1111: Eleven Eleven

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 25m
February 10th, 2019
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Executive Producers: Sir Onymous of Dogpatch and Lower Slobbovia, Jordan Goodfellow, Anonymous, Sir Taxed the Anonymous Accountant, Carl Johnson, Sir Type-a-lot the Sonoran, Michael Sosnin, Viscount, Sir Snozzages of Suwanee, Joseph Finley, Baron of Las Vegas, Sir David Fugazzotto, Robert Querback, Isaac, the Baron of Altadena, Sir Milkman, William Cameron, Christopher Logg

Associate Executive Producers: Anonymous, Vanessa Hamshere, Nathan Miller Foster, Cameron Dodd, Vasilios Plangetis, Pat Cross, Anonymous

Cover Artist: Tijs Brouwers

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
2:34
AC's Dinner With the Former New York Banker
Woodstock
8:20
Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer Owner of Extortion and Blackmail
Woodstock
26:30
US Intellige Uncovers Recording of MBS Telling Aide He Would Use a Bullet on Jamal Khashoggi a Year Before Muder
Woodstock
31:18
Oprah to Interview Beto O'Rourke in Times Square on February 16th
Woodstock
32:40
Elizabeth Warren's 2020 Presidential Campaign Announcement
Woodstock
33:47
Scott Adams Calls Out Elizabeth Warren for Having No Sense of Humor
Woodstock
37:31
Al Sharpton Calls For Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to Resign Over Blackface
Woodstock
40:57
Tim Pool Appearence on Joe Rogan Experience
Woodstock
56:25
Al Jazeera: The BuzzFeed Bubble Bursts
Woodstock
1:01:44
Credits
Woodstock
1:57:20
Jill Abramson Accused of Plagiarism in Merchants of Truth
Woodstock
2:10:23
21 Savage Arrested by ICE
Woodstock
2:17:17
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Announces The Green New Deal Resolution
Woodstock
2:28:07
Kate Marvel and Peter deMenocal Explain Climate Science to Alec Baldwin on WNYC's Here's The Thing
Woodstock
2:48:42
Fox News: Texas Town’s Environmental Narcissism Nakes Al Gore Happy While Sticking Its Citizens With the Bill
Woodstock
2:50:06
Record-Breaking Snow in Seattle
Woodstock
2:51:36
European Solidarity Corps Initiative Helps Schools in Europe Prepare for Climate Change Protests
Woodstock
2:54:30
Donations
Woodstock
3:06:09
Birthdays & Title Changes
Woodstock
3:10:55
Video Shows Rats Inside LA City Hall Amid Typhus Outbreak
Woodstock
3:15:25
McClathy: Venezuela Says Plane From Miami Delivered Weapons for Use by Enemies of Maduro
Woodstock
3:18:10
France Recalls Italian Ambassador Over Unacceptable Provocations
Woodstock
3:19:19
End of Show
Woodstock
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Former NY Banker
NY banker Trump taxes fucked NY & CA
NY Banker-Stacey Abrams is smart-she's not Maxine Waters!
Moe on Twitter: "Stacey Y. Abrams is CFR confirmed. @adamcurry'... "
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 16:28
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Bezos will bring Trump Down!
Bezos
The JEDI deal is in jeopardy!
Dick-Pics & Cigar-Sucking-Selfies '' Bezos Accuses National Enquirer Of ''Extortion & Blackmail''
Fri, 08 Feb 2019 13:11
In a detailed blog post on Medium.com tonight, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reveals the National Enquirer is threatening to publish embarrassing photos of him (and his new girlfriend) unless his private investigators back off their probe of the tabloid.
The ''extortion and blackmail'' comes after The National Enquirer published a story last month that included lurid texts between Bezos and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.
Since then, private investigators have been looking into how the Enquirer got the texts, which is notable since, as part of the deal, Bezos would have to release a public statement that he has ''no knowledge or basis'' to suggest the tabloid's reporting was politically motivated.
* * *
Bezos details the alleged correspondence between the lawyer for his lead investigator, Martin Singer, and Dylan Howard, the chief content officer for AMI.
''If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?''
If only Bezos were a Virginia Democrat '' he could just brush it off like it never happened.
* * *
Although he continues to vigorously support Donald Trump, Alex Jones lays out one of the major blind spots that the President doesn't see and how it could potentially cost him his second term re-election.
Via Medium.com,
No thank you, Mr. PeckerSomething unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn't just unusual'Š'--'Šit was a first. I was made an offer I couldn't refuse. Or at least that's what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I'm glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.
AMI, the owner of the National Enquirer, led by David Pecker, recently entered into an immunity deal with the Department of Justice related to their role in the so-called ''Catch and Kill'' process on behalf of President Trump and his election campaign. Mr. Pecker and his company have also been investigated for various actions they've taken on behalf of the Saudi Government.
And sometimes Mr. Pecker mixes it all together:
''After Mr. Trump became president, he rewarded Mr. Pecker's loyalty with a White House dinner to which the media executive brought a guest with important ties to the royals in Saudi Arabia. At the time, Mr. Pecker was pursuing business there while also hunting for financing for acquisitions'...''
Federal investigators and legitimate media have of course suspected and proved that Mr. Pecker has used the Enquirer and AMI for political reasons. And yet AMI keeps claiming otherwise:
''American Media emphatically rejects any assertion that its reporting was instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise.''
Of course, legitimate media have been challenging that assertion for a long time:
I didn't know much about most of that a few weeks ago when intimate texts messages from me were published in the National Enquirer. I engaged investigators to learn how those texts were obtained, and to determine the motives for the many unusual actions taken by the Enquirer. As it turns out, there are now several independent investigations looking into this matter.
To lead my investigation, I retained Gavin de Becker. I've known Mr. de Becker for twenty years, his expertise in this arena is excellent, and he's one of the smartest and most capable leaders I know. I asked him to prioritize protecting my time since I have other things I prefer to work on and to proceed with whatever budget he needed to pursue the facts in this matter.
Here's a piece of context: My ownership of the Washington Post is a complexifier for me. It's unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy.
President Trump is one of those people, obvious by his many tweets. Also, The Post's essential and unrelenting coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles.
(Even though The Post is a complexifier for me, I do not at all regret my investment. The Post is a critical institution with a critical mission. My stewardship of The Post and my support of its mission, which will remain unswerving, is something I will be most proud of when I'm 90 and reviewing my life, if I'm lucky enough to live that long, regardless of any complexities it creates for me.)
Back to the story: Several days ago, an AMI leader advised us that Mr. Pecker is ''apoplectic'' about our investigation. For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.
A few days after hearing about Mr. Pecker's apoplexy, we were approached, verbally at first, with an offer. They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn't stop our investigation.
My lawyers argued that AMI has no right to publish photos since any person holds the copyright to their own photos, and since the photos in themselves don't add anything newsworthy.
AMI's claim of newsworthiness is that the photos are necessary to show Amazon shareholders that my business judgment is terrible. I founded Amazon in my garage 24 years ago, and drove all the packages to the post office myself. Today, Amazon employs more than 600,000 people, just finished its most profitable year ever, even while investing heavily in new initiatives, and it's usually somewhere between the #1 and #5 most valuable company in the world. I will let those results speak for themselves.
OK, back to their threat to publish intimate photos of me. I guess we (me, my lawyers, and Gavin de Becker) didn't react to the generalized threat with enough fear, so they sent this:
From: Howard, Dylan [[email protected] ] (Chief Content Officer, AMI)Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 3:33 PMTo: Martin Singer (litigation counsel for Mr. de Becker)Subject:. Jeff Bezos & Ms. Lauren Sanchez Photos
CONFIDENTIAL & NOT FOR DISTRIBIUTION
Marty:
I am leaving the office for the night. I will be available on my cell'Š'--'Š917 XXX-XXXX.
However, in the interests of expediating this situation, and with The Washington Post poised to publish unsubstantiated rumors of The National Enquirer's initial report, I wanted to describe to you the photos obtained during our newsgathering.
In addition to the ''below the belt selfie'Š'--'Šotherwise colloquially known as a 'd*ck pick''''Š'--'ŠThe Enquirer obtained a further nine images. These include:
· Mr. Bezos face selfie at what appears to be a business meeting.
· Ms. Sanchez response'Š'--'Ša photograph of her smoking a cigar in what appears to be a simulated oral sex scene.
· A shirtless Mr. Bezos holding his phone in his left hand'Š'--'Šwhile wearing his wedding ring. He's wearing either tight black cargo pants or shorts'Š'--'Šand his semi-erect manhood is penetrating the zipper of said garment.
· A full-length body selfie of Mr. Bezos wearing just a pair of tight black boxer-briefs or trunks, with his phone in his left hand'Š'--'Šwhile wearing his wedding ring.
· A selfie of Mr. Bezos fully clothed.
· A full-length scantily-clad body shot with short trunks.
· A naked selfie in a bathroom'Š'--'Šwhile wearing his wedding ring. Mr. Bezos is wearing nothing but a white towel'Š'--'Šand the top of his pubic region can be seen.
· Ms. Sanchez wearing a plunging red neckline dress revealing her cleavage and a glimpse of her nether region.
· Ms. Sanchez wearing a two-piece red bikini with gold detail dress revealing her cleavage.
It would give no editor pleasure to send this email. I hope common sense can prevail'Š'--'Šand quickly.
Dylan.
Well, that got my attention. But not in the way they likely hoped. Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there's a much more important matter involved here. If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can? (On that point, numerous people have contacted our investigation team about their similar experiences with AMI, and how they needed to capitulate because, for example, their livelihoods were at stake.)
In the AMI letters I'm making public, you will see the precise details of their extortionate proposal:
They will publish the personal photos unless Gavin de Becker and I make the specific false public statement to the press that we ''have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.''
If we do not agree to affirmatively publicize that specific lie, they say they'll publish the photos, and quickly. And there's an associated threat: They'll keep the photos on hand and publish them in the future if we ever deviate from that lie.
Be assured, no real journalists ever propose anything like what is happening here: I will not report embarrassing information about you if you do X for me. And if you don't do X quickly, I will report the embarrassing information.
Nothing I might write here could tell the National Enquirer story as eloquently as their own words below.
These communications cement AMI's long-earned reputation for weaponizing journalistic privileges, hiding behind important protections, and ignoring the tenets and purpose of true journalism. Of course I don't want personal photos published, but I also won't participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks, and corruption. I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out.
* * *
From: Fine, Jon [[email protected] ] (Deputy General Counsel, AMI)
Sent: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 5:57 PMTo: Martin Singer (Mr de Becker's attorney)Subject: Re: EXTERNAL* RE: Bezos et al / American Media et al
Marty ''
Here are our proposed terms:
1. A full and complete mutual release of all claims that American Media, on the one hand, and Jeff Bezos and Gavin de Becker (the ''Bezos Parties''), on the other, may have against each other.
2. A public, mutually-agreed upon acknowledgment from the Bezos Parties, released through a mutually-agreeable news outlet, affirming that they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AM's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces, and an agreement that they will cease referring to such a possibility.
3. AM agrees not to publish, distribute, share, or describe unpublished texts and photos (the ''Unpublished Materials'').
4. AM affirms that it undertook no electronic eavesdropping in connection with its reporting and has no knowledge of such conduct.
5. The agreement is completely confidential.
6. In the case of a breach of the agreement by one or more of the Bezos Parties, AM is released from its obligations under the agreement, and may publish the Unpublished Materials.
7. Any other disputes arising out of this agreement shall first be submitted to JAMS mediation in California
Thank you,
Jon
Deputy General Counsel, Media
American Media, LLC
Jon P. Fine
Deputy General Counsel, Media
O: (212) 743''6513 C: (347) 920''6541
[email protected]
February 5, 2019
Via email:
[email protected]
Martin D. Singer
Laveley & Singer
Re: Jeff Bezos / American Media, LLC, et al.
Dear Mr. Singer:
I write in response to your February 4, 2019, letter to Dylan Howard, and to address serious concerns we have regarding the continuing defamatory activities of your client and his representatives regarding American Media's motivations in its recent reporting about your client.
As a primary matter, please be advised that our newsgathering and reporting on matters involving your client, including any use of your client's ''private photographs,'' has been, and will continue to be, consistent with applicable laws. As you know, ''the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies . . . for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting . . . is not an infringement of copyright.'' 17 USC Sec. 107. With millions of Americans having a vested interest in the success of Amazon, of which your client remains founder, chairman, CEO, and president, an exploration of Mr. Bezos' judgment as reflected by his texts and photos is indeed newsworthy and in the public interest.
Beyond the copyright issues you raise, we also find it necessary to address various unsubstantiated defamatory statements and scurrilous rumors attributed to your client's representatives in the press suggesting that ''strong leads point to political motives''1 in the publication of The National Enquirer story. Indeed, you yourself declared the ''politically motivated underpinnings'' of our reporting to be ''self-evident'' in your correspondence on Mr. de Becker's behalf to Mr. Howard dated January 31, 2019.
Once again, as I advised you in my February 1 response to your January 31 correspondence, American Media emphatically rejects any assertion that its reporting was instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise. Simply put, this was and is a news story.
Yet, it is our understanding that your client's representatives, including the Washington Post, continue to pursue and to disseminate these false and spurious allegations in a manner that is injurious to American Media and its executives.
Accordingly, we hereby demand that you cease and desist such defamatory conduct immediately. Any further dissemination of these false, vicious, speculative and unsubstantiated statements is done at your client's peril.Absent the immediate cessation of the defamatory conduct, we will have no choice but to pursue all remedies available under applicable law.
As I advised previously, we stand by the legality of our newsgathering and reporting on this matter of public interest and concern. Moreover, American Media is undeterred from continuing its reporting on a story that is unambiguously in the public interest'Š'--'Ša position Mr. Bezos clearly appreciates as reflected in Boies Schiller January 9 letter to American Media stating that your client ''does not intend to discourage reporting about him'' and ''supports journalistic efforts.''
That said, if your client agrees to cease and desist such defamatory behavior, we are willing to engage in constructive conversations regarding the texts and photos which we have in our possession. Dylan Howard stands ready to discuss the matter at your convenience.
All other rights, claims, counterclaims and defenses are specifically reserved and not waived.
Sincerely,
* * *
David Pecker, CEO of AMI '' whcih owns The National Enquirer '' has been a longtime ally of President Donald Trump. Trump, of course, has been a longtime critic of Bezos, Amazon and the Washington Post frequently targeting all three on Twitter. If there is anything here linking it back to Trump, one has to admit '' messing with the richest man in the world is ballsy, even for the (theoretically) most powerful man in the world.
Finally we note that Bezos wrote:
''These communications cement AMI's long-earned reputation for weaponizing journalistic privileges, hiding behind important protections, and ignoring the tenets and purpose of true journalism.''
Which is highly ironic, since his own paper has been accused multiple times '' with its anonymously-sourced (and later quietly corrected) '' accusations of ''weaponizing'' WaPo's reputation against the Trump administration.
Bezos' Investigators Question the Brother of His Mistress, Lauren Sanchez, in National Enquirer Leak Probe
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 15:12
Jeff Bezos' top personal security consultant has questioned his mistress' brother as part of the probe into how the couple's text messages wound up in the hands of the National Enquirer.
Gavin de Becker, the Amazon chief's longtime personal security consultant and the point person for the investigation, confirmed to The Daily Beast on Wednesday that his probe has scrutinized Michael Sanchez, the brother of Bezos mistress Lauren Sanchez and a personal and business associate of Trumpworld figures including Roger Stone, Carter Page, and Scottie Nell Hughes.
On Wednesday, The Daily Beast first reported the existence of that investigation, which is taking place independent of Amazon and being funded by Bezos personally. Three sources familiar with the inquiry said it was increasingly probable that whoever leaked the text messages to the Enquirer, which ran a conspicuously large 12-page spread on Bezos' affair, harbored political animosity towards Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post.
Michael Sanchez's name bubbled up on the British celebrity news and gossip website Popbitch last week in the context of the Enquirer story. Stone also mentioned Sanchez in an interview with conspiracy theory site Infowars on Wednesday that sought to preempt The Daily Beast's reporting by falsely claiming that it would accuse him of conspiring with the Trump administration to hack Bezos' phone.
Asked about Sanchez, de Becker, a former Reagan administration appointee and Justice Department adviser, told The Daily Beast, ''Michael Sanchez has been among the people we've been speaking with and looking at.'' De Becker would not elaborate on their conversations, and stressed that the investigation is ongoing. But he confirmed that ''strong leads point to political motives.''
According to two sources familiar with de Becker's investigation, Sanchez has suggested that the ''deep state,'' and specifically the National Security Agency, may have been responsible for obtaining text messages from Bezos' phone. Investigators have not taken that possibility seriously.
Sanchez declined to comment for this story.
By his own account, Sanchez is not your typical conservative. He's described himself as ''a gay man, a Hispanic, a West Hollywood homeowner and strong supporter of Trump.'' He appears to share Trump's antipathy to significant segments of the political press, occasionally using his Twitter account to deride ''fake news'' critical of the president.
Stone confirmed his association with Sanchez in text messages with The Daily Beast on Wednesday evening. ''I do know Michael Sanchez'--very good guy,'' he wrote. Stone proceeded to deny that he hacked Bezos' phone. When The Daily Beast pointed out that it had never suggested or asked if he had, Stone replied, ''You are busted. You are not a journalist. No one believes anything you write.''
According to documents reviewed by The Daily Beast, Stone and Sanchez were in touch about the National Enquirer story in the days after it ran'--and in the days before Stone was arrested by the FBI and charged with seven criminal counts related to the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Those documents show that Sanchez was also in contact with another figure caught up in the Russia investigations, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
Page told The Daily Beast that he and Sanchez have a personal and professional relationship. ''Michael is a friend and his agency, Axis Management, has represented me in the past,'' he said in a text message. Page also said that Sanchez had ''arranged my appearance at Politicon in L.A. last October.'' Page declined to go into further detail when asked about the last time that he spoke to Sanchez.
Page and Sanchez were indeed pictured together at Politicon in October, along with another former Sanchez client, one-time Trump-boosting commentator and campaign-trail ally Scottie Nell Hughes. Hughes settled a lawsuit with Fox News last year after alleging she was raped by Fox Business Network host Charles Payne, charges Payne and the network have denied.
During that lawsuit, emails between Hughes and Payne were leaked to the press, including to Radar Online, a publication owned by the same parent company as the National Enquirer.
Mystery grows over pro-Saudi tabloid: Embassy got sneak peek
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 15:03
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- It landed with a thud on newsstands at Walmart and rural supermarkets last month: Ninety-seven fawning pages saluting Saudi Arabia, whose ambitious crown prince was soon to arrive in the U.S. on a PR blitz to transform his country's image.
As questions swirled about the glossy magazine's origins, the Saudis said they were just as perplexed as everyone else, declaring on Twitter: ''If you find out, we'd love to know.''
But files obtained by The Associated Press show that a digital copy of the magazine, produced by American Media Inc., was quietly shared with officials at the Saudi Embassy in Washington almost three weeks before its publication.
How the early copy made it to the Saudis is unclear. Yet the revelation adds another mysterious twist to a murky tale playing out against the backdrop of bids by both President Donald Trump and David Pecker, the tabloid publisher who supports him, to build goodwill with the Saudi kingdom's leaders.
The worlds of Trump, the Saudis and AMI have overlapped before, often in dizzying ways. The Trump administration has aggressively courted the Saudis and found a willing partner on a range of issues, including Iran, counterterrorism and Middle East peace, in the kingdom's royal family. And AMI's flagship publication, The National Enquirer, has been accused by critics of acting as a keeper of secrets for Trump.
AMI denies that it shared an advance copy of ''The New Kingdom'' with the Saudis or consulted with them on the project, and AMI says the Saudis did not pay the company to produce the magazine. But an individual with knowledge of the situation said AMI indeed reached out to Saudi officials in the U.S. before publication to seek help with the content. The Saudis never responded, said the individual, who wasn't authorized to comment publicly and requested anonymity.
Merely sharing an advance copy with the Saudis, while a deviation from traditional journalistic practice, is not legally problematic for AMI. But the unusual circumstances and continuing mystery of the magazine's origins have led legal experts to point out a separate issue in federal lobbying law: If the Saudis or any other foreign government did direct or pay any company to produce such a magazine, that company would be required to register with the government under the Foreign Agent Registration Act.
There is no evidence any such direction, in this case, occurred.
Why would American Media, best-known for publishing salacious stories of sex and scandal, sink money into printing 200,000 copies of a magazine with a grinning Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman splashed across the cover?
The crown prince is no household name in the U.S., especially in states like Nebraska where the magazine showed up. And at $13.99 a copy and with no advertisements, the publication seems unlikely to be a money-maker.
Prince Mohammed has won praise in the West for trying to modernize Saudi Arabia and improve some rights for women, but the magazine omits any criticism on such core issues as his hard-hitting tactics, Saudi Arabia's restrictive political system and the country's bloody intervention in Yemen's civil war and strong-handed tactics toward Lebanon.
AMI spokesman Jon Hammond said he expected the magazine to turn a profit by selling 60,000 copies, comparing it to other AMI special editions on the Olympics, the Kennedys and Elvis Presley '-- topics that, unlike the Saudi crown prince, are of obvious widespread interest to tabloid readers in the U.S.
''Absolutely not,'' Hammond responded when asked by the AP if American Media had collaborated with the Saudis on the magazine or been paid by them.
Saud Kabli, the Saudi Embassy's communications director, said the embassy had ''no role in the production of the magazine.''
''We don't have a problem with the magazine, but we just don't think it is effective,'' Kabli said.
Metadata embedded in the PDF file, obtained by the AP from two different individuals, show it was produced by an AMI production employee at 8:41 p.m. on Feb. 19. Shortly thereafter, it started circulating internally among Saudi officials, including the embassy's military office, according to individuals familiar with the situation. It was also passed to Nail al-Jubeir, the former embassy spokesman and brother of Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, recently named Saudi ambassador to Ireland, the individuals said.
By the next day '-- Feb. 20 '-- Saudi officials had started forwarding it to Washington foreign policy contacts, giving them an early look, said the individuals, who weren't authorized to discuss the situation and requested anonymity.
A month later, on March 19, Prince Mohammed arrived in the U.S., with the magazine serving as his literary red carpet.
''Meet the next king,'' the cover exclaimed, describing the crown prince as ''our closest Middle East ally destroying terrorism'' and the visionary behind a ''city of the future'' which ''will be operated by robots.''
The magazine draws heavily from newswire photos and stock images '-- many with no connection to Saudi Arabia, according to Tineye, a reverse-image search tool. Among the supposed Saudi Arabian highlights pictured are sand-dune surfing in Namibia, a massive indoor greenhouse in the Netherlands and wildlife pictures taken in Zambia and Israel.
''There are lots of things that warrant answers,'' political law attorney Josh Rosenstein said about the pro-Saudi magazine.
As Saudi Arabia starts to open up to Western entertainment, American Media has sought to expand its media empire into the kingdom '-- the kind of lucrative opportunity that often comes with the blessing of the Saudi royal court. Last summer, Pecker dined at the White House with Trump and a French businessman with close business ties to the Saudis, and later traveled to Riyadh to pitch Saudi investors on helping AMI acquire Time magazine, The New York Times reported. AMI denied making such an ask.
Trump's son-in-law and senior aide, Jared Kushner, has also tried to enlist Prince Mohammed's help with his ambitious Mideast peace initiative. Kushner paid an unannounced visit early in the administration to Saudi Arabia, which also was Trump's first overseas destination as president.
Kushner's family real estate firm, The Kushner Cos., once sought money from a Saudi investor to buy out its partner in a Manhattan skyscraper that had been losing money for years.
Pecker is close to Trump and his struggling tabloid empire also has ties to the president's personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Following an FBI raid on Cohen's office this month, investigators are believed to be examining whether The National Enquirer was involved with Trump's campaign.
The Enquirer endorsed Trump's quest for the presidency. During the 2016 race, the tabloid paid a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Trump $150,000 to keep silent about the relationship. Last week, the company agreed to let the model, Karen McDougal, out of that contract.
The AP has also reported that AMI had made a $30,000 payment eight months earlier to a former doorman at a Trump building who had a juicy tip about him, requiring the doorman to sign a contract that effectively prevented him from going public. AMI said it paid the doorman not for his silence, but for exclusive rights to the story, which AMI never published because it said the story could not be authenticated.
___
Associated Press writer Chad Day contributed to this report.
___
Have a tip for the Associated Press? Send it securely and anonymously at www.ap.org/tips
No thank you, Mr. Pecker '' Jeff Bezos '' Medium
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 14:59
No thank you, Mr. PeckerSomething unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn't just unusual'Š'--'Šit was a first. I was made an offer I couldn't refuse. Or at least that's what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I'm glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.
AMI, the owner of the National Enquirer, led by David Pecker, recently entered into an immunity deal with the Department of Justice related to their role in the so-called ''Catch and Kill'' process on behalf of President Trump and his election campaign. Mr. Pecker and his company have also been investigated for various actions they've taken on behalf of the Saudi Government.
And sometimes Mr. Pecker mixes it all together:
''After Mr. Trump became president, he rewarded Mr. Pecker's loyalty with a White House dinner to which the media executive brought a guest with important ties to the royals in Saudi Arabia. At the time, Mr. Pecker was pursuing business there while also hunting for financing for acquisitions'...''
Federal investigators and legitimate media have of course suspected and proved that Mr. Pecker has used the Enquirer and AMI for political reasons. And yet AMI keeps claiming otherwise:
''American Media emphatically rejects any assertion that its reporting was instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise.''
Of course, legitimate media have been challenging that assertion for a long time:
Mystery Grows Over Pro-Saudi Tabloid: Embassy Got Sneak Peek
I didn't know much about most of that a few weeks ago when intimate texts messages from me were published in the National Enquirer. I engaged investigators to learn how those texts were obtained, and to determine the motives for the many unusual actions taken by the Enquirer. As it turns out, there are now several independent investigations looking into this matter.
To lead my investigation, I retained Gavin de Becker. I've known Mr. de Becker for twenty years, his expertise in this arena is excellent, and he's one of the smartest and most capable leaders I know. I asked him to prioritize protecting my time since I have other things I prefer to work on and to proceed with whatever budget he needed to pursue the facts in this matter.
Here's a piece of context: My ownership of the Washington Post is a complexifier for me. It's unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy.
President Trump is one of those people, obvious by his many tweets. Also, The Post's essential and unrelenting coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles.
(Even though The Post is a complexifier for me, I do not at all regret my investment. The Post is a critical institution with a critical mission. My stewardship of The Post and my support of its mission, which will remain unswerving, is something I will be most proud of when I'm 90 and reviewing my life, if I'm lucky enough to live that long, regardless of any complexities it creates for me.)
Back to the story: Several days ago, an AMI leader advised us that Mr. Pecker is ''apoplectic'' about our investigation. For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.
A few days after hearing about Mr. Pecker's apoplexy, we were approached, verbally at first, with an offer. They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn't stop our investigation.
My lawyers argued that AMI has no right to publish photos since any person holds the copyright to their own photos, and since the photos in themselves don't add anything newsworthy.
AMI's claim of newsworthiness is that the photos are necessary to show Amazon shareholders that my business judgment is terrible. I founded Amazon in my garage 24 years ago, and drove all the packages to the post office myself. Today, Amazon employs more than 600,000 people, just finished its most profitable year ever, even while investing heavily in new initiatives, and it's usually somewhere between the #1 and #5 most valuable company in the world. I will let those results speak for themselves.
OK, back to their threat to publish intimate photos of me. I guess we (me, my lawyers, and Gavin de Becker) didn't react to the generalized threat with enough fear, so they sent this:
From: Howard, Dylan [dhoward@amilink.com] (Chief Content Officer, AMI) Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 3:33 PM To: Martin Singer (litigation counsel for Mr. de Becker) Subject:. Jeff Bezos & Ms. Lauren Sanchez Photos
CONFIDENTIAL & NOT FOR DISTRIBIUTION
Marty:
I am leaving the office for the night. I will be available on my cell'Š'--'Š917 XXX-XXXX.
However, in the interests of expediating this situation, and with The Washington Post poised to publish unsubstantiated rumors of The National Enquirer's initial report, I wanted to describe to you the photos obtained during our newsgathering.
In addition to the ''below the belt selfie'Š'--'Šotherwise colloquially known as a 'd*ck pick''''Š'--'ŠThe Enquirer obtained a further nine images. These include:
· Mr. Bezos face selfie at what appears to be a business meeting.
· Ms. Sanchez response'Š'--'Ša photograph of her smoking a cigar in what appears to be a simulated oral sex scene.
· A shirtless Mr. Bezos holding his phone in his left hand'Š'--'Šwhile wearing his wedding ring. He's wearing either tight black cargo pants or shorts'Š'--'Šand his semi-erect manhood is penetrating the zipper of said garment.
· A full-length body selfie of Mr. Bezos wearing just a pair of tight black boxer-briefs or trunks, with his phone in his left hand'Š'--'Šwhile wearing his wedding ring.
· A selfie of Mr. Bezos fully clothed.
· A full-length scantily-clad body shot with short trunks.
· A naked selfie in a bathroom'Š'--'Šwhile wearing his wedding ring. Mr. Bezos is wearing nothing but a white towel'Š'--'Šand the top of his pubic region can be seen.
· Ms. Sanchez wearing a plunging red neckline dress revealing her cleavage and a glimpse of her nether region.
· Ms. Sanchez wearing a two-piece red bikini with gold detail dress revealing her cleavage.
It would give no editor pleasure to send this email. I hope common sense can prevail'Š'--'Šand quickly.
Dylan.
Well, that got my attention. But not in the way they likely hoped. Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there's a much more important matter involved here. If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can? (On that point, numerous people have contacted our investigation team about their similar experiences with AMI, and how they needed to capitulate because, for example, their livelihoods were at stake.)
In the AMI letters I'm making public, you will see the precise details of their extortionate proposal: They will publish the personal photos unless Gavin de Becker and I make the specific false public statement to the press that we ''have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.''
If we do not agree to affirmatively publicize that specific lie, they say they'll publish the photos, and quickly. And there's an associated threat: They'll keep the photos on hand and publish them in the future if we ever deviate from that lie.
Be assured, no real journalists ever propose anything like what is happening here: I will not report embarrassing information about you if you do X for me. And if you don't do X quickly, I will report the embarrassing information.
Nothing I might write here could tell the National Enquirer story as eloquently as their own words below.
These communications cement AMI's long-earned reputation for weaponizing journalistic privileges, hiding behind important protections, and ignoring the tenets and purpose of true journalism. Of course I don't want personal photos published, but I also won't participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks, and corruption. I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out.
Sincerely,
Jeff Bezos
From: Fine, Jon [jfine@amilink.com] (Deputy General Counsel, AMI)Sent: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 5:57 PMTo: Martin Singer (Mr de Becker's attorney)Subject: Re: EXTERNAL* RE: Bezos et al / American Media et al
Marty -
Here are our proposed terms:
1. A full and complete mutual release of all claims that American Media, on the one hand, and Jeff Bezos and Gavin de Becker (the ''Bezos Parties''), on the other, may have against each other.
2. A public, mutually-agreed upon acknowledgment from the Bezos Parties, released through a mutually-agreeable news outlet, affirming that they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AM's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces, and an agreement that they will cease referring to such a possibility.
3. AM agrees not to publish, distribute, share, or describe unpublished texts and photos (the ''Unpublished Materials'').
4. AM affirms that it undertook no electronic eavesdropping in connection with its reporting and has no knowledge of such conduct.
5. The agreement is completely confidential.
6. In the case of a breach of the agreement by one or more of the Bezos Parties, AM is released from its obligations under the agreement, and may publish the Unpublished Materials.
7. Any other disputes arising out of this agreement shall first be submitted to JAMS mediation in California
Thank you,
Jon
Deputy General Counsel, Media
American Media, LLC
Jon P. Fine
Deputy General Counsel, Media
O: (212) 743''6513 C: (347) 920''6541
jfine@amilink.com
February 5, 2019
Via email:
mdsinger@xxxxx
Martin D. Singer
Laveley & Singer
Re: Jeff Bezos / American Media, LLC, et al.
Dear Mr. Singer:
I write in response to your February 4, 2019, letter to Dylan Howard, and to address serious concerns we have regarding the continuing defamatory activities of your client and his representatives regarding American Media's motivations in its recent reporting about your client.
As a primary matter, please be advised that our newsgathering and reporting on matters involving your client, including any use of your client's ''private photographs,'' has been, and will continue to be, consistent with applicable laws. As you know, ''the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies . . . for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting . . . is not an infringement of copyright.'' 17 USC Sec. 107. With millions of Americans having a vested interest in the success of Amazon, of which your client remains founder, chairman, CEO, and president, an exploration of Mr. Bezos' judgment as reflected by his texts and photos is indeed newsworthy and in the public interest.
Beyond the copyright issues you raise, we also find it necessary to address various unsubstantiated defamatory statements and scurrilous rumors attributed to your client's representatives in the press suggesting that ''strong leads point to political motives''1 in the publication of The National Enquirer story. Indeed, you yourself declared the ''politically motivated underpinnings'' of our reporting to be ''self-evident'' in your correspondence on Mr. de Becker's behalf to Mr. Howard dated January 31, 2019.
Once again, as I advised you in my February 1 response to your January 31 correspondence, American Media emphatically rejects any assertion that its reporting was instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise. Simply put, this was and is a news story.
Yet, it is our understanding that your client's representatives, including the Washington Post, continue to pursue and to disseminate these false and spurious allegations in a manner that is injurious to American Media and its executives.
Accordingly, we hereby demand that you cease and desist such defamatory conduct immediately. Any further dissemination of these false, vicious, speculative and unsubstantiated statements is done at your client's peril. Absent the immediate cessation of the defamatory conduct, we will have no choice but to pursue all remedies available under applicable law.
As I advised previously, we stand by the legality of our newsgathering and reporting on this matter of public interest and concern. Moreover, American Media is undeterred from continuing its reporting on a story that is unambiguously in the public interest'Š'--'Ša position Mr. Bezos clearly appreciates as reflected in Boies Schiller January 9 letter to American Media stating that your client ''does not intend to discourage reporting about him'' and ''supports journalistic efforts.''
That said, if your client agrees to cease and desist such defamatory behavior, we are willing to engage in constructive conversations regarding the texts and photos which we have in our possession. Dylan Howard stands ready to discuss the matter at your convenience.
All other rights, claims, counterclaims and defenses are specifically reserved and not waived.
Sincerely,
1 https://www.thedailybeast.com/bezos-investigators-question-the-brother-of-his-mistress-lauren-sanchez-in-national-enquirer-leak-probe(Attributed to your client Gavin de Becker)
National Enquirer faces new legal woes after Bezos claims
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 14:54
The publisher of the National Enquirer is facing questions about whether it violated a cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors after allegations from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that the tabloid tried to blackmail him.
Sources on Friday told Bloomberg News that federal prosecutors with the Southern District of New York are looking into publisher American Media Inc.'s (AMI) conduct, raising the prospect of new legal problems for the company.
At stake is an agreement AMI entered into with federal prosecutors to gain immunity in the probe into possible campaign finance violations in President Trump Donald John TrumpWhite House begins search for person who leaked president's schedule: report O'Rourke to headline counter-Trump rally at border Trump touts Kim summit: North Korea will become economic 'rocket' MORE 's 2016 campaign. As part of the agreement, AMI admitted to paying former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 to suppress her claims of an affair with Trump.
The non-prosecution agreement is exceptionally broad, including language barring AMI from committing any criminal activity for three years. That could make it easier for prosecutors to identify laws AMI might have broken in its dealings with Bezos, legal experts told The Hill.
"[The] agreement to refrain from prosecuting AMI and [the company's CEO David Pecker] was because the prosecutors saw some value that their investigation would receive based upon truthful information coming from AMI and Mr. Pecker," Jeff Tsai, a former federal prosecutor, told The Hill.
"However, the value of AMI and the value of Mr. Pecker becomes severely tarnished or diminished if they are themselves continuing to engage in criminal activity or saying incorrect or untruthful information."
Bezos, the head of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, dropped a bombshell on Thursday night, accusing the National Enquirer of "extortion and blackmail" in an online post. Bezos said the tabloid threatened to publish intimate photos of him unless he dropped a private investigation into the tabloid. Bezos also suggested the Post's coverage of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi had angered AMI CEO David Pecker.
"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten," Bezos wrote.
AMI in a statement on Friday said it ''believes fervently'' that the tabloid "acted lawfully,'' but pledged to promptly investigate Bezos' claims.
But the fallout threatens the company with new legal problems because of its non-prosecution agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, AMI shall ''commit no crimes whatsoever'' or else "be subject to prosecution for any federal criminal violation of which this Office has knowledge, including perjury and obstruction of justice.''
And the non-prosecution agreement gives prosecutors broad authority to investigate any potentially illegal behavior that may have violated the terms.
''AMI and Mr. Pecker ... are prohibited by the terms of their own agreement to commit any crimes, without qualification,'' Tsai said, noting this could include federal crimes as well ''a crime that is state law in nature, or even local or municipal in nature.''
Legal experts, though, are split over whether the situation alleged by Bezos describes "extortion and blackmail," mainly because federal definitions of those crimes are narrow.
One of the main federal extortion statutes, the Hobbs Act, defines extortion as threats made in return for "property."
"The U.S. Supreme Court ... basically construed the term 'property' under the Hobbs Act to refer specifically to money or other economic, other goods of economic value," legal expert Stuart Green told The Hill. "In this case, they're not asking him for any money, [and] not asking Bezos to write a recommendation for them.
"I don't think that that is enough to satisfy the federal extortion statute," Stuart said.
But Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor, in a CNN op-ed argued that ''property'' does not have to be defined as ''monetary, or worth more than a nominal amount, or even tangible.''
''I'd be comfortable arguing to a jury that this goes well beyond legally acceptable boardroom hardball,'' Honig wrote.
Paul Cassel, a former federal judge, told The Hill that he believes the emails in question amount to extortion or blackmail under a separate section of the U.S. criminal code overseeing interstate communications.
"The transmission by email appears to be a federal crime," Cassel said. "It seems to me all elements of the extortion or blackmail statute are very well satisfied by the transmissions in question."
The chain of events began when the Enquirer earlier this year published a series of expos(C)s about Bezos having an extramarital affair. Bezos shortly after said that he was investigating how the Enquirer obtained texts between him and his girlfriend.
The lead investigator hired by Bezos made multiple public comments alleging the expos(C)s in the National Enquirer might have been politically motivated. Pecker is a longtime friend of President Trump, who has railed against Bezos over his ownership of The Washington Post.
AMI executives at that point reached out to Bezos, demanding that he make a public statement saying he has "no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces."
Though AMI maintains it did nothing illegal, the broad language in their agreement could put it on thin ice and give prosecutors more leverage over the company in the investigation into Trump's associates.
AMI's actions will now be closely scrutinized by federal prosecutors.
''I think there is at least enough there for further investigation of potential extortion,'' former federal prosecutor Glen Kopp told The Hill.
''When you have an agreement with the government that says you can't commit crimes, then the government is going to be particularly sensitive to allegations.''
West Hollywood residents put out the welcome mat for Donald Trump - Los Angeles Times
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 15:45
To the editor: Mayor Lindsey Horvath's well-intentioned rejection of any Donald Trump visit to West Hollywood is not only constitutionally misguided (as her own city lawyer suggests), but an unhealthy symptom of an overly sensitive society in which even thoughtful professors are required to give students "trigger warnings" in advance of presenting any course materials that might potentially cause discomfort or offense. ("Deplorable as he may be, Donald Trump has the right to speak in West Hollywood," editorial, April 8)
Is West Hollywood such a precious place that its citizens cannot vigorously challenge Trump's hate at a public rally? Not allowing him to come here deprives us of that right.
Besides, telling such a demagogue where he is not welcome is certain to bring him here all the sooner.
Ty Geltmaker, West Hollywood
To the editor: As a gay man, a Hispanic, a West Hollywood homeowner and strong supporter of Trump, I am disgusted by Horvath's grandstanding threat to reject a hypothetical event permit for the GOP front-runner.
City Atty. Michael Jenkins' weak explanation of Horvath's conduct does not excuse her illegal and discriminatory behavior. It's ironic that misinformed liberals march at the first whiff of discrimination against another liberal, but find it perfectly OK to use their power to threaten and bully conservatives.
To imply that Trump's stand against illegal immigration is somehow similar to the hate speech endured by victims of Nazis and AIDS is an extreme insult to Jews and AIDS survivors. Because of her reckless behavior, Horvath owes West Hollywood residents, Jews, AIDS patients and Trump a sincere apology and perhaps even her resignation.
Michael Sanchez, West Hollywood
Fox News Settles Retaliation Lawsuit From Scottie Nell Hughes | Hollywood Reporter
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 15:44
September 26, 2018 8:35am PTby Eriq Gardner
Courtesy of RT America
Hughes, who once appeared on the network as a pundit, made rape allegations against a Fox Business anchor.
As Fox News gears up to cover the Brett Kavanaugh hearing Thursday, the cable news network has settled its own legal problem arising from a woman who alleged being raped and then mistreated after she came forward to report what happened.
Scottie Nell Hughes, a political commentator who once regularly appeared on Fox News, sued last September with the allegation that she had been raped by Charles Payne, host of Making Money on Fox Business. Hughes claimed she was blacklisted after reporting sexual harassment.
Paul Weiss, the law firm that handled an independent investigation of sexual harassment claims at Fox News, looked into her allegations. Payne was briefly suspended but returned to his job. Both Payne and Fox News have denied the charge of rape.
In April, a New York federal judge dismissed most of Hughes' claims, including ones asserting discrimination against Fox News and a cause of action asserting gender-motivated violence against Payne. The fact that Hughes wasn't a paid employee factored heavily in the judge's decision.
On the other hand, Hughes was allowed to move forward on two claims '-- failure-to-hire and retaliation based on her status as a job applicant.
That opened the door to discovery with Hughes eyeing depositions for Bill Shine, the former chief of the network who is currently the head of communications for the White House, as well as Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, who Hughes claimed would no longer have her on their shows.
Then, in May, Fox came to a settlement with nearly 20 individuals represented by attorney Douglas Wigdor. The company agreed to pay out about $10 million with the goal of putting an end to an ugly chapter in its history.
At the time, Wigdor was representing Hughes. She didn't want to be part of that settlement, and so she pursued new representation.
Now comes the resolution a few weeks after Hughes announced she would be joining RT America as an anchor.
On Tuesday, a judge ordered the case closed after being informed by the parties of a settlement.
The deal is confirmed by Fox News.
According to a statement to The Hollywood Reporter from Fox News, ''In light of the Opinion and Order issued by Judge William Pauley on April 24, 2018, Fox News Network and Scottie Nell Hughes have reached an agreement to settle Ms. Hughes's remaining claims that Fox News failed to hire her. All of Ms. Hughes's other claims had previously been dismissed by the Court.''
It Took Just 1 Sentence for Jeff Bezos to Show Why the National Enquirer Blackmail Scandal is a Bigger Danger for Amazon Than People Want to Admit | Inc.com
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 14:30
By now, the entire world knows about the intimate, personal photos that Jeff Bezos apparently sent via text message to his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez.
And the world knows this because Bezos announced it in a Medium post in which he accused the company that owns the National Enquirer of attempted blackmail and extortion.
In the post itself, Bezos did two super-important things:
He completely disarmed the National Enquirer and turned the tables on them, by revealing everything he says they threatened to reveal about him -- and using their own words and emails.He acknowledged, with one critical sentence, that he understands the real danger that this whole thing presents to Amazon.To be clear, the danger has nothing to do with Bezos's embarrassment, or damage to his personal reputation, or the damage to his family relationships. The photos at issue are apparently personal, private, and sexual. But honestly, who cares?
They're the back and forth between a 55-year-old man and his 49-year-old girlfriend.
And as for the end of Bezos's marriage to MacKenzie Bezos, well, it's sad -- but that was going to happen anyway. People might laugh a bit or disapprove of him for having an affair. But there's no real danger there.
Instead, the danger is about the challenge this whole thing poses to Amazon.
That's why Bezos included a key passage in his Medium post, describing how he stared the investigation into how the Enquirer obtained his private texts to begin with:
To lead my investigation, I retained Gavin de Becker. I've known Mr. de Becker for twenty years, his expertise in this arena is excellent, and he's one of the smartest and most capable leaders I know.
I asked him to prioritize protecting my time since I have other things I prefer to work on and to proceed with whatever budget he needed to pursue the facts in this matter.
That last sentence -- those last 33 words -- are the real important news here.
Ask any successful person what they think the most valuable resource in the world is, and they won't tell you it's money. It's time.
In this case, it's time that Bezos is dedicating to fighting with the Enquirer, or figuring out whether a government entity was involved with hacking his texts, or whether the whole thing is just juicy gossip "journalism" or part of a bigger feud with the president of the United States.
Every hour, every second Bezos spends on that is time he isn't spending on the gargantuan company he built from nothing.
Of course, he protests a bit too much with that line. This is the only Medium post I think he's ever written. It runs about 2,200 words -- nearly four times as long as this article.
He has only 186 tweets on his Twitter profile; one of them is about this scandal. He writes an annual letter to shareholders, and I'm sure has written op-eds before. But how often otherwise does he take the time to write?
He is distracted -- clearly. And not just by this ridiculous scandal, but by having the specter of perhaps the biggest, messiest divorce in American history hanging over his head.
For Bezos, it's not only of a spousal relationship but the start of an era in which he owns only half of his stake in Amazon, half of his stake in Blue Origin, half of his stake in The Washington Post.
The problem is, as Bezos well knows, he cannot afford to give only half the attention that his business leadership roles require. That's the real danger that he, and everyone who cares about Amazon, needs to keep in check.
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Green New Deal
2020i s NOT 2030! Scientific report FUCKED the timeline! WE will be found out in 12 years and we'll still be here!
4th warmest year on record
What is the European Solidarity Corps? - European Solidarity Corps
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 05:01
The opportunity to travel all over EuropeThe European Solidarity Corps is a professional mobility scheme for young people aged 18 to 30 who are citizens and residents of the European Union. Announced by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, in September 2016, the programme was launched in December 2016. Funded by the EU, but run, among others, by P´le emploi, the French Public Employment Service, and its European partners for the occupational strand. It covers the entire territory of the European Union. Therefore, it offers you the opportunity to go and work in another Member State and to get involved in paid placements that are useful to people and the community.
An occasion to take part in solidarity-related activitiesIdentified by P´le emploi, the French Public Employment Service, and its partners, these placements are solidarity-related in the widest sense: food aid, healthcare, social inclusion, reception of migrants and refugees, environmental protection, culture, education and so on. The placements are limited to an employment, apprenticeship or traineeship contract for a period of between two and twelve months. By participating in this programme, you will receive a salary or an allowance from your employer, depending on the type of contracts.
It is easy, useful and effectiveIt's easy: all you have to do is register on the European Commission portal dedicated to the European Solidarity Corps. You can do so from the age of 17, even if you must have turned 18 to be able to start your project.
It's useful: as soon as you register on our site, you will benefit from specific help and support:
you will have an interview with an employment adviser,you will prepare your application with this adviser,your application will be proposed, with your agreement, to the companies that have posted solidarity-related job offers or that are liable to offer such jobs,under certain conditions, the European Solidarity Corps can fund a large part of your mobility project: your travel to a recruitment interview, your relocation expenses, the recognition of your diplomas and/or qualifications, language classes if necessary'... and your trip back home!It's effective: when you get back, your adviser will evaluate your new skills and know-how. He or she will help you to make the most of what you have learned, to update your CV or look for the professional sectors and job or training offers best suited to your new profile.
An opportunity to put your values into practiceYour participation in the European Solidarity Corps implies that you adhere to its charter. It sets out the rules, missions and principles behind the programme: solidarity and respect for human rights and human dignity. The companies that you will be joining will also have signed a charter. They have to offer quality activities in an environment respectful to individuals. The employment advisers supporting you will also ensure that your future employer provides social cover in line with what is expected in the programme.
More than 40,000 young people* have signed up to the European Solidarity Corps*Figure for December 7th 2017
40,000 young people* have signed up to the European Solidarity Corps*Figure for November 2017European Solidarity Corps: a springboard for your professional future
Mobility tool | Youth in Action
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 04:59
Wat is het?
De Mobility Tool + (MT+) is een online platform dat indieners van goedgekeurde Erasmus+: Youth in Action- en European Solidarity Corps-projecten moeten gebruiken om hun project te beheren en erover te rapporteren.Je vindt het via https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/eac/mobility.
Wie moet de Mobility Tool+ gebruiken?Elke indiener van een goedgekeurd project moet de tool gebruiken.Heb je zelf geen aanvraag ingediend, maar ben je wel partner in een project? Dan moet diegene die de aanvraag indiende gegevens van jouw deelnemer(s) en groep voor jou invullen.
Waarvoor moet ik de Mobility Tool+ gebruiken? De MT+ MOET je VERPLICHT gebruiken om:
al je deelnemers en begeleiders te registreren, ook die van je buitenlandse partner(s). Voor vrijwilligersprojecten doe je dat ten laatste 2 weken voor de start van je project.je budget tijdens en na je project bij te houden.je eindverslag tijdens je project bij te houden en na je project aan te vullen en aan ons te bezorgen.Hoe krijg ik toegang tot de Mobility Tool+?Wordt je project goedgekeurd en heb je het contract ondertekend teruggestuurd, dan krijgt de projectverantwoordelijke een automatische e-mail met daarin de toegangslink naar MT+. Vanaf dan kan jij gegevens in de MT+ beginnen registreren.
Welke gegevens moet ik registreren?Op het einde van je project moeten alle 'mobiliteiten' correct in MT+ geregistreerd zijn:
Elke persoon die van punt X naar punt Y is geweest, dus ook begeleiders, trainers en facilitators (als die ook in het aantal deelnemers werden aangegeven bij de aanvraag).Zowel de deelnemers van je eigen groep als de buitenlandse deelnemers, begeleiders enz. moet je registreren.Kan ik tijdens en na mijn project nog gegevens wijzigen?Je kan op elk moment tijdens je project gegevens invoegen of wijzigen.
Je kan deelnemers die je reeds hebt ingevoerd verwijderen en een andere deelnemer in de plaats invullen. Opgelet: Aan elke deelnemer is een budget verbonden. Valt er een deelnemer weg, dan wordt het budget dat oorspronkelijk goedgekeurd werd automatisch herberekend.De tool laat je ook toe partnerorganisaties binnen het project te wijzigen. Wijzigingen van partner(s) kunnen uitsluitend indien je daar een grondige reden voor hebt en enkel na overleg met het Youth in Action team van JINT dat je aanvraag goedkeurde.Hoe dien ik mijn eindverslag (final report) in via de Mobility Tool+?Nadat je alle mobiliteiten correct invulde (zie hierboven: welke gegevens moet ik registreren) en je budget controleerde, kan je via Reports je inhoudelijk eindverslag genereren. Vul de verschillende vragen stap voor stap in. Elk ingevuld onderdeel krijgt een groen vinkje.Is alles ingevuld, dan kan je alle nodige bijlagen uploaden:
het uiteindelijke activity programmade gehandtekende deelnemerslijstde bewijsstukken dat alle deelnemers en begeleiders van punt A naar punt B geweest zijn (bv. factuur reiskosten, tickets, boarding passes, '...)voor vrijwilligerswerkprojecten ook een maandelijks gehantekende lijst voor ontvangst van het zakgelddaarna kan je de declaration on honour downloaden, afprinten, ondertekenen, inscannen en terug uploaden.Pas nadat je al deze stappen goed doorlopen hebt, kan je het volledige eindverslag van je project via de submit knop definitief indienen (submitten).
Waar vind ik meer info?Meerdere keren per jaar kan je bij het Youth in Action-team van JINT terecht tijdens een Mobility Tool+ clinic. We leggen dan alles grondig uit en gaan samen met jou aan de slag met de tool. Lees er meer over en schrijf je in.In de Mobility Tool+ vind je een zeer uitgebreide handleiding terug.Heb je de uitgebreide handleiding doorgenomen of een Mobility Tool+ Clinic gevolgd en ga je aan de slag met de tool? Neem dan zeker de geheugensteun en tips bij het gebruiken van de Mobility Tool+ erbij.
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Green New Deal (GND) Resolution Full Text from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) & Sen. Ed Markey
Fri, 08 Feb 2019 12:25
We Need to Elect Politicians in 2020 Who Will Pass a Green New Deal Bill in 2021
We join movements like Sunrise and Justice Democrats in firmly advocating for a Green New Deal bill to be passed in 2021 by a climate-friendly (and realistic) U.S. President and Congress. We also have an opportunity to implement a transformative, historic economic mobilization against climate change - one that provides good-paying jobs and economic fairness to all. A comprehensive environmental and climate justice program that's ambitious, pragmatic, moral, and human.
Below we include the full text of the current 2019 Green New Deal Resolution from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D - NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D - MA). We believe AOC and Markey's vision is the right way forward on climate policy, but we're providing a copy of the full resolution here so you can read it and decide for yourself (for a more phone-friendly version, click here):
If you're with us, we believe it's time for unified, inspired action to create the public awareness and political pressure around climate change that elects Democrats in 2020 who will pass a Green New Deal.
Here's our contribution to that movement
Understand What's at Stake33 Senate seats are up for re-election in 2020, including 22 Republican seats. These elections will determine the laws passed in Congress, including a Green New Deal. In addition, we need to elect a president who will take decisive action on climate justice and sign GND into law.
See Our Interactive 2020 Election Map
Register to VoteWe can help you register to vote right now in 2 minutes or less with our online tool.
We can also get you or a friend started when you text 'VOTE' to 774-541-1112.
Get Registered
Take Action on Climate JusticeWe also have searchable database of progressive climate actions, events, and volunteer opportunities across the U.S. (and Europe too), including Sunrise Movement, Extinction Rebellion, and the 350.org coalition. And, every time you complete a measurable act of good through Brightest, we plant a tree in your honor to double your climate impact.
Take Action
The Momentum is on Our Side
Now that we've flipped the U.S. House and made key state-level legislative gains across the U.S., we now have the power (and a platform) to bring progressive, working class ideals, fairness, equality, and humanity back to Washington, D.C. by finishing what we started and passing a Green New Deal into law in 2021.
It's critically important we continue to organize and harness the anger and frustration we all feel about climate change into tangible, grassroots action. That's why we've worked hard at Brightest to curate the best ways you can get involved and support progressive, Democratic, and Democratic Socialist efforts in every state to pass GND.
Don't just read the news - let's respond, work together, and do something about it. And if you have any questions or don't know where to start, please get in touch - we're all in this together and we're here to help you.
Any questions, thoughts, or replies? Please get in touch or msg us on Twitter we'd be happy to talk to you about them.
Satellite images reveal huge CRACKS in Greenland glacier | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 08 Feb 2019 11:39
Satellite images reveal huge CRACKS in Greenland glacier, sparking fears massive chunk will break off and cause more ice to spill into the seaThe Petermann Glacier is one of the most prominent in Greenland, and one of three with a floating 'tongue'Acceleration in ice flow over the past few years was triggered by a calving event that occurred in August 2012Researchers warn the event of another iceberg breaking off would cause further acceleration of the ice ByCheyenne Macdonald For Dailymail.com
Published: 19:06 EST, 7 February 2019 | Updated: 19:07 EST, 7 February 2019
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Scientists have spotted a massive crack running through one of the most prominent glaciers in northwest Greenland.
Ice flow at the Petermann Glacier has been speeding up over the past few years, and satellite images now suggest a new iceberg could break free sometime in the near future.
Petermann is one of just three glaciers in Greenland that has an ice tongue '' a 43-mile floating expanse that stretches into the Petermann Fjord.
Scroll down for video
According to a new study led by AWI, the recent acceleration was spurred by the loss of a large iceberg back in August 2012 (shown on left). According to the models, a similar phenomenon could occur if another piece breaks off. Recent satellite images (right) show massive cracks that could signal a calving event
WHAT IS A GLACIER CALVING EVENT? Glacier calving is a natural occurrence caused by the forward motion of a glacier making its end unstable.
During a calving event, part of the end of a glacier drops off, often forming an iceberg.
Calving of glaciers is often accompanied by a loud cracking or booming sound before blocks of ice up to 60 metres (200 ft) high break loose and crash into the water.
The entry of this ice into the water can cause large and hazardous waves.
'The satellite data shows that Petermann Glacier had a flow speed of roughly 1135 meters per year in the winter of 2016,' said glaciologist Niklas Neckel, from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI).
'That equates to an acceleration of about 10 percent in comparison to the winter of 2011, and we asked ourselves what was responsible for the increased speed.'
According to a new study led by AWI, the recent acceleration was spurred by the loss of a large iceberg back in August 2012.
And, according to the models, a similar phenomenon could occur if another piece breaks off.
'On their way to the sea, the glacier's ice masses rub along the rock walls that enclose the fjord to the left and the right,' said lead author, AWI ice modeller Martin R¼ckamp.
'If a major iceberg breaks away from the end of the glacier's tongue, it will reduce the tongue's overall length, and with it, the route along which the ice masses scrape against the stone.
'This in turn limits the walls' braking effect, so that the glacier begins flowing faster.'
Ice flow at the Petermann Glacier has been speeding up over the past few years, and satellite images now suggest a new iceberg could break free sometime in the near future. Peterman is one of just three glaciers in Greenland that has an ice tongue '' a 43-mile floating expanse that stretches into the Petermann Fjord
As of now, scientists say it's too early to know when an iceberg will break free from the glacier. When it does happen, though, it won't be an isolated event.
'We can't predict when Petermann Glacier will calve again, or whether a calving event would actually calve along the cracks we identified in the ice tongue,' R¼ckamp said.
'But we can safely assume that, if it does come to a new calving event, the tongue will retreat considerably, and the rock's stabilizing effect will further decline.'
Northern Greenland has been relatively stable compared to its southern reaches, where glaciers have seen far more acceleration.
Scientists have spotted a massive crack running through one of the most prominent glaciers in northwest Greenland. As of now, scientists say it's too early to know when an iceberg will break free from the glacier. When it does happen, though, it won't be an isolated event
'If a major iceberg breaks away from the end of the glacier's tongue, it will reduce the tongue's overall length, and with it, the route along which the ice masses scrape against the stone. 'This in turn limits the walls' braking effect, so that the glacier begins flowing faster,' the researchers warn. The glacier is shown above
Now, however, the researchers say this may be changing.
'We now know that the loss of icebergs increases the glacier's flow rate,' Neckel said.
'In addition, we've observed that calving events on Petermann Glacier are happening more frequently.
'But the question of whether these changes are due to the warming atmosphere over Greenland, or to warmer seawater, isn't an aspect that we could investigate using the satellite data.'
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Green New Deal FAQ | Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 15:50
What is the Green New Deal?
The Green New Deal is a 10-year plan to create a greenhouse gas neutral society that creates unprecedented levels of prosperity and wealth for all while ensuring economic and environmental justice and security.
The Green New Deal achieves this through a World War 2 scale mobilization that focuses the robust and creative economic engine of the United States on reversing climate change by fully rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, restoring our natural ecosystems, dramatically expanding renewable power generation, overhauling our entire transportation system, upgrading all our buildings, jumpstarting US clean manufacturing, transforming US agriculture, and putting our nation's people to work doing what they do best: making the impossible possible.
Any large-scale transformation of society can create the risk of some people slipping through the cracks. That's why the Green New Deal also calls for an upgrade to the basic economic securities enjoyed by all people in the US to ensure everybody benefits from the newly created wealth. It guarantees to everyone:
A job with family-sustaining wages, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security High-quality education, including higher education and trade schools High-quality health care Clean air and water Healthy food Safe, affordable, adequate housing An economic environment free of monopolies Economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work The frontline communities that are already facing the ravages of climate change and pollution and working-class communities reliant on fossil fuel industries must be prioritized in any transformation of our society to a renewable energy economy. That's why the Green New Deal lays out a comprehensive plan that ensures training, investment, and the economic and environmental benefits of the transition prioritize these communities that are most at risk.
In short, the Green New Deal fully tackles the existential threat posed by climate change by presenting a comprehensive, 10-year plan that is as big as the problem it hopes to solve while creating a new era of shared prosperity.
What is the purpose of the Green New Deal resolution?
The goal of the resolution is to define the scope, scale, and purpose of the Green New Deal. It is intended to define what is necessary for any legislation that aims to be ''Green New Deal'' legislation. The resolution puts forward 5 goals to be accomplished through a 10-year plan that involves 14 transformative industrial and infrastructure projects and 15 supporting principles for social and economic justice and security necessary to accomplish the Green New Deal.
Why is such a large-scale mobilization necessary right now?
A recent IPCC report declared that global temperatures must be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels to avoid the most severe impacts of a changing climate. This calls for global reductions of greenhouse gas emissions of 40 to 60 percent by 2030. The U.S. contributes 20% of global emissions. To hit these global targets, the US must not only get to a greenhouse gas emissions neutral society by 2030, but it must also lead this change abroad to avert climate catastrophe.
Is getting to a greenhouse gas emissions neutral society in 10 years possible?
It is possible if we have the political will to do it. When JFK called for us to get to the moon by the end of the decade, people said it was impossible. When FDR called on America to build 185,000 planes to fight World War 2 at a time when America was producing 3,000 planes a year, the world laughed. We ended up building 300,000 planes and winning the war. We built a highway system to connect this continent, split the atom, and created the Great Society. The American people are capable of doing great things when our nation comes together to tackle big challenges.
Is there any support for the Green New Deal?
92 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans support the Green New Deal according to latest polls. Over 300 local and state politicians have called for a federal Green New Deal. The previous resolution to create a select committee for a Green New Deal had 45 endorsers in the House, and this new Resolution is launching with the co-sponsorship of 60 members of the House and 9 Senators including many major Presidential candidates.
Why do we need a sweeping Green New Deal investment program led by the government? Why can't we just rely on regulations, taxes, and incentives such as a carbon tax or a ban on fossil fuels?
The level of investment required to make the Green New Deal successful is massive. Even if every billionaire and company came together and were willing to pour all their resources into this investment, the aggregate value of investments would not be sufficient. That's why we must utilize World War II era and New Deal-style financing which commits to long-term benefits instead of short-term quarterly returns. The speed of investment required must be as swift as possible. Even if all the billionaires and companies in the world could make the investments required, they would not be able to pull together a coordinated response in the narrow window of time required to jump-start major new projects and major new economic sectors. Additionally, private companies do not make massive investments in risky projects that will only earn a moderate return -- even if they are necessary to save the planet. The government, however, has the time horizon to be able to patiently make investments in exploration of new tech and R&D, without necessarily having a commercial outcome or application in mind at the time the investment is made. Major examples of government investments in ''new'' tech that subsequently spurred a boom in the private sector include DARPA-projects, the creation of the internet - and, perhaps most recently, the government's investment in Tesla. We don't need to just stop doing the destructive things we are doing (like using fossil fuels for energy needs); we also need to start doing new things (like overhauling whole industries or retrofitting all buildings to be energy efficient). Starting to do new things requires upfront investment. In the same way that a company trying to change how it does business may need to make big upfront capital investments today in order to reap future benefits (e.g., building a new factory to increase production or buying new hardware and software to totally modernize its IT system), a country that is trying to change how its economy works will need to make big investments today to jump-start and develop new projects and sectors to power the new economy. Merely incentivizing the private sector doesn't work - e.g. the tax incentives and subsidies given to wind and solar projects have been a valuable spur to growth in the US renewables industry but, even with such investment-promotion subsidies, the present level of such projects is simply inadequate to transition to a fully greenhouse gas neutral economy as quickly as needed. This resolution sets out a non-exhaustive list of several major projects that need to be completed fast. These projects include upgrading virtually every home and building for energy efficiency, building 100% greenhouse gas neutral power generation systems, removing greenhouse gases from industry and agriculture, and more. These projects will all require substantive investment. We're not saying that there isn't a role for private sector investments; we're just saying that the level of investment required will need every actor to pitch in and that the government is best placed to be the prime driver of the investment program. Given the magnitude of the current challenge, the tools of regulation and taxation, used in isolation, will not be enough to quickly and smoothly accomplish the transformation we need to see. How will you pay for the Green New Deal?
The Green New Deal is a massive investment program, not an expenditure. The question isn't how will we pay for it, but what is the cost of inaction, and what will we do with our new shared prosperity created by the investments in the Green New Deal.
We will finance the investments for the Green New Deal the same way we paid for the original New Deal, World War II, the bank bailouts, tax cuts for the rich, and decades of war '' with public money appropriated by Congress. Further, government can take an equity stake in Green New Deal projects so the public gets a return on its investment. We already know that investments in infrastructure create huge returns on investment. The interstate highway system returned more than $6 in economic productivity for every $1 it cost. Similarly, investments in upgrading and transforming industry are a chance to grow the wealth of our nation dramatically.
For a more detailed view on paying for the investments in a Green New Deal, check out these articles:
Will this hurt communities that rely on fossil fuels jobs?
The Green New Deal will prioritize creating high-quality, family wage-supporting union jobs in communities that rely on fossil fuel industries. It will ensure that all communities have a better alternative for high-wage work before they transition away from fossil fuel indsutry based work.
Is this an environmental plan? Why do you have things like universal health care and other social safety net measures in here?
The Green New Deal is a plan to make a full-scale transition of our economy that puts jobs and justice first. This plan will require a strong social safety net so that every U.S. person can make this transition comfortably and nobody falls through the cracks in the process. If we want to be able to mobilize our economy fully, we can't afford to have employees stuck in their current jobs because they are afraid to lose health care or workers unable to participate because they can't afford the education and training programs. We also need to be sure that workers currently employed in fossil fuel industries have higher-wage and better jobs available to them to be able to make this transition, and a federal jobs guarantee ensures that no worker is left behind. We believe that the economic securities and programs for justice and equity laid out in this Green New Deal resolution are a bare minimum of what we need to do to successfully execute the Green New Deal.
Why does the Green New Deal call for net-zero emissions in 10 years instead of zero emissions? Is this saying we won't transition off fossil fuels? Does the Green New Deal ban all fossil fuels?
The Green New Deal is a 10-year plan to jumpstart the complete transition of our society away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources and to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. The resolution outlines the plan to virtually eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and pollution from every sector of the economy through a World War 2 scale mobilization of our society to create the renewable energy infrastructure and clean industries as fast as possible.
The Green New Deal sets a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, at the end of this 10-year plan because we aren't sure that we will be able to fully get rid of, for example, emissions from cows or air travel before then. However, we do believe we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, restore our ecosystem, and more to get to net-zero emissions.
The Green New Deal also calls for any infrastructure measures before Congress to address climate change and additionally calls for an end to the transfer of pollution overseas. This provision goes farther than just calling for a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure. Instead, it tackles all greenhouse gas emitting and pollution emitting sources in our economy and global trade. However, the more important driver to phasing out fossil fuel usage in the Green New Deal is the large-scale mobilization that will make new fossil fuel infrastructure or industries untenable. The Green New Deal is a 10-year plan to reorient our entire economy to be pollution and greenhouse gas emissions free while ensuring every person in the U.S. benefits from this enormous transformation of our society. This means creating a plan to develop the supply of clean energy, industries, infrastructure, transportation, and more for workers and frontline communities in conjunction with transitioning off fossil fuels. Only banning fossil fuels won't build the new economy to replace it. The Green New Deal is a plan to build that new economy and spells out how to do it technically.
What comes next?
Representative Ocasio-Cortez is planning to immediately begin work on Green New Deal legislation to fully flesh out the projects involved in the Green New Deal. She also plans to work with members of Congress to incorporate existing legislation into the comprehensive plan for a Green New Deal.
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Professor Ted Moment
Ford repairs
Adam,
This morning I experienced a Prof Ted moment that I thought
you might find interesting. Our business is an automotive machine shop
where we do engine building and machine shop work. Much of our business
comes from other shops in the area including several car dealerships. A
few days ago a cylinder head came in for a valve job and resurfacing from a
local Ford dealership. I told them that it would be ready today.
Just a little while ago I received a call from the service manager asking if I
could get it done a little bit quicker for them because it is the only work
that they can do right now and his guys are all standing around... As it
turns out last night a few thunderstorms came through our area and they knocked
out their connection to the internet which makes it impossible for them to
access any service data or do any diagnostic work what so ever! I can't
believe that Ford doesn't have some sort of localized data storage at the
dealerships but apparently they do not. When I was talking to the service
manager he wondered what it would be like for them if the internet was down for
a week or even a month. It would be bad.
Just thought I'd share this story because I think it very
much ties into what you say about the modern world being too reliant on
technology with questionable reliability.
Dave
2020
Elizabeth Warren RESPECT
OTG
Eating with a smartphone
Apple tells app developers to disclose or remove screen recording code | TechCrunch
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 12:55
Apple is telling app developers to remove or properly disclose their use of analytics code that allows them to record how a user interacts with their iPhone apps '-- or face removal from the app store, TechCrunch can confirm.
In an email, an Apple spokesperson said: ''Protecting user privacy is paramount in the Apple ecosystem. Our App Store Review Guidelines require that apps request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity.''
''We have notified the developers that are in violation of these strict privacy terms and guidelines, and will take immediate action if necessary,'' the spokesperson added.
It follows an investigation by TechCrunch that revealed major companies, like Expedia, Hollister and Hotels.com, were using a third-party analytics tool to record every tap and swipe inside the app. We found that none of the apps we tested asked the user for permission, and none of the companies said in their privacy policies that they were recording a user's app activity.
Even though sensitive data is supposed to be masked, some data '-- like passport numbers and credit card numbers '-- was leaking.
Glassbox is a cross-platform analytics tool that specializes in session replay technology. It allows companies to integrate its screen recording technology into their apps to replay how a user interacts with the apps. Glassbox says it provides the technology, among many reasons, to help reduce app error rates. But the company ''doesn't enforce its customers'' to mention that they use Glassbox's screen recording tools in their privacy policies.
But Apple expressly forbids apps that covertly collect data without a user's permission.
TechCrunch began hearing on Thursday that app developers had already been notified that their apps had fallen afoul of Apple's rules. One app developer was told by Apple to remove code that recorded app activities, citing the company's app store guidelines.
''Your app uses analytics software to collect and send user or device data to a third party without the user's consent. Apps must request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity,'' Apple said in the email.
Apple gave the developer less than a day to remove the code and resubmit their app or the app would be removed from the app store, the email said.
When asked if Glassbox was aware of the app store removals, a spokesperson for Glassbox said that ''the communication with Apple is through our customers.''
Glassbox is also available to Android app developers. Google did not immediately comment if it would also ban the screen recording code. Google Play also expressly prohibits apps from secretly collecting device usage. ''Apps must not hide or cloak tracking behavior or attempt to mislead users about such functionality,'' the developer rules state. We'll update if and when we hear back.
It's the latest privacy debacle that has forced Apple to wade in to protect its customers after apps were caught misbehaving.
Last week, TechCrunch reported that Apple banned Facebook's ''research'' app that the social media giant paid teenagers to collect all of their data.
It followed another investigation by TechCrunch that revealed Facebook misused its Apple-issued enterprise developer certificate to build and provide apps for consumers outside Apple's App Store. Apple temporarily revoked Facebook's enterprise developer certificate, knocking all of the company's internal iOS apps offline for close to a day.
Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking | TechCrunch
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 14:46
Many major companies , like Air Canada, Hollister and Expedia, are recording every tap and swipe you make on their iPhone apps. In most cases you won't even realize it. And they don't need to ask for permission.
You can assume that most apps are collecting data on you. Some even monetize your data without your knowledge. But TechCrunch has found several popular iPhone apps, from hoteliers, travel sites, airlines, cell phone carriers, banks and financiers, that don't ask or make it clear '-- if at all '-- that they know exactly how you're using their apps.
Worse, even though these apps are meant to mask certain fields, some inadvertently expose sensitive data.
Apps like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com and Singapore Airlines also use Glassbox, a customer experience analytics firm, one of a handful of companies that allows developers to embed ''session replay'' technology into their apps. These session replays let app developers record the screen and play them back to see how its users interacted with the app to figure out if something didn't work or if there was an error. Every tap, button push and keyboard entry is recorded '-- effectively screenshotted '-- and sent back to the app developers.
Or, as Glassbox said in a recent tweet: ''Imagine if your website or mobile app could see exactly what your customers do in real time, and why they did it?''
The App Analyst, a mobile expert who writes about his analyses of popular apps on his eponymous blog, recently found Air Canada's iPhone app wasn't properly masking the session replays when they were sent, exposing passport numbers and credit card data in each replay session. Just weeks earlier, Air Canada said its app had a data breach, exposing 20,000 profiles.
''This lets Air Canada employees '-- and anyone else capable of accessing the screenshot database '-- see unencrypted credit card and password information,'' he told TechCrunch.
In the case of Air Canada's app, although the fields are masked, the masking didn't always stick (Image: The App Analyst/supplied)
We asked The App Analyst to look at a sample of apps that Glassbox had listed on its website as customers. Using Charles Proxy, a man-in-the-middle tool used to intercept the data sent from each app, the researcher could examine what data was going out of the device.
Not every app was leaking masked data; none of the apps we examined said they were recording a user's screen '-- let alone sending them back to each company or directly to Glassbox's cloud.
That could be a problem if any one of Glassbox's customers aren't properly masking data, he said in an email. ''Since this data is often sent back to Glassbox servers I wouldn't be shocked if they have already had instances of them capturing sensitive banking information and passwords,'' he said.
The App Analyst said that while Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch sent their session replays to Glassbox, others like Expedia and Hotels.com opted to capture and send session replay data back to a server on their own domain. He said that the data was ''mostly obfuscated,'' but did see in some cases email addresses and postal codes. The researcher said Singapore Airlines also collected session replay data but sent it back to Glassbox's cloud.
Without analyzing the data for each app, it's impossible to know if an app is recording a user's screens of how you're using the app. We didn't even find it in the small print of their privacy policies.
Apps that are submitted to Apple's App Store must have a privacy policy, but none of the apps we reviewed make it clear in their policies that they record a user's screen. Glassbox doesn't require any special permission from Apple or from the user, so there's no way a user would know.
Expedia's policy makes no mention of recording your screen, nor does Hotels.com's policy. And in Air Canada's case, we couldn't spot a single line in its iOS terms and conditions or privacy policy that suggests the iPhone app sends screen data back to the airline. And in Singapore Airlines' privacy policy, there's no mention, either.
We asked all of the companies to point us to exactly where in its privacy policies it permits each app to capture what a user does on their phone.
Abercrombie responded, confirming that Glassbox ''helps support a seamless shopping experience, enabling us to identify and address any issues customers might encounter in their digital experience.'' The spokesperson pointing to Abercrombie's privacy policy makes no mention of session replays, neither does its sister-brand Hollister's policy.
After this story published, Air Canada responded: ''Air Canada uses customer provided information to ensure we can support their travel needs and to ensure we can resolve any issues that may affect their trips,'' said a spokesperson.'' This includes user information entered in, and collected on, the Air Canada mobile app. However, Air Canada does not'--and cannot'--capture phone screens outside of the Air Canada app.''
Later, Singapore Airlines emailed back, saying the data it collects is ''in accordance with our privacy policy which includes the use of customer data for testing and troubleshooting issues,'' and is ''specified under Clause 3 of our privacy policy.'' We checked again, but found nothing of the sort.
Expedia, which owns Hotels.com, did not return a request for comment.
''I think users should take an active role in how they share their data, and the first step to this is having companies be forthright in sharing how they collect their users data and who they share it with,'' said The App Analyst.
When asked, Glassbox said it doesn't enforce its customers to mention its usage in their privacy policy.
''Glassbox has a unique capability to reconstruct the mobile application view in a visual format, which is another view of analytics, Glassbox SDK can interact with our customers native app only and technically cannot break the boundary of the app,'' the spokesperson said, such as when the system keyboard covers part of the native app, ''Glassbox does not have access to it,'' the spokesperson said.
Glassbox is one of many session replay services on the market. Appsee actively markets its ''user recording'' technology that lets developers ''see your app through your user's eyes,'' while UXCam says it lets developers ''watch recordings of your users' sessions, including all their gestures and triggered events.'' Most went under the radar until Mixpanel sparked anger for mistakenly harvesting passwords after masking safeguards failed.
It's not an industry that's likely to go away any time soon '-- companies rely on this kind of session replay data to understand why things break, which can be costly in high-revenue situations.
But for the fact that the app developers don't publicize it just goes to show how creepy even they know it is.
Updated with comment from Air Canada and Singapore Airlines.
Spotify explicitly bans ad-blockers, will kick you off for using them - CNET
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 17:35
James Martin/CNET Spotify wants you to stream music, but only if you pay for it with either your money or your time.
The service is updating its terms of service, effective March 1, to make it clear that the use of ad-blockers and similar services that prevent ads from playing is not allowed. And it can terminate your account without warning if you use them.
"We've updated our user guidelines, making it clear that all types of ad blockers, bots, and fraudulent streaming activities are not permitted," Spotify said in an email sent Thursday.
This shouldn't be confused with the "Active Listening" feature Spotify has been testing in some territories since last August, which lets listeners choose to skip some ads if they don't want to listen to them.
Spotify offers both its free, ad-supported tier and an ad-free subscription tier for $10, £10 and AU$12 per month. According to Digiday, Spotify already has detection measures in place in order to find users on the free service using an ad-blocker. The music service also reportedly estimated that 2 million users are using an ad-blocker or a modified app to avoid ads, which is about 2 percent of its ad-supported monthly users.
Spotify did not immediately return CNET's request for comment. Many ad-supported websites and streaming services already prevent users from viewing content if an ad-blocker is installed, typically by alerting a customer to this and requesting that they turn ad-blocking off in order to read the page or watch a video.
Now playing: Watch this: 5 tips for free-tier Spotify users
1:53
Fitbit's newest fitness tracker is just for employees and health insurance members | TechCrunch
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 15:31
Fitbit has a new fitness tracker, but it's one that you can't buy in stores.
The company quietly uncorked the Inspire on Friday, releasing its first product that is available only to corporate employees and health insurance members. The idea is to offer a fully subsidized wearable that helps the company dig deeper into the corporate and business worlds.
The new devices are available as a wristband with the option of a clip. The basic tracker's features are pretty standard and include activity and sleep tracking, calory burn and alerts from a connected phone. A higher specced model includes heart rate tracking, GPS for fitness tracking and deeper analytics on sleep. No prices are displayed on the website, but eligible customers won't need to pay.
In an interview with CNBC, CEO James Park said the company has 6.8 million users on wellness programs include Fitbit devices via employers, health plans or hospital programs. In offering the Inspire '-- which is Fitbit's cheapest device yet '-- the goal is to grow that number further still. Indeed, Park said Fitbit is a named covered fitness benefit in 42 Medicare Advantage plans across 27 U.S. states while it is working with insurance firms like UnitedHealth.
It makes sense that Fitbit is moving into that space because the consumer market is a tough one. Wearables are no longer an early novelty and competition is fierce. Apple dominates at the high end with the Apple Watch '-- which has doubled down on health features '-- while, at the cheaper end, companies like Xiaomi and its partner Huami offer basic trackers from as little as $30.
Fitbit went public in 2015. While its share price rallied to $6.48 on Friday on this news, it is still down massively from its list price of $20 and first-day trading close of $29.68. Today the company's market cap stands at around $1.6 billion.
EuroLand
France Recalls Ambassador to Italy, Revealing Strains at Europe's Core - The New York Times
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 14:05
Image Luigi Di Maio, deputy prime minister and leader of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, in Rome in January. He met with leaders of the ''Yellow Vest'' protests in France on Tuesday. Credit Credit Riccardo Antimiani/EPA, via Shutterstock PARIS '-- It has happened rarely between European Union allies, and not between France and Italy since World War II. But on Thursday, after months of barbed commentary from Italian leaders, the French government said it had had enough: It recalled its ambassador from Rome.
''This is without precedent since 1940, when Mussolini declared war,'' said Marc Lazar, a specialist in Franco-Italian relations who teaches at universities in Paris and Rome. ''This is very, very harsh. There's never been anything comparable.''
The protest not only demonstrated the breakdown of relations between France and Italy, founding members of the European Union. It also reflected the mounting strains at Europe's core brought on by populists seeking to denigrate the bloc and forge anti-European alliances across borders, a clash that may play out even more bitterly in European Parliament elections in May.
But now that the populists run the Italian government, Europe's divided politics have been elevated to the level of diplomatic rancor.
The list of insults, particularly on the Italian side, has grown long and progressively more outrageous as the Italian populist leaders try to score political points at home on issues like migration by attacking backers of the vision of a united Europe '-- the French president, Emmanuel Macron, first among them.
But the final straw appears to have come on Tuesday, when Italy's deputy prime minister, Luigi Di Maio, the political leader of the populist Five Star Movement, met in France with a leader of the Yellow Vest protesters who have besieged Mr. Macron's government with violent protests.
The widening dispute has no doubt had its comic-opera overtones, with its outlandish insults from the Italians '-- the far-right leader and interior minister, Matteo Salvini, recently said France should get rid of its ''very bad president'' '-- and the injured dignity of the French. ''Outrageous declarations'' had been aimed at France by Italy, the French Foreign Ministry huffed on Thursday.
But beneath the provocation and posturing there is a serious undercurrent, recognized by both sides: a battle for Europe's leadership between the nationalist forces represented by Mr. Salvini and the self-proclaimed progressive spirit of Mr. Macron, who last summer denounced the populist ''leprosy'' rising in Europe.
''It's a confrontation between two very different conceptions of Europe,'' Mr. Lazar said.
Mr. Macron's palpable disdain for the Italian populists, who once tried to court the French president before training their sights on him, has only multiplied Italian fury at the French government.
Migration, which brought the Italian populists to power, is at the heart of the dispute.
On Thursday, Mr. Salvini responded to the French ambassador's recall with a series of complaints, including France's closing of its border to stop illegal migrants passing through Italy.
''Stop with pushbacks at the borders,'' said Mr. Salvini, who leads the anti-immigrant League party, the Italian government's coalition partner. ''There have been about 60,000 since 2017, and those include children and women abandoned in the forest.''
French officials say the number is closer to 50,000. They noted that the border patrols were put in place in November 2015, after the terrorist attacks in Paris, and that under European Union agreements illegal migrants should be brought back to the country where they were first registered.
''The policy disagreements between Italy and France were present even during the previous government, especially on immigration, but it never reached this level,'' said Nathalie Tocci, director of the Rome-based think-tank Institute of International Affairs, said in a phone interview. ''It greatly exacerbated in the last three months.''
''This is also cast against the broader E.U. story, of the big dividing line between national sovereigntists and European sovereigntists,'' she said.
The dispute came to a boil last summer over the migrant issue. The Italians, having borne the brunt of the migrant wave since 2015, were outraged last year when Mr. Macron denounced the new Italian government for failing to take in hundreds of migrants aboard the Aquarius humanitarian rescue boat.
The Italian prime minister's office reacted with fury, saying it could not ''accept hypocritical lessons from a country that, on migration, has always preferred to turn its back on its partners.'' And it was true that France has made a regular practice of blocking migrants crossing the Italian border.
''The Italians have been justified '-- a lot of Italians feel that France's behavior, with its grand speeches but refusal to welcome migrants, is unacceptable,'' Mr. Lazar said.
The French said they considered the attacks to be Mr. Salvini's way of elevating himself in Europe, by essentially punching above his weight. But soon others joined in.
Late last year, the country's deputy culture minister, Lucia Borgonzoni, a member of Mr. Salvini's party, took the nationalist, French-bashing cause into the previously neutral terrain of culture, voicing her opposition to Italian museums sending Leonardo masterpieces for a major Louvre retrospective.
And in January, after the Yellow Vest movement exploded, Mr. Di Maio publicly egged them on in a post on his party's blog.
''Yellow vests, do not give up! We are following your battle from Italy since the day you came about coloring in yellow the streets of Paris and other French cities,'' he wrote. ''In France, like in Italy, politics is deaf to the citizens' needs who have been kept out of the most important decisions that involve the people.''
Mr. Di Maio compared the Yellow Vest movement '-- which sprang from opposition to fuel tax increases and grew to encompass protests over economic conditions '-- to his own political movement, and offered it the use of his party's web platform.
But his meeting on Tuesday was apparently a step too far.
Mr. Di Maio and Alessandro Di Battista, whom many consider the party's leader-in-waiting, posted a picture on their social media pages of a meeting near Paris with Christophe Chalencon, an organizer of the Yellow Vest movement from the south of France who has called for civil war.
''This is the picture of a beautiful meeting, first of many to come, where we talked about our countries, social rights, the environment and direct democracy,'' Mr. Di Maio said in the post. ''The wind of change has crossed the Alps.''
The French, in a statement from the Foreign Ministry, denounced the meeting as ''an additional and unacceptable provocation'' that ''violated the respect that is owed to the democratic choices made by an allied and friendly nation.''
The French have considered support for the Yellow Vests a direct attack on their government in that it promoted an often-violent street opposition movement threatening the country's stability.
''If you think about it, for a deputy prime minister of a country to go to a Paris suburb to meet a guy whose movement is considered criminal and has broken windows setting Paris on fire, it's a dramatically stupid movement,'' Ms. Tocci said.
The Italian populists, French officials said, were talented at capturing the rancor of their country for political benefit, but now they were trying to capitalize on France's unrest for their own benefit, just as they had previously targeted bureaucrats in Brussels and leaders in Berlin.
Some Italian attacks have been considered simply bizarre by the French. Mr. Di Maio recently tried to cast the French as a root cause for the migration issue, alleging that they systematically impoverished their former colonies by printing and backing their common currency, the C.F.A. franc.
''If Europe wants to have a bit of courage, it needs to face the issue of Africa's decolonization,'' he said. ''I am tired of speaking of the consequences of immigration. I want to start discussing the causes.''
He added, ''The European Union should sanction France and all those European countries that are impoverishing Africa.''
French officials said the currency accusation was a pure invention, and pointed out that many of the countries from which migrants to Italy often came, such as Eritrea or Somalia, were in fact former Italian colonies and the site of Italian atrocities.
On Jan. 22, the French government summoned Italy's ambassador to France for an ''explanation.'' Back in Italy, Mr. Salvini offered his own explanation, calling Mr. Macron ''a terrible president of the Republic.''
He added, ''Macron talks a lot but does little,'' and ''He preaches about generosity and solidarity and then pushes back thousands of migrants at the Italian border in Ventimiglia and Piedmont.''
Referring to the European Parliament elections in May, he said, ''I hope the French will choose someone more representative, more serious and concrete like Marine Le Pen.''
On Jan. 27, Mr. Salvini replied to Mr. Macron's suggestion that the Italian populists were irrelevant by posting a picture of Mr. Macron with the former Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, whom the populist forces had vanquished.
Adam Nossiter reported from Paris, Jason Horowitz from Rome, and Richard Perez-Pe±a from London. Juliette Hirsch contributed reporting from Paris and Gaia Pianigiani from Rome.
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AOC
POLITICO Power List: Saikat Chakrabarti
Fri, 08 Feb 2019 14:47
Two years ago, after working for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, Saikat Chakrabarti co-founded an organization called Brand New Congress with a lofty goal: Launch hundreds of progressive candidates into congressional races.
Hundreds didn't exactly pan out. But one major star emerged from that process: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who shocked the political world this summer with a primary upset over rising party leader Joe Crowley (N.Y.).
Now Ocasio-Cortez is headed to Congress, with Chakrabarti as chief of staff.
Though they've been in Washington for only a few weeks, they're already making a splash '-- clashing with incoming committee chairmen, joining a protest in Nancy Pelosi's office and agitating for newly empowered Democrats to stake out ambitious goals on climate change. Chakrabarti turned heads by saying on a call, ''We gotta primary folks.''
It's all part of a broader strategy to deploy inside-out organizing, Chakrabarti said. Staying connected to the progressive movement '-- and the public eye '-- through attention-grabbing demonstrations and social media is part of gaining policy leverage.
In other words: Don't expect them to back down.
''When you shoot for big stuff, you stay true to the movement, you fight unapologetically on the inside, that is a very, very powerful way to pass the radical solutions that are necessary to face the radical problems that you have,'' he said.
Chakrabarti isn't naive about the prospect of passing major liberal legislation with a Republican Senate and Donald Trump in the White House. And he wants to seek bipartisan achievements, citing the Senate effort to end support for the Yemen war as an example.
But he also has his eye on the long game, name-checking everything from the abolitionist movement to the country's economic mobilization during World War II.
He has big policy dreams, like a ''Green New Deal,'' which would tackle everything from mitigating climate change to transforming the American economy, and criminal justice reform. He wants to lay the groundwork now to make them realities.
''Another thing to really do over the next two years is to basically show the American people what will be possible if the Democrats win the House, the Senate and the presidency in 2020, and that means putting our best foot forward,'' Chakrabarti said. ''It means putting the most ambitious, the boldest, the biggest things we can, and then just build a movement around that.''
That approach doesn't surprise Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats, the successor to Brand New Congress. She first met Chakrabarti on the Sanders campaign, where they regularly pulled 15-hour days.
''We're in a very do-or-die moment, and I think he embodies the integrity of fighting for a better world,'' she said. ''He's a progressive force.''
Though Chakrabarti is shifting from outside activist to inside player, he's no stranger to career transitions. The 32-year-old Fort Worth native came to the Sanders campaign after growing disillusioned with the tech world. He co-founded Mockingbird, a web design tool, and then built up the product team at the payment processor Stripe. That followed a brief stint on Wall Street right out of Harvard.
Those earlier moves were propelled by a collegiate desire to start his own company, and the belief that technology was his generation's way to change the world. Now he has his sights set squarely on the halls of power.
''You have to decide to create the society you want to create,'' he said, ''and that's done through politics.'' '-- Eli Okun
Photos by M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO.
War on Cash
Made-in-China diamonds ready to rock global market '-- RT Business News
Thu, 07 Feb 2019 23:27
China, a major consumer of mined diamonds, now has a realistic chance of becoming a supplier of man-made gems and shaping the industry, analysts say.
Unlike naturally occurring diamonds, which form over the course of billions of years, synthetic diamonds are made in a matter of weeks.
Chinese companies have mastered the technologies to manufacture them en masse within a short period of time. The products are practically indistinguishable from those mined from earth.
Also on rt.com Cheer up girls! Russia's diamond producer promises huge gemstones soon China has been producing well over 10 billion carats of diamonds annually for almost a decade, according to the country's industry estimates. Most of the products have gone to industrial use such as in abrasives. They were provided for aeronautics, oil rigs and electronic chips.
As competition intensified and technology matured, Chinese companies have shifted from abrasives to jewelry.
Liu Yongqi, general manager of Sino-Crystal, told Xinhua News Agency the company now produces between 2 million and 3 million carats a year, over half of which are for jewelry.
Also on rt.com Ultra-rare 'Pink Legacy' diamond fetches record $50 million ''We began our transformation in 2014 to expand to gem-grade diamonds,'' said Liu, citing over-competition for the industry.
According to Paul Zimnisky, an independent diamond analyst in New York, ''It is important to understand that even if synthetic diamond production is initially lower quality, the diamonds can be 'enhanced' with processes that turn lower quality goods into higher-quality.''
He explained that even if a fraction of Chinese production is upgraded to jewelry-quality diamonds, it would have a very significant impact on the global supply which is only in the low-millions-of-carats.
Also on rt.com World's 5 biggest gemstones even billionaires can't buy Experts say synthetic diamonds only represent about 3-5 percent of the consumer market, but the share is growing rapidly.
The man-made diamond jewelry market will grow 22 percent annually from $1.9 billion to $5.2 billion by 2023, Zimnisky projected. The analyst added that Chinese companies could soon certainly compete with global diamond producer De Beers.
''The quality of Chinese synthetic diamond production appears to be advancing quite rapidly from what I am seeing..,'' Zimnisky said.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section
Roe v Wade
The Supreme Court just placed Roe v. Wade on life support '' ThinkProgress
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 00:06
Chief Justice John Roberts (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
On Thursday, the Supreme Court stayed a lower court decision that openly defied its most recent case protecting the right to an abortion. Thursday's order was unexpected, given the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court, and it is likely to be very temporary.
The decision was 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts crossing over to vote with the court's liberal bloc. The stay will last only until the court has an opportunity to consider a request to give the case a full hearing '-- a request it will most likely grant. That means that the Supreme Court could overrule or drastically undercut the right to an abortion as soon as 2020.
The best lesson to take from the high court's order in June Medical Services v. Gee is not that the Roberts Court will preserve the right to choose. Rather, the best lesson is that the Supreme Court is the Supreme Court, and even some of its Republican members care more about preserving its own position in the judicial hierarchy than they do about gutting Roe v. Wade.
The Louisiana law at issue in Gee is identical to a Texas law that the Supreme Court struck down less than three years ago in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. Like Hellerstedt, Gee involves a law requiring abortion doctors to ''have active admitting privileges at a hospital that is located not further than thirty miles from the location at which the abortion is performed or induced and that provides obstetrical or gynecological health care services.'' As Hellerstedt explained, ''there was no significant health-related problem that the [Texas] law helped to cure.''
Nevertheless, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the Louisiana law '-- an act that can only be interpreted as open defiance of the Supreme Court's decision in Hellerstedt. As Judge Patrick Higginbotham, a Reagan appointee, wrote in dissent, ''the majority today fails to meaningfully apply the undue burden test as articulated in Casey and clarified in Whole Woman's Health.''
Had the Supreme Court denied the stay, it would have sent a clear message to anti-abortion judges throughout the country that they can ignore high court decisions protecting abortion rights. But more than that, it would have been a signal to Republican judges throughout the country that the Supreme Court may not enforce decisions that the GOP disagrees with. Many judges would have likely taken this as a cue to start freelancing, behaving as if binding Supreme Court decisions are now optional.
Today's Gee order wards off that chaos. And it sends a clear message to lower court judges who think they can ignore the Supreme Court's precedents: You don't get to overrule our decisions, only we get to overrule those decisions.
Yet, while the Gee order keeps abortion rights alive for a brief period, do not expect them to last. Three members of the current Supreme Court dissented in Hellerstedt. And the court's two newest members, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, both have anti-abortion records and are almost certain to vote to overrule Roe. (Kavanaugh, for what it is worth, also authored a brief dissent arguing that the stay should have been denied in Gee because it was procedurally improper).
That's five votes. The only realistic uncertainty is whether this quintet will gut Roe in one fell swoop, or by a thousand cuts.
The Supreme Court, in other words, did not so much save Roe as it placed it in hospice care. And five members of the Supreme Court are about to smother it with a pillow.
Ministry of Truthiness
Can you name the five freedoms of the First Amendment? - StarTribune.com
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 13:51
Unless you are a lawyer or a student taking a civics class, it might be hard to remember that the First Amendment covers more than freedom of speech. Issues such as speech on college campuses and the rights of the press have put these rights in the spotlight recently, but the First Amendment includes three other specific freedoms beyond speech and press.
We traveled around the Twin Cities metro area this July 4th week to see how many of the five freedoms outlined in the First Amendment residents could identify. A few people could name as many as three '-- and most people did remember free speech '-- but no one we spoke to could name all five.
Can you?
Brian Natzel, a sales manager, was the first person of the day to name three: freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion. Amanda Natzel, a designer, was close, identifying freedom of speech and the right to assemble.
Two others tied Brian Natzel's record '-- George Hardgrove, an accounting manager who named freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion, and Anthony Smith, a Tasks Unlimited employee who named freedom of speech, the right to assemble and freedom of religion.
Sergio Juarez, a mechanical engineer, got freedom of speech, and Linda Pavlick, who is unemployed, said she was caught off-guard and couldn't remember what the First Amendment includes.
The five freedoms outlined in the First Amendment are: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assembly and the right to petition the government. If you were able to name all of them on your own, you deserve an extra hot dog and ice cream this quintessentially American week.
Twitter: @jarahsarvis
Build the Wall
21 Savage '' Bank Account Lyrics | Genius Lyrics
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 15:59
[Intro]Ooh, ooh, ooh, ow, ow, owWow, wow, ow, ah, ow, ah, ah, ah[Verse 1]
I buy a new car for the bitch (for real)I tear down the mall with the bitch (for real)You can't even talk to the bitch (no)She fucking with bosses and shit (on God)I pull up in 'Rari's and shit (skrrr)
With choppers and Harley's and shit (for real)I be Gucci'd down (Gucci)You wearing Lacoste and shit (bitch)Yeah, Moncler, yuh, fur came off a bear, yuh (yeah)Triple homicide, put me in a chair, yuh (in jail)
Triple cross the plug, we do not play fair, yuh (on God)Got 'em tennis chains on and they real blingy (bling)Draco make you do the chicken head like Chingy (Chingy)Walk in Neiman Marcus and I spend a light fifty (fifty)Please proceed with caution, shooters, they be right with me (21)
Bad bitch, cute face and some nice titties$7500 on a Saint Laurent jacket (yeah)Bitch, be careful when you dumpin' your ashes (bitch)
I ain't no sucker, I ain't cuffin' no action (nah)The skreets raised me, I'm a whole bastard (wild)I bought a 'Rari just so I can go faster (skrrr)Niggas tryna copy me, they playin' catch up (21)I might pull up in a Ghost, no Casper (21)I been smoking gas and I got no asthma[Chorus]
I got 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 M's in my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)I got 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 shooters ready to gun you down, yeah (fast)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)[Verse 2]
Yeah, dawg, huh'--yeah'--, nah for real, dawg (21)Straight up out the 6, now got a house in the Hills, dawg (21)Wanna see a body, nigga? Get you killed, dawg (wet)Wanna tweet about me, nigga? Get you killed, dawg (wet)Killed dog, I'm a real dawg'--21'--, you a lil' dawg (21)Bill dog, want a bil', dog, chasing mil's, dawg (yeah)
Dunk right in your bitch like O'Neal, dawg (wet)Plus I shoot like, shoot like Reggie Mill', dawg (21)Chopper sting you like a eel, dawg (fast)
[Chorus]
I got 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 M's in my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)I got 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 shooters ready to gun you down, yeah (fast)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)[Verse 3]
Ruler clip'--umm'--, sent a ruler hitPull up on yo' bitch, she say that I got a ruler dickSpray your block down, we not really with that ruh-rah shit
Glock cocked now, I don't really give no fuck 'bout who I hitYeah, yo' bitch, she get jiggy with me, keep that Siggy with meBitch, I'm Mad Max, you know I got Ziggy with meKeep a mad mag in case a nigga wanna get busy with me'Rari matte black and I got a Bentley with me
[Chorus]
I got 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 M's in my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)In my bank account, yeah (on God)I got 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 shooters ready to gun you down, yeah (fast)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)[Outro]
$7500 on a Saint Laurent jacketBitch, be careful where you dumpin' your ashes
I ain't no sucker, I ain't cuffin' no actionThe streets raised me, I'm a whole bastard
Khashoggi
Khashoggi 'victim of brutal killing, perpetrated by Saudi officials' '' UN-led inquiry '-- RT World News
Thu, 07 Feb 2019 21:43
A UN-led inquiry into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi has determined that the dissident journalist was the victim of a ''brutal and premeditated killing'' which was ''planned and perpetrated'' by Saudi Arabian officials.
According to the UN inquiry statement, Saudi Arabia "seriously undermined" Turkey's efforts to investigate Khashoggi's murder, which took place at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 last year.
UN investigator Agn¨s Callamard said her team had reviewed "chilling and gruesome audio material" of the murder, which had been obtained by Turkish intelligence officials.
Also on rt.com Chilling quotes from alleged Khashoggi murder audio tape revealed Saudi Arabia initially denied having anything to do with Khashoggi's death, but later suggested that he died during an accidental''fistfight'' with officials inside the building. Riyadh later shifted its account of events again, admitting that the murder was premeditated but carried out as a ''rogue operation.''
US President Donald Trump has been reluctant to harshly criticize Riyadh over the murder, admitting that the financial relationship between the two countries was more important. Trump has faced increasing pressure at home by members of both parties to take a more forceful stance with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Callamard also said she asked for an official visit to Saudi Arabia and said she had "major concerns" about the fairness of the legal process for the 11 people facing trial for the journalist's murder.
READ MORE: Killers cut Khashoggi apart in 7 MINUTES while listening to MUSIC and LIKED IT '' Turkish FM
The investigator said anyone with further knowledge or intelligence about the murder should come forward and share it before the release of a report in June which will make recommendations on accountability.
She added that "woefully inadequate time and access was granted to Turkish investigators to conduct a professional and effective crime-scene examination and search required by international standards for investigation."
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Ex-NSA Personnel Spied On Americans And Journalists For The United Arab Emirates | Techdirt
Thu, 07 Feb 2019 21:44
from the all-the-'good-guys'-doing-all-the-bad-stuff deptWhen former NSA employees and contractors decide to start working for a journalist-murdering authoritarian, they should feel sick. Instead, after targeting journalists, dissidents, and other people the United Arab Emirates government doesn't like, they felt exhilarated.
Working together with managers, Stroud helped create a policy for what to do when Raven swept up personal data belonging to Americans. The former NSA employees were instructed to mark that material for deletion. Other Raven operatives would also be notified so the American victims could be removed from future collection.
As time went on, Stroud noticed American data flagged for removal show up again and again in Raven's NESA-controlled data stores.
Still, she found the work exhilarating. ''It was incredible because there weren't these limitations like there was at the NSA. There wasn't that bullshit red tape,'' she said. ''I feel like we did a lot of good work on counterterrorism.''
That quote comes from a disturbing account of UAE "counterterrorism" work performed by a unit of Americans linked to the NSA published at Reuters. That "bullshit red tape" is, for the most part, known as the Constitution. The quote comes from Lori Stroud, who worked with a unit of hackers known as Project Raven, targeting whoever the UAE felt needed targeting. She is the only person from that unit willing to publicly-out her identity. Everyone else involved either spoke anonymously or refused to say anything at all. Here's the deafening silence that accompanied the Reuter's article:
An NSA spokesman declined to comment on Raven. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. A spokeswoman for UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment. The UAE's Embassy in Washington and a spokesman for its National Media Council did not respond to requests for comment.
Lori Stroud's work with the NSA dates far enough back that it includes a stupendous irony: she recommended the NSA add Ed Snowden to her Booz Allen contracting team. A few months later, Snowden was gone, taking with him a pile of documents that Stroud's recommendation had helped him gain access to.
Hacking for the UAE meant hacking American targets and British journalists.
One of the program's key targets in 2012 was Rori Donaghy, according to former Raven operatives and program documents. Donaghy, then 25, was a British journalist and activist who authored articles critical of the country's human rights record. In 2012, he wrote an opinion piece for the Guardian criticizing the UAE government's activist crackdown and warning that, if it continued, ''those in power face an uncertain future.''
This is what counterterrorism looks like in UAE. This is what it can look like anywhere, once mission creep sets in and the government decides criticism is suspicious behavior. But this was done by US intelligence personnel who took better-paying offers to spy for a nation we somehow consider an ally, despite its stances on pretty much everything being antithetical to ours.
The quote opening this post was from the aftermath of an indiscriminate deployment of a virus that infected every visitor of a targeted Islamist forum. It swept up plenty of communications from Americans, but even with safeguards in place to remove inadvertent collections, it was clear UAE did not consider Americans' communications off-limits.
It should have. The UAE claims to be a partner in the War on Terror, citing its positive relationship with the United States as an intelligence partner. Even though Project Raven was run by the UAE using former US intel personnel, the NSA still was supposed to be notified before operation deployments or prior to presentations that might discuss classified techniques. What's published here shows either the NSA was cut out of the loop by UAE or that the NSA appears to have made no effort to keep tabs on operations run by its surveillance partner.
The UAE government took the project in-house, using a local tech contractor to create a company called DarkMatter that severed any ties the project might have with the US Intelligence Community. To their credit, at least eight former US intelligence analysts left when it became apparent targeting dissidents, journalists, and American citizens was going to be a large part of their work.
Lori Stroud eventually realized targeting Americans was a feature, not a bug.
When she questioned the apparent targeting of Americans, she received a rebuke from an Emirati colleague for accessing the targeting list, the emails show. The target requests she viewed were to be processed by ''certain people. You are not one of them,'' the Emirati officer wrote.
Days later, Stroud said she came upon three more American names on the hidden targeting queue.
Those names were in a category she hadn't seen before: the ''white category'' '-- for Americans. This time, she said, the occupations were listed: journalist.
''I was sick to my stomach,'' she said. ''It kind of hit me at that macro level realizing there was a whole category for U.S. persons on this program.''
But sick or not, it was the UAE government that removed her from DarkMatter, terminating her employment when she kept objecting to the targeting of Americans. She was met by the FBI when she returned to the US. The entire operation is now under FBI investigation, but not necessarily for the illegal targeting of Americans. The FBI appears to be more concerned about possible leaks of classified surveillance techniques. It also wants to know if any US "systems" were targeted, suggesting it will be looking at attacks against US government entities and domestic corporations. It appears spying on journalists and Americans isn't worthy of an investigation.
Filed Under: journalists, lori stroud, mercenaries, nsa, project raven, surveillance, uae, united arab emiratesCompanies: darkmatter
Any Collusion?
Mueller hauled before secret FISA court to address FBI abuses in 2002, Congress told | TheHill
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 14:47
Robert Mueller Robert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE , the former FBI director and current special prosecutor in the Russia case, once was hauled before the nation's secret intelligence court to address a large number of instances in which the FBI cheated on sensitive surveillance warrants, according to evidence gathered by congressional investigators.
For most of the past 16 years, Mueller's closed-door encounter escaped public notice because of the secrecy of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
But thanks to recent testimony from a former FBI lawyer, we now have a rare window into documented abuses of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants and how the courts handled the matter.
The episode is taking on new significance as Mueller moves into the final stages of his Russia probe while evidence mounts that the FBI work preceding his appointment as special prosecutor may have involved improprieties in the securing of a FISA warrant to spy on Donald Trump Donald John TrumpWhite House begins search for person who leaked president's schedule: report O'Rourke to headline counter-Trump rally at border Trump touts Kim summit: North Korea will become economic 'rocket' MORE 's campaign in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign.
The sin that plagued the FBI two decades ago, and that now lingers over the Russia case, involves the omission of material facts by agents applying for FISA warrants in sensitive counterterrorism and counterintelligence cases.
Such omissions are a serious matter at the FISC, because it is the one court in America where the accused gets no representation or chance to defend himself. And that means the FBI is obligated to disclose evidence of both guilt and innocence about the target of a FISA warrant.
Trisha Anderson, who recently stepped down as the FBI's principal deputy general counsel, told House investigators late last year in an interview that early in Mueller's FBI tenure, nearly two decades ago, the FISC summoned the new director to appear before the judges to address concerns about extensive cheating on FISA warrants.
''It preceded my time with the FBI but as I understood it, there was a pattern of some incidents of omission that were of concern to the FISA court that resulted in former Director Mueller actually appearing before the FISA court,'' Anderson told Congress.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller at the special counsel's office, declined comment on Anderson's testimony. So, too, did FBI spokeswoman Kelsey Pietranton.
Other sources who worked for Mueller at the time told me the court's concerns arose in 2002 and 2003 '-- shortly after America was stunned by the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks '-- when the FISC learned the FBI had omitted material facts from FISA warrant applications in more than 75 terrorism cases that dated back to the late 1990s.
Most of the omissions occurred in FBI work that pre-dated Mueller's arrival, the sources said. But the court wanted assurances the new sheriff in town was going to stop such widespread abuses.
Mueller told the court the FBI had created a new system called the Woods Procedures '-- named for the FBI lawyer who drafted them '-- to ensure FISA warrant applications were accurate and did not omit material information, according to Anderson's congressional interview.
''My understanding is he committed to the court to address the problem and then that the series of reforms that we implemented, including the use of the Woods form, were the direct result of his engagement before the FISA court,'' Anderson told Congress.
Mueller does not appear ever to have publicly addressed his appearance before the FISC. But once, in follow-up written answers to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he acknowledged there was a period in which the FBI was caught filing inaccurate FISA warrants.
''Prior to implementation of the so-called Woods Procedures there were instances where inaccurate information was provided by FBI field offices and headquarters personnel to the Court,'' Mueller wrote to senators in 2003.
A declassified FISC order from 2002 gives a glimpse into how serious the omissions were: In one case the FBI failed to tell the court that the person they were seeking a FISA warrant to surveil was, in fact, one of their own informants.
The court expressed concern that ''misinformation found its way into the FISA applications and remained uncorrected for more than one year despite procedures to verify the accuracy of FISA pleadings.''
Anderson's testimony isn't just for the history books. It has as much relevance today as when the judges first became upset with the FBI.
That's because we now know the FBI, in 2016, omitted significant information from the application for the FISA warrant that allowed it to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in hopes of finding evidence of collusion between Russia and the GOP presidential nominee's campaign.
Thanks to congressional oversight and declassified documents, we now know the FBI failed to tell the court that the primary evidence it used to support its warrant '-- the so-called Steele dossier '-- was political opposition research produced on behalf of and paid for by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham ClintonNunes accuses Schiff of secret coordination with anti-Trump researcher Election analyst says Trump does not need 50 percent of the vote to win in 2020 Pollster says appeal of women candidates to woman voters is overestimated MORE 's campaign, in hopes of harming Trump's election chances.
We know the FBI falsely told the court in the first application warrant that it knew of no derogatory information about the dossier author, Christopher Steele, a retired British intelligence operative who worked simultaneously as an FBI source and a Clinton campaign opposition researcher. In fact, a senior Justice Department official named Bruce Ohr warned the FBI that Steele was desperate to stop Trump from becoming president, and other evidence showed Steele had been leaking to the media in violation of FBI rules '-- all derogatory evidence weighing against Steele's credibility.
Further, we've learned from congressional testimony of other FBI officials that the dossier's contents had not been corroborated by the FBI when it was used in the FISA application '-- even though the Woods Procedures mentioned above required that only corroborated evidence be used in support of a warrant request.
And, finally, we know from sources that the FBI had other evidence suggesting the innocence of two Trump campaign aides it targeted '-- Page and George Papadopoulos '-- that wasn't provided to the court.
As such evidence has mounted, some Justice and FBI officials have whispered suggestions that the FBI didn't have an obligation to disclose such information and, therefore, there were no abuses.
Yet, thanks to Anderson's recounting of the episode from 16-plus years ago, we now know the FISA judges don't tolerate omissions of material facts and were angry enough in an earlier time to haul the FBI director into court to make their point. Anderson testified Mueller got to see that lesson up close and personal.
The question now is, do the current FISC judges and Justice Department supervisors '-- Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Rod Jay RosensteinFive takeaways from acting AG's fiery House hearing McCabe accuses Trump of acting like mob boss in new book: report McCabe: Rosenstein wrote Comey memo under duress MORE and FBI Director Christopher Wray among them '-- care the same about the integrity of the FISA process?
If they do, the first step (as 2002 showed us) is to acknowledge the wrongdoing and put corrective action into place.
Silence and hiding behind classified information don't serve the American interest, just the interests of an intelligence bureaucracy that wrongly allowed itself to be used for a political dirty trick.
John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists' misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill's executive vice president for video.
Nellie Ohr: Ukrainian Lawmaker Was Fusion GPS Source | The Daily Caller
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 20:13
Nellie Ohr told lawmakers in October that one of Fusion GPS's sources was a Ukrainian parliamentarian whose government has accused him of illegally meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Ohr, a former Fusion GPS contractor, testified that Serhiy Leshchenko was a source for the Democrat-funded opposition research firm. Leshchenko was the leading force behind the release of the so-called ''black ledger,'' which accused Paul Manafort of receiving illicit payments from the Ukrainian government. The ledger led to Manafort's firing from the Trump campaign, but its validity remains in dispute. A member of the Ukrainian parliament accused in his home country of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was identified in congressional testimony in October as a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS.
Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.
''I recall '... they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,'' Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS's sources were, according to portions of Ohr's testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Ohr, whose husband is Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, testified that she was not aware of Leshchenko's source information, but that she knew he was providing information to Fusion GPS, where she worked between late 2015 and the 2016 election.
''His source information I am not aware of,'' Nellie Ohr testified.
''You were just aware that he was a source of '''' one lawmaker began to ask.
''Yes,'' Nellie Ohr interjected.
''[Fusion GPS founder] Glenn Simpson? Or was it a source of [Fusion GPS employee Jake Berkowitz] or both?'' the lawmaker asked.
''I'm not aware of a difference between them, just a source of Fusion GPS,'' said Nellie Ohr, a Russia linguist who previously worked for the CIA's open source research unit, Open Source Works.
Nellie Ohr did not describe the Leshchenko-Fusion GPS source relationship in greater detail, so it is not clear whether the Ukrainian lawmaker was paid, how he transmitted information to Fusion or with whom at the firm he maintained contact.
Nellie Ohr did not testify whether she handled information from Leshchenko or if she provided it to her husband, who served as associate deputy attorney general and director of the Justice Department's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
Fusion GPS did not reply to a list of detailed questions about Leshchenko. One of the firm's co-founders, Tom Catan, replied ''Strictly FYI'' in an email, copying others at Fusion GPS. He did not answer follow-up questions.
Nellie Ohr's testimony is the first time that a foreign government official has been linked as a source for Fusion GPS, which is best known for its work on the anti-Trump dossier alleging that President Donald Trump and his campaign conspired with Russian operatives to influence the 2016 campaign. (RELATED: Nellie Ohr Researched Trump's Kids For Fusion GPS)
Serhiy Leshchenko holds pages showing allegedly signings of payments to Donald Trump's presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort from an illegal shadow accounting book of the party of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. (SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
With $1 million in funding from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign, Fusion GPS hired former British spy Christopher Steele to investigate Trump's ties to Russia.
While that investigation was unfolding, Fusion GPS dug up dirt on Trump, members of his campaign and his family.
As TheDCNF has reported, Nellie Ohr also testified to Congress that Fusion GPS directed her to research the travels and business activities of Trump's children. Nellie Ohr and other contractors, including an attorney named Edward Baumgartner, also focused heavily on Paul Manafort, who served as Trump campaign chairman from April 2016 to August 2016.
In addition to gathering research and intelligence on Trumpworld figures, Fusion GPS also disseminated its findings to the press. Simpson briefed and met with reporters to pass along information from the Trump investigation.
Nellie Ohr testified that Leshchenko also provided Fusion GPS with information on Manafort.
Leshchenko, a member of Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau, is widely credited with publishing a so-called ''black ledger'' that purported to show that Manafort received $12.7 million in illicit cash payments through 2012 from then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Manafort worked as a public relations consultant for Yanukovych and his political party from 2004 through 2014, when Yanukovych was forced out of office.
Leshchenko was a prominent media presence during and after the 2016 campaign, leveling allegations against Manafort and making it clear that he sought to portray Trump as a ''pro-Russian candidate.''
''A Trump presidency would change the pro-Ukrainian agenda in American foreign policy,'' Leshchenko told the Financial Times days after publicizing the black ledger on Aug. 14, 2016. ''For me, it was important to show not only the corruption aspect, but that he is [a] pro-Russian candidate who can break the geopolitical balance in the world.''
Ironically, given Fusion GPS's investigation of Russian meddling in the election, Leshchenko himself was found to have illegally interfered in the 2016 election.
On Dec. 11, 2018, a court in Kyiv ruled that Leshchenko's release of information about Manafort ''led to interference in the electoral processes of the United States in 2016 and harmed the interests of Ukraine as a state.''
Leshchenko responded by accusing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko of stifling the investigation into Manafort in order to curry favor with the Trump administration.
Leshchenko's ledger itself has also come under scrutiny and has yet to be verified as accurate.
Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, arrives for a hearing. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
The head of Ukraine's Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, Nazar Kholodnytskyi, said on June 27, 2017 that investigators had no proof Manafort received the illicit payments listed on the ledger. Manafort has been convicted in the special counsel's probe of tax evasion, bank fraud and other crimes related to his work for Yanukovych. However, he has maintained that Leshchenko's ledger is a fabrication.
The former Trump campaign chief has claimed that he did not receive cash payments for his Ukraine work and was instead paid via wire transfers, which are traceable. Manafort has been accused of illegally using offshore bank accounts to hide payments he received for his Ukraine work and of failing to register as a foreign agent for Yanukovych.
Though the black ledger remains in dispute, Leshchenko's disclosure of the document played a major role in Manafort's ouster from the Trump campaign and likely fueled American prosecutors' interest in the longtime Republican operative. Foreign Policy magazine dubbed Leshchenko ''The Ukrainian Who Sunk Paul Manafort'' in an article detailing his push during the campaign to reveal the ledger. (RELATED: Former Fusion GPS Contractor Shreds Firm's Work On Paul Manafort)
Leshchenko's aggressive tactics have landed him under scrutiny, as well.
Leshchenko appears to have tried to blackmail Manafort by contacting his daughter with information about Manafort's Ukraine dealings, Politico reported on Feb. 23, 2017.
''Considering all the facts and evidence that are in my possession, and before possible decision whether to pass this to [the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine] or FBI I would like to get your opinion on this and maybe your way to work things out that will persuade me to do otherwise,'' reads one message sent to Manafort from an email address linked to Leshchenko.
Leshchenko has vehemently denied contacting Manafort's family or of threatening extortion. He did not respond to emails seeking comment for this article. A spokesman for Manafort declined comment.
The Ohrs did meet on July 30, 2016 with Steele. During that meeting, Steele briefed the Ohrs on some of his findings during the Trump investigation.
Days later, Bruce Ohr debriefed then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on his meeting with Steele, who is based in London. Bruce Ohr would later serve as an unofficial back channel between Steele and the FBI. Steele had been in contact with the FBI before the election, but the bureau ended that relationship on Nov. 1, 2016 after learning that Steele had been in contact with journalists.
After Trump's election victory, Bruce Ohr was asked to communicate with Steele and report back any developments on the Trump-Russia front.
The Ohrs have been a focus of congressional Republicans who believe that the FBI and Justice Department relied improperly on the Steele dossier to obtain surveillance warrants against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Republicans have speculated that Fusion GPS hired Nellie Ohr in order to make it easier to get anti-Trump research to law enforcement officials.
Fusion disseminated its Trump materials '-- including the Steele dossier and its research on Manafort '-- through numerous governmental and non-governmental channels. Steele shared parts of his dossier with Bruce Ohr, the State Department and the FBI. He and Simpson also met with numerous Beltway journalists during the campaign.
Some former Fusion GPS contractors have questioned the firm's work on Manafort.
Graham Stack, who contracted with Fusion in 2016, argued in a Sept. 17, 2018 op-ed that the firm misrepresented Manafort's Ukraine work as being effusively pro-Russian.
''As a contributor to the Fusion GPS research on Manafort, I share the blame. Because we got Manafort almost completely wrong,'' wrote Stack, who has investigated Yanukovych and Manafort for years.
Stack has reported that Manafort shepherded top Ukrainian officials to meet in Brussels to sign off on the Association Agreement, which brought Ukraine further into the European Union's orbit.
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Magic Numbers
Drawing the same numbers: U.S. lottery system is broken, critics say
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 04:51
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Get an overview of how Eddie Tipton created one of the largest lottery scams in history. Wochit
(C) Copyright 2018, Des Moines Register and Tribune Co.
America's popular and lucrative lottery drawings, in which computers randomly select numbers that turn a lucky few into instant millionaires, may not be as random as they seem.
In dozens of the games across the United States, identical winning numbers have been generated within weeks or months of each other '-- sometimes in consecutive drawings, a Des Moines Register investigation shows.
Lottery officials, even some who have previously acknowledged concern with the national lottery system, contend the repeated numbers are nothing more than chance.
"While such repeats are rare and uncommon, there is no reason to suspect these numbers were not drawn reasonably," said Patricia Mayers, a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Lottery, which had several duplicate draws over more than a decade.
Megabucks is one of the Wisconsin games that used random-number computer software developed by the Multi-State Lottery Association. A former employee of the association says he warned lottery officials about a glitch in the software after spotting the same six numbers drawn in a 10-day period in 2006 Wisconsin SuperCash game. (Photo: Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers)
But critics of random-number drawings contend that the identical draws, coupled with records identifying problems in several states with "random number" computer generators, demonstrate that the fairness and integrity of the nation's $80.5 billion annual lottery system are compromised.
The problems are aggravated by the lack of national oversight, those critics contend.
"Lottery directors and state legislators are running these rigged games with blinders on," said Les Bernal, director of Stop Predatory Gambling, based in Washington, D.C. "They're shielding their eyes from the dishonesty of these games."
Math experts who have researched lottery drawings told the Register it's difficult to truly know whether the identical draws indicate a serious problem without an in-depth inspection of the lottery software, but they say the draws deserve a closer look.
''It suggests that there are outliers, and it suggests it's worthy of investigation,'' said math professor David Austin, of Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Austin has researched and written about the difficulties associated with creating number generators.
Already, several states, including Iowa, Arizona, Connecticut and South Carolina, have identified problems with random number-generated lotteries, and some have ended games because of the problems.
Professors review drawings, and find outliersUsing data of winning drawings in 37 states collected by the website LotteryPost, the Register identified more than 100 drawings over the past 25 years where the same game generated identical winning numbers within 365 days of each other.
(The Register reviewed only those lottery games that select at least five numbers, because those games generally have a smaller probability of having the same numbers drawn twice.)
In eight instances, the same winning numbers were generated in consecutive drawings in the same games in Arizona, Missouri, Oregon and Colorado, the Register found.
Austin, the Grand Valley State math professor,reviewed some of the same-number draws the Register identified as possible anomalies in Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Austin '-- who ran more than 10,000 simulations as part of his review '-- determined that although the duplicate drawings in West Virginia seemed consistent with statistical odds, several examples in Wisconsin appeared to be outliers "worthy of investigation."
"Convention would say that the Wisconsin Lottery results are statistically significant and even close to being highly significant," Austin said.
Robert Molzon, a retired math professor at the University of Kentucky, concurred.
It's impossible to directly test whether lottery computer-generated numbers are truly random without gaining access to the systems, Molzon said.
However, it is simple to compute probabilities that a given number of "doubles" (identical numbers) will appear over a fixed time period as a way to assess whether a problem may exist, he said.
Like Austin, Molzon '-- in reviewing sets of winning strings of lottery numbers called multiple times in Wisconsin and West Virginia over a multiyear period '-- concluded that outliers exist in some of the Wisconsin drawings identified in the Register's investigation.
"My conclusion is that it is highly unlikely that the chosen numbers in either of these lotteries are truly random," Molzon said.
A scammer spots the problemThe Register launched an eight-month investigation into lottery draws with identical numbers after the conviction and sentencing last year of Eddie Tipton, a former Multi-State Lottery Association security worker in Urbandale who admitted masterminding the largest lottery fraud in U.S. history.
Buy Photo Eddie Tipton looks over at defense attorney Dean Stowers Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, at Tipton's sentencing at the Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines. (Photo: Michael Zamora/The Register)
Tipton '-- in a confession following his 2017 lottery fraud conviction '-- told investigators that in 2006 he had warned his employer that computer software he had written to randomly draw numbers had an alarming flaw: The draws weren't truly random.
He was tipped off to the problem after two Wisconsin SuperCash! games drew the same six numbers twice within 10 days in 2006.
The odds of that happening: 1 in 326,262 '-- akin to flipping a coin and having it come up heads 18 times in a row '-- Wisconsin Lottery mathematician JonMichael Rasmus told the Associated Press in 2006.
Multi-State Lottery is an umbrella gaming organization that is owned and operated by 36 member lotteries, including the Iowa Lottery. Many of its members use its random number-generating software.
Neither the Multi-State Lottery nor the Wisconsin Lottery notified the public of the reported flaw, and they say they have no reports showing investigations were conducted into the matter.
The Multi-State Lottery chose not to order a rebuild of the random-number-generating software that ultimately was used in at least 17 states, according to transcripts of Tipton's confession to prosecutors that the Register obtained last year.
"It just kept growing and growing," Tipton said, according to court transcripts. "It became spaghetti codes, unfortunately."
Iowa ends several lotteries over problemsSteve Bogle, Iowa Lottery's vice president in 2015, recommended the state suspend four popular games, including Hot Lotto, because of serious flaws with the software that randomly generated the winning numbers, according to records a Polk County District Court judge released following the Register's request.
As a result, the Iowa Lottery no longer uses Multi-State Lottery computer software to draw game numbers.
The Multi-State Lottery Association is the subject of multiple lawsuits from players who contend they were bilked out of winnings by Tipton's scam.
The repeated numbers and decision to discontinue the use of Multi-State Lottery random number-generated software indicates the nation's lottery system has little oversight, said Gary Dickey, a Des Moines attorney for one of the players.
"You have to ask, 'Who does MUSL answer to?'" Dickey said. "It's not regulated by a federal agency or any single state. It just sort of exists in a patchwork of state laws."
Lottery officials say they were unaware of warningThe random-number glitch in the software Tipton said he warned Multi-State Lottery officials about in 2006 is separate from the code he inserted into the system that allowed him to predict numbers and scam multiple state lotteries.
Multi-State Lottery and Wisconsin officials indicated in response to Register questions that they did not know that Tipton allegedly warned their staff about a random-number problem.
Multi-State Lottery Association Director Bret Toyne said '-- other than in Arizona '-- his organization has not identified or been notified "of an instance when a similar hardware failure occurred, including the 2006 Wisconsin game."
And the Wisconsin Lottery said it has no documentation or institutional knowledge of Tipton's warnings.
''Nor does his allegation make much sense,'' said Mayers, the Wisconsin Lottery spokeswoman. ''There is no reason why he would have been monitoring the numbers drawn in Wisconsin in the manner he suggests.''
In Wisconsin, the Register identified 10 sets of numbers that were called twice within five years of each other in the state's SuperCash! game, including the two 2006 draws that Tipton said he had warned his bosses about.
Wisconsin began using the Multi-State Lottery's random-number generators in 2004 but stopped in 2016 because of concerns involving Tipton. (Wisconsin now uses a different random-number system that costs the agency $125,000 a year, versus the $15,000 it had previously paid for the Multi-State Lottery's services.)
Five of the 10 duplicate sets of numbers the Register identified were drawn before or after the Multi-State Lottery random-number system was used in Wisconsin.
"While such repeats are rare and uncommon, there is no reason to suspect these numbers were not drawn reasonably," Mayers said.
State lotteries identify internal problemsAt least three state lotteries have acknowledged random-draw malfunctions, assuring the public that steps were taken that fixed the problems.
Arizona officials in 2017 identified more than a dozen draws linked to four separate lottery games where they suspected computer software had malfunctioned and called duplicate strings of numbers, including in consecutive draws.Connecticut suspended two employees in March 2018 following revelations that a machine used to randomly select winners for a high-profile game had been erroneously programmed. Lottery officials blamed human error, saying the employees excluded 100,000 tickets from being considered in a game's random draw.South Carolina officials in May declined to pay more than $35 million in wins after it was discovered that a game played on Christmas day had printed thousands of winning tickets because of a computer error. As with any technology, including ball machines, the opportunity exists for hardware to fail, said David Nunn, a spokesman for the Arizona Lottery.
The agency used an independent third-party firm and a statistics expert to evaluate draw history after the duplicate draws.
Support watchdog journalism The Des Moines Register has been a leader in revealing problems with the lottery systems in Iowa and several states, including the massive scam that resulted in millions of dollars in illicit lottery winnings in five states. Your digital subscription supports important watchdog reporting such as this. Click here to subscribe for 99 cents a month.
The Multi-State Lottery Association '-- Tipton's former employer and the agency that provided Arizona with the software '-- also conducted an investigation. An executive summary of that investigation showed the software had been installed in July 2015, which was about six months after Tipton's arrest.
A Multi-State Lottery employee flew to Arizona and replaced an internal counter and concluded the machines were repaired.
Arizona Lottery generated $816,231 in revenue on the four games during the affected time frames and issued $106,017 in refunds to players '-- in addition to paying winning tickets.
"Arizona Lottery has the responsibility to minimize that risk, protect the integrity of our operations and be transparent to the public when a failure occurs," Nunn said. "It is our obligation to be able to earn the public's trust, and it is our objective to operate that way in all aspects of the products that we provide to the public."
Dan Zitting an executive of ACL, a software company based in Vancouver, Canada, said state lotteries should follow Arizona's lead when duplicate numbers are drawn and independently investigate whether problems exist.
Zitting, whose company has worked with more than 900 state and federal government agencies, said he believes computer-generated drawings generally are fair and efficient.
But he also believes national standards are necessary to set how computer-generated drawings are used and tested throughout dozens of state lotteries.
"A whole lot is premised on the integrity of the lotteries," Zitting said. "Even if this isn't crisis mode yet, I would really be on top of this before it hits that state."
How this story was reported For its analysis, the Register compared lottery drawings with five numbers or more. It identified hundreds of instances between 1992 and 2017 where identical numbers were generated in the same game within five years of each other, using winning data from 37 states collected by the website LotteryPost.
A more narrowly defined review of identical numbers drawn within 365 days of each other identified more than 100 duplicate drawings, confirmed by other online sites that collect winning numbers.
To help assess whether those duplicate drawings could be the result of chance, the Register asked two math professors to review some of its findings.
The statistical probability of lottery drawings producing the same winning numbers rises as the number of drawings increases, meaning that a short window of time with fewer drawings is less likely to produce duplicate drawings than a longer window of time with more drawings. The Register's review reflects this principle.
Read or Share this story: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/investigations/2019/01/31/united-states-lottery-numbers-broken-system-identical-drawings-controversy/1863102002/
Learn to Code
The Fetid, Right-Wing Origins of ''Learn to Code'' | The New Republic
Fri, 08 Feb 2019 04:42
Last Thursday, I received the news that the HuffPost Opinion section'--where I'd been opining on a weekly basis for a few months'--had been axed in its entirety. The same opinion column had had a home at The Village Voice for some 21 weeks before that entire publication shuttered as well. ''This business sucks,'' I tweeted, chagrined at the simple fact that I kept losing my column because of the cruel, ongoing shrinkage of independent journalism in the United States. Dozens of jobs were slashed at HuffPost that day, following a round of layoffs at Gannett Media; further jobs were about to be disappeared at BuzzFeed. It was a grim day for the media, and I just wanted to channel my tiny part of the prevailing gloom.
Then the responses started rolling in'--some sympathy from fellow journalists and readers, then an irritating gush of near-identical responses: ''Learn to code.'' ''Maybe learn to code?'' ''BETTER LEARN TO CODE THEN.'' ''Learn to code you useless bitch.'' Alongside these tweets were others: ''Stop writing fake news and crap.'' ''MAGA.'' ''Your opinions suck and no one wants to read them.'' ''Lmao journalists are evil wicked cretins. I wish you were all jail [sic] and afraid.''
I looked at the mentions of my editors, who had been laid off after years at HuffPost, and of other journalists who had lost their jobs. There they were, the swarm of commentators, with their same little carbuncular message: ''Learn to code.''
On its own, telling a laid-off journalist to ''learn to code'' is a profoundly annoying bit of ''advice,'' a nugget of condescension and antipathy. It's also a line many of us may have already heard from relatives who pretend to be well-meaning, and who question an idealistic, unstable, and impecunious career choice. But it was clear from the outset that this ''advice'' was larded through with real hostility'--and the timing and ubiquity of the same phrase made me immediately suspect a brigade attack. My suspicions were confirmed when conservative figures like Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump Jr. joined the pile-on, revealing the ways in which right-wing hordes have harnessed social media to discredit and harass their opponents.
What's a brigade attack, you may ask? It's a rather dramatic name for coordinated harassment, usually migrating from one social media site to another. Often hatched in the internet's right-wing cesspools, these campaigns unleash a mass of harassment on unsuspecting targets. 4chan's /pol/ board'--a gathering-place for people who want to say the n-word freely, vilify feminists, and opine on nefarious Jewish influence'--has an oversize role in organizing brigade attacks, in part due to the fact that all its users are anonymous.
While it's difficult to trace the origins of brigading'--like most of internet history, its beginnings are ephemeral'--the term, and its tactics, came to new prominence during the loosely organized and militantly misogynist harassment campaign known now as GamerGate, which unfolded over the course of 2014 and 2015.
''I think brigading has always been around,'' said Caroline Sinders, a design and research fellow with the digital program at Harvard's Kennedy School, who received enormous volumes of harassment during GamerGate. ''I think of it like 'campaigning''--it's coordinated, it's planned, it's designed. Brigading is like targeting a victim and planning a course of attack'--from overwhelming their mentions, flooding a hashtag, to SEO bombing.''
After Sinders wrote about GamerGate harassment online, a SWAT team was called to her mother's house'--a malevolent kind of ''prank'' that has resulted in at least one death.
Shireen Mitchell, founder of the project Stop Online Violence Against Women, had a similar experience during GamerGate. A campaign originating on Reddit targeted a South by Southwest panel on online harassment at which Mitchell was scheduled to speak. It received thousands of ''down-votes'' when audiences were encouraged to vote on proposed panels at the festival. Mitchell and others involved with the panel were bombarded with abuse and threats, accused of being biased against GamerGate.
''I was overwhelmed,'' Mitchell told me. ''They collected our information, created lists of our names, then made up accounts to pretend to be in a rational debate while attacking us on the back end.''
In the end, South By Southwest convened a separate Online Harassment Summit , at which security was so tight due to threats of violence that, Mitchell told me, she ''had a security detail the whole time.''
The attacks on Mitchell and other panelists were vicious, while wrapped in a thin guise of concern about ''ethics in games journalism.'' This was the rationale for the entire GamerGate harassment campaign, an ugly welter of death threats, stalking, SWATting, and precision targeting of women, particularly women of color, for abuse. But that rationale was taken seriously by both media outlets , which wrote up the controversy as if it were a genuine conflict between two sides of equal legitimacy, and by advertisers, which pulled support for media organizations targeted by ''Operation Disrespectful Nod'''--a GamerGate brigading campaign.
GamerGate was essentially a public test of weapons online trolls would use to inflict hell on anyone who they perceived as enemies, with a central focus on journalists. Its tactics have only grown in sophistication in the intervening years. In particular, it was notable for the way it used a consistent, specious narrative'--ethics in games journalism'--to cover for its ugliest actions.
''The basis was that only white male gamers are actually good at games. So everyone else needs to go through some 'ethics' screening,'' Mitchell explained. ''That women sleep around and minorities are only given jobs because of their skin not because they are qualified. So that became the ruse. The narratives are used as cover.''
GamerGate used sympathetic journalists to add a patina of legitimacy to its cover narrative'--a tactic that has been repeated with the ongoing harassment campaign called ''Learn to Code.''
When I smelled the putrid odor of a brigade attack, I decided to do a little research into the origins of this sudden, and plainly coordinated, bombardment of ''learn to code'' tweets. (There were also death threats and a flood of anti-Semitic Instagram comments.) It was a fairly simple operation: I clicked over to 4chan's /pol/ board and searched for the phrase.
In a thread entitled ''HAPPENING - Huffpo / Buzzfeed / other MSM garbage (((journalists))) FIRED,'' which discussed the extant and impending layoffs, there were dozens of responses laying out the ''learn to code'' plan.
''Learn to code is what should be spammed over and over. Fuck these elitist cunts,'' wrote one user.
''Reminder to tell all the fired fucks to learn to code,'' wrote another.
''I'm not ready to declare victory until these maggots are killing themselves with a live stream,'' wrote a third.
An odd little narrative sprung up around this malevolence, postulating that journalists had condescendingly told coal miners who had lost their jobs to ''learn to code.'' The scant evidence for this quickly debunked narrative was a collage of several articles covering programs to retrain jobless former coal miners in the rudiments of coding, and bipartisan job-training efforts.
But as with ''ethics in games journalism,'' the narrative was just a means to deflect attention from the ultimate goal of adding distress to a terrible week for journalists.
Multiple right-wing media figures consciously took the bait. After the Wrap's Jon Levine misleadingly tweeted that simply typing ''learn to code'' might get Twitter users suspended, conservative figureheads leaped in, leveraging conservative paranoia about social-media censorship. ''Our nation's bravest firefighters must be protected from microaggressions like 'learn to code' jokes on Twitter. Pathetic,'' wrote Daily Wire pundit Ben Shapiro. Donald Trump, Jr. weighed in: ''Could someone explain to me why if I tell my kids to 'learn to code' it's likely sound parenting, but if I told a journalist the same it's grounds for a @twitter suspension?''
Tucker Carlson, Fox News's most openly white-supremacist host and a frequent amplifier of far-right meme warfare, ran a segment about the trolling campaign for his roughly three million viewers.
''Someone on Twitter came up with a pretty brilliant piece of advice for all those laid-off journalists trying to figure out what to do with their lives: Learn to code. Perfect. Suddenly 'learn to code' was everywhere on Twitter,'' Carlson said. ''But journalists didn't see the humor in this at all. A former New Yorker employee called Talia Lavin called the phrase, quote, 'far right hate' ... so they complained to the censorship authorities at Twitter.''
For me, the open hostility of ''learn to code'' was, from the first moment, compounded by escalating misogyny and anti-Semitism. One Twitter user posing as a Jew named ''Moshey Goldberg'' sent me a photo of a pizza with a crude caricature of a Jew on it. It said ''Oven-Ready.'' Others utilized a photoshopped meme of Tucker Carlson in a skull bandana of the type favored by certain fascist groups. ''Day of the Rope,'' it read, a reference to a scene in The Turner Diaries, a novel that remains the ur-text of the American far right and was an inspiration for Timothy McVeigh, where political enemies are hanged en masse.
The experience of the ''learn to code'' campaign was being bombarded with harassment that others stridently claimed wasn't harassment; being told death threats were a joke; having my name broadcast mockingly on Fox News'--all for the temerity of tweeting about losing a column. It was an experience of being mugged by gaslight.
I've chosen to write and speak about it not to celebrate my own victimhood, or to claim that a harassment campaign against journalists is the most significant issue being faced by any American. I write about it because it shares such overt DNA with harassment campaigns born in GamerGate and perfected since '--and because it is long past time that far-right trolls stopped being granted any presumption of innocence and plausible deniability. I chose to expose this campaign, knowing it would bring me nothing but grief, because I didn't want to see such a campaign succeed without opposition. And I wrote about it because campaigns against journalists aren't going to go away; the moment trolls like these see an opening, whether the provocation is real or imagined, they will harass journalists again.
After all, the goal was clear from the start: ''Rub it in their fucking faces. Yell at them, call them names, accuse them of being pedos. DM them pics of nooses or gay porno. Zero fucking mercy. Make them regret ever standing against us,'' one 4chan user wrote in the thread that launched it all. ''You know what to do, lads.''
5G
Sprint sues AT&T over its fake 5G branding
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 13:57
Following the announcement of Sprint's lawsuit, AT&T provided us with the following statement:
We understand why our competitors don't like what we are doing, but our customers love it. We introduced 5G Evolution more than two years ago, clearly defining it as an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G. 5G Evolution and the 5GE indicator simply let customers know when their device is in an area where speeds up to twice as fast as standard LTE are available. That's what 5G Evolution is, and we are delighted to deliver it to our customers.
We will fight this lawsuit while continuing to deploy 5G Evolution in addition to standards-based mobile 5G. Customers want and deserve to know when they are getting better speeds. Sprint will have to reconcile its arguments to the FCC that it cannot deploy a widespread 5G network without T-Mobile while simultaneously claiming in this suit to be launching "legitimate 5G technology imminently."
If all of this sounds familiar, that's because it harkens back to the initial days of 4G, when networks like AT&T and T-Mobile slapped "4G" branding on HSPA+ networks before LTE became widely available. Back in 2012, iOS 5.1 suddenly upgraded 3G-only iPhones with an illegitimate "4G" logo, and just this week the iOS 12.2 beta repeated history with a "5G" tag. At the time the standards-setting ITU capitulated, saying that 4G could also apply to "evolved" 3G technologies. We'll see if that argument sticks in court this time around.
Update, 2/8/19, 10:20AM ET: This story has been updated with AT&T's statement on Sprint's lawsuit.
Verizon owns Engadget's parent company, Verizon Media. Rest assured, Verizon has no control over our coverage. Engadget remains editorially independent.
Sprint Sues AT&T, Proving '5G' Is Still Meaningless | WIRED
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 21:26
Michel Combes, CEO of Sprint, which is suing AT&T for labeling some of its services "5G."
Vincent Isore/IP3/Getty Images
Some AT&T customers with iPhones noticed something weird earlier this week. Those who had installed a new beta version of iOS reported seeing "5GE," rather than "4G" or "LTE," in the upper right-hand corner of their screens, according to The Verge. But Apple doesn't sell an iPhone that supports 5G standards, and AT&T doesn't yet offer 5G service for mobile phones.
In fact, what those customers saw was a bit of AT&T marketing. AT&T has branded parts of its 4G network as 5GE, or "5G Evolution." Apple has apparently added that branding to the latest version of its mobile operating system, but doesn't mean that anyone's connection is actually faster because of it.
AT&T drew criticism from competitors that offer the same network technologies. Now, Sprint is suing AT&T, arguing that its advertising is deceptive. "It harms consumers by holding out AT&T's services as more technologically advanced than Sprint's and enticing consumers to switch wireless service providers (or remain AT&T subscribers) under false pretenses," the lawsuit, which was filed Thursday and spotted by Engadget, says.
Sprint declined to comment on whether it would add other defendants to the suit, such as Samsung, which also displays the 5GE branding on some phones on AT&T networks, or Apple.
Someday real 5G networks could enable mobile speeds of around 10 gigabits per second'--about 10 times faster than the standard Google Fiber connection. But AT&T's Evolution service, which it introduced in 2017, doesn't deliver speeds anywhere near that fast. The company claims the service has a theoretical upper limit of more than 400 megabits per second. Even the few services based on actual 5G technologies today can't top 1 gigabit per second. Nationwide 5G networks aren't expected until 2020, and few phones available today can support 5G.
AT&T argues that consumers know the difference between its "5GE" offering and actual 5G. "We introduced 5G Evolution more than two years ago, clearly defining it as an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G," an AT&T spokesperson said in a statement. "5G Evolution and the 5GE indicator simply let customers know when their device is in an area where speeds up to twice as fast as standard LTE are available."
Whether customers can discern the difference will be the heart of the lawsuit, says H. Jonathan Redway, an attorney at Dickinson Wright with a background in false advertising cases. If AT&T loses, it might have to pay Sprint for lost customers and also shell out for an advertising campaign to correct the record.
The suit may be a bit of marketing on Sprint's part, but it also underscores how confusing terms like 4G and 5G are for consumers.
LEARN MOREThe WIRED Guide to 5G"When one carrier starts suing another carrier over 5G claims, it's a sign that the 'race to 5G' marketing campaign is getting out of hand," Chris Lewis, president of the advocacy group Public Knowledge, said in a statement. "Communities want to know exactly what they are getting from their carriers. It is important that all carriers are giving clear expectations to consumers about what 5G is, what it enables, and most importantly, what communities will or won't benefit from it."
Part of the problem is that the terms 4G and 5G are nebulous. Neither refers to a specific technology. They're umbrella terms for a number of different technologies and standards used to build successive "generations" of wireless networks.
The four largest US mobile carriers have largely settled on the LTE, or "Long Term Evolution" standard for their 4G networks. AT&T's "5G Evolution" is the company's name for the newer "LTE Advanced" standard. All four major carriers now support LTE Advanced, but only AT&T calls it 5G Evolution.
Carriers have a history of playing these sorts of word games. For example, HSPA+ is an enhanced version of the 3G standard HSPA. Before it had a nationwide LTE network, T-Mobile advertised its HSPA+ network as "4G speed" until the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations agency that handles standards, allowed carriers to label HSPA+ networks as "4G." At that point T-Mobile dropped the "speed" part and began advertising its network as 4G, as did AT&T. In a recent blog post, T-Mobile CEO John Legere called AT&T's 5GE ''BS,'' and said AT&T is ''lying to their customers.'' He said AT&T's tactics differ from what T-Mobile did with HSPA+ because the ITU hasn't signed off on calling LTE Evolution "5G." The ITU didn't respond to a request for comment.
Not all of the 5G specifications have been finalized by the 3GPP, the standards body responsible for 5G. That hasn't stopped carriers from selling services using the 5G brand. "We don't give the members any advice on how to use the term 5G," says 3GPP spokesperson Kevin Flynn.
Verizon launched what it called a "pre-specification" home broadband service called "5G Home" in a few cities last year. But unlike AT&T's Evolution service, it's actually based on technologies that will be included in the final 5G specifications. Most notably, it uses a range of wireless frequencies known as "millimeter wave." The company advertises a maximum speed just shy of 1 gigabit per second. AT&T announced its own millimeter-wave-based service called "5G+" in December. The service only works with a special mobile hot spot that the company is only making available to a few customers in parts of 12 cities. The company hasn't disclosed its speeds but says the theoretical maximum speed is also just under 1 gigabit per second.
More Great WIRED StoriesA crypto CEO dies'--with the only key to $137 millionProbe your pupper's genetic secrets with these DNA kitsThe WIRED guide to commercial human space flightApple, the iPhone, and the innovator's dilemmaThe trash-talking furry dominating esports👠Looking for the latest gadgets? Check out our latest buying guides and best deals all year roundðŸ'(C) Want more? Sign up for our daily newsletter and never miss our latest and greatest stories
Out There
Harry Reid pushing for more UFO research
Thu, 07 Feb 2019 23:04
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is lobbying his former colleagues to do more to study unidentified flying objects.
''I personally don't know if there exists little green men other places, I kind of doubt that, but I do believe that the information we have indicates we should do a lot more study,'' the Nevada Democrat said. ''We have hundreds and hundreds of people that have seen the same thing '-- something in the sky, it moves a certain way.''
Reid said that also included sightings of vessels at sea.
The topic of UFOs was on Reid's mind Thursday because his interview with KNPR came just before he said he was scheduled to talk with an important senator about setting up a way for members of the military to support exploring suspicious sightings without facing retribution.
''I'm going to have a call with a member of the Senate in an hour or two where we have people in the military who want to come and tell somebody what they've seen,'' Reid said in the interview, declining to identify who that senator is. (Food for thought: Reid's former deputy, Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., is the ranking member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.)
''What we found in the past is that these pilots, when they see something strange like this, they're prone not to report it for fear that the bosses will think something's wrong with them, and they don't get the promotion,'' he said. ''So, many, many times they don't say a word to anybody about these strange things.''
''The facts are, they need a place to be able to report this, and that's what I'm going to work on in a couple of hours, to make sure that somebody I think's a powerful member in Congress, I want him to be able to sit down and talk to some of these pilots who have seen these things,'' Reid said. ''I can arrange this because of the contacts I have with members of the Congress.''
'NDP,' dabbing in the House and the 'club soda of beers': Congressional Hits and Misses
Back in December 2017, the New York Times reported on a Pentagon program to study UFO sightings that came about because of Reid's advocacy back when he was serving in the Senate.
''We spent a lot of money, and it was an extremely important study,'' Reid said Thursday, calling setting up the program,''one of the easiest sells I ever had to make.''
He recalled again how he lobbied the leaders of the Senate Appropriation's Defense Subcommittee to get money for the project, and how the late Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, was entirely on board because of a suspicious aircraft he cited during his own time as military pilot. But Reid said that the Pentagon has not done enough since then.
''Frankly, I think the federal government has done almost nothing to help us with this,'' Reid said.
During the interview, Reid also said he knew a lot more about classified operations undertaken at Area 51 in his home state of Nevada.
''Oh sure, I've been to Area 51. I know Area 51. I don't know if I should say many times, but lots and lots of times. I know Area 51 quite well, I know what they've done there,'' said Reid. ''I don't know in recent years, of course, but I know what went on there.''
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The Purge
Instagram Bans Graphic Images of Self-Harm After Teenager's Suicide - The New York Times
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 21:24
Technology | Instagram Bans Graphic Images of Self-Harm After Teenager's Suicide Image Instagram announced that it would bar graphic images of self-harm from its site. The change follows a 14-year-old girl's suicide that her father linked to her exposure to social media content about depression and self-harm. Credit Credit Dado Ruvic/Reuters Instagram announced on Thursday that it would no longer allow graphic images of self-harm, such as cutting, on its platform. The change appears to be in response to public attention to how the social network might have influenced a 14-year-old's suicide.
In a statement explaining the change, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, made a distinction between graphic images about self-harm and nongraphic images, such as photos of healed scars. Those types of images will still be allowed, but Instagram will make them more difficult to find by excluding them from search results, hashtags and recommended content.
Facebook, which acquired Instagram in 2012 and is applying the changes to its own site, suggested in a separate statement that the changes were in direct response to the story of Molly Russell, a British teenager who killed herself in 2017.
Molly's father, Ian Russell, has said publicly in recent weeks that he believes that content on Instagram related to self-harm, depression and suicide contributed to his daughter's death.
Mr. Russell has said in interviews with the British news media that after Molly's death, he discovered she followed accounts that posted this sort of ''fatalistic'' messaging.
''She had quite a lot of such content,'' Mr. Russell told the BBC. ''Some of that content seemed to be quite positive. Perhaps groups of people who were trying to help each other out, find ways to remain positive.''
''But some of that content is shocking in that it encourages self-harm, it links self-harm to suicide,'' he said.
Mr. Mosseri said in the statement that the company consulted suicide experts from around the world in making the decision. In doing so, he said the company concluded that while graphic content about self-harm could unintentionally promote it, removing nongraphic content could ''stigmatize or isolate people who are in distress.''
''I might have an image of a scar, where I say, 'I'm 30 days clean,' and that's an important way for me to share my story,'' he said in an interview with the BBC. ''That kind of content can still live on the site.''
The changes will ''take some time'' to put in place, he added.
Daniel J. Reidenberg, the executive director of the suicide prevention group Save.org, said that he helped advise Facebook's decision over the past week or so and that he applauded the company for taking the problem seriously.
Mr. Reidenberg said that because the company was now making a nuanced distinction between graphic and nongraphic content, there would need to be plenty of moderation around what sort of image crosses the line. Because the topic is so sensitive, artificial intelligence probably will not suffice, Mr. Reidenberg said.
''You might have someone who has 150 scars that are healed up '-- it still gets to be pretty graphic,'' he said in an interview. ''This is all going to take humans.''
In Instagram's statement, Mr. Mosseri said the site would continue to consult experts on other strategies for minimizing the potentially harmful effects of such content, including the use of a ''sensitivity screen'' that would blur nongraphic images related to self-harm.
He said Instagram was also exploring ways to direct users who are searching for and posting about self-harm to organizations that can provide help.
This is not the first time Facebook has had to grapple with how to handle threats of suicide on its site. In early 2017, several people live-streamed their suicides on Facebook, prompting the social network to ramp up its suicide prevention program. More recently, Facebook has utilized algorithms and user reports to flag possible suicide threats to local police agencies.
April C. Foreman, a psychologist and a member of the American Association of Suicidology's board, said in an interview that there was not a large body of research indicating that barring graphic images of self-harm would be effective in alleviating suicide risk.
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 29 worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. And it was a problem among young people even before the rise of social media, Dr. Foreman said.
While Dr. Foreman appreciates Facebook's work on the issue, she said that Thursday's decision seemed to be an attempt to provide a simple answer in the middle of a ''moral panic'' around social media contributing to youth suicide.
''We're doing things that feel good and look good instead of doing things that are effective,'' she said. ''It's more about making a statement about suicide than doing something that we know will help the rates.''
[If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources.]
Follow Julia Jacobs on Twitter: @juliarebeccaj.
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Armageddon
Dollar Libor Slumps Most in a Decade as Market Plays Catch Up - Bloomberg
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 20:10
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Brexit
Brexiteer Nigel Farage launches new '²Brexit Party,'² threatens to run for office again | News | DW | 08.02.2019
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 12:43
The outspoken Brexit campaigner has said he will stand as a candidate for the European Parliament if Britain's departure from the EU is delayed. He called Theresa May's withdrawal agreement, "the worst deal in history."
Former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader and prominent Brexit supporter Nigel Farage announced Friday that a new "Brexit Party" has been formed with his approval
Writing in London's The Telegraph newspaper, Farage stated, "The party was founded with my full support and with the intention of fighting the European elections on May 23 if Brexit has not been delivered by then."
British electoral authorities confirmed they had recognized the party, which Farage formed with Brexiteer and UKIP former economic spokeswoman Catherine Blaiklock, meaning it can contest elections in the UK.
'Worst deal in history'
Britain is currently set to leave the EU on March 29, but many in the UK have called on Prime Minister Theresa May to ask the EU for an extension to avoid the prospects of crashing out of the bloc without a deal.
May has been unsuccessful in her attempts to convince parliamentarians at home of the merits of the deal she agreed to with the EU in November. Now she has been tasked with winning concessions from Brussels, something lawmakers there say will not happen.
Farage lambasted May's withdrawal agreement as "the worst deal in history" and added that his new party will hit the ground running, with hundreds of candidates and "significant" funds.
Blaiklock said she expects "thousands" of defectors from May's Conservatives to join the new Brexit Party.
Hopes parties see him as a 'threat'
Farage wrote of his potential candidacy: "I sincerely hope that this prospect is recognized by both the Conservative party and Labour party as a threat. All they have to do is deliver a proper Brexit '-- one that 17.4 million people voted for in June 2016. Otherwise, this threat will turn into a promise."
Some 52 percent of UK citizens voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum, 48 percent voted to remain.
js/sms (AFP, Reuters)
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Yellow Jackets
Anti-Macron Protests Turn Ugly, Grenade Blows Yellow Vest's Hand Apart
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 12:44
PARIS (AP) '' A French yellow vest protester's hand was ripped apart Saturday during violent clashes in Paris as demonstrators tried to storm the French National Assembly in a 13th consecutive week of unrest. (Warning: article contains graphic tweet.)Police said the injured protester lost four fingers as police swooped in to stop protesters from breaching the parliament's exterior. Police could not confirm French media reports that the demonstrator's hand was blown up by a grenade used to disperse unruly crowds.
As scuffles broke out in front of the National Assembly and French police responded with tear gas, paramedics huddled around the injured protester at the National Assembly gates, providing emergency treatment and stopping bystanders from getting too close.
GRAPHIC: It's #ActeXIII of the #YellowVest protests in France today and another protester has had their hand blown off.
Screenshot captured by @AramShabanian from a live stream. pic.twitter.com/kBFcKYTcg8
'-- Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) February 9, 2019
Police used batons and fired tear gas in Paris to disperse demonstrators, some of whom threw debris at riot police hunkered down.
Fire department spokesman Gildas Lecoeur told The Associated Press that the injured man was taken to a hospital, but he couldn't confirm his current condition.
A car, motorbikes and multiple trash bins were set ablaze as the protest moved toward the city's Invalides monument but France's Interior Ministry said this week's protest was significantly smaller than last week's.
Hopefully @BBCNews or @SkyNewsBreak will give some coverage !!!!!! https://t.co/mdoaBjoc6g
'-- Kate Hoey (@KateHoeyMP) February 9, 2019
Police said 21 demonstrators had been arrested as scuffles broke out between protesters and police near the Champs-Elysees Avenue and the National Assembly. The protest march is due to end up near the Eiffel Tower.
Earlier Saturday, activists in Latvia staged a picket in front of the French embassy in Riga, the capital of the small Baltic EU country, to support the yellow vest movement and urge Latvians to demand higher living standards.
The activists waved Latvia's red-and-white flag, shouting slogans like ''the French have woken up, while Latvians remain asleep.''
___
Jari Tanner in Helsinki contributed to this report.
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Venezuela
Former US President Carter: Venezuela's Electoral System ''Best in the World'' - Global Research
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 14:27
Former US President Jimmy Carter claimed Venezuela's electoral system is ''the best in the world'' (agencies).
M(C)rida, 21st September 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) '' Former US President Jimmy Carter has declared that Venezuela's electoral system is the best in the world.
Speaking at an annual event last week in Atlanta for his Carter Centre foundation, the politician-turned philanthropist stated,
''As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.''
Venezuela has developed a fully automated touch-screen voting system, which now uses thumbprint recognition technology and prints off a receipt to confirm voters' choices.
In the context of the Carter Centre's work monitoring electoral processes around the globe, Carter also disclosed his opinion that in the US ''we have one of the worst election processes in the world, and it's almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money,'' he said referring to lack of controls over private campaign donations.
The comments come with just three weeks before Venezuelans go to the polls on 7 October, in a historic presidential election in which socialist incumbent President Hugo Chavez is standing against right-wing challenger Henrique Capriles Radonski of the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition.
Chavez welcomed Carter's comments, stating yesterday that
''he [Carter] has spoken the truth because he has verified it. We say that the Venezuelan electoral system is one of the best in the world''.
Chavez also reported that he had had a forty minute conversation with the ex-Democrat president yesterday, and said that Carter, ''as Fidel [Castro] says, is a man of honour''. The Carter Centre has recently confirmed it will not send an official delegation to accompany the presidential election, but may have officials observe the process on an individual basis.
Meanwhile, the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) electoral accompaniment delegation arrived yesterday in Venezuela.
The delegation's head, former Argentinian vice-president Carlos Alvarez, mentioned that this was the Unasur's first electoral observation mission, and that ''for us it's fundamental to consolidate our democracies, because it's taken us a lot of struggle, effort and time to establish [democracy] in our countries''.
In press comments after meeting with officials from Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE) Alvarez declared that based on his experience of electoral observation in South America, ''Venezuela has one of the most advanced electoral systems in the region and the continent, that grants a great deal of confidence and transparency''.
Meanwhile, secretary of the MUD, Ram"n Guillermo Aveledo, accused the CNE yesterday of being ''biased'', and said that it doesn't adhere to the National Constitution nor electoral law. In an interview with opposition TV station Globovision, he clarified his opinion that ''we [the MUD] trust the voting system'' but that CNE officials ''have a preference'' for the government.
The CNE has issued warnings regarding both the MUD and Chavez's Carabobo Command for infringements of campaign rules relating to electoral publicity and advertising space.
Pro-Chavez sources have speculated that the opposition is planning not to recognise the CNE results in the likely event of a Chavez victory on 7 October. In July, Chavez and Capriles signed an accord by which both agreed to recognise the result announced by the CNE.
Clips
VIDEO - Texas town's environmental narcissism makes Al Gore happy while sticking its citizens with the bill | Fox News
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 15:40
Political leaders in a college town in central Texas won wide praise from former Vice President Al Gore and the larger Green Movement when they decided to go ''100 percent renewable'' seven years ago. Now, however, they are on the defensive over electricity costs that have their residents paying more than $1,000 per household in higher electricity charges over the last four years.
That's right - $1,219 per household in higher electricity costs for the 71,000 residents of Georgetown, Texas, all thanks to the decision of its Republican mayor, Dale Ross, to launch a bold plan to shift the city's municipal utility to 100 percent renewable power in 2012 when he was on the city council.
In short order, Ross was elevated to celebrity status, appearing in scores of articles and videos, both at home and abroad. Al Gore made it a point to feature the Texas Republican mayor at renewable energy conferences as well. Ross was even featured in one of Gore's documentaries.
5 THINGS ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ DOESN'T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THE GREEN NEW DEAL
But while Ross was being lauded far and wide, the residents of his town were paying a steep price. His decision to bet on renewables resulted in the city budget getting dinged by a total of $29.8 million in the four years from 2015 to 2018. Georgetown's electric costs were $3.5 million over budget in 2015, ballooning to $6.3 million in 2016, the same year the mayor locked his municipal utility into 20- and 25-year wind and solar energy contracts to make good on his 100 percent renewable pledge.
By 2017, the mayor's green gamble was undercut by the cheap natural gas prices brought about by the revolution in high-tech fracking. Power that year cost the city's budget $9.5 million more than expected, rising to $10.5 million last year, according to budget documents reported by The Williamson County Sun.
Whether Mayor Ross and his colleagues on the Georgetown City Council were motivated by good intentions, political machinations, or mere vanity is unknown. What is known is that Georgetown's municipal utility, an integral part of the city budget, is hemorrhaging red ink thanks to those long term renewable energy contracts.
The mayor, who not long ago was approaching ubiquitous status with the media, could not be found by the local press to comment on his city's budget-busting power deficit.
The deficits were triggered by the drop in natural gas prices'--now the mainstay of the U.S. electric grid, having displaced coal'--which caused the city to sell its surplus wind and solar power at a steep discount into Texas' wholesale energy market. City leaders had to lock in a large excess of wind and solar power to be able to lend credibility to their 100 percent renewable claim, since wind and solar power can't be relied on to keep the lights on 24/7/365. And, even with that surplus, there are times when Georgetown draws traditional fossil fuel power from the Texas grid, making the city's ''100 percent renewable'' claim nothing more than spurious sloganeering.
That a city in Texas (which voted for President Trump) claimed to be ''100 percent renewable'' generated significant ''man bites dog'' notoriety. But as University of Houston energy expert Charles McConnell noted, ''It's not kind of misleading, it's very misleading, and it is for political gain.''
Most Texas residents have the ability to choose their electricity provider in a competitive statewide market, leading to electricity prices that are among the lowest in the nation: 18 percent below the national average in 2018, and 48 percent below prices in green energy pacesetter California.
But Texas' electricity market excludes municipal utilities like Georgetown's from competition, leaving consumers without choice and allowing political decisions '' rather than market forces '' to determine the mix of electricity suppliers.
Georgetown is now trying to renegotiate its costly long-term wind and solar energy contracts'--this, after the city council agreed to skimp on needed electric infrastructure investment to make up their budgetary shortfall.
Mayor Ross had previously reveled in trolling President Trump, boasting to a German TV show that, ''I make decisions based on facts'... unlike the president,'' then opining that ''It was a huge mistake to withdraw from the Paris climate accords'...''
One wonders what Mayor Ross thinks about the ongoing unrest in France, initially sparked by a climate change fuel tax hike that has since been rescinded, under pressure, by President Macron.
The mayor, who not long ago was approaching ubiquitous status with the media, could not be found by the local press to comment on his city's budget-busting power deficit, declining to comment by both phone and email.
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Meanwhile, Texas legislators '' who are unlikely to wind up on German TV '' have the power to introduce a bill with the potential to free Georgetown's ratepayers from the city's electric monopoly, giving them the same ability to shop around for electricity now enjoyed by some 20 million of their fellow Texans.
Wonder what Al Gore will have to say about that?
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VIDEO - Seattle receives the most snow in 70 years, bitter cold temperatures expected - CBS News
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 14:31
Some areas around Seattle recieved more than 10 inches of snow Saturday, the most in 70 years, the National Weather Service said, and more is on the way two more storm systems close in on the area. The National Weather Service said the first storm system is expected to arrive in the area Sunday night with light accumulation, and the second system will push through Monday and continue into Tuesday.
Meanwhile, cold temperatures are expected in the region overnight Saturday, with temperatures dropping to 15-20 degrees and the wind chill in the single digits.
The National Weather Service said some areas received up to 10.6 inches of snow, already making it the snowiest February since 1949, and the second snowiest February on record.
Nearly 8 inches of snow fell at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, where hundreds of flights were canceled, CBS News' Carter Evans reports. The storm obscured the famous Space Needle and left a blanket of snow over some very iconic locations, like Pike Place Market. Heavy snow did do some damage in Yosemite National Park, where they got up to two feet in some areas.
People sled at Gas Works Park after a large storm blanketed the city with snow on February 9, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. David Ryder / Getty Images In Tacoma, hundreds of people turned out for a snowball fight in a park after someone who lives nearby suggested it on Facebook. They took cover behind picnic tables and used sleds as shields.
"This is a perfect morning to bundle up and play in the snow, but stay off the roads if possible," Gov. Jay Inslee wrote on Twitter.
In central Washington, blowing snow and drifts 3 to 4 feet deep forced the closure of U.S. 2 and Interstate 90. The Grant County Sheriff's Office warned that snow drifts were blocking many roads. Airports in eastern Washington closed, and numerous car crashes were reported.
"Snow conditions are worsening minute to minute, so don't expect travel conditions to improve," the sheriff's office wrote.
The National Weather Service said additional snow could fall Saturday, and another storm was expected early next week.
About 180 people spent the night at an emergency shelter set up at Seattle Center, with officials going out again on Saturday to get other homeless residents to safety. Inslee declared a state of emergency over the storm. The state transportation department said crews had to clear several trees that had fallen across roads in the Tacoma area.
In Portland, a tanker truck slid into a sport-utility vehicle on an interchange between Interstates 5 and 84 on Saturday, blocking the ramp for hours.
Other parts of the country were also wrestling with difficult weather. Residents of Hawaii were bracing for coastal flooding amid extreme surf predictions. A California man died in rough waters off of Maui on Friday, Hawaii News Now reported.
In California, m ore than 120 visitors and staff members were rescued Thursday after being trapped by up to 7 feet of snow in a Sierra Nevada resort for five days.
Children sled on a hill in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood after a large storm blanketed the city with snow on February 9, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. Seattle almost reached its yearly amount of snowfall in a day. David Ryder / Getty Images Another winter storm was on the way to the region.
In Yosemite National Park, as many as 50 housing structures near Half Dome Village were damaged by trees toppled during a snowstorm earlier this week, displacing more than 160 employees who provide food, lodging and other services for visitors.
Elsewhere, more than 148,000 customers lost power in Michigan following days of freezing rain. The Consumers Energy utility said power would be restored by late Sunday.
In Washington, about 50,000 people lost power. In Seattle, snowfall from Sunday and Monday lingered into the week as below-freezing temperatures gripped the area. A 59-year-old man died Thursday from exposure at a Seattle light rail station.
Residents in Portland and Seattle who are more accustomed to rain than snow waited in long lines to buy shovels and de-icer.
Autumn Sang was at a mobbed grocery store in Tualatin, Oregon, on Friday stocking up for the coming storm for herself and her neighbor, who is disabled and doesn't have a car.
Sang said she had never seen the store so crowded. She grew up in southern Oregon, where snow is more common, and wasn't fazed by the forecast.
"I love it. I'm excited about it," she said of the snow. "I think that Portlanders, most of them are city people and they come from a lot of different places, so they're not so used to it. It's like, 'Use your brain! If you don't have to go out, don't go out.' "
VIDEO - Ex-NY Times Editor Jill Abramson Stands by Book 100 Percent: 'I Certainly Didn't Plagiarize' - YouTube
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 12:25
VIDEO - Harry Khachatrian on Twitter: "I am increasingly convinced that anyone who claims conservatives should "fear" AOC have never seen her talking in interviews https://t.co/uFF1LQcSs9"
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 20:18
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VIDEO - Exclusive look at FBI raid on Roger Stone's home - YouTube
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 17:19
VIDEO - Climate Science, Explained | Here's the Thing | WNYC Studios
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 13:58
Drs. Kate Marvel and Peter deMenocal sit down with Alec Baldwin at WNYC in New York City on November 28, 2018.
VIDEO - 'If you sin, you must pay for the sin' '-- Al Sharpton calls for Northam's resignation at Virginia Union event | Virginia Politics | richmond.com
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 13:51
Gathered on the campus of Virginia's oldest historically black college, black leaders on Thursday escalated calls for Gov. Ralph Northam to resign.
Local, state and national officials converged on Virginia Union University's weekly chapel service to respond to Northam's use of blackface in 1984 at a dance contest, an accusation of sexual assault against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, and an admittance Wednesday from Attorney General Mark Herring that he, too, had worn blackface at a college party.
''It's not by chance that God pulled back the covers in Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy,'' said Del. Delores McQuinn, a Richmond Democrat who is a member of the Legislative Black Caucus. ''We must acknowledge it. The only way we can get beyond it is to acknowledge.''
The revelations, during Black History Month and in the year marking the 400th anniversary of enslaved Africans' forced arrival to Virginia, landed the state at the epicenter of U.S. race relations, drawing prominent civil rights activist and television personality Al Sharpton to Virginia Union. Sharpton demanded that Northam and Herring resign before a packed Allix B. James Chapel in Coburn Hall.
''If you sin, you must pay for the sin,'' Sharpton said. ''Blackface represents a deeper problem where people felt they could dehumanize and humiliate people based on their inferiority.
''When we're reacting to blackface, we're not reacting to the act. We're reacting to what the act represents.''
Sharpton did not call for Fairfax to resign, saying instead that both Fairfax and his accuser, Vanessa Tyson, should be heard.
Northam originally apologized for appearing in a photo on his page in his 1984 medical school yearbook that showed one person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe. He retracted his story the day after, saying it wasn't him in the photo, but he admitted to a separate instance that same year in which he darkened his face and dressed up like Michael Jackson for a dance contest in Texas.
''Whether you blackfaced in Virginia or blackfaced in San Antonio, you are a blackface user,'' Sharpton said. ''He's got to deal with how he dealt with this, and I think that is part of what added insult to injury.''
Sharpton said he hadn't met with Northam, Fairfax or Herring since the start of the scandals.
The governor isn't the only elected leader he wants gone. He also called for Herring, who apologized for his blackface use, to step down.
''Forgiveness without a price is not forgiveness '-- it's a pass,'' Sharpton said.
About 300 people, including students, local officials and community members, attended the chapel service, which got Sharpton's national weight Tuesday when the 64-year-old reached out to VUU and said he'd be willing to speak, a university spokeswoman said.
Other speakers, mostly pastors, said Northam had lost the trust of the black community.
''He's not fit to lead,'' said Michael Jones, a member of Richmond's City Council and the pastor of Village of Faith Ministries. ''We must stand and demand that this man step down.''
The blackface, speakers said, highlights Virginia's racist past and increases the need for more recognition of black history.
''We must not let black history and art be overshadowed by blackface,'' said VUU President Hakim Lucas.
McQuinn's bill designating 2019 as the Year of Reconciliation and Civility in Virginia was unanimously approved by the House of Delegates on Monday. It has been referred to the Senate Rules Committee.
VIDEO - "Watch Your Ass!" - YouTube
Sat, 09 Feb 2019 12:57
VIDEO - Video Shows Rats Inside L.A. City Hall Amid Typhus Outbreak That May Force Removal of the Gov't Hub's Carpets | KTLA
Fri, 08 Feb 2019 14:12
All carpets at Los Angeles City Hall may need to be replaced amid a Typhus outbreak that may have infected one city employee while at work, according to a motion filed by Council President Herb Wesson on Wednesday.
Wesson first became aware of a vermin issue in November 2018, contacted pest control experts and removed all his office's carpets, according to the motion.
The motion reported cleanup issues and a noticeable increase in rodents in the area, which could have contributed to the outbreak.
On Thursday, Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez provided to KTLA video showing rats running through City Hall offices. Spooked staffers could be heard shrieking in the background.
Los Angeles county health officials first reported a Typhus outbreak in downtown Los Angeles in October 2018, the year there were 142 Typhus cases in Los Angeles County alone, according to a study by the California Department of Public Health.
Typhus is a deadly bacterial disease that is typically transmitted through fleas that have been infected by rodents.
Symptoms include high fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches, rashes, and in some severe cases, internal bleeding. The disease can be treated with antibiotics, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Wesson's motion asks for a report on the scope of vermin and pest control issues at City Hall, and instructs city staff to report back with a cost estimate for removing all carpets in the building and an assessment of all live plants in any city building.
Elizabeth Greenwood, an L.A. city employee, said she started experiencing flu-like symptoms and went to the doctor in November last year.
A blood test revealed she had contracted Typhus.
''I was in shock. Who thinks of Typhus?'' Greenwood said. ''I thought of Typhus as something I read about in history books."
She said she felt so sick, she thought she was going to die.
''It is terrifying to me that going from my car, up an elevator to my office, I can get this disease from a flea bite,'' Greenwood said.
Greenwood said she refuses to return to work until all of City Hall East is fumigated.
Mayor Eric Garcetti's office issued a statement saying that multiple city departments began a coordinated effort to improve cleanliness in Civic Center last fall.
"In addition to increased trash collection and cleanings, aggressive action has been taken to address pests both in the buildings and in the surrounding outside areas," the statement said.
On Thursday, city workers were seen power-washing the sidewalk outside City Hall, cleaning up piles of trash and filling in rat burrows in the surrounding area.
An email was sent out to all city employees telling them not to leave food out in their work area and to take out the trash daily.
''Rats and cockroaches are survivalists and so they are not easy to eliminate,'' Wesson told KTLA. ''We need to try to stay one step ahead of them, because what we don't want, is for some of our employees to get sick.''
Typhus is transmitted through the bite of an infected flea and does not travel from person to person, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
34.052234 -118.243685
VIDEO - Hillary Clinton on Nancy Pelosi: 'It often takes a woman to get the job done' | Fox News
Fri, 08 Feb 2019 12:47
Hillary Clinton praised Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Thursday for the influx of women running for political office, saying the California Democrat proves "it often takes a woman to get the job done."
In a video that aired Thursday at the 2019 MAKERS Conference in Southern California, the former secretary of state told the audience that "the tidal wave of women and young people running for office is helping to build an America that's not only kinder, fairer, bigger hearted, but safer, stronger and more secure."
HILLARY CLINTON SWIPES AT 'LIKABILITY' GAUGE FOR FEMALE CANDIDATES, AS WARREN CAMPAIGNS
At the annual conference of MAKERS, "a media brand that exists to accelerate the women's movement," Clinton, 71, praised Pelosi, and her title as speaker, saying: "Doesn't that sound great?"
''I am energized and encouraged by the diverse group of women everywhere who are speaking out. Speaking out against inequality, and bigotry, and racism and homophobia and organizing to create change in their communities and our country '-- refusing to give in to cynicism or fear,'' Clinton said in the pre-recorded video.
The 2016 presidential candidate said that "standing up for the rights and opportunities for women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century."
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"Finishing that business is going to take all of us: Innovators and entrepreneurs, athletes and activists, trailblazers and change-makers '-- and also women and men," Clinton said.
She described the current climate as a "pivotal moment," and told the crowd she believes "there's nothing we can't do."
VIDEO - Binkley on Twitter: "@adamcurry Hey dude, what do you think of what Stacey Abrams had to say in her interview yesterday after her state of the union response? https://t.co/hNXWONjkpH"
Fri, 08 Feb 2019 04:43
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VIDEO - Jill Abramson Responds To Charges Of Plagiarism, Inaccuracies : NPR
Thu, 07 Feb 2019 23:31
Jill Abramson, former managing editor and executive editor of The New York Times, speaks at 2014 Pennsylvania Conference For Women in Philadelphia. Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women hide caption
toggle caption Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women Jill Abramson, former managing editor and executive editor of The New York Times, speaks at 2014 Pennsylvania Conference For Women in Philadelphia.
Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women Jill Abramson, former New York Times executive editor, finds herself embroiled in controversy over charges of inaccuracies and plagiarism in her new book Merchants of Truth, out this week.
The book was skewered by Vice correspondent Michael Moynihan in a series of tweets Wednesday that showed passages where Abramson's language strongly echoed that of articles penned by others.
In an interview Thursday with NPR's Michel Martin, Abramson admits she "fell short" in attributing her sources for some passages of the book. She also argues that much of the criticism now surrounding her has come from Vice, whose reporters have not taken kindly to her portrayal of the media organization in the book. Abramson also says had ample time to review the sections of the book about it before publication.
In her book, Abramson tracks the rise of BuzzFeed and Vice, alongside the struggles of The New York Times and The Washington Post to stay afloat in the digital age. The subtitle of Abramson's book is "The Business of News and The Fight for Facts."
Abramson says that she has looked at the passages noted by Moynihan and also freelance journalist Ian Frisch, who says Abramson uses quotes from a 2014 profile that Frisch wrote.
"In several of these cases, the language is too close for comfort, and should have been specifically cited in the footnotes correctly," Abramson tells NPR. "Or put in quotations in the book."
"The problem here is that though I did cite these publications and try to credit everybody perfectly, I fell short," she admits.
"In the cases that Michael Moynihan cited, there isn't the correct page number for the credited citation. I'm going to fix those pronto and am determined to make my book flawless and will fix these things as absolutely soon as I can."
Abramson says that while she had help in pulling the book together, perhaps it wasn't sufficient.
"I did have fact-checking, I did have assistants in research, and in some cases, the drafting of parts of the book. So I feel I did have support. I certainly did spend money. But maybe it wasn't enough."
Abramson is a towering figure in journalism, an expert investigative reporter who became the first woman to serve as Executive Editor at The New York Times. Abramson's outsized role in journalism is also the reason why her work is receiving so much scrutiny.
The book's publisher, Simon and Schuster, says it is standing by the book but will incorporate any changes needed.
Calling the book "disastrous," Moynihan said he would be happy to provide Simon and Schuster with more examples of mistakes and cribbing from secondary sources.
Abramson says her lapses do not detract from the book.
"The issue here is it's a 500-page book, and these are a few problems in it," Abramson says. "These complaints by Vice are a minor part of the book."
VIDEO - Harry Reid: Renewed But Ready to Rumble? | Nevada Public Radio
Thu, 07 Feb 2019 23:05
Harry Reid retired a little more than two years ago after serving decades in elected office, lastly as a U.S. senator who helped President Barack Obama get the Affordable Care Act through Congress.
He's been out of the limelight since, undergoing cancer treatment.
He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in November, but he told KNPR's State of Nevada that he was doing fine despite the diagnosis and quipped about the writer of the New York Times Magazine piece about him.
''I'm sure the guy writing the article is going to die too,'' he said, ''I'm doing fine. Everything is working out well. I'm strong and have a pretty good life I think. So, I'm not worried about what someone says. I've got good health here and I'm doing fine.''
The interview made headlines because the former senator characterized President Trump not as immoral, but ''amoral.''
In typical Reid manner, he did not back away from his blunt assessment of the president when he spoke with State of Nevada.
"What amoral means is this: immoral is you do things and you feel bad about it... If you are amoral, you have no conscience," he said, "I didn't use the word as a throwaway word. I used the word because I meant it."
The former senator pointed to the president's efforts to build a wall and the government shutdown because of the dispute over funding the project as an example of his amoral behavior.
"This idea of building this wall. The American people don't support it. The vast majority of the members of Congress don't support it," he said.
He said it was foolish to put people living on a shoestring budget on furlough. In addition, he said the shutdown is hurting the businesses that rely on federal workers paychecks.
Reid also said that he believes that President Trump has not only been bad for the country but also bad for the world.
"Originally, when he was elected, I was worried about America. I'm now worried about the world," Reid said, "He's ruined - for the near future - our relations with Europe... NATO has become less important, which is too bad."
As for who will run against the president in 2020 on the Democratic ticket, Reid wasn't willing to say who he would choose but he did say he has talked to leaders looking at the possibility of a presidential run.
"Lots and lots of people have called me asking for my opinion and I try to be as candid with them as I can," he said, "I'm glad they think I have an opinion that is worth something."
Reid, who many have credited with getting people elected in Nevada and driving the Reid political machine as it is called, said any of the people who have talked about running would be good, but, "that doesn't mean I'm going to be out beating the bushes for any one of them."
Reid said it would be unfair for him to choose someone when the state has a caucus system to do that.
While most of what Reid weighed in on was politics, he also addressed the funding of research into military sightings of unidentified flying objects. Reid had helped to direct money to that research.
"I think it is something we can't ignore," he said, "I personally don't know if there exist little green men places. I kind of doubt that, but I do believe the information we have indicates we should do a lot more study."
He said there are eyewitness accounts from hundreds of people, including military pilots, of unexplained objects moving through the air all in the same way.
Reid said he is working with a member of Congress to create a place for military pilots to report what they see without fear of reprisals.
(Editor's note: This interview originally aired January 2019)
Guests :
Former U.S. Senator Harry Reid, D-Nev.
VIDEO - Alexandria Ocasio Cortez Discovers No Ethics Laws Apply to the President - YouTube
Thu, 07 Feb 2019 22:54
VIDEO - WeWork's Grand Plan To Take Over Your Entire Life - Digg
Thu, 07 Feb 2019 22:53
In their ideal future, you will work, live and rear your children in a WeWork.
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But you're going to have to zoom in a bit to actually see the lunar lander.
The resolution calls for a 10-year plan to shift America's power demand entirely over to renewable energy and for investments in building and transportation upgrades. It also calls for some policies that are not obviously related to climate change, such as a jobs guarantee and universal health care.
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Some math-based advice for those still swiping this Valentine's Day.
America's favorite bird stares down a guy just trying to do his job.
Like their chat-room successors on the Internet, sex-related computer bulletin boards were venues where people with specialized sexual preferences congregated and shared fantasies. They were also places where users could be entrapped, then as now, by any cop with an Internet connection and the urge to fulfill his own fantasy of cleansing the world of perverts.
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VIDEO - Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Releases Green New Deal Outline : NPR
Thu, 07 Feb 2019 21:45
The Green New Deal legislation laid out by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey sets goals for some drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the economy. In the process, it aims to create jobs and boost the economy. Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption
toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR The Green New Deal legislation laid out by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey sets goals for some drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the economy. In the process, it aims to create jobs and boost the economy.
Amr Alfiky/NPR Updated 4:30 p.m.
Whether it's a deadly cold snap or a hole under an Antarctic glacier or a terrifying new report, there seem to be constant reminders now of the dangers that climate change poses to humanity.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., think they have a start to a solution. Thursday they are introducing a framework defining what they call a "Green New Deal" '-- what they foresee as a massive policy package that would remake the U.S. economy and, they hope, eliminate all U.S. carbon emissions.
That's a really big '-- potentially impossibly big '-- undertaking.
"Even the solutions that we have considered big and bold are nowhere near the scale of the actual problem that climate change presents to us," Ocasio-Cortez told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview that aired Thursday on Morning Edition.
She added: "It could be part of a larger solution, but no one has actually scoped out what that larger solution would entail. And so that's really what we're trying to accomplish with the Green New Deal."
What is the Green New Deal?
In very broad strokes, the Green New Deal legislation laid out by Ocasio-Cortez and Markey sets goals for some drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the economy, from electricity generation to transportation to agriculture. In the process, it aims to create jobs and boost the economy.
In that vein, the proposal stresses that it aims to meet its ambitious goals while paying special attention to groups like the poor, disabled and minority communities that might be disproportionately affected by massive economic transitions like those the Green New Deal calls for.
Importantly, it's a nonbinding resolution, meaning that even if it were to pass (more on the challenges to that below), it wouldn't itself create any new programs. Instead, it would potentially affirm the sense of the House that these things should be done in the coming years.
Lawmakers pass nonbinding resolutions for things as simple as congratulating Super Bowl winners, as well as to send political messages '-- for example, telling the president they disapprove of his trade policies, as the Senate did in summer 2018.
What are the specifics of that framework?
The bill calls for a "10-year national mobilizations" toward accomplishing a series of goals that the resolution lays out.
(Note: Ocasio-Cortez's office released an updated version of the bill on Thursday. The earlier version, which we had included in a prior version of this story, is still available here.)
Among the most prominent, the deal calls for "meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources." The ultimate goal is to stop using fossil fuels entirely, Ocasio-Cortez's office told NPR, as well as to transition away from nuclear energy.
In addition, the framework, as described in the legislation as well as a blog post '-- containing an updated version of "FAQs" provided to NPR by Ocasio-Cortez's office '-- calls for a variety of other lofty goals:
"upgrading all existing buildings" in the country for energy efficiency; working with farmers "to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions ... as much as is technologically feasible" (while supporting family farms and promoting "universal access to healthy food"); "Overhauling transportation systems" to reduce emissions '-- including expanding electric car manufacturing, building "charging stations everywhere," and expanding high-speed rail to "a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary"; A guaranteed job "with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security" for every American; "High-quality health care" for all Americans. Which is to say: the Green New Deal framework combines big climate-change-related ideas with a wish list of progressive economic proposals that, taken together, would touch nearly every American and overhaul the economy.
Are those ideas doable?
Many in the climate science community, as well as Green New Deal proponents, agree that saving the world from disastrous effects of climate change requires aggressive action.
And some of the Green New Deal's goals are indeed aggressive. For example, Ocasio-Cortez told NPR that "in 10 years, we're trying to go carbon-neutral."
According to Jesse Jenkins, a postdoctoral environmental fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School, that may be an unreachable goal.
"Where we need to be targeting really is a net-zero carbon economy by about 2050, which itself is an enormous challenge and will require reductions in carbon emissions much faster than have been achieved historically," he said. "2030 might be a little bit early to be targeting."
Similarly, removing combustible engines from the roads or expanding high-speed rail to largely eliminate air travel would require nothing short of revolutionizing transportation.
Likewise, some of the more progressive economic policies '-- universal health care and a job guarantee, for example '-- while popular among some Democrats, would also be very difficult to implement and transition into.
On top of all that, implementing all of these policies could cost trillions upon trillions of dollars.
Altogether, the Green New Deal is a loose framework. It does not lay out guidance on how to implement these policies.
Rather, the idea is that Ocasio-Cortez and Markey will "begin work immediately on Green New Deal bills to put the nuts and bolts on the plan described in this resolution."
And again, all of this is hypothetical '-- it would be tough to implement and potentially extremely expensive ... if it passed.
So did the idea of a Green New Deal start with Ocasio-Cortez?
Not at all.
While the Green New Deal has in the last year or so grown central to progressive Democrats' policy conversations, the idea of a Green New Deal itself is well over a decade old. Environmentalists were talking about it as far back as 2003, when the term popped up in a San Francisco Chronicle article about an environmentalist conference.
It gained traction with a 2007 New York Times column from Thomas Friedman, where he used the phrase to describe the scope of energy investments he thought would be necessary to slow climate change on a large scale.
The phrase was also used around President Barack Obama's 2009 stimulus, which had around $90 billion worth of environmental initiatives.
While the idea gained some currency in Europe and also in the Green Party, it wasn't until after the 2016 election that it really gained broad popularity on the left in the U.S. (Vox's Dave Roberts has a more thorough history here).
This latest iteration is different both in the political energy that it has amassed and the grand scope it is taking. While it was a product of the progressive activist community, Ocasio-Cortez has been perhaps the most visible proponent of the plan and has helped it gain nationwide attention.
So will it pass?
That looks unlikely.
Yes, there's some energy for it on the left '-- some House Democrats have already said they will support the bill. However, there are indications House leadership isn't prioritizing the idea as much as those more liberal Democrats would like '-- Speaker Nancy Pelosi frustrated Green New Deal proponents by not giving them the kind of committee they wanted to put the policies together.
After the deal's Thursday release, she also cast the plan as simply one of any number of environmental proposals the House might consider.
"It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive," Pelosi told Politico. "The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they're for it right?"
In addition, it's easy to see how the bill could be dangerous for moderate House Democrats, many of whom come from swing districts and may be loath to touch such a progressive proposal.
Among Republicans '-- even those worried about climate change '-- the package, with its liberal economic ideas, will also likely be a nonstarter.
"Someone's going to have to prove to me how that can be accomplished because it looks to me like for the foreseeable future we're gonna be using a substantial amount of fossil fuels," said Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., co-chair of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, speaking to NPR before the Green New Deal's text was released.
For his part, Rooney is in favor of a carbon tax, a policy he helped propose with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in November. Information from Ocasio-Cortez's office says that the Green New Deal could include a carbon tax, but that it would be "a tiny part" of the total package of policies.
Meanwhile, there's little chance of a Green New Deal getting a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.
If it's not going to pass and it's not even binding, why is it worth even talking about?
It's worth talking about because it already is a politically powerful idea among Democrats.
Already, presidential candidates are being asked whether they support the idea of a Green New Deal, meaning it's easy to see the issue becoming a litmus test for some voters in both the 2020 congressional elections and the presidential election.
To more liberal Democrats, the prospect of such an ambitious economic and environmental package at the center of the 2020 campaign may be particularly energizing.
"I think it's like a really weird instinct that the Democratic Party develops to not be exciting intentionally," said Sean McElwee, co-founder of the progressive think tank Data for Progress. "Most of politics is getting people excited enough to show up and vote for you. And I think that a Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all '-- these are ideas that are big enough to get people excited and show up to vote for you."
For her part, Ocasio-Cortez says that a policy like the Green New Deal could get voters excited enough to pressure their Congress members to support it.
"I do think that when there's a wide spectrum of debate on an issue, that is where the public plays a role. That is where the public needs to call their member of Congress and say, 'This is something that I care about,' " she told NPR, adding, "Where I do have trust is in my colleagues' capacity to change and evolve and be adaptable and listen to their constituents."
That said, it's easy to see how a Green New Deal litmus test could backfire on that front, endangering some Democrats '-- particularly in swing districts.
But it's not just about national politics. The national-level energy for a Green New Deal could boost efforts in cities and states. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for example, has been pushing a Green New Deal in his state.
Aside from the politics, there's the fact that climate change remains an impending threat '-- one for which the world has yet to come up with a fix.
"It's a big legislation because it's a huge [expletive] problem! We're all going to die," said McElwee. "Every week it seems like the risks of climate change become more real, and the amount of devastation it is going to wreak upon humanity becomes larger, and that means we have to do bigger things."
VIDEO - Mahgdalen Rose🌹 on Twitter: "THE BRAINS BEHIND OCASIO-CORTEZ IS HER CHIEF OF STAFF SAIKAT CHAKRABARTI https://t.co/J1z0d3Oq95" / Twitter
Thu, 07 Feb 2019 21:23
Log in Sign up Mahgdalen Rose🌹 @ MahgdalenRose THE BRAINS BEHIND OCASIO-CORTEZ IS HER CHIEF OF STAFF SAIKAT CHAKRABARTI
pscp.tv/w/byud0DFheVFW'... 7:32 PM - 6 Feb 2019 Cornelious Jones @ Flavio_Reid
17h Replying to
@MahgdalenRose In less than 8 minutes, I learned more about Socialistez than I have the 2 plus years she's been slammed down our throats. If only the MSM were as honest to provide us with her background. And this idiot is a sitting US Congresswoman. Sad. Thank you Mahgdalen.
View conversation · Mahgdalen Rose🌹 @ MahgdalenRose
17h Replying to
@Flavio_Reid Thank you
View conversation · BackSassBaby @ BackSassBaby
17h Replying to
@MahgdalenRose WowActual reportingI'm so not used to thatIt's been so long that I'm a bit stunned that anybody does the work anymoreThank you so muchAnd you are good on camera by the way
View conversation · Mahgdalen Rose🌹 @ MahgdalenRose
17h Replying to
@BackSassBaby Thank you
View conversation · Mahgdalen Rose🌹 @ MahgdalenRose
16h Replying to
@saikatc @saikatc is the handle of Ocasio-Cortez's Chief of Staff
View conversation · julie schultz duff @ jules618790
15h Replying to
@MahgdalenRose You're awesome!
View conversation · Mahgdalen Rose🌹 @ MahgdalenRose
15h Replying to
@jules618790 Thank you
View conversation · gordon player @ toniboyy
1h Replying to
@MahgdalenRose @jimjimzen I am so pleased to know that you snd the BU grad have everything under control your economic understanding when called to be payed for offers a generally fair mediocrity for all uour brain is behind your glasses that's it
View conversation · Mahgdalen Rose🌹 @ MahgdalenRose
57m Replying to
@toniboyy @jimjimzen This is not a positive Video of AOC. It's a video explaining who is really telling her what to do.
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All Clips

Sharpton in Virginia with NAN-price must be paid.mp3
Oprah and Beto in NY this Saturday the 16th.mp3
Alec Baldwin Climate Change-4-What to do right now-Green New Deal and PRICE on carbon.mp3
Alec Baldwin Climate Change-5-consensus and agreement in science.mp3
Alec Baldwin Climate Change-6-climate change is costing us-fires by climate change.mp3
Alec Baldwin Climate Change-7-earth doesn't care-also climate change not threat to life just happiness.mp3
Alec Baldwin Climate Change-8-Kate on Nuclear energy.mp3
Georgetown all green city now fucked.mp3
Green-New-Deal-FAQ.pdf
Seattle receives the most snow in 70 years, bitter cold temperatures expected.mp3
Alec Baldwin Climate Change-1-How much is cycles and how much humans-100 percent of course.mp3
Alec Baldwin Climate Change-2-Radical solutions like geo-engineering.mp3
scott adams on Elizabeth Warren.mp3
snow in seattle.mp3
Trump and DPRK updte CBS.mp3
venezuela angle from DN.mp3
Warren short version CBS.mp3
woo hoo applause ISO.mp3
AOC Ed Markey BS.mp3
AOC part one the sea levels.mp3
AOC part TWO ramble.mp3
bezos and the texts CBS.mp3
Tim Pool-Rogan-1-LibJo's in NYC and how the machine works.mp3
Tim Pool-Rogan-2-Clicks, ComScore and traffic assignment.mp3
Tim Pool-Rogan-3-Why Alex Jones was banned.mp3
Al Jazeera repport on the Bursting of the Buzzfeed Bubble.mp3
Jill Abrams on Martha McCullum about the plagiarism-first news of it breaking on twitter.mp3
Jill Abramson on book errors with NPR.mp3
Black guys with MAGA hats, white girl is terrified of it.mp3
War On Cash - Money - Pink Floyd style-Secret Agent Paul.mp3
KCAL report on cashless society.mp3
  • 0:14
    [Music]
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    George Stephanopoulos
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    I think I'm Jesse Devore so we have this
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    great show it's episode 1111 1111 1111
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    is a magical number we start at 1111
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    Austin time and you're gonna bring in
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    George Stephanopoulos his birthday it's
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    also the day in 1763 that France ceded
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    Canada to England at the Treaty of Paris
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    ending the French and Indian War well
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    this is of course very important well
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    the thing about this the second thing is
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    that was the in were the Indians
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    fighting on behalf of Britain yes I
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    believe they were if I recall on my
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    history correctly well how did they mad
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    at the Brits managed to pull that off I
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    don't know mmm anyway here we are 11 11
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    11 11 11 11 we've been talking about
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    this for a while now that's 11 11 and I
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    don't know if everyone has this we've
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    discussed it before but as so often I
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    will look at a digital clock and it will
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    say 11 11 and it's it's not just me it's
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    people all over the globe witnessed this
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    all the time at 11:11 and you're
  • 1:44
    supposed to make a wish and it will come
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    true so I 11 constantly - I mean you
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    just see it I mean you're just so many
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    hours in the day it's gonna happen two
  • 1:54
    hours a day
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    yeah that's usually before you go to bed
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    and you know I should get up it is kind
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    of a good time well 11 I know is that
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    coffee time is that why people might
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    catch it more no no I
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    but eleven eleven
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    I only recently heard that you make a
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    wish oh that's like you squandered
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    probably a hundred wishes yes yeah
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    maybe more mm-hmm well our wishes come
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    true at least mine has yeah I just want
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    to do another show every I breathe I'm
  • 2:26
    like we get to do it I'm still alive to
  • 2:29
    do a show I got another show another
  • 2:31
    show to go I'm very very happy and Tina
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    and I the keeper we had dinner with the
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    former New York banker and his wife
  • 2:42
    Friday night yes I come from the coal
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    mine where the canary has spoken to me
  • 2:50
    the canary said well there's four eight
  • 2:52
    four to three topics three big topics
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    and he was I think I think I think he
  • 3:02
    may they both may either been there
  • 3:04
    significantly before us well maybe they
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    had they took a course or rosters I
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    think they were loose in the former New
  • 3:13
    York bankers literally you got it you
  • 3:15
    got to jump in right away so first of
  • 3:17
    all he's like ha ha ha ha Trump did it
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    so what do you mean he screwed New York
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    what are you talking about so everyone's
  • 3:28
    all in a tizzy about the to finally get
  • 3:30
    my attention
  • 3:32
    ones in a tizzy about the 2.8 billion
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    dollars a
  • 3:35
    taksim deficit and and he's telling me
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    he's like that's because of the Trump
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    tax as I said are you just figuring this
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    out said you didn't realize that the
  • 3:47
    state and local tax is capped that that
  • 3:49
    wasn't to screw New York in California
  • 3:51
    I guess he hadn't thought about it oh
  • 3:54
    you're talking about that cap yeah yeah
  • 3:57
    yeah the cap is what everyone ignores I
  • 3:59
    mean because we were right on to it
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    almost immediately because we have one
  • 4:02
    of our producers as a local superstar
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    CPA it works in the Bay Area I believe
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    the anonymous gay as we call it now
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    another anonymous gay well the anonymous
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    gay I know is the is the accountant oh
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    they're not as gay I know is a is a
  • 4:18
    lawyer but okay well maybe we should
  • 4:20
    introduce
  • 4:21
    to each other no but this guy is told
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    it's right off the bat there goes a
  • 4:29
    zephyr tolls right off the bat on time
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    to him - because of this cap on property
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    taxes it's gonna it's really is a tax on
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    the rich yeah but nobody wanted to bring
  • 4:44
    it up none of these analysts wanted to
  • 4:46
    bring it up none of these superstars
  • 4:47
    none of these pundits not these people
  • 4:49
    on the network's wanted to bring it up
  • 4:51
    because it would not it would be against
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    their narrative you know how we're
  • 4:54
    trying to save them buddy
  • 4:55
    no the rich are generally burdened with
  • 4:58
    a lot of property yeah and they pay a
  • 5:01
    lot of property tax all what a burden
  • 5:04
    they used to be able to write it off now
  • 5:05
    you can yeah exactly
  • 5:07
    so this apparently wasn't surprise to
  • 5:08
    everybody if they listened to the show
  • 5:14
    they wouldn't have gotten so screwed
  • 5:16
    okay second thing he said and we weren't
  • 5:23
    really talking polity he was just
  • 5:24
    blurting stuff out across the table okay
  • 5:27
    yeah and I always and I was drinking too
  • 5:30
    so alright remember I'm taking notes
  • 5:33
    under the table like I'm gonna forget
  • 5:35
    this he says just you know Stacey Abrams
  • 5:39
    is no Maxine Waters I said what yes
  • 5:46
    Stacey Abrams did you see did you see
  • 5:47
    her did you see here to give the the the
  • 5:50
    reply to the State of the Union see yeah
  • 5:51
    of course I did he made on the green
  • 5:53
    screen tada ha she's smart man she says
  • 5:57
    and he kept saying she's know Maxine
  • 5:59
    Waters said why do you say that well
  • 6:02
    just you know on the show it's like
  • 6:03
    eight we don't see every black woman as
  • 6:05
    it as a moron Maxine Waters even were
  • 6:08
    we're not racist
  • 6:10
    so I finally calm him down over that
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    he's like all yeah no it's it's all
  • 6:14
    agitated yeah well I mean I guess he's
  • 6:17
    trying to what he's trying to give me a
  • 6:19
    message and I appreciate you and he
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    doesn't listen a lot to the show I don't
  • 6:23
    think I think he checks or sometimes the
  • 6:24
    time and so you know his feeling is
  • 6:28
    probably well I like Adam you know his
  • 6:29
    racist and and
  • 6:33
    black women dogs blacks everything so I
  • 6:37
    guess I have to tell him again to make
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    sure he understands Stacy why Abrams is
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    no Maxine Waters I know I said you know
  • 6:45
    she's a she wrote an article yes oh the
  • 6:48
    article in foreign policy magazine that
  • 6:51
    was brilliant
  • 6:52
    I said one where she says identity
  • 6:54
    politics brings us closer to get she's
  • 6:56
    smart be on the lookout for her now the
  • 6:59
    reason I bring it up today is because he
  • 7:01
    is he travels in circles you know he
  • 7:04
    travels in circles where they are not
  • 7:06
    are circle where they don't know and
  • 7:07
    maybe don't care that the New York state
  • 7:09
    tax real estate taxes were not
  • 7:12
    deductible or not not for $10,000 but
  • 7:16
    also he's like Beto remember he was all
  • 7:19
    over Beto very early on better better
  • 7:21
    better better better yeah but it's not
  • 7:23
    Beto it is Stacey Abrams and he says
  • 7:26
    were presidents now Chuck's gonna run
  • 7:29
    her for Senate he thinks but it could
  • 7:31
    get so crazy that they could swoop her
  • 7:33
    in depending on how things go I know
  • 7:37
    brother and confirmed for your
  • 7:41
    information she is a member of the
  • 7:45
    Council on Foreign Relations of course
  • 7:48
    that's what she wrote in the magazine s
  • 7:51
    it's generally reserved for those people
  • 7:53
    it's a signal it's for signaling a here
  • 7:56
    we well she's lead is read between the
  • 7:59
    lines you'll get the picture not go out
  • 8:00
    do your job well good so we need to keep
  • 8:04
    our eye on Stacey Abrams because she is
  • 8:06
    Aniston did you say to him why do you
  • 8:09
    why is a woman some random black
  • 8:11
    politician in Georgia a member of the
  • 8:13
    Council on Foreign Relations no I didn't
  • 8:16
    know that I didn't have this information
  • 8:18
    at the time will not use it next time
  • 8:20
    but the third thing was what kind of
  • 8:23
    caught me off guard trumps going down
  • 8:27
    with this Bezos thing it's over what
  • 8:31
    it's over Trump's going down with the
  • 8:34
    bees OHS thing what are you talking
  • 8:37
    about and there's this theory that this
  • 8:42
    entire fraca
  • 8:44
    over the dick pics that the National
  • 8:47
    Enquirer or more precisely American
  • 8:50
    media Incorporated has and has
  • 8:53
    apparently been blackmailing Jeff Bezos
  • 8:56
    over that if they find out that I'm just
  • 9:00
    giving you his version if if law
  • 9:03
    enforcement discovers that this was done
  • 9:06
    illegally oh yeah this is a big this way
  • 9:09
    there's a couple of things so first the
  • 9:11
    National Enquirer made a deal with the
  • 9:13
    Justice Department after the payoff of
  • 9:16
    Karen McDougal mcdougal for $150,000
  • 9:19
    yeah that and they made a deal that
  • 9:21
    didn't have to admit any fault but they
  • 9:25
    also would need not be accused of
  • 9:27
    political motivations and they have I
  • 9:31
    think it's a three year period if they
  • 9:33
    break any law then American media
  • 9:37
    basically is over then I guess though
  • 9:40
    the Justice Department would come in and
  • 9:42
    bankrupt him and God knows what so
  • 9:44
    somehow the and he and he was just went
  • 9:47
    on about you know be so heavily secured
  • 9:49
    you know he's got the best security
  • 9:50
    details not did he sitting dick takes to
  • 9:53
    girlfriend I mean do you know how many
  • 9:55
    places that cabana if they thought not
  • 9:58
    could be the girlfriend yeah but here's
  • 10:01
    where the mainstream media is trying to
  • 10:03
    tie this in that his the other woman
  • 10:08
    shall we say Sanchez I think her last
  • 10:10
    name is that her brother has links to
  • 10:14
    Roger stone don't think of your Roger
  • 10:19
    Scott stone thing no no no no no but you
  • 10:25
    know anyways just going on like this
  • 10:28
    comes out it'll be over it'll be
  • 10:30
    obstruction of justice all I'm like no
  • 10:33
    way suborning something or others more
  • 10:37
    like it so it isn't any of what is
  • 10:39
    happening now is these those dreamers
  • 10:42
    these dreamers and how they have to this
  • 10:44
    everything has to relate to everything
  • 10:45
    has to relate to Toronto everything has
  • 10:47
    to have something to do with him going
  • 10:48
    down well this and you I'd like you to
  • 10:51
    check with your Lib Joe friends to see
  • 10:53
    if they're picking up on the same vibe
  • 10:55
    I'm sure
  • 10:57
    but you know what Jeff Bezos did for
  • 10:59
    those of you who didn't who didn't I
  • 11:01
    have a couple clips oh good let's let's
  • 11:03
    do that then let's say you have a
  • 11:04
    background or so we can really
  • 11:05
    understand both of them our background
  • 11:07
    errs there are two versions and they're
  • 11:08
    pretty much they're not the same ad
  • 11:10
    because there's a different angle on
  • 11:11
    each one you play one or the other or
  • 11:13
    both but Bezos and texts CBS this is the
  • 11:17
    basic story Amazon founder Jeff Bezos
  • 11:19
    claims the owner of the National