1163: Cashless MIllennials

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 18m
August 11th, 2019
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Executive Producers: Sir Mittens of Falls City, Sir Patrick of the Enormous Noggins, Sir GQ, Sir Dave Fugazzotto, Viscount of America's Heartland and Saudi Arabia, Brian Holcomb, Dame Stephanie Mayer, Sir Paul Schneider

Associate Executive Producers: Orange County Meetup, Sir Donald Boroski, Aaron Chamberlin, Sir Marty Phillips, Kymberly Redmond, Keith McColpin, Baronet of East Lake City and the newly arisen Markerwadden of the Lowlands, Sir Rosis of Brookhaven, Georgia., Sonja Brown, James Coon, Earth Anon

Cover Artist: Data

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
1:49
Amazing Polly
Woodstock
3:39
Jeffrey Epstein Commits Suicide in Prison
Woodstock
16:33
Vicky Ward
Woodstock
49:35
Trump Tweets 'Conspiracy Theory' About Jeffrey Epstein's Death
Woodstock
1:00:27
The Truth Factory: 'Jeffrey Epstein Deep Dive - The Mossad, Fraud and His Creepy Temple'
Woodstock
1:05:37
Producer Note: Cause of Epstein's Egg-Shaped Penis
Woodstock
1:08:31
Steve Pieczenik: 'OPUS 170 Epstein's Parodoxical Death?'
Woodstock
1:20:31
Credits
Woodstock
1:58:32
No Agenda Shout Out on C-Span by Congressional Dish Podcast Host Jennifer Briney
Woodstock
2:03:05
Child Abuse
Woodstock
2:07:19
Austin City Councel Meeting on Camping Ordinance and Public Pooping
Woodstock
2:16:33
Democracy Now!: 'Emergency Doctor to Trump: You Are Wrong, Mental Illness Is Not to Blame for Gun Violence Epidemic'
Woodstock
2:23:11
2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang Cries After Question on Gun Control
Woodstock
2:26:16
Judge Napolitano on the Unconstitutionality of Red Flag Laws
Woodstock
2:36:14
Research by Payments Canada Shows Millennials Make Purchase Decisions Based on Payment Experience
Woodstock
2:41:38
Donations
Woodstock
2:51:11
Birthdays & Title Changes
Woodstock
2:53:59
Meetups
Woodstock
2:58:07
NoAgendaMeetups.com Development
Woodstock
3:02:07
Joe Biden: "Poor Kids Are Just as Bright as White Kids"
Woodstock
3:04:39
Broadcasting & Cable: 'BIA Sees Local Political Advertising Topping $6.5B'
Woodstock
3:08:36
China Predicts Joe Biden Will Win 2020 Presidential Election
Woodstock
3:10:25
End of Show Clips
Woodstock
3:11:49
North Korea Performs Missile Test
Woodstock
3:13:18
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler Says Impeachment Inquiry Started
Woodstock
3:14:17
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Criticizes Former Chief of Staff for Targeting Fellow Democrats With Divisive Language
Woodstock
3:14:39
End of Show
Woodstock
Suggest a new chapter
TODAY
Epstein
ShareBlue has a message for all their "stallwarts" | TigerDroppings.com
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 11:19
The Dude's Rug LSU FanMember since Nov 200412734 posts
ShareBlue has a message for all their "stallwarts" Posted by The Dude's Rug on 8/10/19 at 2:21 pm Color me shocked.
CoachChappy LSU FanBoudin Capitol of the WorldMember since May 201322881 posts
But I was told Dems weren't issued talking points
these people are a fricking joke
HailToTheChiz Auburn FanBack in AuburnMember since Aug 201031193 posts
TrueTiger LSU FanChicken's most valuableMember since Sep 200436995 posts
Install NPC subroutine?
[YES] [CANCEL]
The Dude's Rug LSU FanMember since Nov 200412734 posts
quote: What is share blueSore losers
quote: Shareblue Media, formerly known as Blue Nation Review or Shareblue, is an American liberal news website owned by the journalist and political activist David Brock. Shareblue is within a consortium of political groups in Democratic strategist David Brock's network.
3nOut Texas A&M FanCentral Texas, TXMember since Jan 201315881 posts Online
quote: But I was told Dems weren't issued talking points these people are a fricking jokeNot that republicans are innocent if it but I've seen 2 legitimate sets of ''private'' talking points released from DU that people on here and social media parroted exactlyThis post was edited on 8/10 at 2:36 pm
toosleaux Houston Astros FanWired To The TMember since Dec 20077357 posts
tiggerthetooth Houston Astros FanBig Momma's HouseMember since Oct 201039311 posts
HailToTheChiz Auburn FanBack in AuburnMember since Aug 201031193 posts
TD Sponsor TD FanUSAMember since 2001 The Dude's Rug LSU FanMember since Nov 200412734 posts
quote: What is ROLCONI haven't figured that one out yet. Probably a acronym based around the tactics they listed.
Vacherie Saint New Orleans Saints FanMember since Aug 201518418 posts
In other words, redirect the Clinton connections into Trump connections that the media literally invented a few months ago when the Epstein shite hit the fan.
Losers.
cajunangelle Navy Faneating a fried oyster/shrimp poboyMember since Oct 201287927 posts Online
Their retarded messages are sadly real. I wonder if they say they have it all Trust Wray. ROLCON [DEF CON 17]
This post was edited on 8/10 at 2:57 pm
beerJeep LSU FanLouisianaMember since Nov 201618890 posts
re: ShareBlue has a message for all their "stallwarts" Posted by beerJeep on 8/10/19 at 2:40 pm to tiggerthetooth quote: What is ROLCON?Retcons brother.
loogaroo LSU FanWelshMember since Dec 20054048 posts
re: ShareBlue has a message for all their "stallwarts" Posted by loogaroo on 8/10/19 at 2:50 pm to The Dude's Rug These phuckers are relentless. They are on top of everything like an army of ants.
It's amazing Trump got elected. He really snuck up on them.
Choctaw Navy FanPumpin' SunshineMember since Jul 200772226 posts
re: ShareBlue has a message for all their "stallwarts" Posted by Choctaw on 8/10/19 at 3:02 pm to The Dude's Rug Wtf is shareblue?
ItNeverRains LSU FanFranklin, TNMember since Oct 200714484 posts
Their message should be if you're triggered by I told you so's from white male conservatives you may want to take a few days off the Internet, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
BuckyCheese Wisconsin FanMember since Jan 20153836 posts
I see that "untrue" is misspelled.
Wonder if that is the mark on the message to the particular individual that leaked this.
Meaning they will be kicked off the list.
cajunangelle Navy Faneating a fried oyster/shrimp poboyMember since Oct 201287927 posts Online
I will bet that subject 34 and 14c is two newspaper articles. One that a girl worked at Trump's country club (without mentioning Trump kicked JE out of his clubs. The other that Trump copped a ride in 1996 from NY to Fla or something.
(I just saw this mornings headlines are just about calling Trump a pedo sex trafficker and it is why JE was murdered and the Russians helped)
Burrow missed practice on Friday as well.
Raiders love preseason drama.
Cox was dismissed from the Bulldogs on Sunday.
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NBC Executive Takes Over Left-Wing Site Founded by David Brock
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 14:52
A former NBC News executive is taking over Shareblue Media, a progressive news site funded by left-wing political operative David Brock.
Allison Girvin, who previously headed NBC News's Business, Tech, and Media unit, is the new CEO of Shareblue Media. Brock once described Shareblue as a "Breitbart of the Left." Girvin has also worked at Bloomberg, ABC News and HuffPost.
CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter reported in his newsletter:
Shareblue Media, a progressive news site funded by David Brock, has a new CEO.
Allison Girvin, most recently the head of the NBC News Business, Tech & Media Unit, is taking over the website, replacing Katie Paris. Girvin previously held key positions at Bloomberg, HuffPost, and ABC News. "With a long and distinguished career in journalism, Allison is the ideal leader to bring our vision of Shareblue to fruition," Brock, the chairman of Shareblue, said in a statement.
Shareblue is one of a constellation of websites backed by Brock and the American Bridge 21st Century Foundation super PAC. Brock wants to increase the site's impact heading into 2020.
Brock, the former right-wing muckraker turned Clintonite, also founded the left-wing media watchdog Media Matters for America, as well as the liberal super PACs American Bridge 21st Century Foundation and Correct The Record.
Brock told Vanity Fair that his vision for the site in 2017, shortly after President Donald Trump's election, was one of holding to account anyone who worked with the White House.
"I think there's an opening for a media platform that is openly, avowedly liberal, pro-Democrat, that wants Democrats to win," he said. "But here's the distinction. We were going to be the voice for Hillary'--or, at least, a voice for Hillary. And now that we are not going to do that, our approach is going to be to tell the truth as we see it about both sides, not just the Republicans."
David Rutz is managing editor of the Washington Free Beacon. He was previously a sports reporter for two years in Atlanta and has done freelance sports reporting for the Washington Post. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2010 and lives in Marietta, Ga. His Twitter handle is @DavidRutz.
Far-Left Panic Over Epstein's ''Suicide'' '' Shareblue Dispatches Urgent Talking Points For On-Line Activists'.... | The Last Refuge
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 14:52
The Manhattan U.S. Attorney has released the following statement about the suspicious custodial death of Jeffrey Epstein:
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: ''Earlier this morning, the Manhattan Correctional Center confirmed that Jeffrey Epstein, who faced charges brought by this Office of engaging in the sex trafficking of minors, had been found unresponsive in his cell and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter of an apparent suicide.
Today's events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein's many victims their day in Court. To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment '' which included a conspiracy count '' remains ongoing. We continue to urge anyone who feels they may be a victim or have information related to the conduct in this case to please contact 1-800- CALL FBI.'' (link)
Meanwhile, Clinton-allied liberals are absolutely triggered'...
Shareblue is the brain-child of far left activist David Brock; a rabid Clinton advocate. Recently Shareblue hired Allison ''Avi'' Girvin as the 'ber leftist CEO for Shareblue Media. Girvin was previously the head of NBC News's Business, Tech, and Media unit.
Apparently the death of Jeffrey Epstein, a pedophile and sex trafficker directly connected to the Clinton cabal, has triggered the maximum alert warning for ''Avi'' and the Shareblue community, as they dispatch urgent talking points for their social media army:
In #5 above ''ROLCON'' refers to role playing as a conservative.
The ''stalwarts'' are those activists paid to go on-line into all social media platforms and defend the interests of the far-left ideology. It would appear Mr. Epstein's death has activated the need for an urgent crisis response from the political left.
Epstein Egg
Hi Adam, I
enjoyed your clip on the egg shaped Epstein penis. I feel that I might be able
to shed some light on this. I was a professional pierce and body modifier in
several underground communities in the late 90's and early 2000's. The term we
had for guys back then was "milk bottle dicks" because their penis's
looked like a milk bottle. These guys were the penis pump addicts. They would
use a vacuum pressure penis pump to enlarge their dicks. The anatomy of the
penis is such that the shaft expands at a different rate than the head making
the base and shaft a lot larger than the head.
My guess is that
he is a pumper.
Keep up the great
work!
Eric
Jeffrey Epstein Was an Intelligence Asset '-- But of Which Agency?
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 15:06
I'm not saying you're ruled by actual lizard-people, but if you were, what would be any different?
A couple of years ago, I was interviewing a former senior White House official when the name Jeffrey Epstein came up.
Unaware of my personal history with Epstein, this person assured me that the New York financier was no serious harm to anyone. He was a good guy. A charming guy. Useful, too. He knew a lot of rich Arabs, including the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, and, further, he had clever ideas about creating bond issues for them. ''OK, so he has a girl problem,'' this person threw on, almost as an afterthought.
Epstein's name, I was told, had been raised by the Trump transition team when Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney in Miami who'd infamously cut Epstein a non-prosecution plea deal back in 2007, was being interviewed for the job of labor secretary. The plea deal put a hard stop to a separate federal investigation of alleged sex crimes with minors and trafficking.
''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 so, it seemed'--until the news of Epstein's arrest on Saturday for allegedly trafficking minors'--thus continuing a pattern of blatant exceptionalism that surrounded him, and his social and business nexus.
For almost two decades, for some nebulous reason, whether to do with ties to foreign intelligence, his billions of dollars, or his social connections, Epstein, whose alleged sexual sickness and horrific assaults on women without means or ability to protect themselves is well-known in his circle, remained untouchable.
I spent many months on his trail in 2002 for Vanity Fair and discovered not only that he was not who he claimed to be professionally, but also that he had allegedly assaulted two young sisters, one of whom had been underage at the time. Very bravely, they were prepared to go on the record. They were afraid he'd use all his influence to discredit them'--and their fear turned out to be legitimate.
As the article was being readied for publication, Epstein made a visit to the office of Vanity Fair's then-editor, Graydon Carter, and suddenly the women and their allegations were removed from the article. ''He's sensitive about the young women,'' Carter told me at the time. (Editor's Note: Carter has previously denied this allegation.) He also mentioned he'd finagled a photograph of Epstein in a swimsuit out of the encounter. And there was also some feeble excuse about the article ''being stronger as a business story.'' (Epstein had also leaned heavily on my ex-husband's uncle, Conrad Black, to try to exert his influence on me, which was particularly unwelcome, given that Black happened to be my ex-husband's boss at the time.)
But much worse was to come from Epstein's army of willfully blind lobbyists. In 2007 and 2008, as the FBI prepared a 53-page indictment that would charge Epstein with sex crimes, Epstein's powerful legal team played the influence card.
After the one meeting with then-U.S. Attorney Acosta, where presumably ''intelligence'' was mentioned, the indictment was shelved and, instead, Epstein signed a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors, pleading guilty to one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of procurement of minors for prostitution, which earned him a cushy 13 months in county jail, from where he was allowed to leave to work at his office and go for walks.
The deal granted immunity to ''any potential co-conspirators.'' Most significantly, federal prosecutors agreed to keep the deal secret from Epstein's victims, which meant they would not know to challenge it in court. As it turned out, this actually broke the law, because victims have a right to know of such developments, under the Crime Victims' Rights Act.
We, the public, had access to all this information as it played out over the years in plain sight. And yet the outrage just was not there. After his absurdly soft jail time, Epstein carried on as before. He shamelessly wandered the streets of New York accompanied by startlingly young looking foreign women. People in his social set still tell me how ''brilliant'' he is and phone him for financial advice. A few years ago the journalist Michael Wolff wrote a profile of him for New York magazine that was meant to ''rehabilitate'' Epstein's image and would tell of all the billionaires who still, secretly, hung out with Epstein. The piece had ''fact-checking'' issues and never ran. Even so, the notion that it was considered is mind-boggling.
So kudos, then, to the Miami Herald journalist Julie K. Brown, who many years after the fact went back and interviewed some of Epstein's alleged victims in her brilliant three-part series ''Perversion of Justice.'' It was Brown who told the stories of teenagers in trailer parks outside Palm Beach who needed money for shoes or just to live, who went to give Epstein massages and so much more. Brown and her editors actually took the women seriously.
It was that heart-wrenching series that caught the attention of Congress. Ben Sasse, the Republican senator from Nebraska, joined with his Democratic colleagues and demanded to know how justice had been so miscarried.
Given the political sentiment, it's unsurprising that the FBI should feel newly emboldened to investigate Epstein'--basing some of their work on Brown's excellent reporting.
The story in the indictment that was unsealed earlier Monday was eerily familiar to all of us who have been paying attention to Epstein's sick story. What is different, finally, after 16 years, is the reaction, which is, at last, appropriate.
One of the young women who spoke to me 16 years ago emailed Monday evening. ''Shocked and elated,'' she said. ''Fingers crossed they all finally go down.'' Amen to that.
Source: The Daily Beast
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Sat, 10 Aug 2019 16:09
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(3) Ethan Ralph on Twitter: "ðŸ¤-- https://t.co/o9e3opINbB" / Twitter
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 15:46
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Adam Klasfeld on Twitter: "Second reaction: A former federal prosecutor informs me about this secord-order effect in terms of legal procedure. https://t.co/SeHoSxbzzQ" / Twitter
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 14:45
Log in Sign up Adam Klasfeld @ KlasfeldReports
50m First reaction: There should be hearings as to how this was allowed to happen to a key witness in an investigation involving a global sex-trafficking conspiracy.
View details · Adam Klasfeld @ KlasfeldReports Replying to @KlasfeldReports Second reaction: A former federal prosecutor informs me about this secord-order effect in terms of legal procedure.
pic.twitter.com/SeHoSxbzzQ 6:56 AM - 10 Aug 2019 Twitter by: Adam Klasfeld @KlasfeldReports Renato Mariotti @ renato_mariotti
44m Replying to
@KlasfeldReports True, although no other defendants are currently charged.
View conversation · Adam Klasfeld @ KlasfeldReports
38m Replying to
@renato_mariotti True. Though SDNY revealed probe into other individuals ongoing
View conversation · Adam Klasfeld @ KlasfeldReports
31m Replying to
@KlasfeldReports Third question: Were reports accurate that Epstein was on suicide watch, a status that typically would have put him under 24-hour watch and removed any objects that could be used for self-harm from his cell?
View conversation · Liz Garbus @ lizgarbus
27m Replying to
@KlasfeldReports Wouldn't there be video surveillance of those cells?
View conversation · bmaz @ bmaz
24m Replying to
@KlasfeldReports Ahem, aren't you supposed to be on vacation?
View conversation · Meredith Porterfield @ meredithep
24m Replying to
@KlasfeldReports Adam I thought you were headed to the mountains?
View conversation · Adam Klasfeld @ KlasfeldReports
23m Replying to
@lizgarbus That would be a good question for someone to answer under oath.
View conversation · Adam Klasfeld @ KlasfeldReports
10m Replying to
@bmaz twitter.com/klasfeldreport'... View conversation · Adam Klasfeld @ KlasfeldReports
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@meredithep twitter.com/klasfeldreport'... View conversation · Enter a topic, @name, or fullname
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Suicide watch: How prisons manage suicidal inmates - CNN
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 14:40
Aaron Hernandez found hanged 01:25
Aaron Hernandez found hanged 01:25
Story HighlightsInmates on suicide watch may receive very different treatment from one prison to anotherScreening for mental health and suicidal thoughts may help identify inmates at risk, experts say(CNN) '-- The suicide of former NFL player Aaron Hernandez in his prison cell is one of several recent suicides of people in custody, prompting experts to question whether these deaths were preventable.
Hernandez, who was convicted of murder in 2015, hanged himself Wednesday morning with a bedsheet tied to his window, according to prison officials.
A Washington state inmate accused of fatally shooting five people last year also hanged himself this week,
and
a triple-murder suspect recently fell from the fourth floor of an Ohio courthouse in an apparent suicide, according to police.
Hernandez was reportedly placed on suicide watch in 2015 after he was convicted for the murder of Odin Lloyd, for which he was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. But there has been no indication he was on suicide watch Wednesday morning. An investigation into his death is ongoing.
"Ideally there should be constant, one-on-one eyes on (suicidal) inmates," said Christine Tartaro, a professor of criminal justice at Stockton University and an expert on suicide in correctional facilities.
"I mean human eyes, not closed-circuit television," she said. "It is so easy to get distracted and walk away from the TV set."
Court Orders Sunlight on Huge Tranche of Jeffrey Epstein Files
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 14:31
MANHATTAN (CN) '' More than a decade after his child sex-abuse case shocked the nation, the extraordinarily light sentence given to politically connected Jeffrey Epstein continues to embarrass multiple presidents, a prince and a powerful lawyer.
Jeffrey Epstein is shown in custody in West Palm Beach, Fla., on July 30, 2008. (Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via AP) On Wednesday, the Second Circuit ordered sunlight for nearly 2,000 pages of files related to the wealthy tycoon and the dozens of girls whose assault claims he buried with an expansive plea deal.
The fight was one spurred on by Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown on the heels of her groundbreaking investigative series ''Perversion of Justice,'' which renewed national attention to the Epstein case by highlighting his ties to the nation's elite.
In refusing to unseal those documents last year, however, U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet said public access would defeat privacy interests and ''promote scandal arising out of unproven potentially libelous statements.''
The Second Circuit vacated that decision today, with U.S. Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes waxing eloquently on behalf of a three-judge panel about how the ruling will empower journalists to inform the public about the U.S. judiciary.
''We have long noted that the press plays a vital role in ensuring the public right of access and in enhancing 'the quality and safeguards the integrity of the fact-finding process,'' the 24-page opinion states. ''When faithfully observing its best traditions, the print and electronic media' contributes to public understanding of the rule of law' and 'validates [its] claim of functioning as surrogates for the public.'''
Brown's Polk Award-winning series for The Herald highlighted how the U.S. judiciary victimized the powerless and protected the powerful through President Trump's Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, who negotiated a sweetheart plea deal with Epstein in his former capacity as federal prosecutor a decade ago.
The agreement allowed Epstein to serve out a paltry 13-month sentence in a county jail, allowed him to take field trips outside his cell, and shielded his accused accomplices from prosecution.
Backing up The Herald's expos(C) in February, a federal judge ruled that Acosta illegally withheld that plea deal from more than 30 of Epstein's underage victims.
''Epstein used paid employees to find and bring minor girls to him,'' U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra wrote in a passionate opinion at the time. ''Epstein worked in concert with others to obtain minors not only for his own sexual gratification, but also for the sexual gratification of others.''
That Florida judge is preparing to decide what, if any, penalty the government should face for violating the Crime Victims' Rights Act.
On top of investigative reporting, the Epstein saga has inspired more than its share of sensationalism. The batch of files soon to be made public come from a lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre against Epstein's associate Ghislaine Maxwell, accusing the British socialite of turning her into a ''sex slave.''
Giuffre has claimed that Maxwell passed her off as a minor to Prince Andrew and said that she was trafficked to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz as an adult. Both vehemently denied the allegations.
Giuffre's attorney David Boies, the chairman of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, said in a phone interview that his client is ''very pleased'' with a ruling that they believe will call attention to the domestic scourge of sex-trafficking.
''Part of what she started to do five years ago is to start to speak out so that what happened to her will be less likely to happen to other young girls,'' Boies said.
''It's too easy to ignore the scope and scale of sex trafficking in the United States,'' the attorney continued. ''We tend to think this is a problem in foreign countries.''
Judge Cabranes emphasized the importance of treating the allegations contained in the sealed materials with caution.
''At the same time, the media does the public a profound disservice when it reports on parties' allegations uncritically,'' his ruling states.
Before The Herald mounted its appellate challenge, a blogger named Mike Cernovich tried to unseal the Giuffre docket on the trial court level in 2017. Cernovich had been known a year earlier for peddling the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which claimed that prominent Democrats operated a child sex ring with help from a Beltway insider who owns the pizzeria Comet Ping Pong. The theory made mainstream headlines when Edgar Welch, an actor with a checkered drugs and alcohol record, stormed the pizza shop with a gun.
In a phone interview, Cernovich's attorney Marc Randazza said he did not believe the court's journalism-ethics lecture had been aimed at his client, whom he praised for first spotting the significance of the sealed federal court files.
''Frankly, I don't think there are very many press outlets that couldn't be accused of doing the same thing,'' Randazza said.
Praising the court's riff on journalistic responsibility, the First Amendment attorney added: ''You don't often see the courts going beyond what they have to do and giving that philosophical guidance.''
''The courts are handing down wisdom when they issue an order,'' he added.
Randazza speculated that the court had been cautioning reporters about claims made by Giuffre's attorney Paul Cassell, a former federal judge who said in open court that his client had been ''trafficked'' to Dershowitz. Giuffre sued Dershowitz in April for denying that allegation.
Dershowitz's attorney Andrew Celli, who expects the sealed files to vindicate his client, applauded the ruling.
''We're pleased that, after nearly three years of litigation, the court files have been opened up '-- as they always should have been,'' Celli, a partner with Emery Celli, said in an email. ''The First Amendment, and our trust in the judicial system, requires nothing less.''
Today's ruling kicks off a lengthy process for unsealing the files. The Second Circuit itself plans to unseal a summary judgment record. Another judge will take over the role of carefully unsealing the remainder of the files for Sweet, who died in March at the age of 96.
In a partial dissent, U.S. Circuit Judge Rosemary Pooler argued that all of the files should have been handled by the trial judge.
''On that score, it is worth clarifying here the breadth of the court's unsealing order: it unseals nearly 2000 pages of material,'' Pooler emphasized. ''The task of identifying and making specific redactions in such a substantial volume is perilous; the consequences of even a seemingly minor error may be grave and are irrevocable.''
Boies said that he and his client Giuffre are readying for a protracted process.
''It's a very important step toward making the information that the court has available to the public,'' he said. ''It's only a first step.''
The Herald did not immediately respond to a request for comment by press time.
Photos show Jeffrey Epstein as he's wheeled into Downtown Hospital
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 14:07
August 10, 2019 | 9:49am | Updated August 10, 2019 | 9:51am
Jeffrey Epstein is wheeled into New York Downtown Hospital.
William Farrington
Jeffrey Epstein is wheeled into New York Downtown Hospital.
William Farrington
Paramedics tried to revive convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein as they wheeled him into the hospital, exclusive photos by the Post show.
Sources said Epstein, 66, hanged himself in his cell in the Manhattan Correctional Center. FDNY officials said a call came in at 6:38 a.m.
Paramedics wheeled a gurney carrying Epstein, still in his orange prison uniform, into New York Downtown Hospital around 7:30 a.m.
His eyes were closed, and the EMTs were using a breathing apparatus in what appeared to be an attempt to revive him.
Epstein was reportedly on suicide watch two weeks ago after he was found nearly unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck.
The multimillionaire financier was being held without bail pending trial on child sex-trafficking charges.
Jeffrey Epstein Commits Suicide at Manhattan Jail - The New York Times
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 13:23
New York | Jeffrey Epstein Commits Suicide at Manhattan Jail BREAKING
Mr. Epstein, the financier indicted on sex trafficking charges last month, hanged himself and his body was found this morning.
Image Jeffrey Epstein in 2008. Credit Credit Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post, via Associated Press Jeffrey Epstein, the financier indicted on sex trafficking charges last month, committed suicide at a Manhattan jail, officials said on Saturday.
Mr. Epstein hanged himself and his body was found this morning at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan at roughly 7:30.
Manhattan federal prosecutors last month charged Mr. Epstein, 66, with sex trafficking of girls as young as 14, and details of his behavior have been emerging for years.
Mr. Epstein, a financier with opulent homes, a private jet and access to elite circles, had been dogged for decades by accusations that he had paid dozens of girls for sexual acts in Florida.
He previously avoided federal criminal charges in 2008 after prosecutors brokered a widely criticized deal that allowed him to plea to solicitation of prostitution from a minor and serve 13 months in jail.
Last month, a week after being denied bail, Mr. Epstein was found unconscious in his cell at the jail in Manhattan with marks on his neck, and prison officials were investigating the incident as a possible suicide attempt.
It was not immediately clear on Saturday whether the authorities had put in additional safeguards to watch him after the incident last month.
Martin Weinberg, Mr. Epstein's defense lawyer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A cache of previously sealed legal documents, released on Friday by a federal appeals court, provided new, disturbing details about what was going on inside Mr. Epstein's homes and how his associates recruited young women and girls, including from a Florida high school.
The documents '-- among the most expansive sets of materials publicly disclosed in the 13 years since Mr. Epstein was first charged with sex crimes '-- include depositions, police incident reports, photographs, receipts, flight logs and even a memoir written by a woman who says she was a sex-trafficking victim of Mr. Epstein and his acquaintances.
The documents were filed as part of a defamation lawsuit in federal court that Virginia Giuffre brought in 2015 against Ghislaine Maxwell, Mr. Epstein's longtime companion and confidant. Ms. Giuffre and Ms. Maxwell settled the lawsuit shortly before the trial was to begin in 2017.
The Miami Herald and other media outlets petitioned the court to have the lawsuit documents unsealed. The request was initially denied, but an appeals court ordered them released last month, just days before Mr. Epstein was arrested on sex-trafficking charges. He had pleaded not guilty.
William K. Rashbaum is a senior writer on the Metro desk, where he covers political and municipal corruption, courts, terrorism and broader law enforcement topics. He was a part of the team awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. @ WRashbaum ' Facebook
Benjamin Weiser is a reporter covering the Manhattan federal courts. He has long covered criminal justice, both as a beat and investigative reporter. Before joining The Times in 1997, he worked at The Washington Post. @ BenWeiserNYT
Hastie's awakening to Xi's bid for total control of China - and beyond
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 11:03
In earlier years Hastie had noted China's vast, global infrastructure project, the Belt and Road Initiative spanning at least 68 countries to date, and still in its early phase. But it didn't occur to him that this might be just a minor part of a much bigger Chinese strategy until he opened an email from John Garnaut early last year.
Garnaut is an Australian former Beijing correspondent for The Age and the Herald. He'd been retained by Malcolm Turnbull to write a classified report on China's operations in Australia.
Illustration: Jim Pavlidis Credit:
Garnaut's findings so alarmed the government that it led directly to Turnbull's bill outlawing foreign interference in Australia, a bill Labor helped pass into law. The Garnaut report remains classified. But Garnaut did send Hastie something else he'd written. As Hastie read, it struck him like a thunderclap.
We all know that China is vital to the living standards we enjoy every day in Australia. And we all know that our dominant trading partner is driven by an ideology that's alien to our own.
But how many of us have taken the trouble to study that ideology? And especially to study it in the way that Xi Jinping is implementing it in the world's rising superpower?
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A bare handful, is the answer.
The former soldier started reading a speech the former journalist had delivered to an internal federal government seminar hosted by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in August 2017. It was titled Engineers of the Soul: what Australia needs to know about ideology in Xi Jinping's China.
Garnaut explained to his audience that today's Communist Party rulers of China are guided by the ancient imperial books that are "all about the rise and decay of dynasties". Garnaut related a telling fact about the founder of Communist China, Mao Zedong: "Mao in particular was obsessed, as Mao's one-time secretary Li Rui explained to me. He told me: 'He only slept on one-third of the bed and the other two-thirds of his bed was covered by books, all of which were thread-bound Chinese books, Chinese ancient books. His research was the strategies of emperors. That was how to govern this country. That was what he was most interested in.'"
The Garnaut paper sketched the connections between Mao then and Xi now. Xi's father worked with Mao in advancing the Communist revolution of 1949, and that makes Xi a "revolutionary successor", a so-called princeling in the Chinese Communist Party's aristocracy.
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"In the view of China's princelings," Garnaut wrote, "China is still trapped in the cycle which had created and destroyed every dynasty that had gone before.
"In this tradition, when you lose political power you don't just lose your job (while keeping your super) as you might in our rather gentrified arrangement. You lose your wealth, you lose your freedom, you probably lose your life and possibly your entire extended family. You are literally erased from history. Winners take all and losers lose everything ... Xi and his comrades in the red dynasty believe they will go the same way as the Manchus and the Mings the moment they forget."
How to keep the red dynasty alive? Mao drew on a 1938 work by Russia's iron-fisted Communist ruler, Joseph Stalin, Short Course on the History of the Bolsheviks.
According to Garnaut, it was Mao's manual for ruthlessly purging his peers, who were in cahoots with imagined Western agents working to restore liberalism and capitalism. Xi's deep purge of his party '' in the form of an anti-corruption drive '' is an earnest compliment to Mao and to Stalin.
"The key point about Communist Party ideology '' the unbroken thread that runs from Lenin through Stalin, Mao and Xi '' is that the party is and always has defined itself as being in perpetual struggle with the 'hostile' forces of Western liberalism," Garnaut continued.
"Xi is talking seriously and acting decisively to progress a project of total ideological control wherever it is possible for him to do so. His vision 'requires all the Chinese people to be unified with a single will like a strong city wall'," Garnaut wrote, quoting Xi.
Of course, communism is no longer a functional economic ideology in China. "All that remains is an ideology of power, dressed up as patriotism, but that doesn't mean it cannot work," Garnaut wrote."Already, Xi has shown that the subversive promise of the internet can be inverted. In the space of five years, with the assistance of Big Data science and Artificial Intelligence, he has been bending the internet from an instrument of democratisation into a tool of omniscient control ...
"The audacity of this project is breathtaking. And so too are the implications. The challenge for us is that Xi's project of total ideological control does not stop at China's borders. It is packaged to travel with Chinese students, tourists, migrants and especially money. It flows through the channels of the Chinese language internet, pushes into all the world's major media and cultural spaces and generally keeps pace with and even anticipates China's increasingly global interests."
When Hastie finished reading, he saw the Chinese regime through an entirely new prism. And he paid much closer attention, testing Beijing's emerging behaviour against Garnaut's explanation.Hastie now saw the news of Xi's sweeping censorship, for instance, through the lens of a program of total ideological control. The news of Xi's mass incarceration of a million or more of China's ethnic Uighur minority people in re-education camps, too, was now much more comprehensible as a part of his program of totalisation.
And so, too, Beijing's manipulation of its Confucius Institutes, embedded in dozens of universities around the democratic world, was starkly obvious as another tool for extending Chinese Communist Party ideology. Only now, as illustrated by the recent student demonstrations at the University of Queensland, have Australian universities started to wake up to their unwitting part in Xi's totalising project.
And then, in recent weeks, Hastie has heard for himself about Xi's intensified religious persecution of Christians. Hastie's father established the Mandarin Presbyterian Church in Sydney's inner west suburb of Ashfield. Through this connection, Hastie has learned of how Australian Christian missionaries in China are being questioned and detained, their networks dismantled.
The people of Hong Kong understand the threat to their slender, remaining rights. They are now struggling desperately. We know that Beijing has no moral compunction about using mass murder to control political protest, even peaceful protest. How? Because just this year Xi's Defence Minister, Wei Fenghe, said the 1989 decision to massacre thousands of unarmed students in Tiananmen Square was "correct policy" to end "political turbulence".
John Howard, long an optimist in Australia's dealings with China, this week recognised that the old formula for Australia's relationship with Beijing can no longer operate.
"It is getting harder, because the regime in China now is a lot more authoritarian than the one that was in power 10 years ago," Howard said. "And what we are seeing in Hong Kong perhaps represents a glimpse of the future for Chinese society.''
Andrew Hastie thought that Australia needed to wake to the danger of Beijing's relentless intrusions. If he erred, it was to use a comparison to Hitler's Germany. Xi is ruthlessly repressive but not guilty of genocide.
Nonetheless, it was telling that Prime Minister Scott Morrison, while not embracing Hastie's warning, certainly did not contradict him. He merely pointed out that, as a backbencher, Hastie was "entirely entitled" to put his views.
Indeed, while some Liberal and Labor politicians criticised Hastie's language and his comparisons, not one of them argued against his central proposition. Hastie, taking Xi's own ideology seriously, is now deeply worried that China is a present threat to Australian sovereignty and liberty and his realisation is widely shared across both of Australia's major parties.
The final words of his piece this week: "The next decade will test our democratic values, our economy, our alliances and our security like no other time in Australian history."
The Hastie experience shows that Australia is still working out how to talk about the threat from China. But the big change is that, however awkward the topic when it involves your biggest trading partner, Australia is now talking about it.
Peter Hartcher is political editor and international editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.
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The Comeback Id | Vanity Fair
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 04:39
It was a wedding straight out of Sex and the City: a rehearsal dinner looking out over the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero, a garden ceremony and dancing reception in a grand chteau outside Paris, topped off by a private fireworks display. The groom was a thirtysomething American lawyer with friends in high places, the bride a dark-eyed designer with social sheen, and the guest list a mix of family and what Nol Coward once called Nescaf(C) Society.
But the real cynosure of the occasion last August was the smiling, snowy-haired man who is the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral he attends, the 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton. He had come to the City of Light with the motley crew that constitutes some of the post-presidential rat pack to celebrate the marriage of Douglas Band, the man who for the last decade has been his personal aide, gatekeeper, enforcer, and'--more recently'--counselor in the multifarious business, philanthropic, and political dealings that keep Clinton restlessly circling the globe.
Also in attendance was Ron Burkle, the California supermarket billionaire and investor who is Clinton's bachelor buddy, fund-raiser, and business partner. Burkle had come with an attractive blonde, described by a fellow guest as ''not much older than 19, if she was that.''
Burkle's usual means of transport is the custom-converted Boeing 757 that Clinton calls ''Ron Air'' and that Burkle's own circle of young aides privately refer to as ''Air Fuck One.'' Clinton himself had arrived on the private plane of another California friend, the real-estate heir, Democratic donor, liberal activist, and sometime movie and music producer Steve Bing, whose colorful private life includes fathering a child out of wedlock with the actress Elizabeth Hurley and suing the billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian for invasion of privacy, alleging that private investigators for Kerkorian swiped Bing's dental floss out of his trash in a successful effort to prove that Bing's DNA matched that of a child delivered by Kerkorian's ex-wife, the former tennis pro Lisa Bonder. (The suit was later settled out of court.)
In fairness, it should be said that Clinton's entourage that weekend also included his daughter, Chelsea, and her boyfriend, Marc Mezvinsky, and no one who was there has adduced the slightest evidence that Clinton's behavior was anything other than proper. Nor, indeed, is there any proof of post-presidential sexual indiscretions on Clinton's part, despite a steady stream of tabloid speculation and Internet intimations that the Big Dog might be up to his old tricks. On any given visit to London, for example, Clinton is as apt to dine with Tony Blair or Kevin Spacey as with anyone who might raise an eyebrow.
But among the not-so-small cadre of Clinton friends and former aides, concern about the company the boss keeps is persistent, palpable, and pained. No former president of the United States has ever traveled with such a fast crowd, and most 61-year-old American men of Clinton's generation don't, either. ''I just think those guys are radioactive,'' one former aide to Clinton who is still in occasional affectionate touch with him told me recently, referring to Burkle and (to a lesser extent) Bing. ''I stay far away from them.''
Another former aide, trusted by Clinton for his good judgment, said, ''On the sort of money, women, all that stuff '... I'm the bad guy. All this stuff is kept away from me. Whatever they're doing, they definitely view me as somebody you cannot confide in.''
A longtime Clinton-watcher, who has had ties to the former president since his first campaign for governor of Arkansas, said of Clinton's sometimes questionable associations, ''I don't know what to make of any of that, if it's a voyeuristic experience, or if he's participating in it.''
Yet another long-serving Clinton aide said simply, ''If you figure it out, would you let me know?''
Bill Clinton's relevance'--and his presence in public life'--is as close to permanent as any politician's can be. Before touching off a string of controversies in his wife's campaign this year, he was among the most popular figures on the planet, one of only three Democratic presidents in the 20th century to serve two full terms. His looming presence will make him a factor in the Democratic vice-presidential sweepstakes, the fall campaign, and every future presidential election of his lifetime, whatever his wife's fate.
I have covered Clinton on and off for 16 years, since his 1992 presidential campaign. I first really met him on New Year's Eve 1994, when he shook my hand on the beach at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and let his eyes travel ever so subtly to the newly issued White House press pass hanging around my neck, so that he could know to say, ''I'm glad you're here, Todd.'' As a White House correspondent for The New York Times for more than two years, I spent some part of almost every day watching, thinking about, worrying about, or writing about Clinton and his never-a-dull-moment presidency. I found it hard not to admire his roving intellect, his protean political talents, his outsize personality, and the tactical skill with which he eventually confronted the Republican congressional majority that bedeviled so much of his tenure. Clinton had no use for the string of pure and noble losers that had come to define the Democratic Party's presidential prospects for so long. He wanted to win, and he knew how. (I should add, by way of disclosure, that my wife, Dee Dee Myers, was Clinton's first press secretary. They have not been in regular contact since she left the White House, and she has not been a source for this article.)
To know Clinton is, sooner or later, to be exasperated by his indiscipline and disappointed by his shortcomings. But through it all, it has been easy enough to retain an enduring admiration'--even affection'--for a president whose sins against decorum and the dignity of his office seemed venial in contrast to the systemic indifference, incompetence, corruption, and constitutional predations of his successor's administration. That is, easy enough until now.
This winter, as Clinton moved with seeming abandon to stain his wife's presidential campaign in the name of saving it, as disclosures about his dubious associates piled up, as his refusal to disclose the names of donors to his presidential library and foundation and his and his wife's reluctance to release their income-tax returns created crippling and completely avoidable distractions for Hillary Clinton's own long-suffering ambition, I found myself asking again and again, What's the matter with him?
As I sought to answer that question for myself, in conversations with dozens of current and onetime Clinton aides, many of whom I have known all these years (Clinton himself declined to be interviewed), I realized just how much about the former president is not known, and not knowable, at the moment, mostly because of his unapologetic stonewalling. Virtually no one, except Ron Burkle, knows just what Clinton put into Burkle's investment business, or just what he has done since to earn millions of dollars, with the prospect of reaping millions more. Most of the names of the donors who have contributed some $500 million to Clinton's library and foundation over the past decade are not known, either. Virtually no one, except his doctors and family, knows the precise state of Clinton's health. Virtually no one really knows what strategic role he has played in his wife's campaign.
A Cavernous NarcissismSo what can be known, or fairly inferred, from the available record?
There is reason to believe that Clinton, who never made more than $35,000 a year as governor of Arkansas and left the White House about $12 million in debt, has had his head turned by his ability to enjoy his post-presidential status; that the world of rich friends, adoring fans, and borrowed jets in which he travels has skewed his judgment or, at a minimum, created uncomfortable appearances of impropriety. There is ample evidence that his eight-year absence from a political workplace that has changed radically in the interim has left him conspicuously rusty at the craft of which he was once a master. There are those friends who worry that Clinton has never been the same since his quadruple-bypass surgery, in 2004, and the unexpected follow-up operation six months later to remove accumulated scar tissue on his lung.
''There's an anger in him that I find surprising,'' one senior aide, who has known and served both Clintons for years, told me this spring. ''There seems to be an abiding anger in him, and not just the summer thunderstorms of old. He has been called into question repeatedly by top staff. The fact is, you can only weigh in so often on this stuff. It's just a huge force of nature.''
It may well have been Clinton's displaced anger (at the media, the Obama campaign, or both) on his wife's behalf that led to his charged performance in the South Carolina primary, where he campaigned extensively against the wishes of Hillary's high command in the mistaken belief that he could help her among black voters. He not only failed to do so but damaged his own relations with many prominent blacks, just as black voters were flocking to Barack Obama for the first time in large numbers. Hillary's campaign was arguably never the same again.
It is also possible that all these influences have combined to make the cavernous narcissism that has always driven Clinton, for better and worse, at last consume the man almost completely. It was Clinton's political genius to position the Democratic Party, for the first time in a generation, as the champion of those who ''work hard and play by the rules.'' In his own life, he has always followed only the first half of that dictum, and has never been fastidious about appearances, in ways charming and not. At a private meeting in New York City in 1992, AIDS activists, who were lobbying Clinton to include a speaker with AIDS at the Democratic convention that summer, presented him with a big batch of condoms, and a participant told me at the time that Clinton instantly replied, ''My staff thinks this is the last thing I need.'' Less amusingly, in the run-up to the 1996 re-election campaign, when Clinton took one of his many fund-raising trips to California, I teasingly asked his press secretary, Mike McCurry, whether the president intended to go jogging with Eleanor Mondale, the daughter of the former vice president'--as he had on a previous trip'--after he was spotted with her (and Barbra Streisand) in the wee hours of the morning. The next day, as we boarded the plane at Andrews Air Force Base en route to Los Angeles, McCurry, whose effectiveness as Clinton's spokesman was aided by the fact that he never fell in love with him, sidled up to me and told me that he had passed my question on to the president, and that Clinton had responded, in vivid terms he knew I could not print, that I should not confuse exercise with extracurricular activity.
Only much later would the world learn that no less an informed observer than Monica Lewinsky, whose judgment, in hindsight, has often seemed sounder than the president's, had taken note of Mondale's presence at his side. According to Andrew Morton's authorized account Monica's Story, Lewinsky flew into a swivet when she was once stopped at the White House gate on her way to a hoped-for meeting to deliver Christmas gifts to the president. While waiting, she learned that Mondale was with him in the White House.
''Do you think I would be stupid enough to go running with someone I was foolin' with?,'' Clinton later asked Lewinsky. Without missing a beat, she replied, ''Do you want me to answer that?''
The ''Butt Boy''By most accounts, including his own, Clinton struggled to find his footing in the early days of his post-presidency. ''I was lost for three weeks after I left the White House,'' he said on the campaign trail this winter. ''Nobody ever played a song anymore. I had no idea where I was.'' He had ended his administration in a firestorm of criticism over his eleventh-hour pardon of a raft of assorted miscreants, including the fugitive financier Marc Rich, whose ex-wife, Denise, contributed $450,000 to Clinton's presidential-library fund, approximately $1 million to Democratic causes, including $70,000 to a fund supporting Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign, and $7,000 worth of furniture for the Clintons' new home in Chappaqua, in suburban Westchester County.
''When he first started transitioning, it was hard,'' one former longtime aide told me. ''But then he said to me, 'I've always been a guy who could bloom where I was planted.' I've been impressed by how truly happy he's been as an ex-president. He's much more focused than I would ever think he would be.''
Soon enough, Clinton was busy with plans for his library, and for the foundation that would not only build it but would undertake philanthropic and policy projects around the world; with paid speeches at $150,000 to $250,000 apiece; and with the writing of what would become his best-selling memoir, My Life, published in 2004. Deeply in debt with Whitewater- and impeachment-related legal bills, he set about earning an income that would ''support a senator,'' as he put it. He more than succeeded. This spring, when the Clintons'--under intense pressure from Barack Obama and the news media'--at last released their income-tax returns for the years since they left the White House, the total haul amounted to a staggering $109 million. Included in that total, besides Hillary Clinton's Senate salary and Bill Clinton's presidential pension, were $10 million in book income for Hillary and $29 million in book income for Bill, along with $51 million in speaking fees for the former president.
The command center for Bill Clinton Inc. is the former president's penthouse office on 125th Street, in Harlem, and the go-to guy in the operation is a figure barely known to the public but a center of controversy in Clintonworld: Doug Band. Band, 35, joined the White House as an intern in the counsel's office in 1995 and by the end of the administration was the president's personal aide, or ''butt boy,'' the person responsible for making sure the president wakes up on time in the morning and stays on schedule during the day, and for peering around the corner of the president's existence 24-7, at home and on the road, to make sure he has everything he needs (lunch, tie, speech, hat, golf clubs, a handy bathroom) and avoids everything unnecessary, unwanted, and undesirable (you get the drift). Band was the fourth young person to hold that job in Clinton's White House tenure, and he holds some vestigial elements of it but has also moved far beyond. In Clinton's post-presidential years, Band, who earned a master's and a law degree by studying nights at Georgetown, has expanded his duties. His official title is ''counselor,'' and Clinton credits him with helping to conceive the Clinton Global Initiative, the annual conference on venture philanthropy that brings together movers and shakers from the worlds of business, charity, and academia to tackle problems ranging from poverty to climate change.
Band can be brusque and aggressive for a person whose job it is not to be noticed. In 2001, when I wrote about Chelsea Clinton's graduation from Stanford for The New York Times and noted that a number of former White House staffers, including Band's predecessor, Kris Engskov, a bright young Arkansan, were on hand in Palo Alto to help out with logistics, I got a call the next morning from Band, curtly reminding me that he, not Engskov, was now the man who managed the former president's cell phone.
Last fall, Band fired off a stern letter to Nino Selimaj, owner of the Osso Buco restaurant, on University Place in Manhattan, demanding that a photograph of Selimaj with Chelsea Clinton that had hung in the restaurant's window for five years (in the time-honored tradition of publicizing celebrity patronage, but to Chelsea's apparent annoyance) be taken down forthwith. ''Ms. Clinton, a private citizen, was not consulted prior to this picture being displayed, and thus, her permission was not given for you to do so,'' Band wrote. Selimaj, a Hillary Clinton supporter, was crushed but left the picture up until this April when he removed it to make room for a new batch of photos.
A former Clinton aide acknowledged, ''He's a real point of animus from Hillaryland.'' In 2004, Maggie Williams, Hillary Clinton's former White House chief of staff, who had gone on to help establish Clinton's foundation as his post-presidential chief of staff, left her job after two and a half years at least partly, she told friends, because Band rubbed too many people the wrong way, perhaps unintentionally, and made too much work for her. Williams, who took over Hillary Clinton's struggling campaign in a staff shake-up this spring, has told intimates that while Band is not one of her favorites she had other, more personal, reasons for moving on. But one of Williams's former colleagues and friends told me, ''Maggie said, 'That's it. I'm done,' because Doug does not show good judgment all the time.''
A range of Clinton loyalists complain privately that Band does not keep Clinton away from people like Burkle and Bing, who attended Band's wedding to Lily Rafii, a glamorous designer of high-end handbags, belts, and other accessories.
A Classic Clinton VacuumThe most pointed criticism of Band is precisely this: that he does not possess what Clinton has always needed in a string of strong-willed aides, such as his gubernatorial chief of staff Betsey Wright, or his director of Oval Office operations, Nancy Hernreich'--the judgment to save him from himself. The origins of such criticism may lie in the fact that one of his predecessors as personal aide, Stephen Goodin, was cited, together with Hernreich, in the Starr Report as having tried to keep Monica Lewinsky away from the president, while Band, then only an intern, escorted her to a White House party, at her request.
''It's a classic Clinton vacuum, in my opinion,'' one former aide told me, referring to the inability of Band'--or perhaps anyone'--to monitor the company Clinton keeps. ''He surrounds himself with people sometimes who are really good or really bad, and there's rarely any in-between.''
Band's supporters among Clinton's longtime circle say most of the criticism means he is doing his job. ''In my experience, he's pretty good at protecting a guy who, you know, everybody wants to grab his sleeve,'' former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta told me. ''He pushes back hard.'' Even some who do not always admire his hard-charging style say he kept conscientious, worried vigil during Clinton's 2004 heart surgery and that Hillary relied on him greatly.
Band's defenders say that complaints about his judgment are misplaced, and are really complaints about Clinton's judgment. Band himself declined to be interviewed. But someone who knows him well said that he was sure Band was unhappy and surprised by the presence of Burkle's young date at his wedding, and that to the degree that Band has ruffled feathers or made enemies by saying ''no'' to various supplicants, friends, and favor seekers who believe Clinton should acquiesce to them, he has done so with the president's and his family's best interests at heart.
Over the last few years, aides have winced at repeated tabloid reports about Clinton's episodic friendship and occasional dinners out with Belinda Stronach, a twice-divorced billionaire auto-parts heiress and member of the Canadian Parliament 20 years his junior, or at more recent high-end Hollywood dinner-party gossip that Clinton has been seen visiting with the actress Gina Gershon in California. There has been talk of a female friend in Chappaqua, a woman in a bar at a meeting of the Aspen Institute, and a public sighting of Clinton, Bing, and a ravishing entourage in a New York elevator that, a former Clinton aide told me, led a business leader who saw them to say: I don't know what the guy was doing, but it was so clear that it was just no good.
None of these wisps of smoke have produced a public fire. But four former Clinton aides told me that, about 18 months ago, one of the president's former assistants, who still advises him on political matters, had heard so many complaints about such reports from Clinton supporters around the country that he felt compelled to try to conduct what one of these aides called an ''intervention,'' because, the aide believed, ''Clinton was apparently seeing a lot of women on the road.'' The would-be intercessor was rebuffed by people around Clinton before ever getting an audience with the former president, and another aide told me that the effort was not well received by either Bill or Hillary Clinton and that some Hillarylanders, in particular, were in denial about the continuing political risks that Bill's behavior might pose.
The sensitivity among Clinton's staff to these questions is such that, after I posed some queries about Clinton's relationship with Burkle and Co., a spokesman, Jay Carson, e-mailed me this comment: ''The ills of the Democratic Party can be seen perfectly in the willingness of fellow Democrats to say bad things about President Clinton. If you ask any Republican about Reagan they will say he still makes the sun rise in the morning, but if you ask Democrats about their only two-term president in 80 years, a man who took the party from the wilderness of loserdom to the White House and created the strongest economy in American history, they'd rather be quoted saying what a reporter wants to hear than protect a strong brand for the party. Republicans look at this behavior and laugh at us.''
Whatever the facts of Clinton's personal life, it is beyond dispute that he has associated with some decidedly unpresidential company. In 2002, Clinton flew to Africa with the New York investor Jeffrey Epstein on his private Boeing 727 on an anti-AIDS and economic-development mission. (Others on the mission included Kevin Spacey and the comedian Chris Tucker.) In 2006, Epstein was indicted on state charges of soliciting prostitution in Palm Beach, Florida, and he later came under investigation by federal authorities amid allegations that he hired under-age girls for massages and more in a house stocked with sex toys and genitalia-shaped soaps. He remains the subject of at least four pending civil lawsuits from young women and is reportedly expected to accept a plea deal on a state charge that would give him 18 months in prison, followed by house arrest, in lieu of a trial now set to begin this month.
When I asked several Clinton aides and friends why the boss hung around with people like Burkle and Bing, they suggested various reasons. Bing, 43, who helped finance Shine a Light, the recent Martin Scorsese documentary about the Rolling Stones, and who has given tens of millions to environmental and other causes dear to Clinton's heart in recent years, is described as very well read, thoughtful, interesting'--and willing to stay up long into the night indulging Clinton's craving for conversational companionship. (A spokesman for Bing said he would have no comment.)
Burkle, 55, a onetime supermarket boxboy who eventually parlayed ownership of several grocery chains into a fortune that Forbes magazine estimates to be at least $3.5 billion, is said to have bonded with Clinton over their shared origins as outsiders who rose to the very biggest leagues. They met during Clinton's 1992 campaign, after the Los Angeles riots, and Burkle's union-friendly stance and support for a range of Democratic causes quickly endeared him to Clinton. A former Burkle associate told me that Burkle has always been careful to conduct his own social life discreetly in Clinton's presence, but would not deny that the divorced Burkle leads what he euphemistically called a ''European lifestyle.'' And, the former associate added, ''how many older guys wouldn't want to hang out with younger girls, if they could? Would you rather hang out with a smart, good-looking 20-year-old, or a 45-year-old?''
One person, who has worked at the highest levels for both Clintons, told me that Clinton's association with such people ''just shows poor judgment, for someone who understands political calculations the way he does, and the subtleties as he does, that he puts himself in that position.''
Business with BurkleIn his book Giving, an extended Hallmark hymn to the virtues of venture philanthropy, Clinton writes that Burkle's provision of post''White House work was the ''only private sector offer I accepted'' upon leaving office. In fact, that is not true: Clinton has also collected more than $3 million in consulting fees from InfoUSA, a data-mining company headed by a longtime contributor, Vinod Gupta, a Nebraska multi-millionaire who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Clintons' campaigns. The company has drawn media scrutiny for allegedly selling consumer data about vulnerable senior citizens to unscrupulous telemarketers, and some shareholders once sued InfoUSA, charging that Gupta wasted nearly $1 million in company funds flying the Clintons around the world. (InfoUSA did not respond to a request for comment.)
But Clinton's business relationship with Burkle is far and away his largest source of income after books and speeches: $15.4 million between 2003 and 2007, according to the Clintons' recently released tax returns. That amounts to about 20 percent of all the income that Clinton earned in those years. Until the release of the tax returns this year, Hillary Clinton's Senate financial-disclosure forms had revealed only that Clinton earned ''more than $1,000'' a year from his partnerships with Burkle.
Burkle is perhaps the single best example of the self-reinforcing network of rich personal, charitable, political, and business supporters Clinton has built since his White House years. For Clinton's re-election campaign Burkle held regular fund-raisers at Green Acres, his sprawling estate in Beverly Hills, which once belonged to the silent-film star Harold Lloyd, and Burkle has also raised millions of dollars for Hillary Clinton's campaigns. What has Clinton done in return? Burkle himself has said that Clinton has provided invaluable introductions and entr(C)e to potential investors, including the Teamsters union. (A spokesman for Burkle's companies did not return repeated telephone calls seeking comment.) When the tax returns were made public this spring, Jay Carson issued a statement saying that ''the president provides his best advice on potential investments, advocates generally on behalf of the funds, and seeks to create opportunities for investors to consider investing in these funds or in the investments the funds make.''
The Burkle partnership carries ample potential for conflicts'--real and perceived'--whether or not Hillary Clinton is ever president. For one thing, she lent her campaign $11.4 million this year, and because the Clintons' finances are commingled, it would be difficult to discern whether money from Burkle-related ventures (or other potentially controversial sources of income) made its way into Clinton campaign coffers. Burkle's other investors include an entity connected to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, whose regime has been cited for human-rights violations by the State Department. (Two years ago, Senator Clinton nevertheless opposed a Dubai-based company's efforts to acquire control over the management of six United States ports.)
Over the years, Clinton has had three main business involvements with Burkle. The first is a broad advisory capacity, for which Clinton has been paid flat fees for work as a rainmaker and liaison between Burkle and various potential investors. In fact, a Clinton aide says, this accounts for all the money that Burkle has paid Clinton to date. As part of the advisory arrangement, Clinton received a stake'--of unknown size'--in two Burkle domestic investment funds, for which Clinton will see a profit only if annual returns exceed a certain threshold. They appear on track to do so, the aide says, but have so far not produced a payout for Clinton. The third strand is an international investment fund (which has also yet to generate cash returns for Clinton) in which the former president invested an undisclosed amount of his own money, along with Burkle and the same entity connected to Sheikh Mohammed. Clinton has the right to opt out of any controversial investments by this fund, as he recently did with an investment in China.
Doug Band, though not Clinton himself, was involved in another Burkle investment that produced embarrassment. As The Wall Street Journal reported last fall, Band helped introduce Burkle to Raffaello Follieri (an Italian entrepreneur and the boyfriend of the actress Anne Hathaway), who had a proposal to buy and develop properties being sold off by the Catholic Church. Band received a $400,000 finder's fee for the transaction (which he has said he passed on to others involved). Burkle later sued Follieri for allegedly misappropriating funds to pay expenses. (The dispute was settled out of court.) A Clinton adviser told me that Follieri (who was recently charged with attempting to pass a bad check for $215,000 in New York; the charge was later dropped) had come with good references. (Attempts to reach Follieri were unsuccessful.)
This winter a Clinton spokesman announced that Clinton was moving to sever his ties with Burkle to avoid potential conflicts should Hillary Clinton become the Democratic nominee. But in fact, one Clinton aide told me, severing the ties is complicated because putting a value on the partnerships is difficult.
Bill Clinton, with Hillary and daughter Chelsea, braves the downpour that marred the 2004 dedication ceremony for the William J. Clinton Presidential Center, in Little Rock, Arkansas.
By Rick Wilking. On the StumpIn the middle of the so-called Potomac primary this winter'--simultaneous elections in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia'--I went to watch Clinton campaign for Hillary one Sunday in Baltimore County: at a senior-living complex in Catonsville and a gritty Democratic club in blue-collar Dundalk. Much of what I saw felt instantly recognizable: the fluid, conversational, extemporaneous style; the succinct statement of the case (''You ought to be for her because she's spent a lifetime making the only kind of change that matters: making changes in other people's lives''); the frequent pronouncements that something or other was ''a big deal'' (a favorite phrase in his presidency); and the genial stretchings of the truth.
''Now, when I got elected, I had the lowest net worth of any president of the 20th century,'' Clinton told his appreciative audience at the Charlestown Retirement Community, blithely ignoring poor Harry Truman, who so struggled to make ends meet as a senator in Washington that he put his wife, Bess, on his office payroll at a higher salary than any other employee there. A moment later, Clinton invoked Truman to make a point about Hillary's courage in fighting for universal health-insurance coverage, saying, ''A lot of you remember that Harry Truman was the first president who tried to get universal health care for everybody. They beat his brains out and nearly destroyed his presidency, and he was a very great president.'' Truman's greatness is now in little dispute, but the contemporary criticism of his presidency had less to do with his drive for health care than with the Korean War.
But if much about Clinton is familiar to one who covered him in his prime, other aspects of his appearance and demeanor are unsettling. He is visibly older and thinner. His hair is whiter and his countenance paler. At times, as the day wears on, he makes an odd cotton-mouth sound, his tongue sticking to the roof of his mouth as he talks. ''At some point in your life, which most of us in this room have reached,'' he tells the seniors, ''you realize that even if you live to be 100'--and I hope you all do, and a bunch of you will, by the way'--you have more yesterdays than tomorrows.''
That, too, was a line Clinton liked to use in the White House, but it rings differently at 61 than it did at 46 or 50. By the standards of the males in his family, Clinton is a very old man indeed. His father died at 28, three months before his son was born, and his maternal grandfather, who helped raise him, died at 58, so Clinton has long faced atypical intimations of his own mortality. Many of those who know him well say he now tires more easily, and loses energy.
Post-Op ComplicationsThat is hardly surprising: not quite four years ago, Clinton underwent quadruple-bypass surgery to relieve blocked arteries in his heart, a procedure whose comparative commonness in the modern medical world belies the range of subtle, complex, and not always obvious complications that can follow it. ''He's recovered much, much more slowly from the heart surgery than anybody thought,'' one former aide told me. ''He still has energy, but not stamina. He can recover, but he used to do that nonstop, with three hours' sleep.''
Just weeks after his triumphal encore appearance at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, in Boston, Clinton, who has suffered for years from esophageal reflux, the symptoms of which can sometimes mimic signs of cardiac trouble, complained of chest pains and shortness of breath, and an angiogram showed severely blocked arteries that doctors said meant he was doubtless headed for a major heart attack. On September 6, 2004, in surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Clinton's breastbone was cut open, his chest pulled apart. His heart was stopped for 73 minutes while a heart-lung machine maintained his body's flow of blood and breathing, and surgeons took blood vessels from his chest and his left leg to create detours around the segments of arteries in his heart that were severely clogged with plaque'--more than 90 percent blocked in some cases.
Six months later, as the result of a rare and unexpected complication, Clinton had a second surgery to remove a rubbery rind of scar tissue caused by the accumulation of bloody fluid in the lower lobe of his left lung; the tissue had cut his breathing capacity by more than 25 percent. In this operation, known as a thoracotomy, an incision was made between a pair of Clinton's ribs, and doctors spread them apart to make room for the insertion of surgical instruments that peeled off tissue surrounding the scar tissue and then the hard, rubbery rind. Experts describe the aftermath of such surgery as typically quite painful, much more painful than that of bypass surgery.
As a private citizen'--albeit a very prominent one'--Clinton has not received anything like the post-surgical media attention he would have if he were still president, and many details of his treatment in recent years are not known. After his first surgery, The New York Times reported that he would take a range of medications, including a beta-blocker to maintain regular heartbeats, a statin to lower his cholesterol, an ace inhibitor to control high blood pressure, and aspirin to thin his blood. These medications may cause a range of side effects, including fatigue, muscle pain, dehydration, depression, and impotence. Coronary bypass can also cause subtle changes in cognition, which may, or may not, be temporary. There is further medical disagreement about whether such changes are caused in part by small particles of plaque that are discharged by the heart-lung machine and sent to the brain, or by the underlying artery disease itself. If a patient has arterial disease in his heart, he could have it in his brain too.
''I would think mood changes would be a big issue in his life from that bypass surgery, especially having to go back a second time,'' says Dr. Thomas Traill, a prominent cardiologist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, who is not involved in Clinton's care. Many people who have bypass surgery get depressed afterward, while others suffer from increased irritability. ''It's very similar to postpartum depression. You deliver a child and then a week later it's a dismal anticlimax. The same thing happens with heart surgery: you wonder if you're going to make it, and then you wake up in the intensive-care unit and you're the center of the universe, and a week later you're exhausted and sore and about to be sent home.''
''It's also true,'' Traill adds, ''that a lot of people are never really the same again, that their mood is not right. Some of that may have been triggered by the original illness and some by surgery. Then there's a persistent problem: you're taking medications, you're under doctors' care, and every day when you shave you know you're not going to live forever. So whether or not he's, as they like to say, clinically depressed, his mood cannot be the same as before this happened.''
The Guilt FactorWhatever the explanation, much of Clinton's behavior on the campaign trail this year has been so maladroit as to constitute malpractice: his blowups at television reporters, his derisive dismissal of Obama's unwavering anti-war stance as a ''fairy tale,'' and most of all his denigrating comparison of Obama's performance in the South Carolina primary to Jesse Jackson's victories there two decades ago (which even one of his closest former aides described to me as insensitive at best). Perhaps no figure in modern American politics has less standing to say ''Shame on you!'' than Bill Clinton, but he said just that'--twice'--to a hapless reporter who asked him in January about comments by a former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman comparing Clinton's tactics to those of the late Lee Atwater, the take-no-prisoners Republican strategist known for racially charged campaigns.
As the days wore on, the former Senate Democratic majority leader Tom Daschle said Clinton's behavior was ''not keeping with the image of a former president.'' His former labor secretary and onetime friend turned critic, Robert Reich, called Clinton's attacks on Obama ''ill-tempered and ill-founded.'' No less a loquacious commentator than the Reverend Al Sharpton said that it was time for Clinton to just ''shut up.'' His old flame Gennifer Flowers, who has endorsed Hillary, referred to him as an ''idiot husband.'' Congressman James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest-ranking black member of the House of Representatives, who pointedly had remained neutral in the primary, finally called Clinton's behavior ''bizarre.'' And on more than one occasion, in one way or another, Senator Clinton herself had to tell him'--as she did after he revived controversy over her imagined landing in Bosnia under sniper fire by unleashing a string of new inaccuracies to defend her'--''Let me handle this.'' There is little doubt that Clinton's own intensity has fueled his wife's. One senior aide told me bluntly that Bill's anger ''has not served her well. That side of him feeds the worst side of Hillary. He does stoke her up.''
Aides to both Clintons say part of the problem was that, until Maggie Williams came on board, no one from Hillary's campaign was even tasked with routinely keeping Bill abreast of developments, so long-simmering tensions between her people and his were allowed to worsen. After Williams's arrival, Clinton participated in a daily conference call with her and other top campaign advisers to review the state of the race that one aide said sometimes turned into a virtual monologue. ''There's not a detail that escapes his notice and commentary,'' the aide said, ''and as usual with Clinton, much of what he says is worth listening to.'' Aides explain the depth of Bill Clinton's involvement by invoking what one of them called ''the guilt factor.''
''There's this piece of him really wanting this desperately for her, for all of the reasons you can imagine,'' this aide told me. ''She put her career on hold to be with him I mean, it's her time, and he feels that.'' Clinton was also never cut out to be a supporting player. He is Gladys Knight and not a Pip, as his former aide Jamal Simmons, who now backs Obama, put it this spring.
The way Clinton handled the courtship of Senator Ted Kennedy in the run-up to Kennedy's eventual endorsement of Obama is instructive. ''Barack pursued Kennedy with a soft touch,'' a person close to Kennedy told me. ''He checked in every once in a while Counter that with the way the Clintons were handling him. There was nothing soft about the Clintons' requests. Hillary would call and make a formal request. Clinton, as he felt Kennedy slipping away, would get more and more insistent, and he would make the whole conversation about how bad Obama was, not how good his wife was.''
Losing a StepClinton's temper has continued to get the better of him. By the eve of the Pennsylvania primary, he was reduced, in a Philadelphia radio phone interview, to denying that his comments in South Carolina had been in any way racially charged, and instead insisted that the Obama camp ''played the race card on me.'' He sputtered, ''I mean, this is just, you know '... You really gotta go something to play the race card with me'--my office is in Harlem.'' At the end of the interview, apparently unaware that he was still on the air, Clinton was heard to say, ''I don't think I should take any shit from anybody on that, do you?'' Asked the next day by another reporter what he had meant by saying the Obama campaign ''was playing the race card,'' Clinton would have none of it. ''No, no, no, that's not what I said,'' he erupted, as if he did not know that his earlier comments had been recorded and were all over the Internet. He added, ''You always follow me around and play these little games, and I'm not going to play your games today.'' It's a nice question, just who was playing the games. When I asked a Clinton campaign official how the former president could have issued such a flat denial, the aide immediately responded, with no trace of irony, that the offending reporter had used the word ''playing,'' while in the radio interview Clinton had used the word ''played.'' I'm not sure whether that makes Clinton's outburst better or worse, but it's of a piece with the parser the public knows so well.
As the primaries ground on, the campaign deployed Clinton more strategically (and, perhaps, more effectively) in the kinds of smaller towns presidents never visit'--47 stops in Pennsylvania, 39 in Indiana, 50 in North Carolina'--where he stumped in largely white, working-class areas but, poignantly for a man once dubbed the nation's ''first black president,'' not in African-American ones. That sea change in Clinton's standing among blacks will remain a consideration in how to use him, or not use him, in the general-election campaign, no matter who the Democratic nominee.
I saw Clinton at two of his nine stops on the day before the North Carolina primary in May. He was himself, for good and bad. In Zebulon, population 4,329, he arrived one hour and seven minutes late to speak to a crowd of 500 or so, talked for 40 minutes on topics from the Iraq war to hybrid cars, adoption and foster-care policy, and mortgage foreclosures, and concluded, in a repeated refrain that took on the insistence of a preacher's call, that Hillary's campaign had been carried along by ''people like you in places like this.'' Minutes later, after a front-porch rally in nearby Louisburg, population 3,726, a woman in the crowd approached him, tears streaming down her face. I could not get close enough to hear what was said, but Clinton listened, then cupped her face in his big hands, in that way that only he can. It was classic Clinton, but not enough to prevent an Obama blowout in the state the next day.
Perhaps more than anything, Clinton, whose audiences in recent years have tended to be adoring crowds who hang on every word of what those who have heard his standard speech say is a rambling tour d'horizon of world problems, has simply lost a step.
''Look, the game has changed,'' said Mike McCurry. ''He ran his last national campaign in 1996, and remember, we kind of ran unopposed. It's been a while since he did that, and the way you summon people up and get them to do things has changed. All of this stuff, the blogging and the YouTubing and the way in which everything is instantaneously available: I tell you, until you get out there and are actually dealing with the consequences'--having what you just said as you were walking out the door [all over the Internet], that's brand-new to him.''
A Dictator's EmbraceWhen Clinton left the White House, aides say, he made a list of all the world problems he cared most about and might yet do something to help solve. At the top of his list was Mideast peace, but Clinton quickly realized that that was an endeavor in which uninvited meddling was inappropriate, so he concentrated on a range of other issues, from H.I.V./AIDS to clean water, childhood obesity, global warming, and'--after the South Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina'--disaster relief. Some aides have said they see a clear effort to redress problems that he let fester as president, whether AIDS or the Rwandan genocide. It is beyond dispute that Clinton's foundation has done worthy work around the world, funneling low-cost anti-retroviral drugs to more than a million AIDS patients, shining the singular power of a presidential spotlight on the good work of others, and raising millions of dollars for practical programs in places much of the world's power establishment never bothers with.
But it is also beyond dispute that Clinton has blended the altruistic efforts of his philanthropy with the private business interests of some of his biggest donors in ways that are surpassingly sloppy, if not unseemly, for any former president. A case in point is Clinton's relationship with Ukraine's Victor Pinchuk, a billionaire and philanthropist who has donated millions to the ex-president's foundation. According to Newsweek, in 2007, at a Pinchuk-sponsored international conference in Yalta, Clinton wowed the crowd with a presentation on Ukraine but also sparked controversy when he was embraced by Pinchuk's father-in-law, the country's former president Leonid Kuchma. Kuchma's repressive regime has been linked by a government investigation to the 2000 murder of a dissident Ukrainian journalist. The man was found decapitated'--one of scores of journalists who have been killed or have disappeared in Ukraine since the country achieved independence, in 1991.
Even more troubling is Clinton's relationship with the Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra. This winter, a lengthy investigative report in The New York Times disclosed that, in 2005, Clinton flew to the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan on Giustra's MD-87 jet for what was billed as a philanthropic three-country tour. The two men had dinner with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has held the country in a vise-like grip for nearly two decades. At their meeting, Clinton expressed support for Nazarbayev's bid to head the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which monitors elections and promotes democracy. That position was sharply at odds with official American foreign policy and came in the face of stinging criticism of Kazakhstan's record on human rights from many sources, including the junior senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Within two days, Giustra's company signed preliminary agreements allowing it to buy into three uranium projects controlled by Kazakhstan's state-owned uranium agency. And months after that the Clinton Foundation received a $31.3 million donation from Giustra that remained secret until a Giustra representative acknowledged it late last year. (Giustra has separately pledged another $100 million to the foundation.)
A Clinton spokesperson and Giustra have both said that Clinton was unaware of the specifics of the uranium deal. But critics of Clinton's judgment say that misses the point.
''There's no way in the world that President Clinton didn't understand what was going on there, and no way in the world that he didn't understand what his role was supposed to be in that visit: to lay the hands of the former president of the United States on the individual he was traveling with and thereby bring credibility to whatever reason that individual was there for,'' says Fred Wertheimer, the president of Democracy 21, a Washington watchdog group that monitors money and politics. ''To deny that is to, basically, take the position that you can fool all of the people all of the time.''
The Public PensionerIt is for just such reasons that Clinton's refusal to make public the names of donors to his foundation has drawn withering fire. (Some donors'--including the Saudi royal family and the governments of Dubai, Kuwait, and Qatar'--were made public by The New York Sun when a list of them was discovered on a public computer monitor at the opening of the Clinton library, in Little Rock, and others have since become known as the result of interviews and journalistic digging through the tax records of known Clinton friends and supporters.) Clinton aides say that donors were promised confidentiality, but they have also pledged to make public the names of future donors'--though not past ones'--should Hillary Clinton become president.
''I think there's also a kind of sentiment that if somebody's given us money to save the lives of tens of thousands of kids who have H.I.V., let somebody fucking bitch about it,'' one senior Clinton adviser told me. ''If they don't want us to take that money, or if it offends some sensibility of Fred Wertheimer, so be it.''
Clinton is under no legal obligation to disclose such donors'--or, for that matter, to disclose much of anything about his personal financial dealings. No one knows the details of the earnings'--almost certainly many millions of dollars'--that the first President Bush has made from his investment in the Carlyle Group, for example. Gerald Ford quietly raked in big director's fees from companies such as American Express, and Ronald Reagan briefly scandalized late-80s Washington by taking $2 million for a single speaking trip to Japan. But their wives never ran for president.
Throughout our history there has been a strong presumption that former presidents should conduct their affairs in ways that do not seem to cheapen, degrade, or exploit the high office they held. Hillary Clinton's own service as senator, and her presidential campaign, reinforce that imperative in Bill Clinton's case. Harry Truman was so reluctant to accept any business or commercial offer, however high-minded, that might be seen as capitalizing on the presidency that he nearly went broke in retirement. A few years after leaving office, he had seen a $600,000 advance from Life magazine for his memoirs whittled away by expenses and 67 percent income taxes to a net gain of about $37,000. Only the sale of his family farm for a shopping center saved him from real embarrassment. Finally, he took his case to Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn and Senate majority leader Lyndon Johnson, and the first bill stipulating an annual presidential pension (initially $25,000) and money for offices and staff was passed.
Clinton benefits handsomely from Truman's foresight. His presidential pension has totaled more than $1.2 million since he left office, and despite his fantastic private-sector income, an analysis this spring by the Web site Politico showed that he has taken almost as much in taxpayer dollars for his post-presidential existence as the other two living ex-presidents'--Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush'--combined. Since 2001, Clinton has received more in almost every category'--pension, staff salaries, supplies'--than any of his colleagues in that smallest of clubs. Before Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford died, Clinton's telephone and rent expenses came close to exceeding the comparable expenses for all four then living former presidents combined. Part of the difference is that Clinton served eight years in office, entitling him to a federal health-insurance plan and a higher pension than Ford, Carter, or Bush, and part is that his office space in Manhattan is more expensive than space in Atlanta or Houston.
Still, there is a repellent grandiosity about Clinton's post-presidential style. Before he settled on more modest space in Harlem, Clinton had intended to rent the entire 56th floor of Carnegie Hall Tower, in Midtown, for roughly $738,000 a year. He changed course after a rash of sharp congressional and public criticism. Each year at Christmastime, Clinton sends out to supporters a slim, paperbound volume of his Selected Remarks, with a gold-embossed ''Happy Holidays'' greeting card replete with the requisite ''bug'' showing it was printed in a union shop. Last year's number ran 25 pages and featured three thoroughly ordinary efforts: a commencement speech at Knox College, in Illinois; remarks to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, in South Africa; and comments at the 50th-anniversary commemoration of the de-segregation of Little Rock Central High School. ''Since leaving office,'' the first page of the booklet states, ''President Clinton has devoted his time and energy to causes of both personal concern and global significance.''
A Solitary ManThroughout his career, Bill Clinton has justified acts of extraordinary selfishness in the name of idealism'--he's always in it for the people, the plain folks who tell pollsters they trust him to look out for their interests, even if they don't trust him. He has been forgiven colossal egotism, even cruelty, by those closest to him because of his superlative political talents, and because of the overreaching of his enemies. As president, Clinton often could not show grace in the smallest ways. He dithered about where and when to go on vacation, so that aides and Secret Service agents could not plan their own. He declined to release aides and reporters who had waited around all through a pointless Saturday of duty while he made up his mind whether to play golf (a game at which he has been known to cheat). He was never, ever, on time. In Joe Klein's roman clef about the Clintons, Primary Colors, the Betsey Wright character accuses the Bill Clinton character of always skating by on charm and talent and need. ''You have never paid the bill,'' she tells him. ''Never. And no one ever calls you on it. Because you're so completely fucking special. Everyone was always so proud of you. And me, too. Me the worst.''
In the end, this is Clinton's most grievous sin, his steady refusal to take grown-up responsibility for the consequences of his own actions. In the White House, on the day of his last sexual encounter with Monica Lewinsky, Clinton told her that he was worried that a foreign embassy might be listening in on their calls, and that if she were ever questioned, she should say they were just friends. Then he looked into her eyes and sang, ''Try a Little Tenderness,'' a song that goes: ''She may be weary, women do get weary, wearing the same shabby dress.'' On the day this winter that he accused Barack Obama of spinning a ''fairy tale'' about Obama's anti-war stance, Clinton went on to whine about an Obama campaign research sheet criticizing his business dealings and insisting, ''Ken Starr spent $70 million and indicted innocent people to find out that I wouldn't take a nickel to see the cow jump over the moon.'' So, yes, let us stipulate: Ken Starr was a prurient, partisan zealot. Yes, other ex-presidents have made a lot of money and it is hard to begrudge Clinton his earnings (even if he did take six million nickels for a speech to the Australian Council for the Peaceful Reunification of China). Yes, Obama is a daring opponent who thinks he is hot shit and has benefited from the same enthusiasm, energy, and fresh-faced appeal that a fella named Bill Clinton once elicited (but he has suffered from some of the same skepticism, too). It is Clinton's invariable insistence that his problems are someone else's fault, and that questions or criticisms of him, his methods, motives, or means are invariably unfair, that is his unforgivable flaw.
He has told friends that he is not worried that his aggressive performance this year has done lasting damage to his reputation (some of them are not so sure). Whatever the future holds for Hillary Clinton, her husband is not fading away. He will remain a presence, a force to be reckoned with, as long as he draws breath.
But for a politician with so many admirers, allies, acquaintances, faithful retainers, and hangers-on, Clinton remains a profoundly solitary man, associates say, without any real peers, intellectual equals, or genuine friends with whom he can share the sweetest things in life. (The one who has always come closest, for better and worse, for richer and poorer, is simply too busy these days.)
So he spends his time veering between feeling sorry for himself and working to help others, between doing good and giving his enemies fresh ammunition, between vindicating his legacy and vitiating it. ''So much of modern culture is characterized by stories of self-indulgence and self-destruction,'' Clinton writes near the end of Giving, from which he earned $6.3 million and gave away $1 million (or 16 percent) to charity. ''So much of modern politics is focused not on honest differences of policy but on personal attacks. So much of modern media is dominated by people who earn fortunes by demeaning others, defining them by their worst moments, exploiting their agonies. Who's happier? The uniters or the dividers? The builders or the breakers? The givers or the takers? I think you know the answer.''
I used to think he did, too. But substitute the words ''my life'' for the words ''modern culture'' and ''modern politics'' in the passage above, and you'll have a pretty succinct summary of what Bill Clinton has, at last, become.
Todd S. Purdum is *Vanity Fair'*s national editor.
Catching Up with the Clinton Crowd BILL CLINTONIt's been 16 years since Bill Clinton rode into the White House on a wave of middle-class frustration and anxiety after running a fast-paced, quick-witted campaign that set a new standard for media savvy. We're still talking about him, almost as if he'd never left the premises, for a number of reasons. One is his presidential legacy, a subject of nostalgia after eight years of far more radical, unpopular leadership, but also a source of disappointment for supporters who wish the gifted politician had achieved larger progressive gains. Another is his post-presidential ubiquity: excepting a brief memoir-writing spell, Clinton has been a highly public figure, death-defying in his level of activity even after his quadruple-bypass heart surgery in 2004. He has worked tirelessly to turn his philanthropic organization, the William J. Clinton Foundation, into a force for good around the world, though he has faced criticism for controversial donors such as paramilitary contractor Blackwater Worldwide, mining tycoon Frank Giustra, and the governments of Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. And then there's Hillary. This is not the place to recap the dynamics of the most dissected marriage in politics, or Bill's complicated role in his wife's presidential bid. Suffice it to say that, if Hillary is confirmed as Barack Obama's secretary of state, Bill will retain his title as the most influential president emeritus for some time to come.
Ex-president Bill Clinton accused of sexual assault by four more women
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 04:35
BILL Clinton faces a new round of sexual assault claims from four women, it is claimed.
The fresh allegations - the latest to hit the 71-year-old former president - allegedly come from top-level Democratic Party sources.
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Bill Clinton has been accused of sexually assaulting four women Credit: Splash NewsMailOnline reports the women are now launching legal proceedings and are reportedly asking for cash to stay silent.
If the legal negotiations fail, the women will go public with their accusations, it is claimed.
The new allegations refer to incidents that took place more than 10 years ago when Clinton was hired by billionaire Ron Burkle.
Clinton helped Burkle generate business around the world on Burkle's private jet, which was dubbed "Air F*** One".
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Clinton admitted he had an affair on television Credit: Getty - ContributorThere is no suggestion Mr Burkle knew about the alleged assaults.
A member of Clinton's legal team told the Mail: "Obviously, I'm aware of [the allegations] but can't talk about them."
A Democratic Party official added: "Bill is distraught at the thought of having to testify and defend himself against sex charges again."
Allegations of womanising, extramarital affairs and abuse dogged Clinton over the course of his political life, culminating in his 1998 impeachment and acquittal over his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Bill Clinton, then 49, and 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky started a sexual relationship in 1995.
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Paula Jones brought a sexual harassment lawsuit against US President Bill Clinton in 1994 Credit: Getty - ContributorLewinsky claimed she had sexual encounters with the President on nine occasions, until March 1997, and said First Lady Hillary Clinton was at the White House for a portion of those.
She confided about the relationship to Linda Tripp - her defence department co-worker, who secretly recorded telephone conversations.
Tripp later discovered that Lewinsky had sworn an affidavit in the Paula Jones case - a former Arkansas state employee who was suing Clinton for sexual harassment.
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The new allegations refer to incidents that took place more than 10 years ago when Clinton was hired by billionaire Ron Burkle Credit: Getty - ContributorLewinsky had attempted Tripp to commit perjury in the Jones case but instead she delivered the tapes to Kenneth Starr - who was investigating Clinton on other allegations.
The affair first came to light on the Drudge Report in 1998 before reaching the mainstream press.
Clinton was quick to deny the affair and even gave a White House press conference beside his wife stating that the allegations were false.
There was months of speculation but nothing could be definitely established as Lewinsky was unwilling to discuss the affair.
Hillary Clinton says she's 'shocked and appalled' by Harvey Weinstein allegationsIn July 1998, Lewinsky received total witness immunity in exchange for grand jury testament about her relationship with Clinton.
Clinton admitted the affair in taped grand jury testimony a few weeks later, stating he had an "improper physical relationship" with Lewinsky and later broadcast a televised statement nationally.
He also agreed to an $850,000 (£652,000) settlement with Arkansas state worker Paula Jones, who had accused him of exposing himself and making indecent propositions when he was governor.
The settlement included no apology or admission of guilt.
Leading feminists and Democratic-leaning groups stayed loyal to him throughout though some are rethinking that stance now.
HARD TIMES Brit hospitalised with 2 WEEK erection as docs 'race against time' to save penis
MARKED MAN Epstein told jail guards someone tried to kill him weeks before 'suicide' death
hols SCARE Brit mum-of-six who vanished in Turkey 'in a bad condition' after being found
HOT CAR DEATH Child found dead in back of hot car after being locked inside in 32C heat
TRIPLE TRAGEDY Three siblings, aged 7-13, all drown during day trip to beach with parents
RIPPED APART Woman, 21, eaten alive by sharks screamed 'there's another one coming'
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The Parties, the Procurer and the Purification of the Prince | The Outsider News
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 21:05
By Gerry Bello
Prince Andrew has gotten some unflattering ink spilled on his name by the press recently. It began when Sharon Churcher, investigative editor of the National Enquirer, revealed that at least one woman has come forward with allegations that she was used by the royal as a sex slave after being groomed and procured by billionaire and convicted child prostitute solicitor Jeffery Epstein and his then girl friend, newspaper heiress Ghislaine Maxwell. Both the English and the American tabloid press are stringing the scandal along, yet simultaneously forgetting the past. This is not the first time the Prince has gotten himself into an unflattering limelight with Maxwell.
The first time was in 2000 when Prince Andrew was scolded by the press for attending Heidi Klum's sex-themed Halloween party with Ghislane Maxwell. Klum is said to throw a hell of a party, if you are rich enough, and connected enough, to attend. Maxwell was close with Epstein at the time. Epstein made his fortune managing the fortune of billionaire clothing magnet Les Wexner. Part of Wexner's financial empire included Victoria's secret where Klum was a front line star model.
Friends of Epstein and Maxwell cleaned it up quick.According to a Daily Mail story written six months later (also by Sharon Churcher) thirty people met in a New York restaurant to bless the Prince's rehabilitation into Manhattan society. Lynn Forester, wife of banking executive and the Economist director Sir Evelyn Robert de Rothschild put the event together. ABC News host Barbara Walters, and New York Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman were present.
Zuckerman and Walters were friends of Jeffery Epstein, as was Sir Evelyn Robert de Rothschild. All three are listed in Epstein's personal phone book, which was published from court records by Gawker in 2009. It was of interest after Epstein's arrest in Palm Beach and trial in 2007 for solicitation of a minor. Noted Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz was brought on by Epstein and secured a very generous plea bargain deal to close the case.
Prince Andrew is not the only person to be helped by political fixer Lynn Forester. She provided a Manhattan address for an expensive fundraiser by Hillary Clinton hosted for Chelsea Clinton's mother-in-law, former Congresswoman Majorie Margolies. Margolies was married to former Congressman Edward Mezvinsky, who was convicted of mail and wire fraud in 2001. Hillary received large campaign contributions from both Maxwell and Forester listing the same Manhattan address. Ghislaine Maxwell was at Chelsea's wedding to Margolies's and Mezvinsky's son Marc Mezvinsky. Forester spent the night after her wedding to Evelyn de Rothschild in the White House while Clinton was first lady.
Although Bill Clinton has been reputedly admonished by Hillary for being seen anywhere near Epstein, the latter had neither Clinton's phone number. He does have a direct line to Tony Blair. In this insular world Epstein seems to be hard to miss.Forester and Epstein's many friends in media (like Fox News owner Rupert Murdock and Mario Calvo-Platero, long time editor of Il Sole 24 Ore) and government are a phone call away, ever ready to clean it all up.
Epstein's charitable non-profit gave Maxwell's non-profit, Terra-Mar, $57,000 in cash in 2013. Terra-Mar mailing address is in a building on Manhattan's Eastside that Lynn Forester owns.
Two other persons in Epstein's phone book, Larry Coben and Ariadne Calvo-Platero, were listed are on Terra-Mar's board in the most recently available documents. Epstein has a 65th street section in his phone book, which is where Terra-Mar is listed,. The building is a small historic set of luxury apartments.
Calvo-Platero is a daughter of the late Baron Whitney and a descendent of Queen Victoria. She is married to Mario Calvo-Platero. Coben, a former executive of multiple British energy holding companies, is on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania with Marjorie Margolies.
Despite their close ties, the only place the Epstein-Forester-Maxwell trio were reported by the mainstream press together in public was at a surprise birthday for media mogul and convicted felon Baron Conrad Black in Chicago. Mort Zuckerman and Barbara Walters were also present. So was reputed ''secret-swinger'' and 1975 Playgirl Centerfold Henry Kissinger. Kissinger is in Epstein's little black book along with Secretary of State John Kerry. Although the latter's listing was when Kerry was presidential candidate. He is joined in that little black book by his then Senate colleague Ted Kennedy.
Perhaps Epstein needs only a little more media muscle to solve his problems. Much has been made of Epstein's associations with powerful lawyers, like OJ defender and torture advocate Alan Dershowitz, but not much has been said of his long standing social connections to those at the ape of the media world like Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace. Perhaps all the Queen's horses and all the presidents men can put humpty Prince Andrew back together '' again. The FBI recently moved to keep allegations out of evidence in civil trials against Epstein, but they have either not noticed or not mentioned Epstein's $50,000 contribution to the Palm Beach Police Scholarship Fund after most of the solicitation charges against him were dropped. We shall see how much protection a house full of massage tables, teenagers and security cameras has afford him and his Royal friends in the long term. How many of the right people doing the wrong thing in the wrong photo is Epstein holding?
How far back and how wide afield does the pedophilia sex ring cover-up go? As the 97 pages of Epstein's phone book are cross-referenced with his social history seem to indicate: Far and wide indeed.
Vicky Ward and Ariadne Calvo-Platero attend Book Release Party for... News Photo - Getty Images
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 21:05
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Feds probe heiress' ocean 'charity' for links to Jeffrey Epstein
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 20:57
A mysterious do-nothing charity founded by Jeffrey Epstein's socialite gal pal is being investigated by the FBI for possible links to the convicted pedophile, The Post has learned.
The TerraMar Project was incorporated in London and Delaware in 2012, purportedly to raise awareness of environmental and other issues facing the oceans, and exclusively funded by hundreds of thousands in loans by heiress Ghislaine Maxwell, public filings show.
Maxwell, 57, the daughter of the late British media mogul Robert Maxwell, has been accused by three women of procuring girls to work as sex slaves for convicted pedophile Epstein, according to court filings. Two of the women said both Maxwell and Epstein sexually assaulted them. She has not been charged with a crime.
Maxwell was listed as president of TerraMar, and her Upper East Side home was its official office. She pumped $283,429 into it between 2012 and 2017. In that time, the so-called charity gave out a total of $874 in grants.
Between 2002 and 2005, Epstein used his private jets '-- dubbed the ''Lolita Express'' '-- to shuttle girls for sex between his estates in New York, Palm Beach, Fla., and the Virgin Islands, according to prosecutors.
One girl, aged 19 at the time '-- whose name appears on the manifests of two Epstein flights in February 2005 from JFK Airport to Columbus, Ohio, and Palm Beach '-- became a member of the founding board of directors of the Maxwell charity seven years later.
She also lived in a three-bedroom, $430,000 home in Teaneck, NJ, that is linked in public documents to Maxwell, although neighbors told The Post they never saw Maxwell at the property.
Jeffrey Epstein SplashNews.comThe Post is withholding her name. It is not known what she was doing on those Epstein flights. She did not return calls for comment.
An FBI source would not say if the charity probe is focused on the question of whether it served as a slush fund to pay hush money to Epstein's young victims.
Members of TerraMar's blue-ribbon board included Westchester businessman and UN official Amir Dossal, ''Dead Poets Society'' producer Steven Haft, and Calvo-Platero, Maxwell's best friend from Oxford.
Ariadne Calvo-Platero Aurora Rose/ Patrick McMullanKatie Vaughan-Edwards and Ariadne Calvo-Platero, Maxwell's socialite friends from London, were also listed in the original incorporation documents.
Multiple calls and e-mails to the charity's past and current board members were not returned.
Larry Coben, a NYC-based founding director, told The Post he couldn't remember being connected to the charity and hung up the phone.
Jeffrey Pagliuca, a Colorado-based criminal defense lawyer who is representing Maxwell, did not return The Post's calls and e-mails.
After The Post began making inquiries this month, the charity blocked its public website and made it password-accessible. Last week, the home page included this message: ''The TerraMar Project is sad to announce that it will cease operations.'' No reason was given.
The nonprofit's latest federal tax filings show only $583 in total contributions in 2017 and expenses of $18,462. They also show the charity owes Maxwell $549,093 in loan repayments.
Epstein, 66, was arrested this month for allegedly sexually abusing ''dozens'' of minor girls.
Additional reporting by Susan Edelman
(1) US Attorney SDNY on Twitter: "STATEMENT OF MANHATTAN U.S. ATTORNEY ON THE DEATH OF DEFENDANT JEFFREY EPSTEIN https://t.co/uCLv8aAPaZ https://t.co/aQnRn3kjEH" / Twitter
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 20:18
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Suicide (non-)watch: What we know about Jeffrey Epstein's death...and what we don't '-- RT USA News
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 20:13
The apparent suicide of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein immediately spawned allegations of prison negligence and even murder '' and no wonder, given the confusing, scarce data available. Here's what we know.
It's been confirmed that Epstein was found dead in his cell in the special housing unit of New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center on Saturday morning at around 6:30am EST.
Also on rt.com Jeffrey Epstein takes his own life in his prison cell 'Apparent suicide'Lifesaving measures were ''initiated immediately by responding staff,'' and Epstein was transported to hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the Bureau of Prisons said on Saturday. The Bureau called his death an ''apparent suicide,'' althought an investigation has yet to determine this conclusively.
A number of officials told media outlets that Epstein had hanged himself in his cell, but no one, at the time of writing, has confirmed this publicly.
An FBI investigation has also been opened, and Attorney General William Barr later announced a Justice Department probe into Epstein's death, which he also called an ''apparent suicide.''
The 66-year-old, a convicted pedophile, had been held at the New York prison since his arrest last month on child sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. He pled not guilty to the charges, which carried a penalty of up to 45 years in prison.
Was he on suicide watch?At the time of his death, Epstein was rumored to have been on suicide watch. According to Bureau of Prisons policy, inmates on suicide watch are to be kept under ''direct, continuous observation,'' in a room that allows ''unobstructed vision of the inmate at all times.''
I was arrested when I was 18 for skateboardingThey took my shoelaces and belt even though it was a slap on the wrist and I went home within a couple of hours and that was the end of it
How did Epstein manage to hang himself while on suicide watch and being so high profile?
'-- Tim Pool (@Timcast) August 10, 2019Epstein was supposedly kept under this supervision after he was found semi-conscious on the floor of his cell two weeks ago, with marks on his neck. Speculation in the media immediately turned to how a man on suicide watch could have possibly killed himself. According to BOP policy, in addition to the constant monitoring, a suicidal inmate's cell ''may not have fixtures or architectural features'' that would enable self-harm, such as hooks or bunks that could be used to tie a rope around.
However, one source told Reuters that Epstein had been taken off suicide watch some time since his first apparent attempt on his own life. Photos published by the New York Post lend some credence to this report, as they show Epstein's body being wheeled into hospital on a gurney, clad in the standard-issue prison jumpsuit, instead of the paper dress or 'suicide smock' usually given to these inmates.
Camera malfunction?!Regardless, inmates at MCC are said to be checked-in-on every 30 minutes throughout the night. When guards are away on their patrols, video surveillance usually picks up the slack. However, BOP policy does not mandate video surveillance of either suicide watch or regular cells.
There should be footage of Epstein killing himself, right?
'-- Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) August 10, 2019According to a report by a former Al Qaeda prisoner, however, MCC staff monitor high-security cells with two video cameras, one above the shower and another above the toilet or bed. Epstein had been kept in this same extra-security area of the prison, a New York Times source said.
Additionally, a BOP audit last year found that cameras are ''placed strategically throughout the institution,'' and are ''sufficient'' to ensure the safety of inmates and staff.
Rumors circulated on Saturday that the cameras supposedly monitoring Epstein had mysteriously ''malfunctioned'' at the time of his death, adding fuel to the theories of foul play already circulating. However, these rumors can be traced back to an unsubstantiated tweet by right wing commenter Michael Coudrey, which was picked up and spread by a suspicious public.
BREAKING: Alleged "camera malfunction" last night at MCC where Jeffrey Epstein was locked up.#EpsteinFiles
'-- Michael Coudrey (@MichaelCoudrey) August 10, 2019Though it may still emerge that there was a ''camera malfunction'' overnight, that claim has not yet been verified.
What happens next?Pending further investigation, rumors will likely continue to circulate. Epstein's death came at a suspicious time, occurring just one day after court documents were unsealed alleging that Epstein had procured young girls for some of the world's most powerful and wealthiest men, including British prince Andrew, billionaire investor Glenn Dubin, former governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson, and a number of other unnamed foreign political and business figures.
Also on rt.com Unsealed court docs detail Clinton, Trump ties to Epstein & his interest in 'erotic servitude' As Epstein was the only defendant in the case against him, the trail now goes cold.
However, in a court filing last month, the government said it was pursuing an "ongoing investigation of uncharged individuals" connected to Epstein, and a source told Reuters on Saturday that the investigation will continue despite Epstein's death.
Subscribe to RT newsletter to get stories the mainstream media won't tell you.
Epstein's friends just lost any chance of having penthouse evidence tossed by courts '-- here's why '' Raw Story
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 19:30
The news of wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein committing suicide in a federal facility in Manhattan has sparked a number of wild theories online, including that he may have been bumped off by some unspecified person close to him to prevent evidence from surfacing about the other well-connected people to whom he may have trafficked children.
But in reality, as a former federal prosecutor told Courthouse News reporter Adam Klasfeld, Epstein's death could make it easier, not harder, to bring Epstein's co-conspirators to justice.
The reason is that Epstein was the only person who had legal standing to sue the investigators trying to comb through the evidence in his mansions and penthouses, including videotapes of young girls and documents that may mention the names of people who were at his properties on specific dates. Had Epstein lived, and made it to trial, his attorneys could have filed motions to throw out that evidence. Now, however, no one has standing to put the brakes on the investigation.
First reaction: There should be hearings as to how this was allowed to happen to a key witness in an investigation involving a global sex-trafficking conspiracy.
'-- Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) August 10, 2019
Second reaction: A former federal prosecutor informs me about this secord-order effect in terms of legal procedure. pic.twitter.com/SeHoSxbzzQ
'-- Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) August 10, 2019
Third question:
Were reports accurate that Epstein was on suicide watch, a status that typically would have put him under 24-hour watch and removed any objects that could be used for self-harm from his cell?
'-- Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) August 10, 2019
An investigation must take place to determine how Epstein was able to die while in federal custody. But for the time being, those who fear his death will deny answers to the victims and the general public can breathe more freely.
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Statement from Attorney General William P. Barr on the Death of Jeffrey Epstein | OPA | Department of Justice
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 19:09
Attorney General William P. Barr issued the following statement:
''I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody. Mr. Epstein's death raises serious questions that must be answered. In addition to the FBI's investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein's death."
Epstein lawyers try to block attempt to unmask woman who 'recruited' accuser
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 16:43
News
By Elizabeth Rosner and Ben Feuerherd
August 9, 2019 | 2:33am
Jeffrey Epstein's lawyers filed a motion Thursday to dismiss an attempt by one of his accusers to unmask the woman who ''recruited'' her into the multimillionaire's alleged harem of underage women.
The accuser has said she was just 15 when convicted pedophile Epstein forcibly raped her.
In the new court papers, Epstein says he will invoke his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent in regards to his alleged ''recruiter's'' identity so he does not incriminate himself in ongoing open criminal case.
The accuser, Jennifer Araoz, who claims Epstein raped and sexually abused her in his Upper East Side mansion, says that she was recruited for the abuse by an unknown woman outside of her Manhattan school.
According to papers filed July 10, Araoz requested for Epstein to be deposed and forced to turn over a log of every person who visited his Upper East Side mansion from 2001 to 2003, as well as a list of people he kept employed during the time period.
The deposition and the documents may reveal the identity of Araoz's recruiter '-- so Araoz can add the woman to a civil claim against Epstein that she plans to file on Aug. 15, according to the court documents.
Unsealed court docs detail Clinton, Trump ties to Epstein & his interest in 'erotic servitude' '-- RT USA News
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 16:38
Thousands of court documents related to the Jeffrey Epstein sex abuse case have been unsealed, providing new details into the financier's connections to current and former US presidents, and his interest in sex trafficking.
The files were unsealed on Friday as part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre against the businessman's ex-girlfriend and so-called ''madam,'' Ghislaine Maxwell. Giuffre alleges Epstein and Maxwell forced her into sex, and trafficked her to other wealthy and powerful men.
In a deposition included in the unsealed records, Giuffre said she was ordered by Epstein and Maxwell to give erotic massages and have sex with men, ranging from Prince Andrew, billionaire investor Glenn Dubin '' whose wife claimed to be ''100% comfortable'' with having Epstein around her children '' and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who has admitted to meeting with Epstein on his Zorro Ranch once in 2002, but denies Giuffre's charge.
Also on rt.com 'Dark cloud has been lifted': RT America investigates Epstein's 'pedophile island' (VIDEO) Also on the list is modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, whose MC2 agency was allegedly used to recruit and traffic girls as young as 12 to Epstein and other wealthy men. Giuffre mentions ''another prince,'' a ''foreign president,'' a ''well-known prime minister,'' and the owner of a French ''large hotel chain,'' but seems frustrated she can't ''recall all of the people,'' largely because there were so many of them. ''I was told to do something by these people constantly,'' she testifies, explaining, ''my whole life revolved around just pleasing these men.''
Their whole entire lives revolved around sex.
Epstein allegedly told another of his accusers that he required ''three orgasms a day'' '' that ''it was biological, like eating.'' Another claimed his anatomy was deformed '' ''egg-shaped,'' to be exact. The unsealed documents also included photographs, including nude snapshots of prepubescent girls. Giuffre said she was made to watch as Epstein and Maxwell indulged in ''illegal sexual acts with dozens of underage girls.''
In perhaps the most disturbing disclosure, the documents also contain a receipt indicating Epstein bought books pertaining to sadomasochism and sexual slavery, including the titles 'SM 101: A Realistic Introduction,' 'SlaveCraft: Roadmaps for Erotic Servitude' and 'Training with Miss Abernathy: A Workbook for Erotic Slaves and Their Owners.' Giuffre's attorneys say the purchases support her account of sexual exploitation at the hands of Epstein and Maxwell.
While the documents reveal that both President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton had dealings with Epstein '' whether on his private jet or on one of his luxurious properties '' Giuffre noted in the deposition that Clinton had no involvement in the sex-trafficking ring, and that Trump ''didn't partake in any sex'' with underage girls.
Also on rt.com Florida governor demands probe into Jeffrey Epstein's sweetheart deal Giuffre first sued Maxwell in 2015 for her role in Epstein's sex ring, and later filed a second defamation suit after Maxwell accused her of lying. The records released Friday have been under seal as part of that case, for which Maxwell failed to obtain a summary dismissal in 2017.
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Ghislaine Maxwell, The Socialite on Jeffrey Epstein's Arm
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 16:30
Jeffrey Epstein with Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005. Photo: Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
She was there at the socialites' do's: Cornelia Guest's holiday bash, Georgette Mosbacher's party for the writer Michael Gross. At real-estate mogul Aby Rosen's birthday, at Bergdorf Goodman's 111th anniversary, at Harvey Weinstein's cocktail for William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls. At film screenings and store openings and fashion shows, at Tina Brown's home and Arianna Huffington's home and the Time 100 Gala and the Alzheimer's Association's Rita Hayworth Gala. For years '-- though not lately '-- Ghislaine Maxwell was a constant on the New York social scene in its most Upper East iteration. She was a friend of everyone, if an intimate of few.
''I know her just socially,'' growled the furrier Dennis Basso, who swathes the wealthy in mink. ''Alone. She's been to my fashion shows. But some hundreds of people come.''
Alone '-- that's the party line now. Because Maxwell's closest associate, her intimate, her maybe-employer and now the albatross keeping company with the jewelry around her neck, is Jeffrey Epstein. The disgraced financier, who has been accused of sexually abusing underage girls, is currently awaiting trial at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy. Maxwell seemed to know many rich and powerful men '-- articles mention her dining with Bill Clinton, photos show her partying with Elon Musk and deep in conversation with Stephen Schwarzman '-- but her most durable connection has been with Epstein. She was there at his gargantuan townhouse on East 71st Street, there on his private plane, there with him and Donald Trump and his then-girlfriend Melania at Mar-a-Lago. She was, as he put it in a 2003 Vanity Fair profile, his ''best friend.'' Maxwell, 57, has been accused in civil suits of serving as his procuress, luring women and girls into Epstein's web. Maxwell has denied these allegations and has never been criminally charged. Her attorneys did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
In court documents, Epstein's accusers allege that Maxwell acted as a recruiter, an instructor, and in some cases a participant in the abuse he practiced. Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims that Maxwell recruited her on behalf of Epstein when Giuffre was a 16-year-old spa attendant at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, where Epstein has a home, said much of her grooming came from Maxwell herself. ''The training started immediately,'' she said in a video interview with the Miami Herald. ''It was everything down to how to give a blowjob, how to be quiet, be subservient, give Jeffrey what he wants. A lot of this training came from Ghislaine herself. Being a woman, it kind of surprises you that a woman could let stuff like that happen. Not only let it happen but to groom you into doing it.''
Epstein and Maxwell with Donald Trump and his then-girlfriend, Melania Knauss, at Mar-a-Lago in 2000. Photo: Davidoff Studios Photography/Getty Images
After Maxwell disputed Giuffre's earlier statements to the press and called her a liar, Giuffre sued her for defamation. The two settled the case '-- as did Maxwell and Sarah Ransome, another woman who claimed Maxwell groomed her '-- and many of the filings from these suits are sealed or redacted. Earlier this month, just before Epstein's arrest, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ordered filings from the Roberts case to be unsealed, thanks in part to efforts by the Herald and other news organizations, which Maxwell opposes. The files could be made public in a matter of weeks. ''The one person most likely in jeopardy is Maxwell, because the records that are going to be unsealed have so much evidence against her,'' David Boies, Giuffre's attorney, told the Herald. He suggested she might have an interest in cooperating with the authorities '-- ''though she may have missed that opportunity.''
Those who knew Maxwell only as a friendly face on the social circuit were wholly unaware of this side of her. ''I have nothing bad to say about her,'' one former acquaintance said. ''Nobody knew any of this creepy sex stuff,'' said another. ''No one I knew had any idea.''
Those who knew her in connection with Epstein saw her as nothing more sinister than a social matchmaker.
''Every pretty girl in New York in those days, Ghislaine would invite to Jeffrey's,'' said Euan Rellie, an investment banker and social fixture who has known Maxwell for years and who, along with his wife, the author and socialite Lucy Sykes, was a fellow guest at a dinner for Prince Andrew at Epstein's townhouse in the early aughts. Maxwell and Epstein had been attached, but she was ''now an employee of his, as I understood it,'' he said. ''Her job was to jazz up his social life by getting fashionable young women to show up.'' He presumed the young women to be in their 20s.
Was Maxwell an employee of Epstein's? No one seemed entirely sure. Their lives were certainly closely entwined. Tabloid reports on her claim that she managed Epstein's properties '-- besides the houses in New York and Palm Beach, Epstein has homes in New Mexico and Paris and his own private island in the Caribbean '-- from his office on Madison Avenue, which appeared for many years as one of Maxwell's addresses in public records. Court documents show Epstein's bills going there, too.
Epstein, for his part, once said she wasn't on the payroll. Yet she did errands for him: hunted for a yoga teacher in California, according to Vanity Fair, or acted as intermediary when he wanted to give his friend the billionaire Les Wexner a family portrait painted by Nelson Shanks, whose previous commissions included Bill Clinton, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and Pope John Paul II. (Shanks sued Maxwell, Epstein, and the Wexners when Epstein refused to pay for the finished painting; the case settled out of court. Wexner has said that he cut ties with Epstein more than ten years ago. Shanks died in 2015.)
Maxwell with Elon Musk at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in 2014. Photo: Kevin Mazur/VF14/WireImage/Getty Images
Maybe these were simply the favors of a devoted friend. When Maxwell donated to Hillary Clinton's presidential-primary campaign in 2007 ($2,300, the maximum individual contribution allowed at that time), she listed herself as unemployed; when she gave to Gary King's congressional bid in New Mexico a few years before that (furnishing an address, in Saint Thomas, associated with Epstein), she was ''retired.'' (Epstein and several associates also donated to King's various races, including his runs for governor and his successful campaign for attorney general; King has twice had to return money either from Epstein or from companies related to him. Epstein bought his ranch in New Mexico from the family of King's father, the state's former governor. And Epstein, who was required to register as a sex offender as part of a 2008 plea agreement with federal prosecutors, managed not to do so in New Mexico.)
In the social world, questions of profession are secondary anyway. ''Half of my friends, I don't even know what they do,'' said one social regular who knew Maxwell casually. ''It's just not done to even ask those things.''
And why would you, when Maxwell was great company, as one longtime power broker called her? An addition to any table, said another. ''If there was one word, it was charming,'' said Patrick McMullan, the society photographer. Vicky Ward, who wrote the Vanity Fair profile of Epstein (and who has said publicly that her reporting about Epstein's abuse of two young girls was removed from it), returned to the subject of Epstein and Maxwell in a short, separate article. ''Full disclosure: I like her,'' she wrote. ''Most people in New York do. It's almost impossible not to.''
She was said to be wickedly funny and unusually knowledgeable, glamorous and, on top of that, British. (''I think New Yorkers are charmed by that high-end English accent,'' McMullan said.) She could toss off a quip and a flourish worthy of Waugh, even when the occasion wasn't. ''I was drip-fed Shakespeare at Oxford,'' she told a party reporter at the launch of book on Richard III by a Hollywood mega-lawyer in the late '90s. ''Just sniffing fresh ink gets me high.''
What's more, she was exotic. She'd explored the seas and could pilot a helicopter, or maybe a submarine, one acquaintance thought, a MacGyver of the gala circuit. ''The couple times we talked,'' Tina Brown recalled, ''she was always going on about intrepid voyages she took.''
Maxwell arrived in New York in the early '90s, on the cusp of her 30th birthday. English-born and poshly educated, she was the favorite daughter of Robert Maxwell, the English media mogul, whose holdings included newspapers, notably the tabloid Daily Mirror in London and the Macmillan publishing house in the U.S. Ghislaine had founded a social club for women in London and worked for another of her father's papers, and according to the New York Post, she came as his emissary to American society when he bought the New York Daily News in 1991.
But that same year, he was found dead '-- by accident (the official inquest's ruling), suicide, or murder; opinions vary '-- in the Atlantic, off the Canary Islands. (He was last seen on the deck of his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine.) Soon after, he was discovered to have plundered the pension funds of the Mirror to shore up his floundering empire. Two of his sons, Kevin and Ian, took over the family's companies after his death; they stood trial for their alleged involvement in his fraud and were acquitted.
Ghislaine had fine taste and excellent connections, and a whiff of disrepute had never seemed to dim her prospects. ''She was very popular at Oxford, absolutely famous,'' said Rellie, who was at Cambridge a few years after. ''England's no different from anywhere else. You can have a dad everybody thinks is sleazy and rich and that's sort of a plus, socially. In a way it made her more fascinating, not less.'' She was reported to have an income for life from a family trust, but at 80,000, it would hardly be enough to sustain a high-flying lifestyle. (Infamously, she came to America on the Concorde.)
The meet-cute of Epstein and Maxwell in New York is unclear, and neither has historically gone into any great detail. By 1992, she and Epstein were already linked, showing up at a Mar-a-Lago party together in Palm Beach, where Trump and Epstein ogled women together in front of NBC cameras. Suffice it to say that they were romantically linked and then platonically linked. (Ward wrote that Epstein told people his former paramours move ''up, not down,'' to friend status.) Among socials, she was known to have been attached to Ted Waitt, the ultra-wealthy co-founder of Gateway Computers; one pointed out wryly that around the time his first marriage dissolved, Waitt was unstylish, with a bald patch, a ponytail, and bad clothes; afterward, he was sleek, shaved, and well dressed. (Waitt did not return an email seeking comment.) Part of the Maxwell appeal was savoir-faire: ''She had an upbringing and taste and knew how to run a house and a boat and how to entertain,'' an acquaintance said. (More than one remembered her entertaining on Waitt's yacht, Plan B.) ''You can't buy that. You can't buy access, either.'' Maxwell had both.
Her passion was the oceans. For a woman seen everywhere about town, she is curiously silent in the press, except where conservation is concerned. In 2008, she hosted a cocktail party for the board of the nonprofit Oceana at her townhouse on East 65th Street. (Hers? ''I'm not sure whose townhouse it was, but she entertained in it,'' McMullan said.) And by 2012, she had launched the TerraMar Project, a conservation nonprofit of her own, of which, according to tax filings, she was president but from which she drew no salary. She gave a Ted Talk about its work and talked it up at the U.N. and in the press, which credited TerraMar as her ''brainchild.'' But her association, after years of bad press with Epstein, seems to have become a liability. While it remained active on social media of late, Maxwell's name had been curiously absent from its website. On Friday, a tweet from TerraMar's verified account announced it will cease all operations, and its website and Instagram account were taken down.
From the New York social world, too, she has vanished. ''I have not seen her in a zillion years,'' one acquaintance said. The trail of party photos dries up in 2016. Her 65th Street townhouse was sold, for just over $15 million, that year. (The seller was given as 116 East 65th Street, LLC, which once claimed offices at that same old Epstein Madison Avenue address.) Where is she now? One social-watcher guessed the islands; others think Europe. The way may have already been paved. In 2012, she incorporated Ellmax Enterprise Limited, with herself as secretary and director '-- the only director listed. In its filings with Companies House, the British registrar, she is described as a resident of the U.K., with a correspondence address in Salisbury, not far from Stonehenge. (The address given for the company is in London. It is a non-trading company, listed as dormant, and its net assets are 1.)
She was not, after all, bound to a particular city or country, and, whether driven by design or dubious circumstance, she was used to jetting freely and fabulously around the globe. ''There was an independence about her,'' said someone who knew her. ''She kind of had to make her way in the world.''
Rellie, with the benefit of hindsight, saw a darker version. ''Ghislaine was funny and didn't take herself too seriously,'' he said. ''But she seemed like a woman who didn't have any real job, didn't have any real boyfriend, had lost her dad. A woman adrift who was clinging on to whatever she could find.''
Florida governor orders criminal investigation of Jeffrey Epstein's 2008 plea deal
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 14:15
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered a state criminal investigation on Tuesday into the plea agreement that allowed Jeffrey Epstein to skirt federal prosecution for soliciting prostitution from underage girls in 2007.
The arrangement, under which Epstein was allowed to serve most of his 13-month state sentence on work release without fear of federal charges, has already cost Alex Acosta his job as U.S. labor secretary. As the U.S. attorney in Miami at the time, Acosta signed off on the non-prosecution deal, which went into effect in 2008.
Acosta's office reached the deal to halt the federal sex abuse investigation involving dozens of teenage girls in return for Epstein pleading guilty to lower state charges involving a single victim.
The deal has been widely denounced both for its leniency and for its secrecy, as Epstein's accusers were not informed of the agreement until after it had been struck.
Epstein, 66, a multimillionaire financier with high-profile friends, was arrested in early July on federal charges of sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy. Federal prosecutors were able to bring the new charges because they address crimes not covered by the 2007 agreement, alleged to have been committed outside the Miami area.
Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges and remains held without bail. He is separately being sued by a woman who told NBC News last month that Epstein raped her when she 15 years old.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw ordered an investigation last month into the county's actions at the time, but on Tuesday, he asked DeSantis to transfer oversight of the probe to the Florida Division of Law Enforcement "given the recent questions that have been raised."
The request from Bradshaw, who was sheriff at the time of the secret agreement, came after more than 4,000 people signed a state lawmaker's petition demanding a state investigation.
DeSantis agreed with the request, saying state investigators should expand the inquiry "beyond the reported concerns with Jeffrey Epstein's work release." He also transferred jurisdiction for the investigation from Palm Beach County to the state attorney for Fort Pierce.
"Floridians expect and deserve a full and fair investigation," DeSantis said in a statement.
De jure - Wikipedia
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 13:22
Latin expression, roughly meaning 'by law'
Look up de jure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.In law and government, de jure ( ; Latin: de iure, "in law"; Latin pronunciation: [deː juːre] ) describes practices that are legally recognised, regardless whether the practice exists in reality.[1] In contrast, de facto ("in fact") describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally recognised.[2] The terms are often used to contrast different scenarios: for a colloquial example, "I know that, de jure, this is supposed to be a parking lot, but now that the flood has left four feet of water here, it's a de facto swimming pool".[3] To further explain, even if the signs around the flooded parking lot say "Parking Lot" (the signs effectively being the "law" determining what it is) it is "in fact" a swimming pool (with the water, the current practical circumstances, determining what it is).
Examples [ edit ] It is possible to have multiple simultaneous conflicting (de jure) legalities, possibly none of which is in force (de facto). After seizing power in 1526, Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi made his brother, Umar Din, the lawful (de jure) Sultan of Adal. Ahmad, however, was in practice (de facto) the actual Sultan, and his brother was a figurehead.[4] Between 1805 and 1914, the ruling dynasty of Egypt ruled as de jure viceroys of the Ottoman Empire, but acted as de facto independent rulers who maintained a polite fiction of Ottoman suzerainty. However, from about 1882, the rulers had only de jure rule over Egypt, as it had by then become a British puppet state. Thus, Egypt was by Ottoman law de jure a province of the Ottoman Empire, but de facto was part of the British Empire.[5]
In U.S. law, particularly after Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the difference between de facto segregation (segregation that existed because of the voluntary associations and neighborhoods) and de jure segregation (segregation that existed because of local laws that mandated the segregation) became important distinctions for court-mandated remedial purposes.[6]
See also [ edit ] List of Latin phrases (D)Implied repealObrogation § Obrogation vs. abrogationReferences [ edit ]
Jeffrey Epstein's St. Thomas Network, Comms, And An Elite School | coreysdigs.com
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 12:02
Convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has quite a networkin St. Thomas, VI, from a tax attorney setting up a microwave radio transmissionfor private comms to Little St. James Island, to owning 50% of a marina withbillionaire Andrew Farkas, to a group of fascinating and well-connected ladieson the board of an elite private school that sits on 27-acres where Epstein'sattorney was one of the first students. Coincidentally, many of theseindividuals have direct ties to former President Bill Clinton and the ClintonGlobal Initiative, in addition to corrupt former Governor of the VirginIslands, John de Jongh and his wife Cecile. In fact, a big corruptioninvestigation from years back tie some of these folks together.
' Many of Epstein'sbusiness addresses in Red Hook Quarter St. Thomas, where his 50% ownership inAmerican Yacht Harbor resides, go to the marina '' dock B, slip 3.Coincidentally, so does a CPA's who setup his private comms to Little SaintJames.
' This network hastales of past corruption running up through legislators, a Clinton appointee, anObama campaign bundler, and the former Governor of the Virgin Islands.
' There is an elitepreparatory school that resides on 27-acres that is likely a grooming schoolfor high-level positions, and some of the board members have ties to JeffreyEpstein and the Clintons. Epstein's attorney Paul Hoffman was one of theoriginal 13 students.
Understanding The Network Diagram BelowTo put this complex network into a comprehensible structure,a diagram has been created with color-coded lines so that the connections canbe fully understood. What does this represent? Antilles School would appear tobe the hub of most of these connections. From there it filters out to the boardmembers, most of whom have been on the board in varying positions for years.The ladies listed in the diagram, in connection with the school, are indicatedin red. The founders and original 13 students of the school paint quite apicture as well, with one of the students being Epstein's attorney PaulHoffman.
For example, Pamela Berkowsky is a Clinton appointee with amilitary background, who was made the former governor of the Virgin Island'schief of staff, until she abruptly resigned over a scandal. This was long aftershe had served as the assistant chief of staff to secretary of defense WilliamS. Cohen. She is married to Adam Shapiro who operates several medicalfacilities in St. Thomas, is a plastic surgeon, has a transport pilot license,and was involved in the scandal with Berkowsky. Jeanne Brennan Wiebracht, is alicensed CPA who utilizes Epstein's address for her business, and is ondocumentation for an Epstein company that setup microwave radio transmissionfrom St. Thomas to Little St. James Island. Claire Starkey is involved with theClinton Global Initiative via her Fintrac company that was founded in 1990 andoperates out of countries that overlap with the Clintons agendas. MarjorieRawls Roberts was a campaign bundler for Barack Obama, assisted criminals insetting up tax breaks in VI, has worked with the Clinton Global Initiative, andis a political-power-wannabe who would likely do anything just to stand intheir shadows. Roberts took Erika Kellerhals under her wing and showed her theropes, before Kellerhals established her law firm '' the firm that maintainedthe documents for Epstein's Gratitude For America Ltd. Foundation. Cecile deJongh, former first lady to the Gov. was the manager for Epstein's SouthernTrust Company, Inc., a company that donated to Antilles School. AmexaRivadeneira, the director of foundation accounts for Catchafire, who works withthe Clinton Global Initiative, used to serve in the senate office of KirstenGillibrand.
Oh what a tangled web they weave, and this is just a snippetof what this web has been up to. The details are in the backgrounds andaffiliations, as well as locations they've operated in. All of these ladiesdiagrammed below, are not only serving the board of Antilles School, they are atight-knit group, and are all friends on Facebook.
The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) isanother connecting point, that works with Antilles School, the Clinton GlobalInitiative, Fintrac, and Catchafire. Aside from serving on the board ofAntilles School, Pamela Berkowsky, Clarie Starkey, and two other board membersnot diagramed here also served on the board of CFVI. Beginning to see the armsof control?
So why is former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder indicatedon this diagram? Holder was involved with big investigations into a financialcriminal ring that went all the way up through legislatures, telecommunicationscompanies, and the governor himself in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This corruptionscandal dragged on for years, and it is alleged that Holder himself had put thebrakes on it. The full story and the players involved is documented below.
Take a good look atthe diagram below, study it, absorb everything that's been revealed above, andthen scroll down to see the individual resumes of these folks with the keyconnecting points that ties this all together. The corruption scandal followsthe resumes.
In 2008 Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution in a plea deal that only required him to spend 13 months in jail, of which he served most of in his Palm Beach office on ''work release.'' There were dozens of victims, a 50-page indictment on sex trafficking charges that was shelved, and a secret plea deal that concealed the full extent of his crimes and granted immunity to any potential co-conspirators. It stunk, and is now in the spotlight again. A judge recently ruled for the unsealing of up to 2,000 pages of judicial documents to show evidence of whether Epstein and his partner Ghislaine Maxwell were recruiting underage girls in an international sex trafficking operation.
Epstein was taken into custody on July 6, 2019 on charges of sex trafficking minors and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. The indictment states he conspired with others to carry out these acts. They have tentatively set his trial for 10-13 months out due to 1,000,000 pages of evidence against Epstein that they are sifting through.
This particular network inSt. Thomas is only one of many networks and potential operations that Epsteinis involved with. Many of Epstein's connections have criminal histories, andmany sit in very high places.
The PlayersJeanne Brennan Wiebracht' Weibracht is a licensed CPA with a master's degree in accounting and BA in psychology. Her business, Accounting Strategies Group, LLC's address is listed at 6100 Red Hook Quarter B3, St. Thomas, VI 00802. This is boat slip 3 located at dock B in the America Yacht Harbor marina. This is the same address where several of Jeffrey Epstein's businesses resolve to. Wiebracht is also listed in Epstein's black book as a contact under his Financial Trust Company on the ''Island'' section.
' Wiebracht is originally from Holmdel, NJ, moved toWashington D.C. from 1993 '' 2003, and then moved to St. Thomas in 1994 just oneyear after Epstein purchased Zorro Ranch in New Mexico, and four years prior tohim purchasing Little St. James Island.
' She hasserved as a trustee on the board of Antilles School for years. Both of herdaughters have attended Antilles School.
' She donated $250 to Obama's campaign in2008.
' Her husband Mathias founded See & Ski Powerboat Rentals in 1983, which is located at Dock A, right next to Epstein's dock B in the same marina. They also own Maritime Yacht Sales in Holmdel, New Jersey. They also service St. John, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and Water Island. ' Her brother George Brennan, who still resides in New Jersey, is a mechanical engineer at NAVAIR, whereby he designs ship integration for a system that operates on aircraft carriers, and works with stakeholders. He has been an engineer since 2001 and has worked with ships and aircraft since 2009.
' Her father George G. Brennan, MD, passed away in 2016 in Holmdel, NJ. He specialized in pediatrics and adolescent medicine in the 1960s and served as a doctor for 57 years. He worked with special needs children and worked closely with the Child Study Teams in school districts. He was also a lector and religious education teacher at St. Catharine's Church of Holmdel, NJ.
PRIVATE COMMS
One of Epstein's companies is VT&T, LLC, pointing to the same address in Red Hook Quarter, and Jeanne Brennan is listed as the contact for a microwave industrial/business pool license. Basically, this is an 18.7 ghz microwave radio transmission for private communications that runs from Stalley St. Thomas to Little St. James Island and points back. The license was granted on October 17, 2014 and doesn't expire until October 17, 2024. The equipment is by Dragonwave Inc. Model: 18HY40HFC279V01 HAAM.
On the documentation, it requires a yes or no to thequestion, ''Has the applicant or any party to this application, or any partydirectly or indirectly controlling the applicant, ever been convicted of afelony by any state or federal court?'' They answered YES, as they should.
The equipment was mounted on the lower portion of the tower that was already equipped with numerous other transmitters. Because of that, a company by the name of Micronet Communications, Inc. out of Plano, Texas performed a frequency coordination study according to FCC rules and regulations. This entailed running tests to ensure there was no interference with existing parties. At that time, there were 24 other parties/companies that had equipment on this particular tower, most of whom were bigger name companies.
The coordinates of the tower on Stalley are at thesouth-east area of St. Thomas, where the tower is quite visible by satellite,and the pin is only feet away from the tower, based on those coordinates. Yet,the coordinates on Little St. James Island do not resolve to a tower orstructure, and in fact, fall adjacent to the tennis courts, not too far fromthe famous sundial. Perhaps the satellite image is prior to 2014 or there isanother form of equipment capable of this transmission? Or perhaps the sundialis equipped with something extra special?
Back in 2004, Jeffrey Epstein and his attorney Paul Hoffmanwere workingto get a $1.2 million underwater fiber-optic cable project passed that wouldrun from Red Hook in St. Thomas to Epstein's island Little St. James.
Cecile de Jongh' Former first lady to Gov. John de Jongh.
' She was Jeffrey Epstein's office manager for his Southern Trust Company, Inc., which was a DSB providing extensive DNA database and data mining. Epstein was very invested in science, human behavior, and the brain. One of his projects regarding AI is covered in Eugenics, Infertility & Population Growth Crisis.
' She has served on the board for the Antilles School in the position of treasurer for several years. Her and John are listed as ''parent donors '' parents of alumni'' in the Antilles School Review 2017.
' Cecile is also listed in Epstein's black book, just above Jeanne.
Pamela BerkowskyBerkowsky's background is quite extensive, including being appointed by former President Clinton to serve as the assistant chief of staff to secretary of defense William S. Cohen. In her own words, she documents her background on her LinkedIn account.
' In 1997, the New York Times wrote a short article on the marriage of Berkowsky to Adam Shapiro. At that time, Berkowsky was the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of the Navy.
' In 2000, she was listed on the Term Member Program for the Council on Foreign Relations, under the seminars and roundtables. Her title at that time was Assistant Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense. Other notables are David Rockefeller, Federal Reserve, Harvard, CNN, WaPo, Asia Society, and many more.
' She has been the Practice Administrator for her husbands Virgin Islands Ear, Nose & Throat practice since 2002.
' In 2010 she served on the board of the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, and had agreed to serve another three-year term.
' Berkowsky servedas a trustee for the Antilles School board for several years.
' While working for the governor of the Virgin Islands,Berkowsky tried to pull a fast one on getting her husband's company specialVirgin Islands tax rates, was ousted, and abruptly resigned. This is allreferenced in the corruption section below.
' She is the COO of Aerospace Medical Sleep Consultants, which is registered to Pamela and Adam's Coral Gables home in Florida. It is based out of Miami, FL and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. According to their website, they improve the safety and efficiency in aviation and the space industry, specifically with sleep disorders and fatigue, but list a myriad of ''expertise'' in other health-related areas. The industries they serve are quite extensive and cover aviation, spaceflight, air traffic control, maintenance, commercial, governmental, charter operations, military, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and service North America, South America, Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Africa.
' She founded Blue Sapphire Strategies, LLC on February 27,2018, registered to her Coral Gables mansion in Florida.
Adam Shapiro' Husband to Pamela Berkowsky. As indicated in thecorruption section below, Shapiro created a company called JaminDoodle Productions, LLC, which partnered with VI 4D,LLLP to apply for tax breaks to build a 4-D theater for Virgin Island Tourists.They tried to quietly slip this through via Berkowsky's PBB Blind Trust, whichowns 49% of JaminDoodle, so as to receive big tax breaks in the Virgin Islands.Berkowsky abruptly resigned when she was ousted.
' Shapiro has 14 Years of college under his belt with an ABin biochemistry from Cornell University, and MD from George WashingtonUniversity School of Medicine and Health Sciences, four years at Albany MedicalCollege for otolaryngology head and neck surgery, and four years at theUniversity of Pittsburgh for facial plastic surgery. Just to throw a dash ofhumor in, Shapiro attended high school in ''Great Neck, NY.''
' Founder and President of Aerospace Medical SleepConsultants since 2015 in Miami, FL and St. Thomas, VI, that he operates withhis wife Pamela.
' Head and neck plastic surgeon.
' Founded Virgin Islands Ear, Nose & Throat, P.C. withoffices on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
' Founded Virgin Islands Facial Plastic Surgery.
' Founded Virgin Islands Allergy Center.
' Founded Virgin Islands Hearing and Balance Center and theSt. Thomas Sleep Center.
' He obtained his practitioner controlled substance license for schedule II '' IV narcotic substances and is a licensed medical doctor and surgeon in the U.S. Virgin Islands, California, District of Columbia, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Whereas his medical licenses listed on his Virgin Islands Ear, Nose & Throat business doesn't list Arkansas, he had a temporary license from March 23, 2018 thru November 30, 2019, and a separate one from March 16, 2018 through April 6, 2018. This is all rather strange being as he doesn't appear to have facilities in these locations. What would he possibly need a medical license for in these states, and a temporary one in Arkansas over the past year+?
According to the Arkansas Medical Board, physicians canapply for a temporary license prior to obtaining a permanent license providingthey meet the qualifications and requirements, in addition to other criteriasuch as ''the physician must practice medicine in an area of critical medicalshortage in Arkansas.'' In other words, either his medical background in sleepissues, plastic surgery, or ear, nose and throat issues would have to be amedical shortage in Arkansas for him to obtain the license. So what it is Dr.Shapiro intends on doing in Arkansas, a location far away from his otherpractices in St. Thomas, who's schedule would make a grown man cry? And moreimportantly, as a transport pilot, what exactly is he transporting, and towhere?
' He is a licensed pilot and aircraft commander and former assistant district flight safety officer with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico. He has several certifications dating back to 1993 as a commercial pilot for a single-rating engine both land & seaplane and multi engine land, in addition to a 2015 certification as an airline transport pilot Citation Jet CE-500 type rating.
' From 1995 to present, he is an FAA designated senioraviation medical examiner.
' As a licensed pilot he flew his Beachcraft turboprop to Haiti in 2010 to assist after the earthquake, and brought along a few other doctors.
' In addition to running multiple facilities simultaneouslyand directing a laboratory at his allergy testing center, he is also a Roy L.Schneider Hospital staff physician, and is an associate professor at theUniversity of the Virgin Islands School of Medicine in St. Thomas and St.Croix.
' He is also friends with most of these women on the board of Antilles School as seen on their facebook accounts and LinkedIn endorsements. His companies donate to Antilles School as well.
' Shapiro's background is so extensive, it would require multiple people to carry out all of these positions simultaneously, not to mention the medical licenses in numerous states. His extensive background can be viewed here.
Shapiro's organization created a campaign PAC in 2014, which accrued over $340,000 from physicians all across the country, that was disbursed to both Democrat and Republican candidates for the House of Representatives and Senate in numerous states.
Marjorie Rawls Roberts, P.C. ''The Bundler''' She worked with the London and Washington D.C. law firm ofGibson, Dunn & Crutcher from 1981-1985. From 1985-1988 she served as anattorney advisor in the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Tax Policy in D.C.She was chief counsel to the U.S. Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenuefrom 1988-1995. And, from 1995-1999 was the director and VP for GlobalvestManagement Company, LP, a St. Thomas based investment company managing $1billion in investments in Russia and Latin America through offshore funds.
' Her schooling entailed the University of Geneva,Switzerland, and holds law degrees from Harvard and Cambridge universities. Sheis admitted to practice law in California, Washington D.C., the U.S. VirginIslands, and before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
' Her expertise is in offshore funds, investments, andtaxation. She is the U.S. Virgin Islands correspondent for Tax NotesInternational and on the board of several tax and offshore investment relatedorganizations.
' Roberts was a big campaign bundler for Barack Obama's 2012 reelection, having pledged to raise between $100,000 and $200,000. She believed Obama was the ''Greatest President.'' She also donated to Hillary For America's 2016 campaign.
' She has assisted criminals and ponzi schemers in settingup special tax breaks in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and indicated below under thecorruption scandal. Debbie WassermanSchultz was scheduled to do an Obama fundraiser event with her, but whenthe scandal broke publicly, Wasserman canceled her trip.
' Havingserved on the board of the Antilles School for several years, Robertsdaughter Marjorie is currently attending Johns Hopkins School of AdvancedInternational Studies. Following in her mother's political footsteps, sheshares photos of herself with politicians on her facebook page as well.
' Roberts was a big fan of the Clintons as well. In fact, she was so instrumental in assisting the Clinton Global Initiative, they included a big thank you to her in their June 4, 2019 press release.
Marjorie thoroughly enjoys her connections to those in power, going all the way back to her youth, and she really likes to brag about it. On January 7, 2019 she proclaimed ''I was walking on Magens Bay and ran into Governor Bill Richardson, who I've gotten to know well over the past few years.'' Richardson is the former governor of New Mexico, took campaign funds from convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, is tight with Bill Clinton, and happened to be in St. Thomas at the time Albert Bryan Jr. was inaugurated as the USVI's governor.
UPDATE: A few hours after publishing this story, the Epstein depositions and exhibits were released by court order. There are many name drops, one of them being Bill Richardson. See clip below from court documents. Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Prince Andrew and numerous others were listed as well. More on this in future reports.
In 2007, Albert Bryan Jr. was appointed as the Commissioner of Labor by then Governor John P. de Jongh. During his eight-year tenure, he implemented the Jobs for America's Graduates Initiative for at-risk youth, secured over $14 million in additional funding for training and improvement of services at the Department of Labor, and $150 million in federal unemployment benefits.
GovernorCharles Turnbull of VI was the governor before John de Jongh. Turnbull is inEpstein's black book as well.
Apparently, Roberts has also worked with Bloomberg on the Energy Committee of the Governor's Recover and Resiliency Task Force, as she stated back in August 2018. Here, she is in awe of Bill and Hillary Clinton, and even wore a Hillary Clinton for President bracelet to show Bill at the event.
But that's not all. Roberts always attends the annual Fonkoze board meeting in D.C. '' ''a micro-finance organization that works exclusively in Haiti '' mostly with women and children.'' Who else works with Fonkoze? The Clinton Foundation of course. In fact, they have three pages of press releases that include Fonkoze in them '' just give it a search.
Fonkozewas founded in 1994 '' that magic year '' by Anne H. Hastings and Father JosephPhillipe. They have 44 branches throughout Haiti, serving poor and ultra-poorwomen in rural Haiti.
Erika Kellerhals' Marjorie Rawls Roberts took Kellerhals under her wings when she arrived in the Virgin Islands in 2003 from New York.
' In 2008 she launched Kellerhals Ferguson Kroblin PLLC,with locations in St. Thomas, VI and on Wall Street in New York, NY.
' Erika Kellerhals is listed as the Secretary on Jeffrey Epstein's 2015 tax returns for his company called Gratitude America Ltd. Foundation based out of St. Thomas, VI. It also states that the books are in her care.
' She hasserved on the Antilles School board for several years.
Claire Starkey' Starkey hasserved on the board of Antilles School for several years, and is currentlylisted as the President on their website.
' She founded Fintrac,Inc. in 1990, the same year the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI)was founded. She has also served on the board of CFVI, who does a LOT of workwith the Clinton Global Initiative. Fintracis allegedly an agricultural consulting company that coincidentally operatesout of many of the same countries as the Clinton Foundation, such as Haiti,Africa, Jamaica, Central America, and Asia.
' In 2012 they partnered with 'Feed The Future,' and were spotlighted by then-Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, along with other famous guests.
' Starkey once managed a small business program for USAID inthe Eastern Caribbean. She is enamored by Bill & Melinda Gates as well asthe former World Bank President JimYong Kim.
' She donated 4times, contributing $2400 in 2007-2008 to Obama's campaign. Ray Waldron fromFintrac also donated $250 to Obama.
' Kimberly Flowers was Fintrac's communications directorfrom 2011-2015. Prior to that she was the senior communications specialist for USAID from 2010-2011. In fact, she wasin Haiti from January 2010 '' April 2010as the public affairs officer in the aftermath of the earthquake. Flowersserved for USAID from 2005-2011 and was a Peace Corps volunteer in 1999.
' RamanandaGupta, another previous staff member of Fintrac, also previously worked forUSAID.
Amexa Rivadeneira' Rivandeneira is the director of foundation accounts forthe non-profit Catchafire, who works with the Community Foundation of theVirgin Islands and the Clinton Global Initiative.
' She has servedon the board of Antilles School.
' Prior to Catchafire, she served in the Senate office ofKirsten Gillibrand
' In a June 5, 2019 press release titled ''CFVI and Catchafire Announce Commitment to Action During Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Conference on Tuesday.'' This 2-year partnership is to provide support to 150 nonprofit organizations in the Virgin Islands. CGI introduced Catchafire to CFVI for this partnership.
A Few Key Side Notes on The Antilles Board Members Listed AboveA few other names of significance: Juanita Young has also served on the Antilles school board and is listed as a parent in their 2017 review booklet. Angelina Daswani and Vivek Daswani are listed under three separate years for upcoming graduation dates, meaning they are paying over $60,000 per year for their three children to attend. Angelina Daswani is also on the Antilles school board and her husband Vivek was on the board of the Community Foundation for the Virgin Islands back in 2010 working side-by-side with Pamela Berkowsky. According to records, they also own property in Florida, and are listed as merchants of jewelry.
Andrew Farkas' Deutsche Bank and New York real estate titan.
' In 2007, nearly a year after Epstein was charged for soliciting girls for prostitution, Farkas and Epstein formed a 50-50 partnership in a port deal '' American Yacht Harbor, which is located in Red Hook St. Thomas. The boat dock/slip B3 at this marina is where many of Epstein's business addresses resolve to. It entails a 127 slip marina along with a small shopping center. Up until recently, Epstein was always referred to as a ''passive investor'' so as to remain anonymous.
' American Yacht Harbor provided slips for supersized yachts,which may have been beneficial for friends, such as Wexner.
' Epstein leased 3,200 sq. feet of office space at themarina, in addition to six boat slips.
' Farkas owns IGY Marinas, which has 17 ports spanning from St. Thomas to Turks & Caicos, St. Lucia, Colombia, Italy, France, New York, Florida, Maine, and Mexico just to name a few.
' The ports in Turks & Caicos, as well as St. Lucia, areboth locations where the Clintons, Richard Branson, and several others arerunning their 'TenIsland Challenge' program, whereby they are allegedly there to help with ''climatechange'' by setting up solar farms. However, this venture has expandedto include over 20 islands, has entered the tourism industry, and is supportedby Bill Gates, George Soros, Dennis O'Brien, The World Bank, and numerous otherindividuals and organizations.
A Glimpse Into Antilles SchoolAll of the proud families and contributors' names can beseen splashed across many of the buildings on campus.
Antilles school is a private preparatory school that first launched in 1950 by founding head Deborah Finch '' a woman from St. Croix with a teaching degree from New York University who wanted to establish a private school.
Jeffrey Epstein's attorney Paul Hoffman was one of the original 13 students of Antilles School, and has this to say about Finch:
I was fortunate to have gone to a lot of good schools '' Andover, Bryanston, Harvard '' and Debbie Finch was the best school person I ever met. She was tough, fair and demanding, yet she somehow never left failure open as an option.
Another notable from the original 13 students was Michael Paiewonsky, whose mother helped founded Antilles School and served on its board from 1953 to 1983. Their family background is quite extensive with deep ties throughout the Virgin Islands, holding high political positions, running a publishing house in St. Thomas and Rome, among other things.
Antilles School eventually expanded to a 27-acre campus andHeadmaster mark Marin, now deceased, was instrumental in raising big money forthe campus from 1979-2001. Today, the school provides $1.3 million annually toassist 55% of the student body.
Dr. Michael Hughs more recently served as headmaster forseveral years prior to moving to Bethesda Academy in Maryland in 2016. He alsoused to serve in leadership and academic positions at West Point.
Children begin as young as toddlers and continue throughhigh school. Fees range from $10,900 per year for toddlers all the way up to$20,475 per year for grades 9-12. They have roughly 500 students attending peryear with over 100 faculty and support staff.
In addition to the individuals on the board coveredthroughout this report, dating back to 2000, tax returns reflect that EliotDavid, Bob Schmidt, Patricia Murphy Gruber, and Juanita Young go way back asboard members prior to the board expanding to numerous trustees and otherpositions. Gruber has the Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation, which wasfounded in 1993, and they contributed $2,000 in campaign funds to New MexicoGovernor Bill Richardson in 2007, where Epstein purchased his ZorroRanch from former Governor Bruce King.
In addition to Marjorie Rawls Roberts being a campaignbundler for Barack Obama, there are several others connected to Antilles Schoolthat contributed as well. Paul Horowitz donated $4,600 between 2007-2008 duringhis time as headmaster of Antilles School. Jeanne Brennan Wiebracht donated $250.Claire Starkey contributed $2400. And, Sandra Colbourne of the VI police departmentdonated $1500.
In short, it would appear that Antilles School was createdwith intention, but not the intention that is purported. It has deeply rootedconnections to criminals, convicted sex offenders, and high-level politicians.It is likely a combination of a ''network'' that work together to carry outnefarious actions, pay-to-play schemes, potentially money laundering, and actsas a grooming school to bring their children into positions of power.
Financial Corruption Scandal During The Obama Administration Involving Key PlayersThis is ascandal that ties in former Gov. John P.de Jongh, his attorney general VincentFrazer, $23 million Clinton donor S.Donald Sussman, friend to the Governor and Jeffrey Epstein '' attorney PaulHoffman, tax attorney Marjorie RawlsRoberts, Clinton's appointee PamelaBerkowsky, Adam Shapiro '' Berkowky's husband. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was at the reins, yet hedecided to put the brakes on arrest teams with sealed indictments in place.
In February 2012, The Daily Caller broke the story on a 13-month criminal investigation into a financial crime ring that involved former Gov. John P. De Jongh Jr., his attorney general, and several legislators that had taken bribes. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder approved the investigation and arrest teams that included 25 federal prosecutors and it was alleged that two had been compromised and allegedly corrupt. It's important to note that in 2010 an IG report concluded that de Jongh had used $490,000 in public road repair funds improperly to upgrade his mansion, but was never held accountable.
It is alleged that in May 2012, de Jongh was flying to Washington, D.C. to purportedly meet with DOJ officials about this case, including Holder himself.
Theinvestigation began due to the National Rural Utilities Cooperative FinanceCorporation (CFC) and their subsidiaries books not jiving. The CFC was foundedin 1969 in Dulles, Virginia. They were allegedly inflating their own balancesheet and siphoning money from the Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative (RTFC)over to CFC because they were exempt from federal income tax, whereas RTFC wasnot. A large amount of CFC's money comes from the federal government, receiving$5.1 billion just between 2005 '' 2010. This scandal also included the Governoraccepting cash bribes in exchange for facilitating the sale of atelecommunications company to CFC.
By 2011, PaulPelletier, then the Fraud Section Deputy Chief of the DOJ's criminal division,had a grand jury underway investigating CFC and other crimes. But, Pelletierofficially retired May 13, 2011 before the case was closed and arrests weremade. It was later determined that the case had grown exponentially to 26 or 27prosecutors, a meeting was called, and two corrupt prosecutors who were takingbribes to not move the investigation along, were removed. Arrest teams were putin place, indictments were to be served, and then it all halted.
In October 2011, a raid on one of theVirgin Island's government building's central computer system and the office ifa senator, took place by 25 agent from the IRS, DEA and the U.S. MarshallService. It was never stated what this raid was about or if any evidence wasseized.
In April 2012 the Daily Caller continued its reporting on these criminal investigations and had confirmed that Marjorie Rawls Roberts was in fact the tax attorney who was helping a company owned by CFC with an application to receive the same offshore tax benefits. These applications all get approved through the Governor. But it's not just CFC, Roberts helped convicted $7 billion investment fraud schemer R. Allen Stanford with his application as well.
While assistingcriminal clients with navigating the Virgin Islands' tax loopholes, Robertsworked diligently on bundling campaign funds for Obama's 2012 reelection,having pledged to raise between $100,000 and $200,000. As seen in her facebookphotos and comments, she believes ''Obama is the greatest President.'' Though,she seems pretty smitten on Clinton too. In fact, the majority of Roberts postsreveal her sense of political power connections are of the utmost importance toher.
Given all this heat, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz canceled her U.S. Virgin Islands fundraiser appearance with Marjorie Rawls Roberts. She was scheduled to appear at the ''Obama Victory Fund 2012'' event, which was advertised as ''Breakfast with DNC Chair, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.''
Another name on the chopping block in 2012, was U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree's husband, S. Donald Sussman. Sussman, who was a resident of USVI, also utilized the VI tax shelter which requires one to be a resident of USVI, but as of 2011 listed his residency as Maine. Sussman was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the University of the Virgin Islands by Gov. John de Jongh in 2008. He later pledged $1,000,000 to the university. Coincidentally, Sussman's attorney was Paul Hoffman who is a good friend to the Governor and Jeffrey Epstein's attorney. He's even noted under ''Island'' contacts in Epstein's black book.
In July 2012 John de Jongh's chief of staff abruptly resigned after her and her husband were caught trying to grant a company they created, the spectacular tax breaks the USVI provides. Who might this person be? Pamela Berkowsky. Adam Shapiro, Berkowsky's husband, was the manager of a company called JaminDoodle Productions, LLC, which partnered with VI 4D, LLLP to apply for tax breaks to build a 4-D theater for Virgin Island Tourists. They tried to quietly slip this through via Berkowsky's PBB Blind Trust, which owns 49% of JaminDoodle.
Fast forward to August 18, 2015 '' former Gov. John de Jongh was arrested on embezzlement charges after years of local and federal law enforcement officials stalling the investigations. Both de Jongh and former director of the Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority Julito Frances were arrested on two counts of embezzlement of public monies and neglecting to pay over public monies in violation of the Virgin Islands criminal code. Of course, this had to do with the $490,000 that de Jongh spent on private use as opposed to the other big investigation with CFC.
Though this arrest seemed like a step in the right direction, the charges were dropped with prejudice and the case was permanently dismissed. He did have to pay the Government of the Virgin Islands roughly $380,000 to settle the dispute, but as usual, all other corruption seems to have been swept under the rug.
Gov. John de Jongh celebrated Barack Obama's inauguration by proclaiming January 20, 2009 as ''President Barack Obama Day'' in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and gave all government employees the day off.
Common ThreadsSome of these folks go back decades with one another. Lookat the mapping below.
Haiti:' Adam Shapiro (Pamela Berkowsky's husband) flew to Haitiright after the earthquake in 2010 and brought along a few doctors.
' Kimberly Flowers, the communications director for Fintracfrom 2011-2015, also went to Haiti from January '' April 2010 when she was thepublic affairs officer for USAID.
' Claire Starkey's Fintrac company has also worked in Haiti,and Starkey used to manage a small business program for USAID in the EasternCaribbean.
' Clinton Global Initiative and other Clinton Foundationshell companies have done their fair share of a ''workover'' in Haiti.
' Marjorie Rawls Roberts worked with Fonkoze USA, amicro-finance organization that works exclusively with Haiti '' mostly women andchildren. Fonkoze has worked with the Clinton Foundation on many occasions.
Antilles School Board:' Pamela Berkowsky (connected to Bill Clinton & Gov. John de Jongh)' Jeanne Brennan Wiebracht (connected to Epstein)' Claire Starkey (connected to CGI)' Cecile de Jongh (connected to Epstein)' Erika Kellerhals (connected to Epstein)' Marjorie Rawls Roberts (connected to CGI & Gov. John de Jongh)
Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands Board:' Pamela Berkowsky' Claire Starkey' Marjorie Rawls Roberts' Angela Deswani (Antilles School board member not included in diagram)' Juanita Young (Antilles School board member not included in diagram)' Clinton Global Initiative has worked with CFVI on many CGI projects over the years' CFVI donated $1000 to Obama's campaign in 2007
CFVI wasestablished in 1990 with a $540,000 endowment '' the same year Fintrac, Inc. wasfounded. It is governed by a board of directors, several of whom are in thisreport. They manage more than 100 named funds, award grants to numerousnon-profits, and administer scholarships.
One example, and there are many with the Clinton Global Initiative, is their commitment in 2018 with the American Federation of Teachers and Airlink to conduct extensive preventative health screenings for vision, hearing, and dental needs, to schoolchildren in the U.S. Virgin Islands, following the 2017 hurricane season. 9,000 children to be exact.
In this June 2019 Clinton Foundation press release, they detail how CFVI and Planned Parenthood, along with numerous other organizations, are working together with Clinton Global Initiative on 29 new CGI projects. Over 400 international leaders attended their recent meeting at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas.
Interesting FindNotice anything familiar? This is a historical photo from the Virgin Islands that was published in a March, 2019 article about the Virgin Islands history month.
The same pattern can be seen on the Government House in St.Thomas, which was built between 1865-1867, with roman numerals equating to 1874on the building itself.
It would appear to be a historical pattern/design thatEpstein took a liking to and incorporated into one of his structures on LittleSt. James Island.
Atop the structure sit an interesting character that resembles the ancient Egyptian deity Horus. Perhaps there is much more to this symbolism than meets the eye?
ConclusionThis is but one small network tied to convicted sex offenderJeffrey Epstein. He is likely tied to numerous operational networks throughoutthe Caribbean, in addition to the network surrounding his New Mexico ZorroRanch I've previously reported on. Is it a coincidence that both YolandaJones King, wife to former New Mexico AG Gary King, and Pamela Berkowsky bothhave very high-level ties to defense and military and are connected to JeffreyEpstein through multiple individuals? Unlikely.
Is it coincidence that Epstein's attorney Paul Hoffman was one of the 13 original students at Antilles School and that one of the founders was Michael Paiewonsky's mother? Is it odd that one of former President Bill Clinton's appointees as assistant chief of staff to secretary of defense was on the board of Antilles School, and that she worked directly with former Governor John de Jongh? Or, that one of Obama's bundlers and Clinton's CGI helpers is also on the board? How about Epstein's CPA private comms gal for Little St. James '' just another coincidence? Or, Epstein's former office manager and wife to the governor, Cecile de Jongh. What exactly is Antilles School up to? Is it a grooming school or is there a lot more to it?
Some of these ladies may look like small potatoes, but don'tbe fooled, as these are the ones that are instrumental in carrying outimportant tasks to running these operations, such as setting up private comms,creating shell companies with incredible tax breaks, being the go-between tohigher officials, etc. If these webs are not dismantled from the bottom up theywill continue to thrive and operate under other leaders or ''handlers.''
In this particular web, every single one of the peoplelisted in this report are Democrats, which is not to say that Republicans arenot corrupt, because we know this isn't the case. So why did Eric Holder putthe brakes on the 2012 investigations when arrest teams and sealed indictmentswere in place? What and who was he protecting? There are certainly a lot ofObama supporters in this club.
Perhaps even more concerning is Clinton appointee Pamela Berkowsky that is wrapped in with all of these folks and whose husband has medical licenses in multiple states, coupled with a transport pilot license.
Though this two-week-long dig may appear to be thorough, this is only spotlighting the surface of these connections. If I had several more weeks to dig, I could probably tell you what they all ate for dinner last Saturday night. That said, all of this still raises the question '' are Bill & Hillary Clinton involved with child trafficking, because we know for certain that Jeffrey Epstein is, as well as many of their other friends and colleagues.
'XOXO Hillary and Bill' is scrawled across the entrance to Jeffrey Epstein's home | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 11:57
The Clintons are all smiles in Illinois hours after suicide of former president's old pal Jeffrey Epstein and 'XOXO Hillary and Bill' is scrawled outside the pedophile's mansion after online conspiracies suggested they were involved is deathBill and Hillary Clinton were spotted in Metropolis Ballroom in Illinois Saturday Follows death of Bill's former friend Jeffrey Epstein who hanged himself in jailEpstein killed himself in his federal jail cell in Manhattan on Saturday morningAfter his death, 'XOXO Hillary + Bill' was written outside Epstein's townhouse Message follows #ClintonBodyCount hashtag that circulated on social mediaConservative pundits shared the hashtag in an effort to point fingers at Hillary and Bill Clinton for Epstein's deathLynne Patton, a regional administrator with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Trump loyalist, even said Epstein was 'Hillary'd' By Matthew Wright and Jenny Stanton For Dailymail.com
Published: 16:00 EDT, 10 August 2019 | Updated: 22:22 EDT, 10 August 2019
Bill and Hillary Clinton were all smiles in Illinois on Saturday, hours after the death of the former president's old friend Jeffrey Epstein and the finger-pointing by conspiracy theorists that followed.
Social media users shared images of the beaming couple - Bill in a navy suit and blue tie and his wife in a white button-up blouse and cardigan - at the Metropolis Ballroom in Arlington Heights, Illinois on Saturday afternoon.
Nathan Elleson shared a selfie of himself with the Clintons, writing: 'I always love being able to spend time and discuss things with Bill & Hillary '' they've seen so much in their time as POTUS & SecState. Although we've had some major political differences throughout the years, they really are good people and they mean well.
'We had a very positive/productive talk (they seem to be on board). I'm excited for some big announcements coming in 2020. Big things.'
It comes as conspiracy theorists suggest the Clintons had some kind of involvement in Epstein's death, and one even scrawled 'XOXO Hillary + Bill' on the sidewalk outside Epstein's $77million Upper East side townhouse.
Nathan Elleson shared a selfie of himself with the Clintons, writing: 'I always love being able to spend time and discuss things with Bill & Hillary'
Another Instagram user shared this picture of himself with a smiling Bill Clinton in Arlington Heights
Bill wore a navy suit and blue tie and his wife opted for a white button-up blouse and cardigan
The FBI raided the home in July, where they allegedly uncovered a 'vast trove' of hundreds or even thousands of lewd photographs of young women or girls.
The 'XOXO', meaning 'hugs and kisses' - is a way of signing off a message so it appears as though it was written by Hillary and Bill Clinton.
The message follows the #ClintonBodyCount hashtag that circulated on social media by conspiracy theorists in an effort to point fingers at Bill and Hillary, adding to the speculation and confusion surrounding Epstein's Saturday morning death.
Lynne Patton, a regional administrator with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Trump loyalist, even shared a clip of the DailyMail.com coverage of Epstein's death.
Photos show light blue lettering outside Epstein's $77million Upper East side townhouse, one of the largest private homes in Manhattan
The FBI raided Epstein's Manhattan townhouse in July, where they allegedly uncovered a 'vast trove' of hundreds or even thousands of lewd photographs of young women or girls
Epstein hanged himself in his federal jail cell in Manhattan in the early hours of Saturday morning. Pictured at his Manhattan home in January
She commented: 'Hillary'd!! P.S. Let me know when I'm supposed to feel badly about this.'
Michael Coudrey, one of the co-founders of the New Right US, wrote: 'BREAKING: Alleged "camera malfunction" last night at MCC where Jeffrey Epstein was locked up #EpsteinFiles.'
Coudrey was also one of the pushers of #ClintonBodyCount hashtag and suggested that the couple had a hand in also killing Seth Rich, an employee for the Democratic National Committee. Conspiracy theorists believed he leaked the DNC emails in 2016.
Many of those using the hashtag were found to be bots. Others hijacked the hashtag to share their own conspiracies, including that Attorney General Barr had something to do with Epstein's death.
Epstein hanged himself in his federal jail cell in Manhattan in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Epstein's suicide comes just two weeks after he was hospitalized following what may have been an initial attempt to take his own life.
The billionaire had been taken off suicide watch before he took his own life on Saturday morning.
Just last week, a lawyer who once represented three women during criminal proceedings against Epstein cast doubt on reports of a suicide attempt.
The attorney, Spencer Kuvin, claimed that the billionaire may have been targeted by influential people outside prison who were scared of being exposed as part of his circle.
'If he goes on trial, everyone he's been in contact with will ultimately be fair game,' Kuvin told The Sun.
'There's no doubt in my mind that no jail will protect you when there's powerful people that want to reach you - wherever you are.'
An inside source reportedly told The Daily Beast on Saturday that wealthy Epstein had been extorted by other inmates inside his high-security prison.
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2020
BIA Sees Local Political Advertising Topping $6.5B - Broadcasting & Cable
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 05:37
The 2020 election will generate more than $6.5 billion in local political ad spending, according to a new estimate from BIA Advisory Services.
Over-the-air television will get 47% of local political spending, or $3.08 billion. The next biggest share will go to online and digital outlets with $1.37 billion, representing a 21% share.
Multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) will see $919 million in spending, or 14% and radio will get $312 million or 4.8%, with the remainder going to other media.
''It's going to be a very interesting political year where some very large markets will not see much in political advertising while some small markets will see an extraordinary amount of advertising due to competitive Gubernatorial, Senate and House races along with the Presidential election,'' said Mark Fratrik, chief economist and senior VP, BIA Advisory Services. ''Campaigns will continue to rely on television as a dominant platform for advertising while supplementing with digital advertising across mobile and desktop.''
Related: Viewership Insights: CNN's Democratic Debates
Fratlik said that BIA did not have directly comparable figures for political ad revenue for 2018 and 2016, but he estimates that over-the-air spending in 2020 will be within $100 million of those earlier election years.
''The dollar amounts going to online/digital continues to increase so I think that the total amount expected for 2020 will be higher than in either of those two years,'' he said.
The market generating the most local political advertising in 2020 is expected to be Los Angeles with $368 million in spending. L.A. TV stations are expected to rake in $168 million during the election, with digital getting $76 million, cable getting $55 million and radio 17%.
Source: BIA
Spending in California could be impacted by that state moving its primary to March, earlier than in previous years.
Phoenix is expected to be the No. 2 market with $280 million in spending, $156 million of which will go to over-the-air TV, $61 million to digital, $42 million to cable and $6 million for radio.
The third-biggest political market is Philadelphia with $259 million in spending forecast by BIA. Philly stations are expected to get $135 million in election spending, with $57 million going to digital, $36 million to cable and $8 million to radio.
The Purge
Twitter Restores Mitch McConnell Campaign Account After GOP Freak-Out
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 16:21
After briefly suspending an account belonging to Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign, Twitter has reinstated @Team_Mitch and is swiftly working to patch things up with the Senate majority leader and his many allies on the right.
Twitter suspended the campaign account on Wednesday morning after it shared a video that included audio of violent threats against McConnell.
On Friday, Twitter explained its reversal and suggested that the campaign account was flagged along with several other users for sharing the video, which the company said violated its rules against abusive behavior.
''The video contained a violent threat directed at Leader McConnell, a clear violation of the Twitter Rules,'' the company tweeted. ''After multiple appeals from affected users and Leader McConnell's team confirming their intent to highlight the threats for public discussion, we have reviewed this case more closely.''
Twitter said that the video will remain online but will be accompanied by a ''sensitive media interstitial.''
Predictably, GOP figures descended on the suspension immediately, pointing to the incident as an act of political bias'--a common accusation conservatives have leveled at big social-media companies in recent months.
Trump's 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale seized on the political moment Friday morning, warning that he would pull the campaign's planned ad spending on the platform.
''We stand with Sen. McConnell & won't spend another dime with @Twitter until they unfreeze his account,'' Parscale tweeted. ''Twitter is cool with Hamas or Louis Farrakhan, but not Senate Majority Leader. Terrible bias!''
In July, Twitter forced Farrakhan to delete an anti-Semitic tweet comparing Jewish people to termites.
As Trump's digital media director in 2016, Parscale spent $300,000 on Twitter as part of an aggressive online strategy that leveraged social media to drive support and cash to Trump's presidential bid.
''Facebook and Twitter were the reason we won this thing,'' Parscale told Wired after the election. ''Twitter for Mr. Trump. And Facebook for fundraising.''
After being reinstated, the McConnell campaign seized on the ''victory'' as a fundraising opportunity. ''Thank you to EVERYONE for helping #FreeMitch,'' the account tweeted, next to a link to its donation page.
Trump admin reportedly drafting order to counter social media ''bias'' | Ars Technica
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 20:50
more regulation '-- The proposal would reportedly put the onus of content regulation on the FCC. Kate Cox - Aug 9, 2019 8:22 pm UTC
The Trump administration seems determined to take action with its irritation with social media networks' supposed bias against right-wing speech , as the White House is reportedly drafting an executive order directing agencies to do something about it.
Politico reported earlier this week that the White House was circulating drafts of a proposed order, but the site couldn't get anyone to describe what was in this document. Today, however, CNN says it has seen a summary of the draft executive order.
The current draft, called "Protecting Americans from Online Censorship," would put the burden of Internet content management on the Federal Communications Commission, calling on the agency'--which has never before dealt with regulation of online content'--to develop regulations clarifying under what circumstances social media platforms are protected by the law when moderating content. It also says the Federal Trade Commission should consider whatever policies the FCC comes up with when it investigates companies for not adhering to their stated policies.
The summary says the administration received 15,000 anecdotal complaints about online censorship from the online form it launched in May asking for user reports, and the White House offers to share those complaints with the FTC for a public complaint docket. The most recent high-profile right-wing censorship complaint was resolved earlier today, when Twitter, under significant pressure, reversed course on allowing the campaign account for Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to share a video showing "abusive behavior" on the part of protestors.
Trump last month held a social media event at the White House, and he railed against the "tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination, and suppression practiced by" platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. "We will not let them get away with it much longer," he said at the time.
The platforms' supposed silencing of conservative voices is "disgraceful," added the president, whose personal Twitter account has about 63 million followers.
The White House, the FTC, and the FCC all declined to comment to CNN on the draft summary, which is a long way yet from being any kind of official order. FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, however, tweeted out a link to the CNN story with the one-word commentary: "What."
White House Tech Meeting on Extremism Raises Yellow Flags - Broadcasting & Cable
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 05:29
The White House was hosting a meeting with tech companies Friday (Aug. 9) to talk online extremism and violent rhetoric and images, a conclave that was prompting some warning flares around D.C., and a call to call out the President for his rhetoric.
It was unclear who was at the meeting from either side. The President was not expected to be there (he was out of town at fundraisers all day).
The meeting was prompted by recent mass shootings. In the wake of those shootings and calls for action, President Trump focused on boosting mental health and reining-in violent media, particularly video games, rather than on gun control, though background checks have entered the conversation.
Related: Study Says Violent Gamers Less Likely to Be Online Haters
''As the need to continue the fight against hateful ideologies online remains painfully apparent, the White House should not hamstring those efforts with politically motivated and likely unconstitutional executive orders about viewpoint neutrality," said CCIA President Ed Black. "The Administration should be reinforcing online services' capacity to combat hate and extremism, rather than undermining it."
That was a reference to reports the President was considering issuing an executive order prohibiting online "viewpoint bias," which sounded a lot like the FCC's 'fairness doctrine' to Black.
The fairness doctrine was an FCC policy, scrapped in 1987, that required broadcasters to seek out and give airtime to opposing views on issues of national importance.
Even before the recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton, the President had signaled that social media platforms need to be fair--specifically talking about not censoring conservative speakers in this case--and said his Administration would try to make sure they were.
That was following a meeting with online "influencers"--conservative bloggers and social media figures.
Black said such an Executive Order was "a step toward imposing censorship by proxy on the American people. Such disrespect for the core values of our Constitution's First Amendment is dangerous to our freedom and democracy and unworthy of those who have undertaken an oath to defend the Constitution."
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, joined by almost four dozen other civil rights and public interest groups, said the meeting must not be used to stall needed actions by online companies.
They wanted the companies to commit to the following at the meeting (No. 2 was highly unlikely):
"Create a real plan to address the fostering of hate on their online platforms. Companies must implement consistent and sophisticated content policies that clarify how they will address white nationalism and white supremacy. They must share how these policies will be implemented to ensure users' due process rights are upheld."Condemn President Trump's hate-filled statements and actions toward people of color, immigrants, Muslims and other religious minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community."Acknowledge that so-called predictive technologies are not able to predict instances of mass violence and that these technologies have often been damaging to marginalized communities."Acknowledge that foreign actors, including Russian operatives, have used and continue to use online platforms to influence our elections and to suppress voting in violation of U.S. law."Agree to work to protect the integrity of the 2020 Census."Reaffirm their commitment to increasing the diversity of employment in the tech industry in all jobs so that marginalized communities are part of the creation and implementation of online products."
OTG
California to Launch Program That Tracks Children From Womb
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 15:33
California is readying a new program that would collect data on children from before birth to adulthood.
The plan (pdf), which is a central part of Gov. Gavin Newsom's education agenda, would give the government the power to collect data from state agencies responsible for regulating elementary and secondary education, as well as childcare providers, private and public universities, financial aid institutions, labor and workforce agencies, and health and human services program administrators.
The data would be gathered into a government-run database and provide policymakers information that would then be used to craft policy. The budget allocates $10 million to create this database.
The so-called ''Cradle to Career Data System'' will be ''identifying and tracking predictive indicators to enable parents, teachers, health and human services providers, and policymakers to provide appropriate interventions and supports to address disparities in opportunities and improve outcomes for all students,'' according to the budget text.
When discussing the program, Newsom said that the goal was to change how we think about education.
''Our role begins when babies are still in the womb and it doesn't end until we've done all we can to prepare them for a quality job and successful career,'' he said in 2018, EdSource reported.
But unlike traditional pieces of legislation, the ''Cradle to Career'' plan was never introduced into the state legislature as a bill, which would have placed the program under the scrutiny of a number of committees. Instead, Newsom presented the plan as part of a budget trailer bill.
This gave the governor and his team the power to negotiate the plan beforehand, providing lawmakers with the final product as a ''done deal,'' according to an article by Susan Shelley in the Daily News.
Groups such as the Education Trust-West, an advocacy group whose goal is ''educational justice,'' are celebrating the plan as ''an important win,'' saying it will be crucial for ''closing racial equity gaps.''
But despite their high hopes, Shelley warned that there are serious risks concerning children's privacy that are not being properly addressed. She said mishandling this data ''would expose the personal and educational records of every child in California to hackers or data merchants.''
Reginald Mosley, an Oakland resident who has three children enrolled in the Oakland Unified School District, agreed.
''I do not feel comfortable allowing my children to take part in this,'' he said.
In an interview with The Epoch Times, Mosley said he might remove his children from the public school system if the program becomes law.
''[Cradle to career] unnecessarily exposes both personal and educational records, and not not just to hackers and data merchants, but to a government that has historically not had the best interest of all its citizenry at heart,'' he said.
However, podcaster and anti-censorship advocate Matt Billy believes these fears are unfounded. In the end, he told The Epoch Times, bringing all this data together under one centralized power ''does not increase the privacy risk significantly.''
''The data gleaned from the database will help California invest in education more wisely. Meaning, people's tax dollars will be better put to use,'' he said.
To attorney Anne P. Mitchell, the CEO of the Institute for Social Internet Public Policy, the risks are serious enough to make it a truly ''scary'' program.
''There really can be no way to completely secure this data,'' she told The Epoch Times.
''Any time any piece of data is on a computer that is connected to the internet, or even to an intranet, that connection is a possible point of failure. The only way to be 100 percent certain of the security of a piece of data is for there to be only one copy, on one computer, which computer is not connected to any other computer.''
When it comes to children's data, Mitchell said, things can get dangerous the minute original data is distributed and copied, as the ''potential for additional copies [of the data] is out of the [distributor's] hands.''
''This is just the very tip of the iceberg when a record of a child entering kindergarten, for instance, is intended to be distributed for at least 18 years, to multiple agencies.''
What's worse than seeing this program being implemented in California, Mitchell said, is to know that several states are already making use of similar data-gathering systems to track children. California might be new to the trend, but this is far from a California-only issue.
''This initiative is in response to the Federal State Longitudinal Data System Grant Program (SLDS), which is based on federal grants for states to develop data systems needed 'to effectively measure the success of educational programs,''' Mitchell said.
''This effort has been quietly, with little-to-no fanfare, been instituted throughout the country since 2005, and 47 states are already receiving these grants (including California), [with] 37 states plus Washington, D.C., already sharing their 'cradle to workforce' data.''
Now that this endeavor has made its way to the Golden State, this piece of news might become more widely known.
''Up until this time, nobody has been talking very publicly about it, or not sounding the alarm. [Unfortunately], there is no question of 'not tracking them''--this has been [in effect] in nearly all states, and while the Federal government hasn't mandated it in the sense of passing a law requiring it, it has de facto mandated it in the way that it often does: using the power of the purse.''
By promising states ''free'' taxpayer-backed dollars, Mitchell said, local officials such as Newsom feel compelled to explore residents' privacy further so the cash keeps flowing in.
''[It's] shocking how nobody really knows about it, while it is quietly being put in place over the past 15 years,'' Mitchell said.
SJW
The anti-Trump backlash against SoulCycle, explained - Vox
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 21:29
The next great American culture war is taking place on the candlelit, grapefruit-scented fitness battlefield known as SoulCycle. Under the supervision of a trainer, up to 60 people or so gather in these cycling studios, channeling their frustration, bad days, and pent-up energy into sweat and screams on bikes that go nowhere.
But now, because of a fundraiser for President Trump in the Hamptons, Soulcycle is finding its once-loyal members' energy directed right at it '-- as they unleash on the fitness studio the same aggressively focused vigor that SoulCycle spun into profits and cardiovascular health.
This week, the Washington Post reported that Stephen Ross, the billionaire real estate developer (reported net worth: $7.7 billion) and SoulCycle investor by way of his Related Companies real estate firm, is hosting a fundraising effort for Trump's reelection campaign at his Hamptons mansion on August 9, with ticket costs ranging from $100,000 to $250,000.
Ross's fundraiser has incensed SoulCycle's liberal-skewing, millennial clientele: Not only does supporting Trump run against the open-minded mantra and credo of SoulCycle, which refers to itself as ''a space to come as you are and celebrate who you are,'' but the event is occurring at a particularly difficult political moment.
Events like Trump's recent racist comments that nonwhite Americans should ''go back'' to the countries they came from; a lack of grace in the aftermath of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio; and an attack on the city of Baltimore have left a terrible taste in the mouths of those who pay a hefty price to get their soulful cycling on every month.
SoulCycle is a place where everyone (or rather, ''all souls'') is welcome and hate isn't tolerated, according to SoulCycle (and the merchandise it sells). It's a message crafted by its founders and passed down to its staffers and its loyal riders.
The fitness company's indirect connection to Ross's expensive campaign soiree has rankled more than just its high-paying members. The investor's conservative ties caused a meltdown with SoulCycle's instructors '-- the ones in charge of spreading its message of goodwill, hope, and tolerance to people in studios across the country.
''I don't think there's a single employee at SoulCycle who has been more vocally anti-Trump than I have been,'' wrote a longtime instructor on a private, SoulCycle instructor-only Facebook group the afternoon the news broke. Screenshots of the message board were provided to Vox from a current instructor.
''Now I have to figure out how to continue to pour my heart and soul into every class I teach, knowing that every dollar riders spend with me is enriching a man who is supporting what I consider to the most corrupt, evil administration in our country's history,'' the instructor continued.
We reached out to SoulCycle about numerous instructors' concerns, shared to Vox, about the company's relationship to Ross. We are awaiting comment.
But while the meltdown and infighting are undeniably spicy '-- akin to the mordant satisfaction of watching someone's perfect facade come crumbling down and reminding you that they, too, are mortal '-- a big investor in SoulCycle vouching public support for such a controversial figure has left those dedicated to the studio to wonder about the state of SoulCycle's once-hot brand.
It also brings into focus just how well brands have commodified our values and identities. SoulCycle has insinuated itself into its members' and instructors' lives, inspiring people to rethink how they treat their bodies; but the ethics SoulCycle espouses also have left an impression on how they lead their lives. And for the progressive, liberal member base that prides itself on its well-rounded lifestyle, SoulCycle's political ties (even if indirect) throw all their soulfulness into disarray.
The anti-Trump backlash to SoulCycle, explainedDisclosure: I used to be a devout SoulCycle rider and would take four to six classes per week (over the past six years). I still think it's a great cardio workout and I only had positive experiences there. I stopped riding in February, not due to political reasons but because my favorite instructor left the company to start her own fitness business. Despite the time and money I poured into SoulCycle, I haven't really had a compelling reason to go back as regularly '-- such is the power of a good instructor.
What I've gleaned from all these classes is that while the instructors and their personalities are very different, the fundamental idea behind SoulCycle is that it can serve as the highlight of your day '-- and that is largely determined by the trainers in charge of your class. The studio pledges that it's about positivity and community, and instructors will often emphasize that it's a team concept and the participants are all inspirations for each other. And as corny as it sounds, there's a true sense that for 45 minutes in the dark, you can start to become who you want to be, alongside 60 people who want the same thing.
Throughout the class, the instructor peppers in mantras about acceptance and tolerance and treating each other with kindness and encouragement. Outside of class, instructors sometimes promote organizations, charities, and causes they believe in on their social media accounts, which their students often follow.
SoulCycle has also openly supported efforts like International Women's Day and Pride for years, along with offering charity rides at its studios any given day of the week. And while it has claimed to not be political, its messaging tends to hew toward the liberal side of the political spectrum.
Granted, feminism, LGBTQ rights, and welcoming people of all ethnicities aren't exclusively the province of liberals and Democrats, but with Trump's repeated racist rhetoric and prejudiced policies, like banning transgender people from serving openly in the military, supporting equality and women and people of color has somehow become a political issue. And SoulCycle often targets big metropolitan areas '-- it has studios in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and Atlanta '-- which tend to vote blue.
All of which gives context for the clientele's inflamed reaction (the SoulCycle Instagram page is full of angry comments) to finding out SoulCycle has a Trump-supporting benefactor.
SoulCycle's instructors were blindsided by the newsSome of the fiercest backlash to Ross's Trump fundraiser stems from inside the company.
Numerous instructors, many of whom identify as LGBTQ and nonwhite, and who are paid to spread a message of positivity and welcomeness, felt frustrated, blindsided, and hurt by the news.
According to an instructor who wishes to remain anonymous, the news of Ross's fundraiser was a huge surprise to instructors, who found out at the same time as the general public '-- between August 6 and 7.
''Ross has had this on the calendar for a while,'' the instructor told me, explaining that a fundraiser of this magnitude just doesn't happen overnight. ''Getting in front of it would have mitigated a lot of the backlash.''
Judging by SoulCycle's maligned response and SoulCycle sending out an email blast on August 7 announcing its digital/home exercise bike, the news caught the company by surprise as well.
On the same day of the news, a master instructor '-- the highest level of instructor at SoulCycle '-- posted an anti-Trump declaration on their Instagram Story page: ''In the cleanest way possible, if you support Trump and would donate money towards a fundraiser to re-elect him ... DON'T TAKE MY CLASS AND DON'T ASSOCIATE WITH ME ... your 'support is not needed.''
These confused and raw initial reactions were understandable, considering SoulCycle didn't release an official statement until later the day the news broke. In the afternoon of Wednesday, August 7, SoulCycle posted an official statement from CEO Melanie Whelan insisting that Ross's values have nothing to do with the company and that he's merely a ''passive investor.''
Instructors greeted the response with criticism, mainly at the lack of clarity behind the term ''passive investor.'' Ross is the chair and majority shareholder of the Related companies, which own SoulCycle and Equinox, and judging by responses on the private Facebook message board, instructors are still confused as to how much he gains from his investment in SoulCycle.
At a time of PR crisis like this, it's natural to look to the CEO for answers and leadership, and it's a CEO's responsibility to right the ship. The problem for Whelan is that the company she's been leading has been struggling to keep up with its meteoric pace since she took the helm.
Whelan was named CEO in 2015, nine years after Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler co-founded the company. And that same year, 2015, may have been the tail end of SoulCycle's peak.
By 2015, celebrities such as Oprah were seen going to classes. The elite of the elite wanted to follow in these famous footsteps, encouraging more newbie cyclists to strap in. SoulCycle was the workout, and there were no worthy competitors in sight, though it would eventually inspire successful imitators like Flywheel.
In 2016, Cutler and Rice each left with a $90 million buyout (which became Ross's Related investment), with the company poised to go public with an IPO:
Since then, however, news surrounding that IPO has all but vanished; meanwhile, SoulCycle finds itself fighting to keep its riders from switching over to the upstart Peloton. Its 2017 experiment in non-cycling fitness classes, called Soul Annex, shut down a year later, in October 2018.
These factors, combined with the Trump-tied firestorm and Whelan's response, have led instructors to call Whelan's leadership into question, especially in comparison to how Cutler and Rice ran the business.
But some were even reexamining the positive vibes of Cutler and Rice's tenure in the wake of the fundraiser news.
''One thing I will say is before you wax nostalgic about Julie [Rice] and Elizabeth [Cutler], they knew who they were selling their company to and they walked away with $89 million EACH without sharing one penny with the handful of strong women who were CRUCIAL to the company's success. So there's that,'' a master instructor wrote in a message posted to the Facebook message board.
In addition to Whelan's response, SoulCycle released talking points to instructors in anticipation of questions from riders. Vox obtained the bulleted list, though at least one instructor posted them on a social media account.
The talking points weren't any clearer about the fundraiser, and instead seem to be Whelan's statement broken down into bullet points like, ''At SoulCycle we believe in diversity, inclusion, and equality. All souls are welcome,'' and, ''Mr. Ross is a Passive Investor.''
On August 8, Whelan sent a company-wide email to instructors and staffers, apologizing for a perceived lack of urgency and clear response to the outrage and backlash.
''We're human. We're not perfect. But we're unbreakable. I know we'll come out of this stronger,'' she wrote. ''I'll be on calls tonight with our studio and instructor teams answering questions.''
On the same day as Whelan's call, an instructor posted their frustrations on the board: ''Does anyone else just want to hear someone say, 'we're sorry that the company has put you in this position. We're sorry that burden has fallen on the shoulders of the studio staff and instructors.' Like just say SORRY one time.''
The outrage among instructors isn't necessarily universal. After Whelan's call, a few instructors noted on the message board that there had been an improvement in the company's efforts to support its instructors. Others put up social media posts pledging to stand by SoulCycle, no matter its affiliations.
''I've been working for @soulcycle for 4 years, and I've had the privilege of getting to know and love my co-workers,'' instructor Eddie Corley, who is based in New York City, wrote on his personal Instagram on Thursday. ''They've been fighting the good fight since I stepped foot into this place and that's why I am still here. One person, or opinion won't change that. What can change is how you approach your choices.''
Others are opting to express their beliefs and rebuke Ross himself, instead of directing their agitation toward SoulCycle.
''A single person might have money, but we got mics,'' San Francisco-based instructor M.K. (Mary Kate) Hurlbutt wrote on her Instagram account. ''They might be trying to fill the coffers of hate and bigotry and racism and misogyny, but we're out here pumping up the volume on LOVE and INCLUSION and EQUALITY and JUSTICE. And we've got people in those rooms hell bent on changing the motherfucking world.''
Whelan followed her Thursday email and phone call with another message to staff on Friday, obtained by Vox, detailing a plan to soothe concerns: Instructors have been given the opportunity to host charity-based community classes, during which SoulCycle would ''donate 100% of the proceeds of each ride to the social justice causes'' chosen by the instructors and studio staffers.
''This is not the only answer. But it's our answer for today, so our community can start to heal,'' Whelan wrote.
SoulCycle is a tribe in an age of tribal consumerismIt's understandable that SoulCycle wants to tamp down what sounds like vocal opposition to its brand right now, and we've reached out for the company for further comment. But the outrage over Ross's unearthed Republican ties really boils down to a simple idea: As seemingly every facet of our lives become political, consumers today want to know if and when their money is going somewhere politically affiliated. The backlash to SoulCycle isn't unlike the negative response to Chick-fil-A's anti-gay, Republican-supporting donations or, on the opposite side of the spectrum, the right-wing backlash against Nike for making the controversial, outspoken football player Colin Kaepernick the star of a major marketing campaign.
There is an important difference between Soul and Nike's campaign with Kaepernick, as SoulCycle pointed out: Ross's politics never enter the studios or gyms, and SoulCycle has never run a pro-Trump ad campaign or endorsed Trump.
''Ross won't feel the boycott,'' an instructor told me. ''He was a billionaire long before his company invested in SoulCycle. But we will. We feel it. ... Life isn't as simple as, 'Well, get new investors.'''
Yet that sentiment won't mitigate the frustrations of consumers.
One of the terms that SoulCycle uses to describe itself is tribe; there's a sense of identity in participating in SoulCycle. It isn't just an exercise; for many people, it's also a place that stands for something and for everyone '-- the company has repeated that over and over again. So it makes sense that people who believe in SoulCycle because of how they perceived it to align with their personal politics were hurt by Ross's fundraiser.
In a sense, it's a testament to SoulCycle's success in co-opting social justice ideologies of welcoming, acceptance, individuality, and community into a marketing strategy that the company has gotten into such trouble over its investor's politics. As brands have become extensions of our self-expression and identity, burning a pair of Nikes or publicly breaking up with SoulCycle becomes a crucial way of asserting our identities and values.
But our strong feelings toward brands almost always say more about us and what we hold important, the hypocrisies we find inexcusable, and what we think other people should believe pertinent than the brands we support. And as we examine why exactly SoulCycle's news hit its devotees (past and present) the way it did, it makes it clear that this backlash is really more personal than it seems.
Mass Shooters
Air pollution linked to psychotic episodes in teens
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 16:15
C ar pollution increases the rate of psychotic episodes and worsens mental illness, a groundbreaking study suggests.
The first research ever to investigate the link between psychotic experiences and poor air quality found teenagers living in areas of high pollution suffered more than those in cleaner environments.
The researchers, from King's College London, used data from 2,232 children born in England and Wales.
They found that, overall, approximately a third of adolescents reported hearing or seeing something that wasn't there, or feeling paranoid on at least one occasion between the ages of 12 and 18.
Such episodes, while not necessarily serious in themselves, can be a gateway to graver mental conditions such as schizophrenia.
The mental health data was compared against with hourly estimates of air pollution at their home addresses and two other locations where they spent a lot of time at the age of 17 such as a school.
"This study found that psychotic experiences were significantly more common among teens exposed to higher levels of air pollution," lead author Dr Joanne Newbury said.
"For example, teenagers exposed to the highest levels of nitrogen oxides had a 72 per cent greater odds for psychotic experiences compared to those with lower exposure.''
A dolescents exposed to the highest level of nitrogen dioxide had 71 per cent greater odds of having a psychotic experience, the study also found.
Meanwhile, those exposed to the highest levels of particulate matter, which can include carbon, liquids, metals and dust, had 45 per cent greater odds.
Previous research has shown a link between urban living and adolescent psychotic experiences, but the researchers said this is the first evidence of an association with air pollution levels.
Other studies have recently shown an association between dementia and air pollution levels, as well as strokes.
Some theories suggest that small particles from air pollution can enter the brain and cause inflammation or cause chemicals to enter the body, the researchers said.
The King's researchers said noise pollution may also play a role.
The paper is published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
Text - H.R.838 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety Act of 2019 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 21:37
H. R. 838
To develop a national strategy to prevent targeted violence through behavioral threat assessment and management, and for other purposes.
Mr. Babin (for himself and Mrs. Demings ) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To develop a national strategy to prevent targeted violence through behavioral threat assessment and management, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of theUnited States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. Short title .
This Act may be cited as the ''Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety Act of 2019''.
SEC. 2. Sense of Congress .
It is the sense of Congress that'--
(1) incidents of targeted violence are impacting our Nation frequently and indiscriminately;
(2) a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and multi-jurisdictional behavioral threat assessment and management process on a Federal, State, local, and Tribal level complements the development of better methods for strategically preventing targeted violence in communities, including schools;
(3) the United States has the capability to rapidly develop behavioral threat assessment and management guidelines and best practices;
(4) the United States should encourage the sharing of such guidelines and best practices for streamlined and cohesive use across the United States;
(5) establishing such guidelines and best practices is an important step toward preventing targeted violence;
(6) such guidelines and best practices should account for different needs of communities across the United States; and
(7) it is in the national security interest of the United States to develop such guidelines and best practices.
SEC. 3. Definitions .
In this Act:
(1) A PPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS .'--The term ''appropriate committees of Congress'' means the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate.
(2) B EHAVIORAL THREAT ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT .'--The term ''behavioral threat assessment and management'' means the systematic and evidence-based process of'--
(A) identifying individuals who are exhibiting patterns of concerning behavior that indicate an interest, motive, intention, or capability of carrying out an act of violence;
(B) investigating and gathering information from multiple sources to assess whether an individual described in subparagraph (A) poses a threat, based on articulable facts; and
(C) the subsequent management of such a threat, if necessary.
(3) D EFINITIONS RELATED TO CERTAIN EDUCATIONAL TERMS .'--The terms ''early childhood education program'', ''elementary school'', ''local educational agency'', ''secondary school'', and ''State educational agency'' have the meanings given those terms in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).
(4) E DUCATIONAL ENTITIES .'--The term ''educational entities'' means'--
(A) a State educational agency;
(B) a local educational agency;
(C) an institution of higher education;
(D) an elementary school or secondary school;
(E) an early childhood education program; or
(F) a postsecondary vocational institution.
(5) F USION CENTER .'--The term ''fusion center'' has the meaning given the term in section 210A(j)(1) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 124h(j)(1)).
(6) I NSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION .'--The term ''institution of higher education'' has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001).
(7) M ENTAL HEALTH SERVICE PROFESSIONAL .'--The term ''mental health service professional'' has the meaning given the term in section 799B of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 295p).
(8) N ONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION .'--The term ''nongovernmental organization'' means an organization that is not a Federal, State, or local governmental agency.
(9) P OSTSECONDARY VOCATIONAL INSTITUTION .'--The term ''postsecondary vocational institution'' has the meaning given such term in section 102(c) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002(c)).
(10) S ECRETARY .'--The term ''Secretary'' means the Secretary of Homeland Security.
(11) S TATE .'--The term ''State'' means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
(12) T ARGETED VIOLENCE .'--The term ''targeted violence'' means any incident of predatory violence with respect to which an identifiable individual or group focuses an attack on a particular target.
SEC. 4. Establishment of a Joint Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management Task Force .
(a) In general .'--Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish within the Department of Homeland Security a Joint Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management Task Force (referred to in this Act as the ''Task Force'').
(b) Development of national strategy .'--
(1) I N GENERAL .'--It shall be the duty of the Task Force to provide recommendations to the appropriate committees of Congress and the Secretary on the development and implementation of a national strategy for preventing targeted violence through behavioral threat assessment and management (referred to in this Act as the ''national strategy'').
(2) R EQUIREMENT .'--In developing the national strategy required under paragraph (1), the Task Force shall take into account the different needs of communities across the United States.
(3) R ULE OF CONSTRUCTION .'--The national strategy developed under this subsection shall not be construed to be a national standard.
(c) Membership .'--
(1) C OMPOSITION .'--
(A) I N GENERAL .'--The Task Force shall be composed of not more than 24 members as follows:
(i) The Secretary or a designee with a position classified at GS''15 or above.
(ii) Not more than 2 representatives of a nongovernmental organization that is determined by the Secretary to have expertise in behavioral threat assessment and management.
(iii) Not more than 2 mental health service professionals with clinical experience who are determined by the Secretary to have expertise in behavioral threat assessment and management.
(iv) One State or local prosecutor who is determined by the Secretary to have expertise in behavioral threat assessment and management.
(v) Not more than 2 representatives from an educational entity who are determined by the Secretary to have expertise in behavioral threat assessment and management.
(vi) Not more than 2 representatives from local behavioral threat assessment and management units who are determined by the Secretary to have expertise in behavioral threat assessment and management.
(vii) Not more than 2 representatives from State behavioral threat assessment and management units who are determined by the Secretary to have expertise in behavioral threat assessment and management.
(viii) One expert in behavioral threat assessment and management appointed by the head of each of the following entities:
(I) The National Threat Assessment Center of the United States Secret Service.
(II) The Protective Intelligence and Assessment Division of the United States Secret Service.
(III) The Behavioral Analysis Unit''1 of the Critical Incident Response Group of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
(IV) The Joint Terrorism Task Force of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
(V) The Office of Protective Intelligence of the United States Marshals Service of the Department of Justice.
(VI) The Office on Violence Against Women of the Department of Justice.
(VII) The Naval Criminal Investigative Service of the Department of the Navy.
(VIII) The Threat Assessment Section of the United States Capitol Police.
(IX) The Department of Education.
(X) The Department of Health and Human Services.
(XI) The Department of Veterans Affairs.
(XII) The Office of Protective Intelligence Investigations of the Diplomatic Security Service of the Department of State.
(B) R EPRESENTATION .'--If a member of the Task Force has expertise in more than 1 of the subject matter areas described in subparagraph (A), the member shall be considered a representative of only 1 subject matter area.
(2) C HAIRPERSON .'--The Secretary shall appoint a chairperson of the Task Force.
(3) C ONSULTATION .'--The Task Force may, as the chairperson determines necessary, consult with experts in behavioral threat assessment and management from Federal, State, local, and Tribal government agencies and private entities.
(4) T ERM OF MEMBERSHIP .'--
(A) T ERM OF MEMBERS .'--Members of the Task Force shall serve until the head of the respective entity of the member appoints a new representative to the Task Force.
(B) T ERM OF CHAIRPERSON .'--The chairperson shall serve until the Secretary appoints a new chairperson.
(5) M EMBER COMPENSATION .'--Members of the Task Force may not receive additional pay, allowances, or benefits by reason of their service on the Task Force.
(d) Operating rules and procedures .'--
(1) R ULES AND PROCEDURES .'--Any member of the Task Force may propose to develop or change existing operating rules and procedures of the Task Force consistent with the functions of the Task Force. Any change to such operating rules and procedures shall be adopted upon a majority vote of the Task Force.
(2) F INDINGS AND SOLUTIONS .'--The Task Force shall adopt recommendations for the implementation of the national strategy only upon a majority vote of the Task Force.
(3) V OTING .'--Each member of the Task Force shall have one vote.
(4) Q UORUM .'--Two-thirds of the members of the Task Force shall be present to constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may hold meetings.
(e) Staff director and staff .'--
(1) S TAFF DIRECTOR .'--The chairperson may appoint a staff director, who shall be paid at a rate not to exceed the rate of basic pay for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.
(2) S TAFF .'--The staff director may appoint not more than 3 additional staff personnel.
(3) A PPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN CIVIL SERVICE LAWS .'--The staff of the Task Force shall be appointed subject to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of that title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates.
(4) E XPERTS AND CONSULTANTS .'--The Task Force and the staff director, acting with the approval of the Task Force, may procure temporary and intermittent services pursuant to section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code.
(5) S TAFF OF FEDERAL AGENCIES .'--Upon the request of the Secretary, the head of any Federal department or agency may detail, on a reimbursable basis, any of the personnel of such Federal department or agency to the Task Force to assist it in carrying out the duties of the Task Force under this section.
(f) Powers of the Task Force .'--Any member of the Task Force may, if authorized by the Task Force, take any action which the Task Force is authorized to take by this section.
(g) Obtaining official data .'--Subject to applicable privacy laws and regulations, the Task Force may secure directly from any Federal department or agency information necessary to enable it to carry out the duties of the Task Force under this section. Upon request of the chairperson of the Task Force, the head of such Federal department or agency shall furnish such information to the Task Force.
(h) Administrative support services .'--Upon the request of the Task Force, the Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Task Force, on a reimbursable basis, the administrative support services necessary for the Task Force to carry out the duties of the Task Force under this section.
(i) Contract authority .'--To the extent and in the amounts made available in advance in appropriations Acts, the Task Force may contract with and compensate State, local, and Tribal government agencies and private entities or persons for services necessary to carry out the duties of the Task Force under this section.
(j) Report .'--Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Task Force shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress and the Secretary a report on recommendations related to the national strategy, including recommendations for the development and implementation of the national strategy.
(k) Dissolution of Task Force .'--The Task Force shall terminate 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
(l) Authorization of appropriations .'--There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section not more than $1,000,000 for fiscal year 2020.
SEC. 5. Contents of national strategy recommendations .
The national strategy recommendations required to be provided by the Task Force under section 4(j) shall include each of the following:
(1) E XISTING INFRASTRUCTURE PLANS .'--Recommendations relating to the most effective use of existing Federal, State, local, and Tribal infrastructure, workforce, and experience, including'--
(A) the use of personnel, communication channels, and information sharing capabilities of fusion centers; and
(B) a model behavioral threat assessment and management process.
(2) U NIT SUPPORT PROGRAM .'--Recommendations relating to a Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management Unit Support Program, which shall'--
(A) assist Federal, State, local, Tribal government agencies and private entities in the implementation of community-based, multi-disciplinary, and multi-jurisdictional behavioral threat assessment and management units;
(B) consult on real-world complex behavioral threat assessment and management cases or programs;
(C) promote coordination and information sharing among Federal, State, local, and Tribal government agencies and private entities with protective or public safety responsibilities; and
(D) support collaboration between Federal, State, local, and Tribal government agency behavioral threat assessment and management units.
(3) T RAINING PROGRAM .'--Recommendations relating to a Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management Training Program, which may train officers and employees of Federal, State, local, and Tribal government agencies and private entities in community-based, multi-disciplinary, and multi-jurisdictional behavioral threat assessment and management, including'--
(A) integrated operations;
(B) information sharing among Federal, State, local, and Tribal government agencies and private entities with protective or public safety responsibilities; and
(C) disseminating published evidence-based research materials on targeted violence prevention through behavioral threat assessment and management.
(4) S CHOOL VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAM .'--Recommendations relating to a Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management School Violence Prevention Program for educational entities, which shall'--
(A) train and support a multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional behavioral threat assessment and management process, including the coordination of information sharing;
(B) consult on real-world complex behavioral threat assessment and management cases or programs;
(C) support collaboration between educational entity behavioral threat assessment and management units; and
(D) disseminate to educational entities published research materials on behavioral threat assessment and management and the prevention of targeted violence within educational entities.
(5) M ENTAL HEALTH SERVICE PROFESSIONAL ASSESSMENT .'--Recommendations relating to the involvement of mental health service professionals to collaborate, advise, and consult in a behavioral threat assessment process, as permitted under applicable Federal and State law.
SEC. 6. Development of national strategy .
(a) National strategy development .'--
(1) I N GENERAL .'--The Secretary shall develop a national strategy relating to behavioral threat assessment and management and consider the recommendations made by the Task Force pursuant to section 5 in the development of such strategy.
(2) R EQUIREMENT .'--In developing the national strategy required under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall account for diverse needs and existing resources of different communities.
(b) Effective date .'--The national strategy required under subsection (a) shall take effect 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, unless Congress enacts a joint resolution of disapproval of the national strategy during such 180-day period.
SEC. 7. Implementation of the national strategy .
(a) In general .'--Beginning on the date that the national strategy takes effect under section 6(b), the Secretary shall implement the national strategy and provide information and training services related to the national strategy at the request of any Federal, State, local, or Tribal government agency or private entity with protective or public safety responsibilities.
(b) Consultation .'--In implementing the national strategy, the Secretary may consult with Federal, State, local, and Tribal government agencies and private entities.
(c) Appointment of high-Level official .'--
(1) I N GENERAL .'--The Secretary shall designate a senior official within the Department of Homeland Security to be responsible for coordinating the implementation of the national strategy.
(2) D UTIES .'--The duties of the official designated pursuant to paragraph (1) shall include the following:
(A) Acting as a liaison between each Federal agency, as well as any State, local, or Tribal government agency or private entity with protective or public safety responsibilities regarding the implementation and coordination of the strategy.
(B) Being knowledgeable about budget priorities and familiar with all efforts within the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Government related to the strategy.
(d) Contracting services .'--The Secretary shall enter into contracts with public agencies or private entities with expertise in behavioral threat assessment and management to assist with the implementation of the national strategy.
(e) Website .'--The Secretary shall develop and publish an interactive public website to publicize information and data on evidence-based best practices in behavioral threat assessment and management, except that such website may not include law enforcement sensitive or classified data or processes and sources.
(f) Report to Congress .'--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act and each year thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on any action taken to implement the national strategy, which shall include the following:
(1) Information relating to the number of detailees hired (on a full-time equivalent basis).
(2) Information relating to the number of, and use of, contracts entered into with public agencies or private entities, as required under subsection (d).
(3) Information relating to the number of entities participating in the Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management Training Program under section 5(3).
(4) Information relating to the number of educational entities participating in the Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management School Violence Prevention Program under section 5(4).
(5) Information relating to the number of Federal, State, local, and Tribal law enforcement entities participating in the Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management Unit Support Program under section 5(2).
(6) Information relating to the number of States participating in the Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management Grant Program under section 8.
(7) A formal evaluation conducted by the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute of the Department of Homeland Security studying the implementation and effectiveness of the national strategy.
(8) Information relating to the level of cooperation between Federal Government agencies in the implementation of the strategy.
(9) An assessment of future trends, challenges, and opportunities, including new technologies, that will impact Federal, State, local, and Tribal government agency efforts to combat targeted violence through behavioral threat assessment and management.
(10) A detailed accounting of the use of the waiver authority described in section 8(d).
(g) Annual briefing .'--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act and each year thereafter, the Secretary shall brief the appropriate committees of Congress on the progress, changes, and other developments with respect to implementing the national strategy.
SEC. 8. Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management Grant Program .
(a) In general .'--The Secretary shall award grants to eligible entities to establish community-based behavioral threat assessment and management units that implement the national strategy.
(b) Application .'--To receive a grant under this subsection, an eligible entity shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.
(c) Matching funds .'--An eligible entity that receives a grant under this subsection shall provide a cash contribution in an amount that is not less than 10 percent of the amount of the grant.
(d) Waiver .'--The Secretary may waive or reduce the cash contribution required under subsection (c) for eligible entities that demonstrate a need for such a waiver or reduction.
(e) Eligible entity defined .'--In this section, the term ''eligible entity'' means'--
(1) a State;
(2) a Tribal organization;
(3) an educational entity;
(4) a unit of local government; or
(5) a nongovernmental organization.
SEC. 9. Authorization of appropriations .
(a) In general .'--There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out sections 7 and 8 $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2024.
(b) Limitation .'--No funds authorized to be appropriated under this section may be used to'--
(1) train any individual in the use of a firearm; or
(2) encourage or discourage the otherwise legal ownership and use of firearms.
(c) No effect on other laws .'--Nothing in this Act may be construed to preclude or contradict any other provision of law authorizing the provision of firearms or training in the use of firearms.
Bronze Age Mindset
This is the artist formerly known as Baronet Sir American
Carnage. I sent you guys a not about Accelerationism in the show with the same
name a few months back. I'm going to try to keep this shorter than a novel. It
was very odd hearing you guys mention Bronze Age Pervert, as I have followed
and interacted with him on Twitter for about 3 years. He is part of Frogtwitter
(not pepe), which is a niche reactionary irony part of Twitter. The best I can
explain concisely is that some on Irony content Twitter have performance art
identities that never break character. Bronze Age Pervert is one of those. Some
are so involved and complex that they even write books under their Twitter
identity name. Bronze Age Pervert has been trolling journalists and confounding
the blue checks on Twitter since before the 2016 election. His book is a meme
extension of his identity. It is social commentary under huge layers of irony
performance. Even the title is a meme joke play on the grifter dime-a-dozen
mindset books of the last few years. John was pretty much right. And if anyone
committed a shooting over BAP's writing, then that is super cringe and they
don't know the ethos of frogtwitter and they got trolled.
Experts: Stop Blaming Mental Illness For Mass Shootings | WSKG
Thu, 08 Aug 2019 21:37
TRANSFORMING HEALTH '' After a bloody weekend during which mass shooters in Ohio and Texas killed 31 people with high-capacity rifles, President Donald Trump voiced a familiar sentiment while listing plans to prevent such shootings.
'''... we must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence, and make sure those people not only get treatment, but when necessary, involuntary confinement,'' Trump said. ''Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.''
Dean Garland Jr., who grew up in Pittsburgh, holds a ''Stronger Than Hate'' sign on Nov. 1 in Squirrel Hill. Days earlier, a man shot and killed 11 people at the nearby Tree of Life synagogue. Six people were wounded. (Ed Mahon/PA Post)
In Pennsylvania, in addition to gun control laws, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf called to ''invest in mental health and help those struggling.'' (Mental health funding in Pennsylvania hasn't increased in years).
Some state lawmakers also called for such plans as part of the solution to gun violence.
To some people, the act of indiscriminately shooting people is by itself evidence of mental illness. However, groups such as the American Psychological Association and the National Association for Mental Illness say that's not true.
Transforming Health posed five questions to mental health professionals in Pennsylvania. While they each brought different areas of expertise to the table, there was a lot of consensus in their responses. They pointed to some key data that informs their perspectives:
People with a mental health diagnosis committed less than 5 percent of gun-related homicides between 2001 and 2010, according to National Institutes of Health.A recent Secret Service report shows two-thirds of mass shooters had some history of mental illness. However, that is just one of five factors, which also include personal grievances, major life stressors, a history of threats to others and access to firearms.People with mental illness are much more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators, and face higher-than-average rates of physical and sexual assault.A history of violence and substance abuse are much more accurate predictors of future violence than a mental health diagnosis. What follows are excerpts from their responses, edited for length.
The president and others have said mental illness is driving mass shootings. What are these public figures getting right or wrong in saying this? What are the big misconceptions out there?
Dirk Matson, Westmoreland County behavioral health administrator:There is little evidence to support that mental illness drives gun violence. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, less than 5 percent of 120,000 gun-related killings in the U.S. [between 2001 and 2010] were carried out by a person diagnosed with a mental illness. It is more politically and socially acceptable to blame those with mental illness. People will believe a quick answer that has face value, no matter how untrue it may be. However, it creates more harm by strengthening the stigma associated with mental health, preventing many people from seeking help that have a real mental illness and who are not violent.
What do we know about the relationship between mental illness and violence? Does such a relationship exist?
Dr. Adriana Torres-O'Connor, psychologist and president/CEO of Mental Health Partnerships: There is the mistaken belief that people who are experiencing mental illness are dangerous and violent. In the majority of cases, that's not true. It's that mistaken belief that perpetuates stigma, and as a result, people are not getting treatment. So although the statistics are that 1 in 4 adults in United States and 1 in 5 children experience mental illness, less than 50 percent of people are actually seeking treatment. And the treatments are extremely effective, not only at reducing symptoms, but in helping people to recover. And when you have less than 50 percent of people seeking treatment because of fear of discrimination and stigma, that's a huge problem.
What's your initial reaction when you hear lawmakers or politicians saying, after a mass shooting, that society needs to focus on better mental health care?
Dan Eisenhauer, Dauphin County mental health administrator: The research indicates there is not a strong causal link between mental illness and violence, much less mental illness and mass shootings. Improved mental health treatment and funding for the entire mental health system are critically important. However, given the data, increased funding or treatment for mental health would not appear to have a dramatic impact on the prevalence of violence or the mass shootings.
The perpetrator of the recent shooting in Texas voiced white nationalist sentiments. At what point do violent ideologies lead people who are susceptible to such ideologies to commit violence for that cause?
Dr. John ''Jack'' Rozel, medical director at re:solve Crisis Network, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC: We don't have a psychiatric diagnosis for being racist, or for being extremist. When we look at people who are involved in hate groups. who have that hate ideology, we don't actually see that much of a difference in psychiatric illness than we would in any other sampling. We have studies of what we call non-ideological mass shooters. And what we find, about 1 in 4 of these folks have an identifiable history of psychiatric illness. In one study, when they looked at folks who are involved in ISIS related and ISIS-inspired attacks across the world, and both in the U.S. and in Europe, they found about 1 in 4 of these folks had some type of identified psychiatric illness. They're not mutually exclusive, but they're certainly not contingent upon each other. One of the best data sets that's come out recently came out June of 2018. And it looked at about 12 to 13 years of FBI data on assailants in these mass attacks. And what they found was that about 25 percent of them had an identified psychiatric illness, but less than a quarter of those who had a psychiatric illness had what we'd consider a severe or a major psychiatric illness like schizophrenia, or severe bipolar disorder. Most of these folks, they had a little bit of depression, a little bit of anxiety, maybe a history of ADHD. Yeah, it's there, but it, it doesn't define their life or their behavior.
What in your opinion is one thing we could do now to prevent mass shootings?
Dirk Matson: Public education about substance abuse, trauma, poverty, mental health, domestic violence and other areas that will bring awareness and coping skills. Thorough follow-up responses by mental health professionals in community or individual situations where there has been violence, loss, sex abuse or any form of trauma. Universal background checks for weapons in all of our states. As of 2016, only 8 states have universal background checks.
Adriana Torres-O'Connor: Mass shootings and violence are complex and truly multi-factorial problems that need to be approached holistically and systemically. It can't be about placing blame, but rather, we need to find solutions in the short-term and the long-term. And I think overall, as a society, we've lost our interconnectedness. People feel more isolated than ever, and the ability to empathize and tolerate differences has really been impacted. And I think as a community and as a country, we need to work on improving our connections with each other, and being more open to learning about and tolerating difference, and that needs to permeate through all levels of society.
Dan Eisenhauer: I'm not aware of any single thing that could be done right now that would immediately reduce mass shootings in America. (Dan did point to a recent PBS News Hour piece addressing some potential solutions to gun violence).
John Rozel: So the first thing I'd say is, the most important things we can do to prevent the next mass shooting are not about psychiatric diagnosis, psychiatric interventions, but it is about threat assessment. This is a model that we've had for a generation. It began at the US Capitol Police, at the Secret Service'...as we were trying to protect our elected officials. And what we learned is that using the multi-disciplinary approach can be really helpful. Right now, sitting in the House Judiciary Committee is something called H.R. 838. It's a great way to provide resources to develop and implement threat assessment programs across the country. It's an effective tool, and we could get a lot of mileage out of it, not just for these large mass attacks, but for the day to day violence that makes up 99 percent of violence in our country.
Heavily-armed man in body armor arrested after casually walking into Missouri Walmart (PHOTOS) '-- RT USA News
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 03:22
A man strapped with ''tactical weapons,'' sporting body armor and carrying 100 rounds of ammunition has been arrested at a Missouri Walmart just days after another heavily-armed man killed 22 people at a Walmart in Texas.
Strapped with body armor and carrying ''tactical weapons,'' the white 20-something man dressed in camouflage fatigues entered a Springfield, Missouri Walmart and filmed himself pushing a shopping cart through the store as other shoppers fled in terror on Thursday.
An off-duty firefighter held the heavily-armed man at gunpoint when he stepped outside after the store manager pulled the fire alarm to encourage shoppers to escape. The firefighter held him until Springfield Police arrived.
''His intent was not to cause peace or comfort'...He's lucky he's alive still, to be honest,'' Springfield Police Lieutenant Mike Lucas told local media, confirming that the man's weapons were loaded and that he was carrying over 100 rounds of ammunition.
The man's ill-conceived stunt, while technically legal in the open-carry state of Missouri, was almost guaranteed to inspire fear, coming less than a week after Patrick Crusius shot up a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, leaving 22 dead and injuring dozens more.
But he isn't even the first armed man to terrorize a Walmart since the massacre. A Florida man reportedly entered a Walmart on Wednesday and asked a clerk ''for anything that would kill 200 people,'' triggering an evacuation, while a Washington Walmart was also evacuated after a man with a gun reportedly walked in and threatened to start shooting people. A man was shot dead in the parking lot of a California Walmart that morning, while the previous day police were called to a Louisiana Walmart after two customers pulled guns on each other during an argument in the customer service line.
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FBI tells lawmakers it can't access Dayton gunman's phone | TheHill
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 13:21
Top FBI officials informed congressional lawmakers this week that they have been unable to access the smartphone of the suspected gunman in the Dayton, Ohio, mass shooting, two sources told The Hill.
In a briefing about the weekend shootings in Dayton and El Paso, Texas, FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich told House Democrats that the agency is in possession of what's believed to be Connor Betts's primary phone but can't open it because it requires a passcode, according to the two sources who took part in Wednesday's briefing.
Dayton police on Sunday identified Betts, 24, as the suspected gunman in the mass shooting that left nine dead and 27 injured. Police said Betts was killed by officers roughly 30 seconds after the shooting began.
During the conference call with lawmakers, Bowdich said the FBI ''can't unlock'' the device. If Betts was using a six- to eight-digit PIN, it could be months or even years before the FBI can crack the password, Bowdich said.
''We don't know when we are going to get into the phone,'' he told lawmakers, according to a source on the call, one of several FBI briefings this week involving members of Congress from both parties.
The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Trump administration has criticized tech companies' ability to fully encrypt communications. Attorney General William Barr William Pelham BarrFBI Agents Association calls on Congress to make 'domestic terrorism' a federal crime The Humanist case for abolishing the death penalty Senators renew request for domestic threats documents from FBI, DOJ after shootings MORE said in a speech last month that encrypted messaging services allow "criminals to operate with impunity."
The cost of encryption is ''ultimately measured in a mounting number of victims '-- men, women and children who are the victims of crimes, crimes that could have been prevented if law enforcement had been given lawful access to encrypted evidence," Barr said during a speech at a cybersecurity conference.
After a 2015 mass shooting left 14 people dead in San Bernardino, Calif., the FBI mounted a public campaign to pressure Apple into creating software that would give law enforcement access to one of the shooter's phones. The Department of Justice asked a federal court in California to compel the iPhone maker into building a backdoor into the device.
Before the court could rule on the DOJ's motion, the FBI announced it had managed to gain access into the phone with the help of an outside contractor, heading off what might have been a landmark battle with Silicon Valley over civil liberties.
'-- This report was updated at 3:43 p.m.
The Wrong Way to Talk About the El Paso Shooter's Manifesto | WIRED
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 13:33
Less than 20 minutes before a mass shooting in El Paso that left 20 people dead and dozens more wounded, the alleged gunman appears to have published a manifesto on 8chan, the notorious internet forum. If verified, it will be the third such document to accompany a mass shooting since March.
Previously, manifestos were published by the alleged Christchurch shooter, who killed 51 people at two mosques in New Zealand in March, and the gunman who opened fire and killed one person at a synagogue in Poway, California, in April. They, too, used 8chan to deliver their epistles of hate. Both times, and now again with El Paso, extremism researchers have pleaded the same case: Don't amplify the message.
It's a surprisingly difficult ask. Being able to ascribe a motive lends some semblance of order to a senseless act of violence, especially in a weekend that saw further mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and Chicago, Illinois. And 8chan's role in hosting the Christchurch, Poway, and El Paso manifestos makes it deserving of scrutiny, as does the apparent ''gamification'' of shootings the message board foments, as independent investigative outlet Bellingcat has so lucidly laid out. Yet the more oxygen these manifestos get, the wider their messages spread. And no one understands that better than the alleged shooters themselves.
''Those manifestos are specifically designed to be objects of media manipulation,'' says Whitney Phillips, who researches troll culture and online extremism at Syracuse University. ''They're written and publicized in a way to generate the maximum amount of journalistic coverage.''
"It isn't information that is sincerely offered. It is manipulation that is deliberately forwarded."
Whitney Phillips, Syracuse University
At the same time, it seems difficult to outright ignore these postings, especially when some politicians attempt to fill that void by blaming videogames rather than racist extremism. (Scientific research has shown that videogames and violence are not linked.) The alleged El Paso shooter's words have also drawn attention for apparent parallels to the broader anti-immigrant rhetoric espoused by some corners of the GOP, including the White House. Besides, to confront this ongoing horror it surely helps to better understand it.
Fair enough. But in engaging with texts like this, extremism experts advocate for ''strategic silence'' rather than a detailed accounting. Report on the manifesto's existence, sure, and on its role in recruitment. In doing so, though, be sure to think about whom the coverage benefits.
''Do we really need to break down the specifics of the manifesto to understand that the action was motivated by violent hatred?'' Phillips asks. ''If you quote the manifesto verbatim, that's going to frame the conversation in their terms. It's going to go along with their game. They become the center of the universe, and everyone else revolves around them.''
That's especially important given that these missives are largely performative, written with the understanding that the media and law enforcement will find them, pore over them, and share their contents either in summary or in full. They're designed to exploit the hunger of the press and the public to find meaning, and engineered to give their authors maximum virality. There's inherent danger in covering them at all, and even more so at face value.
''It's not a good-faith document. It isn't information that is sincerely offered. It is manipulation that is deliberately forwarded in the hopes that journalists will report it verbatim, will dissect it for days and weeks and months and years,'' says Phillips. ''There's an awareness of the audience, and that should make us very, very suspicious of anything that's in those documents.''
Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate | The White House
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 20:41
August 8, 2019
Dear Madam Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
On April 14, 2019, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) transmitted to me a report on his investigation into the effect of imports of uranium (uranium ore, uranium concentrate, uranium hexafluoride, enriched uranium, and enriched uranium in fuel assemblies) on the national security of the United States under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1862) (the ''Act'').
Consistent with the Act (19 U.S.C. 1862(c)(2)), I am reporting that in my memorandum of July 12, 2019 (The Effect of Uranium Imports on the National Security and Establishment of the United States Nuclear Fuel Working Group), I determined not to concur with the Secretary's finding that uranium is being imported into the United States in such quantities and under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security of the United States. While I recognized that the Secretary's findings raised concerns regarding the impact of uranium imports on the national security with respect to domestic mining, I found that a fuller analysis of national security considerations with respect to the entire nuclear fuel supply chain is necessary at this time. Thus, I did not take any action under section 232 of the Act.
I agreed with the Secretary, however, that the United States uranium industry faces significant challenges in producing uranium domestically and that this is an issue of national security. To address the concerns identified by the Secretary regarding domestic uranium production and to ensure a comprehensive review of the entire domestic nuclear supply chain, I directed the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy to establish and co-chair the United States Nuclear Fuel Working Group (Working Group) to develop recommendations for reviving and expanding domestic nuclear fuel production. The Working Group will examine the current state of domestic nuclear fuel production to reinvigorate the entire nuclear fuel supply chain, consistent with United States national security and nonproliferation goals. Within 90 days of my memorandum of July 12, 2019, the Working Group will submit a report to the President setting forth its findings and making recommendations to further enable domestic nuclear fuel production if needed.
Sincerely,
DONALD J. TRUMP
Trump Wants 'Intelligent Background Checks' and Says McConnell Is 'On Board' - The New York Times
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 22:47
Politics | Trump Wants 'Intelligent Background Checks' and Says McConnell Is 'On Board' Video President Trump spoke to reporters about the need for ''intelligent background checks'' before leaving the White House for a political fund-raiser and a vacation. Credit Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times WASHINGTON '-- The time is now for lawmakers to come together and pass new laws for ''meaningful'' background checks on gun purchasers, Mr. Trump said Friday as he left the White House for a political fund-raiser in Southampton, N.Y., followed by a vacation at his golf club in New Jersey.
Less than a week after mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, left 31 people dead, Mr. Trump said there was ''tremendous'' support for ''really common-sense sensible, important background checks.''
The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, was ''on board,'' Mr. Trump said. And the gun lobby, which in the past has been effective in resisting such measures, would ''get there.''
While Mr. Trump suggested there was a greater will now for new gun measures than after previous mass shootings, there were no new major signals on Friday from the National Rifle Association, the White House or Capitol Hill that action on the politically fraught issue was closer to compromise or resolution. And there was no rush for lawmakers, who are on recess, to reconvene early to take up the proposals.
The National Rifle Association's position on new gun safety measures had not changed. The association's chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, said Thursday that additional background check measures being discussed in Washington ''would not have prevented the horrific tragedies in El Paso and Dayton.''
The organization has succeeded in the past in convincing Mr. Trump to abandon certain gun control efforts. Both Mr. Trump and Mr. McConnell have opposed legislation to expand background checks, including a bill the House passed earlier this year.
So, why now?
''Time goes by,'' Mr. Trump said. ''I think I have a greater influence now over the Senate and over the House.''
The president directed the White House to see what he might be able to do through executive action if Congress does not act. Former President Barack Obama also considered executive actions, with little success, after Congress did not act after a 2012 mass shooting in a Connecticut elementary school that killed 20 children and six adults.
Some Democratic lawmakers who have pushed for gun legislation in the past were hopeful that the president was right, and that this time was different. But they acknowledged the challenge of upsetting a core group of Mr. Trump's supporters while he campaigns for a second term in the Oval Office.
''He is at a different point now than he was before, but I'll believe it when I see it,'' Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, said Friday.
Mr. Blumenthal is sponsoring legislation in the Senate that would make it easier for the authorities to take firearms from people considered potentially dangerous. He and other Democrats say the so-called red flag laws and improved background checks go hand-in-hand.
Mr. Trump has not defined what ''meaningful'' background checks entail. ''We're not talking about anything specific '-- I can tell you this,'' Mr. Trump said.
On Friday, he suggested that a minor's record, which is typically expunged when he or she turns 18, should be visible to those reviewing a prospective gun buyer's background, but he did not suggest there was specific proposal to address it.
Mr. McConnell has signaled that he would at least be open to considering new legislation, including red flag laws, though he did not call the Senate back from its August recess to address the issue immediately. Mr. Trump, on Friday, said that an early return to Washington was not necessary, and that lawmakers could expect to start debating proposals when they reconvene next month.
The key to success, Mr. Blumenthal said, would depend on whether Mr. Trump and Mr. McConnell were willing to stand up to the National Rifle Association.
''They have both raised false hopes in the past,'' Mr. Blumenthal said.
This time is different, Mr. Trump said. He added that members of the N.R.A. are ''great patriots'' who love their country and reaffirmed his support for the Second Amendment.
''I really think they're going to get there,'' he said of the association.
And to those who question whether a substantive change in gun laws was realistic, Mr. Trump said, ''There's never been a president like President Trump.''
Sheryl Gay Stolberg contributed reporting.
AOC
Ocasio-Cortez rips her ex-chief of staff for 'divisive' tweet about fellow Dems, but insists he left her office on good terms - New York Daily News
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 14:55
New York Daily News |
Aug 08, 2019 | 4:52 AM
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks during a sit-down interview in her office in Jackson Heights on Wednesday August 7, 2019 in Queens, NY. (Go Nakamura/for New York Daily News)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scolded her ex-chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti on Wednesday for comparing some of her centrist colleagues to racist Dixiecrats, calling his comments ''divisive'' and revealing she gave him a good talking to after the fact.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily News at her district office in Jackson Heights, Ocasio-Cortez said Chakrabarti's recent resignation had nothing to do with his June 27 tweet comparing members of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition to ''Southern Democrats" in the early 20th century who opposed desegregation efforts.
However, for the first time, Ocasio-Cortez distanced herself from Chakrabarti's controversial post.
''I think it was divisive,'' she said, adding, ''I believe in criticizing stances, but I don't believe in specifically targeting members."
Chakrabarti's tweet took aim at the Blue Dogs for voting in favor of a $4.6 billion emergency border funding bill that didn't include stricter conditions on the way the Trump administration is detaining migrant children.
''They certainly seem hell bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s,'' Chakrabarti fumed in the since-deleted post.
Ocasio-Cortez said there was an ''internal conversation" in her office after the tweet.
''We've corrected it,'' she said. ''He immediately took the tweet down.''
Chakrabarti abruptly resigned from his senior position in Ocasio-Cortez's office last week to join New Consensus, a progressive climate change group that promotes the congresswoman's signature ''Green New Deal.''
Ocasio-Cortez said that move was long in the making.
''We had been discussing this transition before that whole incident happened,'' she said, referring to the June 27 tweet.
The ''Southern Democrats'' post isn't the only controversy swirling about Chakrabarti.
The Federal Election Commission has opened an investigation into possible campaign finance violations involving Chakrabarti and two left-wing political action committees he helped found, according to FEC filings reviewed by The News.
The probe was launched in response to a complaint filed by the right-wing National Legal and Policy Center that alleges the committees unlawfully funneled $1 million into two private companies controlled by Chakrabarti.
Ocasio-Cortez dismissed the complaint as a political hit job.
''All of these things were filed by these fringe, Republican groups. It's a tactic they use and it's very common,'' she said. ''It's a form of legal trolling.''
The congresswoman wouldn't get into specifics, but said Chakrabarti and the entities are ''in conversation'' with the FEC and ''in total compliance.''
Latest Politics
Hong Kong
China Accuses US Of "Gangster Logic" For Defending Meetings With HK Independence Activists | Zero Hedge
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 19:21
China hit back Friday over the developing fresh diplomatic crisis centered on a US State Department official caught meeting with notable Hong Kong independence activists. The Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong said Washington is applying ''gangster logic'' after the day prior a US spokesperson called Beijing a ''thuggish regime''.
''The spokesperson at the commissioner's office denounced the claim as a blatant slander against China, which has confounded right with wrong and again exposed US gangster logic and hegemonic thinking. China deplores and firmly opposes the remarks,'' the statement said.
Joshua Wong Chi-fung, secretary-general of the #Demosisto party, said there was "nothing sinister" behind his meeting with Julie Eadeh, a political unit chief of the US consulate general in Hong Kong. #Hongkongprotest pic.twitter.com/fLHXA4fTZ3
'-- tim anderson (@timand2037) August 8, 2019A woman identified as Julie Eadeh, chief of the US consulate in Hong Kong's political unit - which Chinese media figures had denounced as a "subversion expert" - had been photographed early in the week holding a secretive meeting with key anti-Beijing protest leaders at a downtown hotel in the semi-autonomous city.
As the photograph went viral in China, fueling outrage - and for Beijing validating its recent accusations that the US is covertly fueling the protests and unrest that have gripped Hong Kong streets - state media dug up more information on Eadeh.
HK media has the right to report on US diplomats who actively interfere in HK situation, and help people understand what they're doing. The US administration is instigating turmoil in HK the way it stoked "color revolutions" in other places worldwide. This is thuggish diplomacy. pic.twitter.com/4hkH7eYyEH
'-- Hu Xijin èƒé--è› (@HuXijin_GT) August 9, 2019The South China Morning Post reports what made the US State Department so outraged as to issue its stern rebuke:
Hong Kong's Ta Kung Pao published personal details of Julie Eadeh, chief of the US consulate's political unit, including her children's names, and a photograph of Eadeh meeting pro-democracy activists including Joshua Wong Chi-fung. Also attending the meeting were Nathan Law Kwun-chung and other members of local political party Demosisto.
On Thursday afternoon State Dept spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told a news briefing,"I don't think that leaking an American diplomat's private information, pictures, names of their children, I don't think that is a formal protest, that is what a thuggish regime would do." She added, "That is not how a responsible nation would behave."
Referring to China lodging a formal protests over the incident, Ortagus said she objected ''to the Chinese saying they issued a formal protest when in fact they harassed an American diplomat''.
''American diplomats meet with formal government officials, we meet with opposition protesters, not just in Hong Kong or China,'' she said. ''This literally happens in every single country in which an American embassy is present.''
But given the context of Hong Kong witnessing its worst popular unrest since 1997, we can imaging how US officials would react if Chinese or Russian diplomats were photographed meeting with American anti-government protesters at a moment of serious unrest in US cities.
5G
Ajit Pai loses another court case as judges overturn 5G deregulation | Ars Technica
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 21:33
Deregulation rejected '-- Pai tried to kill environmental and historic-preservation review of small cells. Jon Brodkin - Aug 9, 2019 8:45 pm UTC
Getty Images | Marilyn Nieves
One of Ajit Pai's attempts to eliminate regulation of 5G deployment has been overturned by federal judges.
The Federal Communications Commission last year approved an order that "exempted most small cell construction from two kinds of previously required review: historic-preservation review under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)," federal judges said in their decision partially overturning the order.
The FCC claimed its deregulation of small cells was necessary to spur deployment of 5G wireless networks. But the commission was sued by the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, the Blackfeet Tribe, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The FCC order was of particular interest to tribal groups because it affected construction on "sites of religious and cultural importance to federally recognized Indian Tribes," the judges noted. "The Order also effectively reduced Tribes' role in reviewing proposed construction of macrocell towers and other wireless facilities that remain subject to cultural and environmental review."
The FCC's opponents argued that the elimination of historic-preservation and environmental review was arbitrary and capricious, that it violated both the NHPA and NEPA, and that the changes to tribes' role in reviewing construction was arbitrary and capricious. A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its unanimous ruling today.
Judges wrote that Pai's order "does not justify the Commission's determination that it was not in the public interest to require review of small cell deployments. In particular, the Commission failed to justify its confidence that small cell deployments pose little to no cognizable religious, cultural, or environmental risk, particularly given the vast number of proposed deployments and the reality that the Order will principally affect small cells that require new construction."
The FCC also failed to "adequately address possible harms of deregulation and benefits of environmental and historic-preservation review," which means the commission's "deregulation of small cells is thus arbitrary and capricious," judges concluded.
The judges did not vacate the FCC order in its entirety, and they remanded some remaining issues back to the commission.
"Today's decision confirms that the FCC cannot just scream '5G' to justify ignoring its duties to tribal nations and to the environment," attorney Andrew Jay Schwartzman, who helped oppose the FCC order, said today. "The decision does give the FCC more latitude than we would prefer on some of the mechanisms for tribal review, but we will deal with that on the remand."
Separately, the Pai FCC's attempt to take certain Lifeline broadband subsidies away from tribal residents was overturned by the same court in February this year.
''Back to the drawing board''Last year's FCC vote on the small cell order was 3-2, with both Democrats dissenting. FCC Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel hailed the judges' ruling today, writing that "the court just vacated a large part of the FCC's 5G deployment strategy" and that "it's time to go back to the drawing board and do better."
Brendan Carr, an FCC Republican, put a positive spin on the ruling, saying it "upheld key provisions." Carr wrote:
Most importantly, the court affirmed our decision that parties cannot demand upfront fees before reviewing any cell sites, large or small. These fees, which had grown exponentially in the last few years, created incentives for frivolous reviews unrelated to any potential impact on historic sites. Those financial incentives are gone, and we expect our fee restrictions to continue greatly diminishing unnecessary and costly delays. I'm also pleased that the court affirmed our accelerated timelines for reviews. Already, these reforms have resulted in significant new builds.
As for the judges remanding parts of the order back to the FCC, Carr said, "We are reviewing the portion of last March's decision that the DC Circuit did not affirm and look forward to next steps, as appropriate."
Carr's statement also claimed that the FCC's deregulatory moves "have enabled the US to leapfrog our global competitors and secure the largest 5G build in the world."
But FCC changes haven't had the impact that Carr claims. Another FCC order last year eliminated $2 billion worth of local fees charged to carriers for deployment of small cells on public rights-of-way. Carr had claimed that this decision was needed to boost 5G construction, but Verizon said that the FCC decision did nothing to speed up its deployment. Cities are suing the FCC to overturn that order.
Chinese Telecoms Unwelcome in Government Contracts as of Aug. 13 - Broadcasting & Cable
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 05:27
Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., and Dahua Technology Co. are the five Chinese companies named in the Trump Administration's new rule revision implementing Congress' decision to ban Chinese telecoms from government contracts as potential security threats.
Related: Reports Have White House Implementing Tech-Blocking Provision
That ban was part of a Defense Department funding bill the President signed Aug. 13, 2018, so the bigger news would have been if the White House wasn't going to implement it. But given that the Administration had signaled it might use Huawei's status as a bargaining chip in trade talks--while at other times acknowledging Chinese telecoms were problematic players in U.S. 5G networks, it was news nonetheless.
Because of the national security issues and the Aug. 13 congressional deadline, the rule is being implemented without public comment and the normal OMB review under the Paperwork Reduction Act, but there will still be an opportunity to comment, the Administration said, which is why it is an interim rule.
The comments will be taken into account for the final rule, but for now, "this rule must take effect immediately to ensure agencies and contractors are implementing the statutory prohibition," the Administration said.
The rule applies to any contract solicitations issued after Aug. 13 or any issued before that date so long as the contract has not been awarded by that date, and excludes telecom or video surveillance equipment from those companies.
That is according to a pre-publication copy of the final version of the interim rule (as it is to be published in the Federal Register) supplied on background by a senior Trump Administration official.
The interim rule revises the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and "prohibits agencies from procuring or obtaining, or extending or renewing a contract to procure or obtain, any equipment, system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as a critical technology as part of any system, on or after Aug. 13, 2019."
The rule, which is actually being issued by the Department of Defense, NASA and the General Services Administration, will be implemented Aug. 13.
There is an opportunity for a one-time waiver for up to a year, determined on a case-by-case basis, as well as for the Director of National Intelligence to issue waivers, though that is one of the agencies that has said Chinese telecoms pose a national security threat due to the influence of the Chinese government.
The prohibition also does not apply to "[a] service that connects to the facilities of a third-party, such as backhaul, roaming, or interconnection arrangements," or "(2) telecommunications equipment that cannot route or redirect user data traffic or permit visibility into any user data or packets that such equipment transmits or otherwise handles."
The rule will apply to contracts that usually do not trigger the rule because they are relatively small purchases, and to contracts for off-the-shelf purchases. The Administration has concluded that there is an unacceptable level of risk that is not mitigated by the size of the purchase or the fact that the equipment and/or service "has been sold or offered for sale to the general public, either in the same form or a modified form."
Clips
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VIDEO - When Insurance Isn't Enough: Crowdfunding For Health Care Costs | On Point
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 14:58
With David Folkenflik
Americans who have health insurance are increasingly being forced to turn to charity for help paying medical bills, despite having coverage, so reports the Los Angeles Times. We unpack what's happening.
Guest
Noam Levey, writes about national health care policy out of Washington, D.C., for the Los Angeles Times. (@NoamLevey)
Listen To Our Recent Conversations With Noam Levey On American Health Care
How Health Care Is Shaping American Politics High Deductibles Push Millions Of Americans To Make 'Difficult Sacrifices' For Health Care $11 Prescriptions: What U.S. Health Care Can Learn From Germany Full Series On Rising Deductibles And Unaffordable Bills That More Insured Americans FaceInside the high-deductible insurance revolution that is transforming U.S. healthcare
From The Reading List
Los Angeles Times: "Charity becomes a lifeline even for Americans with health insurance as deductibles soar " '-- "'I'm scared, Mommy,' Bo Macan protested.
"Bo, who is 9, was trying to be brave as a nurse probed his bare chest with a needle, seeking a surgically implanted port below his skin where she could attach an IV line for his weekly antibiotic.
"'It hurts. It hurts! Please make it stop,' Bo pleaded, clutching his mother's hand more frantically with each push from the needle.
"Taking care of Bo '-- who was born with a unique combination of complex illnesses that have required 53 surgeries and more than 800 days in the hospital '-- is a full-time job for Carolyn Macan.
"Macan also spends a lot of time looking for money.
"'It just breaks you down,' she said.
"Medical charities and crowdfunding have long helped fill the gaps for Americans who lack health coverage.
"Now, Americans who have insurance are increasingly turning to charity as a lifeline, as a revolution in health insurance has driven up deductibles more than threefold over the last decade, forcing tens of millions of Americans to delay care and make difficult sacrifices to pay medical bills."
The New Yorker: "The Hidden Cost of GoFundMe Health Care" '-- "For those who want their hearts broken, the story of Zohar and Gabi Ilinetsky, the parents of one-year-old twins, is a world to live inside. Zohar: twenty-seven, confident, and voluble, a construction project manager proud of his work. Gabi: fastidious, attentive, academic, an early-education specialist who used to work at a preschool. They met in Israel, where he grew up, and settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, her childhood home. While dating, they would speak often about the parenting styles that they hoped to have. 'We're old-school people,' Zohar told me recently. 'My friends now are waiting until thirty-five to start thinking about kids, but always we knew we were going to get married. We knew we were going to have children.'
"To their delight, Gabi gave birth to twins: a boy, a girl. They called the children Yoel and Yael. Zohar, who does not believe in baby talk, had long, one-sided conversations with his newborn children, in Hebrew; he thought that they could understand him, or soon would. Before long, his son did the most precocious thing an infant can and rolled over. It was while watching Yoel roll on the floor one day, chatting to him as if to a middle-aged man, that Zohar noticed a fleeting peculiarity in his son's eyes, which seemed to flicker back and forth, like the pupils of somebody trying to read a subway-station sign through the window of a moving train.
"Until then, doctors had assured the Ilinetskys that the babies were healthy. Gabi took Yoel to the pediatrician, who told her not to worry, that Yoel seemed fine. But Gabi worried. She went to a second pediatrician, and a third. The Ilinetskys buy family insurance through the Kaiser Permanente network, and it costs them about fifteen hundred dollars a month. Against the pediatricians' counsel, Gabi demanded a referral to a specialist, and Yoel underwent an MRI and other tests. At four months, he was given a diagnosis of Canavan disease, which causes rapid degeneration of the brain and, almost always, death in childhood. For a while, his parents were in shock. 'After shock,' Zohar said, 'comes depression.' "
Los Angeles Times: "News Analysis: Democrats ask if Americans are ready to give up job-based health coverage" '-- "Sharp disagreements among the presidential hopefuls at this week's debates have crystallized a critical and explosive political question: Are Democrats willing to upend health coverage for tens of millions of their fellow Americans?
"The party is closer than it's been in decades to embracing a healthcare platform that would move all Americans out of their current insurance and into a single government-run plan.
"Plans pushed by three of the four leading candidates '-- Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California '-- differ in their particulars but would all end the job-based system that provides coverage to more than 150 million people.
"That's a hugely risky strategy, as more-centrist rivals reminded the three senators during the two nights of heated, sometimes confusing, debates."
Kaiser Health News: "GoFundMe CEO: 'Gigantic Gaps' In Health System Showing Up In Crowdfunding" '-- "Scrolling through the GoFundMe website reveals seemingly an endless number of people who need help or community support. A common theme: the cost of health care.
"It didn't start out this way. Back in 2010, when the crowdfunding website began, it suggested fundraisers for 'ideas and dreams,' 'wedding donations and honeymoon registry' or 'special occasions.' A spokeswoman said the bulk of collection efforts from the first year were 'related to charities and foundations.' A category for medical needs existed, but it was farther down the list.
"In the nine years since, campaigns to pay for health care have reaped the most cash. Of the $5 billion the company says it has raised, about a third has been for medical expenses from more than 250,000 medical campaigns conducted annually.
"Take, for instance, the 25-year-old California woman who had a stroke and 'needs financial support for rehabilitation, home nursing, medical equipment and uncovered medical expenses.' Or the Tennessee couple who want to get pregnant, but whose insurance doesn't cover the $20,000 worth of 'medications, surgeries, scans, lab monitoring, and appointments [that] will need to be paid for upfront and out-of-pocket' for in vitro fertilization.
"The prominence of the medical category is the symptom of a broken system, according to CEO Rob Solomon, 51, who has a long tech r(C)sum(C) as an executive at places like Groupon and Yahoo. He said he never realized how hard it was for some people to pay their bills: 'I needed to understand the gigantic gaps in the system.' "
HuffPost: "Life And Debt: Stories From Inside America's GoFundMe Health Care System" '-- "The human body is a frail thing, and illness is a pitiless adversary. Every day, an untold number of Americans are diagnosed with a devastating illness or suffer a sudden injury that threatens to upend their lives and tear apart their families.
"This misfortune often comes at a staggeringly high financial cost that can be just as cruel.
"While health insurance or government programs like Medicaid and Medicare can shield against huge medical bills, massive debt and even bankruptcy, only the truly wealthy can feel secure that sickness won't lead to financial ruin.
"This is why thousands of Americans have turned to crowdfunding website GoFundMe in the last decade to help cover medical bills and related costs. HuffPost is profiling some of those people, and what their stories reveal about the shortcomings of the American health care system.
"These are not feel-good stories."
Grace Tatter and Stefano Kotsonis produced this hour for broadcast.
VIDEO - Emergency Doctor to Trump: You Are Wrong, Mental Illness Is Not to Blame for Gun Violence Epidemic | Democracy Now!
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 11:41
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN : This is Democracy Now! I'm Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.
NERMEEN SHAIKH : President Trump visited Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, Wednesday, in a politically polarizing trip that followed last weekend's mass shootings that killed a combined 32 people, including the Dayton gunman. As he was prepared to leave for Dayton and El Paso, Trump hinted at support for strengthening background checks for gun purchases. Earlier this week, he also made a link between mental illness and gun violence.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP : Third, we must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence, and make sure those people not only get treatment, but, when necessary, involuntary confinement. Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.
NERMEEN SHAIKH : Despite Trump's claim, people who suffer from mental illness are far more likely to be the victims of gun violence than perpetrators of it. Trump, however, is not the only political figure to push the narrative that mental illness is responsible for last weekend's tragic events. According to a new article in Time magazine, quote, ''legislators across the political spectrum, ranging from Democratic presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang, to Republicans like the Governor of Texas and President Donald Trump, were quick to assign blame to mental illness '-- despite ample evidence that gun violence is not a mental health problem.''
AMY GOODMAN : For more, we're going to Dr. Megan Ranney, one of the authors of the Time article, ''The Dangers of Linking Gun Violence and Mental Illness.'' She's an emergency room doctor, associate professor of emergency medicine at Alpert Medical School, Brown University, and chief research officer of AFFIRM Research, a nonprofit focused on firearm injury reduction.
Welcome to Democracy Now! It's great to have you with us, Dr. Ranney.
DR. MEGAN RANNEY : Thank you.
AMY GOODMAN : So, if you can respond to President Trump immediately linking, saying it's not guns, it's mental illness that pulls the trigger?
DR. MEGAN RANNEY : So, that is just false. The mass shootings that we're experiencing across the United States, the vast minority of them are committed by people with serious mental illness. About 20% of Americans across the country suffer from mental illness. And as you mentioned, they are far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators themselves. Where they're most at risk is risk of suicide. As you said, two-thirds of gun deaths across this country are suicides. And by labeling mass shootings as mental illness, we risk further stigmatizing the mentally ill, driving them away from treatment, increasing the rates of suicide, and also preventing us from making forward progress on this epidemic.
NERMEEN SHAIKH : Well, Dr. Ranney, can you explain: How did this link come about, that basically all these mass shootings in the U.S. are a result of mental illness? It's not an obvious conclusion to draw.
DR. MEGAN RANNEY : Yeah, I mean, I think that we want to assign blame somewhere. And in common conversation, you'll hear people say, ''Ah, that guy must have been crazy.'' Right? It seems, quote-unquote, ''crazy'' to go and shoot a lot of people. It's something that's been repeated over and over by the news media. About 40% of articles about mass shootings mention mental illness as a cause. It's something that we've come to believe as a nation.
But the evidence does not support that link. It supports a link between substance use and mass shootings, a link between hatred and mass shootings, a link between prior violence and mass shootings, but not with mental illness.
AMY GOODMAN : Well, isn't the major perpetrator of this theory the NRA , the National Rifle Association, because they want to take attention away from, blame away from guns, and so they immediately talk about mental illness? Yesterday, after Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and the mayor of Dayton met with Trump, Sherrod Brown talked extensively about, if President Trump thought there was an issue with mental illness, he should stop cutting Medicaid and threatening to revoke the ACA . If you can talk about what needs to happen right now and this movement, all over the country, across the political spectrum, calling for gun regulation, calling for assault weapons to be off the streets of this country?
DR. MEGAN RANNEY : So, first, I'll say, I would love nothing more than to see our mental health system shored up. As an emergency physician, I take care of folks every single day in the emergency department who are there because they have inadequate access to mental health treatment. We board people in the emergency department for days or weeks because there aren't enough inpatient beds. So, please, fix our mental health system.
But what needs to be done '-- you mentioned the movement. Absolutely. I'm chief research officer of this group, AFFIRM Research, which is a collection of more than 20 medical organizations, nursing groups, public health groups, researchers. We helped lead This Is Our Lane last fall, which was a movement raising awareness about the really human toll of gun violence. There is so much that needs to be done, ranging from simple policy changes to research, which is desperately needed. Never in the history of this country have we fixed a public health epidemic without a deep investment into public health research. And that has been missing from the approach to gun violence for the past 22 years. Since the Dickey Amendment was passed in 1996, we've had virtually no federal funding for gun violence prevention research. So it is no wonder that we have not made progress on this issue.
AMY GOODMAN : And can you talk about suicide, the fact that most gun deaths in the United States, two-thirds of them, are suicide, and what it would mean if guns were not so readily available?
DR. MEGAN RANNEY : Absolutely. So, most suicides are impulsive acts. Studies have shown that there are, you know, minutes in between when someone thinks of it and when someone takes the act. Suicide attempts with a gun are 90% likely to be fatal, versus suicide attempts with other means are only about 10% likely to be fatal. And I will tell you, if someone makes it to my emergency department after a suicide attempt, I can almost always save them. I very rarely see people who have tried to shoot themself, because they die before they make it to my doors.
If we could decrease access to guns for people who are in that moment of intense fear and intense desire to take their own life, we can save lives. There's a lot of efforts going on across the country to do that. There's actually great cooperations with gun shops and with gun groups to try to raise awareness about the signs of mental illness. Of course, there are also the extreme risk protection orders, or red flag laws, which have been shown to decrease gun suicide rates. There is so much that can and should be done, and we are failing our country by not doing it.
AMY GOODMAN : Can you also talk about the trauma especially the Latino community feels right now across this country? I mean, you have Congressmember Escobar, representing El Paso, saying President Trump has put a target on our whole community. I believe this was one of the largest slaughters of Latinos in American history, in El Paso. And at the same time you had that going on yesterday, the meeting of Trump in El Paso '-- no victims agreed to meet with him, by the way, who were in the hospital'-- and Dayton, you have this mass ICE raid in Mississippi, where it was believed to be the largest raid in U.S. history, of almost 700 workers at various facilities. How does this country deal with this trauma, and particularly the targeted communities?
DR. MEGAN RANNEY : Yeah, that's a great question. And there's a complex answer. So, again, I'm going to go back to the fact that there's been so little research for the past 22 years. Actually, recently completed a review of the effects of mass shootings on kids and parents, and we basically don't know. There have been some studies from Norway that show that mass shootings increase PTSD . But what we're seeing as a nation right now is, as you mentioned, tremendous anxiety and post-traumatic stress in communities across the country, particularly in those communities that do feel targeted.
We're also seeing it in healthcare providers. You know, there's a growing, sad group of healthcare providers who have had to be the first responders to these mass casualties. And it is taking a toll there, as well.
We are creating an environment of fear in this country by not addressing mass shootings. But I will tell you that there actually is hope. One of the things that has buoyed me in the face of these absolutely tragic and hatred-driven events is this coalition that we've created within AFFIRM Research and other groups to help address this epidemic. I've been working on this issue for years. And I see hope. We are close to a tipping point within this nation of recognizing that this is something that, when we address gun violence as a health epidemic, we have the potential to fix it, just as we fixed HIV / AIDS , car crashes, etc.
AMY GOODMAN : Dr. Megan Ranney, we want to thank you for being us, emergency room doctor. We will link to your piece in Time, ''The Dangers of Linking Gun Violence and Mental Illness.''
VIDEO - Trump retweets Epstein conspiracy theory, claiming Clinton connection
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 11:15
President Donald Trump retweeted a conspiracy theory Saturday evening alleging without evidence that former President Bill Clinton was connected to the death of wealthy financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, hours after Epstein was found dead by apparent suicide in his federal prison cell.
"Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH ? Yeah right! How does that happen," Terrence K. Williams, a conservative commentator and comedian, wrote in the message retweeted by Trump. In a two-minute-long selfie video recording, Williams alleged that the Clintons were responsible for Epstein's death.
Epstein was not on suicide watch at the time of his death, multiple people familiar with the investigation have told NBC News.
Download the NBC News app for full coverage of the investigation into Jeffrey Epstein's death
The stoking of conspiracy theories about his political rivals is nothing new for the president: he made a political name for himself championing false claims that President Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States, and also suggested that Clinton White House aide Vince Foster's suicide in 1993 was ''very fishy.'' But the tweets also notably cast suspicions on his own Justice Department.
In the video, Williams alleged that for Epstein to die by suicide, "somebody not doing their job, or somebody got paid not to do '-- not to do their job, so somebody can get knocked off, so information don't come out.''
Epstein died in a federal prison, and the FBI is investigating the death. Attorney General William Barr said he was "appalled" by the news and called for an internal probe as well.
In the tweet, which falsely claims that Epstein was on suicide watch in the prison at the time of his death, Williams includes a two-minute selfie video apparently claiming vindication in predicting Epstein's death. He also tied it to Foster's suicide that conspiracy theorists have long blamed on the Clintons, seeming to suggest Epstein and Foster were both murdered by the Clintons.
There is no evidence Foster's death was anything other than a suicide. The Washington Post reported in 2016, when Trump pushed the conspiracy theory during the campaign, that there were five official investigations into Foster's death, conducted by professional investigators, forensic experts, psychologists, doctors and independent prosecutors with unlimited resources; none found evidence of foul play.
Williams is a headliner on the Deplorables Comedy Tour, which promises to "unleash the conservative mindset, transcending politics and unabashedly mocking liberals."
With the president's retweet, his Saturday tweet is likely the highest profile tweet to use the #ClintonBodyCount hashtag, which alleges a long-held conspiracy theory that scores of people close to the Clintons have ended up dead under suspicious circumstances.
"Word on the street is the Clintons did it," Williams concludes in the video. "But I don't know nothing. I'm just another Black man on Twitter."
Epstein was arrested July 6 at an airport in Teterboro, New Jersey, and charged with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking, and faced up to 45 years in prison if found guilty. His death came the day after a trove of court documents was unsealed, providing new details about Epstein's alleged crimes.
The indictment in his case showed that he sought out minors, some as young as 14, from at least 2002 through 2005 and paid them hundreds of dollars in cash for sex at either his Manhattan townhouse or his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, federal prosecutors revealed last month. He pleaded not guilty and was denied bail.
Epstein's circle of powerful friends and acquaintances at one time included Trump, as they were both fixtures on the glitzy Palm Beach social scene. More than a decade before Epstein pleaded guilty to felony prostitution charges in Florida, they both appeared in footage filmed by NBC at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, now a private club. The two wealthy men are laughing and pointing as they appear to discuss young women dancing at a party.
Trump said last month that he had not spoken to Epstein since his 2008 guilty plea, and that his relationship with Epstein was no different than that of anyone else in their elite circle.
Epstein also visited the Clinton White House in the 1990s, and Clinton flew on Epstein's plane after leaving office.
CORRECTION (Aug. 10, 2019, 9:50 p.m. ET) An earlier version of this story misstated the year Clinton aide Vince Foster died by suicide. It was 1993, not 1994.
Jane C. Timm Jane C. Timm is a political reporter and fact checker for NBC News.
Liz Johnstone Liz Johnstone is a politics editor for NBC News.
VIDEO - Skinny 45 on Twitter: "Haitian President Dropping Names and Numbers Clinton Foundation , Fusion ..... #QAnon https://t.co/6IgjKvWfyF" / Twitter
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 23:20
Log in Sign up Skinny 45 @ 45Skinny Haitian President Dropping Names and NumbersClinton Foundation , Fusion .....
#QAnon pic.twitter.com/6IgjKvWfyF 2:30 PM - 10 Aug 2019 Twitter by: Skinny 45 @45Skinny Jolulabug @ jolulabug
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@45Skinny @JoanneSzafrani1 Second time I've heard Bill Richardson's name mentioned in corruption scandal in the past couple of days. 🧐
View conversation · OfficerReynolds👮🇺🇸🐸🇺🇸ðŸ--¯ðŸž'ðŸŒðŸ--¯ðŸŒðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ðŸ¸ðŸ'ðŸ'' @ OfficerReynolds
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@45Skinny #QAnon is Juwish
#FBI View conversation · Rhombus Ticks @ RTicks
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@45Skinny #blockthisbot View conversation · @yoleezach @ yoleezach
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@45Skinny I had forgotten about this video. Thanks for posting.
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@jolulabug @45Skinny @JoanneSzafrani1 There was a child trafficking scandal in Haiti, too.
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@45Skinny @AntonioMonegro Bajo a traici"n y conspiraci"n contra RD ðŸ‡(C)🇴 por todos lados .
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@45Skinny I feel sooo sorry for the poor Haitians...
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VIDEO - OPUS 170 Epstein's Parodoxical Death? - YouTube
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 21:41
VIDEO - UN Live United Nations Web TV - Oceans in the Sustainable Development Goals - Press Conference
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 20:49
Oceans in the Sustainable Development Goals - Press Conference
25 Jun 2013 - Speakers are: H.E. Mr. Stuart Beck, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Palau to the United Nations and Ms. Ghislaine Maxwell, Founder of the TerraMar Project.
VIDEO - Ryan Saavedra on Twitter: "MSNBC's Joy Reid appears to suggest that Attorney General William Barr might be connected to Jeffrey Epstein's death https://t.co/FPR0WPJfIz" / Twitter
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 17:19
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VIDEO - Biden Assaults Young College Girl On Camera, Media SILENT - STAR POLITICAL
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 16:36
2020 Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden looks to be in some hot water as a video has emerged showing him become significantly aggressive with an attendee of one of his events.
According to The Federalist Papers, Former Vice President Joe Biden got aggressive with a young college student when her questions got him angry.
FREE Trump 2020 Hat While Supplies Last ''[Claim Yours]
Biden answered that there were ''at least three.''
The student, named Katie, asked the Democrat presidential candidate how many genders there are, and he did not like it.
''Don't play games with me, kid,'' he said as he got testier with the young woman and then he reached for her and grabbed her arm aggressively.
''By the way, the first one to come out for marriage was me,'' he said in reference to his support for the legalization of gay marriage.
Katie then shared the video with her boss Charlie Kirk from Turning Point USA, who shared the video on Twitter.
''My team just forwarded this video to me,'' Kirk said. ''Watch former Vice President Biden forcefully grab one of our young field staffers at yesterday's Iowa State Fair after she asked him how many genders there are.''
WATCH:
My team just forwarded this video to me
Watch former Vice President Biden forcefully grab one of our young field staffers at yesterday's Iowa State Fair after she asked him how many genders there are pic.twitter.com/1qmpJxJlzO
'-- Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 9, 2019
''I started to walk away and then, it doesn't stop there, he grabs my arm and pulls me back to make eye contact with him again and yells something about marriage at me,'' Katie said.
''So I walked away and I was mad, just very, very mad that someone would actually treat me like that,'' she said.
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The Assault comes just days after Biden made racist remarks that he has since apologized for.
VIDEO - Jeffrey Epstein, accused sex trafficker, dies by suicide: Officials - ABC News
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 14:00
Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced millionaire who was facing federal sex trafficking charges, died by suicide early Saturday in his Lower Manhattan prison cell, three law enforcement officials told ABC News.
Interested in Jeffrey Epstein case? Add Jeffrey Epstein case as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Jeffrey Epstein case news, video, and analysis from ABC News.Epstein hanged himself, law enforcement sources said. He was transported in cardiac arrest at 6:39 a.m. from Metropolitan Correctional Center to New York Downtown Hospital, according to sources.
Epstein, 66, was set to stand trial next year for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of minor girls in New York and Florida.
New York State Division of Criminal Justice/EPA-EFE/REX An undated handout photo made available by New York State Division of Criminal Justice showing Jeffrey Epstein, issued 25 July 2019.His death came less than three weeks after he was found unresponsive in his cell at the federal prison in Lower Manhattan, with marks on his neck that appeared to be self-inflicted, sources told ABC News.
He had been on suicide watch since the July 23 incident.
Epstein was arrested on July 6 for alleged sex trafficking of minor girls at his Upper East Side mansion and his home in Palm Beach, Florida. Some of the charges date back to the early 2000s.
Epstein, 66, pleaded not guilty to the charges. He faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
Jane Rosenburg/Reuters Financier Jeffrey Epstein looks on near Judge Richard Berman during a status hearing in his sex trafficking case, in this court sketch in New York, July 31, 2019His alleged crimes were thrown back into the spotlight amid renewed scrutiny of the plea deal Epstein reached with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami in 2007, led by then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta. A non-prosecution agreement allowed Epstein, a hedge-fund manager, to plead guilty to two state charges and avoid federal charges for an allegedly broad pattern of similar sexual misconduct. He would serve just 13 months of an 18-month sentence in county jail in Florida.
The victims in that case were not made aware of the negotiations for nearly a year after the agreement was signed, according to their attorney.
The deal is currently under review by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility. Acosta was serving as President Trump's Labor Secretary amid the controversy over his role in the deal. He later resigned from that position.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
VIDEO - Jeffrey Epstein, accused sex trafficker, is dead by suicide, found in his Manhattan jail cell
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 13:52
Jeffrey Epstein, the millionaire financier and accused sex trafficker, is dead by suicide, according to three officials familiar with the matter.
The officials told NBC News he was found at 7:30 a.m. ET at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York and that he hanged himself.
He was transported Saturday morning from the Metropolitan Correctional Center to a hospital in Lower Manhattan. Upon arrival, he was in cardiac arrest, people familiar with the matter say.
Epstein, 66, was being held on federal sex trafficking charges.
He was arrested July 6 in Teterboro, New Jersey, as he returned from Paris on a private jet.
He had pleaded not guilty and was denied bail.
The indictment on his case showed that he sought out minors, some as young as 14, from at least 2002 through 2005 and paying them hundreds of dollars in cash for sex at either his Manhattan townhouse or his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, federal prosecutors revealed last month.
Epstein was charged with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking. He faced up to 45 years in prison if found guilty.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Tom Winter Tom Winter is a New York-based correspondent covering crime, courts, terrorism, and financial fraud on the East Coast for the NBC News Investigative Unit.
Jonathan Dienst Jonathan Dienst is a reporter for WNBC-TV in New York, leading its investigative reporting team and covering justice and law enforcement issues.
Yuliya Talmazan Yuliya Talmazan is a London-based journalist.
VIDEO - Dayton Shooting: Are There Irregularities? Does the Evidence Match the Narrative? - YouTube
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 13:29
VIDEO - August 8, 2019 City Council Meetings - Austin, TX
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 06:04
Call to Order9:55 AM '‚¬'' Opening Moment 10:00 AM '‚¬'' City Council Convenes
9:55 AM '‚¬'' Opening Moment 10:00 AM '‚¬'' City Council Convenes
Consent Agenda (Part 1 of 2)Consent: 1 - 14, 18 - 23, 29, 31, 34 - 70, 72, 74, 79, 80, 82, 83 - 88, 90 - 98, 100 - 114, 116 - 121, 123 - 134, 136 - 143 - 145, 146, 149
Withdrawn: 16, 76, 89, 140, 146
Pulled: 15, 17, 24 - 27, 30, 32, 33, 71, 75, 77, 78, 81, 148
Postponed: 28, 73, 99, 115, 122, 135, 147, 149
Consent: 1 - 14, 18 - 23, 29, 31, 34 - 70, 72, 74, 79, 80, 82, 83 - 88, 90 - 98, 100 - 114, 116 - 121, 123 - 134, 136 - 143 - 145, 146, 149
Withdrawn: 16, 76, 89, 140, 146
Pulled: 15, 17, 24 - 27, 30, 32, 33, 71, 75, 77, 78, 81, 148
Postponed: 28, 73, 99, 115, 122, 135, 147, 149
Item 148 (Part 1 of 2)Convention Center
Approve an ordinance adopting a Capital Improvement Plan for the expansion of the Convention Center Facility; authorizing an increase in the City of Austin Municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax from 7% to 9% effective August 8, 2019 for the purpose of funding the Convention Center Expansion; and declaring an emergency.
Convention Center
Approve an ordinance adopting a Capital Improvement Plan for the expansion of the Convention Center Facility; authorizing an increase in the City of Austin Municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax from 7% to 9% effective August 8, 2019 for the purpose of funding the Convention Center Expansion; and declaring an emergency.
Consent Agenda (Part 2 of 2)Consent: 1 - 14, 18 - 23, 29, 31, 34 - 70, 72, 74, 79, 80, 82, 83 - 88, 90 - 98, 100 - 114, 116 - 121, 123 - 134, 136 - 143 - 145, 146, 149
Withdrawn: 16, 76, 89, 140, 146
Pulled: 15, 17, 24 - 27, 30, 32, 33, 71, 75, 77, 78, 81, 148
Postponed: 28, 73, 99, 115, 122, 135, 147, 149
Consent: 1 - 14, 18 - 23, 29, 31, 34 - 70, 72, 74, 79, 80, 82, 83 - 88, 90 - 98, 100 - 114, 116 - 121, 123 - 134, 136 - 143 - 145, 146, 149
Withdrawn: 16, 76, 89, 140, 146
Pulled: 15, 17, 24 - 27, 30, 32, 33, 71, 75, 77, 78, 81, 148
Postponed: 28, 73, 99, 115, 122, 135, 147, 149
Item 78 (Part 1 of 2)Approve a resolution declaring a climate emergency and calling for immediate and coordinated mobilization by the City to address the causes and consequences of climate change and directing the City Manager to take appropriate action.
Sponsors: Council Member Alison Alter, Council Member Leslie Pool, Council Member Ann Kitchen, Council Member Kathie Tovo, and Council Member Gregorio Casar
Approve a resolution declaring a climate emergency and calling for immediate and coordinated mobilization by the City to address the causes and consequences of climate change and directing the City Manager to take appropriate action.
Sponsors: Council Member Alison Alter, Council Member Leslie Pool, Council Member Ann Kitchen, Council Member Kathie Tovo, and Council Member Gregorio Casar
Consent Agenda (part 3 of 3)Consent: 1 - 14, 18 - 23, 29, 31, 34 - 70, 72, 74, 79, 80, 82, 83 - 88, 90 - 98, 100 - 114, 116 - 121, 123 - 134, 136 - 143 - 145, 146, 149
Withdrawn: 16, 76, 89, 140, 146
Pulled: 15, 17, 24 - 27, 30, 32, 33, 71, 75, 77, 78, 81, 148
Postponed: 28, 73, 99, 115, 122, 135, 147, 149
Consent: 1 - 14, 18 - 23, 29, 31, 34 - 70, 72, 74, 79, 80, 82, 83 - 88, 90 - 98, 100 - 114, 116 - 121, 123 - 134, 136 - 143 - 145, 146, 149
Withdrawn: 16, 76, 89, 140, 146
Pulled: 15, 17, 24 - 27, 30, 32, 33, 71, 75, 77, 78, 81, 148
Postponed: 28, 73, 99, 115, 122, 135, 147, 149
Item 71Approve a resolution relating to the identification of at least 10 locations within the boundaries of I-35, 15th Street, Lady Bird Lake, and Lamar Boulevard that are suitable to install free, ADA compliant, 24-hour drinking fountains; the formulation of a budget estimate for the installation, operations, and maintenance of drinking fountains; and an expedited procurement process.
Sponsors: Council Member Kathie Tovo, Council Member Sabino "Pio" Renteria, Council Member Paige Ellis, Council Member Alison Alter, and Council Member Leslie Pool District(s): District 1; District 9
Approve a resolution relating to the identification of at least 10 locations within the boundaries of I-35, 15th Street, Lady Bird Lake, and Lamar Boulevard that are suitable to install free, ADA compliant, 24-hour drinking fountains; the formulation of a budget estimate for the installation, operations, and maintenance of drinking fountains; and an expedited procurement process.
Sponsors: Council Member Kathie Tovo, Council Member Sabino "Pio" Renteria, Council Member Paige Ellis, Council Member Alison Alter, and Council Member Leslie Pool District(s): District 1; District 9
Citizens Communication: GeneralKatie Deolloz - Rehumanize mobility Paul Robbins - Solid waste and other city issues Koo Hyun Kim - '‚¬Å' Texas Austin City Travis County commissioner court are American enemies president Trump enemies'‚¬½ Audrina Torres - Zero Waste Alliance land sale Dylan Grams - Landfill, waste management Melanie Mcafee - Zero waste and Landfield Karole Fedrick - Address library issues Cleo Petricek - Homeless ordinance and shelter Tracy Shannon - Drag Queens story hour at the Library John D, Miller - Drag Queens story hour at the Library
Katie Deolloz - Rehumanize mobility Paul Robbins - Solid waste and other city issues Koo Hyun Kim - '‚¬Å' Texas Austin City Travis County commissioner court are American enemies president Trump enemies'‚¬½ Audrina Torres - Zero Waste Alliance land sale Dylan Grams - Landfill, waste management Melanie Mcafee - Zero waste and Landfield Karole Fedrick - Address library issues Cleo Petricek - Homeless ordinance and shelter Tracy Shannon - Drag Queens story hour at the Library John D, Miller - Drag Queens story hour at the Library
Executive Session (Part 1 of 2)103. Discuss legal issues related to the November 2019 election. (Private consultation with legal counsel - Section 551.071 of the Government Code).
106. Discuss legal issues related to Flores v. City of Austin, Cause No. C-1-CV-18-009175, in the County Court at law No. 1, Travis County, Texas (Private consultation with legal counsel-Section 551.071 of the Government Code).
148. Approve an ordinance adopting a Capital Improvement Plan for the expansion of the Convention Center Facility; authorizing an increase in the City of Austin Municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax from 7% to 9% effective August 8, 2019 for the purpose of funding the Convention Center Expansion; and declaring an emergency.
103. Discuss legal issues related to the November 2019 election. (Private consultation with legal counsel - Section 551.071 of the Government Code).
106. Discuss legal issues related to Flores v. City of Austin, Cause No. C-1-CV-18-009175, in the County Court at law No. 1, Travis County, Texas (Private consultation with legal counsel-Section 551.071 of the Government Code).
148. Approve an ordinance adopting a Capital Improvement Plan for the expansion of the Convention Center Facility; authorizing an increase in the City of Austin Municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax from 7% to 9% effective August 8, 2019 for the purpose of funding the Convention Center Expansion; and declaring an emergency.
Zoning Consent AgendaConsent: 122, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 133, 135, 136, 139
Pulled: 107 - 113, 115, 122, 123, 134
Postponed: 114, 116 - 121, 123 - 125, 131, 132, 137, 138
Consent: 122, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 133, 135, 136, 139
Pulled: 107 - 113, 115, 122, 123, 134
Postponed: 114, 116 - 121, 123 - 125, 131, 132, 137, 138
Items 107 - 111 (Part 1 of 2)108. C14-2018-0027 - E. Riverside Dr. and S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Tracts 3 & 5 - Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 4700 East Riverside Drive and 1515 Wickersham Lane (Country Club West Watershed). Applicant Request: To rezone from East Riverside Corridor (ERC) district zoning to East Riverside Corridor (ERC) district zoning, to change the subdistrict from neighborhood mixed use (NMU) and urban residential (UR) to corridor mixed use (CMU), with conditions. Staff Recommendation and Planning Commission Recommendation: To grant East Riverside Corridor (ERC) district zoning, to change the subdistrict to corridor mixed use (CMU), with conditions. Owner/Applicant: NRE Zone, LLC and NRE Edge, LLC (Mark Farrell). Agent: Armbrust & Brown, PLLC (Michael J. Whellan). City Staff: Jerry Rusthoven, 512-974-3207.
109. C14-2018-0026 - E. Riverside Dr. and S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Tract 4 - Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 1600 Wickersham Lane (Country Club West Watershed). Applicant Request: To rezone from East Riverside Corridor (ERC) district zoning to East Riverside Corridor (ERC) district zoning, to change the subdistrict from neighborhood mixed use (NMU) to corridor mixed use (CMU), with conditions. Staff Recommendation and Planning Commission Recommendation: To grant East Riverside Corridor (ERC) district zoning, to change the subdistrict to corridor mixed use (CMU), with conditions. Owner/Applicant BP Riverside West, LLC (Mark Farrell). Agent: Armbrust & Brown, PLLC (Michael J. Whellan). City Staff: Jerry Rusthoven, 512-974-3207.
110. C14-97-0010 (RCT) E. Riverside Dr. and S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Tract 4-Conduct a public hearing and approve a restrictive covenant termination on a property locally known as 1600 Wickersham Lane (Country Club West Watershed). Applicant request: To terminate the public restrictive covenant associated with zoning case C14-2018-0026. Staff recommendation and Planning Commission recommendation: To grant the restrictive covenant termination. Owner/Applicant: BP Riverside West, LLC (David Nazarian). Agent: Armbrust & Brown, PLLC (Michael J. Whellan). City Staff: Jerry Rusthoven, (512) 974-3207.
111. C14-72-204(RCA5) E. Riverside Dr. and S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Tracts 1-5- Conduct a public hearing and approve a restrictive covenant amendment on a property locally known as 1109 and 1225 South Pleasant Valley Road, 4700 East Riverside Drive, 1515 and 1600 Wickersham Lane (Country Club West Watershed). Applicant request: To amend the public restrictive covenant associated with zoning cases C14-2018-0026, C14-2018-0027, and C14-2018-0028. Staff and Planning Commission recommendation: To grant the restrictive covenant amendment.. Owner/Applicant: NRE Town Lake Property Owner, LLC (Andrew Winograd); Ballpark Austin, LLC (Andrew Winograd); NRE Zone, LLC (Mark Farrell); NRE Edge, LLC (Mark Farrell) and BP Riverside West, LLC (Mark Farrell). Agent: Armbrust & Brown, PLLC (Michael J. Whellan). City Staff: Jerry Rusthoven, (512) 974-3207.
108. C14-2018-0027 - E. Riverside Dr. and S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Tracts 3 & 5 - Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 4700 East Riverside Drive and 1515 Wickersham Lane (Country Club West Watershed). Applicant Request: To rezone from East Riverside Corridor (ERC) district zoning to East Riverside Corridor (ERC) district zoning, to change the subdistrict from neighborhood mixed use (NMU) and urban residential (UR) to corridor mixed use (CMU), with conditions. Staff Recommendation and Planning Commission Recommendation: To grant East Riverside Corridor (ERC) district zoning, to change the subdistrict to corridor mixed use (CMU), with conditions. Owner/Applicant: NRE Zone, LLC and NRE Edge, LLC (Mark Farrell). Agent: Armbrust & Brown, PLLC (Michael J. Whellan). City Staff: Jerry Rusthoven, 512-974-3207.
109. C14-2018-0026 - E. Riverside Dr. and S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Tract 4 - Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 1600 Wickersham Lane (Country Club West Watershed). Applicant Request: To rezone from East Riverside Corridor (ERC) district zoning to East Riverside Corridor (ERC) district zoning, to change the subdistrict from neighborhood mixed use (NMU) to corridor mixed use (CMU), with conditions. Staff Recommendation and Planning Commission Recommendation: To grant East Riverside Corridor (ERC) district zoning, to change the subdistrict to corridor mixed use (CMU), with conditions. Owner/Applicant BP Riverside West, LLC (Mark Farrell). Agent: Armbrust & Brown, PLLC (Michael J. Whellan). City Staff: Jerry Rusthoven, 512-974-3207.
110. C14-97-0010 (RCT) E. Riverside Dr. and S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Tract 4-Conduct a public hearing and approve a restrictive covenant termination on a property locally known as 1600 Wickersham Lane (Country Club West Watershed). Applicant request: To terminate the public restrictive covenant associated with zoning case C14-2018-0026. Staff recommendation and Planning Commission recommendation: To grant the restrictive covenant termination. Owner/Applicant: BP Riverside West, LLC (David Nazarian). Agent: Armbrust & Brown, PLLC (Michael J. Whellan). City Staff: Jerry Rusthoven, (512) 974-3207.
111. C14-72-204(RCA5) E. Riverside Dr. and S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Tracts 1-5- Conduct a public hearing and approve a restrictive covenant amendment on a property locally known as 1109 and 1225 South Pleasant Valley Road, 4700 East Riverside Drive, 1515 and 1600 Wickersham Lane (Country Club West Watershed). Applicant request: To amend the public restrictive covenant associated with zoning cases C14-2018-0026, C14-2018-0027, and C14-2018-0028. Staff and Planning Commission recommendation: To grant the restrictive covenant amendment.. Owner/Applicant: NRE Town Lake Property Owner, LLC (Andrew Winograd); Ballpark Austin, LLC (Andrew Winograd); NRE Zone, LLC (Mark Farrell); NRE Edge, LLC (Mark Farrell) and BP Riverside West, LLC (Mark Farrell). Agent: Armbrust & Brown, PLLC (Michael J. Whellan). City Staff: Jerry Rusthoven, (512) 974-3207.
Proclamation 1Distinguished Service Award '‚¬'' Greg Guernsey '‚¬'' To be presented by Mayor Steve Adler and to be accepted by the honoree.
Distinguished Service Award '‚¬'' Greg Guernsey '‚¬'' To be presented by Mayor Steve Adler and to be accepted by the honoree.
Proclamation 2Proclamation '‚¬'' Americans with Disabilities 29th Anniversary Day '‚¬'' To be presented by Mayor Steve Adler and to be accepted by David Ondich, ADA Program Administrator.
Proclamation '‚¬'' Americans with Disabilities 29th Anniversary Day '‚¬'' To be presented by Mayor Steve Adler and to be accepted by David Ondich, ADA Program Administrator.
Proclamation 3Distinguished Service Award '‚¬'' Alan Holt '‚¬'' To be presented by Council Member Kathie Tovo and to be accepted by the honoree.
Distinguished Service Award '‚¬'' Alan Holt '‚¬'' To be presented by Council Member Kathie Tovo and to be accepted by the honoree.
Proclamation 4Proclamation '‚¬'' Dr. Santiago Zamora Day '‚¬'' To be presented by Council Member Sabino '‚¬Å'Pio'‚¬½ Renteria and to be accepted by the honoree.
Proclamation '‚¬'' Dr. Santiago Zamora Day '‚¬'' To be presented by Council Member Sabino '‚¬Å'Pio'‚¬½ Renteria and to be accepted by the honoree.
Proclamation 5Proclamation '‚¬'' Austin Pride Day '‚¬'' To be presented by Council Member Jimmy Flannigan.
Proclamation '‚¬'' Austin Pride Day '‚¬'' To be presented by Council Member Jimmy Flannigan.
Executive Session (Part 2 of 2)* A portion of this item is without audio *
103. Discuss legal issues related to the November 2019 election. (Private consultation with legal counsel - Section 551.071 of the Government Code).
* A portion of this item is without audio *
103. Discuss legal issues related to the November 2019 election. (Private consultation with legal counsel - Section 551.071 of the Government Code).
Item 78 (Part 2 of 2)Approve a resolution declaring a climate emergency and calling for immediate and coordinated mobilization by the City to address the causes and consequences of climate change and directing the City Manager to take appropriate action.
Approve a resolution declaring a climate emergency and calling for immediate and coordinated mobilization by the City to address the causes and consequences of climate change and directing the City Manager to take appropriate action.
Item 30Approve an ordinance authorizing the City Manager to negotiate and execute an amended and restated agreement with the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy (Conservancy) to authorize the Conservancy to manage and operate the Zilker Botanical Garden admissions; and amending the schedule of Fees and Fines and Other Charges to be set or charged by the City (Ordinance No. 20180911-002) to increase the fee charged for admission for visitors who are not Conservancy members.
Approve an ordinance authorizing the City Manager to negotiate and execute an amended and restated agreement with the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy (Conservancy) to authorize the Conservancy to manage and operate the Zilker Botanical Garden admissions; and amending the schedule of Fees and Fines and Other Charges to be set or charged by the City (Ordinance No. 20180911-002) to increase the fee charged for admission for visitors who are not Conservancy members.
Item 115C14-2018-0124- River Place - Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as Milky Way Drive (West Bull Creek Watershed). Applicant Request: To rezone from development reserve (DR) district zoning to townhouse & condominium residence-conditional overlay (SF-6-CO) combining district zoning. Staff Recommendation: To grant single-family residence-large lot-conditional overlay (SF-1-CO) combining district zoning, with conditions. Zoning and Platting Commission Recommendation: Forwarded to Council without a recommendation due to lack of an affirmative vote. Owner/Applicant: Milky Way Holdings GP, LLC (Garrett S. Martin). Agent: McLean & Howard, LLP (Jeff Howard). City Staff: Sherri Sirwaitis, 512-974-3057. Related to item #32. 115. District(s): District 6; District 10
C14-2018-0124- River Place - Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as Milky Way Drive (West Bull Creek Watershed). Applicant Request: To rezone from development reserve (DR) district zoning to townhouse & condominium residence-conditional overlay (SF-6-CO) combining district zoning. Staff Recommendation: To grant single-family residence-large lot-conditional overlay (SF-1-CO) combining district zoning, with conditions. Zoning and Platting Commission Recommendation: Forwarded to Council without a recommendation due to lack of an affirmative vote. Owner/Applicant: Milky Way Holdings GP, LLC (Garrett S. Martin). Agent: McLean & Howard, LLP (Jeff Howard). City Staff: Sherri Sirwaitis, 512-974-3057. Related to item #32. 115. District(s): District 6; District 10
Items 110 & 111 (Part 2 of 2)* A portion of this item is without audio *
110. C14-97-0010 (RCT) E. Riverside Dr. and S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Tract 4-Conduct a public hearing and approve a restrictive covenant termination on a property locally known as 1600 Wickersham Lane (Country Club West Watershed). Applicant request: To terminate the public restrictive covenant associated with zoning case C14-2018-0026. Staff recommendation and Planning Commission recommendation: To grant the restrictive covenant termination. Owner/Applicant: BP Riverside West, LLC (David Nazarian). Agent: Armbrust & Brown, PLLC (Michael J. Whellan). City Staff: Jerry Rusthoven, (512) 974-3207.
111. C14-72-204(RCA5) E. Riverside Dr. and S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Tracts 1-5- Conduct a public hearing and approve a restrictive covenant amendment on a property locally known as 1109 and 1225 South Pleasant Valley Road, 4700 East Riverside Drive, 1515 and 1600 Wickersham Lane (Country Club West Watershed). Applicant request: To amend the public restrictive covenant associated with zoning cases C14-2018-0026, C14-2018-0027, and C14-2018-0028. Staff and Planning Commission recommendation: To grant the restrictive covenant amendment.. Owner/Applicant: NRE Town Lake Property Owner, LLC (Andrew Winograd); Ballpark Austin, LLC (Andrew Winograd); NRE Zone, LLC (Mark Farrell); NRE Edge, LLC (Mark Farrell) and BP Riverside West, LLC (Mark Farrell). Agent: Armbrust & Brown, PLLC (Michael J. Whellan). City Staff: Jerry Rusthoven, (512) 974-3207.
* A portion of this item is without audio *
110. C14-97-0010 (RCT) E. Riverside Dr. and S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Tract 4-Conduct a public hearing and approve a restrictive covenant termination on a property locally known as 1600 Wickersham Lane (Country Club West Watershed). Applicant request: To terminate the public restrictive covenant associated with zoning case C14-2018-0026. Staff recommendation and Planning Commission recommendation: To grant the restrictive covenant termination. Owner/Applicant: BP Riverside West, LLC (David Nazarian). Agent: Armbrust & Brown, PLLC (Michael J. Whellan). City Staff: Jerry Rusthoven, (512) 974-3207.
111. C14-72-204(RCA5) E. Riverside Dr. and S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Tracts 1-5- Conduct a public hearing and approve a restrictive covenant amendment on a property locally known as 1109 and 1225 South Pleasant Valley Road, 4700 East Riverside Drive, 1515 and 1600 Wickersham Lane (Country Club West Watershed). Applicant request: To amend the public restrictive covenant associated with zoning cases C14-2018-0026, C14-2018-0027, and C14-2018-0028. Staff and Planning Commission recommendation: To grant the restrictive covenant amendment.. Owner/Applicant: NRE Town Lake Property Owner, LLC (Andrew Winograd); Ballpark Austin, LLC (Andrew Winograd); NRE Zone, LLC (Mark Farrell); NRE Edge, LLC (Mark Farrell) and BP Riverside West, LLC (Mark Farrell). Agent: Armbrust & Brown, PLLC (Michael J. Whellan). City Staff: Jerry Rusthoven, (512) 974-3207.
Item 33Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to include a partial exemption from ad valorem taxes for certain historically-designated properties in budget calculations for the coming year; to provide this resolution to the Austin Independent School District; and to prepare an ordinance approving these partial exemptions to be considered by Council concurrently with the annual tax levy.
Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to include a partial exemption from ad valorem taxes for certain historically-designated properties in budget calculations for the coming year; to provide this resolution to the Austin Independent School District; and to prepare an ordinance approving these partial exemptions to be considered by Council concurrently with the annual tax levy.
Item 77Approve a resolution relating to the creation of a local government corporation to address homelessness issues.
Sponsors: Council Member Kathie Tovo, Council Member Ann Kitchen, Council Member Alison Alter, Council Member Sabino "Pio" Renteria, and Mayor Steve Adler
Approve a resolution relating to the creation of a local government corporation to address homelessness issues.
Sponsors: Council Member Kathie Tovo, Council Member Ann Kitchen, Council Member Alison Alter, Council Member Sabino "Pio" Renteria, and Mayor Steve Adler
Item 148 (Part 2 of 2)Approve a resolution declaring a climate emergency and calling for immediate and coordinated mobilization by the City to address the causes and consequences of climate change and directing the City Manager to take appropriate action.
Approve a resolution declaring a climate emergency and calling for immediate and coordinated mobilization by the City to address the causes and consequences of climate change and directing the City Manager to take appropriate action.
Item 15Approve an ordinance ordering a special municipal election to be held on November 5, 2019, for the purpose of submitting to the voters a proposed citizen-initiated ordinance, certified sufficient on February 11, 2019, regarding the conveyance of city-owned property for sports or entertainment facilities; providing for the conduct of the special election, including authorizing the City Clerk to enter into joint election agreements with other local political subdivisions as may be necessary for the orderly conduct of the elections; and declaring an emergency.
Approve an ordinance ordering a special municipal election to be held on November 5, 2019, for the purpose of submitting to the voters a proposed citizen-initiated ordinance, certified sufficient on February 11, 2019, regarding the conveyance of city-owned property for sports or entertainment facilities; providing for the conduct of the special election, including authorizing the City Clerk to enter into joint election agreements with other local political subdivisions as may be necessary for the orderly conduct of the elections; and declaring an emergency.
Item 17Approve an ordinance ordering a special municipal election to be held on November 5, 2019, for the purpose of submitting to the voters a proposed citizen-initiated ordinance, supported by a petition certified sufficient on July 26, 2019, to amend the City Code regarding the use of Austin'‚¬'s Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue; providing for the conduct of the special election, including authorizing the City Clerk to enter into joint election agreements with other local political subdivisions as may be necessary for the orderly conduct of the elections.
Approve an ordinance ordering a special municipal election to be held on November 5, 2019, for the purpose of submitting to the voters a proposed citizen-initiated ordinance, supported by a petition certified sufficient on July 26, 2019, to amend the City Code regarding the use of Austin'‚¬'s Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue; providing for the conduct of the special election, including authorizing the City Clerk to enter into joint election agreements with other local political subdivisions as may be necessary for the orderly conduct of the elections.
Items 112 & 113District(s): District 3
113. C14-2019-0028 - Palm Harbor Homes Mobile Home Park - Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 810 Bastrop Highway Southbound (Carson Creek Watershed). Applicant Request: To rezone from general commercial services - neighborhood plan (CS-NP) combining district zoning to mobile home residence - neighborhood plan (MH-NP) combining district zoning. Staff Recommendation: To deny mobile home residence - neighborhood plan (MH-NP) combining district zoning. Planning Commission Recommendation: Forwarded to Council without a recommendation on an affirmative vote. Owner: Palm Harbor Homes, Inc. City Staff: Kate Clark, 512-974-1237.
District(s): District 3
District(s): District 3
113. C14-2019-0028 - Palm Harbor Homes Mobile Home Park - Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 810 Bastrop Highway Southbound (Carson Creek Watershed). Applicant Request: To rezone from general commercial services - neighborhood plan (CS-NP) combining district zoning to mobile home residence - neighborhood plan (MH-NP) combining district zoning. Staff Recommendation: To deny mobile home residence - neighborhood plan (MH-NP) combining district zoning. Planning Commission Recommendation: Forwarded to Council without a recommendation on an affirmative vote. Owner: Palm Harbor Homes, Inc. City Staff: Kate Clark, 512-974-1237.
District(s): District 3
Item 123C14-2019-0041 - 3706 Goodwin- Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 3706 Goodwin Avenue (Boggy Creek Watershed) from general commercial services-mixed use-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-NP) combining district zoning to general commercial services-mixed use-vertical mixed use building-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-V-NP) combining district zoning. Staff Recommendation: To deny to general commercial services-mixed use-vertical mixed use building-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-V-CO-NP) combining district zoning. Planning Commission Recommendation: To grant general commercial services-mixed use-vertical mixed use building-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-V-NP) combining district zoning. Owner/Applicant: GBME LLC (Matt Albrecht). City Staff: Heather Chaffin, 512-974-2122.
District(s): District 1
C14-2019-0041 - 3706 Goodwin- Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 3706 Goodwin Avenue (Boggy Creek Watershed) from general commercial services-mixed use-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-NP) combining district zoning to general commercial services-mixed use-vertical mixed use building-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-V-NP) combining district zoning. Staff Recommendation: To deny to general commercial services-mixed use-vertical mixed use building-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-V-CO-NP) combining district zoning. Planning Commission Recommendation: To grant general commercial services-mixed use-vertical mixed use building-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-V-NP) combining district zoning. Owner/Applicant: GBME LLC (Matt Albrecht). City Staff: Heather Chaffin, 512-974-2122.
District(s): District 1
Item 134C14-2019-0031 - Springdale Farms - Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 735 Springdale Road (Boggy Creek Watershed) from general commercial services-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning to general commercial services-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning, to change a condition of zoning. Staff Recommendation and Planning Commission Recommendation: To grant general commercial services-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning, to change a condition of zoning. Owner/Applicant: PSW-Springdale, LLC (Jarred Corbell). City Staff: Heather Chaffin, 512-974-2122.
District(s): District 3
C14-2019-0031 - Springdale Farms - Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 735 Springdale Road (Boggy Creek Watershed) from general commercial services-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning to general commercial services-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning, to change a condition of zoning. Staff Recommendation and Planning Commission Recommendation: To grant general commercial services-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning, to change a condition of zoning. Owner/Applicant: PSW-Springdale, LLC (Jarred Corbell). City Staff: Heather Chaffin, 512-974-2122.
District(s): District 3
Item 75Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to prioritize the completion of the Cypress and Shoal Creek Project (Project); conduct a feasibility and financial analysis of the extension of the Seaholm Tax Increment Financing District (District); and provide Council with, no later than the end of this fiscal year: (1) a written update of the Project and (2) a feasibility and financial analysis of the extension of the District.
Sponsors: Council Member Kathie Tovo, Council Member Leslie Pool, Council Member Ann Kitchen, Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison, and Council Member Alison Alter
Adjourn
Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to prioritize the completion of the Cypress and Shoal Creek Project (Project); conduct a feasibility and financial analysis of the extension of the Seaholm Tax Increment Financing District (District); and provide Council with, no later than the end of this fiscal year: (1) a written update of the Project and (2) a feasibility and financial analysis of the extension of the District.
Sponsors: Council Member Kathie Tovo, Council Member Leslie Pool, Council Member Ann Kitchen, Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison, and Council Member Alison Alter
Adjourn
VIDEO - (37) The Black Caucus on Twitter: "WATCH Rep. @JacksonLeeTX18 explain her bill #HR40 - Commission to Study and Develop #Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act. The Congresswoman explain why she decided to introduce this very important bill
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 05:56
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VIDEO - While We Were Distracted - YouTube
Sat, 10 Aug 2019 05:50
VIDEO - PREMIERE: "Who is Jessica Yaniv?'' An exclusive Rebel expos(C) | Jessica Swietoniowski - YouTube
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 21:41
VIDEO - HBO Documentary Series: The Newburgh Sting Preview (HBO Documentary Films) - YouTube
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 19:52
VIDEO - 1h17mins - George Hotz: Comma.ai, OpenPilot, and Autonomous Vehicles | Artificial Intelligence (AI) Podcast - YouTube
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 15:19
VIDEO - Jennifer Briney on the "Congressional Dish" Podcast and News of the Day | C-SPAN.org
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 13:29
August 9, 2019 2019-08-09T09:05:01-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/432/20190809090634001_hd.jpg ''Congressional Dish'' podcast host Jennifer Briney discusses her podcast and news of the day.''Congressional Dish'' podcast host Jennifer Briney discusses her podcast and news of the day.
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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Hosting OrganizationC-SPAN | Washington JournalC-SPAN | Washington Journal SeriesWashington JournalMore Videos FromWashington Journal 08/09/2019Open Phones, Part 1Washington Journal 08/09/2019Justin Vicory on ICE Raids in MississippiScott Paul on Manufacturing Jobs and U.S. Trade PolicyJennifer Briney on the "Congressional Dish" Podcast and News of the DayMore Videos
VIDEO - Lily Adams on Twitter: "To all the wealthy folks thinking yeah well he may be a racist but I got a tax cut. Watch this. https://t.co/aeEHel0ZHN" / Twitter
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 13:19
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VIDEO - Ryan Saavedra on Twitter: "Joe Biden: ''we choose truth over facts'' The crowd cheers https://t.co/QLqXa8Qmm2" / Twitter
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 03:14
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VIDEO - (4) The Hill on Twitter: "Rep. Jerry Nadler: "This is formal impeachment proceedings." https://t.co/x821XaaBMd" / Twitter
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 02:55
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VIDEO - Andrew Clark on Twitter: "Joe Biden slip-up in Iowa tonight. "Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids." Yikes...have fun mitigating that one. https://t.co/m2VxZbnFHF" / Twitter
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 02:41
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All Clips

Jerry Nadler This is formal impeachment proceedings.mp3
Joe Biden gaffe - Poor kids just as talented as white kids.mp3
Joe Biden gaffe - we choose truth over facts.mp3
Julián Castro refuses to condemn brother’s tweet targeting Trump donors.mp3
Michael Pillsbury FBN says China thinks Biden will Win 2020 election.m4a
bernie look out window-JINGLE.wav
bernie on rogan look-out-window-raw.wav
NPR interview Noam Levey of LA Times on foundations that 'help' people afford drugs is cynical way to keep prices high.mp3
M5M abuses hispanic child to denounce raids on illegal immigrants.mp3
Chuck Todd - NBC - Trump retweets Epstein conspiracy theory, claiming Clinton connection.mp3
Dan Abrams on ABC - Helping Epstein to be killed is not murder.m4a
MSNBC's Joy Reid appears to suggest that Attorney General William Barr might be connected to Jeffrey Epstein's death.mp3
NBC News backgrounder on Epstein 'suicide'.mp3
Piecxenick-OPUS 170 Epstein's Parodoxical Death.mp3
Retired NYC Lt Ted Williams discusses why Epstein death may not be end of Story nor Suicides.m4a
Sir Chris Wilson NA Jingles - Suicide PSA Short.mp3
Vicky Ward on CNN - The conspiracy case is not dead just because Epstein is dead.m4a
ABC first to report Mega Millionaire Epstein suicided.mp3
ABC's Tom Yamis reports on Epstein -2- Associates aren't off the hook yet.mp3
ABC's Tom Yamis reports the 'details' of Epstein suicide after names came out.mp3
Amy interviews Ward slams trump DN.mp3
BIDEN truth over facts.mp3
cashless milleneals.mp3
CSPAN Briney on advertising show plug.mp3
CSPAN in the morning Briney.mp3
earliest vivki ward clip 2007 npr.mp3
epstein story wrap PBS.mp3
Ifeel evil ISO.mp3
ISO in the morning to you.mp3
jenny mcdermott troll clip.mp3
jenny mcdermott youtuber kill men.mp3
julie brown comments on PBS.mp3
kill all men ISO.mp3
latest impeachment talk CBS.mp3
mcdermitt versus riley dennis.mp3
north korea update.mp3
Palestine trouble makers on campus DN.mp3
piers morgan with vicky ward 2009.mp3
RETRO algae-cars.mp3
TRUTH facotry honey pot.mp3
TRUTH facotry maxwell targeted.mp3
vicky ward on ivanka.mp3
water scam underway DN.mp3
Amazing Polly more vcki and MI6 connection.mp3
Amazing Polly Vicky Ward mention.mp3
Amy interviews Ward 2 misc DN.mp3
Amy interviews Ward 3 threats DN.mp3
Amy interviews Ward 4 graydonDN.mp3
DN - Emergency Doctor to Trump You Are Wrong, Mental Illness Is Not to Blame for Gun Violence Epidemic - Substance USE.mp3
Judge Napolitano on the unconstitutionality of Red Flag Laws.m4a
Presidential candidate Andrew Yang breaks down over gun violence - CNN.mp3
Auctin City Council Meeting citizen complains about camping ordinance and asshole council member Greg Cesar of District 4.mp3
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    die atom curry this is no agenda a
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    beautiful day in the neighborhood won't
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    just gonna ignore the whole neighborhood
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    conversation I know you don't like him
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    Rogers it points a point of order
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    point of order kind of information point
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    of information comrade I would like to
  • 1:01
    mention the way we work on this show is
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    a novel way we believe it is the way to
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    go John and I are pretty much not in
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    contact in between shows during the week
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    except for some um maybe administrative
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    stuff maybe there's something we want to
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    make sure the other has seen but rarely
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    will we talk about what we're working on
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    what we're collective should mention did
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    once in a while not often we work on a
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    skit yeah and that always fails you know
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    how many cars four five six seven eight
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    nine ten no at no extra car so similarly
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    I do not know what Clips John has that
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    he does not know what Clips I have
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    however John does his Clips the evening
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    before Saturday night so they come in
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    around 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. my time I don't
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    see them until the morning
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    of course I do download them I don't
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    listen to them I do look at the titles
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    and to give me a little bit of
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    indication what in what area he's been
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    researching and I'm very happy to see
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    that you have crossed the streams and
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    entered into my my fantastic poly
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    territory which I like a lot actually
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    that's not the amazing poly I think is
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    her name so I immediately ceased all
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    production on the amazing poly clip so
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    we will get to those ashes a fabulous
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    Pollyanna it's amazing the amazing Polly
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    the amazing Polly is what she is the the
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    youtuber apparently you found as well
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    and following for weeks and weeks
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    well she cropped up on the botanic feed
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    yeah that's because he he actually has
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    gotten stuff from her so we so he tells
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    me
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    yeah well it's a dubious source to say
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    the least
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    well she's not a source she's a
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    deconstructionist she is she's less well
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    if you want to call her that I would
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    call her a um guilt by association
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    specialist
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    oh yeah well she does yarn she does yarn
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    in tax you know colored yarn mirror
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    artist I wouldn't say that okay so this
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    is Sunday August 11th the second
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    Thursday show of the week typically the
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    events that occurred yesterday happened
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    on a show day so it was quite surprising
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    we had a little bit of time to at least
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    think about it this is the apparent
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    suicide of Jeffrey Epstein and the crowd
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    goes wild yeah yeah here's the crowd
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    I was I was downtrodden disheartened
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    when I heard this
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    well considering is in a federal
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    facility and he's got was was on suicide
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    watch which apparently they dropped and
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    he was being monitored by cameras which
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    apparently stopped working and all the
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    rest now it would be somewhat
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    disheartening I don't think anybody was
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    too happy about it bar in particular
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    well a couple of things change as far as
  • 4:36
    I know it was ABC and the New York Post
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    who reported this first and I and I and
  • 4:45
    I'm always I mean I had that because it
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    happened early in the morning and my
  • 4:49
    phone was just because I was getting
  • 4:52
    text messages from people saying I got
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    to see this you got to see what's
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    happening and so that was kind of handy
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    that we could immediately see who was
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    responding first and what they were
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    saying and no doubt that it was the same
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    everywhere I think ABC though was the
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    first and not only did they kind of
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    start off the the messaging but they
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    also changed a couple things now how
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    have we always heard Epstein being
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    described the billionaire financier
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    hedge fund manager then of course all of
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    the alleged alleged assaults so ABC
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    didn't just came out with this and I was
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    like okay wait so sources tell ABC News
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    Jeffrey Epstein does for them to report
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    sources and very came a very fact of the
  • 5:42
    matter
  • 5:42
    everyone had according to sources no
  • 5:45
    name no official statement have we ever
  • 5:48
    really seen the official statement from
  • 5:50
    the Met from the Metro corrections
  • 5:52
    facility I don't know it's a good
  • 5:53
    question because I don't remember I
  • 5:55
    don't recall seeing one either so the
  • 5:57
    message was put out very distinctly went
  • 6:00
    so sources tell ABC News Jeffrey Epstein
  • 6:02
    took his own life the exact timing and
  • 6:05
    circumstances are unclear right now but
  • 6:07
    the mega-millionaire
  • 6:08
    is notice this we've gone from
  • 6:11
    billionaire financier to mega
  • 6:13
    millionaire he's gotten the down
  • 6:15
    it's accused of exploiting and abusing
  • 6:17
    dozens of minor girls he'd been on
  • 6:19
    suicide watch in a New York City Jail
  • 6:22
    you'll remember he was found
  • 6:23
    unresponsive in his cell last month with
  • 6:25
    marks on his neck and literally just to
  • 6:29
    make sure we keep this correct it's not
  • 6:30
    it's not true it's not in New York City
  • 6:33
    Jail it was also not found unresponsive
  • 6:35
    a couple weeks ago he was found
  • 6:37
    complaining of some of his neck being
  • 6:39
    hurt I don't think he was unresponsive
  • 6:41
    yeah this cell last month with marks on
  • 6:44
    his neck initially investigators thought
  • 6:46
    he'd tried to take his own life they
  • 6:49
    were then looking into whether he was
  • 6:50
    assaulted by another inmate or if he'd
  • 6:53
    even paid someone to beat him up
  • 6:55
    Epstein's attorneys had been fighting to
  • 6:57
    get him out on bail but a judge refused
  • 7:00
    prosecutors argued the mega millionaires