1155: Tump!

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 50m
July 14th, 2019
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Executive Producers: Doug the Sand Sailor, Dennis Adams

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Jeff of the 5 Seasons, Ashley Beyer, Micky Keck, Mike Lamb

Cover Artist: Mike Riley


Start of Show
Steve Pieczenik: 'OPUS 167 Mossad Epstein Connection'
US State Department Personal Implicated in Sexual Misconduct Investigation in 2015
Alan Dershowitz
Fox News: 'Former Epstein Attorney Ken Starr Says Alex Acosta Played Tough in 2008'
US Labor Secretary Alex Acosta Resigns
Power Outage Hits Manhattan
Fourth New York Police Department Officer Dies by Suicide in a Month
Former New York Democrat Employee Jacob Schwartz Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Porn
Marc Dutroux
ICE Raids Announced to Be Starting on Sunday
Nancy Pelosi Tells Illegal Immigrants How To Avoid ICE Raids
Man Killed in Attack on ICE Detention Facility
Hearing on Migrant Children & Border Security
Joe Biden Faces Protests for Obama Administration's Immigration Policy
JCD Cancelled His LinkedIn Premium Subscription
US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell Compares Bitcoin to Gold
2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson
Rosie O'Donnell on SiriusXM
Bill Maher Interview on CNN's Cuomo Prime Time
Joe Biden
Angela Merkel Shaking Visibly During Conference For The Third Time in a Few Months
Macron Announces French Space Force
NASA: 'Not-Unsolved Mysteries: The “Lost” Apollo 11 Tapes'
OJ Simpson on the Cashless Society
Birthdays & Title Changes
JCD's Compilation of Telemarketing Calls
The Belt and Road Initiative
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló Under Fire for Leaked Telegram Chats
New Republic Pulls Inappropriate Op-Ed About Pete Buttigieg
Forbes: 'Is Google About To Try Its Hand At Social Networks Again?'
Trump on Social Media Statistics
End of Show
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Clinton's Epstein Timeline Busted? Records Contradict Fmr President's Statement '' Dan Bongino
Thu, 11 Jul 2019 20:55
Former President Bill Clinton's
public timeline on his interactions with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein has been contradicted by a recently unearthed 1995 report, according to
Fox News.On Monday, President Clinton released a statement claiming he ''knows nothing'' about the billionaire's ''terrible crimes'' and includes a timeline of his dealings with Epstein beginning in 2002.
Now, a 1995 Palm Beach Post story reveals Clinton attended a ''three-hour dinner'' at the home of businessman Ron Perelman along with Epstein, singer Jimmy Buffett, and others.
The report said, ''Joining Clinton for a three-hour dinner was a very select group of people, some of whom, according to one Democratic Party source, gave as much as $100,000 to the Democratic National Committee for the privilege of dining with the president.''
In his statement on Monday, Clinton only revealed his dealings with Epstein in 2002 and 2003:
President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York. In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein's airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation. Staff, supporters of the Foundation and his Secret Service detail traveled on every leg of every trip. He had one meeting with Epstein in his Harlem office in 2002, and around the same time made one brief visit to Epstein's New York apartment with a staff member and his security detail. He's not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein's ranch in New Mexico or his residence in Florida.
any have questioned the full extent of Clinton's relationship with Epstein.
The billionaire's attorneys once claimed the embattled billionaire helped ''conceive'' the Clinton Global Initiative.
''Mr. Epstein was part of the original group that conceived the Clinton Global Initiative, which is described as a project 'bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges,'' wrote Epstein's lawyers Alan Dershowitz and Gerald Lefcourt in a 2007 letter to federal prosecutors.
The letter also discusses Epstein's relationship with former President Bill Clinton.
''In a feature article about Mr. Epstein in New Yorker magazine, former President Clinton aptly described Mr. Epstein as a 'committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of 21st century science,''' the letter read. ''President Clinton reached this conclusion during a monthlong trip to Africa with Mr. Epstein, which Mr. Epstein hosted.''
Epstein was arrested in New Jersey on Saturday and pleaded not guilty today to sex trafficking charges. He has been ordered to stay in jail until a Thursday bail hearing.
The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan claims Epstein formed ''a network and operation enabling him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls.''
R. Kelly arrested again in Chicago on federal sex charges
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 12:56
CHICAGO (AP) '-- Singer R. Kelly, already facing sexual abuse charges brought by Illinois prosecutors, was arrested in Chicago Thursday on a federal grand jury indictment listing 13 counts including sex crimes and obstruction of justice.
U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick said the R&B singer was taken into custody about 7 p.m. local time and was being held by federal authorities. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, Kelly is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago.
He was arrested after the indictment was handed down earlier Thursday in federal court for the Northern District of Illinois.
''The counts include child porn, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice,'' Fitzpatrick said, adding that further details would be released Friday.
The arrest was the second time this year that Kelly has been taken into custody in Chicago on sex charges. The 52-year-old Grammy winner, whose real name is Robert Kelly, was arrested in February on 10 counts in Illinois involving four women, three of whom were minors when the alleged abuse occurred. He pleaded not guilty to those charges and was released on bail.
Then on May 30, Cook County prosecutors added 11 more sex-related counts involving one of the women who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was underage.
Darrell Johnson, a publicist for Kelly, said he planned to deliver a statement about the latest developments at a Friday morning news conference in Atlanta. He declined to comment ahead of that time.
Kelly's attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment on the federal charges. Fitzpatrick said Kelly's arraignment date and time had not yet been set.
Kelly has faced mounting legal troubles this year after Lifetime aired a documentary ''Surviving R. Kelly,'' which revisited allegations of sexual abuse of girls. The series followed the BBC's ''R Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes,'' released in 2018, that alleged the singer was holding women against their will and running a ''sex cult.''
Soon after the release of the Lifetime documentary, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said her office had been inundated with calls about the allegations in the documentary. Her office's investigation led to the charges in February and additional counts added in May.
Kelly avoided prison after similar allegations were made more than a decade ago. A jury in 2008 acquitted him of child pornography charges that stemmed from a videotape, obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, allegedly showing Kelly having sex with a minor.
De Blasio employee arrested for child pornography
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 20:56
A leading young Democrat and de Blasio administration employee has a secret taste for sickening kiddie porn that involves baby girls as young as 6 months old, court papers revealed Friday.
Jacob Schwartz, 29, was busted for allegedly keeping more than 3,000 disgusting images and 89 videos on a laptop after downloading the filth from the internet.
The illegal smut shows ''young nude females between the approximate ages of 6 months and 16, engaging in sexual conduct'... on an adult male,'' court papers say.
Schwartz's father '-- labor lawyer and Democratic insider Arthur Schwartz '-- called his son's case ''a personal tragedy.''
''I understand these are serious charges,'' said the elder Schwartz, who watched his son get arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday night.
''He's already in therapy for this.''
Jacob Schwartz surrendered to NYPD computer-crimes investigators in Manhattan's 13th Precinct on Thursday morning, sources said.
He'd been under investigation since March 29, when he handed over his laptop and gave cops written permission to search it, court papers say.
Jacob Schwartz is the president of the Manhattan Young Democrats and the downstate region vice president of the New York State Young Democrats.
But his name and photo were scrubbed from both groups' Web sites after The Post broke the news of his arrest.
A statement from the Manhattan Young Democrats said the organization was ''shocked'' by the allegations against Schwartz, and added that he was ''no longer a member of the board, and an interim president is now in place.''
A photo posted last year on Twitter shows him posing with Robby Mook, then the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's disastrous presidential campaign.
Schwartz is employed as a $66,360-a-year computer programmer analyst in the city Department of Design and Construction, where he works on the ''Build It Back'' Hurricane Sandy recovery and resiliency program.
Schwartz was hired after working there as an intern in fiscal 2015, records show.
De Blasio ignored questions about his arrest following a news conference in The Bronx, but a spokeswoman later said Schwartz ''is being terminated immediately, and the agency is cooperating with investigators.''
According to his online biography, Schwartz got involved in politics at a young age, helping his father campaign for Democratic district leader in Greenwich Village.
The elder Schwartz served as New York counsel to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' failed presidential campaign, and was also the campaign treasurer for law professor and liberal activist Zephyr Teachout when she challenged Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the 2014 Democratic nomination.
Arthur Schwartz also had his own brush with the law in 2015, when he was busted for removing hidden surveillance cameras trained on the front door of a $700-a-month, rent-stabilized apartment occupied by a 93-year-old client battling her landlord.
Prosecutors agreed to drop felony grand larceny charges in exchange for Arthur Schwartz paying $720 in restitution.
Jacob Schwartz attended Lehigh University, where he was a member of the ''On Tap'' a capella singing group, which later scored a gig on the Celebrity Infinity cruise ship.
The all-male quartet scored high marks on the ''Cruise Critic'' website, where a member from Denmark wrote in 2013, ''we really enjoyed the On Tap boys on our Infinity cruise to Alaska.''
Jacob Schwartz was charged with promoting a sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance by a child under 16, both felonies, and released on $7,500 bail.
BREAKING: After NYPD Chief Commits Suicide... Another Veteran NYPD Detective Kills Himself
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 22:00
Dean James at Right Wing Tribune
NYC '-- A frantic search for a missing NYPD Detective, ended with a horrific find, the second in just 24 hours.
He was found dead. Why?
Authorities were on a frantic search to find Detective Joseph Calabrese, after his car was found abandoned near Plumb Beach in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, his body was found near the water. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was last seen early Thursday morning at Maimonides Medical Center at around 2:00AM after visiting his wife who had undergone a small surgical procedure. She was expected to be released on Thursday morning.
Calabrese, 58, was assigned to the Brooklyn South Homicide Squad.
His vehicle was found by another officer about an hour later approximately five minutes from his home.
''I am shocked and shattered beyond belief,'' Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives' Endowment Association (DEA), told The New York Post. ''Joseph Calabrese was a dedicated detective, union official, husband and father. He was the salt of the earth.''
Trending: Democrats & More Indicted As Feds Announce Indictments Of Officials For Corruption, Wire Fraud, Money Laundering & Conspiracy After Puerto Rican Slush Fund Exposed
Coworkers became concerned after he never arrived for work on Thursday.
His suicide has left his friends, family and coworkers in shock.
The Department is in shock as this suicide comes just hours after NYPD Chief Steven Silks shot and killed himself '' just days before his scheduled retirement.
Video of NYPD Chopper searching for missing #NYPD Detective Joseph Calabresehttps://t.co/pYs1s3C4EY pic.twitter.com/E5fDMEGBJd
'-- NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) June 6, 2019
BREAKING UPDATE *SEARCH FOR MISSING NYPD HOMICIDE DETECTIVE* His empty vehicle was found near the water off the Belt Parkway in Plumb Beach in #Brooklyn. #NYPD on scene by ground, air and water looking for Det. Joseph Calabrese @NYPD63Pct @NYPDSpecialopshttps://t.co/6lvP8yayDJ pic.twitter.com/nBXwUM2vxq
'-- NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) June 6, 2019
What in the hell is going on?
This is totally INSANE!
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NYPD suicides: 3 police officers kill themselves in 10 days
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 20:53
On average, there are more than 128 suicides per day in the United States, attempted by people with and without known mental health conditions. USA TODAY
At 3:50 p.m. Friday afternoon, a 29-year-old New York City police officer shot and killed himself outside the Staten Island Police precinct where he worked.
It marked the latest in a troubling trend: three suicides of New York Police Department officers in 10 days '' and the fourth this year.
The deaths in New York are part of a national problem. Last year, for the third straight year, cops who died by suicide outnumbered line-of-duty deaths.
New York's string of tragedies prompted NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill to deliver a call for action and to encourage fellow cops to not be afraid to seek help if they need it.
New York City Police officials gather along Wilcox Street behind the 121st Precinct station house following a report of a police officer shot in the Staten Island borough on June 14, 2019. (Photo: Joseph Ostapiuk, AP)
"This is a mental-health crisis," O'Neill tweeted Friday night. "And we '' the NYPD and the law enforcement profession as a whole '' absolutely must take action. This cannot be allowed to continue. Cops spend so much of their days assisting others. There is no shame in seeking assistance from the many resources available, both inside and outside the department.
"Accepting help is never a sign of weakness," he added. "In fact, it's a sign of great strength."
This is a mental-health crisis. And the NYPD & the law enforcement profession as a whole absolutely must take action. We must take care of each other; we must address this issue '-- now. Please take my statement below to heart & help yourself, your loved ones, & your colleagues. '¬‡¸ pic.twitter.com/urHuzIiiFb
'-- Commissioner O'Neill (@NYPDONeill) June 15, 2019The NYPD has not released the name of the latest police officer who died from suicide.
A funeral was held Monday for Steven Silks, a 62-year-old deputy police chief who shot and killed himself in a car on June 5. The New York Times reported that Silks, a 38-year veteran of the department, parked his car on a quiet street just hours after his mandatory retirement was announced. He shot himself near where his retirement ceremony would have taken place.
His death rattled many in the department.
"Steve truly was one of the most capable and most dependable cops this job has ever seen," O'Neill said. "His entire career, much of his adult life in fact, was devoted to New York City, to its police officers and to fighting crime and to protect all the people that we serve."
The day after Silks's death, June 6, Detective Joseph Calabrese, 58, a member of the force for 37 years, went missing. His car was found off Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, The New York Times reported. After a widespread search, he was found dead in nearby bushes at Plumb Beach with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
"Det. Joseph Calabrese kept New Yorkers safe for nearly four decades," Police Chief Terance Monahan tweeted after his burial Wednesday. "Loved by his fellow cops, the loss of Joe is difficult for every member of the NYPD. As he's laid to rest, our prayers are with his family. Joe's death has ignited a conversation we must all continue. #StopSuicide"
Det. Joseph Calabrese kept New Yorkers safe for nearly 4 decades. Loved by his fellow cops, the loss of Joe is difficult for every member of the NYPD. As he's laid to rest, our prayers are with his family. Joe's death has ignited a conversation we must all continue. #StopSuicidepic.twitter.com/M9EqFBNeqG
'-- Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) June 12, 2019In 2018, 159 police officers in the USA died from suicide, according to the Massachusetts-based nonprofit BlueH.E.L.P., which tracks officer suicides while also seeking to prevent such tragedies from occurring.
That's 9% more than the 144 line-of-duty deaths in 2018. The latter includes include causes such as felonious assaults, patrol vehicle accidents, heart attacks and duty-related illness.
''As tragic as these duty deaths are, the single greatest cause of death for law enforcement officers each year is suicide,'' Jeff McGill, co-founder of Blue H.E.L.P, said when the group released the 2018 figures.
The number of suicides last year matched the 159 who took their lives in 2017. In 2016, 140 police officers in the U.S. died by suicide.
Blue H.E.L.P. works to expand police officers' access to mental health services.
Its organizers say that 151 of the suicides last year were male and eight were female. The average age was 41 years old, and the average length of service in the police force was 15 years.
But according to Steven Hough, co-founder of Blue H.E.L.P., the number of police suicides is likely greater.
''The problem is we know there are other tragic deaths by suicide that we don't know about,'' Hough was quoted saying this year. ''So as bad a number as we have this year, we're saddened by the fact that we know in reality the number is higher.''
Reach Joey Garrison at jgarrison@usatoday.com and on Twitter @joeygarrison.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/06/15/nypd-suicides-3-police-officers-kill-themselves-10-days/1464330001/
NYPD Ensnared Within The Clinton Machine: ''Mysterious'' Deaths Trail Behind Via Blow-Back '' Commentary By Adina Kutnicki | Adina Kutnicki
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 21:58
WHILE few would be foolish enough to dismiss the stress-related challenges associated with police work '' to the extent of an established causal link to PTSD and various addictions '' on the other hand, it is an affront and a disservice to those who are truly crying out for help (consciously or not) to lump said tortured souls (some of whom end up committing suicide from the aforementioned triggers) together with last month's highly suspect deaths. There you have it.STILL yet, before we delve into the crux of the matter, consider the manner in which the corporate-media complex deals with Islamic Jihadis and the direct blow-back, opining: it's the mental illness , stupid! How many times have we heard the very same excuse''making, apologetic balderdash? Asked and answered. AND so it goes'...'...
IN other words, instead of accepting (at face value) that a cluster of so-called suicides are par for the (mental illness) course, journalistic responsibility '' that which commences with inquiring minds and requisite, rigorous due diligence '' necessitates digging and more digging, come what may.
IN this regard, it is along this total lack of inquiry (and journalistic integrity) that June 2019 became a casualty '' plus, so much more '' at the NYPD.
RESULTANT, it is along this twisted and dangerous path that those of us steeped in investigative journalism find ourselves mired, questioning: isn't something ''off'' about 4 suicides at the NYPD in 3 weeks, 3 of which were less than 10 days apart, with two committing suicide within 24 hours of one another? Isn't anyone within so-called mainstream media curious and curiouser? If not, why not?
MORE specifically, those of us who track this and that '' including but not limited to crooked Hill and Bill AKA Clinton Inc., and all the bodies which have ''mysteriously'' died in their wake '' become innately curious, whenever their names are attached here and there. Dear reader, patience. After all, it takes time to connect the dots. Build a case. Yes, they ARE connected to the back-to-back ''suicides'', like it or not.
Back in August 2016, almost 3 years to date, in the run-up to the most heated election in recent memory, the following was blared from these pages (and re-blogged throughout the internet, too): Clinton Inc. & the Recent Pile''Up of Dead Bodies: Hill & Bill's Criminal Cartel & Brotherhood Nexus.'' Not for nothing.Lo and behold, 3 months onward, another smokin' gun became part of required due diligence. Alas, '' Dropping Like Flies Via Clinton's Hit Machine: An Updated Body Count & More'' was reported. Hmm.
Not only that, akin to all the mangled bodies entangled in the wreckage of the Clinton Machine, who recalls the ''mysterious'' and fiery death (reportedly, ''suicide-by-car'') of DNC staffer Seth Rich (July 2016) in Washington, D.C.? If not, trust, he had to be eliminated before the election! Indeed, ''Seth Rich's Murder + Clinton Machine's Body Count '' tells the tale '' as to what transpires when one knows too much and is about to spill the beans. No doubt.But we are not done. The querying at this end continues: ''When IS Enough Enough '' Bodies, That Is?''WITH said evidentiary trails in mind and in place '' ala their criminality on a national and global scale '' it is high time, once again, to place the cards on the table. In plain view.
BACK to the ''mysterious'' pile-up of ''suicides'' within the NYPD '' which is, by the way, the most effective police force in the nation, that is, when their hands aren't tied by NYC Mayor (Comrade) Bill De Blasio! But never mind.
NOW, since there are those who prefer visual aids, this investigative journalist is pleased to oblige. However, concentrated viewing is recommended. So, place aside (distracting) electronic devices and pay heed. Listen up.
IN conjunction, added heft will be gleaned within sites that are as far removed from the corporate-media complex as this site is '' beholden to no one but the truth, wherever it lands. As such, in the run-up to the 2016 election, the following reached a crescendo; alarm bells via the highest decibel levels, a fevered pitch.
Center stage: ''BREAKING BOMBSHELL: NYPD Blows Whistle on New Hillary Emails: Money Laundering, Sex Crimes with Children, Child Exploitation, Pay to Play, Perjury.''In symphony and full throttle support thereof, a top level Chief, the highest rank under Commissioner (no kidding) sent out a mega clarion call '' that which should have sent the ''Fourth Estate'', scurrying, into hyper-investigative mode, or so one would believe in a nation predicated upon freedom of the press and law and order. Hence, how shocking is it '' to any person with an inquiring mind, let alone, to so-called journalists '' when an NYPD source reveals: ''Weiner laptop has enough evidence to put Hillary away for life! ''But if the above is not enough to render the investigative juices flowing, wondering, what the hell is going on, just consider this: why in heaven's name would Erik Prince stick his neck out, even though a reputed tough guy, you know, a former Navy SEAL and Blackwater founder? Eric Prince declared:According to well''placed sources in the New York Police Department, ''The NYPD wanted to do a press conference announcing the warrants and the additional arrests they were making'' in the Anthony Weiner investigation, but received ''huge push-back'' from the Justice Department.DEAR reader, so, there you have it. To reiterate: the scribblers and their talking head counterparts were privy to the biggest bombshell(s), bar none '' going all the way back to Nov. 2016, yet, they remained mute! Stone-cold silence.
STILL (and not one to beat a dead horse, so to speak, nor to wend too far back to the crooked dealings within Clinton's Presidential reign), does anyone recall Vince Foster's suspicious (''suicidal'') end, you know, the long-standing Clinton confidante who knew which bodies were (literally) buried, pointedly, when WHITEWATER hit the fan? What fortuitous timing, that is, for the Clinton Machine!
MOST significantly, where there's smoke there's fire. Sheesh, one needn't be a fire expert to draw that elementary assessment. By extrapolation, when an investigative journalist conducts proper due diligence, more often than not, similar pattern-like trails usually emerge. As an aside, there is no better example of the aforementioned, other than the gleanings derived from a primary investigative path, tool, and trail: follow the money!
RESULTANT, even though the extraordinarily ''coincidental'' rash of NYPD deaths (again, one piled atop another) are being sold as ''suicides'' (by the NYPD's public relations arm, in tandem with the corporate-media complex), that doesn't mean that those with inquiring minds (more pointedly, investigative journalists) are compelled to believe in their smoke and mirrors show.
MIND you, it matters not a whit that said indictments are hide nor hair, and that the ''mysterious'' deaths occurred three years after ''NYPD detectives and a NYPD Chief, the department's highest rank under Commissioner, said openly that if the FBI and Justice Department fail to garner timely indictments against Clinton and co- conspirators, NYPD will go public with the damaging emails now in the hands of FBI Director James Comey and many FBI field offices'...'...''
THUS, the fact of the matter remains: when (former) FBI Director Comey AKA lyin' Jim '' quarterbacked by DOJ's top tier '' lent cover for Clinton Inc. akin to a Mafia Don, NYPD brass knew they didn't have a chance in hell to make any charges stick '' after his firing, too.
ALL the more so, does anyone believe that even the toughest NYPD officers '' coming from the ranks of hard-charging Homicide Detectives, all the way up to the Chiefs '' would be able to avoid the hyper-muscle exerted by gangster-like tippy-top politicians and intelligence heads, thereby, allowing them to charge ahead? If so, pigs fly, too. Likely, warnings, back off or else, with credible threats to target their families were in play. Mind you, being a ''tough guy'' doesn't mean that sacrificing one's family '' by placing them in the actual line of fire '' is an acceptable (professional) risk. Think: General Flynn! It doesn't get any tougher than a battle-hardened General '' and even he folded, despite being innocent.
OF course, only a handful know why it took three years for them to meet their untimely fates, but an educated guess would go like this: now that AG Barr is close (as a pig is to his sh*t) to a full unmasking of the ''Deep State'', doesn't it jive that the recently deceased NYPD officers were those who were most directly (in one capacity or another) connected to the evidence, with their hands on the BOMBSHELL docs that could have sent Clinton Inc. to jail for the rest of their lives? Ipso facto, ''MA & PA Barker'', in their criminally-bent minds, resorted to what they do best: eliminations; by whatever means necessary!! Naturally, they didn't get their ''hands dirty'', that's what they have ''contractors'' for.
TO wit, in light of all of the above, the (Jewish) dictum, ''justice, justice shall you pursue'' (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9) springs to the fore. It is as timely today as when it was written.
G-d rest their souls.
Click ''Archives'' to read, dated July 2, 2019
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BREAKING: NYPD Breaks Silence, Reveals Sick Sex Crime Committed by Hillary Clinton
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 22:02
Since the NYPD seized Anthony Weiner's laptop, some of them can't wait to alert the public what the evidence revealed about Clinton '-- for fear it may not come out otherwise!
Unconfirmed reports state that NYPD sources, including some who've been working the case involving Weiner, allege that Hillary Clinton found out about Anthony Weiner's sexting to an underage girl months after he began, via True Pundit. Clinton then told Huma Abedin, her closest adviser, to distance herself from her husband, but she did nothing to stop Weiner or protect the poor child.
The honorable officers in the NYPD apparently considered charging Clinton. After all, she took steps to protect her career and did not inform any authorities that she knew a child was being sexually abused.
No one with a conscience can just sit back as a child is put in danger.
And this girl, who was potentially ONLY 14 when Weiner began abusing her, was in deep danger. According to alleged NYPD sources, the girl told Weiner she was considering suicide and suffering from depression. She also talked about learning to drive and high school, which clearly indicates her age.
Weiner asked the girl to perform sexual acts on a webcam for him while saying his name. He encouraged her to dress like a ''school girl'' and fantasize about rape, and told her he wanted to force himself on her in her home while her father was away. This apparently went on for four months after Clinton learned of it.
When Weiner began to worry that someone, maybe his wife or Clinton, was going to tell the authorities about his crimes, he told the girl to write a letter that stated he had never harmed her.
The poor child did allegedly write a letter that was found on the laptop the NYPD confiscated from Weiner. I guess Weiner never had to worry about Clinton doing the right thing.
These sources say Clinton knew about the sexual nature of the relationship, and that Weiner had abused the girl multiple times but perhaps didn't know the girl was suffering from depression '-- even though being sexually abused, especially by a public figure, is almost certain to make a child depressed and eventually suicidal. I think Weiner, being a sexual predator, knew and simply didn't care. Clinton was well aware that this young American's life was at risk, and, as usual, she did nothing.
The NYPD was ultimately told it wasn't their case. The FBI was taking over, and it has yet to file any charges against Clinton. ''They [feds] sat on it,'' said the alleged NYPD source. ''F***ing disgraceful.''
I wonder why Hillary Clinton is rumored to be considering running for the mayor of New York? I guess if you can't be president, with the ability to shut down FBI investigations against you, the next best thing is to be in control of the police department that has evidence against you.
What do you think about Hillary Clinton's failure to tell anyone about Weiner's sexual abuse of a child? Please share this story on Facebook and tell us because we want to hear YOUR voice!
Welcome to the Hellfire Club | The American Conservative
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 03:57
For once, I'm with New York Times writer Michelle Goldberg: Jeffrey Epstein is the ultimate symbol of plutocratic rot.
In her latest column, Goldberg interviews Vicky Ward, who covered the 2003 revelations of Epstein's sex abuse for Vanity Fair. Ward's editor, Graydon Carter, allegedly ran interference for the high-flying pervert, nixing her discussion with two women who claimed to have been assaulted by Epstein. ''He's sensitive about the young women,'' Carter explained to Ward.
This appears to be something of a pattern. ''What is so amazing to me is how his entire social circle knew about this and just blithely overlooked it,'' Ward says of Epstein's pederasty. ''While praising his charm, brilliance and generous donations to Harvard, those [I] spoke to'...all mentioned the girls as an aside.''
Back to Goldberg:
The Epstein case is first and foremost about the casual victimization of vulnerable girls. But it is also a political scandal, if not a partisan one. It reveals a deep corruption among mostly male elites across parties, and the way the very rich can often purchase impunity for even the most loathsome of crimes. If it were fiction, it would be both too sordid and too on-the-nose to be believable, like a season of ''True Detective'' penned by a doctrinaire Marxist.
Of course, Goldberg'--being a Democrat'--doesn't want us to think of this as a partisan scandal. Yet Nancy Pelosi's daughter conspicuously tweeted that it's ''quite likely that some of our faves are implicated.'' We all know by now that President Bill Clinton was a frequent flyer on the Lolita Express, Epstein's private jet, which ferried wealthy perverts from the United States to his island-sized rape dungeon off the coast of Saint Thomas.
Still, a few Republicans will almost certainly be implicated, too. Now, look: I voted for President Donald Trump in 2016. If I don't vote for him in 2020, it will be because I've lost faith in the whole democratic process and have moved to a hole in the ground to live as a hobbit. Having said that, Trump is definitely tainted by Epstein. In a 2002 interview with New York Magazine, the president called him a ''terrific guy.'' ''It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do,'' Trump said, ''and many of them are on the younger side.''
Don't pretend that's an innocent remark. It's like when Uncle Steve passes out face-down on the kitchen floor at the family Christmas party and Uncle Bill says, ''I guess that one likes to drink.'' We still love Uncle Steve, even if he does overdo it on the fire water. And our elites still love Epstein, even if he does rape little girls. None of us is perfect, after all.
This is how America is. This is how our ruling class works: Democrat, Republican, whatever. As the inimitable Matthew Walther points out, there's a reason people believe in Pizzagate. The Hellfire Club is real. And for decades, we've emboldened them considerably.
Remember how Democrats and centrist Republicans mocked conservatives for making such a stink about Monica Lewinsky's blue dress? The media elite competed to see who could appear the most unfazed by the fact that our sax-playing president was getting a bit on the side. ''I mean, heh heh, I love my wife, but, heh, the 1950s called, man! They want their morality police back.''
Well, look where that got us. Two confirmed adulterers have occupied the White House in living memory; both are now under fire for cavorting with a child sex slaver on Orgy Island. Go ahead and act surprised, Renault.
Surely I'm not the only one who noticed that the Epstein sex abuse timeline is nearly identical to the Catholic Church sex abuse timeline. Both investigations were initiated in the early 2000s. Both revealed that the exploitation of children was an open secret in the highest echelons of power. Both investigations were closed a few years later, though not resolved. We assumed justice would take its course, and slowly began to forget. And then within two years of each other, both scandals emerged again, more sordid than ever. And on both occasions, we realized that nothing had changed.
Whew. Now I get why people become communists. Not the new-wave, gender-fluid, pink-haired Trots, of course. Nor the new far Left, which condemns child predators like Epstein out one side of its mouth while demanding sympathy for pedophiles out the other.
No: I mean the old-fashioned, blue-collar, square-jawed Stalinists. I mean the guy with eight fingers and 12 kids who saw photos of the annual Manhattan debutantes' ball, felt the rumble in his stomach, and figured he may as well eat the rich.
Of course, we know where that leads us. For two centuries, conservatives have tried to dampen the passions that led France to cannibalize herself circa 1789.
Nevertheless, those passions weren't illegitimate'--they were just misdirected. Only an Englishman like Edmund Burke could have referred to the reign of Louis XIV as ''the age of chivalry.'' Joseph de Maistre spoke for real French conservatives when he said the decadent, feckless aristocracy deserved to be guillotined. The problem is, Maistre argued, there was no one more suitable to succeed them.
Yes: those passions are legitimate. We should feel contempt for our leaders when we discover that two presidents cavorted with Epstein, almost certainly aware that he preyed on minors. We should feel disgust at the mere possibility that Pope Francis rehabilitated Theodore McCarrick. And we should be furious that these injustices haven't even come close to being properly redressed.
This is how revolutions are born. America is reaching the point where, 200 years ago, a couple French peasants begin eyeing the Bastille. The question is, can conservatives channel that outrage into serious reform before it's too late? Can we call out the fetid, decadent elites within our own ranks? Are we prepared to hold our own ''faves'' to account'--even Trump himself? Alas, it's only a matter of time until we find out.
Michael Warren Davis is associate editor of the Catholic Herald. Find him at www.michaelwarrendavis.com.
Rumor: Hundreds Of Sealed Indictments Await Democrats
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 23:29
Elder Patriot '' Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are about to learn that when you take a shot at Donald Trump you better not miss. Hit Trump and he hits back harder. Trump has bided his time waiting for the political winds to shift and now the shit is about to hit the fan.
The first indication that President Trump was preparing to strike back at the major figures leading Washington's corrupt cabal came last Thursday when he issued an Executive Order Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption.
If we're correct, this is Trump's opening gambit in draining the swamp and will result in the devastation of what still remains of the highest levels of the Democratic Party, as well as Washington's major lobbying organizations, and will implicate major establishment Republicans (the real reason behind the civil war going on inside the GOP).
The president's E.O. relies on applying established federal law and reads as if it was written specifically to address the Clintons' corrupt misappropriation of state assets fro her personal gain.
Of course, if the Clintons were the only rotten players in D.C. they would have been brought to justice years ago '' like when Bill Clinton sold secrets from the Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory to the Chinese for campaign cash more than two decades ago.
Thanks to Judicial Watch's FOIA requests we are expecting the State Department to release an additional 2800 government documents later today that the FBI found on Hillary's gal pal and top advisor, Huma Abedin's, husband's laptop. That laptop been seized by the NYPD during a search for evidence in his underage sexting case.
Initial reports claimed that there were 650,000 emails contained on that laptop. That seems hard to fathom but we can be certain that today's release of 2800 files will not contain the really damning evidence of corruption resident on that laptop.
The release of these documents is long overdue. We reported on their existence more than a year ago, four days prior to the election.
At that time, Erik Prince went public with information provided by disgusted members of the NYPD who had viewed the evidence but who were throttled by gag orders and threats of reprisal from Obama's Justice Department.
Prince's sources inside the NYPD had told him:
''There is all kinds of criminal culpability through all the emails they've seen of that 650,000, including money laundering, underage sex, pay-for-play, and, of course, plenty of proof of inappropriate handling, sending/receiving of classified information, up to SAP level Special Access Programs.
It looks like Prince's initial assertions back on November 4, 2016 were accurate as rumors are swirling around D.C.'s cloakrooms that there are literally hundreds of sealed indictments including those alleging sexual misconduct serious enough (pedophilia) that could send the Clintons and top Dems to prison for life.
But, as bad as those allegations are, they do not even come close to the extent of the illegalities the Clintons and their associates will be charged with having participated in. While the prospects of finally bringing these sexual predators to justice is delicious in and of itself, we should keep in mind that the perverse acts were demanded of these politicians to ''keep them in line.''
There's a reason so many politicians corrupted in this manner have voted to fleece the United States so severely that our children (and theirs) have been left owing a $20 trillion debt.
These sealed indictments include charges of misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, and corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources.
Another group of Washington fat cats that have been in a cold sweat since Thursday's announcement is the D.C. lobbyists who have ignored national security considerations when they represented foreign and domestic corporations, the corrupt interests of foreign leaders (including dictators and strongmen), countries, and organizations in violation of the laws that the E.O. is intended to enforce.
Donald Trump is proving to be one tough SOB, tougher than anyone could've imagined. Now he is poised to do the unimaginable, bring down the Deep State.
And, as an ancillary benefit, the dishonesty of the mainstream media '' long a CIA tool used to control the broadest cross section of Americans '' as well as the MSM's propensity for manufacturing fake new fake news, will literally destroy their ability to shape opinion.
Even those who do not like Trump will change their minds in 2018 as they come to learn that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Executive Order Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption | The White House
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 05:27
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (Public Law 114-328) (the ''Act''), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)) (INA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that the prevalence and severity of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, such as those committed or directed by persons listed in the Annex to this order, have reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems. Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets. The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons.
I therefore determine that serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.
I hereby determine and order:
Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:
(i) the persons listed in the Annex to this order;
(ii) any foreign person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General:
(A) to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse;
(B) to be a current or former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in:
(1) corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery; or
(2) the transfer or the facilitation of the transfer of the proceeds of corruption;
(C) to be or have been a leader or official of:
(1) an entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, any of the activities described in subsections (ii)(A), (ii)(B)(1), or (ii)(B)(2) of this section relating to the leader's or official's tenure; or
(2) an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order as a result of activities related to the leader's or official's tenure; or
(D) to have attempted to engage in any of the activities described in subsections (ii)(A), (ii)(B)(1), or (ii)(B)(2) of this section; and
(iii) any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General:
(A) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of:
(1) any activity described in subsections (ii)(A), (ii)(B)(1), or (ii)(B)(2) of this section that is conducted by a foreign person;
(2) any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(3) any entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, any of the activities described in subsections (ii)(A), (ii)(B)(1), or (ii)(B)(2) of this section, where the activity is conducted by a foreign person;
(B) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(C) to have attempted to engage in any of the activities described in subsections (iii)(A) or (B) of this section.
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted before the effective date of this order.
Sec. 2. The unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in section 1 of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and the entry of such persons into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, is hereby suspended. Such persons shall be treated as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions).
Sec. 3. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the types of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this order, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.
Sec. 4. The prohibitions in section 1 include:
(a) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and
(b) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Sec. 5. (a) Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec. 6. For the purposes of this order:
(a) the term ''person'' means an individual or entity;
(b) the term ''entity'' means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization; and
(c) the term ''United States person'' means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.
Sec. 7. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to this order.
Sec. 8. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including adopting rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to me by IEEPA and the Act as may be necessary to implement this order and section 1263(a) of the Act with respect to the determinations provided for therein. The Secretary of the Treasury may, consistent with applicable law, redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States. All agencies shall take all appropriate measures within their authority to implement this order.
Sec. 9. The Secretary of State is hereby authorized to take such actions, including adopting rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to me by IEEPA, the INA, and the Act as may be necessary to carry out section 2 of this order and, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the reporting requirement in section 1264(a) of the Act with respect to the reports provided for in section 1264(b)(2) of that Act. The Secretary of State may, consistent with applicable law, redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States consistent with applicable law.
Sec. 10. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, is hereby authorized to determine that circumstances no longer warrant the blocking of the property and interests in property of a person listed in the Annex to this order, and to take necessary action to give effect to that determination.
Sec. 11. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to submit recurring and final reports to the Congress on the national emergency declared in this order, consistent with section 401(c) of the NEA (50 U.S.C. 1641(c)) and section 204(c) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1703(c)).
Sec. 12. This order is effective at 12:01 a.m., Eastern Standard Time, December 21, 2017.
Sec. 13. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
THE WHITE HOUSE,December 20, 2017.
1. Mukhtar Hamid Shah; Date of Birth (DOB) August 11, 1939; alt. DOB November 8, 1939; nationality, Pakistan
2. Angel Rondon Rijo; DOB July 16, 1950; nationality, Dominican Republic
3. Dan Gertler; DOB December 23, 1973; nationality, Israel; alt. nationality, Democratic Republic of the Congo
4. Maung Maung Soe; DOB March 1964; nationality, Burma
5. Yahya Jammeh; DOB May 25, 1965; nationality, The Gambia
6. Sergey Kusiuk; DOB December 1, 1966; nationality, Ukraine; alt. nationality, Russia
7. Benjamin Bol Mel; DOB January 3, 1978; alt. DOB December 24, 1978; nationality, South Sudan; alt. nationality, Sudan
8. Julio Antonio Jurez Ram­rez; DOB December 1, 1980; nationality, Guatemala
9. Goulnora Islamovna Karimova; DOB July 8, 1972; nationality, Uzbekistan
10. Slobodan Tesic; DOB December 21, 1958; nationality, Serbia
11. Artem Yuryevich Chayka; DOB September 25, 1975; nationality, Russia
12. Gao Yan; DOB April 1963; nationality, China
13. Roberto Jose Rivas Reyes; DOB July 6, 1954; nationality, Nicaragua
Hedge-Funders Have Some Thoughts on What Epstein Was Doing
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 18:33
Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer. Photos: Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Long before Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in Florida more than a decade ago, his fellow Palm Beach resident and hedge-fund manager Douglas Kass was intrigued by the local gossip about his neighbor.
''I'm hearing about the parties, hearing about a guy who's throwing money around,'' says Kass, president of Seabreeze Partners Management. While stories about young girls swarming Epstein's waterfront mansion and the sex parties he hosted for the rich and powerful were the talk of the town, Kass was more focused on how this obscure person, rumored to be managing billions of dollars, had become so wealthy without much of a track record.
Kass was well-connected on Wall Street, where he'd worked for decades, so he began to ask around. ''I went to my institutional brokers, to their trading desks and asked if they ever traded with him. I did it a few times until the date when he was arrested,'' he recalls. ''Not one institutional trading desk, primary or secondary, had ever traded with Epstein's firm.''
When a reporter came to interview Kass about Bernie Madoff shortly before that firm blew up in the biggest Ponzi scheme ever, Kass told her, ''There's another guy who reminds me of Madoff that no one trades with.'' That man was Jeffrey Epstein.
''How did he get the money?'' Kass kept asking.
For decades, Epstein has been credulously described as a big-time hedge-fund manager and a billionaire, even though there's not a lot of evidence that he is either. There appears little chance the public is going to get definitive answers anytime soon. In a July 11 letter to the New York federal judge overseeing Epstein's sex-trafficking case, Epstein's attorney offered to provide ''sealed disclosures'' about Epstein's finances to determine the size of the bond he would need to post to secure his release from jail pending trial. His brother, Mark, and a friend even offered to chip in if necessary.
Naturally, this air of mystery has especially piqued the interest of real-life, non-pretend hedge-funders. If this guy wasn't playing their game '-- and they seem pretty sure he was not '-- what game was he playing? Intelligencer spoke to several prominent hedge-fund managers to get a read on what their practiced eyes are detecting in all the new information that is coming to light about Epstein in the wake of his indictment by federal prosecutors in New York. Most saw signs of something unsavory at the heart of his business model.
To begin with, there is much skepticism among the hedgies Intelligencer spoke with that Epstein made the money he has '-- and he appears to have a lot, given a lavish portfolio of homes and private aircraft '-- as a traditional money manager. A fund manager who knows well how that kind of fortune is acquired notes, ''It's hard to make a billion dollars quietly.'' Epstein never made a peep in the financial world.
Epstein was also missing another key element of a typical thriving hedge fund: investors. Kass couldn't find any beyond Epstein's one well-publicized client, retail magnate Les Wexner '-- nor could other players in the hedge-fund world who undertook similar snooping. ''I don't know anyone who's ever invested in him; he's never talked about by any of the allocators,'' says one billionaire hedge-fund manager, referring to firms that distribute large pools of money among various funds.
Epstein's spotty professional history has also drawn a lot of attention in recent days, and Kass says it was one of the first things that raised his suspicions years ago. Now 66, Epstein didn't come from money and never graduated from college, yet he landed a teaching job at a fancy private school (''unheard of,'' says Kass) and rose through the ranks in the early 1980s at investment bank Bear Stearns. Within no time, Kass notes, Epstein was made a partner of the firm '-- and then was promptly and unceremoniously ousted. (Epstein reportedly left the firm following a minor securities violation.) Despite this ''squishy work experience,'' as Kass puts it, at some point after his quick exit, Epstein launched his own hedge fund, J. Epstein & Co., later renamed Financial Trust Co. Along the way, he began peddling the improbable narrative that he was so selective he would only work with billionaires.
Oddly, Epstein also claimed to do all the investing by himself while his 150 employees all worked in the back office '-- which Kass says reminds him of Madoff's cover story. Though it now appears that Epstein had many fewer employees than he claimed, according to the New York Times:
Thomas Volscho, a sociology professor at the College of Staten Island who has been researching for a book on Mr. Epstein, recently obtained [a 2002 disclosure] form, which shows [Epstein's] Financial Trust had $88 million in contributions from shareholders. In a court filing that year, Mr. Epstein said his firm had about 20 employees, far fewer than the 150 reported at the time by New York magazine.
Given this puzzling set of data points, the hedge-fund managers we spoke to leaned toward the theory that Epstein was running a blackmail scheme under the cover of a hedge fund.
How such a scheme could hypothetically work has been laid out in detail in a thread on the anonymous Twitter feed of @quantian1. It's worth reading in its entirety, but in summary it is a rough blueprint for how a devious aspiring hedge-fund manager could blackmail rich people into investing with him without raising too many flags.
Kass and former hedge-fund manager Whitney Tilson both emailed the thread around in investing circles and both quickly discovered that their colleagues found it quite convincing. ''This actually sounds very plausible,'' Tilson wrote in an email forwarding the thread to others.
''He somehow cajoled these guys to invest,'' says Kass, speaking of hypothetical blackmailed investors who gave Epstein their money to invest, but managed to keep their names private.
The fact that Epstein's fund is offshore in a tax haven '-- it is based in the U.S. Virgin Islands '-- and has a secret client list both add credence to the blackmail theory.
So what did Epstein do with the money he did have under his management, setting aside the questions of how he got it and how much he had? One hedge-fund manager speculates that Epstein could have just put the client money in an S&P 500 index fund, perhaps with a tax dodge thrown in. ''I put in $100 million, I get the S&P 500 minus some fees,'' he says, speaking of a theoretical client's experience. Over the past few decades, the client would have ''made a shitload'' '-- as would Epstein. A structure like that wouldn't have required trading desks or analysts or complex regulatory disclosures.
Kass has kicked around a similar idea: Maybe Epstein just put all the client money in U.S. treasuries '-- the simplest and safest investment there is, and the kind of thing one guy actually can do by himself.
If the blackmail theory sounds far-fetched, it's worth keeping in mind that it was also floated by one of Epstein's victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. ''Epstein '... also got girls for Epstein's friends and acquaintances. Epstein specifically told me that the reason for him doing this was so that they would 'owe him,' they would 'be in his pocket,' and he would 'have something on them,''' she said in a court affidavit, according to the investigative series in the Miami Herald that brought the case back to the public's attention late last year.
In the 2015 filing, Giuffre claimed that Epstein ''debriefed her'' after she was forced into sexual encounters so that he could possess ''intimate and potentially embarrassing information'' to blackmail friends into parking their money with him. She also said photographic and video evidence existed '-- an assertion that looms especially large now that federal investigators have found a trove of images in Epstein's home safe.
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By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Hedge-Funders Have Some Thoughts on What Epstein Was Up To 1:28 p.m.the truth is out there
the truth is out there
Nearly Half a Million People Plan Ambush of Area 51
By Claire Lampen
They demand to ''see them aliens.''
1:16 p.m.
Momentum to take away some presidential war powers
The House voted Friday to prevent President Trump from launching into war with Iran without getting Congress' approval first, after more than two dozen Republicans joined Democrats to include the provision in the House's annual defense authorization bill.
The move sets up a likely showdown with the Senate over whether the Iran restriction, which includes an exception for cases of self-defense, will be included in the final bill negotiated between the two chambers. Republican leaders in the House and Senate have argued that the language would send a bad message to Tehran that the United States is divided, complicating the president's ability to manage escalating tensions.
The Iran amendment is just one of several high-profile measures that lawmakers voted this week to include in the first defense authorization bill Democrats have steered through the House since taking over the majority earlier this year. Those measures, which range from ending U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia's military campaign in Yemen to undoing President Trump's ban on transgender troops, helped secure the support of liberal Democrats from the congressional Progressive Caucus, who had previously warned that they might vote against the defense bill.
12:08 p.m.interesting times
interesting times
Andrew Sullivan: Pelosi, Please Stop Coddling Trump
By Andrew Sullivan
You're showing every future president that they can lie, obstruct justice, and refuse subpoenas with impunity.
11:17 a.m.the national interest
the national interest
Trump: Paul Ryan Was Bribed to Call Me Stupid
By Jonathan Chait
''For him to be going out and opening his mouth is pretty incredible. But maybe he gets paid.''
revolving door
Acosta Resigns in Wake of Epstein Plea-Deal Scandal
By Ed Kilgore
The Labor secretary's press conference didn't convince anyone, and was embroiling Trump even more in the Epstein scandal.
10:53 a.m.
A familiar-sounding warning
@realDonaldTrump on Iran before departing White House for Wisconsin: '' Iran better be careful. They're treading on very dangerous territory. Iran of you listening, you better be careful.'' Per pooler
@anniekarni '--@finnygo 10:47 a.m.
Trump scoring some points with liberals here
Trump says Paul Ryan was a ''terrible speaker,'' explaining: ''Frankly, he was a baby.''
'--@ddale8 10:39 a.m.
Do you, though?
''He's Hispanic, which I so admire,'' Trump says of Acosta.
'--@oliverdarcy 10:28 a.m.
Cross July 17 off the calendar
NEWS '... ROBERT MUELLER'S testimony is likely to be delayed, and the two sides are talking about a longer appearance on Capitol Hill.
'--@JakeSherman 10:23 a.m.
The president's got some gems this morning
Trump, discussing a possible Acosta distraction to the administration, says, ''I'm willing to live through anything'...I've lived through things that you wouldn't believe.''
'--@ddale8 10:18 a.m.
The rot goes to the top
The head of the Border Patrol,
@USBPChief Carla Provost, was a member of that secret CBP Facebook group where disgusting and frequently violent xenophobic posts were commonplace.
@rdevro reports:
https://t.co/w3SPCiLwTJ '--@Ali_Gharib 9:52 a.m.
Words don't mean much in this administration
FLASHBACK: At press conf. on Wednesday,
@SecretaryACOSTA said TRUMP ''has publicly made clear that I've got his support,'' adding he'd received a call Wednesday from MICK MULVANEY meant to dispel reports the two men were in a dispute.
''Our relationship is excellent,'' Acosta said.
https://t.co/ORGuFgMIAf '--@kenvogel 9:39 a.m.
Acosta OUT
BREAKING: President Trump and Labor Secretary Acosta just announced that Acosta is resigning effective 7 days from today.
'--@Yamiche 9:37 a.m.
The reviews are in
9:12 a.m.
Gulf Coast braces for Barry
Photo: CNN Breaking News/Twitter
9:00 a.m.memes of production
memes of production
Walmart Workers Realize Corporate Is Spying on Them, Retaliate With Union Memes
By Brian Feldman
A recent firing reminded the Walmart subreddit's complainers that they can get fired for posts their bosses don't like.
8:59 a.m.
One of the few Trump policy proposals Dems might be cool with isn't going anywhere
President Trump's plan to lower prescription drug prices hit two major obstacles this week. He killed a proposal on Wednesday that would have reduced out-of-pocket costs for older consumers out of concern that it would raise premiums heading into his re-election campaign. And a federal judge threw out a new requirement that drug companies disclose their prices in television ads.
Administration officials rushed to assure the public that the double setback did not reflect failure on one of the president's signature issues, one that has fueled public outrage and drawn the attention of both parties.
He has hinted that he is focusing in on a more audacious proposal, especially from a Republican president. It would tie some drug prices to those set by European governments, an idea that is tantamount to price controls and opposed by members of his own party. Yet Mr. Trump is said to be particularly taken with the idea because it fits with his ''America First'' approach.
8:30 a.m.
This does not seem ideal in terms of military readiness
When he resigned as defense secretary last December, Jim Mattis thought it might take two months to install a successor. That seemed terribly long at the time.
Seven months later, the U.S. still has no confirmed defense chief even with the nation facing potential armed conflict with Iran. That's the longest such stretch in Pentagon history.
There is also no confirmed deputy defense secretary, and other significant senior civilian and military Pentagon positions are in limbo, more than at any recent time.
The causes are varied, but this leadership vacuum has nonetheless begun to make members of Congress and others uneasy, creating a sense that something is amiss in a critical arm of the government at a time of global uncertainty.
vision 2020
Elizabeth Warren Unveils a Sane, Humane Immigration Plan
By Eric Levitz
It has a roughly zero-percent chance of getting through our nation's paranoid, cruel Congress any time soon.
7:38 a.m.
A rare sight these days: uplifting presidential news
President Barack Obama granted Danielle Metz clemency in 2016. Out of prison, she made the dean's list in college. She wished she could thank Obama for his help.
In a story published Monday in USA TODAY, Metz expressed her gratitude toward the former president.
''You don't know what you did for me,'' she imagined herself telling him. ''I'm finally coming into my own. I made the honor roll.''
This week, Obama wrote her a letter, wishing Metz all the best.
''I am so proud of you, and am confident that your example will have a positive impact for others who are looking for a second chance,'' Obama wrote to Metz. ''Tell your children I say hello, and know that I'm rooting for all of you.''
7:14 a.m.
Trump's tweeted response to Paul Ryan grumbling about him in the new book American Carnage
Paul Ryan, the failed V.P. candidate & former Speaker of the House, whose record of achievement was atrocious (except during my first two years as President), ultimately became a long running lame duck failure, leaving his Party in the lurch both as a fundraiser & leader'...'...
'....When Mitt chose Paul I told people that's the end of that Presidential run. He quit Congress because he didn't know how to Win. They gave me standing O's in the Great State of Wisconsin, & booed him off the stage. He promised me the Wall, & failed (happening anyway!)'...'...
'....He had the Majority & blew it away with his poor leadership and bad timing. Never knew how to go after the Dems like they go after us. Couldn't get him out of Congress fast enough!
'--@realDonaldTrump 7:12 a.m.
Louisiana is in for a rough weekend
Tropical Storm Barry's wind and rain began hitting parts of Louisiana early Friday as New Orleans and coastal communities braced for a drenching from what's expected to be the first hurricane of the season.
A hurricane warning was in effect along the Louisiana coast, with forecasters predicting landfall as a hurricane by early Saturday.
The storm's rains are expected to pose a severe test of New Orleans' improved post-Katrina flood defenses . Barry is forecast to bring more than a foot and a half (0.5 meters) of rain to parts of the state as it moves slowly inland.
''There are three ways that Louisiana can flood: storm surge, high rivers and rain,'' Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. ''We're going to have all three.''
vision 2020
Buttigieg Tries to Win Black Voters With a 'Douglass Plan' for Racial Justice
By Ed Kilgore
A ''wine-track'' candidate with a police-shooting problem in South Bend, Mayor Pete lays out an agenda for ''black empowerment.''
jeffrey epstein
Read Jeffrey Epstein's Galaxy-Brain Philosophical Advice
By Matt Stieb
Epstein's answers to Edge.org's ''annual questions'' aren't exactly clear-minded, but they help explain his former bond with the public intelligentsia.
12:49 a.m.
A fun day in the Rose Garden
President Donald Trump celebrated a variety of right-wing personalities, meme-makers and conspiracy theorists at his so-called ''Social Media Summit'' on Thursday, bringing new respectability to the right's online fringe.
''The crap you think of is unbelievable,'' Trump said, as he welcomed some of his most dedicated social media partisans to the White House.
While the event was aimed at the social media companies, no representatives from the social media giants were invited to the summit. Giant signs around the summit explained terms like ''doxxing'' and ''shadowbanning.''
Trump spent much of the event, which was meant to showcase conservative allegations that the social media giants are biased against them, complaining about his own social media metrics.
jeffrey epstein
An Expert Thinks Jeffrey Epstein Built His Wealth Through Fraud and Blackmail
By Benjamin Hart
A professor working on a book about the mysterious financier believes he acquired his wealth through shady means.
2020 census
Trump Caves on Census Citizenship Question, But Hints at a Broader Fight Ahead
By Ed Kilgore
It was a classic Trumpian retreat, disguised in a cloud of obfuscation, lies, and threats.
7/11/2019the national interest
the national interest
President Trump Says Only Trump Supporters Deserve Free Speech
By Jonathan Chait
''To me free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad.'' Uh, yes it is?
Are The Clintons Involved In Human Trafficking? '' Forbidden Knowledge TV
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 19:09
Check out this dynamite documentary short by emerging YouTube storyteller, Greg Reese, based on an article by Corey's Digs, which details a timeline of Hillary Clinton's involvements in children's causes. It is very concerning if not damning.
Reese reports that Hillary did her postgraduate study at Yale on children and medicine. Her work seemed to be focused on protecting children but in 1975, Hillary Clinton defended a 41 year old man for the violent gang rape of a 12 year old girl. After destroying the little girl's reputation in order to win the case, Hillary not only bragged about getting her client a lighter sentence but she laughed about knowing her client was guilty.
In 1999, she launched the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children with Richard Branson as a board member and with ties to the Podesta Group. ICMEC is a nonprofit supported entirely by private funds that claims to eradicate child abduction, yet the numbers of trafficked victims has skyrocketed since its inception. When ICMEC was founded, human trafficking was a $30 billion dollar a year business. Nine years later, human trafficking had grown to over $150 billion annually!
In 2009, the Clinton Global Initiative launched the Polaris Project to run the National Human Trafficking Resource Center and Hotline. Also in 2009, AMBER Ready, Inc. selected Clinton Associates and the Podesta Group as their PR company. AMBER Ready's cell phone technology creates a database of children across the globe, stored in cell phones.
In 2010, Laura Silsby was arrested at the Haitian border with the Dominican Republic for trying to smuggle 33 children out of Haiti. Her lawyer, Jorge Torres was a fugitive and later convicted of trafficking children from Central America and Haiti into the United States. Bill Clinton got involved and Laura Silsby's charges were reduced to ''arranging irregular travel''. Silsby then returned to the US and became the vice president of marketing for AlertSense, a tech company that's affiliated with the AMBER Alert system.
A shocking number of Hillary's associates at the Clinton Foundation have been convicted for the sexual abuse of children and child p-rnography. Convicted pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein was part of the original group that conceived of the Clinton Global Initiative and flight logs show that Bill Clinton flew on Epstein's private plane, the Lolita Express at least 26 times to travel to Epstein's private island, where dozens of underage girls claim to have been trafficked for sex acts with Epstein's powerful guests.
NXIVM cult members, Clare Bronfman, her sister Sarah and Nancy Salzman were all members of the Clinton Global Initiative, which is by invitation only. NXIVM cult leader, Keith Raniere is currently on trial (and being found guilty) of sex trafficking, forced labor and pedophilia and the NXIVM cult was found to be illegally providing cash to Hillary's 2008 presidential campaign.
When looking at all this information, it is only natural to ask the question, ''Are Bill and Hillary Clinton involved with child trafficking?'' In looking at the various options at the end of her article, Corey writes, ''They created bills, instilled laws, built relationships, worldwide databases, countless initiatives, partnerships, and global hotlines '' all with direct access to, and knowledge of, children and their whereabouts. In both politics and business they are known as the procurement specialists, often using this language in their press releases.
''The evidence is piling up against the Clintons. It's becoming more and more difficult to rationalize all of their choices, relationships, and nefarious dealings, away.''
The pressure on a prosecutor: How Epstein's wealth and power steered Acosta toward lenient deal - The Washington Post
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 12:15
The cops thought they'd handed prosecutors the easiest case ever, a slam dunk. The FBI spent many months painstakingly persuading some of the women Jeffrey Epstein had allegedly abused to tell their stories. Federal prosecutors in Miami finely honed the narrative they would present to a jury, a startling and sickening tale of an arrogant millionaire who they say systematically recruited and sexually molested barely pubescent girls '-- dozens of them.
But Operation Leap Year, the investigators' code name for the massive effort a decade ago to put Epstein behind bars, turned out to be a tortured journey through the American apparatus of justice. And the man whose job it was to stop Epstein's alleged sexual misdeeds ended up wrestling with the kind of pressure that a rich and powerful man could generate '-- pressure exerted through political, financial and emotional means.
In 2007, responsibility for removing Epstein from his bubble of wealth and impunity sat with Alexander Acosta, the soft-spoken top federal prosecutor in South Florida, still in his 30s, fairly new to the position, eager to make an impression and, according to friends, find his way back to a top administration job in Washington.
Conchita Sarnoff, author of ''TrafficKing,'' a book on the Epstein case, said Acosta told her a few years after Epstein's dream team of prominent defense lawyers persuaded him to sign a non-prosecution deal ending the federal pursuit that ''he felt incapable of going up against those eight powerful attorneys. He felt his career was at stake.''
Now, a dozen years later, Acosta, who resigned Friday as President Trump's secretary of labor, is fighting to restore what's left of his reputation, having struggled to demonstrate that he did the right thing in going after Epstein but then pulling the plug on the massive effort to lock the finance whiz in the federal clink.
President Trump speaks with Labor Secretary Alex Acosta on Friday, the day he announced Acosta's resignation. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)Acosta's decision back then to sign a non-prosecution deal that allowed Epstein to serve only 13 months in county jail, with permission to leave the building and go to work six days a week, has led to repeated waves of public outrage in the years since. In that deal, Acosta agreed not to pursue federal charges against Epstein or four women who the government said procured girls for him. In exchange, Epstein agreed to plead guilty to a state solicitation charge, register as a sex offender and pay restitution to victims.
''This agreement will not be made part of any public record,'' the deal between Epstein and Acosta said. (The document was unsealed by a federal judge in a civil lawsuit in 2015.)
Last week burdened Acosta with what proved to be unbearable pressure after federal authorities in New York arrested Epstein on new sex trafficking charges based on abuses in New York and Florida. At a news conference Wednesday, Acosta tried to stanch the criticism, explaining that the deal he cut prevented local Palm Beach County officials from knocking the charges against Epstein down to a single count that would have resulted in no jail time and no registration as a sex offender.
The Epstein case's extensive record, stretching across numerous civil lawsuits and investigations by state and federal authorities, reveals not a crisp portrait of white hats tilting against black hats, but rather a mottled mural of prosecutors who were eager to stop Epstein from preying on girls, but also sensitive to the young women's desire not to have their names made public. And it shows a defense team that took advantage of the fact that many victims felt a bond with their accused abuser.
According to the lead FBI agent on the Florida case, ''a majority of the victims'' expressed concern about disclosure of their identities '-- including some whose parents didn't know about their ties to Epstein '-- and some victims told the FBI they didn't want anything bad to happen to Epstein.
''No victims expressed a strong opinion that Epstein be prosecuted,'' the agent, E. Nesbitt Kuyrkendall, said in a court document.
At every point along the case's twisting path from the Palm Beach County police department through local and federal authorities, in West Palm Beach, Miami and Washington, the seemingly simple quest to stop a man who had taken advantage of dozens of young women ran up against three hard facts: Epstein had a knack for winning people over, he had enough money and power to buy the very best legal firepower, and a decade before the #MeToo movement, it was still fairly easy to cast abuse that was short of rape as mere misbehavior rather than a shattering, serious crime.
Jeffrey Epstein, center, appears in court in West Palm Beach, Fla. (Uma Sanghvi/AP)Some people still argue that Epstein's actions were relatively benign.
''The conduct is exaggerated,'' one of Epstein's lawyers said in an interview, speaking on the condition of anonymity because his former client hasn't authorized him to comment. ''I know of no rape. Basically, it's a masturbation case, a misdemeanor, maybe. Most of the girls weren't that young, maybe 16 to 20.''
''They were just massages that turned into a little more than massages,'' said Alan Dershowitz, another of Epstein's attorneys. ''It seemed like a small case, a half-dozen massages by local people. They were all 18. Nobody heard of anybody, like, 14.''
A strong reputation
To Acosta and his staff prosecutors, and to the detectives and police chief who first worked the case in Palm Beach, these were not massages. They were sexual assaults on the most innocent victims '-- children.
The Miami prosecutors concluded, according to U.S. attorney's office records, that Epstein, working through his female assistants, ''would recruit underage females to travel to his home in Palm Beach to engage in lewd conduct in exchange for money. .'‰.'‰. Some went there as much as 100 times or more. Some of the women's conduct was limited to performing a topless or nude massage while Mr. Epstein masturbated himself. For other women, the conduct escalated to full sexual intercourse.''
For the detectives who first looked into the allegations, it was as straightforward as that. These policemen had sat with the teenagers and their parents and heard just how Epstein recruited young girls into his waterfront mansion and paid them to strip and do whatever he commanded.
But after the original case moved to Palm Beach County prosecutors, the Palm Beach police chief, Michael Reiter, got wind that the state attorney, although initially eager to get Epstein, seemed to be backing off, looking for ways to lessen the charges. A Palm Beach County grand jury that heard testimony from only one victim recommended just one charge, which Acosta contended would have meant that Epstein faced no jail time, would not have to pay restitution to his victims, and would not have to register as a sex offender.
Reiter later said in a deposition in a civil suit that the charge in Palm Beach would have been ''very minor'' compared to what the facts warranted. So Reiter '-- who, along with his detectives, worried that Epstein's influence had made local officials reluctant to press the most serious charges '-- handed the case to the feds. An FBI agent promised to put Epstein away ''for the rest of his life,'' said a Florida law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
The top federal prosecutor in South Florida was Acosta, the U.S. attorney in Miami from 2006 to 2009, who had already built a strong reputation. During his tenure, he pushed on public corruption cases, putting at least five elected Palm Beach county and city commissioners in prison.
Before the Epstein case, ''there was never a voice raised against Alex Acosta,'' said Bruce Rogow, a Florida criminal defense attorney. ''He was not a grandstander. He was a work man. Some U.S. attorneys are very aggressive and they are showmen, holding lots of press conferences. That wasn't how he operated.''
Acosta, who declined to comment for this article, had also been accused of putting politics first. In a 2008 report, the Justice Department's inspector general said that Acosta, who ran the department's civil rights division in Washington from 2003 to 2005, ''did not take sufficient action'' when attorneys in his office told him that a top deputy was hiring unqualified applicants. The report said the deputy ''violated federal law'' by using political affiliations to decide which lawyers to hire.
Still, Acosta was seen in Florida as an ally of crime victims, and he assigned the Epstein matter to some of his best lawyers.
'An army of legal superstars'
T hey were going up against the best, too. Epstein, who in addition to his Palm Beach estate owned a spectacular house in Manhattan and his own island in the Caribbean (to which he flew on his private jet), assembled a hugely expensive lineup of legal brand names with, as one of the lawyers boasted in a letter, ''a combined 250 years experience:'' Harvard's Dershowitz; former Clinton impeachment-era special prosecutor Ken Starr; Miami's most famous defense attorney, Roy Black; Acosta's former colleague, Jay Lefkowitz; one of Acosta's predecessors as U.S. attorney, Guy Lewis; New York criminal defender Gerald Lefcourt; and several more.
Epstein's side fought hard and, prosecutors and police said, dirty, too.
Reiter and the lead detective in the case, who has since died, said in depositions in civil suits stemming from the Epstein case that their trash was stolen by private investigators and that victims' families were approached at their homes by people falsely claiming to be police officers.
Adam Horowitz, a lawyer who represented seven of the girls who accused Epstein, said private investigators hired by Epstein followed and intimidated the victims, who reported seeing strange cars parked in front of their homes.
Last week, Acosta, in a nationally televised news conference to explain his actions a decade ago, focused on his desire to assure that Epstein was convicted of a crime, punished with jail time and registered as a sex offender.
But in a 2011 letter explaining why he agreed to the non-prosecution deal, Acosta emphasized different reasons for his decision, focusing on ''a year-long assault on the prosecution and the prosecutors'' by ''an army of legal superstars.''
''The defense strategy was not limited to legal issues,'' Acosta wrote. ''Defense counsel investigated individual prosecutors and their families, looking for personal peccadilloes that may provide a basis for disqualification.''
Several of Epstein's lawyers denied hiring anyone to harass or spy on anyone involved in the case. ''Nothing like that was done,'' Dershowitz said.
Acosta said one of Epstein's lawyers accused him of ''excess zeal in forcing a good man to serve time in jail'' and threatened to make sure a book was published about the unfair prosecution ''if we continued to proceed with this matter.'' Acosta said in 2011 that the defense lawyers accused him of insisting on jail time for Epstein ''merely because he is wealthy.''
At Wednesday's news conference, Acosta did not repeat his earlier statements about undue pressure from Epstein's defense team. He also did not repeat earlier comments that fellow law enforcement officials recalled in which Acosta said the Epstein defense had effectively frustrated the prosecution by swamping his office with legal arguments and complaints to Justice Department headquarters in Washington.
The decade-long debate over whether Acosta improperly backed away from powerful evidence in his own staff's 82-page prosecution memo and 53-page indictment, which were based on evidence about 34 victims, has centered on just how strong the government's case was. (The new case in New York mentions three specific victims but refers as well to ''dozens of minor girls'' who visited Epstein's New York and Florida homes ''to engage in sex acts with him,'' the indictment says.)
Especially since the Miami Herald published articles last year in which dozens of women came forward to add to the accusations against Epstein, Acosta and his defenders '-- joined by Epstein's defense lawyers '-- have argued that there were two significant problems with the case: It wasn't a lock that the alleged crimes were federal rather than state matters, and many of the victims were reluctant to come forward with their stories.
''Most of Epstein's victims were terrified to cooperate against him,'' Acosta's top deputy, Jeffrey Sloman, wrote in the Herald earlier this year. ''Some hired lawyers to avoid appearing before a grand jury. One of the key witnesses moved to Australia and refused to return calls from us.''
A. Marie Villafana, the lead prosecutor in the Epstein case, said in a statement in a civil suit in 2017 that the victims' reluctance to cooperate made it hard to push Epstein to trial. One victim who refused to cooperate was represented by a lawyer who was being paid by Epstein, Villafana said in a statement. She declined a request for an interview. That victim, known in court papers as Jane Doe 2, told the FBI that she hoped ''nothing happens to [Epstein] because he's an awesome man .'‰.'‰. and he didn't do nothing wrong, nothing.''
Another victim told FBI Special Agent Timothy Slater that she wanted to ''let this be in my past.''
But some lawyers for the victims paint a very different picture, saying their clients waited for visits from FBI agents that never happened.
Spencer Kuvin, who represented three teenage girls, said that although the Palm Beach police and the FBI built strong cases against Epstein, ultimately identifying dozens of minors who told how Epstein lured them to his home and sexually assaulted them, ''they could have expanded it even further if they tried.''
The FBI interviewed only one of his three clients, Kuvin said, and each girl knew of many others who had also allegedly been molested.
''If you don't talk to one girl, you may miss 10 more,'' he said.
Horowitz said Acosta's prosecutors frightened the girls he represented, telling them that ''Epstein and their lawyers would make their life difficult.'' ''They did nothing to encourage them, comfort them or tell them about crime victims' rights.''
Horowitz said it angered him to hear Acosta use the girls' fear as an excuse for why prosecutors didn't proceed to trial. ''He was using that as a shield,'' Horowitz said. ''He said that handicapped us. No, your office is the one who placed that fear on them.''
Kuvin said the girls he represented were upset that the FBI never spoke to them. When they finally found out that the case had ended and Epstein had landed a light sentence, they believed it was because they were poor or middle class and he was rich.
''They figured the fix was in, and they were right,'' Kuvin said.
Complaints to Justice
Even as Epstein's defenders negotiated with Acosta's prosecutors for a favorable deal, they were complaining about those same lawyers to Acosta's bosses in Washington.
Through late 2007 and early 2008, after Epstein had signed a non-prosecution agreement with federal authorities, Epstein appeared to get cold feet about the deal.
His lawyers started bashing prosecutors as negotiating in bad faith. In a series of letters to Justice Department leaders and its Office of Professional Responsibility, Epstein's lawyers accused the Miami prosecutors of bias and misconduct, demanding that two of Acosta's employees be disqualified from the case.
Villafana later recounted the pressure she faced, telling Lefkowitz in a memo that ''your letter now accuses me of 'manufacturing' charges of obstruction of justice, making obscene phone calls and violating child privacy laws.''
Epstein's lawyers also pushed for top officials in Washington to overrule Acosta's decision to press the case at all. ''It went up through the ranks of Main Justice,'' Dershowitz said. ''We were looking for a better deal. A high-visibility case like this doesn't get finalized unless it's signed off on by Main Justice.'' Criminal cases don't usually get reviewed by officials in Washington, former top Justice officials said.
But the Epstein lawyers' complaints reached the office of then-Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip, where government attorneys checked up on Acosta's actions, according to people involved at the time. Like others, they spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.
The Justice attorneys concluded that Epstein's lawyers, worried that the terms of the non-prosecution agreement were too onerous, were looking for a way out of the deal, these people said.
The Epstein lawyers claimed ''the Miami office was out of control, and needed to be reined in,'' one former Justice Department official said. ''We looked at it, and decided those claims were nonsense.''
Justice pushed back. In a June 2008 letter to Epstein lawyers Starr and Lefkowitz, senior associate attorney general John Roth concluded that ''federal prosecution of this case is appropriate.'' Nothing the prosecutors in Miami had done ''gives us any reason to alter our opinion,'' he wrote.
In the end, the Justice officials who looked at the allegations were more concerned by how Epstein's defense team behaved toward the victims than by anything prosecutors had done, according to a person involved in the discussions at the time.
Back in Miami, the defense kept hammering against the very notion of a case against Epstein. From the start, they had argued that Epstein was being singled out because of his wealth. When the case was still in Palm Beach, Dershowitz wrote what he called ''a long analysis of the sentences meted out in cases involving massages by underage girls.''
Data compiled by the U.S. Sentencing Commission shows that in South Florida in 2008, more than 9 in 10 sexual abuse and prostitution cases in federal court were settled through a plea bargain rather than going to trial. The median sentence meted out for sexual abuse cases was 10 years, and for pornography and prostitution cases, eight years and one month.
Victim notification
As negotiations dragged on, Epstein's lawyers sought to make certain that the victims were kept in the dark.
Internal Justice Department emails show that Villafana, the lead prosecutor, yielded to defense lawyers' demand that Acosta's office not inform victims about the non-prosecution agreement.
''You raised objections to any victim notification,'' Villafana wrote to Lefkowitz, ''and no further notifications were done.''
In October 2007, Lefkowitz met with Acosta for breakfast and then wrote to Acosta to express gratitude for not notifying the victims: ''[T]hank you for the commitment you made to me .'‰.'‰. that your office would not .'‰.'‰. contact any of the identified individuals, potential witnesses, or potential civil claimants.''
When FBI agents reached out to a handful of Epstein victims to let them know that the case was moving toward a resolution, Epstein's lawyers complained and the notifications ceased, according to court papers.
''From the time the FBI began investigating Epstein until Sept. 24, 2007 '-- when the NPA [non-prosecution agreement] was concluded '-- [Acosta's] office never conferred with the victims about a NPA or told the victims that such an agreement was under consideration,'' U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra wrote in a ruling in February.
The judge, presiding over a suit in which some of Epstein's victims say the government failed to keep them informed, said Acosta's office egregiously violated the law that requires crime victims to be told about vital developments in their cases.
Most of the wrangling over Epstein's deal did not include Acosta directly, according to three of Epstein's attorneys, who said they negotiated instead with four of his deputies. And Acosta's defenders '-- who perhaps paradoxically now include some of Epstein's lawyers '-- say that he could not have known that Palm Beach County officials would let Epstein out on work-release during his jail term.
As head of his office, Acosta bore the ultimate responsibility for the case. And if he has now paid the price by losing his Cabinet position in Washington, Acosta also deserves an odd kind of credit for Epstein's latest arrest, said attorney David Boies, who represents seven women who say Epstein molested them.
Acosta's appointment renewed interest in the deal he brokered for Epstein, and the resulting scrutiny revealed the leniency of the deal and how it had been kept secret from the victims.
''There is a good chance that if Acosta had not gotten appointed, Epstein would still be free,'' Boies said.
''If Acosta never became secretary of labor, none of what's happened in the last week would ever have happened,'' said another of Epstein's lawyers. ''No one would have cared by now. If there was any vetting of Cabinet officers by this administration, none of this would ever have happened.''
Sari Horwitz and Aaron C. Davis in Washington and Lori Rozsa in Palm Beach contributed to this report.
Is This Project Mayhem Or Project Epstein? | Zero Hedge
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:49
Authored by Tom Luongo,
Only Donald Trump knows...
From the moment I heard Jeffrey Epstein had been arrested I knew none of us had anything close to the real story. And, by the time this is over, I don't think we'll have anything close to the real story either.
That shouldn't, however, keep us from picking through the bread crumbs and see where they lead us. I wrote previously that I thought this story would lead to Hillary Clinton. The MAGA crowd loved that.
Regardless of whether Hillary winds up being the target is irrelevant. What I wrote the other day I still feel is the most likely situation.
I was cautiously optimistic that Trump would turn the corner on his presidency now that Mueller, impeachment and the rest of it would lift from his shoulders. His foreign policy maneuvers didn't fill me with much, if any, confirmation of this hope.
But domestically signs were there that he had stabilized the battlefield.
Epstein's arrest tells me he's now out for blood.
That was, frankly, my gut instinct talking when I wrote that. It fit the sequence of events and the changes we've seen in D.C. over the past four months since Attorney General William Barr shut down the Mueller investigation.
What was done to Trump went far beyond egregious. It went far beyond even lawlessness. It was an operation that spanned multiple governments, showed complete contempt not only for procedure but the people themselves.
It was, in short, a supremely arrogant attempted coup that expected to get away with it all because they always had in the past. It was also amatuerish as hell.
The reason I've never believed any of the arguments that Trump is simply a bait and switch pitch man for the Deep State is because that description defies reality.
It doesn't pass Occam's Razor. The people Jeffrey Epstein represents hate Trump holding power because they have nothing of substance on him. Sure he's bribed building contractors or paid off unions to get his buildings finished. Whatever.
No one other than the squeakiest of wheels would get upset over that. Everyone accepts that to do business in a corrupt world like New York you swim with some of it because that's simply how things are done, like it or not.
But using fourteen-year-old girls as blackmail agents and prostitutes to run guns, drugs, topple governments and steal weapons research is another level of corruption. It's orders of magnitude worse. And to Trump's credit it seems like he's never dabbled in that particular thing.
Because if he had, he would never have become President and the Deep State would have never organized a coup attempt against him.
Occam's Razor, folks. They don't have anything of substance on him. At best they've got a few pictures of him at an Epstein party and then he's gone.
Watch a few minutes of this report by George Webb and tell me this doesn't sound exactly like what we've been presented as evidence that Trump is one of Epstein's perverts.
We know Trump helped a case against Epstein in 2009. We know that Trump threw Epstein out of Mar-a-Lago for hitting on a young girl. What we don't know is left to our imagination to reinforce our view of Trump one way or the other.
For the past six days it has been wall to wall, ''Epstein is a pervert. Trump went to a few parties. Acosta, Trump's guy, let Epstein off.''
Now Acosta resigns as Secretary of Labor.
But Epstein is most definitely an asset. The breadcrumbs are everywhere for you to find. The last thing Acosta did before resigning was letting it be known that he thought Epstein was connected to intelligence.
''Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?'' Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he'd had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He'd cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein's attorneys because he had ''been told'' to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. ''I was told Epstein 'belonged to intelligence' and to leave it alone,'' he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.)
And now he resigns because of the 2009 plea deal? Something doesn't pass the sniff test here. This is the biggest revelation of the entire week.
It's also easily inferred from simply looking at the magnitude of the crimes committed and the final deal that was signed.
The news comes at us so fast, just like in a good action movie, that sometimes we forget to step back and ask basic plot questions, like ''If this guy is that connected why are we hearing about this now at all?''
''Why did the FBI kick in the door of his home?''
''Why is this even news?''
''Who ordered the judge to unseal the records from the previous case?''
Because if this is that big a cover-up '' implicating everyone from the CIA, to the State Dept. and Dyncorp to the Israeli Mossad '-- none of this should be in the news.
No way would these people risk exposing Epstein to this level of scrutiny if they were just trying to run a 'nuts and sluts' operation on Trump to impeach him.
And all of those questions, again using Occam's Razor, lead to one answer. Donald Trump.
I think Trump started this thing and is now going to watch it play out to the end. Acosta was chum, sent out to fall on his sword and keep the story moving quickly to make it look like Trump is in cahoots with Epstein.
This first act is to go all out in attacking Trump. The intense focus on the sex-trafficking, the 'nuts and sluts' angle, is your key to understanding the stakes here. This is Alinsky 101, accuse your target of that which you are guilty of and make it personal. Guilt by association to put Trump on the defensive.
But to do that they also have to hand over the Clintons. And this is what I was getting at the other day. Hillary is over-extended here. Trump knows the way to take her and the rest of them down is to get to them through Epstein.
And most importantly, notice how no one in D.C. is out in front of the cameras, clutching their pearls about how horrible it all is. That silence you don't hear is fear. Chuck Schumer, who was all over the news in December/January when it looked like Mueller was going to get Trump impeached is now nowhere to be found.
Pelosi, as I mentioned the other day, is fighting an internal battle within her party and not joining the #MeToo chorus. The outrage is simmering. And the Swamp can't contain this by hoping to sweep this under the rug.
Notice how Epstein asked for immunity the other day. But have you heard anything about it since? No.
What did they get from Harvey Weinstein? Remember him?
There comes a point where a line is crossed, morality is truly compromised and people look at themselves and ask, ''Is this the world I want to live in? Is this what we've been reduced to?''
Act I is the outrage and the attempt to keep the focus on the pervie side of things. Keep people focused on their disgust circuit and, hopefully, off the man behind the curtain.
But, as I said on Fault Lines, we live in a post-Dorothy Oz where the curtain was pulled back and reveals the weird little man with the levers and we realize yes, this is what we've been reduced to.
And that's when the anger starts and Act II begins.
* * *
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Property Tycoon Wang Zhenhua Formally Arrested for Child Molestation
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 04:58
Local Shanghai authorities said Wednesday they had formally arrested two individuals detained last week on suspicion of molesting a child, an escalation of a case that has echoed through Chinese social media and financial markets.
Police have provided only surnames for the man and woman arrested, but media have previously identified the man as Wang Zhenhua '-- a real estate tycoon who was until recently chair of developer Future Land Development Holdings Ltd.
Seazen Holdings, the Shanghai-listed arm of Future Land, confirmed Wednesday that Wang had been arrested but did not specify if he had been charged. Future Land said in a stock filing last week that Wang had been detained for ''personal reasons.''
The filing said Wang's son would immediately replace him as company chairman.
On July 3, local Communist Party-backed Shanghai paper Xinmin Evening News reported that Wang had been detained by police on suspicion of molesting a 9-year-old girl in a hotel room on June 30, which police confirmed the next day.
Under Chinese law, police can detain suspects for up to 37 days before a procuratorate approves their formal arrest. The People's Procuratorate of Putuo District approved Wang's arrest.
Last week's explosive news sparked public outrage and sent stocks of Future Land and related companies into a downward spiral.
The proceedings have triggered an investor exodus from Future Land and other real estate companies linked to Wang. Not only has that wiped out billions of dollars of market value, it's also raised questions about the companies' access to financing and fueled speculation that rival developers might move to take over all or part of Wang's empire.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg
Contact reporter Ren Qiuyu (qiuyuren@caixin.com)
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Jeffrey Epstein's Fortune May Be More Illusion Than Fact - The New York Times
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 05:14
Image Protesters held up photographs of Jeffrey Epstein, a financier facing sex-trafficking charges, outside the federal courthouse in Manhattan on Monday. Credit Credit Stephanie Keith/Getty Images When federal prosecutors announced sex-trafficking charges against Jeffrey Epstein this week, they described him as ''a man of nearly infinite means.'' They argued that his vast wealth '-- and his two private jets '-- made him a flight risk.
Mr. Epstein is routinely described as a billionaire and brilliant financier, and he rubbed elbows with the powerful, including former and future presidents. Even after his 2008 guilty plea in a prostitution case in Florida, he promoted himself as a financial wizard who used arcane mathematical models, and he often dropped the names of Nobel Prize-winning friends. He told potential clients that they had to invest a minimum of $1 billion. At his peak in the early 2000s, a magazine profile said he employed 150 people, some working out of the historic Villard Houses on Madison Avenue.
Much of that appears to be an illusion, and there is little evidence that Mr. Epstein is a billionaire.
Mr. Epstein's wealth may have depended less on his math acumen than his connections to two men '-- Steven J. Hoffenberg, a onetime owner of The New York Post and a notorious fraudster later convicted of running a $460 million Ponzi scheme, and Leslie H. Wexner, the billionaire founder of retail chains including The Limited and the chief executive of the company that owns Victoria's Secret.
Mr. Hoffenberg was Mr. Epstein's partner in two ill-fated takeover bids in the 1980s, including one of Pan American World Airways, and would later claim that Mr. Epstein had been part of the scheme that landed him in jail '-- although Mr. Epstein was never charged. With Mr. Wexner, Mr. Epstein formed a financial and personal bond that baffled longtime associates of the wealthy retail magnate, who was his only publicly disclosed investor.
[President Trump was once a friend of Jeffrey Epstein. Now he's ''not a fan.'']
Mr. Epstein's firm, Financial Trust Company, has released no audited financial statements or performance reports to back up his claims of investment prowess. In a 2002 court filing, Mr. Epstein said he had 20 employees, far fewer than reported figures around that time. Six years later, he lost large sums of money in the financial crisis. And friends and patrons '-- including Mr. Wexner '-- deserted him after he pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in 2008.
Mr. Epstein, 66, is doubtless very rich: His real estate alone '-- one of Manhattan's largest private mansions, a Palm Beach estate, a Paris apartment, his own Caribbean island and a huge New Mexico ranch '-- is worth more than $200 million. His investment firm reported having $88 million in capital from its shareholders in 2002.
Video A registered sex offender known for his lavish lifestyle and high-profile connections to the rich and powerful, the financier Jeffrey Epstein is facing new charges that he exploited dozens of young girls for sex acts. Credit Credit Rick Friedman/Corbis, via Getty Images He appears to have been doing business and trading currencies through Deutsche Bank until just a few months ago, according to two people familiar with his business activities. But as the possibility of federal charges loomed, the bank ended its client relationship with Mr. Epstein. It is not clear what the value of those accounts was at the time they were closed.
A lawyer for Mr. Epstein, Reid Weingarten, did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Early InfluencesMr. Epstein's big break came when he was teaching math at the Dalton School, a prestigious Manhattan private school, in the mid-1970s. He had tutored the son of Alan Greenberg, the chairman of the mighty investment bank Bear Stearns, and ended up joining the firm.
He left after a few years. Mr. Epstein told Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers in an insider-trading investigation that there were three reasons, according to a 2003 Vanity Fair article. He had been disciplined over lending money to a friend to buy stock, and there were irregularities with his expense account and rumors he was having an affair with a secretary. (Mr. Epstein testified that he had known nothing about any insider trading, and neither he nor anyone else at the firm was charged.)
In 1981, he struck out on his own. He founded his own advisory firm, Intercontinental Assets Group, which he ran out of his apartment on East 66th Street. In 1987, he met Mr. Hoffenberg, then the chief executive of Towers Financial Corporation.
Mr. Hoffenberg said in an interview that he had met Mr. Epstein in New York at the height of the 1980s takeover boom, when Ivan Boesky's ''Merger Mania'' was a national best seller. Towers Financial was buying unpaid debt from hospitals, nursing homes and phone companies and trying to collect it '-- a distinctly unglamorous niche. Mr. Hoffenberg hired Mr. Epstein as a consultant for $25,000 a month, and the two men refashioned themselves as corporate raiders.
Two takeover efforts were spectacular failures. They made a run at Pan Am, and a news release issued by Towers in November 1987 listed their advisers as John Lehman, a former secretary of the Navy; John N. Mitchell, the attorney general during the Nixon administration; and Edward Nixon, former President Richard M. Nixon's brother. But the bid collapsed after a jetliner exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, which sent Pan Am into bankruptcy.
Mr. Epstein and Mr. Hoffenberg also made a run at Emery Air Freight '-- an ''epic failure,'' according to an affidavit filed by Mr. Hoffenberg in a 2018 lawsuit against Mr. Epstein, which was brought by investors defrauded in Mr. Hoffenberg's Ponzi scheme. The suit was dismissed.
Image Among his valuable properties, Mr. Epstein owns one of Manhattan's largest private mansions, at 9 East 71st Street. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times One takeover bid involving Mr. Epstein met with success: He told Vanity Fair in 2003 that he had invested $1 million, including $300,000 of his own money, in a raid on Pennwalt, a chemical processing firm in Philadelphia. Pennwalt eventually accepted an offer from a French company that was nearly double the price at which the investor group began acquiring shares, giving Mr. Epstein a profit.
A Rapid RiseIn 1988, when Mr. Epstein was still working for Mr. Hoffenberg, he formed the investment firm that would be the nexus for his connections to powerful people: J. Epstein & Company. One of those people, Mr. Wexner, would become the apparent foundation of Mr. Epstein's riches.
Mr. Epstein met '-- and evidently charmed '-- Robert Meister, the vice chairman of the insurance giant Aon, on a flight from New York to Palm Beach, Fla., according to an account by the novelist James Patterson in his nonfiction book ''Filthy Rich.''
Mr. Meister, who could not be reached for comment, introduced Mr. Epstein to Mr. Wexner. There appears to have been a near instant rapport.
Robert Morosky, who had been the vice chairman of The Limited, was surprised Mr. Wexner took to Mr. Epstein so readily. ''Everyone was mystified as to what his appeal was,'' Mr. Morosky said. ''I checked around and found out he was a private high school math teacher, and that was all I could find out. There was just nothing there.''
At the time, Forbes estimated Mr. Wexner's net worth at $1.8 billion, placing him 52nd on its billionaires list. Managing his money would be a lucrative business, but Mr. Epstein did more than that: A corporation controlled jointly by the two men bought a mansion on East 71st Street in Manhattan in 1989 for $13.2 million, at the time the highest price ever paid for a Manhattan townhouse, according to property records.
Mr. Epstein was also closely involved with Mr. Wexner in a corporation that oversaw the transformation of New Albany, an Ohio suburb near The Limited's Columbus headquarters, into a manicured, neo-Georgian utopia. In 1998, they appeared as co-presidents on the New Albany Corporation's Ohio registration. Both men owned mansions in the community.
Image With Leslie H. Wexner, a retail magnate, Mr. Epstein formed a financial and personal bond that baffled Mr. Wexner's longtime associates. Credit Fred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch, via Associated Press ''I think we both possess the skill of seeing patterns,'' Mr. Wexner told Vanity Fair in 2003. ''But Jeffrey sees patterns in politics and financial markets, and I see patterns in lifestyle and fashion trends.''
By 1998 '-- the year he bought Little St. James, a 70-acre island off St. Thomas '-- Mr. Epstein had renamed his firm Financial Trust Company and moved it to the Virgin Islands. Mr. Epstein said he had told clients that he accepted only investments greater than $1 billion.
A corporate disclosure form from 2002 portrays a less impressive picture. Thomas Volscho, a sociology professor at the College of Staten Island who has been researching for a book on Mr. Epstein, recently obtained the form, which shows Financial Trust had $88 million in contributions from shareholders. In a court filing that year, Mr. Epstein said his firm had about 20 employees, far fewer than the 150 reported at the time by New York magazine.
There were clients other than Mr. Wexner. Mr. Epstein performed some services for the Johnson & Johnson heiress Elizabeth Johnson, showing up as a co-trustee on 14 parcels of land owned in Dutchess County, N.Y. Most of the deeds were recorded in 1998, but Mr. Epstein resigned as a trustee for Ms. Johnson's revocable trust at the end of that year, according to a document reviewed by The New York Times.
It was also in 1998 that Mr. Epstein took sole possession of the 71st Street mansion. Mr. Wexner conveyed his interest in the corporation that owned it to one controlled by Mr. Epstein for $20 million, according to a person familiar with the transaction.
By 2003, Mr. Epstein had the means to pledge $30 million to Harvard University to fund a program in evolutionary dynamics, seeded with a $6.5 million gift.
A Stunning FallBut the financial crisis cost Mr. Epstein some of his fortune, and allegations of sexual abuse with teenage girls cost him some of his friends.
Image Steven J. Hoffenberg, a onetime owner of The New York Post, was convicted of running a $460 million Ponzi scheme. Credit Danny Johnston/Associated Press Bear Stearns '-- the bank that had given Mr. Epstein his start '-- was still among his investments when the crisis hit. According to a lawsuit he later filed against the bank, Mr. Epstein controlled about 176,000 shares of Bear Stearns, worth nearly $18 million, in August 2007.
Mr. Epstein sold 56,000 shares at $101 each that month. He sold the remaining 120,000 shares in March 2008 as the firm was collapsing '-- 20,000 at $35 and the rest at $3.04, losing big. He also lost about $50 million in one of Bear's hedge funds.
By the time Bear Stearns came apart, Mr. Epstein was at the center of his first abuse case. He pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in 2008, receiving a jail sentence that allowed him to work at home during the day but also required him to register as a sex offender.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Wexner said he ''severed ties'' with Mr. Epstein 12 years ago. But not everyone immediately abandoned Mr. Epstein after he was charged in 2006.
Mr. Epstein was an investor in Environmental Solutions Worldwide, a maker of emission-control products, in 2011 with several people close to Leon Black, the billionaire founder of the private equity firm Apollo Management, including Mr. Black's four children. It was for that company that Mr. Epstein's company filed its lone S.E.C. disclosure form.
The company's current shareholders are not publicly available; it no longer trades on a registered exchange, and does not have to make public filings.
Mr. Epstein was also listed as a director of the Debra and Leon Black Family Foundation until 2012, although the foundation said he had resigned in 2007. ''The inaccuracy was discovered and corrected,'' the foundation said in a statement.
In recent years, Mr. Epstein was a client of Deutsche Bank's private-banking division, which caters to ultrawealthy individuals and families. The bank provided Mr. Epstein with loans and wealth-management accounts, as well as trading services through its investment banking arm, according to two people familiar with the relationship. At one point, compliance officers at Deutsche Bank raised concerns about transactions by Mr. Epstein's company, because he posed reputational risk to the bank, the people said.
Deutsche Bank managers overruled their concerns, the people said. They noted that there was nothing illegal about the transactions and that Mr. Epstein was a lucrative client.
Earlier this year, the bank ended its relationship with Mr. Epstein.
Sapna Maheshwari and Emily Steel contributed reporting.
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Angel Rondon Rijo Archives - The Clinton Foundation Timeline
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 05:32
December 21, 2017 '' Trump EO targets 13 individuals with ties to the Clintons, the Clinton Foundation, or their associates ''The Trump Administration quietly issued an Executive Order (EO) last Thursday which allows for the freezing of US-housed assets belonging to foreign individuals or entities deemed ''serious human rights abusers,'' along with government officials and executives of foreign corporations (current or former) found to have engaged in corruption '' which includes the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, and corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources.
('...) In regard to the 13 listed individuals targeted by this order '' several of whom have ties to the Clintons, the Clinton Foundation or Clinton associates '' we find the following:
Goulnara Islamovna Karimova, 45, daughter of former Uzbekistan leader Islam Karimov, headed a powerful organized crime syndicate that leveraged state actors to expropriate businesses, monopolize markets, solicit bribes, and administer extortion rackets.
In early 2016, Amsterdam-based telecom giant VimpelCom (now VEON) admitted to a conspiracy in which they paid millions in bribes to Karimova for entry into the Uzbek telecom market. In a series of related cases, the U.S. Justice Department has sought the forfeiture of $850 million in bribe money from various bank accounts across Europe. In July, Uzbek officials arrested Karimova for fraud, money laundering, bribery, and embezzlement and a variety of other claims.
In 2009, a WikiLeaks cable notes that Karimova set her sights on Bill Clinton to gain access to then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
(WikiLeaks, 7/31/2009)
Three years later, Karimova co-sponsored a 2012 Clinton Foundation fundraiser in Monaco. Hillary Clinton's State Department was asked to weigh in on Bill Clinton's contacts with Karimova. Pictured below with Bill Clinton at an AIDS charity event in Cannes, France.
Goulnara Karimova and Bill Clinton (Credit: public domain)
Dan Gertler (Credit: public domain)
Dan Gertler is an Israeli billionaire mining magnate revealed by the Paradise Papers to be chief negotiator between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and his primary business partner '' mining company Glencore, founded by Marc Rich '' who was pardoned for corruption by Bill Clinton on his last day in office after his wife gave $450,000 to the Clinton Library foundation.
Glencore immediately cut ties with Gertler following Trump's Executive Order.
In 2001 Gertler gave $20m in cash to DRC President Joseph Kabila to use to buy weapons and fund his war against rebels to consolidate his grip on power. In exchange, Gertler's company IDI was granted a monopoly on the DRC diamond trade, worth hundreds of millions a year. In 2013, Gertler sold the DRC rights to mine oil for $150 million, a 300x increase on an asset he purchased from President Kabila 7 years prior for just $500,000.
In 2012, Kabila offered Bill Clinton $650k for a speech in the DRC '' for which Clinton sought State Department approval -only to have his speaking agency recommend against the appearance which would require photos with the dictator.
Gertler's family foundation is also linked to John McCain '' sharing a seat on the board of directors of ''Operation Smile'' with Cindy McCain for a period of time.
Yahya and Zeinab Jammeh with Barack and Michelle Obama in 2014. (Credit: public domain)
Yahya Jammeh is the former President of Gambia who came to power in 1994 and stepped down in 2017. He has a long history of serious human rights abuses and corruption '' creating a terror and assassination squad called the Junglers that answered directly to him.
Jammeh was installed as President during a 1994 CIA-led coup in Gambia authorized by the Clinton administration, and in 2014, the Obama administration effectively sidelined an attempted coup. Indeed, Jammeh appears to have been a friend to both the Clinton and the Obama Administrations.
Angel Rondon Rijo; Dominican Republic '' Sanctioned for funneling a $92 million bribe from Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht to Dominican Republic officials as kickbacks. Odebrecht Donated $50-$100k to the Clinton Foundation.
Benjamin Bol Mel; Sudan '' Financial Advisor to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and president of ABMC construction company accused of corruption. Hillary Clinton pushed for a waiver from the Obama Admin on the prohibition of military aid due to the use of child soldiers in South Sudan.
Artem Yuryevich Chayka; Russia '' Son of Russia's Prosecutor General, Yuri Chayka (Chaika) '' used father's connections to win state owned contracts. Curiously, Russian Attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya met with Yuri Chayka before her involvement in the infamous Trump Tower meeting arranged by Fusion GPS associate Rob Goldstone '' a meeting many believe was one of several schemes used by the Obama administration to justify wiretapping the Trump campaign. Of note '' Donald Trump Jr. reportedly shut down the Trump tower meeting when Natalia Veselnitskaya began discussing lifting sanctions under the Magnitsky act '' the very legislation Trump's Executive Order is now leveraging against Artem Chayka.
Mukhtar Hamid Shah; Pakistan '' surgeon specializing in kidney transplants, believed to be involved in kidnapping, wrongful confinement, and the removal of and tracking in human organs from Pakistani laborers.
The rest of the 13 individuals have engaged in a variety of corruption and human rights abuses ranging from a Serbian arms dealer believed to be linked to a $95 million deal with Yemen, to government officials who ordered journalists murdered, to several instances of serious human rights violations. (h/t @HNIJohnMiller) (Read more: Zero Hedge, 12/28/2017)
Lost Tapes
NASA Addresses Controversy Over 'Lost Tapes' of Apollo 11 Moonwalk | Space
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 11:13
As a former one-time NASA intern prepares to auction off videotapes that allegedly contain original recordings of the first moonwalk, NASA released a statement addressing claims that the agency lost the footage from the Apollo 11 mission.
The search for the "lost tapes" began in 2006, when reports began surfacing that NASA had erased some original footage from the first moon landing. The agency conducted an intensive search at the time, but could not find the tapes.
"An intensive search of archives and records concluded that the most likely scenario was that the program managers determined there was no longer a need to keep the tapes '-- since all the video was recorded elsewhere '-- and they were erased and reused," NASA officials said in the statement.
Related: Watch NASA's Apollo 11 Moonwalk Moments in This Archive Video
Three tapes containing original footage from the moon landing are up for auction.
(Image credit: Sotheby's)
However, NASA reaffirmed that there is no missing footage from Apollo 11 since the video transmissions were relayed to the Manned Spacecraft Center (now known as Johnson Space Center) in Houston during the mission, according to the statement. Video from those tapes was converted to a format which could be broadcast on television.
The footage was recorded in slow scan, meaning that it had an output of 10 frames per second; therefore, it could not be directly broadcast on television. According to NASA, the footage was converted for broadcast and uplinked to a satellite, then downlinked to Houston before it appeared on commercial television.
The agency restored the footage and released it in 2009 for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon mission.
"There was no video that came down slow scan that was not converted live, fed live, to Houston and fed live to the world," NASA engineer Dick Nafzger, who led the search for the footage, said at a news briefing about the lost tapes in 2009. "So, just in case anyone thinks there is video out there that hasn't been seen, that is not the case."
NASA also dismissed claims made by a former intern at the agency that he is in possession of original recordings of man's first steps on the moon.
Gary George, a 65-year-old mechanical engineer who was a young college student at the time of his internship at NASA, claims that he bought the tapes at a government surplus auction in 1976 for a little over $200, according to the description of the auctioned item on Sotheby's.
The item consists of three metal reels of Ampex 148 High Band 2-inch Quadruplex videotape, each between 45 and 50 minutes in length.
Regardless of whether George's claims about the lost tapes are true or if the tapes are really authentic, NASA technically hasn't lost any of the Apollo footage '-- only the original tapes with that footage. The agency is claiming that the tapes don't contain any material that has not already been preserved digitally.
But that won't stop space aficionados from wanting to claim that NASA "lost" the historic Apollo tapes, which are expected to sell for $1-2 million on the upcoming 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.
The live auction will begin on July 20 at 11 am EDT.
NASA Erased First Moonwalk Tapes, But Restores Copies First Moonwalker Neil Armstrong's Memorabilia Heads to AuctionWill Apollo Nostalgia Help NASA Get Its Artemis Moon Money?Follow Passant Rabie on Twitter @passantrabie. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.
Have a news tip, correction or comment? Let us know at community@space.com.
Lowry Digital - Wikipedia
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 12:44
This article's
factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information.
Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.
( June 2012 )Lowry Digital is a digital film restoration company based in Burbank, California. It is a part of Prime Focus Technologies, which is a technology subsidiary of Prime Focus.
John D. Lowry gained industry recognition in 1971 for his computer-based proprietary algorithms used in the restoration of the NASA Apollo missions 16 and 17 films.[1] As of December 15, 2006, Lowry Digital has 700 Apple Power Mac G5s, a server bay with 700 terabytes of storage and two $300,000 digital motion picture film scanners. The company is becoming increasingly involved in work on digital 3-D films, such as U2 3D and Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D.[2] Lowry Digital was instrumental in adapting existing technology and developing new image processing techniques that set a new standard for 3-D in the landmark film Avatar. The Burbank, California subsidiary was lauded in helping Avatar '-- the highest-grossing film in history '-- to earn its Academy Awards for technical achievement.[3]
Lowry describes the restoration process as overcoming three obstacles: wear and tear, age, and multiple generations of optical copies. Each frame is scanned into a high-resolution digital format, where the computer first checks for standard problems like size alterations or jitter. Then the files go through the lab's render farm for speck removal, which is then eye-checked frame-by-frame. The system works natively in 32-bit floating point, can process any format like HD and 4K, and outputs to a pristine digital master. Lowry Digital's advanced digital image processing is also used to minimize grain in image quality without losing any quality, even in modern major motion-picture releases like Miami Vice and Zodiac.[4]
On 16 July 2009, in time for the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, NASA tasked Lowry Digital to restore original video footage of the missing Apollo moon landing tapes. At a cost of $230,000 the refurbishing effort is only three weeks into a months-long project, with about 40 percent of the work completed. Lowry president Mike Inchalik commented that the video "is by far and away the lowest quality," the company has dealt with.[5]
Brief Overview [ edit ] Prime Focus Technologies' Academy® Award-winning, proprietary Lowry Digital technology is one of the most advanced tools available for remastering, upconversion and restoration. This unique technology helps content owners re-purpose their legacy content for high resolution viewing across all devices '-- VoD, OTT, and traditional linear television broadcasting up to 4K-UHD. Using complex algorithms based on motion estimation, the 'Lowry Process' effectively reduces visual noise in motion pictures. This makes it possible to carry out other forms of restoration on the content, such as removing dirt and scratches, reducing flicker, replacing lost detail, and sharpening the quality of existing images.
Company History [ edit ] John D. Lowry (June 2, 1932 '' January 21, 2012) was a Canadian film restoration expert and innovator who founded Lowry Digital Images in 1988.
Lowry Digital Image was largely shaped by the needs of its first studio clients. Lowry described the restoration process as overcoming three obstacles - wear and tear, aging, and multiple generations of optical copies. The system works natively in 32-bit floating point, can process any format like HD and 4K, and outputs to a pristine digital master. Lowry Digital's advanced digital image processing is also used to minimize grain in image quality without losing any quality, even in major modern motion picture releases.
The company was known as DTS Digital Images while it was owned by digital audio company, DTS, from 2005 to 2008. It then changed its name to Lowry Digital in April 2008, when it was acquired by India's Reliance MediaWorks, which is part of the Reliance ADA Group, owned by renowned businessman Anil Ambani. Lowry Digital was later acquired by Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) as part of a merger of the film and media services business of Reliance MediaWorks (the media & entertainment arm of Reliance Group) and Prime Focus Ltd (PFL), a public limited company.
The Lowry Digital Process was honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Scientific and Technical awards category held in 2012.
The Lowry Advantage [ edit ] The Lowry Digital Process offers complete control of grain (noise) and sharpness enhancement to improve the viewing experience. The process removes subtle and very minute artifacts while increasing the sharpness in the image. This toolset can also extract visual data that is not immediately visible, by combing through frames and combining the best information from each frame/range to provide the best possible output.
Today, the Lowry team includes highly trained digital image processing artists skilled in frame-by-frame manual repair and painting, as well as expert QC professionals trained for master QC. PFT's state of the art infrastructure includes DaVinci Resolve V15 for color grading, Clipster and Transkoder for packaging and QC, consistent Sony HDR monitoring, and 4K film restoration workstations. It also includes high performance Quantum Storenext SAN storage .
PFT bundles Lowry Digital Process with its highly scalable global pipeline of remastering offerings that include conformance, color grading, visual effects, packaging etc. PFT provides customers with high quality deliverables within short turnaround times, at highly affordable rates.
Proven Track Record [ edit ] With more than 30 years of experience, the Lowry Digital Process team has been credited with restoring, preserving, and, in many cases, saving early Hollywood films which may have otherwise deteriorated beyond retrieval. The Lowry Process has been used to restore and preserve more than 500 classic films and 1800 feature films, documentaries, and news reels. Lowry Digital was instrumental in adapting existing technology and developing new image processing techniques that set a new standard in the arena of 3D, with 'Avatar' '' one of the highest grossing films of all times. The Burbank, California subsidiary was lauded for helping the film earn its Academy Awards for technical achievement.
Marquee Projects [ edit ] The Simpsons: Upconversion from SD to HD in 4:3 and 16:9 with tilt and pan for 342 episodes of the epic animation series.NASA: Restoration of the original video footage of the missing Apollo moon landing tapes, in time for the 40th anniversary of the moon landing on 16th July 2009.Prometheus: In addition to grain reduction and image processing, all 3D related issues were fixed, and the Z axis was made acceptable for theatrical release.Star Wars: The legendary first three 'Star Wars' feature films were all scanned at 4K with full restoration including stabilization, grain reduction, and dust & dirt removal.Avatar & Titanic: In addition to image processing and grain reduction, Z axis issues that had occurred during the original 3D shooting were fixed.Disney: Short films and platinum classic films like 'Dumbo', 'Snow White', 'Cinderella', 'Sleeping Beauty' and several others were scanned at 4K, color corrected and restored according to fixed specifications. Dirt and dust were removed from each of these films, and scratches and grains were cleaned up.Films worked on [ edit ] References [ edit ] External links [ edit ] Lowry Digital official websiteLowry Digital on IMDbAnalysis of the change of ownership from DTS to Reliance at http://www.dnaindia.comInside Lowry Digital Image's Restoration Pipeline at http://www.studiodaily.com
NASA - Passing of Stan Lebar
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 12:58
Passing of Stan Lebar
Stan Lebar, who led the Westinghouse Electric Corporation team that developed the lunar camera that brought the televised news images of Neil Armstrong stepping onto the moon to more than 500 million people on earth, died on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009.
During his long and distinguished career, other camera programs he managed for NASA included the Apollo Color TV Cameras, the Skylab series of TV cameras, and the TV cameras for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Program (ASTP).
From 1943 until the end of World War II, Lebar served in the Pacific Theater of Operations as an Air Force B-24 Ball Turret Gunner. After the war, he attended the University of Missouri and received a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1950. He joined Westinghouse Electric Corporation in 1953, and worked in the Aerospace Division, Baltimore, Maryland, until his retirement in 1986.
The search for lost Apollo 11 tapes - CSIROscope
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 15:57
20 March 2013
15 minute read
By John Sarkissian
About the author
John is an Operations Scientist at the CSIRO Parkes Radio Observatory. His main responsibilities are operations and systems development, and the support of visiting astronomers with their observations. John is a member of the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array team that is endeavouring to use precision pulsar timing to make the first direct detection of gravitational waves. In 1998''99 he acted as a technical advisor for the film The Dish. John has received two NASA Group Achievement Awards and, in 2010, received an official NASA commendation for his search for the missing Apollo 11 tapes.
UPDATE: They have found the engines. How hard can it be to find some video tapes!
It was one giant leap for mankind and it was taken at 12:56 PM (AEST) on 21 July 1969. Six hundred million people, one sixth of mankind at the time, witnessed the Apollo 11 moonwalk live on television.
As a six-year-old school boy, I was one of those millions. Sitting cross-legged on the floor of the school assembly room with my fellow first graders, we watched the events unfold on a small black and white television screen perched at the front of the assembly room. We were spellbound by the dark, fuzzy images flickering on the screen. How did they do it? How did those pictures get from the Moon to my Sydney school? Why were the pictures so dark and ghostly looking?
Little did I know then, but three decades later I would find myself working at the CSIRO Parkes Observatory, at the very place those images were received and that I would have the opportunity to answer those childhood questions. This article is a personal account of my research into the Parkes support of Apollo 11 and how it eventually morphed into a search for the missing Apollo 11 tapes. It's been a roller-coaster ride, with many highs and lows plus a few twists and turns to make it interesting. Along the way, I've met many fine and dedicated people, some of whom are now close friends. This is our story.
Some background
At 12:54 PM (AEST) Buzz Aldrin switched on the lunar module camera that would transmit the TV pictures of Armstrong descending the lunar module ladder. Three tracking stations received the signals simultaneously. They were the 64-metre Goldstone antenna in California, the 26-metre antenna at Honeysuckle Creek near Canberra and the CSIRO 64-metre dish at Parkes. The signals were relayed to Houston, where a controller selected what he thought were the best pictures for release to the US television networks and distribution to a worldwide audience.
In the first few minutes of the broadcast, Houston alternated between its two stations at Goldstone and Honeysuckle Creek, searching for the best quality pictures. When they finally switched to Parkes, the pictures were so much better that they stayed with Parkes for the remainder of the 2½ hour moonwalk. From an analysis of the videotapes of the Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) and of a recording of the NASA NET 2 communications loop (which controlled the TV reception), the timings for the TV switches are shown below.
Time (mm:ss) Video Transmission
00:00 TV on (upside down) Picture is from Goldstone (GDS). Time is 02:54:00 (GMT)
00:27 Picture is inverted and is now the right way up. Very dark, high contrast image
01:39 Houston TV switches to Honeysuckle Creek (HSK)
02:20 Armstrong steps onto the Moon. The time is 02:56:20 (GMT)
04:42 Houston TV switches back to GDS. Picture is negative
05:36 Houston TV switches back to HSK
06:49 Houston TV switched back to GDS. Picture is positive again but still dark
08:51 Houston TV switches to Parkes (PKS). Remains with Parkes for the remainder of the 2½ hour lunar EVA
From these timings, and other evidence, it is clear that at the start of the EVA, Goldstone was experiencing problems with its TV, resulting in high contrast, dark images. The Honeysuckle Creek pictures were better but they suffered from a lower signal- to-noise ratio, thus resulting in grainier images. The pictures from Parkes were the best of the three and it was these that NASA broadcast for the majority of the lunar EVA.
Television from the Moon
The Apollo Lunar Surface Camera was developed by Westinghouse and was a technological marvel of its time. The lunar module was power and bandwidth limited, so it was not possible to transmit commercial standard TV directly from the Moon. Instead, a slow-scan TV (SSTV) system was used that required less power and bandwidth. The SSTV system transmitted b/w pictures at 10 frames-per-second with only 320 lines-per-frame. In order to broadcast this to the watching world, it had to be scan-converted on Earth to commercial TV standards. An RCA scan-converter was used that operated on an optical conversion principle. It was a simple system that worked well on previous Apollo missions. Essentially, as each single SSTV frame was received on Earth, it was displayed on a small 10-inch b/w slowscan monitor. A Vidicon camera was pointed at the screen and imaged the frame at the standard commercial TV frame rate. It was the output of this camera that was broadcast to the world. In this way, a 30 frames-per-second, 525 lines-per-frame, TV picture was achieved. As you can imagine, it's not an ideal method of scan-converting the pictures but it seemed adequate at the time.
Chief of the CSIRO Radiophysics Division, Dr Edward 'Taffy' Bowen (right), with Dr John Shimmins, deputy director of Parkes Observatory, in the control room watching the moonwalk (21 July 1969).
The Goldstone TV was scan-converted on site and relayed directly to Houston via microwave relays and landline. The Honeysuckle Creek TV was scan-converted on site also, and relayed to the Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC) Paddington terminal in Sydney, referred to as 'Sydney Video'. Meanwhile, the Parkes baseband signals were relayed to Sydney Video, where the TV was separated from the telemetry stream and scan-converted there.
At Sydney Video, a NASA controller would select the best of the Honeysuckle Creek or Parkes pictures, and pass that selection on to Houston. His selection would simultaneously be recorded on to 2-inch videotape on an Ampex VR660 recorder. The selected TV would be sent via microwave relays to the Moree Earth Station in northern NSW, then via the Intelsat III geostationary satellite to the United States and then finally along the AT&T landlines to Houston. At Houston, the controller would select the best of the Goldstone or Australian feeds for worldwide distribution. In a further twist, the Australian selection at Paddington was split and sent to the ABC Gore Hill studios for distribution to Australian networks. Consequently, the Australian TV did not have to travel via satellite to the US and back again. This meant that a transmission delay was not present, so Australian audiences watched the moonwalk 300 milliseconds before the rest of the world!
It is clear that scan-converting the SSTV and relaying it to the world was not an ideal situation. Firstly, the picture being displayed on the scan-converter monitor had to be adjusted manually. This was a subjective exercise, as the scan-converter operator had to adjust the brightness and contrast settings to what he thought produced the best looking picture. Unfortunately, the operator at Goldstone was inexperienced, and with the pressure of the moment, he got it wrong. At Sydney Video, the operator, Elmer Fredd, was vastly more experienced. He had helped design the scan-converter and knew it well. In December 1968, he had converted the TV pictures from Apollo 8 at Goldstone. It was no accident therefore, that the Parkes pictures looked the best. In addition, the slow-scan monitors in the scan-converters used high persistence phosphor screens so that the pictures could persist long enough for the Vidicon camera to image them. Unfortunately, a side effect of this was that the images, especially of bright, moving objects (like astronauts), persisted between frames, resulting in the ghosting of the images. Another problem was that the scan-conversion process, introduced additional signal noise and a lower resolution picture.
To make matters worse, relaying the signals via microwave relays, landlines and geostationary satellite added even more signal noise and transmission errors. The result of all these systematic problems was that the TV that the world saw was severely degraded and compromised. We could do much better today. As the video and telemetry downlink was being received at the stations, it was recorded onto 1-inch magnetic data tapes at a rate of 120 inches-per-second. These tapes had to be changed every 15 minutes for the entire duration of the moonwalk. Clearly, if we could find these tapes, we could replay them and recover the original SSTV pictures. With modern image processing techniques, we could enhance them even further and release them to the public.
''The Dish''
The tape search begins
Soon after arriving at Parkes in 1996, I learned of a minor controversy about the exact time that the first TV from the Moon was received at Parkes. The Director of the Parkes Observatory at the time, John Bolton, had always insisted that he had received the TV signal from the very beginning when the camera was switched on at 12:54 PM (AEST).
The Moon was not scheduled to come into view at Parkes until 1:02 PM '' a full eight minutes later, so there was some doubt. However, I soon learnt that there were two feeds installed in the focus cabin on the day. Realising that the moonwalk was imminent, Bolton was able to receive the signals with the less sensitive off-axis receiver. He carefully aligned the off-axis beam on the Moon and was able to track it until it reached the telescope's 30-degree elevation horizon at 1:02 PM, after which he could track it normally with the main beam. My calculations showed that this was indeed possible, but I wanted to know for certain. Also, the signal being received by the off-axis feed would have been unstable and probably of a much lower quality, so I wanted to know by how much. I thought that if I could find the original data tapes that contained the signals recorded at Parkes, I could replay them and confirm my conclusions. At this time also, there was still some doubt about the sequence of switches in the broadcast of the TV, so by finding the tapes from the other stations, I could compare their picture quality with the existing video recordings and determine the sequence for certain. A bonus was that we could also recover the original SSTV, which I knew by then was of a much higher quality.
Beginning in the late 1990s I contacted various NASA centres requesting the whereabouts of the data tape recordings. I made countless phone calls, wrote emails and letters to whomever I thought might know where the tapes were located. But, it was all to no avail. No one seemed to know where the tapes were. In fact, many had trouble understanding what exactly I was after. I was convinced that the tapes must still exist somewhere, but where? In 2001 I obtained a Polaroid picture taken directly off a slow-scan monitor at Sydney Video. When compared to the existing scan-converted video image of the same scene, it clearly showed how much better the original SSTV was to the scan-converted videos. So, I persisted.
Also in 2001, the film The Dish premiered in the US and this prompted several past and present NASA personnel to contact me. Three in particular became good friends and search team members. Stan Lebar was the retired Westinghouse engineer who, in 1969, was the program manager for the Apollo Lunar Surface Camera. Dick Nafzger was the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) engineer responsible for all ground systems hardware in support of Apollo TV in 1969, and was still with NASA. Bill Wood was a retired communications engineer who was based at Goldstone in 1969. The search team was completed when, in 2002, I was contacted by Colin Mackellar, who is an amateur historian and the webmaster of the Honeysuckle Creek website. He is a trained geologist and an Anglican minister in Sydney. Together, we joined forces to search for, and recover, the SSTV recordings.
A breakthrough occurred in 2002 when a former technician from Honeysuckle Creek contacted his former colleagues and Colin Mackellar. He admitted that, in 1969, he had made an unauthorised copy of a data tape that he believed contained telemetry from the Apollo 11 lunar EVA. This caused great excitement. The tape had been stored in his garage for 33 years in less than ideal conditions. If it still contained data, the possibility existed that the SSTV could be recovered from it.
Former Honeysuckle Creek personnel, Mike Dinn and John Saxon organised to have the tape transported to the Data Evaluation Lab (DEL) at the GSFC by the NASA representative in Australia, Neal Newman. The DEL contained the only machines in the world that could play and decode the Apollo data tapes. At the DEL, Dick Nafzger replayed the tape with his team. Unfortunately, they discovered that the tape only contained data from a 1967 simulation. The technician had copied the wrong tape. As heartbreaking as this was, it had a positive effect. People suddenly understood what we were after and why we were looking for it. We confirmed that the equipment to replay the data tapes still existed and, most importantly, that even after 34 years the tapes could still retain data.
In 2005, spurred on by this and by new Polaroids from Honeysuckle Creek, Stan and Dick visited the US National Archives in Washington, where all the data tapes from the Apollo era were deposited in the early 1970s '' all 250,000 plus tapes. Unfortunately, their search only uncovered a single box of tapes containing Apollo 9 telemetry. The label on the box had details that allowed us to continue the search. Soon after this discovery, we received the alarming news that the DEL was slated for closure in 2006. This would be a disaster because, without the DEL, there would be no way to replay the tapes, and recover the SSTV, if they were ever found. Something had to be done.
The formal search
In February 2006 I visited the DEL and also gave a series of talks at various NASA centres to explain our search. On my return, I compiled a report which slowly began to stir people's attention. Two months later in July, Stan and Dick were interviewed on national radio on the anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.
Finally in early August, The Sydney Morning Herald posted a front-page story with the provocative headline 'One giant blunder for mankind: how NASA lost moon pictures'. This caused a major stir with the story going viral on the internet and news reports appearing on the American TV networks and other news organisations worldwide. Interest became so intense that in August 2006 the NASA Administrator, Michael Griffin, formalised the search and appointed the GSFC deputy director, Dorothy Perkins, to head the search. Dick was the technical lead. The first decision made was to not close the DEL.
With the full resources of NASA brought to bear on our search, we were confident that we would now finally locate the tapes and release the SSTV to the public by Christmas. But it was not to be. Soon after the formal search began, documents were found that suggested that the tapes may have been erased in the early 1980s. This was disturbing news. We were searching for just 45 tapes from over 250,000 tapes of the Apollo era. Surely, these few would have been put aside for historical reasons. Meanwhile, Colin and I followed up leads from the Australian end and provided advice. In the US, our colleagues Stan, Dick and Bill became first-class sleuths. They tracked down long retired personnel and uncovered dusty documents from NASA archives, people's attics and basements.
Slowly and surely, the evidence mounted. We discovered that in the late 1970s and early 1980s NASA had withdrawn all the Apollo era data tapes from the National Archives and erased and recertified them for later use. But why? Apparently, these tapes were manufactured using whale oil to adhere the oxide to the backing. However, in the mid-1970s, the use of whale oil was banned and manufacturers switched to using synthetic oils. The drawback was that if the synthetic oil-based tapes were not stored correctly, they would absorb moisture from the air which made them sticky. Played back at high speed, they would stick to the recording heads and be shredded to pieces. The older Apollo era tapes didn't suffer from this drawback.
As NASA's budget was cut back severely in the late 1970s, the need for more tapes to record the increasing volume of data from satellite programs became acute. The enormous number of tapes in the National Archives was now seen as valuable assets. Over a period of several years, they were all removed, erased and recertified. The labels on the tape canisters were cryptic and there was little way of knowing what each of the tapes contained. Our team didn't find any evidence that the tapes containing the Apollo 11 lunar EVA data were treated differently to the others. We reluctantly concluded that the tapes were, in all likelihood, erased and reused with the rest.
You can imagine how we felt. To understand why the tapes were treated this way, it's important to realise that they were never intended to be the primary archival media. In fact, there was never any expectation that the magnetic data would survive more than a few decades. They were only meant to act as backups for the real-time communications relays and other data. If there was a failure during a mission, the tapes could be used to recover the information. If however, all went well, then the tapes were no longer necessary. All the vital information was extracted in real-time and archived for analysis at the relevant NASA centres. The TV was successfully seen by the world and the scan-converted video was properly recorded onto archival b/w film that would last for centuries. Few people outside of the tracking stations were even aware of the SSTV or how much better it was. As far as everyone was concerned, all the data was believed to be properly archived '' at least until we came along.
The NASA report HERE
The restoration
What to do next? In late 2006 Colin noticed a video clip on Eric Jones' Apollo Lunar Surface Journal website. It showed Armstrong descending the lunar module ladder that was much clearer than anything we'd seen before. We learnt that the clip was sourced from someone who had previously worked at the GSFC. It appears that he found an old 2-inch videotape of the lunar EVA and made a crude VHS video copy of it. We obtained a copy of this videotape and found that it was most likely a copy of the video recording made at Sydney Video of the Australian selection.
It contained the clearest pictures of Armstrong descending the ladder sourced from Honeysuckle. It also showed the switch to Parkes earlier than in any other known recording. Unfortunately, when the original copy was made, the Ampex recorder was not setup properly and this produced a jittery image with many defects. We spent the next few months searching for the original 2-inch tape, but it has mysteriously gone missing. Early in the search Colin was contacted by Ed von Renouard, the former scan-converter operator from Honeysuckle. On the day of the lunar EVA, Ed had brought his home movie camera to work and recorded footage directly off the screens of his console. One of those scenes was the dumping of the astronauts' portable life support systems, or backpacks. This occurred several hours after the astronauts had re-entered the lunar module and the TV networks had by then ended their broadcasts. Consequently, as far as we could determine, no other footage existed of the dumping. During the search, we came across many archived copies of the scan-converted TV. We decided to switch our search to finding the best of these scan-converted videos and have them archived properly. We also decided to digitise them along with the Sydney Video and Honeysuckle footage. We would take the best parts of each and compile and restore them into a single video of the lunar EVA.
In 2008 we had a demo restoration produced of selected scenes, which we used to convince NASA to underwrite the $245,000 cost of the full restoration. A week later, Neil Armstrong visited Sydney to address the CPA Australia 125th anniversary celebrations. During his address, Neil Armstrong paid a glowing tribute to the many Australians who worked at the tracking stations and helped to ensure the success of the Apollo 11 mission. Some were present in the audience and were individually acknowledged by him. In a brief ceremony following the event, Armstrong symbolically handed over the Australian disks to Dr Phil Diamond, the then-Director of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS) '' the custodian of the disks in Australia. He noted that '''the restored video is a valuable contribution to space exploration and space communication history''.
This ceremony effectively brought the restoration effort to a close. The Australian disks will eventually be deposited in permanent archival storage, most likely with the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra. The restored Apollo 11 video can now be purchased online from www.apollo11video.com
The proceeds will go toward the continued search and restoration of the other Apollo mission videos.
Hope remains
In early September 2006, soon after we first received news that the tapes may have been erased, I received a phone call from Peter Robertson, the editor of Australian Physics magazine. He had seen the news items regarding the missing Apollo 11 tapes. He phoned to tell me of a letter he had received from John Bolton in the early 1990s. Bolton had mentioned some videotape players that were in the Parkes control room during the Apollo 11 mission. I informed Peter, that we weren't looking for videotapes but rather magnetic data tapes containing telemetry of the mission. I asked him to send me a copy of the letter anyway.
For many years, I had photographs from the CASS Photo Archive of scenes taken inside the Parkes control room during Apollo 11. Several photos showed a man standing beside Ampex VR660 2-inch videotape players. The Ampex players could only record standard television pictures, so I had no idea what they were doing at Parkes. I also didn't know who the man standing beside them was, or what he was doing there.
A few days after Peter phoned, the Bolton letter arrived and I was stunned. The letter did indeed describe the Ampex video recorders and, more importantly, Bolton mentioned that they came with their own engineer from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Could this engineer be the mystery man? I knew that Johns Hopkins was the home of the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), a regular NASA contractor.
In late November 2006, we received definitive evidence that the tapes had been erased. It was then that I sent the information on the possible identity of the engineer to my US colleagues. They immediately set out to find him. Within a few weeks, they found old newsletters from APL that positively identified him. He was contacted and interviewed by Bill and Stan. What he told them lifted our spirits. According to the engineer, in April 1969, the APL was contracted by the GSFC to modify existing Ampex VR660 video recorders to record the non-standard SSTV at Parkes. He was put in charge of this crash program. It was to be an experimental backup recording in case the TV could not be relayed to Houston. This secondary recording was only made at Parkes and if it worked, it could be used on future missions. He reported that the recording succeeded and that he returned to the US with two reels of 2-inch videotape containing the SSTV.
The whereabouts of this videotape was now a mystery. An extensive search was conducted at APL that turned up two tapes that seemed to match the description. Dick organised the loan of an Ampex VR660 video player and a slow-scan monitor from two museums. His team played back the tapes at DEL and found that they were all blank. Again, we were disappointed. Importantly, there was no documentation to suggest the tapes were erased or destroyed. We are working on the assumption that they still exist somewhere, so our search for them continues.
The most striking thing for me was how, just as we were at our lowest ebb, John Bolton appeared, from beyond the grave, to direct us in our search. It was like he was saying, ''Hey, look over there. That's where you'll find what you're looking for.'' Hope remains.
More information on the Parkes Apollo 11 support and the search for the tapes can be found here:
This is the official NASA search report release in 2009: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/398311main_Apollo_11_Report.pdf
This is the page setup in 2009 to publicise the Parkes Apollo 11 40th Anniversary: https://www.csiro.au/science/Apollo-11-and-Parkes-telescope
This is the site for purchasing the Apollo 11 restored video DVD: http://www.apollo11video.com/
I wish to express my gratitude to Professor Marcus Price, officer-in-charge of the Parkes Observatory in 1997, for asking me to research the Observatory's support of the Apollo 11 mission, and to Dr John Reynolds, officer-in-charge from 1999''2008, for his continued support throughout. I also thank Marshall Cloyd for giving me the opportunity to search for the tapes a little closer to the source in the United States. Finally, to my friends Bill, Dick, Colin and Stan '' thank you.
The Purge
How the biggest decentralized social network is dealing with its Nazi problem - The Verge
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 04:43
Mastodon was built to be a kinder, more decentralized version of Twitter '-- then Gab showed up
Over the past few years, Mastodon has become the model for a friendlier kind of social network, promising to keep out the hateful or ugly content that proliferates on larger and more centralized networks. Journalists hailed it as ''Twitter without Nazis'' and for years, it's generally lived up to that promise. But last week, the social network Gab migrated to Mastodon '-- and Mastodon's admins have been forced to deal with the internet's Nazi problem head-on.
The response has been messy. Many prominent Mastodon servers already moderate against racism, so Gab has faced a wave of individual blocks from individual servers. But going further has proven controversial, exposing profound questions within the community. Before the migration, one user requested that Mastodon add a hard-coded ban of Gab's servers, so all instances would automatically cut it off. It was an extreme measure, but one they argued was warranted. ''Gab has inspired mass shooters and murders,'' they wrote. ''You do not understand the type of threat they represent.''
Mastodon founder Eugen ''Gargron'' Rochko, meanwhile, believes a scorched-Earth campaign against Gab's fork of Mastodon isn't practical. ''You have to understand it's not actually possible to do anything platform-wide because it's decentralized,'' he tells The Verge. ''I don't have the control.''
It's a hard problem, playing off the deepest limitations of decentralized projects like Mastodon. Mastodon arose from the idealistic open-source software movement, designed to let anybody run their own social media site. But it was never intended to support something like Gab. While Gab has no official political affiliation, it's known as a haven for far-right or explicitly fascist users too extreme for bigger networks. Its hands-off moderation approach is antithetical to many supporters of Mastodon, whose creator has officially stated he's ''completely opposed to Gab's project and philosophy.''
For parts of Mastodon, Gab's move is an unfortunate byproduct of running an open platform. For others, it's an existential threat '-- or an opportunity to take a moral stand.
A screenshot from Mastodon.SocialMastodon looks like Twitter at first glance. Users can post 500-character messages called ''toots'' (a name chosen by an early financial backer), repost or ''boost'' messages on their own timeline, and follow or privately message other users. But instead of a single site run by a company, it's a software platform built on the open-source ActivityPub protocol. ''Mastodon is essentially a way to host a social media website,'' explains Rochko.
Since its launch in 2016, Mastodon users have set up thousands of these websites. (One unofficial directory lists around 2,500 as currently online.) They include generalist forums like Rochko's own Mastodon.Social, as well as interest-based communities like Fosstodon '-- for open-source software enthusiasts '-- and Sinblr, for exiled Tumblr porn creators. Some instances are essentially experiments, like Dolphin.Town, where posts must contain only the letter ''e.''
Many Mastodon instances hold users to a higher standard than bigger social networks. On Gab, meanwhile, users post a striking amount of hate content and have protested even very limited moderation. As of this writing, the Gab timeline's first page features a warning about ''International Jewry,'' a string of posts with the hashtags ''#eugenism'' and ''#ethnostate,'' and a political cartoon of four lynched bodies (marked with an LGBT Pride rainbow, a Star of David, a Black Power fist, and a feminist symbol) above the caption ''SOON.''
Mastodon isn't a social networking website '-- it's a way to host one yourself
Some Gab content has crossed the line into criminal activity. The UK jailed two teenage neo-Nazis in June for posting terrorist propaganda. Florida police also arrested a user last month for posting racist threats and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. And in 2018, a man posted an anti-Semitic Gab message just before killing 11 members of a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Gab denies that it condones hatred '-- CEO Andrew Torba says it simply allows any speech that's ''legal in the United States'' with a few exceptions. It correctly notes that Facebook and Twitter also contain hate speech and violent threats. Gab is far smaller than these sites, however, and its bad posts are particularly concentrated.
When Gab migrated to Mastodon, that content threatened to spill into the larger platform. Mastodon is organized into a ''Fediverse,'' which means that users on one instance can follow and interact with users from another. It helps make Mastodon feel like a single community, but by default, it could make users from one instance vulnerable to trolls from another. Fortunately, administrators can block instances, too, keeping out any posts or users from that server.
So far, that's been the default response to Gab. Mastodon's official site will only list instances that follow the Mastodon Server Covenant. The covenant mandates ''active moderation against racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia'' '-- which pretty much nixes any contact with Gab. For Rochko, it seems like the clearest way forward. ''The software that powers Mastodon is released under an open-source free software license, which means anybody can use it,'' he says. ''And you know, that offers a great number of benefits '-- but some disadvantages.''
If you join a major Mastodon instance right now, chances are you won't be connected to Gab. ''All the admins that I know, that I interact with myself, have already blocked Gab,'' says Rochko '-- including Mastodon.Social. ''Essentially, they're isolated.''
Promotional screenshots for Amaroq, which has banned GabAmaroq Gab may not need the Fediverse. It's not dependent on Mastodon for hosting, payment processing, domain registration, or other basic infrastructure. While a recent Motherboard article quotes Gab saying it's become ''unstoppable'' thanks to Mastodon, Mastodon really seems to solve one big problem: mobile app access.
Apple and Google both kicked Gab out of their app stores years ago. Moving to Mastodon gives users a built-in suite of apps to choose from, filling one of the social network's biggest feature gaps. Gab had apparently returned to the Google Play Store as of July 10th, but even so, the Mastodon protocol ensures that users have lots of backup options if it's banned again.
This has turned app access into a battlefield. Developers can lock Gab out by disabling login options to the instance or completely blocking content from its servers. And several have done just that. Mastodon lists six major mobile apps on its homepage. Four of them '-- the Android client Tusky and the iOS apps Toot!, Mast, and Amaroq '-- block Gab in some fashion.
''If hate speech is masquerading as free speech on an app I've built, it's upon myself to somehow moderate that.''
Amaroq developer John Gabelmann banned Gab to avoid potential problems with the App Store. ''My core objective is to keep Amaroq publicly available and to abide by all Apple policies, which keep unmoderated extremist/hateful content off the store,'' he tells The Verge. ''If your network is large enough and unmoderated enough to get the negative attention of Apple, Amaroq will follow Apple's policies.''
Mast's creator Shihab Mehboob, by contrast, blocked Gab after users requested it. He's gotten one-star reviews from angry Gab users, but ''if hate speech is masquerading as free speech on an app I've built, it's upon myself to somehow moderate that and reduce it where possible,'' he says. ''I understand that the Fediverse is intended to be open and entirely at the user's discretion as to what they want to see/use/partake in, but that shouldn't cover Nazi-based ideologies. There has to be a line drawn somewhere.''
''If Google wants to ban it, they should start from their Chrome web browser.''
Other app developers maintain that this blocking doesn't fit Mastodon's mission. The Android-based Fedilab app's free version initially blocked Gab because of Play Store content policy fears. But the ban has since been lifted. ''I will simply not block instances with the app,'' wrote Fedilab's developer. ''I clearly think that's not my role '... If you want a strong block, it's in the hands of social network developers or your admins.''
And the developer of Subway Tooter, who goes by Tateisu, is skeptical that stores will censure apps for supporting Gab. ''They can run their web app on a web browser,'' Tateisu points out. ''If Google wants to ban it, they should start from their Chrome web browser.''
Gab calls itself the largest Mastodon instance, boasting over a million accounts before migration. That number is almost double the user base of the previous largest listed instance, Japanese-language forum Pawoo.net, and triple the base of Mastodon.Social, the next-largest instance.
Rochko disputes the million-account statistic, since people signed up for those accounts before Gab moved to Mastodon, and we don't know how many of them are still active. He also notes that Mastodon communities are often intentionally small; some limit registration or stop accepting new users after a certain point. While Gab has sought status as a direct peer of the ''Big Tech'' sites it loathes, Mastodon's big draw is intimacy '-- four days after the migration, programmer Darius Kazemi published a guide specifically extolling the virtues of tiny communities.
Some Gab users have reveled in the idea that they're invading the platform. One illustrated the move with a shot from The Shining, labeling an axe-wielding Jack Nicholson ''Gab'' and tagging a screaming Shelley Duvall as Mastodon. But joining Mastodon isn't like flooding a traditional, centralized social network. If most instances block Gab, being one of the largest Mastodon nodes could be more like becoming the largest group to build a site with WordPress or start a workspace on Slack: more of a bragging right than a takeover.
Gab calls itself the biggest Mastodon node, but it's complicated
It's unclear how much Gab users are interacting with other parts of the Fediverse. The administrators of one prominent Mastodon instance, who asked not to be named out of fear of harassment, said they had not noticed Gab-related activity on their server. On the other hand, another admin who spoke anonymously said they had seen ''an increasing number of reports from users about people picking fights and harassing users '-- mostly over transgender issues.''
Even without direct action, the administrator said that the basic anxiety of having Gab on the Fediverse has put people on edge. When one user misgendered another genuinely by mistake, the admin mentioned, they were also dogpiled with accusations of coming from Gab. ''People are acting more paranoid, but I can't say I blame them.''
Mastodon has certainly faced problems before Gab. Among other things, The Daily Dot reported early this year that some marginalized users felt ignored or underappreciated on the platform, including some who said they left because of problems with Rochko's development process. But Gab's migration seems to hit at the core of Mastodon's mission, setting two founding principles '-- safety and openness '-- at odds with each other.
Even Gab's de facto defenders don't tend to argue much about its content. (The creator of Subway Tooter apologized for coming off as insensitive about ''the Nazi problem.'') Instead, the battle lines seem drawn over whether to help individual users and admins avoid interacting with the instance, or whether to push Gab away from Mastodon as far as possible by any means necessary.
Mastodon is meant to be open '-- but it also wants to be safe
When Tusky blocked Gab, a poster on repository F-Droid suggested that the app should no longer be considered free software '-- saying that even if Tusky met the letter of open source law, it violated its spirit by building censorship into the code. Another user countered by asking for a ''promotes bigotry'' flag on Fedilab for allowing Gab logins. ''This isn't about freedom of speech. It's about the enabling of hatred towards specific groups,'' wrote the user, who says that she's been assaulted for being a transgender woman. ''I'm not asking for apps to block, only to know which apps aren't actively fighting against intolerance of others.''
Mastodon's conundrum is a microcosm of a much larger conflict online. The internet has given billions of people a way to amplify their voices, but the trade-offs have become tangible. Abolishing gatekeepers can allow misinformation and hate to flourish. Uncensored online forums can become co-opted by bigots and harassers, silencing their less powerful targets. And in the face of violent supremacist movements targeting real people, openness '-- once an uncontroversial pillar of internet culture '-- can seem like a hopelessly abstract principle.
Right now, Mastodon and its members are navigating between two bad options. If they completely ignore Gab, they could end up as a less welcoming community for marginalized people. But if they go to war, they risk fracturing Mastodon in the process. And either way, for the moment, Gab has arguably upstaged the work of admins and developers who have been nurturing their communities for years.
At the end of my conversation with Rochko, I ask if he has any last comments. ''It's just unfortunate that these are the circumstances that we're talking about Mastodon again,'' he tells me. ''I would much prefer it was something specifically about Mastodon. Rather than, you know, Gab.''
Gab.com on Twitter: "BREAKING: Google is now banning open source Fediverse/ActivityPub protocol apps the moment Gab becomes a top trending app. Our app, like every other Fediverse app, doesn't have any user content. It can connect to ANY server in the Fed
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 04:58
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Sued for Blocking Critics on Twitter - The New York Times
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 12:29
New York | Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Sued for Blocking Critics on Twitter A federal appeals panel's ruling forbidding President Trump from blocking social media critics is being cited in two lawsuits against Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.
Image One of the lawsuits against Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was filed by Dov Hikind, a former New York State assemblyman who often criticizes her positions. Credit Credit Erin Schaff/The New York Times [What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.]
President Trump and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are diametrical opposites in nearly every way, except perhaps for their shared home state of New York and their social media dominance.
But now there may be another thing that binds the two: a federal appeals panel ruling on Tuesday found that Mr. Trump, a Republican, has been violating the Constitution by blocking people from following him on Twitter because they criticized or mocked him.
That ruling is now the basis of two lawsuits filed against Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, accusing her of blocking people because of their opposing political stances.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has 4.7 million followers on her personal Twitter account, @AOC, which she uses to frequently discuss policy and advocate her proposals, such as the Green New Deal and her belief that the camps holding children and other undocumented immigrants seeking asylum at the Texas border are ''concentration camps.''
Dov Hikind, a former assemblyman from Brooklyn who is the founder of Americans Against Anti-Semitism, said he regularly replied to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's tweets, but was blocked on July 8.
Joseph Saladino, a YouTube personality known as ''Joey Salads'' who is running for a congressional seat representing Brooklyn and Staten Island, said he was blocked on May 9.
But because Ms. Ocasio-Cortez uses the account to discuss policies that affect them, she cannot use it to ''suppress contrary views'' and violate his First Amendment rights to free speech, Mr. Hikind said in his lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn.
''It's very clear based on the court's ruling that A.O.C. is violating my constitutional rights to free speech by excluding me,'' Mr. Hikind said in an interview. ''She doesn't want me to be a part of the discussion and conversation.''
Mr. Hikind said he was blocked after criticizing Ms. Ocasio-Cortez for her concentration camp comments.
''She has a right to have that position. That's not the issue. The question is why is she afraid of other people's positions?'' he added.
Mr. Saladino, whose pranks have been criticized as racist, filed a separate lawsuit in Federal District Court in Manhattan. He said that as a practical matter, he does not care if Ms. Ocasio-Cortez blocked him because he can still access her Twitter comments from an anonymous account.
He said his complaint is a test of whether there is a double standard in the courts for liberals and conservatives.
''At the end of the day, it's like a social experiment to see if the standards will apply equally,'' Mr. Saladino said. ''Will the courts rule the same way against A.O.C. as Trump?''
Corbin Trent, a spokesman for Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, declined to comment about pending litigation.
Blocking on social media is done across political party lines. In 2017, for example, ProPublica sent letters asking all 50 governors and 22 federal agencies whether they had blocked people on social media. Five Republican governors, four Democrats and four agencies responded with information about people they had blocked. Many agencies and more than half the governors did not respond.
In New York, the issue has arisen with Representative Peter King, a 14-term Republican congressman who represents parts of Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. In April, the New York Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue Mr. King if he did not unblock the 70 or so constituents who were banned from his ''Congressman Peter King'' Facebook page for criticizing him.
In May, Mr. King added a new Facebook page that he said would be his official government account, and that he would not ban people from it.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's @AOC account is not her official congressional account. Her official congressional account, @RepAOC, has 172,000 followers and was last updated July 5, as of Wednesday afternoon.
Jacob Weinstein, Mr. Hikind's lawyer, noted that the court ruling concerned the @realDonaldTrump personal account, with its 61.8 million followers, that Mr. Trump uses most often to comment on Twitter, not his official presidential Twitter account.
''It comes down to the First Amendment,'' Mr. Weinstein said. ''Twitter is a public forum. Imagine a politician is giving a town hall. Imagine if they only select people they like.''
In the appeals court ruling against Mr. Trump, the panel considered the function of the social media account over its form, said Katie Fallow, a senior attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University who filed and argued the lawsuit against the president. The ruling doesn't prevent elected officials from acting to prevent true threats or from muting individuals on Twitter.
''We certainly think that Representative Ocasio-Cortez has been a very enthusiastic and good advocate for free speech and dissent,'' Ms. Fallow added, ''and we hope she would look at this court decision and conclude the better way is not to block people that are criticizing her.''
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Google admits workers listen to private audio recordings from Google Home smart speakers | The Independent
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 11:51
Google employees listen to customers' audio recordings on Google Home smart speakers, the technology giant has admitted.
Language experts are employed to analyse ''snippets'' of recordings made by users, which Google claims helps improve its voice recognition technology.
This is then used to develop the Google Assistant artificial intelligence system, which is used in its Google Home smart speakers and Android smartphones.
We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.From 15p '‚¬0.18 $0.18 USD 0.27 a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.
The assistant understands and responds to voice commands given to it, answering queries about the news and weather as well as being able to control other internet-connected devices around the home.
In a statement, the company said a small number of anonymous recordings were transcribed by its experts, and revealed that an investigation had been launched after some Dutch audio data had been leaked.
''We partner with language experts around the world to improve speech technology by transcribing a small set of queries '' this work is critical to developing technology that powers products like the Google Assistant,'' Google said.
''Language experts only review around 0.2% of all audio snippets, and these snippets are not associated with user accounts as part of the review process.''
leftCreated with Sketch. rightCreated with Sketch.
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Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty
12/25 Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty
13/25 The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie 'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty
14/25 Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty
15/25 Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi
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18/25 A test line of a new energy suspension railway, resembling a giant panda, is seen in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
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23/25 A new Israeli Da-Vinci unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by Elbit Systems is displayed during the 4th International conference on Home Land Security and Cyber in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv
24/25 Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S
25/25 The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar. This is a production preview of the Jaguar I-PACE, which will be revealed next year and on the road in 2018
1/25 Hexa drone lifts offChief engineer of LIFT aircraft Balazs Kerulo demonstrates the company's "Hexa" personal drone craft in Lago Vista, Texas on June 3 2019
2/25 Project Scarlett to succeed Xbox OneMicrosoft announced Project Scarlett, the successor to the Xbox One, at E3 2019. The company said that the new console will be 4 times as powerful as the Xbox One and is slated for a release date of Christmas 2020
3/25 First new iPod in four yearsApple has announced the new iPod Touch, the first new iPod in four years. The device will have the option of adding more storage, up to 256GB
4/25 Folding phone may flopSamsung will cancel orders of its Galaxy Fold phone at the end of May if the phone is not then ready for sale. The $2000 folding phone has been found to break easily with review copies being recalled after backlash
5/25 Charging mat non-starterApple has cancelled its AirPower wireless charging mat, which was slated as a way to charge numerous apple products at once
6/25 "Super league" India shoots down satelliteIndia has claimed status as part of a "super league" of nations after shooting down a live satellite in a test of new missile technology
7/25 5G incoming5G wireless internet is expected to launch in 2019, with the potential to reach speeds of 50mb/s
8/25 Uber halts driverless testing after deathUber has halted testing of driverless vehicles after a woman was killed by one of their cars in Tempe, Arizona. March 19 2018
9/25 A humanoid robot gestures during a demo at a stall in the Indian Machine Tools Expo, IMTEX/Tooltech 2017 held in Bangalore
10/25 A humanoid robot gestures during a demo at a stall in the Indian Machine Tools Expo, IMTEX/Tooltech 2017 held in Bangalore
11/25 Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty
12/25 Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty
13/25 The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie 'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty
14/25 Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty
15/25 Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi
16/25 Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session
17/25 A test line of a new energy suspension railway resembling the giant panda is seen in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
18/25 A test line of a new energy suspension railway, resembling a giant panda, is seen in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
19/25 A concept car by Trumpchi from GAC Group is shown at the International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China
20/25 A Mirai fuel cell vehicle by Toyota is displayed at the International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China
21/25 A visitor tries a Nissan VR experience at the International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China
22/25 A man looks at an exhibit entitled 'Mimus' a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London
23/25 A new Israeli Da-Vinci unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by Elbit Systems is displayed during the 4th International conference on Home Land Security and Cyber in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv
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The statement continued: ''We just learned that one of these reviewers has violated our data security policies by leaking confidential Dutch audio data.
''Our Security and Privacy Response teams have been activated on this issue, are investigating, and we will take action.
''We are conducting a full review of our safeguards in this space to prevent misconduct like this from happening again.''
An attendee passes a display of Nest products during Google I/O 2016 at Shoreline Amphitheatre on 19 May, 2016 in Mountain View, California (Getty Images)
Earlier this year, a report from Bloomberg revealed fellow tech giant Amazon also listens to some recordings of customer interactions with its voice-based assistant Alexa.
Amazon confirmed the process and said it did so with a small number of recordings in order to help train the artificial intelligence's responses.
The firm said users are also able to review and delete recordings linked to their account via the Alexa companion app.
On Monday, the NHS announced a new partnership with Amazon that will see verified health information based on the NHS website provided via Alexa.
Privacy campaigners claimed it was a ''data protection disaster waiting to happen, but Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the NHS needed to embrace technology.
Additional reporting from agencies.
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Edin Jusupovic on Twitter: "#facebook is embedding tracking data inside photos you download. I noticed a structural abnormality when looking at a hex dump of an image file from an unknown origin only to discover it contained what I now understand is an IP
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 21:20
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IPTC metadata automatically added to uploaded images on Facebook - Stack Overflow
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 21:22
According to this site:
Special Instructions [IPTC Core] Alternative label from older IPTC IIM schema, used for "Instructions."
Instructions [IPTC Core] This is a simple text field that can include any of a number of instructions from the provider or creator to the receiver of the photograph. Any of the following might be included: embargoes (eg: News Magazines OUT) and other restrictions not covered by the Rights Usage Terms field (or new PLUS rights related fields); information regarding the original means of capture (scanning notes, color profile, etc.) or other specific text information the user may need for accurate reproduction; additional permissions or credits required when publishing. Note: This field is ''shared'' with the ''Instructions'' field in the Origin panel of the Adobe Photoshop File Info dialogue.
Examples: *Image to be used one time only, non-exclusive in English-language-edition magazine as inside image, no larger than a full page in color. Additional third-party rights to be negotiated with Julie Doe / XYZ Agency in advance. All rights not specifically granted are reserved. See delivery memo for specific license.
For consideration only; no reproduction in any form without prior, written permission.*
That's the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) standard Information Interchange Model (IIM).
I haven't been able to decode Facebook's data, but pasting, downloading, and pasting an image again will change the data slightly.
Using IrfanView to set special instructions to "testing" in a JPG without IPTC data, adds these bytes to the header:
I've downloaded 339 images with instruction length 94 after the FBMD, and the following bytes stayed the same:
0 {'0': 339}1 {'1': 339}2 {'0': 339}3 {'0': 339}4 {'0': 339}5 {'a': 339}8 {'0': 339}9 {'3': 339}10 {'0': 339}11 {'0': 339}12 {'0': 339}13 {'0': 339}18 {'0': 339}19 {'0': 339}20 {'0': 339}21 {'0': 339}26 {'0': 339}27 {'0': 339}28 {'0': 339}29 {'0': 339}34 {'0': 339}35 {'0': 339}36 {'0': 339}37 {'0': 339}42 {'0': 339}43 {'0': 339}44 {'0': 339}45 {'0': 339}50 {'0': 339}52 {'0': 339}53 {'0': 339}58 {'0': 339}60 {'0': 339}61 {'0': 339}66 {'0': 339}68 {'0': 339}69 {'0': 339}74 {'0': 339}76 {'0': 339}77 {'0': 339}82 {'0': 339}84 {'0': 339}85 {'0': 339}90 {'0': 339}92 {'0': 339}93 {'0': 339}I also found 3 images with only 86 mystery bytes after FBMD, e.g. 23000986030000f91d0000e5230000502900004889000041ac000004c900007aee0000cf0f0100f02d0100, also saved in the past few months. Same bytes there were:
0 {'2': 3}1 {'3': 3}2 {'0': 3}3 {'0': 3}4 {'0': 3}5 {'9': 3}6 {'8': 3}8 {'0': 3}9 {'3': 3}10 {'0': 3}11 {'0': 3}12 {'0': 3}13 {'0': 3}16 {'1': 3}18 {'0': 3}19 {'0': 3}20 {'0': 3}21 {'0': 3}26 {'0': 3}27 {'0': 3}28 {'0': 3}29 {'0': 3}34 {'0': 3}35 {'0': 3}36 {'0': 3}37 {'0': 3}42 {'0': 3}43 {'0': 3}44 {'0': 3}45 {'0': 3}50 {'0': 3}51 {'0': 3}52 {'0': 3}53 {'0': 3}58 {'0': 3}59 {'0': 3}60 {'0': 3}61 {'0': 3}66 {'0': 3}67 {'0': 3}68 {'0': 3}69 {'0': 3}74 {'0': 3}76 {'0': 3}77 {'0': 3}82 {'0': 3}84 {'0': 3}85 {'0': 3}86 {'\x00': 3}This blog post appears to know more about it:
[...] on 2014-11-13, Facebook introduced a new tracking code. It appears as an IPTC Special Instructions metadata field. They look like:
Special Instructions: FBMD01000ac60300004a1d00002d4b000067580000c9650000d5fc000054350100953a0100d3420100e84b01005f8f0100
Special Instructions: FBMD23000969010000b1590000cb7700000a8600000c07010046820100b8c0010052590200e5c902006e440300
I think that "FBMD" stands for "Facebook Member Data" (but I could be wrong).
I've manged to decode one interesting aspect in these strings: the length. Each string starts with "FBMD", two hex characters (1 bytes), and a 16-byte (4-character) length. Then comes length+1 sets of 32-bit (8-byte) values.
FBMD01 000a = length 10, so expect 11 fields: c6030000 4a1d0000 2d4b0000 67580000 c9650000 d5fc0000 54350100 953a0100 d3420100 e84b0100 5f8f0100
FBMD23 0009 = length 9, so expect 10 fields: 69010000 b1590000 cb770000 0a860000 0c070100 46820100 b8c00100 52590200 e5c90200 6e440300
I've asked the Facebook community about it.
Volvo CEO Says Company May Leave Sweden Partly Due To Rise in Violent Crime | Zero Hedge
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 04:12
Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News
The CEO of Volvo warns that the company is considering moving its headquarters out of Sweden in the future, partly due to a rise in violent crime.
H¥kan Samuelsson told a conference that the car maker was losing its appeal to foreign experts and engineers and further explained his concerns during an interview with SVD N¤ringsliv.
''We are building cars, we cannot solve the other problems, someone else must do that,'' the CEO said, adding that it is becoming more difficult to attract workers due to Sweden's worsening reputation.
''It's definitely not helping when people read about shootings in Gothenburg and wonder if they really dare to move to Gothenburg,'' said Samuelsson.
If the situation does not improve, the CEO warned that the company may even have to consider leaving Sweden in the future.
''Often people believe that decisions like these are taken by senior management or in China. But the fact is that we will only place our headquarters in a country where things work. At the moment, we are not close to such a discussion. But yes, it is something that might happen in the future,'' said Samuelsson.
However, Chief of Police in Gothenburg County Erik Nord denied there was a problem, accusing Samuelsson of getting misinformation from social media.
As we have previously highlighted, surveys show that migrants are vastly overrepresented in violent crime and rapes in Sweden, but the government stopped gathering official statistics back in 2005.
This was long before the problem was exacerbated by the arrival of over 150,000 new ''refugees'' mainly from Islamic countries from 2015 onwards.
Swedish author Bj¶rn Ranelid recently warned that the level of crime and violence the previously sedate country is experiencing amounts to a ''small scale war''.
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Most German says Merkel's health is a personal issue
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 12:13
Berlin (AFP)
Nearly 60 percent of Germans feel that Chancellor Angela Merkel's bouts of uncontrolled shaking are a personal matter, according to a survey published on Saturday.
A poll published in the Augsburger Allgemeinen newspaper found that 59 percent of those questioned felt that trembling seen three times in public in the past month concerns Merkel's "private" life, while 34 percent said it was a matter of public interest.
Merkel will celebrate her 65th birthday next Wednesday and has been at the head of the German government for about 14 years.
A majority of those who identified themselves as supporting Merkel's conservative CDU party, along with a majority of social democrats and environmentalists, believed it was an issue for the chancellor herself.
Only a majority of those who support the far-right AfD party felt Merkel's health was a matter of public interest, the survey found.
Although she has suffered three bouts of uncontrolled shaking in public, and remained seated this week as national hymns were played during a ceremony with Denmark's new prime minister, the German chancellor insists she is doing "very well".
Merkel has said that her first bout of shaking on June 18 during a ceremony with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky provoked a psychosomatic reaction that was responsible for those that followed.
The mass-circulation daily Bild reported Friday that Merkel has undergone extensive medical tests since the first incident, which was blamed on dehydration amid a heat wave that had swept over Berlin.
(C) 2019 AFP
Space Force!
AFP news agency on Twitter: "#BREAKING France's Macron announces creation of space force command'... "
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 18:52
Welcome home! This timeline is where you'll spend most of your time, getting instant updates about what matters to you.
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France's Air Force is getting a space command - The Verge
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 19:15
Ahead of this weekend's Bastille Day celebration on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the creation of a space command that would be part of the country's Air Force, according to Reuters.
President Macron made the remarks to military personnel, saying that the space command would be responsible for defending the country's satellites, and that it would officially be created in September. The Air Force, he says, will eventually be renamed as Space and Air Force. It appears as though this new command will replace France's existing Joint Space Command, which is already responsible for France's existing space assets, and coordinating with the militaries of other European nations.
While it has the third-oldest space agency, France has begun to focus more on space in recent years. According to Breaking Defense, the country plans to spend 3.6 billion euros between now and 2025, and in December 2018, it launched a new military reconnaissance satellite, the CS0-1, with more to follow in the coming years.
In recent years, a number of countries have begun to recognize space as a distinct ''domain'' of warfare '-- a distinct location or concept where warfare can take place, such as on land, sea, air, or space, or within digital systems. This command appears to be France's answer to addressing the the problems that space-borne military infrastructure potentially brings.
France's new command looks as though it would be analogous to the United States Space Command, a part of the US military originally founded in 1985 to oversee and coordinate the country's orbital assets, like satellites. That command was disbanded and merged into the US Strategic Command after the September 11th attacks. Last year, President Donald Trump ordered the Department of Defense to create a new Space Command, a precursor to a new, full-fledged branch of the military, Space Force.
'Ready to protect US & its assets': Military warns 750k+ alien hunters NOT to storm Area 51 '-- RT USA News
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 02:07
With the number of UFO enthusiasts volunteering to raid Area 51 growing uncontrollably amid the avalanche of memes on Twitter, the Pentagon seems to be worried that some might actually show up to try and break 'them aliens' free.
The #Area51memes hashtag has gone viral on Twitter, indicating that the majority of those 750,000+ 'going to' and some 700,000 'interested' in staging a mass raid on the secretive US government base probably understand that the event planned for September 20 is just a joke.
Also on rt.com 'They can't stop all of us!' 350k+ people volunteer to storm Area 51 to 'see them aliens' However, the US Air Force apparently took the potential threat to Nevada base seriously, with spokeswoman Laura McAndrews saying she would like to ''discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces.''
The US Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.
In the meantime Twitter is being flooded with a steady stream of memes with people sharing how they'd take part in the raid, drawing up mock battle plans and'... and predicting how it would probably end if a crowd indeed decides to storm a heavily-guarded US military base.
The CIA only officially acknowledged Area 51's existence in 2013, and its primary purpose remains classified, though it has been the site of hundreds of nuclear weapons tests and stealth aircraft flights. The 5,000 square mile top secret base has long fascinated extraterrestrial enthusiasts who believe it is the final resting place of an alien spacecraft that allegedly crash-landed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.
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'Where nobody's ever gone': India's mission to unexplored regions of the Moon starts in a few hours '-- RT World News
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 11:14
India is about to send its latest Moon mission, Chandrayaan 2, into orbit. The ''most complex'' project in the history of the nation's space program might lead to groundbreaking discoveries '' but others might reap its benefits.
Chandrayaan 2 will take off from the Sriharikota launch site, located on the coast of the Bay of Bengal 80 kilometers north of Chennai, using India's most powerful rocket '' the GSLV Mk.3. The launch is scheduled for 02:51 local time on July 15 (21:21 GMT July 14). If the mission goes as planned, the lander will touch down on the Moon's surface about 70 degrees south of the equator on September 6.
Ahead of the launch, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) issued a video presenting the mission in the form of a trailer for a sci-fi blockbuster. An off-screen female voice refers to the Chandrayaan 2 as a mission ''capturing the imagination of millions of Indians,'' which is sent to ''explore a new world, a new home'...''
The ambitious project, which ISRO head Kailasavadivoo Sivan called ''the most complex mission'' his agency has ''ever undertaken,'' involves delivering an orbiter, a lander, and a rover to the Moon.
The three mission components carry an array of scientific instruments, including spectrometers, radars, plasma sensors, and cameras, some of which are able to analyze the Moon's surface at the level of its elemental composition.
Making headwayThe impressive tool kit is expected to help India's mission to achieve one of its most challenging tasks '' to find potentially usable water on the Earth's satellite. This could lead to a breakthrough in future Moon and space exploration, not just for India but for the whole world.
This discovery would greatly advance humanity's plans for establishing a manned base on the Moon and further exploring more remote areas of the solar system. Water is very heavy when it comes to taking it from the Earth into space '' and that means significant additional expenditures for any ambitious manned space mission, in terms of both life support and fuel.
Finding usable water on the Moon would relieve humanity of this burden and potentially open up additional opportunities for using it to produce oxygen as well as hydrogen used in rocket propellants, right on Earth's natural satellite.
If successful in this endeavor, India will go down in history as a nation that made a pioneering discovery in space exploration. More so since it was India's previous Moon mission '' Chandrayaan 1, launched in 2008 '' that found water-bearing molecules on the Moon's poles in the first place.
Joining the clubWhether Chandrayaan 2 succeeds in finding usable water on the Moon is another question. Although NASA currently believes there could be more than 300 million tons of water ice on the Earth's satellite brought there by comets and other celestial objects, the real state of things on the ground is yet to be determined.
Even if no groundbreaking discovery occurs, New Delhi will still have something to brag about. The Indian mission aims for a touchdown in an unexplored region of the Moon, closer to the lunar south pole than any other nation. Earlier this year, China managed to successfully land a probe on the far side of the Moon and in its southern hemisphere.
Also on rt.com India unveils Moon lander, set to become 4th nation to touch down on Earth's satellite (PHOTO) ''It is not only a launch mission. We are going to land precisely at a place where nobody's ever gone,'' Sivan said in May.
The landing area 350 kilometers from the rim of the South Pole-Aitken basin is believed to be one of the most ancient impact sites in the solar system.
Uncovering the solar system's early history through examining the ancient materials left on the Moon's surface could position India alongside the leaders of space exploration like Russia and the US.
Even a successful soft-landing on the Moon's surface would allow New Delhi to join an elite club of leading space nations as only the fourth country to do so after the Soviet Union (1959), the US (1969), and China (2013).
Also on rt.com 'Our eyes in the sky': India launches all-weather satellite to control borders Success would ''raise the profile'' of New Delhi's space program ''in addition to illustrating the cost-effective nature of the Indian missions,'' Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, a distinguished fellow and head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative at India's Observer Research Foundation, believes.
''It will also have an immense impact on understanding the nation's capabilities in terms of dealing with the [space] technologies,'' Harsha Kakar, a retired major general of the Indian Armed Forces, told RT.
What's next?On a practical note, though, some of the potential discoveries could eventually bring more benefits to the Russians and the Americans rather than to Indians themselves.
Specifically, any water found on the Moon is expected to primarily find its use in the manned missions and the prospective Moon base.
Space agency Roscosmos plans its Luna 25 mission, which is also aimed at landing close to the Moon's South Pole and searching for water among other things, for 2021. NASA wants to put its own rover on the Moon by 2023.
New Delhi trails behind other nations when it comes to manned space missions. The first one ever that the ISRO plans is scheduled for late 2021 and would entail an autonomous capsule orbiting earth for about a week with a three-person crew on board.
Meanwhile, Russia announced its plans to create a permanent base on the Moon by the 2030s. In March, US Vice President Mike Pence also raised the idea of a permanent US base on the Earth's satellite in the coming decades, although he did not give a specific date. He did speak of ''returning'' US astronauts to the Moon's surface by 2024.
Although both projects appear to be in the early stages of development, India is unlikely to beat its competitors in this field.
Also on rt.com India sets sights on its own space station around 2030 ''If water is discovered on the Moon, India would not exploit it on its own, it would definitely be in partnership with like-minded nations '' either the US or Russia or a combination of both '' it is going to be an international effort,'' Kakar believes.
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Brand Identity
Visa's new deal with U.S. Soccer could be a game changer for women's s
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 19:17
By Jeff Beer 3 minute ReadVisa this week has announced a new five-year deal with the U.S. Soccer Association specifically to support the U.S. Women's National Team through 2023, which includes becoming the title sponsor for the annual SheBelieves Cup. The brand has also added USWNT star Megan Rapinoe to its roster of athlete ambassadors.
On the surface this appears to be just another global brand cracking open the sponsorship coffers to keep its name in lights across yet another major sport. But over the last few months, Visa has actually changed the game when it comes to boosting and empowering women's soccer through the scale and structure of its investment.
''The inspiration behind what we're doing is Visa's broader focus to inspire women both in sports and in the boardroom,'' says Mary Ann Reilly, the brand's senior vice-president, head of North American marketing. ''It's really about the overall focus on women's empowerment, and so therefore we're expanding our investment in women's soccer.''
Determination. Grit. Pride. Visa celebrates @USWNT soccer star @roselavelle and women everywhere who keep chasing their goals.
Visa. Proud partner of the U.S. Women's National Team. pic.twitter.com/XeMH2oD9bs
'-- Visa (@Visa) May 30, 2019
Traditionally, major soccer sponsorships bundle both men's and women's programs and tournaments together. What that's meant in most cases is that brands want to buy in to the major men's teams and tourneys, and are forced to take on the women's game as a feel-good add-on, but rarely do they put the same push''TV ads, fan events, and so forth''behind the latter. There's also the not-so small matter of how the sport's governing bodies around the world choose to divvy up those sponsorship dollars between the genders. Prize money for this year's women's World Cup, for example, is $30 million across all 24 teams, double the $15 million it was in 2015 but it's still a tiny fraction of the $400 million in prize money for the 2018 men's World Cup in Russia.
UEFA has recently unbundled those sponsorship rights, and Visa back in December was the first major sponsor to make an investment specifically in women's soccer, with a seven-year deal to be the main partner of major tournaments like the Champions League, European Championships, Under-19 and Under-17 Championships, and the Futsal European Championships until 2025.
Rebecca Smith is the global executive director of the women's game for Copa90, but also spent four years working within FIFA, and is a former FIFA Women's World Player of the Year nominee. She says the money Visa is investing may be the least important part of the brand's deals in women's soccer. ''The most important part is the length of the contracts, which show the business and social maturity of a brand to have the foresight to see the women's game for what it is, the biggest growth area in football right now,'' says Smith. ''It's just smart business.''
U.S. Soccer hasn't officially unbundled its sponsorship structure. When I reached out to VW, for example, back in March, for comment on the USWNT equal pay suit against the association, a brand spokesperson told me that the brand essentially allows the organization to decide how it will spend the brand's investment.
With its new deal, Visa has taken a more specific tack. ''The U.S. federation is not unbundling it, so we are sponsoring both the men and the women's teams,'' says Reilly. ''But over 50% of our investment will go to the U.S. women's team. And why would it not? They are the best team in the world. They really stand for the values that Visa embraces and supports, which is all about driving women's empowerment. So that's where we're controlling what we can control, which is our investment to support the women's team.''
Joe Manchin moves to block federal funding for 2026 World Cup until women's team receives equal pay | Salon.com
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 19:14
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia introduced a bill Tuesday that would withhold federal funding for the 2026 World Cup '-- the men's soccer tournament, which the U.S. is scheduled to host '-- unless the U.S. Soccer Federation agrees to pay its men's and women's soccer teams equally.
The proposed legislation comes in the wake of the U.S. Women's National Team's (USWNT) historic performance at the 2019 Women's World Cup on Sunday. The victory in Lyon, France, in which the USWNT ultimately beat the Netherlands 2-0, marked the team's fourth world title after it took home the trophy in 1991, 1999 and 2015.
Manchin said he was inspired to sponsor the legislation after receiving a letter from West Virginia University's women's soccer head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, who asked the senator to support the national women's team in their pursuit of equal pay.
"The clear unequitable pay between the U.S. men's and women's soccer teams is unacceptable, and I'm glad the U.S. Women's Soccer Team latest victory is causing public outcry," Manchin said in a statement. "They are the best in the world and deserve to be paid accordingly."
Manchin's proposed bill would ensure that "no federal funds may be appropriated or otherwise made available to provide support for the 2026 World Cup," which the U.S. will co-host along with Canada and Mexico, until the U.S. Soccer Federation agrees to pay members on the men's and women's teams equally.
The measure would also cut funding to the host cities and all participating organizations, including the U.S. Soccer Federation; Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF); and the F(C)d(C)ration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
Izzo-Brown's letter to Manchin pointed out that the women's team makes a profit, while the men's national team, who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, "made a net loss."
"The inequality of pay is unjust and this wage gap with the US men's national team has to stop," Izzo-Brown wrote. "The women have won four titles, men none; the women's viewership in the FIFA World Cup final outdrew the men in the United States by over three million (men 11.4 , women 14.3)."
Prior to the World Cup, the U.S. women's team accused the U.S. Soccer Federation of allegedly engaging in "institutionalized gender discrimination," which they argued was reflected in differences in pay, coaching, medical care and travel arrangements. The lawsuit was filed on International Women's Day.
The soccer federation and the 28 women's national team players suing it for pay discrimination agreed to mediation last month. The process is expected to begin now that the World Cup is over.
The U.S. women's victory on Sunday revived the debate over pay equity in sports. Crowds in France began to chant "equal pay" in support of the women's team at the close of the game.
The team's co-captain Megan Rapinoe said Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that the conversation about gender discrimination needs to extend beyond securing pay equity for female soccer players.
"What can we do now?" Rapinoe asked. "How can FIFA support the federations? How can federations support their players better? How can the league support their players better?"
You can watch the full interview below:
Green New Deal
Online porn 'produces the same amount of carbon emissions as all the households in France' '-- RT World News
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 19:23
A new study brings a whole new meaning to the term 'dirty movie', as online porn has been found to be responsible for 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year.
The Shift Project's 'Climate crisis: The unsustainable use of online video' report found that a third of all videos viewed online are porn, and that watching online adult entertainment emits just under 100 million tons of CO2 emissions. The emissions generated in 2018 were of the same ''magnitude as that of the residential sector in France,'' the report found.
Also on rt.com Celebrating the body, or just plain creepy? Director facing backlash over 'porn' movie at Cannes Online videos generated 60 percent of the world's data flows in 2018, which doesn't include Skype videos or 'camgirls' live videos, and creates 300 million tons of CO2 emissions a year.
Video streaming services like Netflix account for a third of online videos, and created the same amount of emissions as the entire Chilean economy.
The report warns that emissions will continue to grow along with our increased viewing of online content and suggests limitations are put in place, such as not autoplaying videos and not using the highest possible resolution.
Also on rt.com 'We must be where Danes are': Danish MP reaches out to voters on Pornhub Like this story? Share it with a friend!
Former State Department employee sentenced to more than three years in China spy case | Fox News
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 03:24
A federal judge sentenced former State Department employee Candace Claiborne to more than three years in prison and a $40,000 fine Tuesday for accepting thousands of dollars in cash and gifts from Chinese intelligence agents in exchange for information.
U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss said, ''sentencing is never easy,'' but also called Claiborne's crime, ''a truly grave offense, a betrayal of her employer and a betrayal of her country'' before giving her 40 months in prison in a Washington D.C. courtroom.
Claiborne, 63, whom Moss agreed up until now had been a model citizen with no criminal history, said, ''I'm sorry for what I did.'' She pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States in April and faced up to five years in prison.
Claiborne, who held a top-secret security clearance, began working as an Office Management Specialist for the State Department in 1999. She served in multiple postings in Baghdad and Khartoum, Sudan, as well as Beijing and Shanghai.
''This is not what I had envisioned for my life... I still don't know how I lost myself,'' Claiborne told the judge. "I lost my job, reputation and the trust of the government. I made a terrible mistake and now I'm paying the price."
Federal prosecutor Thomas Gillice pressed for the maximum sentence, saying Claiborne knew what she was doing was wrong and kept doing it for her own financial gain for a long period of time.
''She did this repeatedly over a period of years and at the expense of her country,'' said Gillice.
The government produced extensive evidence of contacts between Claiborne and two Chinese intelligence agents, including emails, text messages and at least one voicemail. Some of the documents she shared with the agents included U.S. economic strategies and visits by dignitaries between the two countries.
Prosecutors highlighted some of the conduct that occurred in 2011.
Over five years, the agents provided Claiborne with cash, meals, tuition payments for a Chinese fashion school, vacations, a furnished apartment, a laptop, a phone and a monthly stipend. Some of the gifts were given directly to Claiborne and others to her close family members.
In her journal, she noted that working for one of the agents could ''Generate 20k in 1 year," the Justice Department said. In an email between Claiborne and a Chinese agent, the agent said: "I will help your kids and also you make money in China."
"Sounds like a plan!" replied Claiborne.
Prosecutors also presented a ledger from Claiborne that specified a to-do list, which included "Clean up Yahoo contacts."
Moss noted that none of the information Claiborne gave to the Chinese was classified, but said it was still internal government information and that he wanted to send a message that this kind of conduct was ''unacceptable.''
"If this has been classified information we would be talking about a sentence three or four times longer than this," Moss said.
In an effort to conceal her crimes, Claiborne instructed her co-conspirators to delete evidence of her connection to the agents.
As a term of her sentencing, Claiborne will also serve 36 months of supervised release and will sit down for an interview with the FBI as well as cooperate for a video with the State Department that may be used as a deterrent for current employees.
Clinton-Era State Department Official Breaks Down in Tears as She's Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison For Conspiring With Chinese Agents
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 05:05
Clinton-Era State Department Official Breaks Down in Tears as She's Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison For Conspiring With Chinese Agents by Cristina Laila July 10, 2019Candace Marie Clairborne
Candace Marie Clairborne on Tuesday broke down in tears as she was sentenced to 40 months in prison for conspiring with foreign agents.
U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss, an Obama appointee said, ''sentencing is never easy,'' but also called Claiborne's crime, ''a truly grave offense, a betrayal of her employer and a betrayal of her country'' before giving her 40 months in prison in a D.C. courtroom, reported Fox News.
''I still don't know how I lost myself,'' Clairborne said. Then through tears, ''I want to apologize to the government'... and my family for what I have done,'' reported Fox News producer Jake Gibson.
Claiborne, "I still don't know how I lost myself" Then through tears, "I want to apologize to the government'... and my family for what I have done."
'-- Jake Gibson (@JakeBGibson) July 9, 2019
The Department of Justice announced in April that a former State Department employee who also happened to be a Clinton appointee, pleaded guilty to conspiring with foreign agents.
The FBI arrested Candace Marie Claiborne on March 28th, 2017. She made her first appearance in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia the following day.
According to the DOJ, Candace Marie Claiborne, a former employee of the U.S. Department of State, pleaded guilty in April to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States, by lying to law enforcement and background investigators, and hiding her extensive contacts with, and gifts from, agents of the People's Republic of China (PRC), in exchange for providing them with internal documents from the U.S. State Department.
Recall, Candace Marie Claiborne had a TOP SECRET security clearance and provided internal State Department documents to Chinese agents in exchange for gifts and benefits.
Claiborne also noted in her journal that she could ''Generate 20k in 1 year'' working with one of the PRC agents, who, shortly after wiring $2,480 to Claiborne, tasked her with providing internal U.S. Government analyses on a U.S.-Sino Strategic Economic Dialogue that had just concluded.
Claiborne, who confided to a co-conspirator that the PRC agents were ''spies,'' willfully misled State Department background investigators and FBI investigators about her contacts with those agents, the plea documents state. After the State Department and FBI investigators contacted her, Claiborne also instructed her co-conspirators to delete evidence connecting her to the PRC agents, the DOJ said.
Sounds just like Hillary Clinton, so why isn't Hillary in prison too?
Exclusive: Pentagon races to track U.S. rare earths output amid China trade dispute - Reuters
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 11:58
(Reuters) - The Pentagon is rapidly assessing the United States' rare earths capability in a race to secure stable supply of the specialized material amid the country's trade conflict with China, which controls the rare earths industry, according to a government document seen by Reuters.
FILE PHOTO: Heavy mining equipment haul ore at the Mountain Pass Rare Earth facility in Mountain Pass, California, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/David Becker
The push comes weeks after China threatened to curb exports to the United States of rare earths, a group of 17 minerals used to build fighter jets, tanks and a range of consumer electronics.
The Pentagon wants miners to describe plans to develop U.S. rare earths mines and processing facilities, and asked manufacturers to detail their needs for the minerals, according to the document, which is dated June 27.
Responses are required by July 31, a short time frame that underscores the Pentagon's urgency. The U.S. government's fiscal year ends in September.
The U.S. Air Force, which is part of the Pentagon and created the document, confirmed the document's existence. The Pentagon's headquarters did not respond to a request for comment.
The responses will be reviewed by two government contractors, including Northrop Grumman Corp, which did not respond to requests for comment.
''The government wants to know how much of these minerals we could eventually be producing, and how soon,'' said Anthony Marchese, chairman of Texas Mineral Resources Corp, which is working to develop the Round Top rare earth deposit in the state's western edge.
Several miners, though, declined to comment when asked if they will reply to the Pentagon, a sign of the sensitivity around rare earth mine development during the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute.
The document does not directly promise loans, grants or other financial support to U.S. rare earths projects. But the Pentagon's request is derived in part from the Defense Production Act (DPA), a 1950s-era U.S. law that gives the Pentagon wide berth to procure equipment necessary for the national defense.
Some type of financial assistance is ultimately expected for the industry after the Pentagon reviews the responses, according to industry analysts and consultants.
CHINA DOMINATES Although China contains only a third of the world's rare earth reserves, it accounts for 80% of U.S. imports of minerals because it controls nearly all of the facilities to process the material, according to U.S. Geological Survey data.
It is unclear how much money the U.S. military will spend to boost America's rare earths industry as the DPA does not set a financial limit. The June Pentagon letter notes that government investments usually range from $5 million to $20 million per project.
''The overall goal is to secure and assure a viable, domestic supplier (of rare earths) for the long-term,'' according to the nine-page document.
The Air Force Research Laboratory, which drafted the request, said it wants information related to U.S. rare earth ''shortcomings, risks, and opportunities which may be addressed by investments'' by the military.
''There is no guarantee that any submitted topic will'' receive military support, Diana Carlin, the Air Force's executive agent program manager for the DPA program related to procurement, said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
James Litinsky, co-chairman of MP Materials, which owns the Mountain Pass mine in California, said the United States needs ''a sustainable supermajor for the Western supply of these minerals.'' A supermajor would be a large producer that dominates the global industry.
MP Materials, the only existing U.S. rare earths facility, ships its ore to China for processing and has been subject to a 25% tariff since last month.
Some industry analysts have called for the Pentagon to broaden the scope of its study and commit to direct government funding of rare earth magnet and motor manufacturing, much like China's government.
''The U.S. government doesn't have a holistic approach to the entire rare earths supply chain, even now, and that's a problem,'' Jack Lifton, an industry analyst with Technology Metals Research LLC, said in an interview this week.
BILLS IN U.S. SENATE The Pentagon's request builds on several executive orders from President Donald Trump on strategic minerals, which he has said are critical for national defense.
Several U.S. senators have sponsored legislation in recent weeks designed to boost domestic production of lithium, rare earths and other strategic minerals. On Thursday, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, introduced a bill that would let rare earths producers form cooperatives, avoiding U.S. antitrust statutes.
None of the bills have passed yet.
The Pentagon has also held talks with rare earths suppliers in Malawi and Burundi, department officials told Reuters last month.
FILE PHOTO: Samples of rare earth minerals from left: Cerium oxide, Bastnaesite, Neodymium oxide and Lanthanum carbonate at Molycorp's Mountain Pass Rare Earth facility in Mountain Pass, California June 29, 2015. REUTERS/David Becker''There's a heightened sense of urgency on developing a rare earth supply chain in North America,'' said Don Lay, chief executive of Medallion Resources Ltd, which earlier this month said it was studying potential sites across North America to develop an extraction plant for rare earths.
(INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC-Rare earth production tmsnrt.rs/2I9MfL5).
(GRAPHIC-Rare earth export prices perk up after China rattles trade war sabre link: tmsnrt.rs/2Id5tQ2).
Reporting by Ernest Scheyder in Houston; Additional reporting by Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Amran Abocar and Matthew Lewis
President Trump Unites Crypto...Against Him - Decentralize.Today
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 04:29
On Thursday, July 11th, 2019, a miracle happened.
Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, managed to unite (however briefly) the various factions in Cryptocurrency'... against him. In a series of tweets, President Trump declared his views on Bitcoin:
I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity....
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019 ....Similarly, Facebook Libra's ''virtual currency'' will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National...
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019...and International. We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019So, as you can imagine, that went over like a ton of bricks on Bitcoin / Crypto Twitter, some even questioning if these tweets had been written by Donald Trump, or whethera member of his staff was behind them. Several prominent members of the crypto community responded with brilliant retorts.
Achievement unlocked! I dreamt about a sitting U.S. president needing to respond to growing cryptocurrency usage years ago. "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win''. We just made it to step 3 y'all. https://t.co/N3tzUKELaK
'-- Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) July 12, 2019Dear @realDonaldTrump,You can't change Bitcoin's monetary policy, supply schedule, interest rate, or transaction history.
There is no CEO or employees. No one will answer customer service complaints.
But you can always count on Bitcoin.
It never goes down.
'-- Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) July 12, 2019But it was the response from Caitlin Long, a Wall Street veteran and a supporter of Cryptocurrency from Wyoming who is a member of the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force, that had the best response, one that may even help to change President Trump's mind:
1/ Mr President'--#Wyoming, the state that gave you the highest margin of victory in 2016 (even bigger than Reagan), welcomes law-abiding #crypto companies & created a new type of bank charter to allow them to comply w/ the law. You are just wrong on this'--ur staff is misleading you
'-- Caitlin Long ðŸ--‘ (@CaitlinLong_) July 12, 20192/ Your staff isn't giving you good advice (I don't see anyone on your staff who has experience in this new asset class). The US payment system hasn't really innovated in 50 yrs'--it's unstable & inefficient. I've been surprised that your administration has coddled it instead of...
'-- Caitlin Long ðŸ--‘ (@CaitlinLong_) July 12, 20193/ ...opening it up to healthy competition. The #crypto genie can't be put back in the bottle & if the US fights this we will simply be bypassed by other countries that are welcoming it. Banks tried to shut down #crypto by shunning the industry & look what happened'--it didn't die.
'-- Caitlin Long ðŸ--‘ (@CaitlinLong_) July 12, 20194/ Why? Because this is the first serious payment innovation in decades. Yes, #crypto is used for illegal activities, but much less frequently than the dollar is'--& crypto is easier to track (check w/ the FBI!). Mr President, you don't need to choose between #crypto & the dollar!
'-- Caitlin Long ðŸ--‘ (@CaitlinLong_) July 12, 20195/ To close, pls invite #crypto experts to advise you'--you need to hear the other side. And you need to understand how #Wyoming has created a regulatory-compliant framework to let this innovation thrive in a lawful manner & ensure the US keeps our lead in financial services! 🤠🇺🇸
'-- Caitlin Long ðŸ--‘ (@CaitlinLong_) July 12, 2019Now, let's go back over what the President said:
"I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity'...."
Bitcoin is, in fact, money. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines money* as: "something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value, or a means of payment", which fits the character of Bitcoin just right. President Trump says that Bitcoin is based on thin air. Code is not thin air, Mr. President, code is the internet,code is the automation that is changing the world, code is how Visa, Mastercard, and American Express can provide credit cards and their transactions. Code is how Wall Street can function and move trillions of dollars around the world.
So now we have to look at what gives the United States Dollar its value. We have not been on the gold standard* for almost fifty years, so what is backing the dollar? It's the word of the government of the United States, and if I'm not mistaken, words are not only thin, but hot air as well.
Next, we have to talk about the "unlawful behavior" part of this tweet. Sure, people have used Bitcoin for nefarious reasons, but not nearly as much as the United States Dollar (USD) has. So if the measure of a currency's validity is its use for criminal activity, the United States may need a new form of currency.
"'...Similarly, Facebook Libra's "virtual currency" will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National'..."
We need to understand that most politicians are not going to come out and support Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency. They will use the threat Bitcoin poses to US monetary dominance and how the USD will be affected by Bitcoin, or that Bitcoin will allow countries to ignore US Sanctions (which is all true btw), but that was the point from the beginning. And we can never forget that the banking industry has powerful lobbyists and lawyers to fill politicians' heads with all sort of nonsense related to cryptocurrencies.
"'...and International. We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!"
This last tweet is purely political fist pumping and quite frankly was not unexpected from any sitting President. Why would they say anything other than that the United States Dollar is the best currency, especially if their platform is basically "America! F'-- Yeah!"?
In the end, the crypto community is going to have to understand that it is us vs. them. Even cryptocurrencies like XRP and BSV who claim they are bank- or government-friendly have to realize that, if they pose a threat to USD dominance, they will be attacked by the fiat banking system and their cronies in government. The only reason why we are having more and more politicians talking crypto is that Facebook's Libra scared them. Or rather, itt scared the people funding them, so why should we be surprised that Trump went on a Twitter rant about Bitcoin?
During his interview at Bitcoin 2019 in San Francisco, Edward Snowden said that Bitcoin needs a lobbyist. People to fight for Bitcoin and crypto ingovernment. While many would argue against that, it's true. If Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general want to be used as global currencies, they will need support in governments around the world. If nothing else, then to keep anti-crypto laws or harmful regulation from being passed.
Unpopular Opinion, I know. But that's the world we live in.
Thank you.
Jason Nelson
Big Pharma
OxyContin Made The Sacklers Rich. Now It's Tearing Them Apart. - WSJ
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 23:46
Jacqueline Sackler was fed up. HBO's John Oliver would soon use his TV show to pillory her family, the clan that owns Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. In a nearly 15-minute Sunday-night segment, he joined a long line of people who blamed the Sacklers in part for the nation's opioid crisis.
Before the show aired, Ms. Sackler, who is married to a son of a company co-founder, emailed her in-laws, lawyers and advisers. ''This situation is destroying our work, our friendships, our reputation and our ability to function in society,'' she wrote.
''And worse, it dooms my children. How is my son supposed to apply to high school in September?''
The Sackler family, with its competing branches, has long been fractious. The arrival of nearly 2,000 lawsuits accusing its company of helping to spark a public-health crisis in America has forced the family to a crossroads as it weighs the future of a company that helped make its members wealthy.
For years the Sacklers avoided being publicly linked to the opioid crisis and OxyContin, a prescription painkiller containing a morphine derivative called oxycodone. They cultivated an image as global philanthropists, donating millions to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Columbia University and scores of other institutions both in the U.S. and abroad.
The host of lawsuits, some of which name as defendants many individual Sacklers who served on Purdue's board, has unraveled the family's standing in philanthropic, academic and financial circles. Family members have been leaving the boards of nonprofits. Prestigious museums and universities are rejecting their donations. Some investment funds are returning their money.
The backlash has intensified infighting among family members, whose disagreements have threatened efforts to resolve the litigation, according to emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and to interviews with dozens of current and former Purdue employees and people who have spoken with the Sacklers.
For years, family members argued over matters large and small, from corporate strategy to board-meeting agendas. Often the conflicts were between the two sides of the family that equally control the closely held Stamford, Conn., company'--co-founding brothers Mortimer Sackler and Raymond Sackler and their heirs.
In the current legal melee, family members disagreed on the strategy for settling a lawsuit with the state of Oklahoma and on how to respond to media requests. Members of the Mortimer side wanted a member of the other side to express remorse over derogatory comments that person once made about addicts.
For some family members, dealing with the mounting litigation and its fallout is consuming most of their time, said people who speak with them. Several Sacklers have retreated from public life.
In the New York philanthropic and arts circles in which some Sacklers moved, ''it's a topic of some gossip around town that there are ruptures in the family and that they are people struggling to deal with this wave of bad news and throngs of litigation,'' said Euan Reille, an investment banker who knows some of the Sacklers socially.
Sackler family members contacted for this article referred questions to spokespeople. The two family branches said in a joint statement they support efforts to work together, along with Purdue and other stakeholders, to find solutions to the opioid crisis.
Asked about various matters by the Journal, they said: ''This story paints a very misleading and inaccurate picture of our families, our views and approach to this litigation.''
The lawsuits by cities, states and Native American tribes allege Purdue misled the public and physicians about the addictive nature of OxyContin, which Purdue began selling in 1996. The company and eight family members who are named in some of the suits have denied the allegations. In previous written statements and legal filings, they have noted that OxyContin was approved by regulators and said its prescriptions have made up a small percentage of all opioids and the company's marketing was appropriate.
They have said they are united in wanting to resolve all of the opioid litigation. Meanwhile, Purdue Pharma is struggling with weakening sales and restructuring challenges.
Purdue Pharma LP's roots trace to 1952, when three Sackler brothers, all psychiatrists, acquired a small predecessor company in New York for $50,000. Raymond and Mortimer bought out the share of the oldest brother, Arthur, after his death in 1987, and Arthur's heirs weren't involved in Purdue after that.
Purdue initially made simple products such as laxatives, earwax removers and antiseptics. In 1995 it won U.S. marketing approval for a breakthrough product, OxyContin, an extended-release opioid designed to last 12 hours, to treat moderate-to-severe pain.
Purdue is widely credited with helping create many aspects of modern pharmaceutical marketing. For OxyContin, it recruited doctors as paid speakers at resort gatherings, helped fund nonprofits focused on pain patients, and blanketed physicians with promotional items such as plush toys shaped like a pill. Decades earlier, Arthur Sackler pioneered methods of drug-industry marketing and, posthumously, was inducted into the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame, which said he ''helped shape pharmaceutical promotion as we know it today.''
Raymond and Mortimer, who lived into the 2000s, split control and ownership of the business equally, a structure that made it difficult to resolve disagreements. Other family members were active in the company, and up to 10 of them at a time were on the board of directors. The two sides selected their own nonfamily directors and set their pay under separate guidelines.
Board meetings were raucous, casual affairs attended by dozens of people, like a ''family picnic with PowerPoint presentations,'' said one former employee. The meetings, held monthly for many years, could go on for days. The longtime corporate counsel usually ran them.
Mortimer's side of the family was known by staff and advisers as the ''A Side,'' for the share type they owned, and Raymond's as the ''B Side.'' Relations between the brothers were strained for years. The brothers sat on opposite sides at board meetings and communicated through intermediaries, said people who attended.
At one meeting years ago, according to a person who was present, Mortimer tried to punch Raymond but, missing him, hit a company attorney in between.
Reasons for the strain are murky, although some people close to the family said Mortimer opposed tapping Raymond's son Richard Sackler to be president in 1999, a post he held until 2003. Clashes between Richard and two of Mortimer's children'--Kathe Sackler and Mortimer D.A. Sackler'--accounted for much of the sparring at board meetings, according to several people who attended.
One source of tension was when to take profits from the company. Mortimer's heirs, who are more numerous, wanted to do so more frequently, while the Raymond side was more inclined to let Purdue reinvest in its business, according to people familiar with the situation.
Purdue has sold more than $35 billion of OxyContin since its introduction. Just since 2007, Purdue has distributed more than $4 billion in profits to its owners, civil complaints have said.
At times, the family considered selling Purdue. Raymond's side usually opposed a sale, said people close to the company.
The Sacklers also often couldn't agree on the types of assets to buy. The risk-averse board reviewed dozens of potential acquisitions over the years.
Once, at a meeting held in Europe in 2016, Kathe Sackler commented that the board should assert more authority and wasn't just a ''secretariat.'' Cousin Jonathan Sackler, from the Raymond side, cracked an expletive-laden joke about whether she meant the Triple Crown-winning racehorse, said people who were there. Kathe demanded an apology, they said.
From the beginning of OxyContin sales, Purdue deployed hundreds of sales representatives to call on physicians and try to persuade them to write more OxyContin prescriptions. It had a bonus system that was considered the most lucrative in the industry, according to former sales reps and a 2003 U.S. General Accounting Office report.
The GAO report was subtitled ''OxyContin Abuse and Diversion and Efforts to Address the Problem.'' It quoted a revised label, approved in 2001, that said OxyContin had been reported as being abused ''by crushing, chewing, snorting, or injecting the dissolved product.'' Food and Drug Administration officials said they didn't anticipate that abuse would become widespread, the report said.
In 2007, Purdue and three executives who weren't family members pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges of misleading the public about OxyContin's addictiveness between 1995 and 2001. They agreed to $634.5 million in penalties, and Purdue signed a five-year corporate-integrity agreement with the U.S. government. In 2013, the U.S. said Purdue had met the agreement's requirements.
At least one in-house Purdue lawyer saw the 2007 pleas as a way to protect former president Richard Sackler from legal exposure, according to people familiar with the matter.
In a written statement to the Journal, Purdue said it pleaded guilty to resolve the probe and accept responsibility for ''misconduct committed by certain of Purdue's supervisors and employees,'' and that it is ''wrong to assert that the purpose of the guilty plea was to protect Richard Sackler'' or anyone else.
Raymond's heirs, in a separate written statement, called suggestions that the 2007 agreement was meant to protect any family member ''lies.''
After the pleas, the company and family regarded their OxyContin legal problems as behind them. But about a decade later, municipalities affected by opioid addiction, which has taken roughly 218,000 lives in the U.S. over two decades, began filing lawsuits accusing Purdue and several other drugmakers and distributors of creating a health crisis.
Most of the suits have been consolidated in federal court in Ohio, where companies and the plaintiffs have been working for more than a year on reaching a settlement.
Since 2010, Purdue has sold OxyContin in a form designed to be harder to abuse. Early last year, Purdue stopped promoting the drug and cut remaining members of its sales force. The last family member on the Purdue board left this year.
The Sacklers continue to own the company through family trusts and will need to agree on its future, including whether this should include a bankruptcy filing, an idea the company has considered for several months.
The Sacklers are addressing these questions the same way they control Purdue: on separate tracks. Each side of the family has its own law firm and its own public-relations firm, as does the company. While both sides have said they want to reach a deal that would give them finality in the litigation, until recently Raymond's side was more interested in fighting the allegations, according to several people familiar with the matter.
One disagreement came in late March, shortly before Purdue said it would settle with Oklahoma for $270 million. Attorney David Bernick, representing Raymond's heirs, was concerned that settling might encourage other plaintiffs to seek similar amounts and wanted Purdue to file for bankruptcy reorganization instead, according to people familiar with the matter.
The family ultimately agreed that settling would let Purdue avoid an approaching trial date and have time to possibly settle more cases and do a restructuring through a bankruptcy filing. Mr. Bernick declined to discuss a client matter.
Family members disagreed on how to respond to media inquiries about emails Richard Sackler sent as president, made public in lawsuits this year. In one 2001 email, he wrote: ''I'll tell you something that will totally revise your belief that addicts don't want to be addicted. It is factually untrue. They get themselves addicted over and over again.''
Mortimer's son Mortimer D.A. Sackler and his wife, Jacqueline Sackler, found such notes embarrassing and were horrified when they became public, according to people who spoke with the couple. They were among family members who wanted Richard, the former Purdue president, to go beyond calling the emails insensitive and to express remorse for them.
Richard's son, David, supported doing this for one media inquiry but didn't believe that John Oliver's HBO show in April was an appropriate forum for such a statement, said people familiar with the matter.
Richard recently said in a deposition and through a spokesman that he has learned more about addiction and has compassion for addicts.
Some Sacklers who aren't involved with Purdue have singled out Richard for blame. Arthur Sackler Jr., son of the brother who died before OxyContin's introduction, got into a heated argument with Richard late last year in a conference room at company headquarters, accusing him of tarnishing the family name, according to two people familiar with the exchange.
There is one thing on which the family appears united: a belief they aren't responsible for fueling the addiction crisis, according to internal emails and interviews with people who have spoken with the Sacklers.
Raymond's heirs generally believe the company may have made some mistakes nearly two decades ago, and blame former executives, but think family members shouldn't be held responsible years later, according to people who have spoken with them. They regret they weren't more proactive in stating the family's belief they aren't responsible for the opioid crisis.
For Ilene Sackler Lefcourt, a daughter of Mortimer, the litigation and scrutiny are a distraction from her work running a child-parent mental-health nonprofit, according to a friend, Patricia Nachman. ''She says, 'It's not that we did everything right, but it's not at the magnitude that it seems to be in the press,' '' said Dr. Nachman.
Jacqueline Sackler, in the email she sent before the John Oliver show in April, wrote that ''I have yet to see anything illegal or even immoral that this company has done. I've seen distasteful and disrespectful.''
Ms. Sackler criticized the family's communications strategy and said she was through serving as the nation's punching bag. She expressed concern about how the criticism of the Sacklers was affecting her family. ''Lives of children are being destroyed,'' she wrote.
'--Jim Oberman and Elisa Cho contributed to this article.
Corrections & Amplifications Jacqueline Sackler's email was sent before John Oliver's HBO show aired. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated it was sent afterward. (July 13, 2019)
HPV Vaccination Programme Extended to Boys This Autumn
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 12:48
The success of extending human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination to boys in England this autumn could depend on countering the activities of the so-called 'anti-vax' lobby, health experts said.
From September this year, boys in school year 8 in England will be offered the free HPV vaccine for the first time. The move could lead to a reduction of 28,952 cases of oropharyngeal, penile, and anal cancers among boys in the 50 years up to 2058, Public Health England (PHE) said.
Free HPV vaccination for adolescent boys will also be made available for boys in Northern Ireland, Wales in Spring and Summer terms in 2020, and year S1 in Scotland at the start of the new academic year.
The decision to extend the programme followed a recommendation by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in July last year.
Cervical Cancer Girls have been offered the HPV vaccine on the NHS in the UK since 2008.
When the JCVI recommended a universal HPV vaccine programme for girls its priority was to reduce rates of cervical cancer. It decided that high coverage in girls would provide 'herd protection' to boys.
Ten years later the Committee decided there was now stronger evidence that HPV was associated with non-cervical cancers, which affect men as well as women, and that vaccination would help prevent these other HPV-related cancers.
PHE said modelling produced by the University of Warwick estimated that the HPV vaccine could have prevented up to 64,138 HPV-related cervical cancers and 49,649 other HPV-related cancers by 2058.
The British Dental Association (BDA), which had pressed for the extension to help combat rising rates of oral cancers, warned that the success of the programme was in jeopardy because of the rising profile of campaigners opposed to vaccination.
It said that official data showed that uptake rates among girls for two doses of the vaccine had fallen in recent years.
The BDA called on the Government to redouble efforts to educate parents about the importance of vaccination for boys and girls.
Boys to Miss Out on Catch-up Programme From September 2019, the first dose of the HPV vaccine, Gardasil (Merck Sharp & Dohme) will be offered to boys as well as girls aged 12 and 13 in year 8. The second dose will be offered between 6 months to 24 months later.
Girls and boys who have their first vaccination after the age of 15 will need to have three doses.
There will be no 'catch-up' vaccination programme for older boys.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at PHE, said: "This universal programme offers us the opportunity to make HPV-related diseases a thing of the past and build on the success of the girls' programme.
"Offering the vaccine to boys will not only protect them but will also prevent more cases of HPV related cancers in girls and reduce the overall burden of these cancers in both men and women in the future."
Dr Frank Atherton, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales, said: "A recent study has shown that there is compelling evidence of the substantial impact of HPV vaccination programmes on HPV infections and pre-cancerous growths among girls, women, boys and men.
"I hope that all parents of eligible boys and girls will take up the offer of this life-saving vaccine."
A Scottish Government spokesperson said ensuring that eligible people were vaccinated would "save lives in years to come".
NHS England said that so far, 10 million doses of HPV vaccine have been given to young women aged 15 to 24 '' over 80% of the cohort.
Countering Campaigners Opposed to Vaccination The BDA said uptake remained below the 90% to 95% needed for 'herd immunity', and that while the 80% vaccination target was being met, regional uptake variations persisted.
It expressed concerns over false social media claims linking vaccination with serious health conditions, and by reports that anti-vaccination messages had been inserted into children's books.
Mick Armstrong, BDA chair, said: "A universal HPV programme will offer protection to all children from life-changing conditions like throat cancer. But with uptake among girls already in decline, ministers need to cut through the noise, and make a clear and compelling case.
"Online and off, parents are being bombarded with fake news and bad science. We need real investment in a hard-nosed, evidenced-based approach that pulls no punches with the myth-makers."
The BDA said it also wanted to see a catch-up programme for boys.
Prof Arne Akbar, president of the British Society for Immunology, said: "The Government now needs to work with the NHS and local authorities to ensure that we maintain efforts to actively communicate the important health benefits of this vaccine to parents and adolescents.
"We encourage parents of eligible boys and girls to take up the offer and protect future generations against these preventable diseases with the HPV vaccine."
Prof Geoffrey Smith, head of the Department of Pathology at the University of Cambridge, commented: "We should remember always the huge benefits of vaccination. Prevention is better than cure, and prevention is most easily achieved by vaccination. Ultimately vaccination can lead to eradication as was shown with smallpox."
'Only Right' That Boys Are Offered the Same Protection Prof Dame Parveen Kumar, chair of the British Medical Association's Board of Science, commented: "Given the growing body of evidence that HPV is also responsible for a range of cancers that can affect men, this is a very important step.
"Following the success of the vaccination programme for girls, it is only right that boys are now afforded the same protection."
Prof Jack Cuzick, director of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and head of the Centre for Cancer Prevention at Queen Mary University of London welcomed the vaccination programme for boys but said the highest priority should be to "maintain or improve further the vaccine coverage in girls".
Prof Cuzick called for the programme to substitute the current vaccine, Gardasil 4, for Gardasil 9, which protects against more types of cancer.
Prof Arne Akbar receives grant funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Medical Research Council (MRC), and Dermatrust.
Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, Pressley struggle as Pelosi isolates them - The Washington Post
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 21:52
Mike DeBonisCongressional reporter covering the House of Representatives
July 10House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admonished Democrats for personally attacking one another, warning in a closed-door meeting Wednesday that the party's fracturing was jeopardizing its majority.
Without naming names, her target was clear: the four liberal freshmen known as ''the Squad.''
''You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it. But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just okay,'' Pelosi (D-Calif.) told Democrats.
But ''the Squad'' '-- Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) '-- is convinced it is Pelosi who is being the bully.
The four are struggling with the speaker's moves to isolate them in recent weeks, according to interviews with the lawmakers, congressional aides and allies. Pelosi has made at least half a dozen remarks dismissing the group or their far-left proposals on the environment and health care. More recently she scorned their lonely opposition to the party's emergency border bill last month.
And she defended those comments Wednesday, saying, ''I have no regrets about anything. Regrets is not what I do,'' doubling down on her claim that the group has little power in the House.
[Listen on Post Reports: Congress reporter Mike DeBonis on the escalating feud between Nancy Pelosi and the freshman 'Squad']
''When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm's distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,'' Ocasio-Cortez told The Washington Post. ''But the persistent singling out .'‰.'‰. it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful .'‰.'‰. the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.''
The four women are trying to figure out how to respond, texting one another and weighing whether to confront Pelosi to ask her to stop. But for now, they are focused on their congressional duties, even as they defend their votes in the House that have drawn Pelosi's ire.
''Thank God my mother gave me broad shoulders and a strong back. I can handle it. I'm not worried about me,'' said Pressley, who called Pelosi's comments ''demoralizing.'' ''I am worried about the signal that it sends to people I speak to and for, who sent me here with a mandate, and how it affects them.''
The tensions underscore the political and generational divide between the most powerful woman in American politics, who has led House Democrats for more than 16 years, and the new band of liberals clamoring for change and trying to push the party left. Pelosi has spent more than 30 years perfecting an inside game to secure wins for her party, most notably the Affordable Care Act in 2010. The four freshmen lawmakers, by contrast, have built a massive online following and leveraged their power on the outside, including in the 2020 presidential race.
Their ability to work together '-- or refusal to '-- will have major implications for Democrats as they seek to oust President Trump and retain their majority in next year's election. Pelosi knows that fate of her majority rests with the moderate Democrats who captured Republican-held seats in last year's midterm elections.
''A majority is a fragile thing,'' she said, according to two people present for the remarks, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private meeting, adding that members should show ''some level of respect and sensitivity'' to more moderate colleagues: ''You make me the target, but don't make our [moderates] the target in all of this, because we have important fish to fry.''
The speaker's allies say concerns about the next election is driving her moves to isolate these four women.
''Sometimes a leader's got to take positions to keep the team [united],'' said Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.). ''She knows what got us here and what's going to keep us here.''
Pelosi suggested to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd in an opinion piece published Saturday that ''the Squad'' had a limited following inside the House. She specifically pointed to the example of the House-passed Democratic border bill in late June, which the group opposed.
''All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,'' Pelosi said in the New York Times interview. ''But they didn't have any following. They're four people and that's how many votes they got.''
Several in the caucus were uncomfortable with Pelosi's comments. Congressional Progressive Caucus leaders are expected to talk to Pelosi about her comments, according to two officials familiar with the plan. Other women of color in the House have similarly expressed concerns.
''I can't tell the speaker to apologize, but I was taken aback by it. Because we're all here to work together,'' said Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.), the first black woman to represent her state in Congress.
Notably, Hayes, Ocasio-Cortez and Omar appeared together with Pelosi smiling on the cover of Rolling Stone in a photo taken in January.
While some of the four enjoy more diplomatic relationships with Pelosi, Ocasio-Cortez's relationship with the speaker has been chilly from the start. After she upset Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.) in the Democratic primary, Pelosi moved to immediately downplay her victory, saying it was a one-off event.
Still, Pelosi tried to create a bridge with the New Yorker: During their first face-to-face meeting just before the midterm elections, Pelosi spent nearly two hours trying to convince the liberal that she was just like her, touting her background. It was around that time that Ocasio-Cortez agreed to not only back Pelosi as speaker but also vocally defend her against rebels trying to keep her from the gavel.
Now, half a year later, virtually all communication between the two women has ceased. The two have not spoken one-on-one since February when Ocasio-Cortez declined Pelosi's personal request that she join her select committee on climate change, according to individuals who know both lawmakers.
Just days after, during a private Progressive Caucus meeting, Pelosi singled out Ocasio-Cortez in front of her colleagues, calling her out for rejecting the select committee offer. Ocasio-Cortez had publicly criticized leadership for refusing to give the committee the power to directly draft legislation.
Since then, Pelosi has made several dismissive remarks about Ocasio-Cortez, calling her Green New Deal ''the Green Dream or whatever,'' and suggesting that a ''glass of water'' running as a Democrat could win in districts as liberal as hers.
''The third and fourth time [she insulted me], it was like, 'This is unnecessary, but I'm not going to pick a fight over it. Whatever, I'll be the punching bag if that's what they want me to be,' '' Ocasio-Cortez said. But now people are telling the freshman to talk to Pelosi. She doesn't want to, however.
''There hasn't really been a relationship, to be frank,'' she said. ''It's difficult.''
Omar, according to people close to her, has been similarly disappointed. The lawmaker from Minnesota looks up to Pelosi and has enjoyed a positive relationship with the speaker, despite her criticisms of Israel that caused a major stir in the party. Even then, however, Pelosi gave Omar a heads-up before chiding her publicly.
In one of her first conversations with Pelosi after she won her primary, Omar told Pelosi that she couldn't vote on the floor because of a headwear ban in the House. Pelosi promised to change the rules so she could wear her hijab in the Capitol.
For Tlaib, Pelosi's latest comment amounted to a mixed message '-- one that seemed to contradict the advice Pelosi gave in a meeting early in her tenure. ''Represent your district,'' Tlaib recalled Pelosi telling her. ''And that's exactly what I'm doing.''
Hours after her primary win in August, Tlaib ruffled feathers by saying in a CNN interview that she would ''probably not'' support Pelosi for speaker. But Pelosi, directly and through intermediaries, worked through the ensuing months to keep her mind open, and Tlaib ultimately voted for her.
Tlaib then won a seat on the Financial Services Committee, a plum assignment for a freshman in a safely Democratic district. And even as she garnered outsize media attention, Pelosi appeared to have her back: When Tlaib was filmed telling a crowd of supporters in vulgar terms that lawmakers would impeach President Trump, Pelosi delivered only faint public criticism.
''Whatever she's saying is not going to impact my work,'' Tlaib said of Pelosi's comments over the weekend. ''I'm going to continue to introduce legislation and policy.''
Yet some lawmakers and aides believe Pelosi's treatment of the group is having a quiet effect on them. Many activists thought the group would band together to form a type of Freedom Caucus to deliver wins for the left, but they haven't done so and appear almost on the defensive when Pelosi criticizes them.
They also have not tried to whip votes against a major leadership priority such as the border bill, nor muscled House support for impeachment, an idea Pelosi rejects. And they have declined to call Pelosi out by name as she sidelines liberal policy priorities such as Medicare-for-all and the Green New Deal, dismissing them publicly as ''enthusiasms'' and ''exuberances'' rather than viable policy prescriptions.
''She chooses her words carefully. She does not misspeak,'' said Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), a close friend of Pelosi. ''There's a big difference between being an advocate and being a legislator.''
Asked about why she hasn't confronted Pelosi, Ocasio-Cortez said she wasn't sure what to do.
''I do find it a little curious that leadership doesn't want us to try to have any sort of conversation about even messaging '-- but we're just freshmen, right?'' she said.
Scarlett Johansson opens up about politically correct casting in retro spread for As If | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 00:10
Scarlett Johansson spoke candidly about her storied acting career and the growing 'trend' of politically correct casting in a revealing new cover story for As If magazine.
The 34-year-old award winning actress stunned in a retro inspired shoot for the outlet for its spring/summer 2019 issue, on newsstands now.
Art director and interviewer David Salle collaborated with Peter Hidalgo to create three collectible limited edition dresses that inspired the mod vibe of the shoot.
Bombshell: Scarlett Johansson spoke candidly about her storied acting career and the growing 'trend' of politically correct casting in a revealing new cover story for As If magazine.
The blonde bombshell looked like she stepped out of a time capsule in the bright vintage shoot.
Set against a background of oversized modern clip art, Scarlett rocked a variety of retro looks paired with her old Hollywood style coiffed curls.
A true lover of her art, the stunner pulled a variety of faces and poses showing her emotional range in the stunning ensembles.
If acting paid next to nothing, she revealed, she would still be happy to do it for a living.
Stunning: Art director and interviewer David Salle collaborated with Peter Hidalgo to create three collectible limited edition dresses that inspired the mod vibe of the shoot
Custom! Scarlett looked amazing in one of the custom dresses
'It's definitely a wonderful job to have and being satisfied with my job puts my lifestyle second on my priority list,' Scarlett said.
She admitted, however, that she enjoys the glitzy lifestyle the career affords her.
'But, the actual reality is that acting is very lucrative, and most of the time I can go to a restaurant without a reservation. That is the biggest perk.'
While the tone of the shoot was decidedly fun and spunky, the star managed to get serious about her acting career in the interview.
Truth teller: If acting paid her next to nothing, Scarlett said she would still happily do the job
Opening up: The 34-year-old was candid about the good and the bad in her industry
She recalled a particularly tough time with director Jonathan Glazer while shooting Under the Skin where she was distraught about his behavior.
'[My] character was wet all the time because I spent a big portion of the film outside and it was raining and snowing,' she explained. 'In between takes the costume director would give me a warming jacket because I'm sure she saw I was turning blue.'
Glazer instructed the the costume director to stop giving her the creature comfort.
'I remember looking at Jonathan and shooting him daggers with my eyes while thinking, I'm going to kill you,' she laughed.
Rough times: Director Jonathan Glazer once instructed the the costume director to stop Scarlett a warm jacket in between takes to make sure she was feeling the cold
'If I wanted to decide to be wet and cold in order to feel wet and cold I'll make that choice myself, you know? But, sometimes directors imagine that they can do something like that.'
'I know how to pretend that I'm cold. I can pretend that I can't feel my feet or toes,' the actress continued. 'If I wanted to decide to be wet and cold in order to feel wet and cold I'll make that choice myself, you know? But, sometimes directors imagine that they can do something like that.'
The Tony winner noted that the landscape in her industry has changed quite a bit since she began as a child actor.
Recently Scarlett not-so-gracefully bowed out of an upcoming project as a trans character following significant backlash that the role wasn't given to a trans actor.
At first the star dug in her heels and refused to give up the role but in time, the pressure got so intense that she relinquished the role.
Drama: Recently Scarlett not-so-gracefully bowed out of an upcoming project as a trans character following significant backlash that the role wasn't given to a trans actor.
Touchy topic: She addressed was she called the 'political correctness' in casting without directly mentioning her controversial casting in Rub & Tug
She addressed was she called the 'political correctness' in casting without directly mentioning her controversial casting in Rub & Tug.
'You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job,' she said point blank.
She continued: 'I feel like it's a trend in my business and it needs to happen for various social reasons, yet there are times it does get uncomfortable when it affects the art because I feel art should be free of restrictions.'
'I think society would be more connected if we just allowed others to have their own feelings and not expect everyone to feel the way we do.'
'You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job,' she said point blank.
'I feel like it's a trend in my business and it needs to happen for various social reasons, yet there are times it does get uncomfortable when it affects the art because I feel art should be free of restrictions.'
The star, who has been in the industry for much of her life, went on to explain that as someone in front of the camera, she rarely ends up with the movie she thought she was making.
The end product that hits theaters is 'usually different from the movie I thought I was making. It's very rare that it's what I thought I was making. Sometimes it's devastating, and sometimes it's a pleasant surprise.'
Additionally, how she approaches a role or character is often different than how viewers interpret it.
Referring to one of her most famous roles in Lost in Translation, she said that most people think it's about a stranger in a strange land.
Always a surprise: The star, who has been in the industry for much of her life, went on to explain that as someone in front of the camera, she rarely ends up with the movie she thought she was making
'To me, Lost in Translation was so specific to a young woman experiencing her loss of innocence, and her profound relationship with a stranger made the experience transformative.
'To me, the film was so much more about the relationship the between my character and Bill Murray's character than being in a foreign land.
'The fact that she was in a place alien to her made it possible for her to get a perspective on her life that she wouldn't have had in her own familiar surroundings and being suffocated by the expectations of those around her.
'To me, Lost in Translation was so specific to a young woman experiencing her loss of innocence, and her profound relationship with a stranger made the experience transformative.'
'The opportunity to collaborate with the immensely talented actress Scarlett Johansson and celebrated post-modern artist David Salle elevated the standard celebrity shoot into an extraordinary creative partnership,' said Editor in Chief of As If Magazine & Photographer Tatijana Shoan.
'Scarlett's enthusiasm to embark on this unique project directed by David's incomparable vision made my job as photographer a coveted one!
'The result is a spellbinding art-meets-fashion editorial depicting Scarlett living within Salle's paintings, which further culminated into limited-edition, collectible must-have dresses destined to become future museum pieces.
Opinion | Scaling Wokeback Mountain - The New York Times
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 04:26
Maureen Dowd
July 13, 2019 Image Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could become Republicans' not-so-secret weapon in 2020. Credit Credit Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times WASHINGTON '-- I was feeling on edge. Writing a column that sparks an internecine fight among the highest-profile women in the Democratic Party is nerve wracking.
So I went to the gym. Alex Toussaint, the digital Peloton instructor inside the little screen on my spinning bike, had some wisdom for me '-- the kind of New Age bromide dispensed in spin classes everywhere:
You climb the mountain to see the world. You don't climb the mountain so the world can see you.
I only wished A.O.C. was cycling alongside me to hear it as well.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ensorcelled me from the start. I loved the bartender-makes-good Cinderella story, the shake-up-the-capital idealistic dreams, the bravado about how the plutocrat president from Queens wouldn't know how to deal with a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx.
And I imagined the most potent feminist partnership in American history: Nancy Pelosi as sensei, bringing her inside game, and A.O.C., the Karate Kid with a wicked Twitter game.
But instead, the 79-year-old speaker and the 29-year-old freshman are trapped in a generational and ideological tangle that poses a real threat to the Democrats' ability to beat Donald Trump next year.
Pelosi told me, after the A.O.C. Squad voted against the House's version of the border bill and trashed the moderates '-- the very people who provided the Democrats the majority '-- that the Squad was four people with four votes. She was talking about a legislative reality. If it was a knock, it was for abandoning the party.
That did not merit A.O.C.'s outrageous accusation that Pelosi was targeting ''newly elected women of color.'' She slimed the speaker, who has spent her life fighting for the downtrodden and who was instrumental in getting the first African-American president elected and passing his agenda against all odds, as a sexist and a racist.
A.O.C. should consider the possibility that people who disagree with her do not disagree with her color.
The young lawmaker went further, implying that the speaker was putting the Squad in danger, asking why Pelosi would criticize them, ''knowing the amount of death threats'' and attention they get. Huh?
A.O.C. pulled back and said she wasn't calling Pelosi a racist. But once you start that ball rolling, it's hard to stop. (You know how topsy-turvy the fight is when the biggest defenders of Pelosi, who has endured being a caricature of extreme liberalism for decades, are Trump and the Wall Street Journal editorial board.)
The A.O.C. crew threw down the gauntlet in a recent opinion piece in The Washington Post by The Intercept's Ryan Grim. He wrote that when Pelosi and other Democratic mandarins try to keep the image of the party centrist, they are crouching in ''the defensive posture'' they've been in since the Reagan revolution.
Corbin Trent, a spokesman for A.O.C. and co-founder of Justice Democrats, the progressive group that helped propel her, told Grim: ''The greatest threat to mankind is the cowardice of the Democratic Party,'' with the older generation ''driven by fear'' and ''unable to lead.''
Message: Pelosi is past her prime.
Except she's not.
And then there's the real instigator, Saikat Chakrabarti, A.O.C.'s 33-year-old chief of staff, who co-founded Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, both of which recruited progressives '-- including A.O.C. '-- to run against moderates in Democratic primaries. The former Silicon Valley Bernie Bro assumed he could apply Facebook's mantra, ''Move fast and break things,'' to one of the oldest institutions in the country.
But Congress is not a place where you achieve radical progress '-- certainly not in divided government. It's a place where you work at it and work at it and don't get everything you want.
The progressives act as though anyone who dares disagree with them is bad. Not wrong, but bad, guilty of some human failing, some impurity that is a moral evil that justifies their venom.
Chakrabarti sent shock waves through the Democratic caucus when he posted a tweet about the border bill comparing moderate and Blue Dog Democrats '-- some of whom are black '-- to Southern segregationists in the '40s.
Rahm Emanuel told me Chakrabarti is ''a snot-nosed punk'' who has no idea about the battle scars Pelosi bears from the liberal fights she has led.
''What votes did you get?'' Emanuel said, rhetorically challenging A.O.C.'s chief of staff. ''You should only be so lucky to learn from somebody like Nancy who has shown incredible courage and who has twice returned the Democratic Party to power.
''We fought for years to create the majorities to get a Democratic president elected and re-elected, and they're going to dither it away. They have not decided what's more important: Do they want to beat Trump or do they want to clear the moderate and centrists out of the party? You really think weakening the speaker is the right strategy to try to get rid of Donald Trump and everything he stands for?''
In the age of Trump, there is no more stupid proposition than that Nancy Pelosi is the problem. If A.O.C. and her Pygmalions and acolytes decide that burning down the House is more important than deposing Trump, they will be left with a racist backward president and the emotional satisfaction of their own purity.
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Puerto Rico
sit-rep from BOTG
Hi Adam/John
I follow your
podcast for some time. You are doing a
very good job.
I'm writing to
give you some information about the political situation in Puerto Rico.
You might find
it interesting for the show.
As you know,
Puerto Rico is a territory of the US, basically a colony.
The current
governor is a democrat and right now (I meant Right NOW))
it's in the
middle of a huge scandal.
Don't know if
people on the mainland are aware of it given that not all the
mayor news services
covers the issues here.
Here is that I
In a summary,
there was a leak (889 pages) of a private Telegram chat between the governor
and his top
advisors and lobbyist. In the chat, the governor makes indecent remarks about
LGBT people, and
the general population of the island.
This, combined with Federal arrest made this week for
charges against 2 of the government's top officials has generate very load
cried for the
governor to
resign. About, half of the top
government officials have resigned on the last couple of hours.
It's a real
mess. We are only waiting to hear
Trumps comments on
the matter.
In my opinion,
Puerto Rico is a prime example of what happens when you govern a country using
the Democratic
Theories. Here everything gravitates
around a big government and the people are
used to the
government taking care of them. On top of
that, the government is full of corruption
(according to
the FBI).
On another
comment: I hear on your show something
about the "war on cash". I'm
on your side on that issue.
About 2 years
ago we suffered a huge hurricane that destroyed basically all the internet and
utilities in the
island. Great parts of the island were without
electricity, potable water and internet service for several
After the
hurricane, there where no working banks,
no ATM machines, no food stamps services.
It was a real
crisis. People ran out of cash and had
no way to buy food or fuel. When, a
couple of weeks
after the storm,
the first ATMs started working, the lines were several blocks long. SO, if you did not had
enough cash on
hand to survive a couple of weeks, you were on big trouble.
The lesson here:
electronic payments are a convenience but you cannot depend on them.
Any government,
counting solely on electronic cash is a fool.
Hope this helps.
Antonio Dueño
My English is a
little bit rusty so forgive any grammatical errors.
Disclosed chat contents spark widespread condemnation of Puerto Rico governor | El Nuevo D­a
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 00:48
Following the Saturday morning leak of a 889-page group chat between Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rossell" and some of his closest collaborators, reactions have been swift among the island's political class, with opposition leaders and fellow members of the New Progressive Party (NPP) almost universally condemning the contents of the explosive document and calling for Rossell"'s resignation or ''re-evaluation'' of his position as governor.
The document '--which details conversations made through the messaging app Telegram from late 2018 to January 20 of this year'-- is filled with profanity-laced, misogynistic, homophobic, and sexual comments from Rossell" and other members of the group attacking opposition leaders, fellow party members, journalists and activist groups. The conversation also reveals efforts to manipulate public perception of the administration through public polls and a so-called ''troll network'' on social media.
As a result of the controversy, the government's chief financial officer and the local government's representative at the Fiscal Oversight Board, Christian Sobrino, resigned from all government positions on Saturday afternoon. Sobrino was the source of some of the most damning remarks in the chat group document, including making light of the crisis at the state-run forensics center, where a lack of resources has resulted in a months-long backlog of bodies at the facility.
Later in the day, Rossell"announced the firing of all of the participants in the chat from their respective government positions, with the exception of his chief of staff, Ricardo Llerandi, and Fortaleza public affairs secretary Anthony Maceira. State secretary and interim governor Luis Gerardo Rivera Mar­n also stepped down from his position.
Among those censuring the governor was resident commissioner in Washington and Rossell"'s running mate in the 2016 elections, Jenniffer Gonzlez, who remarked that Rossell" should not run for reelection in 2020 in light of the scandal. ''He should reflect deeply about his role as governor'', Gonzlez said, adding that she canceled a contract that her office had with Carlos Bermºdez, a public relations executive who, apart from being her long-time press relations officer, also participated in the chat. Later, Bermºdez also resigned from his position as advisor to the governor.
Senate president Thomas Rivera Schatz and House speaker Carlos ''Johnny'' M(C)ndez, both from the NPP, also criticized the governor and the rest of the chat's participants, which among others included former Rossell" gubernatorial campaign manager El­as Snchez, chief of staff Ricardo Llerandi, and Edwin Miranda, a publicist and owner of KOI, a local advertising firm with close ties to the Rossell" administration.
In a social media post, Rivera Schatz, who was the target of insults in the chat, among many others, called for the resignation of all of its participants. ''They must go,'' he wrote, although he had accepted Rossell"'s apology regarding the controversy on Friday. ''The contents expressed (in the chat) do not represent my party or our people.'' Meanwhile, M(C)ndez, who was also the subject of insults in the chat, said he would no longer support Rossell" and added that the governor ''should immediately reevaluate his role and do what's best for Puerto Rico.''
Some of the harshest words came from Popular Democratic Party (PPD) senator Eduardo Bhatia, who was the subject of homophobic remarks throughout the chat. ''There's no name (that can describe) you or the pack of charlatans who crave power, but don't govern,'' Bhatia said, adding, ''it is evident that they are cowards, mercenaries and people of the lowest order. They use power to destroy families and reputations. That is illegal, immoral and a betrayal of everyone to their positions and to Puerto Rico.''
In remarks directed straight at Rossell", Bhatia went on. ''Resign and end this embarrassment in which you have put Puerto Rico on the international stage, where we are singled out as corrupt thanks to your actions and those of your mafia.''
The rest of the local political figures who have expressed deep disapproval of the chat's contents during the past few days include San Juan mayor Carmen Yul­n Cruz, Puerto Rico Independence Party Senator Juan Dalmau, NPP senators Zo(C)Laboy and Evelyn Vzquez, among many others, while stateside, U.S. Representative and chair on the Natural Resources Committee in the House, Raºl Grijalva, has also called for Rossell"'s resignation.
Puerto Rico Government on the Brink of Collapse [SerIOUSs Vanity]
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 04:27
Skip to comments.
Puerto Rico Government on the Brink of Collapse [SerIOUSs Vanity] 7/13/2019Posted on 07/13/2019 7:23:39 PM PDT by cll
After a week of criminal corruption indictments and a bizarre leak of the Governor's inner circle private chat channel, an unprecedented collapse of the island government is unfolding at this moment.
The Puerto Rico Mayors Federation, a group that organizes the island mayors belonging to the governing New Progressive Party, has given a vote of no confidence to the government of Ricardo Rossello. Municipal mayors constitute the base of power for any island wide office holder, and this withdrawal of endorsement signifies the end of Rossello's political viability.
Rossello has fired everyone involved in the now infamous Telegram app chat that has been leaked over the past week, a chat that exposed the administration's executive core most intimate beliefs, but so far he has refused to step down from office.
We doubt he will survive the weekend in power. Since he has fired his second in command and next in line for the governorship, the Puerto Rico Secretary of State - Luis G. Rivera-Marin, it looks like the Secretary of Justice will have to take over the government.
More news as events warrant.
TOPICS: Government ; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: chat ; nolink ; puertorico ; vanity To: FReepers, Patriots:
Dear FRiends, Your donations are our sole source of funding. We depend upon your financial support to keep FR on the air. No sugar daddies, no advertisers, no paid memberships, no commercial sales, no gimmicks, no tax subsidies. If you love using FR and agree it's a worthwhile endeavor, please help us keep it fundedby making a donation today . Make it a monthly if you can.
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Jim Robinson
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.first 1-20, 21-40, 41-45 next last This is all over local Spanish language media and has really not broken into the mainland MSM yet, hence, the vanity from a local source.
1posted on
07/13/2019 7:23:39 PM PDT by
cllTo: rrstar96; AuH2ORepublican; livius; adorno; wtc911; Willie Green; CGVet58; Clemenza; Narcoleptic; ...
Puerto Rico Ping! Please Freepmail me if you want on or off the list.
2posted on
07/13/2019 7:25:29 PM PDT by
We should cut Puerto Rico loose.
3posted on
07/13/2019 7:26:52 PM PDT by
Lurkinanloomin(Natural Born Citizen Means Born Here Of Citizen Parents_Know Islam, No Peace-No Islam, Know Peace)
To: cll
Transfer PR to Spain to replace Catalonia...
4posted on
07/13/2019 7:27:52 PM PDT by
Paladin2To: cll
Thank God they aren't a state.
I'd say take them down a notch from their current status.
5posted on
07/13/2019 7:28:02 PM PDT by
Secret Agent Man(Gone Galt; Not Averse to Going Bronson.)
To: Secret Agent Man
Why the Hell are they a territory anyway? Did McKinley lose a bet?
6posted on
07/13/2019 7:30:27 PM PDT by
Extremely Extreme Extremist(Isn't it funny that the very people who scream "My body, my choice" wants a say in your healthcare?)
To: cll
an unprecedented collapse of the island government is unfolding at this moment. Still? Or again?
7posted on
07/13/2019 7:31:13 PM PDT by
libertylover(Democrats hated Lincoln too.)
To: cll
It's no wonder if they have a bunch of AOC's running the place.
8posted on
07/13/2019 7:32:57 PM PDT by
Bonemaker(invictus maneo)
To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
Well its probably a buffer thing. You want it being an non-friendlies territory that close to us? We took it from Spain for winning the Spanish-American war.
9posted on
07/13/2019 7:34:37 PM PDT by
Secret Agent Man(Gone Galt; Not Averse to Going Bronson.)
To: Secret Agent Man
You want it being an non-friendlies territory that close to us? Umm, have you ever heard of Cuba? It's actually closer to us than PR.
10posted on
07/13/2019 7:38:12 PM PDT by
Extremely Extreme Extremist(Isn't it funny that the very people who scream "My body, my choice" wants a say in your healthcare?)
To: Secret Agent Man
You want it being an non-friendlies territory that close to us?,<>Why not. We give them billions and they're nasty. We need to give them to Venezuela.
11posted on
07/13/2019 7:39:30 PM PDT by
ladyjaneTo: Secret Agent Man
Great idea. Give Puero Rico to England. Prince Andrew could be their governor. LOL
12posted on
07/13/2019 7:40:28 PM PDT by
ladyjaneTo: cll
This is real news '-- not a vanity. No need to apologize.
Thanks for the heads up.
Can you summarize the gist of the chat messages and what it means?
To: cll
Any word on San Juan mayor Carmen Yul­n Cruz?
To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
It was a friendly before castro.
And we did have to stop nukes being placed there.
15posted on
07/13/2019 7:41:57 PM PDT by
Secret Agent Man(Gone Galt; Not Averse to Going Bronson.)
To: cll
PR is always on the brink.
16posted on
07/13/2019 7:42:43 PM PDT by
VeniVidiVici(truckingtruth.com sucks. And lies.)
To: cll
"bizarre leak of the Governor's inner circle private chat channel"
Could you leak that to FR? No speak espanol.
17posted on
07/13/2019 7:43:17 PM PDT by
Deaf Smith(When a Texan takes his chances, chances will be taken that's fore sure)
To: cll
PR is lovely with awesome countryside. Also wonderful people. Don't judge by corrupt politicians and few bad apples.
18posted on
07/13/2019 7:43:22 PM PDT by
RaycpaTo: Secret Agent Man
We won? Then how dis WE end up with it?
19posted on
07/13/2019 7:43:41 PM PDT by
Eagles6To: cll
Thank you for posting the update on the what's happening there. Appreciate the knowledge.
20posted on
07/13/2019 7:44:04 PM PDT by
rockinqsranch(Dems, Libs, Socialists call 'em what you will they all have fairies livin' in their trees.)
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.first 1-20, 21-40, 41-45 next last Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson
Pete Buttigieg's Life in the Closet - The New York Times
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 11:26
The closet that Pete Buttigieg built for himself in the late 1990s and 2000s was a lot like the ones that other gay men of his age and ambition hid inside. He dated women, deepened his voice and furtively looked at MySpace and Friendster profiles of guys who had come out '-- all while wondering when it might be safe for him to do so too.
Chris Pappas, who was two years ahead of Mr. Buttigieg at Harvard and is now a Democratic congressman from New Hampshire, said he arrived at college ''pretty much convinced that I couldn't have a career or pursue politics as an L.G.B.T. individual.'' Jonathan Darman, who was one class ahead of Mr. Buttigieg, remembered how people often reacted to a politician's coming out then: ''It wasn't a story of love but of acknowledging illicit desire.'' And Amit Paley, who graduated in Mr. Buttigieg's class, recalled that ''it was still a time where vocalizing anti-gay sentiments was not only common, but I think pretty accepted.''
The thought that 15 years later someone they might have shared a dorm or sat in a lecture hall with would become the first serious openly gay candidate for president of the United States never crossed their minds. But no one would have found the possibility more implausible than the young man everyone on campus knew as Peter.
Mr. Buttigieg, now the mayor of South Bend, Ind., struggled for a decade after leaving Harvard to overcome the fear that being gay was ''a career death sentence,'' as he put it in his memoir.
Many in his generation and in his college class decided to come out as young adults, whether they were confident they would be accepted or not, and had their 20s to navigate being open about their identity '-- a process that helped make Americans more aware and accepting of their gay friends, family members and co-workers. Instead, Mr. Buttigieg spent those years trying to reconcile his private life with his aspirations for a high-profile career in public service.
Attitudes toward gay rights changed immensely during that period, though he acknowledges that he was not always able or willing to see what broader social and legal shifts meant for him personally.
''Because I was wrestling with this, I'm not sure I fully processed the idea that it related to me,'' he said in an interview.
More than most people his age '-- even more than most of the ambitious young men and women he competed against at Harvard '-- he possessed a remarkably strong drive for perfection. He went on to become a Rhodes scholar, work on a presidential campaign, join the military and be elected mayor all before he turned 30. After being deployed with the Navy to Afghanistan in 2014, he said he realized he could die having never been in love, and he resolved to change that. He finally came out in 2015, when he was 33.
'Someone Who Would Run for President'He took a longer journey than his peers did, he has said, because of the inner turmoil he experienced over whether in fact he wanted to be known as the ''gay'' politician.
His record of accomplishment during those years in the closet is impossible to separate from the isolation and anxiety he felt as he weighed the cost of telling his family, friends and constituents who he really was. Pursuing so many goals had two outcomes, intentionally or not: It distracted his busy brain from a reality he wasn't ready to face, and provided him the armor of a life experience that would make his sexual orientation just one of a litany of attributes.
''Peter struck me very early on, at 18 or 19, as someone who would run for president regardless,'' said Randall Winston, a close friend of Mr. Buttigieg's from college. Over beers and Chinese food, Mr. Winston said, they spent late nights on campus talking about the right and wrong reasons for getting into politics. ''If you want to be a political leader, why?'' he recalled. ''Is it about yourself? Is it really about the good of the nation? I think he was asking himself those questions from the jump.''
Mr. Buttigieg said in the interview that if he had been interested in a career other than politics, he would have found the decision to come out much easier. ''The arts is one where you could have jumped in there in the 2000s, and it would have been sort of incidental,'' he said. ''Whereas something like finance, it was getting there. And in politics it would have been completely defining.''
Few experiences in his young adulthood were as formative in shaping his identity as the hypercompetitive environment he encountered at Harvard. Even liberal Cambridge, where meeting a gay student or professor would have been fairly unremarkable, did not always nurture the sense of confidence that he and many of his gay classmates felt they needed to be themselves. At times their surroundings seemed to do just the opposite.
Image Mr. Buttigieg, right, with friends at the John Adams estate in Quincy, Mass., in 2002.In interviews with a dozen of Mr. Buttigieg's friends and classmates, people described a culture in which a mix of abundant ambition and youthful insecurity made students carefully attuned to the way they presented themselves to others.
Mr. Winston recalled the dual pressures of having high expectations for yourself while also being aware '-- sometimes realistically, sometimes not '-- that your classmates and professors had their own ideas about who you were too.
''I don't want to say it's all artifice '-- a lot of this is just common to growing up,'' he said. But the culture at Harvard, he added, caused a lot of students to think, '''O.K., I'm going to maintain this aura, this impression I'm giving to others.'''
A Life His Teenage Self Wouldn't BelieveDescribing the insecurities he felt as a young man, Mr. Buttigieg has said he sometimes marvels at how differently the world treats him today compared with what he expected when he was too afraid to come out. On the day he kicked off his presidential campaign, he said he had imagined what he would say to his teenage self. ''To tell him that on that day he announces his campaign for president, he'll do it with his husband looking on,'' he said with a note of disbelief in his voice. ''Would he believe me?''
Mr. Buttigieg took a long and fraught path from life as an undergraduate who once had a girlfriend to a presidential candidate who travels the country with his husband in tow. While he was still in the closet, the country became a different place very quickly. And to understand Mr. Buttigieg's journey is to understand the microgeneration in which he came of age.
Image A vigil for Matthew Shepard in 1998. Credit Evan Agostini/Getty Images When members of the Harvard class of 2004 were juniors in high school, Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay man from Wyoming, was bludgeoned, tied to a fence post and left to die in a murder that shocked the nation's conscience. By the time they shipped off to Cambridge, few would have any gay friends '-- at least ones who were open about it. And the idea of a man marrying another man, or a woman marrying another woman, seemed almost absurd. The closest thing gay men and lesbians had to marriage was a civil union, which in 2000 was legal in exactly one state: Vermont.
''Gay marriage was not this obvious liberal no-brainer,'' said Mr. Darman, a journalist and historian who came out in his senior year of college, 12 years before Mr. Buttigieg would. While Harvard was certainly a liberal bubble, it was still in many ways very socially conventional in the early 2000s, he said. ''In a lot of social settings at Harvard in that period, the default assumption was that you were straight. And that would not have been true even five years later.''
Friends and classmates remembered Mr. Buttigieg as thoughtful and clearly on a trajectory that would bring him success of some kind, even if it dawned on few of them that might mean the White House.
One thing no one seemed to peg him for was someone wrestling with being gay. He was so discreet that many of his friends and classmates said in interviews that they never would have guessed he was hiding anything until he told them. He left the testosterone-fueled campus sex banter to others. Hegel and de Tocqueville were more to his conversational tastes.
''His sexuality didn't present as a really big thing in his life,'' said Joe Flood, a classmate. ''I think he always thought about himself politically,'' he added, noting that Mr. Buttigieg would become active in the university's Institute of Politics, an organization at the Kennedy School of Government that hosted big-name politicians like Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Howard Dean during their time in school. ''You don't end up there accidentally,'' Mr. Flood said.
By the beginning of his sophomore year, Mr. Buttigieg had been elected to lead one of the institute's committees. When he was a junior, he was elected as its president. His platform, in part, called for strengthening the community of politically minded students by having gatherings to watch ''The West Wing.'' He wrote for The Crimson under the byline Peter P.M. Buttigieg and covered subjects as disparate as Dave Matthews and Yeats. For fun, he and his friends sometimes indulged themselves with less-than-puerile pursuits like a day trip to the birthplace of John Adams.
There was a small, close-knit social circle of L.G.B.T.Q. students. But they existed a world apart from Mr. Buttigieg's Harvard.
''We were definitely on opposite ends of the gay spectrum '-- he was closeted and I was literally the campus drag queen, Miss Harvard 2002,'' said William Lee Adams, who graduated in Mr. Buttigieg's class and is now a broadcaster at the BBC World Service in London. Mr. Adams started coming out at age 12. Arriving at Harvard from his home in Georgia, he said, was like ''fleeing the desert.'' The two were not friends, though Mr. Adams did recall his classmate as ''sweet but rather serious.''
At the time, Mr. Adams said he was somewhat resentful of his peers who kept their identities hidden, having been bullied at school while he was growing up. Now, however, he is far more sympathetic because he better understands how personal it is to come out. ''I felt a great sense of freedom at Harvard that I had never felt before because I could be out and not have food thrown at me,'' he said. ''Whereas Pete must have felt trapped, like he was in a straitjacket.''
Mr. Flood, who wrote for The Crimson and knew Mr. Buttigieg as a friend, said that someone who worked so hard and thought so intensely about his future had to feel frustrated as he realized there was this immutable aspect of his life he was helpless to change.
''It's like the one thing he couldn't control about who he was and how he was going to present and how he was going to do all these things,'' he said.
Image A couple celebrated after applying for a marriage license in Boston after Massachusetts legalized same-sex unions in May 2004. Credit Ruth Fremson/ The New York Times But when Mr. Buttigieg and his peers left college and started embarking on their professional lives, the country was changing in significant ways, jolting their sense of what it could mean to be openly gay and have a high-profile career.
One of the biggest developments was right in Harvard's backyard. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state where same-sex couples could marry. Students flocked to Cambridge City Hall in the early-morning hours on May 17 to watch the first couples wed at 12:01 a.m. '-- the earliest moment possible under the new law. Mr. Buttigieg remembers the occasion but was not there. ''I don't remember feeling that connected to it actually,'' he said.
Soon states from Iowa to Maine would start allowing same-sex couples to marry. Then Congress would repeal the military's ''don't ask, don't tell'' ban on serving openly as gay or lesbian. And the Supreme Court would declare the rights of gay men and lesbians to have their relationships recognized by the state, first in 2013 when it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor, and then again in the 2015 decision that guaranteed same-sex marriage as a right protected by the Constitution in Obergefell v. Hodges.
In 2004, when Mr. Buttigieg's class graduated, public opinion polls showed that roughly one-third of Americans favored allowing same-sex couples to marry. A decade later it was more than half the country and rising.
Image Rainbow lights illuminated the White House in June 2015, after the Supreme Court decided that same-sex marriage was a right protected by the Constitution. Credit Zach Gibson/The New York Times Many closeted people found their plight more difficult during the early years of social and legal change, as they wrestled with whether to finally open up after years of trying to maintain an impression of themselves that was false.
Mr. Paley, who was Mr. Buttigieg's college classmate, remembers sitting in his dorm room in 2003 as a closeted junior and crying as he read Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's opinion in the landmark case Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down bans on intimacy between homosexuals on grounds that such laws were an affront to their dignity. ''That helped me realize I can't live my life this way,'' he said of hiding his sexual orientation. It took Mr. Paley until the end of his senior year to fully come out, and he now serves as chief executive of the Trevor Project, an organization that works to advance the rights of L.G.B.T.Q. youth.
Mr. Pappas, the congressman from New Hampshire, ran his first race for state legislature in 2002 as an openly gay candidate and won. ''It's an important facet of who I am,'' he said. ''And I think over time I realized how powerful it was that I share that with more and more people.''
He said he ran as an out candidate in that first race because he saw no point in turning back after he came out in college. And after hearing from people who told him how encouraging it was to see him as an openly gay man in politics, Mr. Pappas realized he had made the right choice regardless of the political implications. ''I don't think I fully appreciated that at first,'' he said.
Being Gay Is 'Not the Only Part' After he graduated, Mr. Buttigieg went to work for John Kerry's presidential campaign in Arizona and quickly immersed himself in the job. Mara Lee, who worked with him at the time and remains a friend, remembered meeting her co-worker for the first time: ''Here's this guy who's doing a million things at once. He has seven or eight TVs on to monitor the local and national news. He's introducing himself to me '-- being genuine '-- and having a conversation while typing.'' She remembers two computer screens on his desk.
Once he came out, she said that being gay was never the first thing he wanted people to see when they met him '-- a veteran, Rhodes scholar, polyglot who was first elected mayor of South Bend when he was 29. ''While it's an important part of who he is, it's not the only part,'' she said.
When he first ran for mayor in 2011 and won, he was closeted. A local gay rights group did not initially endorse him in that race, opting instead for a candidate with a more established track record on the issues. Mr. Buttigieg endured some awkward moments, like signing a city law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in 2012. To not think about how the law directly affected him, he acknowledged, ''took a little compartmentalization.''
Image Mr. Buttigieg's husband, Chasten, regularly accompanies him on the campaign trail. Credit Bridget Bennett for The New York Times His employees and constituents saw an eligible bachelor in their young mayor and wanted to set him up with their daughters. Some on his staff even joked about his old light green Ford Taurus as a ''chick magnet.'' He did not bother to correct them.
When he did come out in the summer of 2015, the forum he chose was an op-ed for The South Bend Tribune. ''It took years of struggle and growth for me to recognize that it's just a fact of life, like having brown hair, and part of who I am,'' he wrote.
He may have waited far longer than most young gay men today. But ever the overachiever, he made record time in setting a new bar. In less than four years he went from being single and closeted to being married and out as a gay candidate for president.
Jeremy W. Peters covers national politics in the Washington bureau. His other assignments in his decade at The Times have included covering the financial markets, the media, New York politics and two presidential campaigns. @ jwpetersNYT ' Facebook
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Ex-Fox & Friends co-host leaves country amid fraud allegations
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 05:21
Attorney Jynell Berkshire says her clients feel they were scammed by former "Fox & Friends" host Clayton Morris. Mykal McEldowney, IndyStar
Ex-Fox & Friends co-host Clayton Morris has left the country amid more than two dozen lawsuits from investors who say he defrauded them in real estate deals involving properties in Indianapolis.
Morris, who previously resided in a $1.4 million home in New Jersey, has moved with his family to a coastal resort town Portugal, according to his wife's Facebook post.
In an email to IndyStar, Morris's wife and business partner, former MSNBC anchor Natali Morris, said they plan to continue fighting the lawsuits from abroad. They have denied responsibility for investor losses, instead blaming their Indianapolis business partner Bert Whalen and his company, Oceanpointe.
Accusations of fraud: Investors say ex-'Fox & Friends' host turned them into unwitting slumlords
Tenants suffer: Renters lived 'horrible.' Morris business partner lived large. The government helped.
"We have and continued to take responsibility for all of our legal challenges that came from our relationship with Oceanpointe. We have answered all of our attorney general requests in all states. We have answered all lawsuits," Natali Morris said.
"We have not run from anything," she added. "We continue to show up for this until the last lawsuit is dismissed and it is clear that we neither had the money from Oceanpointe investors nor did we defraud anyone."
But investors and their attorneys expressed concern about the move. They worry it could make it more difficult to serve Morris with legal notices and could complicate efforts to retrieve any damages if a judge finds in their favor.
"In my clients' opinion, innocent people don't flee the country," said Jynell Berkshire, an Indianapolis real estate attorney who is representing several investors.
Clayton Morris left 'Fox & Friends' in 2017. (Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images)
No criminal charges have been brought against Morris or Whalen. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in Indiana and New Jersey declined to confirm or deny any investigation.
In a lengthy post Thursday on her website, Natali Morris said the legal problems, animosity from investors and negative news coverage drove the family's decision to leave the country.
"I am not one of those who rejects America," she wrote. "We had a good life there. But my husband and I have had a hard few years in our business and this collective soul challenge forced us to question everything."
She said her husband was unfairly blamed because of his "residual 'fame' from his former career as a news anchor."
"But America is polarized and if you can write a headline about a Fox News guy doing something wrong, it will get clicked on in order to reinforce people's conviction bias, one way or another," she wrote.
She said her husband has taken accusations and media coverage particularly hard.
"Watching him endure this has felt like what I would imagine it is like to watch him endure chemotherapy," she said. "I wish I could take it from him. I wish I could fix it. I wish it were me instead. I carry a pain with me knowing that he is in pain and it is with me always. His health began to suffer. He began to withdraw emotionally and it was hard on our family. We both knew that we had to make a change if we wanted to survive."
IndyStar reported in March that investors were accusing Morris of running a Ponzi scheme with Whalen's help. Together they sold at least 700 homes in some of Indianapolis's most troubled neighborhoods.
Investors suing Morris '-- mostly out-of-state real estate novices '-- claim he sold them houses with a promise to rehab them, find tenants and manage the properties. All they had to do, according to a video on his popular YouTube channel, was sit back and collect the rent checks.
But those rehabs didn't happen or were superficial, the investors claim. They accuse Morris and Whalen of covering their tracks by providing fake leases and sending rent checks even though the properties were vacant. Many of the investors say they only discovered the truth when they began receiving code violations and condemnation notices from the city.
Buy Photo California investor Danny Gomes discovered that the property he bought at 1509 Asbury St. in Indianapolis actually had burned four days before the sale closed. Gomes had bought the property by dipping into his retirement funds. photos by Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar1509 Asbury Street in Indianapolis on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Photo: Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar)
Some investors say the scheme turned them into unwitting slumlords. An IndyStar investigation published last month found tenants who said they suffered through dangerous and disgusting conditions in properties bought, sold or managed by Whalen's companies.
Morris has denied the fraud allegations, saying he merely referred investors to Whalen. He claimed he was not responsible for managing the properties and has said he was sickened to learn of tenants living in abject conditions.
Whalen has also denied any wrongdoing.
Jennifer Drobac, a professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, said moving out of the U.S. does not absolve a defendant in a lawsuit of their legal responsibility.
But it also is true that Morris does not have to return to the country to defend himself if he has an attorney here representing him.
However, if he simply tried to ignore a lawsuit and not engage local counsel, she said the plaintiff could win a default judgment against him.
And because these are civil cases, rather than criminal, a court would not take action to extradite a defendant to bring them to trial.
Contact Tim Evans at 317-444-6204 or tim.evans@indystar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @starwatchtim.
Contact IndyStar reporter Tony Cook at 317-444-6081 or tony.cook@indystar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @IndyStarTony.
Read or Share this story: https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2019/07/12/ex-fox-friends-host-clayton-morris-leaves-country-for-portugal-amid-fraud-allegations/1705521001/
Out of Office Reply - Natali Morris
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 05:18
Last month my family and I moved abroad. We have many reasons for this but the other day at our visa application appointment, I realized that the main motivation was the same thing that has pushed generations of parents across borders: to seek a better life for their family.
I am not one of those who rejects America. We had a good life there. But my husband and I have had a hard few years in our business and this has forced us to question everything.
In the spring of 2018 my husband found out that his business associate was stealing from investors and tenants. This person had several other business associates who were also harmed but because my husband had some residual ''fame'' from his former career as a news anchor, he was given a disproportionate amount of blame, particularly in national press. The press omitted details that did not fit their narrative. They knew that other companies and investors had worked with this associate and been similarly harmed but they left them all out. They knew that our business in other markets did not have this problem and they interviewed satisfied investors and partners in those other markets. They left all of this out too. We explained the details here if you care to know more.
But America is polarized and if you can write a headline about a Fox News guy doing something wrong, it will get clicked on in order to reinforce people's conviction bias, one way or another. I've been guilty of clicking on such stories.
I watched my husband endure being called a fraud and a scammer and all manner of vile names. I watched him pose for photos for a story about his worst nightmare coming true for the New York Times. I've watched him exhibit such bravery knowing most men would have crumbled under the weight. I took the photo from the news article and turned it into a journal cover for a Father's Day Gift in order to let him know that I see his courage under cruel and disproportionate fire and I love him more for it. I believe this with all of my being:
But my husband is good, through and through. Watching him go through this has been what I would imagine it would be like to watch him endure chemotherapy. It is poison he doesn't deserve. I wish I could fix it. I wish it were me instead. His health has suffered. He began to withdraw emotionally. Our family suffered under the weight of it all. We both felt that we had to make a drastic change if we wanted to survive.
Last summer we spent a month in Italy. This was planned before we knew we had any problems. This happened to be one of the worst months of this crisis since it was so early on. Harmed investors and dog-pilers on the Web were slinging vitriolic mud at us and it was hurtful and sad because these people were legitimately harmed and scared. They were not our enemies but they wanted blood for their pain and they wanted it from us, even though we never stole from them or even had possession of their money. Ever.
My favorite was from a woman who calls herself a ''Shakti coach'' in her Twitter profile. She and her husband made a habit of calling me a thief and a cunt for weeks. I didn't know Shakti knew the word cunt as an epithet.
While we were abroad, Clayton and I did our best to fortify for the inevitable legal battles that would follow but when it was time to return to America, we both looked at our return tickets and said, ''Newark? Why are we going there?''
Not that New Jersey isn't beautiful, depending on your vantage point. But we have no family in New Jersey. We have no jobs in and around New Jersey. New Jersey is neither of our home states. So why go back to a place that is expensive and crowded, and where we are over-exposed to people who think we are cunts?
This may seem like paranoia but when we first heard from the reporter at the New York Times who wanted to cover this story he said that he knew where we lived. When he followed up a few months ago, he said that he knew which day we had a moving van in front of our house and he was right. Do you have any idea what it feels like to be stalked by a national newspaper like that? I pray you never do. That led to weeks of sleepless nights, double checking the alarm system was armed every hour while my children slept in their beds. No one deserves that, no matter what level of blameless you believe us to be.
We are guilty of inadvertently choosing a bad actor to work with in our business. Some of that may be naivete but more of it is rotten luck. Clayton was not an ignorant entrepreneur. He did a lot of diligence on this business model and he worked his ass off to advocate for his investors. So much of this scheme was simply kept from him. We have answered for this to the attorney general in three states and in several lawsuits. I don't care if you believe it or not. It is my soul challenge to share after all, not yours to judge.
When we realized that this challenge would not be over in a matter of weeks or months, we knew that we wanted to change the energy of where we completed it. We did not want to stay in such a big life in New Jersey. We had two homes, two cars, two very expensive private school tuition payments, and we were paying some of the highest taxes in the country, supporting a dozen employees, and 5-figure-per-month legal bills. It's not that we thought we couldn't keep it up. We no longer wanted to. We asked ourselves: Why make our lives so hard if we don't even really want to be here?
So we pulled a decorative globe off the shelf one night and asked, ''Where would we go if we can go anywhere?'' And then we deleted the hypothetical. ''We can go anywhere. Where do we choose?''
Neither of us have to work for the news and at this point in our lives neither of us want to. When you face a soul challenge and realize you can go anywhere, the more obvious question becomes: Why stay?
We can't run from our legal battles, no matter where we live, nor would we. We have to see this through in a way that we can be proud of and answer for on a soul level. This move is not to run.
It is to heal!
The problem is that the anxiety that I felt in New Jersey being stalked by neighbors and newspapers came with me. I still find it hard to speak to my children without threatening thoughts circulating my brain like a poisonous gas. I still find my husband waking up with panic attacks in the dead of night. We have a lot of trauma to heal from and soul searching to embark upon.
But we are also still broadcasters. We came to these lives to share and we still want to share what we know in order to serve others. What I know now is that even people with financial freedom can be imprisoned and that money does not buy peace. Clayton and I would like to share this journey of living abroad and healing our souls while also still trying to be the most prudent income investors we can possibly be. So if you'd like to join us on this quest for both financial and emotional freedom, I welcome you along! This is the story of a family that suffered a loss of friends and innocence and more goodwill than I care to measure. We crossed a border to change the scenery and learn what is left when you take a beating and then pick yourselves back up.
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VIDEO - VIDEO: Hillary talks like candidate at NY immigration protest - The American MirrorThe American Mirror
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 10:54
Hillary Clinton isn't going to cede the limelight to any 2020 presidential candidates.
The twice-failed candidate joined one of hundreds of protests across the country to complain about the conditions the crushing wave of illegal aliens is facing in detention and processing centers.
Hillary joined Bill and about 50 other liberal elites in Chappaqua, New York on Friday night to slam the Trump administration and the president's immigration policies at a ''Lights For Liberty'' protest.
Lights for Liberty #LightsforLiberty with our most famous residents, the Clintons.
Posted by Kristen Browde on Friday, July 12, 2019
Standing in front of a black ''Resist'' flag featuring a socialist clinched fist, Clinton said, ''This is not about open borders. This is not about saying anybody can come to America for anything at any time,'' about 28 minutes into the event.
''That is not what it's about,'' she insisted, instead claiming, ''We can have secure borders and be a humane nation.''
Sounding like a presidential candidate, Clinton called for more immigration judges and a ''data system'' to be able to track kids who are separated from their parents.
''This is a policy that is infused with cruelty,'' Hillary said. ''It is a cruel, unfeeling, unfair, mean-spirited policy,'' she said of Trump's actions as the crowd applauded.
She criticized the Trump administration for cutting aid to Central American countries, and said we should help them with their ''economic problems.''
She touted her record as Secretary of State, saying the actions she took to help those countries could help now. She condemned the announced ICE raids scheduled to take place this weekend.
''I would end by urging us not to get discouraged,'' she said, adding she's had a lot of ''vicarious trauma'' recently.
''I'm well acquainted with it,'' she admitted.
''The fact that we're all gathered here shows how resilient and flexible we are and we'll take that into the political environment and make sure that in a few years, we will say we will never, ever see this kind of behavior by our government again,'' she concluded.
VIDEO - DONNA WARREN 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "Prostitution and sex with MINOR children covered up by Clinton/Obama State Department. Investigators were told to ''CEASE the INVESTIGATION''. A former investigator complained to Congress the investigations wer
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 05:02
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VIDEO - 45mins - Life and Career of Ross Perot | C-SPAN.org
Sun, 14 Jul 2019 03:11
March 18, 1992 1992-03-18T21:49:32-05:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/488/025050-m.jpg Mr. Perot talked about his life and his views on important issues facing the United States. He also talked about recent efforts to draft him as a presidential candidate, and he described a campaign he might run. He indicated that if individuals working independently were successful in getting him on the ballot in all 50 states, that he would run as an independent candidate for president. He said he would name his vice presidential running mate soon. Mr. Perot is the founder and former CEO of the multi-billion dollar corporation, Electronic Data Systems.Mr. Perot talked about his life and his views on important issues facing the United States. He also talked about recent efforts to draft'... read more
Mr. Perot talked about his life and his views on important issues facing the United States. He also talked about recent efforts to draft him as a presidential candidate, and he described a campaign he might run. He indicated that if individuals working independently were successful in getting him on the ballot in all 50 states, that he would run as an independent candidate for president. He said he would name his vice presidential running mate soon. Mr. Perot is the founder and former CEO of the multi-billion dollar corporation, Electronic Data Systems. close
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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Hosting OrganizationC-SPANC-SPAN SeriesAmerican Profile
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VIDEO - Corey Stewart plans to crack down on illegal immigration | wusa9.com
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 19:08
The man who claimed to be Trump before Trump was Trump, Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart, is pushing for a massive deportation of undocumented immigrants in his county.
He wants the local police department to work with ICE to locate and deport immigrants who have been arrested in the past and released back into the community.
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"On behalf of the Board of Supervisors of Prince William County, I'm requesting the Trump administration to identify, detain and remove the 7,500 criminal illegal aliens that we have handed over to ICE in the past 10 years," said Stewart.
Stewart, a Republican who's running for governor in Virginia, says he's hoping the Trump administration helps the county do this.
But his new proposal harkens back to a dark period when Stewart began cracking down on illegal immigration, led by Stewart, says immigrate advocate Nancy Lyall.
"Ten years ago, he divided this community," said Lyall. She remembers the KKK showing up to back the effort.
"It was horrendous...and we pushed back," Lyall said.
She and Michelle Larue, CASA Virginia Executive Director, say Stewart's use of the "criminal" is wrong since the immigrants Stewart is talking about only have arrest records.
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"In this county, you're innocent until proven guilty...Arrest is not the same thing as a conviction," said Larue.
Stewart critics calls the announcement "political theatrics" for his gubernatorial campaign, but the Stewart insists his effort is sincere and he's not worried about a backlash.
PWC Supervsr @FrankPrincipi blasts @CoreyStewartVA for "twisting" Board vote;calls push to deport undoc.immigrants dangerous & wrong @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/RIC45AfNjI
'-- Peggy Fox (@PeggyTV) February 7, 2017"I am doing what I think is right," and what the Board voted for two weeks ago, Stewart said.
But Supervisor Frank Principi says Stewart is using "alternative facts" and twisting the board's vote on a broader legislative platform concerning policing.
"What about due process and the guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment? There was no mention of that," said Principi who said Stewart's announcement took him and other board members by surprise.
Principi says Stewart is redefining the term "criminal alien" which comes from President Trump's executive order on Sanctuary Cities.
Principi says if this new definition and crackdown is allowed through the 287G ICE program, it'll create a "police state" in Prince William County.
He plans to fight it, "I don't think me and colleagues will allow it."
The 287G program is an agreement made between counties, if they chose, and ICE which allow cooperation on deporting undocumented immigrants who commit crimes.
Prince William is the only Virginia county that takes part.
VIDEO - Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi tell illegal immigrants how to avoid being arrested in ICE raids | Daily Mail Online
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 19:05
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is informing immigrants they don't have to answer the door during planned ICE raids that begin Sunday unless authorities can furnish a valid warrant.
With a planned round-up of up to 2,000 immigrants being sought for deportation, she was among several powerful Democrats instructing migrants of their rights '' including the right not to open the door for a search that isn't backed up by a specific warrant.
'An ICE deportation warrant is not the same as a search warrant,' Pelosi said Thursday. 'If that is the only document ICE brings to a home raid, ICE does not have a legal right to enter a home.'
'An ICE deportation warrant is not the same as a search warrant,' said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a notice to immigrants who may be subject to ICE deportation raids beginning Sunday
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighted in on Twitter, urging people to share Spanish-language guidelines such as 'toma fotos y videos' '' meaning take photos and videos.
'Por favor comparte,' Clinton wrote, or please share.
They were taking a cue from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also urged people to 'know your rights.'
'Check your neighbors & know your rights,' she tweeted earlier Thursday.
'Remember: no one can enter your home without a *judicial warrant.*' she advised. She also wrote that 'Sometimes ICE will try to show other papers to get in your house. Judicial warrants are from a court.'
They were among Democrats in Congress Thursday who demanded that President Donald Trump protect families and children ahead of expected immigration raids this weekend.
People rally in June in Los Angeles against a Trump administration plan for the Immigration and Customs Enforcment agency to use an Oklahoma military base as a detention center for detained migrant children
IN THE CARDS: Pelosi read from a card with information about how to handle ICE raids
In this Oct. 22, 2018, photo U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents surround and detain a person during a raid in Richmond, Va. ICE's enforcement and removal operations, like the five-person field office team outside Richmond, hunt people in the U.S. illegally, some of whom have been here for decades, working and raising families
Hillary Clinton urged Twitter followers to share Spanish-language guidance
People were urged to remain silent, get a lawyer, and take videos
Hillary Clinton entered the fray via Twitter
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. issued her own guidance about the ICE raids
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also urged people to 'know your rights'
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will launch sweeping deportation operations on Sunday as the administration expands its crackdown on undocumented immigrants, the New York Times reported.
ICE has obtained court orders for the removal of about one million undocumented migrants, according to a senior administration official, but the initial raids will target some 2,000 across at least 10 cities, the Times said.
Democrats lashed out at the plans, saying they threaten people who have lived in the United States for many years and built families that include US citizens.
Pelosi called the ICE plan 'heartless raids on families' and said Sundays are when many Hispanic immigrant families are in church. She said families feel very 'threatened and scared' by the raids.
'These families are hardworking members of our communities and our country. This brutal action will terrorize children and tear families apart,' she told reporters.
'Many of these families are mixed-status families,' she added, referring to families who include members in the United States legally and illegally, such as migrants with children born inside the country.
Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Wednesday that ICE has nowhere near the resources needed to pursue the full one million cases.
'They are absolutely going to happen,' he said of the raids, however.
The ICE raids come after a delay in an earlier planned roundup
The removal orders can be issued on the completion of court cases involving the migrants, whether for minor civil infractions or their own citizenship or asylum cases.
Fearing arrest and deportation, migrants often don't show up for cases and judges summarily rule against them.
Senate Minority Leader Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer warned the Trump administration that ICE should not split families with young children if it carries out the raids.
'Stop separating children from their families. Tell your agencies, do not separate a single child from their parents,' he said.
ICE hasn't commented on the raids, which would come with Trump seeking to demonstrate toughness on immigration amid a still-strong influx of migrants across the border with Mexico.
On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security said 104,344 migrants were detained after crossing the border in June, down 28 percent from May's 13-year record high but still an extremely high figure, some 60,000 more than the same month last year.
While migrant flows usually ebb in the hot summer, DHS said initiatives with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, where most of the migrants come from, and a joint crackdown with Mexico, whose territory most must transit, had contributed to the downturn.
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VIDEO - Homeless people reject developer's offer of 'free money' to leave area | Fox News
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 16:45
In a bizarre stunt Friday, an elf-costumed real estate developer threw money at residents of a homeless camp in California in an effort to entice them to leave.
"Free money! Free money!," Gene Gorelik shouted from a boom lift as he dropped dollar bills on the encampment, SFGate reported. He was also reportedly offering $2,000 to anyone who agreed to leave.
But none of the residents, who live in cars, RVs and tents, accepted his offer.
''F--- you, Gene!'' some could be heard saying in a video posted on Twitter.
Robert Harris packs his belongings at a homeless camp in Lakeside Park on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (Getty Images)
None of the residents, who live in cars, RVs and tents, accepted his offer. ''F--- you, Gene!'' some could be heard saying in a video posted on Twitter.
Homeless advocates decried the stunt, asking the community "to stand together to protect our curbside communities against hate, xenophobia and anti-homeless behavior'' in a counter event posted on Facebook.
Gorelik was eventually escorted out by police after angry protesters blocked his car.
The city of San Francisco sued Gorelik in 2017 after he demolished his tenant's apartment while the tenant was still living there, SFGate reported.
On Wednesday, the Oakland City Council voted to close a section of the street for at least 18 months.
VIDEO - VIDEO: Joe Biden stumbles, slurs, coughs through speech '-- Wonders 'What am I doing?'
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 15:42
Skip to contentHe seemed confused at the end of the speech, stepping back from the podium, saying, ''What am I doing?''Perhaps ''Sleepy'' Joe Biden's new nickname should be ''Shaky''.
The Democrat frontrunner '-- according to polls '-- delivered what was billed as a foreign policy speech, and delivered what he likely thought was going to be an applause line.
Except no one clapped, only responding with silence.
That wasn't the only awkward moment.
Biden repeatedly stumbled through his speech, slurring words, struggling with the teleprompter and saying things multiple times.
''Donald Trump and the democrogs'-- demagogues around the world are learn'-- leaning into these forces,'' Biden said.
You cannot miss this unforgettable broadcast as Alex Jones breaks down Trump's social media summit, and welcomes guests Kaitlin Bennet, Robert Barnes, and Nich Begich who help to break down how to keep the globalists on the run.
After slurring ''fascism,'' he mistakenly said ''process'' instead of ''progress,'' being forced to correct himself.
Biden said President ''Tump,'' and suffered an awkward coughing fit.
He had trouble saying ''neglected,'' and repeated ''by strengthening'' three times.
''He has, he has, I don't know how to say it'-- he's alienated us,'' Biden said of Trump, feigning sincerity and attempting to appear like he wasn't reading a teleprompter.
''Partnerships built of cohesion'-- excuse me, coercion,'' he corrected.
Biden had trouble saying ''corruption,'' and stumbled through reading his speech when he said, ''We cannot be a credible voice on the proliferation of nuclear security'-- on proliferation and nuclear security.''
Talking up his plan to tackle ''climate change,'' he said, ''We'll look, we'll look for enforceable commitments that'll produce emissions'-- reduce emissions.''
He seemed confused at the end of the speech, stepping back from the podium, saying, ''What am I doing?''
VIDEO - Nick Eardley on Twitter: ""Answer the bloody question!" Boris Johnson heckled at hustings in Cheltenham over Sir Kim Darroch. He'd been asked about lack of backing in ITV debate. A sign of frustration in some parts of Tory party?'... https://t.co/l
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 11:46
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VIDEO - Hearing on Border Child Separation Policy | C-SPAN.org
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 11:41
July 12, 2019 2019-07-12T10:05:21-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/b48/20190712101457002_hd.jpg After a break for votes on the House floor, the House Oversight and Reform Committee continued its hearing on child separation policy at the U.S.-Mexico border. Members questioned legal experts and Thomas Homan, the former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, about the separation of children from their parents at the southern border and their treatment while in federal custody.After a break for votes on the House floor, the House Oversight and Reform Committee continued its hearing on child separation policy at'... read more
After a break for votes on the House floor, the House Oversight and Reform Committee continued its hearing on child separation policy at the U.S.-Mexico border. Members questioned legal experts and Thomas Homan, the former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, about the separation of children from their parents at the southern border and their treatment while in federal custody. close
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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VIDEO - Representative Ocasio-Cortez Testifies on Conditions at Border Detention Facilities | C-SPAN.org
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 11:26
July 12, 2019 | Clip Of Hearing on Border Child Separation Policy 2019-07-12T10:53:02-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/cc3/20190712105621002_hd.jpg During her testimony at today's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the child separation policy at the U.S.-Mexico border, Representative Alexandria Osasio-Cortez (D-NY) talks about her interactions with 17 women who were being held at detention facilities, and reports that some were forced to drink from toilets and sleep on concrete floors. The congresswoman also takes the unusual step of asking to be sworn in. Her testimony is interrupted near the end with the fainting of a staffer on the dais.During her testimony at today's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the child separation policy at the U.S.-Mexico'... read more
During her testimony at today's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the child separation policy at the U.S.-Mexico border, Representative Alexandria Osasio-Cortez (D-NY) talks about her interactions with 17 women who were being held at detention facilities, and reports that some were forced to drink from toilets and sleep on concrete floors. The congresswoman also takes the unusual step of asking to be sworn in. Her testimony is interrupted near the end with the fainting of a staffer on the dais. close
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VIDEO - Thomas Homan, former ICE official, trades heated words with lawmakers - CNNPolitics
Sat, 13 Jul 2019 04:45
(CNN) Former acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan starkly defended the Trump administration's border policies Friday during a House Oversight Committee hearing about separations of undocumented migrant families.
Homan, who's also a Fox News contributor, repeatedly exchanged fiery words with members of Congress, voicing frustration with what he believed was an ignorant and one-sided view of what lawmakers of both parties are calling a crisis at the southern US border. Homan testified before the committee as a witness.
He expressed frustration with comments by some members of the committee because, he said, "I'm the only one in this room who has worn a green uniform and been on that line. I'm the only one in this room who's found dead aliens on a trail that were abandoned by smugglers."
Homan is a career law enforcement officer who retired in 2018 only to return to work shortly afterward as the administration's acting ICE director.
He said Friday that members of Congress want to criticize ICE and Border Patrol officials, but if they don't like how things are being done, they should "fix it."
After Rep. Jesus Garcia, an Illinois Democrat, asked Homan a series of questions -- about whether he understood the full impacts of family separation on children and whether he himself had children -- without giving him time to respond directly to each one, Homan said, "Your comments are disgusting."
"This is out of control," Homan said. "What I've been trying to do my 34 years serving my nation is to save lives, so for you to sit there and insult my integrity and my love of my country and for children, that's why this whole thing needs to be fixed."
In an exchange with Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Virginia Democrat, Homan attempted to cut into the congressman's comments about the "subhuman" treatment of children at the border.
When Connolly remarked that a witness sitting in front of him seemed frustrated, Homan interjected, "I'm extremely frustrated."
Connolly said, "No, Mr. Homan, I'm not calling on you, sir."
When Homan responded, "Of course not," Connolly yelled, "You aren't at the border right now! You're in a hearing room right now! This is my time!"
Last month, President Donald Trump said on Fox News that Homan would become the administration's next "immigration czar." The announcement caught Homan by surprise, according to a source familiar, as well as officials in the White House.
When asked by Rep. Katie Hill, a California Democrat, on Friday whether he planned to return to the Trump administration as immigration czar, Homan said he had not accepted any position with the administration. When pushed on the question, he responded, "Never say never."
"If I can help my country like I've done for the last 34 years -- I came back from retirement once. I'm not gonna say, never say never," Homan said.
CNN's Priscilla Alvarez and Abby Phillip contributed to this report.
VIDEO - 3rd NYPD officer commits suicide in last 9 days [Video]
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 22:03
New York City police say a 29-year-old officer has died after shooting himself in the head, the department's third suspected suicide in nine days.
VIDEO - The Clinton Pedophilia Connection - YouTube
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 21:53
VIDEO - Jeff Epstein Arrest: Pizzagate Blows Open! - YouTube
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 19:50
VIDEO - "FrazzleDrip" is Alive... - YouTube
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 19:13
VIDEO - Michael Sheridan on Twitter: "Yesterday @RepMoBrooks Mo Brooks (R-AL) blasted a massive hole in the Climate Change narrative by asking the right questions. 20,000 years ago the earth started to change. He asks a panel: "Could humans have caused th
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 18:31
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VIDEO - The Man Who Brought the First Moon Mission to Television '' The DV Show Podcast
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 13:02
December 12, 2017 The DV Show Podcasts Geared for the Video Maker 0
On July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong opened the hatch of the Apollo 11 lunar module and stepped onto the surface of the moon, a small video camera captured the moment and sent pictures back to millions of televisions 239,000 miles away'....we talk with the man who built that lunar video camera'....on this edition of The DV Show.
This interview was originally published on July 27, 2009'...Stan passed away 5 months later on December 23'...this podcast is dedicated to his accomplishments.
Show notes:'' Stan LeBar on Wikipedia'' Live from the Moon: Lunar TV Camera
Similar Posts: Be the first to comment
VIDEO - Newseum NASA News Briefing on Restored Apollo 11 Moonwalk Video - YouTube
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 11:14
VIDEO - Alan Dershowitz responds to Epstein accuser's defamation suit, sexual assault allegations [Video]
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 04:29
Epstein accuser suing Dershowitz for defamation, alleges complicity in sexual abuse; Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz speaks out on 'The Ingraham Angle.'
VIDEO - Ryan Saavedra on Twitter: "Reporter: "If you believe in not blocking anybody--" Gorka: "I don't" R: "You've blocked me, you've blocked hundreds" G: "I block whoever I want to. I've blocked 16,000" R: "Why?" G: "They're asshats" R: "Am I an asshat?
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 04:14
Welcome home! This timeline is where you'll spend most of your time, getting instant updates about what matters to you.
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VIDEO - Former FBI Acting Director Previews Bob Mueller Testimony | C-SPAN.org
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 04:11
July 11, 2019 2019-07-11T17:50:51-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/107/20190711175551002_hd.jpg Former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and others previewed the expected July 17, 2019 testimony of Robert Mueller, the former special counsel, before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. Mr. McCabe was one of four panelists joining a special taping of the Talking Feds podcast that previewed Mr. Mueller's testimony. The podcast was co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society and the Georgetown Law Center and was part of a six-part series exploring various contemporary legal topics. Panelists talked about the challenges and experience of testifying before a congressional committee and the various tactics Democratic and Republican lawmakers would likely employ in questioning Mr. Mueller on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.Former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and others previewed the expected July 17, 2019 testimony of Robert Mueller, the former special counsel,'... read more
Former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and others previewed the expected July 17, 2019 testimony of Robert Mueller, the former special counsel, before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. Mr. McCabe was one of four panelists joining a special taping of the Talking Feds podcast that previewed Mr. Mueller's testimony. The podcast was co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society and the Georgetown Law Center and was part of a six-part series exploring various contemporary legal topics. Panelists talked about the challenges and experience of testifying before a congressional committee and the various tactics Democratic and Republican lawmakers would likely employ in questioning Mr. Mueller on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. close
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
Points of InterestFor quick viewing, C-SPAN provides Points of Interest markers for some events. Click the play button and move your cursor over the video to see the . Click on the marker to see the description and watch.
You can also click the in the lower left of the video player to see a complete list of all Points of Interest from this program - click on any moment in the list and the video will play.
People in this videoRonald "Ron" Klain Adviser (Former) Clinton (Hillary) Presidential Campaign Matthew Miller Spokesperson (Former) Department of Justice->Public Affairs '; }, afterShow: function() { twttr.widgets.load(); }, helpers: { title: { type: 'inside' } } }); $('section.program-people ul li a.person-image').click(function(e) { e.preventDefault(); var personid = $(this).attr('id'); personid = personid.replace('-link', ''); $('div.person-images a#'+personid+'-image').click(); }); });
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VIDEO - Opinion | What Is Nancy Pelosi Thinking? - The New York Times
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 00:05
Opinion | What Is Nancy Pelosi Thinking? And can ''woke capitalism'' be trusted?
With Ross Douthat, Michelle Goldberg and David Leonhardt
More episodes of The Argument
Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device:
Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | RadioPublic | Stitcher
Is consumer activism an effective political strategy? Has corporate America become a force for social liberalism? This week on ''The Argument,'' the columnists talk ''woke capitalism.'' Ross Douthat thinks the burgeoning phenomenon reflects a shift in how companies view consumers '-- not as middle-class boomers but as younger and more socially liberal Americans. Michelle Goldberg argues that progressive appeals to corporate wokeness reflect liberal voters' economic and cultural clout in an era of minority political rule. And David Leonhardt believes the contradictions of woke capitalism '-- big companies touting their pro-L.G.B.T. policies while donating to anti-L.G.B.T. politicians, for instance '-- are telling.
Then, the columnists discuss the tensions roiling Democrats in the House of Representatives. By lobbing criticism at progressive members of the caucus, just what is Speaker Nancy Pelosi playing at?
And finally, Michelle recommends a time-warping TV show that forecasts our darkling future.
Image Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, spoke to reporters on Capitol Hill last month. Credit Tom Brenner for The New York Times Background Reading:
Ross on woke capitalism
Michelle on liberals' economic and cultural '-- if not political '-- power, progressive boycotts, family separation and Nancy Pelosi's increasingly incoherent opposition to impeachment.
David on corporate hypocrisy on L.G.B.T. equality, Colin Kaepernick and protesting the national anthem and Pelosi's strengths and the next generation of Democratic leadership
Maureen Dowd, ''It's Nancy Pelosi's Parade''
Ross DouthatI've been an Op-Ed columnist since 2009, and I write about politics, religion, pop culture, sociology and the places where they all intersect. I'm a Catholic and a conservative, in that order, which means that I'm against abortion and critical of the sexual revolution, but I tend to agree with liberals that the Republican Party is too friendly to the rich. I was against Donald Trump in 2016 for reasons specific to Donald Trump, but in general I think the populist movements in Europe and America have legitimate grievances and I often prefer the populists to the ''reasonable'' elites. I've written books about Harvard, the G.O.P., American Christianity and Pope Francis; I'm working on one about decadence. Benedict XVI was my favorite pope. I review movies for National Review and have strong opinions about many prestige television shows. I have three small children, two girls and a boy, and I live in New Haven with my wife.
Michelle GoldbergI've been an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times since 2017, writing mainly about politics, ideology and gender. These days people on the right and the left both use ''liberal'' as an epithet, but that's basically what I am, though the nightmare of Donald Trump's presidency has radicalized me and pushed me leftward. I've written three books, including one, in 2006, about the danger of right-wing populism in its religious fundamentalist guise. (My other two were about the global battle over reproductive rights and, in a brief detour from politics, about an adventurous Russian (C)migr(C) who helped bring yoga to the West.) I love to travel; a long time ago, after my husband and I eloped, we spent a year backpacking through Asia. Now we live in Brooklyn with our son and daughter.
David LeonhardtI've worked at The Times since 1999 and have been an Op-Ed columnist since 2016. I caught the journalism bug a very long time ago '-- first as a little kid in the late 1970s who loved reading the Boston Globe sports section and later as a teenager working on my high school and college newspapers. I discovered that when my classmates and I put a complaint in print, for everyone to see, school administrators actually paid attention. I've since worked as a metro reporter at The Washington Post and a writer at BusinessWeek magazine. At The Times, I started as a reporter in the business section and have also been a Times Magazine staff writer, the Washington bureau chief and the founding editor of The Upshot.
My politics are left of center. But I'm also to the right of many Times readers. I think education reform has accomplished a lot. I think two-parent families are good for society. I think progressives should be realistic about the cultural conservatism that dominates much of this country. Most of all, however, I worry deeply about today's Republican Party, which has become dangerously extreme. This country faces some huge challenges '-- inequality, climate change, the rise of China '-- and they'll be very hard to solve without having both parties committed to the basic functioning of American democracy.
More from Opinion on Nancy Pelosi and woke capitalism:
How do I listen?Tune in on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Tell us what you think at argument@nytimes.com. Follow Michelle Goldberg (@michelleinbklyn), Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) and David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) on Twitter.
This week's show is produced by Kristin Schwab for Transmitter Media and edited by Michael Garofalo. Our executive producer is Gretta Cohn. We had help from Tyson Evans, Phoebe Lett and Ian Prasad Philbrick. Our theme is composed by Allison Leyton-Brown.
VIDEO - President Trump Remarks at Social Media Summit | C-SPAN.org
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 00:04
July 11, 2019 2019-07-11T18:04:35-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/212/20190711181329013_hd.jpg President Trump delivers remarks at a ''social media summit'' in the White House.President Trump delivers remarks at a ''social media summit'' in the White House.
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VIDEO - Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Bitcoin as a Store of Value - YouTube
Thu, 11 Jul 2019 21:01


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All Clips

Joe Biden Bad Teleprompter Day.mp3
Rosie O'Donnell Joe Biden should sit out 2020 election - Not a single smile in eight minutes.mp3
Fed Chair Powell on Crypto as reserve currency- Bitcoin is Like Gold - Crapo asking questions.mp3
AOC demands to be sworn in for border testimony.mp3
Migrant Children Hearing -- AOC fumbles with pinning it on Thomas Homan NANCY DREW.mp3
Migrant Children Hearing -- Chuy Gonzales (Ill) accuses Frmr IcCE Dir Homan of racism.mp3
Migrant Children Hearing -- Jim Jordan asks Thomas Homan for the THRE THINGS that would fix the border.mp3
Pelosi on legality of warrants for ICE raids.mp3
Tearful AOC flag testimony interrupted.mp3
Russia to build new China Silk Road.mp3
3rd NYPD officer commits suicide in last 9 days.mp3
Dershowitz responds to allegations but delfects about Clinton to Gore on Ingraham.mp3
Dershowitz troof from 2015.mp3
Prostitution and sex with MINOR children covered up by Clinton-Obama State Department.mp3
ice raids NBC.mp3
kamala in SC.mp3
kamala on a roll quiz.mp3
kenneth Star on Acosta ONE.mp3
kenneth Star on Acosta TWO.mp3
OJ on the American dollar.mp3
one minute of grief answering machine.mp3
pelosi and AOC battle.mp3
pieczenk Opus 167 Mossad epstein.mp3
president tump ISO.mp3
richard engle social credit in china report.mp3
sr steve on epstein ONE.mp3
sr steve on epstein TWO.mp3
thanks you much ISO.mp3
bangin ISO.mp3
biden ambushed over deportations.mp3
Bill Maher for Biden.mp3
compilation of biden gaffes within one speech.mp3
Douglas Brinkley on Moonshot QA.mp3
drug smuggling subs NBC.mp3
Garcia vs Homan.mp3
homeless problem realized CBS.mp3
ICE backgrounder CBS2NYC.mp3
Dick Nafzeger on how we got the video from the moon.mp3
Dick Nafzeger on the reels of telemetry and sstv of Apoll 11.mp3
Stan Lebar of Westinghouse at 40th Anniversary of Moon landing on Shocked about images from Moon.mp3
Trump Social Media Summit -1- Tweet conts fluctuating when a good one is tweeted.mp3
  • 0:00
    hey man get the band back Adam curry
  • 0:10
    this is no agenda nobody really cares I
  • 0:28
    don't think I'm Jesse Dubrow well that's
  • 0:34
    not fair we have at least three French
  • 0:36
    listeners congratulations to you French
  • 0:41
    listeners three real French today's the
  • 0:46
    day best deal day that they go on
  • 0:48
    vacation yes and they're on vacation
  • 0:51
    through the rest of July first I know
  • 0:56
    that part that's the life that part of
  • 0:59
    France is pretty good like I like what
  • 1:02
    they do there did you see makan with his
  • 1:05
    his military display he had he had a guy
  • 1:10
    on a hoverboard uh yeah a soldier on a
  • 1:15
    hover it wasn't just a hoverboard and
  • 1:17
    Trump this thing oh yeah oh yeah this is
  • 1:19
    something Trump would have loved to have
  • 1:21
    this guy's flying right up over the shop
  • 1:23
    sale he's a he's got his automatic rifle
  • 1:25
    in his one hand he said it's just a
  • 1:27
    little board he's flying all over the
  • 1:29
    place you've seen you've seen similar
  • 1:32
    demonstrations maybe on YouTube but I
  • 1:34
    never expected to see it over the shop
  • 1:37
    said he's a that was good I'm gonna look
  • 1:41
    that up yeah Bastille Day is of course
  • 1:45
    the original French drain the swamp day
  • 1:47
    I guess it was more than drain this one
  • 1:52
    who was chopped off heads well after
  • 1:55
    they chopped the heads off they had to
  • 1:56
    drain who that here they had to drain
  • 1:57
    the swamp of the of the blood what blood
  • 2:00
    well it's interesting you say that
  • 2:01
    because something funny happened to me
  • 2:03
    after the show on Thursday and I don't
  • 2:07
    know why somehow I realized I think even
  • 2:10
    May emailed you about this
  • 2:11
    I realize it's Bastille
  • 2:13
    day is his Sunday and then I'm thinking
  • 2:16
    you know Trump was messaging for weeks I
  • 2:21
    go that's starting with the 14th Sunday
  • 2:23
    Sunday we're gonna do it ice raids come
  • 2:25
    and I sigh and this isn't he the guy
  • 2:27
    that always says I'm not gonna tell
  • 2:29
    anyone what I'm going to do I'm not like
  • 2:32
    Obama I'm not gonna have soup the
  • 2:34
    element of surprise or my mistake and
  • 2:37
    does he Telegraph stuff all the time
  • 2:38
    like this I know there's a bunch of
  • 2:42
    people that have made this observation
  • 2:44
    which leads me to believe this is
  • 2:46
    another one of the faints a scam okay so
  • 2:50
    here's how my brain was working at the
  • 2:53
    time remember I'm just finished with the
  • 2:54
    show and I think wait a minute
  • 2:57
    Bastille Day that was the original drain
  • 3:01
    the swamp day that's this Sunday here we
  • 3:04
    have Trump messaging about stuff and I
  • 3:06
    thought to myself hey remember those
  • 3:08
    hundreds of sealed indictments that we
  • 3:10
    kept hearing about for four years forty
  • 3:14
    thousand oh I only heard about hundreds
  • 3:16
    about forty thousand yeah I've heard
  • 3:20
    about hundreds of course this is it
  • 3:27
    he's going to arrest all the pedophiles
  • 3:29
    and everyone will be thinking ice rays
  • 3:31
    ice raids and then he's gonna go and
  • 3:33
    bust the pedo bears yeah you put that in
  • 3:36
    the email it was an eye roller so I sent
  • 3:39
    that to PO genic my handler oh yes and
  • 3:42
    he calls me I calls me Saturday says
  • 3:46
    well Adam and if you don't know who
  • 3:49
    Steve Botanic is I think most people who
  • 3:51
    are listening probably do you people
  • 3:52
    should look him up as P II's ZZ and
  • 3:56
    you'll find it
  • 3:57
    yeah he has a resume that is quite
  • 4:00
    impressive psychological operations
  • 4:03
    hostage negotiation so it calls me up
  • 4:06
    he's my handler I mean I think we're
  • 4:08
    pretty aware of it which is good because
  • 4:10
    that way we don't get it too much
  • 4:11
    trouble as long as we're we keep
  • 4:12
    reminding ourselves good Adam
  • 4:15
    congratulations what see well you
  • 4:18
    figured it out because I because I said
  • 4:21
    oh wait a minute you mean this actually
  • 4:22
    goes to the FBI or says no no this goes
  • 4:25
    all the way to Mossad
  • 4:27
    I said oh really says yeah this is but
  • 4:30
    there's a problem
  • 4:31
    so what's that says you can't talk about
  • 4:33
    it since I can't talk about its no no no
  • 4:36
    you cannot do this because it will ruin
  • 4:39
    your show you will be branded an
  • 4:40
    anti-semite and they will they will just
  • 4:43
    pound you into oblivion so instead he
  • 4:46
    says I will make a video about it so
  • 4:51
    imagine my surprise when he made a video
  • 4:54
    about it even more surprised when I saw
  • 4:58
    the clips come in this morning that you
  • 5:00
    saw the video and you you actually well
  • 5:03
    you're in my beat but that's okay you
  • 5:05
    clipped it so I'm going to edit it down
  • 5:09
    a little bit because there's some
  • 5:10
    spurious information that's unnecessary
  • 5:12
    so I'm thinking I'm very curious to see
  • 5:16
    what your take is on and we you know we
  • 5:18
    don't have to explain the V don't know
  • 5:20
    what you were planning on doing so I'm
  • 5:21
    going to leave it open to you well yeah
  • 5:23
    want you to play yeah you know just
  • 5:24
    stead of getting the hearsay but genex
  • 5:29
    thinking let's listen to Poe genic you
  • 5:31
    want to listen to the two clips the
  • 5:33
    first one you got yeah okay I want to
  • 5:35
    talk about the Epstein pedophilia ring
  • 5:39
    what it really is is a Mossad Israeli
  • 5:43
    operative ring
  • 5:44
    yes Raya has not been our greatest ally
  • 5:46
    it's been our greatest enemy they were
  • 5:48
    also involved in 9/11 and the stand-down
  • 5:50
    wolf or was his deputy and confirmed
  • 5:53
    that to me Israeli Mossad operatives who
  • 5:55
    I interrogated and threatened confirm
  • 5:57
    that to me and I put away to Mossad
  • 5:59
    operatives the key to this epstein