833: Manbuns & Mohawks

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 13m
June 12th, 2016
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Executive Producers: Sir Coby Hung, Arch Duke of the Pacific Northwest Sir Dwayne Melancon, Sir S. T. Felter, aka “Rhoag, Black Knight of the Okanogan Plains”, Ingrid

Associate Executive Producers: Andrew Wirt, Andrew Drake

Cover Artist: Nick the Rat

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Orlando shooting: US citizen Omar Mateen named by media as gunman behind killing of 20 people at gay nightclub Pulse
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 14:21
The worst mass-shootings of the past 30 years:
April 16, 2007 '' Virginia Tech shooting leaves 32 people dead after student Seung-hui Cho opens fire on campus, before committing suicide.
December 14, 2012 '' Newtown school in Connecticut targeted by Adam Lanza, with 27 dead including Lanza.
October 16, 1991 '' Killeen, Texas shooting sees George Jo Hennard crash his pickup truck into a Luby's cafeteria and begin firing, killing 22 people before taking his own life.
July 18, 1984 '' San Ysidro, California sees 21 killed at a McDonald's by an unemployed security guard James Oliver Huberty, who was then fatally shot by a police sniper.
December 2, 2015 '' San Bernardino shooting leaves 14 dead at a community centre. Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik die in police shootout.
November 5, 2009 '' Fort Hood in Texas attacked by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, and 13 killed.
April 3, 2009 '' Binghampton immigration center in New York state attacked by Jiverly Voong, who kills 13.
April 20, 1999 '' Columbine High School students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 before taking their own lives.
July 20, 2012 '' Colorado cinema shooting leaves 12 dead as James Holmes opens fire during Batman screening.
September 16, 2013 '' Washington Navy Yard becomes scene of running battle as Aaron Alexis, a Navy contractor, kills 12.
June 18, 2015 '' Charleston prayer meeting attacked by Dylann Roof, leaving nine dead.
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Watching Twitter on FireTV
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EuroLand
BREAKING NEWS: Ukrainian Pravy Sektor Nazis attack England fans in Marseille | Veterans Today
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 02:34
BUSTED: 200 black-clad, knife-wielding Ukrainian thugs brought in aboard Cypriot sardine trawlers to cause mayhem
French riot police fire tear gas at fans in Marseille's Old Port District
This is happening almost as we speak. 200 men wearing black t-shirts, black balaclavas and wielding knives descended on the port area of Marseille where English and Russian football supporters had gathered to drink in the local atmosphere, soak up the local sun and imbibe the local beers.
Everyone was having a good time, the atmosphere was very relaxed, the English and Russian fans mingling happily, taking photos of each other while exchanging bursts of bawdy singing.
Then, as if from out of nowhere, the horde of black-clad thugs arrived and began attacking English fans. The claim made immediately on the BBC is that these attackers are Russian hooligans. Of course, this is yet more of the sickening demonisation of Russia and all things Russian that we have seen unfold in recent months.
These men were not Russians at all, although they spoke Russian. They are hired thugs drawn from the same pool of neo-Nazi ultra-right thugs from Lvov, members of Pravy Sektor mostly, who were responsible for the Odessa Massacre.
Ukrainian Ultras, specially imported for the purpose
Cypriot-registered sardine trawler owned by a company with at least two former Mossad men amongst it's board members brought the rent-a-mob into the port of Marseille last night, they are probably already on their way back to the Black Sea.
We have been expecting a false flag terrorist attack at Euro 2016, but we were expecting it to take the more usual form of an 'Islamic' terrorist group shooting at people or blowing something up. This is a new play but it is all too clear from who's playbook it came.
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Related Posts:The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT, VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, technicians, or the Veterans Today Network and its assigns. LEGAL NOTICE - COMMENT POLICYPosted by Ian Greenhalgh on June 11, 2016, With 2718 Reads Filed under World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
Brexit
EXCLUSIVE: BT.com BREXIT poll shows 80% for Leave'....then abruptly disappears | The Slog.
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 15:53
Yesterday '' roughly 24 hours ago now '' BT.com published research conducted among over 20,000 of its site users during May and June to date. It showed a whopping 80% of BT.com users (probably biased young and techie) definitely proposing to vote Leave in the 23rd June UK Referendum on EU membership. At some point earlier today, the internet removed all evidence of the research study: it is now an Unevent. The Slog investigates.
Google 'BT.com new Brexit poll shows 80% Leave lead' now and '' depending on where you're based around the world '' it will show either nothing (UK servers) or this link (Eurozone):
If you can still see this link, follow it and this will appear if you're in an EU State beyond the UK:
This is State censorship in obvious collusion with ISPs '' and the fact that the two muzzles are of slightly different sizes suggests that two different censorship venues have been involved in a coordinated effort to hide the truth from voters in the UK, and wannabe Leavers elsewhere in the EU.
From the start of the Brexit referendum, The Slog has insisted that fear of freedom contagion motivates both the Brussels Sprouts and NATO (aka Washington) above any other consideration. Further evidence presented below suggests that the Remain vote may be close to an historic collapse. For those needing Dark Arts to have their will prevail, the BT.com study '' whatever qualms one might have about self-administered online research '' effectively made ballot manipulation to secure a Remain victory politically impossible. And so, it has been made to disappear '' to Unexist '' in classic 1984/Stalinist Soviet repression style.
Two days ago, I posted to show how desperate the Prime Minister's position is'...and why we should not be surprised at anything he tries from now on. How quickly he has fulfilled that prediction: but he can't control everything 24/7. And this morning, BT.com has pushed another fire ship in the direction of his flotilla:
This piece might well suggest that the BT.com site has had its arm unpleasantly twisted'...and is exacting some revenge by using a 3rd party source to make life a nightmare for David Censoron.
These are the two key findings of the new Electoral Reform Society (ERS) study published today:
While 15% of people said they were more likely to support Remain on the back of what they had heard from the Prime Minister, almost twice as many (29%) had been swung towards Brexit '' including 33% of Conservative supporters.50% more people swung towards Leave than swung to Remain as a result of President Obama's intervention last month. His 'support' for Remain was conceived, pushed and promoted as 'vital' by David Cameron himself.In short, the Conservative leader is now an electoral liability; and he has been shown very clearly to be a flawed strategist. He may covet the power of being Big Brotheron, but he is rapidly turning into Vote Leave's secret weapon.
This will not go unnoticed among the Tory Big Beasts.
On a broader canvas, the lessons to be learned from the way the Remaindeers under Mr Cameron have behaved holds salutory lessons for all those still convinced that normal citizen-based interaction with the Black Knights of Camerlot will bear fruit.
When it comes to corporate, multinational, banking and big Party donor interests, the PM has demonstrated that his legs door is ever-open to unseemly propositions involving munnneeee.
But 'negotiation' about more help for those with no money '' thanks to the State (as represented by Camerlot) cheating its more worthy citizens '' is blatantly obviously a waste of our time.
It isn't a waste of Camerlot's time, because they have no time for any justice-based appeal from We the People: Cameron, Osborne and Crabb have shown themselves to be far too busy on other matters more important than destitute citizens.
But '' to take a specific example '' it is a total and utter waste of time for 1950s Waspi women to expect civilised responses to the ever-so-naice, genteel and brainless collaboration practised by their Executive.
It seems to me now that part of the snowballing Leave vote is rank and file Waspi women voting to leave the EU as, if nothing else, a tactical way of dumping Dave and his Dodgerons.
I appeal once again to all those 1950s-born women cheated out of their promised latter age relief to vote Leave, and bombard Nos 10, 11 and Cabinet Office websites with their intention so to do.As for any other Undecideds, my advice remains the same: forget the fiscal, economic and trade 'reasons' to stay or go'....they're all pure speculation. Ask yourselves these questions:
would you like to be treated like the Greeks were after refusing to threaten the Leave option?would you like your vote to be ignored in the same way as Irish voters were ignored?would you like your TTIP doubts to be ignored in the same way that France tried to reject Lisbon?do you want to be aligned with bureaucratic Superstate & globalist corporatism and its long-established record of illegal and unnconstitutional actions?are you happy to be on the same side as an illegally formed and unelected eurogroupe run by Wolfgang Sch¤uble and his Dutch beanpole lackey Dijesslebleom'...neither of whom have so much as a weekend course in fiscal economics to their infamous names '' but both of whom have driven the ClubMed region into disaster thanks to bigoted austerity politics?perhaps above all, are you happy to be on the same side as an EU trading democratic citizen rights and taxpayers' money in a cynical courting of Islamic fascist Recep Erdogan'....that is to say, do you want to be recorded by history as being no better than those backing Neville Chamberlain in his spineless appeasement of Hitler?It is still highly likely that geopolitical dirty-tricks will work in concert to ignore your voice; but if nothing else, we should all '' as I posted three days ago '' strive to ensure that massive rejection of Superstate slavery makes the work of such slimeballs that bit more difficult.
Yesterday at The Slog: censoring the reality of EU meltdown
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Related
Cameron could stage ANOTHER referendum to UNDO Brexit victory | UK | News | Daily Express
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 21:31
GETTY
The Lord claimed close victory could be enough to go against the vote and trigger another referendumLord Lisvane claimed that a low turnout and a close victory could be enough to go against the vote and trigger another referendum.
The crossbench peer argued a close call in the vote could be seen as ''not sufficiently decisive'' '' snatching possible victory away from the campaign to leave the bloc with a second vote and a renegotiation of the terms of a Brexit.
Lord Lisvane said: ''If the result on June 23 was, say, 51 to 49 in favour of Leave on a turnout of 55 per cent then that would move quite a lot of goal posts''
GETTY
Initially Boris Johnson argued a vote to leave was a vote for a second referendumRelated articles''The Prime Minister could say that such a result is not sufficiently decisive and so we will negotiate heads of agreements on withdrawal, and then have a second referendum to decide whether to trigger the exit process on that basis."
Initially Leave campaign figurehead Boris Johnson argued a vote to leave was a vote for a second referendum on a better deal from the eurocrats.
But the former Mayor of London has since backtracked, making clear ''out is out''.
GETTY
David Cameron has dismissed the idea as ''for the birds''Meanwhile David Cameron has dismissed the idea as ''for the birds''.
It comes after Samantha Cameron's father claimed meddling MPs could overturn the vote and stop Britainleaving the EU
Tory peer Lord Astor, who is Samantha Cameron's stepfather, forecast there would not be a House of Commons majority to revoke the European Communities Act 1972 supporting the UK's membership.
GETTY
The Leave campaign has gained momentum throughout the run up to the referendum''An exit from the EU is actually not deliverable'', he said, adding: ''The referendum is merely advisory '' it has no legal standing to force an exit. Parliament is still sovereign.''
Insisting either an Act or ''paving Bill'' would be vital to start Leave negotiations, he said: ''the Government, whether still led by David Cameron or not, would probably not win''.
He added the Labour Party, the SNP and Lib Dems in the Commons could claim the referendum vote did not include a majority to leave in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Related articles
Elections 2016
Psychiatrists Can't Tell Us What They Think About Trump | FiveThirtyEight
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 15:05
Barry Goldwater speaking at an election rally in New York City in 1964.
In a speech last week, Hillary Clinton took her befuddlement with Donald Trump and dropped it squarely at the feet of America's mental health professionals. ''I'll leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his affection for tyrants,'' she said, in response to comments Trump had made marveling at the political effectiveness of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
She's not the first person to suggest the Republican presidential candidate could use a session on the couch. Back in November, Vanity Fair got five psychiatrists and psychologists to weigh in on Trump's mental health. But while Clinton is free to imply anything she wants about her opponent's sanity, the experts in sanity (or lack thereof) are supposed to keep mum. Both psychiatrists and psychologists operate under ethical rules that prevent them from offering professional diagnostic opinions about the mental health of public figures they have not personally examined. The American Psychiatric Association's version of this is known as the Goldwater Rule '-- named for another polarizing Republican presidential candidate.
More Science & Health
The rule has its roots in the September/October 1964 issue of a magazine called Fact, which was entirely devoted to parsing the results of a survey the editors had sent to more than 12,000 psychiatrists. The survey only had one question: ''Do you believe Barry Goldwater is psychologically fit to serve as president of the United States?''
Most of the psychiatrists '-- 9,939 of them, to be exact '-- didn't respond. Of those who did, 571 said they didn't know enough about Goldwater to answer, and another 657 declared him fit as a fiddle. But 1,189 psychiatrists said ''no,'' and many of them added colorful commentary that the magazine reprinted under a headline (''FACT: 1,189 Psychiatrists Say Goldwater is Psychologically Unfit to Be President!'') that conveniently left out the fact that they didn't represent a majority opinion. The Republican presidential candidate was called ''paranoid'' and ''a dangerous lunatic.'' One respondent suggested that Goldwater had ''a stronger identification to his mother than to his father'' '-- fighting words in 1964 America, apparently.
In the aftermath, Goldwater sued Fact (andwon), Fact went defunct, and the American Psychiatric Association tried to make sure that none of this would ever happen again. The result was Section 7.3 of the APA's Principles of Medical Ethics:
On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.
Or, as Ezra Griffith, professor emeritus of psychiatry at Yale and a member of the APA's Ethics Committee, put it: ''If you're going to talk to the press and spread stuff on your opinions, it's important to at least say very clearly, 'I have not examined this individual and therefore much of what I'm saying is sort of mystical black magic.' ''
The Goldwater Rule is the reason psychiatrists who comment in celebrity gossip magazines always first clarify that they have not treated Joaquin Phoenix, Lisa Marie Presley, Britney Spears, etc. It's also why The Atlantic's June cover story '-- a long personality analysis of Donald Trump written by Northwestern University psychologist Dan McAdams '-- was very careful to stay far away from the realm of medical diagnosis.
The idea of psychoanalyzing public figures '-- especially public figures you don't like '-- can be appealing, McAdams told me. We feel like we have lots of information about them and who they are. In fact, he has received angry letters from readers upset that he didn't diagnose Trump with a personality disorder. But mental health is still health, he said, and labeling Trump from afar would be no different than diagnosing President Obama with leukemia, sight unseen.
What's more, McAdams said, the basis of diagnosing a mental health disorder is that the person feels disordered. Human behavior and personality exist on a spectrum and the thing that makes the difference between, say, somebody who is a bit scatterbrained and somebody with ADHD is that the latter is debilitated by the symptoms they experience and has trouble functioning in society. And it's hard to make a case for that being true of somebody successfully running for president of the United States. ''Whether you like him or not, he seems to function,'' McAdam said.
As evidenced by the Vanity Fair, story, however, not all mental health professionals believe it's that clear cut. What's more, disagreement over the Goldwater Rule isn't as simple as ''here's what psychiatrists believe and here are a few bad apples who break the rules.'' Last week, the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (JAAPL) published a paper questioning the foundations of the Goldwater Rule and arguing that the rule stifles psychiatrists' ability to speak their conscience. And that perspective is nothing new. The Goldwater Rule has been controversial within the field of psychiatry since it was enacted in 1973, said Brian Cooke, a forensic and clinical psychiatrist at the University of Florida who wrote a 2014 paper, also published in JAAPL, arguing in favor of the rule.
The controversy centers around two things. First, said Jerome Kroll, professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota and an author of the 2016 paper, it's disingenuous to ask psychiatrists to tiptoe around the diagnosing of public figures while still commenting on diagnoses '-- talking about narcissism, but not about whether Donald Trump is a narcissist, for instance. Especially when psychiatrists are allowed to diagnose dead people '-- a specialty called psychohistory '-- using data that's not much different from what someone might use to diagnose the living Trump.
Second, Kroll and his co-author, independent clinical psychiatrist Claire Pouncey, object to the way the rule stifles a psychiatrist's ability to speak his or her mind. Certainly, Pouncey told me, psychiatrists shouldn't run around shooting their mouths off about things they haven't deeply studied. But it's impossible, she said, to distinguish between the psychiatrist as a professional and the psychiatrist as a person '-- and that person might feel a very real ethical obligation to talk about their perspective on the mental health of a public figure angling for a position of power over the whole country. ''We don't dispute the spirit of the law,'' she said. ''But it's not a real distinction and it shouldn't be upheld by a professional body.''
All the more so because, as far as anyone I interviewed can tell, it's never been enforced. What's the point of having a law on the books that has no teeth?
So, does that mean Pouncey would take a stab at diagnosing Donald Trump? She declined the opportunity, saying instead that Trump behaves so extremely that he makes her uncomfortable as a person.
Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump: 'Delete Your Account' - NYTimes.com
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 22:52
Look, we don't want to write about every presidential campaign tweet that teeters on the brink of the absurd like a fun-house mirror revealing the political Frankentheater that the entire electorate has collaborated to create, whether actively or by submission.
We'd never get anything else done. But O.K., fine, this one could use some explanation.
Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, was responding to a tweet from Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee:
Mrs. Clinton's missive quickly became one of the most widely shared tweets of the 2016 campaign and was precisely the kind of tweet that political junkies, and anyone else checking Twitter for a midday distraction, thirsts for in the middle of the afternoon when they'd prefer to think about something other than work.
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But it's worth noting, to the unfamiliar, that ''Delete your account'' was not a sudden turn of phrase by a coldblooded social media manager, let alone the candidate herself. The three-word phrase has a long history as a dismissive rejoinder, especially on Twitter.
It translates roughly as ''Your tweet or opinion is so bad that you should be immediately disqualified from further participation on the platform.''
Mr. Trump then responded, and other political figures quickly jumped on board.
Mrs. Clinton has not always been totally hip, jiggy and on fleek with the cool kids. She was widelypanned for a tweet in August that struck some watchers as a tad too pandering.
There. Now you understand politics again.
Hillary Clinton Used Leadership PAC as ''Slush Fund'' in 2008-09
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 20:34
The Bernie Sanders campaign in April accused Hillary Clinton of ''looting'' her joint fundraising committee to fund her presidential campaign, effectively circumventing rules that cap donations at $5,400 per person.
Clinton's joint committee, called the Hillary Victory Fund, can raise $358,500 per person because it's supposed to share money with the Democratic National Committee and state parties.
The Sanders campaign pointed to news reports that the fund has been covering expenses for the Clinton campaign instead of spending on down-ballot races.
The Clinton campaign called the charges irresponsible.
But if the Sanders campaign is right, it wouldn't be the first time something like this happened.
Previously unreported details from campaign filings dating to Clinton's first presidential bid show that, between 2008 and 2009, a similarly-intentioned ''leadership PAC'' called Hill PAC directly enriched her own campaign and campaign staffers considerably more than it did those of other candidates.
Hill PAC dates back to 2001, but was dormant while Clinton ran for president. She relaunched Hill PAC after suspending her campaign in June 2008 and tossing her support to Barack Obama.
In an October 2008 article headlined ''Democrats Have Reason to Celebrate: Hill PAC is Back,'' the Washington Post cast it as a big win for down-ballot races.
''We're throwing everything we've got into making sure [Obama] stands before the nation as a president with the political strength to break the gridlock, get things done, and start progress going in America again,'' Clinton wrote to supporters in October. ''And with a filibuster-proof Senate, we'll be able to bring the change this country so desperately needs.''
A Hill PAC email sent the day before the election read: ''I hope you will take action by joining us in this final push,'' just above a button to contribute.
But only 11 percent of the relaunched Hill PAC's spending ultimately went to candidates, filings show. Between June 2008, when Clinton dropped out of the presidential race, and the PAC's termination the next summer, Hill PAC raised about $3.9 million but contributed just $421,500 to candidates.
Most top leadership PACs dedicate close to half of what they raise to other candidates in competitive races, according to OpenSecrets.org. In the years after its founding in 2001, Hill PAC spent a larger proportion of its expenditures on contributions to other candidates '-- but still considerably less than the average leadership PAC. It spent 27 percent on others in 2002, 17 percent in 2004 and 16 percent in 2006, according to FEC filings.
The relaunched Hill PAC spent twice what it gave in contributions to other campaigns on salaries to its own staffers, almost all of whom had worked for Clinton's campaign or her Senate office. For instance, Clinton campaign treasurer Shelly Moskwa was paid about $11,000 more by Hill PAC in 2009 than the treasurer of Hill PAC itself, Allison Wright. Hill PAC also paid nearly $400,000 in consulting fees to firms founded or closely associated with campaign staffers. The campaign and Hill PAC even shared an Arlington office.
Neither Wright, now executive director at the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, nor former Hill PAC director Capricia Marshall, now ambassador in residence at the Atlantic Council, replied to several emails and calls for comment.
But Clinton press aide Nick Merrill told The Intercept that looking at direct donations alone ''is not an accurate reflection of the efforts and the efficacy of the PAC.''
''The 11 percent number is misleading,'' he wrote in an email. ''HillPAC determined that one of the fastest and most productive ways of using the list to benefit candidates was to email supporters '-- in many instances urging them to make contributions directly to candidates.''
For instance, Merrill said Hill PAC facilitated $750,000 in direct grassroots donations in the months before November 2008 '-- twice as much as the PAC gave directly to candidates. Such donations would not have run through PAC coffers, however, and are therefore not verifiable via FEC records.
The Intercept examined over a dozen emails sent by Hill PAC from July to November 2008, each soliciting contributions through hyperlinks that took donors to the PAC's website. A cached version of the PAC's site shows both ''candidates'' pages that link to ActBlue, a clearinghouse for small donations to Democratic candidates, and a ''contribute'' page that appears to solicit contributions to the PAC.
Merrill also credited Hill PAC with ''recruiting thousands of volunteers in a HillPAC grassroots field organizing program called 'Hillary Sent Me''' who went ''door-to-door campaigning across the country in seven targeted states,'' and for paying Clinton's travel costs ''as she traveled cross country in support of the Obama ticket, including 70 events for that ticket alone.''
Merrill said she ''campaigned and fundraised for over 80 other candidates in nearly 30 states, including 16 Senate and 60 House candidates, and, in the process, raising millions of dollars for Democrats.'' Clinton headlined events where ''over $10 million dollars was raised for the Obama-Biden ticket,'' he said.
But the event schedule he cited to support that figure pointed to fundraisers hosted by the White House Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee unaffiliated with Hill PAC. And at one of the events cited by Merrill, Obama asked donors to contribute to Clinton's campaign on pledge cards located under their seats, according to a CNN report. ''Senator Clinton still has some debt,'' Obama told the audience.
What FEC records show is that Hill PAC's single largest payment went to Clinton's campaign, which was about $25 million in debt, including $13 million Clinton lent it herself, when Clinton dropped out in June. While Hill PAC couldn't legally donate more than $5,000 to Clinton's campaign account, it was allowed to pay for goods or services from the campaign.
Hill PAC paid $822,492 to the Clinton campaign to rent its list of supporters and their contact information. That alone was nearly twice the amount Hill PAC contributed to down-ballot candidates.
The campaign told the Wall Street Journal in 2009 that Hill PAC paid to use the list for the November election. But filings show Hill PAC didn't actually pay for the list until January 19, 2009.
Two days after Hill PAC's payment to her cash-strapped campaign, Clinton was confirmed as secretary of state in the Obama administration.
Hill PAC did not contribute to any candidates after that, and dissolved in July.
''The evidence does suggest Hill PAC was used primarily as a slush fund to subsidize Clinton's presidential campaign, using money raised outside of the limits that apply to the campaign itself, rather than as a fund to support other candidates,'' said Brendan Fischer, a campaign finance expert at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan group that supports campaign finance reform.
Fischer said that, in regards to the list payment, ''if there was a functioning FEC,'' it ''could have followed up and asked for the contract between the Clinton campaign and Hill PAC or any of these other groups to determine whether the delayed payments were pursuant to an agreement. But of course we don't have a functioning FEC.'' (The Federal Election is in a near-perpetual 3-3 deadlock, with Republican commissioners refusing to enforce the laws.)
Merrill insisted that Hill PAC ''was always operated with the highest of ethical standards, and implications to the contrary from those with partisan motives is wholly without merit.''
He said the list rental price, at approximately $600 per 1,000 names, represented the ''fair market value'' for a multiple-use rental. He said ''pricing validation from commercial vendors was used, along with the most recent past presidential campaign at the time, which was Kerry '04.''
Around the same time, the Clinton Foundation, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the DNC Federal Fund, the Presidential Inaugural Committee and the American Democracy Institute paid $274,297, which Merrill said was the rate for a one-time rental. Other groups paid less.
Click on images for larger images.
Source: FEC.gov
The only client that paid the Clinton campaign more for its list of supporters was Friends of Hillary, Clinton's Senate campaign committee. That transaction, for over $2.5 million, was listed as a ''sale of assets'' and ''purchase of assets'' on FEC reports filed by the campaign and Hill PAC, respectively, rather than a list rental.
But records show the campaign accepted payments for its list for years after the sale to Friends of Hillary '-- earning it millions more. Obama's reelection campaign, for instance, paid $62,782 to use the Clinton list. The campaign earned $25,000 in ''list rental income'' as recently as January 2013 '-- four years after the sale.
Merrill said the campaign had different lists and that the one it sold Friends of Hillary included ''its direct mail list and other names.'' He wrote: ''By selling other portions of its lists to [Friends of Hillary], that allowed [Hillary Clinton for President] to continue to rent its email list.'' The Wall Street Journalstory, however, indicated they were the same list.
Hill PAC spent about $1.2 million on salaries in 2008 and 2009. A majority of Hill PAC staffers had also been campaign staffers. Longtime aides Huma Abedin, Philippe Reines, Bryan Pagliano and Peter Daou all received Hill PAC paychecks after Clinton's exit from the presidential race. The Linkedin pages of some staffers indicate that they worked for Hill PAC and the campaign at the same time.
Hill PAC also paid over $350,000 in consulting fees to firms with close associations to campaign staffers. For example, $13,000 went to Eiring Consulting, founded by Clinton fundraiser Nancy Eiring; and $16,700 went to Hudson Media Partners, which served as an offshoot of the consulting firm where, according to the New York Times, campaign communications director Howard Wolfson worked. Mayfield Strategy Group, founded by Josh Ross, a senior digital adviser to the campaign, earned $219,356 in consulting fees.
Fischer, the campaign finance expert, said this kind of commingling isn't uncommon. ''Unfortunately this isn't an entirely unique way of using a leadership PAC,'' he said.
As a leadership PAC, Hill PAC could accept donations of up to $5,000 per year '-- over and above anything donors had already given directly to the Clinton campaign '' on the assumption that the money would be spread around to down-ballot campaigns.
Similarly, in this election cycle, the Hillary Victory Fund calls on donors to ''support Hillary Clinton and Democrats up and down the ticket.''
But because the Supreme Court eliminated overall donation limits in the 2014 McCutcheon v. FEC decision, the $5,000 limit in 2008 now looks like petty cash. The Hillary Victory Fund, by promising to spread the money to the DNC and state party committees, can accept almost $400,000 per person per election.
In the post-2008 period, Hill PAC received several letters from the FEC asking it to clarify certain expenses apparently made in error. The PAC contributed to some candidates after their races had already been won or lost. For instance, Hill PAC contributed to Tracey Brooks, a candidate for the House representing New York and a former Clinton regional director, nearly two months after she lost her primary race.
Hill PAC was also asked repeatedly by the FEC to clarify whether photography, printing, catering and consulting expenses were to the benefit of a candidate and might constitute an in-kind contribution.
Hill PAC formally terminated in July 2009, but starting in January some PAC staffers transitioned to a nonprofit organization called NoLimits.org, according to press reports at the time. NoLimits.org operated out of the same Arlington office that had housed Hill PAC and earlier served as campaign headquarters.
As a 501(c)(3), NoLimits.org could not legally engage in any political activity, instead functioning as a nonpartisan organization that posted blog posts about a range of policy issues. Its mission was ''inspired by Secretary Clinton's leadership,'' according to a cached version of its website, and links to the site passed through HillaryClinton.com, Politico reported. The group received its revenue from undisclosed individuals and corporations, according to another Politico report.
NoLimits.org was run by Ann Lewis, a senior adviser to the 2008 campaign and a longtime ally of the Clintons, and Sarah Nolan, former New Hampshire political director, both of whom had received Hill PAC paychecks.
And in 2009, it paid the campaign '-- which remained $6 million underwater then '-- $455,000 to rent its email list.
Malfunctioning voting touchscreens Bernie Sanders Hillary Clinton June 2016 - YouTube
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 20:42
Bill Clinton's lover Dolly Kyle tells how Hillary got her to LIE on 60 Minutes about Bill's affairs | Daily Mail Online
Sat, 11 Jun 2016 13:30
Dolly Kyle met Bill Clinton on a golf course in Hot Springs, Arkansas in the summer of 1959 when she was 11 years old and he was 12.
A thunderbolt struck, so powerful and intense, it was love at first sight that lasted 32 years - through all his Arkansas gubernatorial years and right up until 'Billy' - as she calls him - was on the threshold of the White House.
Dolly dated Bill all the way through Hot Springs High School together and they were close when he went off to law school at Yale.
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Dolly Kyle (pictured in 1998) met Bill Clinton on a golf course in Hot Springs, Arkansas in the summer of 1959
Dolly (left as a teen) was just 11 years old when she crossed paths with Bill Clinton (right his senior year of high school). The pair dated through high school and began sleeping with him once they graduated
After heading to college at Yale, Bill told Dolly he had moved in with Hillary Rodham, who he later went on to marry. Bill and Hillary are pictured above during Hillary's student days at Wellesley College
In 1974, he told her of this woman he had moved in with at Yale. It was simply a decent place to live, a roof over his and she would never be an issue between them, he intimated.
The now 60-something Dolly didn't realize at the time that Hillary's role was financial provider, a role that started at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
'Hillary's role of providing financial security for Billy was part of her motivation for the series of financial crimes (yes, crimes) that she committed over the decades'.
'Hillary was upholding her part of the deal to get Billy elected president, after which it would be her turn to be the first woman in the Oval Office', lawyer and author Dolly Kyle writes in her bombshell book Hillary, The Other Woman, published by WND Books.
'Billy and Hillary Clinton continue to be lying, cheating, manipulative, scratching, clawing, ruthlessly aggressive, insatiably ambitious politicians who are giving public service a bad name '' and nothing about them has changed in the past forty-plus years, except that they have deluded more and more people'.
'The Clintons and their misled supporters have rewritten history to suit their political agenda, which is to get votes to get power to get money to get more power to get more money'.
'The Clintons' vicious cycle of intertwining greed and power addictions will have no limit, unless someone stands up and announces, "The emperor has no clothes!"
'Here am I', writes Dolly.
'Ideology, integrity, and love of country were never involved in the "Billary" quest for the White House.
'It was always a codependent, co-conspiratorial grab for money and power and more money and more power'.
'Unfortunately for them and for the United States of America, there is never enough to satisfy addicts'.
'Ideology, integrity, and love of country were never involved in the "Billary" quest for the White House.' says Bill's ex lover
Dolly Kyle writes about her relationship with Bill Clinton and meeting his wife in her bombshell book, Hillary, The Other Woman. She says Clinton first confessed his desire to be president to Dolly back in high school
Dolly dated Bill all the way through Hot Springs High School together and they were close when he went off to law school at Yale
Dolly watched Bill Clinton grow up in Arkansas. She witnessed Hillary bringing her carpetbag to Arkansas.
'I know what really happened'. She heard it firsthand.
The 'Man from Hope', only lived in Hope, Arkansas, until the age of seven when he moved to Hot Springs.
The segregated climate in the South festered an attitude towards blacks and allowed Clinton to use the phrase 'G**damn n****r,' which Dolly heard him frequently say.
Clinton first confessed his desire to be president to Dolly back in high school and began chasing it when he was an Arkansas delegate to Boys Nation in the summer of 1963 that took him to the White House and a photo-op with President John F Kennedy in the Rose Garden.
Hillary jumped into that dream by defining herself as financial provider, so Billy told Dolly.
Her support allowed him to pursue 'his addictions to politics, power and sex'.
Bill's mother had supported the family financially while his stepfather drank. Now it was Hillary supporting him and he introduced Dolly to the woman from Yale on the evening of May 28, 1974 at the airport in Little Rock.
It was election night and Senator William Fulbright was running for re-election. He had been Clinton's champion, gave him his first Senate job while Bill attended Georgetown University; introduced him to powerful people in Washington; supported him for the Rhodes Scholarship he won; a teaching job at Arkansas Law School and his endorsement as well as intros to financial backers for Bill's first congressional campaign that he eventually lost.
Bill's plane landed and he was first to de-board followed by 'a dowdy-looking woman who appeared to be middle-aged'.
Bill greeted his lover Dolly formally with an extended hand while she checked out this mystery woman accompanying him.
Dolly writes in her book that Hillary, pictured above in 1969, was 'wearing a misshapen, brown, dress-like thing that must have been intended to hide her lumpy body' when they met
Bill introduced Dolly to Hillary (pictured in her college years) on the evening of May 28, 1974 at the airport in Little Rock. She said Hillary's support allowed him to pursue 'his addictions to politics, power and sex'.
'I couldn't imagine why Billy would haul such a person in the plane with him in public. She was wearing a misshapen, brown, dress-like thing that must have been intended to hide her lumpy body. The garment was long, but stopped too soon to hide her fat ankles and her thick calves covered with black hair'.
'Thick brown sandals did nothing to conceal her wide feet and the hair on her toes'. Dolly was embarrassed that she was staring.
Hillary's eyes, glared at her from behind coke-bottle-thick lenses' with an air of real hostility.
Her thick eyebrows melded together stretching across her forehead.
'In that moment, I noticed that the woman emitted an overpowering odor of perspiration and greasy hair. I hoped that I wouldn't gag when she got in the car'.
I was stunned thinking it was some kind of a sick joke - a woman in a hideous disguise.
Finally the introduction: 'Dolly, this is Hillary. Hillary, Dolly.'
'I was stunned,' Dolly recalled, thinking it was 'some kind of a sick joke' - a woman in a hideous disguise.
Dolly extended her hand but Hillary only glared and nodded.
The plan had been to go the Fulbright's campaign headquarters, but when the votes came in he was losing.
Hillary signaled to Bill and the plan was changed. He would head back to the airport.
'I don't want to be seen with a loser,' Bill told Dolly.
This was his mentor on the most critical night of his 30-year career. It brought tears to Dolly's eyes that he would not pay his respects to the man responsible for his career.
At that time, Hillary was working in Washington, DC and 'trying to become a political force under her own steam'.
'It was a futile attempt,' Dolly writes.
Bill began chasing his dream to become president when he was an Arkansas delegate to Boys Nation in the summer of 1963. The 1963 trip took him to the White House and a photo-op with President John F Kennedy in the Rose Garden
Hillary (pictured in 1974 working for the Rodino Committee bringing impeachment charges against President Richard Nixon) was working in Washington, DC and 'trying to become a political force under her own steam', but Dolly claims it was a 'futile attempt'
Her job with the Watergate investigation ended.
'I do believe that Hillary showed the same lack of integrity there that would later get her into more serious trouble'.
Dolly suggested her boss had little respect for Hillary as a young lawyer and 'he doubted that she had any potential to bring honor to the profession'.
A lawyer and graduate of Yale, Hillary wanted a career in Washington. She flunked the DC bar exam and moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where Bill was teaching law at the University of Arkansas.
But she had her spies there months before to uncover Bill's lovers but being 'furriners' from Chicago, they weren't getting any help on ratting out Bill.
Dolly started sleeping with Bill after high school and admits 'Billy was a sex addict; I was a codependent'.
'Then I read about sex addiction. I realized that Billy and I shared a similar problem,' she writes.
He confessed his sex addiction to Dolly in 1987 and was undone by Wilt Chamberlain's claim to have slept with 20,000 women.
'That's ten times more than I've had!' he told Dolly.
He notoriously never used a condom and Dolly guessed Hillary wasn't concerned because she wasn't sleeping with him because of her 'lifestyle'.
It didn't matter that Bill married Hillary in October 1975, Dolly writes.
Dolly and Bill continued their love affair and were safe in Arkansas because no one liked Hillary, she says.
Chomping at the bit for her own term as governor or president, she still had private investigators tracking Bill and the 'women he was dating or attacking'.
Bill called her 'the Warden', but 'she had to keep his nose clean in the public mind because she was riding his coattails to political power'.
Bill Clinton was elected president of the United States in 1992. He is pictured above with Hillary at the 1993 Inaugural Ball
'Hillary needs the power' and she is ruthless, Dolly writes.
Hillary's well-chronicled foul mouth and anger towards the White House security detail existed in the governor's mansion as well.
She resented that she had to dress like Southern women, Dolly says. She visited dress shops but generally didn't buy anything.
In March 1979, Bill told Dolly he wanted a child but had a low sperm count.
'We need to have a baby so we can appear to be a normal couple. We need to do something serious to take attention off the Warden's lifestyle'.
He did not use the word lesbian. He was asking Dolly to pray that a baby would be forthcoming. Dolly suggested he had to bite the bullet and sleep with Hillary.
Hillary is not a leader. She is a coattail-clutcher who has a litany of jobs with no accomplishments'
Within a year, Chelsea Victoria Clinton was born and Bill fell head over heels with the little baby.
But Hillary felt trapped being at home with a baby and couldn't wait to get back to work.
'How long do I have to stay at home with this kid?' Dolly recalls her asking her friend, Louise.
She stayed home with baby Chelsea for three months before returning to work. .
Fast forward to Bill as governor and Hillary, the first female partner of the Rose Law Firm, their relationship was not at its best, Dolly writes. She says there were hissy fits, and Clinton threw dishes at Bill in the Kitchen and broke a kitchen cabinet door '' all signs of her anger.
Bill lost the governorship after one year and Hillary was furious, knowing that she was no longer the state's First Lady and had to move out of the governor's mansion and into a tiny house, Dolly writes.
And she was furious, too, that Bill wanted to stay home with the baby. He confessed to Dolly but it was the baby that kept the couple together.
'Hillary was busy studying the exit polls and wondering if it might be time to find another coattail to clutch on her way to the White House,' Dolly recalls.
Political guru Dick Morris, who had worked on their 1978 gubernatorial race, then came on scene.
Hillary, who just clinched the nomination for the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, is pictured above campaigning with Bill in April
Bill had passed on being chair of the National Democratic Party and opted for a job with a local law firm.
It was Morris who devised the winning plan to get back into the Governor's mansion. Bill had to apologize for his arrogance among other sins during his first term and Hillary Rodham had to change her name to Hillary Clinton.
The plan worked and they moved back in the manse in 1983.
Still, 'Hillary is not a leader. She is a coattail-clutcher who has a litany of jobs with no accomplishments', Dolly claims.
Dolly writes that Hillary failed as co-president and failed as senator 'unless you are impressed with the bills she introduced to name a couple of post offices'.
She also, Dolly claims, failed as secretary of state and as a defender of women over the past 40 years. Hillary instigated threats on women who had sex with her husband, a serial sex abuser.
Bill's 12-year affair with Gennifer Flowers exploded on the news in early 1992.
The Clintons' reaction was for Dolly, a lover of Bill's for years, deny that he had any liaison with Gennifer but admit that he did have a lengthy close relationship with her that began when they were in high school.
They wanted the big lie to be told on the television show, 60 Minutes, with Hillary, Bill and Dolly sitting in a room facing the camera.
The Clintons believed that the confession would make Gennifer's story disappear and now the media would focus on Dolly, who was loved in Arkansas.
But Hillary didn't care about her husband's affections for Dolly. She did care if Gennifer Flowers' confession derailed Bill's run for President that year.
Dolly, a stickler for the truth, however, refused to go along with the big deceit and she was told, 'Bill and Hillary will have to destroy you'.
Dolly claims that Hillary did try to destroy here.
'There appears to be no limit to what Hillary will do to destroy her perceived enemies.' she writes.
'In her speeches and on her website, without giving any evidence of what she has done, Hillary states that she has been fighting for women for over forty years.
'She is confused again. She has been attacking women for over forty years'.
The Other Woman: A Political Memoir by Dolly Kyle is available on Amazon
Trump's 'Pocahontas' attack leaves fellow Republicans squirming (again) - The Washington Post
Sat, 11 Jun 2016 14:52
It was a bad time for Sen. Cory Gardner to be caught in an elevator with a reporter. Donald Trump had just referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as ''Pocahontas'' '-- again '-- and the Republican freshman from Colorado was struggling to figure out how to respond.
''I think people need to be treated with respect, and that's what we've demanded from everyone,'' he offered.
But was it racist?
Gardner clammed up. He politely referred further questions to his press secretary.
So it went for Republicans on Capitol Hill on Friday, forced to contend with yet another provocative comment by their presumptive presidential nominee '-- clambering for safety as Trump launched another boundary-pushing attack.
Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump took aim at Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at a rally in Richmond, Va., on June 10. He called Warren "Pocahontas," a jab at her claim that she is of Native American descent. (AP)
''Get used to it,'' said Republican pollster Whit Ayres, a Trump critic. ''This is your life for the next five months.''
The furor over Trump's assaults on the impartiality of a Latino judge had just begun to subside when he lobbed two tweets Friday morning responding to Warren, who had lambasted him as a ''thin-skinned, racist bully'' in a speech the previous evening.
''Pocahontas is at it again!'' Trump wrote in one. ''Goofy Elizabeth Warren, one of the least productive U.S. Senators, has a nasty mouth.''
''No, seriously '-- Delete your account,'' Warren tweeted back. One of the senator's supporters secured Pocahontas.com and redirected it to Warren's campaign site.
[Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden lead coordinated Democratic attack on Donald Trump]
The real estate developer has repeatedly invoked the ­17th-century Native American figure to refer to Warren, an allusion to controversy about her heritage. The senator has said she grew up amid family stories about her Cherokee lineage, but that account has not been proved.
Trump began going after Warren's claimed ancestry earlier this year, responding to the senator's repeated slams of him as a ''loser'' and a bully. ''Who's that, the Indian?'' he said at a March news conference when asked about Warren. ''You mean the Indian?''
His swipes at her have intensified as the senator has emerged as one of his fiercest adversaries. On Thursday, she endorsed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and the two women met privately on Friday.
The latest gibes come amid a weeks-long uproar over Trump's repeated criticism of U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel as biased and unfair because of his Mexican heritage. The claim drew a storm of denunciation, including a strong rebuke from House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who called it ''the textbook definition of a racist comment.''
By comparison, the response to the Pocahontas remarks have been mixed and in many cases muted '-- a sign of how jittery GOP leaders are still trying to find their comfort level with his rhetoric.
''Oh, I think it's done in good humor,'' said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the organization charged with electing Republican senators in 2016.
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), normally a ferocious Trump foe, was similarly unfazed.
''It's pretty funny, I thought,'' Graham said. ''I think what he said about the judge was racist. When you're talking about a politician, you got to be able to take a joke. .'‰.'‰. If this bothers you, you need to get out of politics.''
But others were alarmed.
''He needs to quit using language like that,'' said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a member of the Chickasaw tribe and one of two Native Americans in the House. ''It's pejorative , and you know, there's plenty of things that he can disagree with Elizabeth Warren over, this is not something that should, in my opinion, ever enter the conversation. .'‰.'‰. It's neither appropriate personally toward her, and frankly, it offends a much larger group of people. So, I wish he would avoid that.''
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is up for reelection in a state with one of the highest proportions of Native Americans in the country, also chastised Trump.
''I just don't engage in personal insults '-- that is a personal insult,'' he said.
[As he moves campaign to battlegrounds, which Donald Trump will show up?]
The ''Pocahontas'' line spurred chatter at former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's ideas summit Friday in Park City, Utah, where some attendees said they were aghast at Trump's many race-based lines of attack.
Stuart Stevens '-- the chief strategist on Romney's 2012 presidential bid, who, like Romney, has vowed not to vote for Trump '-- said the candidate's use of ''Pocahontas'' to attack Warren was both racist and inappropriate.
''If you said this in a sixth-grade class, the teacher would tell you, 'Don't say this,' '' Stevens said.
''This is a sick guy, and Americans are not longing for a president who's going to go out and use ethnic slurs against people,'' he said. ''It's amusing in the same way telling dirty jokes around a frat house can get laughs, but most people grow out of that. It's childish.''
Romney told CNN on Friday that he was worried Trump's language could lead to ''trickle-down racism'' in the country.
When asked why he persists in calling Warren ''Pocahontas'' and what he makes of the alarm it has caused among some Republicans, Trump responded bluntly in a statement Friday: ''Because she is a nasty person, a terrible U.S. Senator, and it drives her crazy.''
''The Republicans should find it offensive that she scammed the system by faking her heritage, not that I am unafraid to point that out,'' he continued in the statement, which was provided by his spokeswoman, Hope Hicks. ''Actually, Goofy Elizabeth, her nickname, is far worse.''
Hours later, Trump reiterated the swipe. ''I'm doing such a disservice to Pocahontas, it's not fair,'' he said sarcastically during a rally in Richmond.
Pocahontas is the nickname of the daughter of a Powhatan chief who was kidnapped by the English about 1613. She converted to Christianity and married an Englishman, a union that is credited with bringing a lull to hostilities between the settlers and American Indian tribes. Her story inspired the popular 1995 Disney animated film of the same name, furthering perceptions of Pocahontas as a princess, although historians say much of what has been written about her is a romanticized legend at odds with the hardships she endured.
Stephanie Fryberg, an associate professor of psychology and American Indian studies at the University of Washington, said her studies have found that exposing Native American children to images of Pocahontas lowered their sense of collective self-worth.
''Mr. Trump's comments reinforce broad stereotypes of Native Americans as Indian chiefs, mascots and princesses, rather than contemporary people who are contributing to society,'' she said, adding: ''He's not using the term in any way to be honorific. He using it to mock her.''
Trump has repeatedly rejected the notion that he is playing to racial fears in his campaign. ''I am the least racist person that you've ever encountered,'' he told The Washington Post on Thursday.
Trump has been accused of peddling Native American stereotypes in the past. In 1993, he created an uproar at a House subcommittee hearing by testifying that ''organized crime is rampant'' in Indian casinos around the nation. At the time, the developer was fighting the expansion of gambling on tribal lands, a direct threat to his casino empire.
Ditching a seven-page statement he planned to deliver as too ''politically correct,'' Trump claimed that he could keep mobsters out of casinos but that Native Americans would not be able to.
''That an Indian chief is going to tell Joe Killer to please get off his reservation is almost unbelievable to me,'' he said, prompting objections from lawmakers and indignant scoffs from the audience.
Trump also questioned the legitimacy of the Mashantucket Pequots, who operate the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.
''They don't look like Indians to me,'' he said. ''And they don't look like Indians to Indians.''
In 2000, he secretly financed newspaper ads in Upstate New York warning that a casino sought by the St. Regis Mohawk nation would attract criminals and drug users.
This spring, Trump has repeatedly tweeted about Warren's ''phony Native American heritage.'' He tried out the Pocahontas line in a May interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who had asked about his feud with Warren. ''You mean Pocahontas?'' he replied.
[Donald Trump just called Elizabeth Warren 'the Indian.' Here's what that's all about.]
He has continued to refer to her as ''Pocahontas'' on the campaign trail since then. A Cree reporter in North Dakota chastised him for use of the name, declaring, ''That's very offensive!''
On Friday, Trump's latest barrage left many Republican leaders squirming.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) ignored a question about his use of the name, delivering instead a long explanation about why she had to turn her attention back to a discussion about trade issues.
''I'm not going to enter into the daily visitation'' of Trump's comments, said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who warned earlier this week that the real estate mogul has a dwindling amount of time left to elevate the tenor of his campaign.
For his part, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said he was withholding judgment. ''I haven't seen it,'' he said of Trump's tweet. ''Until I see something, I'm very careful.''
Paul Kane in Washington, Philip Rucker in Park City, Utah, and Laura Vozzella in Richmond contributed to this report.
Elizabeth Warren Native American / Cherokee Controversy Elizabeth Warren Wiki
Sat, 11 Jun 2016 19:09
One of the greatest controversies surrounding Elizabeth Warren is her claim to be Native American, specifically Cherokee and/or Delaware.
The issue of whether Warren falsely claimed to be Native American was raised during her campaign for United States Senate in 2012, and is an important part of her public political persona because of evidence that the claim was unfounded.
Warren initially denies knowing why Harvard touted her as Native AmericanThe controversy was sparked in late April 2012, when the Boston Herald revealed[1] that in the late 1990s Harvard Law School had promoted Warren as a Native American faculty member, based on a report in The Harvard Crimson in 1996[2]:
''Although the conventional wisdom among students and faculty is that the Law School faculty includes no minority women, Chmura said Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren is Native American.''
The Harvard Crimson reported similar information in 1998[3]:
Harvard Law School currently has only one tenured minority woman, Gottlieb Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren, who is Native American.
Prior to the Herald report, the public was unaware that Warren claimed to be Cherokee. In none of the public interviews[4] or testimony she gave prior to that point had Warren revealed that she was Native American.
In the introductory campaign video explaining ''Who I Am,''[5]Warren did not mention being Native American.
When confronted by reporters, Warren claimed not to know why Harvard[6] was promoting her as Native American, and said that she only learned of it by reading the newspaper reports.[7]
Bloggers and Reporters uncover Warren's history of claiming to be Native American for employment purposesSoon after the Boston Herald report, information was uncovered[8] by George Mason University Law School Professor David Bernstein[9] that starting in the mid-1980s, when she was at U. Penn. Law School, Warren had put herself on the ''Minority Law Teacher'' list in the faculty directory of the Association of American Law Schools but dropped from that list when she gain tenure at Harvard in 1995.
Warren had not previously revealed these law directory entries. The AALS directory was used as a recruiting tool[10] by law schools in that time period in order to identify, among other things, minority law professors.
According to Professor David Bernstein[11]:
''In the old days before the Internet, you'd pull out the AALS directory and look up people. There are schools that if they were looking for a minority faculty member, would go to that list and might say, 'I didn't know Elizabeth Warren was a minority,''‰'' said George Mason University Law professor David Bernstein, a former chairman of the American Association of Law Schools.
Warren aides clammed up yesterday and refused to answer questions about why she stopped listing herself in the AALS directory after 1995. Around that time, Harvard Law School started boasting that Warren was their first minority female professor.
''That appendix strikes me as obviously allowing people to announce themselves as being members of minority groups in case people are looking for such members for whatever reason,'' Bernstein said.
When confronted with this information, Warren admitted[12] she had filled out forms listing herself as Native American, claiming she wanted to meet other Native Americans:[13]
Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, fending off questions about whether she used her Native American heritage to advance her career, said today she enrolled herself as a minority in law school directories for nearly a decade because she hoped to meet other people with tribal roots.
''I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am. Nothing like that ever happened, that was clearly not the use for it and so I stopped checking it off,'' said Warren'....
''Being Native American has been part of my story I guess since the day I was born,'' said Warren, who never mentioned her Native American heritage on the campaign trail even as she detailed much of her personal history to voters in speeches, statements and a video. ''These are my family stories, I have lived in a family that has talked about Native American and talked about tribes since I was a little girl.''[14]
FBI criminal investigation emails: Clinton approved CIA drone assassinations with her cellphone, report says - Salon.com
Sat, 11 Jun 2016 23:36
The FBI has been conducting a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information for months.
An explosive new report reveals just what it is that the FBI is looking to: emails in which then-Secretary of State Clinton approved CIA drone assassinations in Pakistan with her cellphone.
From 2011 on, the State Department had a secret arrangement with the CIA, giving it a degree of say over whether or not a drone killing would take place.
The U.S. drone program has killed hundreds of civilians in Pakistan and other countries.
Under Sec. Clinton, State Department officials approved almost every single proposed CIA drone assassination. They only objected to one or two attacks.
The emails that are at the heart of the FBI's criminal investigation are 2011 and 2012 messages between U.S. diplomats in Pakistan and their State Department superiors in D.C., in which the officials approved drone strikes.
Clinton's aides forwarded some of these emails to her personal email account, on a private server in her home in suburban New York.
These are the revelations of a report by The Wall Street Journal, based on information provided by anonymous congressional and law-enforcement officials who were briefed on the FBI's probe.
The State Department revealed in January that 22 of the emails that were on Clinton's private server at her home contained top-secret information. These messages were not publicly released, and an investigation was eventually launched.
The White House acknowledged in a press briefing on Thursday that the FBI probe into Clinton's handling of classified information is a ''criminal investigation.'' President Obama endorsed Clinton for president on the same day.
Hundreds of civilians in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and more have been killed by U.S. drones.
Pakistan is the site of more U.S. drone strikes than any other country. The Obama administration has carried out more than 370 drone attacks in Pakistan, killing as many as 1,000 civilians, including up to 200 children, according to data collected by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
The exact number of civilians killed is unknown, because the U.S. is very secretive about its program, and because it essentially redefines militant to mean any man of military age in a targeted area.
In 2011, some Pakistani officials pushed back against the U.S. drone assassination program, leading the U.S. State Department to ask the CIA to be more ''judicious'' about the timing of drone attacks. Clinton's State Department did not oppose the CIA's specific choice of targets, just their timing.
This led to a compromise in which the CIA gave the State Department some voice in the drone assassination process. Beginning in 2011, CIA officers began notifying diplomats in the U.S. embassy in Islamabad of planned attacks. The diplomats then conveyed the information to senior State Department officials.
This agreement gave then-Secretary of State Clinton and her aides personal say in U.S. drone killings.
The Wall Street Journal report provides more insight into the State Department's coordination with the CIA on the secretive drone program.
State Department officials were given notice before a planned attack, sometimes with a narrow timeframe of as few as 30 minutes. Officials told the FBI that they used a less-secure system of communication when they had to make a decision quickly before a drone killing and were not at the office.
Roughly half a dozen times, State Department officials sent emails on their smartphones in order to approve a drone assassination when they were away from secure communications systems.
The U.S. is very secretive about its covert CIA drone campaign. Strict U.S. classification rules bar officials from discussing drone killings publicly and outside of secure communications systems.
Given this secrecy, law-enforcement and intelligence officials told the Journal that State Department discussion of the covert CIA drone program should have been conducted via a more secure communications system.
The criminal investigation into Clinton's emails has often been a right-wing talking point, but the scandal has much wider implications.
Reflecting on the Journal's report, award-winning journalist Jeremy Scahill, one of the world's leading experts on the secretive CIA drone program, commented, ''So many liberals poo poo the Hillary email scandal for totally partisan reasons. If it was a Republican, they would be going bananas.''
''People claiming emails on Hillary's private server were not classified do not understand how classification works,'' Scahill added. ''It's an HRC talking point.''
''It's acceptable to mishandle classified info on your bathroom server and share classified info with your mistress, just don't blow any whistles,'' he quipped, referencing the fact that the Obama administration has waged an unprecedentedly harsh crackdown on whistleblowers.
The FBI is expected to interview Clinton this summer about the scandal. Law-enforcement officials told the Journal they don't think criminal charges will be filed against her after the investigation.
Clinton herself has repeatedly confidently insisted that she is not going to be charged.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner refused to speak about the emails or the investigation.
SCIENCE!
Conservative political beliefs not linked to psychotic traits, as study claimed - Retraction Watch at Retraction Watch
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 15:15
Researchers have fixed a number of papers after mistakenly reporting that people who hold conservative political beliefs are more likely to exhibit traits associated with psychoticism, such as authoritarianism and tough-mindedness.
As one of the notices specifies, now it appears that liberal political beliefs are linked with psychoticism. That paper also swapped ideologies when reporting on people higher in neuroticism and social desirability (falsely claiming that you have socially desirable qualities); the original paper said those traits are linked with liberal beliefs, but they are more common among people with conservative values.
We're not clear how much the corrections should inform our thinking about politics and personality traits, however, because it's not clear from the paper how strongly those two are linked. The authors claim that the strength of the links are not important, as they do not affect the main conclusions of the papers '-- although some personality traits appear to correlate with political beliefs, one doesn't cause the other, nor vice versa.
In total, three papers have been corrected by authors, and a correction has been submitted on one more.
We'll start with an erratum that explains the backstory of the error in detail. It appears on ''Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies,'' published by the American Journal of Political Science:
The interpretation of the coding of the political attitude items in the descriptive and preliminary analyses portion of the manuscript was exactly reversed. Thus, where we indicated that higher scores in Table 1 (page 40) reflect a more conservative response, they actually reflect a more liberal response. Specifically, in the original manuscript, the descriptive analyses report that those higher in Eysenck's psychoticism are more conservative, but they are actually more liberal; and where the original manuscript reports those higher in neuroticism and social desirability are more liberal, they are, in fact, more conservative.
The erratum (which is long, so we won't quote in full) explains:
The potential for an error in our article initially was pointed out by Steven G. Ludeke and Stig H. R. Rasmussen in their manuscript, ''(Mis)understanding the relationship between personality and sociopolitical attitudes.'' We found the source of the error only after an investigation going back to the original copies of the data. The data for the current paper and an earlier paper (Verhulst, Hatemi and Martin (2010) ''The nature of the relationship between personality traits and political attitudes.''Personality and Individual Differences 49:306''316) were collected through two independent studies by Lindon Eaves in the U.S. and Nichols Martin in Australia. Data collection began in the 1980's and finished in the 1990's. The questionnaires were designed in collaboration with one of the goals being to be compare and combine the data for specific analyses. The data were combined into a single data set in the 2000's to achieve this goal. Data are extracted on a project-by-project basis, and we found that during the extraction for the personality and attitudes project, the specific codebook used for the project was developed in error.
In the paper, the authors are clear that ''psychoticism'' doesn't mean ''psychotic.'' Rather:
Having a high Psychoticism score is not a diagnosis of being clinically psychotic or psychopathic. Rather, P is positively correlated with tough-mindedness, risk-taking, sensation-seeking, impulsivity, and authoritarianism'...As such, we expect higher P scores to be related to more conservative political attitudes, particularly for militarism and social conservatism.
That 2012 paper has been cited 45 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.
Pete Hatemi, a political scientist at Penn State University and co-author on three of the papers, explained why the swapped political beliefs and personality traits do not affect the conclusions:
We only cared about the magnitude of the relationship and the source of it '... None of our papers actually give a damn about whether it's plus or minus.
When we asked Hatemi to elaborate on what that magnitude was '-- how much more likely were people who held conservative or liberal views to exhibit certain traits? '-- he said:
[T]he correlations are spurious, so the direction or even magnitude is not suitable to elaborate on at all- that's the point of all our papers and the general findings.
Not all correlations were spurious to the authors, who reported on some in Table 1 of the paper. And the direction of the relationship seemed important enough that other researchers noticed it and prompted the authors to issue a correction. To help us make sense of the analysis, we turned to Andrew Gelman, a statistician at Columbia not involved with the work, to explain the AJPS paper to us. He said:
I don't find this paper at all convincing, indeed I'm surprised it was accepted for publication by a leading political science journal. The causal analysis doesn't make any sense to me, and some of the things they do are just bizarre, like declaring that correlations are ''large enough for further consideration'' if they are more than 0.2 for both sexes. Where does that come from? The whole thing is a mess.
He added:
It's hard for me to care about reported effect sizes here'...If the underlying analysis doesn't make sense, who cares about the reported effect sizes?
We asked Steven Ludeke, who currently works at Colgate University University of Southern Denmark, how he first noticed the errors in the papers. He told us he found them while a student at the University of Minnesota:
At the time I was writing my preliminary written exam to qualify to be a PhD candidate, in which I had a section on ''socially desirable responding'' and sociopolitical attitudes. Because I'd recently read many other papers on the topic, once I came across the papers we're discussing it is was immediately obvious to me that they'd reported their results wrong.
Brad Verhulst, a researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University and a co-author on all four papers, said that it's unclear whether the error originated from the authors, or the group that conducted the surveys:
I don't know where it happened, all I know is it happened. It's our fault for not figuring it out before.
Once they pinned down the errors, Hatemi and Verhulst contacted all four journals to issue corrections; three have appeared so far.
The next paper that has been corrected is ''Political Attitudes Develop Independently of Personality Traits'' in PLOS ONE, which was flagged with a correction last summer:
There is an error in the third sentence of the fourth paragraph in ''The Nature of Personality Traits and Political Attitudes'' section of the Introduction. The correct sentence is: For the FFM and Eysenck's personality traits, correlations between Openness and social attitudes, Neuroticism and economic attitudes, Conscientiousness and social attitudes, the P-Scale and military/defense attitudes, and Social Desirability and social attitudes are the most consistently found.There is an error in the eighth sentence of the first paragraph in the Measures section of the Materials and Methods. The correct sentence is: Attitude factors were coded so that higher values reflect more liberal attitude positions.
That 2015 paper has been cited twice, once by the correction.
A correction also appeared last summer in Personality and Individual Differences for ''The nature of the relationship between personality traits and political attitudes,'' which has been cited 34 times since it was published in 2010. It explains the same error that the AJPS correction does, so we won't quote from it here.
A correction is forthcoming for ''Using genetic information to test causal relationships in cross-sectional data,'' cited six times since it appeared in 2012, which describes the mathematical model behind the others. (Hatemi is not a co-author on that paper). The editor of the Journal of Theoretical Politics told us:
We have been in touch with Brad and are planning as of now to publish the correction in the July 2016 issue.
Even if the errors don't affect the conclusions of the paper, they matter, Ludeke told us:
The erroneous results represented some of the larger correlations between personality and politics ever reported; they were reported and interpreted, repeatedly, in the wrong direction; and then cited at rates that are (for this field) extremely high. And the relationship between personality and politics is, as we note in the paper, quite a ''hot'' topic, with a large number of new papers appearing every year. So although the errors do not matter for the result that the authors (rightly) see as their most important, I obviously think the errors themselves matter quite a lot, especially for what it says about the scientific process both pre- and post-review.
Update, June 9th 10:30 am:
Ludeke informed us that his paper pointing out the errors is slated for the August issue of Personality and Individual Differences, and is now available online. It is titled, ''Personality correlates of sociopolitical attitudes in the Big Five and Eysenckian models.''
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DePaul's Black Faculty Members Present List Of Demands To College Following Milo Visit - Breitbart
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 20:04
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The Black Leadership Coalition, which represents black students and faculty members at DePaul, is apparently not satisfied with the university president's grovelling attempts to placate them, and is now engaging in the age-old progressive tactic of a diversity shakedown '-- give us what we want, or we'll call you racist.
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Because the college allowed Yiannopoulos to speak on campus, the Coalition is now calling for:
A new position of V.P. for ''Diversity and Inclusion''Administrative positions (''Diversity Advocates'') at each DePaul collegeA new ''African-American Center'' for black students and faculty membersA defined role for ''affinity groups representing diverse communities'' whenever the university ''makes a major decision,'' including the hiring of Provosts and Deans.Modification of enrolment strategies and admissions criteria to increase the number of students of African descent.A new representative structure that acts as a ''conduit'' between DePaul's black community and the university president.Dismantling of the President's Diversity Council, the current body tasked with managing diversity at DePaul.Bi-annual town hall meetings between the DePaul Black Leadership Coalition and the Board of Trustees''The community of African descent at DePaul is deeply offended and disappointed with the manner in which President Holtschneider has handled the controversy both preceding and subsequent to the Yiannopoulos campus visit'' reads the statement. ''DPUBLC strongly believes that the Yiannopoulos event is merely the tip of the iceberg and symptomatic of larger racial tensions at DePaul.''
The statement goes on to express frustration at the lack of support for students suffering from ''microaggressions'' and ''racial profiling'' at the school, before also complaining about chalk signs on the campus that said ''Build the wall'' and ''Blue Lives Matter'', a popular slogan used to defend police officers killed in duty.
''It was in this charged atmosphere that the DePaul College Republicans decided to host the ''Dangerous Fa**ot: Feminism is Cancer'' tour, featuring Milo Yiannopoulos, ''a popular media figure who routinely uses his platform to engage in violent, sexist, transphobic, and racist rhetoric'''' claims the statement, calling Yiannopoulos ''violent'' despite his calm and peaceful reaction to the event which was interrupted by two Black Lives Matter activists who stole the moderator's microphone before threatening to assault Yiannopoulos.
The Black Leadership Coalition then goes on to blame college president Holtschneider, citing his failure to refuse Yiannopoulos entry to the college.
President Holtschneider's failure to effectively interpret likely events exposed faculty, staff, and students of African descent, as well as members of other marginalized groups, to threats of physical harm, animus, and hostility. Perhaps most troubling and potentially damaging, in the aftermath, the administration has engineered a clever reframing of events that ignores its culpability, disregards the longstanding racial tensions on campus, and places blame on the African American protesters. Although framed as a free speech issue, the event was in fact a safety issue. There is no right to free speech that justifiably places members of the DePaul community at risk.
We, the members of the DePaul University Black Leadership Coalition (DPUBLC), believe that Father Dennis H. Holtschneider is disconnected and out of touch with issues facing DePaul's community of African descent, and we are not confident in his ability to effectively resolve problems affecting it.
Instead of standing up for Yiannopoulos' right to freedom of speech and the First Amendment in general, Holtschneider grovelled to the far-left protesters shortly after the event, claiming ''There is no precept of free speech known to the law, to morality, or to common sense, that required marginalized communities of students to sit quietly as supplicants while the campus that their tuition, grant and loan dollars fund was deployed as a sounding board for their own belittlement based on their race, gender, and sexual orientation''.
Holtschneider also claimed that students ''were still shaking from the frightening effects of the hate speech they experienced'' in his statement that attempted to win back protesting students to no avail.
The Black Leadership Coalition finished their statement with a list of eight demands, which include more specialised diversity staff and an ''African American Center for students, faculty, and staff of African descent'' before doubting the leadership of President Holtschneider.
In Brock Turner's home town, we're raising kids who are never told 'no' - The Washington Post
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 20:21
A judge sentenced Brock Turner to 6 months in jail for sexually assaulting a woman on campus. The light sentence drew harsh criticism. His victim, who has chosen to not be named, spoke directly to him in a court statement. Here's what she said. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)
An alternate version of the Brock Turner sexual assault story has been spinning in my imagination since last January, when I first heard of his arrest.
In my version, he recognizes that what happened on Stanford's campus behind that dumpster last year was rape. He comes to understand that intoxication is not consent. He takes responsibility for his violent ''action'' that irreparably harmed another human being, instead of blaming it on alcohol. Rather than spending a year and a half honing his story, making excuses and lawyering up, he pleads guilty. He looks his victim squarely in the eyes and says: ''I'm sorry. I had no business putting my hands on or in you after you were no longer able to give consent. I should have helped you to safety instead of running and lying about why I did. I will do everything I can to spare you any further pain. I will spend the rest of my life educating young people about consent and sexual violence.''
Then he serves his punishment, perhaps even a sentence mitigated by his understanding of the crime, his taking responsibility, even his character references '-- because he gets it. He bears the weight of his guilt and in doing so eases the burden of his victim.
But that's not what happened. And because I live in the community that spawned Brock Turner, I have known on some level for many months that my version would never be reality.
Oakwood, Ohio, is about as idyllic a Midwestern town as one could imagine. The streets are tree-lined, the houses charming. The kids walk to school and go home for lunch. The schools are nationally recognized. In fact, the local nickname for Oakwood is ''the Dome,'' so sheltered are its residents from violence, poverty and inconvenient truths. I have lived here for more than 20 years.
Communities like this one have a dark side, though: the conflation of achievement with being ''a good kid''; the pressure to succeed; the parents who shrug when the party in their basement gets out of control (or worse yet, when they host it) because ''kids are gonna drink''; the tacit understanding that rules don't necessarily apply. The cops won't come. The ax won't fall.
Yet now it has.
Invariably, when I tell someone who knows the Dayton area that I live in Oakwood, they assume that I am rich, narrow-minded, a Republican or some combination thereof. If most residents were just the stereotype, though, I would not have been happy here as long as I have. For the most part, I have loved raising my kids here. But I have struggled, too. My closest friends and I have a long-standing joke about needing to remember to ''lower the bar'' around here '-- about not falling prey to the pressures to conform and compete, not buying the line that the schools or the kids here are special. Most of us understand our privilege and good fortune. Many do not.
[Making it harder to punish campus rapists won't help stop campus rape]
There is an Oakwood in every city; there's a Brock Turner in every Oakwood: the ''nice,'' clean-cut, ''happy-go-lucky,'' hyper-achieving kid who's never been told no. There's nothing he can't have, do or be, because he is special. Fortunately, most kids like this will march into their predictably bright futures without victimizing anyone along the way. Many will do good in the world.
But it's not hard to draw a straight line from this little burb (or a hundred like it) to that dumpster at Stanford. What does being told no mean to that kid? If the world is his for the taking, isn't an unconscious woman's body? When he gets caught, why wouldn't his first impulse be to run, to make excuses '-- to blame the Fireball or the girl or the campus drinking culture? That is entitlement. That is unchecked privilege.
[Five ways to raise kind kids]
When the news of Turner's arrest broke a year and a half ago, it was met in this community with a fair amount of shock and denial. Before the details emerged, the whispered sentiments at Starbucks and in the aisles of the local grocery were compassion for his parents and hopes for a fair trial. In light of his conviction and sentencing, though, I find that I'm hiding from social media and avoiding conversations on this subject, lest I have to listen to someone defend him. I don't want to hear anyone start in about the nice family or the good kid. My kids went to high school with him. I ran the community-center swim team he was on. No, I don't ''know'' Turner like his friends or neighbors do. But I do know what he did, and so do we all, based on the unanimous verdict of a jury and testimony from two witnesses.
We now also know exactly what his victim suffered, and we know that he doesn't own any of it. Neither do his apologists. Letters of support '-- his father's and at least one of his friends' '-- made the rounds online, and they were shockingly tone-deaf. His father blamed alcohol and promiscuity. His friend said, ''Rape on campus isn't always because people are rapists.'' That either of these letters cut ice with the judge is just further proof of how broken the system is.
[How sorority culture contributes to the campus rape problem]
I thought the outrage over this story would start before now, but it took the victim's statement going viral to bring it the attention it deserved. At every turn, I've thought of how things could have gone differently. I've wondered if all of this was the attorney's doing '-- whether Turner and his family were manipulated into denial because their lawyer told them there was no alternative. But his father's letter and his own lame ''apology'' make it seem clear that they truly believe that bad timing and alcohol '-- not Turner himself '-- were to blame.
Ultimately, there is no happy ending to a story like this one, not in the version I imagined months ago or in the one that actually came to pass. I take some solace in the fact that the victim's brave, eloquent statement has brought more attention to rape culture than any single indictment or verdict could.
It's cold comfort, to be sure.
The woman who was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner on Stanford University's campus released a statement June 7, explaining why she is choosing to remain anonymous. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)
Read more from PostEverything:
We should generally believe rape claims
Schools aren't teaching enough about sexism
Dress codes can't stop sexual assault
LGBBTQQIAAP
Oregon court allows person to change sex from 'female' to 'non-binary' | OregonLive.com
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 14:31
An Oregon judge ruled Friday that a transgender person can legally change their sex to "non-binary" rather than male or female in what legal experts believe is a first in the United States.
Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Amy Holmes Hehn legally changed 52-year-old Jamie Shupe's sex from "female" to non-binary.
Nancy Haque, a co-executive director for Basic Rights Oregon, called the ruling a "momentous day for genderqueer Oregonians."
"It's really exciting for the courts to actually recognize what we know to be true: gender is a spectrum," Haque said. "Some people don't identify as male or female."
Shupe, an Army veteran who retired in 2000 a sergeant first class, began transitioning in 2013 while living in Pittsburg. Shupe knew then that neither male nor female fit. Shupe chose "Jamie" as a new first name primarily because it is a gender-neutral name. Shupe prefers to be called "Jamie," rather than by a pronoun.
"I was assigned male at birth due to biology," Shupe said. "I'm stuck with that for life. My gender identity is definitely feminine. My gender identity has never been male, but I feel like I have to own up to my male biology. Being non-binary allows me to do that. I'm a mixture of both. I consider myself as a third sex."
But female or male were the only legal options Shupe saw then. Shupe chose female, but female never felt right. In April, Shupe and lawyer Lake Perriguey filed a petition with the Oregon court to legally change Shupe's sex.
Oregon law allows a court to change a person's legal sex if a judge determines the person has undergone surgical, hormonal or other treatment related to a gender transition. The law does not require a note from a doctor.
Shupe brought letters from Oregon Health & Science University, as well as the Veterans Affairs hospital, anyway.
"The sexual reassignment has been completed," Hehn wrote in the ruling. "No person has shown cause why the requested General Judgment should not be granted."
Officials at the national Transgender Law Center said they are unaware of any similar court victories in the United States. A high court in France last year allowed a resident to register as gender neutral. Attorneys at New York's Sylvia River Law Project told The Daily Dot that some cities and states have IDs that allow residents not to declare a gender.
"A growing number of countries already recognize nonbinary genders, but as far as we know this is the first ruling of its kind in the U.S.," Legal Director Ilona Turner said in a written statement. "Other states and agencies should consider following suit to ensure that nonbinary members of our community have access to identity documents that reflect who they are, just like everyone else."
But, Haque said, there is still work to be done. Basic Rights Oregon is working with "public and private systems" across the state to offer people designations beyond male or female. Oregonians cannot list "non-binary" on a driver's license or state-issued identification card, for instance. Others have been denied medical services, Haque said, because their gender identities don't conform to existing norms.
"It's a huge barrier to being able to live your life, to having a driver license, to employment, to having records about your life, transcripts, all of those things," Haque said. "In all the ways our lives are gendered in ways they frankly don't have to be, it can be a barrier for people whose identities aren't easily put in a box."
Haque said her organization increasingly hears from non-binary people. Last month, the Gresham-Barlow School District agreed to build gender-neutral bathrooms and pay an elementary school teacher $60,000 after the non-binary teacher complained of more than a year of harassment from coworkers after asking to be called "they" rather than "he" or "she."
Shupe said Friday's win was "liberating."
"I'm not under pressure anymore to conform to either thing," Shupe said.
-- Casey Parks
503-221-8271
cparks@oregonian.com; @caseyparks
Agenda 2030
Paris floods were 'directly' tied to Global warming, study finds
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 02:45
A boy fishes in the Seine river during floods, in Paris, Sunday, June 5, 2016.
The water is still receding along the Seine and Loire Rivers in France, with cleanup beginning in parts of Bavaria, but scientists are already out with a study showing that global warming made the floods at the end of May and early June far more likely compared to a climate that had not warmed due to greenhouse gas emissions.
The analysis, which is known as an extreme event "attribution study," found that the probability of three-day precipitation extremes in April through June increased by at least 40% in France overall due to climate change, with about an 80% increase in likelihood along the Seine River Basin and close to a 90% increase in the Loire River Basin.
Last week, the River Seine burst its banks in Paris as water levels hit their highest levels in more than 30 years. The Louvre Museum was closed as a precaution, and valuable artwork moved from flood-prone parts of the building. Deadly flash-flooding also hit parts of Germany, the study noted.
Global warming is well known to contribute to increases in extreme precipitation events due to the added moisture available to fuel storms. For every 1 degree Celsius increase in global average surface temperatures, the water-holding capacity of the atmosphere increases by about 7%, which is a relationship known as the Clausius-Clapeyron equation.
''We know that global warming leads to more downpours in general,'' said Robert Vautard, a senior scientist with France's Laboratory for Climate and Environment Sciences, in a press release.
''But with this attribution analysis, we found we could tie global warming directly to the recent rainstorms in France that triggered so much flooding and destruction.''
The flooding resulted from a slow-moving low pressure system that retrograded, or moved against the typical airflow, from Germany, westward into France, from May 27 to June 5.
Vautard conducted the analysis with a team from the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace in France, the University of Oxford, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and the U.S. nonprofit group Climate Central.
The scientists looked at changes in three-day rainfall extremes from April to June over the Seine and Loire River basins, and then used computer models to simulate the likelihood of the extreme rainfall amounts seen in this event in a world that is warming due to the burning of fossil fuels compared to a world without such warming.
View of the Seine river on June 6 in Paris after its banks became flooded following heavy rainfall.
Image: Xavier Francolon/SIPA
''Using an ensemble of different climate models and different methods we got very consistent numbers for the impact of climate change on the rainfall in France, giving us confidence in the results,'' said Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, a researcher with KNMI who led the analysis, in a statement.
In Paris, the Seine peaked at 6.1 meters, or 20 feet, above its normal height on June 3, the study states, which was a 34-year high. Many parts of France saw three months of precipitation in just a few days.
Illustrating the limitations to research on extreme events and global warming, the team did not find clear results from its investigation of flooding in Germany, which was mainly caused by thunderstorms that dumped large amounts of rain in a short time period over mountainous terrain.
Such flash flooding was different than what occurred in France, where multiple days of heavy rainfall led rivers to burst their banks.
Therefore, in Germany, the researchers examined different parameters '-- specifically trends in one-day maximum precipitation over the hardest-hit area from January to June.
''The same overall weather pattern '-- a stalled system of low pressure '-- triggered the heavy rains in both France and Germany, but affected each country very differently,'' said Karsten Haustein from Oxford University, in a statement.
Map of mean rainfall (in mm) for the 3-day period from May 29 '' 31, 2016 over France. Map on right shows 1-day maximum precipitation total (in mm) up to June 5, 2016 over Germany.
The larger goal of the team, which is part of the World Weather Attribution project, is to inform the public about how climate change may be tipping the odds in favor of more extreme weather events and provide crucial context for conversations that often take place in the immediate wake of extreme events.
This work is not without controversy in the scientific community, since these results are not peer reviewed. Also, some climate scientists place a greater emphasis on short-term weather variability in causing weather extremes as compared to long-term changes in the planet's climate.
Maarten van Aalst, the director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, told Mashable in an interview that the study, though not yet peer-reviewed, is based on a rigorous process.
"A critical aspect is that our assessment uses several different methods, and our findings are based on the results of all of these together," van Aalst said.
"The methods apply state-of-the art models and analytical techniques that in regular scientific work would normally indeed take weeks or months '-- we've just organized ourselves to do the analysis much more quickly, and then rigorously assess the results," he said.
"While we found a strong climate influence in the Paris floods, we were also very honest that in Germany, our analysis was inconclusive. In a study in Brazil last year, we found no evidence that climate change had influenced the drought," van Aalst said.
Flooding results from a combination of heavy rains plus the built environment, including structures that can worsen such floods. The researchers sought to get around this complicating factor by focusing on changes in extreme rainfall amounts, which is how global warming may tip the scale in favor of more flooding events.
A scientific paper on the results will be submitted to a scientific journal, according to the research team.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
Performance attribution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 02:45
Performance Attribution or Investment Performance Attribution is a set of techniques that performance analysts use to explain why a portfolio's performance differed from the benchmark. This difference between the portfolio return and the benchmark return is known as the active return. The active return is the component of a portfolio's performance that arises from the fact that the portfolio is actively managed.
Different kinds of performance attribution provide different ways of explaining the active return.
Attribution analysis attempts to distinguish which of the two factors of portfolio performance, superior stock selection or superior market timing, is the source of the portfolio's overall performance. Specifically, this method compares the total return of the manager's actual investment holdings with the return for a predetermined benchmark portfolio and decomposes the difference into a selection effect and an allocation effect.
Contents
Consider a portfolio whose benchmark consists of 30% cash and 70% equities. The following table provides a consistent set of weights and returns for this example.
SectorPortfolio WeightBenchmark WeightPortfolio ReturnBenchmark ReturnAsset AllocationStock SelectionInteractionTotal ActiveEquities90%70%5.00%3.00%0.12%1.40%0.40%1.92%Cash10%30%1.00%1.00%0.28%0.00%0.00%0.28%Total100%100%4.60%2.40%0.40%1.40%0.40%2.20%The portfolio performance was 4.60%, compared with a benchmark return of 2.40%. Thus the portfolio outperformed the benchmark by 220 basis points. The task of performance attribution is to explain the decisions that the portfolio manager took to generate this 220 basis points of value added.
Under the most common paradigm for performance attribution, there are two different kinds of decisions that the portfolio manager can make in an attempt to produce added value:
Asset Allocation: the manager might choose to allocate 90% of the assets into equities (leaving only 10% for cash), on the belief that equities will produce a higher return than cash.Stock Selection: Especially within the equities sector, the manager may try to hold securities that will give a higher return than the overall equity benchmark. In the example, the securities selected by the equities manager produced an overall return of 5%, when the benchmark return for equities was only 3%.The attribution analysis dissects the value added into three components:
Asset allocation is the value added by under-weighting cash [(10% - 30%) times (1% benchmark return for cash - 2.4% total benchmark return)], and over-weighting equities [(90%-70%) times (3% benchmark return for equities - 2.4% total benchmark return)]. The total value added by asset allocation was 0.40%.Stock selection is the value added by decisions within each sector of the portfolio. In this case, the superior stock selection in the equity sector added 1.40% to the portfolio's return [(5% - 3%) times 70%].Interaction captures the value added that is not attributable solely to the asset allocation and stock selection decisions. It is positive when outperformance is overweighted and when underperformance is underweighted. In this particular case, there was 0.40% of value added from the combination that the portfolio was overweight equities, and the equities sector also outperformed its benchmark [(90% - 70%) times (5% portfolio return for equities - 3% benchmark return for equities)].The three attribution terms (asset allocation, stock selection, and interaction) sum exactly to the active return without the need for any "fudge factors".
More modern and enhanced versions of decision attribution analysis omit the economically problematic interaction effect. As opposed to determining the contribution of uncontrollable market factors to active return, the type of analysis described here is meant to evaluate the effect of each (type of) controllable decision on the active return, and 'interaction' is not a clearly defined controllable decision.
Decision attribution also needs to address the combined effect of multiple periods over which weights vary and returns compound.
In addition, more structured investment processes normally need to be addressed in order for the analysis to be relevant to actual fund construction.
Such sophisticated investment processes might include ones that nest sectors within asset classes and/or industries within sectors, requiring the evaluation of the effects of deciding the relative weights of these nested components within the border classes.
They might also include analysis of the effects of country and/or currency decisions in the context of the varying risk-free rates of different currencies or the decisions to set fund or bucket values for continuous properties like capitalization or duration.
In addition, advanced systems allow for the decision process within asset classes, such as, following an asset allocation, when capitalization decisions are only made for the equity assets but duration decisions are only made for the fixed income assets.
The most robust attribution models precisely address all of these aspects of decision attribution without residuals.
Furthermore, modern portfolio theory requires that all return analysis be conjoined with risk analysis, else good performance results can mask their relationship to greatly increased risk. Thus, a viable performance attribution system must always be interpreted in parallel to a precisely commensurate risk attribution analysis.
Validity of BenchmarksEditThere are a number of characteristics of a valid benchmark. The following is a list of such properties.[1]
UnambiguousInvestableMeasurableAppropriateReflective of current investment opinionsSpecified in advanceOwnedIn 1972, A Working Group of the Society of Investment Analysts (UK) published a paper about analysing the performance of investment portfolios. This paper, although never verified, claims to have introduced the key concept in performance attribution, that active performance can be analysed by comparing the returns of different notional portfolios. In particular, if one examines the performance of a portfolio that holds each sector at the active weight, while earning a passive return within each sector, one can measure exactly the amount of value that is added by asset allocation decisions.
The 1972 paper, if in fact it exists, introduced the key elements of modern performance attribution: notional portfolios, asset allocation, and stock selection. The perhaps fictional paper presents this analytic paradigm as an extension of previously known concepts. Since it was not an academic publication, it did not claim novelty, even though the approach introduced was new and novel. An excerpt from the fictional paper reads:
The working group recommend that the notional fund concept be extended to cover the whole fund, i.e. fixed interest, equity and cash investments and by using appropriate indices the actual fund is compared with a notional fund chosen such that the proportions in the different investment sectors follow those laid down by the trustees.
The 1972 paper is ignored, because there is not any evidence that it was actually published and may be a fictional creation, by many of the standard texts on performance attribution (for example Spaulding 2003).[citation needed]
It is believed[citation needed] that Gary P. Brinson's Brinson et al. 1985 introduced the idea of using notional portfolios to attribute investment performance. For this reason, many of the standard texts (e.g.Spaulding 2003)correctly acknowledge their work and devote copious numbers of pages to "Brinson Fachler attribution" (pp. 177-180) and "Brinson Hood Beebower attribution" (pp. 29-51). The Brinson-Fachler methodology underpins many public performance attribution analyses. Morningstar, for example, includes a whitepaper[2] on their mode of employing the Brinson-Fachler methodology. Morningstar is known for its analysis of long-only mutual funds, but the Brinson-Fachler analysis is also applicable to hedge ranking funds.[3]
Geometric attributionEditThe most common approach to performance attribution (found in sources such as Brinson et al. 1985 and Carino 1999) can be described as "arithmetic attribution". It is arithmetic in the sense that it describes the difference between the portfolio return and the benchmark return. For example, if the portfolio return was 21%, and the benchmark return was 10%, arithmetic attribution would explain 11% of value added.
In Europe and the UK, another approach (known as geometric attribution) has been common. If the portfolio return was 21% while the benchmark return was 10%, geometric attribution would explain an active return of 10%. The reasoning behind this is that 10% of active return, when compounded with 10% of benchmark performance, produces a total portfolio return of 21%.
Adherents of the geometric approach consider it to be highly intuitive. See, for example, Bacon (2002). However, not everybody agrees on this.
One advantage of doing attribution in geometric form is that the attribution results translate consistently from one currency to another. It is plausible that this explains the popularity of geometric approaches in Europe. Another reason for using geometric attribution is that it is theoretically sound for both single period and multi period analyses, for arithmetic attribution additional "smoothing" is required to apply it to a multi period setting.[2]
Benchmark-free attribution techniquesEditOne limitation of portfolio attribution is the reliance on a pre-determined benchmark. The stated benchmark may not be appropriate or may change over time ("Style Drift.") [2] It is difficult to render effective comparisons between funds with different benchmarks. Proponents of adaptive benchmarking maintain that by understanding the characteristics of the portfolio at each point in time, they can better attribute excess returns to skill.[4]
Risk attribution decomposes the total risk of a portfolio into smaller units, each of which corresponds to each of the individual securities, or each of the subsets of securities in the portfolio.[5] Some tools attempt to integrate portfolio and risk attribution techniques with common metrics.
^Jeffery V. Bailey, CFA; Thomas M. Richards, CFA; David E. Tierney (2016). "Reading 31". In CFA Institute. Trading and Rebalancing, Performance Evaluation, and Global Investment Performance Standards. Wiley. p. 135. ISBN 978-1-942471-14-1. ^ abcMorningstar whitepaper on Brinson-Fachler methodology; May 2011^Publisher: The Reformed Broker; Analysis of the top Hedge Funds, citing analysis from Alpha Attribution^http://www.fundattribution.com/Home/Methodology^http://blog.thinknewfound.com/2014/07/risk-attribution-in-a-portfolio/The Society of Investment Analysts, The measurement of Portfolio Performance for Pension Funds", 1972, revised 1974, available from the National Library of Australia, Call Number p 332.6725 S678-2Bacon, Carl, Practical portfolio performance measurement and attribution 2nd edition, Wiley 2008, ISBN 978-0-470-05928-9Brinson, Gary P., and Nimrod Fachler, ''Measuring Non-US Equity Portfolio Performance,'' Journal of Portfolio Management, Spring 1985, pp. 73-76.Bacon, Carl, ''Excess Returns '' Arithmetic or Geometric?'', Journal of Performance Measurement, Spring 2002, pp. 23-31.Cari±o, David, ''Combining Attribution Effects Over Time,'' Journal of Performance Measurement, Summer 1999, pp. 5-14.Laker, Damien, ''What is this Thing Called Interaction?'' Journal of Performance Measurement, Fall 2000, pp. 43-57.Laker, Damien, "Arithmetic Performance Attribution" (Chapter) in Bacon, Carl, Advanced Portfolio Attribution Analysis: New Approaches to Return and Risk London: Risk Books, 2007.Spaulding, David, Investment Performance Attribution: A Guide to What it is, How to Calculate it, and How to Use it, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.Attribution formulae from Riordan Consulting
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ZeroZeroZero and the trail of cocaine "hypocrisy" | The City Paper Bogot
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 12:46
Cocaine is at the heart of high-flying finance, champagne, fat bonuses, and fast cars. Italian investigative reporter Roberto Saviano goes further: the addictive drug is not simply an accessory of global markets, it is the global market, a commodity as powerful as oil or gold that underpins the world economy. Forget the narco-state. Welcome to the narco-planet.
This is the premise of Saviano's latest book ZeroZeroZero. Early on, he reminds us that it was cocaine cash that kept banks afloat after the 2008 world financial crisis. In the following years 97% of money laundered by Colombian cartels passed through U.S. and European banks. No one really knows the value of the annual cocaine trade, but this cash business is estimated to be around US$100 billion. ''It's not the world of cocaine that must orbit around the markets, but the markets that must rotate around cocaine,'' writes Saviano.
Reading about cocaine can also be addictive, he warns, then goes on to deliver a 450-page tale that zooms in and out of global cocaine trade with both human stories (often in horrifying detail) and startling facts from the business world. Cocaine, says Saviano, is the wild card of the world economy, both enabling and destructive. Any smart kid with a gun and no conscience can muscle their way in and, after a few years, amass the same fortune it takes even big companies decades to make.
Like other books on cocaine, the author details production, distribution, and purity. (The book's title comes from the name for the most-refined product called ''000.'') Extreme violence swirls around the usual cast of Colombian and Mexican kingpins. Where Saviano shines new light, however, is in examining the higher strata of businesses, banks, and financial institutions perched above the supply chain.
His entry point is Italian organized crime, particularly the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta that formed close links with the Colombian cartels in the 1990s. With astonishing detail, he recounts decades of transatlantic dealings peppered with both the human and technical story behind the rise of the narco-economy.
Here, the Naples-born Saviano is on home turf, but not safe ground. The writer's previous best-selling book on Italian crime and corruption, Gomorrah, won him worldwide plaudits for fearless reporting but also a death sentence from the Comorra crime clan. Today, he lives under the constant protection of six armed police. This explosive fact adds weight to ZeroZeroZero, and you cannot help wondering if with his latest exposé he might need to double the caribinieri. Saviano charts the trajectory of the super-rich cocaine brokers who flit between continents (having learned the lesson directly from Pablo Escobar to never spend more than two nights in the same place) and determined attempts by international police forces to track them and penetrate the fast-moving and often obscure world of money laundering. The old adage ''follow the money'' leads to all corners of the planet, from landing strips in rural Mexico to island tax havens, from Russia to Wall Street, and from Switzerland to your local bank.
Proving fiscal negligence in laundering cases is extremely hard and getting convictions is ''like squeezing sand in your fist; the grains just slip through your fingers,'' writes Saviano. This is hardly surprising given the incredibly complex deals he recounts, such as the Australian drug baron who sent illegal funds through a Lebanese-Canadian bank with ties to Hezbollah. The bank then purchased used cars in the United State and exported them to West Africa, using fake bills of sale to mask drug profits from Colombia. Try following that money.
Where cases are proven, the writer rails at paltry fines against billions in illicit profits and the scarcity of legal charges against bankers. The world of high finance is well rewarded for recycling dirty money. You cannot help but share his indignation at the New York bank that washed several billions of U.S. dollars of Mexican cartel moneythrough dodgy casas de cambios, tried to block its own internal investigator, then plea-bargained a small fine and ''one-year probation.''
According to Saviano, the banking system is more than just complacent. It is actually complicit and intentionally makes transactions hard to trace. And it is not just small or specialized banks to blame. He maintains that large players like the Bank of New York and Bank of America have been caught up in laundering deals for Mexico's notorious Zetas cartel. And according to U.S. investigators, the U.K-based HSBC, the fifth largest bank in the world, maintained lax controls that allowed its HBUS world- wide network of accounts to become a ''superhighway'' for illegal capital.
Having shown us the shiny peaks of the global drug economy, Saviano brings us backs down to the murky depths of the cocaine trade (literally in his recounting of clandestine submarines) and the violence that surrounds it in Russia, West Africa, Central America, and, of course, back in Colombia.
Many people living in Colombia cringe when yet another book or television documentary on cocaine appears with the usual chapters on jungle lab busts or airport interdictions. My feelings on this were neatly summed up by a recent internet post that asked: ''If so much of the profit from cocaine is made in the U.S and Europe, then why do we only talk of the cartels of Colombia and Mexico?''
Saviano takes Colombia away from centre stage and puts the whole global economy is in the spotlight, though in some ways this makes the book even more relevant to Colombia. Why should one country pay such a high human price for the war on drugs while global bankers cash in with so little risk? This global-scale hypocrisy is what fuels Saviano's anger. ''Everyone is talking a reality you know is bogus,'' he rages. Saviano's own reality is hammered home in a relentless, chaotic, book that demands attention and, judging from reviews and sales, is getting it. It even counted with one famous reader as the book hit bestseller lists late last year. In a bizarre twist of irony and real-life drama, when Mexican special forces stormed the hideout of ''most-wanted'' drug lord Joaquin ''El Chapo'' Guzmán, they found a collection of his signature floral shirts and a copy of ZeroZeroZero.
Why are so many bankers committing suicide? | New York Post
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 13:48
Three bankers in New York, London and Siena, Italy, died within 17 months of each other in 2013-14 in what authorities deemed a series of unrelated suicides. But in each case, the victim had a connection to a burgeoning global banking scandal, leaving more questions than answers as to the circumstances surrounding their deaths.The March 6, 2013 death of David Rossi '-- a 51-year-old communications director at Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world's oldest bank '-- came as the institution teetered on the brink of collapse.
Rossi was found dead in an alleyway beneath his third-floor office window in the 14th-century palazzo that served as the bank's headquarters.
A devastating security video shows Rossi landing on the pavement on his back, facing the building '-- an odd position more likely to occur when a body is pushed from a window.
'Yes he killed himself. But there's a question: could it be suicide by extortion'... There's a couple suspicions I have.'
- Val Broeksmit, on his stepfather's suicideThe footage shows the three-story fall didn't kill Rossi instantly. For almost 20 minutes, the banker lay on the dimly lit cobblestone, occasionally moving an arm and leg.As he lay dying, two murky figures appear. Two men appear and one walks over to gaze at the banker. He offers no aid or comfort and doesn't call for help before turning around and calmly walking out of the alley.
About an hour later, a co-worker discovered Rossi's body. The arms were bruised and he sustained a head wound that, according to the local medical examiner's report, suggested there may have been a struggle prior to his fall.
But the death was ruled a suicide to the disbelief of Rossi's widow, Antonella Tognazzi. She was quoted in the Italian press as saying her husband ''knew too much.'' She staged public demonstrations and hired a lawyer to investigate her husband's death.
Among the evidence Tognazzi pointed to was the alleged suicide note, in which Rossi referred to her as Toni. He never called her Toni, she said.
David Rossi, 51, a communications director at Monte dei Paschi di Siena, fell three stories from the bank's Italian headquarters in March 2013.Photo: ReutersTwo days prior to his death, according to his wife, Rossi sent a cryptic email to the bank's CEO Fabrizio Viola. ''I want guarantees of not being overwhelmed by this thing,'' he wrote. ''We would have to do right away, before tomorrow. Can you help me?''
It remains a mystery what specifically Rossi thought could ''overwhelm'' him just before his death, but many have speculated that he was referring to Monte Paschi's troubled financial position.
Rossi was a close confidant to former bank president Joseph Mussari, who was the driving force behind Monte Paschi's 2008 $7.5 billion takeover of Banca Antonveneta. Many banking analysts agreed at the time that Monte Paschi paid too much in the acquisition that Deutsche Bank financed.
The same year as Rossi's death, European and US regulators began to probe what would become known as the Libor scandal, in which London bankers conspired to rig the London Interbank Offered Rate '-- an overnight interest rate that determines the interest banks charged on mortgages, and auto and personal loans across the globe. It also determines the rate banks like Monte Paschi pay for loans like the one it used to finance the purchase of Banca Antonveneta. The scandal would cost international banks '-- most notably Deutsche '-- nearly $20 billion in fines.
Additionally, Monte Paschi got involved in risky derivatives that took heavy losses during the financial crisis of 2008. The esteemed bank, founded 20 years before Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic, was being investigated at the time of Rossi's death for its handling of billions in these risky derivative bets involving Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch.
In October 2014 Mussari and two other Monte Paschi executives were convicted by Italian authorities for obstructing regulators and misleading investigators on the bailed-out Italian bank's finances in the wake of the acquisition of Banca Antonveneta. In January of this year, three executive from Deustche Bank were also implicated civilly, including Michele Faissola, the wealth management director the German bank'--charged by Italian authorities of colluding with the troubled Monte Paschi in falsifying accounts, manipulating the market, and obstructing justice. Faissola denies these charges.
William Broeksmit, 58, a Deutsche Bank exec, was found hanging from a dog leash tied to a door at his London home in January 2014.Photo: PatrickMcMullan.comWhile at least 40 bankers have killed themselves in the 17-month period starting March 2013 in the wake of the global banking scandal, the circumstances of Rossi's death '-- and two others '-- stand out as particularly mysterious.
In January 2014, the body of William Broeksmit, 58, a high-ranking Deutsche Bank executive, was found hanging in his London flat from a dog leash tied to the top of a door.
Financial papers were strewn about, and on a dog bed near the body were a number of notes to family and friends. One was addressed to Deutsche Bank CEO Anshu Jain, with an apology. But that note '-- never publicly revealed until now '-- offered no clue as to the reason he was sorry.
Broeksmit's high-ranking colleague at Deutche was Michele Faissola, who arrived on the gruesome scene after Broeksmit's wife told his stepson, Val Broeksmit, to phone him. He arrived minutes later, and began going through the bank papers and read the suicide notes.
''He did go to my father's computer which was, at the time, I thought a little weird,'' said Val Broeksmit.
The west London home of William Broeksmit where he was found dead in 2014.Photo: ReutersThere is no evidence Faissola was involved in any misconduct related to Broeksmit's death, but the stepson said he still wonders what, if anything, Faissola was searching for. Faissola declined comment.
In emails provided to The Post by his stepson Val, Broeksmit had just messaged friends about his excitement to go on a ski vacation scheduled for a week later.
Deutsche's Michele Faissola is accused in a bank scheme.Although a report from Broeksmit's clinical psychologist revealed that Broeksmit was ''very anxious about authorities investigating areas of the bank at which he worked,'' his depression over the Libor investigation the year before seemed to have lifted, according to a doctor who'd given him a clean bill of health a month before his death, said his stepson. Val found other unsettling facts while going over his father's personal papers and e-mails.
''Yes he killed himself,'' Val Broeksmit told The Post. ''But there's a question: could it be suicide by extortion, could it be suicide by pressure or saying if you don't do this, we're going to do this? There's a couple suspicions I have.''
In early 2013, Jain planned to make Broeksmit chief risk officer for the entire bank. He was an expert in the esoteric field of derivatives, of which Deutsche had roughly $60 trillion worth on its books. But German banking regulators nixed the appointment because it said he lacked the requisite experience.
Broeksmit left the bank in June, but a few months later took a position in New York as a director of Deutsche Bank Trust Company of America, the US arm of the German banking giant. It was his reward for his long service after butting heads with German banking authorities.
DBTCA was the former Banker's Trust, which Deutsche bought in 1998. It's the custodial arm for wealthy clients to park money for trust funds and other long-term investing.
My father was the first to goDeutsche Bank's asset and wealth management unit was overseen by Michele Faissola, who along with Broeksmit reported directly to CEO Jain. But unlike most bank directors, Broeksmit's natural curiosity and work ethic didn't permit him to just turn up for a monthly meeting and cash a paycheck. He began to dig in, looking at the operation.''[My father] didn't just want to show up,'' said Val Broeksmit.
A month before his death, William Broeksmit wrote '-- in what his son says shows his anger '-- to fellow executives asking why he should take the lead on a sticky matter of the upcoming Federal Reserve-mandated stress test for the bank.
He also questioned the ''generous'' loan-loss numbers being used by the bank, afraid that federal regulators would see the bank was losing more on loans than the books showed. Large losses could lead the feds to slap the bank with restrictions.
Calogero Gambino, 41, a Deutsche Bank lawyer, was found hanging from a banister at his Brooklyn house in October 2014.''Who is recommending that I do this? I am supposed to be an independent director and this puts me further into a role aligned with management,'' he wrote.
Two years ago, the mystery of the banker suicides hit New York City. Calogero ''Charles'' Gambino, 41, a married father of two kids, was Deutsche's in-house lawyer for 11 years at the bank's downtown headquarters. He was working on defending the bank against Libor charges and other regulatory probes.
On Oct. 20, 2014, Gambino's body was found by his wife Maria hanging from an upstairs balcony of his Brooklyn home, a neatly kept white brick townhouse in Bay Ridge with ornamental stone fretwork at the roof line. The rope was snaked through the bannister and tied off on the knoll post on the first floor.
There was no reported note and his tight-knit family has refused to speak about his death.
I believe he knew too muchThe Post reached out to the widow numerous times only to be told by a Deutsche Bank spokesperson that his wife ''did not wish to be disturbed and please remember she has two young children.''The serious-looking, bespectacled banker was a New York success story '-- a graduate of St. John's University and St. John's Law School who spent two years working at the Securities and Exchange Commission as an enforcement lawyer. He then moved to the white-shoe law firm Skadden Arps as an associate for four years before taking the position at Deutsche Bank, where he moved up the ranks to become an associate general counsel and managing director.
In his work as corporate counsel for Deutsche, Gambino had dealings with many of the bank's European executives '-- including Michele Faissola and William Broeksmit.
Mostly it was Gambino's colleague, outside counsel Mark Stein of Simpson Thatcher, who had the direct contact. Stein, who declined to comment, advised Broeksmit and Faissola in 2012 and 2013 on the Libor probes. Deutsche Bank ultimately reached a settlement with the Department of Justice, paying $12 billion in fines, without any admission of liability.
Gambino's death was ruled a suicide. In his case and in the cases of both Rossi and Broeksmit, probers never looked for, nor discovered, common threads.
But all three men worked for, or did business with, Deutsche Bank. Moreover, it appears that one or more of the scandals that enveloped Deutsche Bank and/or Monte Paschi since the financial crisis had crossed each of their desks.
It remains to be seen if the circumstances leading to Gambino and Broeksmit's deaths will ever be re-considered. But questions are being asked and answered in Rossi's case.
Late last year Italian authorities exhumed his body and reopened their investigation. A ruling on whether Rossi killed himself or was murdered is expected later this month.
Ministry of Truth
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What is U.S. Government Foreign Assistance?Foreign assistance is aid given by the United States to other countries to support global peace, security, and development efforts, and provide humanitarian relief during times of crisis. It is a strategic, economic, and moral imperative for the United States and vital to U.S. national security.
The first U.S. aid program took shape after World War II when then Secretary of State George Marshall acted to provide significant aid to Europe after the war to assist the continent in rebuilding its infrastructure, strengthening its economy, and stabilizing the region. This led to the creation of several foreign assistance programs in subsequent years to build off the success of the Marshall Plan. The next milestone for foreign assistance occurred in 1961, when President Kennedy signed the Foreign Assistance Act into law and created the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This marked a significant increase in U.S. foreign assistance efforts and USAID became the first U.S. foreign assistance agency whose primary focus was long-term global development to include economic and social progress.
In 2010, President Obama signed the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, which calls for the elevation of development as a core pillar of American power in accord with diplomacy and defense for an integrated approach to national security. The directive governs U.S. efforts in support of global development and provides clear policy guidance to all U.S. government agencies managing and implementing foreign assistance.
Today, the U.S. manages foreign assistance programs in more than 100 countries around the world through the efforts of over 20 different U.S. Government agencies. These investments further America's foreign policy interests on issues ranging from expanding free markets, combating extremism, ensuring stable democracies, and addressing the root causes of poverty, while simultaneously fostering global good will.
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Program Management
Multi-sectorMulti-Sector is used when a sector cannot be identified and/or aid may be cross-cutting across several categories
Multi-sector
Peace and SecurityTo help nations effectively establish the conditions and capacity for achieving peace, security, and stability; and for responding effectively against arising threats to national or international security and stability.
Peace and Security
HealthTo contribute to improvements in the health of people, especially women, children, and other vulnerable populations in countries of the developing world, through expansion of basic health services, including family planning; strengthening national health systems, and addressing global issues and special concerns such as HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.
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U.S. Agency for International DevelopmentU.S. Agency for International DevelopmentThe U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent agency that provides economic, development, and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States.
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U.S. African Development FoundationU.S. African Development FoundationThe U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) is a U.S. Government's agency dedicated to promoting African-led development. USADF grants of up to $250,000 provide capital and local technical expertise to grassroots enterprises that empower underserved communities to become a part of Africa's growth story.
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Millennium Challenge CorporationMillennium Challenge CorporationThe Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) forms partnerships with some of the world's poorest countries who are committed to good governance, economic freedom, and investments in their citizens to reduce poverty through sustainable economic growth.
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U.S. Department of AgricultureU.S. Department of AgricultureThe United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) mission is to provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management.
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Inter-American FoundationInter-American FoundationThe Inter-American Foundation (IAF) is an independent agency working throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to support citizen-led initiatives to help communities thrive. It prioritizes the social, economic, and political inclusion of the region's most disadvantaged people, including: indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, women, young people, persons with disabilities, and LGBTI groups.
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Saudis
U.N. Chief Admits He Removed Saudi Arabia From Child-Killer List Due to Extortion
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 15:21
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon publicly acknowledged Thursday that he removed the Saudi-led coalition currently bombing Yemen from a blacklist of child killers '-- 72 hours after it was published '-- due to a financial threat to defund United Nations programs.
The secretary-general didn't name the source of the threat, but news reports have indicated it came directly from the Saudi government.
The U.N.'s 2015 ''Children and Armed Conflict'' report originally listed the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen under ''parties that kill or maim children'' and ''parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals.'' The report, which was based on the work of U.N. researchers in Yemen, attributed 60 percent of the 785 children killed and 1,168 injured to the bombing coalition.
After loud public objections from the Saudi government, Ban said on Monday that he was revising the report to ''review jointly the cases and numbers cited in the text,'' in order to ''reflect the highest standards of accuracy possible.''
But on Thursday, he described his real motivation. ''The report describes horrors no child should have to face,'' Ban said at a press conference. ''At the same time, I also had to consider the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously if, as was suggested to me, countries would defund many U.N. programs. Children already at risk in Palestine, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and so many other places would fall further into despair.''
Saudi Arabia is one of the U.N.'s largest donors in the Middle East, giving hundreds of millions of dollars a year to U.N. food programs in Syria and Iraq. In 2014, Saudi Arabia gave $500 million '-- the largest single humanitarian donation to the U.N. '-- to help Iraqis displaced by ISIS. Over the past three years, Saudi Arabia has also been become the third-largest donor to the U.N.'s relief agency in Palestine, giving tens of millions of dollars to help rebuild Gaza and assist Palestinian refugees.
''It is unacceptable for member states to exert undue pressure,'' the secretary-general said. ''Scrutiny is a natural and necessary part of the work of the United Nations.''
Ban called the decision ''one of the most painful and difficult decisions I have had to make.''
Saudi Ambassador to the U.N. Abdallah al-Mouallimi, who held his own press conference afterward, offered his own back-handed confirmation of what happened. ''We didn't use threats,'' he said, ''but such listing will obviously have an impact on our relations with the U.N.''
''It is not in our style, it is not in our genes, it is not in our culture to use threats and intimidation,'' he concluded.
Ban has invited a team from the Saudi-led coalition to New York to conduct a ''joint review'' ahead of scheduled U.N. discussions on the report, scheduled for August.
On Monday, however, after the changes were announced, the Saudi ambassador to the U.N. declared that the changes were ''final and unconditional'' and that Saudi Arabia had been ''vindicated.''
Related:
Migrants
'At the limit,' Mexico buckles under migrant surge to U.S.
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 20:13
By Gabriel Stargardter and Julia Edwards
TAPACHULA, Mexico/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mexico is struggling to stem the flow of Central American migrants traveling to the United States ahead of the U.S. presidential election, causing major concern in Washington, which is weighing sending more agents to help.
In 2014, Mexico moved to strengthen its southern border when a surge in child migrants from Central America sparked a political crisis in the United States.
Last year, Mexico detained over 190,000 migrants, more than double the number in 2012.
But official data examined by Reuters shows that fewer migrants have been captured in Mexico this year even as the number caught on the U.S. border has soared.
The slowdown in detentions on Mexican soil is frustrating U.S. officials who feel that Mexico could be doing more, according to a source familiar with internal briefings on the topic at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Illegal immigration is stoking a fierce debate ahead of the U.S. election on Nov. 8 with Republican candidate Donald Trump vowing to deport millions of people and build a wall along the Mexican border if elected president.
Mexico says its National Migration Institute (INM), which regulates migration in the country, is already working flat out to contain the problem, but it has a fraction of the resources that U.S. agencies have.
"We're at the limit of our resources," Humberto Roque Villanueva, Mexico's deputy interior minister responsible for migration, told Reuters.
The number of families stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border jumped 122 percent between October 2015 and April 2016 from the same period a year earlier, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The number of detained "unaccompanied minors" - children traveling without relatives - was 74 percent higher. Most of the Central Americans come from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Despite those increases, fewer migrants are being caught as they move through Mexico. Over the same period, Mexico detained and deported about 5 percent fewer people than in 2014/15. So far this year, 3.5 percent fewer unaccompanied minors have been stopped.
The DHS is considering sending more agents south to train Mexican officials on how to track human traffickers and stop migrants crossing the Mexico-Guatemala border, according to an internal briefing document obtained by Reuters.
U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar, who sits on the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, said DHS officials told him they hope to help Mexico strengthen its southern border.
"When you're constantly working at full speed and don't have all the resources because your primary mission is to fight the drug cartels, yeah, you're going to be stretched," Cuellar said.
DHS spokesman Daniel Hetlage declined to say whether it aimed to send more officers to work with the INM, but said the DHS and CBP have an "excellent" relationship with the INM and Mexico's government.
Roque Villanueva attributed the migrant surge to people finding new routes past checkpoints. He said he was unaware of any U.S. plan to send reinforcements, and that there are already U.S. agents at Mexico's southern border, albeit only for training.
LEAKY BORDER
In 2014, Mexico launched the "Plan Frontera Sur" to tighten border controls, register migrants and stop them using the perilous network of trains known as "La Bestia", or "The Beast".
But migrants quickly adapted.
Elisabel Enriquez, Guatemala's vice-consul in Tapachula, said migrant smugglers now rent trucks and shuttling migrants from southern Mexico all the way to the U.S. border over 2,000 km away for up to $8,000 per person.
Two such trucks were stopped in recent weeks, she said, one stuffed with about 115 migrants and the other about 60.
Some migrants immediately apply for asylum on arrival in Mexico. Once granted a refugee visa, they can travel through Mexico without fear of being deported, said Irmgard Pund, who runs the local Belen migrant shelter.
So far this year, asylum applications with Mexican refugee agency COMAR are up over 150 percent compared with 2015, and could reach 10,000 by the end of the year, said Perrine Leclerc, head of the Tapachula field office for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
The rise in families heading north is partly due to a 2015 U.S federal court decision limiting the time mothers and children can be held in detention, which has created the mistaken impression they can stay in the United States, U.S. officials say.
A regional drought in Central America has also increased pressure to leave, while some migrants are trying to cross ahead of the election in case Trump wins and follows through on his campaign promises, making it more difficult for them in the future.
Compared to their U.S. counterparts, Mexico's migration authorities get by on a shoestring. The INM spent 4.14 billion pesos ($228.37 million) in 2015, less than 2 percent of the CBP's budget request for 2016.
The United States has tripled its border force under President Barack Obama to 60,000 staff, while the INM has 5,383 employees.
Roque Villanueva said the fall in the price of oil, which funds about a fifth of Mexico's federal budget, makes it even harder to put new resources into the INM.
Nonetheless, he said Mexico and the United States would continue to work closely together as Washington has plenty of reasons for wanting a robust southern Mexican border.
"The Americans are not so worried by how many Central Americans get through, but rather about making sure nobody with even the slightest chance of being a terrorist does," he said.
($1 = 18.1287 pesos)
(Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Kieran Murray and Ross Colvin)
Obama Nation
"We Do Not Have An Explanation" - Home Improvement, Luxury Spending Unexpectedly Plunges
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 20:35
One of the main reasons for marcoeconomic optimism heading into last Friday's abysmal jobs report, is that the seasonally-adjusted April retail spending report came far stronger than expected, even as CEOs and CFOs of actual retailers have and continue to lament a dismal consumer spending picture (and as a result have continued to slash guidance). Indeed, the payrolls report confirmed that much if not all of the April retail sales rebound was due to seasonals and other "opportunistic" upward adjustments. Of course, after the May payrolls, all optimism promptly evaporated, and for a brief period "bad news became good news" as suddenly the Fed was seen as being on hold - again - indefinitely.
And with the Fed suddenly poised precariously between being the need to hike (so it can ease again shortly thereafter), and having to cut right now, a decision that could be finalized as soon as the June payrolls are reported in three weeks, the most important data point between now and then will again be the retail sales report, this time for May. It will be reported on June 14.
However, in advance of the official government data, courtesy of Bank of America we have the always informative monthly aggregated credit and debit card spending report, which traditionally gives an early look into consumer spending trends. What it reveals is that, not surprisingly, "the BAC aggregated card data decelerated more than the Census Bureau data at the turn of the year, when measured as retail sales ex-autos and gasoline." But while in recent months there has been a modest pickup at the headline level, if weaker when one excludes gasoline sales which are higher due to rising gase prices, the picture is far less pleasant if broken down by retail sales by high vs low-income consumers. In this case, the slowdown clearly continues for both groups of consumers, something which spells far more pain for not only GDP but for corporate profits as well as employment.
As BofA adds, "for the first time since the recovery, sales among the high and low end consumer cohort are growing at roughly the same pace (2.1% yoy). During the first four years of the recovery, the high end consumer outperformed, which reversed starting in 2014." We leave it up to readers if the chart below can be spun as "good":
However, what caught our attention is not so much the aggregate spending data, as the detail for what are arguably its two most important constituent components: luxury retailer sales, a proxy for the wealthy consumer, the one whose generosity was so instrument in the early years of Obama's "recovery", as well as spending on home improvements and related stores, a direct proxy for home purchasing and renovation, the single biggest component of US GDP, and thus, consumer spending.
It is here that something unexpected is happening.
First, when it comes to luxury retailer spending, BofA had this to say:
There has been a decisive slowing in spending on BAC cards at luxury retailers, which we define as high end designer retailers, exclusive of department stores.This slowing has occurred over the past several years after the exceptionally strong growth during the early stages of the recovery.However, the trend took a turn for the worse at the end of last year with the past four months looking particularly dire. In our view, this may have been a function of the poor market performance in January and February
To say that this is a very ugly harbinger of future retail sales, is an understatement.
But what was even more disturbing is what BofA found took place in spending on home improvement stores: spending which traditionally is directly correlated to new home purchases and construction. Instead of stealing BofA's thunder, this is what it said:
The BAC composite for home improvement stores tumbled in May, falling 4.6% mom SA, which pulled down the year-over-year growth rate.However, the BAC home improvement series has been running below the Census Bureau aggregate, suggesting the recent weakness may be overstated by the BAC data.
BofA's punchline:
"We do not have an explanation for this divergence, but given the high correlation between the two series historically, we would expect our data and the Census Bureau figures to converge over time."
They sure will, but not to the government's seasonally-adjusted, politically biased, constantly massaged data. And when they do, yet another of the dominos in the fake narrative of "US recovery" lieswill topple.
House passes Puerto Rico rescue | TheHill
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 03:48
The House on Thursday passed legislation to tackle Puerto Rico's debt crisis, as Congress took a large step towards addressing the economic and humanitarian crisis enveloping the island.
The carefully crafted compromise passed 297-127, earning majorities in both parties.
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The passage of the carefully crafted compromise is a significant win for Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanRyan on talk of convention upset: Trump won 'fair and square'Sunday shows preview: Sanders faces a hard decisionTrump to GOP leaders: 'You gotta be cool'MORE (R-Wis.), who was an early and active supporter of the legislation, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the White House, which also pushed the package.In a rare move, both Ryan and Pelosi took to the House floor to urge support for the legislation, shooting for broad bipartisan support to encourage speedy action through the Senate.
Ryan made a moral case for the bill, arguing that the island's 3.5 million residents '-- who are American citizens '-- need Congress's support.
"The Puerto Rican people are our fellow Americans. They pay our taxes. They fight in our wars," he said. "We cannot allow this to happen."
The bill now heads to the Senate, where lawmakers appear lukewarm about the measure. Still, there is little evidence senators are eager to remake the bill wholesale, particularly as conditions on the island continue to worsen.
"The Senate should act expeditiously to review and vote on this measure, so the President can sign the bill into law ahead of the critical July 1st debt payment deadline," said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest after its passage. "We urge leaders in both parties to build on today's bipartisan momentum and help Puerto Rico move toward lasting economic prosperity."
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiHouse passes Puerto Rico rescueThe Trail 2016: Ryan blesses, Clinton boosThe Hill's 12:30 ReportMORE (R-Alaska) said Thursday that her committee would ''probably'' consider the Puerto Rico bill, leaving open the possibility that it could move directly to the Senate floor.
The island faces a default on $2 billion of debt payments on July 1. The crisis has been created by years of economic decline and an exodus of Puerto Ricans to the U.S. mainland, leaving the island with a shrinking pile of revenues.
The House bill is something rarely seen in Washington of late: a genuine compromise. Top officials in both parties huddled for weeks on the bill, which both parties now characterize as the best possible path, even though neither side is entirely happy with it.
The White House threw its weight behind the bill, dubbed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability (PROMESA) Act, just before Thursday's vote, saying the president ''strongly supports'' its passage.
''The Administration urges the Congress to build on the bipartisan effort behind PROMESA and pass this legislation quickly before this crisis grows materially worse,'' the White House said in a statement of administration policy.
Following House passage, the White House urged the Senate to act "expeditiously" on the measure, saying the chamber should send the bill to the president before the island's critical July 1 deadline.
"We urge leaders in both parties to build on today's bipartisan momentum and help Puerto Rico move toward lasting economic prosperity," said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest in a statement.
Passage of the bill comes after months of tense, private negotiations between both parties and the White House. Democrats pushed hard to ensure the island could restructure its $70 billion in debt, while Republicans wanted to see an outside board that could step in and overhaul the island's grim finances.
Further complicating the talks, lawmakers were under pressure from investors in Puerto Rican debt who were jockeying to ensure the largest possible payout from the island. One outside group, the Center for Individual Freedom, ran ads in the districts of key lawmakers blasting the bill as a ''bailout.''
The bill was very touch and go for a stretch, as the House Natural Resources Committee abruptly cancelled a planned markup of the bill at the last minute, as members from both parties were wary of backing the complex and unfamiliar legislation.
Negotiators had to return to the drawing board, while Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) mounted a public campaign to dispel the ''bailout'' narrative, emphasizing repeatedly that no extra federal dollars would go to Puerto Rico.
Talks between House Republicans and the White House dragged on for weeks. Ultimately, the two sides emerged with a compromise package that made it through a committee markup relatively unscathed.
Conservatives have long been skeptical of allowing the island to rework its debt obligations, fearing it could encourage other debt-strapped parts of the country to follow suit.
Some on the right wanted to see the bill focus primarily on slashing regulations and taxes on the island, arguing that was the path towards salvaging its economy.
The bill does include some of those provisions to the chagrin of Democrats, including one that allows the island to avoid paying the federal minimum wage to some workers. Democrats tried to pass an amendment on the floor stripping that provision, but failed.
Democrats also said they were disappointed the bill did not expand Medicaid benefits and the Earned Income Tax Credit to the island.
'-- Updated 7:08 p.m.
Puerto Rico bill would allow probe into sales of bonds - MarketWatch
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 04:04
House lawmakers moved Wednesday to allow an investigation into sales and marketing practices of Puerto Rican bonds, as part of broader legislation designed to address the island's debt crisis.
An amendment offered by Reps. Garret Graves, a Louisiana Republican, and Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat, would permit a control board to probe any under-representation of risks for investors in the U.S. territory's bonds. Any conflicts of interest by brokers or advisers could also be investigated by the board, an entity called for in the bill passed by the House Natural Resources Committee.
The committee, which has jurisdiction over U.S. territories, approved the bill on a vote of 29-10. Fourteen Republicans and 15 Democrats voted to send it to the House floor. The legislation would create a seven-member board to manage restructuring of Puerto Rico's debt, as well as oversee the island's finances.
Puerto Rico '-- which unlike U.S. states cannot declare bankruptcy '-- defaulted on a payment of about $400 million on May 2 and faces payments of $2 billion on July 1.
Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, a Utah Republican, calls the bill Puerto Rico's ''last and best chance to get on sound financial footing and put its economy on the path to recovery and prosperity.''
Rep. Beyer said in a statement: ''While I am sure most of the Puerto Rican government bonds in question were marketed in good faith, my amendment today gives the oversight board the power to investigate any improprieties. Bringing these to light is important to help restore investor confidence in the government's financial future.''
A House aide said the board could look at practices by brokers and advisers, and that the Puerto Rican government is not precluded from an investigation. The aide also likened a potential report from the board to a Government Accountability Office report instead of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Findings of any report would be made public, but would not carry enforcement authority.
The SEC has settled at least one case involving Puerto Rico bonds. In September 2015, UBS Financial Services Inc. of Puerto Rico agreed to pay $15 million to settle charges from the SEC, which said the unit failed to supervise a broker who had customers invest borrowed money in bond funds. Including another fine and restitution, the unit paid about $34 million.
The bill, which has support from House Republican and Democratic leaders, as well as the Obama administration, now heads to the House floor for a vote. The Senate would also need to approve it for it to go to President Barack Obama.
House passes Puerto Rico fiscal rescue bill ahead of July cliff - The Washington Post
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 03:53
The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve a long-awaited rescue package for Puerto Rico that could allow the fiscally troubled U.S. territory to restructure the $72 billion it owes bondholders in exchange for new federal oversight over its locally elected government.
The bipartisan 297-to-127 vote followed months of intense negotiations between House Republican leaders, Democratic lawmakers and the Obama administration. Those talks were punctuated by a high-dollar public relations campaign aimed at derailing any deal that could force bondholders to swallow significant losses.
Thursday's House vote came ahead of a crucial July 1 deadline, when the territory is poised to default on $2 billion in bond payments. The Senate, however, has yet to act.
Lead sponsor Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) said that unless the rescue bill becomes law, ''the Puerto Rican government is likely to collapse, participants in public pension plans will be terribly damaged, and almost all bondholders could lose their investments.
''Absent this bill,'' he said, ''almost nobody wins and nearly everybody loses.''
[House leaders, White House reach agreement on Puerto Rico rescue bill]
The territorial government and the Obama administration have both warned of a brewing humanitarian crisis if the island's mounting public debt is not eased. Already, debt service consumes more than one-third of annual government revenues, which has threatened into the island's ability to address the education, safety and health of the public '-- including the serious threat posed by the Zika virus.
On Tuesday, the island's only airborne ambulance service said it was suspending its services after territorial officials declined to pay a $4.4 million bill, according to an Associated Press report.
Republicans, who pointed to the bill's potential to upend bond markets and set a precedent for future fiscal interventions, have been most skeptical of the rescue legislation in recent months. But much of the last-ditch lobbying was aimed at Democrats influenced by a rising tide of popular sentiment on the island against the bill, known as the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, or PROMESA, after the Spanish word for ''promise.''
The oversight board established under the bill would have broad powers to manage the territory's fiscal affairs, including the power to enforce balanced budgets though asset sales and employee layoffs. The seven members would be selected by President Obama from lists drawn up by congressional leaders, most of them Republicans.
The raging debate in Puerto Rico was reflected in the gubernatorial primary elections held there Sunday, in which Pedro Pierluisi, the island's nonvoting House representative who supports PROMESA, lost to Ricardo Rossell" Nevares, an outspoken opponent of the bill, in his bid for the New Progressive Party nomination.
That sentiment has filtered up to Washington, where groups advocating for the island's interests have redoubled their objections to the bill in tandem with labor unions wary that $46 billion in unfunded public-employee pension obligations might be restructured alongside the bond debt.
[Bernie Sanders leads liberals' fight against Puerto Rico rescue bill]
In a fiery speech on the House floor, opponent Rep. Luis Guti(C)rrez (D-Ill.) compared the proposed oversight board to the state-appointed fiscal manager in Flint, Mich., who made the disastrous decision to change the city's water supply.
''If you give power to a control board unelected and unsupervised by anyone here, be careful,'' he said. ''Remember Flint. Remember the poisoning of the people and what the control board did there. That is exactly what we should suspect will happen.''
The Obama administration made a last-ditch effort to convince Democrats this week, inviting Gutierrez and other influential Democratic lawmakers to the White House for a Tuesday meeting with President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. And on Wednesday morning, Lew visited a House Democratic Caucus meeting to urge support for the rescue bill.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) played a leading role in crafting the compromise and convincing her colleagues to support the bill. More Democrats than Republicans ending up voting for it Thursday.
''Is it a perfect bill? It is not. We would prefer that the board had a different makeup and perhaps different responsibilities and powers,'' Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the Democratic whip, said this week. ''But having said all that '... in a world of alternatives, this is an alternative we need to take.''
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and a leading GOP proponent of the rescue bill, said Wednesday that he was not concerned by the results of Sunday's election or the new objections arising on the island.
''If you were running for governor of Puerto Rico, you would bad-mouth PROMESA,'' he said. ''But you would also, if you're running for governor, realize there has to be a solution. This is the ideal solution. '... You can also blame the board for all the bad decisions from here on in. It's brilliant for a governor candidate's politics.''
[Puerto Rico debt rescue plan engulfed in Great Recession 'bailout' politics]
Bishop was among those targeted by the shadowy campaign against the legislation that aired TV ads referring to the bill as a ''bailout,'' though the bill would not send any federal taxpayer funds to the island.
One influential conservative advocacy group, Heritage Action for America, announced it opposes PROMESA and plans to include the vote on its legislative scorecard. But two major organizations of conservative House members '-- the Republican Study Committee and the House Freedom Caucus '-- did not take positions on the bill.
A cadre of House conservatives remained sharply opposed to the bill, but House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) made a major push to sell the bill to Republicans, culminating with a forceful plea on the House floor Thursday.
''This bill prevents a bailout; that's the entire point,'' he said. ''If we do not pass this bill, then there is much more likely going to be a bailout, because there is no other choice.''
Ryan racked up a major legislative achievement with the passage of PROMESA, a politically thorny and technically complex bill that also represents the first significant policy initiative that he has both launched and shepherded through the House since becoming speaker in October.
The White House issued a statement Thursday strongly backing the bill in spite the inclusion of provisions '-- including a potential suspension of the minimum wage and overtime rules '-- that Democrats largely oppose: ''Failing to act now will result in an economic and humanitarian crisis far beyond what Puerto Rico is already facing today.'' Also backing the bill hours before passage were two influential Democrats of Puerto Rican heritage, Reps. Jose Serrano and Nydia Velazquez of New York.
Opposing the bill were 103 Republicans and 24 Democrats.
The bill now faces an uncertain timetable in the Senate. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the majority whip, suggested this week that the bill might receive swift floor consideration, but senators opposed to the bill could delay passage until close to or after the July 1 deadline. Key Senate leaders of both parties have refrained from taking a firm position on the House bill.
PROMESA includes a stay of litigation to give the oversight board time to start its work and to give creditors an opportunity to negotiate voluntary settlements. Should Puerto Rico default on July 1 without the stay in place, creditors would likely to rush to courthouses, kicking off a litigation spree that the territorial government and many bondholders are hoping to avoid.
The bill would instead set up a process that would allow for an orderly restructuring of the island's debts in a process akin to bankruptcy. But how quickly that happens will depend on how soon the law is passed and the board is appointed '-- and on who is appointed to it.
''A lot of what's going to happen is based on who's appointed by the various congressional leaders and the president,'' said Greg Clark, who heads municipal research for Debtwire, a firm that conducts bond-market analysis. ''I think you have the right people on the board and have a good staff, you'll have a good outcome.''
Ebola / Zika / Vaccine$
Experts Admit Zika Threat Fraud
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 14:09
By Dr. Mercola
We're in the midst of prime mosquito season for much of the U.S. While the exact beginning and end of mosquito season are debatable, The Washington Post recently used Google search data to pinpoint the shape of mosquito season in the U.S.1
Presumably, Google searchers for mosquitoes increase as mosquitoes ramp up their activity in any given area. Using this premise, The Washington Post found that mosquito searchers shoot up in May and increase steadily through July, then drop off throughout the coming fall and winter months.
In the U.S., mosquito season is viewed as more of an itchy nuisance than a health threat, but that has changed somewhat this year, at least perceptually.
Fears of Zika virus, which some believe may be associated with suspected cases of the birth defect microcephaly, started in Brazil and have quickly spread throughout the U.S. But are such fears warranted?
Experts Admit Zika Threat Risk 'Near Zero'The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would provide $622 million to fight Zika virus. Yet, by White House estimates, this is "woefully inadequate." They've recommended directing $1.9 billion to fight this latest declared public health emergency
But mosquito experts are questioning the extent of emergency that actually exists. Chris Barker, Ph.D. a mosquito-borne virus researcher at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, told WebMD:2
"I think the risk for Zika actually setting up transmission cycles that become established in the continental U.S. is near zero.''
Barker expects Zika to go the way of other tropical diseases spread by mosquitoes, such as dengue fever and chikungunya, in the U.S. with perhaps small clusters of outbreaks in southern states and little activity elsewhere.
Even in the Florida Keys (Florida, along with Louisiana and Texas, is said to be one of the states most at risk of mosquito-borne illnesses), the Monroe County Tourist Development Council reported:3
''Dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika viruses are currently not a health threat in the Florida Keys including Key West '...
There has never been a report of a locally acquired case of chikungunya or Zika anywhere in the Florida Keys, according to officials at the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County.''
No Locally Transmitted Cases of Zika Virus Reported in U.S.As of May 25, 2016, Zika has not been spread by mosquitoes anywhere in the continental U.S.4 Calls to control the Aedes mosquitoes, which may carry Zika, have increased nonetheless, including in New York state, where experts say the risk of local transmission is low.
Laura Harrington, Ph.D., chair of Entomology at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York told WebMD:5
"Here in New York state, there's been a lot of pressure placed on mosquito-control districts to do as much as they can. And, they're really strapped for resources, and there's not a huge risk of transmission '... ''
Maps released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show it's possible for Aedes mosquitoes to travel as far north as New York, Ohio, Kansas, Missouri and California. According to Harrington, the maps are inaccurate and causing unnecessary hysteria. Harrington continued:6
"They're showing this mosquito in places where there's no way you're going to find them '... It's really unfortunate, because it's causing a lot of hysteria in places where people should be focusing on other health issues, like Lyme disease."
GE Mosquitoes to Fight Zika Virus?Biotech company Oxitec has created genetically engineered (GE) mosquitoes that carry a ''genetic kill switch.'' When they mate with wild female mosquitoes, their offspring inherit the lethal gene and cannot survive.7
To achieve this feat, Oxitec has inserted protein fragments from the herpes virus, E. coli bacteria, coral and cabbage into the insects. The GE mosquitoes have proven lethal to native mosquito populations.
In the Cayman Islands, for instance, 96 percent of native mosquitoes were suppressed after more than 3 million GE mosquitoes were released in the area, with similar results reported in Brazil.8
Oxitec is seeking to release the GE mosquitoes in the U.S. to fight Zika, but as pointed out by Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to USA Today, the GE mosquitoes have not been shown to reduce rates of diseases such as Zika.9
The GE mosquitoes may also prove to be too expensive for areas that are plagued with mosquito-borne diseases.
Environmental red flags have also been raised. The potential exists for these foreign genes, which hop from one place to another, to infect human blood by finding entry through skin lesions or inhaled dust.
Such transmission could potentially wreak havoc with the human genome by creating "insertion mutations" and other unpredictable types of DNA damage.10
And according to Todd Shelly, an entomologist for the Agriculture Department in Hawaii, 3.5 percent of the GE insects in a laboratory test survived to adulthood despite presumably carrying the lethal gene.11
It's important to remember, too, that Oxitec wants emergency approval based on the supposed threat of a disease that has yet to have even one locally transmitted case.
Biotech Company Calls for 'Emergency Approval' of Controversial GE MosquitoesThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed with an environmental assessment submitted by Oxitec12 and stated that GE mosquitoes will not have a significant impact on the environment. Technically, this is referred to as a ''finding of no significant impact'' (FONSI).13
The FDA's report is only preliminary, but Oxitec wants the FDA to throw caution to the wind and give the GE mosquitoes emergency approval in order to fight the Zika virus.
If approved, Oxitec, in partnership with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD), plans to release the GE mosquitoes, which go by the name of OX513A, in Key Haven, Florida, an island of the Florida Keys located about 1 mile east of Key West.
More than 270,000 people have submitted comments criticizing the FDA's environmental assessment, and numerous environmental groups are calling for the agency to conduct a more thorough review of the GE mosquitoes' risks. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said:14
''The FDA really missed the mark on this one '... The agency seems so eager to speed the process along that they have failed to do a real review of the potential risks, and are ignoring widespread concern in the community where the release will happen.''
No Permits Required to Spray Near WaterA Clean Water Act permit is generally required to spray pesticides in areas where they might end up in water. The permit is intended to keep the toxic chemicals from contaminating water, but now the Zika virus has been used as an excuse to do away with this common-sense precaution.
The language was inserted into the Zika Vector Control Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives. It would exempt pesticide applicators from needing a Clean Water Act permit, even when spraying near water.
Critics argued the bill would do little to help fight Zika virus, since mosquito-control agencies already have authority to apply pesticides in emergency situations to prevent the spread of infectious disease without applying for permits.
Opponents say the bill has nothing to do with combatting Zika and, instead has been on the table for years, with the majority pushing for its passage ''under whatever name'' was convenient at the time.15
Aerial Mosquito Spraying Linked to Increased Risk of AutismGreed is pushing for a number of potentially dangerous ''solutions'' to combat mosquitoes and related diseases. By removing requirements for permits when spraying pesticides near water, it's likely the use of these chemicals will skyrocket, including via aerial spraying.
Unfortunately, many may suffer as a result. In research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting, aerial pesticide exposure was linked to an increased risk of developmental delays and autism spectrum disorder among children.16 The study compared children living in zip codes where aerial pesticide spraying was used each summer to combat mosquitoes that carry the eastern equine encephalitis virus, with children living in non-aerial-spraying zip codes.
Children exposed to the aerial pesticide spraying were about 25 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism or have a documented developmental delay than those living in areas that used other methods of pesticide application (such as manual spreading of granules).
If authorities use the supposed threat of Zika to increase aerial spraying, it could increase children's risk of brain disorders, which is the opposite of what anti-Zika campaigns are supposed to achieve.
Are There Other Potential Explanations for an Increase in Microcephaly?It's possible Zika-carrying mosquitoes could be involved in suspected cases of microcephaly, but there are other factors that should be considered as well. For starters, the outbreak occurred in a largely poverty-stricken agricultural area of Brazil that uses large amounts of banned pesticides.
Between these factors and the lack of sanitation and widespread vitamin A and zinc deficiency, you already have the basic framework for an increase in poor health outcomes among newborn infants in that area. Environmental pollution and toxic pesticide exposure have been positively linked to a wide array of adverse health effects, including birth defects. For instance:
Vitamin A deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of microcephalyThe CDC lists malnutrition and exposure to toxic chemicals as known risk factorsThe CDC also notes certain infections during pregnancy, including rubella, cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, and others are risk factorsNatural Ways to Repel MosquitoesMany experts agree that the threat of an epidemic outbreak of Zika virus on continental U.S. soil is virtually nonexistent. So you needn't go dousing your backyard in chemicals in an attempt to stay safe from the Zika virus (whose connection to birth defects is still being explored). If however, mosquitoes are bothersome for you, there are some steps you can take to encourage them to live elsewhere.
Draining standing water, including pet bowls, gutters, garbage and recycling bins, spare tires, bird baths, children's toys and so on, is important. This is where mosquitoes breed, so if you eliminate standing water you'll eliminate many mosquitoes. Planting marigolds around your yard also works as a bug repellent because the flowers give off a fragrance that bugs do not like. This is a great way to ward off mosquitoes without using chemical insecticides.
A simple house fan could also help keep mosquitoes at bay if you're having a get-together in your backyard or, for a longer-term solution, try installing a bat house (bats are voracious consumers of insects, especially mosquitoes).
It's best to avoid using bug zappers in your yard, as these may actually attract more mosquitoes while killing beneficial insects. Insect foggers designed to clear insects out of your backyard should also be avoided, as they require the use of strong, potentially harmful, pesticides and don't offer lasting protection.
Even those clip-on repellents and fans that are widely sold are best avoided, as they contain even more toxic ingredients than repellents that can be applied to your skin, and they pose an inhalation hazard.17
Some experts also recommend supplementing with one vitamin B1 tablet a day from April through October, and then adding 100 mg of B1 to a B-100 Complex daily during the mosquito season to make you less attractive to mosquitoes. Regularly consuming garlic may also help protect against mosquito bites, as may the following natural insect repellants:
Cinnamon leaf oil (one study found it was more effective at killing mosquitoes than DEET18)Clear liquid vanilla extract mixed with olive oilWash with citronella soap, and then put some 100 percent pure citronella essential oil on your skin. Java citronella is considered the highest quality citronella on the marketCatnip oil (according to one study, this oil is 10 times more effective than DEET19)
Oxitec Limited: Private Company Information - Businessweek
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 14:09
June 12, 2016 10:09 AM ET
BiotechnologyCompany OverviewOxitec Ltd. operates as a biotechnology company that provides solutions for controlling insects that spread diseases and damage crops. It offers Aedes aegypti OX513A, a bisex RIDL strain for genetic backgrounds in Asia and Latin America; Aedes aegypti OX3604C, a female-flightless RIDL strain for genetic backgrounds in Mexico; Aedes albopictus OX3688, a female-flightless RIDL strain for genetic backgrounds in Asia; Oxitec Diamondback Moth OX4319L, a fluorescent marker to identify the Oxitec moths and distinguish them from wild ones; and Pink bollworm OX1138, a fluorescent marker that glows red when viewed under certain filters. The company also provides Pink bollworm OX3402, a fluorescent mar...
Oxitec Ltd. operates as a biotechnology company that provides solutions for controlling insects that spread diseases and damage crops. It offers Aedes aegypti OX513A, a bisex RIDL strain for genetic backgrounds in Asia and Latin America; Aedes aegypti OX3604C, a female-flightless RIDL strain for genetic backgrounds in Mexico; Aedes albopictus OX3688, a female-flightless RIDL strain for genetic backgrounds in Asia; Oxitec Diamondback Moth OX4319L, a fluorescent marker to identify the Oxitec moths and distinguish them from wild ones; and Pink bollworm OX1138, a fluorescent marker that glows red when viewed under certain filters. The company also provides Pink bollworm OX3402, a fluorescent marker that offers a replacement to irradiation for sterilization of the moths; and Medfly OX3864A, a female-specific strain, which enables separation of the sexes to allow male release by removal of the supplement from the diet of the final release generation. In addition, it offers Mexfly OX3097B, a female specific Oxitec strain that provides female lethality in the absence of a dietary supplement by permitting a male-only release in the final release generation; and Olive fly OX3713A, a female-specific Oxitec strain, which provides separation of the sexes to allow a male release. Oxitec Ltd. was founded in 2002 and is based in Oxford, United Kingdom. As of September 8, 2015, Oxitec Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of Intrexon Corporation.
71 Innovation Drive
Milton Park
Milton
Abingdon, OX14 4RQ
United Kingdom
Founded in 2002
Key Executives for Oxitec LimitedChief Executive Officer and Director
Head of Agricultural Research
Head of Public Health Research
Compensation as of Fiscal Year 2015.
Oxitec Limited Key DevelopmentsNational Health Surveillance Agency of Brazil (Anvisa) to Grant Special Temporary Registration for Oxitec's GE Mosquito
Apr 13 16
The National Health Surveillance Agency of Brazil (Anvisa) announced that they would grant a special temporary registration (RET, Registro Especial Temporrio) to Oxitec to deploy its genetically engineered mosquito, OX513A, known as Friendly Aedes aegypti, throughout the country. Oxitec's biological approach to control the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary vector for transmitting dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses to humans, was approved by National Technical Biosafety Commission (CTNBio) in 2014. However at that time, Anvisa did not yet have legislation in place to regulate this innovative class of vector control technology. With the guidance issued, Anvisa is elaborating new rules to provide Brazil with a regulatory framework that is able to deal with this and any similar products that may be developed. In the interim Anvisa will grant Oxitec the freedom to use Friendly Aedes aegypti in projects across the country. This should assist the development of the product within Brazil so that it can be used as part of programs designed to fight Aedes aegypti, the dangerous vector of dengue, chikungunya and Zika. Recently recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for deployment in operational conditions, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) also just declared it will provide technical support for countries that wish to implement OX513A, Oxitec's Friendly Aedes aegypti in the fight against this menacing mosquito. In five separate efficacy trials across Brazil, Panama, and the Cayman Islands, releases of Friendly Aedesaegypti were able to reduce the local populations of wild Aedes aegypti by over 90% in each of the targeted areas. In Piracicaba, Brazil, preliminary results have shown a reduction of 82% in Aedes aegypti wild larvae in the area treated with Friendly Aedes aegypti, compared to the non-treated area.
FDA Publishes Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact on Oxitec's Self-Limiting Mosquito
Mar 11 16
The US Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM) released in the Federal Register a preliminary finding of no significant impact (FONSI) on Oxitec's self-limiting OX513A Aedes aegypti mosquito for an investigational trial in the Florida Keys. The finding agrees with the draft environmental assessment (EA) submitted by Oxitec Ltd., that concludes a field trial of the Company's genetically engineered (GE) OX513A mosquitoes in Key Haven, Florida, will not result in a significant impact on the environment. This follows an FDA-led evaluation of potential impacts on health and the environment of the proposed trial. The purpose of the proposed trial is to determine the efficacy of Oxitec's self-limiting mosquitoes for the control of the local population of Aedes aegypti in Key Haven, Monroe County, Florida. Oxitec's self-limiting mosquitoes have been genetically engineered so that their offspring die before reaching adulthood. Male Oxitec mosquitoes, which do not bite or spread disease, are released to mate with wild female Aedes aegypti so that their offspring die, reducing the population. Efficacy trials in Brazil, Panama, and the Cayman Islands have tested this approach, and in these trials the population of Aedes aegypti was reduced by more than 90% - an exceptional level of control compared to conventional methods, such as insecticides.
Oxitec Ltd. Presents at BVCA Summit 2015, Oct-08-2015 04:10 PM
Sep 23 15
Oxitec Ltd. Presents at BVCA Summit 2015, Oct-08-2015 04:10 PM. Venue: London, United Kingdom. Speakers: Haydn Parry, Chief Executive Officer.
Similar Private Companies By IndustryRecent Private Companies TransactionsTypeDateTargetMerger/AcquisitionAugust 10, 2015--
NWO
Google Public Policy Blog: The Trans-Pacific Partnership: A Step Forward for the Internet
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 20:33
Posted by Kent Walker, SVP and General CounselWhen we think about global trade, most of us imagine container ships navigating the Panama Canal and large multinational companies with warehouses around the world. But the Internet is upending this model and opening the door for the over three billion people already online to exchange goods, services, and ideas.
Today, a small business can sell its products overseas with little more than an app or website. An artist, musician, or author can reach a global audience without needing a superstar agent. A small business on Bainbridge Island, Washington sells its marine parts to customers in 176 countries, and a unique performer like Lindsey Stirling cultivates a global audience with millions of views on YouTube.
The Internet is profoundly changing the global economy -- democratizing who participates in trade, transforming the way traditional industries do business, and internationalizing the way people around the world connect. Today, information flows contribute more than the flow of physical goods to global economic growth.
But Internet restrictions -- like censorship, site-blocking, and forced local storage of data -- threaten the Internet's open architecture. This can seriously harm established businesses, startups trying to reach a global audience, and Internet users seeking to communicate and collaborate across national borders.
Trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are beginning to recognize the Internet's transformative impact on trade.
The Internet has revolutionized how people can share and access information, and the TPP promotes the free flow of information in ways that are unprecedented for a binding international agreement. The TPP requires the 12 participating countries to allow cross-border transfers of information and prohibits them from requiring local storage of data. These provisions will support the Internet's open architecture and make it more difficult for TPP countries to block Internet sites -- so that users have access to a web that is global, not just local. The TPP provides strong copyright protections, while also requiring fair and reasonable copyright exceptions and limitations that protect the Internet. It balances the interests of copyright holders with the public's interest in the wider distribution and use of creative works -- enabling innovations like search engines, social networks, video recording, the iPod, cloud computing, and machine learning. The endorsement of balanced copyright is unprecedented for a trade agreement. The TPP similarly requires the kinds of copyright safe harbors that have been critical to the Internet's success, with allowances for some variation to account for different legal systems. The TPP advances other important Internet policy goals. It prohibits discrimination against foreign Internet services, limits governments' ability to demand access to encryption keys or other cryptographic methods, requires pro-innovation telecom access policies, prohibits customs duties on digital products, requires proportionality in intellectual property remedies, and advances other key digital goals. The TPP is not perfect, and the trade negotiation process could certainly benefit from greater transparency. We will continue to advocate for process reforms, including the opportunity for all stakeholders to have a meaningful opportunity for input into trade negotiations.In terms of substance, we believe that future trade agreements can do even more to build a modern pro-innovation, pro-Internet trade agenda. For example, while the TPP's balanced copyright provisions can be a force for good, these balancing provisions should be expanded in future agreements.
We hope that the TPP can be a positive force and an important counterweight to restrictive Internet policies around the world. Like many other tech companies, we look forward to seeing the agreement approved and implemented in a way that promotes a free and open Internet across the Pacific region.
Space Wars
Cyber Attack On Satellite Could Be Act Of War: HPSCI Ranking Breaking Defense - Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 21:34
CAPITOL HILL: In a rare public event, the No. 2 member of the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee (HPSCI), Rep. Adam, said a cyber attack on a US satellite could be considered an act of war.
While this may sound like common sense to some, the question of whether using cyber to interfere with or disable a military or intelligence satellite would constitute an act of war has been one of those questions like the old philosophic chestnut: ''If a tree falls in the forest but nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?'' Senior military and intelligence officials have been extremely careful in answering the cyber question, in part because determining the difference between an act of espionage and one that constitutes an attack can be challenging.
''Measures taken against our strategic Indication and Warning (I&W) systems (spy satellites) would obviously be viewed as provocations, if not belligerent acts; a foreign actor also could initiate'... a reversible process, like Radio Frequency (RF) jamming,'' Schiff said in his prepared remarks.
The decision to react '-- and how to react '-- would be complex, Schiff made very clear in an appearance this morning before the Air Force Association's Mitchell Space Breakfast. We would need to be able to figure out just who actually committed the attack '-- attribution. Then we need to decide how much we can make public about the attribution. That will depend, to some degree, on how much information can safely be made public, Schiff said. If all those conditions can be met, then the US could target one of the enemy's satellites. Or a ground station. Or another target. All those factors must be weighed carefully.
''Of course we can better guard against such things by requiring our intelligence satellites to carry defensive mechanisms on board. But the trouble is how that move could be perceived internationally,'' Schiff noted. ''The addition of a defensive capability might make our overhead satellites start to seem like airborne weaponry.''
And ''if you get into a tit-for-tat exchange you may end up costing yourself more than your adversaries,'' Schiff said.
One of the most difficult conundrum about space warfare '-- beyond attribution '-- is just what constitutes an attack. Part of deciding that involves defining what constitutes a valid target and a lawful means of attack. Since much of what the US can actually do to deter an enemy in space is highly classified, we didn't learn much from Schiff, but he did say this:
''In terms of our space systems, obviously, I can't go into any detail on it here, but there are a whole host of ways of attacking a space system. They can be attacked kinetically from the ground. They can be jammed. They can be disabled. They can attacked through cyber, and they can be attacked by other bodies also in space,'' Schiff said. ''And so we are certainly investing in technologies to help us make our space systems more resilient and to defend the space systems up there already that may not be very resilient and guard against cyber attacks.''
So deterrence is crucial, as is making systems more resilient. More on this soon.
Common Core
Austin Students Failing Tests Won't Be Retested After Glitch
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 13:02
AUSTIN, TX -- Student in the fifth and eighth grades who failed the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test won't be held back a year or need to retest after the new testing vendor seemingly lost the tests.
''I apologize for the continuing problems our students and staff are being forced to deal with because of ongoing reporting issues with our testing vendor," Commissioner of Education Mike Morath said in a press release issued Friday. "Kids in the classroom should never suffer from mistakes made by adults. We intend to hold the vendor, Educational Testing Service, accountable.''
Problems at New Jersey-based ETS began in March, when some school districts reported issues with online tests that caused answers to be lost -- a computer glitch that affected 14,000 exams. Subsequent problems include a West Austin school district's assertions that ETS had lost exams for its 3rd through 8th grade students it sent to the company, according to multiple reports.
But ETS officials dispute the school district's account, reports the Texas Tribune. The vendor issued a statement saying the test results weren't lost as school district officials claim but they simply hadn't received them yet.
''Scores for students in the Eanes School District are not lost and will be reported, as scheduled,'' the company said in a statement. "As millions of score reports were returned to ETS for processing in May, ETS contacted the district with due diligence because our tracking system indicated we had not yet received their shipment."
Later, the tests were indeed received, ETS officials said, and they were just about to process them as the issue became public.
"The district indicated they had shipped them and this was subsequently confirmed," the vendor said. "ETS then informed the District Test Coordinator that the scores had been received and were being processed.''
But the Texas Education Agency in general, and Morath in particular, appear to be cutting their losses. The June 21-22 re-testing dates for students who failed the test is cancelled, and there won't be repercussions to students.
Still, the TEA urged educators at affected schools to use their discretion into accelerating educational instruction for students, if needed, for affected students.
"Districts are still encouraged to use local discretion to determine on an individual basis whether accelerated instruction should be offered to support students," TEA officials said. "Districts will not be required to convene Grade Placement Committees but are encouraged to use all relevant and available academic information to make promotion decisions."
This is the first year ETS had administered the readiness exams after the state discontinued its longtime contract with London-based Pearson, the Tribune noted.
Read the full story at Texas Tribune >>
Common Core: Surveillance and Sexualization of Children
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 13:15
Common core is a set of standards promoting dangerous New World Order schemes such as the surveillance and sexualization of children.
educational standards for American children funded by Bill Gates, the very same man who is pushing GMOs, vaccines and other New World Order (NWO) Agenda 21-style schemes. In another example of blatant doublespeak, the curricula are named ''Common Core State Standards'', despite the fact they were forced onto the states with bribes, came top-down from the US Federal Government and were written by the international elite. Common Core first came onto the scene in 2009, after Obama took office, using money from the $350 million stimulus package. Common Core is another manifestation of a long-held dream of the NWO manipulators to replace the family with the State, a plan laid out in novels such as Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, which included reference to State hatcheries (i.e. State control of reproduction).
The privately-owned and copyrighted Common Core logo. Notice how it resembles a circle of hypnosis, and a fracturing of harmony.
Common Core: Of the Manipulators, By the Manipulators, For the MassesDid you know Common Core is actually copyrighted? It's a private set of standards. It's of the manipulators (since it's owned by them), written by the manipulators, but it's for the masses '' all the ''common'' people not wealthy enough to go rich schools where the future leaders of the New World Order will learn an entirely different curriculum '... one which probably trains them to become creative thinkers rather than the ''obedient workers'' John D. Rockefeller wanted common Americans to become. Even the Common Core logo resembles something hypnotic and discordant.
It's important in this discussion to remember that the entire basis of Common Core is government overreach. The 10th Amendment to the US Constitution clearly states that ''The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people''. Truly, there is no lawful basis for the centralization of power and thought that is Common Core.
Educator Dr. Duke Pesta has been working tirelessly to expose Common Core for what it really is ever since it was launched 7 years ago. In his recent presentation, Duke reveals how the Government is already pushing for ''public boarding schools'' to be open from 8am to 8pm, 365 days per year! He quotes 2 men who were at the forefront of American education, Horace Mann and John Dewey. The latter was an open communist:
''We are who engaged in the sacred cause of education are entitled to look upon all parents as having given hostages to our cause.''
'' Horace Mann
''The children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society '...''
'' John Dewey
Is Common Core helping the school to replace the family as a surrogate parent? Is Common Core promoting the idea of collectivism, that the individual is subservient to the group, institution, system and State? It would appear so, but that's not all it's doing.
Commmon Core mathematics: get punished for being too right.
Common Core: Minimally ExceptionalCommon Core is now being used in 47 out of 50 US states '' in almost all public schools '' and even if your children are in private schools or homeschooled, as long as they want to go to university or college, they will have to pass SAT/ACT tests written by the same man (David Coleman) who wrote the main English components. Common Core is not designed for local autonomy; teachers have to strictly follow its guidelines, or risk having students do poorly on the test. Duke plays video clips of 3 key men who were involved in creating Common Core:
''It would be great if our education stuff worked (Common Core), but we're not going to know for a decade.''
'' Bill Gates
''Teachers will teach towards the test; there is no force strong enough to prevent teachers from teaching towards the test''
'' David Coleman, chief architect of Common Core, who never taught in a elementary school and never edited a scholarly journal. He has now joined College Boards writing SAT and ACT tests.
''[Common Core meets a] minimal definition of college readiness'' (i.e. not for STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
'' Jason Zimba, architect of Common Core mathematics, admitting ''college ready'' really meant ready for a non-selective community college
There was another man involved in Common Core who was so disgusted he didn't sign off on the final standards:
''Using Common Core math standards will put American students 2 years behind their international peers by the end of 8th grade, and further behind by the end of high school.''
'' Dr. James Milgram, who refused to sign off on the Common Core standards
To make matters worse, the Common Core assessments are meaningless tests, because the grading process is rigged (just like the votes in American elections!). At least there's some consistency with the widespread fraud, I guess '... did you know that the people running Common Core advertised on Craigslist for temporary workers (at $9/hour) to grade papers? Then, these workers were told that they needed to mark papers to fit into a bell curve with standard deviations (a certain amount of 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s etc.) and ''needed to learn to see more papers as a 3''. In others words, they had to fit the results into a predetermined spread and ignore the actual quality of the paper!
Common Core surveillance is not just cameras or CCTV. It's data mining all day long through all sorts of games, tests and devices. The State wants to know every potential enemy right from the cradle '...
Common Core SurveillanceThis is all bad enough, but hold on, because now it starts to get really Orwellian. Children are being spied upon more and more under Common Core. Some of the ways are stealthy, such as through devices like iPads, as this article suggests:
''Initially, in order to continue to be eligible for Obama's ''Race to the Top'' federal funding, states were obligated to implement a Student Longitudinal Database System (SLDS), used to track students from preschool through college (P20-WIN). Some of us may recall the many reports about measuring 400 data points '... could these one to one devices be another carefully disguised method of software-driven mass surveillance of students?''
'' '... all across America, more and more classrooms will be filled with children innocently using their iPads or other handheld devices. Children may be playing interactive educational games, doing interactive assignments, and writing stories that can be easily shared with the teacher and other students. These seemingly harmless activities are in fact being used to collect personal and private information without the parents' consent or knowledge. Could that educational game be used to measure your child's mental state? Could those interactive assignments involve morally ambiguous questions that can be used to create a psychological profile of your child? Could that shared story be used to predict violent behavior?''
''Perhaps even more alarming is the fact that data collection will also include critical appraisals of individuals with whom students have close family relationships. The Common Core program has been heavily scrutinized recently for the fact that its curriculum teaches young children to use emotionally charged language to manipulate others and teaches students how to become community organizers and experts of the U.N.'s agenda 21.''
Some of the Common Core surveillance is data mining, as this article explains:
''In this modern computer era, digital personal data is gold, currently being traded like currency '... the CEO of Knewton explains how Education is today's most data mined industry. He explains ''the name of the game is data per user''. From Amazon or Netflix they get 1 data point per user per day. Google and Facebook 10 data points per user per day. In education, Knewton gets 5-10 million actionable data points per student per day! Apparently, every sentence of every passage in digital content has a data tag and they can tell how interested a child is in a certain topic, how difficult it was, etc., etc. Ten million data points a day! This data grab is a gold mine to companies that want to market and design products. For venture capitalists, Education is the new hot commodity.''
The NWO manipulators also have plans to introduce all sorts of devices into the classroom which intrude upon the basic privacy of children, including a ''facial expression camera'', ''posture analysis seat'', ''pressure mouse'' and ''wireless skin conductance sensor''. See this report entitled Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century for more details (pg. 62).
Common Core sexualization of children is rampant.
Common Core Sexualization of ChildrenIntroducing kids to sex, including sexual education, at too young of an age, can be confusing and detrimental. A core theme of the worldwide conspiracy is the increasing sexualization of children, which is being fueled by the NWO manipulators' indulgence in widespread pedophilia. The article Colorado School Employing ''Anti-Bias'' Curriculum Has Parents Asking Questions highlights how a Common Core aligned school is teaching an anti-bias curriculum. Sounds good, but this means more tyrannical and freedom-destroying political correctness, coupled with sex ed to 4 year olds! As an aside, the organization promoting this is ''Teaching Tolerance'' which is aligned with the Southern Poverty Law Center '' the same one which covers up the truth by falsely branding people anti-Semitic etc.
Children are being encouraged to have sex and be sexual at an early age, which may well be developmentally inappropriate and harmful, given that amount of emotional maturity that is necessary to be involved in a sexual relationship. Now it's going one step further. Some American public schools under Common Core are already giving advanced forms of birth control to children without parental knowledge. According to Duke, under Common Core, schools now have legal capacity to take teenage girls off campus to an abortion clinic to get an abortion '' without informing or consulting parents!
Conclusion: Common Core is a Tool of the NWOThe word ''common'' in common core really means ''lowest common denominator''. Essentially, Common Core is a form of socialism, Marxism or communism that brings everyone down to an equal level. George W. Bush let Senator Teddy Kennedy write the ''No Child Left Behind'' Act, which had too many stupid high-stake tests, too much social ideology and propaganda being injected, too little local teacher control and too much federal intervention. Common Core is all this on steroids: the ESSA Act (Every Student Succeeds Act) enshrines Common Core at the federal level, and retroactively legalizes all the illegal things the Federal Government did to get it through.
The bottom line is this: if you want your child to have your values, don't throw him or her away to the State. Avoid Common Core all you can! Homeschool or find a private school that doesn't do Common Core curriculum.
*****
Want insightful commentary and analysis on Conspiracy, Health, Geopolitics, Sovereignty, Consciousness and more? Sign up for free blog updates!
Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative news / independent media site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com (FaceBook here), writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance.
Sources:
*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyRr6nBEnz4
*http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/08/_common_core_whos_watching_the_kids.html
*https://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/what-does-the-passage-of-hr5-the-new-no-child-left-behind-mean-for-american-children/
*http://truthinmedia.com/the-most-dangerous-domestic-spying-program-is-common-core/
*http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGph7QHzmo8
*http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0iYgcRRk5w
*https://dianeravitch.net/2016/02/04/warning-digitized-instruction-data-mining/
*http://pgbovine.net/OET-Draft-Grit-Report-2-17-13.pdf
*http://stopcommoncorenc.org/colorado-school-employing-anti-bias-curriculum-has-parents-asking-questions/
*http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/satanic-pedophilia-network-exposed-australia/
*http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/political-correctness-language-thought-control/
EuroLand
Croatia FA apologise for swastika after Nazi symbol was visible on pitch during Euro 2016 qualifier - Mirror Online
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 12:49
Croatian football chiefs have apologised after a swastika was visible on the pitch during their Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy in Split on Friday night.
Television viewers were clearly able to see the Nazi symbol in the grass at the Poljud Stadium, which was created using a chemical agent and designed to be visible to coincide with the game.
The match was played without fans in the stadium as a punishment for Croatia supporters' racist chanting during a game with Norway in March, making this swastika incident particularly ill-timed.
The game itself finished 1-1 after ground staff tried but failed to cover up the symbol during the half time break.
"A chemical agent was used on the field 24 to 48 hours before the kick-off, timed to be visible during the qualifying match," confirmed a Croatian official"We apologise to all viewers, our guests from Italy and the players from both teams, for the Nazi symbol on the Poljud Stadium grass," Croatian Football Federation press officer Tomislav Pacak said.
"Technically speaking, a chemical agent was used on the field 24 to 48 hours before the kick-off, timed to be visible during the qualifying match.
"During the half-time, we have tried to remedy the situation to the best of our abilities, given the short amount of time."
Police officers watch on as ground staff try to cover up the symbol...... but with no successPacak went on to reveal that UEFA had been notified about the incident and called on the police to bring those responsible to justice.
He added: "This was an obvious act of sabotage and a criminal act. We condemn it and ask the police and judicial bodies to find the person(s) responsible for what is a shame not only for Croatian football, but the entire country.
"Once again, we express regret and condemn this act, and we apologise to all the viewers, guests and players from both teams."
The Croatian FA have apologised for the incident
NA-Tech News
Tesla Uses $300M in Model 3 Deposits to Stay Afloat - Breitbart
Sat, 11 Jun 2016 04:27
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Tesla Motors Inc. caused a sensation by picking up $300 million in Model 3 customer deposit cash in just 96 hours this week. The hidden story: that money may have rescued Tesla from a precarious negative working capital crisis. Tesla now has the opportunity to become a profitable car company for the first time.Most people do not realize that the average vehicle sold in the U.S. has been sitting on a dealer's lot for about 60 days. That explains why Ford has $126 billion and GM has $6.5 billion in positive working capital (current assets minus current liabilities), to fund their operations.
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Tesla's hype allowed the company to raise $5 billion of equity and debt to fund its car company, and to support the process of raising another $5 billion for its ''Gigafactory,'' which will build lithium ion batteries for its vehicles and Powerwall energy storage systems.
Investors' willingness to pony up seemingly endless amounts of cash over the last decade to fund operations is phenomenal, given that at the end of 2015 Tesla was losing $19,810 on each car it sold, and hemorrhaging negative cash flow of $51,344 on each vehicle it built. As a result, Tesla at year-end had a dangerous negative working capital position of $24.7 million.
The main reason Tesla was able to continue operating over the last six months was collecting $5,000 customer deposit checks for future delivery of its $72,000 average selling price Model X, introduced on September 29, 2015. With 31,300 preorders, customer cash deposits reduced Tesla's risky negative working capital position by $156.5 million.
But with Model X deliveries beginning December 18, 2015, and most of the backlog filled in 2016, Wall Street analysts panicked in the first six weeks of 2016 that Tesla was running out of cash and might fail. Tesla's stock plunged by 40 percent, to $146 a share.
In what many analysts saw as a desperate move to save the company, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on February 10 that the company would begin taking $1,000 deposits on its Model 3 '-- average selling price, $42,000 '-- on March 31 for initial deliveries in late 2017.
Analysts scoffed at Tesla slashing its traditional $5,000 deposit to $1,000 as another sign of competitive weakness. Expecting 50,000 preorders could generate $50 million in cash deposits, the analysts projected Tesla would just barely be able to cover its negative working capital situation.
But viral customer enthusiasm for the mid-priced Tesla Model X generated 27,000 people camping out at dealerships to qualify to be in the front of the delivery line for a Model 3.
With total orders from dealerships and online breaking 300,000 by early evening on April 4, Tesla's working capital has done a financial somersault, from about negative $24.7 million to an outstandingly positive $275.3 million.
With a backlog of roughly $14.9 billion, Tesla can continue its money-losing for at least another 12 months before the next cash crisis arrives. But with a strong balance sheet, Tesla now has the breathing room to become, potentially, a profitable company.
Parents are worried the Amazon Echo is conditioning their kids to be rude (AMZN) '-- Quartz
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 13:57
Alexa will put up with just about anything. She has a remarkable tolerance for annoying behavior, and she certainly doesn't care if you forget your please and thank yous.
But while artificial intelligence technology can blow past such indignities, parents are still irked by their kids' poor manners when interacting with Alexa, the assistant that lives inside the Amazon Echo.
''I've found my kids pushing the virtual assistant further than they would push a human,'' says Avi Greengart, a tech analyst and father of five who lives in Teaneck, New Jersey. ''[Alexa] never says 'That was rude' or 'I'm tired of you asking me the same question over and over again.'''
The ever-patient Alexa.Perhaps she should, he thinks.
When Amazon released its internet-connected speaker in 2014, the world was puzzled. ''Well this one came out of nowhere,'' mused the Verge. In the time since, the Amazon Echo has proven to be a sleeper hit, capable of learning many new ''skills,'' so that it can control the smart home, add events to your calendar, summon an Uber, even tell knock-knock jokes. It's become such an curious and influential device that Google last month gave the world a peek at its equivalent, the Google Home, and Apple is reportedly cooking up its own version powered by Siri.
Because Alexa responds to verbal commands, the Echo is incredibly child-friendly. Amazon says it didn't build the Echo with kids in mind, but they're eagerly embracing it. Unlike the iPad, which children have taken to with ease (ever see a toddler try to swipe a book or TV?), the Amazon Echo doesn't require them to learn new gestures or even know how to read. Mimicking their parents, they quickly discover that if they start a sentence with ''Alexa,'' the speaker will perk up and (for the most part) do as they say.
Alexa, tell me a knock-knock joke.
Alexa, how do you spell forest?
Alexa, what's 17 times 42?
The syntax is generally simple and straightforward, but it doesn't exactly reward niceties like ''please.'' Adding to this, extraneous words can often trip up the speaker's artificial intelligence. When it comes to chatting with Alexa, it pays to be direct'--curt even. ''If it's not natural language, one of the first things you cut away is the little courtesies,'' says Dennis Mortensen, who founded a calendar-scheduling startup called x.ai.
For parents trying to drill good manners into their children, listening to their kids boss Alexa around can be disconcerting.
''One of the responsibilities of parents is to teach your kids social graces,'' says Greengart, ''and this is a box you speak to as if it were a person who does not require social graces.''
It's this combination that worries Hunter Walk, a tech investor in San Francisco. In a blog post, he described the Amazon Echo as ''magical'' while expressing fears it's ''turning our daughter into a raging asshole.''
He might be a tad hyperbolic. (''For what it's worth,'' says Rebecca Hanover Kurzweil, a friend and fellow parent-cum-Amazon Echo owner, ''his daughter is the sweetest girl you've ever met.'')
In general, kids can be hard to understand'--more so when it's artificial intelligence that's deciphering their speech. Hanover Kurzweil, who lives in San Francisco, says Alexa had a hard time comprehending her four-year-old son when he tried summoning the speaker with ''Awexa.'' But after a month or two of working on his pronunciation, his l's started ringing clear as a bell, she says.
Walk, however, noticed another unintended effect of his four-year-old adapting her speech to Alexa's understanding. ''Because she is a little girl,'' he says, ''she needs to speak loudly, and there's an unintentional aggressive tone to her command.''
A can that sits on a table?(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)Not all parents are so worried about the implications of their kids' mannerisms when interacting with a speaker, though. This is, after all, a ''can that sits on a table,'' says Holly Petersen, a mother of two who lives in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
Though Petersen jokes her kids should've given Alexa a Mother's Day card, she believes her children, ages five and seven, know the difference between bot and human.
''It is important for my kids to be able to empathize with people and read emotions off people and be polite with people,'' she says. But ''Alexa doesn't have feelings, and I don't want her over-personified.''
Kim Barry, a mother of two who lives in North Bay, Ontario in Canada, is contemplating buying an Amazon Echo for her household after seeing her kids interact with their uncle's device over video chat. ''When they're Skyping with uncle Andrew, they Skype with Alexa,'' she says. But she isn't too concerned about their manners. ''Realistically, it's no different than Google on their tablet,'' she adds, noting that her children often use the voice search function.
Still, with the proliferation of AI, a debate is emerging around how humans should treat bots.
Mortensen, who created the calendar-scheduling assistant, is a big believer in being nice to bots. Citing a passage about the master-slave dialectic in Hegel's The Phenomenology of Spirit written in 1807, Mortensen argues that ''you are worse off if you treat your machines in a demeaning kind of way.''
A Dane living in New York City, Mortensen extends the same courtesies he would to a human when asking a bot to carry out a task, but he says that isn't the case when his teenage daughters talk to Alexa at home. ''It's very direct,'' he says. ''There's no 'Would you be so kind?' There's no 'please.' There's not a single 'thank you.' It just is.''
He doesn't correct them though since they ''are beyond the age of where I teach them decency and courtesy.''
But other parents haven't given up. Manu Kumar, a father of two and founder of investment firm K9 Ventures in Palo Alto, California, has attempted one tactic with his four-year-old with limited success. ''I have told my son that if he doesn't say 'thank you' or 'please' that Alexa will stop listening to him.''
Kumar bought the Amazon Echo this past May as a Mother's Day present for his wife. ''My wife describes it as almost like having a pet,'' he says. ''I think the anthropomorphication of it, the fact [you're talking to it], you can't think of it as a cylinder sitting there.''
Though he has a background in human-computer interaction, ultimately what matters most to him are not the arguments about master and slave, but simply the importance of being nice. ''One of my metrics for determining how nice someone is is by watching how they interact with a waiter,'' he says. ''In a similar way, even if the AI or tech doesn't care about it, other people around us are going to experience how we interact with it.''
The pro-polite arguments have some parents longing for a kid or family mode, where Alexa will only respond when she hears the magic word.
Of course, that would mean parents, too, would be beholden to these courtesies. Such a mode ''would probably be good for us,'' muses Hanover Kurzweil. ''I probably would use family mode because I'd feel guilty not using it.''
It's not such a farfetched idea given Amazon's various products built specifically with families in mind. But whether or not that's in the works, an Amazon representative declined to say.
As an aside, she did, however, write in an email: ''I think I'd like to use that with my daughter. :)''
The image at the top of this post was taken by Mindaugas Danys and shared under the Creative Commons license on Flickr.
The iPhone, brought to you by Bardeen, Shockley, and Brattain | AAAS MemberCentral
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 15:29
If you waited in line for an iPhone 5, you can appreciate that it was brought to you not only by Steve Jobs (posthumously) and Apple, but also by three men you may never have heard of: John Bardeen, William Shockley, and Walter Brattain; the inventors of the transistor.
Older radios and television sets were large and clunky. This was because their components required it, since large vacuum tubes were used to transmit electric current. With the invention of the transistor (a combination of ''transfer'' and ''resistor''), electronic devices could be made significantly smaller as well as more cheaply, revolutionizing the electronics industry.
A transistor is a device that amplifies an electronic signal. It is composed of semiconductor material with at least three terminals that connect to an external circuit. Current applied to one pair of terminals changes the current flowing to other terminals, but since the output power is greater than the input power, the effect is the amplification of the signal.
Transistors can be mass produced using a highly automated system at low cost. While some are produced individually, most are part of integrated circuits, along with resistors, capacitors and diodes, to form what we commonly call microchips.
In 1947, John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain all worked at Bell Labs in New Jersey. Their goal was to find a solid-state alternative to fragile glass vacuum tube amplifiers.
John Bardeen (1908 '' 1991) was a math genius from Madison, Wisconsin who graduated from high school and college early. He received a Ph.D. in mathematical physics from Princeton in 1936. During World War II, he took a leave of absence from teaching at the University of Minnesota to work for the Naval Ordnance Laboratory. After the war, his expertise in solid state physics led him to Bell Labs in 1945, where he teamed up with Shockley and Brattain.
William Shockley (1910 '' 1989) was born in London to American parents and raised in California. Shockley received a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1936. During World War II, he took a leave of absence from Bell Labs to be the research director at Columbia's Anti-Submarine Warfare Operations Group, investigating counter tactics for submarine warfare. After the war he returned to Bell Labs to lead the newly formed Solid State Physics Group.
Walter Brattain (1902 '' 1987) was born in China but grew up in Oregon and Washington. After obtaining undergraduate and master's degrees in physics and mathematics, he earned his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Minnesota in 1929, after which he was hired at Bell Telephone Laboratories. During World War II he worked on submarine detection at Columbia. After the war, he returned to Bell to work under Shockley.
The group initially worked well together, with Shockley working on the field effect principle, using an external electrical field on a semiconductor to affect its conductivity, and Bardeen and Brattain working on a point contact design for the transistor. When several patent applications were submitted without Shockley's name, however, he took offense because the work was based on his field effect theory.
Shockley continued in secret to build a transistor based on junctions rather than point contacts, which he believed would be more commercially viable. The junction transistor was introduced in 1951, and Shockley obtained a patent for it in his name. The junction transistor soon became the dominant format.
In recognition of their research, Shockley, Bardeen, and Brattain were jointly awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on semiconductors and transistors.
In the 1950s, Shockley helped found Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory in Mountain View, California. In the late 1950s, in response to Shockley's management style, eight of his researchers (who became known as the ''traitorous eight'') left his employ to form Fairchild Semiconductor. Two of those researchers later left to form Intel. By this time, germanium, which was originally used as the dominant semiconductor material in transistors, was replaced by silicon.
Over the course of the next two decades, Shockley's wayward researchers began 65 new enterprises, which led to the formation of what is now known as ''Silicon Valley,'' where innovation in electronics has become standard.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO_Hillary Clinton targets Donald Trump in first general election ad - CNNPolitics.com
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 14:19
Hillary Clinton's campaign will air their first general election television ad this week, targeting Donald Trump for comments about violence at his events and mocking a disabled New York Times reporter.
Clinton narrates the minute long spot -- titled "Who We Are" -- and cast the election as a decision between helping people and dividing the country.
"Today, we face a choice about who we are as a nation," Clinton says, before video plays of Trump telling an audience in Las Vegas that he would like to "punch" a protester "in the face."
This formula is used throughout the ad. "Do we help each other," Clinton asks, before Trump says "knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously." Back to Clinton, " Do we respect each other," before video plays of Trump mocking Serge Kovaleski, a New York Times reporter who suffers from a congenital joint condition.
"You gotta see this guy -- ahh - I don't know what I said -- ahh - I don't remember," Trump said at a rally in South Carolina.
Clinton then narrates a lengthy description of her presidential platform.
"It's wrong to pit people against each other," Clinton says. "We've had enough partisan division and gridlock already. It's time to unite behind some simple, common goals."
Clinton will speak in Cleveland on Monday, where aide says she will "define the choice that voters face in this election and outline her vision of an America that is stronger together."
On the same day, though, Trump will deliver a speech in New Hampshire, where he is expected to go after the Clintons for past scandals and controversies, namely those from the 1990s.
Clinton aides have said they are happy with this contrast: While Trump is talking about the 1990s, Clinton aides said, the former secretary of state will be speaking about how to help voters.
VIDEO-Clinton's strategy for combating new Secret Service tell-all book | Washington Examiner
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 13:59
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton's team is enlisting media and publishing pals to grab a copy of a soon-to-be-published eyewitness book written from a former Secret Service insider during the Clinton administration.
Publishing sources said the Clinton team went into war mode after the Drudge Report first revealed the book, "Crisis of Character," last week. That report pushed the book to No. 1 on Amazon for five straight days. It is being kept under lock and key.
The publishing sources said that Clinton officials have reached out to friendly reporters and media pals in hopes they can use their connections to get a copy of the book declared an "Amazon #1 Best Seller" and isn't even available until later this month.
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The book is written by decorated former Uniform Division officer Gary J. Byrne, who worked very closely with the first family during the Clinton years. He won a Treasury Department Service Award from the director of the Secret Service in 1994, some two years into the Clinton administration.
President Clinton listens to one of a series of direct questions about specific explicit sexual acts involving Monica Lewinsky, during the third hour of his videotaped testimony Monday, Aug. 17, 1998, at the White House. (AP Photo/APTV)
During his years there he was playfully dubbed "the Mayor of the West Wing" among some of his colleagues because of his by-the-book work ethic and the amount of time he spent there.
According to the sources, the Clinton campaign and its Super PAC are in full damage control mode, trying to get a copy of the book and combing through public records do discredit the 29-year law enforcement veteran.
The Lincoln Bedroom in the White House is shown on Oct. 17, 1957. President Clinton scribbled a note approving recommendations from his chief fund-raiser, Clinton-Gore finance chairman Terence McAuliffe, to use White House visits to encourage big Democratic donors and instructing aides to start overnight stays ``right away.'' Democratic donors, some who gave as much as $100,000 each, were rewarded with overnight stays in the room. (AP Photo)
Also from the Washington Examiner
Budgeting overhaul would make it easier to cut tax breaks but would tip the scales in favor of higher taxes.
'06/12/16 12:01 AM
They are concerned about what's in the book and some of the tidbits that have already leaked, such as Hillary Clinton's toss of a vase at her husband.
Publishing sources said Byrne describes an account of Hillary Clinton's heated temperament and Bill Clinton's reckless behavior, some of which was revealed in the Starr Report on his relationship with former intern Monica Lewinsky.
The sources said that the account "completely negates" Clinton's slam on Donald Trump that he lacks the temperament to be president.
Below is the Amazon write up of the book to be released June 28.
Posted directly outside President Clinton's Oval Office, Former Secret Service uniformed officer Gary Byrne reveals what he observed of Hillary Clinton's character and the culture inside the White House while protecting the First Family. Now that a second Clinton administration threatens '-- their scheme from the very beginning '-- Byrne exposes what he saw of the real Hillary Clinton.Also from the Washington Examiner
Concerning power officials are a lack of natural gas and whether rooftop solar will be enough.
'06/12/16 12:01 AM
While serving as a Secret Service Officer, Gary Byrne protected President Bill Clinton and the First Family in the White House and outside the Oval Office. There, he saw the political and personal machinations of Bill and Hillary Clinton and those who were fiercely loyal to them. In CRISIS OF CHARACTER Byrne provides a firsthand account of the scandals'--known and unknown'--and daily trials ranging from the minor to national in scale.Having witnessed the personal and political dysfunction of the Clinton White House'--so consumed by scandal and destroying their enemies, real and imagined'--Byrne came to understand that, to the Clintons, governing was an afterthought. He now tells this story'--before voters go to the polls'--in the hopes that Clinton supporters will understand the real Hillary Clinton.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com
Top Story
Authorities are investigating whether the attack was an act of domestic terrorism.
'06/12/16 8:50 AM
VIDEO-Amy Schumer Posts Bottomless Pic to Raise Awareness For Gun Control
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 11:50
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VIDEO-ELIZABETH WARREN SELLS HER SOUL TO SATAN ON LIVE TV! pt.1 - YouTube
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 06:07
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VIDEO-Federal Appeals Court Rules Second Amendment Does NOT Give People The Right To Conceal Carry! - YouTube
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VIDEO-Real Time with Bill Maher: Barbara Boxer '' High on Hillary - June 10, 2016 (HBO) - YouTube
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VIDEO-Pelosi Claims Government Created the iPhone, Not Steve Jobs or Apple - YouTube
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VIEO-NBC Hails Possible Endorsement from 'Progressive Champion' Warren | MRCTV
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 04:42
[See NewsBusters for more.] Journalists on NBC and CBS appeared excited over a possible endorsement of Hillary Clinton from ''progressive champion'' Elizabeth Warren. Both on Thursday made sure to highlight angry attacks by Warren on Donald Trump. Today reporter Kristen Welker cheered, ''As the President starts that healing process, Clinton is poised for a big endorsement.'' She enthused, ''A progressive champion, Warren could help win over Sanders supporters, and she's already proven an effective attack dog against Trump.'' Welker then played video of the Democratic Senator dismissing Trump as a ''a small, insecure, money-grubber who doesn't care who gets hurt so long as he makes a profit off it.''
VIDEO-Media Yawn At AP's Scoop On Possible Clinton E-Mail Leak of CIA Assets | MRCTV
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 04:30
[More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.]
As of the afternoon of 9 June 2016, the Big Three networks, along with CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, have yet to air one segment or news brief on the Associated Press's report on 8 June 2016 that spotlighted that "the names of CIA personnel could have been compromised not only by hackers who may have penetrated Hillary Clinton's private computer server or the State Department system." There were only passing mentions of the AP scoop on Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends on 9 June 2016, and by a conservative guest on the 8 June 2016 edition of Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN.
VIDEO-UN Chief Admits Bowing to Pressure in Removing Saudi Arabia From Child Conflict Blacklist | MRCTV
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 04:27
U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on Thursday effectively admitted bowing to pressure from member-states which threatened to withdraw funding to U.N. projects if he didn't remove Saudi Arabia's name from a blacklist of states and groups that violate children's rights in conflict.
VIDEO-Shock: ABC Investigates Clinton Donor Hillary Placed on Intelligence Board | MRCTV
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 04:12
[See NewsBusters for more.] In a refreshing twist, Good Morning America's reporters actually committed the act of journalism on Friday, investigating Hillary Clinton. Brian Ross wondering how and why the then-Secretary of State placed a wealthy donor on a sensitive, key intelligence board. In a story exclusive to ABC, Ross explained, ''The newly released State Department e-mails being made public here this morning reveal how under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a major donor to the Clinton Foundation was put on a sensitive government security advisory board, even though he had no known experience in the area.''
VIDEO-Weekly Address: Addressing Puerto Rico's Economic Crisis - YouTube
Sun, 12 Jun 2016 03:46
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VIDEO-How Clinton Donor Got on Sensitive Intelligence Board - ABC News
Sat, 11 Jun 2016 05:51
Newly released State Department emails help reveal how a major Clinton Foundation donor was placed on a sensitive government intelligence advisory board even though he had no obvious experience in the field, a decision that appeared to baffle the department's professional staff.
The emails further reveal how, after inquiries from ABC News, the Clinton staff sought to ''protect the name'' of the Secretary, ''stall'' the ABC News reporter and ultimately accept the resignation of the donor just two days later.
Copies of dozens of internal emails were provided to ABC News by the conservative political group Citizens United, which obtained them under the Freedom of Information Act after more the two years of litigation with the government.
A prolific fundraiser for Democratic candidates and contributor to the Clinton Foundation, who later traveled with Bill Clinton on a trip to Africa, Rajiv K. Fernando's only known qualification for a seat on the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) was his technological know-how. The Chicago securities trader, who specialized in electronic investing, sat alongside an august collection of nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries and members of Congress to advise Hillary Clinton on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and on other crucial arms control issues.
''We had no idea who he was,'' one board member told ABC News.
A State Department photograph shows the 2011 International Security Advisory Board. Rajiv Fernando is seated on the far left of the image.Fernando's lack of any known background in nuclear security caught the attention of several board members, and when ABC News first contacted the State Department in August 2011 seeking a copy of his resume, the emails show that confusion ensued among the career government officials who work with the advisory panel.
''I have spoken to [State Department official and ISAB Executive Director Richard Hartman] privately, and it appears there is much more to this story that we're unaware of,'' wrote Jamie Mannina, the press aide who fielded the ABC News request. ''We must protect the Secretary's and Under Secretary's name, as well as the integrity of the Board. I think it's important to get down to the bottom of this before there's any response.
''As you can see from the attached, it's natural to ask how he got onto the board when compared to the rest of the esteemed list of members,'' Mannina wrote, referring to an attachment that was not included in the recent document release.
Fernando himself would not answer questions from ABC News in 2011 about what qualified him for a seat on the board or led to his appointment. When ABC News finally caught up with Fernando at the 2012 Democratic convention, he became upset and said he was "not at liberty" to speak about it. Security threatened to have the ABC News reporter arrested.
At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, ABC News' Brian Ross asks Rajiv Fernando about his 2011 appointment to the State Department's International Security Advisory Board.Fernando's expertise appeared to be in the arena of high-frequency trading -- a form of computer-generated stock trading. At the time of his appointment, he headed a firm, Chopper Trading, that was a leader in that field.
Fernando's history of campaign giving dated back at least to 2003 and was prolific -- and almost exclusively to Democrats. He was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton's 2008 bid for president, giving maximum contributions to her campaign, and to HillPAC, in 2007 and 2008. He also served as a fundraising bundler for Clinton, gathering more than $100,000 from others for her White House bid. After Barack Obama bested Clinton for the 2008 nomination, Fernando became a major fundraiser for the Obama campaign. Prior to his State Department appointment, Fernando had given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation, and another $30,000 to a political advocacy group, WomenCount, that indirectly helped Hillary Clinton retire her lingering 2008 campaign debts by renting her campaign email list.
The appointment qualified Fernando for one of the highest levels of top secret access, the emails show. Among those with whom Fernando served on the International Security Advisory Board was David A. Kay, the former head of the Iraq Survey Group and United Nations Chief Weapons Inspector; Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, a former National Security Advisor to two presidents; two former congressmen; and former Sen. Chuck Robb. William Perry, the former Secretary of Defense, chaired the panel.
''It is certainly a serious, knowledgeable and experienced group of experts,'' said Bruce Blair, a Princeton professor whose principal research covers the technical and policy steps on the path toward the verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons. ''Much of the focus has been on questions of nuclear stability and the risks of nuclear weapons use by Russia and Pakistan.''
The newly released emails reveal that after ABC News started asking questions in August 2011, a State Department official who worked with the advisory board couldn't immediately come up with a justification for Fernando serving on the panel. His and other emails make repeated references to ''S''; ABC News has been told this is a common way to refer to the Secretary of State.
''The true answer is simply that S staff (Cheryl Mills) added him,'' wrote Wade Boese, who was Chief of Staff for the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, in an email to Mannina, the press aide. ''Raj was not on the list sent to S; he was added at their insistence.''
Mills, a former deputy White House counsel, was serving as Clinton's chief of staff at the time, and has been a longtime legal and political advisor.
Four minutes later, Boese wrote to his boss, Richard Hartman, to alert him that Ellen Tauscher, who was then the Undersecretary for State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, would be meeting with Mills to devise a response to the ABC News request.
''Sorry this has become a headache,'' he wrote.
Hartman wrote the next morning to say he would ''come up and brief you... about where Raj Fernando stands and the ABC News investigative journalist inquiries. You do need to hear about it.'' Separately, in an email to another official, Hartman noted that it was "Cheryl Mills, who added Mr. Fernando's name to the list of ISAB nominees."
When ABC News sent a follow-up inquiry about the qualifications of another board appointee, Massachusetts state Rep. Harold P. Naughton, Jr., Boese wrote to Hartman to say the department would have a far easier time explaining Naughton's credentials. ''The case for Rep. Naughton is an easy one. We are on solid ground,'' he said.
By this point, Fernando himself had been looped into the discussion. He and Hartman exchanged emails, but the entire text of Fernando's letter was redacted by the State Department prior to its release.
Twice, Mannina was instructed to stall with ABC News, before Mills sent a public statement. It announced Fernando's abrupt decision to step down.
''Mr. Fernando chose to resign from the Board earlier this month citing additional time needed to devote to his business,'' it reads, noting that membership on the board was required to be ''fairly balanced in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed by the advisory committee.''
''As President and CEO of Chopper Trading, Mr. Fernando brought a unique perspective to ISAB. He has years of experience in the private sector in implementing sophisticated risk management tools, information technology and international finance,'' the statement says.
The statement was emailed to ABC News two days after Fernando's resignation and four days after the initial ABC News inquiry.
Fernando's letter of resignation to Clinton says he ''intended to devote a substantial amount of time to the work of ISAB in furtherance of its objectives. However, the unique, unexpected, and excessive volatility in the international markets these last few weeks and months require[d him] to focus [his] energy on the operations of [his] company.''
Additional emails collected from Hillary Clinton's personal server only hint at her possible involvement in Fernando's selection to the board. The records request for documents about Fernando's appointment produced a chain of correspondence from 2010 with the subject line ''ISAB'' -- or International Security Advisory Board. In those, Mills writes, ''The secretary had two other names she wanted looked at.'' The names are redacted. Mills then forwarded the response to ''H,'' which is the designation for Clinton's personal account. Three minutes later Clinton forwards the email chain to another State official and says simply, ''Pls print.''
The Clinton campaign declined requests from ABC News to make Mills available for an interview. Campaign spokesman Nick Merrill deferred to the U.S. State Department, which issued a statement saying the board's charter specifically calls for a membership that reflects ''a balance of backgrounds and points of view. Furthermore, it is not unusual for the State Department Chief of Staff to be involved in personnel matters.''
Cheryl Mills, former State Department chief of staff under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, attends a House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing in Washington, Oct. 22, 2015.Fernando did not respond to messages left by ABC News at home and mobile numbers listed for Fernando, nor to a letter left at the office of his current business.
Today State Department spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters that Fernando had been fully vetted, but Toner said he could not speak to his specific qualifications. When asked if he came from a security background, Toner said, ''I don't believe so.''
''I apologize, I don't have his [resume] in front of me,'' Toner said. ''All I know is that the charter does lay out or stipulate that [they're] looking for a broad range of experiences. It's not unimaginable that a businessman, an international businessman, might bring a certain level of expertise or knowledge or experience to such a job.''
The State Department's website lists former members of the ISAB, but Fernando's name is not among them. Toner was unable to explain why the name was missing and when asked if the list was comprehensive, said, ''Apparently not.''
As is customary with a new administration, the make-up of the board changed substantially when Clinton took over the State Department, according to Amb. James Woolsey, who served on the panel from 2006 to 2009. But the seriousness of its mission remained the same.
He said the board's primary purpose was to gather an array of experts on nuclear weapons and arms control to constantly assess and update the nation's nuclear strategy.
''Most things that involve nuclear weapons and nuclear strategy are dealt with at a pretty sensitive basis -- top secret,'' he said, noting that participants meet in a secure facility and are restricted in what materials they can discuss.
That is not typically the realm of political donors, Woolsey said. Though, he added, it would not be impossible for someone lacking a security background to make a contribution to the panel. ''It would depend on how smart and dedicated this person was... I would think you would have to devote some real time to getting up to speed,'' he said.
Fernando is now a board member of a private group called the American Security Project, which describes itself as ''a nonpartisan organization created to educate the American public and the world about the changing nature of national security in the 21st Century.'' He also identifies himself online as a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and says he's involved with a Washington think tank.
And he continued to donate to Democrats, and to Clinton. He emerged as one of the first ''bundlers'' to raise money for Clinton's 2016 bid. And in July 2015, he hosted a fundraiser for Clinton at his Chicago home. Fernando has also continued to donate to the Clinton Foundation. He now is listed on the charity's website as having given between $1 million and $5 million.
About six months after Fernando resigned from the State Department advisory board, he was invited to attend a White House State Dinner, honoring the British Prime Minister. And this summer Fernando will serve as a super delegate at the Democratic National Convention. According to Chicago media reports, he has committed to supporting Clinton.
ABC News' Andrea GonzalesPaul contributed to this report.
The following emails were obtained by the conservative political group Citizens United, which obtained them under the Freedom of Information Act, and were provided to ABC News. ABC News has arranged the emails in chronological order. Scroll through the emails below or CLICK HERE to open them in a new window.
VIDEO-State Dept. Defends Clinton Donor's Appointment With Zero Experience To Intel Board
Sat, 11 Jun 2016 05:40
State Dept. Defends Clinton Donor's Appointment With Zero Experience To Intel Board
Reporter: "Do you have concerns that the decisions to appoint him was purely political... was without any national security considerations?"
State Dept Spox: "No... blah, blah..." What me means is, we do it all the time, we just got caught this time. What are you going to do about it?
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[[authorName]]",{soundTitle:e.get("title"),authorName:e.get("user").username})),e.isBlocked()?(this.switchLayout(d),this.setViews({"l-main":["views/listen/blocked",{resource_id:e.resource_id}]})):(this.switchLayout(p),this.setViews({"l-main":["views/listen/listen-carousel",{resource_id:e.resource_id}],"l-footnote":["views/sound/sound-controls"]}))}var r=e("config"),i=e("config/error-messages"),s=e("models/exception"),o=e("lib/layout"),u=e("lib/futures"),a=e("lib/lingua"),f=e("models/playlist"),l=e("models/sound"),c=e("lib/url"),h=a.t("Enjoy the full SoundCloud experience with our free app."),p={template:e("lib/layouts/fullheight.tmpl"),includeFooter:".l-footnote"},d={template:e("layouts/blocked-listen.tmpl"),includeFooter:".l-footnote"},v=n.exports=o.extend({css:[e("lib/layouts/fullheight.css"),e("layouts/blocked-listen.css")],setup:function(e){var t=u.defer(),n,r=[];return r.push(m(e.userPermalink,e.soundPermalink,e.secretToken)),n=c.getQueryParam("in"),n&&r.push(g(n)),this.pageUrn="",u.all(r).then(function(e,t){return this.pageUrn=e.getUrn(),y.call(this,e,t)}.bind(this)).then(t.resolve),t},includeFooter:".l-footnote",getPageUrn:function(){return this.pageUrn},getUpsellText:function(){return h}})}), define("config/error-messages",["require","exports","module","lib/lingua"],function(e,t,n){var r=e("lib/lingua"),i=n.exports={UNKNOWN:{title:r.t("Something doesn't sound right."),message:r.t("Refresh the page to try again.")},PAGE_NOT_FOUND:{title:r.t("We can't find this page.")},SOUND_NOT_FOUND:{title:r.t("We can't find this sound.")},PLAYLIST_NOT_FOUND:{title:r.t("We can't find this playlist.")},USER_NOT_FOUND:{title:r.t("We can't find this user.")}}}), define("models/exception",["require","exports","module","underscore","lib/event-bus","lib/model"],function(e,t,n){var r=e("underscore"),i=e("lib/event-bus"),s=e("lib/model"),o=n.exports=s.extend({url:null,lastFetchTime:1,initialize:function(e){e=e||{},this.id||(e.id=this.id=this.cid,o.instances.set(this.id,this)),this.fatal=!!e.fatal,s.prototype.initialize.apply(this,arguments)}},{raise:function(e,t){var n=new o(e);n.release(),t=t||{};if(t.hard)throw n;i.trigger("exception",n)},ajaxFatal:function(e){return function(t,n){n!=="abort"&&o.raise(r.extend(e,{xhr:t,fatal:!0}))}},ajaxNonFatal:function(e){return function(t,n){n!=="abort"&&o.raise({message:e,xhr:t,fatal:!1})}}})}), define("models/playlist",["require","exports","module","$","underscore","models/audible-interface","lib/backbone","lib/event-bus","lib/model","models/sound","lib/errors/unauthorized-viewer","models/user","lib/mixins/urn"],function(e,t,n){function v(e,t){var n=e[t?"on":"off"].bind(e);n("play",m,this),n("pause",g,this),n("finish",y,this),n("time",b,this),n("seeked",w,this)}function m(e){this._internalNavigation||(E.call(this,e,"play"),this._internalNavigation=!0)}function g(e){this._internalNavigation||(E.call(this,e,"pause"),this._internalNavigation=!0)}function y(e){e.sound===this.soundsCollection.last()&&(E.call(this,e,"pause"),E.call(this,e,"finish"))}function b(e){E.call(this,e,"time")}function w(e){E.call(this,e,"seeked")}function E(e,t){e.playlist=this,this.trigger(t,e),u.trigger("audio:"+t,e)}function S(){var e=[];i.each(this.get("tracks"),function(t){var n,r,s;this.containsSound(t.id)||(s=new f(t),this.addSubmodel(s),r=i.extend({},t,{resource_id:{playlist_id:this.id,sound_id:t.id}}),n=new f(r,{suppressGlobalEvents:!0}),n.playlist=this,n.originalSound=s,e.push(n),v.call(this,n,!0))},this),this.soundsCollection.length===0?this.soundsCollection.reset(e):this.soundsCollection.add(e,{silent:!0})}function x(e,t){var n=e.soundsCollection,r=n.get(t);if(r){var i=n.indexOf(r),s=e.get("tracks").slice();return r.isPlaying()&&r.pause(),s.splice(i,1),n.remove(r),e.set("tracks",s),r.playlist=null,r.release(),!0}return!1}var r=e("$"),i=e("underscore"),s=e("models/audible-interface"),o=e("lib/backbone"),u=e("lib/event-bus"),a=e("lib/model"),f=e("models/sound"),l=e("lib/errors/unauthorized-viewer"),c=e("models/user"),h=e("lib/mixins/urn"),p;p=o.Collection.extend({model:f,fetch:function(){return this.playlist.fetch.apply(this.playlist,arguments)},initialize:function(e,t){this.playlist=t.playlist},hasDataForView:function(){return!!this.playlist.attributes.tracks},isFullyPopulated:function(){return!0},_usageCount:function(){return 1},hold:r.noop,release:r.noop});var d=n.exports=s.extend(h,{resource_type:"playlist",urnPrefix:"soundcloud:playlists",submodelMap:{tracks:f,user:c},soundsCollection:null,currentSoundCursor:0,_isPlayActionQueued:!1,_internalNavigation:!1,setup:function(){s.prototype.setup.apply(this,arguments);var e=this,t=this.soundsCollection=new p(null,{playlist:e});t.on("error",function(t,n){n instanceof l&&x(e,t.id)})},baseUrl:function(){return this.getEndpointUrl("playlist",{id:this.id})},parse:function(e){return e=a.prototype.parse.apply(this,arguments),e.secret_token&&e.tracks&&e.tracks.forEach(function(t){t.sharing!=="public"&&(t.secret_token=e.secret_token)}),e.sharing==="private"&&(e.track_count=Math.max(e.track_count,e.tracks.length)),e},createSubmodel:function(e,t){t==="tracks"?S.call(this):a.prototype.createSubmodel.apply(this,arguments)},findSound:function(e){return this.findSoundById(e.id)},containsSound:function(e){return!!this.findSoundById(e)},findSoundById:function(e){return this.soundsCollection.get(e)},getSounds:function(){return this.soundsCollection.models},getNumSounds:function(){return this.soundsCollection.length},getSoundIndex:function(e){return this.soundsCollection.indexOf(e)},getPrevSound:function(){return this.soundsCollection.at(this.currentSoundCursor-1)},getCurrentSound:function(){return this.soundsCollection.at(this.currentSoundCursor)},getNextSound:function(){return this.soundsCollection.at(this.currentSoundCursor+1)},getFirstSound:function(){return this.soundsCollection.at(0)},getLastSound:function(){return this.soundsCollection.at(this.soundsCollection.length-1)},play:function(e){this.soundsCollection.length?(this._internalNavigation=!1,this.getCurrentSound().audio.play(e)):this.lastFetchTime||(this._isPlayActionQueued=!0,this.fetch().done(function(){this._isPlayActionQueued&&(this._isPlayActionQueued=!1,this.play(e))}.bind(this)))},pause:function(e){this._isPlayActionQueued=!1,this.soundsCollection&&this.soundsCollection.length&&(this._internalNavigation=!1,this.getCurrentSound().audio.pause(e))},rewind:function(){this.currentSoundCursor=0},setCurrentSound:function(e){this.currentSoundCursor=this.getSoundIndex(e)},isPlaying:function(){return this.soundsCollection.some(function(e){return e.isPlaying()})},isPlayable:function(){return this.soundsCollection.every(function(e){return e.isPlayable()})}},{urnPrefix:"soundcloud:playlists",onCleanup:function(e){e.soundsCollection.each(function(e){e.playlist=null,e.release()}),e.soundsCollection.off(),delete e.soundsCollection,s.onCleanup(e)},resolve:function(e,t,n){return a._resolve(this,[e,"sets",t,n],function(n){var r=n.get("user");return r&&n.get("permalink")===t&&r.permalink===e})}})}), define("layouts/blocked-listen.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){return this.compilerInfo=[4,">= 1.0.0"],n=this.merge(n,e.helpers),i=i||{},'\n'})}), define("layouts/blocked-listen.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".l-blockedListen{background-color:#f2f2f2}")),data=null}), define("views/listen/blocked",["require","exports","module","lib/view","views/listen/blocked.css","views/listen/blocked.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){var r=e("lib/view"),i=n.exports=r.extend({css:e("views/listen/blocked.css"),template:e("views/listen/blocked.tmpl"),className:"blockedTrack"})}), define("views/listen/listen-carousel",["require","exports","module","underscore","$","lib/views/mixins/audible-control","config","lib/futures","lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source","lib/play-manager","router","models/sound","views/sound/sound","lib/helpers/style-helper","lib/view","lib/window-events","views/listen/listen-carousel.css","views/listen/listen-carousel.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function b(e){var t=e?"on":"off";v[t]("resize:debounced",P,this),f[t]("change:currentSound",w,this)}function w(e){e.isGoingForward&&e.prev?E.call(this,e.current.resource_id,!0):e.isGoingForward===!1&&E.call(this,e.current.resource_id),T(this,e.current)}function E(e,t){var n=t?0:3,r=t?2:0,i=t?C:N;this.animationPromise=this.animationPromise.then(function(){if(this.disposed)return;var n=this.$("."+this.itemClassName);return x.call(this,e,r),t?k.call(this,[n[1],n[2]],"left"):k.call(this,[n[0],n[1]],"right")}.bind(this)).then(function(){if(this.disposed)return;i(this.getElement("wrapper")[0],A.call(this));var e=this.$("."+this.itemClassName);e[n].parentNode.removeChild(e[n]),L([e[1],e[2]])}.bind(this))}function S(e){var t="sound_"+e,n=this.subviews[t];return n||(n=new h({resource_id:e}),this.addSubview(n.render(),t)),n}function x(e,t){var n=S.call(this,e),r=this.$("."+this.itemClassName)[t];r&&(r.innerHTML="",r.appendChild(n.el))}function T(e,t){var n=l.getRoute("listen",t);n?o.get("router").navigate(n,{trigger:!1,replace:!0}):t.once("change:permalink",function(){!e.disposed&&f.getCurrentSound()===t&&T(e,t)})}function N(e,t){e.insertBefore(t,e.firstChild)}function C(e,t){e.appendChild(t)}function k(e,t){t=t==="left"?-this._carouselWidth:this._carouselWidth;var n="transform: translate3d("+t+"px , 0, 0);";return e.forEach(function(e){e.className+=" g-transition-translate",p(e,n)}),u.delay(m)}function L(e){var t="transform: none;";e.forEach(function(e){i(e).removeClass("g-transition-translate"),p(e,t)})}function A(){var e=document.createElement("div");return e.className=this.itemClassName,O.call(this,e,this._carouselWidth),e}function O(e,t){e.style.width=t+"px"}function M(e){this.elWidth=this.el.offsetWidth,this.$el.find(".listenCarousel__itemWrapper").each(function(t){O(t,e)})}function _(e){var t=this.getElement("wrapper")[0],n=-1*e;p(t,"transform: translate("+n+"px, 0)"),t.style.width=3*e+"px"}function D(){return this._carouselWidth=this.el.offsetWidth,this._carouselWidth}function P(){var e=D.call(this);_.call(this,e),M.call(this,e)}var r=e("underscore"),i=e("$"),s=e("lib/views/mixins/audible-control"),o=e("config"),u=e("lib/futures"),a=e("lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source"),f=e("lib/play-manager"),l=e("router"),c=e("models/sound"),h=e("views/sound/sound"),p=e("lib/helpers/style-helper"),d=e("lib/view"),v=e("lib/window-events"),m=250,g,y=n.exports=d.extend(s,a,{css:e("views/listen/listen-carousel.css"),template:e("views/listen/listen-carousel.tmpl"),className:"listenCarousel",itemClassName:"listenCarousel__itemWrapper",element2selector:{wrapper:".listenCarousel__wrapper"},states:{transitionTranslate:function(e){this.getElement("wrapper")[e?"addClass":"removeClass"]("g-transition-translate")}},ModelClass:c,getQueueSource:function(){return this.model.playlist||this.model},cursor:-1,animationPromise:null,setup:function(){this.animationPromise=u.resolve(),this.$el.one("pointerdown",g.bind(this)),b.call(this,!0)},dispose:function(){b.call(this,!1)},renderDecorate:function(){this.whenInserted().done(function(){P.call(this),x.call(this,this.model.resource_id,1)}.bind(this))},teardown:function(){clearTimeout(this._fetchNeighborSoundsId)}});g=r.once(function(){var e=this.getQueueSource();e&&!e.isPlaying()&&this.playAudible(e,{userInitiated:!0})})}), define("views/sound/sound-controls",["require","exports","module","underscore","lib/event-bus","lib/views/mixins/fetch-experiments","lib/native-links","lib/helpers/open-app-store-helper","lib/play-manager","lib/view","views/sound/sound-controls.css","views/sound/sound-controls.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function p(e){this.getState("disabled")||a[e==="prev"?"playPrev":"playNext"]({userInitiated:!0})}function d(){this.getState("disabled")||(a.toggleCurrent({userInitiated:!0}),this.experiments.get("mweb_listening","open_app_store_on_play")==="experiment_group"&&o.useDeeplinks()&&u())}function v(){var e=a.getCurrentSound(),t=!!e&&!!e.isLoading(),n=!a.hasCurrentSound(),r=n||!a.hasPrevSound(),i=n||!a.hasNextSound(),s=n||e.isBlocked();this.toggleState("loading",t).toggleState("prevDisabled",r).toggleState("nextDisabled",i).toggleState("playDisabled",s).toggleState("disabled",n)}function m(){this.toggleState("paused",!0).toggleState("playing",!1),v.call(this)}function g(){this.toggleState("playing",!0).toggleState("paused",!1),v.call(this)}function y(){this.toggleState("initializing",!0),this.addDeferred(r.delay(function(){this.toggleState("initializing",!1),this.toggleState("initialized",!0)}.bind(this),l))}function b(){this.toggleState("scrubbing",!0)}function w(){this.toggleState("scrubbing",!1)}var r=e("underscore"),i=e("lib/event-bus"),s=e("lib/views/mixins/fetch-experiments"),o=e("lib/native-links"),u=e("lib/helpers/open-app-store-helper"),a=e("lib/play-manager"),f=e("lib/view"),l=2e3,c=250,h=n.exports=f.extend(s,{css:e("views/sound/sound-controls.css"),template:e("views/sound/sound-controls.tmpl"),className:"soundControls sc-selection-disabled",tagName:"section",events:{"click .soundControls__prev":"onClickPrev","click .soundControls__next":"onClickNext","click .soundControls__playPause":d},states:{loading:"loading",playing:"playing",paused:"paused",playDisabled:"playDisabled",prevDisabled:"prevDisabled",nextDisabled:"nextDisabled",disabled:"disabled",initializing:"initializing",initialized:"initialized"},setup:function(){this.listenTo(i,"audio:play",g).listenTo(i,"audio:pause",m).listenTo(i,"scrub:start",b).listenTo(i,"scrub:end",w).listenToOnce(i,"audio:play",y)},renderDecorate:function(){var e=a.getCurrentSound();e&&e.isPlaying()&&this.toggleState("initialized",!0).toggleState("playing",!0).toggleState("paused",!1)},dispose:function(){this.stopListening()},onClickNext:r.debounce(function(){p.call(this,"next")},c,!0),onClickPrev:r.debounce(function(){p.call(this,"prev")},c,!0)})}), define("views/listen/blocked.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".blockedTrack__sound{width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:100%;position:relative}.blockedTrack__soundInner{position:absolute;top:0;bottom:0;left:0;right:0}.blockedTrack__suggestions{background-color:#fff}")),data=null}), define("views/listen/blocked.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime","views/sound/sound","views/listen/blocked-suggestions"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){this.compilerInfo=[4,">= 1.0.0"],n=this.merge(n,e.helpers),i=i||{};var s="",o,u=this.escapeExpression;return s+=''+u(n.$view.call(t,"views/sound/sound",{hash:{resource_id:(o=t&&t._options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_id),resource_type:(o=t&&t._options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_type)},data:i}))+'
\n\n'+u(n.$view.call(t,"views/listen/blocked-suggestions",{hash:{resource_id:(o=t&&t._options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_id),resource_type:(o=t&&t.options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_type)},data:i}))+"\n
\n",s})}), define("lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source",["require","exports","module","underscore","lib/event-bus","lib/mixin","lib/play-manager","lib/url"],function(e,t,n){function f(e){var t=e?"on":"off";i[t]("audio:play",l,this)[t]("audio:pause",c,this)}function l(e){h.call(this,e.sound)}function c(e){h.call(this,e.sound)}function h(e){this.toggleState("playing",p.call(this,e))}function p(e){return e=e||o.getCurrentSound(),!!(e&&e.isPlaying()&&this.getQueueSource().getSounds().indexOf(e)>-1)}function d(e){var t=e.data,n=t.audible,r=this.getQueueSource();return r&&o.indexOfSoundInSource(n.getCurrentSound(),r)>-1}var r=e("underscore"),i=e("lib/event-bus"),s=e("lib/mixin"),o=e("lib/play-manager"),u=e("lib/url"),a=n.exports=new s({defaults:{getQueueSource:function(){return this.collection||this.model},getRestoreUrl:function(){return u.currentPath()}},applyTo:function(e){e.bubbleEvents=r.extend(e.bubbleEvents||{},{requestPlayContext:"onRequestPlayContext"})},onRequestPlayContext:function(e){d.call(this,e)&&(e.stopPropagation(),r.extend(e.data,{source:this.getQueueSource(),restoreUrl:this.getRestoreUrl()}))},before:{setup:function(){f.call(this,!0)},dispose:function(){f.call(this,!1)},renderDecorate:function(){var e=this.getQueueSource(),t=0;e&&o.setInitialSource(e,t,this.getRestoreUrl()),h.call(this)},teardown:function(){var e=this.getQueueSource();e&&o.unsetInitialSource(e)}}})}), define("views/sound/sound",["require","exports","module","lib/views/mixins/audible-control","lib/helpers/count-helper","lib/helpers/client-environment-helper","lib/event-bus","vendor/experiments/experiments","lib/views/mixins/fetch-experiments","lib/views/mixins/fullscreen-loader","lib/views/fullscreen-overlay","lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source","lib/helpers/image-helper","views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content","lib/lingua","lib/native-links","lib/helpers/open-app-store-helper","lib/play-manager","models/sound","lib/views/mixins/swipeable","lib/tracking/tracking-bus","lib/view","views/sound/sound.css","views/sound/sound.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function x(){this.model.get("playable")||this.getElement("info").addClass("disabled"),this.toggleState("blocked",this.model.isBlocked())}function T(){w.action("navigate","user")}function N(){this.toggleAudible(this.model,{userInitiated:!0,context:this.getContextData()}),this.experiments.get("mweb_listening","open_app_store_on_play")==="experiment_group"&&v.useDeeplinks()&&m()}function C(e){e.originalEvent.stopPropagation()}function k(e){w.action("submit","like"),v.useDeeplinks()&&(this.subviews.likeAppUpsellModal||this.addSubview(new l({style:"dark",showHeader:!0,closeBehavior:"background",trackingIdentifier:"get_the_app::like",Subview:p}),"likeAppUpsellModal"),this.subviews.likeAppUpsellModal.open())}function L(){this.toggleState("paused",!0),this.toggleState("playing",!1)}function A(){this.toggleState("paused",!1),this.toggleState("playing",!0)}function O(){this.getState("paused")||(this._wasPaused=this.getState("paused"),this.toggleState("paused",!0))}function M(){this.toggleState("paused",this._wasPaused)}var r=e("lib/views/mixins/audible-control"),i=e("lib/helpers/count-helper"),s=e("lib/helpers/client-environment-helper").device,o=e("lib/event-bus"),u=e("vendor/experiments/experiments"),a=e("lib/views/mixins/fetch-experiments"),f=e("lib/views/mixins/fullscreen-loader"),l=e("lib/views/fullscreen-overlay"),c=e("lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source"),h=e("lib/helpers/image-helper"),p=e("views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content"),d=e("lib/lingua"),v=e("lib/native-links"),m=e("lib/helpers/open-app-store-helper"),g=e("lib/play-manager"),y=e("models/sound"),b=e("lib/views/mixins/swipeable"),w=e("lib/tracking/tracking-bus"),E=e("lib/view"),S=n.exports=E.extend(a,f,r,c,b,{swipeableSelector:".sound__artwork",ModelClass:y,css:e("views/sound/sound.css"),template:e("views/sound/sound.tmpl"),className:"sound g-box-full",element2selector:{info:".sound__info",artwork:".sound__artworkImage"},requiredAttributes:["user","title"],events:{"click .sound__artwork":N,"click .sound__info":T,"click .sound__likes":k,"pointerdown .sound__artwork":C,"pointerdown .sound__likes":C},bubbleEvents:{scrubStart:O,scrubEnd:M},states:{"show-likes":"show-likes"},_wasPaused:!1,setup:function(){this.el.className+=" "+s.brand,this.listenTo(o,"audio:pause",L).listenTo(o,"audio:play",A).model.on("change:playable",this.rerender,this),this.toggleState("show-likes",u.get("mweb_listening","like_button_upsell")==="enabled")},getTemplateData:function(e){return this.getState("show-likes")&&(e.likes_count_info={count:i.render(e.likes_count,{useSIUnits:!0}),fullMessage:d.tp("1 Like","%d Likes",e.likes_count,null,{comment:"How many times the track was Liked"})}),e.isBlocked=this.model.isBlocked(),e},dispose:function(){this.stopListening().model.off("change:playable",this.rerender,this)},renderDecorate:function(){var e=h.urlFrom(this.model.toJSON(),500),t=this.getElement("artwork")[0];h.fadeInBackground(e,t),x.call(this),this.model.playlist&&g.backfillHistoryFromPlaylist(this.model,this.model.playlist)},getQueueSource:function(){return this.model.playlist||this.model},onSwipeLeft:function(){g.playNext({userInitiated:!0})},onSwipeRight:function(){g.playPrev({userInitiated:!0})}})}), define("lib/helpers/style-helper",["require","exports","module"],function(e,t,n){function o(e,t,n){return e.style[t]=n,!0}function u(e){return e in document.documentElement.style}var r={transform:["webkit"]},i=Object.keys(r),s=n.exports=function(e,t){t=t.replace(";","");var n=t.split(":"),s=n[0],a=n[1],f=!1;return u(s)&&(f=o(e,s,a)),!f&&i.indexOf(s)>-1&&(f=r[s].some(function(t){var n="-"+t+"-"+s;if(u(n))return o(e,n,a)})),f}}), define("lib/window-events",["require","exports","module","$","underscore","lib/backbone","lib/support"],function(e,t,n){function l(e,t){var n=t+"d",r=e==="resize"?c(n):f.trigger.bind(f,e+":"+n);return i[t](r,a)}function c(e){var t=window.innerWidth,n=window.innerHeight,r=f.trigger.bind(f,"resize:x:"+e),i=f.trigger.bind(f,"resize:y:"+e),s=f.trigger.bind(f,"resize:"+e);return function(e){var o=window.innerWidth,u=window.innerHeight;o!==t&&r(e),u!==n&&i(e),s(e),n=u,t=o}}var r=e("$"),i=e("underscore"),s=e("lib/backbone"),o=e("lib/support"),u=o.orientationChange?"orientationchange":"resize",a=200,f=n.exports=i.extend({},s.Events);r(window).on(u,l("resize","debounce")).on(u,l("resize","throttle")).on("scroll",l("scroll","debounce")).on("scroll",l("scroll","throttle"))}), define("views/listen/listen-carousel.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".listenCarousel{position:relative;width:100%;height:100%;overflow:hidden}.listenCarousel__wrapper{height:100%}.listenCarousel__itemWrapper{float:left;height:100%}")),data=null}), 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r=e("lib/view"),i=n.exports=r.extend({css:e("views/listen/blocked.css"),template:e("views/listen/blocked.tmpl"),className:"blockedTrack"})}), define("views/listen/listen-carousel",["require","exports","module","underscore","$","lib/views/mixins/audible-control","config","lib/futures","lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source","lib/play-manager","router","models/sound","views/sound/sound","lib/helpers/style-helper","lib/view","lib/window-events","views/listen/listen-carousel.css","views/listen/listen-carousel.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function b(e){var t=e?"on":"off";v[t]("resize:debounced",P,this),f[t]("change:currentSound",w,this)}function w(e){e.isGoingForward&&e.prev?E.call(this,e.current.resource_id,!0):e.isGoingForward===!1&&E.call(this,e.current.resource_id),T(this,e.current)}function E(e,t){var n=t?0:3,r=t?2:0,i=t?C:N;this.animationPromise=this.animationPromise.then(function(){if(this.disposed)return;var n=this.$("."+this.itemClassName);return 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this.model.playlist||this.model},cursor:-1,animationPromise:null,setup:function(){this.animationPromise=u.resolve(),this.$el.one("pointerdown",g.bind(this)),b.call(this,!0)},dispose:function(){b.call(this,!1)},renderDecorate:function(){this.whenInserted().done(function(){P.call(this),x.call(this,this.model.resource_id,1)}.bind(this))},teardown:function(){clearTimeout(this._fetchNeighborSoundsId)}});g=r.once(function(){var e=this.getQueueSource();e&&!e.isPlaying()&&this.playAudible(e,{userInitiated:!0})})}), define("views/sound/sound-controls",["require","exports","module","underscore","lib/event-bus","lib/views/mixins/fetch-experiments","lib/native-links","lib/helpers/open-app-store-helper","lib/play-manager","lib/view","views/sound/sound-controls.css","views/sound/sound-controls.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function p(e){this.getState("disabled")||a[e==="prev"?"playPrev":"playNext"]({userInitiated:!0})}function d(){this.getState("disabled")||(a.toggleCurrent({userInitiated:!0}),this.experiments.get("mweb_listening","open_app_store_on_play")==="experiment_group"&&o.useDeeplinks()&&u())}function v(){var e=a.getCurrentSound(),t=!!e&&!!e.isLoading(),n=!a.hasCurrentSound(),r=n||!a.hasPrevSound(),i=n||!a.hasNextSound(),s=n||e.isBlocked();this.toggleState("loading",t).toggleState("prevDisabled",r).toggleState("nextDisabled",i).toggleState("playDisabled",s).toggleState("disabled",n)}function m(){this.toggleState("paused",!0).toggleState("playing",!1),v.call(this)}function g(){this.toggleState("playing",!0).toggleState("paused",!1),v.call(this)}function y(){this.toggleState("initializing",!0),this.addDeferred(r.delay(function(){this.toggleState("initializing",!1),this.toggleState("initialized",!0)}.bind(this),l))}function b(){this.toggleState("scrubbing",!0)}function w(){this.toggleState("scrubbing",!1)}var 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e=a.getCurrentSound();e&&e.isPlaying()&&this.toggleState("initialized",!0).toggleState("playing",!0).toggleState("paused",!1)},dispose:function(){this.stopListening()},onClickNext:r.debounce(function(){p.call(this,"next")},c,!0),onClickPrev:r.debounce(function(){p.call(this,"prev")},c,!0)})}), define("views/listen/blocked.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".blockedTrack__sound{width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:100%;position:relative}.blockedTrack__soundInner{position:absolute;top:0;bottom:0;left:0;right:0}.blockedTrack__suggestions{background-color:#fff}")),data=null}), define("views/listen/blocked.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime","views/sound/sound","views/listen/blocked-suggestions"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){this.compilerInfo=[4,">= 1.0.0"],n=this.merge(n,e.helpers),i=i||{};var s="",o,u=this.escapeExpression;return s+=''+u(n.$view.call(t,"views/sound/sound",{hash:{resource_id:(o=t&&t._options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_id),resource_type:(o=t&&t._options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_type)},data:i}))+'
\n\n'+u(n.$view.call(t,"views/listen/blocked-suggestions",{hash:{resource_id:(o=t&&t._options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_id),resource_type:(o=t&&t.options,o==null||o===!1?o:o.resource_type)},data:i}))+"\n
\n",s})}), define("lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source",["require","exports","module","underscore","lib/event-bus","lib/mixin","lib/play-manager","lib/url"],function(e,t,n){function f(e){var t=e?"on":"off";i[t]("audio:play",l,this)[t]("audio:pause",c,this)}function l(e){h.call(this,e.sound)}function c(e){h.call(this,e.sound)}function h(e){this.toggleState("playing",p.call(this,e))}function p(e){return e=e||o.getCurrentSound(),!!(e&&e.isPlaying()&&this.getQueueSource().getSounds().indexOf(e)>-1)}function d(e){var t=e.data,n=t.audible,r=this.getQueueSource();return r&&o.indexOfSoundInSource(n.getCurrentSound(),r)>-1}var r=e("underscore"),i=e("lib/event-bus"),s=e("lib/mixin"),o=e("lib/play-manager"),u=e("lib/url"),a=n.exports=new s({defaults:{getQueueSource:function(){return this.collection||this.model},getRestoreUrl:function(){return u.currentPath()}},applyTo:function(e){e.bubbleEvents=r.extend(e.bubbleEvents||{},{requestPlayContext:"onRequestPlayContext"})},onRequestPlayContext:function(e){d.call(this,e)&&(e.stopPropagation(),r.extend(e.data,{source:this.getQueueSource(),restoreUrl:this.getRestoreUrl()}))},before:{setup:function(){f.call(this,!0)},dispose:function(){f.call(this,!1)},renderDecorate:function(){var e=this.getQueueSource(),t=0;e&&o.setInitialSource(e,t,this.getRestoreUrl()),h.call(this)},teardown:function(){var e=this.getQueueSource();e&&o.unsetInitialSource(e)}}})}), define("views/sound/sound",["require","exports","module","lib/views/mixins/audible-control","lib/helpers/count-helper","lib/helpers/client-environment-helper","lib/event-bus","vendor/experiments/experiments","lib/views/mixins/fetch-experiments","lib/views/mixins/fullscreen-loader","lib/views/fullscreen-overlay","lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source","lib/helpers/image-helper","views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content","lib/lingua","lib/native-links","lib/helpers/open-app-store-helper","lib/play-manager","models/sound","lib/views/mixins/swipeable","lib/tracking/tracking-bus","lib/view","views/sound/sound.css","views/sound/sound.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function x(){this.model.get("playable")||this.getElement("info").addClass("disabled"),this.toggleState("blocked",this.model.isBlocked())}function T(){w.action("navigate","user")}function N(){this.toggleAudible(this.model,{userInitiated:!0,context:this.getContextData()}),this.experiments.get("mweb_listening","open_app_store_on_play")==="experiment_group"&&v.useDeeplinks()&&m()}function C(e){e.originalEvent.stopPropagation()}function k(e){w.action("submit","like"),v.useDeeplinks()&&(this.subviews.likeAppUpsellModal||this.addSubview(new l({style:"dark",showHeader:!0,closeBehavior:"background",trackingIdentifier:"get_the_app::like",Subview:p}),"likeAppUpsellModal"),this.subviews.likeAppUpsellModal.open())}function L(){this.toggleState("paused",!0),this.toggleState("playing",!1)}function A(){this.toggleState("paused",!1),this.toggleState("playing",!0)}function O(){this.getState("paused")||(this._wasPaused=this.getState("paused"),this.toggleState("paused",!0))}function M(){this.toggleState("paused",this._wasPaused)}var r=e("lib/views/mixins/audible-control"),i=e("lib/helpers/count-helper"),s=e("lib/helpers/client-environment-helper").device,o=e("lib/event-bus"),u=e("vendor/experiments/experiments"),a=e("lib/views/mixins/fetch-experiments"),f=e("lib/views/mixins/fullscreen-loader"),l=e("lib/views/fullscreen-overlay"),c=e("lib/views/mixins/has-queue-source"),h=e("lib/helpers/image-helper"),p=e("views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content"),d=e("lib/lingua"),v=e("lib/native-links"),m=e("lib/helpers/open-app-store-helper"),g=e("lib/play-manager"),y=e("models/sound"),b=e("lib/views/mixins/swipeable"),w=e("lib/tracking/tracking-bus"),E=e("lib/view"),S=n.exports=E.extend(a,f,r,c,b,{swipeableSelector:".sound__artwork",ModelClass:y,css:e("views/sound/sound.css"),template:e("views/sound/sound.tmpl"),className:"sound g-box-full",element2selector:{info:".sound__info",artwork:".sound__artworkImage"},requiredAttributes:["user","title"],events:{"click .sound__artwork":N,"click .sound__info":T,"click 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e=h.urlFrom(this.model.toJSON(),500),t=this.getElement("artwork")[0];h.fadeInBackground(e,t),x.call(this),this.model.playlist&&g.backfillHistoryFromPlaylist(this.model,this.model.playlist)},getQueueSource:function(){return this.model.playlist||this.model},onSwipeLeft:function(){g.playNext({userInitiated:!0})},onSwipeRight:function(){g.playPrev({userInitiated:!0})}})}), define("lib/helpers/style-helper",["require","exports","module"],function(e,t,n){function o(e,t,n){return e.style[t]=n,!0}function u(e){return e in document.documentElement.style}var r={transform:["webkit"]},i=Object.keys(r),s=n.exports=function(e,t){t=t.replace(";","");var n=t.split(":"),s=n[0],a=n[1],f=!1;return u(s)&&(f=o(e,s,a)),!f&&i.indexOf(s)>-1&&(f=r[s].some(function(t){var n="-"+t+"-"+s;if(u(n))return o(e,n,a)})),f}}), define("lib/window-events",["require","exports","module","$","underscore","lib/backbone","lib/support"],function(e,t,n){function l(e,t){var n=t+"d",r=e==="resize"?c(n):f.trigger.bind(f,e+":"+n);return i[t](r,a)}function c(e){var t=window.innerWidth,n=window.innerHeight,r=f.trigger.bind(f,"resize:x:"+e),i=f.trigger.bind(f,"resize:y:"+e),s=f.trigger.bind(f,"resize:"+e);return function(e){var o=window.innerWidth,u=window.innerHeight;o!==t&&r(e),u!==n&&i(e),s(e),n=u,t=o}}var r=e("$"),i=e("underscore"),s=e("lib/backbone"),o=e("lib/support"),u=o.orientationChange?"orientationchange":"resize",a=200,f=n.exports=i.extend({},s.Events);r(window).on(u,l("resize","debounce")).on(u,l("resize","throttle")).on("scroll",l("scroll","debounce")).on("scroll",l("scroll","throttle"))}), define("views/listen/listen-carousel.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".listenCarousel{position:relative;width:100%;height:100%;overflow:hidden}.listenCarousel__wrapper{height:100%}.listenCarousel__itemWrapper{float:left;height:100%}")),data=null}), define("views/listen/listen-carousel.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){return this.compilerInfo=[4,">= 1.0.0"],n=this.merge(n,e.helpers),i=i||{},'\n'})}), define("lib/views/mixins/fetch-experiments",["require","exports","module","$","underscore","vendor/experiments/experiments","config/experiments","vendor/event-gateway/event-gateway","lib/mixin","lib/tracking/tracking-core","lib/url"],function(e,t,n){function v(){return h||(h=r.Deferred()),h}function m(){return c||(c=s.initialize(o).fetchAssignments().done(function(e){v().resolve(),s.setExperimentsFromQueryParams(l.getQueryParams()),u.setExperiments(e)}).fail(function(){c=null,h=null,f.whenRequestAllowed=p})),c}var r=e("$"),i=e("underscore"),s=e("vendor/experiments/experiments"),o=e("config/experiments"),u=e("vendor/event-gateway/event-gateway"),a=e("lib/mixin"),f=e("lib/tracking/tracking-core"),l=e("lib/url"),c,h,p=f.whenRequestAllowed,d=n.exports=new a({experiments:s,around:{hasData:function(e){return e.call(this)&&s.isUpToDate(s.getAssignments(),o.version)},fetchData:function(e,t){var n=[t?e.call(this,t):r.Deferred().resolve()],i=r.Deferred();return this.addDeferred(i),s.isUpToDate(s.getAssignments(),o.version)||n.push(m.call(this)),r.when(n).done(function(e){i.resolve(e)}).fail(function(){i.reject()}),i.done(this.rerender.bind(this)),i}},before:{setup:i.once(function(){s.getAssignments()||f.deferRequests(v)})}})}), define("lib/helpers/open-app-store-helper",["require","exports","module","underscore","lib/native-links"],function(e,t,n){var r=e("underscore"),i=e("lib/native-links");n.exports=r.once(function(){window.open(i.getStoreLink(),"_blank")})}), define("views/sound/sound-controls.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".soundControls{height:80px;position:absolute;top:50%;left:0;right:0;margin-top:-40px;-webkit-transform:translate3d(0,0,0);pointer-events:none}.soundControls__control{background-position:0 0;background-repeat:no-repeat;background-size:100% auto;position:absolute;pointer-events:auto}.soundControls__prev,.soundControls__next{background-image:url(https://m.soundcloud.com/assets/images/ldpi/player/skip_button-e03e9a61.png);width:28px;height:19px;top:30px;opacity:0;-webkit-transition:opacity 2s cubic-bezier(1,.01,.81,1);transition:opacity 2s cubic-bezier(1,.01,.81,1)}.soundControls__prev{left:17px}.soundControls__next{right:17px;-webkit-transform:scaleX(-1);-ms-transform:scaleX(-1);transform:scaleX(-1)}.soundControls.disabled .soundControls__playPause,.soundControls.playing .soundControls__playPause:active,.soundControls.loading .soundControls__playPause:active{background-color:rgba(0,0,0,.5)}.soundControls.playing .soundControls__playPause,.soundControls.loading .soundControls__playPause{background-position:0 0}.soundControls__prev:active,.soundControls__next:active{background-position:0 -19px}.soundControls.disabled .soundControls__next,.soundControls.nextDisabled .soundControls__next,.soundControls.disabled .soundControls__prev,.soundControls.prevDisabled .soundControls__prev,.soundControls.playDisabled .soundControls__playPause{display:none}.initialized .soundControls__playPause{opacity:0}.initializing .soundControls__next,.initializing .soundControls__prev,.paused .soundControls__next,.paused .soundControls__prev,.paused .soundControls__playPause{opacity:1}.paused .soundControls__next,.paused .soundControls__prev,.paused .soundControls__playPause{-webkit-transition:none;transition:none}.soundControls.scrubbing{display:none}")),data=null}), define("views/sound/sound-controls.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){this.compilerInfo=[4,">= 1.0.0"],n=this.merge(n,e.helpers),i=i||{};var s="",o=this.escapeExpression;return s+=''+o(n.$a11y.call(t,{hash:{screenreader:n.$t.call(t,"Previous track",{hash:{_comment:"Help text on prev button"},data:i})},data:i}))+'\n'+o(n.$a11y.call(t,{hash:{screenreader:n.$t.call(t,"Play or pause track",{hash:{_comment:"Help text on play/pause button"},data:i})},data:i}))+'\n'+o(n.$a11y.call(t,{hash:{screenreader:n.$t.call(t,"Next track",{hash:{_comment:"Help text on next button"},data:i})},data:i}))+"\n",s})}), define("views/listen/blocked-suggestions",["require","exports","module","lib/helpers/charts-helper","collections/chart-tracks","collections/related-sounds","models/sound","lib/view","views/listen/blocked-suggestions.css","views/listen/blocked-suggestions.tmpl"],function(e,t,n){function c(){return this.relatedSounds.isFullyPopulated()||h.call(this)}function h(){return this.relatedSounds.length>=f}var r=e("lib/helpers/charts-helper"),i=e("collections/chart-tracks"),s=e("collections/related-sounds"),o=e("models/sound"),u=e("lib/view"),a="top",f=3,l=n.exports=u.extend({css:e("views/listen/blocked-suggestions.css"),template:e("views/listen/blocked-suggestions.tmpl"),className:"blockedSuggestions",ModelClass:o,requiredAttributes:["genre"],setup:function(e){this.relatedSounds=new s(null,{resource_id:e.resource_id,resource_type:e.resource_type}),this.setupCollectionListeners(this.relatedSounds)},dispose:function(){this.teardownCollectionListeners(this.relatedSounds),this.relatedSounds.release()},hasData:function(){return u.prototype.hasData.apply(this,arguments)&&c.call(this)},getTemplateData:function(e){var t=e.useFallback=!h.call(this),n=this.options.resource_id,o=r.userGenreToChartGenre(e.genre).id;return t?(e.tagline=r.taglines(a,o).short,e.getSuggestionsCollection=function(){return new i(null,{genre:o,chartKind:a})}):e.getSuggestionsCollection=function(){return new s(null,{resource_id:n})},e},fetchData:function(){return c.call(this)?u.prototype.fetchData.apply(this,arguments):this.relatedSounds.bulkFetch(f)}})}), define("lib/views/mixins/fullscreen-loader",["require","exports","module","lib/views/loading","lib/mixin"],function(e,t,n){var r=e("lib/views/loading"),i=e("lib/mixin"),s=n.exports=new i({override:{LoadingView:r,loadingViewArgs:function(){return{size:"fullscreen"}}}})}), define("views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content",["require","exports","module","lib/helpers/client-environment-helper","lib/lingua","lib/native-links","lib/view","views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content.tmpl","views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content.css"],function(e,t,n){function a(e){this.bubble("closeButton:click")}function f(e){e.stopPropagation()}var r=e("lib/helpers/client-environment-helper").device,i=e("lib/lingua"),s=e("lib/native-links"),o=e("lib/view"),u=n.exports=o.extend({template:e("views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content.tmpl"),css:e("views/interstitials/like-app-upsell-content.css"),className:"likeAppUpsellContent g-align-vertical",events:{"click .likeAppUpsellContent__closeButton":a,click:f},setup:function(e){this.el.className+=" "+r.brand},getTemplateData:function(e){var t=r.iOS?i.t("Get our iPhone app to save this track to your likes, create playlists and more."):i.t("Get our Android app to save this track to your likes, create playlists and more.");return{upsellIcon:"https://m.soundcloud.com/assets/images/ldpi/interstitial/like-upsell/heart-android-280d5bc8.png",upsellHeader:i.t("Try our app.It's even better"),upsellContent:t,getLikeUpsellDeepLink:s.getLikeCountDeepLink}}})}), define("lib/views/mixins/swipeable",["require","exports","module","lib/mixin"],function(e,t,n){function s(e){var t=e.data.direction;t==="left"&&this.onSwipeLeft?this.onSwipeLeft():this.onSwipeRight&&this.onSwipeRight(),e.originalEvent.preventDefault()}var r=e("lib/mixin"),i=n.exports=new r({defaults:{swipeableSelector:null},after:{renderDecorate:function(){this.$el.on("swipe",this.swipeableSelector,s.bind(this))}}})}), define("views/sound/sound.css",["require","exports","module","css"],function(e,t,n,r){n.exports=r.stringToStyleElement(r.transform(".sound__info{position:absolute;z-index:1;top:20px;left:18px;right:18px}.sound__username{font-size:15px;line-height:22px}.sound__username a{color:#ccc}.sound__title{font-size:22px;line-height:1.3}.sound__controls{position:absolute;top:50%;left:0;right:0;height:80px;margin-top:-50px}.sound__infoContent{margin:0 0 4px}.sound__artwork,.sound__artworkOverlay{position:absolute;top:0;bottom:0;width:100%}.sound__artworkOverlay{height:100%;opacity:0;background:#000}.sound__playIndicator{-webkit-transform:translate3d(0,-3px,0);transform:translate3d(0,-3px,0)}.sound__likes{color:#fff;position:absolute;bottom:12px;right:20px;line-height:39px;padding:0 10px 0 5px;font-size:14px}.sound__likes:before{width:35px;height:35px;background-image:url(https://m.soundcloud.com/assets/images/ldpi/player/like_button-280d5bc8.png);background-size:35px 35px}.iOS .sound__likes{right:auto;left:20px;border-radius:4px;height:33px;line-height:33px;background:rgba(0,0,0,.3);border:1px solid transparent}.sound.iOS.blocked .sound__likes,.sound.iOS.paused .sound__likes{background:none;border-color:rgba(255,255,255);border-color:rgba(255,255,255,.2)}.iOS .sound__likes:before{width:25px;height:25px;background-size:25px 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define("views/sound/sound.tmpl",["vendor/handlebars-runtime","views/banner/banner","views/sound/waveform"],function(){return require("vendor/handlebars-runtime").template(function(e,t,n,r,i){function l(e,t){var r="";return r+=''+u(n.$t.call(e,"Not available inyour country",{hash:{},data:t}))+"
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VIDEO-AUDIO-Progressive Commentary Hour '' 05.31.16 - Progressive Radio Network
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 16:27
Charles Ortel is a former Wall Street banker, having been a Managing Director at Dillon Read and Newport Value Partners, and private financial investor. In 2007 he became a whistleblower and was instrumental in bringing down General Electric after revealing GE's fraudulently overvaluing its stock by many billions of dollars to mislead its investors. For the past fifteen months, Charles has been undertaking a thorough review of the financial records and collaborations and networks of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. His analysis investigated the Foundation's fundraising practices, its allies and associates, its so-called charitable interests, and its political and corporate connections both in Washington and overseas. He received his BA from Yale and an MBA from Harvard Business School. His weekly blog exposing the Clinton Foundation can be found at CharlesOrtel.com
https://progressivecommentaryhour.podbean.com/mf/play/aeutjk/PCH_053116.mp3Download this episode (right click and save)
VIDEO-Pelosi Claims Government Created the iPhone, Not Steve Jobs or Apple - YouTube
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 15:26
VIDEO-Eddie Izzard and Nigel Farage told to 'shut up' during tense BBC's Question Time debate | UK Politics | News | The Independent
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 15:12
The Labour Party brought Eddie Izzard into their campaign with the hope of energising young people and, in their defence, it at least wasn't one of them who shouted an exasperated 'Shut up!' from out of the Question Time audience as his ongoing private squabbles with Nigel Farage made the programme close to unwatchable.
Izzard was first shouted down by a man in the crowd as he spoke over the Ukip leader - then a woman repeated the sentiment as Farage tried to interrupt Hilary Benn, the Shadow Foreign Secretary.
As the host, David Dimbleby, tried to move the debate on, Izzard, 54, continually harangued Farage, 52, who was conveniently placed to his immediate right, over his 'immigrant family.'
"You won't explain to me why you, an immigrant family, are so anti-immigration,'' he said. "Everyone here would like to hear - the whole of the country would like to hear."
Nigel Farage has a German wife who is paid from the EU budget to work as his political secretary.
''I think we should make you change seats if you go on like this,'' David Dimbleby said, before the rather more brisk interjection from the member of the audience in Folkestone, Kent.
Eventually, the pair were told by Mr Dimbleby: "Calm down because the audience will get so cross they'll walk out. They'll do a Brexit!"
To which Mr Benn added: "There's a bit of a problem controlling the panel this week..."
VIDEO-Warren blasts Trump in fiery speech
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 14:15
Reuters/Jason Reed
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren unloaded on Donald Trump on Thursday, calling the presumptive Republican presidential nominee a "loud, nasty, thin-skinned fraud" and a "racist bully" during a fiery speech in Washington.
Warren's barbs centered on Trump's racially charged attacks on US District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over a civil lawsuit involving Trump's defunct real-estate school, Trump University.
Trump has argued that the Indiana-born Curiel cannot fairly preside over the case because of his Mexican descent and Trump's campaign promise to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
"Judge Curiel is one of countless American patriots who has spent decades quietly serving his country," said Warren, speaking at a convention of the American Constitution Society. "Donald Trump is a loud, nasty, thin-skinned fraud who has never risked anything for anyone and serves nobody but himself."
"That is just one of the many reasons why he will never be president of the United States," she added.
Warren and Trump engaged in pointed back-and-forths on Twitter last month, but Thursday's speech marked an aggressive shift in rhetoric for the senator.
"Donald, you should be ashamed of yourself," Warren said. "Ashamed for using the megaphone of a presidential campaign for attacking a judge's character and integrity simply because you think you have a God-given right to steal people's money and get away with it."
Paul Ryan.Screenshot/CNN
Warren also linked Trump to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, two prominent Republicans who disavow Trump's comments against Curiel but continue to support him.
"Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell want Donald Trump to appoint the next generation of judges," she said. "They want those judges to tilt the law to favor big business and billionaires like Trump.They just want Donald to quit being so vulgar and obvious about it."
Trump's attacks are a natural extension of recent Republican obstructionism, she argued, including the party's attempt to block the confirmation of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.
Trump is "exactly the kind of candidate you'd expect from a Republican Party whose script for several years has been to execute a full-scale assault on the integrity of our courts," she said.
Warren endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in an interview with The Boston Globe published on Thursday night. Clinton also scored key endorsements from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday, three days after securing enough delegates to earn the Democratic presidential nomination.
VIDEO-'Netflix and chill' is ruining your sex life - YouTube
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 13:55
VIDEO-Did Google Manipulate Search for Hillary? - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 22:43
VIDEO-Deepak Chopra: Donald Trump Is 'Emotionally Retarded, Maybe Mentally Retarded' - Breitbart
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 22:34
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New Age guru and alternative medicine activist Dr. Deepak Chopra attacked Donald Trump Tuesday in an interview on Fox News' The Alan Colmes Show, during which he called the presumptive GOP presidential nominee both ''emotionally'' and ''mentally retarded.''Chopra, 68, said that Trump epitomizes, among other things, the ''darkest demons'' of America's ''collective psyche.''
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''I would never say this unless I believed it was 100% true, but he represents the racist, the bigot, the one who's prejudiced, the one who is full of fear and hatred, the one who represents emotional retardation of a three-year old,'' Chopra said of Trump. ''And yet he's so popular because he's given permission to our collective psyche to express their darkest demons.''
Radio host Colmes asked Chopra if Trump is himself a racist and bigot, or whether he just represents those ideologies to his supporters.
''I think he is,'' Chopra said, adding: ''I think he's racist, he's bigoted, he's prejudiced. He's full of fear. He is angry. He has a lot of hatred. He pouts, he's belligerent, he's emotionally retarded.''
WATCH:
Later in the interview, Chopra doubled down on the notion that Trump suffers from retardation.
''Maybe I was too kind when I said he was emotionally retarded, maybe he's mentally retarded too,'' he said.
This is hardly the first time that Chopra has harshly criticized the GOP presidential nominee.
In March, Chopra told Fox Business that Trump resonates with the ''dark side'' of America: ''He represents a state of collective consciousness of fear that has dormant prejudice and hatred,'' he said.
On Monday, the Super Genes author penned a blog post for the Huffington Post entitled, ''America's Shadow: The Real Secret of Donald J. Trump.''
In his essay, Chopra writes that Trump ''stands for'' the ''secret side of human nature '... the shadow '...'' which ''compounds all the dark impulses'--hatred, aggression, sadism, selfishness, jealousy, resentment, sexual transgression'--that are hidden out of sight.''
In his radio interview on Tuesday, the alternative medicine pioneer repeated his written claims from the day before, saying Trump is taking America to ''the abyss.''
''This is taking us to the valley of death. This is taking us to the darkest place that humanity can go,'' he said.
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson
VIDEO-Obama endorses Hillary Clinton for president: Latest news
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 21:53
President Barack Obama officially endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president on Thursday, saying he is "fired up" for the presumptive Democratic candidate.
In a prerecorded video released Thursday, Obama latched onto the Clinton campaign's slogan, letting his supporters know that "I'm with her," and pledging to campaign for Clinton. The president's endorsement comes eight years and two days after Clinton did the same for him.
"I know how hard this job can be, that's why I know Hillary will be so good at it," Obama said. "In fact, I don't think there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office. She's got the courage, the compassion and the heart to get the job done."
"I've seen her judgement, I've seen her toughness, I've seen her commitment to our values up close," Obama added of his one-time rival.
Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders met with Obama on Thursday '-- days after many news outlets named Clinton the party's presumptive nominee. Some pundits speculated that Obama would have sought to convince Sanders to drop out of the race, so the Democratic Party could rally around Clinton in preparation for a general election battle against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Instead, the Vermont senator pledged to fight on into next week's Washington, D.C., primary, but he thanked the White House for its role (or lack thereof) in the election so far.
"Let me begin by thanking President Obama and thanking Vice President (Joe) Biden for the degree of impartiality they established during the course of this entire process," Sanders said in brief remarks after his meeting. "What they said in the beginning is that they would not put their thumb on the scales, and in fact they kept their word, and I appreciate that very, very much."
Two Sanders camp sources told CNBC that Obama had "signaled" he would make a Clinton endorsement after their meeting ended Thursday.
"I assure you that Sen. Sanders was not surprised," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during a Thursday news briefing, revealing that the video was recorded Tuesday.

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Caliphate!

Homeland Security Chair-McCaul-at cfr--Highest Threat Environment.mp3

Elections 2016

ABC Investigates Clinton Donor Hillary Placed on Intelligence Board.mp3
AP's Scoop On Possible Clinton E-Mail Leak of CIA Assets.mp3
ASCAP-Political_Campaign Music Usage.pdf
CBS’ Nancy Giles- Trump is 'Clinically Insane'.mp3
Charles Ortel on CLinton $100mm missing.mp3
Clinton targets Trump in first general election ad.mp3
Clinton's strategy for combating new Secret Service tell-all book.mp3
Deepak Chopra- Donald Trump Is ‘Emotionally Retarded, Maybe Mentally Retarded’.mp3
How Clinton Donor Got on Sensitive Intelligence Board.mp3
Maddow-1-ELIZABETH WARREN SELLS HER SOUL TO SATAN ON LIVE TV-TRump is dangerous!.mp3
Maddow-2-ELIZABETH WARREN SELLS HER SOUL TO SATAN ON LIVE TV-We Need A Female In The Lead!.mp3
Maddow-3-ELIZABETH WARREN SELLS HER SOUL TO SATAN ON LIVE TV-VP or what the fuck are you doing for massacchussets?.mp3
NBC Hails Possible Endorsement from ‘Progressive Champion’ Warren.mp3
Occupy DNC Convention NBC 10 Philadelphia.mp3
Pelosi- ‘The Thought of Building a Wall There Is Wrong’.mp3
Real Time with Bill Maher-1-Barbara Boxer on weed in Cali.mp3
Real Time with Bill Maher-2-Barbara Boxer-High on Hillary.mp3
Rep. McCaul-at cfr-- We Are 'Far From' Operational Control of the Border.mp3
Toner tries to explain NSAB appointee.mp3

Bullcrap Numbers

Swarm Of Earthquakes Rocks Southern California-5 point 2 bullcrap.mp3

JCD Clips

airbnb in berling.mp3
and that was just the first day ISO.mp3
broadway reviewer gaffe NYT.mp3
CIA MI8 sscammers and Libya.mp3
clintos email update.mp3
DW on Tesla suspension issues.mp3
fawkeer goes broke.mp3
German Inteligence says Snowden is Russian.mp3
give to no agenda.mp3
gun ruling about concealed weapon.mp3
ishmail reed part one.mp3
ishmail reed part two.mp3
laura ingrahm on Fox cut off.mp3
look what happened ISO.mp3
MODI in USA.mp3
Move on rape case boxes of signatures.mp3
napolitano on fbi and obma.mp3
obama afhafhanistan taliban dombing.mp3
puerto rico junta.mp3
sanders support on DN re Clinton Foundation.mp3
Saudi influence and killing children.mp3
stanford rape capital.mp3
there is no crying in BBq ISO.mp3
Trmp blast on DN lawsuits.mp3
turks threaten German lawmakers.mp3
Two illegal alien girls are valedictorians.mp3

MH370

Man Who Found MH370 Debris Says It Does NOT Prove Passengers Were On The Plane When It Crashed.mp3

MIC

Ash Carter- DOD Seeking to Learn 'Best Practices' From Companies Such As Amazon, FedEx.mp3

NA-Tech News

Pelosi Claims Government Created the iPhone, Not Steve Jobs or Apple.mp3

Obama Nation

Obama Podcast-Addressing Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis.mp3
PROMESA-Peurto Rico-BILLS-114hr4900ih.pdf

Shut Up Slave!

‘Netflix and chill’ is ruining your sex life.mp3
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