Cover for No Agenda Show 854: Premedicated
August 25th, 2016 • 3h 2m

854: Premedicated


Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

Elections 2016
CPD: The Commission on Presidential Debates: An Overview
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:15
What is the CPD? The Commission on Presidential Debates (the ''CPD'') is a private, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization. As a 501(c)(3) organization, it is eligible under federal law to serve as a debate sponsor. The CPD's primary mission is to ensure, for the benefit of the American electorate, that general election debates are held every four years between and among the leading candidates for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States. The CPD is an independent organization. It is not controlled by any political party or outside organization and it does not endorse, support or oppose political candidates or parties. It receives no funding from the government or any political party, political action committee or candidate. The CPD has sponsored general election presidential debates in every election since 1988.
Why was the CPD Formed? The CPD was formed to ensure that the voting public has the opportunity to see the leading candidates debate during the general election campaign. General election debates between and among the leading candidates for the office of President of the United States are not required or assured. After the Kennedy-Nixon debates in 1960, there were no such debates in 1964, 1968 and 1972. There were debates in 1976, 1980 and 1984, but they were hastily arranged after negotiations between the candidates that left many uncertain whether there would be any debates at all. The 1984 experience, in particular, reinforced a mounting concern that, in any given election, voters could be deprived of the opportunity to observe a debate among the leading candidates for President.
Following the 1984 election, two distinguished national organizations, the Georgetown University Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Harvard University Institute of Politics, conducted separate, detailed studies of the presidential election process and the role of debates in that process. Both studies found that debates between or among the leading candidates should become a regular part of the way Americans elect their presidents. A primary concern cited in the studies was that the leading candidates had often declined to debate or resisted debates until the last minute. With this concern in mind, both the Georgetown and Harvard reports recommended that the two major political parties endorse a mechanism designed to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that presidential debates between the leading candidates be made a permanent part of the electoral process.
In response to the Harvard and Georgetown studies, the then-chairmen of the Democratic and Republican National Committees, Paul G. Kirk, Jr., and Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., respectively, jointly supported creation of the independent CPD. The CPD was incorporated in the District of Columbia on February 19, 1987, as a private, not-for-profit corporation to ''organize, manage, produce, publicize and support debates for the candidates for President of the United States.''
Who runs the CPD? The CPD is governed by an independent Board of Directors. The CPD Board presently is jointly chaired by Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. and Michael D. McCurry. Mr. McCurry succeeded CPD co-founder Paul Kirk in 2009. Although at the time the CPD was formed, Messrs. Kirk and Fahrenkopf served, respectively, as chairmen of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee, their terms ended in 1989. In the intervening 25-plus years, no sitting officer of either major party has had any affiliation with the CPD and the major parties have no role whatsoever in running CPD or setting its policies. In addition to the Co-Chairs, the current Board consists of the following distinguished Americans, all of whom volunteer their time to serve on the CPD Board:
Howard G. Buffett, Chairman and CEO, The Howard G. Buffett FoundationJohn C. Danforth, Former U.S. SenatorMitchell E. Daniels, Jr., President, Purdue UniversityCharles Gibson, Former Anchor, ABC World News with Charles GibsonJohn Griffen, Managing Director, Allen & Company LLCJane Harman, Director, President and CEO, Woodrow Wilson InternationalCenter for ScholarsAntonia Hernandez, President and CEO, California Community FoundationReverend John I. Jenkins, President, University of Notre DameJim Lehrer, Former Executive Editor and Anchor of the NewsHour on PBSNewton N. Minow, Senior Counsel, Sidley Austin LLPRichard D. Parsons, Senior Advisor, Providence Equity Partners LLCDorothy S. Ridings, Former President, the League of Women Voters and formerPresident and CEO, Council on FoundationsOlympia Snowe, Former U.S. SenatorShirley M. Tilghman, Former President, Princeton University
How is the CPD Funded? The CPD receives no funding from the government or any political party, political action committee or candidate. The CPD obtains the funds required to produce its debates every four years and to support its ongoing voter education activities from the communities that host the debates and, to a lesser extent, from corporate, foundation and private donors. Donors have no input into the management of any of the CPD's activities and have no input into the process by which the CPD selects debate participants.
How has the CPD Selected the Candidates Invited to Participate in Its Debates? The nonpartisan, voter education goal of the CPD's debates is to afford the members of the public an opportunity to sharpen their views, in a focused debate format, of the leading candidates for President and Vice President of the United States. The CPD's approach to candidate selection has been driven by this goal.
Scores of candidates run for president every election cycle, including dozens who do not seek the nomination of either major party. The CPD applies its nonpartisan candidate selection criteria in the final weeks of a long general election campaign. The CPD's selection criteria have sought to identify the individuals whose public support has made them the leading candidates.
In addition, candidates for federal office are not required to debate. History teaches that it is speculative at best to assume that the leading candidates would agree to share the stage with candidates enjoying only scant public support. Thus, a sponsor of general election debates that aims to provide the electorate with a focused debate that includes the leading candidates faces a difficult task. The sponsor needs to be inclusive enough to invite each of those candidates, regardless of party affiliation, whose level of public support genuinely qualifies him or her as a leading candidate. At the same time, the sponsor should not take an approach that is so inclusive that invitations to candidates with scant public support leads to the public losing the opportunity to see debates that include the candidates in whom they have the greatest interest. The CPD strives to strike this balance in an appropriate fashion.
Federal Election Commission ("FEC") regulations require a debate sponsor to make its candidate selection decisions on the basis of "pre-established, objective" criteria. After a thorough and wide-ranging review of alternative approaches to determining who is invited to participate in the general election debates it will sponsor, the CPD adopted on October 28, 2015 its 2016 Non-Partisan Candidate Selection Criteria. Under the 2016 Criteria, in addition to being Constitutionally eligible, candidates must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College, and have a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations' most recently publicly-reported results at the time of the determination. The polls to be relied upon will be selected based on the quality of the methodology employed, the reputation of the polling organizations and the frequency of the polling conducted. CPD will identify the selected polling organizations well in advance of the time the criteria are applied.
The CPD's determination with respect to participation in the CPD's first-scheduled debate will be made after Labor Day 2016, but sufficiently in advance of the first-scheduled debate to allow for orderly planning. Invitations to participate in the vice-presidential debate will be extended to the running mates of each of the presidential candidates qualifying for participation in the CPD's first presidential debate. Invitations to participate in the second and third of the CPD's scheduled presidential debates will be based upon satisfaction of the same multiple criteria prior to each debate.
The CPD adopted its 2016 criteria based on the recommendations of a working group of its Board chaired by former League of Women Voters president Dorothy Ridings, who serves as a CPD Director. At the time the Criteria were announced, Ridings stated, "We considered a wide array of approaches to the candidate selection issue. We concluded that CPD serves its voter education mission best when, in the final weeks of the campaign, based on pre-established, published, objective and transparent criteria, it identifies those individuals whose public support places them among the leading candidates and invites them to debate the issues of the day. We also concluded that the best available measure of public support is high-quality public opinion polling conducted near the time of the debates."
Ridings also noted that, "Under the CPD's non-partisan criteria, no candidate or nominee of a party receives an automatic invitation. The CPD's objective criteria are applied on the same basis to all declared candidates, regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof." Ridings explained, "During the course of the campaign, the candidates are afforded many opportunities in a great variety of forums to advance their candidacies. The purpose of the criteria is to identify those candidates whose support among the electorate places them among the candidates who have a realistic chance of being elected President of the United States." Ridings added, "The realistic chance need not be overwhelming, but it must be more than theoretical."
Also at the time the 2016 Criteria were adopted, CPD Co-Chairs Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. and Michael D. McCurry noted that ''We are mindful of the changes in the electorate and the large number of voters who now self-identify as independents. We believe our candidate selection criteria appropriately address this dynamic. The CPD's selection criteria make participation open to any candidate, regardless of the candidate's party affiliation or status as an independent, in whom the public has demonstrated significant interest and support." The Co-Chairs further explained: "It is appropriate for a debate sponsor to take the campaign as it finds it in the final weeks leading up to Election Day. The CPD's debates are not intended to serve as a springboard for a candidate with only very modest support. Participation in the debates is determined by the level of public support a candidate enjoys as Election Day approaches."
Why did CPD Select 15 Percent as the Polling Threshold for Inclusion in the Debates? The CPD first adopted the 15 percent level of support criterion in 2000. Its initial adoption, and its adoption in subsequent cycles, was preceded by careful study and reflects a number of considerations. It was the CPD's judgment that the 15 percent threshold best balanced the goal of being sufficiently inclusive to invite those candidates considered to be among the leading candidates, without being so inclusive that invitations would be extended to candidates with only very modest levels of public support, thereby jeopardizing the voter education purposes of the debates. Notably, the League of Women Voters struck the balance in the same way. Fifteen percent was the figure used in the League of Women Voters' 1980 selection criteria, which resulted in the inclusion of independent candidate John Anderson in one of the League's debates.
Prior to adopting the 15 percent standard, the CPD conducted its own analysis of the results of presidential elections over the modern era and concluded that a level of 15 percent support of the national electorate is achievable by a significant third party or independent candidate who captures the public's interest. In making this determination, the CPD considered, in particular, the popular support achieved by George Wallace in 1968 (Mr. Wallace had achieved a level of support as high as 20 percent in pre-election polls from September 1968); by John Anderson in 1980 (Mr. Anderson's support in various polls reached 15 percent when the League of Women Voters invited him to participate in one of its debates); and by Ross Perot in 1992 (Mr. Perot's standing in 1992 polls at one time was close to 40 percent and exceeded that of the major party candidates, and he ultimately received 18.7 percent of the popular vote).
The CPD's nonpartisan candidate selection criteria and 15 percent threshold have been found by the FEC and the courts to comply with federal election law. The same is true for the earlier criteria CPD used in 1988, 1992 and 1996.
Are the Major Party Nominees Automatically Invited to Participate in the CPD's Debates? No. Under the nonpartisan criteria used by the CPD in 2000-2012, the major party nominees have not received automatic invitations. Those candidates were invited pursuant to the same standards applicable to all declared candidates.
Does the CPD Conduct its own Polling when Applying the Criteria? No. In each election cycle since 2000, CPD has retained Dr. Frank Newport, Editor-in-Chief of Gallup, to assist it in selecting the five national public opinion polls to be used in applying the criteria. Dr. Newport's recommendations have been based on his professional judgment concerning the most suitable polls. In making his recommendations, he has considered the quality of the methodology the polling organizations employed, the size of the sample population polled, the reputation of the polling organizations, and the frequency of the polling conducted. In 2012, the polls relied upon were: ABC News/The Washington Post, NBC News/The Wall Street Journal, CBS News/The New York Times, Fox News and Gallup.
Has the CPD ever used Different Candidate Selection Criteria? In the 1988, 1992 and 1996 debates, the CPD used a multi-factor set of criteria designed to identify the leading candidates. The criteria were developed based on the work of an advisory panel of distinguished Americans, including individuals not affiliated with any party. The individuals serving on that advisory panel (and their then-current principal affiliation) included, among others: Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund; Mary Hatwood Futrell, President, National Education Association; Carla A. Hills, Partner, Weil, Gotshall & Manges; Barbara Jordan, Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas; Melvin Laird, Senior Counselor, Readers' Digest; William Leonard, former President, CBS News; Newton Minow, Partner, Sidley & Austin; Richard Neustadt, Professor, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Paul H. O'Neill, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Aluminum Company of America; Nelson W. Polsby, Professor, University of California at Berkeley; Jody Powell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ogilvy & Mather Public Affairs; Murray Rossant, Director, Twentieth Century Fund; Jill Ruckelshaus, director of various non-profit entities; Lawrence Spivak, former Producer and Moderator, "Meet the Press"; Robert Strauss, Partner, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld; Richard Thornburgh, Director, Institute of Politics, Harvard University; and Anne Wexler, Chairman, Wexler, Reynolds, Harrison & Schule.
A subcommittee of the advisory panel, headed by the late Professor Richard Neustadt of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, drew on the deliberations of the larger panel to develop nonpartisan criteria for the extension of debate invitations. While the panel's recommended candidate selection criteria themselves were quite detailed, they included a review of three types of factors: (1) evidence of national organization, (2) signs of national newsworthiness and competitiveness, and (3) indicators of national public enthusiasm or concern, to determine whether a candidate had a realistic chance of election. The criteria did not consider any one piece of evidence to be determinative. Rather, a variety of evidence was to be reviewed in considering whether a particular candidate had a realistic chance of election. The criteria used in 1988 and 1996 were substantially the same.
In 1988, 1992 and 1996, the Board called upon an advisory committee chaired by Professor Neustadt to assist it in applying the criteria. In each cycle, the CPD Board accepted the recommendations of the advisory committee in determining who qualified for inclusion in the debates under the criteria.
Why did the CPD Switch Criteria in 2000? The more streamlined criteria were adopted to provide greater transparency.
Has the Format of the CPD's Debates Changed over the Years? Since 1987, the CPD has worked to develop debate formats that focus maximum time and attention on the candidates and their views. The CPD's first set of debates used the model that had been employed for several previous cycles, one moderator with a panel of three journalists. By 1992, the CPD had introduced the town meeting, in which citizens ask questions of the candidates; used every cycle since, the town meeting is made up of approximately 100 citizens chosen by the Gallup organization as undecided voters from the metropolitan area of the debate site.
In 1992, a single moderator was used for the town meeting, the vice presidential debate, and the first half of the final presidential debate. Starting in 1996, the CPD exclusively used a single moderator for all its debates, a practice which has continued through 2012.
In 2000, the CPD held its first debate in which the candidates were seated at a table with the moderator, a format that further encourages candid conversation without the physical separation of podiums. In 2012, the CPD adopted a significantly different format for the first and last presidential debates: those two debates were divided into six 15-minute segments, during each of which the candidates discussed one major issue facing the country. One debate was devoted to domestic issues and one to foreign affairs. The topics for both debates were chosen by the moderators and announced several weeks beforehand. This change was the result of the CPD's sustained effort over many years to foster meaningful discussion of the issues and to eliminate restrictive time constraints.
How are the Debate Moderators Chosen? The moderators are selected by the CPD. The CPD uses three criteria to select its moderators: a) familiarity with the candidates and the major issues of the presidential campaign; b) extensive experience in live television broadcast news; and c) an understanding that the debate should focus maximum time and attention on the candidates and their views. The moderators alone select the questions to be asked, which are not known to the CPD or to the candidates. They do not meet with the campaigns, nor do the campaigns have a role in moderator selection. Starting in 1996, the CPD has used a single moderator for all of its debates in order to keep the focus on the candidates and their positions.
How are the Sites and Dates for the Debates Selected? The CPD chooses sites for the debates by soliciting bids from interested sites. Over the years, the CPD has held all but three of its debates on college and university campuses; this has allowed students to participate in the production process, and has prompted many of them to become involved in election-related projects. Sites that are interested in hosting debates submit proposals to the CPD in response to formal site selection guidelines that are posted 22 months before the debates. CPD production staff review the proposals, conduct site surveys, and consult with members of the White House television pool and federal law enforcement in evaluating potential facilities. The final sites and dates for the debates are chosen by the CPD board of directors and announced approximately one year in advance; this allows for complete logistical preparation by the CPD and the media, and for the sites to take full advantage of debate-related curricular additions. For 2016, CPD has announced the following sites and dates:
September 26, 2016: Presidential Debate at Hofstra University (Hempstead, New York)
October 4, 2016: Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University (Farmville, Virginia)
October 9, 2016: Presidential Debate at Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, Missouri)
October 19, 2016: Presidential Debate at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Do the Debates Attract Large Audiences? The viewership of the presidential debates is significantly greater than any other political programming. From 1988-2012, the CPD's debates have attracted audiences between approximately 30 million and approximately 70 million viewers. Post-debate research indicates that the debates are consistently rated as very or somewhat helpful by roughly 70 percent of the public. In 2008, 80 percent of the public watched at least some of the debates; 77 percent said that those debates were interesting and 70 percent said they were informative. Exit poll data for many years have shown that voters cite the debates more than any other single factor in considering how to cast their ballots.
Does the CPD do any International Work? For 25 years, the CPD has shared its experiences with groups in other countries that seek to make candidate debates part of their electoral process. CPD has now played a part in exchanges with more than 35 countries. In most instances, these are fragile democracies, sometimes emerging from civil strife. The CPD offers assistance in matters ranging from production and broadcast of the debates to candidate negotiation and voter education. CPD has worked with others to create an informal network of approximately 19 countries who work together to help each other start or improve debates. The network has recently launched a website that can be found at
New Abedin Emails Reveal Hillary Clinton State Department Gave Special Access to Top Clinton Foundation Donors - Judicial Watch
Tue, 23 Aug 2016 04:05
Crown Prince of Bahrain Forced to Go Through Foundation to See Clinton, after Pledging $32 Million to Clinton Global Initiative
Hollywood Executive Casey Wasserman, Slimfast Mogul Daniel Abraham, Controversial Appointee Rajiv Fernando also among Clinton Foundation Donors Granted Special Favors from Clinton State Department
(Washington, DC) '' Judicial Watch today released 725 pages of new State Department documents, including previously unreleased email exchanges in which former Hillary Clinton's top aide Huma Abedin provided influential Clinton Foundation donors special, expedited access to the secretary of state. In many instances, the preferential treatment provided to donors was at the specific request of Clinton Foundation executive Douglas Band.
The new documents included 20 Hillary Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to 191 of new Clinton emails (not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department). These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, ''as far as she knew,'' all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.
The Abedin emails reveal that the longtime Clinton aide apparently served as a conduit between Clinton Foundation donors and Hillary Clinton while Clinton served as secretary of state. In more than a dozen email exchanges, Abedin provided expedited, direct access to Clinton for donors who had contributed from $25,000 to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. In many instances, Clinton Foundation top executive Doug Band, who worked with the Foundation throughout Hillary Clinton's tenure at State, coordinated closely with Abedin. In Abedin's June deposition to Judicial Watch, she conceded that part of her job at the State Department was taking care of ''Clinton family matters.''
Included among the Abedin-Band emails is an exchange revealing that when Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain requested a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton, he was forced to go through the Clinton Foundation for an appointment. Abedin advised Band that when she went through ''normal channels'' at State, Clinton declined to meet. After Band intervened, however, the meeting was set up within forty-eight hours. According to the Clinton Foundation website, in 2005, Salman committed to establishing the Crown Prince's International Scholarship Program (CPISP) for the Clinton Global Initiative. And by 2010, it had contributed $32 million to CGI. The Kingdom of Bahrain reportedly gave between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. And Bahrain Petroleum also gave an additional $25,000 to $50,000.
From:Doug Band
To: Huma Abedin
Sent: Tue Jun 23 1:29:42 2009
Cp of Bahrain in tomorrow to Friday
Asking to see her
Good friend of ours
From: Huma Abedin
To: Doug Band
Sent: Tue Jun 23 4:12:46 2009
Subject: Re:
He asked to see hrc thurs and fri thru normal channels. I asked and she said she doesn't want to commit to anything for thurs or fri until she knows how she will feel. Also she says that she may want to go to ny and doesn't want to be committed to stuff in ny'...
From: Huma Abedin []
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 10:35:15 AM
To: Doug Band
Offering Bahrain cp 10 tomorrow for meeting woith [sic] hrc
If u see him, let him know
We have reached out thru official channels
Also included among the Abedin-Band emails is an exchange in which Band urged Abedin to get the Clinton State Department to intervene in order to obtain a visa for members of the Wolverhampton (UK) Football Club, one of whose members was apparently having difficulty because of a ''criminal charge.'' Band was acting at the behest of Casey Wasserman, a millionaire Hollywood sports entertainment executive and President of the Wasserman Foundation. Wasserman has donated between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation through the Wasserman Foundation.
From: Tim Hoy [VP Wasserman Media Group]
Date: Tue. 5 May 2009 10:45:55 '' 0700
To: Casey Wasserman
Subject: [Redacted] Wolverhampton FC/visa matter
Casey: Paul Martin's [popular English footballer] client [Redacted] needs to get an expedited appointment at the US Embassy in London this week and we have hit some road blocks. I am writing to ask for your help.
The Wolverhampton FC is coming to Las Vegas this Thursday for a ''celebration break.'' [Redacted] so he cannot get a visa to the US without first being ''interviewed'' in the visa section of the US Embassy in London '...
I contacted Senator Boxer's office in SF for help '... They balked at the criminal charge and said they ''couldn't help.''
I'm now trying to get help from Sherrod Brown's office but that's not going well either. So do you have any ideas/contacts that could contact the US Embassy in London and ask that they see [Redacted] tomorrow?
From: Casey Wasserman
To: Doug Band; Trista Schroeder [Wasserman Media Group executive]
Sent: Tue May 05 2:23:50 2009 [PT]
Subject: FW [Redacted] Wolverhampton FC/visa matter
Can you help with the below [Hoy email], or maybe Huma??? I am copying trista as I am on the plane in case I lose connection '... thx.
From: Doug Band
Sent: Tue May 05 7:08:21 2009 [ET]
To: Casey Wasserman; Trista Schroeder
Subject: Re: [Redacted] Wolverhampton FC/visa matter
Will email her.
From: Doug Band
To: Huma Abedin
Sent: Tue May 5 7:26:49 2009
Subject: Fw: [Redacted] Wolverhampton FC/visa matter
[As per subject line, Band apparently forwarded Abedin material sent to him by Casey.]
From: Huma Abedin []
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 7:39:38 PM
To: Doug Band
Subject: Re: [Redacted] Wolverhampton FC/visa matter
I doubt we can do anything but maybe we can help with an interview. I'll ask.
From: Huma Abedin
To: Doug Band
Sent: Tue May 05 5:50:09 2009
Subject: Re: [Redacted] Wolverhampton FC/visa matter
I got this now, makes me nervous to get involved but I'll ask.
From: Doug Band
To: Huma Abedin
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 7:43:30 PM
Subject: Re: [Redacted] Wolverhampton FC/visa matter
Then don't
The Abedin emails also reveal that Slimfast tycoon S. Daniel Abraham was granted almost immediate access to then-Secretary of State Clinton, with Abedin serving as the facilitator. According to the Clinton Foundation website, Abraham, like the Wasserman Foundation, has given between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. The emails indicate that Abraham was granted almost immediate access to Clinton upon request:
From: Huma Abedin
To: H
Sent: Mon May 04 4:40:34 2009
Subject: Danny
Danny abraham called this morning. He is in dc today and tomorrow and asked for 15 min with you. Do u want me to try and fit him in tomorrow?
From: H
To Huma Abedin
Sent: Mon May 04 5:14:00 2009
Subject: Re: Danny
Will the plane wait if I can't get there before 7-8?
From: Huma Abedin
Sent: Monday, May 04, 2009 5:15:30 PM
Subject: Re: Danny
Yes of course
Additional Abedin emails in which the top Clinton aide intervenes with the State Department on behalf of Clinton Foundation donors include the following:
On Friday, June 26, 2009, Clinton confidant Kevin O'Keefe wrote to Clinton saying that ''Kevin Conlon is trying to set up a meeting with you and a major client.'' Clinton wrote to Abedin, ''Can you help deliver these for Kevin?'' Abedin responded, ''I'll look into it asap'' Kevin O'Keefe donated between $10,000 and $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Kevin Conlon is a Clinton presidential campaign ''Hillblazer'' who has raised more than $100,000 for the candidate.On Tuesday, June 16, 2009, Ben Ringel wrote to Abedin, ''I'm on shuttle w Avigdor Liberman. I called u back yesterday. I want to stop by to see hrc tonite for 10 mins.'' Ringel donated between $10,000 and $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation.On Monday, July 6, 2009, Maureen White wrote to Abedin, ''I am going to be in DC on Thursday. Would she have any time to spare?'' Abedin responded, ''Yes I'll make it work.'' White donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation.In June 2009, prominent St. Louis political power broker Joyce Aboussie exchanged a series of insistent emails with Abedin concerning Aboussie's efforts to set up a meeting between Clinton and Peabody Energy VP Cartan Sumner. Aboussie wrote, ''Huma, I need your help now to intervene please. We need this meeting with Secretary Clinton, who has been there now for nearly six months. This is, by the way, my first request. I really would appreciate your help on this. It should go without saying that the Peabody folks came to Dick [Gephardt] and I because of our relationship with the Clinton's.'' After further notes from Aboussie, Abedin responded, ''We are working on it and I hope we can make something work'... we have to work through the beauracracy [sic] here.'' Aboussie donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation.On Saturday, May 16, 2009, mobile communications executive and political activist Jill Iscol wrote to Clinton, ''Please advise to whom I should forward Jacqueline Novogratz's request [for a meeting with the secretary of state]. I know you know her, but honestly, she is so far ahead of the curve and brilliant I believe she could be enormously helpful to your work.'' Clinton subsequently sent an email to Abedin saying, ''Pls print.'' Jill and husband Ken Iscol donated between $500,000 and $1 million to the Clinton Foundation. Clinton subsequently appointed Novogratz to the State Department's Foreign Affairs Policy Board.The newly obtained Abedin emails also contain a memorandum sent to Cheryl Mills from State Department White House liaison Laura Pena revealing that Rajiv Fernando was proposed for his controversial appointment to the sensitive International Security Advisory Board as early as June 2009. Fernando was not actually appointed until 2011, and his appointment raised a firestorm because, according to an ABC News report, ''he had no obvious experience in the field.'' Fernando donated $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.
The Abedin emails reveal that even U2's Bono got into the act when former Bill Clinton aide Ben Schwerin, who helped set up the Clinton Foundation, urged Abedin to help the aging rock star broadcast from the international space station. In a May 27, 2009, email with the subject line ''Bono/NASA,'' Schwerin wrote, ''Bono wants to do linkup with the international space station on every show during the tour this year.'... Any ideas? Thks.'' Bono has been a donor to the Clinton Global Initiative. And in 2011, he gathered top entertainers for ''A Decade of Difference: A Concert Celebrating 10 Years of the William J. Clinton Foundation.'' According to USA Today, ''Some tickets were sold to the public for $50 to $550, and premium seats went for $1,000 to $5,000 on the Foundation website.''
''These new emails confirm that Hillary Clinton abused her office by selling favors to Clinton Foundation donors,'' said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. ''There needs to be a serious, independent investigation to determine whether Clinton and others broke the law.''
This is the tenth set of records produced for Judicial Watch by the State Department from the email accounts of Huma Abedin. The documents were produced under a court order in a May 5, 2015, Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)) requiring the agency to produce ''all emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013, using a 'non-state'.gov email address.''
In June, Judicial Watch uncovered two batches (here and here) of new Clinton email records through court-ordered discovery. Twice in May, Judicial Watch uncovered new Clinton emails, including emails that show Clinton knew about the security risk of her BlackBerry (see here and here).
Recently, Judicial Watch released other State Department emails (one batch of 103 pages, the second of 138 pages), with newly discovered Clinton emails also going back as far as January 2009.
In March, Judicial Watch released Clinton State Department emails dating from February 2009 that also call into question her statements about her emails. Those emails contained more evidence of the battle between security officials in the State Department, National Security Agency, Clinton and her staff over attempts to obtain secure BlackBerrys.
On August 9, Judicial Watch produced a 2009 email in which Band directed Abedin and Mills to put Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire and Clinton Foundation donor Gilbert Chagoury in touch with the State Department's ''substance person'' on Lebanon. Band noted that Chagoury is ''key guy there [Lebanon] and to us.'' Chagoury has donated between $1 million to $5 million to the Foundation, according to foundation documents. He also pledged $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative.
Hillary Clinton has repeatedly stated that she believes that the 55,000 pages of documents she turned over to the State Department in December 2014 included all of her work-related emails. In response to a court order in other Judicial Watch litigation, she declared under penalty of perjury that she had ''directed that all my emails on in my custody that were or are potentially federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.'' This new email find is also at odds with her official campaign statement suggesting all ''work or potentially work-related emails'' were provided to the State Department.
Wikileaks: Hillary's Advisors Contacted NFL Commish to Ask About Her "Cracked Head"
Tue, 23 Aug 2016 21:24
Hillary Clinton adviser Philippe Reines at the State Department contacted the NFL Commissioner in 2012 to inquire about severe head injuries.
Hillary Clinton thanked Reines and added, ''Having a cracked head is no fun at all.''
The email was sent on December 24, 2012.
Hillary first fell ill with a stomach virus, then reportedly suffered a fall and a concussion and finally a brief hospitalization for a blood clot near her brain.At least, that's what they reported.
Hillary did not go back to work until January 7, 2013.
''Having a cracked head is no fun at all.'' '' Sick Hillary#HillarysEmails
'-- Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) August 23, 2016
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EpiPen Uproar Highlights Company's Family Ties to Congress
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 21:23
The CEO of a former Fortune 500 company, who is also the daughter of a U.S. senator, is under fire from for jacking up the rates of life-saving anti-allergy device known as the EpiPen.
Heather Bresch, whose father is U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., became president of Mylan Pharmaceutical in 2009 and CEO in 2012. She is no stranger to controversy: She moved Mylan's headquarters to the Netherlands last year after a corporate ''inversion'' merger with Abbott Laboratories.
The move enabled the company to operate its headquarters in the U.S. but maintain corporate citizenship in Holland, benefiting from a lower tax rate.
But the EpiPen scandal, sparked by a sudden price hike, could cause more trouble for the company, its CEO, and her lawmaker father. This week, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Antitrust Subcommittee, demanded hearings on the EpiPen's 450 percent price increase in just seven years.
The cost of a two-pack of EpiPens '-- shots of epinephrine that relieve symptoms from severe allergies that restrict breathing and can cause death '-- has risen from $103.50 in 2009 to $608.61 today, despite no changes in the chemical formula. Two vials of the proper dosage of epinephrine and manual syringes would cost only $20; some put the cost of the dosage in each EpiPen at as little as $1.
Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have all decried the EpiPen's skyrocketing cost. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, in a statement today, called the situation ''the latest troubling example of a company taking advantage of its consumers.'' Even infamous pharmaceutical price gouger Martin Shkreli has called Mylan ''vultures.''
''This outrageous increase in the price of EpiPens is occurring at the same time that Mylan Pharmaceutical is exploiting a monopoly market advantage that has fallen into its lap,'' Klobuchar said in a statement.
Klobuchar, whose daughter uses EpiPens due to severe allergies, is calling for hearings in the Judiciary Committee, and an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission into Mylan's price hikes, which have occurred every quarter since 2013. ''The commission should also report to Congress on why these outrageous price increases have become common and propose solutions that will better protect consumers within 90 days,'' Klobuchar said.
EpiPens are critical for anyone with severe allergies to things like bee stings or peanuts to carry, and doctors recommend that they carry two, in case an extra dose is needed. But they expire after a year, forcing families to pay for a new dosage annually. Doctors wrote 3.6 million prescriptions for EpiPens last year, giving Mylan $1.2 billion in profits off that single product.
The price increases coincide with Mylan's purchase of the product in 2007, and with Bresch taking control of the company shortly thereafter. Mylan has virtually no competition for epinephrine auto-injectors, as they control 87 percent of the U.S. market. One competitor, the Auvi-Q, was recalled from pharmacies last year; the Food and Drug Administration rejected another potential alternative from Teva Pharmaceuticals this spring.
Bresch, born Heather Manchin, started at Mylan in 1992. She was hired after her father, then a West Virginia state senator, told then-CEO Mike Puskar that she needed a job.
From working in the company's basement, she moved through the ranks to become Mylan's chief lobbyist in 2002. In that position, she contributed to the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill, which barred the federal insurance provider from bargaining with drug companies over prices. She was also key to the passage of the 2012 Generic Drug User Fee Act, which increased inspections of foreign facilities manufacturing drugs for the U.S. market. While it increased regulations at Mylan's own sites outside the U.S., it also made it more difficult for foreign drugmakers to sell their products domestically, knocking out many of Mylan's competitors.
The bill passed Congress easily, with her father among those providing yes votes.
Congress also passed a law in 2013 prioritizing grant money for schools to stock EpiPens in case of emergency, since children are most at risk for a severe allergy attack. Some states require EpiPens in their schools, including West Virginia, where Gayle Manchin, mother of Heather Bresch, was head of the Board of Education when the policy went into effect in 2013.
Manchin has spoken out against his daughter's use of an inversion to renounce Mylan's corporate citizenship, saying that such tax dodging should be illegal. He has not, however, made any public statement about EpiPens since the scandal came to light, and his office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Intercept.
He has been hearing from people on his Facebook page. ''Buddy what is up with your daughter?'' asked one commenter. ''How could you raise a child that takes advantage of suffering families?'' Another wrote, ''Your daughter Heather Bresch and Mylan Pharmaceuticals just raised the cost of an epipen 400%. People will die because of her greed.''
Mylan claims that they have improved the EpiPen product, necessitating the cost increases. ''Ensuring access to epinephrine '-- the only first-line treatment '-- is a core part of our mission,'' the company said in a statement.
Correction: August 24, 2016A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Mylan as a current Fortune 500 company. Fortune removed Mylan from its list after the company left the U.S. for tax purposes.
McCarran Internal Security Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 01:18
McCarran Internal Security ActOther short titlesMcCarran ActSubversive Activities Control Act of 1950Long titleAn Act to protect the United States against certain un-American and subversive activities by requiring registration of Communist organizations, and for other purposes.NicknamesInternal Security Act of 1950Enacted bythe 81st United States CongressEffectiveSeptember 23, 1950CitationsPublic law81''831Statutes at Large64 Stat. 987CodificationTitles amended50 U.S.C.: War and National DefenseU.S.C. sections created50 23, subch. I § 781 et seq.Legislative historyIntroduced in the Houseas H.R. 9490 byPat McCarran (D-NV)Passed the House on August 29, 1950 (354-20)Reported by the joint conference committee on September 20, 1950; agreed to by the House on September 20, 1950 (313-20) and by the Senate on September 20, 1950 (51-7)Vetoed by PresidentHarry Trumanon September 22, 1950Overridden by the House on September 22, 1950 (286-48)Overridden by the Senate and became law on September 22, 1950 (57-10)The Internal Security Act of 1950, 64 Stat. 987 (Public Law 81-831), also known as the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 or the McCarran Act, after its principal sponsor Sen. Pat McCarran (D-Nevada), is a United States federal law. It was enacted over President Harry Truman's veto.
Its titles were I: Subversive Activities Control (Subversive Activities Control Act) and II: Emergency Detention (Emergency Detention Act of 1950).[1]
The Act required Communist organizations to register with the United States Attorney General and established the Subversive Activities Control Board to investigate persons suspected of engaging in subversive activities or otherwise promoting the establishment of a "totalitarian dictatorship," either fascist or communist. Members of these groups could not become citizens and in some cases were prevented from entering or leaving the country. Citizens found in violation could lose their citizenship in five years. The Act also contained an emergency detention statute, giving the President the authority to apprehend and detain "each person as to whom there is a reasonable ground to believe that such person probably will engage in, or probably will conspire with others to engage in, acts of espionage or sabotage."[2]
It tightened alien exclusion and deportation laws and allowed for the detention of dangerous, disloyal, or subversive persons in times of war or "internal security emergency".
The Act made picketing a federal courthouse a felony[3] if intended to obstruct the court system or influence jurors or other trial participants.[4]
Several key sections of the Act were taken from the earlier Mundt''Ferguson Communist Registration Bill, which Congress had failed to pass.[5]
It included language that Sen. Mundt had introduced several times before without success aimed at punishing a federal employee from passing information "classified by the President (or by the head of any such department, agency, or corporation with the approval of the President) as affecting the security of the United States" to "any representative of a foreign government or to any officer or member of a Communist organization". He told a Senate hearing that it was a response to what the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) had learned when investigating "the so-called pumpkin papers case, the espionage activities in the Chambers-Hiss case, the Bentley case, and others."[6]
President Harry Truman vetoed it on September 22, 1950, and sent Congress a lengthy veto message in which he criticized specific provisions as "the greatest danger to freedom of speech, press, and assembly since the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798," a "mockery of the Bill of Rights" and a "long step toward totalitarianism".[7][8]
The House overrode the veto without debate by a vote of 286-48 the same day. The Senate overrode his veto the next day after "a twenty-two hour continuous battle" by a vote of 57-10. Thirty-one Republicans and 26 Democrats voted in favor, while five members of each party opposed it.[9]
Civil libertarians and radical political activists considered the McCarran Act to be a dangerous and unconstitutional infringement of political liberty, as exemplified in this 1961 poster.The Supreme Court of the United States was initially deferential towards the Internal Security Act. For example, in Galvan v. Press,[10] the Court upheld the deportation of a Mexican alien on the basis that he had briefly been a member of the Communist Party from 1944 to 1946, even though such membership had been lawful at that point in time (and had been declared retroactively illegal by the Act).
As McCarthyism faded into history, the Court adopted a more skeptical approach towards the Act. In 1965, the Court voted 8''0 in Albertson v. Subversive Activities Control Board to invalidate the Act's requirement that members of the Communist Party were to register with the government. It held that the information which party members were required to submit could form the basis of their prosecution for being party members, which was then a crime, and therefore deprived them of their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.[11] In 1967, the act's provision prohibiting communists from working for the federal government or at defense facility was also struck down by the Supreme Court as a violation of the First Amendment's right to freedom of association in United States v. Robel.[12]
The U.S. military continues to use 50 U.S.C. § 797, citing it in U.S. Army regulation AR 190-11 in support of allowing installation commanders to regulate privately owned weapons on army installations. An Army message known as an ALARACT[13] states "senior commanders have specific authority to regulate privately owned weapons, explosives, and ammunition on army installations." The ALARACT refers to AR 190-11 and public law (section 1062 of Public Law 111-383, also known as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011); AR 190-11 in turn cites the McCarran Internal Security Act (codified as 50 USC 797). The ALARACT reference is a truncated version of the public law.[14]
Part of the Act was repealed by the Non-Detention Act of 1971. For example, violation of 50 U.S.C. § 797 (Section 21 of "the Internal Security Act of 1950"), which concerns security of military bases and other sensitive installations, may be punishable by a prison term of up to one year.[15]
The part of the act codified as 50 U.S.C. § 798 has been repealed in its entirety for violating the First Amendment.[16]
References in popular cultureEdit^The Full Text of the McCarran Internal Security Act, accessed June 25, 2012^Title II, Section 103^New York Times: "M'Grath to Press New Curbs on Reds," September 25, 1950, accessed June 25, 2012^Title I, Section 31^Everything2: The Nixon-Mundt Bill Retrieved 2012-04-10^Justia: Scarbeck v. U.S. paragraphs 20-1, accessed June 25, 2012^Harry S. Truman, Veto of the Internal Security Bill, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.^"Text of President's Veto Message Vetoing the Communist-Control Bill". New York Times. September 23, 1950. Retrieved April 23, 2013. ^Trussel, C.P. (September 24, 1950). "Red Bill Veto Beaten, 57-10, By Senators". New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2013. ^Galvan v. Press, 347U.S.522 (1954),^Belknap, Michael R. (2004). The Vinson Court: Justices, Rulings, and Legacy. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 171. ^Belknap, Michael R. (2005). The Supreme Court Under Earl Warren, 1953-1969. University of South Carolina. p. 79. ^ALARACT 333/2011 DTG R 311939Z AUG 11^Public Law. "111-383"(PDF). section 1062. 111th Congress. ^United States Department of Defense DoD Directive 5200.8, "Security of DoD Installations and Resources", 25 April 1991, retrieved August 26, 2005. Archived July 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.^"50 USC 798". Findlaw. ^Russo & Ellsberg, Morison,Franklin, Drake, Manning
The Direct Democracy President | Scott Adams' Blog
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 02:29
Posted August 22nd, 2016 @ 8:59am in #Trump#Clinton
To many people '' if not most '' Donald Trump looks like the type of candidate who would become a ''strongman'' president, ignoring the advice of experts and the opinion of the people. That's the persuasion framework that Clinton has created in your mind, probably with the help of the Master Persuader I call Godzilla.
But does the evidence support that view? I see the opposite.
Months ago, when Trump stumbled on his answer about criminal penalties for women who seek illegal abortions, the public went nuts, and Trump immediately corrected his position. That's direct democracy. Trump heard the opinion of the majority and instantly adopted it.
Consider Trump's proposal to ban all Muslim immigration. The public felt his position was too extreme, and let him know. Eventually, Trump softened his stance to talk about countries of origin, not religion. The public still wasn't pleased, so Trump softened again to his current position of ''extreme vetting.'' That evolution in policy looks like direct democracy to me. The public told Trump what it wanted, and Trump evolved to it.
Likewise, we found out this week that Trump's plan to deport 11 million Mexicans living in the United States illegally has some wiggle room. Maybe there won't be so much deporting after all. Because the public doesn't want it.
Consider also Trump's public persona. We witness that he is using the teleprompter (as advised) and crafting a friendlier version of himself, which is exactly what the public asked of him.
Recently we've seen the question of Clinton's health and stamina become a big topic on the Internet. Most of the ''evidence'' is confirmation bias, but the question is probably big enough now that the media has to ask the candidates some questions about their health or they won't be doing their jobs. The public wants it, the media will comply, and the candidates will be held to their answers. That feels like direct democracy.
If you fear direct democracy, I just gave you several reasons to feel comfortable with it. In olden times, direct democracy could lead to an uninformed mob with pitchforks. When you add ignorance to direct democracy, things won't go well. But in the age of the Internet, direct democracy forces people to virtue-signal, and we see in my examples above that the crowd moves toward kindness as a group. The crowd rejected penalties for women getting ILLEGAL abortions. It rejected deportation of 11 million ILLEGAL Mexican residents. And so far, the public prefers to accept some terrorist risk in the homeland in order to show kindness to Muslim immigrants who need help.
Do you remember how the Republican Party used to have a lot more conflict with the LGBTQ community? Trump is trying to change that '' and succeeding '' because the public backs him.
Direct democracy in pre-Internet days was a bad idea because it gave power to ignorance. But direct democracy in 2016 is more about the public squeezing the evil out of its own leaders. Evil doesn't like sunlight. It doesn't like Trump's unkind immigration plans and it doesn't like the Clinton Foundation '' which just announced it would stop taking foreign donation if Clinton is elected. The public gets what the public demands.
In my opinion, social media has effectively replaced the American system of government that was designed as a republic. In horse-and-buggy times, we elected smart people to go to Washington and make smart decisions on our behalf. The public would learn about the decisions later. But in 2016, the public makes the decisions and the politicians follow along. Social media makes that possible.
Quickly, name a policy idea from a major candidate that is both deeply unpopular with the public and also likely to become a law. I can't think of one. That isn't even a thing anymore. If the public doesn't like it, the leaders can't do it. Period.
To be fair, some unpopular laws might slip through the system in the short run. But the public will be brutal in those cases, and even the exceptions are likely to be trivial and temporary.
In my opinion, Trump is likely to be the first direct-democracy president. He'll do what the public wants and avoid doing what they dislike. The public expects its leaders to try and change their minds about things, but in the end the public will decide and the leaders will follow.
Clinton's team '' presumably with the help of Godzilla '' might have persuaded you to fear a Trump presidency. The reality is that the public already controls Trump, and the public's instinct is toward kindness, and even self-sacrifice, when everyone is watching.
Social media ensures that everyone is watching.
If you think Clinton would do a better job than Trump as president, you can make a convincing argument for that, given her experience and whatnot. But a Clinton presidency would still have the vestiges of a republic, with decisions being made by special interest groups, and sold to the public with a web of confusion. (Let's call it a confusopoly system for government.)
A Trump presidency is likely to be the first direct-democracy presidency. If you think a Trump presidency '' guided by the kindness of the public '' would be extra-dangerous, you have been hypnotized. The evidence strongly suggests the opposite. Our direct democracy has already demonstrated that it prefers kindness to evil.
For the first time in human history, love is in a winning position compared to evil. Take a moment to thank Facebook and Twitter for that. It's a big deal.
Can't get enough of my Trump opinions?
See my interview with James Taranto of the Wall Street Journa here.
Hear/watch my extended conversation with Stefan Molyneux here.
If you like to love, you might love to like my book. But it would be more coincidence than causation.
Clinton Email Scandal Widens '' ''The Access'' Is the Quid Pro Quo'... | The Last Refuge
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 02:48
The ''pay-to-play'' scandal between the Clinton Foundation and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been defended by claiming Secretary Clinton took no actionable steps to change State Dept. policy as a result of payment to the Foundation.
However, as the relationships between the Foundation and the State Department gain increased scrutiny the ''access'' to Clinton appears to be the purpose for the payments. Sooner or later someone is going to mention the mysterious 2012 ''Thanksgiving Holiday Fire'' directly above Hillary's office in the State Dept.
WASHINGTON DC '' Hillary Clinton's national finance director has emerged in newly released emails as what one watchdog called the ''middle'' man between her State Department and family foundation, sharing donor information with a top Clinton confidante when he was working at the foundation.
Dennis Cheng, before joining the campaign, worked for over three years as the foundation's director of development and before that as deputy chief of protocol in Clinton's State Department.
He has managed to stay below the radar for years, but emails obtained by Citizens United in a Freedom of Information Act request show him working closely with Clinton aide Huma Abedin '' particularly after leaving the department for the foundation.
In one 2012 exchange, Cheng sent a nine-page email to Abedin to prepare Clinton for a briefing on the 67 VIP's attending a foundation dinner. The guests ranged from major real estate and business executives to former politicians and aid organization representatives.
The email, sent while Cheng was working at the foundation, shows how seamlessly Clinton's aides moved between government service and the foundation, staying in contact with one another and sharing details about VIP's connected to the group. Based on the emails, Clinton was getting information about the foundation dinner in preparation for a briefing on who was attending '' while at the department.
The emails come amid a slew of recent reports showing the Clinton State Department's frequent interaction with foundation donors, fueling critics' claims that donations bought access. The campaign has rejected these allegations. (read more)
The Clinton Campaign has targeted the Associated Press for reporting on the donors and how they align with access to Secretary Clinton. The AP hits back:
AP statement on Clinton Foundation donorsAug. 24, 2016, by Paul Colford
The Associated Press' reporting relied on publicly available data provided by the State Department about Hillary Clinton's meetings, phone calls and emails, cross-referenced against donor information provided by the Clinton Foundation and its related charities on its websites.
As AP wrote, our reporting was based on Mrs. Clinton's calendars covering the entirety of her tenure as secretary of state and on more detailed schedules of meetings and phone calls covering roughly half that period. AP first requested Mrs. Clinton's calendars and schedules in 2010 and again in 2013 but was unsuccessful.
AP then sued the State Department in federal court to obtain the schedules it has received so far. AP expects to receive the remaining files before Election Day and will continue to examine them and report on their contents.
AP has been transparent in how it has reported this story. It focused on Mrs. Clinton's meetings and calls involving people outside government who were not federal employees or foreign diplomats, because meeting with U.S. or foreign government officials would inherently have been part of her job as secretary of state.
We focused on Mrs. Clinton's meetings and calls involving those people outside her duties as secretary of state whom she chose to include in her busy schedule. This reporting was done by the same AP investigative team that discovered Mrs. Clinton's private email server and traced it to her basement in Chappaqua, New York, and whose reporting last week resulted in the resignation of Donald Trump's top campaign strategist.
AP has been examining issues facing the presidential candidates and will continue to do so.
Hillary to link "Alt-Right" and Trump in next speech. What is the Alt-Right?
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 02:59
I first heard about the Alt-Right (aka ''The Trumpening'' or just ''TRUMP!'') last year, the year after I graduated from college and was interning at a conservative think tank. I briefly become involved with the Alt-Right and then left the movement in disgust. Here is what I learned:
'' The Alt-Right is controlled by what the media call ''Sith Lords''. You have more public Lords like Richard Spencer, Mike Enoch and Pleasureman, but there are even some Lords up higher whose names are not revealed. They say the Master Lord says 'Et Ego in Arcadia' which is an anagram for 'Tego Arcana Dei' (''I hide the secrets of God'').
'' But only the media call them 'Sith Lords'. In Inner Speak, they will often use phrases like the Men of Nºmenor or the Eldars.
'' I never met any of the higher Eldars, but I did once meet an Eldar in Training. I don't know his real name but people called him Legolas. He had long blond hair, was dressed like a 19th century count, and wore a pendant that had a cartoon frog on it.
'' The movement is a weird mixture of ethno-nationalists, nazis, NEETs, PUAs (''pick-up artists'' like Chateau Heartiste), Trad Catholics, Trad Protestants, etc. They all believe in HBD (what they call ''human biodiversity'' i.e. racism) but disagree on some other minor points.
'' The religious people in the movement (both Christians and pagans) practice what is called ''identitarian religion'' (religion that doesn't deny ethnic identity).
'' Some of the rising stars of the Alt-Right on the internet seem to be The Right Stuff, My Posting Career, and FrogTwitter.
'' The Alt-Right allegedly has millions of dollars of money to play with. They have a couple big donors. One is rumored to be a major tech tycoon in Silicon Valley. They actually had a private 3-day meeting on an island which was furnished with a French chef, etc. Different forms of formal attire were required for each day (tuxedos, 3-piece suits, etc), and some weird costumes were required too (capes, hoods, etc) '-- which sound like a pagan cult. (I wasn't at this function but heard about it.)
'' I was initiated into the first stages of the Alt-Right, which involved me stripping down naked so people could ''inspect my phenotype''. I was then given a series of very personal questions, often relating to sexual matters and my best lifts. I was then told to put on a black cape. (I really regret doing this but at the time I was younger, more impressionable and eager to please.)
'' For the initial oath taking, everyone must swear on a copy of Darwin's Origin of Species, just to show their fidelity to HBD. After that, for the later oaths, seculars will swear again on Darwin, while Christians will swear on the Collected Works of Walker Percy, and pagans on the Prose Edda or Iliad.
'' At one of the meetings I heard someone continuously chanting ''gens alba conservanda est'' (Latin for ''the white race must be preserved'') and then others were chanting things in Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse and Old German, but I don't know those languages so I can't remember exactly what they were saying.
'' They also have all their own secret handshakes and identifying code phrases ("Do you even lift, bro?"), and their own terminology (like SCALE, Fashy and Eat shit Niglet).
'' On the philosophical level, this movement is not entirely original. Much of it is borrowed from the Identitarian movement in Europe and the Cult of Harambe in the USA. They consider themselves populists, but are mostly just conservadads gone bad.
This whole movement is like a secret cult, which is why I left. Also, because of the valiant and brave efforts of people on the net exposing this movement, I saw this cult for the evil it truly is. Please stay away from it.
Trump's New Billionaire Backer Also Funds Huge Stockpile of Human Urine
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:07
The New YorkTimes, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post have all noticed that Robert Mercer, co-CEO of the giant hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, has emerged as a key backer of Donald Trump.
Mercer, who first spent over $10 million trying to make Ted Cruz president, just gave $2 million to a Super PAC supporting Trump. Mercer is also a top investor in the Breitbart News Network. According to the Post, Mercer's daughter Rebekah nudged Trump to bring in Stephen Bannon, Breitbart's executive chairman, to run his campaign.
But here's what the mainstream media won't tell you: Robert Mercer and his daughter have also funded a gigantic stockpile of human urine in Oregon.
The urine stockpile is the project of Arthur Robinson, a chemist and founder of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Starting in 2005, the Mercer Family Foundation contributed at least $1.4 million to OISM, enabling Robinson to buy freezers to store his 14,000 samples of urine.
Robinson wants still more urine, as much as possible, and issues frequent appeals to the public to contribute. According to the OISM newsletter, Robinson is collecting it in order to ''calibrate analytical procedures that can revolutionize the evaluation of personal chemistry '-- and thereby improve our health, our happiness and prosperity, and even the academic performance of our children in school.''
How exactly this will work is unknown. Robinson told Bloomberg earlier this year that ''We've completed experiments here, which we could easily publish, but we want to wait until they are perfect.''
This might make you suspect that Robinson is a troubled crank, but on the other hand '... well, there actually is no other hand. He also believes that global warming is a myth and feels that public education is America's ''most widespread and devastating form of child abuse and racism.''
The key political question now is whether Robert Mercer will be able to bring together his interest in Trump and urine. There's no way to be certain how this will play out, but here are some potential paths that could be taken by a Trump administration:
Out: The Strategic Petroleum Reserve. In: The Strategic Urine Reserve.All American Muslims must donate urine. This will both serve as a token of good citizenship and allow analysis of whether urine can be tested for terrorism.Trump and Putin meet at a summit. In gesture of goodwill reminiscent of American and Russian astronauts shaking hands in space, they are photographed exiting a bathroom together, each holding a full, warm paper cup.All U.S. currency now backed by ''liquid gold.''The name of the Super PAC that Mercer is funding to elect Trump is '-- this is absolutely not made up '-- Make America Number 1.
A cartoon from the Oregon Institute for Science and Medicine newsletter illustrates how urine analysis can increase your Life Remaining.
Scam alert: Trump raised rent on himself after donors started paying bills for Trump Tower office
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:08
WATCH: Mylan CEO Heather Bresch goes down in flames defending $16M pay raise and EpiPen price hike
Arkansas judge's 'debtors' prison' court jailed cancer patient over unpaid bills: lawsuit
'In Trump We Trust' author Ann Coulter cries angry tears after Trump breaks her trust on immigration
WATCH: Anderson Cooper struggles to explain why Corey Lewandowski gets paid by both CNN and Trump
Glenn Beck producers could face jail after smearing innocent Muslim as Boston bombing terrorist
Remember that time the Bush administration lost 5 million emails '-- and Republicans shrugged?
This pharma CEO is in the hot seat over EpiPen price hikes '-- and her dad is Sen. Joe Manchin
Where was the conservative outrage when Bush 'lost' around 5 million emails?
REVEALED: American taxpayers funded 100% of research used to develop Big Pharma's EpiPen
The real reason the EpiPen and other off-patents are so expensive
Yet Another Scandal: Clinton Foundation distributed useless drugs to AIDS patients | GOVERNMENT SLAVES
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 01:55
(NEW YORK) While skimming tens of millions of dollars from U.N. levies imposed on airline travelers, the Clinton Foundation's Clinton Health Aids Initiative worked closely with a pharmaceutical company in India to distribute ''drastically substandard'' generic antiretroviral drugs to Third World countries that had no chance of helping HIV/AIDs patients, according to a Wall Street analyst.
As WND reported Wednesday, over the past six weeks, Charles Ortel shared with WND, prior to publication, the results of his six-month, in-depth investigation into what he characterizes as an elaborate scheme devised by the Clintons to enrich themselves. WND reported Thursday the Clintons appear to have personally profited from an airline-ticket levy program run by the U.N. group UNITAID that used the Clintons' international prestige to ''leverage'' manufacturers of prescription quality drugs and health-care products and sell them to developing countries at a discount price.
Ira Magaziner, the chief executive officer and vice chairman of the Clinton Health Aids Initiative, known as CHAI, approached the Indian company, Ranbaxy, in 2002 to negotiate a deal. It allowed CHAI to assume a controlling position to administer the airline-ticket levy program through UNITAID, a program of the U.N.'s World Health Organization in Geneva.
CHAI proposed to Ranbaxy that ''they could put the developing countries together to form a sort of 'buying club' that could ''ramp up economies of scale and lower cost,'' according to Professors Ethan B. Kapstein of Arizona State University and Joshua W. Busby of the University of Texas at Austin in their Cambridge University Press 2013 book ''AIDS Drugs for All.''
A Kaiser Health News ''Morning Briefing'' dated Nov. 21, 2003, reported former President Bill Clinton ''visited Indian generic drug Ranbaxy Laboratories' pharmaceutical plant in Gurgaon, India, to show support for Indian companies that have agreed to manufacture low-cost generic antiretroviral drugs for nationwide HIV/AIDS treatment plans in four African and more than 12 Caribbean countries.''
Clinton hooks up with UNITAID and WHO
According to the UNITAID website, CHAI, established by President Bill Clinton in 2002, approached UNITAID, created in 2006, ''to reach groups in developing countries that were neglected by HIV drug markets,'' resolving to combine forces in 2008.
The UNITAID-CHAI joint venture's goal was to combine UNITAID's innovative financing that relied on levies charged on airline tickets in participating countries with CHAI's entrepreneurial approach to getting international pharmaceutical companies to produce antiretroviral, or ARV, drugs throughout the developed world at prices discounted because of the massive scale of the market.
''The deal positioned the Clinton Foundation to have access to hundreds of millions of dollars from what amounted to a tax imposed on millions of average airline passengers,'' explained Ortel.
''The Clinton Foundation financial reporting strongly suggests the Clintons were able to skim off for their personal use tens of millions of dollars from the funds WHO sent to CHAI from UNITAID levies,'' Ortel said.
''The scam was perfected,'' he concluded, ''when a key player in developing the CHAI 'discount generic drug' strategy touted as revolutionary by Bill and Hillary Clinton, namely Ranbaxy in India, achieved their 'economy of scale' by selling drugs the company knew were so drastically substandard that the Ranbaxy ARV products had no chance of curing any HIV/AIDS patients taking the drugs in the third world countries to which the Clinton Foundation delivered them.
''It seems in hindsight a textbook case of reckless and wanton neglect,'' Ortel stressed.
'It's just blacks dying'
Ranbaxy on May 13, 2013, pleaded guilty to seven federal criminal counts of selling adulterated drugs with an intent to defraud.
The company failed to report that its drugs didn't meet specifications and made intentionally false statements to the government.
Ranbaxy agreed to pay $500 million in fines, forfeitures and penalties, the most ever levied against a generic-drug company.
A Fortune magazine article in May 2013 by investigative reporter Katherine Eban titled ''Dirty Medicine'' detailed the Ranbaxy pharmaceutical scandal.
The article captured the moral bankruptcy of Ranbaxy through a conference call Dr. Kathy Spreen, Ranbaxy's executive director of clinical medicine, had with a dozen company executives in which a participating Ranbaxy executives dismissed concern that the company was producing defective drugs.
''Who cares? It's just blacks dying,'' the executive said, according to Fortune.
Fortune further reported a decision by Ranbaxy to withdraw all seven of its ARVs tested by Vimta Labs from WHO prequalification, as announced by the WHO Nov. 9, 2004, was dishonest.
Ranbaxy executives plotted to blame the problem on fraudulent tests run by one rogue contractor without disclosing further problems that may have made it more difficult, if not impossible, to re-establish WHO approval of Ranbaxy ARV drugs tested by labs other than Vimta.
Less than a year later, on Aug. 16, 2005, Ranbaxy managed to get the World Health Organization to reinstate the seven ARV drugs to the WHO prequalification list. The company did it simply by convincing the WHO that Ranbaxy management had solved the problem by replacing Vimta Labs with ''globally recognized contract research organizations'' assigned to conduct independent tests of the ARV drugs Ranbaxy had produced in its ''WHO-approved plants.''
The Fortune magazine expos(C), however, made clear Ranbaxy never stopped the subterfuge until forced to do so by the Department of Justice settlement in 2013.
Fortune reported Ranbaxy ''manipulated almost every aspect of its manufacturing process to quickly produce impressive-looking data,'' including forging standard operating procedures to hide from health inspectors the truth that Ranbaxy never stopped substituting ''cheaper, lower-quality ingredients in place of better ingredients, to manipulate test parameters to accommodate higher impurities, and even to substitute brand-name drugs in lieu of their own generics in bioequivalence tests to produce better results.''
The Fortune article further exposed ''systematic fraud in Ranbaxy's worldwide regulatory filings'' designed to hide that the majority of products filed in Brazil, Mexico, the Middle East, Russia, Romania, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and African nations ''have data submitted that did not exist or data from products and from other countries.
Fortune noted Ranbaxy ''not only invented data but also fraudulently mixed and matched data, taking the best results from manufacturing in one market and presenting it to regulators elsewhere as data unique to drugs in their markets.''
For its HIV drugs, Fortune concluded Ranbaxy ''had used ingredients that failed purity tests and blended them with good ingredients until the resulting mix met requirements,'' such that ''a m(C)lange cold degrade or become toxic far more quickly than drugs made from the high-quality materials required.''
''The Ranbaxy tragedy,'' Ortel pointed out, ''was that even after the Clintons had reason to suspect Ranbaxy was producing defective ARV drugs for HIV/AIDS patients in Third World countries.
''Yet, CHAI continued to allow Ranbaxy to sell Ranbaxy ARV drugs into the stream of pharmaceuticals that flowed to desperately poor suffers, as if there were no problem.''
Clintons endorse Ranbaxy
A UNITAID press release May 17, 2011, announced that since 2008, the CHAI partnership with UNITAID had ''achieved price reductions that will generate global savings of at least $600 million over the next three years, making HIV treatment more widely available.''
''With more than nine million people worldwide in need of HIV/AIDS treatment, we must see rapid action to increase people's access to treatment,'' Clinton said in the UNITAID press release.
''Over 70 countries and 70% of the HIV-infected population have access to the prices my Foundation negotiated; so these new price reductions, which have been agreed to by a wide range of suppliers, will provide millions of people with increased access to better, cheaper and more convenient first and second-line drug regimens,'' Clinton continued. ''We have helped almost four million people gain access to life-saving medicine, and I'm proud that we can now reach millions more.''
What Clinton neglected to mention was that since the formation of the CHAI partnership with UNITAID in 2008 through the date of the 2011 press release, Ranbaxy ARV drugs were on the list of CHAI-provided HIV/AIDS drugs available for distribution in Third World countries.
Fortune made clear the Ranbaxy scam of producing adulterated ARV drugs was known to Ranbaxy executives as early as 2004. It was made public in a U.S. Justice Department court filing in 2008 but not stopped until January 2012, when the Justice Department placed Ranbaxy under a sweeping consent degree the Justice Department described as ''ground breaking in its international reach.''
The UNITAID May 15, 2013, statement mentioned in the last paragraph that Ranbaxy was among the CHAI/UNITAID ''key suppliers of ARVs.''
A CHAI-produced ''Antiretroviral (ARV) Price List'' dated May 2011 that includes Ranbaxy on the list of approved drugs boasted: ''The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) supports national governments to expand high-quality care and treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS. CHAI offers reduced prices for antiretrovirals (ARVs) to members of its Procurement Consortium.''
Yet, in a visit to Mumbai April 11, 2013, Bill Clinton praised Ranbaxy for its role in assisting his Clinton Foundation in leading efforts to treat AIDS patients by agreeing 10 years earlier to cut the price of its ARV drugs sold in developing nations.
''I told myself that never again will I come to India without saying a thank you,'' drawing applause from 600-plus people who included ''some of India Inc.'s leading CEOs, businessmen, and strategists,'' the Economic Times reported.
Despite Ranbaxy being in the process of finalizing the $500 million settlement with the Department of Justice, Clinton was as enthusiastic during his 2013 to India as he was 10 years earlier, when on Nov. 21, 2003, he was there to announce the Ranbaxy deal.
In 2003, Clinton used a Ranbaxy R&D facility in New Delhi to hold a press conference with Prime Minister Atai Bihari Vajpayee and several representatives of the Indian government to announce the Clinton Foundation had just reached an agreement with Ranbaxy to sell to HIV/AIDS patients in the developing world.
In the speech, Clinton bragged the Clinton Foundation in conjunction with Ranbaxy aimed to make low-cost ARV drugs in the countries of South Africa, Rwanda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Haiti, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and the Eastern Caribbean States with the goal of making ARVs available to ''some 2 million people around the world in the next four to five years.''
BREAKING: Clinton Foundation Caught Doing Something Sickening to AIDS Patients... Media Ignores
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 21:27
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Much has been said recently about the questionable connections and behavior of the Clinton Foundation, most notably the scandalous corruption and alleged ''pay-to-play'' scheme in which Bill and Hillary Clinton traded influence and political favors for hefty donations from foreign governments and businesses.
But now it appears that the corrupt Clinton Foundation could be culpable for the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of AIDS-infected patients in Africa.
An in-depth investigation by The Wall Street Journal revealed a scam involving the Clinton Foundation's Clinton Health AIDS Initiative, a United Nations aid program, and a controversial pharmaceutical company based in India.
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It was revealed that the Clinton Foundation was skimming tens of millions of dollars off the top of funds collected by the U.N. through a levy placed on international airline travelers, while using their ''prestige'' to secure contracts for a pharmaceutical company to provide low-cost AIDS medications for victims in Third World countries.
The India-based pharmaceutical company, Ranbaxy, has a long history of using subpar ingredients in their generic medications, which render them impotent and sometimes even toxic, certainly not helping AIDS victims to treat and mange their disease effectively.
According to WND, Bill Clinton was aware of the issues surrounding Ranbaxy for years, yet stood up for them and partnered with them to provide the low-cost drugs.
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''The scam was perfected, when a key player in developing the CHAI 'discount generic drug' strategy touted as revolutionary by Bill and Hillary Clinton, namely Ranbaxy in India, achieved their 'economy of scale' by selling drugs the company knew were so drastically substandard that the Ranbaxy ARV products had no chance of curing any HIV/AIDS patients taking the drugs in the third world countries to which the Clinton Foundation delivered them,'' explained Charles Ortel, the WSJ journalist who uncovered the scheme.
''It seems in hindsight a textbook case of reckless and wanton neglect,'' Ortel stressed.
Making matters worse, and revealing the mindset of the individuals involved in the scam, were comments overheard by a reporter for Fortune, conducting their own investigation into Ranbaxy executives, who heard one of them coarsely dismiss the concerns over defective medications.
''Who cares? It's just blacks dying,'' the executive is reported to have said.
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Sadly, these allegations shouldn't surprise anybody. The Clinton's have used their work to combat the AIDS virus as a shining example of the good that they do for the world, often pointing to it as a way to distract from the numerous other allegations of selfishness and wrongdoing.
It would now appear that much of the ''work'' done to combat AIDS was for naught, and essentially all for show, as the medication was worthless and did nothing to save AIDS patients from their slow deaths.
Eventually, both Bill and Hillary Clinton will be unable to escape the mounting allegations of corruption and scandal and blatant hypocrisy, and hopefully will be taken to task and held accountable for their actions.
Please share this on Facebook and Twitter if you aren't surprised that the Clintons were skimming off the top of a U.N. imposed ''tax'' on airline passengers, but are horrified that they would knowingly join with a troubled company that sold bad medicine to people desperately in need.
Dirty medicine
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 02:13
1. The assignment
FORTUNE '-- On the morning of Aug. 18, 2004, Dinesh Thakur hurried to a hastily arranged meeting with his boss at the gleaming offices of Ranbaxy Laboratories in Gurgaon, India, 20 miles south of New Delhi. It was so early that he passed gardeners watering impeccable shrubs and cleaners still polishing the lobby's tile floors. As always, Thakur was punctual and organized. He had a round face and low-key demeanor, with deep-set eyes that gave him a doleful appearance.
His boss, Dr. Rajinder Kumar, Ranbaxy's head of research and development, had joined the generic-drug company just two months earlier from GlaxoSmithKline, where he had served as global head of psychiatry for clinical research and development. Tall and handsome with elegant manners, Kumar, known as Raj, had a reputation for integrity. Thakur liked and respected him.
Like Kumar, Thakur had left a brand-name pharmaceutical company for Ranbaxy. Thakur, then 35, an American-trained engineer and a naturalized U.S. citizen, had worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb BMY in New Jersey for 10 years. In 2002 a former mentor recruited him to Ranbaxy by appealing to his native patriotism. So he had moved his wife and baby son to Gurgaon to join India's largest drugmaker and its first multinational pharmaceutical company.
When he stepped into Kumar's office that morning, Thakur was surprised by his boss' appearance. He looked weary and uneasy, his eyes puffy and dark. He had returned the previous day from South Africa, where he had met with government regulators. It was clear that the meeting had not gone well.
The two men strolled into the hall to order tea from white-uniformed waiters. As they returned, Kumar said, ''We are in big trouble,'' and motioned for Thakur to be quiet. Back in his office, Kumar handed him a letter from the World Health Organization. It summarized the results of an inspection that WHO had done at Vimta Laboratories, an Indian company that Ranbaxy hired to administer clinical tests of its AIDS medicine. The inspection had focused on antiretroviral (ARV) drugs that Ranbaxy was selling to the South African government to save the lives of its AIDS-ravaged population.
As Thakur read, his jaw dropped. The WHO had uncovered what seemed to the two men to be astonishing fraud. The Vimta tests appeared to be fabricated. Test results from separate patients, which normally would have differed from one another, were identical, as if xeroxed.
Thakur listened intently. Kumar had not even gotten to the really bad news. On the plane back to India, his traveling companion, another Ranbaxy executive, confided that the problem was not limited to Vimta or to those ARV drugs.
''What do you mean?'' asked Thakur, barely able to grasp what Kumar was saying.
The problem, said Kumar, went deeper. He directed Thakur to put aside his other responsibilities and go through the company's portfolio '-- ultimately, every drug, every market, every production line '-- and uncover the truth about Ranbaxy's testing practices and where the company's liabilities lay.
MORE: Maker of generic Lipitor pleads guilty to selling 'adulterated drugs'
Thakur left Kumar's office stunned. He returned home that evening to find his 3-year-old son playing on the front lawn. The previous year in India, the boy had developed a serious ear infection. A pediatrician prescribed Ranbaxy's version of amoxiclav, a powerful antibiotic. For three scary days, his son's 102° fever persisted, despite the medicine. Finally, the pediatrician changed the prescription to the brand-name antibiotic made by GlaxoSmithKline GSK . Within a day, his fever disappeared. Thakur hadn't thought about it much before. Now he took the boy in his arms and resolved not to give his family any more Ranbaxy drugs until he knew the truth.
What Thakur unearthed over the next months would form some of the most devastating allegations ever made about the conduct of a drug company. His information would lead Ranbaxy into a multiyear regulatory battle with the FDA, and into the crosshairs of a Justice Department investigation that, almost nine years later, has finally come to a resolution.
On May 13, Ranbaxy pleaded guilty to seven federal criminal counts of selling adulterated drugs with intent to defraud, failing to report that its drugs didn't meet specifications, and making intentionally false statements to the government. Ranbaxy agreed to pay $500 million in fines, forfeitures, and penalties '-- the most ever levied against a generic-drug company. (No current or former Ranbaxy executives were charged with crimes.) Thakur's confidential whistleblower complaint, which he filed in 2007 and which describes how the company fabricated and falsified data to win FDA approvals, was also unsealed. Under federal whistleblower law, Thakur will receive more than $48 million as part of the resolution of the case.
Fortune's account of what occurred inside Ranbaxy and how the FDA responded to it raises serious questions about whether our government can effectively safeguard a drug supply that last year was 84% generic, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, much of that manufactured in distant places. More than 80% of active pharmaceutical ingredients for all U.S. drugs now come from overseas, as do 40% of finished pills and capsules. (Click here for a list of Ranbaxy products in the U.S.)
2. The dark side of the generics boom
Today's global market for generic drugs is $242 billion and growing. In America we have embraced generics as a vital way to control costs, a trend likely only to accelerate as health reform extends treatment to millions and our population ages.
Ranbaxy was the first foreign generics manufacturer to sell drugs in the U.S. and rose rapidly to become, today, the sixth-largest generic-drug maker in the country, with more than $1 billion in U.S. sales last year (and $2.3 billion worldwide). The company, now majority owned by Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo, sells its products in more than 150 countries and has 14,600 employees.
As our dependence on generic drugs from overseas has grown, so have questions about their oversight and safety. A report by the Government Accountability Office found that in 2009, regulators inspected only 11% of foreign drug manufacturing plants, while they inspected 40% of domestic ones.
The FDA has increased its inspections of foreign plants in recent years with a goal of reaching parity with the frequency of domestic inspections. It now has agents based in India and other countries. But even if the frequency were equal, the inspections themselves are not. Due to complex logistics, foreign inspections can last less than a week and allow companies weeks of advance notice, while domestic ones can last up to six weeks and are unannounced. ''The reality is that we simply don't know what we're dealing with,'' says Dr. Roger Bate, an international pharmaceutical expert. ''No one has actually gone into these sites to expose what's going on.''
Fortune's investigation yields the first comprehensive picture of how one under-policed and far-flung generics company operated. It is not a tale of cutting corners or lax manufacturing practices but one of outright fraud, in which the company knowingly sold substandard drugs around the world '-- including in the U.S. '-- while working to deceive regulators. The impact on patients will likely never be known. But it is clear that millions of people worldwide got medicine of dubious quality from Ranbaxy.
The rough outlines of the fraud at Ranbaxy first emerged in a 2008 court filing by the Justice Department. But its extent and depth and the involvement of top company executives have not been previously revealed. Fortune has also uncovered evidence that the company's misconduct continued well into 2009, even after the FDA restricted the company's activities.
This account is based on more than 1,000 confidential Ranbaxy documents, including internal reports, memos, e-mails, hundreds of pages of FDA documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, and court records. Fortune interviewed more than a dozen former and current employees, as well as 40 scientists, public health experts, patient advocates, congressional investigators, and regulators.
Ranbaxy declined multiple requests to make representatives available for interviews. Instead the company directed Fortune to a press release it issued on the day of its guilty plea. ''While we are disappointed by the conduct of the past that led to this investigation, we strongly believe that settling this matter now is in the best interest of all of Ranbaxy's stakeholders,'' CEO Arun Sawhney stated in the release. ''Ranbaxy has successfully launched several generic products recently and is well-positioned for future growth '... Our conduct is guided by our philosophy of 'Quality and Patients First.' '' (A Daiichi Sankyo spokesperson says, ''We cannot respond to [Fortune's] questions for legal reasons.'')
As the Ranbaxy story makes vividly clear, generic-drug makers intent on breaking the rules '-- especially those operating abroad '-- can easily do so. Drug applications work on the honor system: The FDA relies on data provided by the companies themselves. ''We depend on that information to be truthful,'' Gary Buehler, who headed the FDA's office of generic drugs for 10 years, said in December 2009. (Buehler has since taken a position at the U.S. unit of the Israeli generic-drug company Teva.) The approval system ''requires the ethical behavior of the applicant,'' he said. Otherwise, ''the whole house of cards will fall down.''
FDA regulators contend that they responded aggressively to the wrongdoing at Ranbaxy. ''Based on the evidence we had at the time,'' an agency spokesperson writes in e-mailed answers, ''FDA acted appropriately within the scope of its authority to protect the public from drugs that failed to comply with federal quality standards.'' In 2008 the agency halted the importation of 30 different drugs from two of Ranbaxy's manufacturing plants in India and invoked a rare Application Integrity Policy, stopping the review of new drug applications from the Paonta Sahib manufacturing site until Ranbaxy proved their truthfulness.
In January 2012 the Justice Department placed Ranbaxy under a sweeping consent decree, describing the action as ''ground breaking in its international reach.'' The decree prohibited the company from selling drugs in the U.S. that were made at several of Ranbaxy's Indian manufacturing plants until the quality could be verified. It also required the company to undergo independent auditing.
MORE: Are generics really the same as branded drugs?
For all the actions taken by federal authorities, there is a deeply troubling aspect to the government's role in the saga of Ranbaxy. Even as ever more details of the company's long-running misconduct emerged, drug regulators permitted Ranbaxy to keep on selling many of its products.
Indeed, the FDA '-- charged with protecting the safety and health of Americans '-- went even further. Despite the agency's finding of fraud and misconduct, it granted Ranbaxy lucrative rights to sell new generic drugs. In the most high-profile example, in November 2011 the FDA allowed the company to maintain its exclusive first dibs on making the generic version of a medicine taken by tens of millions of Americans: Lipitor. In the first six months, this privilege allowed Ranbaxy to generate $600 million in sales of generic atorvastatin, as nonbranded Lipitor is known.
Should the FDA have been surprised, then, when problems emerged just a year later? In November 2012, Ranbaxy had to recall millions of pills after tiny glass particles were discovered in some of them. Even that, it turns out, was enough for only a temporary suspension, and the FDA permitted the company to resume sales in March.
''The real story is how poorly our government has responded to all of this,'' says Vincent Fabiano, Ranbaxy's former vice president of global licensing. He's one of a number of former company executives who spoke to FDA or other investigators about the company and then watched in increasing disgust as, for years, nothing seemed to happen. ''Still as we sit here today,'' Fabiano says, ''Ranbaxy is in business in the United States.''
Dinesh Thakur3. Fistfights and fraud
The company that Dinesh Thakur arrived at in June 2003 was bristling with ambition but had a seat-of-the-pants feel. Fistfights erupted at executive meetings. The vice president of clinical research chain-smoked four packs a day. At the New Jersey manufacturing plant, sensitive pharmaceutical ingredients wound up in the employee refrigerator next to the half-and-half.
In India, Thakur's job, as director of research information and project management, was to impose some order and transparency on the chaotic global pipeline. Even though Ranbaxy lacked polish, Thakur had no reason to doubt that it made safe, effective drugs.
In August 2004, as he confronted his assignment to investigate possible fraud at his own company, Thakur gave each of his project managers a part of the world and asked them to compare Ranbaxy's manufacturing data against the claims made to regulators. His own efforts began with a visit to a company regulatory official.
It was a depressing conversation. The official explained, Thakur says, that the company culture was for management to dictate the results it wanted and for those beneath to bend the process to achieve it. He described how Ranbaxy took its greatest liberties in markets where regulation was weakest and the risk of discovery was lowest. He acknowledged there was no data supporting some of Ranbaxy's drug applications in those regions and that management knew that, according to Thakur. After initially discouraging him, the official grudgingly directed him to begin his inquiry with the Africa portfolio. (The official, who has since left, disputes Thakur's account, asserting that management launched an investigation because it didn't know about the misconduct. He says Ranbaxy's conduct was ''checked out'' internally at that time, and he shared that information with the company.)
The heart of good manufacturing is documentation. Without it, there is no way to verify quality, investigate problems, or know whether your drug will improve health or harm it. Because the most minuscule changes can make the difference between a robust product and one that degrades and becomes toxic, each step must be recorded and validated. Any misrepresentation, mixing of data streams, or deviation from procedure invalidates '-- and potentially adulterates '-- the drugs.
To see how the process is supposed to work, Fortune visited a contract laboratory in Edison, N.J., Celsis Analytical Services, now part of AAIPharma, which helps companies assess whether they've met appropriate manufacturing standards. At Celsis, nothing goes untested or undocumented, from who has custody of logbooks to the water used to wash laboratory glassware. Results are recorded in black ink, then audited and verified in red ink. Wite-Out is banned to avoid the chance that someone would try to conceal data. No data are ever discarded, and no test results can be invalidated without triggering an inspection. When it comes to quality, says Mary Kubilus, then Celsis's director of site operations, ''there is no 99%.''
But in Gurgaon, as Thakur's project managers gathered data and interviewed company scientists and executives, he says, they stumbled onto Ranbaxy's open secret: The company manipulated almost every aspect of its manufacturing process to quickly produce impressive-looking data that would bolster its bottom line. ''This was not something that was concealed,'' Thakur says. It was ''common knowledge among senior managers of the company, heads of research and development, people responsible for formulation to the clinical people.''
Lying to regulators and backdating and forgery were commonplace, he says. The company even forged its own standard operating procedures, which FDA inspectors rely on to assess whether a company is following its own policies. Thakur's team was told of one instance in which company officials forged and backdated a standard operating procedure related to how patient data are stored, then aged the document in a ''steam room'' overnight to fool regulators.
Company scientists told Thakur's staff that they were directed to substitute cheaper, lower-quality ingredients in place of better ingredients, to manipulate test parameters to accommodate higher impurities, and even to substitute brand-name drugs in lieu of their own generics in bioequivalence tests to produce better results.
After just 10 days of intensive research, Thakur's team had learned enough to send preliminary information on the Latin American, Indian, and the ''rest of world'' markets to Raj Kumar, who then compiled the findings into a four-page report for then-CEO Brian Tempest.
MORE: The war over Lipitor
The confidential report laid bare systemic fraud in Ranbaxy's worldwide regulatory filings. It found that ''the majority of products filed in Brazil, Mexico, Middle East, Russia, Romania, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, African Nations, have data submitted which did not exist or data from different products and from different countries '...'' The company not only invented data but also fraudulently mixed and matched data, taking the best results from manufacturing in one market and presenting it to regulators elsewhere as data unique to the drugs in their markets.
Sometimes all the data were made up. In India and Latin America, the report noted the ''non-availability'' of validation methods, stability data, and bio-equivalence reports. In short, Ranbaxy had almost no method whatsoever for validating the content of the drugs in those markets. The drugs for Brazil were particularly troubling. The report showed that of the 163 drug products approved and sold there since 2000, only eight had been fully and accurately tested. The rest had been filed with phony data because they had been only partially tested, or not at all.
For its HIV drugs, the report found that Ranbaxy had used ingredients that failed purity tests and blended them with good ingredients until the resulting mix met requirements. Such a m(C)lange could degrade or become toxic far more quickly than drugs made from the high-quality materials required.
In a ''private and confidential'' e-mail sent to CEO Tempest along with his report, Kumar noted that ''it appears that some of these issues were apparent over a year ago and I can not find any documents which sought to address these concerns or resolve the issues '...'' Kumar emphasized that he could ''not allow any information to be used for any dossier unless fully supported by data.'' He made it clear that he planned to follow the law.
Ranbaxy CEOs Brian Tempest and Malvinder Singh4. The race to be first
Just three decades ago, generic drug companies in the U.S. were derided as patent breakers. They had no clear way to gain FDA approval, while brand-name-drug companies had a lock on the market. The 1984 Hatch-Waxman Act changed that. It created a pathway, the Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA), which allowed a generic drug company to simultaneously challenge a patent and demonstrate to the FDA that it could make a drug.
In the late 1980s several generic-drug companies were caught fabricating data and bribing FDA officials to gain approval. In the scandal's wake, the FDA tightened regulations. It required that a company make three large ''exhibit'' batches to demonstrate that it could dramatically scale up its manufacturing, undergo inspection, and use an independent company to perform bioequivalence tests before an ANDA was approved. The purpose, says David Nelson, who exposed the 1980s scandal as a senior investigator for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, from which he retired in 2009, was to ''prevent the systematic submission of false information'' to get FDA approval.
The ANDA offered a lucrative reward for the company that risked almost certain litigation by first challenging a patent. If successful, the company got six months of exclusive sales after the patent lapsed, allowing the generics company to charge up to 80% of the brand-name price during that period. After that, other generics companies could jump in, and the price would drop to about 5% of the original price. Being first was the real jackpot. Consequently, first-to-file status became such an obsession that generic-drug company executives camped out in the FDA parking lot to file their paperwork first.
Ranbaxy learned how to game this system, according to former employees. To hasten the pace of its applications, Ranbaxy sometimes skipped a crucial intermediate step. Instead of making three medium-size exhibit batches and testing those for bioequivalence and stability, as required, Ranbaxy tested earlier and much smaller research-and-development batches that were easier to control and less costly to make. In some FDA applications, it represented these as much larger exhibit batches and presented the data as proof. And then there was the ultimate shortcut: using brand-name drugs as stand-ins for its own in bioequivalence studies.
These deceptions greatly accelerated the pace of the company's FDA applications. They were also a grave public-health breach. Once Ranbaxy got FDA approval, it leaped straight into making commercial-size batches without any meaningful dry runs. The test results on file with the FDA were meaningless, and the drugs Ranbaxy was actually selling on the U.S. market were an unknown quantity, having never been comprehensively tested before.
5. ''Look how good this company is!''
In May 2004, three months before Thakur embarked on his research, Dr. Kathy Spreen joined Ranbaxy's U.S. office as executive director of clinical medicine and pharmacovigilance. A 15-year veteran of Wyeth and AstraZeneca AZN , she was there to help launch the company's brand products division, which planned to create new dosages and formulations of existing drugs. Spreen envisioned her job as that of a regulatory coach, to help guide Ranbaxy through the FDA's intricate system.
At first, the company's science seemed to exceed her expectations. She had been on the job a few months and was preparing slides for a presentation about the company's launch of Riomet, a version of the diabetes drug Metformin, when she noticed something remarkable. The data showing the concentration of Ranbaxy's drug in the bloodstream appeared to match that of the brand name perfectly. ''Look how good this company is,'' she remembers thinking. ''The bioequivalence data is superimposable on the drugs we are modeling.''
About a month later, while comparing the data for Sotret, the company's version of the acne drug Isotretinoin, Spreen found it similarly superimposable on the brand-name data. That's when she began to worry. ''If it's too good to be true,'' she recalls thinking, ''it's probably made up.''
By definition, data is tricky. Even two batches of the same drug made by the same company at the same plant under the exact same conditions will have slight variations. Test results for a similar or copycat drug made by a different company with a different formula should look different.
With her suspicions aroused, Spreen began asking her Indian counterparts to send underlying data that supported the test results. They repeatedly promised the information was on the way. When it didn't arrive, she got excuses: It was a ''mess''; they'd be ''embarrassed.'' She recalls begging, ''I don't care if it's written on the back of toilet paper. Just send me something.'' But it never arrived.
MORE: A new plan for creating new drugs
Six other pharma veterans who worked for Ranbaxy in the U.S. as recently as 2010 tell Fortune they found themselves in a corporate culture like nothing they'd ever experienced. Executives approached the regulatory system as an obstacle to be gamed. They bragged about who had most artfully deceived regulators. Until 2005 the company didn't even have a functioning patient-safety department, and patient complaints piled up in boxes, ignored, uncategorized, and unreported to the FDA as required.
Spreen kept thinking that if only she could explain American regulations more clearly, Ranbaxy's executives would understand. But no amount of explaining seemed to change how the company did business. When sales of a diabetes drug were sluggish, she says, one executive asked Spreen if she could use her medical license to prescribe the drug to everyone in the company so they could record hundreds of sales. Spreen refused.
When she asked Ranbaxy's global manufacturing director to send documentation showing that an antibiotic acne gel was made with good manufacturing practices (GMP), he offered to send her an ''impressive looking'' certificate. To Spreen, it sounded like an offer to have one forged. She tried to explain, ''The look of the certificate means nothing to me unless the FDA says it's GMP.''
On a trip to India in mid-2004 Raj Kumar quietly confirmed to Spreen what she had already come to suspect: that crucial testing data for many of the company's drugs did not actually exist and submissions to regulators had been forged.
Ultimately, Spreen says she spent more than a year trying in vain to convince senior executives of the vital need to observe regulations before she finally quit in disgust in June 2005. ''There was a total lack of understanding,'' she says, ''of what it meant to be ethical and what it meant to actually protect the patient.'' Along with a number of Ranbaxy executives, Spreen was subpoenaed by congressional investigators to provide witness testimony. Reluctantly, she told them her story years ago '-- but nothing ever came of it.
Ranbaxy lab workers6. Breaking it to the board
CEO Tempest had assured Kumar that the company would do the right thing. So on an evening in late 2004, several months after assigning Thakur to dig up the truth, Kumar found himself before five members of the scientific committee of the board of directors, including Tempest and the chairman of the board.
Kumar had a PowerPoint presentation of 24 slides. It made clear that Ranbaxy had lied to regulators and falsified data in every country examined in the report. ''More than 200 products in more than 40 countries'' have ''elements of data that were fabricated to support business needs,'' the PowerPoint reported. ''Business needs,'' the report showed, was a euphemism for ways in which Ranbaxy could minimize cost, maximize profit, and dupe regulators into approving substandard drugs.
No market or type of drug was exempt, including antiretrovirals purchased by the U.S. and WHO as part of a program to fight HIV in Africa. In Europe, for example, the company used ingredients from unapproved sources, invented shelf-life data, tested different formulations of the drug than the ones it sold, and made undocumented changes to the manufacturing process.
In entire markets '-- including Brazil, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Egypt, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Peru, and the Dominican Republic '-- the company had simply not tested the drugs and had invented all the data. Noting Ranbaxy's agreement to manufacture brand-name drugs, a slide stated, ''We have also put our partners (Bayer & Merck MRK in Mexico and in South Africa) at risk by using suspect data.''
Kumar proposed a drastic course: pull all compromised drugs off the market; repeat all suspect tests; inform regulators of every case of switched data; and create a process for linking the right data to the right drugs. As the PowerPoint stated, ''A short-term loss of revenue is better than a long-term losing proposition for the entire business.''
Kumar completed the presentation to a silent boardroom. Only one director, a scientist, showed any surprise about the findings. The others appeared more astonished by Kumar's declaration that if he was not given full authority to fix the problems, he would resign.
The silence told Kumar everything he needed to know.
Within two days of the board meeting, he submitted his resignation: '''... given the serious nature of the issues we discussed,'' he wrote, his only choice was to withdraw ''gracefully but immediately.'' He had been at Ranbaxy less than four months.
Kumar confirmed this account of the board meeting and in a statement noted that ''support and desire to put things right, from my senior management team, the CEO, the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Board, was not forthcoming. This made my position untenable and I had no option but to resign.'' When reached by phone in September 2010, Tempest declined to comment. Citing a busy schedule, he said, ''I think it's best we close the conversation.'' (Tempest did not respond to multiple messages in recent weeks.)
On Nov. 9, 2004, just days after the board meeting, it appeared to the outside world that Ranbaxy had made a strong commitment to quality. It withdrew from the WHO prequalified list all seven of its ARV drugs tested by Vimta Labs and pledged to retest and resubmit them. The move even won praise from some AIDS advocates who believed Ranbaxy had tackled the problem of a rogue contractor, Vimta, head on. But inside the company, as events would make clear in the following months, the executives had decided against disclosing any further problems. (In an e-mail, Vimta's technical director, Harriman Vungal, says the studies it performed for Ranbaxy were ''carried out as required'' and ''were not intended for submission outside India. Ranbaxy, on its own, had submitted to other countries and Vimta was unaware of what was submitted to WHO or others.'')
Thakur remained behind. But with Kumar's departure, he had lost his protection. Three months after the board presentation, the company's internal auditors arrived at his department for what they called a routine review. They stayed for 10 weeks, combing through his department's books and interviewing staff. In late April the company accused him of browsing porn sites from his office computer.
Thakur vehemently denied doing so. Furious, he got his network administrator to pore through the computer records and found that the corporate IT department had logged in to his division's servers and planted his IP address on several searches, Thakur asserts. On April 24, 2005, Thakur says, he presented Ranbaxy with evidence of computer tampering and submitted his resignation. He was done '-- or so he thought.
7. ''The last thing we want is another inspection '...''
By 2005, from a distance, Ranbaxy's ascent appeared unchecked. But inside the company, the incident of fraud at Vimta was like a teetering domino, threatening to topple hundreds of the company's drug applications worldwide. Not only had Thakur's team exhumed fraudulent filings, but goodwill groups and government regulators had become suspicious. They were asking for underlying data for a number of the company's drugs beyond those tested by Vimta.
The problem confronting Ranbaxy executives was almost unsolvable. Much of the raw data didn't match what the company had filed with regulators. It either didn't exist, didn't make sense, or had been fabricated. A refusal to share it would trigger further suspicion, which left company executives with two bad options: come clean, which could have disastrous consequences, or lie more.
This Catch-22 played out in a torrent of confidential e-mails obtained by Fortune, in which panicked and angry executives scrambled to contain the fallout. They copied Tempest and the future CEO, Malvinder Singh, on many of these e-mails. Now executive chairman of hospital network Fortis Healthcare, Singh declined multiple requests to be interviewed for this article. A spokesperson, Raghu Kochar, e-mailed a comment on Singh's behalf: ''All suggestion of impropriety or misconduct in your queries is denied and rejected.''
In February 2005 a Ranbaxy regulatory affairs executive wrote to colleagues regarding the company's application to sell the antibiotic cefuroxime axetil in Spain: ''Please advice [sic] the way forward. This dossier was scheduled to go in Dec., 04. We have been waiting for your response for the last 2 months. We need to conclude this ASAP '...''
This e-mail triggered a terse reply from a company scientist. ''During our discussion in Gurgaon on 27th Jan., I mentioned clearly that the data in our Archives and that of the filed one is Differing Entirely. So, I cannot send the data.''
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By 2005, the applications of 22 high-priority products needed routine updates in at least one country. All had been made at the Dewas manufacturing plant south of New Delhi and none had been tested adequately. ''Data is not available for any of the products,'' the head of the stability group at Dewas wrote in an e-mail on which he cc'ed Tempest. One executive responsible for Europe objected strenuously to the filing of false data and wrote to colleagues, ''I do not intend spending a stint in a European prison '...''
As part of the new plan, Ranbaxy decided to move all manufacturing for U.S. drugs and HIV medications for the PEPFAR program from the troubled Dewas plant to the newer Paonta Sahib facility in the hope that by severing links to the past fraudulent manufacturing '-- and beginning to submit legitimate data on this group of drugs '-- regulators would not detect the past misbehavior.
Publicly, company executives spun the change as a response to big American demand. ''We have changed the site of manufacture of the product from Dewas to Paonta Sahib facility to facilitate handling high business requirements,'' a Ranbaxy executive wrote to a Unicef official on Jan. 8, 2005, explaining the shift for an AIDS drug.
But four days later, as the company prepared to resubmit its ARV data to WHO, the company's HIV project manager reiterated the point of the company's new strategy in an e-mail, cc'ed to CEO Tempest. ''We have been reasonably successful in keeping WHO from looking closely at the stability data in the past,'' the manager wrote, adding, ''The last thing we want is to have another inspection at Dewas until we fix all the process and validation issues once and for all.''
8. ''It's just blacks dying.''
Throughout the summer of 2005, Thakur tried to convince himself that the company's medicine was no longer his problem. He was jobless and piecing together haphazard consulting work. He feared for his family's safety. The company had a ''reputation for threatening people, bullying people,'' he recalls. Thakur hired a security company, which posted a guard outside his home 24 hours a day.
On fitful nights, he lay awake with a map of the world in his head. It contained each of Ranbaxy's markets and the substandard drugs the company had made. He mentally reviewed the graphs he had prepared, each spelling out a hazard to patients that was almost certainly continuing. Not only had the FDA approved the company's PEPFAR drugs. In August, the WHO restored the company's ARVs to its prequalified list.
Thakur knew the drugs weren't good. They had high impurities, degraded easily, and would be useless at best in hot, humid conditions. They would be taken by the world's poorest patients in sub-Saharan Africa, who had almost no medical infrastructure and no recourse for complaints. The injustice made him livid.
Ranbaxy executives didn't care, says Kathy Spreen, and made little effort to conceal it. In a conference call with a dozen company executives, one brushed aside her fears about the quality of the AIDS medicine Ranbaxy was supplying for Africa. ''Who cares?'' he said, according to Spreen. ''It's just blacks dying.''
On Aug. 15, four months after resigning from the company, Thakur opened a Yahoo e-mail account and wrote under a pseudonym to top regulators in the U.S., Britain, the WHO, and Brazil. Posing as a company scientist and using broken English, he claimed that Ranbaxy was forcing him to falsify data. He got no reply. The letter was not nearly authoritative or detailed enough to penetrate the system.
Finally he wrote directly to FDA commissioner Lester Crawford and alleged that Ranbaxy was selling ''untested, spurious, ineffective medication.'' He added, I ''plead with you to put a stop to this crime.''
Edwin Rivera-Martinez, then chief of investigations and preapproval compliance in the FDA's center for drug evaluation and research, wrote back and asked if Thakur would consent to a conference call. Thakur had initially hoped to set regulators on the trail but limit his own involvement. Reluctantly, he agreed.
To Thakur, the wrongdoing was black and white. He had given proof and expected action. But 10 days after the conference call, the FDA announced that it had approved Ranbaxy's application for the first pediatric-AIDS drug for the U.S. market, Zidovudine. ''Given all the data you have in your possession today about the criminal activities of this company in registering ARVs with fabricated data, I am confused how the USFDA could give such an approval,'' Thakur wrote to Rivera-Martinez. The bureaucrat wrote back that because the drug had been approved before Thakur made contact, only actual proof of fraud could reverse the decision.
Though Thakur didn't know it at the time, the FDA had found his information credible and was moving to confirm it. In October 2005, less than two months after his first contact, Rivera-Martinez's division sent a request to the division of field investigations to perform high-priority inspections at Dewas, Paonta Sahib, and Ranbaxy's manufacturing division for raw ingredients, Matrix Labs. The memorandum recommended that the inspectors collect any documents on the day they requested them, since the ''informant said that the firm has fabricated documents overnight during inspections.''
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The agency needed an unvarnished look at the company. But as was standard for an overseas inspection, it notified Ranbaxy almost three months in advance that it was coming. In January 2006, Thakur urgently relayed to Rivera-Martinez what he had learned from former colleagues: The senior leadership of the company was ''camped out in the plant locations, both at Paonta Sahib and at Dewas,'' he wrote. ''There is a massive cover-up effort underway to 'produce' '' documentation that agency inspectors might request.
A team of FDA inspectors arrived at Paonta Sahib on Feb. 20, 2006, and stayed for five days. When they had last visited, in December 2004, without the benefit of inside information, the result had been a clean bill of health. This time, they knew where to look, and what they found was disturbing: Raw data was routinely discarded; the company's standard operating procedure approved the discarding and disregarding of data; patient complaints went uninvestigated; and stability testing was a shambles.
During stability testing, drugs are placed in chambers that resemble big refrigerators that can replicate different climates, and then they are tested at intervals to see when and how the drugs' ingredients break down. At Paonta Sahib, inspectors found stability chambers full of stray drug samples but no logbooks identifying the contents or the dates of when they were entered or tested. The inspectors also took and tested samples of Sotret, Ranbaxy's version of the acne drug Accutane, and found that it degraded far in advance of its expiration date.
The findings were serious. Four months later in a warning letter, the FDA said that it would not consider any new applications for drugs made at the site until the company could demonstrate corrections. But that did nothing to stop all the drugs that were already on the market, drugs that had been approved, or applications submitted from other sites. Rivera-Martinez sounded almost plaintive when he wrote to Thakur that spring: ''We are under a lot of pressure to approve Ranbaxy's generic version of Pravastatin [a cholesterol-lowering drug] when the patent exclusivity runs out this Thursday.''
It had been nine months since Thakur had first contacted the agency. He had watched as Ranbaxy got six new approvals. The FDA agent who had taken charge of his case tried to ease his frustration. ''Imagine, if you will, that we were able to prove even half of what you have told us,'' she wrote to Thakur. ''This would bring down the entire corporation. One of the largest in the world.'' She added, ''To lose on a technicality would be a crime in itself.''
Thakur wrote back, ''It makes me wonder if all my efforts and troubles were worth anything at all.'' His FDA handler urged him not to lose hope. ''The wheels of justice turn slowly,'' she wrote, ''but they do turn.''
9. The Great Valentine's Day Raid
On Feb. 14, 2007, Vincent Fabiano was at his desk at Ranbaxy's U.S. headquarters in Princeton, N.J., when a man he had never seen before walked into his office. ''Who the hell are you?'' Fabiano asked. ''I'm an FDA criminal investigator,'' the man said. Fabiano noticed the gun on the man's hip and stepped away from his desk as directed.
The building was surrounded by police cars, and panic was spreading. ''People were freaking out, crying,'' recalls a former employee. ''They took every computer. There were people with guns.'' Employees called the search warrant the Great Valentines Day Raid.
As the news ricocheted from New Jersey to New Delhi, Ranbaxy issued a statement: ''This action has come as a surprise. The company is not aware of any wrongdoing. It is cooperating fully with officials.''
At the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the FDA, senior investigator David Nelson learned of the search warrant and immediately called the legislative office at the FDA. ''What's going on?'' he asked. ''We can't tell you,'' came the response.
''The hell you can't,'' he snapped. ''Your first obligation is to public health.'' But after what Nelson says were assurances from an assistant commissioner that the search warrant did not relate to drug quality or manufacturing, he assumed the issue was accounting fraud and put the matter aside.
The criminal investigation was humming. Ranbaxy executives were stopped in transit at American airports and questioned. The U.S. Attorney's office issued subpoenas, and the FDA tested close to 100 samples of Ranbaxy drugs.
Thakur, too, was immersed. But the deeper he got, the more worried he became about his legal jeopardy and the safety of his wife and children in India. He had no lawyer and little protection. Finally, in March 2007, almost two years after he first contacted the FDA, he learned of an organization that helps secure legal representation for whistleblowers.
Soon afterward, Thakur obtained a lawyer and deepened his level of involvement still further. He legally became a whistleblower '-- the technical term is ''relator'' '-- in the case against Ranbaxy and thus became eligible for up to a third of the government's financial recovery. ''Up until that point,'' he says, ''I had no idea what a whistleblower was.''
10. Ranbaxy's new leadership
In January 2006, Malvinder Singh, the founder's grandson, succeeded Brian Tempest as Ranbaxy's managing director and CEO. At 33, with an MBA from Duke University, Singh was brash and competitive. The Indian business press dubbed him the Pharaoh of Pharma, and hailed him as an ''out-of-the-box decision-maker.''
Others viewed Singh as petulant and immature. ''I want profit!'' he would yell in meetings, two former employees recall. Among the staff, he was known for being preoccupied with his ranking on the Forbes list of India's 40 richest people. When he and his brother Shivinder fell from No. 9 in 2004 to No. 19 in 2005, despite $1.6 billion in assets, Singh seemed to blame the decline on a lack of employee loyalty, a former employee recalls.
His biggest problem was the FDA's decision not to accept new applications from the Paonta Sahib plant. Ranbaxy desperately needed a green light there. So in November 2006, Singh led a delegation to FDA headquarters to try to reverse the decision.
Up to that point, the company had hardly been conciliatory. When FDA inspectors had discovered the standard operating procedures that allowed for the discarding and disregarding of data, Ranbaxy blamed semantics. It wrote to the FDA, ''We now understand the negative connotation that these words may have conveyed, but we can assure you'' the company had ''never thrown away or ignored'' any data. Ranbaxy even disparaged the agency's science, claiming that FDA test results showing that Sotret degraded more quickly than stated were due to the FDA's inaccurate testing method. (Years later, in its 2013 guilty plea, Ranbaxy would admit that Sotret was one of the adulterated drugs it had sold.)
Singh and his team presented new quality-improvement plans to skeptical regulators. Unmoved, the regulators refused to lift the stay and upped the ante, asking Ranbaxy to turn over audits done by its outside consultant, Parexel, which the company was claiming were confidential. The meeting ended in a standoff.
On June 11, 2008, Singh stunned the Indian business world by announcing that he and his brother were selling their 34% stake in Ranbaxy to the Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo for $2 billion. Overall, Daiichi Sankyo shelled out $4.6 billion to take control of the company. Singh agreed to stay on for five years as CEO. Some in the Indian press portrayed the sale to a foreign company as a betrayal of national entrepreneurial pride. But it seemed Singh was cashing out at a propitious moment.
Three weeks later, the U.S. Attorney's office in Baltimore filed a motion in U.S. district court demanding that Ranbaxy hand over the Parexel audit documents. It alleged that the violations at Paonta Sahib ''continue to result in the introduction of adulterated and misbranded products into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead.''
On Capitol Hill, David Nelson was enraged. Despite the FDA's reassurances to the contrary, the case was all about drug quality. The FDA had ''deceived the committee,'' he says. Furthermore, if the drugs were an ongoing threat, why hadn't the FDA stopped Ranbaxy from selling them?
By mid-July, the saga had reached new heights. Congress had begun investigating the FDA. The inquiry, by the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on oversight and investigations, focused on the agency's alleged inaction. The new FDA commissioner at the time, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, defended the agency, explaining that the FDA had not stopped the drugs because the samples it had tested met specifications. But that wasn't exactly true. The agency's own testing had shown that Sotret degraded far more rapidly than the company claimed.
Everywhere the FDA had looked, its inspectors found fraud. Four months earlier, at a unit of Paonta Sahib, agency investigators discovered that supervisors who had supposedly overseen critical manufacturing steps weren't even at the plant on the days they signed off on the tests. ''The culture of the company was corrupt to its core,'' says Nelson.
As congressional investigators turned up the heat, the agency finally cracked down. In September 2008, it announced it was restricting the import of 30 drug products made by Ranbaxy (11 of which had been approved after Thakur's first contact with the FDA three years earlier). The agency still did nothing to recall the very same drugs on pharmacy shelves all over America, despite finding that Ranbaxy had committed fraud on a massive scale.
Nelson says that under FDA rules, the agency should have required Ranbaxy to recall every one of its drugs and resubmit every application. ''Why [should] this company, of all companies, be exempted from normal FDA policies?'' he asks. ''There's something here that just reeks.''
As Ranbaxy's stock fell and questions loomed about the company's integrity, the deal with Daiichi Sankyo hung in the balance. Two months earlier, Malvinder Singh had gone on the attack. On a conference call with reporters in July, he depicted the company as the victim of corporate saboteurs. ''A multinational and a leading Indian company are working in concert to bring our share price down,'' he said, without specifying the names. Despite the investigation, he said, ''our business in the U.S. continues as normal.'' Daiichi Sankyo knew of the issues during its due diligence, he said, adding, ''There is no change in the deal, and there is no exit clause in it.''
The deal was on track. Did Ranbaxy level with its acquirer about what was going on? Tsutomo Une, Daiichi Sankyo's global strategy chief, who declined to address questions about Ranbaxy's manufacturing problems in a March 2010 interview with Fortune, said he didn't feel misled by Ranbaxy. As he put it, ''I never thought that we were fooled.''
11. What's in the suitcase?
For years, many of Ranbaxy's senior executives were expected to do what seemed like a small favor when they traveled to India: carry suitcases full of brand-name drugs that they were told were needed for research and development. At Ranbaxy's U.S. headquarters, suitcases were kept packed with drugs and waiting for the next traveler to India. To some executives, this seemed like a minor shortcut, possibly to cut shipping costs, avoid quarantine, or speed delivery.
Generic-drug companies often study small amounts of a brand-name product in order to reverse-engineer it or to reference it as a point of comparison in applications. But proper channels for purchasing and transporting such drugs are well established and have become ''ironclad'' since the 2001 passage of the Patriot Act, according to an independent quality-assurance expert.
At Ranbaxy, top executives skirted these regulations and sometimes oversaw the secretive ferrying of drugs, at the very moment when the company faced deadlines to resubmit data to regulators. Fortune was unable to conclusively determine what the suitcase drugs were used for. Some former employees suspect that the company used the brand-name drugs as a substitute for its own in testing (as employees had seen in previous instances), in order to generate pristine data showing how closely Ranbaxy's drug matched the brand it was seeking to replicate.
Whatever the purpose, what's clear is that some Ranbaxy staffers strenuously resisted being used as drug mules. In May 2004 a regulatory project manager refused to take French name-brand samples to India. He protested in an e-mail, ''I will NOT be bring [sic] any samples with me, not only I believe is this company policy but I personally do not feel comfortable bringing samples in this manner.''
An executive pushed back: ''It is critical that the samples are carried by you. We cannot delay it.'' The employee flatly refused.
Malvinder Singh, then the company's worldwide head of pharmaceuticals, got involved. Through his secretary, he asked who would be taking charge of the samples and when they would reach Gurgaon. This triggered a response from the company's vice president for Europe: ''Dear Malvinder, I need to explain to you how labour laws work within Europe. As taking these samples to India is in principal illegal we cannot force people to do so '... Normally however we find our people willing to take the risk.''
So important was this to the company's business that the European vice president then went on to make an extraordinary suggestion to Singh: that CEO Tempest ''and yourself have been passing through the U.K. on a regular basis and I would ask you to in future also make yourself available for carrying samples back.'' (Ultimately, another employee was found to carry those particular samples.)
In general, those who carried the drugs for Ranbaxy were given a letter claiming the products were for research and development and had no commercial value. This wasn't true. In June 2004, one executive got stopped by Indian customs with hundred of packs (worth thousands of dollars) of an antinausea drug, Kytril, that he hadn't declared. The drugs were seized, according to internal e-mails. In one, a Ranbaxy executive noted that this was ''an illegal way of bringing the medicine in to India.''
The illicit drug runs continued well after the company had pledged to the FDA that it would operate squarely within regulations. From 2007 to 2008 alone, 17 executives from the New Jersey office took undeclared drugs through Indian customs, four of them multiple times, according to a document given to the FDA.
In February 2009, a lawyer in the regulatory division at Ranbaxy's New Jersey headquarters got wind of an even more suspicious incident. Some months before, Ranbaxy had agreed to retest its troubled Sotret formulation and submit new data to the FDA. The executives promised the FDA that Ranbaxy would be entirely transparent in the process. In October 2008 the company purchased 12 boxes of a generic acne drug, isotretinoin, made by a competitor. Because of the drug's dire potential side effects, including birth defects if taken while pregnant, its sale is highly controlled under an FDA program called iPledge. All sales, expiration, and destruction of the drug must be reported.
The more the lawyer probed, the more concerned he became. He learned that a Ranbaxy senior director had overseen the medicine's unreported purchase from a pharmacist, who had dropped off the boxes at an employee's house. Another employee had hand carried the drugs to London, where one of the company's most senior regulatory executives '-- whose job involved making sure that the company followed all regulations '-- brought them to India in a suitcase.
When the lawyer reported the incident to the company's top U.S. executives, they told him to drop the matter. Remaining deeply uneasy, in March 2009, he wrote a memo to file, whichFortuneobtained, documenting the incident. The company had not only violated the iPledge program, he wrote, but also had ''likely violated U.S. Export Laws, U.K. Import and Export Laws and possible Indian Import Laws.''
Not long after Ranbaxy purchased the isotretinoin, the company submitted its new data to the FDA, which approved it. Within a year the company was forced to start recalling its Sotret again because the drug was degrading faster than it was supposed to '-- the very problem that had been occurring before.
12. Ranbaxy today: A reformed company?
In February 2009 the FDA punished Ranbaxy anew, labeling the company with the drug regulator's version of a scarlet ''A'': The agency imposed a so-called Application Integrity Policy. That meant a dramatic shift in the regulatory dynamic. No longer would the FDA have the burden of proving fraud if it wanted to block a Ranbaxy product. The onus had flipped, and now the company would have to prove its products weren't fraudulent in order to get them approved.
The AIP, which had previously been brought against drug companies only a handful of times in FDA history, covered all products manufactured at Ranbaxy's Paonta Sahib facility. The action left no doubt as to the depth and extent of the problem. The stock market responded accordingly. Ranbaxy shares fell 18% and took Daiichi Sankyo's down 9% with them. Facing a market disaster in the U.S., the corporate parents were clearly no longer sanguine about Ranbaxy's management. Within three months, Malvinder Singh stepped down as CEO. A Daiichi Sankyo spokesperson told the press at the time that the leadership change ''strengthens Daiichi Sankyo's part'' in Ranbaxy's management.
At its U.S. headquarters, the warning letters kept coming. In December 2009 the FDA issued one for a manufacturing plant in Gloversville, N.Y., with alarming findings like unexplained black particles in drugs that the company released into the market. ''It is apparent that Ranbaxy's attempts to make global corrections after past regulatory actions by the FDA have been inadequate,'' the agency wrote.
Ranbaxy and the government had begun legal haggling to resolve the company's misdeeds. Inside Ranbaxy, with the generic-Lipitor launch in potential jeopardy, nervous executives mapped out different scenarios that could result from various FDA decisions.
The government seemingly had a trump card in the negotiations '-- the final approval for Ranbaxy to sell generic Lipitor. Yet it seemed unable to bring a swift resolution to the process, as the company appeared to play for time. The FDA first sent a draft of the consent decree to Ranbaxy in August 2010, according to a document sent by an FDA lawyer. Six months later, Ranbaxy's lawyers responded, asking for revisions. In a letter to Ranbaxy's lawyers three months after that, an FDA attorney sent further revisions and tried to bring an end to the process, stating, ''We believe this response reflects FDA's final position and look forward to Ranbaxy's prompt response which, in our view, should suggest only minor proposed revisions.''
It would be eight more months, until January 2012, before the Justice Department announced the consent decree '-- and then another 17 months of wrangling between armies of lawyers before the case ended on May 13.
Well before the final resolution, in November 2011, the FDA gave its final blessing for Ranbaxy's version of Lipitor. Asked about the decision to allow Ranbaxy to make Lipitor after its misconduct at two plants was revealed, an FDA spokesman asserts that the agency is required to evaluate a drug application on a ''facility-specific basis.'' The company's ''data integrity problems,'' he says, occurred at facilities different from where its generic Lipitor is manufactured. That's true '-- but it leaves out the fact that Ranbaxy originally applied to make Lipitor at one of its Indian facilities, which was then blacklisted by the FDA. The agency permitted the company to make a significant shift in its application: to switch the plant at which it would make the generic Lipitor. Ranbaxy now proposed making the drug in the U.S. at a facility that was not under FDA investigation.
Last November, Ranbaxy was back in the headlines with some very unwelcome news '-- the company had detected tiny glass particles in its Lipitor. It had to recall millions of pills and temporarily halt production. Says the FDA spokesperson, ''The fact that there were some quality problems that led to a limited recall of the generic product was not a result of the approval process or how it was handled.''
Throughout this time, Thakur '-- who had initially gotten impatient when the FDA didn't take action within days '-- watched in agony as years ticked by. He had launched his own consulting firm, which grew to 300 employees. As always, he tried to lose himself in his work, but he was in a perpetual state of anxiety, with thoughts of the case never far away. There was ''a lot of hardship'' is all he'll say about it today.
Remarkably, Ranbaxy is in a stronger position now in the U.S. than it was before its entanglement with the FDA. By the end of 2012, it was the fourth-fastest-growing pharmaceutical company in the U.S., both by sales and number of prescriptions. Much of this growth can be attributed to sales of its generic Lipitor. (That momentum stalled after the recall and the entry of new competitors selling that medication.) Ranbaxy has survived one disaster and punishment after another. As one incredulous employee put it, ''We don't know why we're still in business.''
The congressional inquiry into the FDA petered out over the years. But under the direction of David Nelson, investigators interviewed the FDA inspectors who went to Paonta Sahib and asked them a simple question: Would they feel comfortable taking Ranbaxy drugs? ''Every single inspector that went to India said they would never take a Ranbaxy drug,'' says Nelson, ''like eight out of eight.''
They were not alone. One by one, each of the former Ranbaxy executives Fortune interviewed had determined, while still at the company, to stop taking Ranbaxy drugs.
In April 2010, Ranbaxy issued another in a mounting series of recalls, this time for a pediatric antibiotic of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium. In a statement, a Ranbaxy spokesman said that while the company's own testing found the drug to be within specification, ''the company has decided to recall all the lots in question as a matter of caution, given its commitment to the health and safety of patients.'' The oral suspension turned brown, instead of white, on being mixed. It was the same drug that Thakur had given his feverish young son, with no effect, seven years earlier.
Reporter associates: Doris Burke and Frederik Joelving
I created the burkini to give women freedom, not to take it away | Aheda Zanetti | Opinion | The Guardian
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 20:51
'I would love to be in France to say this: you have misunderstood. And there more problems in the world to worry about, why create more?' Photograph: Aheda Zanetti
When I invented the burkini in early 2004, it was to give women freedom, not to take it away. My niece wanted to play netball but it was a bit of a struggle to get her in the team '' she was wearing a hijab. My sister had to fight for her daughter to play, had to debate the issue and ask, why is this girl prevented from playing netball because of her modesty?
When she was finally allowed to play we all went to watch her to support her and what she was wearing was totally inappropriate for a sports uniform '' a skivvy, tracksuit pants, and her hijab, totally unsuitable for any type of sport. She looked like a tomato she was so red and hot!
So I went home and went looking for something that might be better for her to wear, sportswear for Muslim girls, and I couldn't find anything, I knew there was nothing in Australia. It got me thinking because when I was a girl I missed out on sport '' we didn't participate in anything because we chose to be modest, but for my niece I wanted to find something that would adapt to the Australian lifestyle and western clothing but at the same time fulfil the needs of a Muslim girl.
So I sat down on my lounge room floor and designed something. I looked at the veil and took away a lot of the excess fabric, which made me nervous - would my Islamic community accept this? The veil is supposed to cover your hair and your shape, you just don't shape anything around your body. But this was shaped around the neck. I thought, it's only the shape of a neck, it doesn't really matter.
Before I launched it I produced a sample with a questionnaire to find out what people would think - would you wear this? Would this encourage you to be more active? Play more sport? Swim? A lot of people in my community didn't know how to accept this, but I developed it commercially and made a good business.
The burkini came to everyone's attention when Surf Lifesaving Australia introduced a program to integrate Muslim boys and girls into surf lifesaving after the Cronulla riots '' they had a young Muslim girl who wanted to compete in an event. She wore a burkini.
After September 11, the Cronulla riots, the banning of the veil in France, and the international backlash that came with it '' about us being the bad people all because of a few criminals who do not speak on behalf of Muslims '' I really didn't want anyone to judge girls wearing these. It's only a girl being modest.
It was about integration and acceptance and being equal and about not being judged. It was difficult for us at the time, the Muslim community, they had a fear of stepping out. They had fear of going to public pools and beaches and so forth, and I wanted girls to have the confidence to continue a good life. Sport is so important, and we are Australian! I wanted to do something positive '' and anyone can wear this, Christian, Jewish, Hindus. It's just a garment to suit a modest person, or someone who has skin cancer, or a new mother who doesn't want to wear a bikini, it's not symbolising Islam.
Australian burkini creator and manufacturer Aheda ZanettiWhen I named it the burkini I didn't really think it was a burqa for the beach. Burqa was just a word for me '' I'd been brought up in Australia all my life, and I'd designed this swimsuit and I had to call it something quickly. It was the combination of two cultures '' we're Australians but we are also Muslim by choice. The burqa doesn't symbolise anything here, and it's not mentioned in the Qur'an and our religion does not ask us to cover our faces, it's the wearer's choice to do so. Burqa is nowhere in any Islamic text. I had to look the word up, and it was described as a kind of coat and cover-all, and at the other end you had the bikini, so I combined the two.
This negativity that is happening now and what is happening in France makes me so sad. I hope it's not because of racism. I think they have misunderstood a garment that is so positive '' it symbolises leisure and happiness and fun and fitness and health and now they are demanding women get off the beach and back into their kitchens?
This has given women freedom, and they want to take that freedom away? So who is better, the Taliban or French politicians? They are as bad as each other.
I don't think any man should worry about how women are dressing '' no one is forcing us, it's a woman's choice. What you see is our choice. Do I call myself a feminist? Yes, maybe. I like to stand behind my man, but I am the engine, and I choose to be. I want him to take all the credit, but I am the quiet achiever.
I would love to be in France to say this: you have misunderstood. And there more problems in the world to worry about, why create more? You've taken a product that symbolised happiness and joyfulness and fitness, and turned it into a product of hatred.
Also, what are the French values? What do you mean it doesn't combine with French values, what does that mean? Liberty? You telling us what to wear, you telling us what not to do will drive women back into their homes '' what do you want us to do then? There will be a backlash. If you are dividing the nation and not listening and not working towards something you are naturally going to have someone who is going to get angry. If you are pushing people away, and isolating them '' this is definitely not a good thing for any politician to do, in any country.
I remember when I first tested the burkini. First I tested it in my bathtub, I had to make sure it worked. Then I had to test it by diving in it, so I went to the local pool to test that the headband would stay put, so I went to Roselands Pool, and I remember that everyone was staring at me '' what was I wearing? I went right to the end of the pool and got on the diving board and dived in. The headband stayed in place, and I thought, beauty! Perfect!
It was my first time swimming in public and it was absolutely beautiful. I remember the feeling so clearly. I felt freedom, I felt empowerment, I felt like I owned the pool. I walked to the end of that pool with my shoulders back.
Diving into water is one of the best feelings in the world. And you know what? I wear a bikini under my burkini. I've got the best of both worlds.
French Police Create Propaganda for ISIS by Ticketing Muslim Women on Beaches
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 02:38
Photographs and video of French police officers issuing tickets to Muslim women '-- for violating new local ordinances that ban modest beachwear as an offense against ''good morals and secularism'' in more than a dozen towns along the Riviera '-- spread widely on social networks on Wednesday, prompting waves of outrage and mockery by opponents of the laws.
But the same images were greeted with undisguised glee by extremists eager to make the case that observant Muslims have no place in European countries. A series of photographs published by The Daily Mail '-- showing armed officers confronting a woman wearing a headscarf, leggings and a long-sleeved shirt on a beach in Nice on Tuesday '-- was hailed by the anti-Muslim, Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
David Thomson, a French journalist who tracks jihadist activity online, told Radio France that Islamic State sympathizers on social networks seemed surprised to find police officers in Nice ''creating propaganda on their behalf,'' by providing the perfect illustration of their case that France humiliates Muslims.
''For them, this is a godsend,'' Thomson said. ''The jihadist narrative has insisted for years that it is impossible for a Muslim to practice their religion with dignity in France.'' Within minutes of publication, he said, these photographs became one of the most discussed topics in the online ''jihadosphere.''
''These shots of Nice,'' he added, ''will fuel years of jihadist propaganda.''
The irony, Thomson noted last week, is that the specific swimming costume the bans have targeted, the full-body swimsuit known as the ''burkini,'' is rejected as immodest by Islamist ideologues.
Although the authorities in Nice confirmed that the incident reported by the Mail did take place '-- and that at least 23 other women have been ticketed there this week, and forced to pay 38-euro fines, or about $40 '-- defenders of the so-called ''burkini ban'' accused the unnamed woman of taking part in a staged ''provocation.''
J(C)r(C)mie Boulet, a member of the xenophobic National Front party, argued that the woman must have been trying to bait the authorities into approaching her by wearing such an outfit on a warm day. He also suggested, incorrectly, that she was not sitting on a towel when approached by the officers.
Christian Estrosi, a former mayor of Nice who is now the regional president of the C´te d'Azur, issued a statement on Wednesday in which he called the behavior of the two dozen women fined for their dress this week, ''unacceptable provocations'' intended to ''undermine the city's police officers.'' Estrosi also warned people who share images of the police ticketing women on social networks that they could be prosecuted for endangering the officers.
A French photo agency that acquired the rights to the images told Lib(C)ration that the photographs were ''certainly not staged, as some people have alleged,'' and were the work of an unnamed freelancer ''who happened to be on the beach at the time,'' looking for images of the ban being enforced. He was about 100 meters away from the woman when he saw the officers approach and shot the encounter using a telephoto lens.
''The freelancer witnessed the scene, which took place at 11 a.m. on Tuesday and lasted roughly 10 minutes,'' the agency, Best Image, said in a statement. ''The woman was issued with a fine and left the beach a few minutes later. That is all the photographer was able to see.''
Speculation that the officers could have been set up was fueled by the fact that the photographer's name was not released, but the incident took place the same day that a French journalist, Mathilde Cusin, witnessed something worse: a woman in Cannes being fined by the police and harassed by on-lookers. That woman, a 34-year-old mother who gave her first name as Siam, told Agence France-Presse that she was given a ticket for sitting on the beach with her family, wearing a headscarf and leggings. ''I had no intention of swimming,'' she said.
In an interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, a weekly magazine, the woman said that she was baffled at first by the police officers who told her that beachgoers were obliged to ''dress properly'' according to a new ordinance. When she asked the officers what that meant she was told that she could only stay on the beach if she agreed to wrap her scarf into a headband.
''My children were crying, witnessing my humiliation,'' Siam told the magazine. ''Even I could not help crying. They humiliated us.''
During her standoff with the police, a crowd of onlookers gathered. Some of them defended the woman, arguing that she was causing no harm and was not even wearing a burkini. Others, however, taunted her with racist remarks. ''I was stunned,'' she said. ''I heard things no one had ever said to my face, like 'Go home!''' Siam, who was born to French parents in Toulouse, said that someone else added, ''We are Catholics here!''
''People demanded that she leave or remove her veil, it was pretty violent,'' Cusin told the magazine. ''I had the impression of watching a pack go after a woman sitting on the ground in tears with her little girl.''
''What shocked me is that it was mostly people in their thirties, not the elderly as one might imagine,'' Cusin added.
''In the country of human rights, I see no trace of the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity,'' Siam said. ''I am outraged that this could happen in France.''
''Today we are banned from the beach,'' she told Al Jazeera's AJ+ later in a video interview. ''Tomorrow it will be the street.''
''We are women. We are adults,'' she added. ''And if the headscarf is a personal choice, and if women want to wear it, why stop them?''
Top Photo: At a beach in Nice, France, the text of a bylaw was posted last week that bars women from wearing full-body swimsuits.
Shut Up Slave!
Germany to tell people to stockpile food and water in case of attacks: FAS
Mon, 22 Aug 2016 21:02
BERLIN (Reuters) - For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the German government plans to tell citizens to stockpile food and water in case of an attack or catastrophe, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.
Germany is currently on high alert after two Islamist attacks and a shooting rampage by a mentally unstable teenager last month. Berlin announced measures earlier this month to spend considerably more on its police and security forces and to create a special unit to counter cyber crime and terrorism.
"The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days," the newspaper quoted the government's "Concept for Civil Defence" - which has been prepared by the Interior Ministry - as saying.
The paper said a parliamentary committee had originally commissioned the civil defense strategy in 2012.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the plan would be discussed by the cabinet on Wednesday and presented by the minister that afternoon. He declined to give any details on the content.
People will be required to stockpile enough drinking water to last for five days, according to the plan, the paper said.
The 69-page report does not see an attack on Germany's territory, which would require a conventional style of national defense, as likely.
However, the precautionary measures demand that people "prepare appropriately for a development that could threaten our existence and cannot be categorically ruled out in the future," the paper cited the report as saying.
It also mentions the necessity of a reliable alarm system, better structural protection of buildings and more capacity in the health system, the paper said.
A further priority should be more support of the armed forces by civilians, it added.
Germany's Defence Minister said earlier this month the country lay in the "crosshairs of terrorism" and pressed for plans for the military to train more closely with police in preparing for potential large-scale militant attacks.
(Writing by Caroline Copley; Editing by Andrew Bolton)
Privacy groups slam DHS social media proposal
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:05
Social Media
Privacy groups slam DHS social media proposalBy Sean CarberryAug 23, 2016The Department of Homeland Security's proposed policy to collect information on the social media profiles of foreign travelers violates the rights of travelers and their American associates, according to privacy groups.
In a strongly worded rebuke of the proposed Customs and Border Protection policy, the Electronic Frontier Foundation argued that the rule change would do little to enhance national security and would open the door to greater spying on Americans.
"We think that the means of searching people's social media as a precondition of entering the country is and should be out of bounds," said Adam Schwartz, a senior staff attorney at EFF.
On June 23, CBP issued a request for comments on a rule change that would affect Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travelers by adding requests for social media identifiers to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization and I-94W forms.
In the request, CBP stated that "collecting social media data will enhance the existing investigative process and provide DHS greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections by providing an additional tool set which analysts and investigators may use to better analyze and investigate the case."
As FCW reported in June, the rule change came on the heels of a number of policies CBP initiated after criticism from Congress that potential terrorists could be exploiting the VWP, which allows citizens of 38 countries to enter the U.S. without a visa for up to 90 days.
In its Aug. 22 comments, EFF argued that the policy would suppress internet freedom because prospective travelers might censor themselves or delete social media accounts out of concern that their online comments could be misconstrued. In addition, EFF said those who are looking to do harm to America are not posting on public social media platforms, so the policy would not yield usable intelligence.
Other human rights groups and civil liberties organizations submitted a joint letter to CBP stating that "DHS collection of online identity information is an intelligence surveillance program clothed as a customs administration mechanism."
The coalition of more than two dozen organizations -- including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Council on American-Islamic Relations -- said the proposed language was vague and open ended.
"Applicants would have little or no opportunity to explain information associated with their online profiles or challenge inappropriate waiver denials," the letter states.
It went on to argue that cultural and linguistic barriers would increase the risk of discrimination against Arabs and Muslims seeking to enter the U.S.
In more supportive comments delivered to CBP, the Center for Data Innovation said that just as universities, employers and lenders check social media profiles of potential clients, DHS should collect social media information from foreign travelers. Center officials said they believe CBP can use social media to corroborate the claims of foreign travelers about their work, purpose for visiting the U.S. and travel history.
However, they urged CBP to test the policy in a controlled study before using the gathered data in any widespread fashion.
"As part of this pilot study, DHS should evaluate the impact on travelers, CBP agent productivity and national security, including false positives and false negatives generated by the system," the center said in its comments.
It also urged CBP to consult with civil liberties organizations and publicly release the findings of any evaluation it conducts.
EFF, however, argued that CBP is on a slippery slope and already violating the rights of travelers with an existing policy that requires access to computers and phones upon an individual's arrival in the U.S.
"CBP's proposal to instruct VWP visitors to disclose their social media identifiers is just the latest effort in a broader CBP strategy to scrutinize the digital lives of innocent travelers -- foreigners and Americans alike -- and it may inspire further CBP violations of privacy and First Amendment rights," EFF said in its comments.
DHS said it will issue a response once it has reviewed the public comments.
About the Author
Sean Carberry is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence. Prior to joining FCW, he was Kabul Correspondent for NPR, and also served as an international producer for NPR covering the war in Libya and the Arab Spring. He has reported from more than two-dozen countries including Iraq, Yemen, DRC, and South Sudan. In addition to numerous public radio programs, he has reported for Reuters, PBS NewsHour, The Diplomat, and The Atlantic. Carberry earned a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, and has a B.A. in Urban Studies from Lehigh University.
FBI's New DNA Process Produces More Matches in Suspect Database - WSJ
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:16
WASHINGTON'--Federal Bureau of Investigation scientists have adopted a new method of analyzing DNA samples, generating thousands of fresh potential leads in cold cases from the world's largest genetic database of suspects.
The change doesn't affect how the FBI collects or tests samples, but how it compares them at its laboratory facilities in Quantico, Va.
In May, scientists using the new methodology for the National DNA Index...
Juncker slaps down Austrian ''Muftis'' call for tighter EU borders - AlpBuzz
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:07
Community faces political crisis
The European Union is an antidote to rising Nationalism in Europe, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EU Commission, said today.
Speaking to Alpbach Media Academy reporters he said: ''We have to fight against nationalism, we have the duty not to follow populists but to block the avenue of populists.''
He quoted former French president Francois Mitterrand as saying nationalism added to nationalism would end in war. ''This is still true so we have to fight against nationalism.''
Mr Juncker, who was in Alpbach for the official opening of the Forum, addressed the refugee crisis stating: ''Borders are the worst invention ever made by politicians''. Solidarity must be given to refugees and their children, he said.
Jean-Claude Juncker arrives for the European Forum.
Mr Juncker retorted that the European Commission has delivered proposals on this, calling the governors 'žLandesobermuftis'' (Provincial High Muftis) and defended the Commission against frequent attack.
''The Comission deserves criticism, but of course, the governments have to share the blame.''
Jean-Claude Juncker defends the Commission in Alpbach.
Brexit was not a pretty moment which the EU must overcome. He said the Europe faced an unheard-of political crisis. ''In the concentration of globalisation and European problems, we must not lose our way,'' Mr Juncker said.
Mr Arno Kompatscher, governor of South Tyrol said he did not think that Mr Juncker's ''Obermufti'' remark was meant to send a political message. ''There must be space for a slangy comment in every speech,'' he told Alpbach Media Academy.
Generally, Mr. Kompatscher said, he absolutely agreed with the content of Mr Juncker's speech.
Uros Mamic, Lucy Thomas, Sophia Kichou and Matthias Humer, Alpbach Media Academy
CHEMICAL WARFARE RED ALERT: Zika panic DEET chemical part of a brain damaging binary weapon being carpet bombed across America's cities -
Tue, 23 Aug 2016 21:14
(NaturalNews) With every ignorant news organization across America now pushing Americans to slather their skin with DEET chemicals as a defense against Zika mosquitoes, there's something every American needs to know: DEET is one chemical component of a binary chemical weapon system currently being carpet bombed onto U.S. civilian populations.That's an aggressive assertion, I fully realize. So in this article, I'm going to lay out the science for you that proves all this, citing published scientific studies, government research papers, historical accounts of military actions and molecular citations from the world's most authoritative sources on chemistry. As far as my own science background goes, I am the lab science director of CWC Labs, an internationally accredited, ISO-17025 accredited forensic food analysis laboratory. I personally run mass spec (LC/MS-TOF) systems with a special focus on pesticides, herbicides and chemical toxicology. In fact, I have just completed a science paper on the world's first LC/MS-TOF accurate quantitation and anti-counterfeit analysis method for cannabidiols in hemp extracts, and that paper is going to be published later this year at a science expo event. I'm also the author of the #1 bestselling science book Food Forensics.
In other words, let there be no doubt whatsoever that I know what I'm talking about when it comes to the science I'm about to describe here. Nearly everyone who attacks this story, you will find, has no qualifications to even understand the science.
Getting back to DEET and Zika, the DEET chemical is actually N,N-Diethyl-3-methylbenzamide. From a molecular science point of view, it looks like this (courtesy
Note the molecular formula of C12H17NO. This means it has a total of 12 carbon atoms, 17 hydrogen atoms, one nitrogen and one oxygen. (We often use molecular formulas as shorthand in chemistry. This tells you the elemental composition and ratios, but not the bonding configuration or polarity.)
All by itself, the DEET chemical is known to cause damage to nerve cells. Let's explore that, because DEET is just one part of a binary chemical weapon system that is right now being deployed against the American people... a weapon system engineered to cause mass fear and confusion while even achieving a "behavior modifying" effect as you'll soon see.
Ever wonder how DEET kills insects? It's an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, meaning it blocks the molecular action of acetylcholinesterase.Via this Natural News article:
French scientists Vincent Corbel from the Institut de Recherche pour le Developement in Montpellier and Bruno Lapied from the University of Angers headed a team of researchers who studied the mode of action and toxicity of DEET, also known by the chemical name N,N-Diethyl-3-methylbenzamide. "We've found that DEET is not simply a behavior-modifying chemical but also inhibits the activity of a key central nervous system enzyme, acetylcholinesterase, in both insects and mammals," Corbel said in a statement to the media.
What exactly is acetylcholinesterase? "Acetylcholinesterase (AChE, acetycholine acetylhydrolase...) is found in many types of conducting tissue: nerve and muscle, central and peripheral tissues, motor and sensory fibers, and cholinergic and noncholinergic fibers," says this 2013 science paper in Current Neuropharmocology: "Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors: Pharmacology and Toxicology."
Blocking AChE causes "disrupted neurotransmission" and other damaging effects to brain cells: "The enzyme inactivation, induced by various inhibitors, leads to acetylcholine accumulation, hyperstimulation of nicotinic and muscarinic receptors, and disrupted neurotransmission."
According to that science paper, AChE inhibitors work similarly to carbamate and organophosphate pesticides -- two classes of chemicals routinely sprayed all over the national food supply -- meaning that people who slather their skin with DEET are poisoning themselves with brain-disrupting pesticide chemicals. Says the paper, "In medicine and agriculture, the word 'organophosphates' refers to a group of insecticides and nerve agents that inhibit AChE."
These organophosphates "exert their main toxicological effects through non-reversible phosphorylation of esterases in the central nervous system," report the scientists. "The acute toxic effects are related to irreversible inactivation of AChE."
In other words, some classes of AChE inhibitors can cause irreversible damage to the central nervous system.
DEET is an AChE inhibitor. As stated in this science paper entitled "Evidence for inhibition of cholinesterases in insect and mammalian nervous systems by the insect repellent deet":Despite the widespread and increased interest in the use of deet in public health programmes, controversies remain concerning both the identification of its target sites at the olfactory system and its mechanism of toxicity in insects, mammals and humans...
...[W]e show that deet is not simply a behaviour-modifying chemical but that it also inhibits cholinesterase activity, in both insect and mammalian neuronal preparations. Deet is commonly used in combination with insecticides and we show that deet has the capacity to strengthen the toxicity of carbamates, a class of insecticides known to block acetylcholinesterase.
These findings question the safety of deet, particularly in combination with other chemicals...
Now you are beginning to grasp the binary weapon of DEET + Carbamates (or OPs). Carbamates are common pesticides sprayed on food crops. They're also sprayed into the air by your local government as part of their ill-formed mosquito control programs they claim will stop Zika.
I hope you're paying close attention to what I'm explaining here, because what the study mentioned above reveals is that DEET is part of a binary chemical weapon system that goes "ballistic" against your nerve cells when combined with certain classes of insecticides (such as carbamates and OPs).What are carbamate insecticides? They are a class of pesticide chemicals that are right now being sprayed on food crops all across America. Even worse, they're often used in aerial spraying campaigns in combination with DEET. In effect, this is a chemical binary weapon now being deployed against the American people.
"Deet is commonly used in combination with insecticides and we show that deet has the capacity to strengthen the toxicity of carbamates, a class of insecticides known to block acetylcholinesterase," says the BioMedCentral science paper linked above.
Adding to the concern, this warning from explains, "Over 80% of the pesticide poisonings in the US are caused by organophosphate and carbamate pesticides. These compounds inhibit acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme critical to the control of nerve impulse transmission from one cell to another. When the enzyme is inhibited, there is overstimulation and then paralysis of the secondary cell."
According to this PDF document from the USGS, "The toxicity of OP and carbamate pesticides is due to the disruption of the nervous system of an invertebrate or a vertebrate through the inhibition of cholinesterase (ChE) enzymes. These enzymes are involved in transmitting normal nerve impulses throughout the nervous system. An acute pesticide dose reduces the activity of ChEs, and nerve impulses cannot be transmitted normally. This can paralyze the nervous system, and it may lead to death, usually from respiratory failure."
That same report goes on to explain how "More than 100 avian species have been poisoned by these pesticides" and that "Raptors and other bird species become victims of secondary poisoning when they scavenge dead animals poisoned by pesticides or when they feed on live animals or invertebrates that are unable to escape predation because of pesticide intoxication."
In other words, the carbamates make animals weak and confused, turning them into easy prey. Hmmm... can you think of any other targeted population an evil government might want to make weak and confused so that they can be easily controlled or exploited? Remember, to the government, We the People are nothing more than zoo animals living on tax farms, and they are more than happy to use chemical sprays to keep us all dumbed down and ignorant, just as former slave plantation owners refused to allow their slaves to learn to read.
"Research by Duke University Medical Center pharmacologist Mohamed Abou-Donia, who has spent 30 years studying the effects of pesticides, found that prolonged exposure to DEET can impair functioning in parts of the brain and could result in problems with muscle coordination, muscle weakness, walking or even memory and cognition," reports Natural News.
In summary, here's how the binary chemical weapon works:DEET + Carbamates = Extreme toxicity, weakness, confusion and loss of cognitive function.
The DEET is now being purchased and deployed by obedient sheeple who stupidly think Zika viruses are going to eat their brains. The Carbamates and OPs are sprayed onto populations via aerial carpet bombing runs and agricultural chemical spraying. If you aren't eating a 100% organic diet, you are eating carbamates at every meal. These then combine with the DEET chemicals to cause mass mental confusion, weakness, memory loss, fear and neurotransmitter disruption.
Combine this with endless propaganda from a complicit media run by globalists and this is how you end up with people voting for their own enslavement at the hands of tyrants.
The following map, sourced from the USGS, shows the number of avian deaths recorded across U.S. states from OP and carbamate poisoning (from 1986 - 1995). Note how widespread the chemical spraying is? "Organophosphorus and carbamate compounds are used throughout the world as insecticides, herbicides, nematocides, acaricides, fungicides, rodenticides, avicides, and bird repellants," says the report.
How exactly do AChE inhibitors cause so much damage to the nervous system? According to the same paper cited above: (bold added)The inhibition of the enzyme leads to accumulation of ACh in the synaptic cleft resulting in over-stimulation of nicotinic and muscarinic ACh receptors and impeded neurotransmission. The typical symptoms of acute poisoning are agitation, muscle weakness, muscle fasciculations, miosis, hypersalivation, sweating. Severe poisonings may cause respiratory failure, unconsciousness, confusion, convulsions and/or death.
It almost sounds like a nerve gas chemical weapon, doesn't it? Not coincidentally, that notion is exactly right. These OP and carbamate pesticides ARE chemical weapons and if they were deployed as weapons, they would be illegal under United Nations treaties that prohibit weapons of mass destruction from being deployed against human populations.
"Many of the toxic nerve agents used by the military are similar organophosphate compounds," reports MD Guidelines.Here it gets even more stunning: According to this published science paper, organophosphorus compounds (OPs) make up most of the deadly nerve agents that have been deployed as chemical weapons by the world's governments. From the paper:
Nerve agents of OP group include tabun, sarin, soman, cyclosarin and VX. Sarin, soman and cyclosarin are phosphonofluoridates, and VX is a phosphonothioate (Fig. 1313). Soman has four, while sarin and VX have two isoforms, which significantly differ in toxicity and irreversible AChE inactivation rate. Based on the acute toxicity, VX is the most toxic compound among all the nerve agents [67]. The developing and production of these extremely toxic nerve agents started in the 1930s, and later used in wars and by terrorists on several occasions. As chemical weapons, they are classified as weapons of mass destruction by the United Nations, and their production and stockpiling was outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention.
And yet, even though these nerve agents are classified as chemical weapons, variations of nearly identical molecules are widely deployed as pesticides, often being sprayed in combination with DEET and other chemicals.
Note carefully that "soman and cyclosarin are phosphonofluoridates," meaning they combine fluorine with organophosphates to create a hyper-toxic chemical that's deadly to brain cells. Here's what the cyclosarin nerve gas molecule looks like (courtesy of
Molecular formula: C7H14FO2P
Note the astonishing molecular similarity of this nerve gas agent to diisopropyl fluorophosphate, a commonly used pesticide: (SOURCE: ChemSpider).
Molecular formula: C6H14FO3P
See how they have a common structure centered around the phosphate element (P) with a double bonded oxygen (O)? Notice how they both have an attach fluorine atom, which creates an extremely aggressive molecule that can bond with (and therefore ravage) other biological molecules including brain cells? (Fluorine is also found in many psychoactive drugs such as SSRIs.)
"Commonly used OP insecticides have included ethyl parathion, malathion, methyl parathion, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, dichlorvos, phosmet, fenitrothion, tetrachlorvinphos, azinphos methyl, pirimiphos-methyl, dimethoate, phosalone," says the Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors paper cited elsewhere in this article.
Many of these insecticides, you may recall, are routinely carpet bombed onto America's cities under the justification of eliminating various flies, mosquitoes or agricultural pests. Malathion, for example, is routinely sprayed on civilian populations.
As you take in all this information -- none of which you'll ever see on CNN, Fox News, the NY Times or the Washington Post because all of those organizations are run by quack pseudo-journalists and scientifically illiterate morons -- keep in mind that Zika virus was weaponized and deployed against communist targets by the U.S. military.Via The Free Thought Project:
At Fort Detrick, the military's biological weapons base in Maryland, in great secret, Army scientists were considering how fleas, grasshoppers, and mosquitoes might be deployed against the Communist threat. These insects were harder to protect against than gas -- masks wouldn't help. The threat they posed would last, as long as a population of insects remained alive. Plus, it would be very difficult to pin an insect-borne attack on the U.S.
Among these possible insect soldiers, A. aegypti was ''the golden child,'' writes Jeffrey A. Lockwood, in Six-Legged Soldiers, because the disease it carried, yellow fever was so terrible. The Army Chemical Corps, in a 1959 report, notes that yellow fever is ''highly dangerous'' and that ''since 1900, one-third of patients have died.'' There were parts of the Soviet Union that had never been exposed to the disease, which made them vulnerable, but which had the right climate to support mosquitoes. The Chemical Corps started to experiment with how a brigade of A. aegypti might be deployed and what sort of damage they might do.
They would load hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes into planes and, later, helicopters, then drop them over the field and see how far they could spread.
The mosquitoes apparently performed well enough: By 1960, the Chemical Corps was producing 500,000 A. aegypti every month, rearing them on sugar water and blood and letting them lay their eggs on paper towels. Scientists had found they could infect a new generation of mosquitoes with yellow fever by mixing the virus in the solution in which the mosquito eggs grew. Hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes were not enough to start a real epidemic, though. The corps proposed constructing a facility in Arkansas that could produce 100 million A. aegypti mosquitoes each week.
Are you grasping all this yet?
So the U.S. government breeds infected mosquitoes and drops them on population centers as a weapon. This isn't a conspiracy theory, it's U.S. history.Now consider the question of who benefits from a Zika outbreak. Thanks to Zika, Obama has already funneled billions of dollars into vaccine companies. He also managed to redirect hundreds of millions of dollars in Zika research money to a United Nations climate change slush fund. (Hint: Obama plans to run the United Nations after ending his U.S. presidency.)
At the same time, DEET sales are exploding across America while local governments are carpet bombing cities like Miami with brain-damaging insecticide chemicals. The DEET, as we've documented here, contains AChE inhibitors that block brain function and cause memory loss, irritation and confusion among the voting population. (Nobody can remember all the campaign promises Obama made and then failed to deliver, see?)
It's all just in time for the riots and elections, isn't it? The more people coat their skin with DEET and then get exposed to carbamates or OPs which are being sprayed on U.S. cities, the more confused Americans become, making them even more susceptible to the outrageous lies of the mainstream media that's trying to get a racketeering criminal traitor elected to the White House.
In effect, the criminal government is already in the process of deploying binary chemical weapons against the voting population as a form of chemical cognitive engineering. The goal is to cause widespread fear, confusion, memory loss and cognitive weakness. This is all being done for the simple, obvious reason that if all the human minds across America were allowed to wake up and notice what's really happening, the criminal class of government liars and crooks would find themselves swinging by their necks from trees. Thus, keeping the masses dumbed down and chemically brain damaged is a necessary strategy for the corrupt political class to remain in power.
This is the biggest political science story in American history, yet there isn't a single news organization reporting it. Ever wonder why?
Now I ask you: What do all these things have in common? Consider the common biochemical actions of DEET, fluoride, SSRI drugs, lead in the water and mercury in the flu shots (yes, vaccines still contain huge concentrations of mercury... over 50,000 ppb in my lab tests, which is over 25,000 times the maximum EPA limit of mercury in drinking water).The answer is: THEY ALL DAMAGE BRAINS and inhibit cognitive function.
What you are observing here, if you still have the cognitive capacity to understand it, is a deliberate, coordinated, multi-vector chemical assault on your ability to think clearly.
This is a whole new kind of warfare against the commoners (the sheeple). The deliberate dumbing down you're being subjected to isn't just an info-propaganda campaign launched by CNN and the NY Times. There is a very real, very deliberate chemical warfare component to all this.
Yes, the U.S. government is currently waging covert chemical warfare on the American people. They are doing it using binary chemical weapons, in violation of international treaties against the use of weapons of mass destruction. And they are doing it to deliberately cause mass fear, confusion, memory loss and cognitive impairment.
Every media story you see that urges you to slather on the DEET is unknowingly participating in this binary weapons deployment. Don't blame your local news person for this; they are too stupid, incompetent and scientifically illiterate to know anything that's really happening in the world around them (that's why they have to read teleprompter scripts written by someone else... they can't even think for themselves anymore).
Now you know the real story on Zika and DEET and why they're being pushed so aggressively by the same subversive media that's desperately trying to overthrow democracy and install a totalitarian criminal in the White House. This is all connected. The timing of the Zika release is not a coincidence.
THIS IS ALL OUT WAR AGAINST AMERICA. And it's not just a propaganda war. It's a chemical war, and you have already been targeted for intoxication to make sure you never achieve the presence of mind to vote for anti-establishment candidates like Donald Trump who threaten to overthrow the corrupt, criminal government.
Sources for this article include
About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.
Adams is a person of color whose descendents include Africans and American Indians. He self-identifies as being of American Indian heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.
Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.
In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.
Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.
Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.
In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.
Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at
Preventative Mosquito Spraying Planned for Tonight in Brooklyn, Queens
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:23
The city Health Department plans to spray pesticides overnight in an effort to prevent the West Nile and Zika viruses.
Trucks will spray parts of Brooklyn and Queens between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., weather permitting.
Health officials say no trace of Zika has been found in any local mosquitoes and the spraying is just a precaution.
They also say the pesticides don't pose significant health risks, but residents should stay indoors during spraying.
To see a full list of the neighborhoods being sprayed, go online to
Did Washington Just Declare a 'No Fly' Zone in Syria? '' Blog
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 23:25
Reading between the lines in today's Pentagon press briefing, a bombshell US policy shift is becoming more apparent: Syrian forces and their Russian partners are being told that conducting military operations in some parts of Syrian airspace opens them up to being shot down by the US military.
Pentagon Spokesman Peter Cook was asked numerous times in numerous ways whether this amounts to a US ''no fly zone'' over parts of Syria. His first response was vague but threatening:
We will use our air power as needed to protect coalition forces and our partnered operations. '...We advise the Syrian regime to steer clear of [certain] areas.
The policy shift was so apparent that, one-by-one, the press corps asked for clarification. Does this mean that the US would shoot down Russian or Syrian planes if they attacked any US-backed partners even if they were engaged against Syrian government forces? Are those ''coalition forces'' and ''partnered operations'' receiving US protection against attack from the air always in receipt of that protection, or only when they are actively engaged in military operations? What are the rules of engagement?
There was no clear answer from the Pentagon spokesman.
''Is this a 'no-fly' zone, then,'' asked another reporter. It's not a ''no-fly zone'' Cook responded.
Another journalist tried to get some clarity:
How is telling Syria not to fly in certain areas not a 'no fly' zone?
''Call it what you will,'' Cook eventually said.
Another journalist asked, ''Do you think the Syrian regime has the right to fly over its own territory?''
Same answer: ''We will use our air power as needed to protect coalition forces and our partnered operations.''
The anti-Russia rhetoric in Cook's comments was inexplicable as well. According to the Pentagon spokesman, the suffering in parts of Aleppo is not due to its ongoing occupation by al-Qaeda's Nusra Front, but rather by Russian and Syrian government attempts to expel Nusra from the city. Cook's explanation defied logic. Russian actions in Aleppo are'...
'...only adding fuel to Syria's civil war and [do] nothing to degrade extremist groups, which is Russia's original reason for its military intervention in Syria.
The sentence only makes sense if one accepts the premise that al-Qaeda in Syria is not an extremist group, as it makes no sense to argue that bombing a certain group does nothing to weaken that group. Unless the Pentagon is suggesting that Russia and Syria are only bombing the civilian population, presumably for fun?
Whatever the case, this is a trial balloon. If this de facto ''no fly zone'' becomes a fact on the ground, it will be expanded beyond Hasakah and may be a US last-ditch effort to prevent Syrian government forces, aided by Russia, from taking back Aleppo and thus breaking the back of the foreign-backed insurgency.
This is endgame time.
Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.
Russia may cut crew on International Space Station | Science | The Guardian
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 00:51
Nine crew members on the International Space Station in August 2015 during a handover: from left, Scott Kelly, Kimiya Yui, Gennady Padalka, Sergey Volkov, Aidyn Aimbetov, Mikhail Kornienko, Oleg Kononenko, Andreas Mogensen and Kjell Lindgren. Photograph: AP
Russia may cut down its crew on the international space station from three to two as Moscow reviews its future involvement in the programme.
Typically six crew members live at the space station, which is meant to stay in operation until at least 2024.
Asked during a news conference about media reports that Russia was considering reducing its staff to two, Nasa's Kenneth Todd said the ISS partners '' which include Canada, Japan and the European Space Agency '' were aware of the proposal.
''They are exploring the option of going down to two crew on the Russian segment,'' said Todd, International Space Station operations integration manager.
''They have made that known to the partnership.''
Russian media reports have quoted a Roscosmos official as saying the proposal comes as Russia is sending fewer cargo ships to the ISS and could be a cost-cutting measure.
The United States is ramping up its supply missions to the orbiting lab, with US astronauts preparing to install a commercial docking adapter for use by private spacecraft.
Todd said the ISS partners were aware that Russia had committed to the ISS programme at least through 2024.
''There is no doubt they are keeping that in mind as they work through whatever challenges they have with their system,'' Todd said.
''We will look at it, as we do with all these kinds of things. We will trade it against whatever risk that might put into the programme '' first and foremost the risk to our crew on board and the station itself.''
Todd said the international partners would see ''what we can do as a partnership to try to either accommodate it, or help them realise why that is a bad thing''.
''It is strictly a proposal they have put on the table and we will look at it.''
The first section of the ISS station, called Zarya, or Dawn in Russian, was launched into space on 20 November 1998.
From two modules the space station has grown to 15, occupying a space the size of an American football field and representing around $100bn in investment.
Since 2000 the station has been continuously occupied by a rotating staff of astronauts who typically stay for six months at a time before returning to Earth.
With Agence France-Presse
107 of 280 Russian athletes win medals at Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 23:03
In total 107 of 280 Russian athletes won medals at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, President of Russia's Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov told reporters.
"For our team and the whole country the start of the Olympics was difficult because the possibility of our team's participation was under question. Despite this fact, the team performed successfully in most of the events from the very beginning. 107 of 280 athletes go home with medals, we took medals in 20 events," he said.
Russia to appeal CAS ruling in Swiss Supreme Court
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 23:04
The Paralympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro from September 7 to September 18. Source: Mikhail Mordasov
The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) will try to appeal against the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on banning Russians from the 2016 Paralympic Games in the Supreme Court of Switzerland, but Russian athletes will not compete in the Games, Alexei Karpenko, a lawyer representing the committee's interests in the CAS told the Rossiya 24 TV channel on Aug. 23.
"We are very disappointed by the CAS decision. A team of lawyers of the Russian Paralympic Committee was sure that Russian athletes will be allowed to compete in the 2016 Games even if the RPC is suspended," Karpenko said. "There is a violation of human rights, so the RPC will appeal against the CAS decision in Switzerland's Supreme Court. However, the process will take between one and two years. Due to this, Russian Paralympic athletes will not compete in the 2016 Games."
The International Paralympic Committee earlier suspended the RPC and banned Russian athletes from this year's Games following the report of the independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) led by Richard McLaren. On Aug. 23, the CAS dismissed Russia's appeal confirming the IPC decision.
The Paralympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro from Sept. 7 to Sept. 18.
Source: TASS
CAS confirms Russia's ban from Paralympic Games in Rio>>>
Auf Wiedersehen: Eurowings leaves Russia
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 23:03
German low-cost carrier will stop its flights to Russia in Nov. Airline experts say the decision is based on the company's internal calculations and a lack of demand from Russian travelers.
The Eurowings company cites lack of demand as the reason for the decision. Source: DPA/Vostock-photo
German low-cost carrier Eurowings will stop its Berlin-Moscow flight in Nov., according to Russian business daily Kommersant (in Russian). The company cites lack of demand as the reason for the decision. A company spokesman quoted by Kommersant said that the Moscow flight "did not meet the company's expectations." Eurowings has yet to announce how it will compensate passengers holding tickets for the flight after Nov.
Foreign airlines began leaving the Russian market en mass following the devaluation of the ruble in 2015. Low-cost carriers Air Berlin, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Easy Jet shut down their Russian routes altogether while larger airlines, including Lufthansa, Niki, El Al and SAS reduced the volume of flights to Russia.
Experts believe that Eurowings' decision to stop its Moscow flight is driven by different concerns, however. "In the last year and a half, the demand for flights to Germany has declined substantially," said Philipp Brinkmann, general director of the Tripsta online travel agency.
Germany was the most popular destination for Russian tourists in 2014, but in 2015, it dropped to second place, after Spain. "It is possible that Eurowings does not expect many seats to be filled in the autumn-winter season and therefore has now decided to stop its flights to Russia," Brinkmann said.
Andrei Kramarenko, an expert at the Center for Transportation Policy Studies at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, also does not connect the Eurowings decision to the mass departures of a year ago, suggesting instead that the decision was based on internal calculations. "Eurowings just preferred to use its fleet for more advantageous destinations," Kramarenko said. He added that the company might renew its flights to Russia next summer.
U.S. major Delta airlines also dropped its New York-Moscow flight in Oct. 2015, only to bring it back for the 2016 summer season.
Eurowings, which is a daughter company of Lufthansa Group, began regular flights between Moscow and Berlin six times a week in Oct. 2015. The low cost airline entered the Russian market after another German airline, Air Berlin, announced the cancellation of its flights to Russia.
Read more: New MC-21 passenger airliner presented in Siberia>>>
Iran vessels make 'high speed intercept' of U.S. ship: U.S. official | Reuters
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:17
Thu Aug 25, 2016 | 8:45 AM EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Four of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) vessels "harassed" a U.S. warship on Tuesday near the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. defense official said, amid Washington's concerns about Iran's posture in the Gulf and in the Syrian civil war.
The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday that two of the Iranian vessels came within 300 yards of the USS Nitze in an incident that was "unsafe and unprofessional."
The vessels harassed the destroyer by "conducting a high speed intercept and closing within a short distance of Nitze, despite repeated warnings," the official said.
IRGC, the Islamic Republic's praetorian guard, is suspicious of U.S. military activity near Iran's borders and appears to be sticking to a familiar posture in the Gulf that predates last year's nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers, including the United States.
The United States and other countries are concerned about Iran's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, its ballistic missile program, and its backing for Shiite militias that have abused civilians in Iraq.
The U.S. defense official said that in Tuesday's incident the USS Nitze tried to communicate with the Iranian vessels 12 times, but received no response. It also fired 10 flares in the direction of two of the Iranian vessels.
"The Iranian high rate of closure... created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation, including additional defensive measures by Nitze," the official said.
USS Nitze had to change course in order to distance itself from the Iranian vessels, the official said, adding that the incident could have led to a diplomatic protest, but the United States does not have diplomatic relations with Iran.
It remains to be seen whether these actions were carried out by rogue Revolutionary Guard commanders or sanctioned by senior officials in Tehran, said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
"For four decades the Revolutionary Guard have been told that America is the greatest threat to the Islamic Revolution," said Sadjadpour. "This institutional culture hasn't changed after the nuclear deal," he added.
In January, 10 U.S. sailors aboard two patrol craft were detained by the IRGC when they inadvertently entered Iranian territorial waters. They were released the next day after being held for about 15 hours.
The Gulf separates Iran from its regional rival Saudi Arabia and a U.S. naval base in Bahrain.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali. Additional reporting by Warren Strobel; Editing by Grant McCool and Andrew Hay)
Six Week Cycle
Lawyer: Dark Web Child Porn Site Ran Better When It Was Taken Over by the FBI | Motherboard
Tue, 23 Aug 2016 17:55
In February 2015, the FBI took control of Playpen, the largest dark web child pornography site at the time. But instead of shutting the site down, the agency kept it going for just under two weeks, in order to deliver malware to its visitors in the hope of identifying suspects in its investigation.
Newly filed court exhibits now suggest that the site performed substantially better while under the FBI's control, with users commenting on the improvements. The defense for the man accused of being the original administrator of Playpen claims that these improvements led to the site becoming even more popular.
''The FBI distributed child pornography to viewers and downloaders worldwide for nearly two weeks, until at least March 4, 2015, even working to improve the performance of the website beyond its original capability,'' Peter Adolf, an assistant federal defender in the Western District of North Carolina, writes in a motion to have his client's indictment thrown out.
''As a result, the number of visitors to Playpen while it was under Government control [increased] from an average of 11,000 weekly visitors to approximately 50,000 per week. During those two weeks, the website's membership grew by over 30%, the number of unique weekly visitors to the site more than quadrupled, and approximately 200 videos, 9,000 images, and 13,000 links to child pornography were posted on the site,'' he continues.
"Government agents worked hard to upgrade the website's capability to distribute large amounts of child pornography quickly and efficiently"According to archived messages on the Playpen site filed alongside Adolf's motion, users were complaining of Playpen's sluggish service around the time the site was taken over.
''I've been having trouble getting in here all day, took forever just to reply to this so guess there is still some server trouble. Wish all the best in getting in [sic] fixed,'' one user called ''verycute'' wrote on February 21, 2015.
Shortly after, on February 23, someone in control of a Playpen administrator account wrote, ''I upgraded the Token Ring to Ethernet about an hour ago and things seem to be working a bit better.'' (A Token ring is a particular type network configuration).
It is not totally clear whether the FBI was in control of this account, though this is what Adolf insinuates.
Regardless, users soon noticed the effects of the tweak.
''Yes, it is working much better now!'' one user replied.
''Working FAST today :-)'' another wrote.
''It now runs everything very smoothly! :D'' a third replied. ''Hopefully it will remain so! ???''
Image: a screenshot of an archived version of a thread on Playpen which was included with court documents
Adolf's motion continues, ''Indeed, government agents worked hard to upgrade the website's capability to distribute large amounts of child pornography quickly and efficiently, resulting in more users receiving more child pornography faster than they ever did when the website was running 'illegally.'''
This is where Adolf's argument for why his client's indictment should be thrown out comes in: Echoing the defense team in another case, he says the FBI engaged in ''outrageous conduct'' by distributing child pornography on a massive scale. Such activity by government agents in an investigation could lead to dismissal of charges if, as Adolf writes, the conduct is ''shocking'' or ''offensive to traditional notions of fundamental fairness.'' (A judge previously ruled that the operation did not equate to outrageous conduct.)
What is new here is the defense's claim that the FBI deliberately improved the site's functionality for its users, and that this in turn led to more people signing up to Playpen. Adolf does not provide any solid evidence for this apparent causality, but points to the archived Playpen messages which indicate improvements took place.
In July, the Department of Justice wrote in a court document that so far 186 people have been charged as part of this investigation. Motherboard found that the FBI hacked over 4,000 computers, including in countries as far afield as Chile and Austria.
In court documents from other related cases filed on Monday, defense attorneys placed a ''conservative estimate'' on the number of illegal images distributed by the FBI during its operation of Playpen: 1,000,000.
Christopher Allen, a spokesperson for the FBI, declined to comment on matters pending litigation.
Agenda 2030
California Drowning In Stupidity | Real Science
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 22:58
Mother Jones published this very detailed map of how sea level rise will affect the San Fransisco Bay.
This Map Shows What San Francisco Will Look Like After Sea Levels Rise | Mother Jones
No one involved in this project bothered to check the tide gauge and find out that sea level in the San Francisco Bay is the same as it was 75 years ago.
Sea Level Trends '' State Selection
Climate alarmists aren't interested in data or reality. They make their money by pushing a political agenda.
August 24, 1936 '' One Of The Hottest Days In US History
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 23:02
On this date in 1934, the US experienced 100 degree weather from California to Virginia, and from Texas to Minnesota. South Dakota was 116 degrees, and much of the midwest was over 110 degrees. Almost the entire country was over 90 degrees.
Weather this hot is incomprehensible to Americans now, who are convinced that a couple of 90 degree days is proof that the planet is overheating due to their SUV. Summer temperatures have plummeted in the US over the past 80 years, but you won't hear this from government funded climate scientists.
Depression Indicators
The US government is buying 11 million pounds of cheese - Business Insider
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 21:18
Peter Lovis, proprietor of the Concord Cheese Shop, and Brie Hurd quarter what was a 400-pound wheel of Crucolo cheese outside the shop in Concord, Massachusetts, on December 1, 2011.Brian Snyder/Reuters
There is way too much cheese in America, so the US Department of Agriculture is buying a massive amount of it.
According to a release from the USDA, it will buy 11 million pounds '-- worth roughly $20 million by its estimate '-- and distribute it to food banks around the country.
The US cheese market has had a significant oversupply problem for most of the year because foreign buyers have looked elsewhere for their dairy products as a result of the strong dollar. Before this slowdown in exports, many farmers had ramped up their production because of record-high prices.
"We understand that the nation's dairy producers are experiencing challenges due to market conditions and that food banks continue to see strong demand for assistance," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in the release announcing the move.
"This commodity purchase is part of a robust, comprehensive safety net that will help reduce a cheese surplus that is at a 30-year high while, at the same time, moving a high-protein food to the tables of those most in need," he said.
The USDA said that there was a number of reasons for the low prices in the cheese market.
"While USDA projects dairy prices to increase throughout the rest of the year, many factors including low world market prices, increased milk supplies and inventories, and slower demand have contributed to the sluggish marketplace for dairy producers," said the release.
Andy Kiersz/Business Insider
According to Joe Schmit, head trader and cofounder at Dairy Opportunities, the government support makes sense given the recent moves of the commodity.
Over the summer, the price of cheese rallied about 30% despite a seemingly large buildup in inventories. It appears that traders were speculating that the government was going to step in.
And while it did, the 11-million-pound purchase, however, is only 1% of the inventory built up, according to Schmit. Combined with the fact that the buy is smaller than expected, it may lead to a drop in prices in the coming days.
"The government made a much smaller buy than originally thought, and the price was slightly lower than where it was trading," said Schmit. "For those reasons, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some sell pressure."
Additionally, said Schmit, the government consistently buys smaller amounts of cheese for its programs and has even done these sorts of special large-scale buys in the past, so the support for dairy farmers is not unprecedented.
"It's not surprising to see the government giving the cheese market a little boost," concluded Schmit.
Clarkson University: Six to Receive Clarkson University Honorary Degrees, May 7
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 20:29
Dignity and Power Now Founder Patrisse Cullors; GE Chief Diversity Officer and GE Foundation President Deborah A. Elam; National Domestic Workers Alliance Special Projects Director Alicia Garza; Author Karl Marlantes; YP-Tekniikka Ky Principal Pentti A. Paatero; and Dignity and Power Now Black Alliance for Just Immigration Executive Director Opal Tometi will be awarded honorary degrees at Clarkson University's 123rd commencement on May 7.
Last week, Fortune magazine named Cullors, Garza and Tometi #27 on its annual list of the World's Greatest Leaders. They started the Twitter hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
An established community leader and performance artist trained under the founder of politically expressive theater, Patrisse Cullors raises awareness to issues through a blend of activism and art. Her efforts led her to establish Dignity and Power Now, which fights for incarcerated people, their families and communities. She also serves as the truth and reinvestment campaign director for The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.
Deborah Elam has served as president of the GE Foundation, the philanthropic arm of GE, since 2013 and as GE's chief diversity officer since 2002. She leads efforts globally to ensure that all GE employees feel that they have an opportunity to contribute and succeed. She was appointed a GE company officer in 2006, making her one of the most senior women in the company.
Currently the special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Alicia Garza previously served as executive director of People Organized to Win Employment Rights, where she led the charge on significant initiatives, including organizing against chronic police violence in black neighborhoods. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Guardian, The Nation, and The Feminist Wire.
Karl Marlantes is the author of the New York Times Bestselling novel, Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War, which has won numerous prizes. He is also the author of the highly acclaimed nonfiction book What It Is Like to Go to War. He served as a Marine in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten air medals.
Pentti A. Paatero, principal at YP-Tekniikka Ky Company in Finland, retired as a researcher in the Department of Physical Sciences at the University of Helsinki in 2004. His research allowed the development of the widely-used EPA Positive Matrix Factorization receptor model, which has contributed enormously to environmental science and was used to determine the seasonal contributions to the arctic aerosol, originating from multiple nations.
As the executive director at the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Opal Tometi is at the helm of the country's leading black organization for immigrant rights, steering initiatives including the first Congressional briefing on black immigrants. She has also presented at the United Nations and has participated with the UN's Global Forum on Migration and Commission on the Status of Women.
The honorary degree recipients will briefly address the students, their families and guests about a topic central to their success in life.
Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, New York, and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.
Photo caption: Clarkson University's May 2015 Commencement.
[A photograph for media use is available at .]
Prince death: Powerful drugs found in singer's home 'were mislabelled' - BBC News
Mon, 22 Aug 2016 20:56
Image copyrightEPAImage caption Prince was found dead inside Paisley Park in April Pills seized from the home of singer Prince contained the dangerously powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl but were mislabelled, according to reports.
Speaking to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, officials investigating the artist's death said the pills were labelled as hydrocodone, a weaker type of opioid.
Autopsy results released in June revealed Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose.
Officials told the Associated Press the singer had no prescriptions for controlled substances at the time.
Prince was found dead at 57 in an elevator inside his Paisley Park home in April.
According to the Star Tribune report, the musician weighed just 50kg (8 stone) at the time of his death and had significantly more than a fatal dose of fentanyl in his system.
Image copyrightScott OlsonImage caption The estate, completed in 1988, was where Prince recorded almost all of his music Fentanyl has been linked to a surge in overdoses in parts of the US after being incorporated into counterfeit pills.
The counterfeit pills found in Paisley Park contained a variety of drugs, according to the Associated Press, including fentanyl, lidocaine and U-4770, a synthetic drug eight times more powerful than morphine.
Tests on Prince prior to his death did not show fentanyl in his system, AP said, citing an official involved with the investigation, indicating the singer was not a long-term user of the drug.
The official said Prince had many of these pills with him a week before his death when his aeroplane made an emergency stop in Illinois after he fell ill.
He reportedly received two doses of Narcan, an antidote used to reverse suspected opioid overdoses.
A singer, songwriter, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, Prince recorded more than 30 albums. His best known hits include Let's Go Crazy and When Doves Cry.
Fentanyl is an extremely strong painkiller, prescribed for severe chronic pain, or breakthrough pain which doesn't respond to regular painkillers.
It is an opioid painkiller which means it works by mimicking the body's natural painkillers, called endorphins, which block pain messages to the brain.
It can cause dangerous side effects, including severe breathing problems.
The risk of harm is higher if the wrong dose or strength is used.
Leonardo DiCaprio Bows Out of Hillary Clinton Fundraiser - Breitbart
Mon, 22 Aug 2016 21:32
Leonardo DiCaprio has backed out of a pricey fundraiser lunch for Hillary Clinton that the actor had been scheduled to host at his Los Angeles home this week. Pop star Justin Timberlake and his wife Jessica Biel will instead host the event at their home.The Oscar-winning Revenant actor was forced to bow out of the $33,400 per-plate event because he is ''stuck in New York until Wednesday'' finishing a current project, a source close to the event told People on Saturday.
But the timing of DiCaprio's cancellation comes as the actor's environmental-focused charitable organization, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, was linked to a $3 billion Malaysian embezzlement scheme in news reports last week. The foundation '-- which focuses on climate change initiatives and hosts a glitzy annual party for hundreds of A-list celebrities and dignitaries '-- is alleged to have received donations tied to money misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund that had been earmarked for development in the country.
Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin told the Hollywood Reporter that the implication that DiCaprio bowed out due to his foundation's alleged connection to the Malaysian embezzlement scandal is ''completely false.''
''If we could have had the event at his home, we would have loved to,'' he told THR. ''He was gracious enough to find us a new host. We hope to do something with him in the future.''
DiCaprio is not currently filming any projects as an actor. The 41-year-old Oscar-winner is producing climate change documentary The Turning Point, set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9.
The ''Conversation with Hillary'' event will continue as scheduled Tuesday afternoon at Timberlake's home. Event co-hosts are said to include Jennifer Aniston, Tobey Maguire, Shonda Rhimes, ICM chief Chris Silbermann and Justin Bieber manager Scooter Braun.
While in Los Angeles, Clinton is also set to attend a dinner fundraiser at the Beverly Hills home of billionaire entertainment mogul and Democratic Party mega-donor Haim Saban.
The guest list for the August 22 event reportedly includes Disney CEO Bob Iger, outgoing DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, L.A. Olympics bid chief Casey Wasserman and MarketShare CEO Jon Vein.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum
Magic Number
McDonald's recalls 33 million Happy Meal toys after claims some children were BURNED - Mirror Online
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 21:31
More than 33 million McDonald's Happy Meal toys have been recalled after parents reported skin irritations and burns.
As our footage shows the STEP-iT activity wristbands are brightly coloured and were aimed at getting children active over the summer holidays.
McDonald's has received more than 70 reports of incidents and has decided to recall all of the free gifts which were given out with the children's meals between Tuesday, August 9 and Wednesday, August 17.
Customers are advised to take the item away from children immediately and return them to their nearest McDonald's restaurant for a free replacement toy and either a yogurt tube or a bag of apple slices.
The bands have been recalledThe wristbands came in two styles. One was an activity counter which was blue, orange or green and featured a digital screen that tracks a child's steps or other movement.
Read MoreThe second was a light up band, which was red, purple, or orange and blinked a light with the child's movement.
More than 3.6million were distributed in Canada and 29 million handed out it the USA.
It is believed they were not released to UK stores.
The recalled watchesTerri Hickey, a McDonald's spokeswoman said: "Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our customers which is why upon learning about concerns with these bands we acted swiftly to stop distribution of these products.
Read More"We are now asking customers who have the activity bands to stop wearing them and return to any McDonald's for a free replacement toy and a choice of a yogurt or apple slices.
"We apologise to our customers who were impacted and for the inconvenience this recall has caused.''
NA-Tech News
POTUS social media to reset with new administration
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 02:38
Social Media
POTUS social media to reset with new administrationBy Adam MazmanianAug 24, 2016On Jan. 20, 2017, a new president will be sworn into office. Aside from the pomp and circumstance of the inauguration, that day will mark the culmination of a long transition process that includes the mundane collection of records from the previous administration and clearing the decks (and file cabinets and desk drawers) for the next administration.
In the Digital Age, that also means archiving email, websites and, in the case of President Barack Obama, the many social media accounts linked to the chief executive, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
Philip Droege, who has led the White House Office of Records Management since 2004, said the goal is to have the accounts that belong to the White House essentially cleared out by 11:59 a.m. on Inauguration Day. So visitor to the @POTUS Twitter feed during the swearing-in ceremony might see a blank page, however briefly. And users scrolling back won't see tweets from Obama.
Some version of the account will be archived and handed off to the National Archives and Records Administration for eventual use by Obama's presidential library.
The transition will require some level of customization and coordination with the social media companies. Details were not immediately available on how it will work.
Droege said Obama and his staff might continue to post tweets, Instagram photos and other social media updates from post-presidential accounts, which will have some continuity with his presidential accounts. Similarly, the Obama-era website will be archived and remain accessible through NARA.
"It's the first time we had to deal with it," Droege said at the Digital Government Institute's 930gov conference on Aug. 24. "All the [Obama] data goes to the Archives. I have complete confidence in the National Archives that at 12:01 on Jan. 20, or soon thereafter, we'll be able to access the White House website that was the Obama website, that all that content is still there."
Electronic archiving is a small part of the overall responsibility of preparing for a transition, Droege said. Presidents, even the digitally savvy Obama, get their material mostly in paper form. Most of what the White House Records Office will ship to NARA is paper. And the effort begins to accelerate in the last year of a presidency, Droege added.
Because the White House falls under the jurisdiction of the Presidential Records Act, a separate statutory framework from the Federal Records Act, the decisions of what to keep are pretty simple.
"We just keep everything," Droege said.
Changes to the Presidential Records Act make it easier for White House records managers to stay ahead of the game. They can ship boxes of paper records to NARA ahead of the transition while retaining control of the material. NARA is subject to the Freedom of Information Act; the White House is not. The 2014 updates to the records law make it explicit that the "courtesy storage" NARA had typically extended to White House records was permitted, with the White House retaining control.
Although records staffers serve at the pleasure of the president, the jobs are typically filled by career government employees, which Droege said provides valuable continuity.
His advice to the next president: "Make sure you keep and rely on the career staff, and retain them."
About the Author
Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.
Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.
Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.
Uber's first self-driving cars will start picking up passengers this month | TechCrunch
Mon, 22 Aug 2016 20:52
It's been a while since news broke in early 2015 that Uber was working on self-driving cars. Earlier this year, the company openly admitted it was testing cars in Pittsburgh, but we haven't heard much more over the last 18 months.
With Google, the self-driving car leader, slowly making progress with its autonomous cars, you'd be forgiven for thinking Uber's efforts are far behind and barely visible in its frenemy's rearview mirror.
Well think again!
It turns out Uber has been making very rapid progress on its plan to replace its one million-plus drivers with computers. Bad news if you're an Uber driver'...
In an interview with Bloomberg, CEO Travis Kalanick revealed that the company is preparing to add self-driving cars to its fleet of active drivers in Pittsburgh as soon as this month.
The company will deploy around 100 modified Volvo XC90s outfitted with self-driving equipment. Each vehicle will be staffed by one engineer, who can take the wheel as/when needed, and a co-pilot to observe and take notes. There will also be a ''liquid-cooled'' computer sitting in the trunk recording trip and map data.
That will mean that regular Uber punters in the city have a chance of getting an autonomous vehicle for their ride '-- their trip will be free if so.Precious little was known of Uber's plans for self-driving cars, but the company told Bloomberg that it will outfit cars with autonomous driving kits rather than develop its own vehicles as Google is doing.
To do that, Uber has quietly snapped up Otto, a promising startup that launched this year to bring self-driving technology to trucks. Otto's technology can be fitted to existing trucks, and, according to Bloomberg, the technology will be adapted to create a lidar '-- laser detection '-- system to power autonomous Uber vehicles.
The Otto acquisition is hugely notable, not only for the technology but the personnel involved.
The company was founded by former Googlers Anthony Levandowski, Lior Ron, Don Burnette, and Claire Delaunay. Levandowski led Google's self-driving car efforts, Ron was an executive on Google Maps and Motorola, while other staff have spent time with Apple, Tesla and other notable automotive firms.
The deal is set to close as soon as this month, after which Levandowski will lead Uber's driverless car efforts. In addition, two new R&D centers will open up to speed the technology's development.
''We were really excited about building something that could be launched early,'' Levandowski told Bloomberg of why he left Google.
His additional comments '-- which include calling Kalanick a ''brother from another mother'' '-- hint at frustrations with the slow speed of development from Google's self-driving project. Uber, it seems, is more willing to move forward with self-driving at a faster pace.
Time will tell how that plays out, but we'll get our first glimpse soon enough.
For more on today's Uber news, read:
Uber acquires self-driving truck startup Otto
Jobless in the self-driving economy
Featured Image: Uber/Bloomberg
Bitcoin-Tech Firm Thinks This Name Can Unify Wall Street Behind Blockchain - WSJ
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 20:52
R3 CEV, a startup working to build new Wall Street infrastructure using bitcoin technology, said it had filed for a patent this week and named its product Concord for the harmony it aims to build among more than 60 banks.
The patent application is the New York firm's first, shedding some light on what has so far been a widely followed but opaque...
VIDEO-Global Empire: The World According to Seymour Hersh: Part Two - YouTube
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 15:10
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:59
VIDEO-Clinton Aide Had Several Ties with Clinton Foundation While at State Dept. - YouTube
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:55
VIDEO-State Department: Huma Abedin was 'fully vetted' before being allowed to work at State - YouTube
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:52
VIDEO-Clinton: Ok For Foundation to Accept Foreign Donations While Secretary of State but Not If President - YouTube
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:47
VIDEO_BBC World Service - Newshour, Nice Deputy Mayor: Burkini is an 'Islamist provocation'
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:31
Photographs have emerged of police in Nice confronting a Muslim woman wearing a 'burkini' on the shore of the Promenade des Anglais. They asked her to remove her headscarf and leggings, and issued her with a fine. Last week Nice became one of the 15 French towns to ban the full body swimsuit designed for Muslim women. Nice's Deputy Mayor Rudy Salles, himself on the beach when he spoke to Newshour, says he is happy with how the law is being implemented.
(Photo: A woman wearing a burkini in Tunisia. Credit: Fethi Belaidfethi/AFP/Getty Images)
VIDEO-Global Empire - The World According to Seymour Hersh [Part One] - YouTube
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:23
VIDEO-'Mr. Brexit' Nigel Farage Speaks at Donald Trump Rally in Jackson, MS - YouTube
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 12:53
VIDEO-Bill Nye: Climate change to blame for Louisiana floods
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:01
"This is a result of climate change," Nye told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Tuesday. "It's only going to get worse."
The unprecedented floods damaged more than 60,000 homes and killed 13 people. But because the flooding was caused by smaller individual storms, it didn't attract the attention and response that larger storms -- such as hurricanes Sandy, Katrina or Rita -- garnered.
Nye said due to the effects of climate change, the region will be hit again by these smaller storms and suffer more catastrophic floods.
"As the ocean gets warmer, which it is getting, it expands," he explained. "And then as the sea surface is warmer, more water evaporates. And so it's very reasonable that these storms are connected to these big effects."
Lost lives and damaged homes won't be the only tragic effects, either. The storms will be just as devastating in the long-term.
"What will probably happen is people will move," Nye said.
If enough people leave, the population loss would be a huge detriment to Louisiana's economy. It took more than five years for the state's population to return to the level it was before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
VIDEO-Clinton on health: Campaign 'has entered an alternate universe'
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 02:31
Hillary Clinton opening a jar of pickles during a taping of "Jimmy Kimmel Live."ABC
Hillary Clinton on Monday night laughed off Donald Trump's attempts to raise questions about her health.
Appearing on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," the Democratic presidential nominee said recent suggestions by high-profile Trump supporters that she may be ill were just a sign of a desperate campaign strategy.
"This has become one of their themes. Here, take my pulse while I'm talking to you. Make sure I'm alive," Clinton joked.
The former secretary of state added: "I don't know why they are saying this. On the hand, it's part of the wacky strategy, just say all these crazy things and maybe someone will believe you. On the other hand, it makes no sense."
Clinton joked that while she spent time on the campaign trail talking about issues like the cost of prescription drugs and raising the minimum wage, the questions about her health made her feel that the campaign had "entered an alternate universe."
"I'm out here talking about all of this, and then I have to step into the alternate reality, and I have to answer questions about whether I'm alive, how much longer will I be alive," Clinton said.
She said: "You have to be prepared for, like, wacky stuff that comes at you. I am drawing on my experience from elementary school."
While some of Trump's notable supporters have repeatedly attempted to raise questions about Clinton's health, The New York Times pointed out that both presidential candidates had been relatively unforthcoming about their health. Clinton, 68, and Trump, 70, have released little information about their health aside from brief statements in 2015 from doctors affirming their physical fitness to campaign.
VIDEO-Carville: People will die if Clinton Foundation folds -
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 01:52
"The press has decided that we're going to go after this and shut it down," Carville said. "You are probably going to be successful. There will be people that are going to die because of this."
Bill Clinton announced that the Clinton Foundation will stop accepting foreign and corporate donations if Hillary Clinton is elected president. The changes to the Foundation's donation policy comes as critics slam Hillary Clinton for leading an alleged pay-to-play operation while at the State Department.
"The amounts involved, the favors done and the significant numbers of times it was done require an expedited investigation by a special prosecutor immediately, immediately, immediately," Republican nominee Donald Trump said in a speech in Akron, Ohio.
Carville, who has a new book, "We're still right, they're still wrong," defended the Clinton Foundation on "AC360" by touting its achievements.
"The Foundation negotiated drugs prices to lower Malaria drugs by 89 percent," Carville said. "The Clinton Foundation was taking no money for the Clintons, raising money from rich people and giving it to poor people."
The prominent Democratic strategist added that in the past, he didn't criticize Republican leaders for perceived conflicts of interest.
"When George W. Bush was president his daddy was raising money for the Bush library, " Carville said. "I thought that was fine. When Bob Dole was Majority Leader, Elizabeth Dole was the president of American Red Cross. I didn't say anything."
Trump called the foundation "the most corrupt enterprise in political history" and continued his call to shut it down, calling for a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton's time at the State Department.
"All of the people that helped shut it down will say, some people, a million people had to die, but we had to prove a point," Carville said.
VIDEO-2:10:00-PRE-MEDICATED-FULL EVENT: PERFECT Donald Trump Rally in Tampa, Florida 8/24/16 Watch Trump Live Speech - YouTube
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 01:27
VIDEO-Congressman Duffy Reluctantly Schools News Model On Symptoms Of Hillary Clinton's Illness - YouTube
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 01:01
VIDEO-Defense Department Briefing | Video |
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 23:18
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AUDIO-Leid Stories'--The Clinton Foundation's Billion-Dollar HIV/AIDS Boondoggle'--08.17.16 - Progressive Radio Network
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 22:58
Charles Ortel, a former Wall Street banker and investor who exposed General Electric's massive fraud in 2007-2008 by proving that it had overvalued its stock by hundreds of billions of dollars, for several months has been deconstructing the highly irregular inner workings of the Clinton Foundation and related entities operating ''charitable'' programs all over the world.
But the foundation and its projects are in flagrant violation of U.S. and international law, Ortel says. While their stated purposes are philanthropic, he says, the foundation and its various offshoots appear to be an elaborate, multibillion-dollar slush fund for the Clintons, who have been able to run a renegade operation without tight oversight.
Continuing Leid Stories' close look at the foundation and its various ''charities,'' Ortel today focuses on The Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative, which it launched in 2009 in partnership with leading drug manufacturers ''to improve treatment access for people with drug-resistant HIV in developing nations.'' this episode (right click and save)
VIDEO-Carville: People will die if Clinton Foundation folds -
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 21:52
"The press has decided that we're going to go after this and shut it down," Carville said. "You are probably going to be successful. There will be people that are going to die because of this."
Bill Clinton announced that the Clinton Foundation will stop accepting foreign and corporate donations if Hillary Clinton is elected president. The changes to the Foundation's donation policy comes as critics slam Hillary Clinton for leading an alleged pay-to-play operation while at the State Department.
"The amounts involved, the favors done and the significant numbers of times it was done require an expedited investigation by a special prosecutor immediately, immediately, immediately," Republican nominee Donald Trump said in a speech in Akron, Ohio.
Carville, who has a new book, "We're still right, they're still wrong," defended the Clinton Foundation on "AC360" by touting its achievements.
"The Foundation negotiated drugs prices to lower Malaria drugs by 89 percent," Carville said. "The Clinton Foundation was taking no money for the Clintons, raising money from rich people and giving it to poor people."
The prominent Democratic strategist added that in the past, he didn't criticize Republican leaders for perceived conflicts of interest.
"When George W. Bush was president his daddy was raising money for the Bush library, " Carville said. "I thought that was fine. When Bob Dole was Majority Leader, Elizabeth Dole was the president of American Red Cross. I didn't say anything."
Trump called the foundation "the most corrupt enterprise in political history" and continued his call to shut it down, calling for a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton's time at the State Department.
"All of the people that helped shut it down will say, some people, a million people had to die, but we had to prove a point," Carville said.
VIDEO-Moon Control - David Icke - YouTube
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 21:14
VIDEO-FBI files linking Hillary Clinton to the 'suicide' of White House counsel have vanished | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 21:07
Ronald Kessler, a former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, is the New York Times bestselling author of The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents and The Secrets of the FBI.
FBI agents' reports of interviews documenting that Hillary Clinton's stinging humiliation of her friend and mentor Vince Foster in front of White House aides triggered his suicide a week later are missing from where they should be filed at the National Archives, Daily Mail Online has learned exclusively.
On two separate occasions, this author visited the National Archives and Records Service in College Park, Md., to review the reports generated by FBI agents assigned to investigate the 1993 death of Bill Clinton's deputy White House counsel.
The FBI found that a week before Vince Foster's suicide, Hillary held a meeting at the White House with Foster and other top aides during which she berated the lawyer
On the first visit, archivist David Paynter provided the box of records that he said contained the FBI reports of interviews conducted by FBI agents on Foster's death.
On a second visit, archivist James Mathis provided what he said were those same documents.
While the box contained dozens of FBI reports concerning Foster's death - including interviews with the medical examiner, U.S. Park Police officers, and White House aides about the contents of Foster's office - the reports on Hillary Clinton's role in his death were absent.
After filing a Freedom of Information request with the National Archives, Martha Murphy, the archives' public liaison, reported that she directed a senior archivist to conduct a more thorough review of the relevant FBI files, including those that had not been previously made public in response to FOIA requests.
'He examined all eight boxes but found no interviews by any investigator that detail either a meeting between Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster or the effects of a meeting between Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster on Vince Foster's state of mind,' Murphy reported in an email.
'We did not limit ourselves to interviews by the two individuals [FBI agents] you mention.'
While Murphy said the archives searched for 'the records that would be responsive to your request' and concluded that they could not be found, when asked for comment, John Valceanu, the archives' director of communications and marketing, said, 'We do not agree with your conclusion that the records you requested are missing from the National Archives simply because we were unable to locate any responsive records in response to your request.'
While confirming that the records could not be located, Valceanu held out the possibility that the FBI interviews were not filed where they should have been and were somewhere else in the more than 3,000 boxes of records amounting to 7.5 million pages generated by the Starr investigation.
This is not the first time documents related to the Clintons have apparently vanished from the National Archive.
In March 2009, the archives found that an external hard drive from the Bill Clinton White House containing confidential documents was missing.
When it could not be located, the inspector general's office announced that it had opened a criminal investigation.
Offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to recovery of the hard drive, the archives asked that tips be reported to the Secret Service. At the time, the archives said it had a backup drive.
FBI agents' reports of interviews documenting that Hillary Clinton's stinging humiliation of Vince Foster are missing from the National Archives, Daily Mail Online has learned
President Clinton, First Lady Hillary and Chelsea attended Foster's funeral
The FBI investigation into Foster's death was conducted for independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr's probe of the Clintons' investments in the Whitewater real estate development.
For unknown reasons, Starr elected to conceal the FBI's findings in his final report.
But in interviews for my book The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents, the FBI agents revealed the truth about Foster's death on July 20, 1993 when he shot himself at Fort Marcy Park along the Potomac River.
In interviewing Clinton White House aides and Foster's friends and family, the FBI found that a week before Foster's death, Hillary held a meeting at the White House with Foster and other top aides to discuss her proposed health care legislation.
Hillary angrily disagreed with a legal objection Foster raised at the meeting and ridiculed him in front of his peers, former FBI agent Coy Copeland and former FBI supervisory agent Jim Clemente told me. Copeland was Starr's senior investigator and read the reports of other agents working for Starr.
Foster committed suicide on July 20, 1993 in Ft. Marcy Park along the Potomac River by placing a .38 caliber revolver in his mouth and pulling the trigger
During the White House meeting, Hillary continued to humiliate Foster mercilessly, according to both former FBI agents, who spoke about the investigation for the first time.
'Hillary put him down really, really bad in a pretty good-size meeting,' Copeland says. 'She told him he didn't get the picture, and he would always be a little hick town lawyer who was obviously not ready for the big time.'
Indeed, Hillary went so far as to blame Foster for all the Clintons' problems and to accuse him of failing them, according to Clemente, who was also assigned by the FBI to the Starr investigation and who probed the circumstances surrounding Foster's suicide.
'Foster was profoundly depressed, but Hillary lambasting him was the final straw because she publicly embarrassed him in front of others,' says Clemente.
'Hillary blamed him for failed nominations, claimed he had not vetted them properly, and said in front of his White House colleagues, 'You're not protecting us' and 'You have failed us,' Clemente says. 'That was the final blow.'
After the White House meeting, Foster's behavior changed dramatically, the FBI agents found. Those who knew him said his voice sounded strained, he became withdrawn and preoccupied, and his sense of humor vanished. At times, Foster teared up. He talked of feeling trapped.
On Tuesday, July 13, 1993, while having dinner with his wife Lisa, Foster broke down and began to cry. He said he was considering resigning.
Ken Starr (left) Starr issued a 38,000-word report, along with a separate psychologist's report on the factors that contributed to Foster's suicide. Yet Starr never mentioned the meeting with Hillary. Former FBI supervisory agent Jim Clemente (right) told Ron Kessler Hillary violently disagreed with a legal objection Foster raised at the meeting and ridiculed him in front of his peers
That weekend, Foster and his wife drove to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where they saw their friends, Michael Cardoza and Webster Hubbell, and their wives.
'They played tennis, they swam, and they said he sat in a lawn chair, just kind of sat there in the lawn chair,' Copeland says. 'They said that just was not Vince. He loved to play tennis, and he was always sociable, but he just sat over in the corner by himself and stared off into space, reading a book.'
Two days later, Foster left the White House parking lot at 1:10 p.m. The precise time when he shot himself could not be pinpointed. After Park Police found his body, they notified the U.S. Secret Service at 8:30 p.m.
Based on what 'dozens' of others who had contact with Foster after that meeting told the agents, while Foster was already depressed, 'The put-down that she gave him in that big meeting just pushed him over the edge,' Copeland says. 'It was the final straw that broke the camel's back.'
'Foster was profoundly depressed, but Hillary lambasting him was the final straw because she publicly embarrassed him in front of others,' says Clemente
No one can explain a suicide in rational terms. But the FBI investigation concluded that it was Hillary's vilification of Foster in front of other White House aides, coming on top of his depression, that triggered his suicide about a week later, Copeland and Clemente both say.
Starr issued a 38,000-word report, along with a separate psychologist's report on the factors that contributed to Foster's suicide. Yet Starr never mentioned the meeting with Hillary, leaving out the fact that his own investigation had found that Hillary's rage had led to her friend's suicide.
Why Starr chose not to reveal the critical meeting and his own investigators' findings remains a mystery. Asked why he excluded what led to Foster's suicide from his report, Starr did not respond. A spokesman for Hillary Clinton had no comment.
Starr's report recounted how the FBI ran down even the most bizarre theories about Foster's death and conducted extensive ballistics tests that refuted assertions that Foster had not committed suicide.
Starr retained Dr. Brian D. Blackbourne, a forensic pathologist who is the medical examiner for San Diego County, California, to review the case. Blackbourne concluded that 'Vincent Foster committed suicide on July 20, 1993 in Ft. Marcy Park by placing a .38 caliber revolver in his mouth and pulling the trigger. His death was at his own hand.'
Starr also retained Dr. Henry C. Lee, an expert in physical evidence and crime scene reconstruction who then was director of the Connecticut State Police Forensic Science Laboratory.
Lee reported that after a 'careful review of the crime scene photographs, reports, and reexamination of the physical evidence, the data indicate that the death of Mr. Vincent W. Foster Jr. is consistent with a suicide. The location where Mr. Foster's body was found is consistent with the primary scene,' meaning the place where he committed suicide.
National Archives facility in College Park, Maryland
But in his report, Starr never referred to the meeting where Hillary humiliated Foster in front of aides, nor to the change in his disposition after that.
Starr never told Copeland or Clemente why he decided to exclude the material from his report, and the former FBI agents can only speculate on his reasoning.
'Starr was a very honorable-type guy, and if it did not pertain to our authorized investigation, he did not want to pursue it,' Copeland says. 'And I think he felt that Hillary's personality and her dealings with subordinates in the White House were immaterial to our investigation.'
'Starr didn't want to offend the conscience of the public by going after the first lady,' Clemente says. 'He said the first lady is an institution. He acted most of the time as a judge instead of as an investigating prosecutor, and then he hired attorneys who went to the other extreme.'
Hillary's denunciation of Foster in front of White House aides is consistent with her treatment of the Secret Service agents who protect her. As detailed in The First Family Detail, the presidential candidate is so nasty and abusive to her own Secret Service agents that being assigned to her detail is considered a form of punishment.
VIDEO-Louisiana Politician Calling To 'Regulate' the Cajun Navy Says People Have the Wrong Idea
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 20:23
Over the last several weeks, the state of Louisiana has seen historic and catastrophic flooding. It's estimated that over 60,000 homes were damaged, and 30,000 people were rescued. Thirteen have even been killed.
Then came the ''Cajun Navy,'' a band of volunteers with boats which travelled around the flood-ravaged state, saving ''hundreds, maybe thousands'' of people.
Now, people across the country are upset by one Louisiana state legislator whose proposed legislation they believe would regulate or restrict the 'Cajun Navy.'
During an interview on radio station KPEL, state Senator Jonathan Perry (R) said something that made it appear as though he wants to regulate the volunteers:
''At the end of the day, there are going to be two things that are going to be the hurdle when you approach it from the state's standpoint. Liability is going to be number one for them. They don't want the liability of someone going out to rescue someone and then not being able to find them, and secondly, there's a cost.''
WWL-TV alleges that Perry's legislation ''could require training, certificates and a permit fee to allow these Good Samaritans to get past law enforcement into devastated areas.''
The backlash was swift:
Perry quickly posted a video to his Facebook page in an attempt to clarify his intent:
The following is a partial transcript:
''About two weeks ago, I got a call from a good friend of mine in Church Point, Louisiana. He called me, and he said 'JP, is there a way for us to be able to take restrictions''take them away, not put them up''but take away the restrictions that some of these volunteers are faced with when they launch their boats and basically go out and start rescuing?'
'...the intent of what I want to do is completely unregulate it to where our volunteers are not stopped from going out''s all getting twisted around, like I'm trying to put a fee on it, like I'm trying to tax it, like I'm trying to require a permit.
'...the liability can be as simple as someone signing a waiver prior to a natural disaster. That way, they're allowed into that.
This is what happens if nothing takes place. Members of the Cajun Navy, or anyone else who wants to help, will continuously get stopped, and be prevented from rescuing people because under current law, if there is a barricade'...and they're told they cannot cross it. If they do, they technically are breaking the law. My goal is to eliminate that completely, so that the volunteers'...have immediate access to go and rescue our people.''
The comments on the video were overwhelmingly positive, and even included a message from his legislative assistant (all images are Facebook screenshots):
Independent Journal Review spoke with Louisiana state Senator Norbert Chabert (R), who provided some more insight.
Chabert confirmed what Perry said about volunteer rescuers being denied access to flooded areas because of red tape:
''Senator Perry and I represent very similar areas. My area has flooded catastrophically more times than just about any in the state. I got a hundred calls, people reaching out to me that were members of this 'Cajun Navy,' saying the authorities are not allowing them to help in the rescue effort.''
He added that there is a program in place by which business owners or first responders can register with their parish, and get a certification that allows them to bypass emergency zones.
''I'm going to assume that's where Perry was going with this. I don't think he in any way intended for this backlash to occur where it made it sound like he was saying 'No. Unless you've paid a fee, and registered, and eliminated liability, you can be the only person that gets out there to help.'''
He concluded by noting Perry's credentials, and saying that he was very likely misconstrued:
''Jon Perry is a good man, and he's well-intentioned. He's a former law enforcement official. He knows the ins and outs of this stuff. He's a small-government guy. It's totally non-typical for him to put up further bureaucratic impediments that would hinder the effort of folks who have the best intentions.''
Independent Journal Review tried to contact Sen. Perry, but his mailbox was full, and no emails were returned.
VIDEO-FBI Investigating "Possible" ISIS Inspired Stabbing In Virginia - YouTube
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 11:18
VIDEO-Kaine Hits Trump on Hiking Rent at Trump Tower - YouTube
Tue, 23 Aug 2016 21:18

Clips & Documents

1KY Flood
Louisiana Flood-Regulate the Cajun Navy.mp3
Agenda 2030
Bill Nye- Climate change is reason for Louisiana floods.mp3
Nice Deputy Mayor- Burkini is an 'Islamist provocation'.mp3
Andrea Mitchell on CLinton Memorandum Pay2Play.mp3
Backgrounder-Huma Abedin Had Several Ties with Clinton Foundation While at State Dept..mp3
Charles Ortel-1-The agreement with Obama was a RUSE.mp3
Charles Ortel-2-Clinton HIV Inc.mp3
Charles Ortel-3-The HIV drus were bogus and untested.mp3
Charles Ortel-4-Indian generics Company benefitted.mp3
Charles Ortel-5-The Indian insider trading cabal.mp3
Charles Ortel-6-Merchants of Misery-Tsunami fund.mp3
James Carville- People will die if the Clinton Foundation is shut down.mp3
Pooper with Clinton- Ok For Foundation to Accept Foreign Donations While Secretary of State but Not If President.mp3
State Department- Huma Abedin was 'fully vetted' before being allowed to work at State.mp3
Elections 2016
Hillary on Health on Kimmel-NO ANSWER.mp3
Kaine Hits Trump on Hiking Rent at Trump Tower-flubbed punchline.mp3
Ronald Kessler-Hillary Tirade killed Vince Foster.mp3
Trump in Tampa-FBI gift-Pre-Medicated.mp3
Pentagon Spox Peter Cook on No Fly Zone in Syria-Final.mp3
JCD Clips
14 years in Gitmo.mp3
ABC David Wright 514 report clinton kicker.mp3
aMERICAn University attack.mp3
CHris matthews on influence buying.mp3
DN report of foundation scandal.mp3
epi-pen Abc.mp3
FBI runs playpen.mp3
Hillary 50K fundraisers.mp3
Hillary on KImmel.mp3
Hillary's health ABC.mp3
ndw planet is amazing.mp3
Newark cops versus fifth grader.mp3
PBS Wrap -- Doug White core critique.mp3
PBS Wrap donna.mp3
PBS Wrap of round one of Clnton Foundation.mp3
PBS Wrap she helped yes.mp3
RT on russian hackers summary.mp3
Tantaro and Ailes.mp3
thr Jew Show.mp3
Ministry of Truth
Jen Psaki Briefing A Federal Record That Was Tampered With.m4a
Sy Hersch
Seymour Hersh on Erdogan-Syria Sarin Gas.mp3
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