Miller, and then went off the record to expound on his lack of involvement in the campaign.
''He has no formal role in the campaign,'' Hope Hicks texted responding to my question.
Now my interest was piqued. There were whispers all over Washington that, despite Hicks's denial, Page was not only still part of the Trump campaign, but its conduit for Russian influence. Was he?
One way to answer the question was to figure out how he even got on that list to begin with.
One source suggested to me that Richard Burt, former U.S. ambassador to Germany, START treaty negotiator, and longtime lobbyist for Alfa Bank, was the nexus. It was Burt who helped draft Trump's foreign policy speech in April, and had been advising the Trump campaign, via Senator Jeff Sessions, on foreign policy. But when I met Burt at his office at the McLarty Associates lobbying shop, he looked at me and said he had never even met him. ''The only person I talked to about Carter Page is this guy at the Washington Post,'' Burt told me. ''And I told him I'd never met the guy. Let me put it this way: if I have met him, I've forgotten. He's the former Merrill Lynch guy, right?''
Someone else told me that the Page connection was Rick Dearborn, Sessions' chief of staff, who hired Page because Dearborn knew nothing about foreign policy but needed to put together a foreign policy staff for Trump's Alexandria, Virginia, policy shop and he happened to know Page. But Dearborn wouldn't return my calls, and someone who once worked for that policy shop told me it was neither Dearborn nor Burt, but campaign co-chair Sam Clovis who recruited Page. ''If he was part of that original group of people, I can say with 70 percent confidence it was Sam Clovis,'' this person told me.
''I'm not answering your questions,'' Clovis told me. He refused to tell me if he was the one who found Page, but Jason Miller, the campaign's other spokesperson, says, ''Carter Page isn't someone I've interacted with.'' Which confirmed what a policy staffer on the Trump campaign told me: ''Carter is a red herring, not a Rasputin. He's never met Trump, never briefed him. He has zero influence, none.''
Was Page the shadowy messenger between the Kremlin and Trump Tower, or was he the nebbishy, not-very-successful man trying to profit from the arbitrage between what Trump said'--he's my adviser'--and what his associates said'--''Who?'' Maybe I wasn't doing this right, and maybe everyone was lying to me, but it was hard not to come to the conclusion that, regardless of whatever game the Russians were running, Page was firmly in the latter camp.
''I don't know about his Russia fund, other than it's never really materialized,'' says the prominent player in the energy space whom Page has pitched on various energy projects. ''Every conversation I've had with Carter has not been terribly serious. They've all been pie-in-the-sky ideas. There are usually issues with traction and execution capabilities.'' He went on. ''I couldn't name a project that I could connect Carter's name to, any project that actually happened.''
''I don't know how he's earned a living off this,'' the energy player says, ''but I think he's been trying to be an intermediary. If you hang around Russia long enough, it's sort of like a pinball machine, something will hit you.''
Strangely, it was not a Russian pinball that hit him; it was Trump. According to the Trump policy adviser, this winter, Clovis began to draw up a list of people who could serve as policy advisers to the campaign and give it some intellectual and policy heft. At a time when established Republican foreign policy specialists were tripping over each other to get away from Trump, ''a lot of people came to Sam Clovis in February, March, and said, 'I want to be part of the team,''' says the Trump adviser. And that's how it happened. ''He's just a guy on a list. Trump looked at the list and said, 'He's an adviser.' And now he's milking it for all it's worth.''
Now, someone whom no one in the field had ever heard of was suddenly a Very Important Person in Washington'--or at least could plausibly market himself as one. ''I was not aware of him at all until he was named to the campaign, and even after that, I had never heard of him,'' one Russia specialist in Washington told me. He saw Page at a Washington roundtable in June for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and what he saw was a strange kind of person: one who was very differential to everyone there ''in a way that someone who is junior would use it to network,'' but who was dropping hints full of meaning to anyone who would listen'--and be impressed. ''He was saying he was planning to go to Moscow,'' the Russia specialist recalls. ''He didn't say what he was going to do there, but he created the impression that there could be some meaning to the trip.''
According to a congressional leadership staffer familiar with the intelligence briefings on Page's trip to Russia, ''the meetings did happen and that's been established as a fact. I think the investigation is more what happened in them.'' But it remained unclear, the staffer told me unprompted, what this even meant. ''It's not just did he met with them or not, but now looking into the bigger question of what the hell is going on?'' said the staffer. ''Is he acting as a conduit in ways that are against America's national security interests? Wittingly or un-, I should add. It's what's hard to parse about this. Is he doing this with nefarious intent or is this just about guys who are thrilled to be living in a John le Carr(C) novel? Or are they being played by much smarter people in the Kremlin?''
This seems to be vintage Carter Page, a man whose story never quite adds up, as much as he tries to make the numbers work. But he's also mastered the art of manipulating the distance between his story as it is and his story as he wants it to be, playing on the uncertainty in between to make himself seem more successful, more connected, even more evil than he really is'--and to try to turn a profit off of that. ''If Page using his status as 'Trump advisor' for personal gain, that's another matter: Time for Page to join Twitter!'' Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, tweeted after news of the investigation broke. The Russians may be feeling out the Trump campaign via Page, but Page must be loving every minute of it. After all, meeting Russia's energy czar is an impossible dream for a would-be investor struggling to make it in the world of Russian energy'--but the dream entered the realm of the possible when Trump said three words in March: ''Carter Page, Ph.D.'' Now Carter Page, Ph.D., has found a perfect candidate to latch on to, like a pilot fish feeding off the carnage wrought by the oblivious Trump shark.
For months now, the American press has been twisting itself in knots trying to explain men like Page and Manafort, and, through them, to answer the questions of whether Putin is trying to destroy America by their hands, and is Trump a Kremlin stooge or a just a useful idiot, and is there even a difference?
There doesn't seem to be one in the world of Trump, which in some ways resembles Putin's: the waters of truth are muddy and deeply suggestive. And that is all that matters. Is Putin actually meddling in our election and undermining the foundations of Western democracy in a massive way, or doing just enough to make us think he is, and thereby acquiring powers he holds only because we believe him to have them? ''I want to hope that this is connected with the growing influence and significance of Russia,'' Putin says of the rumors of Russian meddling in the American election'--as we in the media continue to squeegee them around, rarely really getting closer to the truth, and watching it disintegrate in our hands when we think we've finally grasped it.
Julia Ioffe is contributing writer atPolitico Magazine .
This article tagged under:
In March 2016 Carter Page Was an FBI Employee '' In October 2016 FBI Told FISA Court He's a Spy'... '' The Last Refuge
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 01:22
In 2013 Carter Page was working as an under-cover employee (UCE) of the FBI, helping them to build a case against ''Evgeny Buryakov''. In March 2016 Carter Page remained their informant pre-trial. [Note '' Pay attention to the names in the following citations]
Sources: '... In 2013 the U.S. Department of Justice, Southern District of New York, announced an indictment against a Russian Operative Evgeny Buryakov. LINK HERE In March of 2016 Buryakov pleaded GUILTY:
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and John P. Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, announced that EVGENY BURYAKOV, a/k/a ''Zhenya,'' pled guilty today to conspiring to act in the United States as an agent of the Russian Federation, without providing prior notice to the Attorney General.
['...] The FBI obtained the recordings after Sporyshev attempted to recruit an FBI undercover employee (''UCE-1''), who was posing as an analyst from a New York-based energy company. In response to requests from Sporyshev, UCE-1 provided Sporyshev with binders containing purported industry analysis written by UCE-1 and supporting documentation relating to UCE-1's reports, as well as covertly placed recording devices.(more)
'... In 2016 Reuters published an article, based on the ongoing court case, going into detail about court records. LINK HERE
NEW YORK (Reuters) '' The FBI eavesdropped on meetings involving Russian intelligence personnel in New York City, including a suspected spy posing as a trade representative, by hiding recorders in binders containing supposedly confidential information about the energy sector, U.S. prosecutors said.
The hours of covert recordings from 2013 were disclosed in papers filed in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday in the case of Evgeny Buryakov, a Russian citizen who U.S. prosecutors say posed as a banker while participating in a Cold War-style spy ring.
['...] According to prosecutors, in April 2012, Sporyshev met an undercover FBI employee posing as an analyst at a New York energy firm at an oil and gas industry conference.
Over the next two years, they met to discuss the industry and other economic and political issues, prosecutors said, with Sporyshev providing gifts and cash for information.
In 2013, the FBI employee began providing Sporyshev with the binders containing purported industry analysis he wrote, supporting documents, and ''covertly placed recording devices,'' prosecutors wrote. (more)
'... In April 2017, writing a story about Carter Page, and trying to enhance/affirm the Russian narrative, they outlined Page's connections to the Trump campaign, the New York Times referenced Page's prior connection to the operation. [Notice how the story is shaped] LINK HERE:
Russian intelligence operatives tried in 2013 to recruit an American businessman and eventual foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign who is now part of the F.B.I. investigation into Russia's interference into the American election, according to federal court documents and a statement issued by the businessman.
The businessman, Carter Page, met with one of three Russians who were eventually charged with being undeclared officers with Russia's foreign intelligence service, known as the S.V.R. The F.B.I. interviewed Mr. Page in 2013 as part of an investigation into the spy ring, but decided that he had not known the man was a spy, and the bureau never accused Mr. Page of wrongdoing.
The court documents say that Mr. Page, who founded an investment company in New York called Global Energy Capital, provided documents about the energy business to one of the Russians. ['...] To record their conversations, the F.B.I. inserted a listening device into binders that were passed to the Russian intelligence operatives during an energy conference, according to a former United States intelligence official. (more)
It is transparently clear that Carter Page was the Under-Cover Employee (UCE) of the FBI in the 2013 case. Carter Page was working for the FBI. However, in 2017 the New York Times, using information from ''a former intelligence official'', conflates that fact. Heck, the NY Times tries to entirely change the relationship between Carter Page and the FBI.
Because on October 21st 2016 the FBI claimed to a FISA Court; to gain a ''Title I'' surveillance warrant; that Carter Page was working on behalf of a foreign government.
(Full Memo pdf)
Carter Page was an FBI Under-Cover Employee in 2013, and remained the primary FBI witness through May of 2016.
If Carter Page was working as an UCE (FBI undercover employee), responsible for the bust of a high level Russian agent in 2013 -and remained a UCE- throughout the court case UP TO May of 2016, how is it possible that on October 21st 2016 Carter Page is put under a FISA Title 1 surveillance warrant as an alleged Russian agent?
Conclusion: He wasn't. The DOJ National Security Division and the FBI Counterintelligence Division flat-out LIED.
Now, go back to the March 2016 DOJ Press Release of the guilty pleading for Evgeny Buryakov, announced from the New York office:
'...''Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and John P. Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, announced'''...
Because ''FISA Title I'' surveillance authority against a U.S. citizen is so serious (the U.S. government is essentially calling the target a spy), only a few people are authorized to even apply for such surveillance warrants. One of the four people authorized to make such a filing is the Asst. Attorney General who is head of the National Security Division of the DOJ. That person is John P Carlin.
The same John P Carlin who, together with the FBI counterintelligence unit, hired Carter Page as an FBI Under-Cover Employee, turns around and six months later accuses Page of being a Russian Spy '' because the DOJ-NSD and FBI CoIntel needed to find a legal way to spy on the Trump campaign. The 2016 FISA Title 1 surveillance of former FBI employee Carter Page became that legal way. [''The Insurance Policy'']
In October of 2016, immediately after making the FISA Court filing, claiming Page was working for a foreign government and successfully gaining the surveillance warrant, Asst. Attorney General John P Carlin resigns as head of the DOJ-NSD. ''SEE HERE''
The entire FISA Title I surveillance authority over Carter Page was cover, most likely retroactive cover, for the DOJ and FBI conducting surveillance on the Trump campaign.
Clear enough?
Carter Page Interview 2017 - BrightestYoungThings - DC
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 10:47
A Conversation with Carter Page
Words By Jeff Jetton, Photos By Jason Minyo
After chatting with Bad Religion's Greg Graffin and before appearing on MSNBC, we continued to ask Carter Page some questions about Russia, political opponents and optics.
For an extensive Q&A with Page and Graffin, read Greg Graffin and Carter Page on Population Wars.
Jeff Jetton: I like to figure this stuff out from the sources rather than through the filter of, as you call it, mainstream media, some people say fake news. I want to know a little more about'...
Carter Page: Let me give you a brief summary of the ten minute conversation I had where I was back and forth with a major reporter at a major news agency just now. You've seen the headlines today'...
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>>>>>>>>>>>> Ok, back to the article! >>>>>>>>>>>>
Attorney General Sessions, the allegations about conversations he may have had with the Russian Ambassador. It's been sort of non-stop. Two quick points, I don't talk about internal discussions I had in the campaign, just in the interest of, I'm public enemy number one now, thanks to what you read in my letter. Mrs. Clinton kind of portrayed me as the bad guy, given the fact that I had the closest relationship with the Russians. Based on my work, and the fact that I worked in the Pentagon previously, doing U.S./Russian Arms Control Negotiations. It's something I've done for the majority of my life, since 1993 when I graduated from the Naval Academy. So, you know, I don't talk about, I don't want to sully others people's names. By sort of saying, you know, it leads to another nine million questions, to other people, to 'well what about this guy Carter Page, he says he knows you'. So I don't go there.
JJ: I don't want to spin things certain ways. I just want to know more what the issues are about without getting into the politics of the issues. What is Gazprom? And what is Rosneft? I think there are a lot of people out there that don't even know that. And if you haven't developed a basic foundation of what these things are and even who you are, I've never seen anyone ask you where you're from or things like that.
CP: You're so correct.
JJ: It's a convenient narrative: you need a bad guy, you need a good guy. Cops and robbers are good example of that, right? Without robbers, you don't need cops. And sometimes the cops are the bad guys. Anyways I basically want to understand things like of course who are you? I want to know that. On a personal level you seem interesting and you seem nice. But what is Rosneft? And what is Gazprom?
CP: Rosneft and Gazprom, respectfully, are the two largest oil and gas companies in Russia. They are, I'm not sure the exact state'... but I believe Rosneft is either majority owned by the Russian government or significantly owned by the Russian government, they've been going through various privatization processes. Part of the reason that there's a, uh, controversy about me here, which I'll dig into in a minute. But part of it is state-owned, part of it is international and Russian investors'...
JJ: For better or for worse'...
CP: Well you know it's funny some of the largest pension funds in the world are investors in each of those companies. It's publicly available information, I'm not sure what's what. If you go to Yahoo Finance or other databases it's pretty public information. So basically Gazprom is on the gas side, Rosneft is on the oil side. Gazprom is more dominant in the natural gas sector than Rosneft. Well, that may be a more subjective point as well. But there's a lot more diverse range of other large Russian oil companies as well. But again, Rosneft is most prominent. As Gazprom is on the gas side. So, in terms of myself, similar to Greg, we sort of have different sides of our brains which we've gotten into activities we've gotten into in life so which various synergies between the two sides. And myself'...
JJ: Renaissance men they used to call it.
CP: I won't claim such a great title but, you know the primary driver for me and why did I get involved in Russia? When I was growing up in the 1980's I came in off the street on my skateboard and I watched the summit meetings between Reagan and Gorbachev where they are negotiating arms control treaties to decrease nuclear weapons. I thought this is the beginning of a new era and something that's of the highest significance and importance for the future of both of our respective countries and also the world, just given the threat. I was very motivated by that and it was something that really inspired me. Watching one of the summit meetings between the two leaders of the Soviet Union and the U.S., I saw a couple of Naval officers standing behind the president. U.S. Naval officers, and I thought that's interesting, maybe that's some kind of way of getting involved and helping out. That was one of the main reasons I wanted to go to the Naval Academy. So I ended up doing that, I was a political science honors major. I was always interested in politics and international relations. Like I mentioned, I was an intern for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, liberal Senator from New York. My senior year I was chosen for this fellowship called the Trident Program where you do independent research. And I studied Strategic Defense Initiative, the STI program that Reagan did. Talking about the links between congress and how secrecy determines the decision making process for the respective branches of government and affects decision-making. I wrote a long piece on that, which has interesting overlaps with questions that everyone is talking about today.
(Note: From Steve Frantzich, Carter's advisor on the above paper at the Naval Academy: ''It has been a long time. What I do remember is that it shook up some of the Navy folks who did not like the access and information he got indicating the clear political aspects of procurement. An admiral (I believe his name was Johnson) came over to his oral presentation and confronted him as to how he got the information. Carter was a very resourceful student who got an internship on the Hill (I believe it was the Armed Services committee) and made some close acquaintances. Whatever one thinks of his politics, Carter is a very bright and capable individual.'')
But I graduated and it turns out the guy I was working for my senior year was Les Aspin. I graduated in 1993 and halfway through my senior year was the election of Bill Clinton. And sure enough Bill Clinton asked him to be his first Secretary of Defense. So basically all the people I was working with ended up heading over to the Pentagon.
I served five years in the Navy and then went to the Council on Foreign Relations but I continued to study regional issues related to this area'... Caspian Sea region. So, which is kind of the stans'... Khazakhstan, Turkemenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbazhan (incoherent)'... So I served my five years in the Navy and I got out and got into business. While I was at the Council on Foreign Relations I was working on my MBA, again similar to Greg, even when I was at the Academy, while I was studying, part of my brain was into doing real work. I was doing things on Capitol Hill while I was still a student. At the Pentagon, I did my Master's at Georgetown. Did my MBA while I was at Council on Foreign Relations, 98-99. And then going for the PhD, I did that while I was a banker in Moscow.
JJ: How long did you live in D.C.?
CP: I was only there a year and a half.
JJ: And then you moved to Moscow?
CP: No, I finished my five year term in the military, mostly in the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. And then I got the fellowship here at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. And then I was a banker, started in London, moved in 2004 to Moscow, although my bank didn't have an office in Moscow, it was the fastest growth market in the world, and so me and another guy went over there to open up the office.
JJ: So you understand the complexity of Russia way more than the average American? I try and stay informed and I try to catch up on, lately, I don't think people have done that, they just'... we live in this post-Cold War mindset. It's been what forty years? I think people sort of still assume they're the bad guys.
CP: Well there was the era of Reagan that I was alluding to. But then there was a warming for a while. I think what's often forgotten is, you know, that Washington has made a lot of mistakes too. And there were various missteps. They were talking on Morning Joe on MSNBC this morning and some of the other networks about NATO enlargement. Basically the Soviet Union ends, we have NATO covering Western Europe and then so starting with the reunification of Germany, which was a small NATO enlargement which was moving NATO into East Germany. And then in 1999, the first major NATO enlargement occurred with Poland, Hungary'...
JJ: And that's threatening to Russia?
CP: Well I've written about this, put yourself in the other guys shoes. Imagine, say the Soviet Union won the Cold War and the U.S. lost. And there was a thing called the Warsaw Pact which was an alliance between Moscow and sort of satellite states. States in Eastern Europe. So let's say Soviet Union wins the Cold War. 1990's they decide well let's make Canada and Mexico members of the Warsaw Pact. You can imagine how that might make go, especially given the circular mindset in Washington, which is always very confrontational. So I think viewing things from other peoples' mindset is always useful. And the term that's always used to describe me and some other people that have sort of a pro-engagement viewpoint towards Moscow is, we're called 'apologists'. We're apologists for Moscow's position. And to the contrary, it's just finding normal solutions.
JJ: Well I think that the problem in a vacuum it makes sense, it's easily explainable. But the interference with the election. I don't necessarily think it effected the outcome. Hillary Clinton lost for a number of reasons, but the interference with the election, even if the effect was minuscule, I always talk about these things in terms of PR, the interference with the election and the timing of that is really detrimental to the situation you are talking about, [and would like to see]. In the opposite effect of the way a lot of people like you would like to see. Because now how can you lift those sanctions? How could Trump ever lift those sanctions.
CP: Let's talk about the impact of those quote/unquote interferences. So a way of thinking about it is'... compare the impact of that interference versus the interference and the steps that Hillary Clinton's campaign took against myself and some of my colleagues. A way to look at it is material non-public information. What came out? It was information in each of those two instances. In terms of the issue that you're referring to, yes, okay what came out? It was some non-public information. So admittedly that is non-public information. That is'... things that were not known, some information came out on that. Think about the same thing, also some non-public information came out against me in the national media. The difference is, that fake dossier that came out? It was completely made up. Made up by the Clinton campaign.
JJ: Two things, I would say. Hillary Clinton lost so it doesn't really matter, right?
CP: Well it does.
JJ: To you.
CP: No, hold on, if we are talking about impact, having influence on the election, the shadow or the clouds that were over the Trump and his organization? To my point, these clouds continue to this day. And this is kind of a negative'...
JJ: On the Trump administration or you?
CP: Both. You know I'm nothing, I'm no one, who cares? I may, Mrs. Clinton, you know some of their policies and steps have led to a lot of death around the world. I lost my friend Chris Stephens. He's the guy who lost his life in Benghazi, Libya.
JJ: Okay?
CP: So on that level in terms of the information, it is much more, you know it is, okay there's non public information in both instances but the information against me was illegally given to the government. False evidence which is obstruction of justice, is something that she gave to the government.
JJ: But when you lose, it doesn't matter anymore. That's like making fun of the handicapped kid on the playground.
CP: So hold on, when you look at the TV, when you turn the TV from ESPN to MSNBC it's non-stop. It's been on all night since yesterday. And going back weeks and months now against, you know, this stupid Russia issue. Which is completely made up by these lies. Which again, it's a criminal offense. To give false evidence in legal proceedings is criminal activity.
JJ: Okay, I agree with you that when you give false evidence that's a prosecutable offense. In the context of the Trump administration, why isn't there a consensus that the public is owed an understanding of what was false and within the administration why isn't there a, ''yeah this is bullshit let's try this under a congressional investigation or whatever to prove that Hillary Clinton and/or the Democrats or whoever they are saying is behind it, to prove that they are a bunch of assholes who are making shit up.'' That's the disconnect that I don't understand.
CP: One disclaimer, I'm not speaking for them. Based on these lies, I decided that I'm stepping away from the campaign since last September.
JJ: I'm just going through all this in my head going, ''What the fuck is going on?'' because I don't know. And the American public doesn't know. Some of them don't care but a lot of people do.
CP: It's a big game. There's articles in the New York Times, articles in the Wall Street Journal and major newspapers saying, ''Well, the FBI is looking into this, saying there's questions.'' So it's enough to kind of, even though its completely baseless'...
JJ: Now when you say it's completely baseless'....
CP: There's this one guy from California congressmen named Swalwell. He put in an act to spend four million dollars on this investigation'...
JJ: What's wrong with that. I don't understand.
CP: It is a complete waste. If there's anything substantial'...
JJ: Our government wastes a lot of money on a lot of dumb shit, but if there is'...
CP: I'm just saying'...
JJ: I don't understand, if someone said some bullshit about me, I would want to sue them for defamation and prove in the court of that what they are saying is bullshit. And that's why'...
CP: I guess my point is, Jeff, and this is my own personal perspective, when you go through that process, it is a painful process.
JJ: I agree.
CP: In terms of cost/benefit analysis, okay four million bucks let's just pour that money down the sink.
JJ: We've gotten to a fever pitch here where this isn't going to go away. Even if it's false or not. And if it is, Republicans do the same thing and Democrats do the same thing. It's politics and I don't like it. But at the end of the day once there is public awareness of this, you have to get to the bottom of it. But what happens now, in terms of sanctions, things like that?
CP: This goes back to, let me finish a thought in terms of comparing the real influence on the election. And that's materiality. Nothing, you know, okay the Russians'... they may or'... may not have'... let's assume'... you know there may be some evidence'... that they tried to influence'... by giving this'... information'... on Wikileaks.
Let's look at what we learned from Wikileaks. We learned that the Clinton's are dishonest. That's something that was pretty well established a long time ago. There's no surprise there. Let's think about materiality from the Trump team's perspective and myself. You know, by putting all these lies with their private investigator.
JJ: Michael Steele? Christopher Steele. Spy dude. Pee-gate.
CP: That is something that really did have a negative impact on me. And it just puts a shadow, you see the impact, the point I was making here gets more proved every day. And if you look at the New York Times article today that we were referring to, that the Obama administration was creating a trail. There was a quote in there where they kind of mentioned a couple of reasons why they did it. Really the bottom line is, the main reason they did it, is to discredit the Trump administration. Case in point, maybe this goes to your prior question. President Trump either last week or the week before he had that long press conference. 120 minutes or 80 minute long press conference. A good chunk of that was wasted with these stupid questions asking these same old conspiracy theories. The question here, the question is'...
JJ: How do you stop that? It doesn't go away. It's not because of the media. It's because a certain subset of the population want to know.
CP: It is driven by the media.
JJ: The media is driven by what people want to know. Because if it was some mundane issue on tax reform. People wouldn't give a shit and they wouldn't click on it.
CP: I agree, but there's a cost. Real knowledge, real information versus this joke process which makes'...
JJ: I'm not arguing this. I'm arguing to the administration'... to what's his face, Chaffetz. Do an investigation. And if there is nothing to investigate, then everyone shuts up and moves on to whatever.
CP: Let's have that conversation. Because that is going to be, based upon the kind of core principles we're talking about, they're going to go down with'...
JJ: Egg on their face?
CP: It's going to prove what a sham this was to begin with and it's going to prove how corrupt the entire system had gotten. If you roll back the tape, and Oliver Stone touches on this and Bryan Cranston did a documentary on this, the relationship between LBJ and Martin Luther King Jr.
JJ: The dossier.
CP: That's the exact same thing they've done to me. Here's the difference, it's interesting putting it in historical perspective. J. Edgar Hoover, who was pretty infamous for some of his political tactics coming after people. There's a bit of trading places thing going on. If you watch the movie, J. Edgar Hoover was the one doing these illegal moves and civil rights abuses. In this instance the roles are flipped. It's actually the executive branch of government or the politicians including Capitol Hill who are pushing for the FBI to go into these investigations against private citizens like myself. Again, false evidence, criminal activity. Which is obstruction of justice.
JJ: Who is saying it about you?
CP: All the political opponents.
JJ: You're being tried in the media. Let me try to explain it. You gave a speech which you sent me the contents of, but that you met with someone and you were offered the brokerage fee on the 19% sale of not Gazprom but the sale of Rosneft, that went to, that didn't end up, what was it selling it to Trump?
CP: That was the accusation. But what actually ended up happening, I can't remember how much background I've given you on this'...
JJ: What I understand, and correct me if I'm wrong, the sale didn't end up going through you, it was brokered by someone else to an organization in the Cayman Islands and something to do with Singapore'...
CP: No, not Singapore, you're confusing it.
JJ: Malaysia? (Note: it was Singapore, where Carter said he had just spent the last week for investor meetings)
CP: Basically it was Glencore, one of the largest trading companies in the world, they bought the 19.5% stake in Rosneft. So what's interesting about Glencore, it was founded by a gentleman named Mark Rich. He broke the sanctions against Iraq. He was under legal threat for a long time. Last day of Bill Clinton's administration, 2001, he gives him a pardon. So what's suspicious about that? Well, one of the big people that was funding the Clinton Library, before they had the Clinton Foundation, this was their pay to play, this was their earlier baby steps in the pay to play world. You scratch my back'...
JJ: Is that illegal?
CP: Well. There was'... uhh'... I sent you, uhh, even the New York Times said it undermined the pursuit of justice'... So they said that about Bill'... And then there was this long, 120-page document about the hearings that came out of that'...
JJ: This all ties back to the sanctions and the idea that somebody would benefit from the sanctions being lifted. And basically insider trading? Is that right?
CP: The idea is that Rosneft'... Igor Sechin, the CEO of Rosneft. He was under sanctions.
JJ: So what happens now? The ideal scenario for Russia is that sanctions are lifted on Russia. And the U.S. has normalized ties with Russia. But from my understanding the 500-pound elephant is the Ukraine. Russian invasion of Crimea.
CP: Well there's a lot of misunderstanding, but you're sort of in line with conventional wisdom so far. 9 times out 10 when you hear the basic reporting they say full stop Russia took Crimea. So what led to that process? You know there was a referendum in Crimea. I forget the actual number but north of 90% were in favor of joining Russia. So let's rewind the tape a little bit. Everyone kind of starts in 2014, if you roll back the tape a little further to late 2013 there was the Maidon Revolution in Ukraine. The U.S. government, particularly a woman named Victoria Nuland, who is close affiliation with Mrs. Clinton as well. You talk about influence on democratic processes over here, she's in the streets during this big revolution, kind of encouraging the protesters, the revolutionaries. Handing out cookies. Which started this big chaos in the country to begin with.
JJ: Handing out cookies?
CP: Well but she's supporting'... actually Petro Porshenko is quoted, he specifically alludes to her support'... Just comparing like for like and real impact on Democratic processes'...
JJ: That Clinton talk is Monday morning quarterbacking again. Hillary Clinton is, for all intents and purposes, she's done.
CP: She's done but what you saw on the news is all about this issue. They are prosecuting the election on behalf of the losing side is all I'm saying.
JJ: All I'm saying is so fucking what. People get caught in it maybe, like you. But'...
CP: In the 80 minute press conference I was referring to Donald Trump said'... Like Reince Priebus his chief of staff. He spends about half his time dealing with these false allegations.
JJ: Well I think the other thing that suffers from that is the ability to get policy done in this particular issue. With Russia specifically, with the Ukraine, it's tainted now, forever. Well for a much longer period of time.
CP: If you roll back the tape. The point that all of President Trump's then opponents were making is that he is na¯ve. He's a dreamer. Obama wanted to do that. George W. Bush wanted to that. All these presidents want to do that. They failed. A lot of this is to prove, I told you so. He was always destined to fail. And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
JJ: Carter. Carter. The one country that had an impact on the election? The one country? It's the one he wants to normalize relations with? Pick any other country. Iran. North Korea. It's just really bad optics.
This interview took place Friday, March 3, 2017. It has been edited for clarity.
What (if Anything) Does Carter Page Know? - The New York Times
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 05:13
T hey were closing in on Carter Page. It was the last day of November, and the onetime adviser to Donald Trump's campaign was dodging the tourists who clotted the sidewalks around Rockefeller Center and its famous Christmas tree. As Page wove his way through the holiday crowd, he talked about his troubles, raising his voice to be heard above a Salvation Army bell-ringer. ''Anybody who knows me knows how ridiculous the whole thing is,'' he lamented to me and everyone else within earshot along Fifth Avenue. ''But you're still part of the controversy.''
Page was speaking of the investigation into the Trump campaign's suspected dealings with Russia during the 2016 election, which had been gathering steam of late. About a month earlier, Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, was indicted by the Justice Department's special counsel, Robert Mueller, on charges of tax fraud and money laundering. In the next 24 hours, Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, would plead guilty to lying to the F.B.I. Page, too, had become ensnared in the scandal, albeit more ambiguously. A foreign-policy adviser to Trump's 2016 campaign, Page had had an affinity for Russia ever since studying in Moscow as a young Navy midshipman in 1991 and had worked there for three years in the 2000s. He was suspected of meeting with Russian officials during a visit to Moscow in July 2016, and shortly thereafter the F.B.I. obtained a rare warrant to monitor his electronic communications. In recent months, he has been summoned to Washington for more than 20 hours of testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the House Intelligence Committee and Mueller's grand jury.
But the fact that Page was speaking to me at all was evidence of how he differs from his castmates in the Trump-Russia soap opera. While others have lawyered up and disappeared behind a scrim of crisis-communications consultants and attorneys, Page has chosen to wage his battle almost entirely on his own, in the public spotlight. Manafort tugging on his car's sun visor to shield his face from reporters or Flynn walking stone-faced and tight-lipped into a federal courthouse might be the iconic images of the Trump-Russia scandal. But the most ubiquitous one is of Page's shorn head '-- his eyes bugged out and an almost blissful smile plastered across his face '-- bobbling above a TV news chyron on one of the numerous network and cable shows he has frequented. ''I genuinely hope, Carter, that you are innocent of everything, because you are doing a lot of talking,'' an incredulous Chris Hayes told Page when he appeared on Hayes's MSNBC show in October. ''It's either admirably bold or reckless.'' As Page conceded to me: ''Admittedly, I go beyond the level of transparency and cooperativeness any sane lawyer would advise.''
This approach has made Page a cult figure of sorts to those who are closely tracking the ins and outs of the various Russia investigations. His TV appearances typically produce surreal sound bites, like the time he told Anderson Cooper that they once frequented the same gym. (''I remember walking by you even though we didn't know each other, and I said, 'Hi, Anderson.''‰'') He pens verbose letters to various investigators, including one to the Justice Department claiming ''hate crimes'' against him during the 2016 campaign. (''The actions by the Clinton regime and their associates may be among the most extreme examples of human rights violations observed during any election in U.S. history since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was similarly targeted for his antiwar views in the 1960s.'')
Even when Page isn't seeking attention, he still somehow manages to find it. In November, he trooped up to Capitol Hill to deliver subpoenaed documents to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, only to stumble into a throng of reporters staking out the office of Al Franken, who had just been accused of sexual harassment. Page was wearing a floppy red hat that made him resemble the titular castaway on ''Gilligan's Island,'' prompting as many queries about his headgear as about the contents of his delivery. ''I've learned a lot from the past mistakes of my fellow Annapolis grad, Senator McCain,'' he explained to a Business Insider reporter. ''Sunny day in D.C., and skin cancer is one of them.''
The more Page talks, the less clear his story has become '-- and people have begun to wonder about not just his competence but also his sanity. But as we walked through Manhattan that afternoon, Page assured me that he was playing a long game. ''How do I say this without sounding overly confident or arrogant?'' he mused. ''No one is better prepared to have gone through this than me.'' He flashed that familiar beatific smile. ''Not only am I ready for it,'' he said, ''I savor it.''
The Madison Avenue offices of Page's investment firm, Global Energy Capital, are just around the corner from Trump Tower '-- a geographic coincidence in which Page has invested much import. ''For your information, I have frequently dined in Trump Grill, had lunch in Trump Cafe, had coffee meetings in the Starbucks at Trump Tower, attended events and spent many hours in campaign headquarters on the fifth floor last year,'' Page wrote in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee in March. ''As a sister skyscraper in Manhattan, my office at the IBM Building (590 Madison Avenue) is literally connected to the Trump Tower building by an atrium.'' Page says he has been the subject of what he calls ''terrorist threats'' for over a year and is generally skittish about revealing his haunts, but the office is an exception: ''It's within the Trump Tower Secret Service zone, so it's one of the places where I feel secure,'' he explained in an email to me.
Page delivers a lecture in Moscow on July 7, 2016. Credit Anton Denisov/Sputnik, via Associated Press Before I visited him in November, Page told me I was the first reporter he had allowed into the office. ''I'm sure if you Google 'Carter Page shadowy,' hundreds of articles come up,'' he boasted. ''I like being a shadowy figure.'' But when I entered the inner sanctum, I discovered that Global Energy Capital's headquarters were actually a corporate co-working space. Page, the firm's only employee, rents a windowless room '-- outfitted with a small circular table, a whiteboard on wheels and a painting of an orchid '-- by the hour. Other tenants include the National Shingles Foundation and a wedding-band company called Star Talent Inc. Still, when he mentioned Trump, Page cocked his head toward Fifth Avenue and referred to him as ''the gentleman next door here.''
The office is one of many things about Page that are less than initially meets the eye. When Trump announced Page as one of his foreign-policy advisers during a meeting with The Washington Post editorial board in March 2016, he was eager to tout Page's credentials, identifying him as ''Carter Page, Ph.D.'' Page's doctoral adviser for his degree, received in 2011 from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, was Shirin Akiner, a controversial scholar who has been derided by fellow academics and human rights groups for trying to whitewash human rights abuses in Uzbekistan. But in an email, Akiner told me, ''I am afraid I have no information about Carter Page '-- some 10 years ago, he was one of my many students.''
Page tried unsuccessfully to publish his doctoral dissertation, on energy in Central Asia and Russia, as a book '-- a failure for which he has blamed the ''anti-former Soviet Union, anti-Russia sentiment of various academic publishers.'' But one political scientist who reviewed Page's manuscript told me: ''It was very analytically confused, just throwing a lot of stuff out there without any real kind of argument. I gave it a thumbs down '-- and that's kind of rare in this business for a review of a full book manuscript.''
Before founding Global Energy Capital in 2008, Page spent seven years working for Merrill Lynch in London, Moscow and New York and, according to his corporate biography, was ''involved in over $25 billion of transactions in the energy-and-power sector.'' But his involvement appears to have been peripheral at best. In Moscow, he was nicknamed Stranichkin, from the Russian word stranichka, meaning ''little page.'' ''He wasn't great, and he wasn't terrible,'' Sergei Aleksashenko, who ran Merrill Lynch's Moscow office while Page worked there, told the journalist Julia Ioffe. ''What can you say about a person who in no way [is] exceptional?''
As a midshipman at the Naval Academy, Page read and was profoundly affected by ''The Wise Men,'' Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas's book about Dean Acheson, Averell Harriman and the other mandarins who shaped Cold War-era foreign policy. He set out to play a similarly influential, ''discreetly backstage'' role in world affairs. People who encountered Page in his pre-Trump days recall him as someone who was forever struggling in that effort. Stephen Sestanovich, a professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, remembers running into Page '-- who is a prodigious conference-goer '-- on the sidelines of various Council on Foreign Relations forums and round tables related to Russia. ''His view of how the world worked seemed to have an edgy Putinist resentment to it,'' Sestanovich says. ''I think Carter genuinely felt an affinity for Putin's critique of the U.S. foreign-policy establishment and its unfairness to Russia, because he wasn't doing any better with that establishment than Putin was.'' In 2013, a Russian intelligence operative who was posing as a United Nations diplomat met Page at an Asia Society conference; according to the F.B.I., the Russian spy tried to recruit Page but encountered difficulties because, as he was heard telling a colleague in an F.B.I. wiretap, Page was ''an idiot.''
It was the Trump campaign that finally provided Page what he had been seeking for years: a seat at the table. Ed Cox, the chairman of the New York State Republican Committee and an acquaintance, secured Page a meeting in early 2016 with Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who in turn passed off Page to Sam Clovis, a talk-show host and conservative activist in Iowa who was building out Trump's foreign-policy team. Even among Trump advisers, that team was an object of derision. ''To call them D-listers would be an insult to D-listers,'' one former Trump adviser says. But Page didn't see it that way at all. ''These were some of the best discussions I ever had, with some of the most impressive people,'' he recalls. ''It was like an oasis.''
Page's time at the oasis would be brief. That July, he traveled to Moscow for five days to give a speech at the New Economic School. Not long after he returned, he received a text message from a Wall Street Journal reporter asking whether he met in Moscow with Igor Sechin, a Putin ally who is now chief executive of the Russian oil conglomerate Rosneft, and Igor Diveykin, a top Russian intelligence official. Similar questions from other reporters soon followed. Page told them '-- and still maintains '-- that he didn't meet either man. But in late September, Yahoo News ran an article reporting that American intelligence officials suspected that Page had met with both of them in Moscow '-- a claim, Page later discovered, that appeared in the dossier on Trump's suspected Russia entanglements complied by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. Three days after the Yahoo report, Page announced he was taking a ''leave of absence'' as a campaign adviser.
After the election, Trump's advisers continued to distance their boss from Page. When Page, returning to Moscow in December, talked to Russian reporters about Trump's victory and promoted his ties to the president-elect, the Trump campaign's lawyer, Don McGahn (now the White House counsel), sent Page a ''cease and desist'' letter. ''You never met Mr. Trump, nor did you ever 'advise' Mr. Trump about anything,'' McGahn wrote. ''You are thus not an 'adviser' to Mr. Trump in any sense of the word.'' In January, a week before Trump's inauguration, Stephen K. Bannon, the incoming White House chief strategist, got wind that Page was planning to appear on MSNBC and called him and told him to cancel the appearance.
Carter Page after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Nov. 2 in Washington. Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images ''The team is only as strong as the weakest link,'' Page told me. ''And it's not that I'm a weak link. It's just that I'm the link getting smashed with an anvil.'' Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee in November, he lamented, ''Unfortunately, I am the biggest embarrassment surrounding the campaign.''
Page hasn't always helped himself in his dealings with investigators. For more than a year, he vacillated on whether he had
met with any Russian government officials on that Moscow trip. But in his November testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, Page was forced to admit that he had written a memo to fellow Trump campaign advisers describing a ''private conversation'' during the trip with deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who ''expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to the vast range of current international problems.'' ''There's a lot that remains unexplained about Carter Page,'' Representative Adam Schiff of California, the committee's top Democrat, told me. ''But one thing is apparent, and that is that his testimony under oath ended up being at great odds with what he had been representing publicly.''
Page continues to insist that there was nothing nefarious about any of his work for the Trump campaign. Besides, he told me, the foreign-policy team he served on was ''a lower-level working group, of which I was on the lower end of the lower level.'' And yet Page seemingly can't quite stomach the prospect of returning to the periphery, so he has crafted an alternative scandal narrative '-- a scandal in which he sits at the center. Page contends that the real story of the 2016 election was not collusion between Trump and Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton but rather collusion between the Democratic National Committee '-- which helped pay for the Steele dossier '-- and the F.B.I. to defeat Trump. And their efforts, Page insists, focused on him. ''I was the most central element, the central linchpin,'' he told me. Referring to his wiretapping by the F.B.I., he added: ''There are two people who got hacked last year: Podesta'' '-- John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman, whose emails were published by WikiLeaks '-- ''and me.''
There may be scant evidence for this theory, but rhetorically, it has allowed Page to insist on his innocence and his significance at the same time: If circumstances have conspired to keep him from being a wise man, then at least he can be a martyr. The whole affair has wrecked his business, he says, and cost him relationships. He compares himself to the oft-imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. He even likens his plight to those of women who have suffered sexual harassment or assault. ''Talk to some ladies you know,'' he told me, ''and ask them: 'What would you rather have? Someone putting their hand on your rear end or your breast momentarily? Or having to give up all of your personal communications, all of your thousands of emails and thousands of documents? Which would you prefer?' It's a powerful person putting influence on someone who's less powerful.''
In September, Page filed a libel lawsuit against Yahoo's corporate parent and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which operates Radio Free Europe, for their reporting about his July Moscow trip '-- ''perhaps the most dangerous, reckless, irresponsible and historically instrumental moments in modern-day sensational crime-story journalism,'' as the suit puts it. Page is representing himself. ''The real investigation, I think, is going to be the discovery process in my lawsuit,'' he told me. ''The information that will come out of this may be far more revealing than these other investigations.''
And in that, Page maintains, he will be able to achieve his most important goal: avoiding a cataclysmic conflict between the United States and Russia. He believes he is uniquely suited, perhaps even destined, to bring the two countries together. ''It's obviously for myself in some ways, but the bigger motivation is to prevent the legacy of ashes, the next Iraq, the next Libya, the next Vietnam, which are all minuscule compared to the level of potential conflict between our two countries,'' Page told me.
It's a lonely struggle; Page has been forsaken by former friends and colleagues. But in Donald Trump, he believes he still has an ally. ''When he was in there with Kislyak and Lavrov in the Oval Office,'' Page said, referring to Trump's controversial May meeting with the Russian ambassador and foreign minister, ''kind of joking around and still having the courage to try to continue a vision of actually improving relations, that's a real profile in courage.''
Correction: An earlier version of this article described incorrectly Carter Page's statements about his interactions with Russia's deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich. Page vacillated on whether he met with any Russian government officials. It is not the case that until his November 2017 testimony, he maintained that he hadn't met with any Russian government officials on a 2016 trip to Moscow.
Jason Zengerle is a contributing writer for the magazine and the political correspondent for GQ. He last wrote about Crooked Media and liberal podcasts.
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Just In: ''Trump Dossier'' Creator Christopher Steele Has Disappeared - Trumpservative News
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 22:53
Former British MI-6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele did not appear in court today, and it is unknown what his current whereabouts are.
From Zerohedge:
Former British MI-6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele was a no-show on Monday at a London courthouse, reports Fox News. Steele was expected for a long-requested deposition in a multi-million dollar civil case brought against Buzzfeed, which published a salacious and unverified ''Trump-Russia'' dossier.
Steele may have skipped out over concerns that he would be asked questions about his contacts with various media outlets in connection with at least two dossiers he had a hand in assembling and disseminating '' for which he stands accused by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) of misleading the FBI about his contacts with journalists at various news outlets during the 2016 election.
''There is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility,'' reads the unredacted document that refers Steele for criminal prosecution in the US.
It therefore stands to reason that Steele wanted to avoid any uncomfortable questions which might apply to ongoing investigations in US House and Senate. Separately, records obtained and reviewed by Fox News from related civil litigation in Florida reveal that Steele maintains that even showing up for a deposition would ''implicate state secrets in London.''
Evan Fray-Witzer, a Boston-based attorney representing Russian tech tycoon Aleksej Gubarev in multi-million dollar civil litigation, described Monday's U.K. court actions to Fox News. ''My understanding is that Mr. Steele's lawyers spent a good deal of time arguing why they thought he (Steele) should not be required to sit for a deposition and that ultimately the court took the entire matter under advisement.''
Gubarev is suing Steele's UK-based Orbis Business Intelligence because the Trump-Russia dossier claimed Gubarev's companies used ''botnets and port traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs and steal data.''
Read more: (Link: www.zerohedge.com)
Shut Up Slave!
Alternative Beliefs verboten!!
I thought you might like this little story. I work in
Dáil Éireann, the Irish Parliament building, today I tried to access the site
ufodisclosure.com just because I’ve been hearing lots about it recently. I got
this ( see image attached)
Theresa May calls for new laws to ban the abuse of politicians on social media
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 02:12
Sky News
Theresa May says new laws are needed to outlaw the online abuse and bullying of politicians and other public figures.The prime minister says the bullying of politicians online has become a growing "threat to democracy" which must be tackled.MPs from all parties have reported receiving death and rape threats online.New official review will examine which new laws are required to stop online abuse.LONDON '-- Theresa May today called for a new legal crackdown on the abuse of politicians and other public figures on social media, saying that online "bullying" has now become a growing "threat to democracy."
The prime minister said that social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, had "become places of intimidation and abuse" for public figures and said that new laws were now needed to make sure "what is illegal offline is illegal online."
In a major speech to mark the centenary of women's suffrage in the UK, May said the Law Commission would look at which new laws were needed to crack down on "offensive online communications".
Speaking in central Manchester on Tuesday afternoon, May said that a new "tone of bitterness and aggression has entered into our public debate," due to the rise of social media.
She said the government would also consult on making the online intimidation of political candidates a criminal offence.
The government will also look at the "legal liability" of social media companies for abuse that takes place on their platforms.
The prime minister said public figures "from candidates and elected representatives to campaigners, journalists and commentators" now "have to contend with regular and sustained abuse" online.
She said she believed abusive behaviour was now a real "threat to our democracy" which must be tackled by both the government, technology firms and the media.
MPs from across the House of Parliament have spoken out recently about a surge in online abuse and intimidation in recent years, with female politicians, in particular, subjected to repeated rape and death threats while online.
The prime minister said that public figures who were female and from ethnic minorities had been most targeted both "in terms of scale and vitriol."
In order to deal with the problem, May said the government will now publish a new social media code of practice later this year which will set out new rules for social media platforms as well as a new annual "transparency report" which will "track companies' progress in stamping out online abuse."
The prime minister said that failure to tackle the problem would "squander the opportunity new technology affords us to drive up political engagement, [and] have the perverse effect of putting off participation from those who are not prepared to tolerate the levels of abuse which exist."
A spokesperson for the PM would not be drawn on which new laws the prime minister would like to bring in however, telling Business Insider that they would await the findings of the Law Commission report.
Reacting to the speech, Labour today warned against any attempt to restrict free speech.
"Real democracy is about opening up debate and decision making to all," the shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said.
"Closing down that space, whether it comes from government, the media or online trolls is anti-democratic. The Tories should end their personalised attacks, curb the abuses from sections of the media and impose effective sanctions on social media giants which allow abuse."
Theresa May's cabinet REUTERS/Leon Neal/Pool
May's speech followed a meeting of her Cabinet on Tuesday morning. A spokesperson for the prime minister said that a large number of members of the prime minister's top team had spoken out about the "need to do more to tackle online bullying" and abuse.
This is the second time in recent weeks that May has singled out technology firms for failing to do enough to protect the public from abuse and online extremism.
In a speech last month, the prime minister accused social media firms of giving a platform to terrorists, slave traders and paedophiles.
She told the World Economic Forum in Davos that new forms of technology were being exploited by people with "malevolent intentions," and called on technology firms to stop their platforms becoming the "first choice for paedophiles" and terrorists.
Delaware bill would allow euthanasia for 'intellectually disabled' | News | LifeSite
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 11:10
DOVER, Delaware, January 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) '' The Delaware state House is considering an assisted suicide bill that would allow the mentally incompetent to be killed.
Introduced by Rep. Paul Baumbach, a Democrat, the Delaware End of Life Options Act (HB 160) has an amendment which says ''intellectually disabled'' terminally ill people may be killed.
''These are people who can't legally enter contracts! They can't control where they live! They can't make their own medical decisions! They also can't vote, pursuant to the Delaware Constitution!'' Wesley J. Smith wrote for National Review. ''Yet, if they have a terminal illness, they are going to be able to commit assisted suicide if a social worker ''who may be ideologically predisposed in favor'' confirms that they 'understand.'''
''It doesn't even require approval of a guardian, as would corrective surgery or treatment to cure or palliate,'' Smith added. ''Good grief!''
''The assisted suicide lobby is committed to expanding who 'qualifies' for assisted suicide,'' Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, told LifeSiteNews. ''The language in the Delaware bill is part of the assisted suicide lobby's attempt to expand the assisted suicide laws.''
At issue is the interpretation of ''terminal illness'' as being an incurable ailment that will cause death in six months no matter what, or one that would cause death in six months only if left untreated.
''The term 'terminally ill' (in HB 160) is very vague,'' Alexandra Snyder of Life Legal Defense Foundation told The Stream. ''Does this include those with treatable conditions? What about those who elect not to receive treatment? This would radically expand the number of people who would qualify for a lethal dose of barbiturates.''
''Pro-suicide'' groups manipulate words to make killing sound ''humane and dignified,'' Snyder said. ''It's a way of normalizing suicide.''
Other problems Snyder noted include:
Doctors do not know how long a patient will live.Faced with the prospect of large medical bills, the poor can be pressured into suicide.Adult children and relatives of the elderly can seek to hasten death for material benefit.The Delaware legislation calls death by suicide ''humane and dignified.''''Suicide laws send the message (to society) that certain people's lives are not worth living.''The suicide rate among the general populace goes up in states that have enacted ''aid-in-dying'' laws.''Death by suicide is inherently undignified,'' Snyder critiqued.
She said such laws impact society toward more of a culture of death: ''In Oregon, which legalized assisted suicide in 1997, the suicide rate is 35% higher than the U.S. average.''
Donna Latteri, who organized a pro-life demonstration against HB 160 last week, said the Delaware bill ''opens up a can of worms for elderly abuse and abuse from anyone who would in any way benefit from the death of that person.''
''We want to protect life from womb to tomb,'' Latteri added.
''Assisted suicide corrupts everything it touches,'' Smith concluded. ''For those with eyes to see, let them see.''
The Delaware House could vote on HB 160 as soon as March 6.
Smith Mundt
Opinion | Why I Am Leaving the F.B.I. - The New York Times
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 04:30
Op-Ed Contributor
An F.B.I. agent going door to door in Missouri. Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times One of the greatest honors of my life was walking across the stage at the F.B.I. Academy and receiving my special agent badge from the director at the time, Robert Mueller. After 21 weeks of intensive training, my class swore an oath and became federal agents entrusted with the solemn duty of protecting Americans and upholding the Constitution.
After more than a decade of service, which included investigating terrorism, working to rescue kidnapping victims overseas and being special assistant to the director, I am reluctantly turning in my badge and leaving an organization I love. Why? So I can join the growing chorus of people who believe that the relentless attacks on the bureau undermine not just America's premier law enforcement agency but also the nation's security. My resignation is painful, but the alternative of remaining quiet while the bureau is tarnished for political gain is impossible.
A small number of my current and retired colleagues have said that we should simply keep our heads down until the storm passes. I say this with the greatest respect: They are wrong. If those who know the agency best remain silent, it will be defined by those with partisan agendas.
F.B.I. agents are dogged people who do not care about the direction of political winds. But to succeed in their work, they need public backing. Scorched-earth attacks from politicians with partisan goals now threaten that support, raising corrosive doubts about the integrity of the F.B.I. that could last for generations.
When the F.B.I. knocks on someone's door or appeals to the public for assistance in solving crime, the willingness of people to help is directly correlated to their opinion of the agency. When an agent working to stop a terrorist plot attempts to recruit an informant, the agent's success in gathering critical intelligence depends on the informant's belief that the agent is credible and trustworthy. And, as the former director, James Comey, would frequently say in underscoring the importance of high standards, whether a jury believes an agent's testimony depends on whether it has faith in the bureau's honesty and independence. To be effective, the F.B.I. must be believed and must maintain the support of the public it serves.
Do F.B.I. agents make mistakes? You bet. They are human beings. Because they are not infallible, the bureau is subject to a robust system of checks and balances, including its internal affairs division, the Department of Justice inspector general, congressional committees and the courts. These watchdogs ensure that personal opinions regarding politics, causes and candidates do not affect investigations. The system also provides an outlet for any investigator who suspects malfeasance on the part of the agency's leadership to make those concerns known.
What, then, are we to make of the recent allegations of political bias at the F.B.I., particularly those involving two employees whose cringe-worthy text messages continue to threaten the agency's reputation? While it would be disingenuous to claim that those two are not at least guilty of exercising incredibly poor judgment, it would be equally disingenuous for anyone who really knows the modern-day bureau to insinuate that the organization is plotting from within.
Furthermore, a congressional memo released on Friday accuses the F.B.I. and the Justice Department of abusing their surveillance powers to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser. But every statement of fact included in an affidavit for foreign intelligence collection must withstand the scrutiny of at least 10 people in the Department of Justice hierarchy before it is reviewed by an independent court.
There is, however, a difference between oversight by those in charge of holding the F.B.I. accountable and criticism by politicians seeking partisan gain. Political operatives are weaponizing their disagreement with a particular investigation in a bid to undermine the credibility of the entire institution. ''The system is rigged'' is their slogan, and they are now politicizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process used to collect critical intelligence about our adversaries.
The assumption among confused and dismayed F.B.I. employees is that the attacks are meant to soften the blow should the investigation by Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, lead to additional charges. However, these kinds of attacks by powerful people go beyond mere criticism '-- they could destroy the institution. Although those critics' revisionist supporters claim their ire is reserved for institutional leadership and not the rank and file, it is the F.B.I. agent on the street who will be most severely affected as public support for federal law enforcement is sacrificed for partisan gain.
These political attacks on the bureau must stop. If those critics of the agency persuade the public that the F.B.I. cannot be trusted, they will also have succeeded in making our nation less safe.
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Ex-CIA Chief John Brennan Signs as MSNBC/NBC as Contributor
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 12:05
Former CIA director John Brennan has become the latest member of the NBC News and MSNBC family, officially signing with the network as a contributor.
Brennan will serve as a senior national security and intelligence analyst for the networks, the company announced Thursday, adding that his first official appearance will come on this Sunday's ''Meet the Press'' with Chuck Todd.
Another person familiar with the matter said he would take the stage at ''Morning Joe'' on Monday.
Also Read:WikiLeaks Obtains CIA Director John Brennan's Emails, Plans to Publish
The news was first reported in the Axios newsletter.
Brennan has long been a familiar face on the small screen airwaves, with notable appearances on both CNN and MSNBC and other networks.
Mika gets braces... and the panel can't help but notice.
Mika learns about "furries."
Joe and Mika read mean tweets from viewers.
The gang crack up over Rep. Steve LaTourette's (R-OH) "sucking" sound remark made on the floor of Congress.
Mika loses it to an unfunny David Letterman spoof, leaving her co-hosts perplexed.
The crew crack up over Barak Obama's dog story.
Joe and Mika couldn't get through a story about PETA and turkeys with a straight face.
Mika, Joe and Chuck Todd discuss, among other things, Willie Geist's pearl necklace. Whatever you do, don't Google it.
Joe broke out his Elizabeth Warren impression, acting out a scene where Obama throws her under the bus.
Mika is the object of Russell Brand's flirtatious charm. (See it at the 11-minute mark in this video.)
Previous Slide Next Slide The target of President Trump's Twitter rage, MSNBC hosts may not be laughing now. But here are 10 times when they did:
Mika gets braces... and the panel can't help but notice.
FBI Party Josh Campbell James Comey CNN | The Daily Caller
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 04:27
An official goodbye party flyer for former assistant to FBI Director James Comey, Josh Campbell, told attendees they could celebrate his new position at CNN, where he would ''defend the bureau'' on air, FBI veteran Jimmy Gagliano writes in a new op-ed for The Hill.
Gagliano confirmed to The Daily Caller he reviewed a copy of the flyer which told attendees of the party they could ''celebrate [Josh's] new endeavor defending the Bureau as a CNN Law Enforcement Analyst.''
An FBI spokesman declined to respond to TheDC's request for comment on the party, saying the bureau does not confirm or deny any official or unofficial communications.
Campbell authored a recent op-ed for The New York Times declaring that he was leaving the bureau ''so I can join the growing chorus of people who believe that the relentless attacks on the bureau undermine not just America's premier law enforcement agency but also the nation's security.'' CNN announced Campbell as a law enforcement analyst Monday when he made his television debut.
He also took aim at Republican House intelligence committee members for authoring a recent memo showing alleged political abuse of surveillance powers by top officials at the FBI and the Department of Justice. ''These political attacks on the bureau must stop. If those critics of the agency persuade the public that the F.B.I. cannot be trusted, they will also have succeeded in making our nation less safe,'' he wrote.
The op-ed drew praise from Comey who lamented his resignation from the FBI but added that Campbell's ''voice is an important addition to the national conversation.''
Follow Saagar Enjeti on Twitter
Olympic Fever
Norovirus at Olympics has officials scrambling, worried
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 11:13
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) '-- Signs posted around the Olympic venues urge extreme caution. Nine hundred troops stream into the area to help. Worried organizers sequester 1,200 people in their rooms.
Officials are scrambling on the eve of the biggest planned event in South Korea in years '-- not because of anything related to North Korea and national security, but in an attempt to arrest the spread of norovirus at the Pyeongchang Games.
Local media are fretting over a "virus panic." South Koreans, always quick to air their views online, have poured scorn on the government's response and preparations. Are the games hygienic? What will people think about South Korea? Could this spread to the athletes?
Norovirus fears may turn out to be much ado about nothing. But with a national reputation on the line, officials are scrambling to contain its spread. No one here wants these games associated more with disease than athletics in the manner that Zika, a mosquito-borne disease linked to a rare birth defect, loomed over the Rio Olympics in 2016.
According to Olympics organizers, the norovirus spread began Sunday when private security workers staying in the Jinbu area of Pyeongchang started complaining of headaches, stomach pain and diarrhea.
About 1,200 people were kept in their rooms during tests for the contagious virus. Local and national health officials say they have investigated 1,023 people. Games organizers said Wednesday that 32 workers are being treated for norovirus and are in quarantine, including three foreigners.
Because the sick workers handled security, 900 military personnel have been brought in to work at 20 venues until the sick and sequestered can return to work. Officials are conducting an epidemiological survey to track the disease's spread. A preliminary five-day survey of water for cooking and drinking has come up negative for norovirus. Health officials say they are also inspecting restaurants and all food facilities linked to the Olympics.
Notices have been posted around the Olympics urging regular, 30-second hand-washing sessions and the thorough boiling of water and washing of fruits and vegetables, among other precautions.
The virus spread appears to feed a lingering South Korean sense of worry that the games will be filled with glitches and mistakes. The lodgings and transportations will be shoddy; the food will be poor, the service spotty; the weather will be too cold and the venues inadequately heated. Instead of putting on the best games possible, there will be too much focus by the liberal national government on efforts to engage rival North Korea and cater to their visiting athletes and cheering squads.
Despite the official response, South Koreans have criticized the allegedly poor preparations at the Olympics, and what they believe was a slow reaction to initial reports of the virus.
Local media have reported that the first symptoms began on Jan. 31 '-- not Sunday, as organizers say '-- long before officials launched a fact-finding investigation. There have also been reports of bad hygiene at the accommodations and complaints about meals and lodgings.
The liberal Hankyoreh newspaper published an interview with an anonymous civil security staff member who said that the tap water at the facility that accommodated the security workers "smelled fishy, or like something was decaying." The staff member was also quoted as saying that officials were remiss after workers began showing symptoms.
The conservative JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, meanwhile, said in an editorial that the norovirus outbreak raises worries about hygiene at the Olympics, and whether the illness might reach the athletes because some of the security workers showing symptoms had reportedly worked at the athletes' villages.
"As the virus panic spreads fast, some of the infected people turned out to have handled security at the Olympic village," the editorial said, "which rings alarms over the management of hygiene conditions during the games."
Foster Klug is AP's bureau chief for South Korea. AP writer Kim Tong-hyung contributed to this story from Seoul.
Vegas Massacre
Las Vegas Killer Stephen Paddock's Prostitute Lover Missing Before Deadly Shooting
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 19:51
A prostitute that last seen with deranged Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock just before his deadly rampage has mysteriously vanished, RadarOnline has exclusively learned.
The Sin City escort was reported missing by her boyfriend several days after the Oct. 1 shooting that left 58 dead and 800 injured, a former sex worker '-- who once dated Paddock and is now cooperating with the FBI '-- told Radar in an exclusive interview.
''She was telling girls after work that she was scared something would happen to her,'' claimed former escort Mikaela, whose full name is being withheld to protect her identity. ''She was booked the day before or the day off the shooting before she disappeared.''
PHOTOS: Las Vegas Mass Murderer Stephen Paddock's Shocking Secrets
Mikaela, who now lives out of the country, heard about the missing woman from worried co-workers who knew she once worked as Paddock's $6,000 a night prostitute '' acting out his twisted pedophile and rape fantasizes.
Mikeala was hustling for an escort agency when she first met Paddock, a habitual high roller, in early 2015. After two dates the smitten 64-year-old volunteered to be her ''sugar daddy.''
Soon she was hooking up with Paddock two to three times a month at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, even inside the same hotel room the madman used as his sniper's nest during the worst mass shooting in American history.
PHOTOS: Las Vegas Mass Shooting: Chilling Videos Exposed
What's more, Radar has learned just before the rampage Paddock began sending bizarre text messages to another of Mikaela's call girl pals, showing he was becoming completely unhinged and paranoid.
''There's messages where Stephen is telling her he's a government experiment and that they are listening to everything he says and does, and they can hack into his brain and take over,'' Mikaela said.
As Radar previously reported, Paddock's horrific siege ended when he turned the gun on himself.
We pay for juicy info! Do you have a story for RadarOnline.com? Email us at tips@radaronline.com, or call us at 800-344-9598 any time, day or night.
Report: Stephen Paddock Was Paranoid He Was a Victim of Government Mind Control >> Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 19:52
Las Vegas massacre gunman Stephen Paddock was paranoid that he was a victim of government mind control, according to a prostitute who stayed in his infamous Mandalay Bay hotel suite.
In an article that has received virtually no attention, the Radar reveals that a call girl who was booked to see Paddock either the day before or the day of the massacre was reported missing by her boyfriend after the shooting, which left 58 dead and 800 injured.
According to another sex worker named Mikaela, the prostitute ''was telling girls after work that she was scared something would happen to her.''
Mikaela worked as Paddock's $6,000 a night prostitute and slept with him in the infamous Mandalay Bay hotel suite from which Paddock launched his deadly assault. She saw Paddock two to three times a month after the 64-year-old gunman volunteered to be her ''sugar daddy''.
Mikaela also claims that shortly before the attack, Paddock began sending deranged messages to another call girl in which he claimed to be a victim of government mind control.
''There's messages where Stephen is telling her he's a government experiment and that they are listening to everything he says and does, and they can hack into his brain and take over,'' Mikaela said.
The veracity of the story is dubious given its nature, but conspiracy theories surrounding the most deadly shooting in American history are inevitable given the complete lack of information about the motive behind the attack.
As Infowars reported days after the shooting, former Trump campaign official James Brower claimed that Paddock made an ISIS propaganda tape and that authorities were covering up the fact that the mass shooting, for which ISIS claimed responsibility, was a terror attack.
Last month, Republican Congressman Scott Perry appeared on Fox News and revealed he had been made aware of information to suggest the massacre was a terrorist attack.
Officials have said that information pertaining to the motive behind the attack will not be released until October '' a year after the shooting.
Last week it was revealed that investigators attempted to question a second suspect in connection with the attack. It is unclear whether the man remains under scrutiny.
Follow on Twitter:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com.
Oh Elon!
Elon Musk's Tesla roadster, which launched on top of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy earlier today, is going farther out into the Solar System than originally planned. - The Verge
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 15:44
Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster, which launched on top of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy earlier today, is going farther out into the Solar System than originally planned. The car was supposed to be put on a path around the Sun that would take the vehicle out to the distance of Mars' orbit. But the rocket carrying the car seems to have overshot that trajectory and has put the Tesla in an orbit that extends out into the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
After launch, the Tesla cruised through space for a good six hours '-- a trip that was also live-streamed by SpaceX. This ''coast'' phase was meant to show off a special orbital maneuver for the US Air Force, before the rocket completed one final engine burn in space and put the car on its final orbit. It looks like that burn might have happened somewhere over Southern California, as some people in the area started reportingsightings of the rocket igniting in the night sky after 9:30PM ET.
But now it seems that engine ignition worked a little too well. SpaceX CEO Musk tweeted out a map of the Roadster's final orbit after the burn, showing just how far out the car will travel. And it looks like it's going so far into the asteroid belt that it will get relatively close to the orbit of the dwarf planet Ceres.
It's unclear what exactly will happen to the car: before the Tesla launched, Musk said that there was an extremely tiny chance that the vehicle would ever hit Mars. But there's been no clarification about how this new path will affect the car's chances of running into some other space object. And planetary scientists on Twitter wantmoreanswers about the exact orbit to calculate the Tesla's odds of a collision, and how long it will actually last in deep space.
The Tesla's journey certainly demonstrates the Falcon Heavy's capabilities of putting objects into deep space. Plus, some space companies, like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, are working on technologies to mine water from asteroids someday. They might be happy to know that the Falcon Heavy is capable of sending their spacecraft into the asteroid belt.
Las Vegas hotel maids to ask for panic buttons in guest rooms '' Las Vegas Review-Journal
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:03
The Culinary union will ask Las Vegas casinos and hotels to supply guest room attendants with panic buttons amid national attention to the issue of workplace sexual harassment.
The proposal is part of the union's demands as it readies for talks for 50,000 of its 57,000 employees on a five-year contract with casinos next month, said Bethany Khan, a spokeswoman for Culinary Local 226. The demands also include wage increases and the protection of benefits.
Panic buttons would allow guest room attendants to notify security if they are in an uncomfortable or threatening situation.
Investigative reports published last year accusing film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment emboldened women to come forth with their own stories. In a few weeks a nationwide movement has taken down many prominent businessmen, government officials and journalists.
The movement, sometimes referenced by its social media hashtag ''MeToo,'' has forced companies and organizations to rethink how they handle and prevent sexual misconduct. Khan said the panic buttons are in the best interest of companies to protect their employees.
''We are working with our union partners to develop pilot programs that explore how technology can enhance employee safety,'' Caesars Entertainment Corp. spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said in statement.
The union will be renegotiating contracts with Caesars, MGM Resorts International and several downtown casinos starting in mid February.
''We are working in conjunction with the Culinary union to equip the housekeeping staff at all our Las Vegas resorts with panic buttons in the coming months,'' MGM said in a statement.
Union workers currently earn an average wage of $23 per hour, including benefits. The current contract was reached at a time when casinos were recovering from the financial crisis, Khan said. The companies are in a different position today, she added.
The casinos and the union will have until May 31 to reach a deal or face a strike.
Contact Todd Prince at tprince@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0386. Follow @toddprincetv on Twitter.
''It's too late for Germany'': German feminist SJW admits she got it wrong on immigration, plans to emigrate to Poland '' Diversity Macht Frei
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 12:13
In 2012 Rebecca Sommer founded the refugee aid association Arbeitsgruppe Flucht + Menschen-Rechte (AG F+M) [Working Group Asylum + Human Rights]. At the end of 2015, this artist, photographer and journalist and documentary maker applauded Angela Merkel's decision to open German's borders to the ''refugees'' who had been blocked in Hungary, despite the vacuum effect this would create. ''At that time I wanted to help everyone and truly believed that all these people were fleeing hell and were in a state of complete distress,'' the German activist explained in an article published by the conservative Polish weekly Do Rzeczy on 15 January, discussing how she woke up to reality.
In 2015, her NGO had almost 300 volunteers who were giving German courses to the new arrivals.
'...''I thought their medieval view was going to change with time'...but after having seen these situations occur repeatedly and observing what was happening around me, as a volunteer, I have had to recognise that the Muslim refugees have grown up with values that are totally different, they have undergone brainwashing from childhood on and are indoctrinated by Islam and absolutely do not intend to adopt our values. Worse, they regard we infidels with disdain and arrogance.''
''It was a jarring perception when I noticed that these people I had helped, who were eating, drinking, dancing and laughing with me, who didn't pray, who didn't go to the mosque, who didn't respect Ramadan, who made fun of religion and deeply religious people, called me 'the stupid German whore' when they were eating my food and were in my garden.''
'...Rebecca Sommer says she is not an isolated case, that many other volunteers also came ultimately to have the same perception and that there are now far fewer volunteers ready to work with the new arrivals today in Germany. She also acknowledges that, through their numbers, these Muslim immigrants pose a threat to the German way of life, and that this will get worse with family reunification.
She also told the Polish weekly magazine Do Rzeczy that she personally knows Germans who are getting ready to emigrate to Poland because they had have enough, and she added: ''If Poland and Hungary do not give in on this question, you could become countries that some Germans and French will flee to. You could become islands of stability in Europe.''
Islands of stability but also democracy because Rebecca Sommer also notes that democracy no longer really exists in Germany'....When the human rights activists wanted to denounce forced conversions to Islam in Indonesia, her account was blocked.
This Berlin woman no longer dares to go out on her own on New Year's Eve and she has already been attacked five times by men speaking Arabic!
She thinks it is already too late for Germany and she plans to emigrate for her retirement. Political Islam is present everywhere, including in the government, in political parties, in the police and schools. With family reunification, millions of additional Muslim immigrants are going to come. In the German capital where she lives, entire districts are already dominated by the Muslim community which forms a parallel society.
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Margaret Atwood faces feminist backlash on social media over #MeToo | Books | The Guardian
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 12:32
The Canadian author's defence of due process for those accused of sexual misconduct sparked online ire
Margaret Atwood: 'If the legal system is bypassed because it is seen as ineffectual, what will take its place? Who will be the new power brokers?' Photograph: Canadian Press/Rex/ShutterstockCanadian author Margaret Atwood is facing a social media backlash after voicing concerns about the #MeToo movement and calling for due process in the case of a former university professor accused of sexual misconduct.
Writing in the Globe and Mail, Atwood said the #MeToo movement, which emerged in the wake of sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, was the symptom of a broken legal system and had been ''seen as a massive wake up call''.
However, she wondered where North American society would go from here. ''If the legal system is bypassed because it is seen as ineffectual, what will take its place? Who will be the new power brokers?'' Atwood asked.
She raised the possibility that the answer could leave women divided. ''In times of extremes, extremists win. Their ideology becomes a religion, anyone who doesn't puppet their views is seen as an apostate, a heretic or a traitor, and moderates in the middle are annihilated.''
The 78-year-old author of The Handmaid's Tale drew a parallel between these concerns and those who accused her of being a ''bad feminist'' after she signed an open letter last year calling for due process for a University of British Columbia professor facing allegations of sexual misconduct.
The university's administration released few details on the case against Steven Galloway, the former chair of the creative writing program, saying only that he was facing ''serious allegations''. After a months-long investigation he was fired, but the official findings were never released. The faculty association said in a statement that all but one of the allegations, including the most serious allegation, were not substantiated.
In her piece, Atwood pointed to the university's lack of transparency around the allegations and noted that Galloway had been asked to sign a confidentiality agreement.
''The public '' including me '' was left with the impression that this man was a violent serial rapist, and everyone was free to attack him publicly, since under the agreement he had signed, he couldn't say anything to defend himself,'' she wrote. ''A fair-minded person would now withhold judgment as to guilt until the report and the evidence are available for us to see.''
She likened the affair to the Salem witch trials, in that guilt was assumed of those who were accused. This idea of guilt by accusation had at times been used to usher in a better world or justify new forms of oppression, she wrote. ''But understandable and temporary vigilante justice can morph into a culturally solidified lynch-mob habit, in which the available mode of justice is thrown out the window, and extralegal power structures are put into place and maintained.''
Many online took issue with her view. ''If @MargaretAtwood would like to stop warring amongst women, she should stop declaring war against younger, less powerful women and start listening,'' wrote one person on Twitter. ''In today's dystopian news: One of the most important feminist voices of our time shits on less powerful women to uphold the power of her powerful male friend,'' wrote another.
Some accused Atwood of using her position of power to silence those who had come forward with allegations against Galloway. '''Unsubstantiated' does not mean innocent. It means there was not enough evidence to convict,'' read one tweet.
Others defended Atwood. ''Genuinely upsetting to see Margaret Atwood attacked for pointing out that 'innocent until proven guilty' is the key to a civilised society. That has to still be a thing, yes? How can that suddenly be a bad thing?''
In a statement to the Guardian, Atwood pointed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, echoing an earlier tweet in which she defended her view by noting that endorsing basic human rights for everyone was not equivalent to warring against women.
Her opinion piece, she said, was meant to highlight the choice we now face; fix the system, bypass it or ''burn the system down and replace it with, presumably, another system''.
Involuntary Social Network Disorder
Jim Carrey sells FB stock and says GET OFF FB!
3 Belts No Road
Why Is China Buying Up Europe's Ports? '' Foreign Policy
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 22:05
The Greek port of Piraeus on Jan. 31, 2015. (Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images)
China's trillion-dollar signature foreign-policy project, the Belt and Road Initiative, is often lampooned as just a fuzzy concept with little to show for it on the ground.
But in bustling ports from Singapore to the North Sea, state-owned Chinese firms are turning the idea into a reality with a series of aggressive acquisitions that are physically redrawing the map of global trade and political influence.
A pair of deep-pocketed Chinese behemoths, Cosco Shipping Ports and China Merchants Port Holdings, have gone on a buying binge of late, snapping up cargo terminals in the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic rim. Just last month, Cosco finalized the takeover of the terminal in Zeebrugge, Belgium's second-biggest port, marking the Chinese firm's first bridgehead in northwestern Europe.
That deal followed a raft of other acquisitions in Spain, Italy, and Greece in just the last couple of years. Chinese state firms, which once kept close to their home market, now control about one-tenth of all European port capacity.
The port deals are one of the clearest manifestations of Beijing's ambitious plans to physically link China to Europe by sea, road, rail, and pipeline. The ports underpin the maritime half of the Belt and Road Initiative, snaking from the South China Sea across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal and into the soft underbelly of Europe.
''For somebody like Cosco, the deals make sense financially, and they can make their lords and masters in Beijing happy because it fits the Belt and Road narrative,'' said Neil Davidson, a senior analyst for ports and terminals at Drewry, the maritime consultancy. ''At bottom, there is a geopolitical underpinning to a lot of this.''
For China, still shaking off what it views as a century of humiliation by Western countries '-- which culminated with the forced opening of Chinese ports by European gunboats '-- snapping up the sinews of modern commerce is a satisfying way to return to what it sees as the normal state of affairs.
''The fundamental goal seems to be to decrease China's dependence on foreign elements and increase China's influence around the world,'' said Frans-Paul van der Putten, a China expert at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations.
That rising influence is spooking many in Europe. With Chinese investment skyrocketing, European leaders are growing increasingly leery that Chinese President Xi Jinping is turning China's economic heft into political pull. Since Cosco dropped $1 billion into buying and upgrading the once-sleepy Greek port of Piraeus, for example, Beijing has been able to count on Greek assistance to scupper European Union condemnations of China's behavior on issues including human rights and the South China Sea.
Now that Chinese state-owned firms are marching across the Mediterranean '-- matched with parallel investment drives in Central and Eastern Europe '-- those worries aren't going away.
''The scale of the Belt and Road investments in key infrastructure means China's political influence in these countries will increase,'' said Turloch Mooney, who covers global ports for IHS Markit. ''That is assured.''
Chinese shipping and ports companies used to be relative minnows in a world dominated by giants such as A.P. Moller-Maersk and Hutchison Ports. But in 2016, Beijing created a mammoth national champion by merging China Ocean Shipping and China Shipping Company to form Cosco, a sprawling group that includes the eponymous shipping line, the port operator, and other shipping businesses.
It didn't stop there: Last year, it spent more than $6 billion to acquire a smaller rival, Orient Overseas International, further driving consolidation in the shipping business. Now, Cosco wields control over one of the world's largest shipping companies (and the biggest outside Europe) and one of the world's busiest port operators.
And when it comes to ports, Cosco isn't even the biggest state-owned Chinese firm: China Merchants Port Holdings moves even more cargo and has also been busy overseas, snapping up terminals in Sri Lanka, Djibouti, and Brazil, in addition to earlier acquisitions in Europe.
Cosco and China Merchants have a crucial advantage over their mostly European rivals: easy access to bucket loads of cheap money that they can use to aggressively bid on attractive properties around the world. Both firms can get low-interest loans from state banks, and Cosco can even tap into a multibillion-dollar kitty of Belt and Road financing made available by the China Development Bank.
''From a trade and commercial perspective, the availability of cheap money and good diplomatic backing is giving the Chinese terminal operators increased ability to beat rival investors and acquire choice port assets,'' Mooney said.
That financial freedom comes in particularly handy when, say, a port is more strategically valuable to Beijing than it may be commercially appealing. Cargo volumes at the China Merchants terminal in Djibouti, for example, fell in the first half of last year even as business elsewhere was booming. But Djibouti remains vital for Beijing because it is China's only overseas military base and is perched right on the vital Indian Ocean sea lanes.
''In the case of projects where there may be a major strategic value for the government,'' Mooney said, Chinese firms can ''acquire and continue to invest in assets even when there is little or no obvious commercial value.''
That's not to say that the acquisition spree is only about geopolitics.
After shipping companies were hammered during the trade downturn in 2016 '-- Cosco lost $1.4 billion that year '-- ports simply offer better returns, notes Drewry's Davidson. ''Ports and terminals are profitable, whereas the shipping business is a little like airlines '-- it's a low margin business.''
And companies like Cosco hope to turn their investments into money-spinners by transforming once-quiet ports into huge cargo hubs. Cosco turned Piraeus from a backwater to a busy key transshipment terminal right where Europe, the Middle East, and Asia converge. It hopes to do something similar in the western Mediterranean with the Spanish port of Valencia and in northwest Europe with Zeebrugge.
But the pace of Chinese expansion into critical sectors of the European economy, including ports but also the energy business and high-tech sectors, has European leaders increasingly on edge.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last fall warned specifically about foreign purchases of assets like ports, though without singling out China by name. The commission is working on new ways to screen foreign investment in sensitive areas.
French President Emmanuel Macron went further in his state visit last month to China, pointedly referring to Beijing's acquisition of key European infrastructure and calling for a united European front. ''China won't respect a continent, a power, when some member states let their doors freely open,'' he said, according to Reuters.
While Chinese purchases of local crown jewels can spark a backlash '-- as the acquisition of German robot-maker Kuka did in 2016 '-- that is more out of concern Beijing will gobble up the cutting-edge technology that European economies need to keep their edge.
The port deals, and other infrastructure projects associated with the Belt and Road in Central and Eastern Europe, threaten to politically hive off vulnerable members of an already tottering European Union, said van der Putten of the Netherlands Institute.
''There is more debate now about the possible political implications of Chinese investment,'' he said. ''The big difference now is that there is the assumption that Chinese investment in Mediterranean and Central European countries will influence their position toward China.''
Dogs vs Kids
No Children Because of Climate Change? Some People Are Considering It - The New York Times
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 13:49
The Tengger Desert in China is growing because of climate change. Around the world, many would-be parents are looking at effects like this and hesitating. Credit Josh Haner/The New York Times Add this to the list of decisions affected by climate change: Should I have children?
It is not an easy time for people to feel hopeful, with the effects of globalwarmingno longertheoretical, projections becoming more dire and governmental action lagging. And while few, if any, studies have examined how large a role climate change plays in people's childbearing decisions, it loomed large in interviews with more than a dozen people ages 18 to 43.
A 32-year-old who always thought she would have children can no longer justify it to herself. A Mormon has bucked the expectations of her religion by resolving to adopt rather than give birth. An Ohio woman had her first child after an unplanned pregnancy '-- and then had a second because she did not want her daughter to face an environmental collapse alone.
Among them, there is a sense of being saddled with painful ethical questions that previous generations did not have to confront. Some worry about the quality of life children born today will have as shorelines flood, wildfires rage and extreme weather becomes more common. Others are acutely aware that having a child is one of the costliest actions they can take environmentally.
Rising waters are threatening low-lying areas like South Tarawa in Kiribati, a Pacific island nation. Credit Josh Haner/The New York Times The birthrate in the United States, which has been falling for a decade, reached a new low in 2016. Economic insecurity has been a major factor, but even as the economy recovers, the decline in births continues.
And the discussions about the role of climate change are only intensifying.
''When we first started this project, I didn't know anybody who had had any conversations about this,'' said Meghan Kallman, a co-founder of Conceivable Future, an organization that highlights how climate change is limiting reproductive choices.
That has changed, she said '-- either because more people are having doubts, or because it has become less taboo to talk about them.
Facing an uncertain futureIf it weren't for climate change, Allison Guy said, she would go off birth control tomorrow.
But scientists' projections, if rapid action isn't taken, are not ''congruent with a stable society,'' said Ms. Guy, 32, who works at a marine conservation nonprofit in Washington. ''I don't want to give birth to a kid wondering if it's going to live in some kind of 'Mad Max' dystopia.''
Parents like Amanda PerryMiller, a Christian youth leader and mother of two in Independence, Ohio, share her fears.
''Animals are disappearing. The oceans are full of plastic. The human population is so numerous, the planet may not be able to support it indefinitely,'' said Ms. PerryMiller, 29. ''This doesn't paint a very pretty picture for people bringing home a brand-new baby from the hospital.''
A house party in Chicago organized by the group Conceivable Future. Credit Marya Spont-Lemus The people thinking about these issues fit no single profile. They are women and men, liberal and conservative. They come from many regions and religions.
Cate Mumford, 28, is a Mormon, and Mormons believe God has commanded them to ''multiply and replenish the earth.'' But even in her teens, she said, she could not get another point of doctrine out of her head: ''We are stewards of the earth.''
Ms. Mumford, a graduate student in a joint-degree program at Johns Hopkins and Brigham Young Universities, plans to adopt a child with her husband. Some members of her church have responded aggressively, accusing her of going against God's plan. But she said she felt vindicated by the worsening projections.
Smog shrouding Mexico City. When Cate Mumford, 28, saw similar pollution in China, she thought, ''I'm so glad I'm not going to bring a brand-new baby into this world to suffer like these kids suffer.'' Credit Josh Haner/The New York Times A few years ago, she traveled to China, where air pollution is a national crisis. And all she could think was, ''I'm so glad I'm not going to bring a brand-new baby into this world to suffer like these kids suffer.''
'Some pretty strong cognitive dissonance'For many, the drive to reproduce is not easily put aside.
''If a family is what you want, you're not just going to be able to make that disappear entirely,'' said Jody Mullen, 36, a mother of two in Gillette, N.J. ''You're not just going to be able to say, 'It's not really good for the environment for humans to keep reproducing, so I'll just scratch that idea.'''
And so compromises emerge. Some parents resolve to raise conscientious citizens who can help tackle climate change. Some who want multiple children decide to have only one.
For Sara Jackson Shumate, 37, who has a young daughter, having a second child would mean moving to a house farther from her job as a lecturer at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. She is not sure she can justify the environmental impact of a larger home and a longer commute.
But for Ms. PerryMiller, the Ohio youth leader, the thinking went the opposite way: Once she had her first child, climate change made a second feel more urgent.
''Someday, my husband and I will be gone,'' she said. ''If my daughter has to face the end of the world as we know it, I want her to have her brother there.''
Laura Cornish, 32, a mother of two near Vancouver, said she felt ''some pretty strong cognitive dissonance around knowing that the science is really bad but still thinking that their future will be O.K.''
''I don't read the science updates anymore because they're too awful,'' she said. ''I just don't engage with that, because it's hard to reconcile with my choices.''
'The thing that's broken is bigger than us'People who choose not to have children are used to being called ''selfish.'' But many of them see their decision as a sacrifice.
Parenthood is ''something that I want,'' said Elizabeth Bogard, 18, a freshman at Northern Illinois University. ''But it's hard for me to justify my wants over what matters and what's important for everyone.''
This attitude seems particularly common among people who have seen the effects of climate change firsthand.
Hemanth Kolla is from Hyderabad, in India, where drought and scorching heat waves have been deadly. He lives in California, where the threat of wildfires is increasing and a six-year drought only recently ended. Mr. Kolla, 36, said it felt wrong to have a child when he did not believe the world would be better for him or her.
And Maram Kaff, who lives in Cairo, said she had been deeply affected by reports that parts of the Middle East may be too hot for human habitation by 2100.
''I've seen how Syrian refugees, who are running from a devastating war, are being treated,'' Ms. Kaff, 33, said in an email. ''Imagine how my children will be treated if they have to flee their country due to extreme weather, drought, lack of resources, flooding.''
''I know that humans are hard-wired to procreate,'' she said, ''but my instinct now is to shield my children from the horrors of the future by not bringing them to the world.''
Ms. Kallman and Josephine Ferorelli, the founders of Conceivable Future, said that the predominant emotion at their gatherings was grief '-- and that the very existence of these conversations should spur political action.
''These stories tell you that the thing that's broken is bigger than us,'' Ms. Ferorelli said. ''The fact that people are seriously considering not having children because of climate change is all the reason you need to make the demands.''
Most of the people interviewed, parents and non-parents alike, lamented having to factor climate change into their decisions at all.
''What kind of nightmare question is that?'' asked Ms. Guy, the Washington nonprofit worker. ''That we have to consider that?''
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War on Asparagus
Spread of breast cancer linked to compound in asparagus and other foods | Science | The Guardian
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:27
Asparagine is an amino acid that is made naturally in the body as a building block for proteins. But it is also found in the diet, and in high levels in certain meats, vegetables and dairy products. Photograph: Alamy
Breast cancer patients could be encouraged to cut asparagus and other foods from their diets in the future to reduce the risk of the disease spreading, scientists say.
Researchers are investigating whether a change in diet could help patients with breast tumours after studies in mice showed that asparagine, a compound first identified in asparagus but present in many other foods, drives the spread of the disease to other organs.
When scientists reduced asparagine in animals with breast cancer, they found that the number of secondary tumours in other tissues fell dramatically. The spread of malignant cells, often to the bones, lungs and brain, is the main cause of death among patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer.
''This is a very promising lead and one of the very few instances where there is a scientific rationale for a dietary modification influencing cancer,'' said lead scientist Prof Greg Hannon, director of the Cancer Research UK Cancer Institute in Cambridge.
Asparagine is an amino acid that is made naturally in the body as a building block for proteins. But it is also found in the diet, and in high levels in certain meats, vegetables and dairy products.
The international team of cancer specialists from Britain, the US, and Canada studied mice with an aggressive form of breast cancer. The mice develop secondary tumours in a matter of weeks and tend to die from the disease within months.
Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers describe how they reduced the ability of breast cancer to spread in the animals by blocking asparagine with a drug called L-asparaginase. To a lesser extent, by putting the animals on a low-asparagine diet worked too. Inspired by the results, the scientists examined records from human cancers and found that breast tumours that churned out the most asparagine were most likely to spread, leading patients to die sooner. The same was seen in cancers of the head, neck and kidney.
Asparagine appears to help cancer cells change into a form that easily spreads from the breast, through the bloodstream, to other organs where they grow into secondary tumours, Hannon said. While suppressing levels of asparagine reduced the spread of breast cancer around the body, it did nothing to prevent breast tumours forming in the first place.
If the findings hold in humans, breast cancer patients may be put on low asparagine diets while they have conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy, for the disease. But because asparagine is so ubiquitous in food, drugs that target the amino acid may be more effective. L-asparagine breaks the amino acid down in the bloodstream, but more targeted drugs could block its production altogether.
''This is one case where we can show at a deep biochemical level how a change in diet can impact properties of cells that are relevant to the progression of lethal disease,'' said Hannon. ''But of course, until human studies are done, this isn't a DIY method to prevent cancer.''
Prof Keqiang Ye, a cancer researcher at Emory University in Atlanta, said that lowering asparagine levels, either with drugs or dietary restriction, would help prevent cancer cells from spreading. But for patients, he said that drug treatments held more promise than changes to their diets.
''Asparagine is frequently found in various animal sources including beef, poultry, eggs, fish and seafood. It is also found in many vegetables including asparagus, potatoes, nuts, legumes and soy. Since these foods are so common, it seems that diet restriction may not be the ideal approach,'' Ye said.
Baroness Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Now, said: ''This early discovery could offer a long-awaited new way to help stop breast cancer spreading '' but we first need to understand the true role of this nutrient in patients. With nearly 11,500 women still dying from breast cancer each year in the UK, we urgently need to stop the disease spreading around the body, where it becomes incurable.
''On current evidence, we don't recommend patients totally exclude any specific food group from their diet without speaking to their doctors. We'd also encourage all patients to follow a healthy and varied diet '' rich in fruit, vegetables and pulses, and limited in processed meat and high fat or sugar foods '' to help give them the best chance of survival.''
Spread of breast cancer linked to compound in asparagus and other foods | Science | The Guardian
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:27
Asparagine is an amino acid that is made naturally in the body as a building block for proteins. But it is also found in the diet, and in high levels in certain meats, vegetables and dairy products. Photograph: Alamy
Breast cancer patients could be encouraged to cut asparagus and other foods from their diets in the future to reduce the risk of the disease spreading, scientists say.
Researchers are investigating whether a change in diet could help patients with breast tumours after studies in mice showed that asparagine, a compound first identified in asparagus but present in many other foods, drives the spread of the disease to other organs.
When scientists reduced asparagine in animals with breast cancer, they found that the number of secondary tumours in other tissues fell dramatically. The spread of malignant cells, often to the bones, lungs and brain, is the main cause of death among patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer.
''This is a very promising lead and one of the very few instances where there is a scientific rationale for a dietary modification influencing cancer,'' said lead scientist Prof Greg Hannon, director of the Cancer Research UK Cancer Institute in Cambridge.
Asparagine is an amino acid that is made naturally in the body as a building block for proteins. But it is also found in the diet, and in high levels in certain meats, vegetables and dairy products.
The international team of cancer specialists from Britain, the US, and Canada studied mice with an aggressive form of breast cancer. The mice develop secondary tumours in a matter of weeks and tend to die from the disease within months.
Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers describe how they reduced the ability of breast cancer to spread in the animals by blocking asparagine with a drug called L-asparaginase. To a lesser extent, by putting the animals on a low-asparagine diet worked too. Inspired by the results, the scientists examined records from human cancers and found that breast tumours that churned out the most asparagine were most likely to spread, leading patients to die sooner. The same was seen in cancers of the head, neck and kidney.
Asparagine appears to help cancer cells change into a form that easily spreads from the breast, through the bloodstream, to other organs where they grow into secondary tumours, Hannon said. While suppressing levels of asparagine reduced the spread of breast cancer around the body, it did nothing to prevent breast tumours forming in the first place.
If the findings hold in humans, breast cancer patients may be put on low asparagine diets while they have conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy, for the disease. But because asparagine is so ubiquitous in food, drugs that target the amino acid may be more effective. L-asparagine breaks the amino acid down in the bloodstream, but more targeted drugs could block its production altogether.
''This is one case where we can show at a deep biochemical level how a change in diet can impact properties of cells that are relevant to the progression of lethal disease,'' said Hannon. ''But of course, until human studies are done, this isn't a DIY method to prevent cancer.''
Prof Keqiang Ye, a cancer researcher at Emory University in Atlanta, said that lowering asparagine levels, either with drugs or dietary restriction, would help prevent cancer cells from spreading. But for patients, he said that drug treatments held more promise than changes to their diets.
''Asparagine is frequently found in various animal sources including beef, poultry, eggs, fish and seafood. It is also found in many vegetables including asparagus, potatoes, nuts, legumes and soy. Since these foods are so common, it seems that diet restriction may not be the ideal approach,'' Ye said.
Baroness Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Now, said: ''This early discovery could offer a long-awaited new way to help stop breast cancer spreading '' but we first need to understand the true role of this nutrient in patients. With nearly 11,500 women still dying from breast cancer each year in the UK, we urgently need to stop the disease spreading around the body, where it becomes incurable.
''On current evidence, we don't recommend patients totally exclude any specific food group from their diet without speaking to their doctors. We'd also encourage all patients to follow a healthy and varied diet '' rich in fruit, vegetables and pulses, and limited in processed meat and high fat or sugar foods '' to help give them the best chance of survival.''
10 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Asparagus
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:27
The spring veggie boasts a long list of health benefits.
Health benefits of asparagusYes, eating asparagus does make your pee smell. But once you're past that, there are plenty of reasons to fill your plate with more of this spring superfood. The bright-green veggie is packed with good-for-you vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, as well as folate, iron, copper, calcium, protein, and fiber. Thanks to all these nutrients, asparagus offers some serious health perks.
''People should definitely take advantage of this vegetable while it's in peak season,'' says Keri Gans, RD, a New York City-based nutrition consultant and author of The Small Change Diet. ''I love it roasted, grilled, or tossed into a pasta meal with olive oil, cherry tomatoes, and grilled shrimp.''
Here, 10 reasons why you should eat more asparagus this season.
It can help you meet your weight-loss goalsNot only is asparagus low in fat and calories (one cup sets you back a mere 32 calories), but it also contains lots of soluble and insoluble fiber, making it a good choice if you're trying to lose weight. Because your body digests fiber slowly, it keeps you feeling full in between meals.
''Fiber can definitely help you feel satiated, making it beneficial for weight loss,'' says Gans. ''It can also aid constipation, and research suggests it may help lower cholesterol.''
To maximize the veggie's calorie-torching potential, pair it with a hard-boiled egg: the combination of fiber-rich asparagus with the egg's protein will leave you feeling satisfied.
It may keep your urinary tract happyAsparagus contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, making it a natural diuretic. In other words, eating more of the spears can help flush excess fluid and salt from your body, which may help prevent urinary tract infections.
''When women are not urinating enough, they can get a UTI,'' explains Gans. It's possible that a diet rich in asparagus could prevent these painful infections from developing, since going to the bathroom more frequently can help move bad bacteria out of the urinary tract.
It's full of antioxidantsAsparagus'--purple asparagus in particular'--is full of anthocyanins, which give fruits and veggies their red, blue, and purple hues and have antioxidant effects that could help your body fight damaging free radicals. When preparing asparagus, try not to either overcook or undercook it. Although cooking the veggie helps activate its cancer-fighting potential, letting it boil or saut(C) for too long can negate some nutritional benefits. ''Overcooking asparagus could cause the vitamins to leech out into the water,'' says Gans.
It contains vitamin EAsparagus is also a source of vitamin E, another important antioxidant. This vitamin helps strengthen your immune system and protects cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. To fill up on its benefits, roast asparagus with a little olive oil: ''Our body absorbs vitamin E better if it's eaten alongside some fat,'' says Gans. ''And when you cook it with olive oil, you're getting healthy fat and vitamin E.''
It may help you get in the moodYou may want to consider adding asparagus to your next date night menu: the veggie is a natural aphrodisiac thanks to vitamin B6 and folate, which can help boost feelings of arousal. Plus, vitamin E stimulates sex hormones, including estrogen in women and testosterone in men.
It can ease a hangoverIf you crave a greasy breakfast the morning after too many drinks, research suggests that a side of asparagus might be the better choice. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Food Science conducted on laboratory-grown cells suggested that the minerals and amino acids in asparagus extract may help ease hangovers and protect liver cells from the toxins in alcohol.
It beats bloatingWhen it comes to fighting bloat, asparagus packs a mean punch. The veggie helps promote overall digestive health (another benefit of all that soluble and insoluble fiber!). And thanks to prebiotics'--carbohydrates that can't be digested and help encourage a healthy balance of good bacteria, or probiotics, in your digestive track'--it can also reduce gas. Plus, as a natural diuretic, asparagus helps flush excess liquid, combating belly bulge.
It's a rich source of folic acidFour asparagus spears contain 22% of your recommended daily allowance of folic acid. ''Folic acid is essential for women who are planning on getting pregnant, since it can help protect against neural tube defect,'' says Gans. One 2009 study published in PLoS Medicine found that folic acid supplements help reduce risk of premature birth by 50% when taken for at least a year before conception compared with women who didn't take additional folic acid.
It's filled with vitamin KAlong with other green, leafy vegetables, asparagus is a good source of vitamin K. The vitamin is crucial for coagulation (which helps your body stop bleeding after a cut) as well as bone health.
''Most people think of calcium for healthy bones, but vitamin K is also important,'' says Gans. ''It can actually help your body absorb calcium.''
It boosts your moodAsparagus is full of folate, a B vitamin that could lift your spirits and help ward off irritability. Researchers have found a connection between low levels of folate and vitamin B12 in people who are suffering from depression, leading some docs to prescribe daily doses of both vitamins to patients with depression. Asparagus also contains high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that has been similarly linked to improved mood.
10 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Asparagus
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:27
The spring veggie boasts a long list of health benefits.
Health benefits of asparagusYes, eating asparagus does make your pee smell. But once you're past that, there are plenty of reasons to fill your plate with more of this spring superfood. The bright-green veggie is packed with good-for-you vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, as well as folate, iron, copper, calcium, protein, and fiber. Thanks to all these nutrients, asparagus offers some serious health perks.
''People should definitely take advantage of this vegetable while it's in peak season,'' says Keri Gans, RD, a New York City-based nutrition consultant and author of The Small Change Diet. ''I love it roasted, grilled, or tossed into a pasta meal with olive oil, cherry tomatoes, and grilled shrimp.''
Here, 10 reasons why you should eat more asparagus this season.
It can help you meet your weight-loss goalsNot only is asparagus low in fat and calories (one cup sets you back a mere 32 calories), but it also contains lots of soluble and insoluble fiber, making it a good choice if you're trying to lose weight. Because your body digests fiber slowly, it keeps you feeling full in between meals.
''Fiber can definitely help you feel satiated, making it beneficial for weight loss,'' says Gans. ''It can also aid constipation, and research suggests it may help lower cholesterol.''
To maximize the veggie's calorie-torching potential, pair it with a hard-boiled egg: the combination of fiber-rich asparagus with the egg's protein will leave you feeling satisfied.
It may keep your urinary tract happyAsparagus contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, making it a natural diuretic. In other words, eating more of the spears can help flush excess fluid and salt from your body, which may help prevent urinary tract infections.
''When women are not urinating enough, they can get a UTI,'' explains Gans. It's possible that a diet rich in asparagus could prevent these painful infections from developing, since going to the bathroom more frequently can help move bad bacteria out of the urinary tract.
It's full of antioxidantsAsparagus'--purple asparagus in particular'--is full of anthocyanins, which give fruits and veggies their red, blue, and purple hues and have antioxidant effects that could help your body fight damaging free radicals. When preparing asparagus, try not to either overcook or undercook it. Although cooking the veggie helps activate its cancer-fighting potential, letting it boil or saut(C) for too long can negate some nutritional benefits. ''Overcooking asparagus could cause the vitamins to leech out into the water,'' says Gans.
It contains vitamin EAsparagus is also a source of vitamin E, another important antioxidant. This vitamin helps strengthen your immune system and protects cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. To fill up on its benefits, roast asparagus with a little olive oil: ''Our body absorbs vitamin E better if it's eaten alongside some fat,'' says Gans. ''And when you cook it with olive oil, you're getting healthy fat and vitamin E.''
It may help you get in the moodYou may want to consider adding asparagus to your next date night menu: the veggie is a natural aphrodisiac thanks to vitamin B6 and folate, which can help boost feelings of arousal. Plus, vitamin E stimulates sex hormones, including estrogen in women and testosterone in men.
It can ease a hangoverIf you crave a greasy breakfast the morning after too many drinks, research suggests that a side of asparagus might be the better choice. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Food Science conducted on laboratory-grown cells suggested that the minerals and amino acids in asparagus extract may help ease hangovers and protect liver cells from the toxins in alcohol.
It beats bloatingWhen it comes to fighting bloat, asparagus packs a mean punch. The veggie helps promote overall digestive health (another benefit of all that soluble and insoluble fiber!). And thanks to prebiotics'--carbohydrates that can't be digested and help encourage a healthy balance of good bacteria, or probiotics, in your digestive track'--it can also reduce gas. Plus, as a natural diuretic, asparagus helps flush excess liquid, combating belly bulge.
It's a rich source of folic acidFour asparagus spears contain 22% of your recommended daily allowance of folic acid. ''Folic acid is essential for women who are planning on getting pregnant, since it can help protect against neural tube defect,'' says Gans. One 2009 study published in PLoS Medicine found that folic acid supplements help reduce risk of premature birth by 50% when taken for at least a year before conception compared with women who didn't take additional folic acid.
It's filled with vitamin KAlong with other green, leafy vegetables, asparagus is a good source of vitamin K. The vitamin is crucial for coagulation (which helps your body stop bleeding after a cut) as well as bone health.
''Most people think of calcium for healthy bones, but vitamin K is also important,'' says Gans. ''It can actually help your body absorb calcium.''
It boosts your moodAsparagus is full of folate, a B vitamin that could lift your spirits and help ward off irritability. Researchers have found a connection between low levels of folate and vitamin B12 in people who are suffering from depression, leading some docs to prescribe daily doses of both vitamins to patients with depression. Asparagus also contains high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that has been similarly linked to improved mood.
War on Men
Piers Morgan blasts BBC for airing 'homophobic' cartoon | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 12:19
Piers Morgan launched a blistering on the BBC after it aired a 'homophobic' cartoon depicting the British journalist with his nose up President Trump's backside.
The Good Morning Britain presenter, who secured the first international interview with Trump last week, slammed the corporation for using the image on The Mash Report - its satirical news roundup.
The MailOnline columnist first tweeted about the cartoon at 6.30 last night after it appeared on the BBC2 programme on Thursday. He accused the corporation of double standards.
Piers Morgan has slammed the BBC after it broadcasted a 'homophobic' cartoon (pictured) on Thursday night's The Mash Report
He wrote: 'Amusing though this image may be to many people, can you imagine the BBC broadcasting it if the President was Hillary Clinton or the interviewer was a woman?
'Is that how licence payer money should be spent?'
He added: 'The BBC thinks this is OK to broadcast. But if it depicted high profile women, there would be outrage. Why the double standard?
'If they did it to Hilary Clinton and Laura Kuenssberg - somebody WOULD be sacked.'
A number of people tweeted their support for Morgan including feminist author and journalist Jennifer Wright.
She wrote: 'I hate agreeing with Piers Morgan, and I think he is a revolting toady, but... posting pictures of men engaging in sexual acts with other men to demean them seems dated and unfortunate.
Piers retweeted a number of supportive voices throughout yesterday evening and this morning
'There are ways to convey this point without the "ha ha gay" overtones at work here.'
Morgan then accused the BBC of homophobia.
'If Trump tweeted an image like this depicting Hillary Clinton & a female interviewer, all those currently celebrating/retweeting it would erupt with outraged cries of "Sexist!" "Misogynist!" "Homophobic!" - led by the BBC,' he wrote.
'Liberal hypocrisy in all its unedifying glory!'
US columnist and television personality Perez Hilton retweeted Morgan's accusation of homophobia, adding: 'Solid point from Piers.'
The Good Morning Britain presenter secured the first international interview with Trump last week (pictured)
Morgan retweeted the cartoon a number of times, prompting critics to ask why.
'I want everyone to see exactly what the BBC did & share it,' he wrote in response to one.
A BBC spokesperson said: 'The BBC has a rich heritage of satire and The Mash Report takes a satirical and surreal look at the week's big stories.
'This brand of humour is well known to BBC Two audiences who tune in to watch the programme.'
Magic Number
ANGEL NUMBERS - Joanne Sacred Scribes: ANGEL NUMBER 33
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 00:37
Number 33 is made up of the vibrations of the number 3 appearing twice, amplifying and magnifying its influences. Number 3 relates to the attributes of expansion and the principles of increase, spontaneity, broad-minded thinking, encouragement, assistance, talent and skills, self-expression and communication, manifesting and manifestation. Number 3 also resonates with the energies of the Ascended Masters, and indicates that the Ascended Masters are around you, assisting when asked. They are helping you to find peace, clarity and love within. The Ascended Masters help you to focus on the Divine spark within yourself and others, and assist with manifesting your desires. Number 33 is a Master Number (Master Teacher) and resonates with the energies of compassion, blessings, inspiration, honesty, discipline, bravery and courage. Number 33 tells us that 'all things are possible'. 33 is also the number that symbolizes 'guidance'. The Master Number 33 is connected to the Ascended Masters, and the repeating Angel Number 33 is a message that many Ascended Masters surround you and are offering their assistance. All you need to do is ask, as the Ascended Masters are waiting to answer your prayers. Angel Number 33 is a message from your angels that any positive changes or projects you are considering right now will be well worth your while, and you will be assisted in the undertaking. Angel Number 33 gives you the courage to live your life with enthusiasm and optimism, safe in the knowledge that you are well blessed, loved and supported in all that you do. Live your life with joy, passion and purpose as this will manifest your true desires. Be prepared to expand and increase your spiritual development and awareness. Number 33 also relates to the number 6 (3+3=6) and Angel Number 6. See also: Repeating 3's (33, 333, 3333 etc)
Angel Number 3
Angel Number 333
Sacred Scribes
NUMEROLOGY - The Vibration and Energy of Numbers
Put an Egg on it!
The flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective this year. Blame eggs. - Vox
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 11:28
The first data on how well the flu vaccine is working this season in North America has just been published '-- and it helps explain why everyone appears to be sick right now.
The study, from the journal Eurosurveillance, found that the flu vaccine was only 10 percent effective against H3N2 (the main flu subtype going around in the US this season) among adults aged 20 to 64 years old in Canada '-- the age group that made up the majority of participants in the study. The protection rate rose to 17 percent when considering all age groups.
In most adults, the study suggests the shot would only prevent 10 percent of H3N2 flu cases. So if 100 in 1,000 unvaccinated people develop flu, the number would drop to 90 in 1,000 among vaccinated people '-- a very small difference in flu risk between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. And more than 80 percent of confirmed US flu cases have involved H3N2.
''The evidence is mounting, from Australia and now from Canada, that the vaccine protection is low [this year],'' said lead study author Danuta Skowronski, an influenza epidemiologist at the British Columbia Center for Disease Control. ''Given the same H3N2 subtype [is circulating in the US], our estimate of low vaccine protection should also apply to the US.''
For the study, Skowronski and her co-authors compared the vaccine coverage rates in Canadians who went to the doctor and tested positive for the flu with the rates of those who tested negative. In a good year, the flu shot's effectiveness hovers between 50 and 70 percent. But in years when the H3N2 type of flu virus circulates '-- as it is this year '-- the vaccine tends to be less protective.
So Skowronski wasn't surprised by the dismal data. Plus, in Australia, where the flu season peaks in August and H3N2 struck as well, early estimates suggested the shot was only 10 percent effective there too.
''Our findings reinforce the concerns that were expressed from Australia using the same vaccine [formulation] for their 2017 epidemic,'' she said. Flu vaccine effectiveness can vary by country, and the US data has yet to be published, but the Canadian study is telling.
But to understand why the shot appears to be underperforming this year, you need to understand how the flu vaccine is made '-- a production process that involves eggs.
Whenever H3N2 is the dominant flu strain, vaccines don't work as wellThere are four species of influenza viruses '-- A, B, C, and D '-- and seasonal flu is caused by influenza A and B. Every year, different strains of these viruses circulate.
To formulate the flu vaccine, public health agencies essentially make early educated guesses on which strains will make the rounds. And that's not easy.
In February, long before flu season begins in the US, the World Health Organization offers a prediction, based on surveillance and laboratory and clinical studies. Then each country uses that prediction to approve vaccines in its jurisdiction. (In the US, the Food and Drug Administration makes the final call.)
The potential for error here can dramatically alter the effectiveness of the flu shot in a given season. If vaccine makers prepare for one combination of viruses and different ones end up circulating widely, the vaccine won't work that well.
But there's another thing that researchers have recently come to realize also alters the vaccine's effectiveness: Whenever H3N2, a strain of the influenza A virus, is the dominant flu type in circulation, the vaccine doesn't perform as well.
Edward Belongia, a senior epidemiologist at the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute in Wisconsin who has studied flu vaccine effectiveness, found that the combined vaccine effectiveness during H3N2 seasons was 33 percent. The flu shot's effectiveness rose to 54 percent during influenza type B seasons, and 67 percent during H1N1 seasons.
Part of the reason has to do with ... eggsThere are a couple of reasons why it's harder to vaccinate against H3N2. For one, the virus mutates as it moves through the population at a faster rate than other flu viruses '-- making it even harder to design a shot that matches the circulating virus.
One other reason the flu vaccine tends to underperform in H3N2 years has to do with ... eggs. To produce the vaccines, manufacturers need to grow a lot of flu virus '-- and they discovered long ago that flu virus grows extremely effectively in eggs. So viruses are injected into fertilized hen's eggs, incubated for several days while they replicate, then harvested from the eggs, killed (or inactivated), and purified to go into vaccines.
''It's an antiquated process, but it's time-honored,'' Anthony Fauci, the head of the NIH's infectious diseases division, explained. While flu vaccines developed with more modern (cell-based and recombinant) methods of production have been licensed in the US, it's not yet clear they are more protective against flu than the egg-based vaccines.
Plus, no other cell system comes close to growing the flu virus as cheaply or efficiently as eggs, and the industry has invested a lot in the egg-production infrastructure. So, Fauci explained, ''We are stuck in the [egg-based] way, and it's tough to transition to a more modern technology.''
But lately, researchers have found that there are problems with the egg-based approach that specifically relate to H3N2.
''In the process of adapting virus to grow in eggs, that seems to introduce further changes to the [H3N2] virus, which may impair the effectiveness of the vaccine,'' Belongia said. In other words, while growing the flu virus for vaccines, H3N2 mutates to adapt to the eggs, which seems to result in a vaccine mismatch.
Skowronski, whose research helped uncover the egg problem, thinks scientists will discover other reasons the flu vaccine sometimes underperforms. ''I don't think [egg-based production methods] tell the whole story,'' she said, noting how complicated flu viruses '-- and our responses to them '-- are.
But eggs certainly tell an underappreciated part of the story. And while scientists pursue the holy grail of a universal flu vaccine, they should also try to understand how our current production methods hamper the vaccines we have now.
Recommended by Outbrain
MH370: search ship disappears for three days | World news | The Guardian
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 22:47
A woman leaves message of support for passengers of missing Malaysia Airlines MH370. Photograph: Damir Sagolj / Reuters/Reuters
The ship searching for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared from tracking screens for three days after it turned off its own satellite monitoring system with no explanation.
At the beginning of January, the US-based company Ocean Infinity was hired by the Malaysian government to search for the missing plane, which disappeared in March 2014.
Its ship, Seabed Constructor, began the search on 22 January, but on Thursday, after only 10 days, it turned off its Automatic Identification System (AIS) with no explanation.
Three days later, it reappeared outside the search area and on its way to a scheduled refuelling stop at the Australian port of Fremantle. Neither the Malaysian government nor Ocean Infinity has explained the outage, or where the ship travelled in those three days.
Seabed Constructor turned off its AIS on 1 February and reactivated it on 4 February. The three days in between are unaccounted for.See the full visual
Family members of those on board the missing flight have called on the Malaysian government and Ocean Infinity to explain the blackout, amid mounting speculation over the ship's movements.
KS Narendran, who had a relative on MH370, called for greater transparency over the ship's temporary disappearance.
''I found the development quite odd, and worrying,'' he said. ''If this silence and becoming invisible was intentional, to ward off suspicion, a satisfactory explanation is due. If it was for other reasons, then in the interests of transparency, we ought to be told what caused it.
Related: MH370's location an 'almost inconceivable' mystery '' final report
''There are no journalists and no family members on board the search ship. I wish there were some ... We watch on in good faith. I hope ongoing official disclosure is of such a high order that there is little room for speculation, controversy or a whiff of conspiracy.''
During the three-day data blackout conspiracy theories spread online, including one that Seabed Constructor had taken a detour to recover sunken treasure from the nearby wreck of the SV Inca, a Peruvian ship that sunk in 1911 while en route to Sydney.
Kevin Rupp, a precision machinist who has been publicly tracking Seabed Constructor, said that was highly unlikely.
''I have nothing polite to say about those who are spreading rumours that Seabed Constructor was really on a treasure hunt,'' he said.
He said all speculation was simply guesswork, and the tracker may have been turned off to prevent unnecessary distress to the victim's families. ''If the ship detected possible contacts [with MH370] its most likely action would be to move to the spot of the detections and lower an ROV '' a tethered remote-controlled small vehicle,'' he said.
''To do this, Seabed Constructor would have to sit still in one place for a long period of time and this would be very noticeable to those of us watching through our AIS tracking apps ... I believe they may have turned the AIS transmitter to low power mode to prevent us from speculating that they had found something and causing undue distress for the next of kin.''
In the single update released by Malaysian officials so far, it was confirmed MH370 had not been found in the first week of the search, between 22 and 30 January.
During that time, Seabed Constructor had searched a ''high priority'' area that Australian researchers had pinpointed as the plane's likely resting place. Between 2014 and 2017, Australian authorities had conducted a three-year search across 120,000sq km that failed to find the plane. Afterwards, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) identified the priority area as the next place to look.
Scientist Richard Cole said on Twitter he believed the ship had spent the three days in an area it had previously searched, in the south-east corner of the search area.
Map of the new MH370 search area, with the first week's search in orange. It contains the CSIRO priority area, where no contact with MH370 was made. Photograph: Supplied/Malaysian governmentAfter refuelling in Fremantle, Seabed Constructor was expected to return to the search area. It has 90 days to find MH370 on a no-find, no-fee basis. A reward of between US$20m and $70m is available depending on the area searched.
Flight MH370 disappeared in March 2014, vanishing from radio contact 40 minutes into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Military radar and satellite data suggested the plane suddenly turned around and flew south towards the Indian Ocean, crashing and claiming the lives of all 239 crew and passengers on board.
It was carrying 152 Chinese nationals and 50 from Malaysia, as well as passengers from Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan, Ukraine and the US.
VIDEO - Falcon Heavy Test Flight - YouTube
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 15:13
VIDEO - Shep Smith Suggests Trump Could Play With 'Mini Replicas' of Tanks in Lieu of Military Parade | Mediaite
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:24
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Shep Smith Suggests Trump Could Play With 'Mini Replicas' of Tanks in Lieu of Military ParadeShepard Smith has a capital idea: Give President Donald Trump some toy tanks and missiles to play with instead of having a multi-million-dollar parade.
Smith spoke with Fox News White House Correspondent Jennifer Griffin about how the plans for a military parade have landed with a dud in the defense community, and they began discussing more frugal alternatives.
''He could go see the tanks at a military base if he wanted to,'' Smith offered.
''And they do have parades on those bases,'' Griffin responded. ''We have video of the 82nd Airborne. They have annual events, there are parades, and there are shows of military hardware all across the country.''
That's when Smith started getting in some digs at the president.
''Or they could give him replicas. Little mini replicas. I mean, he wants to see what he has,'' he said, smirking. ''I had some of those when I was a kid.''
''You can get the little plastic ones and lay them out on the table and say 'here you go,''' he added.
''We can play Strategy and Risk,'' Griffin offered as the two shared a laugh.
Shep might have a point. Let's face it: The thought of Trump playing with little toy versions of heavy artillery and making explosion sounds in the Oval Office is not an entirely far-fetched image at this point.
Watch above, via Fox News.
[image via screengrab]
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VIDEO - Nancy Pelosi ecstatic her grandson wishes for the White Genocide in America - YouTube
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:13
VIDEO - Russians penetrated U.S. voter systems, top U.S. official says - NBC News
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 13:59
The U.S. official in charge of protecting American elections from hacking says the Russians successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states prior to the 2016 presidential election.
In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Jeanette Manfra, the head of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, said she couldn't talk about classified information publicly, but in 2016, "We saw a targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated."
Jeh Johnson, who was DHS secretary during the Russian intrusions, said, "2016 was a wake-up call and now it's incumbent upon states and the Feds to do something about it before our democracy is attacked again."
"We were able to determine that the scanning and probing of voter registration databases was coming from the Russian government."
NBC News reported in Sept. 2016 that more than 20 states had been targeted by the Russians.
There is no evidence that any of the registration rolls were altered in any fashion, according to U.S. officials.
In a new NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll, 79 percent of the respondents said they were somewhat or very concerned that the country's voting system might be vulnerable to computer hackers.
In January 2017, just weeks before leaving his post, Johnson declared the nation's electoral systems part of the nation's federally protected "critical infrastructure," a designation that applies to entities like the power grid that could be attacked. It made protecting the electoral systems an official duty of DHS.
But Johnson told NBC News he is now worried that since the 2016 election a lot of states have done little to nothing "to actually harden their cybersecurity."
Manfra said she didn't agree with Johnson's assessment. "I would say they have all taken it seriously."
NBC News reached out to the 21 states that were targeted. Five states, including Texas and California, said they were never attacked.
Manfra said she stands by the list, but also called it a "snapshot in time with the visibility that the department had at that time."
Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson Allison Shelley / Getty Images file
Many of the states complained the federal government did not provide specific threat details, saying that information was classified and state officials did not have proper clearances. Manfra told us those clearances are now being processed
Other states that NBC contacted said they were still waiting for cybersecurity help from the federal government. Manfra said there was no waiting list and that DHS will get to everyone.
Some state officials had opposed Johnson's designation of electoral systems as critical infrastructure, viewing it a federal intrusion. Johnson said that any state officials who don't believe the federal government should be providing help are being "na¯ve" and "irresponsible to the people that [they're] supposed to serve."
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 13:06
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:41
VIDEO - FBI lovers' latest text messages: Obama 'wants to know everything' | Fox News
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:43
Newly revealed text messages between FBI paramours Peter Strzok and Lisa Page include an exchange about preparing talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey to give to President Obama, who wanted ''to know everything we're doing."
The message, from Page to Strzok, was among thousands of texts between the lovers reviewed by Fox News. The pair both worked at one point for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Page wrote to Strzok on Sept. 2, 2016, about prepping Comey because "potus wants to know everything we're doing." According to a newly released Senate report, this text raises questions about Obama's personal involvement in the Clinton email investigation.
In texts previously revealed, Strzok and Page have shown their disdain for Republicans in general, as well as Trump, calling him a "f---ing idiot," among other insults.
Among the newly disclosed texts, Strzok also calls Virginians who voted against then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's wife for a state Senate seat "ignorant hillbillys." (sic)
That text came from Strzok to Page on Nov. 4, 2015, the day after Jill McCabe lost a hotly contested Virginia state Senate election. Strzok said of the result, "Disappointing, but look at the district map. Loudon is being gentrified, but it's still largely ignorant hillbillys. Good for her for running, but curious if she's energized or never again."
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., along with majority staff from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is releasing the texts, along with a report titled, ''The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI's Investigation of it.''
The newly uncovered texts reveal a bit more about the timing of the discovery of "hundreds of thousands" of emails on former Congressman Anthony Weiner's laptop, ultimately leading to Comey's infamous letter to Congress just days before the 2016 presidential election.
On Sept. 28, 2016, Strzok wrote to Page, "Got called up to Andy's [McCabe] earlier.. hundreds of thousands of emails turned over by Weiner's atty to sdny [Southern District of New York], includes a ton of material from spouse [Huma Abedin]. Sending team up tomorrow to review... this will never end." According to the Senate report, this text message raises questions about when FBI officials learned of emails relevant to the Hillary Clinton email investigation on the laptop belonging to Weiner, the husband to Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
It was a full month later, on Oct. 28, 2016, when Comey informed Congress that, "Due to recent developments," the FBI was re-opening its Clinton email investigation.
"In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday..." Comey said at the time.
The question becomes why Comey was only informed by his investigative team on Oct. 27, if the Clinton emails on Weiner's laptop were discovered by Sept. 28, at the latest.
Other texts show more examples of the officials' opposition to Trump.
On Election Day 2016, Strzok wrote, "OMG THIS IS F***ING TERRIFYING." Page replied, "Omg, I am so depressed." Later that month, on Nov. 13, 2016, Page wrote, "I bought all the president's men. Figure I need to brush up on watergate."
The next day, Nov. 14, 2016, Page wrote, ''God, being here makes me angry. Lots of high fallutin' national security talk. Meanwhile we have OUR task ahead of us.''
Page's meaning here is unclear, but according to the Senate report, coupled with Strzok's Aug. 15 text about an ''insurance policy,'' further investigation is warranted to find out what actions the two may have taken.
The last text is from Page to Strzok, and comes on June 23, 2017, when she wrote, "Please don't ever text me again."
It's unclear whether she was mad at her friend, or if she suddenly became aware that they, and their thousands of texts, had been discovered.
Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.
VIDEO - Philadelphia Police Release Video of Mob Destroying Convenience Store Following Super Bowl - YouTube
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 02:09
VIDEO - Adam Schiff spoofed with Russian claim of nude Trump pic
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 22:11
Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic member of the House Intel Committee was recorded speaking to Russian pranksters who spun elaborate 'kompromat' taleHe told Vocan and Lexus, two radio pranksters who have also hit Nikki Haley, that he would pass their claims to the FBI in a call made last yearThe duo posed as a fake Ukrainian politician to say Trump had sex with Russian glamour model Olga Buzova after a Miss Universe pageant in 2013In the call they said Putin had been passed naked pictures of Trump and now-president had used secret codes for talks with RussiansDuo gave emails to DailyMail.com which showed Schiff's staff trying to arrange to collect 'classified' documents from Ukraine's embassy in D.C.Schiff's office claimed he was not fooled by the call and reported it to 'authorities' but did not explain why his staff kept up correspondence Call posted in April 2017 surfaced as Schiff waits to see if Trump will declassify his Democratic version of the Devin Nunes memo which shamed the FBIThe ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee was the victim of a prank phone call by Russian comedians who offered to give him 'compromising' dirt on Donald Trump '' including nude photos of the president and a Russian reality show star.
DailyMail.com can disclose that after the prank, his staff engaged in correspondence with what they thought was a Ukrainian politician to try to obtain the 'classified' material promised on the call.
On an audio recording of the prank call posted online, Adam Schiff can be heard discussing the committee's Russia investigation and increasingly bizarre allegations about Trump with a man who claimed to be Andriy Parubiy, the chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament.
The call, made a year ago, was actually from two Russian comedians nicknamed 'Vovan' and 'Lexus' who have become notorious for their phony calls to high-ranking American officials and celebrities, including UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Elton John.
Its existence was first reported by The Atlantic but not how a staff member working for the minority on the House Intelligence Committee pursued the information after the call.
Schiff's office said the congressman suspected the call was 'bogus' from the beginning and reported it to authorities afterward.
But in a recording of the eight minute conversation, Schiff appeared to take the call seriously '' or at least played along convincingly - and emails from the Democrat's staff to the fake politician afterwards said he had found it 'productive'.
Spoofed: Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, had a seven-minute conversation with Russian comedians who offered him fake 'kompromat' including naked pictures of the president, which he said he would report to the FBI Elaborate story: The two claimed that Trump had an affair with Russian glamour model Olga Buzova (pictured) after a Miss Universe pageant in 2013 - and that naked pictures of him were passed to Vladimir Putin by his 'goddaughter' Ksenia Sobchak Elaborate story: The two claimed that Trump had an affair with Russian glamour model Olga Buzova after a Miss Universe pageant in 2013 - and that naked pictures of him were passed to Vladimir Putin by his 'goddaughter' Ksenia Sobchak (pictured)...
Russian pranksters: Vladimir 'Vovan' Kuznetsov, 30, and Alexei 'Lexus' Stolyarov, 28, called Schiff and persuaded him to stay on the call for seven minutes as they outlined their fake claims Laughed at: Vovan and Lexus posted their Schiff call to YouTube. Vovan posed as 'chairman' Andriy Parubiy for the call, and the duo then engaged in an e-mail correspondence with Schiff's staff Feud: The president has attacked 'Little Adam Schiff' on Twitter and accused him of leakingSchiff began the call by thanking the 'chairman' Andriy Parubiy for his time and warning him that Russian spies were likely listening in.
'I would caution that our Russian friends may be listening to the conversation so I wouldn't share anything over the phone that you wouldn't want them to hear,' said Schiff.
Vovan, who was posing as Parubiy, reassured Schiff: 'I don't think that will impact on our investigation.'
The fake Parubiy claimed the Ukrainian government had obtained recordings and documents that proved Vladimir Putin was blackmailing Trump with naked photos taken during an affair between the president and a Russian glamour model.
Vovan also claimed the Ukrainians recorded secret meetings between a Trump campaign aide and a famous Russian singer-turned-spy that took place at a non-existent mafia hangout in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brighton Beach.
Schiff appeared to be taking notes on the conversation and repeatedly asked for spellings of names and documentation he could send to the FBI.
I'll be in touch with the FBI about this. And we'll make arrangements with your staff. I think it probably would be best to provide these materials both to our committee and to the FBI Schiff to bogus Ukrainian politician
'I'll be in touch with the FBI about this. And we'll make arrangements with your staff. I think it probably would be best to provide these materials both to our committee and to the FBI,' said Schiff during the conversation, which lasted around eight minutes according to the recording posted to YouTube.
A spokesperson for Schiff confirmed he was on the call but claimed the congressman had suspicions that the caller might not be Parubiy and reported it to law enforcement last April.
'Both before and after the call, we were aware that it was likely bogus and had already alerted appropriate law enforcement personnel, as well as after the call,' the spokesperson said.
'Obviously, it was bogus - which became even more evident during the call - but as with any investigation that is global in scale, we have to chase any number of leads, many of which turn out to be duds.'
The spokesperson declined to address on the record why a staff member pursued the 'politician' after the call if the congressman thought it was fake.
The FBI said it could not comment on whether it received or investigated any information about nude Trump photos or other alleged Russian 'Kompromat' from Schiff.
'We do not disclose whether not a complaint has been received,' an FBI spokesman told DailyMail.com. 'We neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.'
Center of claims: The elaborate plot revolved around the idea that Putin had been given naked pictures of Trump during an affair the now president conducted briefly at the 2013 Miss Universe. Target: Nikki Haley was also a target of the pranksters who persuaded her to comment on the fictional country of 'Binomo' and its equally non-existent elections Correspondence: These are the emails one of the professional staff on the Democratic minority exchanged with the 'politician' and the material which the comedian said he sent to the staffer. Schiff and Trump have publicly feuded over the past week in the wake of a classified memo released by House Intelligence Committee Republicans, which alleged that the FBI used abusive tactics to obtain a surveillance warrant against a Trump campaign aide.
Schiff has been one of the most high profile Democrats in congress investigating allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials during the election.
Trump slammed Schiff on Twitter on Monday, calling the congressman 'Little Adam Schiff' and claiming he leaked classified information from closed hearings of the House Intelligence Committee.
'Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper!' said Trump on Twitter. 'Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!'
The congressman from California shot back that the president was spreading 'false smears.'
'[T]he American people would appreciate it if you turned off the TV and helped solve the funding crisis, protected Dreamers or...really anything else,' said Schiff on Twitter.
The comedians Vovan and Lexus '' whose real names are Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov '' drew international attention last year for their prank calls to Turkish President Recep Erdogan and Sen. John McCain.
The phone conversation with Schiff took place early last April as the House Intelligence Committee ramped up its investigation into alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election.
Vovan and Lexus told DailyMail.com that it took them just 30 minutes to get the congressman on the phone after calling his office pretending to be Parubiy.
'[Schiff] was pretty serious. He wrote all what we said on the paper. Remembered all the details,' said Lexus.
Lexus said the congressman's aide also followed up with them by email after the call and asked them to send the materials to the Ukrainian embassy so that one of Schiff's staffers could pick up the documents.
The comedians claimed they would transfer the documents to Schiff through the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. Valeriy Chaly.
Lexus and Vovan provided emails to the DailyMail.com which appear to show Schiff's staff discussing the documents after the call.
'I understand Mr. Schiff had a productive call with Mr. Parubiy, and that Mr. Parubiy would like to make some material available to Mr. Schiff through your embassy,' wrote Schiff aide Rheanne Wirkkala to the pranksters, according to the April 4, 2017 email.
'Please let me know how best to arrange pick-up of those materials from your Embassy in Washington, D.C.,' the email continued.
In another email on April 5, 2017, Schiff's aide asked: 'do you know when we might be able to meet your colleagues at the Ukrainian embassy here in Washington, DC to pick up materials?'
Schiff's office did not respond to a request to confirm the emails.
During the call, the pranksters concocted an elaborate story about Trump having a tryst with a Russian glamour model named Olga Buzova after a Miss Universe pageant in 2013, which led to Vladimir Putin obtaining nude photos of the president.
Other individuals they claimed were involved in the scheme included a former Playboy model and Russian journalist named Ksenia Sobchak and Russian pop star Arkadiy Ukupnik.
Buzova 'got compromising materials on Trump after their short relations,' one of the pranksters told Schiff.
'And what's the nature of the Kompromat?' asked Schiff.
'Well, there were pictures of naked Trump,' said the caller.
The pranksters told Schiff that Sobchak was a Russian secret agent and Putin's goddaughter, and claimed she gave the Russian leader the compromising pictures of Trump to use as blackmail.
Meeting: The prank call claimed that disgraced national security advisor General Mike Flynn ad agreed to drop sanctions against Russia Venue and codeword: Trump met Russia figures in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, and was also told to use 'It rains again on Brighton Beach' as a codeword. They told Schiff to use it to Trump to see his reaction Two-part claim: The pranksters also suggested that Schiff use the passcode 'The weather is good on Deribasivska' the next time he talks to Trump and 'look at how his face will change color'. The street is in Odessa, the Black Sea port in UkraineThey also claimed the Russian government used pop star Ukupnik as a go-between to meet with former Trump aide Mike Flynn at a mafia-run restaurant in the Russian neighborhood of Brighton Beach, New York.
'It was Russian singer, very famous singer, Arkadiy Ukupnik, who met with Mr. Flynn on Brighton Beach in Brooklyn in special Russian caf(C) Langeron,' said the prankster.
'And do you know what was discussed?' asked Schiff.
The prankster said they 'discussed many things' and used passwords to recognize each other, including 'It rains again on Brighton Beach' and 'The weather is good on Deribasivska.'
Schiff, seeming to have difficulty understanding Deribasivska, the name of a street in Odessa, asked the caller to repeat himself several times.
In fact Weather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach is the name of a 1992 Russian-American comedy movie about secret agents, with its title taken from the intentionally absurd passwords they use.
The street has slightly different names in Ukrainian and Russian and the comedian used the Ukrainian version.
Schiff eventually said he would have his staff call the Ukrainian legislator's office later to 'get spellings and more details on this.'
The prankster promised to send the materials, and also offered to have Sobchak and Buzova extradited to the United States 'and you can put them to your special jail Guantanamo.'
'Well, I'll be in touch with the FBI about this,' said Schiff. 'And we'll make arrangements with your staff. I think it probably would be best to provide these materials both to our committee and to the FBI. So we'll make arrangements between my staff and yours on how to facilitate that. And we'll also obviously let the FBI know about Buzova and Sobchak's plans to travel to Ukraine.'
The caller also suggested that Schiff use the passcode 'The weather is good on Deribasivska' the next time he talks to Trump and 'look at how his face will change color.'
'And so those passwords were used with Mr. Trump?' said Schiff.
'Yes, of course,' said the caller.
'We will be back in touch with you through our staff to make arrangements to obtain these materials for our committee and the FBI. I appreciate you reaching out to us,' said Schiff.
The comedians posted the video of the call online with the caption: 'Democratic Senator Adam Schiff believed Russian prankers Lexus and Vovan that Ukrainian intelligence has confirmation that Russian 'scouts' Ksenia Sobchak , Olga Buzova and Arkady Ukupnik collected dirt on US President Donald Trump.'
Caller: Hello Mr. Schiff, thank you for your time.
Schiff: Thank you, Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you.
Caller: I know that you work for investigation regarding Trump and Russian government.
Schiff: Yes
Caller: We have some important information about it.
Schiff: And that is documented as well in materials you want to provide to us?
Caller: Yes. Could I explain you where we are?
Schiff: Yes of course. But again, I would caution that our Russian friends may be listening to the conversation so I wouldn't share anything over the phone that you wouldn't want them to hear.
Caller: No, I don't think that will impact on our investigation.
Schiff: Yes. Please, go ahead then.
Caller: In November 2013, Mr. Trump visited Moscow, it was competition Miss Universe. There he met with Russian journalist and celebrity Ksenia Sobchak.
Schiff: I'm sorry, can you explain that again? While he was in Moscow in November 2013 he met with a journalist?
Caller: Well, she's poor journalist. But anyway, she became famous because Putin is her godfather.
Schiff: Okay. Putin godfather, okay.
Caller: She also known as the person who provide support for oligarchs. She met with Trump and she brought him one of Russian girl celebrities, Olga Buzova, who's also known as person who's [unintelligible].
Schiff: Okay, and how do you spell her name?
Caller: Olga Buzova.
Schiff: So Olga Buzova is a friend of the reporter?
Caller: Yes, she's a friend of reporter and I think a special agent of Russia Secret Service Ksenia Sobchak.
Schiff: That Sobchak is or Olga is?
Caller: No, Sobchak is [unintelligible]
Schiff: Okay. So Buzova met with Trump in New York at some point after the 2013 Miss Universe.
Caller: Yes, absolutely. And she got compromising materials on Trump after their short relations.
Schiff: Okay. And what's the nature of the Kompromat?
Caller: Well, there were pictures of naked Trump.
Schiff: Okay. And so Putin was made aware of the availability of the comprising material?
Caller: Yes, of course. Buzova shared those materials with Sobchak and Sobchak shared those materials with Putin, because she's the goddaughter of Putin. And Putin decided to press Trump.
Schiff: And the materials you could provide to the committee or to the FBI, would they corroborate this allegation?
Caller: Sure, of course. When they were in Ukraine we got their conversation by the phone where they are discussing those compromising materials. We are ready to provide it.
Schiff: So you have recordings of both Sobchak and Buzova where they are discussing the compromising material on Trump?
Caller: Absolutely, and we also know who was a mediator between Trump and Russian government who met with ex-advisor of Trump, Mr. Flynn. It was Russian singer, very famous singer, Arkadiy Ukupnik, who met with Mr. Flynn on Brighton Beach in Brooklyn in special Russian caf(C) Langeron.
Schiff: What's that again?
Caller: Langeron.
Schiff: Langeron?
Caller: Yes, it's on Brighton Beach. It's a Russian district in Brooklyn.
Schiff: And do you know what was discussed?
Caller: They discussed many things. But the most interesting thing is they used a special password for their meetings. When they met each other they said 'The weather is good on Deribasivska.'
Schiff: The weather is good in '' where?
Caller: 'The weather is good on Deribasivska.' That is the name of a street in Odessa. Did you hear?
Schiff: Yes, I did. So it's a street in Odessa?
Caller: Yes.
Schiff: And the code word is 'Weather is good on 'Zerabasta'?'
Caller: Deribasivskaya. Deribasivskaya.
Schiff: Okay. And I'll have my staff call up to get spellings and more details on this.
Caller: The next part of their password was, 'It rains again on Brighton Beach.'
Schiff: 'It rains again on Brighton Beach.'
Caller: Yes. On that meeting, Ukupnik told Flynn that all those compromising materials will never be released if Trump will cancel all the Russian sanctions.
Schiff: Okay. Well obviously we would welcome the chance to get copies of those recordings. So we will try to work with the FBI to figure out along with your staff how we can obtain copies of those.
Caller: Of course we will provide you all our copies of all our materials. But I also would like to let you know that Sobchak and Buzova will pretty soon visit our country and we could arrest them and deliver them to your embassy and we also could extradite them to your country and you can put them to your special jail Guantanamo.
Schiff: Well, I'll be in touch with the FBI about this. And we'll make arrangements with your staff. I think it probably would be best to provide these materials both to our committee and to the FBI. So we'll make arrangements between my staff and yours on how to facilitate that. And we'll also obviously let the FBI know about Buzova and Sobchak's plans to travel to Ukraine.
Caller: I also advise you to check all Sobchak's visits in the West because she was in the West very often and suggest you check what she did there actually. And I also would like to look at Russian caf(C) on Brighton Beach Langeron and especially on head of Russian Mafia Uncle Mischa.
Schiff: Uncle Mischa? In Brighton Beach?
Caller: Yes, he's the head of Russian mafia. And he's located on that restaurant on Brighton Beach.
Schiff: Okay.
Caller: I just want to advise you just to look at them, please.
Rep. Schiff: Alrighty. This was very helpful, I appreciate it. Anything else you wanted to add today?
Caller: Well I hope that my information will be useful for you and your committee. And I also would like to advise you when you or your colleagues will meet with Mr Trump I advise you to tell him first part of the password, 'The weather is good on Deribasivska,' and look at how his face will change color.
Schiff: And so those passwords were used with Mr. Trump?
Caller: Yes, of course.
Rep. Schiff: Okay. Well thank you very much. We will be back in touch with you through our staff to make arrangements to obtain these materials for our committee and the FBI. I appreciate you reaching out to us.
Caller: Well let's be in touch and wait for your response from FBI.
Schiff: Excellent. I'll have them follow up as soon as possible, and I thank you again. Goodbye.
VIDEO - Justin Trudeau interrupts woman during Q&A to tell her to use the word 'peoplekind' not 'mankind' | London Evening Standard
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 21:58
Justin Trudeau interrupted a woman during a Q&A session to tell her to use the word "peoplekind" not "mankind".
The audience applauded in agreement as the Canadian prime minister said: "We like to say peoplekind, not necessarily mankind."
He was responding to a woman who said her charitable religious organisation was having difficulty with volunteering regulations in Canada.
Asking Mr Trudeau to look into the matter the woman, speaking at an event at MacEwan university, said: "Maternal love is the love that's going to change the future of mankind."
After the premier corrected her, the woman took it in good humour and said laughingly: "There we go, exactly."
Justin Trudeau apologises for 'devastating' historic LGBT convictions
He shot back: "We can all learn from each other."
The remark drew some mockery on social media with Piers Morgan tweeting "FFS" while another man asked: "Is Trudeau mansplaining feminism?"
The 46-year-old politician has spoken about men's role in changing inequalities suffered by women.
He wrote in an essay in Marie Claire in October that ''our sons have the power and the responsibility to change our culture of sexism''.
VIDEO - Justin Timberlake's S'PERBOWL Performance More About Illumination than Illuminati!!! - YouTube
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 12:11
VIDEO - 24-Year FBI Special Agent: Comey Made Up His Own Rules, Let Political Opinions Infect Investigations | Video | RealClearPolitics
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 11:28
Chris Swecker, who served 24 years as an FBI special agent speaks to FOX News about the FISA memo, what it said about the Comey-era FBI, the "predetermined" Clinton-email investigation and more. On Sunday's FOX & Friends, Swecker said Comey's "hubris" led to predetermined investigations, political opinions infecting investigations, and "a non-investigation of the Clinton email investigation."
Swecker wrote an op-ed piece for FOXNews.com last week: Shocking memo reveals how Comey disgraced an honorable FBI.
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: Republicans on the House Intel panel released that controversial FISA memo on Friday bringing to light what they say are some pretty shocking revelations.
TODD PIRO, FOX NEWS: Joining us now to react is Chris Swecker who served 24 years as an FBI special agent. Sir, with all due respect, to our other guests today this interview is arguably the most important because of your background as an FBI agent. So I'll ask you right off the bat, you've heard other individuals saying the FBI is going to go after the president, the FBI hates the president, this was bad, this is now FBI versus president. How do you react to that?
CHRIS SWECKER, FMR. FBI AGENT: Well, I'd say, look, Chris Wray the new deputy director David Bowdich are going to do no such thing. What we're talking about here is a breakdown in the senior leadership of the FBI under Jim Comey and Andy McCabe as deputy director. I would hate for the public to think that the FBI as an institution is flawed or biased.
What this is is a very small inner circle of senior leadership under Jim Comey at a very critical time period, and I just don't want this to reflect on the 35,000 very -- you know, the excellent men and women of the FBI who are doing a great job every day.
ED HENRY: So Chris, let's get specific. And we've heard the partisan attacks on all sides, people who don't like the president, people who like the president and people who like James Comey and don't like James Comey. So I think as Todd said, it's very important to get your perspective as somebody who was inside the FBI so James Comey holds himself out there even today on Twitter and Instagram as this paragon of virtue, above the fray. You were there for 24 years. How do you think he's behaved over the last couple of years, you know, his public performance as FBI director, both in the Clinton probe and then how he handled President Trump?
CHRIS SWECKER: I had the perspective of serving directly under Director Mueller. I bet I sat in on 500-plus meetings with him and Director [Louis] Freeh, and these were two great leaders. They stayed in the background. I never saw a hint of bias. Unfortunately, under Jim Comey, that hubris that you just mentioned caused him to make up his own rules -- leaks, permissive leak environment, predetermining investigations, a non-investigation of the Clinton email investigation, thumb on the scale on the Russian investigation in the beginning here with the FISA applications, and just generally making up their own rules and letting their own political opinions infect their investigation. That is something you learn at the FBI academy. You can't let your personal bias -- you've got to leave those at home. If, not you need to be in another line of business.
ED HENRY: I want to get you in on something. Defenders of James Comey have said, oh, it's not a big deal that he and Andrew McCabe and others were drafting this exoneration statement for Hillary Clinton months before they even interviewed her. I'm an outsider, we're outsiders, we don't know how the FBI does its job. Is that the proper way? I mean, people on the outside hear that and say, three months before she was exonerated, they were already drafting the statement. Doesn't that sound like it was cooked?
CHRIS SWECKER: Yes, it does. It sounds like the thumb is on the scale. Those of us that have done criminal investigations and counterintelligence investigations know that the Clinton email investigation was not a real investigation. They never even once used a grand jury that I know of. We're hearing, those of us that are in the retired agent community, we're hearing that deputy director McCabe was expressing his opinions in closed-door meetings all the time about Trump, so we're talking about a predetermined investigation. And that is just not how the FBI as a whole operates.
VIDEO - We Watch CNN's Terrible 'Media' | The Daily Caller
Mon, 05 Feb 2018 19:50
UNDER THE COVERS '' Am I blind? I'm pretty sure CNN ''Reliable Sources'' host Brian Stelter got a haircut since I saw him on last week's program. And he barely has hair. Or a neck for that matter. But let's put those mean, petty things aside for now.
Brian's cold open is him insulting one of his infamous media enemies '' Fox News's Sean Hannity, who, yes, is pretty douchey in his own right.
''Let's be honest,'' Brian says, which makes me immediately doubt whatever words are coming after. ''This week Sean Hannity won and the rest of America lost,'' Brian says, explaining that we need to give Hannity credit where its due for giving a megaphone to GOP.
Hannity reported that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation is over. Which of course it is not. Hannity said the ''abuse of power'' is far worse than Watergate. But he's not talking about his BFF Trump. The Trump lover is talking about the FBI and the investigators.
Brian says this week's ''memo'' from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) hands the ''Hannitys of the world'' and Trump an ''alternative reality.''
This somehow reminds Brian of an old, ridiculously clich(C) schoolyard taunt (eye roll).
''I'm rubber, YOU'RE glue. Whatever YOU say bounces off me and sticks to YOU.''
I can't believe we have to sit here and listen to this.
Brian says Hannity's ratings are way up, but he says this is bad for the country. No one is forcing viewers to watch Hannity. But somehow Brian sees it that way.
And then the worst happens: The Baltimore Sun's media ''critic'' David Zurawik is suddenly on the show and my eardrums are destroyed as my soul feels crushed by the dramatic rise in volume of this man's ridiculously loud voice. Can't the network turn him down? Why do we have to be subjected to a man who has no volume control week in and week out?
Brian interjects to say that Hannity is a presidential advisor.
As usual, Zurawik is Brian's yes man. ''EXACTLY,'' he yells, buttering up the host.
CNN's Hadas Gold is here today. She looks all Hollywood glam, with a black blazer that exposes a plunging neckline and wavy locks that make her look like she got the Cosmo-Mai Tai at Blowdry Bar.
She says that the memo going to Trump-friendly outlets doesn't make the thing more credible.
Yahoo News's Chief Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff is also on the panel. He's a reporter's reporter. The shoe leather kind with a mop of gray hair. So he's not going to just readily agree with Brian like that idiotic cow, Zurawik.
''The problem with the memo is its so selective and obviously incomplete that it's hard to know what the bottom line takeaway should be,'' he says, sounding far more intelligent than ZURAWIK, who's getting ready to LOUDLY reveal any other kernels of thought stumbling around in his brain cavity.
Next: Brian wants confirmation from Isikoff that he is not crazy, that Trump and Hannity and company are trying to move the country away from the Russia probe.
Isikoff basically replies, no shit, yeah. ''I think that's obvious, isn't it?'' he asks in response.
Brian blows out a sigh of relief that an actual reporter like Isikoff seems to have given him a pat on the back.
''There's gonna be a reckoning at the end of the day,'' Isikoff says, saying Mueller will release a report.
While Brian emits a bunch of opinion turds, saying Trump is engaging in a coverup, Isikoff remains neutral.
Someone should give Zurawik a pacifier.
And then Brian says the words that make me cringe. He says goodbye to Isikoff and Gold and then says, ''David, stick around.'' Which means we're not done with Zurawik for today. (Excuse me while I put a fist through a wall and look for my hot pink earplugs.)
President Trump buddy Newsmax CEO ChristopherRuddy is on the show. The lucky dog is being patched in from Boynton Beach, Fla. ''I think the President is doing some amazing stuff and he's feeling it,'' he says.
Ruddy is infuriating for Brian because he won't agree with him and he will not bash Trump no matter what he says.
''The Trump tower meeting was not a crime,'' Ruddy says. ''It was not collusion. It was just a meeting to find out information.''
''We don't know that for sure,'' Brian shoots back.
Brian fake evil laughs at everything Ruddy says. Ruddy keeps telling Brian to show him the evidence. Brian says there are ''two narratives'' about what happened.
Does he offer evidence?
Yeah, no.
Finally, he bursts out the following: ''I would love for Robert Mueller's investigation to come out tomorrow.''
Brian tells Ruddy it's great to see him and he can't wait to have him back on the show. Ruddy looks forward to Brian offering any ''evidence of collusion.''
The Atlantic's Julia Ioffe has arrived in a pretty muted mustard-hued blazer.
The CNN chyron is blaring ''One Country, Two Narratives.''
Brian wants to know if Julia thinks Ruddy is right, that there is no evidence of collusion.
''Show me the evidence while I constantly interrupt you,'' she says, mocking Newsmax's CEO.
''That's okay,'' Brian says softly.
This is a little baffling. Ruddy really didn't interrupt Ruddy. Despite disagreeing with each other, they had a polite exchange.
''I think we stay true to the facts,'' she says.
Ioffe explains that Fox News, Breitbart News, and Infowars are ''pushing a dishonest narrative.'' On the other side, she says, the media '' you know, people like herself and Brian '' are pushing the truth.
Give me a fucking break. Brian Stelter is not politically motivated against this White House? Of course he is.
''Well, gotta keep trying,'' Brian says, obviously agreeing with her praise of him. How big of him.
As usual, Brian saves an actual media story for late in the show that is supposed to be about the media. He has trotted out Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan to talk about the chaos reigning down in the LA Times newsroom.
''The Los Angeles Times was owned for a long time by the Chandler family,'' she explains. ''The ownership of newspapers in big cities has gone to corporations. '...Newspapers are not owned by people in their own communities and that is a bad thing.''
Brian clearly doesn't read WaPo much '' just yesterday he admits he had to look up his password.
But he says subscribing is the answer to what Sullivan says is journalism's biggest problem these days, which is corporations buying up local papers.
Brian spends the remainder of his show dumping on Trump's ''bogus boast'' about his State of the Union address.
''The facts are the facts,'' he says. ''The ratings were strong. They just weren't a record.''
He talks about an exchange with a White House aide in which the aide insisted that Trump was right about his booming ratings.
Brian says Trump's lie makes a person wonder about all the other stuff Trump is lying about.
Damn it. Zurawik is back.
''AS YOU JUST SHOWED, IF THE NUMBERS AREN'T GOOD, TRUMP WILL SAY THEY WERE THE GREATEST EVER,'' he says, offering fresh praise for Brian's segment.
And that's a wrap.
VIDEO - Donald Trump's Former Foreign Policy Advisor, Carter Page, on the US Election - YouTube
Mon, 05 Feb 2018 04:21
VIDEO - President Obama: 'I Guarantee' Politics Won't Taint Clinton E-mail Investigation :: Grabien News
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:18
President Obama: 'I Guarantee' Politics Won't Taint Clinton E-mail Investigation
'How many times do I have to say it, Chris? Guaranteed'
President Obama today made a "guarantee" the Department of Justice will not give Hillary Clinton preferential treatment over others under criminal investigation.
"I can guarantee ... I can guarantee that not because I give Attorney General [Loretta] Lynch a directive, that is institutionally how we have always operated," Obama said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. "I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line and always have maintained it. I guarantee it."
"I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI, not just in this case but in any case -- period," he added. "Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department because nobody is above the law."
Spirit Airlines employee told student to flush emotional support hamster down the toilet, student alleges | Fox News
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 15:41
Belen Aldecosea said she flushed her emotional support hamster down the toilet after Spirit Airlines refused her furry pet on the flight. (Reuters)
A college student said she flushed her emotional support hamster down the toilet after Spirit Airlines refused to let her bring her furry pet on the plane.
Belen Aldecosea, 21, of Miami Beach, Fla., told the Miami Herald that she contacted Spirit Airlines before her flight from Baltimore to South Florida on Nov. 21, 2017, regarding traveling with her dwarf hamster named Pebbles. Aldecosea claimed the airline told her it was not a problem to bring her hamster on the flight.
However, when the student arrived at the airport to board her flight, she said the airline refused to let Pebbles on the plane. Aldescosea said she did not have many options since her family was in Florida and her friends were hours away. The student claimed a Spirit employee suggested she either flush Pebbles down the toilet or let the animal free.
Aldecosea said she skipped her flight and tried to rent a car instead, but said she was too young to rent one. So she did what she felt was the most humane choice.
''She was scared. I was scared. It was horrifying trying to put her in the toilet,'' Aldecosea said. ''I was emotional. I was crying. I sat there for a good 10 minutes crying in the stall.''
The student said she considered letting Pebbles run free outside but could not bear thinking of her hamster freezing to death or getting hit.
''I didn't have any other options,'' she said.
Spirit Airlines spokesman Derek Dombrowski told the Miami Herald that an employee ''mistakenly'' told Aldecosea that Pebbles was allowed on the flight but denied that an employee suggested she flush the rodent down the toilet.
''To be clear, at no point did any of our agents suggest this guest (or any other for that matter) should flush or otherwise injure an animal,'' Dombrowski said.
The Miami Herald noted the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration was fine with hamsters on the flight, but airlines are allowed to choose if they want the rodents on board.
Aldecosea said Pebbles was a doctor-approved emotional support animal that helped her when she developed a growth in her neck while at school in Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa. The student said she bought Pebbles for some company.
''She (Pebbles) was so loving. It was like she knew I needed somebody,'' Aldecosea said.
Aldescosea, who now attends the Texas State University, said she was considering legal action against Spirit due to the airline ''pressuring her into making an anguished decision with a pet certified by her doctor as an emotional support animal.''
Her attorney, Adam Goodman said this case was different than the woman who made headlines last week after a United Airlines flight refused her request to bring her emotional support peacock on a flight.
"This wasn't a giant peacock that could pose a danger to other passengers. This was a tiny cute harmless hamster that could fit in the palm of her hand,'' Goodman said.
Fox News' request for a comment from Spirit Airlines and PETA was not immediately answered.
The Secret Navy behind the Ballistic Missile Attack on Hawaii >> Exopolitics
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 15:34
Written by Dr Michael Salla on January 20, 2018. Posted in Featured, world politics
As information continues to emerge confirming that there was a ballistic missile attack against Hawaii that was intercepted on January 13, the investigation begins to shift from what happened, to who was responsible. In this article, I analyze various sources describing the attack, and identify the mysterious naval force that was most likely responsible for launching the ballistic missile, which presumably was nuclear armed.
In my January 17 article, I listed three alternative news sites referring to sources that all said that a ballistic missile was launched against Hawaii by a stealth submarine. The alternative news sources were radio host Dr. Dave Janda, Operation Disclosure (RV/Intelligence Alert), and the Public Intelligence Blog. The Operation Disclosure and Public Intelligence blog sites point to an Israeli submarine as responsible, while Dr. Janda said it was a submarine belonging to a rogue Chinese Navy faction.
Further corroboration for the ballistic missile attack explanation comes from former Forbes Magazine writer, Benjamin Fulford, who says that according to his insider sources, there was a submarine based attack:
One sign of this extreme tension came last week when ''a missile from a cabal submarine was stopped from hitting Hawaii and the submarine was sunk,'' Pentagon sources say. Media outlets around the world have reported that Hawaiian residents all received the following warning on their mobile phones: ''BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII, SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER, THIS IS NOT A DRILL,'' but later this was reported to be a false alarm. It was not'--it was an attempt by ''the cabal'' to blame the attack on North Korea and use it as a trigger for their long-desired World War III, CIA sources say.
Both Fulford and the Public Intelligence claim that the ballistic missile was intended to simulate a North Korean attack suggesting the responsible submarine was in the vicinity of North Korea, either in the Sea of Japan or off the Japanese coastline.
In determining the type of missile attack against Hawaii, yet another source refers to a Hawaii tourist boat about 100 miles out at sea that saw what appeared to be a meteorite exploding in the air shortly before the Hawaii Emergency alert went out Saturday morning, January 13. The additional source appeared as an update to the original Public Intelligence blogsite article about the Hawaii missile attack:
Word here in Hawaii is that a group of tourists and tour guides were on a boat 100 miles off shore Saturday morning around 8 AM when they witnessed what they thought to be a meteor blowing up over the ocean. It was reported on Hawaiian channel 2 but then removed from their website. Rumor is the launch came from an Israel Dolphin 2 submarine. Some college basketball games had a red alert across the screen from US Pacific Command declaring a missile launch in the Pacific near Hawaii.
This additional Hawaii source is vital in understanding what happened since it reveals that the missile was coming down from the upper atmosphere following a ballistic trajectory similar to a meteor. This helps confirm that a ballistic missile was involved rather than another type of nuclear delivery system such as a cruise missile which fly much closer to ground and have a far more limited range.
Of the sources cited so far, aside from Dr. Janda, all believe a faction of the Israeli Navy was behind the attack using a dolphin class submarine supplied by Germany. The USS Liberty attack during the 1967 Arab Israeli war is often cited as an example of Israel launching a false flag attack against the U.S. to embroil it in wars against Israel's regional enemies.
In a private email received on January 19, former CIA covert operative and Marine Intelligence Officer, Robert David Steele, says that the attack was a ''Zionist submarine doing a USS Liberty on Hawaii''.
In considering the possibility of a rogue Israeli submarine being responsible, it's important to review the armaments possessed by the class of submarines belonging to the Israeli Navy. In a news story describing Israel's possession of Dolphin class submarines purchased from Germany, its armaments are described as follows:
The Dolphin boats are equipped with six 533mm standard torpedo tubes and four 650mm jumbo tubes and can carry 16 weapons. The smaller tubes can fire torpedoes and Harpoon anti-ship missiles as well as other conventional weaponry, but its larger tubes are what makes the Dolphin class so special. From them, frogmen, remotely operated vehicles and especially large cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear payloads can be deployed.
Israel's Dolphin Class submarines can carry cruise missiles which are well suited for Middle East operations, rather than ballistic missiles which are better suited for long distance targets thousands of miles away. Ballistic missiles require much larger ''boomer submarines'' to launch them, rather than the smaller Dolphin class submarines possessed by Israel.
The Dolphin 2 submarine is 69 meters (225 feet) in length, which is less than half the size of the Ohio class boomer submarines (170 meters/560 feet long) used by the US Navy to carry Trident ballistic nuclear missiles. Sea Launched Ballistic Missiles need vertical missile tubes as opposed to the more traditional horizontal torpedo tubes used for Sea Launched Cruise Missiles located at the front of the smaller Dolphin class submarine.
Consequently, it's unlikely that a renegade faction of the Israeli Navy launched the ballistic missile attack since their Dolphin class submarines simply don't have the capacity.
Furthermore, it's hard to imagine how a U.S. war against North Korea and/or China would advance Israel's national security interests, which are far more concerned about threats posed by major regional rivals such as Iran.
Dr. Janda describes a rogue faction of the Chinese Navy being responsible, and that after the missile had been intercepted and destroyed by the US. Missile defense system, the regular Chinese Navy destroyed the submarine.
This explanation is perhaps the scariest to consider since the US national security apparatus would almost certainly hold China responsible for such an attack despite any genuine factional divisions within the Chinese Navy.
The immediate U.S. response would have been, at the very least, a direct retaliatory nuclear attack against China's main regional ally North Korea, which would have been scapegoated for a Hawaii attack. After destroying North Korea's military infrastructure, the country would have then been subsequently overrun and occupied by the U.S. Military and its South Korean ally in an analogous way to Afghanistan after the 9/11 attack.
China's strategic interests would have been severely setback in such a scenario. It's hard to imagine any Chinese military commander, rogue Navy faction or not, would risk a nuclear retaliatory strike by the U.S. that would set back China's steady emergence into a global superpower over the next decade or so. Patience is a characteristic that China's political leaders possess in abundance.
Consequently, I find it unlikely that a rogue faction of the Chinese Navy was behind the ballistic missile attack.
So who then launched the attack against Hawaii?
For an answer we need to consider legendary Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye who in 1987 described the existence of a shadowy government within the U.S. with its own separate military assets.
There exists a shadowy Government with its own Air Force, its own Navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.
Inouye was clearly convinced of a very highly classified U.S. agency that had the independent funding and wherewithal to develop its own Air Force and Navy outside the regular chain of military command.
In contrast to the assets of the regular U.S. Air Force and Navy, this covert fleet of ships and aircraft would be ''dark'', in terms of its security classification. It would therefore be appropriate to call it the ''Dark Fleet'' which is what secret space program insider Corey Goode says it is called by the U.S. military according to his confidential sources [Skype Communication Jan 18). He says that it is separate to another ''Dark Fleet'' which is a Secret Space Program that operates in Deep Space.
I need to point out that in 2017, I personally met some of Goode's confidential Earth Alliance sources. They provided many documents to prove they are deeply connected to NATO security operations and the European intelligence community. They have continued to provide Goode intelligence information since they consider him to be a genuine extraterrestrial contactee, and asset of a Secret Space Program Alliance known to exist by NATO officials.
What U.S. Government agency would have the ability to raise its own ''Dark Fleet'' outside the regular chain of military command and Presidential executive authority? The only U.S. agency capable of doing so is the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). More specifically, we are talking about the CIA's Directorate of Operations (formally Clandestine Service) which runs all its global covert operations, where a Dark Fleet would have been developed to meet operational requirements.
The 1949 CIA Act comprised additions to those sections of the 1947 National Security Act that dealt with the creation of CIA. The 1949 CIA Act gave a Congressional stamp of approval to the creation of a 'black budget' it could spend without recourse to U.S. law as the following section make clear:
'... any other Government agency is authorized to transfer to or receive from the Agency such sums without regard to any provisions of law limiting or prohibiting transfers between appropriations [emphasis added]. Sums transferred to the Agency in accordance with this paragraph may be expended for the purposes and under the authority of sections 403a to 403s of this title without regard to limitations of appropriations from which transferred. [50 U.S.C. 403f(a)]
Essentially, this gave the CIA the power to generate large amounts of money through covert means and launder it however it wished through the Pentagon and the U.S. bureaucracy. The funding was used for an unofficial ''black budget'' that by 2001 was estimated to be as high as $1.7 trillion annually.
In addition to having the financial means, the CIA has long been developing its own covert Air Force. This began in the mid-1950's when the CIA established Area 51, as the location to develop future fleets of spy planes with the aid of companies such as Lockheed, which today is the world's largest defense contractor.
In the 1960's the CIA began training personnel to develop skills necessary to operate its spy planes on U.S. aircraft carriers. CIA documents confirm that the U.S. Navy was training the CIA on how to operate spy planes on their carriers:
The above document went on to discuss how Kelly Johnson, Director of Lockheed's Skunkworks, helped the CIA launch its U-2 spy plane from the USS Kitty Hawk
Another CIA document shows the Navy's reluctance to allow the CIA to use its aircraft carriers to carry spy planes in trouble spots like the Mediterranean, thereby creating the operational necessity for the CIA to eventually acquire its own aircraft carrier to carry fleets of spy planes around the world.
These official CIA documents support the conclusion that by the 1970's the CIA's Directorate of Operations had its own squadrons of spy planes, and would have acquired its own aircraft carrier out of operational necessity that it could operate anywhere around the world without any kind of government oversight.
As far as the CIA having its own submarines, a Washington Times article from January 3, 1985 shows that two ballistic missile submarines, USS John Marshall and Sam Houston were handed over to a 2000 man Special Operations Force.
It can be guaranteed that the CIA's Directorate of Operations would have similarly justified the acquisition of ballistic missile capable submarines for its own covert operations around the world.
With the CIA's role in generating multiple black budgets, it could easily have diverted some of these funds to defense contractors for building ballistic missile capable submarines for exclusive use in clandestine operations. It's worth noting that Lockheed Martin builds the Trident II ballistic missiles for the Ohio class submarines currently possessed for by U.S. Navy.
As noted earlier, the CIA and Lockheed have developed a long and close relationship since their joint efforts to develop Area 51 for spy planes and other advanced technologies in the 1950's. Therefore it is very possible that the CIA's Dark Fleet possesses Trident II ballistic nuclear missiles developed by Lockheed Martin.
Consequently, Inouye's claims of a shadowy government possessing its own Air Force and Navy is very feasible given what we know about the CIA's history, and official documents showing its military assets, training and close relationship with defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin.
The CIA had the independent funding to create squadrons of spy planes that could operate from an aircraft carrier with the necessary support craft that altogether constituted a CIA controlled aircraft carrier battle group that included nuclear submarines.
So was the CIA's Dark Fleet behind the ballistic missile attack on Hawaii? I put this question to Corey Goode and he responded:
Yes, They DO have an Air Craft Carrier and destroyers and support vessels, a whole fleet'....This stuff has been a part of recent briefings in the form of informed speculation as to what occurred in Hawaii/Japan. All are pretty convinced that rogue CIA sub fired missiles and MIC SSP [USAF/NRO/DIA Secret Space Program] took the missiles out. We are all waiting for specifics and confirmation but these are ''read in'' General/Colonel types doing the speculating.[Skype Communication 1/19/18)
The CIA's Directorate of Operations has long been the primary asset of what Inouye called the Shadow Government, but today is referred to as the ''Deep State''. Due to President Trump's December 21, 2017, Executive Order freezing the financial assets of all involved in human rights abuses and corruption, Trump was not only declaring war against U.S. global elites involved, but also against the funding sources for the CIA's covert operations.
The CIA's black budget is made possible by human rights abuses and corruption around the planet that provides almost unlimited funds for its covert operations, including its Dark Fleet. Consequently, the CIA's Dark Fleet had the means, motive and opportunity to attack Hawaii with a ballistic nuclear missile that would embroil the Trump administration in a major regional war with North Korea and possibly China.
Significantly, on January 16, Japan's major public broadcaster also warned the public about an incoming ballistic missile attack. Once again, a false alarm was issued shortly after by government authorities.
It's quite possible that the same submarine responsible for the Hawaii attack, launched another missile attack, this time against Japan, presumably Tokyo. It was also brought down, probably by the same defense forces that tracked and destroyed the Hawaii bound missile. Again, the purpose would have been to simulate a North Korean attack thereby triggering a major regional war.
Such a war would distract the Trump administration and U.S. military from going after Deep State assets, and tie down the U.S. in a serious regional confrontation. Thankfully, the U.S. Navy and Air Force, along with the USAF run secret space program, were able to neutralize the attacks on Hawaii and Japan.
The multiple sources and documents cited above lead to a remarkable conclusion. A CIA created secret Navy launched ballistic missile attacks against Hawaii and Japan using a Dark Fleet created in the 1970's to support covert operations around the world.
Consequently, neutralizing the ''Dark Fleet'' and reigning in the CIA's Directorate of Operations must become a high priority goal for the Trump Administration and the Pentagon. A major step in doing so is for the truth to be officially released about ballistic missile attacks against Hawaii and Japan.
(C) Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice
[Note: My thanks to Corey Goode for reading an earlier draft of this article and his helpful suggestions.]Further Reading (Visited 44,885 times, 305 visits today)
Tags: ballistic missile, Dark Fleet, Hawaii, Japan, US Navy, USAF
The Problem '-- Center for Humane Technology
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 15:34
Tristan HarrisCo-Founder & Executive Director
Tristan Harris, called the ''closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience'' by The Atlantic magazine, was the former Design Ethicist at Google. He became a world expert on how technology steers the thoughts, actions, and relationships that structure two billion people's lives, leaving Google to engage public conversation about the issue. Tristan spent over a decade understanding subtle psychological forces, from his childhood as a magician, to working with the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, to his role as CEO of Apture, a technology company that was acquired by Google. His work has been featured on 60 Minutes, TED, The Atlantic, the PBS News Hour, and more. He has worked with major technology CEOs and briefed political leaders, including Heads of State. Tristan holds several patents from his work at Apple, Wikia, Apture, and Google.
Early Facebook and Google Employees Form Coalition to Fight What They Built - The New York Times
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 15:33
Jim Steyer, left, and Tristan Harris in Common Sense's headquarters. Common Sense is helping fund the The Truth About Tech campaign. Credit Peter Prato for The New York Times SAN FRANCISCO '-- A group of Silicon Valley technologists who were early employees at Facebook and Google, alarmed over the ill effects of social networks and smartphones, are banding together to challenge the companies they helped build.
The cohort is creating a union of concerned experts called the Center for Humane Technology. Along with the nonprofit media watchdog group Common Sense Media, it also plans an anti-tech addiction lobbying effort and an ad campaign at 55,000 public schools in the United States.
The campaign, titled The Truth About Tech, will be funded with $7 million from Common Sense and capital raised by the Center for Humane Technology. Common Sense also has $50 million in donated media and airtime from partners including Comcast and DirecTV. It will be aimed at educating students, parents and teachers about the dangers of technology, including the depression that can come from heavy use of social media.
''We were on the inside,'' said Tristan Harris, a former in-house ethicist at Google who is heading the new group. ''We know what the companies measure. We know how they talk, and we know how the engineering works.''
The effect of technology, especially on younger minds, has become hotly debated in recent months. In January, two big Wall Street investors asked Apple to study the health effects of its products and to make it easier to limit children's use of iPhones and iPads. Pediatric and mental health experts called on Facebook last week to abandon a messaging service the company had introduced for children as young as 6. Parenting groups have also sounded the alarm about YouTube Kids, a product aimed at children that sometimes features disturbing content.
''The largest supercomputers in the world are inside of two companies '-- Google and Facebook '-- and where are we pointing them?'' Mr. Harris said. ''We're pointing them at people's brains, at children.''
Silicon Valley executives for years positioned their companies as tight-knit families and rarely spoke publicly against one another. That has changed. Chamath Palihapitiya, a venture capitalist who was an early employee at Facebook, said in November that the social network was ''ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.''
The new Center for Humane Technology includes an unprecedented alliance of former employees of some of today's biggest tech companies. Apart from Mr. Harris, the center includes Sandy Parakilas, a former Facebook operations manager; Lynn Fox, a former Apple and Google communications executive; Dave Morin, a former Facebook executive; Justin Rosenstein, who created Facebook's Like button and is a co-founder of Asana; Roger McNamee, an early investor in Facebook; and Ren(C)e DiResta, a technologist who studies bots.
The group expects its numbers to grow. Its first project to reform the industry will be to introduce a Ledger of Harms '-- a website aimed at guiding rank-and-file engineers who are concerned about what they are being asked to build. The site will include data on the health effects of different technologies and ways to make products that are healthier.
Jim Steyer, chief executive and founder of Common Sense, said the Truth About Tech campaign was modeled on antismoking drives and focused on children because of their vulnerability. That may sway tech chief executives to change, he said. Already, Apple's chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, told The Guardian last month that he would not let his nephew on social media, while the Facebook investor Sean Parker also recently said of the social network that ''God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains.''
Mr. Steyer said, ''You see a degree of hypocrisy with all these guys in Silicon Valley.''
The new group also plans to begin lobbying for laws to curtail the power of big tech companies. It will initially focus on two pieces of legislation: a bill being introduced by Senator Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, that would commission research on technology's impact on children's health, and a bill in California by State Senator Bob Hertzberg, a Democrat, which would prohibit the use of digital bots without identification.
Mr. McNamee said he had joined the Center for Humane Technology because he was horrified by what he had helped enable as an early Facebook investor.
''Facebook appeals to your lizard brain '-- primarily fear and anger,'' he said. ''And with smartphones, they've got you for every waking moment.''
He said the people who made these products could stop them before they did more harm.
''This is an opportunity for me to correct a wrong,'' Mr. McNamee said.
A version of this article appears in print on , on Page B6 of the New York edition with the headline: Early Facebook and Google Employees Form Coalition to Fight What They Built . Order Reprints | Today's Paper | Subscribe Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box.
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AccuWeather Responds to Miscoded NWS Tsunami Warning - AccuWeather.com Press Room
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 15:22
February 06, 2018; 12:27 PM
Miscoded NWS Test Leads to False Tsunami Warning By Multiple Weather Media Outlets
AccuWeather Global Headquarters - February 6, 2018 - This morning AccuWeather passed on a National Weather Service Tsunami Warning that was intended by the NWS to be a test but was miscoded by the NWS as a real warning. AccuWeather has the most sophisticated system for passing on NWS tsunami warnings based on a complete computer scan of the codes used by the NWS. While the words "TEST" were in the header, the actual codes read by computers used coding for real warning, indicating it was a real warning.
The NWS warning also later appeared on other sources such as The Weather Channel and it even appears on some pages of the NWS own website as a real warning. The NWS is the original source of the information and displayed it as a real warning.
Tsunami warnings are handled with the utmost concern by AccuWeather and it has sophisticated algorithms to scan the entire message, not just header words, as from the time of a warning to the actual event can be mere minutes. AccuWeather was correct in reading the mistaken NWS codes embedded in the warning. The responsibility is on the NWS to properly and consistently code the messages, for only they know if the message is correct or not.
As reported by AccuWeather, once discovered that the NWS had incorrectly coded the warning, we sent messages via social channels that no tsunami warning is in effect for the East Coast of the U.S.
This is not the first time legitimate warning coding was embedded erroneously by the NWS and consequently triggered alerts. In October 2014, AccuWeather advised NWS in writing about the potential for this problem to be repeated if not fixed.
AccuWeather's CEO Barry Myers wrote to the NWS over three years ago: "We understand the reason for test messages, but we feel that NWS consider fail safe measures for the future to prevent such an occurrence. The issuance did say it was a "TSUNAMI WARNING," but it was not a tsunami warning, rather simply a test of the system. We note that the method currently used of relying on the "TEST" in the header of the product and a test in the VTEC status, as the identifying device for software coding in numerous programs and systems used by a plethora of companies to identify such messages, has proven to be a less than perfect system."
This is all a matter of public record.
We are continuing to work with NWS to determine why this coding was improperly embedded in its test alert system.
For more information, contact:
Justin Roberti / 814.235.8756 / roberti@accuweather.com
Or call our 24-hour press hotline:
Lady Doritos not happening - hospitality | Magazine
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:49
PepsiCo faced recent backlash after comments made by CEO Indra Nooyi on a podcast interview went sideways.
During the Freakonomics podcast on 31 January, Nooyi commented that women did not eat Doritos in the same way as men. ''They don't like to crunch too loudly in public,'' she said. ''And they don't lick their fingers generously, and they don't like to pour the little broken pieces and flavor [sic] into their mouth.''
The interviewer then posed the question of whether PepsiCo was playing with the concept of ''male and female version of chips''.
Nooyi responded: ''It's not a male and female as much as, 'Are there snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently?' And yes, we are looking at it, and we're getting ready to launch a bunch of them soon. For women, low-crunch, the full taste profile, not have so much of the flavor stick on the fingers, and how can you put it in a purse? Because women love to carry a snack in their purse.''
A number of news outlets picked up the story and it seemed like a female line of Doritos were a sure thing '-- until Doritos responded to the claims.
''The reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is inaccurate,'' the company said in a statement. ''We already have Doritos for women '-- they're called Doritos, and they're enjoyed by millions of people every day. At the same time, we know needs and preferences continue to evolve, and we're always looking for new ways to engage and delight our consumers.''
Lady Doritos gained significant attention on social media, with many voicing their outrage at gender-specific snacks.
Image credit: Washington Post
George Soros, the man who 'broke the Bank of England', backing secret plot to thwart Brexit
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:46
G eorge Soros, the billionaire known as the man who ''broke the Bank of England'', is backing a campaign to overturn Brexit, the Telegraph can disclose.
The investor is one of three senior figures linked to the Remain-supporting campaign group Best for Britain who plan to launch a nationwide advertising campaign this month, which they hope will lead to a second referendum to keep Britain in the EU.
The campaign is trying to recruit major Tory donors in an attempt to undermine Theresa May.
It also plans to target MPs and convince them to vote against the final Brexit deal to trigger another referendum or general election, according to a strategy document leaked from a meeting of the group.
T he document says the campaign, which will begin by the end of this month, must ''wake the country up and assert that Brexit is not a done deal. That it's not too late to stop Brexit''.
It adds that a series of...
Google Won't Take Down 'Pirate' VLC With Five Million Downloads - TorrentFreak
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:28
VideoLAN, the team behind the VLC media player, recently revealed that they turned down several tens of millions of euros to bundle their software with advertising. The same cannot be said of third-party developers cloning VLC for profit, however. An ad-supported clone discovered on Google Play has a staggering five to ten million downloads and breaches VLC's GPL license, yet Google refuses to take it down.
VLC is the media player of choice for Internet users around the globe. Downloaded for desktop at least 2,493,000,000 times since February 2005, VLC is an absolute giant. And those figures don't even include GNU/Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome OS or Windows Phone downloads either.
Aside from its incredible functionality, VLC (operated by the VideoLAN non-profit) has won the hearts of Internet users for other key reasons, not least its commitment to being free and open source software. While it's true to say that VLC doesn't cost a penny, the term 'free' actually relates to the General Public License (GPL) under which it's distributed.
The GPL aims to guarantee that software under it remains 'free' for all current and future users. To benefit from these protections, the GPL requires people who modify and redistribute software to afford others the same freedoms by informing them of the requirement to make source code available.
Since VLC is extremely popular and just about as 'free' as software can get, people get extremely defensive when they perceive that a third-party is benefiting from the software without adhering to the terms of the generous GPL license. That was the case beginning a few hours ago when veteran Reddit user MartinVanBallin pointed out a piece of software on the Google Play Store.
''They took VLC, put in ads, didn't attribute VLC or follow the open source license, and they're using Media Player Classics icon,'' MartinVanBallin wrote.
The software is called 321 Media Player and has an impressive 4.5 score from more than 101,000 reviews. Despite not mentioning VLC or the GPL, it is based completely on VLC, as the image below (and other proof) shows.
VLC Media Player 321 Media PlayerTorrentFreak spoke with VideoLAN President Jean-Baptiste Kempf who confirmed that the clone is in breach of the GPL.
''The Android version of VLC is under the license GPLv3, which requires everything inside the application to be open source and sharing the source,'' Kempf says.
''This clone seems to use a closed-source advertisement component (are there any that are open source?), which is a clear violation of our copyleft. Moreover, they don't seem to share the source at all, which is also a violation.''
Perhaps the most amazing thing is the popularity of the software. According to stats provided by Google, 321 Media Player has amassed between five and ten million downloads. That's not an insignificant amount when one considers that unlike VLC, 321 Media Player contains revenue-generating ads.
Using GPL-licensed software for commercial purposes is allowed providing the license terms are strictly adhered to. Kempf informs TF that VideoLAN doesn't mind if this happens but in this case, the GPL is not being respected.
''A fork application which changes some things is an interesting thing, because they maybe have something to give back to our community. The application here, is just a parasite, and I think they are useless and dangerous,'' Kempf says.
All that being said, turning VLC itself into adware is something the VideoLAN team is opposed to. In fact, according to questions answered by Kempf last September, the team turned down ''several tens of millions of euros'' to turn their media player into an ad-supported platform.
''Integrating crap, adware and spyware with VLC is not OK,'' Kempf informs TF.
TorrentFreak contacted the developer of 321 Media Player for comment but at the time of publication, we were yet to receive a response. We also asked for a copy of the source code for 321 Media Player as the GPL requires, but that wasn't forthcoming either.
In the meantime, it appears that a small army of Reddit users are trying to get something done about the 'rogue' app by reporting it as an ''inappropriate copycat'' to Google. Whether this will have any effect remains to be seen but according to Kempf, tackling these clone versions has proven extremely difficult in the past.
''We reported this application already more than three times and Google refuses to take it down,'' he says.
''Our experience is that it is very difficult to take these kinds of apps down, even if they embed spyware or malware. Maybe it is because it makes money for Google.''
Finally, Kempf also points to the obviously named ''Indian VLC Player'' on Google Play. Another VLC clone with up to 500,000 downloads, this one appears to breach both copyright and trademark law.
''We remove applications that violate our policies, such as apps that are illegal,'' a Google spokesperson informs TorrentFreak.
''We don't comment on individual applications; you can check out our policies for more information.''
Update: The app has now been removed from Google Play
Trump's bad hair day gets worse after gust of wind | New York Post
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:20
By Mark Moore
February 7, 2018 | 3:32pm
It was President Trump's very bad hair day.
A video shows the president climbing the stairs to Air Force One last Friday when a sudden gust of wind catches his combover.
The blast lifted the strands of hair like a flap and revealed his bare scalp underneath for all to see.
Trump's hairdo has created volumes of speculation about whether it's a wig, or implants, or his carefully coiffed natural hair.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in May 2011, Trump walked a reporter through his cosmetic regimen.
''OK, what I do is, wash it with Head and Shoulders. I don't dry it, though. I let it dry by itself. It takes about an hour,'' he said.
Two recent medical examinations of the 71-year-old president also shed light on his mane.
AP His personal physician Dr. Harold Bornstei'‹n '-- who once proclaimed that if Trump were elected, ''I can state unequivocally, '‹[he] '‹will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency'‹'' '-- assured that the president is fully tressed.
''He has all his hair,'''‹ Bornstein '‹told reporters last year. ''I have all my hair'‹.''
'‹He credited his full head of hair, as well as Trump's, to taking finasteride, which is marketed as Propecia, a drug to treat male pattern baldness.
Last month, Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician who examined Trump, said the president takes a range of medications, including Propecia.
Trump's hair looks horrible on everybodyhttp://nyp.st/2EOOG3T
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Noodmelding in olympische schaatsstad | Winterspelen | Telegraaf.nl
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:18
De aanleiding: een brand net buiten het mediadorp. Het vuur, dat vermoedelijk op een bouwplaats achter een cafe ontstond, zorgde voor veel rookontwikkeling, maar van een penibele situatie was geen sprake. De noodmelding, in Koreaanse tekens, bleek vooral een voorzorgsmaatregel.
De Olympische Spelen worden vrijdag geopend. Sprinter Jan Smeekens draagt de Nederlandse vlag. Zaterdag wordt er in Gangneung voor het eerst geschaatst. Om 12:00 uur beginnen de vrouwen aan hun 3.000 meter.
De noodoproep rolde om 09:18 binnen.
''¸ Telesport
EU opens door to 6 Balkan states for membership - SHINE
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:12
The European Union sought yesterday to reinvigorate the membership ambitions of six Balkan states and reclaim the region as its own, setting 2025 as a goal for Serbia and Montenegro to join.
Partly symbolic to breathe life into the bloc as Britain prepares to leave, the European Commission set out a strategy to bring Western Balkan nations into the fold if they meet required reforms, marking a change after years of fading interest.
''If countries are willing, then this is possible, but it is ambitious,'' Johannes Hahn, the bloc's enlargement commissioner, said in Brussels before unveiling the plan at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
''We will not repeat the mistakes of the past,'' he said, in a veiled reference to what most EU officials believe was the rushed accession of Romania and Bulgaria in 2007 and the poorly managed migration of eastern European workers to Britain, which turned many Britons against the European project.
The 2009-2013 eurozone crisis, rising euroscepticism and public EU fatigue with enlargement appeared to diminish Balkan hopes then. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker played down enlargement at the start of his five-year term in 2014.
Left wondering if they would ever join, Macedonia has been an EU candidate country since 2005. Montenegro has been one since 2010. Serbia has been since 2012. Albania won candidate country status in 2014.
But in a change of tone, top EU officials now insist there is no alternative but for Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia to join the EU.
Their inclusion in the EU is being held up as an EU ideal that is long overdue since the end of the Cold War and the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
The Balkan strategy drawn up in Brussels aims to show the region that membership is certain if countries meet EU demands including establishing independent courts, a free press and breaking up crime rings that have badly weakened governments.
Albania and Montenegro are already members of the US-led NATO alliance and Macedonia is likely to be offered NATO membership, often seen as a springboard to EU membership, if it can overcome a dispute over its name with Greece.
The commission has set 2025 as the target date for the first new entrants to the bloc, eventually taking the total number of EU members to 33, with Britain out as expected in March 2019. EU leaders will embrace the 2025 promise at a special Western Balkans summit in May in Sofia.
Serbia and Montenegro are the most advanced in the so-called accession process but Hahn said that could easily change.
''We will only accept a new member state if it has resolved its conflicts with its neighbors.''
Seattle is putting fences under its bridges to keep campers out '-- and some say that's wrong | The Seattle Times
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:10
Seattle is putting fences under some bridges where homeless camps set up. The city says it's to prevent fires, but some City Council members are pushing back.
When Mike O'Brien, Ballard's Seattle City Council member, biked up the Ballard Bridge last Thursday night, he counted five tents camped under the north ramp.
He went back Tuesday, and those tents were gone. The underpass was fenced off, and workers were drilling holes to put up a 10-foot-high spiked fence to prevent homeless people from camping there.
The price tag on this fencing: $100,000 for both sides of Northwest Leary Way at the Ballard Bridge. That money, O'Brien reasoned, could have housed those five households in apartments for a year.
''So where are they now?'' O'Brien said, with construction under the bridge behind him almost drowning him out. ''They didn't go into housing. They likely didn't move to North Dakota. They're probably three blocks from here, next to some business.''
O'Brien's question underscores the ongoing public debate about where the estimated 5,500 unsheltered homeless people in King County should be allowed to camp.
As Seattle has opened six authorized tent camps in the past two-plus years and deployed a team to coax people out of hundreds of unauthorized camps, it also has increasingly used fences and other infrastructure to close off some public spaces.
Seattle's Department of Transportation (SDOT) installed bike racks in Belltown last year, and told The Stranger in December they were explicitly designed to keep people from camping there.
Backlash has gradually built among City Council members. In December, Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda wrote a letter to SDOT's director criticizing the use of bike racks to discourage camping.
''Continuing to advance the notion that hostile architecture should be used to inconvenience those who are unsheltered is misguided,'' Mosqueda wrote in the letter.
The agency plans to remove the Belltown bike racks in the next four to six weeks, SDOT said in a statement.
But SDOT does not plan to halt construction of the fences in Ballard because they are important for safety, the agency said '-- a position shared by at least one Seattle business group.
''SDOT's focus is to maintain the structural integrity of the bridge and keep our communities and commuters safe, especially following a series of reported fires,'' SDOT said in a statement.
''Wooden structures, open flames, and propane tanks all pose a clear danger to public safety and has the potential to destroy this critical transportation corridor that 60,000 vehicles rely on each day.''
There have been two fires under the Ballard Bridge, one in 2013 and one in 2016, according to SDOT, as well as at least nine other fires under bridges and viaducts around Seattle since 2004. Those repairs have cost $380,000, according to SDOT.
The use of infrastructure to discourage sleeping or camping by homeless people is known as ''hostile architecture.'' It can be as explicit as the city of Spokane's dumping tons of basalt boulders under Interstate-90 last fall to discourage people from camping, or Tacoma dropping boulders on a grass parking strip where people congregated a year before.
It can be as subtle as the benches with armrests every few feet outside Seattle City Hall, making it hard to lie down.
If you have a place to sleep every night, hostile architecture can be hard to spot, said Sara Rankin of the Homeless Rights Advocacy Project at Seattle University School of Law.
''It's become much more subtle and less explicit,'' Rankin said. ''It's a very sort of subterranean instinct '-- control a space so you don't have to be confronted with visibly poor people.''
But the fences aren't exactly covert; they're pretty obvious, Rankin said.
This isn't the first time this approach has been tried. In the Sodo neighborhood, Seattle and Washington state spent $1.1 million to make sure people don't sleep under the Spokane Street Viaduct.
Erin Goodman, executive director of Sodo Business Improvement Area, says that's not hostile architecture. ''I think there's a long stretch between a bench with spikes on it to prevent people from laying down and fencing off key infrastructure,'' Goodman said. ''We have to determine that some areas just aren't safe.''
In the past year, the city has repeatedly closed and swept away camps that sprang up under the Spokane Street Viaduct, after a fire that burned two motor homes and later, a shooting that claimed the life of a 31-year-old homeless man.
O'Brien planned to ask SDOT interim director Goran Sparrman about the Ballard fences in a transportation- committee meeting Tuesday, but Sparrman didn't attend.
O'Brien said he understands the desire to fence off areas where people keep camping, but he thinks it's useless and wasteful.
''It serves this kind of immediate desire to feel like you accomplished something, but it doesn't solve the problem. In fact, it makes it worse,'' O'Brien said.
Winter Olympics 2018: Norovirus hits Pyeongchang to add to cold worry | Metro News
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:09
The Olympic Rings are pictured at the biathlon shooting range ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games (Getty)The Winter Olympics has been hit by an outbreak of the norovirus, with 54 new cases confirmed in Pyeongchang.
It brings the total suffering with the highly contagious virus to 86 with dozens of security guards at the Games affected.
Many have been taken to hospital suffering severe diarrhoea and vomiting following the breakout on Sunday.
Consequently, 1,200 guards have been withdrawn from the Olympic sites and quarantined in their rooms with organisers forced to call in 900 soldiers as cover.
Security guards have been quarantined (Getty)It's the latest crisis to hit the Games, which officially gets under way with the opening ceremony on Friday.
There were already concerns about the severity of the cold currently freezing Pyeongchang.
Temperatures during the opening ceremony are expected to be -10C, while the wind chill during rehearsals plummeted to -23C.
The Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium is very exposed (Getty)Athletes are understandably concerned for their health, with British team bosses advising against attendance if due to compete within 48 hours of the three-hour ceremony.
The president of the organising committee of the Games, Lee Hee-beom, said: 'I heard some people aren't coming here because of the cold weather, but I want to tell you we've prepared thoroughly for that. Don't worry.'
To compensate for the cold, the 35,000 spectators attending the opening ceremony at the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium will be giving a rain coat, a small blanket, a winter cap, heating packs for hands and feet and a heating pad to sit on.
Lamin Deen of Great Britain trains during Bobsleigh practice ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games (Getty)Measures are also being taken to contain the norovirus.
Games spokesman Christophe Dubi said: 'Very stringent measures are in place when it comes to food and beverages. As soon as a case is reported then all the area gets disinfected.'
Lee added: 'I would like to apologise for this. Our disease control centre [and] other related government agencies here are now discussing countermeasures.'
The opening ceremony is due to begin on Friday at 11am UK time, before 16 days of action in Pyeongchang.
MORE: Winter Olympics sports 2018: The 15 sports and 102 events on display in Pyeongchang, South Korea
Eric Holder eyes 2020 presidential bid
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:09
Former President Obama's long-serving attorney general, Eric Holder, is considering a political run in 2020, possibly for president.
''We'll see,'' he said when asked about a bid for the Democratic nomination.
Holder, addressing reporters at a media breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, said that he will make a decision this year.
"I think I'll make a decision by the end of the year about whether or not there is another chapter in my government service," he said.
Also asked if he planned a career in politics, he said again, ''I'll see.''
Holder, who was attorney general from 2009-2015 and handled several controversial cases for the former president, is running Obama's group aimed at redrawing ''fair'' congressional district lines, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.
He plans to tour the nation making the case for changing House district lines. His group is focusing on about 20 states.
During the hour-long session, Holder spoke of issues he addressed while Obama's top lawman and those he might take on the road in a campaign.
For example, he talked repeatedly about the plight of "people of color," and raised issues including income inequality and climate change.
Holder, who remains very close to Obama, also assailed Trump for pardoning former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, hit several decisions by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and defended the IRS, FBI, Justice Department, and Russia probe investigator Robert Mueller.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com
Trump flirts with flashy military parade long eschewed by US
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 13:58
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- For generations, as America's authoritarian rivals strutted their tanks, troops and jets through main thoroughfares in dramatic displays of strength, the United States watched from afar, but did not emulate.
Widely accepted as the world's mightiest, the U.S. military has no tradition of putting itself on parade like in Russia, North Korea or China. But President Donald Trump does not often stand on tradition. So Trump's directive to the Pentagon to draft options for a massive march reverberated across Washington on Wednesday like the thud of a discharged cannon, as lawmakers and military leaders mused about the cost, the risk and the purpose.
"People will wonder, 'Well, what are they afraid of now? What are they trying to prove?'" Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District of Columbia in Congress, said in an interview. "We don't have to show off to make a point."
It was a critique voiced by both Democrats and Republicans the day after The Washington Post revealed Trump wants an elaborate parade this year to rival the Bastille Day celebration in Paris that made a distinct impression on him in July. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin called it a "fantastic waste of money," while Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN that the parade risked being "kind of cheesy and a sign of weakness" if it's just about showing off military muscle.
The president did not seem deterred, although his aides rushed to downplay the notion that it was anything beyond an idea Trump had floated "in a brainstorming session" to help Americans express gratitude and pride for the military. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said there had been no final decision. And Trump's legislative director said it was too early to even guess about potential costs, though it's assumed it would cost millions.
"We've been putting together some options. We'll send them up to the White House for a decision," said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as reporters peppered him with questions at the White House. "The president's respect, his fondness for the military I think is reflected in him asking for these options."
In the nation's capital, officials were scrambling to identify potential implications for such a parade, such as whether D.C. streets could even accommodate heavyweight tanks and other equipment. On its official Twitter account, Washington's city council openly trolled the commander in chief, declaring that despite wintery weather, "DC Public Schools will open on time today. Sadly, the Giant Tank Parade is cancelled. Permanently."
Holmes Norton told The Associated Press that she was already preparing steps to ensure that "if Trump wants a parade, he pays for it." Still, she conceded there was little chance of blocking a parade permit from being issued, given the First Amendment right to free assembly.
Although U.S. troops commonly participate in parades on the Fourth of July and other holidays, especially those honoring veterans, the United States has never embraced raw displays of military power, such as North Korea's parading of ballistic missiles. The idea is that the world's pre-eminent military is strongest when its might is inferred, not shown off in boastful fashion or in an implicit threat to foreign powers.
"We have avoided doing this kind of display, in part to emphasize that contrast because this has been so commonplace in authoritarian countries," said Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University. "For some presidents, it's sometimes a strategic act: Speak quietly while carrying a big stick," as President Theodore Roosevelt famously advised.
The last time Washington saw anything similar to what Trump is considering was in June 1991, after the Gulf War, as Americans gave veterans of Operation Desert Storm a triumphant welcome home. Some 8,000 veterans marched along with tanks that trudged down a flag-festooned Constitution Avenue as fighter planes roared over the National Mall.
Some 800,000 gathered in the crowd, the U.S. Park Police said at the time. President George H.W. Bush declared it a "great day."
Although Trump's critics argued his parade idea was rooted in a need for self-aggrandizement, the White House said it was squarely an attempt to venerate America's military. Jonny Havens, a U.S. army veteran who said he served in Iraq, called that sentiment "right on."
"I trust President Trump, Defense Department, Secretary Mattis to do it in the right way, and do it in a way that makes sense and is cost effective," Havens said.
But Shaun Theriot-Smith, another Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said the idea smacked "of the very things we make fun of North Korea for."
"We had bombings in Kabul just last week," Theriot-Smith said. "We're not even sure what we're intending to celebrate here. We still have wars going on that we need to fight."
Trump first publicly floated his idea last September at a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, as he reminisced about watching France's Bastille Day military parade. He said the two-hour parade was a "tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France," and said he wanted one on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington on July 4 '-- grander than the one he saw in Paris.
When Trump first suggested the idea to top aides aboard Air Force One after the parade, staff debated the best time of year to have it, and noted the tanks in Paris had chewed up the city's pavement, throwing up chunks of concrete as they moved.
Trump, however, dismissed that concern, according to one person familiar with the conversation who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the president's thinking.
That's ok, Trump told them. We can fix the streets.
Associated Press writers Elizabeth Kennedy, Robert Burns, Catherine Lucey, Ashraf Khalil and Jill Colvin in Washington and AP videojournalist John Mone in Houston contributed to this report.
Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP
Hope Hicks' boyfriend Rob Porter resigns after abuse claim | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 13:52
Rob Porter has resigned from his role as White House staff secretary after his first ex-wife told DailyMail.com that he choked and punched her during their marriage.
Colbie Holderness, 37, who is a senior analyst for the U.S. government, spoke on the record to DailyMail.com about her five-year marriage to Porter, detailing physical and mental abuse.
She said he broke down her confidence so badly with his verbal and emotional abuse that she took an extended leave of absence from grad school.
Holderness's revelations follow DailyMail.com's exclusive interview on Tuesday evening with Porter's second wife, Jennifer Willoughby.
She told how Porter, 40, once dragged her wet and naked out of the shower and was verbally abusive, calling her a f***ing b***h' on their honeymoon.
The White House initially gave Porter its full support. But just hours after the second set of revelations, Porter resigned while still protesting his innocence.
'These outrageous allegations are simply false. I took the photos given to the media nearly 15 years ago and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described,' Porter said in a statement Wednesday.
'I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign.
'My commitment to public service speaks for itself. I have always put duty to country first and treated others with respect. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have served in the Trump Administration and will seek to ensure a smooth transition when I leave the White House.'
Colbie Holderness married Porter in June 2003 at New College Chapel in Oxford, England where Porter was attending as a Rhodes scholar
Holderness, 37, who is a senior analyst for the U.S. government, spoke on the record to DailyMail.com about her five-year marriage following the on-the-record allegations by Rob Porter's second wife, Jennifer Willoughby
Colbie tells DailyMail.com that while she and Porter were on a vacation in Florence, Italy, a couple of years after they married in the early 2000s, Porter punched her in the face
Porter, 40, has been described as one of the most important players in Trump's daily Oval Office orbit, and helped him write last week's State of the Union Address
Hope Hicks, 29, was seen leaving her D.C. apartment with White House Staff Secretary Porter 10 days ago
On Wednesday White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to comment on his security clearance, however, and dodged a question about why President Trump would accept his resignation even though the White House had emphasized the trust and faith the administration had in Porter.
'As has always been our policy when it comes to security clearances, we don't comment on them. I'm not going to change that today,' she said.
'I can tell you that Rob has been an effective in his role as staff secretary. The president and chief of staff have full confidence and trust in his abilities and his performance.'
Sanders then read Porter's full statement on air before adding: 'He is going to be leaving the White House. It won't be immediate. But he is resigning from the White House but is going to stay on to ensure that there's a smooth transition moving forward.'
The two sets of revelations have stunned the White House and led to a dramatic exit for Porter.
In 2010, Jennifer Willoughby '' Porter's second ex-wife '' filed a protective order against him after he violated their separation agreement and refused to leave their apartment.
Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can't say enough good things about him. He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.
Chief of Staff John Kelly after being contacted by DailyMail.com Feb. 6
According to a complaint filed with the police, he punched the glass on the door to their home, cutting his hand in the process.
And Porter's first ex-wife, Holderness, revealed to DailyMail.com that she was interviewed by the FBI '' as was Willoughby '' about their marriage after Porter was tapped for his current White House position as staff secretary. Porter required a security clearance '' which he has not received.
Holderness shared the photos of her injuries with the FBI, photos pictured in this story.
Last week, DailyMail.com revealed that Porter, who is Mormon, and White House Director of Communications Hope Hicks are dating, and were seen kissing in a cab on the way back to her apartment from a bar.
When reached for comment about second wife Jennifer Willoughby's story, before he had resigned, Porter told DailyMail.com: 'I will not comment about these matters, beyond stating that many of these allegations are slanderous and simply false.'
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly issued an official statement late Wednesday saying: 'I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter. There is no place for domestic violence in our society.
'I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming Chief of Staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation. I accepted his resignation earlier today, and will ensure a swift and orderly transition.'
Kelly had earlier in the day fiercely backed Porter.
'Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can't say enough good things about him. He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him,' he said.
But, rather than being a man of integrity, first wife Colbie says Porter is 'a bit of a monster' and has displayed a pattern of abuse with women.
'I was his first wife and it wasn't until there was a second wife and then a long-time girlfriend reaching out to me, who was experiencing some weird things. I started to realize that he keeps getting away with it. It's a pattern now, it hasn't gone away.'
Colbie, whose maiden name is Paulson, met Porter at a Mormon church in 2000 while she was attending Wellesley to double major in American studies and political science. Porter was attending Harvard to study government.
Her first impressions were that he was 'charming and charismatic.'
'Rob is very intelligent '' that's what drew me to him,' she said. 'We had a mutual interest in government and public policy. We seemed to be well paired. We got to know each other a little bit at church but he quickly asked me out and we became a couple. We became very serious, very quickly but it was rocky.
'He was never physical with me while we were dating and now I see there were red flags, left and right. He was verbally abusive and emotionally abusive all during that time, which I understand now, and we were fighting a lot.
'He would belittle me constantly about my weight, my sexiness, how good I looked to him or didn't look to him.
'He would always be checking out other women very obviously and would often compare me to other women.
'He was never physical with me while we were dating,' Colbie told DailyMail.com, 'and now I see there were red flags, left and right. He was verbally abusive and emotionally abusive all during that time, which I understand now, and we were fighting a lot
Colby told DailyMail.com: 'I remember crying all through my wedding day, not sure if I wanted to go through with it. But we were already over in England, everybody had flown over there and it was a very high-pressure situation for a 23-year-old and so I went through with it'
Says Colbie: 'We were arguing and he punched me in the face. He left visible marks when he punched me and I have pictures of that. I didn't go the police because I was scared, I was in Italy alone and I didn't know what to do.'
Holderness said that she never went to the police in the U.S. because she did not think that she would be believed
'Our relationship went on for three years until I graduated from college and then we got married two weeks later.'
The wedding was in June 2003 at New College Chapel in Oxford, England where Porter was attending as a Rhodes scholar.
Consistent with the practice of past administrations, issues related to an individual's suitability are reviewed through a thorough and lengthy background check process. Background checks involve a complex investigation run by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. As has always been our policy, we do not comment on security clearances. Rob Porter has been effective in his role as Staff Secretary. The President and Chief of Staff have full confidence in his abilities and his performance.
Sarah Sanders, Febraury 7
Holderness said: 'I remember crying all through my wedding day, not sure if I wanted to go through with it. But we were already over in England, everybody had flown over there and it was a very high-pressure situation for a 23-year-old and so I went through with it.
'But he was never physically abusive until our honeymoon and that floored me.'
The incident happened after the couple had arrived on their honeymoon in the Canary Islands.
Holderness said: 'It was a really odd thing that he did. He was angry because we weren't having sex when he wanted to have sex and he kicked me.
'It seems such a juvenile thing at the time, but I remember thinking about words my mother had told me when it happened.
'She had passed away before I graduated from college. She told me that she had once warned my father that if he ever hit her, she would leave him.
'My father never did anything like that because he's a very good man '' but I remember those words passing through my head right after Rob kicked me. I was thinking, 'What do I do? I just got married.'
'It was a kick which, although it hurt, was ridiculous at the same time. That was the first time he hurt me and then the doors opened. I didn't do anything and it continued.'
Jennifer Willoughby, the second wife of President Trump's staff secretary Rob Porter, spoke on the record to DailyMail.com about her abusive marriage
The physical abuse escalated from there.
Holderness, who has remarried, said: 'In a sense I couldn't believe it was happening to me '' I was a well-educated woman, he was well-educated man, we came from good families. It just didn't seem real, I think I was in denial.
'At times, the way he would be physically violent with me was very odd. He would throw me down on the bed, then put his full body weight on top of me, then grind a knee or elbow into my body, expressing rage.
'It was scary but it wasn't like it was life-threatening. For years, I would go to Mormon bishops and I would try to find the words to explain what was going on but I was at a loss beyond the explanation that he got physical with me.'
The violence escalated to where Porter was choking his wife.
'It was not hard enough for me to pass out but it was scary, humiliating and dehumanizing,' she said.
'It wasn't until I went to a secular counsellor at my work place one summer and told him what was going on that he was the first person, and not a male religious leader, who told me that what was happening was not okay.'
While on a vacation in Florence, Italy, a couple of years after they married, Holderness said that Porter punched her in the face.
Utah senator walks back support of Trump aide accused of wife-beatingRob Porter, who resigned his position on February 7, 2018 as White House staff secretary, initially received strong backing from his former boss, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, following accusations that Porter was abusive toward one of his ex-wives.
But that support seemed to evaporate when the second ex came forward with photos that she said showed a black eye Porter gave her.
Porter was Hatch's chief of staff from March 2014 until he came to the White House on Inauguration Day.
In an exclusive statement to DailyMail.com on February 6, Hatch said that it was 'incredibly discouraging to see such a vile attack on such a decent man. Shame on any publication that would print this '-- and shame on the politically motivated, morally bankrupt character assassins that would attempt to sully a man's good name.'
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch softened his support for Rob Porter in the hours between his first statement of solidarity and Porter's resignation from the White House
'I know Rob. I've known him for years, both as a close friend and as a personal advisor,' Hatch continued at the time. 'He is kind and considerate towards all.'
'The country needs more honest, principled people like Rob Porter, which is why I hope that this cynical campaign to discredit his character ultimately fails.'
Less than 15 hours later, however, after DailyMail.com published the black-eye photos and Porter resigned his position, Hatch backpedaled and said he didn't know what Porter may have done in the years before he knew him.
'I am heartbroken by today's allegations,' Hatch said in a statement to reporters.
'In every interaction I've had with Rob, he has been courteous, professional, and respectful. My staff loved him and he was a trusted advisor.'
I do not know the details of Rob's personal life. Domestic violence in any form is abhorrent and unacceptable. I am praying for Rob and those involved,' he said.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly hasn't wavered in his support for Porter, whom he reportedly urged to stay.
In a statement to DailyMail.com on February 6, he said that 'Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can't say enough good things about him.'
'He is a friend, a confidante [sic] and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him.'
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly complained in October 2017 that women were no longer held as 'sacred' in America, but as the Porter scandal unfolded he called the accused spousal abuser 'a man of true integrity and honor'
But in October 2017 the retired U.S. Marine Corps general lectured the White House press corps, complaining that women were no longer 'sacred' in America.
'When I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country,' he said then. 'Women were sacred and looked upon with great honor.'
'That's obviously not the case anymore, as we see from recent cases.'
Kelly spoke just days after the #MeToo movement took off with sexual abuse allegations against the now-disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein.
Statements from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also semed to evolve as the story grew in intensity and Porter was forced out.
'I have worked directly with Rob Porter nearly every day for the last year and the person I know is someone of the highest integrity and exemplary character,' Sanders said on February 6.
'Those of us who have the privilege of knowing him are better people because of it.'
In her office after she announced Porter's resignation, Sanders said that 'of course' the Trump White House condemned domestic violence of any kind.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders insisted that 'of course' the administration condemns domestic violence of all kinds, but wouldn't commit to whether she believes Porter or his two ex-wives
Sanders wouldn't, however, say that the White House sided with Porter's ex-wives or believed their accounts of his behavior.
'It's not a matter of "believe" or "don't believe",' she told DailyMail.com, straddling both sides of what had become a heated dispute between a trusted colleague and the women who claimed he abused them.
'I hurt for anyone who's experienced anything like that '' I haven't '' in whatever degree. But at the same time I can only talk about my personal experience and interactions,' she said.
Colbie, here with her current husband, confirmed that she had also been interviewed by the FBI about her marriage after Porter was tapped for his current White House position and required security clearance which he has not received
'We were arguing and he punched me in the face. He left visible marks when he punched me and I have pictures of that. I didn't go the police because I was scared, I was in Italy alone and I didn't know what to do.'
Holderness said that she never went to the police in the U.S. because she did not think that she would be believed.
'I did move out several times because of the abuse. We spent big chunks of our marriage apart. I would keep going back until enough was enough. I could feel myself slipping away as a person.'
She said that others had seen the warning signs but not realized the depth of abuse that she was going through.
'Speaking to friends and family later, it was clear to people that Rob had a temper. He would be very cruel and mean but he was never physically abusive towards anybody else and no one saw it happen to me.
'He knew he had me in a vulnerable position and he could behave that way in private. But he was smart enough and careful enough to never behave that way in public but people did see his anger issues at various times.'
'During the first year of the marriage we were in England and then I took in a job back in Idaho in my home state and was so relieved to get away. He would visit me there but I just remembered thinking that the job would give me the space and distance to think. We both went back to graduate school at Harvard and were living upstairs from his parents, who were masters at Dunster House.
'We were living up in the old servants quarters during the first year of graduate school and the abuse continued. So I moved out the next summer and got my own place for the entire second year of graduate school.
Rob Porter and Hope Hicks were seen smiling and laughing over drinks as they enjoyed each other's company at Rosa Mexicano in Washington D.C., hours before they went home together
Colbie, as her black eye was healing and Colbie today. She has remarried and says it took her years to recover her confidence and sense of self.
'Then he talked me into coming back after that year so I moved back in with him.
'He would insult my intelligence because he knew that was important to me and it is important to him. He would call me a 'f***ing idiot', say 'you are so stupid, you are so dumb, you cannot do anything.'
'I was so distraught and my confidence was so broken that part way through the second year of my graduate program I had to take a leave of absence, go to all my professors and tell them that my marriage was a nightmare and I needed more time to compete my degree and essentially dropped out of school.
'I did finish it after the divorce and I had recovered a bit. I was just broken and its taken me years to recover my confidence and sense of self.
'Pretty shortly after that I cut off all contact with him [Porter] and really haven't talked to him since '' with a few exceptions. He would track me down occasionally until I finally had to mail a letter to his parents and say, 'please leave me alone I've asked nicely '' it's going to be a problem if he doesn't.'
'Rob might be a bit a monster but he's very smart. I think he knew that was a liability for him if he continued with that behavior. He's not that obsessive.'
On Tuesday, DailyMail.com spoke with Porter's second ex-wife, Jennifer Willoughy. They were married from 2009 until 2013.
Willoughby, 39, said she was 'walking on eggshells' during their marriage due to his explosive anger.
The public speaker and writer claims that on December 22, 2010, Porter pulled her naked from the shower by the shoulders and yelled at her. She refused to join his family on a vacation after that.
Willoughby said : '[It happened] just after our first anniversary. I cannot remember what the fight was about but I excused myself in a way that was typical at that time. I certainly was not meek and mild and said, 'I'm not going to fight you anymore' and stormed off and went to take a shower.
'He was not done fighting with me. It was a glass shower door, he opened it and dragged me by my shoulders out of the shower to yell. Immediately upon seeing my reaction to that, he released me and apologized but it doesn't take away that he was angry enough that that happened.'
The couple had married over Thanksgiving 2009 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They took a short honeymoon over the Christmas break in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where Willoughby said he verbally abused her.
She said: 'I can't remember what triggered it. He lashed out and was really angry and both under his breath and explicitly to me called me a 'f***ing b***h' and 'f***ing ridiculous'. He accused me of not caring about him or his needs.
During the taxi ride the secret lovers could be seen cuddling in the back seat. One eyewitness said Porter could be seen kissing Hope's neck
Hope exits the taxi while Rob pays for the ride before they both enter her D.C. apartment at the end of the evening
'[The honeymoon] was spent with me trying not to make him upset.'
She added: 'In the first weeks and months, his explanation for his anger was that his first marriage had been very toxic, rooted in arguments, accusations and manipulation and he was carrying over from that relationship.
'He would say that he was so used to being treated this way by his ex-wife that he was projecting that on to me. That was the explanation.'
Several months into the marriage, Willoughby filed a protective order with a court in Alexandria, Virginia, after Porter violated their temporary separation agreement.
A police complaint, filed on June 19, 2010, states that Porter punched the glass on the door to their home, cutting his hand in the process at which point she called the police. He then left and following that she filed a temporary protective order.
Willoughby said: 'My experience of our entire marriage was being with a man who could be both charming and romantic and fun - and even thoughtful and kind; and horribly angry and manipulative.
'It was the duality of both of those things existing at the same time and not necessarily knowing what in his life would trigger the anger; or what in his life would draw out the kindness and the chivalry. That's a crazy-making space for a spouse to be in, that I somehow have no control over the quality of my relationship.
'The terminology is 'walking on eggshells' '' you don't know which man is going to walk in the door. Or you don't know what seemingly innocuous comment is going to be interpreted differently.
'I had a friend's daughter over to carve pumpkins for Halloween and he sulked and pouted and didn't join us. And of course after she left, he was angry '' 'why would I have someone over, why would you help her [my friend] out when she could be doing this herself?' There was no rational explanation as to why that would make him angry at that particular moment.'
Willoughby said that she felt manipulated throughout the marriage.
WHY I STAYED by Jennifer Willoughby: Rob Porter's second ex-wife reveals why she stayed in their 'abusive' marriage On April 24, 2017, Jennifer Willoughby wrote a blog about her marriage, but she did not name Porter. Willoughby tells DailyMail.com that Porter called her last year and demanded she take down her blog posts.
The first time he called me a 'f*****g bitch' was on our honeymoon. (I found out years later he had kicked his first wife on theirs.) A month later he physically prevented me from leaving the house. Less than two months after that, I filed a protective order with the police because he punched in the glass on our front door while I was locked inside. We bought a house to make up for it. Just after our one year anniversary, he pulled me, naked and dripping, from the shower to yell at me.
Everyone loved him. People commented all the time how lucky I was. Strangers complimented him to me every time we went out. But in my home, the abuse was insidious. The threats were personal. The terror was real. And yet I stayed.
When I tried to get help, I was counseled to consider carefully how what I said might affect his career. And so I kept my mouth shut and stayed. I was told, yes, he was deeply flawed, but then again so was I. And so I worked on myself and stayed. If he was a monster all the time, perhaps it would have been easier to leave. But he could be kind and sensitive. And so I stayed. He cried and apologized. And so I stayed. He offered to get help and even went to a few counseling sessions and therapy groups. And so I stayed. He belittled my intelligence and destroyed my confidence. And so I stayed. I felt ashamed and trapped. And so I stayed. Friends and clergy didn't believe me. And so I stayed. I was pregnant. And so I stayed. I lost the pregnancy and became depressed. And so I stayed.
Abuse is indifferent to education level, socio-economic status, race, age, or gender. And no one can ever know the dynamics of another's relationship. My cycle continued for four more years. Afterward, I let go and welcomed the hard work of healing and forgiveness. My experience made me stronger and able to love more deeply. But my heart breaks for him. In the end, who is the real victim of his choices?
'He's very intelligent, extremely good with his words and is a lawyer by profession and is able to take words that I had said and use them in a way that it would confuse me as to what I meant,' she told DailyMail.com.
'He would challenge my intelligence or a statement that I had made by implying that I couldn't have possibly come up with it on my own and that I must have been influenced by someone.
'I would start to doubt myself. He was using words against me. It was his norm in dealing with behavior he didn't like.'
Willoughby said that she still believes that Porter was a capable of his White House role as staff secretary, a close aide to President Trump.
'I want to be very clear when I say this,' Willoughby said. 'I don't want to be married to him. I would not recommend anyone to date him or marry him. But I definitely want him in the White House and the position he is in. I think his integrity and ability to do his job is impeccable. And the majority of the issues he suffers from are very personal and intimate.'
Willoughby said that she never saw Rob take his anger out on other people - 'not even road rage' '' but that it was all behind closed doors.
'That was something that was interesting to me, from a case study perspective. It does seem to be very much focused in an intimate, romantic relationship. It's almost as though the anger that could have been placed on his father was placed on the romantic partner.'
'Fairly soon after New Year in 2010, I started seeing a therapist and requested that Rob see a therapist because I was so distressed about his anger,' she revealed.
'I also had met with a bishop in the Mormon Church about his anger. It came to a head and in February or March 2010. I was so worn down and exhausted by the anger that I requested we have a separation.
'I never received specific threats from Rob, he was just often angry and it was oppressive. I started to take on the blame and the weight of his lack of self-worth.
'Over the course of the years of our marriage, I can think of several times where I was collapsing on the ground in tears and saying, ''just leave me alone, just stop'' because the anger and the insults were too much.
Willoughby told DailyMail.com that she had a miscarriage at six weeks pregnant towards the end of their marriage. 'The stress of being pregnant in that marriage was hard and then the shame and depression of not being pregnant anymore was also hard,' she said
'[He would say] that I was worthless, that I was a liar. This is not one instance, these are things that he might have said in a rage. That I always got my way, that I was selfish, that I didn't care about him, about his needs. Any version of those types of statements, heard enough times, with enough force behind them are devastating.'
She had a miscarriage at six weeks pregnant towards the end of their marriage.
'The stress of being pregnant in that marriage was hard and then the shame and depression of not being pregnant anymore was also hard,' she said.
The couple divorced in 2013 after several trial separations and attending counselling and therapy.
Since her marriage ended, she left her job as a high school science teacher and has become a full-time writer, educational speaker and motivational coach.
She had written a number of blog posts referring to her marriage - but not using names.
Willoughby told DailyMail.com that Porter called her last year and demanded she take down her blog posts that referred to their marriage.
He asked her what she had told the FBI about their relationship during her interview with the agency over his security clearance in February 2017.
Willoughby also told DailyMail.com that she received a message from Porter's previous girlfriend, before Hicks, telling her that Rob was considering hiring a private investigator to look into her and 'employ' a journalist to write about her.
DailyMail.com could not reach Porter's ex-girlfriend for comment.
Porter is a Massachusetts-born Harvard graduate who went to the Ivy League school with presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner.
He also went to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and spent two years as a Mormon missionary in London.
Before being tapped to join the new administration, he had been chief of staff for veteran Utah Senator Orrin Hatch. He has also worked for Republican senators Rob Portman of Ohio and Mike Lee of Utah.
His job has been described as one of the most important in the Oval Office as he, working with Chief of Staff John Kelly, controls the information that reaches the president.
'Porter, a little-known White House aide who has avoided getting caught up in any of the West Wing drama that has plagued the administration for the better part of seven months, serves to review everything before it makes it to the president's desk,' Business Insider wrote in September.
'Given how the president has shared dubious information at times when aides have presented him with reports from less-than-credible sources, Porter's role has an outsized importance,' the paper added.
'Talk to people who worked with him in the past, and they'll repeatedly mention his intelligence, experience, and team-first attitude.'
Porter was seen opening the door as the couple returned to Hope's D.C. apartment after their dinner
The couple's time at Hope's apartment after dinner comes after they were seen at a church service in early January and prayed together even though they come from different religions. Porter is a Mormon while Hicks is Roman Catholic
His father, Roger Porter, was an aide to President George H.W. Bush.
Hope Hicks, 29, and Porter had doing their best to keep their romance under wraps when they were spotted together with friends at low-key restaurant Rosa Mexicano near downtown Washington two weeks ago.
They did not show any sign of affection and did not sit next to each other at the restaurant.
But the moment they got in the cab to go back to Hicks' D.C. apartment they started cuddling and kissing in the back seat.
As soon as the taxi took off they both moved from their sides of the cab to the middle. Rob was kissing Hope's neck all the way home,' an eyewitness to the red-hot White House couple said.
Porter had been living with a willowy blonde political appointee, sources say before he began dating Hicks.
Public records document that the woman was living in his apartment in Arlington, Virginia.
The woman split with Porter around Thanksgiving, a White House source tells DailyMailTV exclusively.
Senator Orrin Hatch, commented: 'It's incredibly discouraging to see such a vile attack on such a decent man. Shame on any publication that would print this'--and shame on the politically motivated, morally bankrupt character assassins that would attempt to sully a man's good name.
'I know Rob. I've known him for years, both as a close friend and as a personal advisor. He is kind and considerate towards all. The country needs more honest, principled people like Rob Porter, which is why I hope that this cynical campaign to discredit his character ultimately fails.'
Carter Page files slander lawsuit over Russia dossier - Washington Times
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 13:13
A third figure in the Russia probe has filed a slander lawsuit as a direct result of the infamous Democrat-financed dossier that helped prompt the FBI to investigate purported collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Moscow.
Carter Page, a former low-level Trump volunteer acting as his own attorney, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against Yahoo News and HuffPost (formerly The Huffington Post) through owner Oath Inc.
Mr. Page, an energy investor who does business in Russia and lived in Moscow for a time, charges that the two news outlets libeled him by repeating dossier accusations that he met two Kremlin figures in July 2016 and tried to negotiate an end to U.S. sanctions.
The false charges, he says, brought him ''irreparable damage'' and subjected him to voicemail death threats. He seeks $75,000 in damages.
Previously, a Russian tech entrepreneur and Russian bank owners filed defamation lawsuits against news outlets that posted the dossier.
Since the day the now-discredited dossier was posted online by BuzzFeed in January, Mr. Page has steadfastly maintained that he never held such a meeting and provided his denial to FBI agents. He repeats the denial in his legal filing, which provides a voluminous chronology of how the dossier made an obscure New York investor a vehicle for liberal rage against President Trump.
Glenn R. Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter turned liberal opposition researcher, circulated the dossier during the campaign to a number of news sites. Financed by a Hillary Clinton backer, the document was produced in sequential memos by former British spy Christopher Steele, who relied principally on paid Kremlin sources.
By September last year, the first significant dossier-based article appeared in Yahoo News by Michael Isikoff, who has produced a number of Washington scoops over several decades. The story told of Mr. Carter's supposed illicit meetings in Moscow, where he had traveled that summer to give a public speech to a university.
Yahoo News did not quote the dossier as its source, but instead cited intelligence sources. The actual source was the Democratic-paid Mr. Steele, who briefed a number a liberal media sites at the behest of Mr. Simpson and his Fusion GPS intelligence firm.
The Yahoo story set off a firestorm. HuffPost published follow-up articles. The Clinton campaign issued press releases on how Mr. Carter was part of Trump-Russia collusion. The Clinton camp attacked Mr. Carter on TV and radio.
Yahoo and HuffPost are part of Verizon's digital media holdings and controlled by the subsidiary Oath Inc., which Mr. Carter sued.
Oath did not return email inquiries from The Washington Times.
Mr. Carter says he was being assaulted for something he never did. He says Igor Diveykin, a shadowy Kremlin figure, was unknown to him. He says he has never met the other mentioned man, Rosneft Oil Co. chief Igor Sechin.
Both are U.S.-sanctioned operatives.
''The subsidiaries of Oath played the preeminent role in the destruction of Dr. Page's reputation and led to many associated threats to his life, particularly as it relates to the Defendants' false accusations that he met with Mr. Sechin and Mr. Diveykin,'' the lawsuit claims.
''On September 23, 2016, in perhaps the most dangerous, reckless, irresponsible and historically instrumental moments in modern-day sensational crime story journalism, the Yahoo News department of defendant Oath subsidiary Yahoo chose to publish a highly misleading article filled with false allegations,'' the lawsuit charges. ''In each instance, Dr. Page has never met with either of these individuals at any point in his life.''
Mr. Page, a 46-year-old former Navy officer, holds a Ph.D. from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, Department of Near and Middle East Studies.
Asked why he is representing himself, Mr. Page said in a text message, ''Since serving as the Legal Officer on my ship in the U.S. Navy, I have done a tremendous amount of legal work throughout my career including serving as General Counsel for Global Energy Capital LLC for many years. Over the time to come, I look forward to the opportunity to defend myself against the defamatory attacks of the past year. Although I've received some valuable legal help from time-to-time amidst the Witch Hunt last year, I was glad to prevail in my prior pro se battles and look forward to successfully completing my civil action with a bit of outside support as well.''
Mr. Steele and his Kremlin sources made another charge of criminal conduct against Mr. Carter.
Mr. Steele's Kremlin sources said Mr. Carter and Trump campaign manger Paul Manafort orchestrated the Russian computer hacking on Democrats in collusion with Russian intelligence.
Both men have called the charge ludicrous. Mr. Carter said he never heard of any hacking until it reached the news media in June 2016. He said he has never met Mr. Manafort.
The FBI has used the dossier to guide its questioning of subjects.
Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, went to extraordinary lengths to obtain the dossier through an aide who traveled to London. The senator, an ardent Trump opponent, hand-delivered it to FBI Director James B. Comey.
Mr. Comey likely had obtained the document by then because it was circulating in liberal media and political circles.
Democrats, especially Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, have willfully repeated the dossier's unproven charges.
Mr. Schiff read some of them into the record at a committee hearing in March. He specifically repeated charges against Mr. Page, who responded with a letter asserting his innocence and decrying Mr. Schiff's tactics.
The dossier represents the kind of foreign influence in campaigns that Democrats have decried in the Trump-Russia probe. The dossier was based on Kremlin sources and used to influence the 2016 campaign and fuel subsequent political attacks on the White House.
Two other slander lawsuits have been brought in courts in the U.S. and London over dossier accusations.
Aleksej Gubarev, a Russian-born technology mogul, sued BuzzFeed in Florida, and Mr. Steele and his Orbis Business Intelligence in London.
Mr. Steele's last dossier memo, filed in December, accused Mr. Gubarev of mounting a botnet operation to attack Democratic Party computers with pornography and spyware.
What is interesting in the London case file is a declaration from Mr. Steele that he never verified any of the charges against Mr. Gubarev and that the dossier never should have been made public.
It raises the question of how many other Steele charges were unverified and whether most of it is unconfirmed Kremlin gossip that was given to Washington journalists to confirm.
An analysis by The Washington Times shows that the dossier contains eight major charges of criminal wrongdoing against Trump people and others such as Mr. Gubarev. No charge has been confirmed by any official public finding. Some have been disproved, as the Gubarev lawsuit revealed.
A third slander lawsuit was brought in May against BuzzFeed by the Russian bank Alfa. Its owners say they were defamed by dossier accusations that they paid bribes to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
How much the market would have to drop to wipe out the Trump rally
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 12:45
President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted the strong stock market performance since his election victory as proof of his success.
Detractors may point to the Dow Jones industrial average's recent stumbles, but the benchmark index has much further to fall before Trump's postelection gains are gone.
The Dow declined by 1,175 points, or down 4.6 percent on Monday.
From its high on Jan. 26 at 26,616.71, the benchmark index has declined nearly 2,300 points or 8.5 percent through Monday's close at 24,345.75.
Trump still has a big cushion. The Dow closed at 18,332.74 on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016, which means it has 6,013 points to go before the Trump rally gains disappear.
After Monday's market close, the White House said Trump is focused on the country's "long-term economic fundamentals, which remain exceptionally strong."
SELL-OFF ANALYSIS: How active rigging and passive reaction make the markets your enemy '' The Slog.
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 12:27
If you're wondering what on Earth really happened in the stock markets earlier this week, the bad news is that nobody else knows either. Whether the answer be cynical milking of a dying Bull market, Alt State testing of investor naivety, a brief revolt by the plebs or simply indefinable SNAFU, the conclusion remains the same: we must diversify away from overdependence on the bourses as a means of revitalising social capitalism. They are not only unfit for purpose, their purpose has been very obviously perverted by greed.
JFK's infamous father Joe Kennedy was once asked in an interview how he made all his money in the stock market during the 1920s. ''Well,'' said the old bootlegger, ''I watched what all the saps were doing, and then did the opposite''. Joe Sr was being a little sparing with the Truth on that one '' he was also a serial inside trader. But later, many witnesses did attest to his amazing ability to grasp when the herding instinct had taken over. Above all, he was a contrarian with total belief in himself.
Last Monday's abrupt ''correction'' across the globe demonstrated a number of old truths, and some very disturbing new ones. But perhaps what it showed more than anything '' and this trend is most marked in the US and London '' is that the overwhelming majority of investors, traders and rate chasers are passive followers using the protection of various insurance policies '' hedges, ETFs, the Vix and so forth '' to help play things as safely as they can.
There are also nowhere near as many of them as there used to be back in the old days, when a steady nerve and some footslogging research really could unearth a gem. I have been banging on now for over three years about low volumes in the markets since 2008, but by mid Tuesday this week, we were all given a salutary lesson in the maths of it all.
In 2018, there are four tribes engaged in the markets: algorhythmics (banking firms with at least some Alt State input), Very Big Manipulators (huge business sectors or central banks who need high or low prices to function), professional fund managers, and traders pro or pro-am.
The last group represents the largest people volume, and they spend 90% of their time reacting passively via insurance products to what the algorhythm directions are. They usually (and wisely) steer clear of VBMs. Fund managers sometimes twig what the VBMs are doing (in the oil sector, it's brazenly obvious) but mainly they still ''take positions'' based on interpretations of data. However, if the power, speed and persuasive force of SOL [speed of light] algorhythmic trades outgun their positions, they not surprisingly remove themselves from the path of the rampaging dam waters.
While there is still some genuine fund manager talent really earning their vast client fees, the quick summation of today's stock markets is rigged and reactive . Algorhytmics and VBMs call 80-90% of the shots, and they do so for variously political, diplomatic, geopolitical, Sovereign currency, share price, military but always venal reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with what's actually happening on the ground in the economy.
In following that course, (C)lites do not render the Little People at the bottom of the food chain saps: it's just that in the 21st century, the adage ''don't fight the Fed'' has moved on to ''don't fight the computers''. This is what I call Stealth Bomber Wisdom: there is no point in trying to shoot it down, because it's flying faster than your rockets'...and by the time you see it, you have 1 second to live.
After one truly mind-screwing experience as the MD of a plc in the 1980s, I became a radical critic of all forms of remote shareholding, on the grounds that distant investors in a company don't give a crap about the talent of your workforce or the quality of your product: they only want the right numbers at the right time to keep their clients happy. Worse still, they were employing so-called analysts who were woefully ill-informed about your market.
Today, the case against the bourse system of raising capital is infinitely more compelling. If the needs of central bankers are urgent, then suddenly valueless bear notes will dilute your net worth via the fraudulent scam called QE. If that cleverly designed short on crude gets whistled up by a Texas in need of sixty bucks a barrel, it's bye-bye boulah. If cynical Brussels negotiators want to scare the Brits with a strong euro, buying forward in the expectation of a justifiably limp euro will knacker your living standards.
But that's just the rigged side of it: the growing passive-reactive element may sound safe, but in actual fact it represents a twin danger. On the one hand, thoughtless copycat trend-following is inherently stupid, and based on the premise ''Eat excrement, ten trillion flies can't be wrong'': what's good for the 3% is almost certainly not good for the rest of us. On the other, while it is very easy for the chaps who own the levers to control initial directionalising, high trading volumes in the future (wherein passives are automatically (as in robotically) reacting to The Message from on High) does not guarantee the right message being transmitted. As the old gag has it, three and fourpence is not much good when one needs reinforcements.
The spin broadcast on the business media over the last 72 hours will only exacerbate the bewildering complication by exploiting the naivety of relative Youth. You have to be around 45-50 years old at least today to remember Black Friday in the late 1980s, when 25% of global stock values disappeared into the ether in 36 hours. The balm after the storm right now is ''the market corrected and then controlled itself, thus showing that its regulatory and insurance tools are ticking over nicely''. Humbug: the market gave up 100% of its 2018 gains in under 24 hours.
The trick being introduced into the poker game here is the catastrophically dangerous idea that a few twisted minds suffering from tertiary frontal lobe syndrome represent a large unsinkable metal passenger liner that can be driven at 30 knots through a dense crowd of icebergs. This is fool's gold and false confidence: it's bad enough that the Fed has been sanctifying high-risk investment strategies for years. To now suggest to millennial woodentops that more of the same will produce risk-free investment is inviting the crash of all crashes.
Which, in some respects, is exactly what some of the more deranged neoliberal globalists want: a massive reset that turns every one of them into Jay Gatsby, and the rest of us into serfs. But that's another topic for another Doomsday.
Suffice to observe in the meantime that, if the market mechanisms are all working so evidently well, why have I been able to audit seventeen wildly different ''explanations'' since Monday of what happened?
I've been out of the markets since 2014. And yes, I know you all think I'm mad, but consider:
Rate rise outlooks may have been knocked back by this ''event'', but Zirp will in the end become a thing of the past. While that process is developing, my ringfenced pension cash-at-bank will begin to attract a steady 3% per annum '' better than nothing.The real global bourse overvaluation that has been filling the magma since 2010 will '' when Old Smokey finally blows '' take share valuations back to at least 2003, and quite possibly 1994. I will be quite happy to buy back into the stock market at the 2003 level.If, that is, there is a functioning global financial system on the other side of Krakatoa. (Which, at least this time around, I think there will be). In the meantime, the fundamentals that are being ignored by the Masters of the Inverted Universe remain elephants with an IBS problem in the room: they have not gone away. So it would do no harm to speak Truth unto Shower*.
For the last twelve years, we '' as in, the ordinary citizen 'we' '' have been suffering under a sextratic equation that steadfastly refuses to vapourise. The six elements in the equation are QE, Zirp, Bond yields, Stocks, Commodities and Gold. It's not easy to write the equation, because the Alt State keeps on moving the goalposts and '' when that doesn't do it '' redefining the nature of the game. You thought inflation was bad, well then it was good but now it's bad again. You thought State bailouts were bad, but then they were essential and now they're called bailins. You thought deficit economics were spawn of the Devil, but now they've been rendered harmless by Zirp, however when rates rise it's all change here for the Circular Line.
What last Monday showed was just how inflexible the monetarist equation is. In effect, it is a prison'....in exactly the same way that e = mc² is a certainty that traps us in our 3D Universe.
It works like this:
Interest rates are low and we're manipulating the gold market, so go for stocks or starve.
Our QE plan (using your money) will ensure you're safe in stocks.
When we taper off QE and move away from Zirp, new growth will keep you safe in stocks.
Don't be tempted to buy the commodities dip, because we'll lie and manipulate to close that exit route too.
Don't panic when stocks wobble and Bond yields rise, because we'll stage a correction that shows corrections are never apocalyptic any more, and print money to buy our own Bonds, thus reducing the yields again, so f**k you.
Then you can buy the dip again'....hurrah!
But it can't, and won't, work forever. Too little QE slows down growth, too many rate rises cripple Third World Dollar denominated debt and make stock markets nervous.
Already since Monday, the gobby Fed and its five 2018 rate rises are down to three, probably two as the New Normal.
Neither the Fed nor the ECB can control Bond spikes in the eurozone, where Mario Draghi has as good as admitted that he cannot exit the QE/Zirp p(C)age for the foreseeable future. The very Fed that has encouraged risk will find itself unable to stem the tide of those funds working for Baby Boomers looking for higher returns.
Ergo, lack of growth will take funds out of stocks '' and Bond yields will rise again. Higher rates and falling valuations will force traders to make margin calls, and further accelerate the fall.
And in the end it will all come back round again to the elephant herd in the understairs toilet: credit .
Today, nobody on the bourses lives in today: they live in expectation of a better tomorrow. Credit takes the waiting out of wanting. But when falling markets and rising rates turn tomorrow into a nightmare, credit waits for no man.
Very few people 'know' what happened earlier this week. As I posted two days ago, for myself I see the event as an awareness raiser '' although that probably wasn't what those behind it had in mind.
There is a school of thought that thinks the drones revolted for a while but were swiftly put down by the Queens.
There's another academy quite certain that this was a dry run 'test market' to check that all controls in the cockpit were functioning normally.
And there is yet a third educational institution convinced that the algorhythmics were sending yet another warning to the dying political Establishment: ''Don't mess with our plan to milk this flaccid old cow, or we will destroy you''.
You pays your money and you takes your pick. I honestly do not know. The only thing I do know is that, as the sole means available to raise capital for regenerative, creative capitalism beyond financialised fantasy, Bourse Capitalism sucks.
*For our growing number of US readers, I should explain that ''shower'' is English slang meaning ''overpromoted idiots who lack both common sense and a moral compass''.
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Only in the Netherlands Do Addicts Complain About Free Government Heroin | VICE News
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:33
It was in the 1990s when the Netherlands started a program that provides long-term addicts with free government heroin.
In practice, this means that addicts are allowed to inject or smoke heroin three times a day in a solemn, no frills room in a building run by municipal health services.
Combined with a specified care program, it has been responsible for almost the complete disappearance of heroin addicts from public view.
In the United States, heroin is on the rise like it's 1983, while an ever-shrinking group of Dutch addicts is only getting smaller and older.
In a 2002 study, there were an estimated 25,000 addicts in the Netherlands (out of a population of more than 10 million), but only about 2,000 were considered hardcore addicts, according to the Central Committee on the Treatment of Heroin Addicts.
Heroin use under the age of 40 is practically non-existent, according to Amsterdam's health services.
Seven important truths about how the world takes drugs in 2014. Read more here.
Age development of all patients who are in the Amsterdam methadone program from 1985-2012. Yellow to orange is under 40. The blue age groups are over 40 and now comprise almost the entire patient population. Multiple health services tell VICE heroin use under 30 is virtually non-existent.
But some addicts who are actively supplied with free heroin are now openly complaining about the program. Using free heroin has become so easy for them, they feel like society has given up on them.
Far from public sight, they are supplied with lab-synthesized heroin, more pure than anything they've ever smoked or injected before.
Criminal behavior among the group has plunged since the start of the program, but the addicts feel like they've been flushed down the toilet by the Dutch public '-- addicted forever, out of sight and out of mind.
Heroin: The Most Feared Drug
In the Netherlands, heroin is so thoroughly feared that it even scares people under 40, who weren't around to see the heroin epidemic of the 1980s and early 1990s with their own adult eyes. In those decades, heroin abuse and the crime that came with it was about the biggest city nuisance thinkable. Every large train station in the Netherlands was sprawling with junkies.
But the Netherlands fought the problem head on. Needle exchange programs were set up. Addiction was being treated as health problem, not a criminal one. Methadone buses showed up in areas with high abuse. Slowly but surely the situation came under control.
Legal experts are rebelling against German drug laws. Read more here.
In 1992, more than one million needles were exchanged for clean ones in Amsterdam alone, according to the city's Department of Health. In 2013, it was less than 200,000.
In 1985, nearly 100 percent of methadone patients were aged below 40. In 2014, almost all of them were older than 40. Aid programs are so abundant, it's now hard to find an addict who hasn't been in touch with one.
It took the Swiss to come up with the idea of giving out free heroin '-- the real deal '-- to all addicts who could convince the program that they had tried kicking the habit but were unable to. The Netherlands perfected its pragmatic approach and adopted the program.
Beating Heroin Addiction With Heroin
Heroin users who want to participate in the free heroin program have to show that there's no clear indication that they are ever going to be clean if they kept on going down the same road. The men '-- nearly all of them are men '-- must be able to indicate that they've been addicts for a long time, and have attempted to quit their drug abuse numerous times. And they have to be over 30.
If all those boxes are checked, then they can go to their local health service at strictly scheduled times to get high, and go on with their day.
Karien de Ridder of the Netherlands' Municipal Health Services (GGD in Dutch) gave VICE News a tour in one of the three locations in Amsterdam, where 70 people are enrolled in its free heroin program.
The waiting-room looks like any other waiting-room in the Netherlands.
''We call this an integrated institution,'' De Ridder said.
The GGD is housed here, along other institutions that can be of help to heroin users, like a probation office and career center. Users are referred to as "patients."
''We offer them a medical treatment here,'' De Ridder told VICE News. ''But you have to understand, we are very strict in our agreements with patients. It's not like: 'yeah let's go smoke and get high.' Patients are expected at set times and we hold them to it.''
The GGD keeps its doors wide open to any addict who needs help. Their main goal is to see how a patient can be helped '-- getting a roof over their head, getting them on welfare, and so on.
This is not seen as government intrusion but as easing pain for incoming patients.
''Sometimes they come in because cops get them. Not to throw them in jail, but to help them. Arresting somebody ten times for drug abuse is pointless,'' De Ridder. ''You've got to look at what a person really needs.''
The using spaces can be viewed through several large glass windows.
There is one small room for shooting heroin specifically, and one room that fits about seven people where the addicts can smoke the drug. Nutrical is provided, a small drink that contains most things a human body needs.
There is a basket with condoms and clean needles. There are even pre-cut tin foils, perfectly shaped in the most popular measurements.
''Some patients like small, square foils. Others prefer them in longer rectangles,'' said De Ridder.
All That's Left Is the Addiction Itself
The program can be hailed as a great success. Crime has plunged in neighborhoods where heroin use was endemic. Users have less trouble with the law, and their lives have stabilized and improved. They get a roof over their head, they receive welfare, and according to De Ridder, 80 percent of them have some sort of job.
The only problem they still have, of course, is their addiction.
Take Ghalid for example, who is hanging out under a bridge right across the building where he's scheduled for his dose.
Ghalid is smoking cocaine and is content with the program.
''I don't need to steal anymore. Back in the day I got caught several times for stealing a DVD player or a big stereo,'' he said.''I only stole from big stores, otherwise I'd feel sorry for the owner, you know? It's alright now, my life is more balanced these days.''
But Ghalid is not a success story.
That much is clear from the fact that he is hanging out under a bridge and smoking coke, but besides that, he's also experiencing troubles with staying in the program.
He has a hard time arriving on time and keeping up with the rules of his assisted housing.
Ghalid has money problems too, like not being able to pay for its utility bills, and was forced to leave his apartment. But he is still excited about the free heroin.
Johan (not his real name) is a lot less jubilant about the program. In contrast to Ghalid, Johan is a success story.
''Of course, it provides stability, but you also grow dependent on it. Look, the only thing you do when you're in that program is smoke heroin. You wake up. You go to the clinic,'' Johan said. ''You smoke. You go home, sit on your couch high as a kite. And when the high's over, it's time to go back for a new hit. That's how your life looks like when you're in the program.''
Johan soon couldn't stand his own life anymore.
He quit the program and gave up heroin altogether. He still gets some methadone sometimes, which eases the urge to use, but it doesn't provide the high that heroin does. Johan is the perfect example of someone who got clean thanks to the program after years of addiction.
But he sees the downsides of the initiative, and points to a younger guy (Rene, not his real name) who just returned from smoking around the corner.
''Look at Ren(C)'s eyes. He's unbelievably high,'' Johan said.
Ren(C) confirms Johan's assessment by nodding and mumbling in approval, as Johan goes on about him. ''All he does is smoke heroin.''
''Quitting is very hard,'' Johan said. ''Especially considering the stuff the clinic offers. Their heroin is so pure '-- everyone I know says it's the best they've ever had. Nowhere in Europe you can find better stuff. The public may be content that al the junkies are gone, but over here, in these flats on the edge of the city, junkies still roam abundantly. What's more, they feel like they're stuck to it for the rest of their life and will never be able to get out of it.''
Johan's point is especially interesting since he is the prime example of how the project can eventually result in kicking the habit and getting a better life. The free heroin he's complaining about is also the thing that saved him.
By the time he made his point, Ghalid has returned and is now agreeing with the others.
''We're all suckling from the GGD's tits? That's what we're doing,'' Ghalid said. ''They make it way too easy for us.''
Dennis Lahey, who is the director of an organization that defends drug users rights, has seen countless people who have been in the program, and he understands the point they are making.
''The program has a very medicalized approach. Anything that could make it somewhat fun is banned. They don't want people to have a good time in there. It's a medical treatment,'' said Lahey. ''Arrive too late and you get nothing. The government acts like they're handling plutonium, but it's just heroin.''
Lahey said without the program, the ''whole city would be full of junkies.''
''Now addicts can live more peacefully and start thinking about other things than just getting high. What remains after everything else has been taken care of, is their addiction,'' he said. ''If you get the dope for free, your only problem is that you're addicted to the dope. It seems like a paradox, but it's true. All that's left when everything else is taken care of is the question: do I really want to keep on using this?''
Obama has 'blunt' meeting with Putin on Syria - CNNPolitics
Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:09
Obama said his talks with Putin included a direct message about cyber war, seen as a warning to Russia.
"We're moving into a new era here where a number of countries have significant capacities," Obama said at a news conference at the conclusion of the summit. "Frankly, both offensively and defensively, we have more capacity."
Obama, who had just come from a 90-minute session with Putin on the sidelines of the summit, also pointedly noted, "We've had problems with cyber intrusions from Russia and other countries in the past."
Obama said, however, that he wouldn't comment about "specific investigations that are still live and active," an apparent reference to the hack of the Democratic National Committee. While the White House has not yet named a culprit, US officials have pinned the breach on Russia.
His words on cyber weren't the only ones that pointed to areas of tension with the Russian leader.
On Syria, the topic that occupied most of their conversation, Obama said that he and Putin have had "productive conversations" about negotiating a "real cessation of hostilities" in Syria but that "gaps of trust" have prevented reaching an agreement.
"Given the gaps of trust that exist, that's a tough negotiation, and we haven't yet closed the gaps in a way where we think it would actually work," Obama said.
But he noted that he'd tasked Secretary of State John Kerry with resuming talks about a ceasefire.
Putin, Obama said, is "less colorful" than another confrontational leader, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who earlier Monday warned Obama against raising his controversial record combating drug crime in an anticipated meeting.
Obama and Duterte were set to meeting in Laos this week, where Obama is traveling next to attend a meeting of Southeast Asian leaders.
Obama suggested Monday his planned meeting Duterte may not go forward.
"I always want to make sure if I'm having a meeting that it's productive and we're getting something done," Obama said during his news conference.
"If and when we have a meeting, this is something that is going to be brought up," Obama said, referring to a spate of extrajudicial killings of purported drug dealers that have transpired since Duterte took officer earlier this year.
White House officials said last week that Obama would confront Duterte about the killings.
But Duterte did not take kindly to that notion.
"I am a president of a sovereign state. And we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master except the Filipino people. Nobody, but nobody. You must be respectful. Don't ask just throwaway questions and statements," Duterte told reporters in Davao City before he left for the Vientiane, capital of Laos, where the ASEAN summit is taking place.
"Who is he (Obama) to confront me?" Duterte scoffed in a speech Monday. "Son of a b****, I'll cuss you in that forum."
The news conference wrapped up a three-day stay in Hangzhou, in which Obama also met with the leaders of China, the United Kingdom and Turkey -- all countries with complicated but integral relationships to the US.
It was one of Obama's final chances to engage in face-to-face diplomacy with his counterparts before a new president is elected in November. Many leaders are already looking ahead to January, when either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump assumes the business of state.
During his news conference, Obama faced questions about both candidates' opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, a centerpiece of his Asia policy, which he's urgently trying to promote on his final trip to the continent as its fate hangs in the balance.
"I've yet to hear a persuasive argument from the left or the right" against the TPP, Obama argued during the news conference.
"Back home, we'll have to cut through the noise once the election season is over," he said when probed about the prospects of passing the deal this year through a Congress largely antagonistic to the pact.
Obama also addressed a domestic controversy over NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand during the playing of the national anthem in protest of the treatment of minorities in the United States.
"He's exercising his constitutional right to make a statement," Obama said. "I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that need to be talked about and, if nothing else, what he's doing has generated more conversation around some topics that need to be talked about."
Obama departs China Monday for Laos, where his Pacific trade plan will take center stage. He'll be the first sitting US president to visit the small Southeast Asian nation.
Trump says new FBI texts are a ''bombshell.'' They're not. - Vox
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:43
On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted this, in all caps: ''NEW FBI TEXTS ARE BOMBSHELLS!''
Here's what he's referring to: Fox News reported on Wednesday that FBI agent Lisa Page told her lover Peter Strzok, also an FBI agent, in a September 2016 text message that Obama wanted ''to know everything we're doing.'' The two FBI officials are viewed by conservatives as the prime examples of alleged widespread anti-Trump bias among federal law enforcement, and have been targets of Republicans before.
Conservatives '-- including the president'-- quickly pounced on the texts. They said the texts were further evidence of the anti-Trump conspiracy during the Obama administration to minimize the probe into Hillary Clinton's emails.
Asked on Fox & Friends to interpret the text, House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said that ''it means the president [Obama] wants to know what they're doing to stop Trump.'' Some conservatives also believe the effort to depose Trump continues within special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, which, among other things, looks into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
The problem: We already know none of that is true.
First, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that associates of Strzok and Page said the texts were actually about Obama wanting to learn more about Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election '-- not about the Clinton investigation.
Second, CNN obtained emails in January that showed Strzok co-wrote the first draft of the letter that Comey sent to Congress in October 2016, announcing that the FBI was reopening an investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails after finding new messages on Anthony Weiner's laptop. That letter set off a political firestorm just 11 days before the presidential election and hurt Clinton at the polls '-- so much so that it may have swung the election in favor of Trump.
Finally, Fox News has the timeline all wrong. As Judd Legum at ThinkProgress noted on Wednesday, Comey closed the Clinton email investigation on July 5, 2016 '-- nearly two months before Page's supposedly explosive text. On top of that, the newly revealed texts show that the FBI didn't learn about the new Clinton emails later found on Anthony Weiner's computer until September 28, 2016 '-- weeks after Page's message to Strzok.
This means it's actually unclear what Obama wanted to know, and not the nefarious move Fox News alleges. And it also continues the conservative campaign to discredit Mueller before his probe ends.
That invites the question: Why have the texts become such a big deal?
The answer lies perhaps in the timing of the Fox News piece, which comes just days after a Republican effort to make look Trump look good failed '-- and days before Trump could squash a Democratic effort that could make him look bad.
This could all be part of a distraction from a big Trump decisionLast week, House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) released a memo '-- with Trump's approval '-- alleging that US law enforcement abused its powers by wrongly spying on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
The problem for Trump is that the memo was a dud. It had no proof that the FBI is biased against Trump, no proof of abuse of surveillance powers by the FBI, and no proof that the investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia is fundamentally flawed. The memo was a piece of partisan spin, and not a particularly compelling one at that.
But now Trump must decide whether to approve the release of another memo '-- this one drafted by the committee's top Democrat, California Rep. Adam Schiff. The committee unanimously voted on Monday to give Trump five days to decide to release Schiff's memo, which is designed to offer a point-by-point rebuttal of Nunes's attacks on the FBI.
That's awkward for Trump. If he makes the Schiff memo public, the president opens up himself and Republicans to criticism that the Nunes memo purposely left out information to insinuate the FBI is biased against the president and Mueller's probe. But if Trump keeps the memo private, he may receive harsh rebukes for burying a potentially damaging document.
So the Page text story is a perfect distraction. Worse, it could serve as justification for Trump not to release the Schiff memo '-- thereby keeping hidden what could potentially hurt him.
This all fits into a grander conservative attack on the federal law enforcementThis isn't the first time conservatives went after Page and Strzok.
Last year, some of their texts provided even more ammo to the FBI, Justice Department, and Mueller's critics. Strzok, a self-identified ''conservative Dem,'' texted Page that Trump was an ''idiot.'' He also wanted Clinton to defeat Trump in the election '-- in another message, he wrote: ''God Hillary should win 100,000,000 '-- 0.''
And conservatives also point to Strzok's August 15, 2016, text to Page. ''I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office'' '-- likely referencing to former FBI Deputy Director McCabe '-- ''that there's no way he gets elected '-- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40.'' It's unclear what Strzok exactly meant by ''insurance policy'' or what ''path'' Page outlined, but some conservatives feel this was a clear indication that Strzok wanted to find a way to make sure Trump lost the election.
''This goes to intent to action,'' Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a leading anti-Mueller Congress member, told reporters in December. ''That to me is big.''
Strzok remains controversial because he was one of the top people investigating Clinton's use of a private email server. He allegedly changed the draft of how Comey publicly described that usage from ''grossly negligent'' to ''extremely careless.'' That change had the effect of softening Comey's criticism of Clinton at a particularly sensitive time in the 2016 campaign. Mueller removed Strzok from his investigative team in July, and Strzok is now under investigation by the Justice Department's internal watchdog.
But it looks like the conservative-led attack on law enforcement works for Trump's base. According to a Reuters/IPSOS poll released on Monday evening, a huge majority of Republicans '-- 73 percent '-- believed that ''members of the FBI and Department of Justice are working to delegitimize Trump through politically motivated investigations.''
Again, there's no evidence so far of such a massive, sweeping conspiracy theory '-- not in the Nunes memo, not in text messages between FBI employees released to the public, not anywhere.
But it's a theme that's been repeated again and again by the president, conservatives, and Fox News '-- and apparently, most Republicans have gotten the memo.
Text From 2016 Shows Obama's Interest in FBI Employees' Findings - WSJ
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:43
A text message between two FBI employees from September 2016 released by a Republican senator Wednesday says that then-President Barack Obama ''wants to know everything we're doing.''
What exactly the text refers to isn't specified in the exchange. Associates of the FBI employees said it refers to preparation to brief Mr. Obama about Russian interference in that year's election. Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), who disclosed the text Wednesday as part of a 25-page report, said it raises questions about meddling by Mr. Obama in the...
BREAKING: Carter Page - The Linchpin to Deep State Spying on Trump - Was Member of Clinton Transition Team
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:29
February 7, 2018 by Jim Hoft There has been much written about Carter Page, the so-called Russian expert and volunteer on the Trump campaign.
Carter Page sat on a campaign committee that met only once during the campaign.
And yet the FBI relied on Page to continue to spy on Donald Trump, his campaign members, his family and then his Transition Team and administration.
The FBI sought FISA warrants FOUR TIMES to spy on Carter Page.
The warrants on Page then gave the Deep State access to spy on all of the Trump campaign officials.
According to reports from 2016 Carter Page was previously working as an undercover informant for the FBI.
And now this'...
Carter Page was a member of the Clinton administration Transition Team.Carter Page previously worked with the Clinton Administration transition team in 1992-1993 while serving as a Research Fellow on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) on Capitol Hill. During his Fellowship, HASC Chairman Les Aspin was selected by President Clinton as the Secretary of Defense in December 1992. From May 1993 '' December 1994, Carter went on to serve as the Arms Control Action Officer for Counterproliferation Policy in the Nuclear Affairs and International Negotiations Branch of the Navy Staff in the Pentagon.
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Trial Date Set for Man Accused in Death of Heather Heyer - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:25
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A Charlottesville judge has set a trial date for the Ohio man accused of killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens.
James Alex Fields Jr. appeared via video conference for a status hearing in Charlottesville Circuit Court Wednesday, January 3. He is charged with first-degree murder, five counts of malicious wounding, three counts of aggravated malicious wounding, and failure to stop in event of injury or death. All the charges are felonies.
Fields was seen taking part in Jason Kessler's Unite the Right rally at Emancipation Park with Vanguard America, a known racist, right-wing group, on August 12. He is accused of ramming a car into a group of people marching in the area of 4th and Water streets in protest to Kessler's rally. Authorities said a total of 36 people were injured, some seriously, including 32-year-old Heyer.
A three-week jury trial for Fields is scheduled to begin November 26.
Russian hackers hunt hi-tech secrets, exploiting US weakness
Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:23
Russian cyberspies pursuing the secrets of military drones and other sensitive U.S. defense technology tricked key contract workers into exposing their email to theft, an Associated Press investigation has found.
What ultimately may have been stolen is uncertain, but the hackers clearly exploited a national vulnerability in cybersecurity: poorly protected email and barely any direct notification to victims.
The hackers known as Fancy Bear, who also intruded in the U.S. election, went after at least 87 people working on militarized drones, missiles, rockets, stealth fighter jets, cloud-computing platforms or other sensitive activities, the AP found.
Oliver Nicolaas Ponder | Getty Images
Employees at both small companies and defense giants like Lockheed Martin Corp., Raytheon Co., Boeing Co., Airbus Group and General Atomics were targeted by the hackers. A handful of people in Fancy Bear's sights also worked for trade groups, contractors in U.S.-allied countries or on corporate boards.
"The programs that they appear to target and the people who work on those programs are some of the most forward-leaning, advanced technologies," said Charles Sowell, a former senior adviser to the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, who reviewed the list of names for the AP. "And if those programs are compromised in any way, then our competitive advantage and our defense is compromised."
"That's what's really scary," added Sowell, who was one of the hacking targets.
The AP identified the defense and security targets from about 19,000 lines of email phishing data created by hackers and collected by the U.S.-based cybersecurity company Secureworks, which calls the hackers Iron Twilight. The data is partial and extends only from March 2015 to May 2016. Of 87 scientists, engineers, managers and others, 31 agreed to be interviewed by the AP.
Most of the targets' work was classified. Yet as many as 40 percent of them clicked on the hackers' phishing links, the AP analysis indicates. That was the first step in potentially opening their personal email accounts or computer files to data theft by the digital spies.
James Poss, who ran a partnership doing drone research for the Federal Aviation Administration, was about to catch a taxi to the 2015 Paris Air Show when what appeared to be a Google security alert materialized in his inbox. Distracted, he moved his cursor to the blue prompt on his laptop.
"I clicked on it and instantly knew that I had been had," the retired Air Force major general said. Poss says he realized his mistake before entering his credentials, which would have exposed his email to the hackers.
Hackers predominantly targeted personal Gmail, with a few corporate accounts mixed in.
Personal accounts can convey snippets of classified information, whether through carelessness or expediency. They also can lead to other more valuable targets or carry embarrassing personal details that can be used for blackmail or to recruit spies.
Drone consultant Keven Gambold, a hacking target himself, said the espionage could help Russia catch up with the Americans. "This would allow them to leapfrog years of hard-won experience," he said.
He said his own company is so worried about hacking that "we've almost gone back in time to use stand-alone systems if we're processing client proprietary data '-- we're FedEx'ing hard drives around."
The AP has previously reported on Fancy Bear's attempts to break into the Gmail accounts of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, American national security officials, journalists, and Kremlin critics and adversaries around the world. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the hackers worked for the Kremlin and stole U.S. campaign email to tilt the 2016 election toward Donald Trump.
But the hackers clearly had broader aims. Fifteen of the targets identified by the AP worked on drones '-- the single largest group of weapons specialists.
Countries like Russia are racing to make better drones as the remote-control aircraft have moved to the forefront of modern warfare. They can fire missiles, hunt down adversaries, or secretly monitor targets for days '-- all while keeping human pilots safely behind computer controls.
The U.S. Air Force now needs more pilots for drones than for any other single type of aircraft, a training official said last year. Drones will lead growth in the aerospace industry over the next decade, with military uses driving the boom, the Teal Group predicted in November. Production was expected to balloon from $4.2 billion to $10.3 billion.
So far, though, Russia has nothing that compares with the new-generation U.S. Reaper, which has been called "the most feared" U.S. drone. General Atomics' 5,000-pound mega-drone can fly more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) to deliver Hellfire missiles and smart bombs. It has seen action in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
The hackers went after General Atomics, targeting a drone sensor specialist. He did not respond to requests for comment.
They also made a run at the Gmail account of Michael Buet, an electronics engineer who has worked on ultra-durable batteries and high-altitude drones for SunCondor, a small South Carolina company owned by Star Technology and Research. Such machines could be a useful surveillance tool for a country like Russia, with its global military engagements and vast domestic border frontier.
"This bird is quite unique," said Buet. "It can fly at 62,000 feet (18,600 meters) and doesn't land for five years."
The Russians also appeared eager to catch up in space, once an arena for Cold War competition in the race for the moon. They seemed to be carefully eyeing the X-37B, an American unmanned space plane that looks like a miniature shuttle but is shrouded in secrecy.
In a reference to an X-37B flight in May 2015, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin invoked the vehicle as evidence that his country's space program was faltering. "The United States is pushing ahead," he warned Russian lawmakers.
Less than two weeks later, Fancy Bear tried to penetrate the Gmail account of a senior engineer on the X-37B project at Boeing.
Fancy Bear has also tried to hack into the emails of several members of the Arlington, Virginia-based Aerospace Industries Association, including its president, former Army Secretary Eric Fanning. It went after Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford, who has served in the military and aerospace industry as a corporate board member. He has been involved with major weapons and space programs like SpaceX, the reusable orbital rocket company founded by billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.
Along another path, the hackers chased people who work on cloud-based services, the off-site computer networks that enable collaborators to easily access and juggle data.
In 2013, the CIA signed a $600 million deal with web giant Amazon to build a system to share secure data across the U.S. intelligence community. Other spy services followed, and the government cleared them last year to move classified data to the cloud at the "secret" level '-- a step below the nation's most sensitive information.
Fancy Bear's target list suggests the Russians have noticed these developments.
The hackers tried to get into the Gmail accounts of a cloud compliance officer at Palantir and a manager of cloud platform operations at SAP National Security Services, two companies that do extensive government work. Another target was at Mellanox Federal Systems, which helps the government with high-speed storage networks, data analysis and cloud computing. Its clients include the FBI and other intelligence agencies.
Yet of the 31 targets reached by the AP, just one got any warning from U.S. officials.
"They said we have a Fancy Bear issue we need to talk about," said security consultant Bill Davidson. He said an Air Force cybersecurity investigator inspected his computer shortly after the 2015 phishing attempt but found no sign that it succeeded. He believes he was contacted because his name was recognized at the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, where he used to work.
The FBI declined to give on-the-record details of its response to this Russian operation. Agency spokeswoman Jillian Stickels said the FBI does sometimes notify individual targets. "The FBI takes ... all potential threats to public and private sector systems very seriously," she said in an email.
However, three people familiar with the matter '-- including a current and a former government official '-- previously told the AP that the FBI knew the details of Fancy Bear's phishing campaign for more than a year.
Pressed about notification in that case, a senior FBI official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the hacking operation because of its sensitivity, said the bureau was overwhelmed by the sheer number of attempted hacks. "It's a matter of triaging to the best of our ability the volume of the targets who are out there," he said.
A Pentagon spokeswoman, Heather Babb, said she could release no details about any Defense Department response, citing "operational security reasons." But she said the department recognizes the evolving cyber threat and continues to update training and technology. "This extends to all of our workforce '-- military, civilian and contractor," she added.
The Defense Security Service, which protects classified U.S. technology and trains industry in computer security, focuses on safeguarding corporate computer networks. "We simply have no insight into or oversight of anyone's personal email accounts or how they are protected or notified when something is amiss," spokeswoman Cynthia McGovern said in an email.
Contacted by the AP, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Airbus and General Atomics did not respond to requests for comment.
Jerome Pearson, a space system and drone developer, acknowledged that he has not focused on security training at his company, Star Technology, where Buet has consulted. "No, we really haven't done that," he said with a nervous laugh. "We may be a little bit remiss in that area." He said they may do training for future contracts.
Cybersecurity experts say it's no surprise that spies go after less secure personal email as an opening to more protected systems. "For a good operator, it's like hammering a wedge," said Richard Ford, chief scientist at the Forcepoint cybersecurity company. "Private email is the soft target."
Some officials were particularly upset by the failure to notify employees of cloud computing companies that handle data for intelligence agencies. The cloud is a "huge target for foreign intelligence services in general '-- they love to get into that shared environment," said Sowell, the former adviser to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
"At some point, wouldn't someone who's responsible for the defense contractor base be aware of this and try to reach out?" he asked.
Even successful hacks might not translate into new weapons for Russia, where the economy is weighed down by corruption and international sanctions.
However, experts say Russia, while still behind the U.S., has been making more advanced drones in recent years. Russian officials have recently been bragging as their increasingly sophisticated drones are spotted over war zones in Ukraine and Syria.
At a 2017 air show outside Moscow, plans were announced for a new generation of Russian combat drones.
Rogozin, the deputy prime minister, boasted that the technological gap between Russia and the United States "has been sharply reduced and will be completely eliminated in the near future."
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