856: EU Gougers

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

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September 1st, 2016
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What Killed the Jingle? - The Atlantic
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 11:57
Most Americans can recite their share of jingles. Perhaps they can't remember their partner's cell phone number, but they know every digit required to reach Empire carpet. Or every word of ''I'm a Toys 'R Us Kid.'' Or that the best part of waking up is Folgers in their cup.
And yet, despite its effectiveness, the jingle has become a relic of the mid-20th-century commercials it once dominated. Today's pop songs and yesterday's classics have effectively replaced the jingle: A Kanye West song plays in an ad for Bud Light Platinum, Lady Gaga's ''Applause'' is a party anthem for the Kia Soul's spokeshamsters, and aBob Dylan track helps advertise Victoria's Secret. Amid all this, Oscar Mayer decided to retire two of the most popular jingles of all time, ''My Bologna Has a First Name'' and ''I Wish I Was an Oscar Mayer Weiner.'' In 2010, the company announced a new ad campaign, sans the old tunes. ''What we did not want to do was write jingles,'' an ad exec toldThe New York Times.
The decline of jingles does not stop with a few big-name brands: A 1998 survey of television commercials by the American Association of Advertising Agencies counted 153 jingles in a sample of 1,279 national, 30-second ads; by 2011, the last year the survey was produced, those numbers had dropped to only eight original jingles out of 306 commercials. (Between 1998 and 2011, the survey's sample size shrunk as national, 30-second ads became rarer.) Meanwhile, marketers are focusing their efforts on licensing existing music from recording artists. Last year, the revenue from such deals reached a high of $355 million, according to the recording-industry trade group IFPI.
This is what advertising music means today: Instead of jingles, we have singles.
''The industry that I was in is no more,'' says Steve Karmen, who has been nicknamed ''The King of the Jingle'' and whose greatest hits include the long-running ''Nationwide Is On Your Side'' and the state song ''I Love New York.'' At 79, Karmen, a lifelong composer and show-business veteran, laments, ''There are no jingles.''
What killed the jingle? It owes its demise not only to shifts in the advertising business but also changes in the music business, and how the two industries became more entwined than ever.
* * *
The first documented use of the word ''jingle'' dates back to 1600, but it took a couple hundred years before the term gained a commercial connotation. It first referred to the sound of clinking metal, and then it came to denote a repetitive short verse, but without musical accompaniment. By the time music had become a handy tool for American pitchmen of all stripes, from politicians to preachers, it was no wonder that early advertisers seized upon the idea of selling with sound: Before radio was widespread, some companies put out printed sheet music that included ads for their products.
Though there is some debate, credit for the first commercial jingle usually goes to a Wheaties spot in 1926. The company that made Wheaties, the Minnesota-based Washburn Crosby (the predecessor of General Mills), tried to resurrect the flagging cereal on the radio with a song from a local barbershop quartet. It went like this:
Have you tried Wheaties?
They're whole wheat with all of the bran.
Won't you try Wheaties?
For wheat is the best food of man.
They're crispy and crunchy
The whole year through,
The kiddies never tire of them
and neither will you.
So just try Wheaties,
The best breakfast food in the land.
It was straightforward, and soundedmore like a dirge than the upbeat ditties that would come in the following decades. But the promo worked spectacularly, and the jingle made its way around the national market. It was a new way to advertise: The jingle was a natural fit for radio, and later television, both mediums well-suited to audio.
Jingles soon developed into a distinctive musical genre. ''If you heard a jingle, you wouldn't mistake it for any other kind of music,'' says Timothy Taylor, an ethnomusicologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of The Sounds of Capitalism: Advertising, Music, and the Conquest of Culture. ''People talked about the 'Madison Avenue choir,' the sound of lots of voices singing together in praise of something and a soft jazz or light orchestral background.'' What resulted was as effervescent as a nursery rhyme, whether or not the product was aimed at kids.
These jingles didn't sound like pop songs, but as their popularity grew, a few found crossover appeal. 1939's ''Pepsi Cola Hits the Spot'' became a hit in its own right, and Pepsi released more than a million recordings of the song. The ''Chiquita Banana'' jingle, first broadcast in 1944, taught American listeners how to store and eat the tropical fruit (Don't refrigerate! Brown spots are good!). At its height, the song was played, on average, 376 times a day on the radio, according to the company, and a number of popular artists covered it.
The zenith of jingles came during the postwar period, when the booming American economy spurred tremendous growth in consumption and, in turn, the advertising sector. ''In its heyday it was a very, very lucrative business,'' says Eric Korte, a former music director at the ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, and now the head of music production at the marketing firm Mixtape Club. ''The top jingle writers and top jingle singers made fortunes,'' Korte says. Peter Bell, a producer, started a jingle-writing studio in Boston in the early 1980s. ''I was living like a king,'' he says. ''And I left every day at 4 to go play squash.''
Because jingles promised a reliable cash flow, a number of stars got their start writing them. Barry Manilow, for one, is to thank for ''Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,'' and ''I am stuck on Band-Aid Brand, 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me!'' At some of his shows, Manilow has played medleys of his most popular jingles, which he once called ''these obnoxious little melodies that won't leave you alone.''
If there needs to be an individual to blame'--or thank'--for the death of the jingle, Michael Jackson would be a good candidate.But eventually, the advertising industry started leaving jingles alone. Beginning in the 1960s, critiques of conformity and mass consumption were coming into vogue. Enterprising advertising executives realized they could exploit these trends and capitalize on what appealed to a new, more skeptical generation of young people, as well as anyone who wanted to feel young. Jingles did not jibe with this new aesthetic. ''They sounded old-fashioned to a younger audience,'' says Karmen, ''and the young audience is what the advertisers want.'' A jingle wasn't subtle. It tried too hard'--the opposite of cool.
It became a lot cooler to commission promotional music that sounded like a pop hit. In 1971, advertisers produced ''I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke,'' which sounded enough like a pop song that it was eventually released as one (not once but twice, and both times it climbed the charts). Resurrected recently in the series finale of Mad Men, the jingle still has that ''Madison Avenue choir'' feel, though with a more diverse cast. Less evident is the fact that it was then the most expensive commercial ever made.
But if there needs to be an individual to blame'--or thank'--for the death of the jingle, Michael Jackson would be a good candidate. His 1984 Pepsi campaign pioneered the complete melding of pop stardom and product promotion. For one ad, Jackson eschewed singing a traditional jingle and instead adapted his hit single ''Billie Jean'''--an innovation that was his idea'--by revising the chorus to ''You're the Pepsi generation, guzzle down and taste the thrill of the day, and feel the Pepsi way.'' ''We tried hard to hide our glee,'' Pepsi's former CEO once said of the rewrite. (Jackson, though, reportedly didn't even drink Pepsi.)
That campaign inspired a deluge of celebrity partnerships. In 1986, Run-DMC released ''My Adidas,'' pop music and product placement rolled up in one, and a boon for the athletic-wear company. In 1989, Madonna launched an entire album, Like a Prayer, as one big Pepsi-sponsored commercial. She toldRolling Stone, ''I like the challenge of merging art and commerce. As far as I'm concerned, making a [music] video is also a commercial.''
Sure, there was some backlash: In 1988 Neil Young recorded a parody song, ''This Note's For You,'' mocking his contemporaries for selling out. ''Ain't singin' for Pepsi, ain't singin' for Coke. I don't sing for nobody, makes me look like a joke,'' he crooned. For his efforts he ended up with Video of the Year at the 1989 Video Music Awards, but, for those keeping score, it was hard to miss the fact that Madonna also won an award for her Pepsi-promoted single that night, and that the sponsor of the VMAs was none other than Pepsi.
As it got harder to gain exposure and make money, many more stars allowed their music to be licensed in commercials.In the '80s, many advertisers wondered: Why stop at present-day hits? As Baby Boomers became corporate admen'--and, as a generation, started families and ramped up their consumption'--songs from the '50s and '60s took on a new life in commercials. Their interest in mining nostalgia led them to see that a Motown classic like ''I Heard It Through the Grapevine'' could be revived to sell raisins. In the realm of licensing old music, again, Michael Jackson had a role. In 1985 he bought the publishing rights to the Beatles' catalog for $47.5 million. When the band's song ''Revolution'' appeared in a 1987 Nike ad, thanks in part to Jackson, some diehard fans were indignant, and the surviving Beatles sued Nike. An undisclosed settlement was reached, but the signal was clear: Not even the most sacrosanct counterculture bands of one's youth were safe from advertisers.
It's no coincidence that black artists'--who created much of the blueprint for American music'--were the pioneers when it came to advertising partnerships, unapologetically leveraging their musical success. ''This idea of selling out was very specific to white, middle-class, male rockers,'' who wanted the public to think ''they were apart from commerce,'' Taylor, the UCLA ethnomusicologist, says. ''But there are plenty of black musicians who were happy to have their music used in commercials because for them it signified mainstream success.'' Take Russell Simmons, the Def Jam co-founder and Run-DMC producer, who dismissed the notion that selling out was shameful for black hip-hop artists. He toldThe New York Times in 1992, ''Black kids want to be sold out, as in there ain't no more records left, no more tickets for your concert.'' He added, ''Being a starving artist is not that cool in the ghetto.''
It didn't take long for most recording artists to come around to commercial licensing, especially as the market for recorded music tanked. In time, album sales dropped with the rise of digital downloads and streaming services, which last year started bringing in more revenuethanphysical recordings. As it got harder to gain exposure and make money, many more stars allowed their music to be licensed in commercials. ''We were Baby Boomer hippies and we would never have allowed our music to be sullied by being used in a TV or radio commercial,'' says Bell, the squash-playing jingle producer. ''That all changed when everybody grew up.''
And no longer is licensing just about placing top-40 hits and classics in commercials. Since the early aughts, advertisers wanting to cultivate a sense of authenticity'--and perhaps wanting to save some money on licensing fees, too'--have sought out obscure and undiscovered songs. In contrast to the maligned, corny jingle writer, today's music advisor is a gatekeeper and talent scout. The electronic musician Moby kick-started that trend when he licensed every single on his 1999 album Play for brands like American Express and Nissan, a move which had the added bonus of making his album go double-platinum. Feist's ''1234'' was also catapulted after it appeared in an iPod Nano commercial in 2007, and Apple has continued to boost breakout acts with its advertising.
Once maligned as selling out, licensing singles is now an accepted part of making money as a musician. ''It's no longer a bad move for an artist to license a song or partner with a brand,'' says Chris Clark, the director of music at the advertising agency Leo Burnett. ''It's become more of an essential move.''
* * *
Of course, the music industry is only half of the story: The advertising industry has undergone a number of shifts that, combined with the changes in the music industry, have solidified the decline of the jingle. Ad campaigns with jingles worked best with repetition, which was well-suited to an era when there were three main TV channels and advertisers could reliably reach the same viewers over and over again. But today's viewers are not quite the captive audiences they used to be. By 2013, there were 189 channels in the average cable package. That audience fragmentation has multiplied with the rise of streaming services and digital recording devices. Now viewers may watch few commercials, if any at all.
Ad agencies have changed their tack accordingly. They started borrowing techniques from the film industry for commercials, including story arcs and background music that evokes a feeling or mood. Jingles, by contrast, are preachier and more instructional. The inclusion of pop music has made commercials even more aspirational, but the sell more subtle. It's about the brand experience, and not just the product.
So last fall, after 31 years with Saatchi & Saatchi New York, Eric Korte was let go from the company's music department, along with the rest of his team. His new job, in keeping with current advertising music trends, includes overseeing a music library available for commercial licensing. Up in Boston, after Bell's jingle work slowed, he started teaching students how to write jingles at his alma mater, Berklee College of Music, but, he says, ''I certainly don't encourage them to count on making a living with it.''
At least one ad agency tried to resurrect the jingle, as sung by pop stars, but the results were mixed, to say the least.Where does that leave jingles? For now, they live on through online ''best of'' lists and YouTube videos, for the nostalgic benefit of anyone born before, say, the new millennium. Local advertisers still employ them, mostly in third-rate spots for car dealerships and discount stores.
Occasionally a legacy brand will resurrect a jingle, or at least a remnant of it, in an attempt to capitalize on any residual sound recognition. But even when this happens, jingles are usually played with a wink: In a string of State Farm ads, actors conjure up insurance agents out of thin air simply by reciting the old line, ''Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.'' In one ad, a man explains the source of his magic to his amazed friends'--''It's the jingle,'' he says'--and they take turns reciting it and summoning a sandwich and a hot tub. Meanwhile, the actual jingle's melody is relegated to a pared-down synth number that plays over the State Farm logo at the end of the commercial.
At least one ad agency tried to resurrect the jingle, as sung by pop stars, but the results were mixed, to say the least. In 2008, after Chris Brown's song ''Forever'' became a top-10 hit, the gum company Wrigley revealed it had sponsored the song as an ad for its Doublemint Gum. Translation Advertising, a firm co-founded by Jay-Z, had brokered the deal, along with jingle-single hybrids for Justin Timberlake and Neyo. But even before Brown's eventual criminal charges ended the campaign, the marketing sleight of hand provoked outrage. Under the headline ''Boycott Wrigley If You Ever Want To Hear Real Music Again,'' Gawkerwarned that the promotion could ''be the first of many'' and that soon ''kids won't see any problem with the fact that all of their favorite songs are ads for one company or another.''
And yet, musicians have always been selling something'--if not their corporate sponsors, then at least their sounds, their looks, their labels, or themselves. The revenue source may have changed, but artists still need to make money. So who can blame them for using commercial exposure to support themselves? The lines blur between selling out and getting by.
Still, all this can make one miss the lowly, old-fashioned jingle, which, despite its commercial origins, has come to represent a kind of wholesomeness: It was simple and straightforward, advertising that sounded like advertising. The days of the jingle as a distinct, easily identifiable genre are over. But its spirit lives on, in a way that's getting ever harder to detect.
Turkey and the Energy Transit Question - Carnegie Europe - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Mon, 29 Aug 2016 12:43
For foreign and security policy analysts, pipelines tend to be the entry point into the world of energy. Pipelines create dependencies between countries, pipelines stay for decades, and pipelines have a highly symbolic political value.
In the European energy security debate, gas pipelines also have an identity function: you either support freeing Europe from its dangerous addiction to Russian gas by backing the Southern Gas Corridor'--formerly known as ''Nabucco'' and designed to bring new gas supplies from the Caspian Basin, Central Asia, and Middle East regions into Europe'--or you blindly follow the Kremlin's breadcrumbs into the Nord Stream/South Stream-energy trap. Critical differentiation is rare.
Today, controversies over pipeline politics have a rather anachronistic flavor. This is mainly due to the growing flexibility of European'--and partially global'--natural gas markets in light of the massive increase in LNG supply, interconnectors, and spot market trade. This new market environment has not only changed the relationship between producers and consumers but has also altered the political and economic leverage of transit countries. This is especially important when looking at new transit countries, Turkey being a prominent example.
Nowadays, transit countries are not just dependent service providers; they can also have a profound influence on the market share of a supplier. This leverage can be used as a vehicle to negotiate higher transit fees depending on the available flexibility of switching between markets and suppliers on both sides.
The example of Ukraine as a transit country illustrates this quite well: without alternative supply routes, Ukraine can determine the market share of Russian gas in Europe (approximately 60% of Russian export capacity to the EU is via Ukrainian territory.) Once a pipeline is constructed, the temptation for rent-seeking in transit countries'--and transit control power'--is huge. Therefore, a suppliers' interest in the physical diversification of transit routes is understandable. This applies as much to the future gas supply architecture of Southeastern Europe as it does to the Nord Stream/Ukraine debate.
With the realization of the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP)'--a smaller version of the originally planned Nabucco Pipeline and now a Southern Gas Corridor project'--two new variables will enter the equation of European energy security. First, natural gas from Azerbaijan could reach European markets for the first time around 2019. Second, Turkey will obtain the position of a transit country for European gas imports; admittedly with limited influence, since only 10 billion cubic meters per year are foreseen for the European market (between 2-3% of total EU gas consumption in 2014.)
In addition to the TANAP project, the recent easing of tensions between Turkey and Russia has revitalized debates about the construction of Turkish Stream, a project that was initiated after a direct pipeline connection between Russia and Bulgaria through the Black Sea (''South Stream'') was cancelled in 2014 due to regulatory conflicts between Gazprom and the European Commission. Turkish Stream would mainly supply the Turkish market, but could also bring gas destined for the EU market to the Turkish-Greek border.
Moreover, should gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea south of Cyprus be commercially and technologically feasible, project developers will be tempted to think about a possible pipeline project serving the Turkish market and potentially re-exporting gas to Southeastern Europe. The Turkish corridor would also be mandatory for all hypothetical deliveries from Iraq, Iran, or Central Asia.
While some analysts positively describe these developments as the creation of the ''Gas Hub Turkey,'' one could also reframe it as the potential rise of Turkey as a major transit country for (Southeastern) European gas supply. There has been very little debate so far on the subsequent security implications.
With the potentially growing role of Turkey as a transit corridor for European gas supplies, the implications could be twofold. On the one hand, future relations between Azerbaijan and the EU will be strongly influenced by Ankara's role as the middle man in transporting gas. On the other hand, Turkey could also gain a significant position in EU-Russia gas relations'--smaller, but still comparable to the situation of Ukraine today.
The threat of Turkish influence over how much Azeri or (some of the) Russian gas would enter European markets and the potential for rent-seeking in transit fees looks troubling in the current political environment. The willingness of Turkey's government to link issues such as refugee treatment, visa liberalization, and financial transfers, as has happened recently, should serve as a warning.
This leads to the conclusion that both Russia's and Europe's interests would be best served if Turkey were kept out of bilateral energy relations in the future; a possibility that can only materialize if Turkey does not assume a gate-keeper role for several suppliers simultaneously.
Currently, however, the opposite is a very realistic scenario. Since the cancellation of the South Stream project, Russia has declared an unwillingness to deal with the ''politically motivated'' regulation of the EU Commission on the matter of Southeastern European gas supplies, and only a few EU politicians have shown interest to engage in the issue again. This has not solved any problem though, since competition between different gas suppliers as well as control over access to the EU market would be transferred into the hands of Turkish authorities in the future.
Therefore, resuming the debate about a smaller version of a direct Russia-EU-link through the Black Sea, which would exclude Turkey, should be seriously revisited by European and Russian stakeholders alike. Provided, of course, that the regulatory control of the third energy package fully applies on EU territory.
Severin Fischer is a senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich.
Elections 2016
Donald Trump challenges Hillary Clinton to release detailed medical records
Mon, 29 Aug 2016 12:51
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(Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally on August 16, 2016 in West Bend, Wisconsin.Darren Hauck/Getty Images) Donald Trump continued to raise questions about Hillary Clinton's health on Sunday, challenging the Democratic presidential nominee in a tweet to release "detailed medical records."
Clinton has withstood two weeks' worth of health-related attacks from her Republican rival and conservative pundits and websites. Earlier this month, Trump claimed in multiple speeches that Clinton lacks the "mental and physical stamina" required of the presidency.
Clinton laughed off the assertion in an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," last week, and later dismissed Trump's comments as a "paranoid fever dream."
Trump's own medical history has come under renewed scrutiny this week after Harold Bornstein, the physician who authored a glowing assessment of Trump's health in December, revealed to NBC News that he wrote his letter in five minutes and purposely imitated the candidate's rhetorical style.
Clinton's physician Lisa Bardack released a public letter last year summarizing her health, writing that Clinton was "in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States."
NOW WATCH: Trump rips a protester in Pennsylvania: 'Your mother is voting for Trump'
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Shameless CNN Alters Donald Trump's Tweet During Broadcast to Protect Hillary '' TruthFeed
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 12:54
Shameless CNN Alters Donald Trump's Tweet During Broadcast to Protect HillaryCultureBy TruthFeedNewsAugust 29, 2016CNN, otherwise known as the ''Clinton News Network'' has a long history of pushing far left propaganda disguised as balanced news.
In their latest ''convenient error'' they altered a Trump Tweet.
I think that both candidates, Crooked Hillary and myself, should release detailed medical records. I have no problem in doing so! Hillary?
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2016
Notice something missing?
The word ''CROOKED'' was removed.
It is not the job of a legitimate news network to remove adjectives to make Hillary more palatable. Of course, CNN is not a real news network, they are far left globalist propaganda news as they have proven once again.
Support the Trump Movement and help us fight Liberal Media Bias. Please LIKE and SHARE this story on Facebook or Twitter.
Donald Trump Is Going To Be Elected
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 20:56
Donald Trump is going to be elected president.
The American people voted for him a long time ago.
They voted for him when The History Channel went from showing documentaries about the Second World War to "Pawn Stars" and "Swamp People."
They voted for him when The Discovery Channel went from showing "Lost Treasures of the Yangtze Valley" to "Naked and Afraid."
They voted for him when The Learning Channel moved from something you could learn from to "My 600-lb Life."
They voted for him when CBS went from airing "Harvest of Shame" to airing "Big Brother."
These networks didn't make these programming changes by accident. They were responding to what the American people actually wanted. And what they wanted was "Naked and Afraid" and "Duck Dynasty."
The polls may show that Donald Trump is losing to Hillary Clinton, but don't you believe those polls. When the AC Nielsen Company selects a new Nielsen family, they disregard the new family's results for the first three months. The reason: when they feel they are being monitored, people lie about what they are watching. In the first three months, knowing they are being watched, they will tune into PBS. But over time they get tired of pretending. Then it is back to the Kardashians.
The same goes for people who are being asked by pollsters for whom they are voting. They will not say Donald Trump. It is too embarrassing. But the truth is, they like Trump. He is just like their favorite shows on TV.
Trump's replacement of Paul Manafort with Breitbart's Steve Bannon shows that Trump understands how Americans actually think. They think TV. They think ratings. They think entertainment.
We are a TV-based culture. We have been for some time now. The average American spends 5 hours a day, every day, watching TV. After sleep, it is our number one activity.
More shockingly, we spend 8.5 hours a day staring at screens -- phones, tablets, computers. And more and more of the content on those devices is also video and TV.
If you spend 5-8 hours a day, every day, for years and years doing the same thing it has an impact on you. For the past 40 years, we have devoted 5-8 hours a day staring at a screen -- every day. And we haven't been watching Judy Woodruff. We have been watching reality TV shows. That is what we love. That is what we resonate to. "The Real Housewives of Atlanta."
The French may love food. The Italians may love opera. What we love is TV. We are TV culture. It defines who we are.
In the 1950s, early television was allowed, with many restrictions, to be an observational guest at political conventions. They were quiet "flies on the wall," carefully and quietly commentating on what they saw way down below. They did not get involved in the process. Today, they ARE the process. Today, political conventions are nothing but carefully directed TV shows. Likewise "debates." They exist only to entertain a TV audience. TV and entertainment now dictate everything political. It is a never-ending show. The biggest reality show on air.
And Donald Trump is great TV.
He knows how to entertain.
Hillary Clinton is crap TV.
She may be smarter, better prepared, a better politician. It won't matter. She is terrible entertainment.
That's just how it is. Depressing, but true.
He is Kim Kardashian. She is Judy Woodruff.
Who would you rather watch for the next four years?
In 1825, the great French gastronom Brillat de Savarind said, "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are." Today, in America, we can safely say, "Tell me what you watch, and I will tell you what you are."
As previously posted in TheVJ.com
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WikiLeaks - Hillary Clinton Email Archive
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 23:51
From: Cheryl Mills To: Hillary Clinton Date: 2011-06-02 22:52 Subject: GOOGLE EMAIL HACKING AND WOEFUL STATE OF CIVILIAN TECHNOLOGYUNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05780299 Date: 09/30/2015RELEASE IN PART B6 From: Mills, Cheryl D Sent: Saturday, June 4, 2011 5:52 AM To: H; slaughtrCc: Abedin, Huma; Sullivan, Jacob J Subject: Re: Google email hacking and woeful state of civilian technology I think this is easier to do as a former employee rather than current; second and more significantly,- as someone who attempted to be hacked (yes I was one), I am not sure we want to telegraph how much folks do or don't do off state mail b/c it may encourage others who are out there. From: H [mailto:HDR22@clintonemail.com] Sent: Friday, June 03, 2011 07:27 PM To: islaughtr Cc: Abedin, Huma; Mills, Cheryl D; Sullivan, JacobSubject: Re: Google email hacking and woeful state of civilian technology AM--I think this makes good sense. How should we follow up? From: Anne-Marie SlaughterSent: Friday, June 03, 2011 10:35 AM To: H Cc: Abedin, Huma ; Mills, Cheryl D; Sullivan, Jacob Subject: Google email hacking and woeful state of civilian technology I'm sure you've thought of this, but it would be a great time for someone inside or outside to make a statement/ write an op-ed that points out that State's technology is so antiquated that NO ONE uses a State-issued laptop and even high officials routinely end up using their home email accounts to be able to get their work done quickly and effectively. Further cuts to State's budget just makes matters much much worse. We actually need more funds to significantly upgrade our technology. AM
A Candidate's Death Could Delay or Eliminate the Presidential Election | US News
Wed, 31 Aug 2016 07:30
The presidential election could be delayed or scrapped altogether if conspiracy theories become predictive and a candidate dies or drops out before Nov. 8. The perhaps equally startling alternative, if there's enough time: Small groups of people hand-picking a replacement pursuant to obscure party rules.
The scenarios have been seriously considered by few outside of the legal community and likely are too morbid for polite discussion in politically mixed company. But prominent law professors have pondered the effects and possible ways to address a late-date vacancy.
"There's nothing in the Constitution which requires a popular election for the electors serving in the Electoral College," says John Nagle, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, meaning the body that officially elects presidents could convene without the general public voting.
"It's up to each state legislature to decide how they want to choose the state's electors," Nagle says. "It may be a situation in which the fact that we have an Electoral College, rather than direct voting for presidential candidates, may prove to be helpful."
Both major parties do have rules for presidential ticket replacements, however, and Congress has the power to change the election date under Article II of the Constitution, which allows federal lawmakers to set dates for the selection of presidential electors and when those electors will vote.
But Congress would be up against a de facto December deadline, as the Constitution's 20th Amendment requires that congressional terms expire Jan. 3 and presidential terms on Jan. 20. Though it's conceivable to split legislative and presidential elections, they generally happen at the same time. And if the entire general election were to be moved after Jan. 3, Congress effectively would have voted themselves out of office.
Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed Amar considers in a 1994 article in the Arkansas Law Review the possibility of a special presidential election being pushed to after Jan. 20, with the speaker of the House serving as acting president until an election could pick "a real president for the remainder of the term." But he tells U.S. News that scenario probably is far-fetched.
Is it possible for the election to be delayed until after Jan. 20, leaving both the offices of president and vice president temporarily vacant? Perhaps, Amar says, but "it wouldn't make sense if it were permissible, given there actually are answers. Why would you ever do that?"
Amar recommends an up to four-week postponement of Election Day if a candidate dies just before voting, or even if there's a major terrorist attack.
The possible last-minute replacement of a candidate attracts some cyclical coverage, but this year the scenario would play out after consistent conjecture about the health of Democrat Hillary Clinton and hidden agenda of Republican Donald Trump.
Trump, 70, would be the oldest person elected president, but his health has received less coverage over the election cycle than apparently unfounded speculation he will drop out. Clinton, 69 in October, would be the second oldest president-elect, months younger than Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Although Clinton's coughs and stumbling have earned speculative headlines on the news-driving Drudge Report, her doctor, Lisa Bardack, said she "is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve." Trump physician Harold Bornstein, meanwhile, wrote he would be "the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."
Old age doesn't rule out a full presidency. Reagan served two terms before dying at 93 in 2004. Other recent officeholders have lived beyond the life expectancy for the general population. Gerald Ford died in 2006 at 93. George H.W. Bush, 92, and Jimmy Carter, 91, are still living.
If something were to happen to Clinton or Trump before the election, rules established by the Republican and Democratic parties do offer guidelines for what to do.
If Clinton were to fall off the ticket, Democratic National Committee members would gather to vote on a replacement. DNC members acted as superdelegates during this year's primary and overwhelmingly backed Clinton over boat-rocking socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
DNC spokesman Mark Paustenbach says there currently are 445 committee members '' a number that changes over time and is guided by the group's bylaws, which give membership to specific officeholders and party leaders and hold 200 spots for selection by states, along with an optional 75 slots DNC members can choose to fill.
But the party rules for replacing a presidential nominee merely specify that a majority of members must be present at a special meeting called by the committee chairman. The meeting would follow procedures set by the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee and proxy voting would not be allowed.
DNC member Connie Johnson, a former Oklahoma state senator who supported Sanders, says it would be most appropriate for the DNC to give the nomination to the runner-up if Clinton were to die or drop out before the election.
"I believe that's why Sen. Sanders stayed in the contest," she writes in an email. "As to whether the party would adopt what would appear to be a common sense solution in the event of [Clinton] no longer being able to serve '' that would remain to be seen. There was so much vitriol aimed at Sen. Sanders and his supporters by [Clinton supporters] that they would likely want 'anybody but Bernie' in order to save face and maintain control."
The Republican National Committee's rules potentially allow for greater democratic input, but don't require it. If a vacancy emerges on the ticket, the 168-member RNC would decide whether to select a replacement on its own or "reconvene the national convention," which featured 2,472 voting delegates, that met over the summer.
If RNC members make the choice themselves, the three members representing each state, territory and the nation's capital '' a committeeman, committeewoman and the local party chairman '' would jointly have "the same number of votes as said state was entitled to cast at the national convention."
RNC rules allow for state delegations to split their vote and for members to vote by proxy.
Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News and an expert on presidential election history, says state election officials likely would be compelled to accept a major party's request to swap candidates, citing precedent set in 1972 when states allowed Democrats to replace vice presidential nominee Thomas Eagleton, who was revealed to be a shock therapy patient, with Sargent Shriver.
Winger says every state but South Dakota also allowed the prominent 1980 independent candidate John Anderson to swap his vice presidential candidate Milton Eisenhower for former Wisconsin Gov. Patrick Lucey.
Still, if the central party organizations were to upset electors with an unpalatable pick, it's possible many could bolt.
Edward Foley, a law professor at Ohio State University, says "the Supreme Court has never ruled that electors can be forced to obey their pledge" to vote for a particular presidential candidate, leaving open the door for mass defections or, in the event of a post-election candidate death, an en masse vote flip.
John Fortier, director of the Democracy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, says he's not certain that Congress would reach consensus on moving an election date if a candidate died, meaning parties would need to formally '' or informally '' decide on a replacement. If the election date was moved by Congress, Fortier says ongoing absentee or early voting would make for a mess.
Though not legally required, Fortier says parties may decide on an easy fix and loudly encourage electors to support their existing vice presidential nominee. A party legally could pick someone else, but he says a desire for legitimacy in the eyes of the public may force its hand.
With more than two centuries of history, the U.S. does have some examples of candidate deaths, though none with a catastrophic impact.
In 1872, presidential candidate Horace Greeley died about three weeks after winning about 44 percent of the popular vote as a Liberal Republican supported by Democrats against incumbent Republican Ulysses S. Grant. Presidential electors chose between various alternatives, but because Greeley had lost, his death did not sway the election's outcome.
In another case, Republican running mate James Sherman died six days before the 1912 general election. He wasn't replaced on ballots and the matter was rendered moot by the GOP's crushing defeat.
Amar, author of a forthcoming book touching on candidate death, outlines four distinct scenarios that would warrant special consideration because of the wording of the 20th Amendment: a death before an election, a death after an election but before electors meet in December, a death between electors voting and Congress counting votes in January, and the time between Congress confirming the election and the Jan. 20 inauguration.
The three post-election time frames identified by Amar are distinguished by whether the candidate technically is considered "president-elect." That designation is covered by the 20th Amendment, which allows in case of a president-elect's death that he or she be replaced by the vice president-elect. But in their narrowest sense, those amendment terms only cover part of January.
Though all considerations accounting for a candidate's death are hypothetical, they could at some future point become less so.
"We should never forget 9/11 was a local election day in New York," Amar says.
Trump, Mexico & Drugs
Delegation of Immigration Authority Section 287(g) Immigration and Nationality Act | ICE
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 02:07
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative agency in the Department of Homeland Security, enforces federal immigration laws as part of its homeland security mission. ICE works closely with federal, state and local law enforcement partners in this mission.
The 287(g) program, one of ICE's top partnership initiatives, allows a state and local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership with ICE, under a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The state or local entity receives delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions.
Complaint ProcessComplaints regarding the 287(g) program will be accepted from any source to include law enforcement agencies (LEAs), participating LEA personnel, inmates, and the public. To report a 287(g) complaint please contact one of the following Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components:
Telephonically to the DHS Office of the Inspector General (DHS OIG). Toll free number 1-800-323-8603; orTelephonically to the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) at the Joint Intake Center (JIC) in Washington, D.C. Toll-free number 1-877-246-8253, or email Joint.Intake@dhs.gov; orVia mail as follows:Department of Homeland SecurityImmigration and Customs EnforcementOffice of Professional ResponsibilityP.O. Box 14475Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington D.C. 20044
A copy of the complaint will be forwarded to the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) Review and Compliance.
Secure Communities and administrative immigration policies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 02:05
Secure Communities is an Americandeportation program that relies on partnership among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.[1][2]U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the interior immigration enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security, is the program manager.
John Morton of ICE called Secure Communities ''the future of immigration enforcement'' because it ''focuses our resources on identifying and removing the most serious criminal offenders first and foremost.''[3]
Secure Communities relies on integrated databases and partnerships with local and state jailers to build domestic deportation capacity. The goals, as outlined in a 2009 report to Congress, are to: ''1. IDENTIFY criminal aliens through modernized information sharing; 2. PRIORITIZE enforcement actions to ensure apprehension and removal of dangerous criminal aliens; and 3. TRANSFORM criminal alien enforcement processes and systems to achieve lasting results.''[1]
The program has come under controversy, however, for misrepresenting who is being picked up and what is expected of law enforcement partners. Secure Communities was created administratively, not by congressional mandate, and to date, no regulations have been promulgated to govern the program's implementation.
By summer 2011, many state and local partners to the program have come to resent it, because of its detrimental effects on local social fabrics and law enforcement operations. The implementation of the program has been criticized for not sticking to its original goals of deporting criminals and using the program as a general deportation facilitation tool. The Obama administration, increasingly aware of the negative impact of its deportation policies on the administration's prospects in the upcoming presidential election, moved toward mollifying some aspects of the Secure Communities enforcement policies.
In August 2011, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new deportation policy, according to which the immigration enforcement authorities would concentrate on deporting individuals deemed to be threatening to public safety. The practical effectiveness of this policy from the point of view of protecting immigrants has been disputed. In June 2012, President Obama enacted a new Presidential policy aiming to protect immigrants who would have been eligible for relief under the DREAM Act if it had been passed by Congress, granting them work permits and relief from deportation. In August 2012, applications to apply for benefits under the program were being accepted.
On November 20, 2014, the Secure Communities program was discontinued by the Department of Homeland Security, and replaced by the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), which would begin rolling out in July 2015.[4]
Secure Communities was piloted in 2008.[5] Under the administration of George W. Bush, ICE recruited a total of 14 jurisdictions. The first program partner was Harris County Sheriff's Office (Texas).[6]
By March 2011, under President Barack Obama, the program was expanded to over 1,210 jurisdictions.[7] ICE seeks to have all 3,141 jurisdictions (state, county, and local jails and prisons) participating by 2013.[8]
From Secure Communities' activation through March 2011, 140,396 convicted criminal aliens have been booked into ICE custody resulting in 72,445 deportations.[9] Each year, law enforcement officers arrest approximately one million noncitizens accused of crimes.[10]
The authors of a 2011 study released by the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at UC Berkeley School of Law highlighted several findings:
Only 52% of Secure Communities arrestees were scheduled to have a hearing before a judge.[11]Approximately 88,000 families that included U.S. citizens had a family member arrested under the Secure Communities program.[11]Among Secure Communities arrestees who had an immigration hearing, only 24% had an attorney.[11]ICE arrested roughly 3,600 United States citizens through the program.[11]The costs of the program are unclear. The Houston Chronicle reported in 2008 that, according to ICE officials, ''cost [is] between $930 million and $1 billion. Congress dedicated $200 million for the program in 2008 and set aside $150 million for fiscal year 2009.'' [12] Currently Secure Communities does not provide for reimbursement to states and localities for the costs of participation.
A New York Times editorial called Secure Communities ''misguided,'' in part for how it ''[strains] local resources.''[13] Meanwhile, a Washington Post editorial praised the program, asserting that it ''has neither inclination nor resources to deport suspects with otherwise clean records who have been arrested for low-level infractions.''[14]
Biometric databaseEditSecure Communities relies on partnerships and biometric technology to build deportation capacity. ''ICE and the FBI are working together to take advantage of the strong relationships already forged between the FBI and state and local law enforcement necessary to assist ICE in achieving their goals," said FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Assistant Director Tom Bush in 2009.[15]
For every person booked into jail, local authorities run fingerprints against federal immigration and criminal databases. IDENT is an DHS-owned database that keeps biometric records of immigration applicants, certain criminals, and those suspected of or known to be terrorists. IAFIS is an FBI-owned database of biometric criminal records. Ordinarily, the fingerprints of county and state arrestees are submitted to the FBI only. Under Secure Communities, the prints go to ICE too. If an individual's fingerprints match those of a non U.S. citizen (including legal resident), an automated process notifies the Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) of ICE. Officials then evaluate the case, based on immigration status and criminal history.[2]
The net effect, according to former ICE Secretary Julie L. Myers, is to ''create a virtual ICE presence at every local jail.''[15]
Secure Communities Program: Submissions to ICE (2009, 2010, YTD 2011)[16]YearTotal Submissions to ICE2009828,11920103,376,7532011 (first five months)2,414,079DetainerEditWhen there is a match, ICE may choose to place a ''detainer'' on the individual. This is a request for the jail to hold that person for up to 48 hours beyond the scheduled release date, so that ICE can take custody and initiate deportation proceedings.[17] Legal immigrants convicted of certain crimes are subject to deportation. Undocumented immigrants can be deported even if they have committed no crime. ICE officials told the New York Times that, because of flaws in the database system, about 5,880 people identified through Secure Communities turned out to be United States citizens by 2009.[3] The New Mexico Sentencing Commission is preparing to survey the costs to jails of holding prisoners under ICE detainers.
ICE has divided immigrant prisoners into three risk levels:[18][19]
Level 1: those convicted of serious crimes, such as homicide, kidnapping, robbery, major drug offenses with sentences greater than one year, and offenses involving threats to national security.Level 2: all other felonies; andLevel 3: misdemeanors and lesser crimes.Secure Communities Executive Director David Venturella testified to Congress: ''We have adopted a risk-based strategy that focuses, first, on criminal aliens who pose the greatest threat to our communities. To manage this increased workload and prudently scale the system capabilities, we are classifying all criminal aliens based on the severity of the crimes they have been convicted of.'' According to the agency, Secure Communities prioritizes illegal immigrants who have been accused or convicted of ''crimes involving national security, homicide, kidnapping, assault, robbery, sex offenses, and narcotics violations carrying sentences of more than one year.'' [20]
Immigrant activist organizations have complained that the majority of illegal immigrants deported by ICE had not committed murder, kidnapping, robbery, or any of the most serious criminal offenses, while many were considered non-criminal.[21][22][23]
Others assert that the number of non-criminal detainees is overstated for political reasons. In June 2010, the AFL-CIO office that represents 7,000 ICE officers issued a no-confidence vote for the current ICE director alleging, among other things, that the number of non-criminal ICE deportees is over-stated due to the fact that many offenders have agreed to be deported if all charges against them are dropped and are being re-categorized as non-criminal. The report cites as proof that although ICE internally reports that 90% of all ICE detainees in its custody were arrested by local authorities, it publicly publishes otherwise.[24][25]
Significant data disclosures on Secure Communities' performance became publicly available after non-profit advocacy groups sued for disclosure.
In July 2009, DHS issued new regulations that asserted all information regarding an Secure Communities sister program ''shall not be considered public records.''[26] New contracts prohibited local officials from communicating with media or constituents about the program without ICE approval.
Citing transparency concerns, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act for information on Secure Communities.[27]
The groups charged in a press release: ''Although ICE presents Secure Communities as an innocuous information sharing program, it seems designed to function as a dragnet to funnel even more people into the already mismanaged ICE detention and removal system'... no regulations have been promulgated and little information is available about the program in the public domain. The limited information that has been released is vague and seems to indicate that ICE is not executing its stated enforcement priorities.''[28]
Federal authorities released an initial batch of 15,000 internal documents in February 2011.[29] The non-profits started a blog entitled "Uncover the Truth" to catalogue the newly obtained government documents and media coverage of the program.[30]
State and local attempts to withdrawEditSome jurisdictions have tried to "opt out" from the program believing that participation was not mandatory.[2][31] Homeland Security officials have contradicted each other about whether Secure Communities is mandatory or voluntary.
An August 2010 DHS memo entitled ''Secure Communities: Setting the Record Straight'' suggests that counties have the ability to opt out of the program, even when their respective states have joined: "If a jurisdiction does not wish to activate on its scheduled date in the Secure Communities deployment plan, it must formally notify its state identification bureau and ICE in writing (email, letter or facsimile). Upon receipt of that information, ICE will request a meeting with federal partners, the jurisdiction, and the state to discuss any issues and come to a resolution, which may include adjusting the jurisdiction's activation date in or removing the jurisdiction from the deployment plan."[32]
On Sept. 7, 2010, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a letter to Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren that jurisdictions that wished to withdraw from the program could do so. Yet an October 2010 Washington Post article quoted an anonymous senior ICE official asserting: ''Secure Communities is not based on state or local cooperation in federal law enforcement'...State and local law enforcement agencies are going to continue to fingerprint people and those fingerprints are forwarded to FBI for criminal checks. ICE will take immigration action appropriately.''[33]
At a press conference days later, Napolitano modified her position: ''What my letter said was that we would work with them on the implementation in terms of timing and the like'...But we do not view this as an opt-in, opt-out program.''[34] She did not provide legal justification. Meanwhile, in Arlington, VA, the County Board unanimously passed a resolution to opt out of Secure Communities.[35]
Venturella stated at a policy conference: "Have we created some of the confusion out there? Absolutely we have."[36] In a January 2009 letter to the California Department of Justice, Venturella indicated that ICE would obtain a Statement of Intent for every county-level participant in Secure Communities.[37] Yet a procedure to do so never materialized.
In California, three counties unsuccessfully petitioned outgoing Attorney General Jerry Brown to withdraw their jurisdictions from the program. San Mateo's sheriff and Board of Supervisors feared the chilling effect that integration of state and ICE databases would have on immigrants as volunteers in public programs.[38]
Santa Clara Supervisor George Shirakawa, criticizing Secure Communities as an unfunded mandate, said, ''We are not in a position to do ICE's work.''[39] Deputy Counsel Anjali Bhargava is investigating whether the county can limit participation ''the extent [ICE requests] are subject to reimbursement or required by law.''
San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey, supported by a supermajority of the Board of Supervisors, requested three times in writing to opt out of Secure Communities.[40] His jail already has a policy of reporting to ICE anyone booked for a felony and not US-born. He feared that fingerprint sharing for all prisoners, including those acquitted of charges, violates the local sanctuary ordinance without serving public safety.[41] ''The lack of clarity,'' Hennessey wrote in a lawsuit against ICE, ''makes it difficult for me to explain my attempts to opt-out to my colleagues and to be accountable to my constituents.''[42]
In a surprise move, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed up for Secure Communities soon after winning re-election.[43] He had rejected participation months earlier because a pilot run of the program in Boston was still unproven. Public Safety Secretary Mary Beth Heffernan explained the reversal in position: "It has become clear now that this program is going to be mandatory for all communities in the near future." Patrick reversed this decision on June 7, 2011, saying he was "dubious about [Massachusetts] taking on the federal role of immigration enforcement'... and even more skeptical of the potential impact Secure Communities could have." [44]
Washington, D.C., and the states of New York and Illinois have also tried to opt out of the program.[45]
In 2011 the governors of Massachusetts, Illinois and New York announced their desire to pull out of the Secure Communities program, as did municipal officials in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has asked President Obama to suspend the deportation program, which is based on administrative authority only. According to Boston mayor Thomas Menino, the program, contrary to its stated goal, "is negatively impacting public safety" and numerous immigrants have been deported after committing only minor traffic violations. John T. Morton, the head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, responded by asserting the agency's intention to extend the program nationwide by 2013, regardless of local assent.[46]
In the August 18, 2011 letter from the office of Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois to John Morton, the Governor demands that ICE confirms the willingness of each of the 26 Illinois counties (previously) "activated" to continue participation in Secure Communities, by contacting the counties directly. The State is reacting to making the "troubled program" "mandatory and nationwide". According to the letter, the Secure Communities program in its current implementation is "contrary to the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement between ICE and the Illinois State Police and ignores the State of Illinois' May 4, 2011 termination of its participation". The Governor is deeply troubled by Secure Communities having the effect opposite to its stated purpose, as ordinary individuals not involved in crimes are frequently targeted and the role of local law enforcement and the communities' involvement in public safety are compromised. Of those deported from Illinois through May 2011, by ICE's own accounting, less than 22% were convicted of a serious crime, 75% were never convicted of a serious crime and more than 21% were not convicted of any crime. Secure Communities, as currently structured, is far different from the program that was originally presented to the State of Illinois and its constituent counties. The Governor's letter hints of a possible legal challenge, by stating that the State will continue to monitor and evaluate the program and consider all of its available options.[47][48]
On December 21, 2012, ICE issued new detainer guidelines to prioritize ICE's limited resources by directing that detainer's be issued in only specific circumstances.[49]
Policy change announcedEditThe Obama administration, criticized by Hispanic organizations for having "underdelivered" on immigration and other issues of concern to Latino voters, announced on August 18, 2011 a partial change in its deportation policy.[50][51] The decision, criticized by Republicans as an effort by Obama to ignore immigration laws passed by Congress and grant amnesty without Congressional approval, is expected to help President Obama overcome his troubled relationship with Latino voters, as he heads for the 2012 presidential election. The new policy helps the intended beneficiaries of the DREAM Act, which has been "stalled in Congress" for a decade, and is expected to stop deportation of those illegal immigrants who would have qualified for relief under the DREAM Act.
According to Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security Secretary, about 300,000 deportation subjects will have their cases reviewed, with the intention of concentrating on individuals who have committed "flagrant violations" and suspending many low priority deportation cases (immigrants who pose no threat to public safety or national security). The "prosecutorial discretion" reviews will be done on case-by-case bases and possible relief for the accused will be provided by Secretary Napolitano. Individuals who qualify for relief can also be granted work permits. The new policy should also make it less likely that the government will initiate new deportation cases involving people with no significant criminal record.[50][51] Napolitano said that the administration's policy "will not alleviate the need for passage of the DREAM Act or for larger reforms to our immigration laws".[50][51]
By summer 2011, the Obama administration had deported about one million "illegal aliens", mostly indigent Mexican nationals.[52]
Courses for immigration enforcement supervisors on the administration's immigration policy are continuing into 2012. The resentment of many of the immigration officers is represented by Chris Crane, President of the National ICE Council union (a local of the American Federation of Government Employees), which is blocking the Department's attempts to have all agents participate in the training course. Crane testified before Congress and accused the government of ordering the agents not to enforce the law in order to comply with the President's reelection campaign priorities.[53][54]
A study by Pew Hispanic Center shows that Mexico to the US immigration has come, after several decades of growth, to a halt. Record numbers of illegal immigrants have been deported for three consecutive years from 2009, but other factors, including economic and demographic, also contributed to the reversal of the trend.[55][56]
ICE detainer issue in Cook County and elsewhereEditCook County, Illinois Board of Commissioners passed the "immigration detainer ordinance", which ended the County's compliance with ICE immigration detainers, in September 2011. The board was motivated mainly by the desire to avoid the expenses the County was incurring because of holding detained aliens for an additional 48 hours, to facilitate ICE deportation proceedings. Since the financial burden was substantial and the cost was not being reimbursed by the federal government, the County decided to end the 48-hour hold practice, effectively terminating its cooperation with ICE. Currently, under pressure from the Obama administration, efforts are on the way to scale back the ordinance. The ordinance conditions the County's participation in the detainer program on monetary reimbursements from the federal government and ICE Director John Morton has made a partial offer in that respect in February. The federal government, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and others involved in the present attempt to revoke the County policy claim acting in the interest of public safety and wanting to keep dangerous criminals locked up.[57][58][59]
In one publicized case, Saul Chavez, an undocumented immigrant, caused a fatal hit-and-run accident, and, released by a Cook County judge on a low bond, has since disappeared. Chavez' case is used by proponents of respecting ICE detainers in Cook County, but if he has fled to Mexico, as is believed, the same outcome (a deportation) would have been produced by an ICE intervention.[57]
In Connecticut, a class-action suit has been filed, according to which the policy of detainers violates numerous constitutional provisions. A spokesman for Governor Dannel Malloy announced that federal immigration detainers would be honored in Connecticut only on a case-by-case basis. ICE officials have been using threats of legal action and financial consequences (withdrawal of unrelated federal funds designated for the localities in question) to compel state and local participation in its deportation program, but the federal government is believed to lack the legal authority necessary to require state and local governments to actively enforce federal law.[59]
The Cook County policy on detainers was characterized as "terribly misguided" by Secretary of Homeland SecurityJanet Napolitano, who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 25, 2012. An investigation conducted by Chip Mitchell and other Chicago WBEZ reporters failed to substantiate the claim that inmates freed because of the Cook County detainer ordinance endanger the public more than other former inmates do, and that therefore the ordinance undermines public safety in the County.[58]
On July 3, 2012 a lawsuit was filed by James Makowski, claiming he was wrongly imprisoned for two months as a result of the Secure Communities immigration enforcement program. The plaintiff, a U.S. citizen, argues the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) violated his rights under the Privacy Act.
As a result of the discrepancy with Makowski's records when he was detained and fingerprinted, an automatic immigration detainer was issued without ever interviewing him or providing him the opportunity to produce his U.S. passport, social security card, or driver's license. Lawyers say that Makowski was wrongfully imprisoned for two months until he was able to hire an attorney to convince DHS to rescind its detainer.
The lawsuit is the first litigation challenging Secure Communities. [2][60][61]
Temporary deportation protection offered for DREAM Act eligible young immigrantsEditOn June 15, 2012, the Obama administration announced a policy of partial relief for a specified category of young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
The qualifications have been designed to resemble those of the DREAM Act, a law proposed to provide a path to citizenship for many illegal immigrants, which has been repeatedly rejected by Congress. Persons affected by the new policy, upon applying, will be protected from deportation for a two-year period, with possible extensions, and will be eligible for work permits. To qualify, an applicant must, among other requirements:
have arrived in the United States before turning 16;have lived in the country for at least 5 years;be no more than 30 years old; andhave completed a high school education or GRE.The new policy is imposed by executive order and therefore stops well short of what the DREAM Act would provide. No US citizenship, permanent residency or amnesty are offered and individual outcomes will be discretionary (on case by case basis). Up to 1.7 million people are estimated to be eligible.
The administration's decision reflects its growing awareness of the crucial importance of Latino voters in the upcoming presidential election. President Obama, who supports the passage of the DREAM Act by Congress, has not made it one of his legislative priorities, in part because pushing through the legislation has not been seen as a realistic goal. While some immigrants may be reluctant to bring themselves to the attention of government authorities without assurance of obtaining benefits, the Department of Homeland Security announced its intention to focus deportation efforts on individuals who pose a considerable public safety risk, which has been the Department's official policy a number of months.[62]
This last objective has not been met, according to the critics of the administration's immigration policy, who say that many non-criminal persons who would be eligible for relief under the DREAM Act if it were passed have been continuously deported since John Morton's announcement of the policy change. The present executive order was demanded by Latino illegal immigrants and their supporters, who staged petitions, demonstrations and sit-ins.[63][64]
The implementation of the new program officially began on August 15, 2012. Applications were being accepted upon a payment of a $465 fee; according to White House officials, expenses will be paid from fees, with no cost to the taxpayer. The administrative job of processing applications was entrusted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, to avoid involvement of enforcement agencies, which could discourage some wary potential applicants. The information gathered from applicants is promised not to be shared with enforcement agencies.[65]
The initiative was expected to help the Obama administration with winning back Latino voters, many angered by the deportation of illegal immigrants. The Migration Policy Institute estimated about 1.2 million potential applicants to be immediately eligible, with further 500,000 reaching the eligibility age of 15 within the next few years.[65]
If an applicant fulfills the requirements and is approved, he or she will be able to apply for a work permit, social security card, driver's license and college financial aid, among other government benefits funded by US taxpayers.[65]
Because of the temporary nature of the benefits, the perceived risks (including revealing family members, such as parents, who may be undocumented) and other uncertainties, changing politics among them, many may choose not to apply, and the degree of eventual success and magnitude of the program are not being estimated yet.[65]
Supreme Court rules on Arizona immigration lawEditOn June 25, 2012, the US Supreme Court issued a ruling regarding the federal government's challenge to Arizona's 2010 immigration law. Arizona was the first state to pass a law concerned with immigration enforcement issues, based on the state's claims of the federal government's failure to fulfill its obligations and protect the state's interests in the area of immigration. Several other states have since followed suit adopting their own legislative efforts to enforce existing immigration law, and the Supreme Court's decision in Arizona's case is expected to affect also the validity of those laws.[66] The state laws have been criticized by the Obama administration as interfering with the government's constitutional domain of protecting the country's borders and controlling immigration.[67]
The court's split decision gave both sides a reason to claim a measure of victory. The law's provision regarded as central and most controversial was upheld unanimously, while the possibility of its further challenges was left open. The three remaining clauses were struck down as unconstitutional. The Arizona government will not be able to criminally penalize persons for seeking work, or for failing to register with the federal government. The police will not be able to make warrantless arrests based on their belief of the suspect's deportability under the federal law.[67] Immigrants will not be required to carry federal proof of their legal status.[68]
The "show me your papers" provision was sustained. It obliges state law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of a person stopped or arrested, if they have reasons to suspect him or her of being in the country illegally.[67]
"The state may not pursue policies that undermine federal law", and "detaining individuals solely to verify their immigration status would raise constitutional concerns", wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy, expressing the majority opinion. Justice Antonin Scalia vocally objected not only to the majority argument in the case, but also to the administration's immigration policies.[67]
President Obama expressed his fear that the provision accepted by the court may lead to racial profiling.[67]
Discontinuation of the programEditIn a memo dated November 20, 2014, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson discontinued the Secure Communities program. Johnson states, "The overarching goal of Secure Communities remains in my view a valid and important law enforcement objective, but a fresh start and a new program are necessary." "Further, to address the increasing number of federal court decisions that hold that detainer-based detention by state and local law enforcement agencies violates the Fourth Amendment, I am directing ICE to replace requests for detention (i.e., requests that an agency hold an individual beyond the point at which they would otherwise be released) with requests for notification (i.e. , requests that state or local law enforcement notify ICE of a pending release during the time that person is otherwise in custody under state or local authority)."[4]
The National Immigrant Justice Center, along with pro bono partners Winston & Strawn LLP and McDermott Will & Emery LLP, has litigated some of the Secure Communities program's most serious constitutional violations in Jimenez-Moreno v. Napolitano and Makowski v. United States, two cases cited in the PEP memos that contributed greatly to the discontinuation of Secure Communities.[69]
^ abICE. Secure Communities: A Comprehensive Plan to Identify and Remove Criminal Aliens (Strategic Plan). July 21, 2009. Accessed at http://www.ice.gov/doclib/foia/secure_communities/securecommunitiesstrategicplan09.pdf on April 24, 2011.^ abcdKalhan, Anil (December 2013). "Immigration Policing and Federalism Through the Lens of Technology, Surveillance, and Privacy". Ohio State Law Journal. 74 (6): 1105. ^ abJulia Preston. ''U.S. Identifies 111,000 Immigrants With Criminal Records.'' New York Times. November 12, 2009. Accessed at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/13/us/13ice.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=U.S.%20Identifies%20111,000%20Immigrants%20With%20Criminal%20Records&st=cse on April 24, 2011.^ abhttps://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_secure_communities.pdf^Accessed at http://www.ice.gov/secure_communities/ on April 24, 2011.^Susan Carroll. ''Harris County testing immigrant ID program; Sheriff's office the first local law enforcement group to try automated fingerprint system.'' The Houston Chronicle. October 28, 2008. Pg. B3^U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Secure Communities Activated Jurisdictions April 2011^U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Projected Deployment by Fiscal Year of Secure Communities program retrieved April 23, 2011^ICE Activated Jurisdictions, as of March 22, 2011. http://www.ice.gov/doclib/secure-communities/pdf/sc-activated.pdf^David J. Venturella, "Secure Communities: Identifying and Removing Criminal Aliens," The Police Chief 77 (September 2010): 40''49, http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/CPIM0910/index.php#/40 Accessed December 14, 2010.^ abcdKohli, Aarti; Markowitz, Peter L.; Chavez, Lisa (October 2011). "Secure Communities by the Numbers: An Analysis of Demographics and Due Process"(PDF). Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at UC Berkeley School of Law. Retrieved 10 August 2013. ^''Possible solutions for immigrant inmate screenings.'' The Houston Chronicle. November 16, 2008. Accessed at http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/special/immigration/6115319.html on April 24, 2011.^"D.I.Y. Immigration Reform". The New York Times. March 19, 2011. ^Milbank, Dana (March 20, 2011). "Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program". The Washington Post. ^ abICE News Release. ''Harris County Sheriff's Office first of several sites in the nation to receive full interoperability technology to help identify criminal aliens. Departments of Homeland Security and Justice providing more identity information to local officers about non U.S. citizen criminal arrests.'' October 28, 2009. Accessed at http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?bc=12053%7C26286%7C27850%7C27039 on April 24, 2011.^US Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Secure Communities "Statistics through February 28, 2011"^Immigration Policy Center: "Immigration Detainers: A Comprehensive Look" February 17, 2010^Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Secure Communities Standard Operating Procedures - Appendix A 2009.^Department of Homeland Security: Alien Criminal Response Information management System (ACIMe) & Enforcement Integrated Database (EID) September 10, 2010^David Venturella. Testimony to House Subcom on Homeland Security Appropriations, Committee on Appropriations. May 12, 2009. page 943^Florida Independent: "Report: Non-criminals, minor violators make up the majority of those deported via Secure Communities" March 28, 2011.^San Francisco Bay Guardian: "SF in top 38 counties nationwide that deport 'non-criminal' aliens" March 31, 2011^MSNBC: "47,000 deported because of fingerprint sharing" August 10, 2010^National Council 118 - AFL-CIO: "Vote of No Confidence in ICE Director John Morton" June 25, 2010^Washington Times: "Agents' union disavows leaders of ICE" August 9, 2010^Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano. Revised 287(g) MOA. July 10, 2009.^Accessed at http://ccrjustice.org/secure-communities on April 24, 2011.^Accessed at http://ccrjustice.org/secure-communities on April 23, 2011.^http://uncoverthetruth.org/press-advisory-advocates-to-release-summary-brief-of-15000-internal-secure-communities-documents^Accessed at http://uncoverthetruth.org/ on April 24, 2011.^MSNBC: "Cities, counties can't stop federal immigration checks" October 15, 2010.^ICE: Secure Communities: Setting the Record Straight. August 17, 2010.^Shankar Vedantam. ''No opt-out for immigration enforcement.'' Washington Post. October 1, 2010.^Renee Feltz. ''ICE Attributes Record Deportation Levels to Secure Communities.'' DeportationNation. October 6, 2010.^Shankar Vedantam. ''Reversals by Imm Officials Are Sewing Mistrust.''Washington Post. November 22, 2010. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/21/AR2010112104248.html^Comments of panelist David Venturella, Executive Director of the Immigration Customs Enforcement ''Secure Communities'' program at the roundtable entitled: ''Assessing the 'Secure Communities' Program and the Impact of the 287(g) Agreements.'' Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Washington D.C. November 18, 2010. Available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO49b64FCUg^Letter from David J. Venturella, Executive Director, Secure Communities, to Linda Denly, Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information, California Department of Justice, Re ICE Secure Communities Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), January 23, 2009 (''Deployment at the local level requires a signed Statement of Intent (SOI) by participating agencies that oversee booking locations to ensure those agencies understand and adhere to the principles set forth in the MOA and a set of Standard Operation Procedures.'').^Richard Gordon, President, San Mateo Board of Supervisors. Letter to CA AG Edmund Brown. July 21, 2010.^Uncover the Truth. Press Release 9/1/2010^Letters On May 18, Aug 1 and Aug 31, 2010. San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey letter to CA AG Edmund Brown, Secure Communities ED David Venturella and Secure Communities Deputy Director Marc Rapp.^Administrative Code Section 12H.2 et seq^Declaration of Michael Hennessey in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for A Preliminary Injunction. in NDLON v. ICE. October 27, 2010.^''Staties to check on immigration status in arrest.'' By Associated Press. December 18, 2010. http://news.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1303986^http://www.afsc.org/story/ma-rejects-secure-communities-flawed-unworkable-program^http://www.fiercehomelandsecurity.com/story/backgrounder-secure-communities-ices-program-deporting-criminal-immigrants/2011-07-20^Resistance Widens to Obama Initiative on Criminal Immigrants, Julia Preston, The New York Times, August 13, 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/13/us/politics/13secure.html?_r=1&ref=us^Quinn hits back against immigration checks, Chip Mitchell, WBEZ 91.5 Radio, August 25, 2011 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-hits-back-against-immigration-checks-91065^http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Quinn_office_to_Morton.pdf^ICE Immigration Detainer Changeshttp://www.jrandolphlaw.com/blog/2012/12/21/ice-issues-new-guidelines-on-immigration-detainers/^ abcRobert Pear, Fewer Youths to Be Deported in New Policy, The New York Times, August 18, 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/us/19immig.html?_r=1&ref=us^ abcUS will review 300,000 immigration deportation cases, BBC News, August 18, 2011 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14585238^Dino Grandoni, Obama Administration Nears Its Millionth Deportation, The Atlantic Wire, September 9, 2011 http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2011/09/obama-administration-nears-its-millionth-deportation/42302/^Julia Preston, Agents' Union Stalls Training on Deportation Rules, The New York Times, January 7, 2012 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/us/illegal-immigrants-who-commit-crimes-focus-of-deportation.html?pagewanted=all^Stephen Steinlight, National ICE Council Freezes the Obama Blitz, Center for Immigration Studies, January 11, 2012 http://cis.org/steinlight/national-ICE-council-freezes-the-obama-blitz^Mexico-US migration slips after 40 years of growth, BBC News, 23 April 2012 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17821781^Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero - and Perhaps Less, Pew Hispanic Center http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/2012/04/PHC-04-23a-Mexican-Migration.pdf^ abTara Tidwell, Cook County, immigration detainers, and the real cost to public safety, National Immigrant Justice Center, 2012-02-08 http://immigrantjustice.org/staff/blog/cook-county-immigration-detainers-and-real-cost-public-safety^ abChip Mitchell, ICE detainers a public-safety issue?, WBEZ Chicago, 2012-05-16 http://www.wbez.org/news/ice-detainers-public-safety-issue-99190^ abBen Winograd, ICE Distorts Facts in Debate over Immigration Detainers, Immigration Impact, 2012-03-01 http://immigrationimpact.com/2012/03/01/ice-distorts-facts-in-debate-over-immigration-detainers/^http://www.immigrantjustice.org/press_releases/us-citizen-sues-fbi-and-dhs-unlawful-imprisonment-due-secure-communities^http://immigrantjustice.org/sites/immigrantjustice.org/files/Makowski%20Complaint-%20FILED%202012%2007%2003.pdf^Julia Preston, John H. Cushman Jr. (2012-06-15). "Obama to Permit Young Migrants to Remain in U.S.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-08-17. ^Adriana Maestas (2012-06-14). "DREAMers to Obama: Executive Order Now". Politic365. Retrieved 2012-08-18. ^Adriana Maestas (2012-06-15). "Obama: OK '' Let's Protect DREAMers from Deportation". Politic365. Retrieved 2012-08-18. ^ abcdJulia Preston (2012-08-13). "Young Immigrants, in America Illegally, Line Up for Reprieve". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-10. ^Lance Griffin (2012-06-25). "Alabama weighs impact of Supreme Court rulings". Dothan Eagle. Retrieved 2012-09-03. ^ abcdeAdam Liptak (2012-06-25). "Blocking Parts of Arizona Law, Justices Allow Its Centerpiece". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-03. ^"US Supreme Court cuts parts of Arizona migrant law". BBC News. 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2012-09-03. ^https://immigrantjustice.org/press_releases/obama-administration-ends-secure-communities
127 'mobsters' arrested in biggest ever blitz on New York's crime empires | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 01:57
By Daily Mail ReporterCreated: 09:15 EST, 20 January 2011
Members of New York's five Mafia families targeted in raids
Two former police officers held and arrest made in Italy
No police station big enough, so suspects held at army base Fort Hamilton
Army of 800 officers take in part in dawn raids
A remarkable FBI organisation chart which reveals the hierarchy of the main New York mafia families was revealed yesterday after federal agents made more than 100 arrests in the biggest organised crime crackdown in history.
The colour-coded chart shows how the syndicates' organisation bears more of a resemblance to a corporate line-up than that of notorious crime families.
The red bars highlight the leading figures that were arrested yesterday in New York, New Jersey and New England.
Scroll down for video report
Crime families: This remarkable FBI chart names members of the seven families linked to the Mafia
Who's in charge: The colour-coded chart shows the hierarchy of some of the most feared Mafia families in New York - the boss, underboss, captains and soldiers are depicted on different levels of the chart
Among them are street boss Andrew Russo and acting underboss Benjamin Castellazzo from the Colombo family, and Bartolemeo Vernace and Joseph Corozzo from the Gambino family.
The 'boss' is seen as the undisputed leader of the organisation with the underboss a powerful second-in-command.
The green colour-coded panels depict those of the captains in the crime families. Also known by their Sicilian name of 'capos', captains are similar to a military captain who commands his soldiers.
The Mafia are known for using colourful nicknames and among those accused are monikers such as 'Tony Bagels', 'Johnny Pizza', 'The Bull', 'Meatball', 'Jack The Whack' 'Junior Lollipops' 'Bobby Glasses', 'Vinny Carwash' and 'Lumpy'.
Gangster: Reputed Colombo family member Angelo Spata, centre, leaves Brooklyn federal court on bail
Arrested: Federal agents question a shackled Mafia suspect in New York yesterday after the dramatic raids involving up to 800 officers
Seized: Federal agents process the suspects in at the army base after the raids in New York City and New Jersey
Shackled: A suspected member of one of the New York crime families is led away by a female FBI agent
Along with high ranking members of the some of the most feared families, union officials and two former police officers were also arrested.
It is the FBI's biggest ever raid on New York's organised crime families.
Most of the 127 arrests were made in New York City, New Jersey and New England on charges of murder, extortion and drug trafficking. One arrest was made in Italy.
Powerful leaders of the Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese, Bonanno and Colombo families, along with the DeCavalcante of New Jersey, were among those arrested.
They were being held at Fort Hamilton, an U.S. Army base in Brooklyn because there was no police station big enough to hold them.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told a press conference that the charges cover decades worth of offences, including hits to eliminate rivals, a killing during a botched robbery and double shooting in a ballroom dispute over a spilled drink.
MENACE TO THE MAFIOSI: THE CHARGES AGAINST THE GAMBINOS...Name: BARTOLOMEO VERNACE, 61. Known as 'Bobby Glasses'Title: Ruling Panel, Gambino FamilyCharge: Extortion and racketeering
As a member of the administration of the Gambino family he was said to be involved at the highest level in dispersing funds illegally obtained from extortion and racketeering.
Also charged with conspiracy to murder John D'Agnese and Richard Godkin in 1981, two men who were gunned down in the Shamrock bar in Queens - allegedly over a spilled drink. Though Vernace was initially identified as being one of the three who carried out the killings, he managed to escape prosecution for nearly two decades. Name: JOSEPH CORROZZO,Title: Consigliore, Gambino FamilyCharge: Racketeering and drug distribution
He was allegedly involved in distribution of tonnes of marijuana and cocaine throughout the US.
Name: LOUIS MASTRANGETOTitle: Captain , Gambino FamilyCharge: Racketeering and drug distribution
Said to be involved in running illegal gambling dens in New York City and the distribution of drugs.
Name: ALPHONSE TRUCCHIO, 34Title: Captain, Gambino FamilyCharge: Racketeering
Allegedly the youngest man ever inducted into the Gambino family as a 'made man'.
He is the son of a former Gambino captain Ronald Trucchio, known as 'One-Armed Ronnie' after his arm was partially paralysed in a car accident. Alphonse is believed to have helped run a $30million-a-year illegal betting operation. Trucchio has already served time for racketeering after his arrest in 2002.
In addition to the charges against the senior mafiosos at the head of the Gambino and Colombo families were charges against a mafioso whose reach extended beyond New York:
Name: LUIGI MANOCCHIO, 83Title: Former leader of Patricara Family in New EnglandCharge: Extortion and extortion conspiracy
He was arrested in Florida where he was allegedly collecting 'protection' money from strip clubs in Fort Lauderdale.
Usually based in Providence, Rhode, Island, and is alleged to used intimidation and implied threats to induce owners and operators of adult bookstores and strip clubs in Providence to provide 'protection'.
... AND THE ALLEGED CRIMES OF THE COLOMBOSName: ANTHONY RUSSO, 55. Known as 'Big Anthony' Title: Acting Captain, Colombo FamilyCharge: Murder
Russo is alleged to have ordered the murder of Joseph Scopo in the 1993 during a vicious power struggle for control of the Colombo family. Name: BENJAMIN CASTELLAZZO, 73Title: Acting underboss of the Colombo FamilyCharge: Racketeering and racketeering conspiracy
As the No. 2 in the family it alleged it was his responsibility to collect money from businesses seeking protection. Name: RICHARD FUSCO, 74. Known as 'The Claw'Title: Consigliore of Colombo FamilyCharge: Racketeering and racketeering conspiracy
He is alleged to have held one of the senior positions in the family and ruthlessly carried out the orders of Russo. He is a former friend of singer Frank Sinatra. Name: THEODORE PERSICO Jr, 46. Known as 'Teddy'Title: Former ruling panel, Colombo FamilyCharge: Extortion
He is accused of being involved in an extortion scheme on a trucking company removing debris from the site of the 9/11 terror attacks. He was secretly recorded threatening company employees after they failed to pay.
Name: JOSEPH CARNA, 47. Known as 'Junior Lollipop'Title: Captain, Colombo FamilyCharge: Extortion
With other senior members of the Colombo family he was said to be involved in laundering money from illegal gambling operations.
Name: DENNIS DELUCIA. Known as 'Fat Dennis' or 'The Beard'Title: Captain, Colombo FamilyCharge: Extortion and racketeering.
He is accused of being involved with helping to launder money gained from illegal gambling activities in New York.
Name: REYNOLD MARAGNI, 54Title: Captain Colombo FamilyCharge: Racketeering and extortion.
Based in Florida he was allegedly involved in money laundering for the Colombo family.
Name: ANDREW RUSSO, 79. Known as 'Mush'Title: Street boss of Colombo Family in New YorkCharge: Conspiracy to commit extortion
He was allegedly involved in money laundering for the family.
Anatomy of the mob: This flowchart, published on the FBI website, details the hierarchy of a New York organised family and the military-style roles of its members
Authorities say the massive investigation was aided by informants who recorded thousands of conversations by suspected mobsters.
Federal agents said those taken into custody ranged from small-time bookmakers and crime family functionaries to a number of senior mob figures and several corrupt union officials.
The murder charges are believed to date back to the 1980s and 1990s.
Many of the charges are expected to relate the Mafia families' multi-million dollar incomes from union corruption, loansharking and gambling.
Other charges include corruption among dockworkers who were forced to kick back a portion of their holiday bonuses to the crime families.
Holder called the arrests an 'important step forward in our nation's fight against organised crime.' He added that it will 'disrupt' the mafia.
One of the defendants is a former New York City police officer.
A source told the New York Post that 'basically the whole administration of the Colombo family' had been targeted.
Huge investigation: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder holds a press conference to detail the charges against the crime families that span decades and include murders, robberies and drug offences
Among those arrested was believed to be Bartolomeo Vernace, a captain in the Gambino family.
Also arrested was Luigi Manocchio, the reputed head of New England's Patriarca crime family.
He was arrested in Fort Lauderdale and is accused of collecting money from owners of strip clubs.
Also arrested was Thomas LaFrate, who worked as a bookkeeper for strip clubs and set aside money for Manocchio, prosecutors said..
In a statement, Diego Rodriguez, Special Agent in Charge with the FBI in New York, said: 'Early this morning FBI agents, along with our law enforcement partners, began arresting over 100 organised crime members for various criminal charges.'
Described as the biggest Mafia crackdown in New York history, the simultaneous raids represent a massive blow to the five organised crime families who have controlled many parts of the city for decades.
Arrested: Among those seized in the raids was alleged mobster Luigi 'Baby Shanks' Manocchio
The mafia empires have been decimated by federal probes in recent years and have seen many of their leaders jailed for lengthy prison sentences after informants testified against them.
Last week 93-year-old Colombo boss John 'Sonny' Fanzese was jailed for eight years for racketeering charges.
Federal prosecutors were seeking a jail term of at least 12 years for the underboss of the Colombo crime family.
An FBI agent testifed that Franzese had bragged about killing 60 people over the years and once thought about putting a hit on his own son for co-operating with the government.
Mafia turncoat Salvatore Vitale was sentenced to time served in October after prosecutors praised his co-operation with authorities and his betrayal of his criminal group.
Assistant U.S. attorney Greg Andres said that Vitale's evident helped to crush the Bonanno crime family after providing useful information upon his arrest in 2003.
'The mafia today is weaker because of his co-operation', Mr Andres said. 'Mr Vitale provided lead after lead. The results speak for themselves.'
There had been concerns of a possible resurgence or organised crime in the city leading up to the arrests.
Acting Lucchese family boss Alphonse D'Arco admitted to 'co-operating with the federal government from 1991.
Gambino family leader Salvatore 'Sammy The Bull' Gravano also became an informant that year and provided information in return for a reduced sentence.
This testimony led to notorious kingpin John Gotti finally being convicted. He had been known as Teflon Don for his ability to not have charges against him stick using loopholes in the law.
In 2008, more than 80 suspected members of organised crime gangs were charged.
Among those targeted was John 'Jackie the Nose' D'Amico and other alleged leaders of the Gambino crime family after a series of raids in the U.S. and Italy.
Today's takedown has eclipsed that of the highly publicised assault on the Gambino crime family in 2008 when 62 suspects were arrested.
Temporary: The alleged mobsters are being held at Fort Hamilton army base in Brooklyn until they appear at a hearing
Mob movie: The 1997 film Donnie Brasco starring Johnny Depp and Al Pacino is said to have been inspired by the Mafia's Bonanno family detailing how an FBI agent was able to work undercover with the mob and almost became a 'made' man
The FBI has aggressively pursued and convicted leaders of New York's five main Italian mob families in the past.
But ambitious underlings have gone on to fill the vacancies, said Janice Fedarcyck, head of FBI's New York office.
'We deal in reality, and the reality is that the mob, like nature, abhors a vacuum', Ms Fedarcyck said.
But federal agents have recently managed to better infiltrate the Mafia by grooming a crop of mafiosos who were willing to wear wires and record their fellow gangsters.
The turncoats' testimony was then used against mob figures in return for a more lenient sentence in their own cases.
Thousands of conversations were recorded and investigators also tapped several mobsters' phones.
REAL-LIFE SOPRANOS: LUCCHESE FAMILY'S REIGN OF TERRORThe Lucchese crime family was originally put together by Gaetano 'Tommy' Reina in the early 1920s until his murder in 1930.
Gaetano 'Tommy Brown' Lucchese took control in the 1950s and teamed with Carlo Gambino to control crime in New York City together.
The family profited from labour and construction racketeering, illegal gambling, loansharking and murder for hire.
The Lucchese family is deemed the smallest of the five crime families with 100 members but is not the weakest.
The New Jersey faction of the Lucchese family was the main inspiration for HBO show The Sopranos' DiMeo crime family.
Victor Amuso, 76, (pictured) remains the official boss of the Lucchese family despite serving life in prison.
Acting Lucchese boss Alphonse D'Arco admitted to 'co-operating with the federal government' from 1991.
GENOVESE CLAN KNOWN AS ROLLS ROYCE OF ORGANISED CRIMEThe Genovese crime family has been nicknamed the Ivy League and the Rolls Royce of organised crime.
They found new ways to make money in the past few years by using the housing spike to conduct a number of mortgage frauds.
The group was founded by Lucky Luciano but in 1957 it was renamed after Vito Genovese - he was extradited from Italy to New York and acquitted of the 1936 murder that drove him into exile.
The family was run for years by the 'Oddfather' Vincent 'the Chin' Gigante (pictured) who pretended he was insane and walked dishevelled around Greenwich Village wearing a bathrobe and talking to himself.
When Gigante died in 2005, power went to Daniel 'Danny The Lion' Leo.
The FBI convinced Genovese mobsters Anthony Arillotta and Felix Tranghese to become government witnesses.
DeCAVALCANTE FAMILY BUILT ITS REPUTATION ON MURDER FOR HIREThe DeCavalcante crime family is the leading mafia clan in New Jersey despite operating in New York City.
It maintain a strong relationship with many of the Five Families in New York plus crime families in Philadelphia, Providence and most of New England.
They have profited from labour racketeering, hijacking and murder for hire.
The clan has its origin in the Prohibition era with a variety of members taking the leading role as head of the family. In 1964, Simone DeCavalcante became it's head. DeCavalcante was seen as an 'old school' and calculated Don whose character resembled the Don Corleone character in the Godfather trilogy.
A heating and air conditioning company was used as a legal front for the illegal dealings and he was nicknamed 'Sam the Plumber'.
Acting boss Francesco 'Frank' Guarraci was promoted in 2006 after Stefano 'Steve the Truck Driver' Vitabile was sentenced to life imprisonment.
COLOMBO EMPIRE TORN APART BY THREE BLOODY FAMILY WARSThe Colombo crime family is the youngest of the 'Five Families', originally formed in 1928 by Joseph 'The Olive Oil King' Profaci.
The family has endured three family wars over the years - the second of which brought the family under the power of Joseph 'Joe C' Colombo.
The third war erupted in 1991 when member Joseph Orena undermined Carmine Persico who was in prison - the family split into two separate factions.
Twelve family members were killed in the in-fighting and the family never fully came back to prominence.
The family recently turned to Ralph DeLeo to run the family for imprisoned Persico.
Two years ago several members of the Colombo family were indicted on multiple racketeering charges and three murders dating back to the family wars.
Capo Dino Calabro (pictured) became a government informant last year after facing trial for murdering a New York police officer.
HOW THE GAMBINO FAMILY BECAME AMERICA'S MOST NOTORIOUS CLANThe Gambino crime family prides itself on being one of America's most notorious criminal empires.
The family's rein can be traced back to the Italian mafioso in the early 20th century.
Its main criminal activities include racketeering, extortion, money laundering and prostitution.
The family's rise to power in America started in 1957 when Albert Anastasia was assassinated while sitting in a barber chair in Manhattan.
Carlo Gambino is believed to have helped organise the hit to take over the family.
Infamous John Gotti (pictured) proclaimed himself the leader of the Gambino family in 1985.
Gotti was nicknamed Teflon Don because charges against him did not stick for years but he was finally sentenced to life in prison in 1992 and died in 2002.
The movie Goodfellas based some of its characters on members of the Gambino family.
BONANNO FAMILY'S REIGN OF TERROR INSPIRED DONNIE BRASCOThe classic Mafia movie Donnie Brasco tooks its inspiration from the reign of terror imposed by the Bonanno crime family.
The New York criminal empire was named after Joseph Bonanno (pictured) and was the first family to be expelled from The Commission for actively dealing in heroin.
The Commission is the council of the crime bosses brought together to maintain order in the Mafia.
Bonanno boss Joseph 'Big Joe' Massino was boss from early 1990s to 2004 - he then became the first official boss from New York to become an informant.
Massino turned against members of his own family to avoid the death penalty.
Donnie Brasco is the story of how an FBI agent was able to work undercover with the Bonanno crime family and almost became a 'made' man.
The family became the top New York crime family but defections have left it less powerful.
Massive mob bust comes same day John Gotti's grandson arrested on drug charges | Fox News
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 01:53
Published August 04, 2016More than 40 suspected mob members '' most allegedly belonging to four major New York City crime families '' were arrested in a massive bust across five states on Thursday morning carried out by the FBI and NYPD.
Purported Philadelphia mob boss Joseph Merlino was also nabbed in the dragnet while vacationing at his Florida summer home, The New York Post reported. But most of those rounded up are alleged to be soldiers or associates in the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese and Bonanno families.
Also on Thursday, the grandson of infamous mob boss John Gotti, who is also named John Gotti, was arrested in New York with six others on state narcotics charges, WNBC reported, citing law enforcement sources. Gotti, 23, was alleged to have sold oxycodone and other prescription pills.
Gotti's arrest doesn't appear connected to the larger mob bust.
An indictment alleges the defendants put aside family animosity and joined forces, becoming ''members of an organized criminal enterprise'' known as ''East Coast LCN Enterprise.''
Some of the crimes alleged to have occurred included extortion, arson, operating illegal gambling businesses, health care and credit card fraud, selling untaxed cigarettes, assault and firearms trafficking.
The charging document lists the given names and several colorful nicknames for numerous defendants, including: Anthony ''Tony the Wig'' Vazzano, Anthony ''Tony the Cripple'' Cassetta, Pasquale ''Mustache Pat'' Capolongo and John ''Tugboat'' Tognino.
Another suspect, Pasquale ''Patsy'' Parrello, was accused of ordering an associate to attack a panhandler outside his Bronx restaurant and ''break his knees.'' Investigators said the man was attacked with objects including glass jars and steel-tipped boots.
Other suspects were reimbursed for paying doctors kickbacks to prescribe ''expensive compound cream,'' court documents showed.
Click for more from The New York Post.
Feds alleged Mafia network ''East Coast LCN Enterprise'' a farce | About The Mafia
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 01:51
August 23, 2016 By TheBoss13 Comments
The latest target of federal indictments against the mafia is an alleged mob network being called the ''East Coast LCN Enterprise'' by the feds.
According to the feds, the Cosa Nostra network controlled a multitude of criminal activities spanning from Florida to New York. Prosecutors claim it included members of the major New York mafia families Genovese, Gambino, Bonanno, and Lucchese along with an offshoot of Philadelphia mafia including alleged boss Joseph ''Skinny Joey'' Merlino. Merlino along with Genovese family captains Pasquale ''Patsy'' Parrello and Eugene ''Rooster'' O'Nofrio were leaders of the mob network according to the indictment.
''Joey Merlino''
But is the idea of this kind of Cosa Nostra enterprise at odds with American mafia protocol and mafia history? According to the court filing, John Meringolo a lawyer for alleged mobster John ''The Tugboat'' Tognino the idea of five east coast mafia families working together in this capacity is farfetched. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office said the enterprise worked together on a multitude of criminal activities including racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit assault in aid of racketeering, illegal gambling, dealing untaxed cigarettes, and even healthcare fraud.
But according to Meringolo the feds manufactured the whole enterprise saying ''Despite the various dealings between families, it has been well established that each is its own distinct entity.'' In his court filing, he pointed to testimony from Colombo family mobster Alphonse ''Allie Boy'' Persico that outlined stringent mafia family protocols that showed how families kept their distance from one another. He documented in his court documents that ''Members and associates of a family were not allowed to speak to members of other crime families or to higher-ranking members of their own family without a formal introduction.''
According to Meringolo, the five families of the New York mafia have historically been treated as separate enterprises for racketeering and racketeering conspiracy indictments in federal court cases. But the charges in this new indictment doesn't definitely prove the existence of an enterprise or allege an enterprise in terms of any specific organized crime family. He called the alleged East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise an over-encompassing term that is not distinct at all and can not itself constitute a racketeering enterprise. The indictment instead attempts to ''melds various organized crime groups '-- with their own sets of distinct rules and hierarchies '-- into one overly broad entity, concocted for the sole purpose of connecting these otherwise separate and independent units together.''
This indictment shows a complete failure by prosecutors to understand how mafia politics work says Meringolo. Tognino is facing one count of racketeering conspiracy related to his work as a bookie but is not being tied to any one crime family in the indictment which his lawyers says means he is being hit with overly general charges which should be dismissed. Could the various crime families today cooperate enough to maintain this type of criminal conspiracy? The 46 alleged mobsters and associates charged in the indictment will be hoping the feds can't prove it!
Filed Under: General Mafia News, Philadelphia MafiaTagged With: about the mafia, aboutthemafia, american mafia, Bonanno Crime Family, cosa nostra, cosa nostra news, East Coast La Cosa Nostra Enterprise, East Coast LCN Enterprise, Eugene (Rooster) O'Nofrio, Eugene O'Nofrio, Gambino Crime Family, Genovese Crime Family, Joey Merlino, joseph "skinny joey" merlino, Joseph Merlino, la cosa nostra, latest mafia news, Lucchese Crime Family, mafia, mafia 2016, mafia families, mafia information, mafia news, mafia news 2016, mafia news today, mafia today, mob news, Mobster, Mobsters, New York Mafia, new york mafia five families, new york mafia news, ny mafia, ny mafia news, ny mob, ny mob news, organized crime, Pasquale (Patsy) Parrello, Pasquale Parrello, Philadelphia Mafia, Philadelphia Mafia news, recent mafia news, the italian mafia, the mafia, the mafia today, the mob
46 Alleged Members of Infamous New York City Crime Families Arrested | WNEP.com
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 01:48
NEW YORK '-- The FBI arrested more than 40 alleged members of New York City mobs Thursday on suspicion of arson, health care fraud and illegal gambling, among other charges, officials said.
Those arrested include members of four of the five major Italian mafia families that allegedly dominate organized crime in the New York City area: the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese and Bonanno families. Also arrested were suspected members of the Philadelphia Organized Crime Family.
Most of the criminal activities were based in New York City, federal officials said. Arrests were carried out in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Florida.
The 46 defendants are suspected of being part of the East Coast LCN Enterprise, defined in a federal indictment as an ''organized criminal enterprise.''
They're accused of committing a slew of crimes dating back to at least 2011, including racketeering, extortion, arson, making extortionate extensions of credit, operating illegal gambling businesses, health care fraud, credit card fraud, selling untaxed cigarettes, firearms trafficking and assault, according to the indictment.
Assault charges in the indictment tell a story of intimidation and threats against those who owe the families money or who crossed them.
In one case, a panhandler was attacked with glass jars, sharp objects and steel-tipped boots after he allegedly harassed customers outside a Bronx restaurant owned by Pasqualle Parrello, the FBI said. Parrello is accused of ordering his crew to ''break (the panhandler's) legs'' for bothering the customers.
In another instance, Parrello and Israel Torres are accused of conspiring to retaliate against a man who allegedly stabbed Anthony Vazzano in the neck.
Mark Maiuzzo is accused of setting fire to a car parked outside a gambling club near the Yonkers Club, federal officials said. He was allegedly ordered to do so by Anthony Zinzi in a move to intimate the gambling club's booker, whose business was in direct competition with the Yonkers Club, the FBI said.
Also among the charges is health care fraud.
Investigators said the defendants convinced doctors to write ''unnecessary and excessive'' prescriptions for expensive compound cream then bill the suspects' insurance companies to receive a reimbursement for the medication in addition to kickbacks from the suspects, the FBI said.
The suspects are expected to appear in Manhattan court Thursday.
24 members of El Chapo's Sinaloa drug cartel arrested - NY Daily News
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 01:47
TUCSON, Ariz. '-- The highly secretive, daylong law enforcement operation around the Arizona border with Mexico resulted in the arrest of two dozen alleged high-level Mexican drug cartel members, according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman.
The sting known as Mexican Operation Diablo Express took place all of Friday as numerous law enforcement agencies converged onto Lukeville, Ariz., which sits on the border with Mexico.
Homeland Security Investigations, a unit of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, helped Mexican authorities nab 24 alleged members of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of Mexico's biggest drug-trafficking organizations, who were operating around Sonoyta, Mexico, and the U.S. border, spokeswoman Gillian M. Christensen said. The DEA, FBI, Customs and Border Protection and Arizona state and local agencies were on hand to assist.
''The targeted Sinaloa cell has been responsible for the importation of millions of pounds of illegal drugs, including marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, into the United States from Mexico during its existence. The organization is also responsible for the smuggling of millions of dollars in U.S. currency, along with weapons, into Mexico,'' Christensen said in a statement.
The operation was conducted ''with utmost secrecy'' and took all day Friday as numerous law enforcement officers worked in both Lukeville and Sonoyta, bordering cities that are on the route to the Puerto Pe±asco, the popular beach destination many Americans know as Rocky Point.
ICE helped Mexican federal police into the U.S. to keep them safe during the operation, Christensen said.
The sting also netted the seizure of several assault-type weapons and hundreds of pounds of drugs.
''ICE applauds the Government of Mexico for their bold action in taking down this criminal organization and for their continued pressure on the Sinaloa Cartel throughout Mexico,'' Christensen said.
50 photos view gallery
Inside the safe house and escape tunnel used by Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo'The arrests are the latest blow to the Sinaloa Cartel after the arrest of drug lord Joaquin ''El Chapo'' Guzman on Jan. 8, six months after he tunneled out of a top-security Mexican prison for the second time.
The Mexican government says it is cooperating with an extradition request for Guzman from the U.S.
The 24 people arrested on Friday have not been identified. They are in the custody of Mexican authorities, and the U.S. will seek extradition.
Tags:joaquin el chapo guzmanmexicoarizonaimmigrationdrug bustsdrug cartelsJoin the Conversation:facebookTweet
Trump's meeting with Mexico president ends in dispute over border wall payment talk - Chicago Tribune
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 01:46
On Mexican soil for the first time as the Republican presidential nominee, a firm but measured Donald Trump defended the right of the United States to build a massive border wall along its southern flank, standing up for the centerpiece of his immigration plan in a country where he is widely despised.
But within hours of Trump's visit, a dispute arose over the most contentious part of the billionaire's plans to secure the U.S. southern border '-- his insistence that Mexico must pay to build that wall.
When answering questions from adjacent lecterns before a Mexican flag after his meeting at the official residence of the country's president, Enrique Pena Nieto, Trump said Wednesday the two men didn't discuss who would pay for a cost of construction pegged in the billions.
Silent at that moment, Pena Nieto later tweeted, "At the start of the conversation with Donald Trump I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall."
With the meeting held behind closed doors, it was impossible to know who was telling the truth. But the difference in how Trump and Pena Nieto recalled their talk was an example of the political risk taken on by two unpopular politicians who arrived at the meeting having spent months quarreling from afar.
Trump began his campaign by deriding Mexico as a source of rapists and criminals, and piled on in the months to come as he attacked Mexico over free trade, illegal immigration and border security. Pena Nieto responded by condemning Trump's language, saying those were the sort of words that gave rise to Adolf Hitler.
Pena Nieto did not repeat such criticism Wednesday, but acknowledged Trump's comments had "hurt and affected Mexicans."
"The Mexicans deserve everyone's respect," he said.
The trip and the later dispute, arriving 10 weeks before America's presidential Election Day, came just hours before Trump was to deliver a highly anticipated speech in Arizona about illegal immigration. That has been a defining issue of his presidential campaign, but also one on which he's appeared to waver in recent days.
Trump stayed on script after the meeting, reading a statement from notes and politely answering shouted questions from reporters about his promise to force Mexico to pay for a wall along the border between the two countries.
"We did discuss the wall. We didn't discuss payment of the wall," Trump said.
Writing later on Twitter, Pena Nieto said the subject was among the first things the men discussed. He has for months said "there is no scenario" under which Mexico would pay for the wall.
"From there, the conversation addressed other issues, and developed a respectful manner," he added.
Those issues included the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has called the worst trade deal in history. Pena Nieto suggested there was room to improve the trade deal, while the New York businessman promised to promote trade deals that would keep jobs in the Western Hemisphere '-- a departure from his standard "America First" rhetoric.
Trump's presence Wednesday, his first meeting with a head of state abroad as a presidential candidate, sparked anger and protests across Mexico's capital city. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox bluntly told the celebrity businessman that, despite Pena Nieto's hospitality, he was not welcome.
"We don't like him. We don't want him. We reject his visit," Fox said on CNN, calling the trip a "political stunt."
Pena Nieto was less combative as he addressed reporters alongside Trump. He acknowledged the two men had differences and defended the contribution of Mexicans working in the United States, but he described the conversation as "open and constructive." He and Trump shook hands as the session ended.
Pena Nieto's performance came in for immediate condemnation from his many critics in Mexico.
"Pena ended up forgiving Trump when he didn't even ask for an apology," said Esteban Illades, the editor of Nexos magazine. "The lowest point of the most painful day in the history of the Mexican presidency."
After saying during his Republican primary campaign he would use a "deportation force" to expel all of the estimated 11 million people living in the United States illegally, Trump suggested last week he could soften that stance.
But he still says he plans to build a huge wall '-- paid for by Mexico '-- along the two nations' border. He is under pressure to clarify just where he stands in the Wednesday night speech, which had been rescheduled several times.
Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, told CBS earlier in Wednesday that Trump would make clear "that there will be no path to legalization, no path to citizenship. People will need to leave the country to be able to obtain legal status or obtain citizenship."
Campaigning in Ohio, Democrat Hillary Clinton jabbed at Trump's Mexican appearance as she promoted her own experience working with foreign leaders as the nation's chief diplomat.
"People have to get to know that they can count on you, that you won't say one thing one day and something totally different the next," she told the American Legion in Cincinnati.
Her campaign jumped on Pena Nieto's later tweet, too.
"It turns out Trump didn't just choke," said Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in a statement, "he got beat in the room and lied about it."
Associated Press
Mexico's New President Has Ties to Cartels - Breitbart
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 01:38
Mexico's presidential election is over, and the early results reveal that the winner is Enrique Pena Nieto, the leader of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ruled Mexico for 71 years until 2000. Pena Nieto received 38 percent of the vote, while his closest challenger, Mexico City mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, had 31 percent. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
For many in and out of Mexico, this is a disturbing result; the Institutional Revolutionary Party was well known for its connections to the drug cartels. Besides being widely accused of stealing the 1988 presidential election, they are viewed with distrust by those who hoped the cartels' vicious hold on Mexico, which has led to the loss of 50,000 lives since 2006, when Felipe Calderon was elected, could be thwarted. Calderon had unsuccessfully tried to fight the cartels with the military.
Obrador refused to hear the fat lady sing, and would not concede, stating:
''We have to represent them as they deserve to be represented, the citizens that have confided in us. We will not, in any way, act in an irresponsible way, we will have all of the information. And when it is the right time, we will inform the people of Mexico about the result of this election.''
Pena Nieto may well be corrupt; he is no innocent. During his first marriage he had numerous affairs and fathered two children out of wedlock. Despite his party's reputation, he promised he would not be in bed with the cartels:
''The fight against crime will continue with a new strategy to reduce violence and protect the lives of Mexicans. Let it be clear, with organized crime there will be no pacts or truce.''
But there were skeptics; Barry Carr, an expert on Mexico from Australia's Latrobe University, said many Mexicans voted for Pena Nieto because they thought his closeness to the cartels would enable him to strike a deal with them:
''I think that we may see, not publicly, but I think we may see an attempt '' and I think this is what a lot of Mexicans want '' and that we may see the scale of the killings reduced. In other words there may be an implicit deal being done under which there will be less emphasis on pursuing militarily or by police the drug cartels, and there will be an attempt to persuade the drug cartels to reduce the level of killing both of themselves and of other individuals.''
There is no single drug cartel in Mexico; there are many, with various spheres of influence:
La Familla Michoacana, which was placed on the Kingpin Designation Act list by the U.S. government in April 2009. In May 2009, The Los Angeles Times reported that La Familia was deeply involved in the political machine of Michoacan. According to mayors in the region, no party has been free of its influence or interference. Failure by a recruit of La Familla to live by the rules means they are executed.Los Zetas: The original members of Los Zetas came from the Special Forces Airmobile Group, and were thought to be the most highly trained soldiers in the Mexican army. They are trained in surveillance and countersurveillance, urban warfare tactics, hostage rescue, prison escape, and the use of assault weapons and explosives. In August 2010, they massacred 72 migrants from Central America who were on their way to the U.S.-Mexico border. In February 2011, Los Zetas shot two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents near San Lu­s Potos­, seriously injuring one and killing the other. In March 2010, Mexican authorities found mass graves containing over 200 bodies of innocent Mexican citizens who were taken from buses and executed for refusing to join the group or pay ransom.The Arellano Felix/Fernando Sanchez Organization, which operates in Baja California. They smuggle multi-ton quantities of cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine into the United States, and has a reputation for extreme violence.The Cartel del Pacifico Sur became very powerful in 2009, but lost one of their top bosses in a raid by the Mexican navy in December 2009. They are still doing business, though.The Gulf cartel is from Matamoros, Tamaulipas state, and smuggles cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine into the US. They are different from the other cartels because they do not have one power center. In the late 1990's, Osiel Cardenas Guillen became the undisputed leader of the Gulf cartel. Cardenas Guillen was jailed in 2003, but continued to run the cartel from a Mexican prison until he was extradited to the US in 2007. Then three cartel lieutenants took charge of operations so it became more spread out. Cardenal Guillen's arrest triggered a series of events that mark the cartels to this day. After he was arrested, the Sinaloa Federation began to move into Gulf territory. Cardenas Guillen then hired a group of former Mexican army commandos known as Los Zetas, who later split with the Gulf cartel and became what they are today. Because Los Zetas has become so powerful, the Gulf Cartel eventually allied with the Sinaloa Federation and La Familia Michoacana.The Juarez cartel, AKA The Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Organization, controls billions of dollars of illegal drug shipments entering the US from Mexico.The Sinaloa foundation, AKA the Pacific cartel or Golden Triangle Alliance, is the force responsible for the smuggling of Colombian cocaine, Mexican marijuana and methamphetamine, and Mexican and Southeast Asian heroin into the US. By the mid-1990s, it was equivalent to the Colombian Medellin cartel at the height of its power. The foundation has been fighting the Arellano Felix Organization (AFO) for control of Tijuana plaza for 20 years. since the early 1990s. The killings in northern Baja has been because of this feud.It's clear that the cartels have a government of their own which has no interest in being stymied, whatever the cost. More than 50,000 people have died just south of our border. But the violence will inevitably spread northward. Meanwhile the federal government prevents states like Arizona from protecting themselves. At what point will the rest of America wake up to the imminent threat?
EuroLand Gouging
Apple Ordered To Repay $14.5 Billion In "Illegal" Tax Benefits, Stock Falls 2% | Zero Hedge
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 11:59
As the FT reported first yesterday, the EU has judged that the Irish government granted Apple "undue tax benefits" and moments ago the European Commission announced the size of the penalty when it ordered the tech giant repay up to '‚¬13 billion ($14.5 billion) plus interest. According to the EU, the Irish deal slashed Apple taxes from 2003 to 2014, and allowed Apple to avoid tax on almost all EU profit, lowering its effective tax rate on European profits from 0.005% to 1%.
''The commission's investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years,'' EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager says in e-mailed statement from Brussels. ''This is illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Ireland must now recover the illegal aid,'' the commission said in a statement.
Apple and the Irish government have both vowed to fight the decision.
Ireland's finance minister, Michael Noonan, said that he disagreed "profoundly" with the decision. "I disagree profoundly with the Commission," Mr Noonan said in a statement. "The decision leaves me with no choice but to seek cabinet approval to appeal. This is necessary to defend the integrity of our tax system; to provide tax certainty to business; and to challenge the encroachment of EU state aid rules into the sovereign member state competence of taxation."
As a result of the announcement, AAPL stock was down more than 2% in European trading.
The full EU press release is below:
State aid: Ireland gave illegal tax benefits to Apple worth up to '‚¬13 billion
Brussels, 30 August 2016
The European Commission has concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to '‚¬13 billion to Apple. This is illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Ireland must now recover the illegal aid.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "Member States cannot give tax benefits to selected companies '' this is illegal under EU state aid rules. The Commission's investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years. In fact, this selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 per cent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 per cent in 2014."
Following an in-depth state aid investigation launched in June 2014, the European Commission has concluded that two tax rulings issued by Ireland to Apple have substantially and artificially lowered the tax paid by Apple in Ireland since 1991. The rulings endorsed a way to establish the taxable profits for two Irish incorporated companies of the Apple group (Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe), which did not correspond to economic reality: almost all sales profits recorded by the two companies were internally attributed to a "head office". The Commission's assessment showed that these "head offices" existed only on paper and could not have generated such profits. These profits allocated to the "head offices" were not subject to tax in any country under specific provisions of the Irish tax law, which are no longer in force. As a result of the allocation method endorsed in the tax rulings, Apple only paid an effective corporate tax rate that declined from 1% in 2003 to 0.005% in 2014 on the profits of Apple Sales International.
This selective tax treatment of Apple in Ireland is illegal under EU state aid rules, because it gives Apple a significant advantage over other businesses that are subject to the same national taxation rules. The Commission can order recovery of illegal state aid for a ten-year period preceding the Commission's first request for information in 2013. Ireland must now recover the unpaid taxes in Ireland from Apple for the years 2003 to 2014 of up to '‚¬13 billion, plus interest.
In fact, the tax treatment in Ireland enabled Apple to avoid taxation on almost all profits generated by sales of Apple products in the entire EU Single Market. This is due to Apple's decision to record all sales in Ireland rather than in the countries where the products were sold. This structure is however outside the remit of EU state aid control. If other countries were to require Apple to pay more tax on profits of the two companies over the same period under their national taxation rules, this would reduce the amount to be recovered by Ireland.
Apple's tax structure in Europe
Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe are two Irish incorporated companies that are fully-owned by the Apple group, ultimately controlled by the US parent, Apple Inc. They hold the rights to use Apple's intellectual property to sell and manufacture Apple products outside North and South America under a so-called 'cost-sharing agreement' with Apple Inc. Under this agreement, Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe make yearly payments to Apple in the US to fund research and development efforts conducted on behalf of the Irish companies in the US. These payments amounted to about US$ 2 billion in 2011 and significantly increased in 2014. These expenses, mainly borne by Apple Sales International, contributed to fund more than half of all research efforts by the Apple group in the US to develop its intellectual property worldwide. These expenses are deducted from the profits recorded by Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe in Ireland each year, in line with applicable rules.
The taxable profits of Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe in Ireland are determined by a tax ruling granted by Ireland in 1991, which in 2007 was replaced by a similar second tax ruling. This tax ruling was terminated when Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe changed their structures in 2015.
Apple Sales International
Apple Sales International is responsible for buying Apple products from equipment manufacturers around the world and selling these products in Europe (as well as in the Middle East, Africa and India). Apple set up their sales operations in Europe in such a way that customers were contractually buying products from Apple Sales International in Ireland rather than from the shops that physically sold the products to customers. In this way Apple recorded all sales, and the profits stemming from these sales, directly in Ireland.
The two tax rulings issued by Ireland concerned the internal allocation of these profits within Apple Sales International (rather than the wider set-up of Apple's sales operations in Europe). Specifically, they endorsed a split of the profits for tax purposes in Ireland: Under the agreed method, most profits were internally allocated away from Ireland to a "head office" within Apple Sales International. This "head office" was not based in any country and did not have any employees or own premises. Its activities consisted solely of occasional board meetings. Only a fraction of the profits of Apple Sales International were allocated to its Irish branch and subject to tax in Ireland. The remaining vast majority of profits were allocated to the "head office", where they remained untaxed.
Therefore, only a small percentage of Apple Sales International's profits were taxed in Ireland, and the rest was taxed nowhere. In 2011, for example (according to figures released at US Senate public hearings), Apple Sales International recorded profits of US$ 22 billion (c.a. '‚¬16 billion[1]) but under the terms of the tax ruling only around '‚¬50 million were considered taxable in Ireland, leaving '‚¬15.95 billion of profits untaxed. As a result, Apple Sales International paid less than '‚¬10 million of corporate tax in Ireland in 2011 '' an effective tax rate of about 0.05% on its overall annual profits. In subsequent years, Apple Sales International's recorded profits continued to increase but the profits considered taxable in Ireland under the terms of the tax ruling did not. Thus this effective tax rate decreased further to only 0.005% in 2014.
Apple Operations Europe
On the basis of the same two tax rulings from 1991 and 2007, Apple Operations Europe benefitted from a similar tax arrangement over the same period of time. The company was responsible for manufacturing certain lines of computers for the Apple group. The majority of the profits of this company were also allocated internally to its "head office" and not taxed anywhere.
Commission assessment
Tax rulings as such are perfectly legal. They are comfort letters issued by tax authorities to give a company clarity on how its corporate tax will be calculated or on the use of special tax provisions.
The role of EU state aid control is to ensure Member States do not give selected companies a better tax treatment than others, via tax rulings or otherwise. More specifically, profits must be allocated between companies in a corporate group, and between different parts of the same company, in a way that reflects economic reality. This means that the allocation should be in line with arrangements that take place under commercial conditions between independent businesses (so-called "arm's length principle").
In particular, the Commission's state aid investigation concerned two consecutive tax rulings issued by Ireland, which endorsed a method tointernally allocate profits within Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe,two Irish incorporated companies. It assessed whether this endorsed method to calculate the taxable profits of each company in Ireland gave Apple an undue advantage that is illegal under EU state aid rules.
The Commission's investigation has shown that the tax rulings issued by Ireland endorsed an artificial internal allocation of profits within Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe, which has no factual or economic justification. As a result of the tax rulings, most sales profits of Apple Sales International were allocated to its "head office" when this "head office" had no operating capacity to handle and manage the distribution business, or any other substantive business for that matter. Only the Irish branch of Apple Sales International had the capacity to generate any income from trading, i.e. from the distribution of Apple products. Therefore, the sales profits of Apple Sales International should have been recorded with the Irish branch and taxed there.
The "head office" did not have any employees or own premises. The only activities that can be associated with the "head offices" are limited decisions taken by its directors (many of which were at the same time working full-time as executives for Apple Inc.) on the distribution of dividends, administrative arrangements and cash management. These activities generated profits in terms of interest that, based on the Commission's assessment, are the only profits which can be attributed to the "head offices".
Similarly, only the Irish branch of Apple Operations Europe had the capacity to generate any income from trading, i.e. from the production of certain lines of computers for the Apple group. Therefore, sales profits of Apple Operation Europe should have been recorded with the Irish branch and taxed there.
On this basis, the Commission concluded that the tax rulings issued by Ireland endorsed an artificial allocation of Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe's sales profits to their "head offices", where they were not taxed. As a result, the tax rulings enabled Apple to pay substantially less tax than other companies, which is illegal under EU state aid rules.
This decision does not call into question Ireland's general tax system or its corporate tax rate.
Furthermore, Apple's tax structure in Europe as such, and whether profits could have been recorded in the countries where the sales effectively took place, are not issues covered by EU state aid rules. If profits were recorded in other countries this could, however, affect the amount of recovery by Ireland (see more details below).
The infographic is available in high resolution here.
As a matter of principle, EU state aid rules require that incompatible state aid is recovered in order to remove the distortion of competition created by the aid. There are no fines under EU State aid rules and recovery does not penalise the company in question. It simply restores equal treatment with other companies.
The Commission has set out in its decision the methodology to calculate the value of the undue competitive advantage enjoyed by Apple. In particular, Ireland must allocate to each branch all profits from sales previously indirectly allocated to the "head office" of Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe, respectively, and apply the normal corporation tax in Ireland on these re-allocated profits. The decision does not ask for the reallocation of any interest income of the two companies that can be associated with the activities of the "head office".
The Commission can only order recovery of illegal state aid for a ten-year period preceding the Commission's first request for information in this matter, which dates back to 2013. Ireland must therefore recover from Apple the unpaid tax for the period since 2003, which amounts to up to '‚¬13 billion, plus interest. Around '‚¬50 million in unpaid taxes relate to the undue allocation of profits to the "head office" of Apple Operations Europe. The remainder results from the undue allocation of profits to the "head office" of Apple Sales International. The recovery period stops in 2014, as Apple changed its structure in Ireland as of 2015 and the ruling of 2007 no longer applies.
The amount of unpaid taxes to be recovered by the Irish authorities would be reduced if other countries were to require Apple to pay more taxes on the profits recorded by Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe for this period. This could be the case if they consider, in view of the information revealed through the Commission's investigation, that Apple's commercial risks, sales and other activities should have been recorded in their jurisdictions. This is because the taxable profits of Apple Sales International in Ireland would be reduced if profits were recorded and taxed in other countries instead of being recorded in Ireland.
The amount of unpaid taxes to be recovered by the Irish authorities would also be reduced if the US authorities were to require Apple to pay larger amounts of money to their US parent company for this period to finance research and development efforts. These are conducted by Apple in the US on behalf of Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe, for which the two companies already make annual payments.
Finally, all Commission decisions are subject to scrutiny by EU courts. If a Member State decides to appeal a Commission decision, it must still recover the illegal state aid but could, for example, place the recovered amount in an escrow account pending the outcome of the EU court procedures.
Since June 2013, the Commission has been investigating the tax ruling practices of Member States. It extended this information inquiry to all Member States in December 2014. In October 2015, the Commission concluded that Luxembourg and the Netherlands had granted selective tax advantages to Fiat and Starbucks, respectively. In January 2016, the Commission concluded that selective tax advantages granted by Belgium to least 35 multinationals, mainly from the EU, under its "excess profit" tax scheme are illegal under EU state aid rules. The Commission also has two ongoing in-depth investigations into concerns that tax rulings may give rise to state aid issues in Luxembourg, as regards Amazon and McDonald's.
This Commission has pursued a far-reaching strategy towards fair taxation and greater transparency and we have recently seen major progress. Following our proposals on tax transparency of March 2015, Member States reached a political agreementalready in October 2015 on automatic exchange of information on tax rulings. This legislation will help to bring about a much greater degree of transparency and deter from using tax rulings as an instrument for tax abuse. In June 2015, we unveiled our Action Plan for fair and effective taxation: a series of initiatives which aims to make the corporate tax environment in the EU fairer and more efficient. Key actions included a framework to ensure effective taxation where profits are generated and a strategy to re-launch the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base for which a fresh proposal is expected later this year. The Commission launched a further package of initiatives to combat corporate tax avoidance within the EU and throughout the world on 27 January of this year. As a direct result, Member States have already agreed to tackle the most prevalent loopholes in national laws that allow tax avoidance to take place and to extend their automatic exchange of information to country-by-country reporting of tax-related financial information of multinationals. A proposal is also on the table to make some of this information public. All of our work rests on the simple principle that all companies, big and small, must pay tax where they make their profits.
The non-confidential version of the decisions will be made available under the case number SA.38373 in the State aid register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. The State Aid Weekly e-News lists new publications of State aid decisions on the internet and in the EU Official Journal.
Apple travesty is a reminder why Britain must leave the lawless EU
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 03:19
Europe's Competition Directorate commands the shock troops of the EU power structure. Ensconced in its fortress at Place Madou, it can dispatch swat teams on corporate dawn raids across Europe without a search warrant.
It operates outside the normal judicial control that we take for granted in a developed democracy. The US Justice Department could never dream of acting in such a fashion.
Known as 'DG Comp', it acts as judge, jury, and executioner, and can in effect impose fines large enough to constitute criminal sanctions, but without the due process protection of criminal law. It misused evidence so badly in pursuit of the US chipmaker Intel that the company alleged a violation of human rights.
Apple is just the latest of the great US digital companies to face this Star Chamber. It has vowed to appeal the monster '‚¬13bn fine handed down from Brussels this week for violation of EU state aid rules, but the only recourse is the European Court of Justice. This is usually a forlorn ritual. The ECJ is a political body, the enforcer of the EU's teleological doctrines. It ratifies executive power.
We can mostly agree that Apple, Google, Starbucks, and others have gamed the international system, finding legal loopholes to whittle down their tax liabilities and enrich shareholders at the expense of society. It is such moral conduct that has driven wealth inequality to alarming levels, and provoked a potent backlash against globalisation.
But the 'Double Irish' or the 'Dutch Sandwich' and other such tax avoidance schemes are being phased out systematically by the G20 and by a series of tightening rules from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The global machinery of "profit shifting" will face a new regime by 2018.
What is really going on - as often in EU affairs - is a complex political attack on multiple fronts
We can agree too that Apple's cosy EU arrangements should never have been permitted. It paid the standard 12.5pc corporate tax on its Irish earnings - and is the country biggest taxpayers - but the Commission alleges that its effective rate of tax on broader earnings in 2014 was 0.005pc, achieved by shuffling profits into a special 'stateless company' with its headquarters in Ireland.
"The profits did not have any factual or economic justification. The ''head office'' had no employees, no premises and no real activities," said Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition chief.
This may be true but that does not empower the Commission to act arbitrarily, retroactively, and beyond the rule of law. What is really going on - as often in EU affairs - is a complex political attack on multiple fronts. It is a reminder of why Britain must remove itself entirely and forever from the clutches of this Caesaropapist construction.
Apple's chief executive, Tim Cook, has '‚¬13bn axe to grind, but he is almost certainly right in arguing that Mrs Vestager is making up state aid rules as she goes along, and has yet to produce evidence that Dublin granted Apple a sweetheart deal on taxes. "This claim has no basis in fact or in law," he said.
"The Commission's move is unprecedented and it has serious, wide-reaching implications. It is effectively proposing to replace Irish tax laws. This would strike a devastating blow to the sovereignty of EU member states over their own tax matters, and to the principle of certainty of law in Europe," he said.
Ireland is now in the odd position of being told that it must claw back '‚¬13bn of back taxes from Apple even though it categorically rejects the legal arguments of Mrs Vestager.
"They're overreaching their competence. The European treaties say the individual states are responsible for taxation policy. This is an approach through the back door to try and influence tax policy through competition law," said Ireland's finance minister, Michael Noonan.
We have to see this for what it is - a highly politically-motivated targeting of a small member state along with a clear bias against US multinationalsMichael Hayes, Fine Gael MP
The EU authorities are trying to subvert the sovereign prerogative of the elected Dail to determine Irish tax and fiscal policies, and some are clearly hoping to shut down Ireland's special low tax model and end its role as an off-shore aircraft carrier for US companies.
"We have to see this for what it is - a highly politically-motivated targeting of a small member state along with a clear bias against US multinationals," said Fine Gael MP, Michael Hayes.
Washington is outraged. The US Treasury Jacob Lew warned Brussels earlier this year that it was seeking "to impose penalties retroactively based on a new and expansive interpretation of state aid rules,'' and that it appeared to be "targeting US companies disproportionately".
Last week the US Treasury accused Mrs Vestager of "chilling" Transatlantic ties in a blistering report on the EU's campaign of state aid probes. It said Brussels was deviating from established case law and had "collapsed the concepts of 'advantage' and 'selectivity'. The report came within a whisker of alleging outright chicanery, deception, and lies.
Needless to say, there is Treasury money at stake. American companies are allowed to deduct their payments to foreign tax authorities, so such fines cut US tax revenue dollar for dollar. "That outcome is deeply troubling, as it would effectively constitute a transfer of revenue to the EU from the US government and its taxpayers,'' said the report.
Washington has invited the problem by failing to reform the US corporate tax system. The US rate is badly out of line with the rest of the world at 35pc - and higher under some effective rates - and this is compounded by the effects of its world-wide tax code.
"American companies feel squeezed by the new rules coming and that is why they do these complex tax deals in Europe. If the US tax rate came down to the low 20s, they wouldn't bother any more," said one official.
"Obama didn't grapple with this issue because it is a can of worms, but it is a can that has to be opened," he said.
Behind the shadow boxing is a strong suspicion that powerful forces in the EU are trying to use state aid probes to break the global dominance of America's technology giants, vainly hoping to nurture its own 'Silicon Valley' behind a digital wall. Amazon, Facebook, Google, as well as Apple, are all under fire, and Microsoft has fought an epic battle.
The view in Washington is that Mrs Vestager's probe of the Russian gas giant Gazprom is being conducted with kid gloves, and that she is strangely accommodating over the Nord Stream pipeline so favoured by Germany. It is almost as if some in Brussels view America as the real enemy.
The US has in the past played down the episodic outbursts of anti-Americanism, but patience is wearing thin and the strategic calculus is shifting. Donald Trump has already warned that he is willing to "walk away" from NATO altogether.
Others question ever more loudly exactly why the US should continue to guarantee the EU's eastern border against Vladimir Putin's Russia if Brussels is behaving in such an unfriendly fashion - and without the American security blanket a disarmed Europe is almost completely defenceless. The EU needs to watch its step.
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Jack Lew - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 05:46
Jack Lew76th United States Secretary of the TreasuryAssumed officeFebruary 28, 2013PresidentBarack ObamaDeputyNeal WolinMary MillerSarah Bloom RaskinPreceded byTimothy Geithner26thWhite House Chief of StaffIn officeJanuary 27, 2012 '' January 20, 2013PresidentBarack ObamaPreceded byWilliam DaleySucceeded byDenis McDonoughDirector of the Office of Management and BudgetIn officeNovember 18, 2010 '' January 27, 2012PresidentBarack ObamaPreceded byJeffrey Zients(Acting)Succeeded byJeffrey Zients(Acting)In officeMay 21, 1998 '' January 19, 2001PresidentBill ClintonPreceded byFranklin RainesSucceeded byMitch DanielsDeputy Secretary of State for Management and ResourcesIn officeJanuary 28, 2009 '' November 18, 2010PresidentBarack ObamaPreceded byPosition establishedSucceeded byThomas NidesPersonal detailsBornJacob Joseph Lew(1955-08-29) August 29, 1955 (age 61)New York City, New York, U.S.Political partyDemocraticSpouse(s)Ruth SchwartzChildren2Alma materHarvard UniversityGeorgetown UniversitySignature(money)Jacob Joseph "Jack" Lew (born August 29, 1955) is an American government administrator and attorney who is the 76th and current United States Secretary of the Treasury, serving since February 28, 2013. He served as the 26th White House Chief of Staff from 2012 to 2013. Lew previously served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Clinton and Obama Administrations, and is a member of the Democratic Party.
Born in New York City, Lew received his A.B. from Harvard College and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Lew began his career as a legislative assistant to Representative Joe Moakley and as a senior policy adviser to former House SpeakerTip O'Neill. Lew then worked as an attorney in private practice before working as a deputy in Boston's office of management and budget. In 1993, he began work for the Clinton Administration as Special Assistant to the President. In 1994 Lew served as Associate Director for Legislative Affairs and Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, where he served as Director of that agency from 1998 to 2001 and from 2010 to 2012. After leaving the Clinton Administration, Lew worked as the Executive Vice President for Operations at New York University from 2001 to 2006, and as the COO at Citigroup from 2006 to 2008. Lew then served as the first Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, from 2009 to 2010.
On January 10, 2013, Lew was nominated as the replacement for retiring Treasury SecretaryTimothy Geithner, to serve in PresidentBarack Obama's second term.[1] On February 27, 2013, the Senate confirmed Lew for the position. He was sworn in the following day.
Early life, education, and early careerEditLew was born in New York City to a Jewish family. He attended New York City public schools, graduating from Forest Hills High School.[2] His father was a lawyer and rare-book dealer who came to the United States from Poland as a child.[3] Lew attended Carleton College in Minnesota where his faculty adviser was Paul Wellstone, who eventually represented Minnesota in the U.S. Senate.[4] He graduated from Harvard College in 1978 and the Georgetown University Law Center in 1983.[5]
He worked as an aide to Rep. Joe Moakley (D-Mass.) from 1974 to 1975.[6] In 1979, he was a senior policy adviser to HouseSpeakerTip O'Neill.[7] Under O'Neill he served at the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee as Assistant Director and then Executive Director, and was responsible for work on domestic and economic issues including Social Security, Medicare, budget, tax, trade, appropriations, and energy issues.[8]
Lew practiced as an attorney for five years as a partner at Van Ness Feldman and Curtis.[9] His practice dealt primarily with electric power generation. He has also worked as Executive Director of the Center for Middle East Research, Issues Director for the Democratic National Committee's Campaign 88, and Deputy Director of the Office of Program Analysis in the city of Boston's Office of Management and Budget.[10][11]
Clinton administrationEditFrom February 1993 to 1994, Lew served as Special Assistant to the President under President Clinton.[12] Lew was responsible for policy development and the drafting of the national service initiative (AmeriCorps) and health care reform legislation.[13]
Lew left the White House in October 1994 to work as OMB's Executive Associate Director and Associate Director for Legislative Affairs.[14] From August 1995 until July 1998, Lew served as Deputy Director of OMB.[15] There, Lew was chief operating officer responsible for day-to-day management of a staff of 500. He had crosscutting responsibilities to coordinate Clinton administration efforts on budget and appropriations matters. He frequently served as a member of the Administration negotiating team, including regarding the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
President Clinton nominated Lew to be Director of the OMB,[16] and the United States Senate confirmed him for that job on July 31, 1998.[17] He served in that capacity until the end of the Clinton administration in January 2001. As OMB Director, Lew had the lead responsibility for the Clinton Administration's policies on budget, management, and appropriations issues. As a member of the Cabinet and senior member of the economic team, he advised the President on a broad range of domestic and international policies. He represented the Administration in budget negotiations with Congress and served as a member of the National Security Council.
Between Clinton and Obama tenuresEditAfter leaving public office in the Clinton administration, Lew served as the Executive Vice President for Operations at New York University and was a Clinical Professor of Public Administration at NYU's Wagner School of Public Service.[18] While at NYU, Lew aided the university in ending graduate students' collective bargaining rights. The Obama administration has maintained that Lew supports workers' union rights.[19] According to a 2004 report in NYU's student newspaper, the Washington Square News, Lew was paid $840,339 during the 2002-2003 academic year.[20] In addition, the university forgave several hundred thousand dollars in mortgage loans it made to Lew.[21]
In June 2006, Lew was named chief operating officer of Citigroup's Alternative Investments unit, a proprietary trading group. The unit he oversaw invested in a hedge fund "that bet on the housing market to collapse."[22] During his work at Citigroup, Lew had invested heavily in funds in Ugland House while he worked as an investment banker at Citigroup during the 2008 financial meltdown.[23] Lew also had oversight of Citigroup subsidiaries in countries including, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and Hong Kong; and during his time at Citigroup, Citigroup subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands increased to 113.[24]
Lew co-chaired the Advisory Board for City Year New York.[25] He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings InstitutionHamilton Project Advisory Board, and the National Academy of Social Insurance.[26] Lew is also a member of the bar in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.[27]
Deputy Secretary of StateEdit
As Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Lew was the State Department's chief operating officer and was primarily responsible for resource issues, while James Steinberg, who also served as Deputy Secretary of State during that period was responsible for policy.[28][29] Lew was co-leader of the State Department's Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.[30]
Budget directorEditOn July 13, 2010, the White House announced that Lew had been chosen to replace Peter Orszag as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), subject to Senate confirmation.[31] During confirmation hearings in the Senate, in response to questioning by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Lew said that he did not believe deregulation was a "proximate cause" of the financial crisis of 2007''2008: Lew told the panel that "the problems in the financial industry preceded deregulation," and after discussing those issues, added that he didn't "personally know the extent to which deregulation drove it, but I don't believe that deregulation was the proximate cause."[32][33]
On November 18, 2010, Lew was confirmed by the Senate by unanimous consent.
The $3.7 trillion 2011 budget President Obama unveiled the administration estimated reductions to federal spending deficits by $1.1 trillion over the next decade if adopted and economic assumptions were fully achieved. Two-thirds of that estimated reduction would come from spending cuts through a 5-year freeze in discretionary spending first announced in Obama's 2011 State of the Union address, as well as savings to mandatory programs such as Medicare and lower interest payments on the debt that would result from the lower spending. Tax increases are responsible for the other third of the reduction, including a cap on itemized reductions for wealthier taxpayers and the elimination of tax breaks for oil and gas companies.[34] Economist and former financial fraud investigator William K. Black warned that the OMB budget statement prepared under Lew's direction was "an ode to austerity," and that austerity would force the U.S. economy back into recession.[35]
Lew meeting with President Barack Obama and the Legislative Affairs Director Rob NaborsIn an op-ed in the Huffington Post, Lew cited top Administration priorities to achieve deficit reduction; including: $400 billion in savings from non-security discretionary spending freezes, $78 billion in cuts to the Department of Defense, returning to the Clinton-era tax rates for the top 2% of income earners, and lowering the Corporate tax from 35% to 25%.[36]
Chief of StaffEditOn January 9, 2012, President Obama announced that Lew would replace William M. Daley as White House Chief of Staff.[37] Lew's nomination was followed with criticism[38][39][40][41] after renewed reports that he received over $900,000 in bonuses while working at Citigroup, which had been rescued with $45 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) after losing $27.7 billion, or 90% of its value.[42][43]
During his tenure as Chief of Staff, Lew was seen as a supporter and top negotiator for a "grand bargain" deal between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, to avoid "Fiscal cliff" sequester cuts and tax increases.[8]
Secretary of the TreasuryEdit
Lew is sworn as Secretary of the Treasury by Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House, February 28, 2013.On January 10, 2013, President Obama nominated Lew for the position of Secretary of the Treasury.[1] The nomination became the subject of some humorous commentary, due to Lew's unusual loopy signature, which would have appeared on all U.S. paper currency for the duration of his tenure;[44] the signature generated enough media attention that Obama joked at a press conference that he had considered rescinding his nomination when he learned of it.[45] Lew later adopted a more conventional signature for currency.[46] The Senate Finance Committee held confirmation hearings for Lew on February 13, 2013,[47] and approved his nomination 19''5 on February 26, 2013, sending his nomination to the full Senate.[48]
During his confirmation hearings before the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley expressed concern that Lew did not know what Ugland House was, though he had invested in it.[49] Lew had invested heavily in funds in Ugland House while he worked as an investment banker at Citigroup during the 2008 financial meltdown.[50] He had taken advantage of current tax law and his financial allocation in the venture resulted in Lew taking roughly a 2.8% loss, a $1,582 decrease in his investment principal.[51]
On February 27, 2013, the full Senate voted and approved Lew for Secretary of the Treasury 71''26. He was sworn into office on February 28.[52]
In December 2013, Lew said that the government might run out of cash to pay the country's bills by late February or early March 2014. That sets up yet another showdown in Congress over raising or suspending the debt limit, a statutory limit on the total amount of United States borrowing, early in the year. ''The creditworthiness of the United States is an essential underpinning of our strength as a nation; it is not a bargaining chip to be used for partisan political ends,'' Mr. Lew said in the letter. ''Increasing the debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments. It simply allows the government to pay for expenditures Congress has already approved.''[53]
In May 2014, Lew received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Georgetown University and spoke at the first commencement ceremony of the McCourt School of Public Policy.[54]
^ abJackie Calmes (January 10, 2013). "Lew Would Complete Transformation of Obama's Economic Team". The New York Times. Retrieved January 10, 2013. ^"Homecoming". whitehouse.gov. June 27, 2011. ^"Trusted Aide to Obama Faces Test in Budget Showdown". The New York Times. December 1, 2012. ^Luke Johnson (January 9, 2012). "Jack Lew Biography: Meet The New White House Chief Of Staff". The Huffington Post. ^"Biographical information on Jack Lew". The Wall Street Journal. January 9, 2012. ^"Incoming White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew like Rahm sans %@#!". The Hill. January 12, 2012. Archived from the original on January 14, 2012. ^"Biographical information on Jack Lew". The Seattle Times. January 9, 2012. Archived from the original on May 13, 2013. ^ abCook, Nancy (9 January 2013). "Jack Lew: The Man Who Could Save Obama's Legacy". National Journal. Archived from the original on January 8, 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013. ^"Van Ness Feldman Congratulates Jack Lew on His Anticipated Nomination to Serve as Head of the White House Office of Management and Budget". VNF. July 13, 2010. Archived from the original on May 13, 2013. ^"Thompson Schedules Nomination Hearing on Jacob J. Lew". hsgac.senate.gov. May 28, 1998. Archived from the original on July 6, 2012. ^Pear, Robert (November 15, 2008). "Jacob J. Lew". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 4, 2014. ^"Obama's New Chief of Staff Third Gu Alumnus to Serve in Post". Georgetown University. January 18, 2012. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012. ^"Lew, Jacob J. "Jack"". Our Campaigns. January 26, 2012. Archived from the original on October 10, 2013. ^"The White House Office of the Press Secretary". Houston, Texas: National Archives and Records Administration. April 14, 1998. Archived from the original on July 26, 2001. Retrieved January 14, 2013. ^"A Look at the New White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew". Yahoo! News. January 9, 2012. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013. ^"President Clinton Announces OMB Director Raines' Departure". clinton4.nara.gov. April 14, 1998. Archived from the original on July 26, 2001. ^"OMB's Organization". clinton3.nara.gov. Archived from the original on July 24, 2001. ^"Nat'l Security Team Additions". RealClearPolitics. December 23, 2008. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. ^Eidelson, Josh. "Jack Lew's union-busting past". Salon. Archived from the original on January 10, 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013. ^James Freeman (January 30, 2013). "What Did Lew Do at NYU?". The Wall Street Journal. ^Kaminer, Ariel. "NYU will cease loans to top employees for second homes". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 26, 2013. Retrieved August 16, 2013. ^"Flashback: Lew's Time at Citi And Other Disappointments". Mother Jones. January 9, 2012. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. ^"From the Citi to the Caymans". WSJ News. February 12, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2013. ^Daniel Halper (13 February 2013). "Jack Lew Oversaw Up to 113 Cayman Island Investment Funds". Weekly Standard. Archived from the original on October 10, 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2013. ^"Director Jack Lew Blogs About CYNY". cityyearnewyork.wordpress.com. January 18, 2011. Archived from the original on January 26, 2011. ^"White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to Keynote December 16 Convocation; Stanley Raskas, Moise Safra and Diane Wassner to be Honored". Yeshiva University. November 26, 2012. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. ^"Obama National Security Team Takes Shape". National Journal. December 23, 2008. Archived from the original on December 27, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2010. ^"Obama Names Steinberg, Lew State Department Deputies". Bloomberg L.P. December 23, 2008. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2011. ^"Senior Officials". United States Department of State. Archived from the original on July 20, 2003. Retrieved February 6, 2011. ^Long, Emily (July 15, 2009). "State Department launches quadrennial review". Government Executive. Retrieved February 6, 2011. ^"President Obama Announces His Intent to Nominate Jacob Lew as OMB Director". The White House. July 13, 2010. Archived from the original on July 13, 2010. ^Nasiripour, Shahien (September 21, 2010). "Jacob Lew, Obama Nominee And Former Citigroup Executive, Doesn't Believe Deregulation Led To Financial Crisis". The Huffington Post. ^"Matt Taibbi & Bill Black: Obama's New Treasury Secretary a 'Failure of Epic Proportions'". AlterNet. January 11, 2013. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. ^Wasson, Erik (February 14, 2011). "Obama 2012 budget proposes $1.1T deficit cut over next decade". The Hill. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2012. ^"Obama's OMB Channels its Inner Tea Party". New Economic Perspectives. December 27, 2012. Archived from the original on January 3, 2013. ^Lew, Jacob (February 14, 2011). "The 2012 Budget". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 7, 2013. ^"Obama chief of staff Bill Daley steps down, budget chief Jack Lew steps up". CBS News. January 9, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2012. ^"The new WH Chief of Staff and Citigroup". Salon. January 10, 2012. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2013. ^"Are These Examples of Washington Corruption?". cato.org. Retrieved January 7, 2013. ^"OMB nominee got $900,000 after Citigroup bailout". washingtontimes.com. July 28, 2010. Archived from the original on August 2, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2013. ^Lipton, Eric (February 11, 2009). "Advisers' Citigroup Ties Raise Questions". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 4, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2013. ^"BUSTED: Obama's New Budget Chief Got A $900K Bonus From Citigroup After It Got A Bailout". Business Insider. July 29, 2010. Archived from the original on July 29, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2013. ^Bray, Chad (December 5, 2012). "Citigroup Inc.". International New York Times. Archived from the original on March 17, 2007. Retrieved January 7, 2013. ^"Likely Treasury Secretary Under Fire for Signature". ABC News. January 9, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2013. ^Rachel Weiner (January 10, 2013). "Obama mocks Lew's signature". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 10, 2013. ^Goldfarb, Zachary A. (June 18, 2013). "Treasury Secretary Jack Lew unveils new signature after quibbles with his scribble". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved July 29, 2013. ^Nomination of Jacob J. Lew: Hearing Before the Committee on Finance, United States Senate, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, First Session, on the Nomination of Jacob J. Lew, to be Secretary, Department of the Treasury, February 13, 2013^Kelsey Snell (February 26, 2013). "Senate Finance approves Jack Lew nomination for Treasury". Politico. Archived from the original on March 4, 2014. ^"Grassley Says Lew's Ignorance of Ugland House 'Does not Build Confidence'". Tax Notes Today. February 13, 2013. p. 2013 TNT 31-26. ^"From the Citi to the Caymans". WSJ News. February 12, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2013. ^Timothy W. Coleman (February 16, 2013). "Politically inconvenient taxation". Washington Times Communities. Archived from the original on February 17, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2013. ^"Jack Lew Gets Enough Senate Votes to Be Confirmed as Treasury Secretary". CNBC. Archived from the original on March 4, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013. ^Annie Lowrey (December 19, 2013). "Congress Is Warned Anew Not to Breach Debt Ceiling". International New York Times. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. ^"Georgetown Announces Speakers for 2014 Commencement". Georgetown University. May 1, 2014. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014. ^ abWagner, Ellis, White House Correspondent, "Clinton's Budget Brain Returning to OMB Helm," Politics Daily, July 16, 2010, retrieved February 5, 2012.^"Obama names Jack Lew new chief of staff". Ynetnews. Retrieved January 9, 2012. ^Hoffman, Allison (April 3, 2013). "A School for D.C.'s Jewish Elite". Baltimore Jewish Life. Retrieved December 2, 2014. ^Donn, Yochonon. "Jack Lew: Liberal Jew, White House's First 'Gabbai'". Hamodia. Retrieved January 3, 2013. ^Gibson, David (January 10, 2012). "New White House Staffers, Cecille Munoz and Jacob Lew, Have Strategic Catholic, Jewish Ties". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
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Margrethe Vestager - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 03:29
Vestager has been a professional politician since the age of 21, when she was appointed to the central board and executive committee of the SLP and its European Affairs Committee, and shortly afterwards as National Chairwoman of the Party.
In 2001, Vestager was elected to the Danish Parliament, becoming Chairwoman of its Parliamentary Group in 2007. She was appointed Minister of Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs in 1998.
On 15 June 2007 Vestager secured election as her Party's parliamentary group leader in the Folketing, replacing Marianne Jelved.[4] When Denmark's Prime MinisterLars L¸kke Rasmussen called an early election in 2011 after failing to secure majority lawmaker backing for his economic stimulus package, Vestager's Social Liberals and the Conservative People's Party formed a political alliance, pledging to work together no matter which political bloc would win the election.[5]
Minister for Economic and Interior Affairs of Denmark, 2011-2014EditFrom 2011 until 2014 Vestager served as Minister for Economic and Interior Affairs in the three-party Social Democrat-led coalition government of Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Having forced through deep cuts in unemployment benefits of Denmark's generous social welfare system after the country's economy narrowly escaped recession in 2012,[6] she was at one point considered by Danish media and pollsters as the most powerful person in government, even above Thorning-Schmidt.[7]
In her time in office, chaired the meetings of economic and finance ministers of the European Union (ECOFIN) during Denmark's presidency of the Council of Ministers in 2012.[8] In this capacity, she announced that the European Union would cede two of its seats on the board of the International Monetary Fund to emerging economies under a new power-sharing scheme for international financial institutions.[9] She also worked closely with Jean-Claude Juncker to salvage Europe's financial sector and forge a European Banking Union.[10]
Between 2011 and 2014, Vestager led Denmark's campaign against Basel III liquidity rules, arguing in favor of allowing banks to use 75 percent more in covered bonds to fill liquidity buffers than allowed under Basel III rules; at the time; Denmark's $550 billion mortgage-backed covered bond market, part of the country's two-century-old mortgage system,[11] was the world's largest per capita.[12] Meanwhile, in 2013 she repeatedly ruled out slowing down steps toward stricter requirements for systemically important lenders and reiterated her stance that banks won't get tax breaks to help them through the transition caused by regulatory reform.[13]
In May 2014, Vestager presented a growth package designed to drag Denmark's economy '' at the time Scandinavia's weakest '' out of its crisis, raising the country's structural output by 6 billion kroner ($1.1 billion) and cut costs for companies by 4 billion kroner in 2020 through 89 measures to improve the business climate and boost employment.[14]
European Commissioner for the Removal of Competition, 2014''presentEditOn 31 August 2014, Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt nominated Vestager as Denmark's EU Commissioner in the Juncker Commission.[15] Despite her repeated denials of campaigning for the Environment portfolio,[16][17] eventually she was designated the Competition dossier in the Juncker Commission.[18] On 3 October 2014, she won the European Parliament's backing following her confirmation hearing.[19][20]
In her confirmation hearings, Vestager said she favored reaching settlement of cases before they come to her for a final executive judgment, usually for reduced fines or negotiated concessions from the companies.[21]
Like her predecessor, Joaqu­n Almunia, Vestager has since been focusing on state aid cases.[22] Within few months in the office, she brought antitrust charges against Google; Almunia had initially opened the investigation into Google in 2010, and had reached a settlement deal with Google by 2014 but was unable to convince the European Commission to accept it before his term ended. Vestager inherited Almunia's case but has shown greater desire to continue pursuing Google/Alphabet over the alleged antitrust violations.[23] Also, she initiated investigations into the tax affairs of Fiat, Starbucks, Amazon.com and Apple Inc. under competition rules.[24] In 2014, she launched proceedings against Gazprom, one of Europe's main gas suppliers, over allegations of breaching EU antitrust rules by putting in place artificial barriers to trade with eight European countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria.[25]
In January 2015, Vestager ordered Cyprus Airways to pay back over 65 million euros in illegal state aid received in 2012 and 2013 as part of a restructuring package; as a consequence, Cyprus suspended operations at its flag carrier resulting in 550 job losses and reduced competition.[26][27]
State aid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 03:32
State aid is a subsidy provided by a government.
Under European Union competition law the term has a legal meaning, being any measure that demonstrates all the characteristics in Article 107 TFEU.[1] Measures which fall within the definition of state aid are unlawful unless provided under an exemption or notified.
The first chapter of the law defines what is not allowed to be done with state aid and the second chapter defines actions that can be done within legal limits.
1. Save as otherwise provided in the Treaties, any aid granted by a Member State or through State resources in any form whatsoever which distorts or threatens to distort competition by favouring certain undertakings or the production of certain goods shall, in so far as it affects trade between Member States, be incompatible with the internal market.
In other words, in order to avoid favouring a certain company or commercial group, an EU member state should not provide support in the means of lesser taxation or other ways to a party that does normal commercial business.
State aid however, can be given to parties involved in charity or "to promote culture and heritage conservation"
EUR-Lex - 12008E107 - EN - EUR-Lex
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 03:32
Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union - PART THREE: UNION POLICIES AND INTERNAL ACTIONS - TITLE VII: COMMON RULES ON COMPETITION, TAXATION AND APPROXIMATION OF LAWS - Chapter 1: Rules on competition - Section 2: Aids granted by States - Article 107 (ex Article 87 TEC)Official Journal 115 , 09/05/2008 P. 0091 - 0092
Article 107
(ex Article 87 TEC)
1. Save as otherwise provided in the Treaties, any aid granted by a Member State or through State resources in any form whatsoever which distorts or threatens to distort competition by favouring certain undertakings or the production of certain goods shall, in so far as it affects trade between Member States, be incompatible with the internal market.
2. The following shall be compatible with the internal market:
(a) aid having a social character, granted to individual consumers, provided that such aid is granted without discrimination related to the origin of the products concerned;
(b) aid to make good the damage caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences;
(c) aid granted to the economy of certain areas of the Federal Republic of Germany affected by the division of Germany, in so far as such aid is required in order to compensate for the economic disadvantages caused by that division. Five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the Council, acting on a proposal from the Commission, may adopt a decision repealing this point.
3. The following may be considered to be compatible with the internal market:
(a) aid to promote the economic development of areas where the standard of living is abnormally low or where there is serious underemployment, and of the regions referred to in Article 349, in view of their structural, economic and social situation;
(b) aid to promote the execution of an important project of common European interest or to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State;
(c) aid to facilitate the development of certain economic activities or of certain economic areas, where such aid does not adversely affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest;
(d) aid to promote culture and heritage conservation where such aid does not affect trading conditions and competition in the Union to an extent that is contrary to the common interest;
(e) such other categories of aid as may be specified by decision of the Council on a proposal from the Commission.
Onderzoek naar omstreden belastingdeals Nederland, daarna Belgi aan de beurt - HLN.be
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 03:41
Volgende maand komt een delegatie van het Europees Parlement naar Nederland om onderzoek te doen naar omstreden belastingafspraken met multinationals zoals Starbucks. Ze hopen op 29 mei onder anderen leden van de Tweede Kamer en staatssecretaris Eric Wiebes van Financin te spreken.
De delegatie wil meer weten over de afspraken die de Belastingdienst heeft gemaakt met internationale bedrijven zoals Starbucks. De onderzoekers gaan ook naar Belgi, Ierland, Luxemburg en Groot-Brittanni, meldde een woordvoerder van het Europees parlement vandaag.
Nederland en andere EU-landen liggen onder vuur over mogelijk oneerlijke belastingvoordelen voor grote multinationals. De Europese Commissie heeft van belastingontduiking een speerpunt gemaakt. Er lopen al onderzoeken van de Europese Commissie naar belastingconstructies van onder meer Nederland met Starbucks en Ierland met computergigant Apple.
De Commissie kwam in het kader van de strijd tegen belastingontduiking en -ontwijking in maart al met het voorstel dat Europese lidstaten elk kwartaal verplicht informatie moeten delen over hun belastingdeals met grote ondernemingen. Dat moet in 2016 ingaan. Ook kondigde Brussel toen aan scherp te kijken naar vennootschapsbelasting.
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Gazprom aims for amicable solution in EU antitrust case | Reuters
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 05:55
Wed Mar 9, 2016 | 5:34 PM GMT
ByKatya Golubkova and Foo Yun Chee|MOSCOW/BRUSSELS
MOSCOW/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Russia's Gazprom (GAZP.MM) and the European Commission are moving towards a "mutually acceptable" solution in resolving antitrust charges against the gas producer, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Russian state-controlled company is fighting accusations of overcharging customers and blocking rivals in eastern Europe, practices which the European Commission say breach the bloc's rules ensuring a level playing field.
It is seeking to avoid a fine, which under EU rules could be up to $7.6 billion, equal to 10 percent of its 2014 revenue, and settle the charges with concessions.
Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive Alexander Medvedev and European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager met in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss the concessions, and both sides agreed to continue talks.
"Thanks to the hard work and constructive approach from both sides, we are making progress towards a mutually acceptable solution," Medvedev said in a statement.
Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso also called the discussion "open and constructive".
Gazprom supplies around a third of the 28-member EU's gas and a decision in the case, which has dragged on since 2011, comes amid tension between the European Union and Russia over Ukraine, Syria and the proposed Nord Stream gas link to Germany.
(Editing by Jack Stubbs and Susan Thomas)
Is Russia About To Invade Ukraine?
Wed, 31 Aug 2016 15:36
War is coming, but unfortunately most Americans are completely oblivious to what is about to happen. In recent weeks, tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have been massing at eight staging areas along Russia's border with Ukraine, and some Pentagon officials believe that this could represent preparations for a full-scale invasion. But ultimately Russia has much bigger concerns than just Ukraine. At this point, the Russian people view the United States more negatively than they did even during the height of the Cold War, and their leading thinkers openly talk about the inevitability of a future conflict between the two superpowers. The Russians have been feverishly upgrading and modernizing their strategic nuclear forces in anticipation of that conflict, but unfortunately the U.S. military has not made similar strides under the Obama administration. As a result, the balance of power has shifted dramatically in favor of the Russians.
Things have been relatively calm in Ukraine for a while, but that may be about to change in a major way. According to Business Insider, Russian forces are ''encircling Ukraine from the north, east, and south'''...
Something big may be about to go down in Ukraine.
For the Ukrainian soldiers that are stationed on the eastern border with Russia, however, things have already escalated to a conventional conflict '-- for example in Shyrokyne, on the Azov Sea coast east of the port city of Mariupol, Ukrainian forces have reported being the target of over 200 rounds of mortars and artillery fire in the middle of the night from separatist forces.
And the conflict in Ukraine looks like it could be on the verge of boiling over as Russian and Russian-backed forces are encircling Ukraine from the north, east, and south.
Needless to say, these developments are deeply alarming U.S. officials. In fact, Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon says that up to 40,000 Russian soldiers stand poised to launch a full-scale invasion at this moment'...
The Pentagon has identified eight staging areas in Russia where large numbers of military forces appear to be preparing for incursions into Ukraine, according to U.S. defense officials.
As many as 40,000 Russian troops, including tanks, armored vehicles, and air force units, are now arrayed along Ukraine's eastern border with Russia.
Additionally, large numbers of Russian military forces will conduct exercises in the coming days that Pentagon officials say could be used as cover for an attack on Ukraine.
August 24th is Independence Day in Ukraine, and some analysts are pointing to that date as a time when a potential attack could occur.
Hopefully that will not be the case, and we should remember that Russian President Vladimir Putin tends to do the unexpected. Just look at what happened in Crimea. He was able to annex the entire region without a shot hardly being fired.
When it comes to geopolitics, way too often the Russians are playing chess while the Obama administration is playing checkers.
And as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, the Russians are very much preparing for the day when there will be a military showdown between the United States and Russia.
For example, the newly developed Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (also known as the ''Satan 2'") has the capability of destroying an entire region the size of Texas. Each missile has 12 independently targetable warheads, and essentially what that means is that one missile goes up and 12 nuclear warheads come down. It is a weapon of exceedingly great power, and we have no way of stopping it'...
Russia is preparing to test-fire a nuclear weapon which is so powerful it could reportedly destroy a whole country in seconds.
The ''Satan 2'" missile is rumoured to be the most powerful ever designed and is equipped with stealth technology to help it dodge enemy radar systems .
This terrifying doomsday weapon is likely to strike fear into the hearts of Western military chiefs, as current missile defence technology is totally incapable of stopping it.
But to me, what is even more frightening is the fleet of strategic nuclear submarines that the Russians are putting together. The following comes from a major British news source'...
Vladimir Putin is assembling a secret fleet of super submarines which could topple NATO and plunge the world into war.
A report by naval experts warns that Russia already has a small but sophisticated army of subs which are capable of launching missile strikes across the globe.
These submarines can dive extremely deep and they are incredibly quiet. The advanced stealth capabilities that they possess make them an enormously powerful weapon'...
Andrew Metrick, who co-wrote the report for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said: ''Russia operates a small number of very small, nuclear powered submarines that are capable of diving in excess of several thousand meters.
''You can imagine what a clandestine deployable deep submergence vehicle could be used for.''
Yes, it doesn't take much imagination to see what these ultra-quiet subs could be used for.
Someday, a fleet of Russian nuclear submarines could come right up to our coastlines without us ever knowing that they were there. In the middle of the night they could surface, launch their missiles, and strategic targets would start being destroyed within just a couple of minutes.
And if the U.S. was even able to muster much of a response, the Russian anti-ballistic missile systems are able to destroy just about anything that we can throw at them.
To say that the balance of power has shifted from the days of the Cold War would be a massive understatement.
Meanwhile, the Russians have also been creating a ''cloak'' which can reportedly make units ''invisible'' to enemy radar'...
A Russian defense company has created a ''cloak,'' which it says can make electronic objects invisible to enemy radar. The aim of the fiber technology, which is used in the cloak, is to make weapons invisible to prying eyes and detection systems.
The St. Petersburg-based company Roselectronics has come up with the invention and says it can make weapons that use thermal, infrared, and electromagnetic radar in targeting invisible.
''The main idea of the development is to create coverage that reduces radar visibility of the object both on the visible and microwave spectrums,'' Georgy Medovnikov from Roselectronics told Ruptly, RT's video agency.
Roselectronics believes the lightweight and flexible material can be used to protect armored vehicles, missile systems and warplanes. According to its creators, the material is unique in its ability to absorb radio-electronic signals and interfere with the distribution of electronic traces.
Here in the United States, the Obama administration has had much different priorities, and so our strategic nuclear forces are hopelessly outdated. 60 Minutes has shown that our strategic nuclear forces are still using rotary phones and the kind of eight inch floppy disks that you could literally flop around in your hand that they were using back in the 1970s.
If you follow my writing regularly, you already know that I have written extensively about a future conflict with Russia.
At one time the doctrine of ''mutually assured destruction'' applied, but at this point things have changed dramatically.
Russian military theorists have spent a lot of time studying how to fight and win a nuclear war, and now they have the technological edge to potentially be able to do it.
Sadly, these kinds of articles tend to get less attention than many of my other articles because people simply do not understand the threat we are facing, and by the time they do it will likely be way too late.
*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and End Of The American Dream. Michael's controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled ''The Rapture Verdict'' is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*
Russia is teetering on the brink of 'all out war' with Ukraine | Voices | The Independent
Wed, 31 Aug 2016 15:36
Ukraine is holding a major military parade in Kiev today to mark its 25th anniversary as an independent state. But, at a time that should otherwise be a moment of national celebration, a serious crisis with Moscow is flaring up. So serious, in fact, that on Tuesday the Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande were forced to hold a three-way phone call to try to de-escalate the situation.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has even warned that there is growing risk of a ''full scale Russian invasion along all fronts,'' ratcheting up what is already the bloodiest European conflict since the wars over the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
The uptick in tensions coincides with a visit last Friday by Putin to Crimea, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014. Russia's assertion last week that Kiev attempted an armed incursion into Crimea, plus the death of three Ukrainian soldiers, has escalated the situation further.
In total, the 28-month crisis between the two countries has claimed an estimated 9,500 lives and more than a million people have fled their homes. The Ukrainian economy is in the doldrums, with foreign exchange reserves depleted and the government seeking to rejuvenate a $17.5bn (£13bn) Western-led economic bailout deal.
With the increasing possibility of what Hollande has called ''total war'', alarm is growing in the international community '' not least within France and Germany, the two countries which helped broker the February 2015 Minsk agreement. Under that deal, both sides agreed to measures including an immediate, full bilateral ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons from Donetsk and Luhansk, where fighting since 2014 has seen separatists seize significant portions of the regions, raising international fears about the viability of the Ukrainian state.
In the immediate-term, and despite recent rhetoric, it is unlikely there will be any decisive actions in advance of the G20 summit in China next month. And the Pentagon has poured cold water on the idea that Moscow might be preparing an imminent invasion, asserting that the build-up of Russian troops on the border is part of an annual military exercise.
Moving into the autumn, whether tensions escalate or subside will probably depend most upon the political calculus of Russia. Previously, Moscow had hoped that sustained economic, military and political pressure could lead to significant loss of support within Ukraine for its pro-Western Kiev government.
That scenario has not fully come to pass yet, however, and it is unclear what the risk tolerance of the Russian leadership now is, especially given that Putin is up for re-election in March 2018 for a new six year term as President. In the last few days, he has called for ''common sense to prevail'' and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insists that Moscow remains committed to the Minsk agreement.
If tensions rise further this autumn, it could prompt a new debate over international military support for Poroshenko's government, which has claimed it may need to impose martial law and mobilise reserve troops soon. Enhanced military aid was raised at the Nato summit last month, where the organisation recalibrated its capability to respond to what is perceived as an enhanced Russian security threat '' not just to Ukraine, but also other countries too, including the Baltic states.
Turkish President keeps Vladimir Putin waiting
It may also re-open discussions in Washington over military support for Kiev. Prior to the announcement of the Minsk deal last year, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter asserted his preference of providing enhanced military assistance to Ukraine, and there are pockets of strong support in Congress for providing such support, including from Senator John McCain, Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
However, the West is divided on this issue. Some key figures in Europe are concerned that provision of equipment such as anti-tank weapons could be used by Ukraine not just to secure military balance on the ground but as a means to achieve more ambitious, risky military goals.
Merkel, for instance, cites her own experience of growing up in East Berlin during the Cold War. She has repeatedly said that there is no military solution to the conflict. The German Chancellor particularly fears that, given current mistrust with Moscow, providing extensive weaponry to Ukraine will only intensify the conflict which could risk becoming a proxy war between Russia and the wider West.
As international diplomatic activity ramps up, the crisis is on the brink of spiralling out of control again, with significant effects many miles from the streets of Kiev.
Andrew Hammond is an associate at LSE IDEAS, the Centre for International Affairs, Diplomacy and Strategy at the London School of Economics
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He was a billionaire who donated to the Clinton Foundation. Last year, he was denied entry into the U.S. - LA Times
Mon, 29 Aug 2016 20:28
Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury, one of Africa's richest men, has built a reputation as a giant of global philanthropy.
His name is on a gallery at the Louvre and a medical school in Lebanon, and he has received awards for his generosity to the Catholic Church and St. Jude's Children's Hospital. He owns a seven-bedroom hilltop mansion in Beverly Hills, and he has a high-level network of friends from Washington to Lebanon to the Vatican, where he serves as an ambassador for the tiny island nation of St. Lucia. His website shows him shaking hands and laughing with Pope Francis.
''I never imagined what the future would hold for me,'' Chagoury once said of his boyhood in Nigeria. ''But I knew there was a vision for my life that was greater than I could imagine.'... I consider it a duty to give back.''
Since the 1990s, Chagoury has also cultivated a friendship with the Clinton family '-- in part by writing large checks, including a contribution of at least $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.
By the time Hillary Clinton became secretary of State, the relationship was strong enough for Bill Clinton's closest aide to push for Chagoury to get access to top diplomats, and the agency began exploring a deal, still under consideration, to build a consulate on Chagoury family land in Lagos, Nigeria.
But even as those talks were underway, bureaucrats in other arms of the State Department were examining accusations that Chagoury had unsavory affiliations, stemming from his activities and friendships in Lebanon. After a review, Chagoury was refused a visa to enter the U.S. last year.
Chagoury is a prominent example of the nexus between Hillary Clinton's State Department and the family's Clinton Foundation, which has come under renewed scrutiny during her presidential run. The organization, founded as a way for the Clintons to tap their vast network for charitable works, has tackled some of the steepest challenges in the developing world, including rebuilding Haiti and fighting AIDS in Africa. It has also come under fire for its willingness to accept money from foreign governments with interest in swaying U.S. policy during Clinton's time as secretary of State, and the controversial histories of some donors.
Part of a dictator's inner circle
Chagoury was born in 1946 in Lagos to Lebanese parents, and as a child attended school in Lebanon. He sold shoes and cars in Nigeria, according to a biography on his website, before marrying the daughter of a prominent Nigerian businessman.
During the rule of Gen. Sani Abacha, who seized power in Nigeria in 1993, Chagoury prospered, receiving development deals and oil franchises.
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In the 1990s, Chagoury portrayed himself as an Abacha insider as he tried to influence American policy to be more friendly to the regime. Soon after President Clinton named Donald E. McHenry a special envoy to Nigeria in 1995, Gilbert and brother Ronald Chagoury visited McHenry in his office at Georgetown University in Washington. The U.S. was pushing for the return of democratic rule in Nigeria; Abacha, meanwhile, was eager to have his country taken off a U.S. list of nations that enabled drug trafficking, McHenry said.
''Their effort was to try and influence anyone who they thought could influence the U.S. government,'' McHenry said, adding that the approach was heavy-handed. ''They tried every key on the piano.''
Abacha turned out to be ''one of the most notorious kleptocrats in memory,'' stealing billions in public funds, acting Assistant Atty. Gen. Mythili Raman later said.
After Abacha's death in 1998, the Nigerian government hired lawyers to track down the money. The trail led to bank accounts all over the world '-- some under Gilbert Chagoury's control. Chagoury, who denied knowing the funds were stolen, paid a fine of 1 million Swiss francs, then about $600,000, and gave back $65 million to Nigeria; a Swiss conviction was expunged, a spokesman for Chagoury said.
Ties to the Clintons
In the years afterward, Chagoury's wealth grew. His family conglomerate now controls a host of businesses, including construction companies, flour mills, manufacturing plants and real estate.
He has used some of that money to build political connections. As a noncitizen, he is barred from giving to U.S. political campaigns, but in 1996, he gave $460,000 to a voter registration group steered by Bill Clinton's allies and was rewarded with an invitation to a White House dinner. Over the years, Chagoury attended Clinton's 60th birthday fundraiser and helped arrange a visit to St. Lucia, where the former president was paid $100,000 for a speech. Clinton's aide, Doug Band, even invited Chagoury to his wedding.
Chagoury also contributed $1 million to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to its list of donors. At a 2009 Clinton Global Initiative conference, where business and charity leaders pledge to complete projects, the Chagoury Group's Eko Atlantic development '-- nine square kilometers of Lagos coastal land reclaimed by a seawall '-- was singled out for praise. During a 2013 dedication ceremony in Lagos, just after Hillary Clinton left her post as secretary of State, Bill Clinton lauded the $1-billion Eko Atlantic as an example to the world of how to fight climate change.
''I especially thank my friends Gilbert and Ron Chagoury for making it happen,'' he said.
By last summer, U.S. diplomats had selected a 9.9-acre property at Eko Atlantic as the preferred site for a new Lagos consulate, State Department documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times show. Two months ago, James Entwistle, then the U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, wrote to Washington, asking permission to sign a 99-year lease.
No deal has been signed, State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said. She did not answer questions about whether the Clintons recommended Eko Atlantic. She said at a recent briefing that she was unaware of whether Hillary Clinton knew the site was under consideration; it was on a list of possibilities submitted by a real estate firm in 2012, Trudeau said in response to questions from The Times. A spokesman for Clinton's campaign noted that the State Department has said the process has been managed by ''career real estate professionals.''
Chagoury declined requests for an interview. A friend and spokesman, Mark Corallo, said Chagoury was a generous and ''peace-loving'' man unfairly scrutinized because of his association with the Clintons. He said Chagoury last saw Hillary Clinton at a 2006 dinner. The Clinton Foundation and a spokesman for Bill Clinton did not respond to requests for comment.
Chagoury also has given to Republicans: He and his brother, along with Eko Atlantic, are listed as sponsors for a 2014 art exhibit at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
Suspicions emerge in the U.S.
In spite of his network of powerful friends, Chagoury has aroused the suspicions of U.S. security officials. In 2010, he was pulled off a private jet in Teterboro, N.J., and questioned for four hours because he was on the Department of Homeland Security's no-fly list. He was subsequently removed from the list and categorized as a ''selectee,'' meaning he can fly but receives extra scrutiny, Homeland Security documents show. The agency later wrote to Chagoury to apologize ''for any inconvenience or unpleasantness.''
That letter did not explain why Chagoury was on the no-fly list, but another Homeland Security document shows agents citing unspecified suspicions of links to terrorism, which can include financing extremist organizations; Chagoury later told reporters that agents asked him what bank he used in Nigeria.
Chagoury believes it was unfair for government officials to disclose the episode and to ''suggest that he was a potential threat,'' Corallo said. He said that Chagoury's lawyers resolved the issue and that he never asked anyone else for help.
Chagoury told ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity at the time that he was miffed because his travel problems made him miss seeing the Lakers in the playoffs. "I just love the Lakers,'' he said.
His visa troubles stem at least in part from his involvement in the tangled politics of Lebanon. Chagoury has contributed to charitable projects there, advocated on behalf of the country's Christians and formed political alliances, including with Michel Aoun, a Lebanese Christian politician who served as army commander and prime minister during the country's civil war.
For a decade, Aoun's party has been part of a political coalition with Hezbollah, the Shiite Muslim group backed by Iran that has seats in Lebanon's parliament. Hezbollah is classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S., which holds the group responsible for the 1983 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut and a Marine barracks blast that year that killed 241 American servicemen. Drug Enforcement Administration investigations have also found that Hezbollah is in league with Latin American cartels to launder hundreds of millions of dollars in drug profits.
Chagoury was ''known to have funded'' Aoun, a Lebanese government minister told then-Ambassador Jeffrey D. Feltman in 2007, according to a cable published by WikiLeaks that didn't go in detail about Chagoury's relationship with Aoun. The minister suggested that the U.S. ''deliver to Chagoury a strong message about the possibility of financial sanctions and travel bans against those who undermine Lebanon's legitimate institutions.''
Chagoury never got a scolding, though. Instead, Band, Bill Clinton's aide, pushed for new access for Chagoury after Hillary Clinton took over at the State Department. In 2009, Band wrote his friends in the department. ''We need Gilbert Chagoury to speak to the substance guy re Lebanon. As you know he's key guy there and to us and is loved in Lebanon. Very imp.'' Huma Abedin, a longtime aide and confidante to Clinton and now vice chairwoman of her presidential campaign, suggested Feltman.
When Band's email was made public this month, Donald Trump pounced, calling the Chagoury episode ''illegal'' and a ''pay-to-play'' scheme.
But no meeting ever happened, according to both Feltman and Chagoury's spokesman. Chagoury wanted only to pass along insights on Lebanese politics, Corallo said, adding that ''nothing ever came of it'' and that Chagoury never talked to anyone at the State Department. Band declined to comment for this story.
A Clinton campaign spokesman said Judicial Watch, the conservative organization that sued to make the emails public, ''has been attacking the Clintons since the 1990s.''
''No matter how this group tries to mischaracterize these documents, the fact remains that Hillary Clinton never took action as secretary of State because of donations to the Clinton Foundation," spokesman Josh Schwerin said.
This month, the foundation announced that it would stop accepting donations from foreigners and corporations should Clinton win the presidency.
Denied a visa
After Clinton left the State Department, Chagoury again found himself under suspicion by U.S. security officials. A 2013 FBI intelligence report, citing unverified raw information from a source, claimed Chagoury had sent funds to Aoun, who transferred money to Hezbollah. The source said Aoun was ''facilitating fundraising for Hezbollah.'' The U.S. put Chagoury in its database used to screen travelers for possible links to terrorism, interagency memos show.
The ties between Chagoury and Aoun ended years ago in a dispute over oil franchises, said Michel de Chadarev, an official with Aoun's party. Chagoury now backs an Aoun rival for the presidency. De Chadarev said Aoun ''categorically denied'' any arrangement where he shared money with Hezbollah or passed funds from Chagoury: ''No, no, no. Of course not. It is not in his principles to act as transporter to anyone.''
Last summer, when Chagoury planned a trip to Los Angeles, he applied at the U.S. embassy in Paris for a visitor's visa and was refused, according to interviews and government documents. Based on the FBI report and other allegations from intelligence and law enforcement sources, the State Department denied the application. It cited terrorism-related grounds, a broad category that can apply to anyone believed to have assisted a terrorist group in any way, including providing money.
Chagoury has denied ties to Hezbollah. Two years ago, he helped pay for a conference in Washington on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East; some attendees supported Hezbollah, but the director of the group that organized the conference said that didn't mean Chagoury or other conference organizers were among them. ''Hezbollah is part of the political reality of the country,'' Andrew Doran told the National Review.
Corallo did not answer questions about the visa denial, but said Chagoury ''has been a friend and supporter of America all his life'' and that ''any allegation that Mr. Chagoury is involved in any way with providing material support to any terrorist organization, of any stripe, is false, outrageous and defamatory.'' He said Chagoury has no business interests in Lebanon.
The visa decision process is opaque and provides little recourse for those who are denied entry. Typically, the person is told of the grounds for refusal, but not the details. The secretary of State can grant a waiver, but that is often difficult when the evidence used to block entry is terrorism-related.
For the last three decades, Corallo said, Chagoury spent at least a few months each year in Beverly Hills, where he owns an 18,000-square-foot estate, once the home of actor Danny Thomas, with commanding views of West Los Angeles and the ocean.
A year ago, after his visa application was denied, Chagoury's mansion was put on the market, with an asking price of $135 million. It's still for sale.
Twitter: @jtanfani
Why the USC/L.A. Times tracking poll differs from other surveys
Trump's immigration pivot: Will he be the latest Republican to alienate the base?
Trump is encouraging and amplifying the message of a 'radical fringe' of conservatives, Clinton says
Charity Watch and Clinton Foundation '' Medium
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 12:11
Header for 2013 Tampa Bay Times report on America's 50 worst charities'Š'--'Šheadlined by the Reynolds family and Cancer Fund of America & 5 related groups all headed by Reynolds family members: less than 1% to cancer patients, 99% to owners and paid fundraisersCharity Watch and Clinton FoundationIt's a numbers game.
As I noted previously, legitimate charities do not have to tout charity ratings, especially not constantly. Charity Watch, aka ''The American Institute of Philanthropy'' reported revenue of $532,667 in 2014, with 7 employees and 12 volunteers. The founder, Daniel Borochoff, is busy with constant television interviews, making increasingly florid claims about the Clinton Foundation. Charity Watch's form 990 states it distributes approximately 19,000 copies of a print publication rating charities and operates its website ''charitywatch.org.'' If Hillary Clinton does not win the presidency, Mr. Borochoff's already modest budget and operation is certainly destined for the same fate as one third of America's legitimate charitable organizations over the past decade. Out of business.
So the water thing?
I previously noticed Clinton Foundation making clean water claims and thought ''fuuu, it's lucky they completed the Clinton Library in Little Rock, they are so cheap and do so little'''Š'--'Šthere is no way they have accomplished anything regarding clean water and most certainly would not have spent a nickel on that.
So, see this tweet? 27 million people have ''access to clean water''.
That would be this. P & G claims 8 billion liters of clean water distributed to nearly a billion people in 75 countries over the program's history.
What is the Clinton connection? P & G paid to attend the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative event, and likely paid for these global charitable rockstars, America's favorite dad & daughter team, to visit Rwanda and pose with a glass of water.
White people drinking water.I can't make this stuff up.
World Vision is the largest real charitable organization that distributes Proctor & Gamble water purifying packets, along with 150 others. Clinton Foundation's contribution to this effort is pictured to the left. The only money involved regarding the Clinton Foundation and the commercial branding effort: ''P&G Children's Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) Program'' is paid to them.
So yeah. It's kind of mean to do this to a one-man show that appears to be run out of its founder/CEO's house in Chicago. I don't have too many more ideas as to why a nonprofit whose director appears on television touting $330 million a year charities, would file its tax forms using with a PO Box address. I do notice ''rent deposits'' and rental expenses on their 990s which, if so, means it would be a ''home-based business.''
Charity Watch is a DBA. Its official incorporated name is ''American Institute of Philanthropy.''
2002 AIP/CharityWatch Board of Directors thanks to National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) of the Urban Institute2014 AIP/CharityWatch Board of Directors'Š'--'ŠNational Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS)Mr. Kresin died in 2005 necessitating his replacement. In 2006, the 5th man on the board is noted as Craig Beasley. He and Clint Berry served concurrently in 2009. The others show no change over the 14 year period.
Borochoff's LinkedIn profile shows that he served on FASB task forces for nonprofit accounting. So he should be aware that any organization with a board that has only changed one member or officer in over a decade is one which is likely not actively managed.
So who are these guys?
Where is Mr. Newbill, Esq?An auditor for JP Morgan? Really? Sheesh.
Pepsi, absolutely. They are right in there bringing a full range of soft drink choices to America's schools with Bill Clinton, Mike Huckabee, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
I wonder if Newbill, Esq. is with Coke if the other guy is with Pepsi?
Naaaah. He is (or was) an attorney for the Social Security Administration from Texas.
I will simply note that AIP/Charity Watch's revenues increased by about 50% in 14 years covered by the tax returns I reviewed. Mr. Borochoff's salary increased by 100% during that same time period while subscriptions to the organization's publication decreased by about 50%.
Now, as to the much-quoted Charity Watch analysis system, the only thing it is good for is discovering charity scammers who use for-pay fundraising telemarketers and are stupid enough to disclose that on their tax returns. That's it. This guy just makes relational comparisons between different line items on charitable tax returns. The government doesn't give any guidelines as to what should be reported as ''administrative expenses'' or ''program expenses.'' That is up to the organization and their auditors.
In a healthy nonprofit, these decisions are important tools.
When you are like the Clinton Foundation, you can, and do, put down any numbers you like on any line item of your tax return. Any analysis based on that is meaningless.
2002 Clinton Foundation Board of Directors'Š'--'Šwhen the organization was still '...Clinton Foundation Incorporated PurposeNot a problem. All of our Presidents need and deserve a Library.
2002 Stated Exempt Purpose for EIN 31''1580204So here's the thing. This is how much money EIN 31''1580204 got in 2014 according to their tax return. And, there has been no amendment to the ''primary exempt purpose'' in the meantime. This is what it says right now.
UBIT is NOT the Presidential Library as I previously thought (total revenue is $177,894,612)Here is how many grants paid outside the United States and where.
As many, many spokespeople have repeated on countless television shows, and in newspapers, and even Mr. Borochoff, the Charity Watch professional, this organization is an operating public charity and pays its own staff to do its incredible life-saving work around the globe. I understand now, this even includes finding a cure for AIDS.
Let's just look at their 2014 Schedule A so we can see the funds available over a five year period:
Technically, a donated office from UC Riverside in Coachella Valley should be reflected on line 3, Part II Section A.So, it's easy to be seen, there are very limited funds of only a little more than $567 million available to save millions of lives around the world.
This shows 11 offices in international locations with 97 employees and a total of $23.6 million in expenditures.So here is some detail.
It's really kind of funny because this doesn't match the PRI noted on other parts of the highly deficient form 990 for this EIN 2014Three employees for ''climate & economic development'' in all of Central America and the Caribbean? This would include Haiti, I believe.
I like this one because I already determined that the ''employment training for youth'' in Cartagena was paid-for by the Canadian government and also operated by a for-profit employment agency that had been operating since 1992.And this is my favorite, because'Š'--'Šwhere's the $88 million AUD given by Australia for ''climate change'' and the AIDS programs?Now these schedules do add up to the big schedule. I divide $23.6 million into $172.6 million and get .13 = 13%!
I subtract $23.6 million from $172.6 million and get $149 million.
This tax return already notes $2 million loss on ''program related investments'' (and I am aware of the Fondo Accesso hedge fund in Colombia). It also notes contributions of $91.6 million to its Endowment, a fund that is listed as 99% permanently restricted.
That leaves me with $55.4 million to mess around with. I'm going to fry off another $3.5 million for these essential US based executives (key employees'Š'--'Šthis list doesn't include Bruce Lindsay & Eric Braverman whose joint salaries total almost $1 million). With their benefits included I am down to about $50 million.
About 10% of the remaining $50 million is ''other employee benefits.'' I have not yet deducted the $7.8 million for ''travel'' that is noted. But I will do so. I am now down to about $38 million. They depreciate $5.3 million off of that and I will too. We are down to $33 million.
I'll just put an organization's program schedule here for comparison. It's an international aid charity incorporated in 1986 called World Vision.
Kinda funny looking at World Vision's highest paid employees. Almost like they had a salary schedule and these were professionals or something.Now, World Vision does not maintain offices in other parts of the world. They fly in and do the work directly or pay for supplies and goods. They reported 1,276 employees and over 120,000 volunteers on their 2014 tax return.
I only included World Vision because they happen to be the primary purchasers and physical distributors of the Proctor & Gamble clean water chemical packs referenced above and they have bought and given away over 1 BILLION of the packages. Even if I go by what our amazing, most-qualified candidate ever just said this morning, that means Clinton Foundation had done .02% of what World Vision has with these water packets. I could do the same with any actual international aid charity.
Clinton Foundation? Our esteemed former President and his daughter accepted an unknown fee from P & G to show up in Rwanda and drink water out of plastic cups.
It's too late to change the tax returns, and yes, I think they were conformed, probably on the advice of Mr. Borochoff, founder and CEO of the American Institute of Philanthropy. To fit, you know, like, his formula.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Times reporters did much better than Borochoff ever has of identifying scammy charities. One of the things I found most interesting in their report about the 50 worst charities was that they found a ''family connection,'' with one of the worst offenders spinning off half a dozen cancer-related corporations that paid money to the pockets of relatives, and nothing to cancer victims.
And of course, none of them would talk to reporters. Never heard of that before! I wonder why they wouldn't?
Putting the Clinton Foundation in Context: Corruption Plain on the Face of It '' Medium
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 12:04
Skid Row in Los Angeles'Š'--'ŠKTLA News 2015'Š'--'ŠAmerican Exceptionalism at its finestPutting the Clinton Foundation in Context: Corruption Plain on the Face of ItWhen I first started writing this series of articles about the Clinton Foundation, I noticed an incoming link that turned out to be a message board for people associated with Notre Dame University. One commenter said confidently everything I had written was wrong because I ''knew nothing about international aid charities.'' The commenter said I was unqualified to write about the Clinton Foundation and ''didn't understand the organization.'' He stated I was an unsophisticated person who had only worked at a local charity.
That was because in that article, I had written about how I'd held a homeless man's head in my lap to keep him from harming himself while medical professionals refused to help him due to fear of getting AIDS. That event had occurred when I was about 27 years old and it was on my mind because I had read that at the same age some years earlier, Hillary Clinton had been aggressively defending the accused rapist of a 12 year old girl in Arkansas. That is something I would never have done.
In 2011, I left my position as a nonprofit development officer in Los Angeles as to help minority and women-owned businesses get off the ground or grow. I had come to believe the best way to help others was to help them achieve what they wanted for themselves and their families. Since that time I have worked with more than 180 businesses in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, with an 80% success rate. The total funds obtained by those businesses equals about one years' worth of budget for the Clinton Foundation. I have a board officer level of understanding of nonprofit finance law in the U.S. and a pretty good understanding of that law in Canada as well.
The Notre Dame commenter is wrong. I am not only qualified to assess the Clinton Foundation, I am also in a position that enables me to do so without fear of harming people in need. Any nonprofit professional in the U.S. can look at the Foundation's own statements, tax filings and financial reports and see there is something wrong. No one who works for a nonprofit right now should do so because of the Clinton penchant for revenge and clear signs there are problems in tax and law enforcement that could lead to harm of their organization or clients. Ethically, they ought not comment because they will put their organizations or those they are charged to serve at-risk.
Since I don't work in the nonprofit field any longer and know I will never be able to return to it, I am free to write these articles. There are only two things I can identify at which the Clinton Foundation excels: putting cash in the bank and spending it.
This article's header image depicts Los Angeles' Skid Row because in 2010, I was assigned to give the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Homelessness a tour of that district.
On Skid Row, the homeless people live in three rows'Š'--'Šnearest the buildings are the well-established ones with tents. Then come the ones with sleeping bags or mobile wheelchairs or maybe one shopping cart. Then come those with nothing at all. They lie in the street.
One day while driving through (not with the UN people) a young man of about 20 ran in front of my car. His face was confused, eyes full of fear. I recognized he had Down Syndrome. I rolled down my window to ask him to get in my car and I'd take him for help, but terrified, he ran into the park among all the needle addicts. I never saw him again.
The Rapporteur, stunned into near silence after seeing the conditions on Skid Row and in areas of South Los Angeles, said, ''I have been all over the world and these conditions are the worst I have ever seen.''
Absolutely right.
I used to occasionally listen to Rush Limbaugh on the radio on the way to work and he often referred to ''American Exceptionalism.'' Outrage ensued when Michelle Obama said that she ''felt proud of her country for the first time'' when her husband was elected as the statement meant to Limbaugh that she was ''not proud'' of anything else in the U.S.
Now I live in one of the wealthiest areas in South Orange County in Southern California. There are two homeless men who stay most hours of the day near our local supermarket and Starbucks. One is in his 40s, clearly mentally-ill. The other looks to be about 75 or 80. He is clean and tidy. His possessions are packed into duffle bags. He has a cell phone and uses it frequently.
I've never seen homeless here before. The people who beg on the street corners here are now in their 20s and 30s.
''American Exceptionalism.''
What I have to say to people who blindly think that think the Clinton Foundation ''does a great job'' and ''deserves everyone's support'' is that here is the reality: A dump truck could deliver 5,000 dead Syrian children to your doorstep and you'd blame Putin and call ServicePro to clean up the mess so you could go get your organic latte.
That's who you are and yes'Š'--'Šit's exceptional. You can take that straight from the mouth of the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Homelessness. She was a wealthy Brazilian.
The Clinton Foundation isn't a charitable organization. Charles Ortel calls it the ''biggest charity fraud ever attempted.''
Dorian Gray: Looking goodI believe it is a very accurate mirror of the moral, ethical and cultural state of the people who are in power in our nation. Not America. There are more than 318 million people in this country and the overwhelming majority are decent, good people. I mean those in power and I don't care what political party they state they are a part of. The Clinton Foundation is our Dorian Gray and the corruption is plain on the face of it.
HaitiThe Clinton Foundation touts its programs in Haiti, particularly mentioning the Haiti Coffee Academy. According to the Foundation, they purchased the property in Haiti in 2012 for $350,000. Gifts totaling this amount from the Leslois Shaw Foundation and Todd Carmichael are in the Clinton Foundation donor database from 2011. The ''Academy'' functions as a coffee farm for single-source coffee from Haiti that is sold by reality TV star Carmichael's company La Colombe Torrefaction. This isn't months of investigative journalism: it's reading what they've written themselves in their own blog posts and advertisements. The Foundation, for whatever reason, whether personal connections, bribes or love of this guy's coffee or show, bought the property so Carmichael could use it. It's very difficult for non-Haitian private companies to buy and use land for their business there: easy for Clinton ''Foundation.''
There have been hundreds of thousands of words, perhaps millions, written about the lack of performance of the Clinton Foundation in Haiti'Š'--'Šand evidence of the ugly picture is in the fact that the best ''program'' the Foundation can come up with to feature after the hundreds of $millions were given after the Haiti earthquake is what I just documented'Š'--'Šacting as a pass-through for funds to buy land for a boutique coffee company to single-source exotic coffee from one of the poorest countries on earth. Coffee that he sells using celebrity endorsements on his reality TV show on the Travel Channel.
Todd Carmichael: American Exceptionalist.
Dady Chery has been documenting the $multi-billion exploitation of Haiti on her website and through books. Wherever the Clintons go, hundreds of Haitians protest. They want to know where all the money went, because they have seen no benefits.
As a side note, my organization was contacted regarding building actual housing in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. We had only a few meetings before being told ''don't bother, the Clinton Foundation will be leading the efforts.'' This effort ended up being about 20 moldy, substandard trailers laced with formaldehyde, provided by the same company that also constructed substandard, poisonous emergency housing after Hurricane Katrina. You will read articles to this day in major publications that blame Haitians. The company that did this to our country in New Orleans, and to Haiti, is owned by Berkshire Hathaway/Warren Buffett.
MalawiA recent Politifact article purports to ''analyze'' the Clinton Foundation tax returns, financial statements and website to ''prove'' that Republican claims that the Foundation spends 80% of its revenue on ''overhead'' are false.
The Republican claims are very likely ''false'' in that the Foundation has no clear mission and doesn't really do anything that's ordinarily regarded as charitable (and doesn't do much at all that can be matched to the claims on their website and definitely not to the television pundit claims and campaign spokespeople '--the most recent being ''If the Foundation is closed down we won't find a cure for AIDS''). But they're not false the way Politifact means. ''Overhead'' is only a term with meaning if there are some type of charitable efforts going on. I'm really not seeing that anywhere I look to analyze the Clinton Foundation.
So Politifact repeats the Clinton Foundation website claim it has helped over 56,000 farmers in Malawi (a prominent feature on the Clinton Foundation website).
That's flat out impossible and the poor guy they hired to try to make something of their scammy efforts there is already working somewhere else. The farm that was supposedly ''helping'' over 56,000 ''smallholder'' farmers can barely grow peanuts, is a for-profit corporation, and has been seeking FDi since 2013. If you don't know what FDi is, then maybe you shouldn't write message board posts talking about how stupid I am or Politifact articles saying that the Clinton Foundation does so much charitable good in Malawi.
This is the exact same circumstance and MO as the ''Coffee Academy'' in Haiti. It's a for-profit business earning profit or losing money for someone foreign to its country, nothing to do with the local people and providing no charitable assistance whatsoever.
ColombiaPolitifact asserted that the Clinton Foundation is ''doing the same thing'' through a training school for youth in Cartagena, Colombia. Actually, I'm going to give our friends at Politifact ''4 Pinocchios'' for that, since the Colombia ''benefits'' from the Clinton Foundation are likely much less than those received by residents of Malawi or Haiti.
Colombia is a center for action with Bill Clinton and Frank Giustra and their Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership. American Exceptionalists likely think of Colombia as a poor, backward South American country that was the heart of massive drug trafficking in prior decades.
I covered the Accesso Training Center in Cartagena in my first article about the Clinton Foundation.
Pictures do tell a thousand words, because Mexican ultra-billionaire Carlos Slim is involved along with Clinton and Canadian mining mogul and Lionsgate film founder Frank Giustra. The business that actually runs the center is called ''Gente Estragetica'' (People Strategies). It is a temporary employment agency that's been in business since November, 1992. They state they have employment agencies in 60 Colombian cities and have about 9,000 employees. I speak and read Spanish, which enabled me to determine that there is nothing remotely ''charitable'' about the Accesso training center'Š'--'Šit's a for-profit business that trains people to work primarily in hotel and service industries. I also determined that their claims of how many ''youth'' will be trained (20,000+) were unrealistic at best'Š'--'Šmore likely, deliberately deceptive.
AIDS work in Australia/Papua New GuineaThe one aspect of the Clinton Foundation I have not researched in-depth is the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). Australian journalist Michael Smith has researched the results obtained from more than $80 million AUD donated by his country for AIDS relief efforts in their region, particularly Papua New Guinea, a country that has been highly impacted by AIDS. I am linking to his Twitter here: as of this writing his website is down [note: and back up'Š'--'Šarticle link below].
Michael discovered an identical MO to what I had already determined was the case with every Clinton Foundation program I audited and analyzed.
Publically-stated outcomes and results were grossly divergent from possible outcomes or results as compared to other organizations.
Offices in locations stated to be served were either non-existent or makeshift.
For-profit businesses turned out to be the ones ''doing'' the work claimed to be of charitable or human benefit.
Only one employee was given ''responsibility'' for large territories, or there was no employee at all.
In Asia, only one employee of the Clinton Foundation was given responsibility to ''save lives,'' including children with AIDS.
This woman. As her LinkedIn profile notes, she was also the Caterpillar Distributor for Vietnam at the same time she was responsible to ''save millions of lives'' of children suffering from AIDS in Asia and the South Pacific.
Here in AmericaI was responsible for an organization serving very poor working families and children in my hometown of Redlands, California during the early to mid-90s when many military bases were shut down. That had been during the Clinton Administration. They called it the ''Peace Dividend.''
After the closure of the former Norton AFB in San Bernardino, CA, some neighborhoods went so far downhill that one had involvement of Colombian and Cambodian (yes I know'Š'--'Štwo very different parts of the world) drug gangs. One day we learned an entire family of Vietnamese immigrants that lived across from a school we served had been slaughtered in their home by a Cambodian gang, using the technique of ''Colombian neckties'' pioneered by the South American gangsters. A few months after that I was called out along with an emergency response team to visit some abandoned apartments near what is now the thriving San Manuel Indian Reservation (thanks to their casino).
That was where I saw the little girl playing with snails inside her bedroom in an apartment where all the windows had been busted out and the elements had caused mud and grass to grow inside. You really haven't lived until you've seen what a bathroom with no running water looks like, or a crib resting in mud and weeds inside what's called a ''house.'' In Southern California.
But you know I'm not an expert in American Exceptionalism like Rush Limbaugh, Politifact or Clinton campaign spokesperson Brian Fallon.
So, absolutely the Clinton Foundation has the same MO here in Southern California. It's where I started.
They had one meeting one day in 2012, and got a bunch of local people to attend to ''improve the health'' in the Coachella Valley here in Southern California.
They just say they do things there because it justifies their paying for Bill Clinton to golf at what they used to call the Bob Hope (now ''Career Builder'') Golf Classic. They've got one Ruby Shang type employee (or maybe even ''volunteer'''Š'--'Šwho knows?). They are too cheap to even pay for an office. They hold their gala $20,000+ entry fee CGI meetings there, and they take time out of their busy schedules to do one-day ''Days of Action'' at places that don't need it.
I really do think this is exceptional. I've never heard of anything quite like it before. It makes the 1980s United Way scandal look like nothing. I started out my career working for the United Way and after meeting jailed, disgraced former United Way of America founder William Aramony and being forced to buy his book by way of keeping my job, I knew there was ''something wrong'' so I left to do what I considered ''real charitable work'' actually helping people.
The United Way did survive that scandal, which merely consisted of Aramony mis-using a couple of $million to fund his sexual affairs with underage girls, pay for a yacht on the Potomac, etc.
Nothing compared to the Clinton Foundation. Every large corporation that donated to the Clinton Global initiative and attended those meetings is complicit.
McDonalds knows damn well that their ''Commitment to Action'' so highly featured on the Clinton Foundation and Alliance for a Healthier Generation's websites and annual report is meaningless'Š'--'Šthey know they could have easily done better on their own and likely will in response to their customers' needs and the desire to stay in business and continue as a huge multinational corporation. Monsanto knows that their ''commitment'' to have a ''coalition'' to ''help honey bees'' is meaningless PR material. Nearly everyone involved in the huge Clinton Global Initiative meetings knows there's not a whole lot of benefit there, and the international AIDS community that actually does work knows that the Clinton Foundation's ''negotiations'' are problematic at-best and that no treatment of any type has ever been provided by that organization. These companies should discuss the cost that they have paid by being involved with the Clinton Foundation and the long-term ROI for their involvement and investment. They know what type of ''businessman'' Frank Giustra and Bill Clinton's other investment partners are.
There was a charitable expert quoted in the Politifact article who stated that Republican critics of the Clinton Foundation didn't understand what a ''public charity'' was. Well, I'll tell ya what, Mr. Expert. I'm pretty sure that U.S. incorporated public charities aren't supposed to directly invest in foreign hedge funds like Fondo Acceso in Colombia.
The Clinton Foundation did.
This article links to all the others in the series.
If you are shocked by this article and the others, read IRS Publication 4221 PC, rules for public charities. By the time you get to page three you will notice the issues at hand. The violations are gross, on the face of it, and inexcusable.
And finally, if someone tells you the Clinton Foundation tax returns tell you how much good work they do, say ''Yes, that's true'' and if they say ''CharityWatch gave them an A rating!'' (now saying ''one of the great humanitarian charities of our generation'') go here.
Amy Sterling Casil is the author of 30 nonfiction books, 3 novels, 3 short fiction & poetry collections, hundreds of articles, and also is a former high-level nonprofit fundraiser and executive, and a business planner and developer, primarily for women and non-traditional owners. You can buy her most recent book (sci fi short stories all about women) via Amazon or thelargest, oldest author publishing cooperative, of which she is a co-founder.
Charity Watch and Clinton Foundation '' Medium
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 20:45
Header for 2013 Tampa Bay Times report on America's 50 worst charities'Š'--'Šheadlined by the Reynolds family and Cancer Fund of America & 5 related groups all headed by Reynolds family members: less than 1% to cancer patients, 99% to owners and paid fundraisersCharity Watch and Clinton FoundationIt's a numbers game.
As I noted previously, legitimate charities do not have to tout charity ratings, especially not constantly. Charity Watch, aka ''The American Institute of Philanthropy'' reported revenue of $532,667 in 2014, with 7 employees and 12 volunteers. The founder, Daniel Borochoff, is busy with constant television interviews, making increasingly florid claims about the Clinton Foundation. Charity Watch's form 990 states it distributes approximately 19,000 copies of a print publication rating charities and operates its website ''charitywatch.org.'' If Hillary Clinton does not win the presidency, Mr. Borochoff's already modest budget and operation is certainly destined for the same fate as one third of America's legitimate charitable organizations over the past decade. Out of business.
So the water thing?
I previously noticed Clinton Foundation making clean water claims and thought ''fuuu, it's lucky they completed the Clinton Library in Little Rock, they are so cheap and do so little'''Š'--'Šthere is no way they have accomplished anything regarding clean water and most certainly would not have spent a nickel on that.
So, see this tweet? 27 million people have ''access to clean water''.
That would be this. P & G claims 8 billion liters of clean water distributed to nearly a billion people in 75 countries over the program's history.
What is the Clinton connection? P & G paid to attend the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative event, and likely paid for these global charitable rockstars, America's favorite dad & daughter team, to visit Rwanda and pose with a glass of water.
White people drinking water.I can't make this stuff up.
World Vision is the largest real charitable organization that distributes Proctor & Gamble water purifying packets, along with 150 others. Clinton Foundation's contribution to this effort is pictured to the left. The only money involved regarding the Clinton Foundation and the commercial branding effort: ''P&G Children's Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) Program'' is paid to them.
So yeah. It's kind of mean to do this to a one-man show that appears to be run out of its founder/CEO's house in Chicago. I don't have too many more ideas as to why a nonprofit whose director appears on television touting $330 million a year charities, would file its tax forms using with a PO Box address. I do notice ''rent deposits'' and rental expenses on their 990s which, if so, means it would be a ''home-based business.''
Charity Watch is a DBA. Its official incorporated name is ''American Institute of Philanthropy.''
2002 AIP/CharityWatch Board of Directors thanks to National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) of the Urban Institute2014 AIP/CharityWatch Board of Directors'Š'--'ŠNational Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS)Mr. Kresin died in 2005 necessitating his replacement. In 2006, the 5th man on the board is noted as Craig Beasley. He and Clint Berry served concurrently in 2009. The others show no change over the 14 year period.
Borochoff's LinkedIn profile shows that he served on FASB task forces for nonprofit accounting. So he should be aware that any organization with a board that has only changed one member or officer in over a decade is one which is likely not actively managed.
So who are these guys?
Where is Mr. Newbill, Esq?An auditor for JP Morgan? Really? Sheesh.
Pepsi, absolutely. They are right in there bringing a full range of soft drink choices to America's schools with Bill Clinton, Mike Huckabee, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
I wonder if Newbill, Esq. is with Coke if the other guy is with Pepsi?
Naaaah. He is (or was) an attorney for the Social Security Administration from Texas.
I will simply note that AIP/Charity Watch's revenues increased by about 50% in 14 years covered by the tax returns I reviewed. Mr. Borochoff's salary increased by 100% during that same time period while subscriptions to the organization's publication decreased by about 50%.
Now, as to the much-quoted Charity Watch analysis system, the only thing it is good for is discovering charity scammers who use for-pay fundraising telemarketers and are stupid enough to disclose that on their tax returns. That's it. This guy just makes relational comparisons between different line items on charitable tax returns. The government doesn't give any guidelines as to what should be reported as ''administrative expenses'' or ''program expenses.'' That is up to the organization and their auditors.
In a healthy nonprofit, these decisions are important tools.
When you are like the Clinton Foundation, you can, and do, put down any numbers you like on any line item of your tax return. Any analysis based on that is meaningless.
2002 Clinton Foundation Board of Directors'Š'--'Šwhen the organization was still '...Clinton Foundation Incorporated PurposeNot a problem. All of our Presidents need and deserve a Library.
2002 Stated Exempt Purpose for EIN 31''1580204So here's the thing. This is how much money EIN 31''1580204 got in 2014 according to their tax return. And, there has been no amendment to the ''primary exempt purpose'' in the meantime. This is what it says right now.
UBIT is NOT the Presidential Library as I previously thought (total revenue is $177,894,612)Here is how many grants paid outside the United States and where.
As many, many spokespeople have repeated on countless television shows, and in newspapers, and even Mr. Borochoff, the Charity Watch professional, this organization is an operating public charity and pays its own staff to do its incredible life-saving work around the globe. I understand now, this even includes finding a cure for AIDS.
Let's just look at their 2014 Schedule A so we can see the funds available over a five year period:
Technically, a donated office from UC Riverside in Coachella Valley should be reflected on line 3, Part II Section A.So, it's easy to be seen, there are very limited funds of only a little more than $567 million available to save millions of lives around the world.
This shows 11 offices in international locations with 97 employees and a total of $23.6 million in expenditures.So here is some detail.
It's really kind of funny because this doesn't match the PRI noted on other parts of the highly deficient form 990 for this EIN 2014Three employees for ''climate & economic development'' in all of Central America and the Caribbean? This would include Haiti, I believe.
I like this one because I already determined that the ''employment training for youth'' in Cartagena was paid-for by the Canadian government and also operated by a for-profit employment agency that had been operating since 1992.And this is my favorite, because'Š'--'Šwhere's the $88 million AUD given by Australia for ''climate change'' and the AIDS programs?Now these schedules do add up to the big schedule. I divide $23.6 million into $172.6 million and get .13 = 13%!
I subtract $23.6 million from $172.6 million and get $149 million.
This tax return already notes $2 million loss on ''program related investments'' (and I am aware of the Fondo Accesso hedge fund in Colombia). It also notes contributions of $91.6 million to its Endowment, a fund that is listed as 99% permanently restricted.
That leaves me with $55.4 million to mess around with. I'm going to fry off another $3.5 million for these essential US based executives (key employees'Š'--'Šthis list doesn't include Bruce Lindsay & Eric Braverman whose joint salaries total almost $1 million). With their benefits included I am down to about $50 million.
About 10% of the remaining $50 million is ''other employee benefits.'' I have not yet deducted the $7.8 million for ''travel'' that is noted. But I will do so. I am now down to about $38 million. They depreciate $5.3 million off of that and I will too. We are down to $33 million.
I'll just put an organization's program schedule here for comparison. It's an international aid charity incorporated in 1986 called World Vision.
Kinda funny looking at World Vision's highest paid employees. Almost like they had a salary schedule and these were professionals or something.Now, World Vision does not maintain offices in other parts of the world. They fly in and do the work directly or pay for supplies and goods. They reported 1,276 employees and over 120,000 volunteers on their 2014 tax return.
I only included World Vision because they happen to be the primary purchasers and physical distributors of the Proctor & Gamble clean water chemical packs referenced above and they have bought and given away over 1 BILLION of the packages. Even if I go by what our amazing, most-qualified candidate ever just said this morning, that means Clinton Foundation had done .02% of what World Vision has with these water packets. I could do the same with any actual international aid charity.
Clinton Foundation? Our esteemed former President and his daughter accepted an unknown fee from P & G to show up in Rwanda and drink water out of plastic cups.
It's too late to change the tax returns, and yes, I think they were conformed, probably on the advice of Mr. Borochoff, founder and CEO of the American Institute of Philanthropy. To fit, you know, like, his formula.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Times reporters did much better than Borochoff ever has of identifying scammy charities. One of the things I found most interesting in their report about the 50 worst charities was that they found a ''family connection,'' with one of the worst offenders spinning off half a dozen cancer-related corporations that paid money to the pockets of relatives, and nothing to cancer victims.
And of course, none of them would talk to reporters. Never heard of that before! I wonder why they wouldn't?
Cutting Ties to the Clinton Foundation - NYTimes.com
Wed, 31 Aug 2016 00:00
Does the new batch of previously undisclosed State Department emails prove that big-money donors to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation got special favors from Mrs. Clinton while she was secretary of state?
Not so far, but that the question arises yet again points to a need for major changes at the foundation now, before the November election.
Bill Clinton created the foundation in 2001 as a vehicle to fund his presidential library. He and his supporters have since raised more than $2 billion and pioneered initiatives ranging from fostering female-owned businesses in Haiti to lowering the cost of H.I.V./AIDS drugs in Africa. As the enterprise sprawled from water treatment to education to climate change, all three Clintons got involved, along with their network of longtime political advisers, former administration officials and business partners.
When Mrs. Clinton became secretary of state, the Obama administration tried to draw a line between the foundation, particularly its foreign-government sponsors, and her role. The new emails underscore that this effort was at best partly successful. ''Pay-to-play'' charges by Donald Trump have not been proved. But the emails and previous reporting suggest Mr. Trump has reason to say that while Mrs. Clinton was secretary, it was hard to tell where the foundation ended and the State Department began.
Mrs. Clinton became involved in State Department deals and negotiations that also involved foundation donors or board members. She prompted multiple investigations with an arrangement that allowed Huma Abedin, her deputy chief of staff at the State Department and now vice chairwoman of her campaign, to be paidsimultaneously by the State Department, the foundation and Teneo, a consulting firm run by Doug Band, the former adviser to Mr. Clinton who helped create the foundation '-- and who sent emails to Ms. Abedin seeking favors for foundation donors.
The newly disclosed emails show that some foundation donors and friends, like Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin al-Khalifa of Bahrain, used foundation channels to seek access to Mrs. Clinton.
When Mrs. Clinton announced her candidacy, the foundation said it would stop taking contributions from foreign governments, except for contributions from Australia, Canada and a handful of European nations. Donna Shalala, the foundation president, says now that if Mrs. Clinton wins, the foundation will stop taking money from any foreign governments, corporations or citizens; American corporations and corporate foundations would also be barred. Contributions would be limited to American citizens, permanent residents and United States-based independent foundations.
Ms. Shalala and her team are examining the organization's foreign and domestic programs to see which can be hived off and run independently, to avoid potential conflicts. They are consulting with foundation sponsors and partners to see which are equipped to manage various programs. The foundation may keep some domestic programs, such as one for early childhood education and another that addresses community health.
No decisions have been made about the fate or funding of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, a separate, affiliated nonprofit group known as CHAI that has Bill and Chelsea Clinton on its board. The initiative operates exclusively overseas, derives most of its budget from foreign sources and accounts for more than half of the foundation and its affiliates' combined spending.
Mr. Clinton has said he will resign from the board of the foundation and the CHAI board if Mrs. Clinton wins the presidency. Simply closing the foundation, as even some Democrats recommend, could kill programs helping tens of thousands of people. While that's unwarranted, the foundation could do much more to distance itself from the foreign and corporate money that risks tainting Mrs. Clinton's campaign. Its plans to restrict its funding sources only after the election will likely dog Mrs. Clinton.
A wiser course would be to ban contributions from foreign and corporate entities now. If Mrs. Clinton wins, Bill and Chelsea Clinton should both end their operational involvement in the foundation and its affiliates for the duration of her presidency, relinquishing any control over spending, hiring and board appointments.
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Mrs. Clinton has said she intends to give Mr. Clinton a role in her administration. Cutting his foundation ties would demonstrate that he is giving any role he would have in the administration the priority it deserves. It would also send a signal that Mrs. Clinton and her family have heard the concerns of critics and supporters and will end any further possibility for the foundation to become a conduit to the White House for powerful influence seekers.
The Clinton Foundation has become a symbol of the Clintons' laudable ambitions, but also of their tangled alliances and operational opacity. If Mrs. Clinton wins, it could prove a target for her political adversaries. Achieving true distance from the foundation is not only necessary to ensure its effectiveness, it is an ethical imperative for Mrs. Clinton.
Clinton emailed classified information after leaving State Dept. | New York Post
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 12:27
Hillary Clinton continued sending classified information even after leaving the State Department, The Post has exclusively learned.
On May 28, 2013, months after stepping down as secretary of state, Clinton sent an email to a group of diplomats and top aides about the ''123 Deal'' with the United Arab Emirates.
But the email, which was obtained by the Republican National Committee through a Freedom of Information Act request, was heavily redacted upon its release by the State Department because it contains classified information.
The markings on the email state it will be declassified on May 28, 2033, and that information in the note is being redacted because it contains ''information regarding foreign governors'' and because it contains ''Foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources.''
The email from Clinton was sent from the email account '-- hrod17@clintonemail.com '-- associated with her private email server.
The email's recipients were Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, diplomat Jeffrey Feltman, policy aide Jake Sullivan, diplomat Kurt Campbell, State Department chief of staff Cheryl Mills, and Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
The ''123 Deal'' was a 2009 agreement between the United Arab Emirates and the US on materials and technological sharing for nuclear energy production.
''Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information was so pervasive, it continued after she left government,'' Republican National Committee research director Raj Shah told The Post. ''She clearly can't be trusted with our nation's security.''
Clinton is believed to have sent 2,101 emails that contained at least some classified information.
The Trump campaign said the latest revelation about Clinton's email habits is more proof she can't be trusted with national security.
''Hillary Clinton's secret server jeopardized our national security and sensitive diplomatic efforts on more than 2,000 occasions, and shockingly, it now appears her reckless conduct continued even after leaving the State Department. Hillary Clinton's terrible judgment shows she cannot be trusted with our national security,'' said Jason Miller, Trump's senior communications advisor, in a statement.
TV Ratings: VMAs Plummet on MTV, Sister Networks | Variety
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 00:06
MTV's Video Music Awards may have been the talk of Twitter Sunday night, but the music show failed to draw a television audience on par with past installments.
The 2016 VMAs, featuring performances by Beyonc(C), Rihanna and Britney Spears, among others, drew 6.5 million total viewers across MTV and 10 Viacom-owned sister networks, according to Nielsen live-plus-same day numbers. That's down 34% from last year's roadblock telecast across the same 11 channels.
Last year was the first in which the VMAs were carried on all Viacom's cable channels. The 2015 version's cumulative live-plus-same day audience was down 3% from the year prior, when the awards show was carried on MTV, VH1 and MTV2.
According to MTV, the event drew 62.8 million digital-video streams, up 70% from 2015. The VMAs also accounted for 90% of all TV-specific social media posts for the evening and were the top global trending hashtag on Twitter for 13 hours. The awards show also drew 45.8 million video streams on Facebook.
Shut Up Slave
Canada just declared that animals are now considered "Sentient Beings" '' Bentley's Pet Stuff
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 03:06
Canada just declared that animals are now considered "Sentient Beings" and not just property.Aug 23, 2016 | Posted by: Bentley's Pet Stuff
Back to Blog
According to the CBC, a new Canadian bill that was issued in late 2015 states that "animals are now to be considered as "sentient beings" opposed to being labeled as property."
>>"Animals are not things. They are sentient beings and have biological needs."
It's important to mention that this legislation applies to all domesticated/farm animals and even certain wild animals.
Investigators now have more power to demand to see if an animal is being mistreated, or if there is "reasonable cause" for them to seize the animal.
People of Quebec can now expect to face an 18 month prison sentence if found guilty of animal abuse.
The new legislation was strongly endorsed by Agriculture Minister Pierre Paradis as well as a number of other animal rights activists.
Paradis proposed a very simple solution on how citizens can avoid these harsh consequences to animal abuse.
"If you have a goldfish you have to take care of it. Don't get a goldfish if you don't want to take care of it."
Q&A with the team in Bannockburn, ILAug 26, 2016 | Posted by: Bentley's Pet Stuff
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August Feature ItemsAug 10, 2016 | Posted by: Ryan Sigler
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Sentient Being Definition
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 03:06
Generally, in law, a sentient being is one with the faculty of sensation and the power to to perceive, reason and think.1
In her 2008 article in the Journal of Animal Law, veterinarian Annamaria Passantino wrote:
"A sentient being is a being that, by virtue of its characteristics, has the capability of experiencing suffering, both at physical and psychological levels, regardless of the species to which it belongs.
"Only the members of the animal kingdom can be sentient, although not every animal species possesses the characteristics that would make their members be considered sentient beings.
"Sentient animals are beings that have a physical and psychological sensibility, which allows them - in the same way as humans - to experience pain and pleasure. And it is certain that they naturally seek, by all means available to them, to avoid painful experiences."
Notice the inclusion of human being in the definition of animal kingdom. In some judicial decisions, the term sentient being has been described, simply, as living beings that feel pain.2
In her 2011 book on animal law, Leslie Bisgould proposed this definition of sentience:
"A conscious being's capacity to feel and perceive; in reference to animals, it often refers to the specific ability to feel pain and suffer."
The concept of a sentient being is hotly debated in the animal law community where the line between law and philosophy (if there is one), is not clearly drawn. It can give rise to some proposals that might raise the eyebrows of some lawyers.
For example, in a 2007 article published in the Journal of Animal Law by a non-legally-trained writer:
"In 2004, Dunayer states that a someone is a sentient, thinking, feeling individual with unique life experiences whereas a something is not. She rightly criticizes speciesists3 for characterizing non-human animals as things.... I (object) to categorizing nonhuman animals as things ... every sentient being is a someone, not a something....
"No sentient being is an it, that, or thing. Each is equally someone....
"It should be illegal for any human to breed any nonhuman...."
Note Article 13 of the Treaty of Lisbon:
"... animals are sentient beings...."
Although not recognized in law, the views of some animal legal rights expert may have been expressed in these words:
"Fish are not swimming vegetables.... Martine biologists assure us that fish do indeed feel pain (and) form complex social relationships... Fish can count and tell time, they are fast learners, they think ahead and they have distinct personalities."4
Bisgould, Leslie, Animals and the Law (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2011), page 289Dunayer, Joan, Advancing Animal Rights: A Response to Jeff Perz's Anti-Speciesism, Critique of Gray Francione's Work and Discussion of My Book Speciesism, 3 J. Animal L. 17 (2007)NOTE 1:Keeley Brewing Co. v. Parnin, 41 NE 471 (1895)NOTE 2:R v Ringler, 122 CCR 2d 15 (2004, ONCJ)NOTE 3:Speciesism (refers to ...) discrimination against animals on the basis of species, suggesting that discriminating on the basis of species is unjustifiable in a manner similar to other forms of discrimination, such as racism and sexism. Bisgould, op. cit., page 289NOTE 4:Fish Are Just LIke Us, Animal Times, 2013, Issue #1, page 2, People for the Ethical Treatmwent of Animals (PETA)Passantino, Annamaria, Companion Animals: An Examination of Their Legal Classification in Italy and the Impact on Their Welfare, 4 J. Animal L. 59 (2008)Treaty of Lisbon, formally, the Treaty on European Union, Official Journal C 115 , 09/05/2008 P. 0001 - 0388, Article 13
Out There
Lightning Strike Kills More Than 300 Wild Reindeer In Norway
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 20:54
A lightning strike has killed more than 300 wild reindeer in Norway, in what officials described as an unusually large natural disaster.
Aerial footage shows reindeer carcasses scattered across a small area on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau.
The footage was released by the Norwegian Environment Agency, which said 323 animals were killed, including 70 calves.
Agency spokesman Kjartan Knutsen said it is not uncommon for reindeer or other wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes, "but we have not heard about such numbers before."
Aerial footage shows the scale of the destruction
He said reindeer tend to stay very close to each other in bad weather, which could explain how so many were killed at once during Friday's storm.
Thousands of reindeer migrate across the barren Hardangervidda plateau as the seasons change.
It is the second time this month that a large group of animals has been killed by lightning.
On 25 August, 38 sheep died after they were hit by lightning in the Indian district of Kanchipuram.
Watch SJW Woman Berate Lyft Driver Over His Dashboard Hoola Girl Until He Kicks Her Out | Daily Wire
Wed, 31 Aug 2016 07:10
Rebel Media commentator Lauren Southern uploaded a video she was anonymously sent showing an insane Social Justice Warrior (redundant) laying into her driver for having a classic dashboard hoola girl displayed in his car.
The "vocal-fried" SJW in question is a woman named Annaliese Nielsen, the founder of "Girls Night In," a secretive and selective women's community which she described to ABC News as an exclusive online sorority. Apparently these women enjoy going out, having a few cocktails, and then hunting for males who will undoubtedly offend them in some SJW rage-inducing way.
In the video (below), which she recorded herself, Nielson begins her self-righteous rant on the evils of hoola girl knickknacks by telling the driver, "You thought that was adorable? You didn't think about the pillaging of the like, continent of Hawaii?"
It only get's more idiotic from there:
The clip continues with Nielson claiming she's extremely offended by the doll, calling out the driver's "white privilege," and then hilariously threatening the driver that she's going to do worse than give him a one-star review: she's going to publish this video on the now defunct Gawker website and ruin his life by turning him into a "meme."
Eventually another passenger in the car calls Nielson's over-blown reaction pathetic, which only fires her up more to argue with the driver, calling him a "selfish dumbass idiot."
Finally, the driver's patience runs out, he boots her from the car, and speeds away like the Road Runner from Wile E. Coyote.
Nielson has presumably started to realize the error of her ways because she deleted her Twitter account and created a new one under another name. Someone quickly snagged her previous handle and has turned her original page into a glorious parody of her:
The new user even offered Nielson, who goes by @dickyfeynman now, her old page back under one condition:
Exit thought from one of this sweet little lady's archived tweets:
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Vox Popoli: What the Alt Right is
Wed, 31 Aug 2016 21:26
In the interest of developing a core Alt Right philosophy upon which others can build.The Alt Right is of the political right in both the American and the European sense of the term. Socialists are not Alt Right. Progressives are not Alt Right. Liberals are not Alt Right. Communists, Marxists, Marxians, cultural Marxists, and neocons are not Alt Right.The Alt Right is an ALTERNATIVE to the mainstream conservative movement in the USA that is nominally encapsulated by Russel Kirk's 10 Conservative Principles, but in reality has devolved towards progressivism. It is also an alternative to libertarianism.The Alt Right is not a defensive attitude and rejects the concept of noble and principled defeat. It is a forward-thinking philosophy of offense, in every sense of that term. The Alt Right believes in victory through persistence and remaining in harmony with science, reality, cultural tradition, and the lessons of history.The Alt Right believes Western civilization is the pinnacle of human achievement and supports its three foundational pillars: Christianity, the European nations, and the Graeco-Roman legacy.The Alt Right is openly and avowedly nationalist. It supports all nationalisms and the right of all nations to exist, homogeneous and unadulterated by foreign invasion and immigration.The Alt Right is anti-globalist. It opposes all groups who work for globalist ideals or globalist objectives.The Alt Right is anti-equalitarian. It rejects the idea of equality for the same reason it rejects the ideas of unicorns and leprechauns, noting that human equality does not exist in any observable scientific, legal, material, intellectual, sexual, or spiritual form.The Alt Right is scientodific. It presumptively accepts the current conclusions of the scientific method (scientody), while understanding a) these conclusions are liable to future revision, b) that scientistry is susceptible to corruption, and c) that the so-called scientific consensus is not based on scientody, but democracy, and is therefore intrinsically unscientific.The Alt Right believes identity > culture > politics.The Alt Right is opposed to the rule or domination of any native ethnic group by another, particularly in the sovereign homelands of the dominated peoples. The Alt Right is opposed to any non-native ethnic group obtaining excessive influence in any society through nepotism, tribalism, or any other means.The Alt Right understands that diversity + proximity = war.The Alt Right doesn't care what you think of it.The Alt Right rejects international free trade and the free movement of peoples that free trade requires. The benefits of intranational free trade is not evidence for the benefits of international free trade.The Alt Right believes we must secure the existence of white people and a future for white children.The Alt Right does not believe in the general supremacy of any race, nation, people, or sub-species. Every race, nation, people, and human sub-species has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and possesses the sovereign right to dwell unmolested in the native culture it prefers.The Alt Right is a philosophy that values peace among the various nations of the world and opposes wars to impose the values of one nation upon another as well as efforts to exterminate individual nations through war, genocide, immigration, or genetic assimilation.TL;DR: The Alt Right is a Western ideology that believes in science, history, reality, and the right of a genetic nation to exist and govern itself in its own interests.The patron saint of conservatives, Russell Kirk, wrote: "The great line of demarcation in modern politics, Eric Voegelin used to point out, is not a division between liberals on one side and totalitarians on the other. No, on one side of that line are all those men and women who fancy that the temporal order is the only order, and that material needs are their only needs, and that they may do as they like with the human patrimony. On the other side of that line are all those people who recognize an enduring moral order in the universe, a constant human nature, and high duties toward the order spiritual and the order temporal."
This is no longer true, assuming it ever was. The great line of demarcation in modern politics is now a division between men and women who believe that they are ultimately defined by their momentary opinions and those who believe they are ultimately defined by their genetic heritage. The Alt Right understands that the former will always lose to the latter in the end, because the former is subject to change.
This is merely a very early draft. Discuss amongst yourselves.
A Normie's Guide to the Alt-Right | Daily Stormer
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 14:37
Andrew AnglinDaily StormerAugust 31, 2016
Following condemnations by Hillary Clinton, everyone in the world is now trying to define exactly what the Alt-Right is. Most of them are getting it wrong.
The short story is that although the term could refer to a lot of different people saying a lot of different things, the people that it is being used to refer to by the media '' Trump-supporting White racial advocates who engage in trolling an other activism on the internet '' are the core of the movement, with any other groups and figures being peripheral.
The core concept of the movement, upon which all else is based, is that Whites are undergoing an extermination, via mass immigration into White countries which was enabled by a corrosive liberal ideology of White self-hatred, and that the Jews are at the center of this agenda.
The Alt-Right is a ''mass movement'' in the truest possible sense of the term, a type of mass-movement that could only exist on the internet, where everyone's voice is as loud as they are able to make it. In the world of the internet, top-down hierarchy can only be based on the value, or perceived value, of someone's ideas. The Alt-Right is an online mob of disinfranchised and mostly anonymous, mostly young White men. This collective of dissidents argued with itself until it reached a consensus (consensus is yet to reach 100%, but it is damn close). We have now moved from arguments and debates and become a new political collective, a type of hive mind.
The mob is the movement.
Some of the ways the movement presents itself can be confusing to the mainstream, given the level of irony involved. The amount of humor and vulgarity confuses people. The true nature of the movement, however, is serious and idealistic. We have in this new millennium an extremely nihilistic culture. From the point when I first became active in what has become the Alt-Right movement, it was my contention that in an age of nihilism, absolute idealism must be couched in irony in order to be taken seriously. This is because anyone who attempts to present himself as serious will immediately be viewed as the opposite through the jaded lens of our post-modern milieu.
Now, on to the long story.
I will first lay out what the movement actually is and where it came from, and then layout what it appears to be to the mainstream media, and why I believe these narratives differ so drastically, and conclude with some loose predictions of where I see all of this going in the future.
Roughly four years ago, a new type of White nationalist movement began to form on the internet. This was mostly made-up of young people who were formulating ideas with minimal influence from prior White nationalist movements.
It was a situation of different online subcultures (some of which were influenced by older offline movements) coming together. These groups collided, based on their having reached common conclusions, and the result is what is now called the Alt-Right.
I am going to layout here these various factions, and what ultimately led them toward this center-point where we have all met. The campaign of Donald Trump is effectively the nexus of that centerpoint.
Note that there is quite a bit of overlap between these various communities, with many people '' myself included '' having traveled through more than one. Breaking them down into specific categories just makes it easier to grasp the overall development of the different threads of thought.
Note: I will list associated sites and people for each sub-group, though these sites will not necessarily be Alt-Right in nature. They are merely to let people know what is associated with the various factions.
Troll Culture
In my view, the core identity of the current Alt-Right originates from the highly intellectual meme and trolling culture which was birthed on 4chan in the 00's.
The birth of the internet age marked the first time in history that unlimited amounts of information were available at people's fingertips, and courageous men began to sort through it and discuss it wherever they were allowed to.
It was on 4chan's /pol/ that most of the core concepts of what is now the Alt-Right were figured out. Many of the key ''anons'' (anonymous imageboard posters) from this group were people who had previously been involved in 4chan's /b/, which is where modern internet trolling techniques originated.
The anonymous nature of 4chan allowed for all different sorts of people to get together and discuss all sorts of ideas, without having those ideas attached to an identity of any kind (not even an internet pseudonym). Anti-Semitic and racist jokes had been a key feature of /b/, but on /pol/ the sentiments behind the jokes slowly became serious, as people realized they were based on fact. /pol/ became a haven for virulent anti-Semites and aggressive racists, and tone of the Alt-Right is drawn directly from these roots on 4chan.
On 4chan, the Jewish problem was analyzed by news junkies and history buffs, feminism was deconstructred by sexually frustrated young men, and race was considered based on the actual data on the issue. The rehabilitation of Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP largely took place on 4chan.
This newly formulated Nazi ideology was then combined with the established troll culture, based on memes, hilarious images designed to transmit cultural concepts, and ''lulz,'' a term coined by the troll Jameth which defines the type of malicious humor associated with trolling.
Culture-jamming and various other forms of conscious social-engineering were first applied to online activism here. This made promoting the right-wing agenda not only meaningful, but also extremely fun. The Alt-Right carries with it that spirit of fun.
Sites and People:
/pol/ '' Effectively ground zero of the Alt-Right, in that this is where the aesthetic and basic ideology of the Alt-Right originated.weev '' Troll zero, weev was the key non-anon originator of what we now understand as troll culture.Daily Stormer '' A neo-Nazi website which rips-off memes from 4chan and refuses to give them credit.The Right Stuff '' An edgy website for trolls, which features a wide array of podcasts, some of which are professionally produced. Originator of the echoes meme.My Posting Career '' It doesn't really go in this category, but has to be put somewhere, as it has been an extremely influential site. Originator of the term ''cuckservative.''Ricky Vaughn '' A Twitter personality.Paul Town '' Another Twitter personality.GotNews.com '' Another one that doesn't exactly go here, but the site's proprieter, Chuck Johnson, has been confirmed to have Internet Troll Personality Disorder (ITPD).Contributions:
TrollingMemeslulzNon-ironic Nazism masquerading as ironic NazismAnime NazismConspiracy Theorism
Throughout the 00's, conspiracy theorism was a key dissident movement on the internet. The movement was an extension of old anti-communist propaganda which had aired on shortwave radio, supercharged by the internet and a generally high level of confusion in society which led people to consider alternate explanations for events.
The movement gained traction initially with theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks having been orchestrated by intelligence agencies, rather than random Moslems. This was attached to anti-globalist concepts and the term ''New World Order,'' as well as more obscure theories regarding Freemasonry and global satanism.
At the turn of the decade, however, the movement began to lose steam, as the conspiracy theories being promoted by the people who promote such theories had become increasingly bizarre/insane.
The people from the conspiracy scene then began becoming increasingly focused on the Jewish problem. Even those who currently do not focus on the Jewish issue have moved closer to Alt-Right type ideas regarding race and culture.
Sites and People:
Infowars '' The world's foremost conspiracy website, run by a large man named Alex Jones. The site has, over the last year, become increasingly aligned with Alt-Right ideas, though without talking about the Jews. They have dumped a lot of the hardline kookery of the 00's conspiracy movement.Rense '' The world's secondmost conspiracy website, run by Jeff Rense. It is just a link site, but it has influenced the narrative of the conspiracy movement in the way it chooses links. If you browse it now, a lot of the content is Alt-Rightish.Red Ice '' Heinrich Palmgren's radio program started with a focus on conspiracies, but he has since moved into the Alt-Right. He has also expanded into other media.Paul Joseph Watson '' Lead agent of Infowars, Watson made a huge pivot from promoting chemtrails-tier kookery to anti-SJW materials last year. He has claimed that Jews do not control the media.Veteran's Today '' The commentary website of Jewish conspiracy theorist Gordon Duff. The site is the last remaining bastion of hardline ''tinfoil hat'' type conspiracy theories. Duff has admitted to purposefully publishing disinformation.David Icke '' A British person who believes the world is controlled by lizard people from another dimension (all of whom happen to be Jewish).Contributions:
A willingness to look critically at mainstream narrativesLibertarianism/Paleoconservatism
Though there is technically a difference between Libertarianism and paleoconservatism, the most notable figures could be identified using either of these terms. This was a counter-culture movement popular in the 00's, fueled largely by Ron Paul's '08 and '12 Presidential campaigns. Its roots went back to the campaigns of Pat Buchanan.
In the early 2010's, we saw many in the libertarian community becoming seriously disillusioned with their own movement. Ron Paul had failed miserably to gain traction in his 2012 Presidential bid, and much of the basic doctrine of the movement was beginning to look stale as other ways of looking at society were beginning to be presented '' in particular, Fascism and National Socialism were introduced as competing alternatives to the current system of materialism, consumerism and corrupt crony capitalism.
At the same time, discussion of economics appeared to be becoming increasingly irrelevant, partially due to the immediate nature of social and cultural problems, and partially due to the development of technology making the old economic models obsolete.
Sites and People:
TakiMag '' A politically incorrect paleoconservative blog published by Taki Theodoracopulos.Stefan Molyneux '' A Libertarian YouTuber who has progressively moved away from hardline Libertarian cult doctrine and toward social criticism. He still doesn't talk about the Jews.Pat Buchanan '' A former Presidential candidate and current columnist and commentator, he is one of the only modern mainstream politicians to criticize Jews.Joe Sobran '' Anti-Semitic Catholic columnist, now deceased.Ron Paul '' Failed presidential candidate.Council of Conservative Citizens '' An paleoconservative and pro-White organization founded in the 80's. Recently accused of brainwashing Dylann Roof.American Free Press '' A newspaper and website which promotes Libertarian-conservative politics and anti-Semitism.Contributions:
Early anti-political correctness and criticism of Jewish influenceThe Manosphere
At the same time that 4chan was discovering Adolf Hitler, the pick-up artist community was in the process of transforming into what is now called the Manosphere. These are groups of men disillusioned with feminism in society.
Having used the starting point of feminism to look at the ills of our modern society, many of these men began to look at the Jews (who happened to have invented feminism) as playing a destructive role in the development of modern Western culture. Already outside of the bounds of what is socially acceptable, these guys did not have a problem entering into new realms of political incorrectness.
Sites and People:
Return of Kings '' The blog of Roosh V, originally a purely Manosphere-oriented site which now covers a variety of political and social issues.Chateau Heartiste '' A pick-up artist and anti-feminist blog which has moved progressively into politics.Davis Aurini '' A Manosphere figure who has become more political.Matt Forney '' A Manosphere blogger who now writes various right-wing materials.Contributions:
Anti-FeminismAnti-HomosexualityMen's Rights#Gamergate
The Gamergate provided a direct entry-point to what is now called the Alt-Right, as it was made-up of young White men who realized they were being disenfranchised by feminism and political correctness when aggressive SJWs began invading their space and making demands of them, and ended up digging into the ''dark corners of the internet'' to try and figure out what was happening.
Gamergate is notable in that they had some very serious successes in fighting off attempts to maintain their hobby as a White male affair (though Daily Stormer is the only site which has actually gotten a feminist fired from a video game company).
After Gamergate was banned from 4chan (a weird decision by moot, the site's owner, when he was courting a Jewish girl who writes for Gawker), the movement transfered its base to 8chan, and was largely responsible for initially populating that site (it has also become popular among the Alt-Right, generally). Mingling there with Alt-Righters, many people involved became active in other aspects of the right-wing movement.
Sites and People:
8ch.net/v/ '' The de facto home of the movement./r/KokatuInAction '' The other de facto home of the movement.Vox Day '' A blogger, science fiction writer and various other things.Contributions:
Drawing battlelines for the culture warMaking video games White and male againThe Old White Nationalist Movement
Finally, these various groups were combined, to various extents, with the older White Nationalist movements, which had existed since the fifties.
Some of those involved in the older movements dislike the Alt-Right because they don't understand the humor involved, they think it is too hardcore, or because it rejects certain aspects of liberalism which they hold dear, such as feminism.
Sites and People:
Stormfront '' The original WN spot on the internet.David Duke '' The grandfather of the White Nationalist movement.VDARE '' Edited and run by Peter Brimelow, VDARE is mainly focused on the immigration issue. They have some great writers, including James Kirkpatrick.The Occidental Observer '' Run by Dr. Kevin MacDonald, TOO publishes long essays on Jews, some of which are pretty good.Traditionalist Youth Network '' The home of Matt Heimbach's Traditonalist Workers Party.VNN '' Alex Linder's forum, VNN is a classic WN site.American Renaissance '' Jared Taylor's organization, which is also the name of his news website.Occidental Dissent '' The blog of the League of the South's Hunter Wallace.Contributions:
IQ statisticsVarious ideas and conceptsIdentitarian Movements
Like the standard WN movements, identitarian movements developed separate from the core of the Alt-Right and combined/mingled with it to an extent over the last couple of years.
Identitarianism is an attempt at Americanizing certain themes of European nationalism which were seen to be lacking in the White Nationalist movement in America.
The exact differences between ''Identitarianism'' and ''White Nationalism'' have never been entirely clear to me, but those who fall under the former label tend to be more socially liberal than other factions of the Alt-Right, endorsing homosexuality and taking a softer stance on the need for pure White nations.
Sites and people:
Counter-Currents '' Greg Johnson's blog, publishes a lot of highly excellent essays. They also publish books.Radix Journal '' Richard Spencer's blog.Contributions:
The term ''Alt-Right''A bunch of books and essaysThe movement is, at this point, entirely leaderless. The people involved in contributing to and/or consuming the content are on different Alt-Right sites and forums, many are on Twitter, reddit, 4chan, etc.
There are minor ''leaders,'' people who others listen to, but because there is yet to be an officially codified doctrine, no actual leader exists. The mob is the movement.
It is also important to understand that though older people are involved, this is fundamentally a youth movement, mainly made up of millennials. People in their thirties and beyond tend not to change their opinions very easily, so those older people who are involved mostly come from the older White Nationalist scene.
The reason that all of these various movements came together and developed the same basic values is not that they were built on something else. For the most part, it was people honestly searching for conclusions as to what was going on in the world in the information age. The reason these different groups ended up coming to the same conclusions about the Jews, race, feminism and the rest of it was that they had unlimited access to information, and open minds, so they all happened upon the objective truth.
That is the probably most fitting definition of the Alt-Right from the perspective of those involved in the movement: a confluence of various groups of White men who reached the same objective truths through different avenues.
The Alt-Right can be viewed as a reboot of the White Nationalist movement. This is a simplification, but one which is basically accurate. People went out seeking the truth, found it, but instead of joining an existing movement which had a mostly similar ideology (the above mentioned old White Nationalist movement), they formulated a new movement.
Many of the memes of the old WN movement have been adopted by the Alt-Right, and are used with varying levels of irony.
That said, there is nothing fundamentally different about the Alt-Right and the old White Nationalist movement. They have the same basic goals but simply use different methods in their attempts to achieve them.
The end goal of the Alt-Right is to first solidify a stable and self-sustaining counter-culture, and then eventually push this into becoming the dominant culture, in the same way that the Jewish-led revolutionary counter-culture of the 1960s has now become the dominant culture of the West.
I have personally been very conscious of this goal, and formulated strategies through which to accomplish it. I have studied in some detail the methodology used by the Jewish revolutionaries of the 1960's, and done my best to adapt this methodology to the digital age.
Of particular importance to me was the book ''Rules for Radicals'' by the Jew Saul Alinsky, given that he codified the strategy used by the Jews to tear down the entire ancient body of European traditions and social norms and replace it with something the Jews felt more comfortable with.
Given the all-encompassing nature of the current ruling system, our only real advantage is that we are outsiders. When the Jewish bandit-king David killed Goliath, he did so with a dirty trick, which bypassed the established rules, thus winning a battle he could never have won fairly. The Jews did the same thing in the 60's. We are doing it now.
In the interest of understanding the relationship between the Alt-Right and the old White Nationalist movement, it is worth noting that most tension which exists between the two groups is based on the latter failing to grasp the methodology of the former. In a recent interview on the Grace and Steel podcast, American Renaissance Chairman Jared Taylor denounced the Alt-Right for its vulgarity, and I was left asking myself: ''is victory less important than upholding a social decorum?''
Of course, in my opinion, it absolutely is not.
This is about survival. We must win by any means necessary, or we will cease to exist.
The ideology and values of the Alt-Right are reactionary, formed in opposition to the modern Jewish norms. This effectively becomes a ''traditionalist'' perspective on society.
I will give a list of what I understand the mob to believe, on the whole. Of course, this will not necessarily include all of the people who currently identify as Alt-Right (and certainly will not include all of the websites I linked to above, many of which do not even identify as Alt-Right, though there is a lot of overlap).
Note: I will not include ''opposition to political correctness,'' as Milo has done, and will instead break down all aspects of political correctness and why the Alt-Right opposes them.
The defining value of the movement and the foundation of its ideology is that the Jews are fundamentally opposed to the White race and Western civilization and so must be confronted and ultimately removed from White societies completely.
Jews are behind all of the things which we are against, the diametric opposite of everything that we stand for. In a very real sense, defeating and physically removing the Jews will solve every other problem. None of this would be happening if it were not for the Jews.
It is now fully-documented that Jews are behind mass-immigration, feminism, the news media and Hollywood, pornography, the global banking system, global communism, the homosexual political agenda, the wars in the Middle East and virtually everything else the Alt-Right is opposed to. This is, to a shocking extent, simply admitted by the Jews themselves.
As such, the only way to end these problems is to strike the root and remove the Jews from our societies.
White Countries for White People
The end goal of the movement is to establish pure White racial states in all formerly White countries.
The current trend of non-White immigration into White countries will lead to a complete destruction of White culture, the White social order and ultimately an extermination of the White race.
We believe in mass deportations of all non-White immigrants, regardless of whether or not they were born here. This would include, in America, a repatriation to Africa of the descendants of slaves (or an allocation of autonomous territory for them within our current borders).
Scientific Racism
The Alt-Right does not accept the pseudo-scientific claims that ''all races are equal,'' and instead looks to the real science of race which shows that they have vastly different abilities, drives and intelligence levels.
Additionally, the Alt-Right views the Jews as a separate race, with biological drives and behavior patterns which come into direct conflict with the goals and values of the White race. Dr. Kevin MacDonald's work examining the racial nature of Jews is considered crucial to understanding what the Alt-Right is about.
Opposition to Feminism and ''Gender Equality,'' Support for Traditional Families
As with the claim that ''all races are equal,'' the claim that ''men and women are equal'' is looked at as entirely ridiculous by the Alt-Right. We believe in abolishing feminism and reestablishing traditional gender roles in society, a process which would involve sending women back to the home to produce and raise children, largely removing them from the workplace.
The Alt-Right is opposed to homosexuality, as well as the emasculation of men through denying them their traditional role in society.
Endorsement of White History
The Alt-Right celebrates the greatness of our ancestors and the glory of our historical achievements. Rejecting revisionist arguments by modern social scientists which portray Whites as having wrought evil on the planet, we view Whites as the creators and maintainers of Western civilization.
We pride ourselves in doing the best we can to pick-up the ball that the baby boomers dropped when they sold-out the entire history of our people for feel-good nonsense.
Cultural Normalization
Beyond simply restoring the family, the Alt-Right seeks to restore balance to society more broadly. This includes using authoritarian measures to deal with addictive drugs, pornography, crime and other degenerate social ills.
Common Sense Economics
Though the focus of the Alt-Right is almost entirely on social and cultural issues, presumably due to the fact that technological developments have made economic issues much less relevant, we do believe that economics should follow basic common sense.
If we were to physically remove Jews, however, this would probably fall into place naturally.
Right now, scarcity of resources is nigh entirely artificial, brought on by the crony capitalist system which has created the massive wealth gap, allowing a tiny minority to hoard wealth. Along with this, the trade deals which have allowed for our industry to be exported to the third world are opposed.
Most in the movement would support a type of free market socialism.
The White Struggle as a Global Battle
The Alt-Right views the struggle for the continued existence of the White race as a global battle between Whites and the Jews. The internet has allowed for us to connect globally with as much ease as we can connect to someone down the street or in the next room, and this has fostered a sense of worldwide unity of cause for White people.
Our problems are all nearly identical, the only difference being that we are dealing with different groups of non-Whites. There is a sense that either we are all going to win, or we're all going to lose, and this creates a powerful sense of camaraderie across nations and continents.
As has been clumsily discussed at some length by the media, memes are a big part of the Alt-Right culture. These images and slogans comprise not only an attempt, but a successful attempt, to formulate a new culture for ourselves, separate from the mainstream culture, which is largely the result of Jewish social imperialism.
For the purpose of trying to give a better understanding of the nature of this new culture the movement has produced, I will give a list of examples of memes which, far from exhaustive, should allow those unfamiliar with the Alt-Right to get a basic idea of the headspace people in the movement inhabit. It is a place where irony and vulgarity meet conscious idealism, futurism and a deep reverence for objective, scientific data.
Many or most of these originated on 4chan, some of them having not been initially associated with anything necessarily political.
Pepe is by far the most covered meme in this media storm which has taken place around the Alt-Right. He is a cartoon frog, who has served as the movement's mascot.
Pepe became the mascot (he wasn't ''chosen'' by anyone, except the meme-mob, which is everyone) because he embodies the goal of couching idealism within irony. A movement which meets all of the SPLC's definitions of Neo-Nazi White Supremacism using a cartoon frog to represent itself takes on a subversive power to bypass historical stereotypes of such movements, and thus present the ideas themselves in a fun way without the baggage of Schindler's List and American History X.
Bane is the villain from the film The Dark Knight Rises, the final installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.
The film, while aesthetically beautiful, was written by a Jew, with the villain Bane in many ways embodying the Jewish nightmare of fascism. The Alt-Right has adopted this character as a secondary mascot because of his character as a strongman, taking down an oppressive liberal-democratic system and attempting to establish an authoritarian-populist social order.
Other villains from popular Jewish-produced culture are also sometimes used within the Alt-Right meme culture for the same reason.
''Normie'' is a term used to refer to individuals who have not yet joined the Alt-Right, remaining trapped in the mental-prison of the Jewish system. These people are viewed as being incapable of objectively processing information, and will instead revert to programmed slogans whenever they are presented with ideas that conflict with their synthetic value system.
Dindu Nuffin
When arrested, Black people will often use the phrase ''I didn't do nothing'' when exclaiming their professed innocence. The term is used to mock the assertion by both Blacks themselves and the Jewish-dominated media that Black people are not responsible for their own behavior, as well as the failure of Blacks to use standard English.
The term ''shitlord'' was allegedly used initially by SJWs as an insult to racists and misogynists. I don't personally remember it as an insult, however, given that it was so quickly taken on by the Alt-Right and used as a term of endearment and pride. This is an example of Alinsky's instruction to own insults and thus remove their power (another example would be what happened when the Clinton campaign tried to popularize the #DangerousDonald meme).
Another meme that the media has paid attention to, ''Cuck'' is short for ''cuckold,'' which is a man whose wife is cheating on him or a sexual fetish (and porn genre) involving a White man who enjoys seeing his wife have sex with Black men.
''Cuck'' (or ''Cuckservative,'' if one is referring to a cuck who identifies as ''conservative'') is applied to Whites who relish in giving away the resources of their people to foreigners. The term applies to Whites who support mass immigration, support Black Lives Matter or support Israel.
White Genocide
''White Genocide'' refers to the idea, often supported by the UN's Genocide Convention, that flooding White nations with non-Whites amounts to a form of calculated genocide against a racial group.
The Daily Stormer poster WhiteGenocideTM, who was cited in Hillary Clinton's Alt-Right speech, was retweeted by Donald Trump, thus propelling the term into popular consciousness. Regrettably, there seems to be some confusion as to what the term means, with some (Clinton included, apparently) seemingly believing it is a call for Whites to commit a genocide(s), rather than drawing attention to the fact a genocide is being committed against us.
We wuz Kangz
''We wuz Kangz'' is a mockery of the Afrocentric anthropological claim that Blacks are the descendants ancient Egyptian kings. The phrase is used to mock the ineptitude of Blacks, and their continued claims that all of their endless failures are the result of White people oppressing them out of hatred for the color of their skin, rather than an innate biological incapacity to compete in White society.
Le Happy Merchant
Le Happy Merchant is a Jewish caricature used to represent all Jews. It is used for the purpose of dehumanizing the Jew as a type of evil monster, rather than a human being, while also being very funny in its offensiveness. The character is used in a series of DIY comic strips as a diabolical villain tricking and abusing a good natured but obese and dimwitted American (Le American Bear), as well as a whole lot of other memes. It has proven to be extremely effective in portraying Jews as an alien other, in the way the much more serious NSDAP anti-Semitic propaganda did in the 1930's.
''1488'' is an old skinhead and White Nationalist battlecry. ''14'' refers to the 14 words coined by David Lane (''We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children''), with 88 being an 88 word paragraph from Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, volume 1, chapter 8 (''What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe. Every thought and every idea, every doctrine and all knowledge, must serve this purpose. And everything must be examined from this point of view and used or rejected according to its utility.'').
''88'' can also mean ''Heil Hitler,'' as ''H'' is the 8th letter of the alphabet.
The Alt-Right certainly believes in these principles, but also uses the number ironically '' it is a bit of self-depreciating humor, comparing ourselves to previous incarnations of the White Nationalist movement which are potentially viewed as low-brow.
The Jewish Holocaust is viewed as the foundation upon which the modern system of White guilt was built, used by the Jewish-dominated establishment as a club to beat in the skulls of anyone who dares stand-up and claim that Whites have a right to their own countries.
The absurd assertion '' either plainly stated or directly implied '' is that whenever Whites organize for their own interests, they begin exterminating people. As such, the Jewish declaration of ''Never Again'' is taken to imply that there will never again be a White country.
The only way to subvert the Jewish obsession with bringing up the Holocaust whenever any White person claims they have a right to exist is to viciously mock the story, in large part by pointing out that they have yet to produce any physical evidence that it actually happened. Beyond laughing about the fact that Jews are such chronic liars that they invented a story about millions of people being gassed in fake shower rooms and made into furniture and cleaning products, the Alt-Right also asserts that if it had happened, it would have been justified due to the collective behavior of the Jews.
The mockery of the Holocaust fits into the theory that you cannot win by apologizing, as apologizing is the realm of losers.
A couple years ago, The Right Stuff began using a foot-pedal on their podcast to cause the names of Jews to echo. This was accompanied by the triple parentheses around the names of Jewish people or organizations. A Chrome app was created which would add the parentheses around the names of these Jewish people and organizations.
Earlier this year, the symbol was finally recognized by the Jews themselves, and they attempted to ''own it'' by voluntarily adding the parentheses to their names on Twitter. It was bizarre.
Kek is the apotheosis of Pepe, who at some point in the future will travel back in time to become an Egyptian god of trolling. I am not going to elaborate much on it here, as the subject is too complex and esoteric, but the Alt-Right is in the process of forming an actual religious doctrine around the god Kek, who is believed to be the spiritual root of meme magick.
Nirvana Fallacy
In February of 2015, this writer criticized the YouTuber Sargon of Akkad for blaming political correctness, rather than race, for the Pakistani rape gangs which operated for decades with impunity in Rotherham, England. Akkad responded to the criticism, with a video attacking me and defending Pakistani immigration to the UK. In it, he cited several fallacies found on Wikipedia, including the ''Nirvana Fallacy,'' saying that this particular fallacy meant that if these girls had not been drugged, gang-raped and trafficked by Pakistani men, ''White British men'' would have done it (it was implied that it would have happened in the exact same way, to the same girls, by Whites, making it appear as though he was presenting some type of metaphysical concept relating to divine predestination).
Since then, this writer and others have jokingly reminded people whenever a terrorist attack, gang-rape, mass sex attack, or plain old brutal murder is committed by an immigrant or a Black that if they hadn't done it, White British men would have.
For example: ''If a North African Moslem wouldn't have run over those people in Nice for Allah, a White British man would have'' or ''if a gang of Blacks hadn't kidnapped that that 17-year-old White girl in Myrtle Beach and gang-raped her for days before shooting her and feeding her to alligators, White British men would have.''
The meme is designed to mock the ridiculousness of the liberal/progressive/SJW/Jew assertion that all races are exactly the same.
Sam Hyde
Sam Hyde is a comedian, who has dedicated his life to viciously mocking the Alt-Right and other right-wing groups.
At some point, someone on Twitter got the idea of posting the image of ''White Supremacist Sam Hyde'' as an announcement of a shooter's identity during a mass shooting or terrorist event. The concept was to mock the Jewish media's assumption that whenever a killing happens, the culprit is White, despite the fact that this is almost never true. The rule proved true, as repeatedly, the media would retweet and even publish reports based on the tweets.
During the Black Lives Matter protests at Mizzou, this writer managed to convince tens of thousands of Black people that Sam Hyde was a KKK leader on campus lynching Blacks. This writer was permanently banned from Twitter for this particular stunt.
''GTKRWN'' stands for ''gas the kikes '' race war now!''
It is used ironically to mock the idea that anyone who supports White interests is a genocidal maniac.
Vibrant Diversity
''Vibrant diversity'' and ''cultural enrichment'' are terms which have been used with a straightface by the Jewish establishment to refer to mass non-White immigration into White countries. The terms have been adopted by the Alt-Right to refer to rapes, mass-murders, terrorist attacks, etc. committed by non-Whites in White countries.
This is a means to point out that there is literally no tangible benefit, whatsoever, to bringing primitive third-world people into White countries, as well as the utterly unfathomable levels of dishonesty used in the promotion of the immigration agenda.
Anime images are widely used as a part of the aesthetic of the Alt-Right. This is in part due to the fact that many people within the Alt-Right genuinely enjoy watching Anime, as it is viewed as a form of video entertainment which exists outside of the corrosive cultural norms created and promoted by the Jews who dominate the Western entertainment media.
It is also used ironically by many who may not necessarily watch much Anime, because it is funny to associate hardcore racism and a love for Adolf Hitler with cute cartoons. This serves to take the edge off the portrayal of anyone who questions the ethnic cleansing of Whites as evil.
It is also notable that Japan is generally viewed very positively as a nation and a people throughout the Alt-Right, due to their relatively high culture and their passion for defending it.
RetroWave (also known as Synthwave) has become the preferred music choice of many members of the Alt-Right. It is electronic music with a 1980's aesthetic, with influences mainly drawn from the soundtracks of films of that time.
The 80's is when most of the members of the Alt-Right were born, and we have a fondness for the optimism that embodied that era. It is often pointed out that the visions of the future given to the people through the media of that era have been abandoned in favor of a policy of third-worldizing the first world through mass third-world immigration. This makes it impossible that the high-technology utopia we were promised by 80's entertainment culture could ever be realized.
RetroFuturism fits very well with the ''we want our future back'' theme of the Alt-Right.
The genre is small at present, mostly associated with the NewRetroWave YouTube channel. The Synthwave artist ~ C Y B E R N Î-- Z I ~ is currently producing original White Identity-oriented music, and I predict that this will become more and more of a trend in the future, as this genre becomes to the Alt-Right what punk was to the skinhead movement.
Current Year
Another meme that the media has taken note of, ''it's current year'' makes a mockery of the SJW catchphrase going something like ''I can't believe that we still have [insert something] '' it's [current year].''
The idea behind these statements when made by SJWs is that certain ideas cannot be accepted due to the level of social development we've allegedly undergone over the past decades. They often use the statement, however, to promote policies which are viewed by the Alt-Right as the opposite of social progress, such as mass Islamic immigration or allowing Black people to attack cops.
The concept of the movement having ''leaders'' is a very recent invention of the media. In order to support this, they have invented an alternate history of the movement, which focuses on people who are only peripheral to the Alt-Right, and may in fact be opposed to its core narrative.
None of these men is the leader. And yes, that includes the guy in the middle.
This presumably represents both a desire on the part of the establishment to define the movement on their own terms, as well as a fundamental incapacity to understand what is actually going on, believing that political movements must have leaders and a direct line of ''thinkers'' which can be traced back to various people influencing various other people who promoted various specific ideas.
Milo's Breitbart piece, ''Establishment Conservative's Guide to the Alt-Right'' (co-written with Allum Bokhari), being the first ''guide'' to the movement written, is serving as a basis for the narrative being presented by the media. This combines with the opinions of ''hate experts'' from the SPLC and the ADL to form a contrived and largely nonsensical forced ''history of the Alt-Right,'' complete with forced leaders who had little or nothing to do with the ideological and spiritual journeys of most people who make up the movement.
Much of this confusion is built on the term ''Alt-Right'' itself, which was allegedly coined by the Jew Paul Gottfried in 2008 and then used as the name of Richard Spencer's new-defunct blog.
Paul Gottfried, the Jew who supposedly coined the term ''Alternative Right''
The term ''Alt-Right'' came into wide, common use to describe the confluence of dissidents very recently, and has virtually nothing whatsoever to do with the Jew who allegedly coined the term, and much more to do with the way it sounds and the way the internet works. That is to say, people thought the term fit the movement, and when people began using the term on Twitter with the #altright hashtag, and then in blogs, it caught on, with people accepting that the term was being used to define what they believe. This happened less than a year ago, while the movement itself has been forming for several years.
The term ''Alt-Right'' itself is what the Jewish media is manipulating to use to redefine the movement along terms that it understands. They are tracing the origin of the term, and equating this to the origins of the movement. Which would mean that the movement was founded by a Jew, something which the media is probably comfortable with.
The media has been promoting Jared Taylor, Richard Spencer and Milo himself as the ''leaders'' of the movement.
The Daily Caller recently labeled Jared Taylor ''the intellectual godfather of the Alt-Right.''
The first two individuals have both done great work contributing to the struggle of the White race, I just don't personally see as though they've had overly much direct influence on the mob, which is the heart of the Alt-Right. That having been said, I am not opposed to having either of these men represent the Alt-Right in the media, necessarily, but I do fear that they will serve to remove focus from the Jewish problem. I absolutely believe that unrepentant anti-Semitism needs to remain at the core of the movement, just as it has been from the beginning.
There is also the problem that neither of these men has attempted to assert leadership by forming an organization with a clear political platform. Jared Taylor has mainly focused on statistical data regarding race; I'm not familiar with any political material Taylor has written. I was also deeply concerned to see a recent interview with Taylor in the Jewish Daily Forward where he was presented as a leader of the Alt-Right and claiming that the movement is not against Jews and is actually reaching out to them and inviting them to join up. I believe virtually every single member of the movement would take very serious issue with.
Though I am not as familiar with the work of Richard Spencer, he doesn't appear to have any specific political positions. Looking into him after he has received all of this media attention recently, I watched a 25 minute video he made entitled ''What is the Alt-Right?'' and I was left without any understanding whatsoever of how he defines the term, let alone any political positions he holds. I am also extremely uncomfortable with Spencer's apparent support for radical homosexual movements '' one of the few positions which I have heard him be very straightforward about '' and do not see this as jiving at all with the basic culture and values of the Alt-Right.
Richard Spencer has invited Jack Donovan to his conferences and publicly defended him. Donovan is a radical homosexual who has written on the internet about ''fucking men like they were women'' and specifically targeting men with ''daddy issues.''
That having been said, both Taylor and Spencer are genuine people, and they may in the future present political positions in line with those of the mob and serve as a rallying point for the movement. However, until they do present political positions, declaring them leaders of a political movement is frankly ridiculous.
Milo, on the other hand, is a subversive and a disease. A homosexual Jew, he jumped on the movement a few months ago and was promoted by the entire media, propelled as the representative of the ''official movement.'' He has introduced a bizarre narrative where no one in the Alt-Right actually believes anything that they are saying, and simply say it as part of some obscure joke.
In the past weeks, he has been promoted to celebrity status, apparently for the purpose of trying to cleanse the movement of anyone who actually believes anything. It is a bizarre situation, having someone claim to represent us, while presenting positions which are directly contrary to our core beliefs.
What he has done is adopt the tone of the movement, endorsing certain less important positions, while also serving as the tone-police, attempting to shut out the real heart of the movement by denouncing them as ''fringe.'' In his Breitbart piece, he claimed, among other things, that the Alt-Right has no problem with race-mixing or Jews, but simply mocks them because they oppose political correctness. In his piece, he dug-up people who actually are fringe members of the movement, and used them to attempt to redefine the movement.
It is also noteworthy that he somehow forgot to mention the Daily Stormer, despite the fact that this site gets more traffic than all other Alt-Right websites combined.
It is plain as anything that Milo is attempting to use the movement '' which is hip, rebellious and edgy '' in order to transform himself into a counter-culture icon.
This all having been said, though I do find the situation outrageous, there is no real threat that Milo is going to take anything over. In fact, his newly-earned celebrity status has resulted in a huge backlash, with the mob enraged that he is openly and publicly lying about what the movement is, effectively defaming us, while shamelessly using our hard work and achievements for his own personal agenda.
To become a real and effective political force, the Alt-Right will need real leaders. Real leaders are not people that stand-up and claim to be leaders, but people that the masses naturally want to follow.
We will need a platform which allows us to organize and collectively promote our agenda. This may be in the form of a political party, or it may be through an organization which acts to influence the existing Republican party. We need real organization, and it needs to be based on a platform which is approved by the mob.
As far as I understand the mob, the points which I laid out in the ''ideology and values'' section of this piece would pretty much be universally agreed on by it, and should so serve as the basis for any organized political platform.
Besides, these are the positions that got us to where we are now, and there is no reason to believe they won't continue to gain wider and wider acceptance among the people. In fact there is much reason to believe they will continue to spread, exponentially, just as they have been, until a large portion of the White demographic holds these positions. Toning down the message, however, serves absolutely no strategic purpose. It would cause the movement to lose momentum and it wouldn't increase appeal.
If Trump wins, we are going to have an opportunity to directly influence his administration, if we organize ourselves properly and develop a cohesive constituency (the latter we already have, I'd estimate numbering at 4-6 million people).
If Trump loses, we are going to have an opportunity to very vocally blame the Jews for his loss, which will serve our purposes nearly as much as a Trump win.
Either way, the future is very bright.
As long as everyone involved keeps doing exactly what they're doing right now, we can only continue to expand. There is no other option. Our ideas are winning.
The only threat of failure is if in trying to go mainstream we decide to compromise. However, because of the nature of this internet-based movement, where the mob has a very real voice and can say it loudly when they disagree with the direction something is going in, there is not any real chance anyone pushing a compromise could be successful.
We already have a situation where anyone trying to go soft gets e-lynched for it, and that isn't going away.
Whatever the end result of our great work is, I know this for certain:
History will remember us.
Hail Victory.
VIDEO-FBI Chief Responds to Concern Over Cyberthreats to US Election System - ABC News
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 14:31
The FBI has responded to recent concerns about U.S. voting systems being targeted for cyberattacks as Election Day approaches, saying the agency takes the threat "very, very seriously" and is working to "equip the rest of our government with options."
FBI Director James Comey addressed the issue while speaking to government and private-industry experts attending the Symantec Government Symposium in Washington, D.C.
"We take very seriously any effort by any actor," he said, "to influence the conduct of affairs in our country, whether that's an election or something else."
His comments come one day after news surfaced about FBI warnings to the states that hackers had infiltrated one state board of election and targeted another.
Three days ago, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., sent a letter to Comey, expressing concern that "the threat of the Russian government tampering in our presidential election is more extensive than widely known and may include the intent to falsify official election results."
In late June an "unknown actor scanned a state's Board of Election website for vulnerabilities" and, after identifying a security gap, exploited the vulnerability to conduct a "data exfiltration," or unauthorized data transfer, the FBI said in a recent bulletin.
Earlier this month, hackers used the same vulnerability in an "attempted intrusion activities into another state's Board of Election system," the FBI said.
The bulletin did not say who may be behind the cyberattacks or the attacker's or attackers' location. But many suspect Russian hackers are to blame.
In the recent cyberattacks, voter-related information was stolen from the Illinois election system, and hackers tried to access Arizona's system, according to Yahoo News, which first reported on the bulletin.
"The prospect of a hostile government actively seeking to undermine our free and fair elections represents one of the gravest threats to our democracy since the Cold War," Reid wrote in his Aug. 27 letter to Comey, adding that the FBI should "investigate this matter thoroughly."
Reid is not alone in his concerns over potential Election Day cybervulnerabilities.
Three weeks ago, the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee called on the federal government to examine its efforts to protect election systems and voting machines in the United States against similar attacks.
"Election security is critical, and a cyberattack by foreign actors on our election systems could compromise the integrity of our voting process," wrote Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security.
For months, the FBI has been investigating what appear to be coordinated cyberattacks on Democratic organizations '-- the most damaging so far being the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.
Not only did the hack apparently allow cyberoperatives to steal opposition research on Republican nominee Donald Trump, but many suspect it led to the theft of internal messages that showed efforts by DNC officials to undermine Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders during the primary season.
After those damaging emails were publicly released by WikiLeaks, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down as the DNC's chairwoman.
Many suspect Russian hackers are also to blame for these cyberassaults on Democratic organizations.
At the symposium in Washington today, Comey said state-sponsored hackers from places like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea "are getting much more sophisticated [and] much more aggressive" in their online activities.
ABC News' Ali Rogin and Geneva Sands contributed to this report.
VIDEO-ISIS leader killed: US doubts Russia's claim in Mohammad al-Adnani death - CNN.com
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 14:12
On Wednesday, Russia's Ministry of Defense announced it killed the terror leader on the ministry's official Facebook page. It said Adnani was one of up to 40 ISIS militants killed by a Russian bomber in Aleppo province.
But a US defense official slammed Russia's assertion.
"It would be laughable but for the very real humanitarian suffering Russia has inflicted," the defense official said Wednesday. "We stand by the statement we made yesterday. We conducted a strike that targeted al-Adnani. We are assessing the results of that strike."
That attack was carried out by a US drone, two US defense officials told CNN on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, ISIS announced Adnani's death in a rare public statement. His death marks the highest-profile killing yet of an ISIS member.
A key deputy to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, he was floated to be his successor should anything happen to Baghdadi.
A statement from ISIS' Amaq news agency on Tuesday said Adnani died while inspecting military operations in the area of Aleppo. ISIS has not revealed his cause of death and said it was "determined to seek revenge" for the killing.
"After a journey filled with sacrifice and fight against non-believers, the Syrian Gallant knight, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, joined the convoy of martyr leaders," ISIS said.
"To the filthy and coward nonbelievers and to the holders of the Christ emblem, we bring the good news, which will keep them awake, that a new generation in the Islamic State ... that loves death more than life ... this generation will only grow steadfast on the path to Jihad, stay determined to seek revenge and be violent toward them."
'Significant blow'
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said Tuesday that while the results of the US-led coalition's airstrike against Adnani were not clear, his "removal from the battlefield would mark another significant blow to ISIS."
"Al-Adnani has served as principal architect of ISIS' external operations and as ISIS' chief spokesman. He has coordinated the movement of ISIS fighters, directly encouraged lone-wolf attacks on civilians and members of the military and actively recruited new ISIS members. The U.S. military will continue to prioritize and relentlessly target ISIS leaders and external plotters in order to defend our homeland, our allies and our partners, while we continue to gather momentum in destroying ISIL's parent tumor in Iraq and Syria and combat its metastases around the world."
More than a spokesman
As spokesman, Adnani was the group's most prominent face, the first to announce the ISIS caliphate even before Baghdadi did.
But he was much more than a spokesman, CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said.
Adnani was well-known for ordering operatives to attack countries participating in the coalition against ISIS. Western intelligence believes he had command responsibility for the November 2015 Paris attacks.He is believed to have carried out those orders as one of the ISIS leaders overseeing its security service, known as Amniyat, which includes the external operations unit tasked with international attacks on the West. As such, the external operations unit reported up to Adnani.
A number of ISIS followers and members captured and questioned in the last two years, including French jihadists Faiz Bouchrane and Reda Hame, have attested to Adnani as head of the Amniyat.
"In some ways he's a more dangerous figure than Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, because he's believed to be overseeing the external operations division of ISIS, and that's the part of ISIS which threatens the West, which carried out the attacks in Paris, which could one day carry out an attack in the US on a significant scale," Cruickshank said.
First to declare ISIS caliphate
Adnani has been with ISIS since its beginnings and was close to Baghdadi, CNN's Nic Robertson said. In June 2014, he was the first to declare a caliphate for parts of Syria and Iraq, indicating ISIS' aim to become a governing entity and not just a terrorist group.
Born in Syria in 1977, Adnani was the most senior Syrian in ISIS, a trait that some analysts say may have counted against him in a leadership bid among the Iraqi-led terror group.The US State Department officially labeled Adnani a terrorist in August 2014 and put a $5 million bounty on his head. It described him as "the official spokesman for and a senior leader" of ISIS, a position he obtained after becoming one of the first foreign fighters to oppose US-led forces in Iraq.He was arrested in May 2005 in Anbar province and is believed to have spent some time between 2005 and 2010 at the US detention facility Camp Bucca.
After his arrival in Syria, he was appointed deputy of Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq for the northern province, then as the security leader before assuming a key role in external operations for ISIS, according to the UN Security Council.'Crush their heads with rocks'
"He was the mouthpiece of ISIS. He said things like, 'If you can't shoot them, then stab them, and if you can't stab them, then crush their heads with rocks. If you can't do that, then drive your cars, your vehicles, to kill them," Robertson said.
"He absolutely tried to maximize every opportunity to instill fear in Syria and Iraq and the international community and send fighters overseas to attack."
Adnani said ISIS supporters in the West had a religious duty to launch lone-wolf attacks, a move analysts call a game changer that may have inspired attacks in North America, Europe and Australia.
"He was the strategic leader of the organization, especially when it comes to attacks on the West," said journalist Graeme Wood, Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "To have that voice destroyed is a serious blow to the organization, probably the most significant kill that the enemies of the Islamic State have perpetrated since its declaration of the caliphate."CNN's Emanuella Grinberg, Ghazi Balkiz, Nick Paton Walsh, Seb Shukla, Milena Veselinovic and Dugald McConnell contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Annaliese Nielsen assaults Lyft driver (RAW Footage) - YouTube
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 13:15
VIDEO-AUDIO-EU commissioner responds to Apple on tax ruling - BBC News
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 03:52
The European Commission has ruled that Ireland should recover up to '‚¬13bn (£11bn) from Apple in back taxes, after a three-year investigation concluded that the US company's Irish tax benefits are illegal.
Apple has already announced plans to appeal against the decision, saying the ruling will have a "profound and harmful effect on job creation" in Europe.
Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition, told BBC Radio 4's World at One that "it was only fair" that there should be a "level playing field", where all companies pay their tax.
VIDEO-Denmark's Vestager fights EU battles with corporate giants - BBC News
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 03:39
Media captionMs Vestager said the Irish tax system "allowed profits to be attributed to a head office that only existed on paper."Google, Starbucks, Amazon, Gazprom - and now Apple. The European Commission's drive for tax fairness has brought competition cases against one multinational after another.
And in the vanguard is Denmark's no-nonsense woman in Brussels, Margrethe Vestager.
A star in Danish politics, she hit the ground running when she joined Jean-Claude Juncker's Commission team in Brussels in 2014.
"When a government lets a company avoid paying its share, that company gains just as if it received a handful of cash," she said in a speech in June.
The demand for Ireland to recover taxes from Apple dwarfs previous cases. Ms Vestager says Apple owes up to '‚¬13bn (£11bn), dating back to 2003. Apple and the Irish government will appeal, rejecting the Commission's ruling.
Borgen inspirationFor Danes, Ms Vestager (pronounced VES-taya) is as renowned for knitting, bread-making and tweeting as she is for tackling issues that no-one else has yet dared to touch.
Former colleagues insist that she, not ex-Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, was the true model for the fictional woman prime minister in the hit Danish political drama Borgen.
Last year it came as no surprise in the Folketing (parliament) that she took on two major multinationals in the space of a week, first accusing Google of anti-competitive behaviour by promoting its own shopping links, then Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom of abusing its position in Central and Eastern European gas markets.
Because Margrethe Vestager, as leader of the centrist Social Liberals (Radikale Venstre), has played a big role in challenging the status quo at home.
Image caption Borgen's writer admitted modelling Birgitte Nyborg (C) on Margrethe Vestager While still in opposition, she pushed the ruling coalition to cut an early retirement programme and raise the retirement age from 60 to 65 in early 2011.
Danes hated it at the time, but that major reform did her no harm. In reality, her party's fortunes soared and polled 9.5% in elections a few months later.
Image copyrightGetty ImagesImage caption Visits to Queen Margrethe II at the palace in Copenhagen were paid by bicycle Borgen writer Adam Price once attended a party convention and has since spoken of Ms Vestager as the woman who inspired the character of Birgitte Nyborg, the leader of a small party, the Moderates, propelled to the post of prime minister.
In the series, Nyborg's marriage fails as she tries to juggle the demands of running a minority government with keeping a family going.
Ms Vestager, in contrast, appears unfazed. Her whole family moved to Brussels, apart from one daughter who stayed in Copenhagen to study.
'In Brussels, no-one can hear you scream'She wrote poetry during coalition talks after the 2011 elections and became renowned for her love of knitting and baking.
Image copyrightTwitterImage caption Margrethe Vestager was one of the first prominent Danish politicians to become active on social media She has 160,000 Twitter followers and, since 2009, her tweets have involved a heady mix of politics and favourite hobbies.
When former Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt nominated her for the post in Brussels, tongues wagged in Copenhagen.
Was this an attempt to be rid of a troublesome minister, as depicted in a memorable Borgen episode entitled, "In Brussels no-one can hear you scream"?
That seems unlikely. Ms Thorning-Schmidt was herself being touted for a top job in Brussels. And as competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager has one of the toughest and highest-profile briefs in Brussels.
The US Treasury Department has accused the Commission of targeting US corporations, saying its actions have an impact on US tax revenue and on global efforts to combat tax avoidance. The Commission denies any anti-US bias.
Image copyrightMargrethe VestagerImage caption Margrethe Vestager tweeted this image shortly before she was grilled by the European Parliament Political riseMade chair of her party at the age of 21Education minister 1998-2001Becomes party leader in 2007Economic and interior affairs minister 2011-14Joins European Commission August 2014Seen in Denmark as left of centre on immigration and gay marriageViewed as right-wing on welfare.'Let me Google it'One of her thornier tasks in Brussels is tackling the "Luxleaks" scandal. Top companies were given sweetheart tax deals by the Luxembourg government, enabling them to funnel hundreds of millions of euros in profits through subsidiaries in the Grand Duchy.
In October 2015 the Commission found that Fiat had enjoyed unfair tax advantages in Luxembourg, as had Starbucks in the Netherlands.
Amazon and McDonald's are still under investigation by the Commission in the "Luxleaks" case.
Ms Vestager's current boss, Jean-Claude Juncker, was prime minister at the time the deals were struck.
In June, Luxembourg prosecutors found two whistleblowers guilty over "Luxleaks". Former PricewaterhouseCoopers employees Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet received 12- and nine-month sentences respectively for leaking documents.
When asked to describe Ms Vestager, a colleague in Copenhagen told the BBC: "She's a political go-getter who stands up for her beliefs."
Ms Vestager stresses that she is acting against market abuse - unfair competition - but not against a firm's market dominance, if that status is fair and legitimate.
"If you look for something you say, 'Let me Google it'. I think you should congratulate a company that is so successful," she said.
VIDEO-Danish EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has wins legion of fans over Apple tax evasion | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 01 Sep 2016 03:36
When the EU Competition Commissioner ordered Apple Inc to pay Ireland unpaid taxes of up to 13 billion euros on Tuesday she did not mince her words.
Margrethe Vestager questioned how anyone might think an arrangement that allowed Apple to pay a tax rate of 0.005 percent, as Apple's main Irish unit did in 2014, was fair.
And in doing so earned herself a legion of fans around the world.
The 48-year-old tough talking Danish politician is seen as the woman that acclaimed Scandi political drama Borgen was modelled on.
Scroll down for video
Getting things done: Margrethe Vestager on Tuesday ordered Apple Inc to pay Ireland a record £11 billion penalty over a 'sweetheart' tax deal
Thank you: People around the world praised Vestager for holding Apple 'to task' over unpaid tax
In the show, the main character is Birgitte Nyborg - a feminist, idealistic, leader of a centrist party who finds herself becoming Prime Minister of Denmark.
Before taking up the role of Nyborg actress Sidse Babett Knudsen reportedly spent a few days shadowing Vestager.
The mother of three daughters who took on Apple served as an MP from 2001 until 2014, representing the centrist Danish Social Liberal Party.
When entering government as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic and Interior Affairs in 2001 she rode her bicycle to meet the Queen.
Vestager served in the three-party Social Democrat-led coalition government of Helle Thorning-Schmidt from 2011 until 2014, during which time she was heralded by Danish media as the most powerful person in government.
It's therefore no surprise that Knudsen turned to her for tips on how to play a leader.
Inspiration: In the Danish political drama Borgen, actress Sidse Babett plays fictional Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg who is believed to be modelled on Vestager
Tough talking: Vestager questioned how anyone might think an arrangement that allowed Apple to pay a tax rate of 0.005 percent was fair
Determination: One Twitter user said 'we EU citizens love your strong determination against corporate tax avoidance'
Don't stop: Vestager's fans asked her to 'please continue to slay companies not paying fair taxes'
Backed: One Apple customer said Vestager has 'all his support' over the decision
When Vestager was appointed as the European Union's next competition commissioner in September 2014, Christian Riis-Madsen, a Danish antitrust lawyer for O'Melveny & Myers LLP in Brussels, said he expected her to have a different approach than her predecessor.
'I would expect her to be less influenced by political considerations,' he told Bloomberg. 'She's known to be thorough, hard-working, getting things done.'
During her lauded speech at a news conference on Tuesday, Vestager said: 'Tax rulings granted by Ireland have artificially reduced Apple's tax burden for over two decades, in breach of the EU state aid rules. Apple now has to repay the benefits.'
People around the world took to social media to congratulate her on holding the company to account.
'We EU citizens love your strong determination against corporate tax avoidance. We hope this is the start of all corp tax recovery,' one person wrote.
No nonsense: The former Danish deputy prime minister previously clashed with then British chancellor George Osborne during the 2012 euro crisis
Awkward moment: Former chancellor George Osborne accidentally bumped heads with Vestager in Luxembourg as they leaned in for a friendly embrace
'Please continue to slay companies not paying fair taxes. The worldwide tax system is broken,' another said.
Using the Danish word for thank you, a jubilant tweeter said: 'Tak Tak Tak!! We all knew this was happening, but it takes a brave woman to bring #Apple to task #Ireland.'
'All my support to the European Commission decision, from an Apple consumer and a european citizen,' another added.
However, tax experts say the European Commission faces a tough battle to convince courts to back up its stand.
While the EU has found that certain tax regulations are anti-competitive, it has never before ruled whether countries have applied tax regulations fairly in the way it has with Apple, Starbucks and others.
As a result, some lawyers and accountants said they doubted Apple would end up paying back any tax.
'I am not persuaded by the reasoning the EU has applied,' said Tim Wach, global managing director at international tax advisers Taxand.
The Irish government has vowed to fight the decision and has received support from the White House, which cautioned against the EU's 'unilateral' measures, warning the ruling could hit jobs and investment across Europe.
VIDEO-VaxXed Stories: The Prosecutor - YouTube
Wed, 31 Aug 2016 16:12
VIDEO-Homeland eyes special declaration to take charge of elections | Washington Examiner
Wed, 31 Aug 2016 07:24
Even before the FBI identified new cyber attacks on two separate state election boards, the Department of Homeland Security began considering declaring the election a "critical infrastructure," giving it the same control over security it has over Wall Street and and the electric power grid.
The latest admissions of attacks could speed up that effort possibly including the upcoming presidential election, according to officials.
"We should carefully consider whether our election system, our election process, is critical infrastructure like the financial sector, like the power grid," Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said.
"There's a vital national interest in our election process, so I do think we need to consider whether it should be considered by my department and others critical infrastructure," he said at media conference earlier this month hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
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DHS has a vital security role in 16 areas of critical infrastructure and they provide a model for what the department and Johnson could have in mind for the election.
DHS describes it this way on their website: "There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof."
A White House policy directive adds, "The federal government also has a responsibility to strengthen the security and resilience of its own critical infrastructure, for the continuity of national essential functions, and to organize itself to partner effectively with and add value to the security and resilience efforts of critical infrastructure owners and operators."
At the time, Johnson did not mention specific security issues, but the FBI has since cited one hack and another attempt.
Johnson also said that the big issue at hand is that there isn't a central election system since the states run elections. "There's no one federal election system. There are some 9,000 jurisdictions involved in the election process," Johnson said.
Also from the Washington Examiner
Donald Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway clarified her boss's immigration stance Tuesday night.
'08/31/16 12:14 AM
"There's a national election for president, there are some 9,000 jurisdictions that participate, contribute to collecting votes, tallying votes and reporting votes," he said.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com
Top Story
Donald Trump hopes to put questions about his immigration policy to rest in a major speech.
'08/31/16 12:01 AM
VIDEO-Is the Blockchain the solution to remittances in Mexico and Latin America? - YouTube
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 23:46
VIDEO-'Why Not Sit Back and Watch Them Implode?': Lawrence Jones Clashes with Alan Colmes Over Media Bias | Video | TheBlaze.com
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 20:44
TheBlaze's Lawrence Jones III slugged it out Monday with Alan Colmes on Fox News over the media's coverage of the 2016 presidential election.
''I believe Donald Trump has gone back and forth on positions '... as well as Hillary Clinton,'' Jones said. ''We know that after every single primary '-- whether it was when Barack Obama ran or when Hillary Clinton ran the first time '-- that they began to migrate toward the center. And I think the media should cover both candidates and how they've changed. But they're not doing that.''
Image source: Facebook
Colmes admitted that he believes Clinton should finally commit to holding a press conference but said doing so doesn't serve her interests.
''Why should she if she's doing so well and she's seeing another campaign implode?'' Colmes asked. ''I mean, what she's doing is working. '...From a purely strategic standpoint politically, while Trump is imploding and tweeting stuff out that he's got to then clean up, and keeping the change his position on immigration, why not sit back and watch them implode?''
Jones fired back with a frank bottom-line statement: ''The reality of it is '... both of these candidates suck. Their approval rating are horrible. '... Why can't the media cover how both of them suck fairly?''
''They don't suck equally,'' Colmes said. ''That's the problem '... As bad as you may think Hillary Clinton is, Donald Trump is 100 times worse.''
VIDEO-Pro-Trump pastor: Clinton, Dems pander to black community | On Air Videos | Fox News
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 20:34
Freedom ControllerHTTP/1.1 200 OK Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2016 20:34:37 GMT Server: Apache X-Powered-By: PHP/5.3.10-1ubuntu3.24 Vary: Accept-Encoding Content-Encoding: gzip Content-Length: 6907 Content-Type: text/html
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VIDEO-MSNBC plays fried chicken ad instead of Hillary racism speech clip - The American MirrorThe American Mirror
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 12:02
MSNBC host Alex Witt wanted to play a clip of Hillary Clinton accusing Donald Trump of being a racist, but instead aired a Kentucky Fried Chicken ad.
Witt was talking to Cornell Williams Brooks of the NAACP on Saturday when he teed up a portion of Clinton's speech.
''As you know, Hillary Clinton says that Trump's campaign is appealing to a fringe in the Republican Party that is racist. I want to listen to part of her speech with you and get your reaction. So here it is,'' Witt said.
Inexplicably, the KFC ad aired with the MSNBC graphics still on the screen.
''I am the extra crispy colonel,'' Colonel Sanders actor George Hamilton said in the ad.
''Absolutely not what we were going to play,'' Witt said as they moved on.
HuffPo "Revoked Publishing Access" Of Journalist After 'Hillary Health' Story: "It's Orwellian...I'm Scared" | Zero Hedge
Mon, 29 Aug 2016 22:37
Over the weekend we posted about how the media's coverage of Trump and Clinton's health had become "outright bizarre" (see "American Electorate Loses As Partisan Media Coverage Of Candidate Health Turns Outright Bizarre"). We also asked whether Google had taken measures to censor searches related to Hillary's health condition (see "Is Google Censoring Search Results To Protect Hillary?"). Turns out that the Huffington Post may have just joined in on the bizarre behavior by censoring a journalist with the audacity to question Hillary's health.
On Sunday night, an obviously shaken Huffington Post contributor, David Seaman, posted a video to YouTube after the HuffPo had taken measures to revoke his publishing access and delete two articles he had previously published on Hillary's health...a move that left him "a little scared" and "spooked out".
According to Seaman, he has a long standing relationship with the Huffington Post which has included "100's of successful articles" that have been published under the banner.
Seaman reported the move by Huffington Post by live streaming a video of his reactions on YouTube (full video below).
"Huffington Post, where I was a contributor, they have revoked my publishing access and they've deleted both of my articles that were published earlier over the weekend. Both of my articles have been pulled without notice of any kind. Just completely deleted from the internet. And both of those articles mention Hillary's health which is both a hashtag on Twitter and I linked to a video that a YouTuber, Paul Joseph Watson, had uploaded back on August 4th showing signs that Hillary Clinton's health is quite poor."
"Whenever a video concerning a presidential candidate's health is viewed more that 3.5 million times somebody who is under contract to the Huffington Post and AOL should be able to link out to that."
Seaman goes on to point out that completely removing a published article from the internet is unprecedented and leaves him "a little scared" of being the next person to be "vanished" for criticizing the Clinton campaign.
"I've honestly never seen anything like this. This is happening in the United States in 2016. It's frankly chilling. I'm a little scared. I'm doing this video also to say, I'm not suicidal right now; I am not a particularly clumsy person; I don't own a car at the moment. So if I'm to slip in the shower over the next couple of days or something silly like that you have to really employ probability and statistics here because I'm not a clumsy person, right, and I'm also not a depressed person right now. I'm a person who is spooked out though."
"For Huffington Post to delete those posts without any notice, that is Orwellian. That is something I've read about happening in mainland China."
Fortunately, we've discovered a cached version of one of the articles published by Seaman (which can be read here). In it, Seaman questions whether his readers truly believe Hillary to be healthy noting that he can't express an opinion because he "needs to keep [his] job and platform." Seaman goes on to point out that "we all know what happens when you speak a little too much truth about the Establishment-beloved Clintons."
I realize some readers might be wondering after watching Paul Watson's video... how is she strong, or healthy, after seeing all that?
Look guys, I need to keep my job and platform. A lot of people read the Huffington Post and AOL properties. We all know what happens when you speak a little too much truth about the Establishment-beloved Clintons.
Just ask longtime broadcaster Dr. Drew Pinsky. ''CNN has canceled Drew Pinsky's HLN show, Dr. Drew On Call, just eight days after Pinsky made comments on a radio show questioning the health of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Pinsky's show, which is six years old, will air for the last time Sept. 22,'' The Daily Beast reported.
Unfortunately for Seaman, it turns out that even posing a question about Hillary's health is a little too much for the Huffington Post.
And, just for good measure, here is Paul Watson's original video posted on August 4, 2016. Sure enough, the video is up to 3.6mm views and counting.
Just to confirm his story, we took the opportunity to check out Seaman's "long-standing relationship" with the Huffington Post. Certainly a quick search reveals that Seaman is a frequent contributor to the website on a variety of topics.
And sure enough, two of his posts, "Donald Trump Challenges Hillary Clinton To Health Records Duel" and "Hillary Clinton's Health Is Superb (Aside From Seizures, Lesions, Adrenaline Pens)" seem to have been deleted from the website. Clicking on those two posts redirects readers to the following "Editor's Note" indicating that "This post is no longer available on the Huffington Post."
"Surprisingly", however, the Huffington Post isn't quite as concerned about censoring Seaman's views on Canada legalizing medical marijuana...that post can still be enjoyed in its entirety.
And the "outright bizarre" behavior continues...
VIDEO-Don't wear skirts in India for your own safety, tourism minister says - CNN.com
Mon, 29 Aug 2016 21:54
Mahesh Sharma made the comments over the weekend while promoting a welcome kit that will be handed out to tourists when they arrive in India.
"There's a card in there listing the do's and don'ts. Basic things like, 'Don't go out at night alone.' 'Don't wear skirts.'"
The outrage was immediate. And for good reason.
A string of sexual assaults against foreign women has sullied India's reputation.
The country has amended its laws to broaden the definition of rape to include any form of penetration; it lists out strict punishments not only for rape but also for sexual assault, voyeurism and stalking.
But still, every high-profile case -- and there have been several -- brings the question to the forefront again: Is India doing enough to protect women? Is it creating a strong enough deterrent for crimes against women?
For one thing, India is ill-equipped to process not just sexual assaults and rape, but all kinds of crime. It has a shortage of forensic laboratories; one of the worst police-to-citizens ratios in the world, and far fewer lawyers and judges than it needs to process cases.
Critics lambasted the minister, saying his comments put the onus on women, rather than on a government that ought to do a better job of improving security.
"Sir please give us bad women a lecture on Indian Culture. We are getting outta control N need to be harnessed!" said Sapna Moto Bhavnani, in one of many similar tweets taking the minister to task.
On Monday, Sharma tried to clarify what he meant.
"I am a father of two daughters...I would never tell women what they should wear or not," he told reoprters.
"Such a ban is unimaginable, but it is not a crime to be cautious. Different countries issue advisories from time to time, but I never said change anyone's way of dressing."
This isn't the first time, however, that Sharma has stoked controversy with his comments on how to ensure the safety of women.
Last year he said Indian women shouldn't go out at night.
"Girls wanting a night out may be all right elsewhere but it is not part of Indian culture," he said.
CNN has tried to reach Sharma for comment but without luck.
By the way, the pamphlet that Sharma referred to makes no mention of skirts.


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