867: Wordy Durd

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 59m
October 9th, 2016
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Experts said Arctic sea ice would melt entirely by September 2016 - they were wrong
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 04:40
Dire predictions that the Arctic would be free of sea ice by September of this year have proven to be unfounded after latest satellite images showed there is far more ice now than in 2012.
Scientists such as Professor Peter Wadhams, of Cambridge University and Prof Wieslaw Maslowski, of the Naval Postgraduate School in Moderey, California, have regularly forecast the loss of ice by 2016, which has been widely reported by the BBC and other media outlets.
Prof Wadhams, who is considered a leading expert on Arctic sea ice loss, has recently published a book entitled A Farewell To Ice in which he repeats the assertion that the Arctic would free of ice in the middle of this decade.
As late as this summer he was still predicting an ice-free September.
Yet when figures were released for the yearly minimum on September 10, they showed that there was still 1.6 million square miles of sea ice (4.14 square kilometres), which was 21 per cent more than the lowest point in 2012.
For the month of September overall there was 31 per cent more ice than in 2012, figures released this week from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) show, amounting to an extra 421,000 (1.09 million square kilometres) of sea ice and making the month only the fifth lowest since records began.
Although a quick glance at NSIDC satellite data going back to 1981 shows an undeniable downward trend in sea ice over the past 35 years, scientists have accused Prof Wadhams, and others of 'crying wolf' and harming the message of climate change through 'dramatic', 'incorrect' and 'confusing' predictions.
Dr Ed Hawkins, Associate Professor in the Department of Meterology, at the University of Reading said: ''There has been one prominent scientist who has regularly made more dramatic, and incorrect, in my view predictions suggesting that we would by now be in ice-free conditions.
''There are very serious risks from continued climatic changes and a melting Arctic but we do not serve the public and policy-makers well by exaggerating those risks.
''We will soon see an ice-free summer in the Arctic but there is a real danger of 'crying wolf' and that does not help anyone.
''As global temperatures rise we will see a continuing decline in Arctic sea ice extent, although this will happen somewhat erratically, rather like a ball bouncing down a bumpy hill.
''Without substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the ball will reach the bottom of the hill, meaning the Arctic is 'ice-free', starting with a few days one summer, a few weeks another summer and gradually becoming more and more frequent over the next few decades."
It is the latest example of experts making alarming predictions which do not come to pass. Earlier this week environmentalists were accused of misleading the public about the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' after aerial shots proved there was no 'island of rubbish' in the middle of the ocean. Likewise, warnings that the hole in the ozone layer would never close were debunked in June.
Scientists warn that such claims risk detracting from the real issue. Losing Arctic sea ice is a major problem because ice reflects up to 70 per cent of sunlight while open water reflects just ten per cent, meaning the rest is absorbed by the planet, which speeds up global warming. A massive melt of freshwater could also disrupt global ocean currents, and change weather systems.
For more than a decade most scientists have accepted that the Arctic will be free ice-free by 2050, while the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calculates there is a 66 per cent chance of no ice by the middle of the century if emissions continue to increase annually.
Yet in 2007 Prof Wadhams predicted that sea ice would be lost by 2013 after levels fell 27 per cent in a single year. However by 2013 ice levels were actually 25 per cent higher than they had been six years before. In 2012, following another record low Prof Wadhams changed his prediction to 2016.
The view was supported by Prof Maslowski who in 2013 published a paper in the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences also claiming that the Arctic would be ice-free by 2016, plus or minus three years.
However far from record lows, this year the Arctic has seen the quickest refreeze ever recorded with the extent of sea ice growing 405,000 square miles (1.05 million square kilometres) in just three weeks since the September 10 minimum. The Danish Meteorological Institute said that refreezing is happening at the fastest rate since its daily records began in 1987.
Andrew Shepherd, Professor of Earth Observation at University College London said there was now 'overwhelming consensus' that the Arctic would be free of ice in the next few decades, but warned earlier predictions were based on poor extrapolation.
''A decade or so ago, climate models often failed to reproduce the decline in Arctic sea ice extent revealed by satellite observations,'' he said.
''One upshot of this was that outlier predictions based on extrapolation alone were able to receive wide publicity.
''But climate models have improved considerably since then, and they now do a much better job of simulating historical events.
''This means we have greater confidence in their predictive skill, and the overwhelming consensus within the scientific community is that the Arctic Ocean will be effectively free of sea ice in a couple of decades should the present rate of decline continue.''
Prof Myles Allen of Oxford University added: ''The Arctic was only predicted to be close to ice free in September by mid-century.''
Scientists said it was clear that sea ice was shrinking but there were large fluctuations between years. For example 2013 saw a 50 per cent increase from the previous year
Prof Jonathan Bamber of the University of Bristol said: ''This year's low was the second lowest on record and not as low as 2012 but there is always variability in any part of the climate system so you would not expect a monotonic decline year on year whatever was going on.
''The signal of Arctic sea ice decline is possibly the clearest we have of climate change. That does not mean, by definition, it is manmade but there is no question that sea ice volume has been declining, on average, over the last 40 years and that all the indications from climate data, satellite observations etc. are that the decline will continue.''
Bob Ward, of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment added ''Peter Wadhams has made predictions of the imminent disappearance of summer Arctic sea ice, which have not been fulfilled, but the evidence still shows a rapid decline.
''The trend in Arctic sea ice extent is definitely downwards for every single month of the year.
''The most recent IPCC forecast is that the Arctic has up to a 66 per cent chance of being ice-free in September by 2050 for the highest emissions scenario.''
Speaking to The Telegraph, Prof Wadhams admitted that sea ice decline had not happened as quickly as he had predicted. However he still believes that an ice-free Arctic is still only a 'very small number of years' away.
''My view is that the trend of summer sea ice volume is relentlessly downward, such that the volume (and thus area) will come to a low value very soon - in a very small number of years,'' he said.
''This is to be contrasted with some of the bizarre predictions made by computer modellers, who have the summer sea ice remaining until late this century, which is quite impossible.''
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Elections 2016
Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005 - The Washington Post
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 04:58
Donald Trump bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation caught on a hot microphone, saying that ''when you're a star, they let you do it,'' according to a video obtained by The Washington Post.
The video captures Trump talking with Billy Bush, then of ''Access Hollywood,'' on a bus with the show's name written across the side. They were arriving on the set of ''Days of Our Lives'' to tape a segment about Trump's cameo on the soap opera.
Late Friday night, following sharp criticism by Republican leaders, Trump issued a short video statement saying, ''I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.'' But he also called the revelation ''a distraction from the issues we are facing today.'' He said that his ''foolish'' words are much different than the words and actions of Bill Clinton, whom he accused of abusing women, and Hillary Clinton, whom he accused of having ''bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.''
''I've never said I'm a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I'm not. I've said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am,'' Trump said.
In an apparent response to Republican critics asking him to drop out of the race, he said: ''We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.''
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump released a video statement saying comments from a 2005 video in which he bragged about groping women emerged "don't reflect" who he is. (Donald J. Trump)
The tape includes audio of Bush and Trump talking inside the bus, as well as audio and video once they emerge from it to begin shooting the segment.
In that audio, Trump discusses a failed attempt to seduce a woman, whose full name is not given in the video.
''I moved on her, and I failed. I'll admit it,'' Trump is heard saying. It was unclear when the events he was describing took place. The tape was recorded several months after he married his third wife, Melania.
''Whoa,'' another voice said.
''I did try and f--- her. She was married,'' Trump says.
Trump continues: ''And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, 'I'll show you where they have some nice furniture.'''
''I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn't get there. And she was married,'' Trump says. ''Then all of a sudden I see her, she's now got the big phony tits and everything. She's totally changed her look.''
At that point in the audio, Trump and Bush appear to notice Arianne Zucker, the actress who is waiting to escort them into the soap-opera set.
''Your girl's hot as s---, in the purple,'' says Bush, who's now a co-host of NBC's ''Today'' show.
''Whoa!'' Trump says. ''Whoa!''
''I've got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,'' Trump says. ''You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful '-- I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait.''
''And when you're a star, they let you do it,'' Trump says. ''You can do anything.''
''Whatever you want,'' says another voice, apparently Bush's.
''Grab them by the p---y,'' Trump says. ''You can do anything.''
[Down-ballot Republican candidates brace for impact of Trump comments]
A spokeswoman for NBC Universal, which produces and distributes ''Access Hollywood,'' declined to comment.
''This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course '-- not even close,'' Trump said in a statement. ''I apologize if anyone was offended.''
Billy Bush, in a statement released by NBC Universal, said: ''Obviously I'm embarrassed and ashamed. It's no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago '-- I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I'm very sorry.''
After the video appeared online Friday afternoon, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wrote on Twitter: ''This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president.'' Her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.), told reporters, ''It makes me sick to my stomach,'' while campaigning in Las Vegas.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which has endorsed Clinton, issued a statement from Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens saying: ''What Trump described in these tapes amounts to sexual assault.''
Trump was also criticized by members of his own party. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who said he is ''sickened'' by Trump's comments, said the Republican presidential candidate will no longer appear with him at a campaign event in Wisconsin on Saturday.
''Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests,'' Ryan said in a statement.
In a short statement issued moments after Ryan's, Trump said his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, ''will be representing me'' at the Wisconsin event.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), who is running for reelection and has said she will vote for Trump, called his comments ''totally inappropriate and offensive.''
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who has stood by Trump uncritically through numerous controversies, said in a statement: ''No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever.''
Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a Trump critic, said in a statement: ''Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America's face to the world.''
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the comments are ''repugnant, and unacceptable in any circumstance'' and made clear Trump's brief statement would not suffice.
''As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape,'' he said late Friday.
One of Trump's most prominent social-conservative supporters, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, told BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray: ''My personal support for Donald Trump has never been based upon shared values.''
Trump's running mate, Pence, was at a diner in Toledo when the news broke '-- about to view the diner's collection of signed cardboard hot-dog buns, which includes one signed by Trump. But the reporters traveling with Pence were quickly ushered out of the diner by campaign staff, before they could ask Trump's running mate about it, according to Politico. Politico reported that the journalists, traveling in Pence's ''protective pool,'' were not permitted to film Pence as he left the diner.
The tape appears at a time when Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, has sought to make a campaign issue out of his opponent's marriage. Trump has criticized former president Bill Clinton for his past infidelity and criticized opponent Hillary Clinton as her husband's ''enabler.''
''Hillary Clinton was married to the single greatest abuser of women in the history of politics,'' Trump told the New York Times in a recent interview. ''Hillary was an enabler, and she attacked the women who Bill Clinton mistreated afterward. I think it's a serious problem for them, and it's something that I'm considering talking about more in the near future.''
Trump carried on a very public affair with Marla Maples '-- his eventual second wife '-- while still married to first wife Ivana Trump.
Trump has been criticized in this campaign for derogatory and lewd comments about women, including some made on TV and live radio. In an interview Wednesday with KSNV, a Las Vegas television station, Trump said that those comments were made for entertainment.
''A lot of that was done for the purpose of entertainment. There's nobody that has more respect for women than I do,'' he told the station.
''Are you trying to tone it down now?'' asked the interviewer, Jim Snyder.
''It's not a question of trying, it's very easy,'' Trump said.
The tape obtained by The Post seems to have captured Trump in a private moment, with no audience beyond Bush and a few others on the bus. It appears to have been shot around Sept. 16, 2005, which was the day media reports said Trump would tape his soap-opera cameo.
The video shows the bus carrying Trump and Bush turning down a street on the studio back lot. The two men cannot be seen.
''Oh, nice legs, huh?'' Trump says.
''Oof, get out of the way, honey,'' Bush says, apparently referencing somebody else blocking the view of Zucker.
The two men then exit the bus and greet Zucker.
''We're ready, let's go,'' Trump says, after the initial greetings. ''Make me a soap star.''
''How about a little hug for the Donald?'' Bush says. ''He just got off the bus.''
''Would you like a little hug, darling?'' Zucker says.
''Absolutely,'' Trump says. As they embrace, and air-kiss, Trump says, ''Melania said this was okay.''
The video then follows Trump, Bush and Zucker into the studio. Trump did appear on ''Days of Our Lives'' in late October. In a tape of that cameo posted online, Zucker's character asks Trump '-- playing himself '-- for a job at his business, and tells him suggestively, ''I think you'll find I'm a very willing employee. Working under you, I think, could be mutually beneficial.''
Trump's character gives her the brushoff.
''That's an interesting proposition,'' Trump says on-screen. ''I'll get back to you.''
A publicist for Zucker did not immediately respond to questions on Friday afternoon.
Rosalind S. Helderman, Mike DeBonis, Jenna Johnson and Sarah Parnass contributed to this report.
Also read: Trump Foundation ordered to stop fundraising by N.Y. attorney general's office
Trump prepares for debate rebound but refuses to be controlled
Billy Bush was already polarizing. This makes it much worse.
TV stations missing out on ad windfall | The Columbus Dispatch
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 12:02
If you think you are seeing much less of the two major-party presidential candidates in TV ads this year compared to four years ago, it's not your imagination.
Political advertising spending at the four central Ohio network affiliates is only 25 percent of what it was during the presidential election cycle in 2012.
While the flood of money from the past two presidential cycles has slowed, the station operators don't appear alarmed.
"Surprised is a better word," said Chuck DeVendra, general sales manager at WCMH-TV (Channel 4).
"We can't control political (spending), so it is what it is," said John Cardenas, president and general manager of WBNS-TV (Channel 10).
The campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump placed orders for ads on WCMH, WSYX-TV (Channel 6), WBNS and WTTE-TV (Channel 28) in September totaling somewhere between $1.1 million and $1.8 million, based on estimates and public records.
In 2012, meanwhile, the campaigns for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent a combined $7.3 million. Both candidates in 2012 spent more individually last month than both candidates this year spent combined.
"It was an unprecedented flood four years ago," said Bob Clegg, a Republican strategist and senior vice president of Midwest Communications & Media of Carroll.
"Four years ago, we had an incumbent president who didn't have a primary (battle)," Clegg said. "Obama (ad spending) went up in the middle of May and stayed up. Then, once Romney started spending here, he spent a lot."
This year, on the Republican side, spending was down leading into the primary "primarily due to the vast number of candidates still in the race on the Republican ticket," Cardenas said. "Some candidates and some (political action committees) withheld their advertising given the number of candidates still vying for a spot on the ticket."
"Trump didn't spend a lot in the primary and won anyway," Clegg said. "He had probably 95 percent name awareness. He was so well known he didn't need to spend a lot in the primary. He's spending more now, but not nearly as much as Romney did. Trump can say he barely spent in September and he's beating (Clinton) anyway (in some polls), so he doesn't need TV."
Having Gov. John Kasich in the race made a difference during the primaries, too, Cardenas said. "That actually kept some candidates and PACs from advertising in Ohio, given the assumption he would do well in Ohio."
On the Democratic side, "Clinton had a primary and she had to spend a lot of money because she didn't have the setup that Obama had," Clegg said. "Then you saw no ads from her after wrapping up the nomination in May '-- it was third-party (PAC) money on her behalf."
In addition to the presidential race, the U.S. Senate race between Republican Sen. Rob Portman and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has been similarly disappointing to TV stations hoping to cash in big.
"Strickland (spending) is nowhere near where Portman is or where (Sherrod) Brown or (Josh) Mandel were four years ago" in their U.S. Senate race, Clegg said. "So it's a double whammy for the stations."
Some have speculated that the reason for the lack of spending in Ohio is that the state no longer is as important as it once was to winning the presidency.
That's unlikely, Clegg said. "If it were, then you would see no commercials. There's a route to 270 (electoral votes), and Ohio's always a big part of the equation."
The real reason for the change is that "politics is very situational in nature. It's a big chessboard and it changes every time," he said.
Based on what has happened over the past three or four months, no one sees the spending ramping up much this year.
"You've got 30-some days left to the election, but we're running out of runway," DeVendra said. "Even if (the presidential candidates) bought every spot we had, it won't come close to what we sold in 2012. There just isn't enough time left."
tferan@dispatch.com
@timferan
Why Does This Happen on My Vacation? (The Trump... | Scott Adams' Blog
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 14:48
Posted October 8th, 2016 @ 1:58am
By now you know about the Access Hollywood recording in which Donald Trump said bad things eleven years ago. Many of my readers asked me to weigh in. One of the requests came from anti-Trump GOP elite person Erick Erickson. (Middle name Erick, I assume.) This was his polite request and my response. Read it from bottom to top.
Challenge accepted!
I'll give you my thoughts, in no particular order.
1. If this were anyone else, the election would be over. But keep in mind that Trump doesn't need to outrun the bear. He only needs to outrun his camping buddy. There is still plenty of time for him to dismantle Clinton. If you think things are interesting now, just wait. There is lots more entertainment coming.
2. This was not a Trump leak. No one would invite this sort of problem into a marriage.
3. I assume that publication of this recording was okayed by the Clinton campaign. And if not, the public will assume so anyway. That opens the door for Trump to attack in a proportionate way. No more mister-nice-guy. Gloves are off. Nothing is out of bounds. It is fair to assume that Bill and Hillary are about to experience the worst weeks of their lives.
4. If nothing new happens between now and election day, Clinton wins. The odds of nothing new happening in that timeframe is exactly zero.
5. I assume that 75% of male heads of state, including our own past presidents, are total dogs in their private lives. Like it or not, Trump is normal in that world.
6. As fictional mob boss Tony Soprano once said in an argument with his wife, ''You knew what you were getting when you married me!'' Likewise, Trump's third wife, Melania, knew what she was getting. It would be naive to assume Trump violated their understanding.
7. Another rich, famous, tall, handsome married guy once told me that he can literally make-out and get handsy with any woman he wants, whether she is married or not, and she will be happy about it. I doubted his ridiculous claims until I witnessed it three separate times. So don't assume the women were unwilling. (Has anyone come forward to complain about Trump?)
8. If the LGBTQ community wants to be a bit more inclusive, I don't see why ''polyamorous alpha male serial kisser'' can't be on the list. If you want to label Trump's sexual behavior ''abnormal'' you're on shaky ground.
9. Most men don't talk like Trump. Most women don't either. But based on my experience, I'm guessing a solid 20% of both genders say and do shockingly offensive things in private. Keep in mind that Billy Bush wasn't shocked by it.
10. Most male Hollywood actors support Clinton. Those acting skills will come in handy because starting today they have to play the roles of people who do not talk and act exactly like Trump in private.
11. I'm adding context to the discussion, not condoning it. Trump is on his own to explain his behavior.
12. Clinton supporters hated Trump before this latest outrage. Trump supporters already assumed he was like this. Independents probably assumed it too. Before you make assumptions about how this changes the election, see if anyone you know changes their vote because of it. All I have seen so far is people laughing about it.
12. I hereby change my endorsement from Trump to Gary Johnson, just to get out of the blast zone. Others will be ''parking'' their vote with Johnson the same way. The ''shy Trump supporter'' demographic just tripled.
13. My prediction of a 98% chance of Trump winning stays the same. Clinton just took the fight to Trump's home field. None of this was a case of clever strategy or persuasion on Trump's part. But if the new battleground is spousal fidelity, you have to like Trump's chances.
14. Trump wasn't running for Pope. He never claimed moral authority. His proposition has been that he's an asshole (essentially), but we need an asshole to fight ISIS, ignore lobbyists, and beat up Congress. Does it change anything to have confirmation that he is exactly what you thought he was?
My thoughts above have more to do with reason than persuasion. And that means you can ignore all of it because reason is not part of decision-making when it comes to politics. On the persuasion level, all that matters is whether this new development changes what you already assumed about Trump.
Personally, it didn't change what I assumed about Trump's personal life. Your mileage may vary.
I hope this answers all of Erick Erick Erickson's questions.
'--
If you think the Access Hollywood recording will be a problem for Trump, you might enjoy my book because it will take your mind off of it.
'--
Emails Suggest CBS's 'Face The Nation' Agreed to WH Demands Not to Ask Kerry About Clinton Emails | Mediaite
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 14:24
Emails obtained by the RNC and provided first to The Wall Street Journal show that the White House reached out to CBS's Face the Nation to ask that the topic of Hillary Clinton's emails be made off-limits during an interview of Secretary of State John Kerry, and that the White House believed CBS had agreed.
WSJ reported late Thursday that the Hillary Clinton campaign and White House collaborated to present a unified P.R. front when the story broke that Clinton had used a private email server while at the State Department. Accordingly, White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri and State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki exchanged emails to discuss the upcoming TV appearance by Kerry.
Palmieri told Psaki that ''between us on the shows'... think we can get this done so he is not asked about email.'' Per WSJ, ''that apparently referred to Mr. Kerry, who appeared in an interview on CBS's Face the Nation three days later.''
''Agree completely and working to crush on my end,'' wrote back Psaki.
A day later, Psaki emailed back apparently saying that she succeeded. ''Good to go on killing CBS idea,'' she said. ''And we are going to hold on any other TV options just given the swirl of crap out there.'' Sure enough, Kerry was not asked about the email controversy in the March 15 interview.
In a statement, CBS News denied that anything untoward had happened. ''No subject was off-limits when this interview was arranged, as is the CBS News standard,'' CBS spokeswoman Caitlin Conant said. ''CBS News' State Department correspondent was in Egypt with Secretary John Kerry in the home stretch of the Iran nuclear deal negotiations and discussed policy issues of the day with him on this official trip.''
[Image via screengrab]
'--
>>Follow Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) on Twitter
Giuliani: It's 'insiders versus outsiders' | TheHill
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 02:37
Top Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: 'I've been here before'New York Daily News to Trump: 'Delete your Campaign'Portman withdraws support for TrumpMORE adviser Rudy Giuliani said the ongoing internal struggle within the Republican Party over Trump's offensive remarks about women is a battle between establishment politicians and outsiders.
"This is basically the insiders versus the outsiders," he told CNN as he was leaving Trump Tower Saturday.
Giuliani, leaving Trump Tower, signals Trump is ready to wage war against his party. "This is basically the insiders versus the outsiders."
'-- Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 8, 2016Trump's inner circle has been largely silent since the GOP nominee apologized for making lewd remarks about women in a tape that surfaced Friday. His wife Melania said his comments were offensive, but asked people to accept his apology for remarks that don't reflect his character.
It might be trending, but that doesn't make it true | John Naughton | Opinion | The Guardian
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 10:27
Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on stage at the conclusion of the first presidential debate. Photograph: Rex Shutterstock
On 27 September, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced up to one another in the first of the televised presidential debates. Most observers concluded that Clinton had come off best. She was better prepared, they thought, and towards the end Trump seemed rattled and rambling.
Needless to say, this didn't stop the Trump campaign team from using the phrase ''Trump Won'' in ads even before the debate ended. Aha, you say, that's American politics for you: you get what you pay for. And in these circumstances, every candidate says that she or he has won anyway, no matter what happened in the debate.
But then something interesting happened. The hashtag #TrumpWon went viral on Twitter and in a few hours had reached the top of the global trending list. Trump was on to it like a shot. ''The #1 trend on Twitter right now,'' he tweeted, ''is #TrumpWon '' thank you!''
The plot then began to thicken. A Twitter user called @DustinGiebel posted a tweet showing a map of Russia centred on St Petersburg under the heading ''The #TrumpWon hashtag starting location, that's interesting''. The clear implication was that the hashtag began in St Petersburg and so '' nudge, nudge, wink, wink '' constituted yet another confirmation that Trump has supporters in Russia, possibly even linked to Vladimir Putin.
The person who tweeted the map said he'd spotted it on TrendsMap.com, a service that tracks trending topics on Twitter. So I went to the site but couldn't find the hashtag anywhere near St Petersburg. Neither could Philip Bump of the Washington Post; he checked with Trendsmap, which confirmed that the map in the original tweet wasn't theirs. They also said that, according to their data, the hashtag had originated in the US.
At this point, Gilad Lotan, a data scientist who works at Betaworks, took up the trail. He researches ways in which people are hacking social networks in order to gain more of what has become the scarcest resource of all in our networked world '' attention. He started by looking for the geographical areas where the hashtag #TrumpWon began trending. He found that it never showed up in any Russian location; instead, the growth began in Baltimore and Detroit, after which it very quickly jumped to ''worldwide'' status and stayed there for a few hours as it spread to Australia and the UK.
Normally, Lotan says, when a hashtag goes viral you see the trend jump from city to city before reaching countrywide or global status. But this didn't happen with #TrumpWon. Instead, he reports, ''there was a group of highly organised users who all posted the exact same message at around the same time, from (seemingly) different geographic locations. The exact same message was published by thousands of accounts, likely all over the world, a few hours after the debate had ended (between 3-5am UTC time).''
The tweet that did the trick read: ''#TrumpWon the debate tonight! Let's make America Great again. Add your name: bit.ly/2dfF4E4''. The link went straight to the Trump campaign website. Lotan then built a network graph of the Twitter users who were first to post to the hashtag. They clustered into four groups '' #MAGA (for Make America Great Again), #Trump2016 1, #Trump2016 2 and #TGDN (a tag used by conservatives to identify each other).
This neat piece of network analysis is interesting for several reasons. The first is that it shows that you can never take anything that happens on social media at face value. So when mainstream journalists regard the fact that something is trending on Twitter or Facebook as being significant, one should take the reports with a large handful of salt.
The second is that social media of all kinds are now being ''gamed'' for political, commercial and other purposes. One of the interesting things about the #TrumpWon story, for example, is not only that it was gamed by Trump supporters, but that someone also attempted a counter-strike, seeking to undermine it by faking a Russian connection.
But perhaps the most important lesson to draw from the saga is that it highlights the skills one needs to unearth the truth about anything that happens online. Nick Tomalin, the great Sunday Times journalist who was killed in the Yom Kippur war, used to say: ''The only qualities essential for real success in journalism are ratlike cunning, a plausible manner and a little literary ability.'' To these we now need to add: a knack for network analysis.
PussyGate
Sexual Assault | OVW | Department of Justice
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 12:13
President Obama Issues 2016 Presidential Proclamation for National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month Hotlines | What is Sexual Assault? | Resources
Hotlines
National Sexual Assault Hotline operated by RAINNTo be connected to the rape crisis center nearest to you, dial1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)1-877-739-3895
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.
Sexual Assault Resources
National Institute of Justice
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
AEquitas
End Violence Against Women International
International Association of Chiefs of Police
Mending the Sacred Hoop
National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
National Center for Victims of Crime
Rape Abuse Incest National Network
Resource Sharing Project
Responding to Campus Sexual Assault
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Double Standard Much? Melania Trump Stands By Her Man | Crooks and Liars
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 02:46
Well, well. Look who's standing by her man...
Melania Trump released a statement today saying that while she does not condone her husband's 2005 comments about women, she supports him and hopes people will accept his apology:
Then there was that time Trump called in to the Howard Stern show and bragged that his then girlfriend Melania was walking around naked.
By the way, she was pregnant with Barron when Trump rode the pu$$y grabbing bus. That was around the time Donald called her a "blimp" and a "monster" -- but in a good way!
Bill and Hillary Clinton celebrate their 41st wedding anniversary this Tuesday.
Former Bill Mistress: Hillary Beat Baby Inside Womb, Threatened to Abort if Born Disabled >> Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 02:52
US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton once attempted to harm the baby inside her womb and then promised she would abort it if it were born disfigured, an excerpt from former Bill Clinton mistress Sally Miller's book claims.
Posted to Facebook Saturday from her recent tell-all book, ''The Beauty Queen, Let No Deed Go Unpublished,'' the former Miss Arkansas reveals the time former President Bill Clinton described a Hillary rampage in which she beat her pregnant belly with closed fists.
''The most sobering remarks ever shared by Bill Clinton came after I told him about visiting Easter Seal the day before and singing songs with a group of children with disabilities. More serious than I had ever seen him, Bill repeated a frightening promise Hillary made during her pregnancy,'' the passage reads.
''He described Hillary being viciously angry, doubling both her fists, beating on her stomach, and yelling, 'If this fucking thing inside me is a brainless Mongoloid or a Thalidomide Freak, or has any other deformity, you can be damn sure I'll have the fuckin retard killed. I will not let some piece of pathetic, dribbling shit ruin my life, is that clear?!?!?!''' the excerpt states.
The former beauty queen also wrote she's tired of everyone ignoring ''THE TRUTH'' about Bill and Hillary Clinton:
''I'm disgusted that some of you on FB refuse to learn THE TRUTH; to unplug your ears, correct your vision, and get 'real.' So'....stay dumb and ignorant and never think for yourself.''
''PS,'' Miller adds, ''HILLARY CLINTON: YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE FOR: A WOMAN, A WIFE, A MOTHER, A LEADER OR '....A PRESIDENT!''
In a shock post earlier this year, Miller admitted she was worried the Clintons may attempt to assassinate her due to the subject matter covered in her book.
''In this election year, if you read I died'....by committing suicide'....don't believe it,'' Miller told friends via a Facebook post.
Anonymous Content >> Co. Reel
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 03:17
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Flight logs show Bill Clinton flew on sex offender's jet much more than previously known | Fox News
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 10:33
Former President Bill Clinton was a much more frequent flyer on a registered sex offender's infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the ''Lolita Express'' -- even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights, according to records obtained by FoxNews.com.
Clinton's presence aboard Jeffrey Epstein's Boeing 727 on 11 occasions has been reported, but flight logs show the number is more than double that, and trips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including ''Tatiana.'' The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.
''Bill Clinton '... associated with a man like Jeffrey Epstein, who everyone in New York, certainly within his inner circles, knew was a pedophile,'' said Conchita Sarnoff, of the Washington, D.C. based non-profit Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking, and author of a book on the Epstein case called "TrafficKing." ''Why would a former president associate with a man like that?''
Epstein, who counts among his pals royal figures, heads of state, celebrities and fellow billionaires, spent 13 months in prison and home detention for solicitation and procurement of minors for prostitution. He allegedly had a team of traffickers who procured girls as young as 12 to service his friends on ''Orgy Island,'' an estate on Epstein's 72-acre island, called Little St. James, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Virginia Roberts, 32, who claims she was pimped out by Epstein at age 15, has previously claimed she saw Clinton at Epstein's getaway in 2002, but logs do not show Clinton aboard any flights to St. Thomas, the nearest airport capable of accommodating Epstein's plane. They do show Clinton flying aboard Epstein's plane to such destinations as Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, China, Brunei, London, New York, the Azores, Belgium, Norway, Russia and Africa.
Among those regularly traveling with Clinton were Epstein's associates, New York socialite Ghislaine Maxwell and Epstein's assistant, Sarah Kellen, both of whom were investigated by the FBI and Palm Beach Police for recruiting girls for Epstein and his friends.
Official flight logs filed with the Federal Aviation Administration show Clinton traveled on some of the trips with as many as 10 U.S. Secret Service agents. However, on a five-leg Asia trip between May 22 and May 25, 2002, not a single Secret Service agent is listed. The U.S. Secret Service has declined to answer multiple Freedom of Information Act requests filed by FoxNews.com seeking information on these trips. Clinton would have been required to file a form to dismiss the agent detail, a former Secret Service agent told FoxNews.com.
In response to a separate FOIA request from FoxNews.com, the U.S. Secret Service said it has no records showing agents were ever on the island with Clinton.
A Clinton spokesperson did not return emails requesting comment about the former president's relationship and travels with Epstein. The Clinton Library said it had no relevant information and does not keep track of Clinton's travel records.
Martin Weinberg, Epstein's current attorney, did not respond to multiple inquiries. Epstein said in a court filing said that he and his associates ''have been the subject of the most outlandish and offensive attacks, allegations, and plain inventions.''
However, hundreds of pages of court records, including reports from police and FBI agents, reviewed by FoxNews.com, show Epstein was under law enforcement scrutiny for more than a year.
Police in Palm Beach, Fla., launched a year-long investigation in 2005 into Epstein after parents of a 14-year-old girl said their daughter was sexually abused by him. Police interviewed dozens of witnesses, confiscated his trash, performed surveillance and searched his Palm Beach mansion, ultimately identifying 20 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 who they said were sexually abused by Epstein.
In 2006, at the request of Palm Beach Police, the FBI launched a federal probe into allegations that Epstein and his personal assistants had ''used facilities of interstate commerce to induce girls between the ages of 14 and 17 to engage in illegal sexual activities.''
According to court documents, police investigators found a ''clear indication that Epstein's staff was frequently working to schedule multiple young girls between the ages of 12 and 16 years old literally every day, often two or three times per day.''
One victim, in sworn deposition testimony, said Epstein began sexually assaulting her when she was 13 years old and molested her on more than 50 occasions over the next three years. The girls testified they were lured to Epstein's home after being promised hundreds of dollars to be his model or masseuse, but when they arrived, he ordered them to take off their clothes and massage his naked body while he masturbated and used sex toys on them.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida prepared charging documents that accused Epstein of child sex abuse, witness tampering and money laundering, but Epstein took a plea deal before an indictment could be handed up.
On Sept. 24, 2007, in a deal shrouded in secrecy that left alleged victims shocked at its leniency, Epstein agreed to a 30-month sentence, including 18 months of jail time and 12 months of house arrest and the agreement to pay dozens of young girls under a federal statute providing for compensation to victims of child sexual abuse.
In exchange, the U.S. Attorney's Office promised not to pursue any federal charges against Epstein or his co-conspirators.
Florida attorney Brad Edwards, who represented some of Epstein's alleged victims, is suing the federal government over the secret non-prosecution agreement in hopes of having it overturned. Edwards claimed in court records that the government and Epstein concealed the deal from the victims ''to prevent them from voicing any objection, and to avoid the firestorm of controversy that would have arisen if it had become known that the Government was immunizing a politically-connected billionaire and all of his co-conspirators from prosecution of hundreds of federal sex crimes against minor girls.''
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida did not respond to a request for comment about the deal.
Other politicians, celebrities and businessmen, including presidential candidate Donald Trump, have been accused of fraternizing with Epstein. Trump lawyer Alan Garten told FoxNews.com in a statement Trump and Epstein are not pals.
''There was no relationship between Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump,'' he said. ''They were not friends and they did not socialize together.''
October Surprises
Virtual Reading Room Documents Search Results: U.S. Department of State - Freedom of Information Act
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 21:05
This search is based upon locating specified words in the electronic text of documents. However, in many cases, this is dependent upon the conversion of the text in paper documents to electronic text through optical character recognition (OCR). Because of age and condition of some paper documents, the OCR may not recognize certain characters and words correctly. Please keep this in mind when using full text search, as these anomalies may affect the results of your search for relevant documents using your search criteria.Please Note
Some of the documents in the Virtual Reading Room are those of other federal agencies. Any questions regarding other federal agencies' documents should be directed to the originating agency.The search results list sometimes displays ''n/a'' in the data fields, which stands for ''not available''. The data is sometimes not available depending on the document itself or how the document was processed.
MSNBC intelligence expert: WikiLeaks is releasing falsified emails not really from Hillary Clinton
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 04:39
The latest release from WikiLeaks, a collection of emails supposedly hacked from the account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, is getting very little public attention due to the fact that it contains nothing particularly scandalous to begin with, and the fact that it was released just as Donald Trump's campaign was imploding in a sexual assault scandal. But those who have examined the Clinton email dump have found something fascinating: several of the emails aren't real, and aren't even good forgeries.
Malcolm Nance, a U.S. intelligence expert and MSNBC analyst, has issued what he's calling an ''official warning.'' He's reporting that the emails in question ''already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries'' and goes on to add that they're ''not even professionally done.'' Nance announced his conclusion via Twitter just a few hours after the supposed emails were released. MSNBC host Joy-Ann Reid retweeted his warning, adding ''FYI'' to her own audience.
WikiLeaks had spent the past month claiming that it would be releasing election-altering hacked information on Hillary Clinton which would cost her the election. But the bizarre advance hype, coupled with repeated delays and a surreal middle-of-the-night press conference last week in which absolutely no information was revealed, suggested that they had nothing all along.
This evening's email dump, which appears to have been specifically timed on a Friday evening in order to avoid the scrutiny of the major media outlets, has revealed relatively little of interest. Some of the emails purport to contain the transcripts of Hillary Clinton's Wall Street speeches, but use odd phrases such as ''and/or'' which would not have been included in the original prepared text of a speech and would not have been spoken out loud by someone giving a speech.
Contributed by Daily News Bin staff
F-Russia
URGENT: Military Told Prepare for Tactical Nuclear Exchange with Russia in Syria! *** MORE **** Stateside Military told to Prepare for Intercontinental one-for-one Nuke exchange!!!!
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 03:48
Military members from the United States who are in and around Syria have been calling their families back in the states telling them
"We have been told to prepare for a tactical nuclear exchange with Russia in Syria and forces at home in the US have been ordered to prepare for one-for-one intercontinental ballistic missile exchange(s) with Russia once the fighting breaks out in Syria!"
Further, those conversations have included warnings to families to immediately RELOCATE away from US Military bases which are expected to be targets of any intercontinental attack.
SuperStation95 has CONFIRMED such conversations with three separate military families who have family members in the Middle East!
The Pentagon refuses to comment on these reports, which is strange in-and-of-itself. Usually, the Pentagon will flatly deny erroneous reports. Not this time. Just a terse "no comment."
This is a developing story . . . please check back for updates.
UPDATE 8:25 PM EDT --
The developments reported above are accurate. These developments come from the cut-off of Diplomatic cooperation between the US and Russia inside Syria.
UNCONFIRMED . . . . repeat UNCONFIRMED reports indicate the US is going to directly attack Syrian forces in-and-around Syrian President Bashar Assad and perhaps Assad himself. This decision has allegedly been made because efforts to oust Assad by "rebel" means have failed and the US will not accept that failure.
How This Developed
The US wants Syrian President Bashar Assad out of power because Assad refused to allow QATAR to run a natural gas pipeline from its northern gas field, through various countries, including Syria, so as to supply natural gas to Europe. The US and Europe want this gas pipeline so as to lessen European reliance upon Russian-supplied natural gas. By lessening Europe's reliance upon Russia, the west thereby lessens Russia's power over Europe.
When QATAR first proposed this pipeline, it won approval from all the governments along the proposed route - except Syria. Since Syria has always been a Russian ally, Syrian President Assad realized that this pipeline would harm his Russian ally, and so he refused permission to have it travel through his country.
This refusal did not sit well with QATAR or its Sunni-Islam allies, like Saudi Arabia. Especially since, at the same time, Iran, which is Shi'ite Muslim and thus an enemy of Sunni Muslim countries, was proposing a gas pipeline of its own to Europe, via a slightly different route.
Shortly after Assad refused, there was a vast media blitz about him being a "ruthless dictator" who "abused his people" and . . . . all the same rhetoric the world heard about Saddam Hussein, Muammar Quadafi and the like.
Shortly after the media assault, QATAR, SAUDI ARABIA, BAHRAIN and their pals, decided to begin funding "freedom fighters" and "moderate rebels" to "liberate" Syria from its democratically-elected President, Assad. Thus began the so-called Syrian Civil War. It was not a civil war, it was groups of mercenaries, hired and paid by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the rest, to oust Assad so as to get their pipeline run.
Their motivation was not simply earning profits from the gas pipeline, they also wanted to make certain that their arch-rival, Iran, could not run a pipeline and thus get access to vast monies from expanded sales.
Fighting Breaks Out in Syria
Fighting broke out inside Syria and things did not go well for the Syrian government. As the fighting grew worse, Assad realized he was going to lose, so he traveled to Moscow to ask his ally, Russia, for help. Russia agreed and sent troops, planes and war fighting equipment to Syria.
The Russians not only tipped the balance in favor of Syria, they uncovered the fact that the terror groups ISIS and Al-Nusra Front (a.k.a. Al-Qaida), were actively profiting from stealing oil from Syria and from northern Iraq, transporting that stolen oil into Turkey, where it was being slightly processed, re-packaged, and SOLD! The Russians proved that this oil theft and smuggling, with the cooperation of Turkey, was earning ISIS about $100 MILLION a month in profits to fund the terror group!
In order to stop ISIS terrorists, Russia began bombing the convoys carrying the stolen oil. This immediately put a crimp in the amount of stolen oil being smuggled into Turkey, thus impacting the clandestine profits of certain Turkish government officials. Turkey asked Russia to stop bombing the oil convoys. Russia refused.
Shortly thereafter, a Russian plane was shot down by Turkey, which claimed the Russian aircraft had violated its airspace. That claim was a lie. Turkey shot the plane down to send a message to Russia to stop screwing around with the oil smuggling. The message did not work.
Instead of halting the attacks, Russia publicly released video showing miles-long convoys of oil trucks, streaming-into Turkey almost 24 hours a day, with stolen oil smuggled from Syria and Iraq! These smugglers are in so tight with the Turkish government, they didn't even have to stop at border checkpoints; they got waved-through by border guards. This made clear who it was inside Turkey, profiting from the smuggled oil: Turkish President Recypt Erdogan . . . the same man who ordered the Russian plane shot down.
Russia then imposed a travel ban on Russians visiting Turkey, and imposed economic sanctions on Turkey, which seriously damaged Turkey's economy.
As the months of fighting in Syria continued, the Russians enjoyed success after success in stopping both the terror groups AND the rebels trying to overthrow Assad.
This did not sit well with the US, which was aiding the "rebels" in the effort to overthrow Assad. It also didn't help the US that the media was full of stories about Russian successes, and this got people asking why Russia was having so much success, when Americans had been in Syria for over a year prior, and did not make ANY progress against the terrorists?
The uncomfortable truth emerged just weeks ago, when it became undeniably clear that the ISIS and Al-Qaida terrorists ARE the "moderate rebels" being helped by the U.S.
As Russian military action continued to crush the terrorists and rebels, the US proposed working with the Russians; a gesture welcomed by Russia.
But the Russians quickly came to realize that the US was being deliberately dishonest. They didn't want to help at all, what the US wanted to do was limit the strikes against its "moderate rebels" hoping to sneakily continue to overthrow Assad.
When Russia realized that the US was being dishonest, it went abut doing what needed to be done to continue protecting its ally.
So what did the US do? It had coalition aircraft attack the Syrian Army, killing 62 and wounding 100.
Making matters worse, just seven minutes after the coalition aircraft attacked, well-organized elements of ISIS and Al-Qaida, launched a ground assault against the very same Syrian Army location. Syria claims to have audio recordings of the Coalition pilots coordinating with the ISIS terrorists by radio just before coalition aircraft attacked the Syrian army. The Pentagon says this claim is "false and ludicrous."
Shortly after the attack, the US claimed "it was a mistake" and said they would investigate and explain to Russia and Syria. So the Russians and Syrians called for -- and got -- an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in New York. Instead of explaining what happened, US Ambassador Samantha Powers, WALKED OUT of the meeting! There was not going to be any explanation.
Afterwards, the Russian Defense Ministry publicly stated "We have come to the terrifying conclusion for the world, that the US is actually supporting the ISIS Terrorists."
With no explanation from the US, Russia then attacked a long-established and well-known Terrorist Operations Center. A Russian ship operating off the coast of Syria, launched three Kaliber missiles which scored direct hits on this operations center.
When the dust cleared, among the dead terrorists were three dozen uniformed military officers . . . from the United States, Israel and Turkey! What were dozens of uniformed officers from the US, Israel an Turkey doing inside a terrorist operations center? Well . . . they were doing exactly what Russia said: Supporting terrorists! Story HERE
Shortly thereafter, Syria's largest city, Aleppo, which has been under ISIS control for over a year, came under attack by elements of the Syrian Army, intent to reclaim their city. The attacks were remarkably successful, thanks in large part to air support from Russia. The success of operations in Aleppo, sent the US off the deep-end; they were witnessing what could very well be, the complete failure of their efforts to oust Assad. So the US told Russia that unless Russia stopped bombing Aleppo, the US would cut-off cooperation.
The Russians, seeing that US "cooperation" was nothing but lies coming from dishonest (and dishonorable) US military commanders who were operating for a dishonest (and dishonorable) US government, was worthless. The Russians refused to cease operations in Aleppo.
Yesterday, as threatened, the US cut-off Diplomatic cooperation with Russia inside Syria and is now allegedly planning an outright military attack to achieve its goal of ousting Syrian President Assad.
Russia, seeing what the US is planning, has now moved its feared S-300v4 surface-to-air missile defense system into Syria. Once this system locks onto an aircraft, there is no defense. The aircraft is dead and there's no way to outrun, out-maneuver, or fool the system. This means that Russia can, at any time, ground all US aircraft operating in Syria simply by turning-on the S-300v4 system.
Remember, Russia was asked to help Syria and has permission from the Syrian government to be in that country. The US did not ask permission and does not have it. The US also does not have a declaration of war by Congress, or an authorization for the use of military force from Congress, or a UN Security Council resolution to be in Syria.
What the US is doing in Syria is 100% completely illegal. The US military Commanders carrying out orders in Syria, such as Lt. General Stephen Townsend who is based out of Fort Bragg, NC, are engaged in criminal war actions. They have chosen to obey orders which they know to be illegal. General Townsend and his staff should be arrested and taken into custody by local US troops. But the troops won't do it because they know that these illegal orders come from the top, and if they arrest the General, they will quickly find themselves arrested because the criminal actions being undertaken are being ordered by President Barack Obama -Criminal-In-Chief.
Other Issues Driving us toward war
While all this was taking place, NATO was expanding eastward along Russia's borders. This violated a promise made by then-Secretary of State James Baker, who promised after the Soviet Union dissolved, that "NATO will not move one inch eastward." Since Baker's promise, NATO has added the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to its membership.
In an effort to increase NATO presence around Russia, the US spent $5 Billion to foment to violent overthrow of the duly-elected President of Ukraine, so as to install a puppet government favorable to the West. This was discovered when Assistant Secretary of State Gloria Nuland got caught using an unsecured phone to call the State department. It was during this call - which was intercepted by Russian Intelligence - that Nuland notoriously said "Fuck Europe" when told the Europeans had concerns about what the US was doing in Ukraine. That phone call was made public by Russia, thus proving the US/NATO did foment the overthrow and lied about it.
Most recently, Poland and Romania became home to a US Missile Defense systems, designed to shoot missiles out of the sky. Russia says these systems are designed to prevent Russia from firing back if it is fired upon, making them a "sitting duck" for a US/NATO first-strike, and they strongly warned NATO not to activate the systems in Poland and Romania.
NATO said the Russian fears are nonsense, the systems are there to protect against launches from Iran. There's just one minor problem: all the radar stations connected to this missile defense system are aimed east / northeast at Russia instead of south/ southeast at Iran. So again, the US/NATO lied, again. And got caught, again.
Russia made clear that if those missile defense systems went active in Romania and Poland, Russia would take action. The systems went active two weeks ago.
If you were the Russians, and you saw lie after lie, and the encroachment of foreign military forces all around your nation, and the activation of a system which would render your defenses useless, what would you do?
According to the The Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters, this "Drill"began on October 4 and has three stages. October 4 was Stage 1.
From their official government web site, here is what consitutues Stage 1:
Stage I: organization of civil defense actions
The stage is going to practice notification and gathering of senior officials of federal and regional executive authorities, local governments and civil defense forces, deployment of civil defense management system on all levels, readying civil defense communication and notification system. After the National Crisis Management Center have brought the management signals, all management bodies, state authorities, forces and facilities on duty and people will be notified through notification systems available.
Sounds perfectly reasonable, right? Next, on October 5, comes stage 2. From their official government web site, here is what constitutes Stage 2:
Stage II: Planning and organization of civil defense actions. Deploying a team of civil defense forces and facilities designed to respond to large disasters and fires.
The stage plans to practice deployment of a mobile interagency multi-functional team of civil defense forces and facilities in each federal district in order to carry our rescue and other urgent operations, civil defense actions and to deploy special civil defense units in constituent territories; putting rescue military units, divisions of the federal fire service, rescue units on standby. The stage provides for the team to be reinforced, activation of backup control centers and practicing collecting and exchanging information in the field of civil defense.
Again, perfectly reasonable. In fact, if it was a drill, this would be something to admire in its thoroughness! But then their official government web site comes to Stage 3. Wait until you read the final paragraph:
Stage III: Organization of actions of civil defense management bodies and forces for response to large disasters and fires.
The stage will deal with the use of the civil defense team to respond to large disasters and fires, setting up aerial and mobile control centers, revising of routes for safe evacuation of people, organization of vital services; taking off fire and rescue units of the federal fire service to put out fires and conduct rescue operations at potentially dangerous facilities, including closed administrative territorial entities.
The drill will rehearse radiation, chemical and biological protection of the personnel and population during emergencies at crucial and potentially dangerous facilities. Fire safety, civil defense and human protection at social institutions and public buildings are also planned to be checked. Response units will deploy radiation, chemical and biological monitoring centers and sanitation posts at the emergency areas, while laboratory control networks are going to be put on standby.
More than 40 million people, 200,000 specialists of emergency rescue divisions and about 50,000 units of equipment are going to be involved in the drill.
Yes, you read that correctly, they doing this "drill" with forty MILLION people. All of a sudden, this doesn't look like a "drill" to any rational person. So if it's not a drill, then what is it? Well, it's staring us right in the face!
You can verify this yourself by visiting the Russian Ministry at their web site HERE.
PUTIN GIVES "ULTIMATUM" TO U.S.
On the same day that the US announced it was breaking-off Diplomatic cooperation with Russia in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave what Bloomberg Business News is calling "An Ultimatum" to the United States. His demands are as follows:
Roll back North Atlantic Treaty Organization infrastructure and reduce NATO personnel to September 2000 levels;Repeal the Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions on Russian officials allegedly involved in human rights violations;Repeal all U.S. sanctions against Russian individuals and businesses;Compensate Russians for damages incurred by U.S. sanctions and by Russia's ''forced countersanctions'';Present a ''clear plan of irreversible destruction'' of U.S. surplus plutonium.
To quote Bloomberg directly, they said "Putin might as well have said the program will resume when hell freezes over." Their story is HERE.
So our mass-media is laughing this off. Oh. Since Bloomberg Business News used the word "Ultimatum" to describe Putin's communication, we'll just ask: "What usually happens after an Ultimatum is given?" War.
Lest any of you think the Russians are somehow afraid of the US, take a look at how they portray Putin versus Obama in their media:
Congress has conveniently failed to take any action to stop Obama because collectively, they afraid of being called "racists" for impeaching this criminal President who happens to be black. Their failure to act has now gotten us to the point where Obama is fixing to attack Syria. When he does, the Russians will defend Syria. When they do, US forces will be shot-down and killed, and the US will strike back. When the US strikes back, Russia will engage them in battle.
There begins the war.
Of course, none of you know this because the mass-media in the US is derelict in its duty to report the news. Scott Pelly from CBS, David Muir from ABC and Lester Holt from NBC . . . missing in action when it comes to reporting the facts on Syria. CNN? Too busy shilling for the Hillary Clinton campaign to bother reporting the facts. FOX NEWS, completely screwed up to the point of dumping Roger Ailes and now in a downward spiral of internal chaos.
So here we are, on October 4, 2016, and today, the Russian government began a "drill" to place forty million (40 MILLION) of their citizens into bomb shelters throughout Russia. Who is kidding whom, here? This is no drill, they're preparing for war. Story HERE
The US and our population? Blissfully unaware.
Unaware that at 3:00 PM EDT today, the US scrambled three E6B nuclear command and control aircraft from Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Story HERE
Unaware that two E4B Presidential Command Aircraft are now aloft over the US so as to be able to control our forces worldwide "in the event ground-based systems are destroyed."
Unaware that around 4:00 PM EDT today, the US scrambled multiple P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine-warfare aircraft out into the Atlantic to search for Russian missile submarines.
Yes, our fellow citizens are home watching the boob-tube, completely unaware of the horrors that may be unleashed upon all of us within days.
By electing an affirmative-action negro to the White House, a lot of Americans bought into his campaign promise of bringing "change" to America. What no one knew at the time was that his "change" means the utter destruction of our nation. A nation he despises as "racist."
When you look at what Obama has done over the past 8 years, and what he is doing now, everything becomes understandable once you realize he is an enemy of the country. At that moment of realization, everything he's done makes sense.
A lot of us will be lucky to live another week thanks to Obama's genetically inferior intellect, his racist hatred for our country, and his incompetent methods for handling foreign policy. War is coming. Likely within days.
You have no one to blame but yourselves over this. After all, it was YOU who elected this ignorant, sub-human, beast into the highest office in the land, and YOU who elected spineless cowards to Congress, who failed to stop him.
Remarkably, a whole slew of you are willing to remain utterly stupid as evidenced by those supporting another incompetent, Hillary Clinton. You fools are going to get a lot of us killed. Hopefully, since the cities will likely be the first nuke strike targets -- and they're filled with liberals and racist minorities - those responsible for electing Obama, will get killed first. Poetic justice.
Those wishing to comment on this Editorial can use the email address lower on this page.
SERVICE NOTE: As part of our preparation for what we HOPE does NOT take place, we have secured web site server space at a data center in Sao Paolo, Brazil, with full back-ups of this web site in case our cloud-based, Oregon-located, master servers are destroyed. We have tasked a single person to nearby Argentina to bring this site back up and begin publishing news, in the event that we here in New York City are killed. Our person arrived safely in Argentina and is online, with back-up power and back-up communications available, to keep the news flowing in the event war breaks out.
Russia deploys nuclear-capable missiles in Kaliningrad - BBC News
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 04:16
Image copyrightEPAImage caption The Iskander system (file photo) could reach the German capital, Berlin Russia has deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in its western-most region, Kaliningrad, which borders on Nato members Poland and Lithuania.
Poland said the development was of the "highest concern", adding it was monitoring the situation.
Russia's defence ministry said the new deployment was part of military exercises and had happened before.
The US and Nato have seen disagreements with Russia intensify in recent times, particularly over Syria and Ukraine.
Kaliningrad is a Russian enclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.
Are Russia's military advances a problem for Nato?
Nato and Russia - in search of dialogue
The Iskander system has a range of up to 700km (440 miles) and could reach the German capital, Berlin.
Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz called Russia's activities "very alarming".
And a US intelligence official told Reuters the move could be to express displeasure at Nato. Nato is boosting its eastern flank by deploying four battalions in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia next year.
But Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the deployment was "not exceptional".
Russia's annexation of Crimea and its support for rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine provoked considerable alarm in this region that Moscow might also consider aggressive action against countries on Nato's eastern flank, says the BBC's Adam Eston in Warsaw.
Nato sought to soothe those fears at its Warsaw summit in July by announcing it would deploy troops to both the Baltic states and Poland, our correspondent says.
Nato said it was a purely defensive action but Moscow sees it as a threat and the deployment of the missiles could be viewed as a counter measure, he adds.
Iskanders were sent to Kaliningrad during military drills last year.
Russia's annexation of Crimea and its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continue to test relations with Western powers.
Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia are among nations reporting recent air-space violations by Russia's military.
Putin Bans Rothschild From Russia '' Anonymous
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 11:13
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In act of admirable courage, Vladimir Putin has reportedly banned Jacob Rothschild and his banking cartel family from entering Russian territory ''under any circumstances''.
Russian president Vladimir Putin recently reminded his cabinet of officials that his administration paid off the countries debt to the Rothschild's monopoly overseen by the international bankers. Putin reportedly ''grabbed them by the scruff of the neck and kicked them out Russia's back door,'' proverbially speaking that is.
According to Your News Wire:
This meeting is said to have been an intense one. With Putin pounding his fist on the table and vowing to destroy the ''New World Order.''
''They do not own the world, and they do not have carte blanch to do whatever they want. If we do not challenge them there will be other issues. We will not be bullied by them,'' Putin explained.
For a long time, the Russian economy was under the control of these powerful elitist interests. In fact, the Russian revolution was bankrolled by Wall Street and the City of London.
Early in his presidency Putin pursued a policy of unification in Russia. He ordered the arrest of the Rothschild billionaire oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky who had made Rothschild, Henry Kissinger and Arthur Hartman all directors of the Open Russia foundation.
Putin is a well rounded leader in many areas, so it comes as no surprise that he knows precisely what is going on behind the curtain and who has been pulling the strings in major events throughout modern history.
Now they want to plunge us into World War III and Putin, in a move foreign to politics, has openly explained the dangers to the media and asked them to share the information with the people'... Something U.S. politicians would never do, since they have a police of keeping the local population in the dark.
The New World Order wants Russia back under their dominion which is why they are after Syria, and before it Crimea. They want to encircle Russia and then overthrow them. They are doing the same thing to China right now too.
This doesn't mean Putin does not have his own ulterior motives and can be fully trusted. But at this point in time he looks to have found himself playing the role of underdog fighting for people allover the world who want to be free from neocolonialism, imperialism and the Rothschild evil influence.
This article originally appeared on noscomunicamos.
DisclaimerThe views and opinions expressed on Anonymous are solely those of the original authors and our contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent Anonymous or Staff.
The US Air Force Just Dropped Two Fake Nukes - Defense One
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 11:02
The tests in the Nevada desert come as tensions rise with Russia and the Pentagon seeks to replace its aging nuclear arsenal.
A pair ofU.S. Air Force B-2 bombers dropped two 700-pound faux nuclear bombs in the middle of the Nevada desert within the past few days. Now the Pentagon wants to tell you about it.
Conducted ''earlier this month,'' according to an Oct. 6 press release, the test involved two dummy variants of the B61, a nuclear bomb that has been in the U.S. arsenal since the 1960s. One was an ''earth penetrator'' made to strike underground targets, the other a tactical version of the B61. Neither carried an actual warhead.
''The primary objective of flight testing is to obtain reliability, accuracy, and performance data under operationally representative conditions,'' said the statement from the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Energy Department arm that oversees such tests. ''Such testing is part of the qualification process of current alterations and life extension programs for weapon systems.''
But why now? Perhaps it has to do with tensions with Russia, which are higher than they have been in decades, and which have sparked fears of a new nuclear arms race. Earlier this week, the Russian government announced it would conduct a massive drill to prepare its citizens for nuclear war.
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But it may also have to do with the Pentagon's quest to replace its decades-old nuclear arsenal with new bombs and delivery vehicles, an endeavor whose price tag tops several hundred billion dollars. The Air Force, for one, has been making its case for new intercontinental ballistic missiles and a nuclear cruise missile. At an Air Force Association conference in the Washington suburbs last, Boeing touted its work on the Minuteman IIIICBM, mounting large-scale models of the long-range missiles front and center in its sprawling display area.
''[We] are used to sustaining the [current] systems in pieces,'' said Larry Shafer, a Boeing executive working on the company's work to build a new ICBM to replace the Minuteman III. ''This is a unique opportunity to build an ICBM system as a whole.''
There has been much debate over building new ICBMs, a project the Air Force calls the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent. Former Defense Secretary William Perry has argued that it is unnecessary. The cruise missile project, called the Long-Range Standoff weapon, has also been called redundant to the improved version the B61 set to enter service in the 2020s.
The Air Force put out a notice in August that it is soliciting bids from companies to build new ICBMs and a nuclear cruise missiles. At the time, Maj. Gen. Scott Jansson, commander of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems, called the Long-Range Standoff weapon ''a critical element of the United States' nuclear deterrence strategy.''
Last year, the Air Force inked a deal with Northrop Grumman to build a new long-range, stealth bomber '-- recently named the B-21 Raider '-- that will eventually be equipped to carry nuclear weapons. At the same time, the Navy is preparing to buy 12 new Columbia-Class submarines that will replace the Ohio-Class, which can launch nuclear missiles.
The total price tag for the all of the new nuclear weapons is projected to cost between $350 billion to $450 billion over the next two decades.
CGI
Clinton Foundation Suddenly Gets Flawless Charity 'Rating'... Then The Truth Comes Out
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 18:35
Just in time...
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This insight is courtesy of our special contributor, Jim O'Brien. For more of Jim's work, please check out baconbooksandbullets.com.
Very loudly, during the vice presidential debate, Democrat Tim Kaine vigorously defended the Clinton Foundation against charges of corruption and pay-to-play schemes leveled by Republican Mike Pence. The GOP V.P. pick noted the so-called ''charity'' has taken millions of dollars from foreign sources '-- the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jamaica, Bahrain, Brunei and Germany to name a few '-- many of those donations coming while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
Very quietly, on September 1st '-- only weeks before that V.P. debate '-- the most respected charity ratings organization finally chose to provide the Clinton Foundation a highly favorable rating. Here's what our investigation of that ''coincidence'' has turned up.
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When it did, curiously, provide a rating to the foundation, Charity Navigator gave the controversial non-profit the highest possible score '' four out of four stars. Normally, receiving a rating is not a big deal. But interestingly, Charity Navigator was somehow unable to provide the Clinton Foundation a rating in the past two years.
In fact, Charity Navigator's own website posted the following warning about the Clinton Foundation as recently as five weeks ago: ''We had previously evaluated this organization, but have since determined that this charity's atypical business model cannot be accurately captured in our current rating methodology.''
Worse, the unverifiable means of collecting foreign donations gave concern to this organization whose mission is to evaluate how supposedly ''legitimate'' charities conduct business for the purpose of carrying out their missions. Consequently, not only did Charity Navigator decline to rate the Clinton Foundation, it actually had it on its fraud ''Watchlist.''
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Then something changed.
According to Charity Navigator, the release of key financial documents '-- purportedly in the interest of ''transparency'' '-- led to the sudden about-face in the organization's posture toward the Clinton Foundation. However, there is a problem with Charity Navigator's explanation '-- a big problem.
As late as November 2015, Charity Navigator considered the Clinton Foundation a risk and advised potential donors of that negative assessment. That was based on the Clinton Foundation's 2014 Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) independent audit coupled with financial disclosures provided by the foundation that not only bears the Clinton name but also has intimate connections with Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.
Here is the problem: neither PWC nor the Clinton Foundation issued a 2015 audit. There is a 2015 Annual Report, but it is based on 2014's financial numbers. If you review the Clinton Foundation's own website you will not find a single financial document for 2015.
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In other words, nothing appears to have changed in the financial reporting between the time that the Clinton Foundation was first placed on a watch list and then was provided a top rating nearly a year later. There's nothing to show or suggest the rating organization actually had or obtained new documents to justify its change regarding the Clinton Foundation.
So why would Charity Navigator all of a sudden choose to say very nice things about the Clinton Foundation in the absence of any new information?
Perhaps it was a $2 million donation provided to Charity Navigator by the Clinton Global Initiative to run through 2016.
According to the AP, the Clinton Global Initiative announced that a previously provided donation set to expire in 2014 was extended to Charity Navigator through 2016. However, shortly after being questioned by the AP, the Clinton Global Initiative removed all references to Charity Navigator, except to tout its recent ratings win.
Thus, yet again, the Clinton Foundation seems to get an interesting '' in the form of a politically beneficial rating '' from an organization that may have gotten a financial incentive whose receipt was, to say the least, curiously timed.
Just in time for the vice presidential debate'... just in time for the next presidential face-off'... just in time for the election.
What do you think?Scroll down to comment below.
ACA/ObamaCare
Premium Stabilization Programs - Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 02:13
Premium Stabilization Programs - Centers for Medicare & Medicaid ServicesThe page could not be loaded. The CMS.gov Web site currently does not fully support browsers with ''JavaScript'' disabled. Please enable ''JavaScript'' and revisit this page or proceed with browsing CMS.gov with ''JavaScript'' disabled. Instructions for enabling ''JavaScript'' can be found here. Please note that if you choose to continue without enabling ''JavaScript'' certain functionalities on this website may not be available.
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The Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight
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The Affordable Care Act creates the risk adjustment, reinsurance and risk corridors programs (referred to as the premium stabilization programs), the cost-sharing reductions program, and Marketplace affordability programs such as advance payments of the premium tax credit. These programs are designed to provide consumers with affordable health insurance coverage, to reduce incentives for health insurance issuers to avoid enrolling sicker people, and to stabilize premiums in the individual and small group health insurance markets inside and outside the Marketplaces. Specifically, these programs are:
Reducing the incentives for health insurance issuers to avoid enrolling people with pre-existing conditions: The permanent risk adjustment program will assist health plans that provide coverage to individuals with higher health care costs and will help ensure that those who are sick have access to the coverage they need.Stabilizing premiums in the individual market for health insurance: The transitional reinsurance program is a three-year program designed to reduce premiums and ensure market stability for issuers and thereby reduce premiums for enrollees in the individual market to ensure market stability with the implementation of new consumer protections in 2014.Protecting health insurance issuers against uncertainty in setting premium rates: The temporary risk corridors program protects qualified health plans from uncertainty in rate setting from 2014 to 2016 by having the Federal government share risk in losses and gains.Assisting low and moderate-income Americans in affording health insurance on the Marketplaces: Advance payments of the premium tax credit will help eligible individuals pay their premiums and make coverage purchased through a Marketplace affordable for low- and middle-income consumers. The cost-sharing reduction program will further reduce the out-of-pocket spending for health services for low- and middle-income individuals, and Indians.AnnouncementsPremium Stabilization Programs Data Reports
June 17, 2015 - 2014 Benefit Year Transitional Reinsurance Program Pro Rata Adjustment to the National Coinsurance RateJune 30, 2015 - Summary Report on Transitional Reinsurance Payments and Permanent Risk Adjustment Transfers for the 2014 Benefit YearSeptember 17, 2015 - Updated Report ''Summary Report on Transitional Reinsurance Payments and Permanent Risk Adjustment Transfers for the 2014 Benefit Year''October 1, 2015 - Risk Corridors Payment Proration Rate for 2014October 9, 2015 - Early Reinsurance Payments for the 2015 Benefit YearNovember 19, 2015 - Risk Corridors Payment and Charge Amounts for Benefit Year 2014 ReportMarch 18, 2016 - Interim Summary Report on Risk Adjustment for the 2015 Benefit YearJune 17, 2016 - 2015 Benefit Year Transitional Reinsurance Program Pro Rata Adjustment to the National Coinsurance RateJune 30, 2016 - Summary Report on Transitional Reinsurance Payments and Permanent Risk Adjustment Transfers for the 2015 Benefit YearSeptember 9, 2016 -ãRisk Corridors Payments for 2015
We Won!
Deutsche Bank Raises $3 Billion In Debt, As Hedge Fund Explains What Its "Bail-In" Would Look Like | Zero Hedge
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 02:51
While speculation that Qatar investors may come to Deutsche Bank's rescue came and went on Friday (especially after the market recalled that the alleged "white knight" may himself be nursing a massive margin loan from its first rescue of Deutsche Bank which included a $2 billion margin loan), the German lender quietly took advantage of the relentless global appetite for yield and on Friday evening Deutsche Bank issued its first US dollar-denominated bond in five months when its raised $3 billion in five year paper, following reverse inquiry from investors according to IFR.
The senior unsecured bond priced just below par with a generous coupon of 4.25% and at a spread of 300bp over Treasuries. The bond is the first sold by Deutsche Bank in the US dollar market since May when it raised $3.6 billion from three and five-year debt, and follows a sharp widening in its spreads.
According to Reuters, in the latest example of collecting pennies in front of a steamroller, several investors had asked about the possibility of a new debt issue from Deutsche Bank as they sought to pick up some yield. Deutsche Bank responded to those queries on Friday, and sold the bond to a limited number of accounts after gauging interest on where a new deal would come.
However, reflecting concerns about DB's current distressed state, the new bond was sold at a sizable new issue concession of about 50bp over Deutsche Bank's similarly dated outstanding debt. Its 3.375% senior unsecured 2021 bond, which was priced in May, was trading at a G-spread of around 240bp earlier on Friday, according to MarketAxess, after widening close to 300bp last week.
In recent weeks, Deutsche Bank CDS, and thus its bonds, in particular its riskiest Additional Tier 1 issues, have been under intense pressure since the US Department of Justice asked the bank to pay $14 billion to settle an RMBS misselling probe.
Some have wondered why the need to sell new paper at such a wide concession: after all as we reported before, DB has no current liquidity constraints courtesy of substantial ECB generosity, which backstop DB's existing liqudity reserves of just over '‚¬200 billion.
... while issuing debt does nothing for the bank's net leverage, and in fact could lead to an erosion of certain credit metrics. If anything, the push to obtain cash may be seen by some as an indication that management is taking advantage of the recent stock price rebound window to offload securities to investors, which alone could lead to more pressure on the bank. After all, the question immediately emerges: "does DB know something investors don't?."
Which brings us to today's second topic: Jonathan Rochford, PM of Australian hedge fund Narrow Road Capital, explains that despite all the recent confidence-building rhetoric and posturing, Deutsche Bank will need a bail-in. In the following analysis he explains how it would (and should) be done.
* * *
Deutsche Bank Needs a Bail-In, Here's How It Can Be Done
Following the confirmation that hedge funds have started to reduce their capital and trading with Deutsche Bank its position is now perilous. It is correct to say that Deutsche Bank doesn't have a liquidity crisis and that even if it did the Bundesbank could provide it with unlimited liquidity. But liquidity alone doesn't guarantee a bank can continue to operate in the long term, solvency and profitability are essential as well. Deutsche Bank is at best borderline for both solvency and profitability with little prospect of either improving materially in the medium term. Deutsche Bank needs to substantially restructure its business activities and balance sheet, both of those will take time and capital neither of which Deutsche Bank has.
Insufficient Capital
Unlike other global banks Deutsche Bank has failed to adequately lift its capital levels since the collapse of Lehman Brothers eight years ago. It has been allowed to remain undercapitalised due to weak European regulators, which are fighting against global efforts to have all banks increase capital levels. Whilst German and Italian regulators are fighting for lower capital levels and avoiding dealing with their problem banks Switzerland and the US are implementing much higher capital levels, particularly for the largest banks.
On Deutsche Bank's preferred measure, risk weighted assets, it sits behind most of its peers. That's after it has gone through a capital optimisation exercise which reduced risk weighted assets without reducing their balance sheet by the same proportion. On the more rigorous leverage ratio shown below, Deutsche Bank is dead last at less than half of its peer group average. When Europe's most systemically important bank is the most poorly capitalised of its peer group that is a major problem that needs to be corrected as soon as possible.
Source: FDIC
Deutsche Bank's current equity at book value is '‚¬61.9 billion but its market capitalisation is only '‚¬15.8 billion. Its total assets are 114.3 times its market capitalisation and its price to book ratio is 25.5%. The only peers with ratios this bad are Italian banks who have dubious solvency and very high levels of non-performing loans. To get from the 2.68% tier one capital ratio shown above to the 5% leverage ratio many consider the minimum acceptable level requires '‚¬40.1 billion of new equity.
Not Profitable
There are three primary ways for a bank to increase its capital. Firstly, profits can be retained rather than paid out as dividends. Deutsche Bank hasn't been meaningfully profitable since 2011. The table below shows the net income after taxes for Deutsche Bank since 2009. The combined total of the last seven and half years is '‚¬7.8 billion, an average of '‚¬1.04 billion per year. That equates to a return on equity of 1.68% since 2009. Over the last four and a half years the cumulative loss is '‚¬3.8 billion with the average return on equity -1.38%.
The CEO has stated that 2016 will be a peak year for restructuring, meaning investors should expect a loss for 2016. The fine being negotiated with the US Department of Justice will have a significant impact this year. Further fines for new scandals, the difficulties of operating in a negative interest rate environment and the potential for another European or global downturn mean there is a material risk of losses continuing in future years. Given sufficient time and capital Deutsche Bank would restructure substantially, ridding itself of unprofitable and low return activities. Unfortunately, it has squandered the opportunities it had over the last eight years and now doesn't have either the time or capital needed to facilitate the necessary cuts.
Assets Sales Not Sufficient
The second way to raise capital is to sell assets and Deutsche Bank is making a great deal of noise about its asset sale plans. The sales of the UK and Chinese insurance businesses will together raise approximately '‚¬4.5 billion. A sale of the asset management business might raise '‚¬10 billion. Altogether that's '‚¬14.5 billion which is helpful but not nearly enough. The flipside of asset sales is that future profits are reduced, exacerbating the profitability issues already outlined.
Sufficiently Large Capital Raising Near Impossible
The third way a bank can strengthen its balance sheet is by conducting a capital raising. The problem for Deutsche Bank is that the amount needed is simply too high based on the current metrics. Any investment banker will tell you raising 254% of market capitalisation is extremely optimistic. To achieve that for a business with a history of being marginally profitable is near on impossible.
A Bailout or Bail-in is Needed
Taking into account the lack of capital and the very unlikely prospects for an equity raising or asset sales to be sufficient, Deutsche Bank needs either a bailout or a bail-in. A bailout by the German government is legally possible given the gaps in the regulation that can be exploited. The key question is whether the German government would be willing to do so. In recent years Angela Merkel and her key ministers have consistently denounced the possibility of the Italian government providing a bailout to Italian banks. In recent months they have been adamant they won't bailout Deutsche Bank.
I'm cynical enough to know that politicians can change their minds extremely quickly when the pressure is on. I acknowledge there is a decent chance that the German government will do that soon. What the rest of this article aims to show is that there is a way to recapitalise Deutsche Bank without taxpayer funds. If there's a decent solution that doesn't involve taxpayer funds I think that solution can win out.
Bail-in Mechanics
The recently introduced European regulations lay out a framework for how a bail-in would work. Equity, additional tier 1 securities (Coco's or hybrids) and subordinated debt can be written off completely if the bank is declared non-viable. Senior debt, particularly that provided by large institutions can also be converted to equity in order to lift reserves. By undertaking a combination of those two processes Deutsche Bank's undercapitalisation could be quickly rectified.
The table below lays out the liabilities and equity on Deutsche Bank's balance sheet. Equity, additional tier 1 and subordinated debt securities are broken out. Senior debt has been broken into two categories, the portion which could be expected to be bailed-in and that where it is uncertain. For the purpose of this exercise a conservative approach has been taken, the amount that could be bailed-in is likely much larger.
How Much More Capital is Needed?
In determining how much additional capital is needed a target capital level must be chosen. If a bail-in is executed it needs to be a one-time exercise that removes all concerns about Deutsche Bank's solvency. Lifting the core equity tier 1 ratio just to the average level of its peers is not enough, it must go much further.
A core equity tier one leverage ratio of 9% would lift Deutsche Bank to the top of the list amongst its global peers. This would provide strong reassurance that another bail-in won't be needed. It would also provide breathing room to undertake the overdue restructuring of unprofitable and marginal businesses. At a 9% level, another '‚¬111.5 billion of tangible equity is required. This would come from the write-off of additional tier 1, subordinated debt and '‚¬98.5 billion of senior debt being converted to equity. This implies that 63.1% of the senior debt able to be bailed-in needs to be converted to equity.
For every '‚¬100 they are currently owed bailed-in senior debt holders would receive '‚¬36.90 in new senior debt as well as material value in new equity. To assist the transition, the regulators and Deutsche Bank should work together to see that those who receive new equity can be offered a transparent and orderly means to sell down those shares. Whilst Deutsche Bank could theoretically just restart trading after the new shares were issued, relisting without an opportunity for new shareholders to sell down to more natural equity owners could be substantially disorderly and may result in much greater losses in value and confidence in banks than would otherwise be the case.
Potential Capital Sell-Down Process
There's two types of approach that could help facilitate the sale of shares by those who are seeking to exit; a rights issue model and an IPO model. The table below summarises some of the different features of each that could apply in the case of a Deutsche Bank bail-in.
The rights issue model is the most efficient, but it doesn't allow for Deutsche Bank management to prepare a solid pitch to potential new investors. Management would have only a few days to develop their strategy for making the bank profitable again and limited time to explain that to the many large global investors that may want to buy shares. The IPO model takes longer, but would allow management to put forward a clear plan on what businesses it will exit, what that will cost and the additional profitability that could be generated over time. The downside of the additional time is that it increases the potential for contagion to other banks as investors remain unsure of what recovery they will receive on their new shares for a longer period. Allowing over the counter trading to continue on senior debt would allay some of these concerns.
As a guide to the possible recovery for bailed-in senior debt, other European banks were generally trading at 0.5 to 1.0 times book value in early September. This implies the new equity is worth '‚¬89.2 '' '‚¬178.4 billion. When combined with the new senior debt of '‚¬57.5 billion this a total recovery of 94.0% '' 151.1% on the old senior debt. If an IPO process was used this would open up the opportunity for the old subordinated debt, additional tier 1 and equity owners to receive some value. If a bookbuild ended up realising more than a 100% recovery for senior debt holders, which is reached if the price to book is 0.55 or above, the additional value could be allocated to the subordinated capital owners via the natural order of priority. This process would largely eliminate arguments that value wasn't maximised, neutering the possibility of ongoing litigation as has been the case with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Conclusion
Deutsche Bank's position is currently marginal as it is woefully undercapitalised and has no clear prospect of becoming meaningfully profitable. As the world's largest derivative trader and Europe's most systemically important bank this is untenable. Deutsche Bank is three times larger than Lehman Brothers, making the possibility of an unexpected and uncoordinated failure completely unacceptable. Deutsche Bank needs substantial time and capital to execute a turnaround, neither of which it now has. It does not have the profitability to grow its capital base quickly or to support a capital raising of the size it needs. Deutsche Bank needs either a bail-in or a bailout.
An orderly bail-in process would deliver Deutsche Bank the additional time and capital it needs. In the first instance, the bank should be declared non-viable with all equity, additional tier 1 and subordinated debt written off. By converting 63.1% of long term senior debt to new equity the leverage ratio would increase to an unquestionably strong 9%. Based on recent peer comparisons, bailed-in senior debt holders would receive a recovery of at least 94% of their current position. Using an IPO model, where management develops and presents a new strategy to potential investors over a 2-3 month period, would allow the recipients of newly issued equity an orderly process to sell-down their equity. It also creates the possibility of a substantial recovery for subordinated debt, additional tier 1 and equity investors.
Call for action as Europe debates Bahamas Leaks | Caribbean News Now
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 11:00
Commissioner for financial affairs Pierre Moscovici addresses the European Parliament during debate on Bahamas Leaks. Photo: European ParliamentBy Will Fitzgibbon October 7, 2016, 1:00 pmBRUSSELS, Belgium -- The Bahamas launched reviews of its tax policies and data security and members of the European Parliament called for sanctions and scrutiny of tax havens and of the politicians who use them following a leak of 1.3 million documents from the Bahamas corporate registry.
Bahamian officials announced the moves following the publication of Bahamas Leaks, a collaborative investigation by 30 media organizations in partnership with The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and the German newspaper S¼ddeutsche Zeitung that exposed new details about politicians and fraudsters behind some of the country's offshore companies.
As the world's attention turned to the Bahamas, the minister in charge of the nation's offshore industry promised to introduce automatic exchange of tax information with other countries one year ahead of schedule in an effort to rebuff accusations that The Bahamas is courting untaxed money.
Separately, the Bahamas attorney-general, Allyson Maynard-Gibson, announced a review of the country's data systems that failed to prevent the disclosure of more than one million documents.
The OECD's head of tax, Pascal Saint-Amans, expressed concern after Bahamas Leaks that the country would not meet its international tax commitments. In an interview with Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, Saint-Amans warned that The Bahamas could soon be put back on the OECD's blacklist of tax havens.
Bahamian officials and press outlets have used a number of forums, including a United Nations address, to defend the country and denounce the Bahamas Leaks investigation as a ''coordinated conspiracy.''
Separately, the European Commission is determining whether or not to take action against former competition commissioner Neelie Kroes, who was Europe's top corporate enforcer from 2004 to 2010. Documents from Bahamas Leaks revealed that Kroes failed to declare her directorship of a company that negotiated to buy billions of dollars in assets from the energy giant Enron.
In a fiery session on Tuesday, members of the European Parliament called for stronger rules and sanctions, including the revocation of pensions, in cases where senior EU officials have conflicts of interest. MEPs alleged that Kroes had lied to parliament, weakening public trust in the EU.
''When former top commissioners are discovered to be linked to overseas tax havens, and the global financial companies that benefit from them, the EU's credibility takes a justified hit,'' said Danish MEP Jeppe Kofod, who leads the Social Democrats party.
Kofod said the Bahamas Leaks showed the need for better legislation to ''end the world of secrecy, fraud, corruption and tax evasion, and put real pressure on tax havens,'' and also for a more stringent vetting process for commissioners.
''In the case of former Commissioner Kroes, the fact that she was a director of a holding company in The Bahamas only came to light after she had retired from the Commission. That proves that the vetting process for Commissioners simply is not working.''
Other MEPs joined the call for European authorities to do more to end corporate secrecy.
''The Bahamas papers revealed again the murky role played by tax havens in global tax evasion,'' said MEP Molly Scott Cato from England.
''Lux Leaks, Panama Papers, Bahamas Leaks,'' said Michael Theurer, a German parliamentarian who referred to three of ICIJ's recent projects that made international headlines. ''Clearly there is a need for action.''
Speaking on behalf of the European Commission, commissioner Pierre Moscovici defended the Commission's track record and sought to temper many of the MEP's concerns.
''I think we should not turn problems raised by members of the previous Commission into an amalgam on the Commission and the Parliament. Let's not use material errors and personal choices, which can be regrettable, to question rules that will never be able to determine a solution for this type of situation,'' he said.
Moscovici assured MEPs that the Commission would listen to the issues, and would also continue to support the work of the European Parliamentary committee (the so-called PANA Committee) established in the wake of Panama Papers to investigate tax avoidance and money laundering.
The PANA Committee announced at its first public hearing last week that it would broaden its coverage to include relevant information from Bahamas Leaks.
Agenda 2030
Florida Sheriff: We'll Need Body Bags If People Don't Evacuate - NBC News
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 03:45
70,000+ Power Outages Reported in Florida So FarUtility company Florida Power and Light has reported more than 70,000 customers with power outages so far:
12,480 in Miami-Dade County12,190 in Broward County37,780 in Palm Beach County2,100 in Brevard County5,300 in Martin County4,970 in Lee County3,530 in St. Lucie CountyEarlier, the company said it expects up to 2.5 million outages as a result of the storm.
Supplies for power outage response and power crews with Pike Electric from all over the United States including Texas, Georgia and North Caroline wait to be called out as needed in Pembroke Pines, Fla., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. AP
Matthew Shuts Down Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Orlando ResortsThree of the world's most popular tourist attractions '-- Walt Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Studios '-- all made the rare decision to close their Orlando, Fla., theme parks Thursday ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew.
The parks '-- usually open 365 days a year '-- said that all of facilities would be closed Friday but that they hoped to reopen Saturday.
Disney Parks said it told guests staying in hotels on-site to stay indoors. Most restaurants will remain open, but cancellation fees are being waived, it said.
(Universal Orlando Resort is a unit of Universal Studios, whose parent company, NBCUniversal, also owns NBC News.)
Rain near a Minnie Mouse sign Thursday at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Eric Gay / AP
South Carolina Town Distributes Ominous Forms to Hurricane HoldoutsPregnant Mom Makes Last-Minute Decision to Flee CoastA pregnant mother of four kids in Palm Bay, Florida considered waiting out Hurricane Matthew '-- but she and her family hurriedly packed their belongings and fled to Orlando Thursday as the warnings got worse.
"As the predictions got worse today I got really nervous to stay, so we packed up in 20 minutes and just grabbed what we could and left," Katie Ainsley told NBC News.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott and other authorities warned residents repeatedly that the hurricane is potentially life-threatening. Palm Bay is on the coast expected to be hit by the hurricane, while Orlando is further inland. At first she and her family figured Orlando would be hit just as hard, but they left as predictions grew more dire.
"We got to Orlando just before the first bands of rain [and] wind started," she said. "We expect to get bad weather here, too '-- but hopefully not as bad."
'-- Terri Peters
Katie Ainsley and family on their way out of dodge. Courtesy of Ainsley family
Hurricane? Yes, Bartender, I'll Have AnotherAt the "Ole Fire and Grill" in Melbourne, Florida, the owner and patrons seemed perfectly happy to get a little wet. It was the only such establishment MSNBC's Craig Melvin could find open in the area as Hurricane Matthew barreled towards the Florida Coast.
U.S. Military Mobilized for Hurricane MatthewMilitary officials on Thursday evening released numbers for what resources were being moved both in and out of the massive deadly storm.
National Guard
Florida:
2,500 Soldiers and Airmen activated to provide search and rescue, reconnaissance, high-wheeled vehicle and security supportMore than 6,000 Soldiers and Airmen from National Guard available for support if directed by the Governor.4,000 personnel from other states can be mobilized through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).The Florida Air National Guard is evacuating F-15 fleet out of the path of the storm.South Carolina:
Up to 2,000 National Guard activated Oct 5 to assist with evacuations.North Carolina:
300 National Guard on standby notificationSOUTHCOM
9 helicopters deployed by (approx. 100 passengers) to Port-au-Prince by Joint Task Force Bravo and the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground TF.Navy Ships
USS Mesa Verde (amphibious troop carrier) and USS George Washington (aircraft carrier) departed Norfolk, Virginia on Oct 4, and are ready to respond.USNS Comfort (medical ship) departed Norfolk on Oct. 5 and is transiting to an area clear of the hurricane in case they are tasked to support.USS Anzio (missile cruiser) USS Montgomery (combat ship), and USS Iwo Jima (amphibious assault ship) deployed from Mayport, Florida Oct. 5 to avoid the storm.USS Zephyr (patrol ship) and USS Shamal (patrol ship) have moved to a safe berth in the Naval Station Mayport basin; USS Tornado (patrol ship) and USS Farragut (destroyer) will remain in dry-dock for maintenance.USS The Sullivans (missile destroyer), USS New York (amphibious troop carrier), USS Fort McHenry (dock landing ship), and USS Milwaukee (combat ship) will shelter in place in the Naval Station Mayport basin.Navy Aircraft
H-60 helicopters based in Mayport have been moved Jacksonville, FL.P-3/P-8s in Jacksonville have departed for Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City.Navy personnel
700 (approx) spouses and children with approx. 70 pets were evacuated from Guantanamo Bay to Pensacola, Florida, last weekend via four C-17s and two C-130s.4,800 (approx) personnel remain sheltered in place in Guantanamo Bay, including 61 detainees.Air Force air craft evacuations
Patrick Air Force Base has entered Hurricane Condition II (HURCON II) in preparation for Hurricane Matthew. Patrick AFB released all non-mission essentialCharleston AFB is beginning the evacuation of 29 aircraft today and they will go to Wright Patterson AFB, Barksdale AFB and Campbell AAF, Kentucky.Joint Base Langley-Eustis About 44 F-22 Raptor and T-38 Talon aircraft, along with 100 support personnel have been moved to Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Ohio.Seymour Johnson and Shaw Air Force Bases are evacuating their assigned aircraft to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana.Air Force assistance 557th Weather Wing at Offutt is providing local officials with the latest info on the storm track and projected impactsHurricane Hunters from the Air Force Reserve's 403rd Wing are supporting the National Hurricane Center.200 airmen from Air Force Special Operations Command are prepared to support relief efforts in the Caribbean if tasked by U.S. Southern Command.The 621st Contingency Response Wing deployed a 34-member team this morning from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. to set up command and control, airfield assessment, aerial port, aircraft maintenance, contracting, and security forces to Port Au Prince International Airport, Haiti. Another team is scheduled to deploy Friday.Marines
Approximately 6,000 recruits in training evacuated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany. Non-essential military personnel, non-essential civilian employees, and their family residing in the local area were given authorization Oct 4 to evacuate to a safe location.MCAS Cherry Point '-- No plans to evacuate personnel or aircraftMCAS Beaufort '-- Evacuation of non-essential personnel authorized; MAG-31 aircraft hangared w/ limited number leaving.MCLB Albany - No planned evacuations.Watch Researchers Recreate Hurricane-Force WindsAt the University of Maryland's wind tunnel, researchers recreate hurricane-force winds with the goal of better engineering homes, power lines and harbors.
NBC News' Tom Costello got a face full.
Watch below:
Some Floridians Ignore Evacuation Orders, Choose to Ride Out StormWith more than 1.5 million people under mandatory evacuation in Florida, some Nettles Island residents tell NBC News why they're staying put.
"It may be a little bit selfish, but I need to protect my things," said Dave Haller.
See more below:
Florida's Space Coast Hunkers Down Ahead of MatthewFlorida's Space Coast is bracing for Hurricane Matthew.
A team of 116 employees from NASA, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and their commercial space partners are riding out the storm at the Kennedy Space Center's Emergency Operations Center.
"Everyone has a position in the emergency operations center," George Diller, a public affairs officer at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, told NBC News.
"We have brought in food and cots we are going to put down tonight and blankets and pillows, so we are basically here until it's over," he said.
Fla. Voter Registration Will Not Be Extended, South Carolina WillRepublican Florida Governor Rick Scott on Thursday evening said the state will not extend an October 11 voter registration deadline.
"I'm not going to extend it," Scott said at a news conference on the storm. "Everybody has had plenty of time to register. I don't intend to make any changes."
Speaking to NBC News' Andrea Mitchell earlier Thursday, Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Robby Mook had said they hoped Scott would move the deadline.
"We'll get back to campaigning when it is appropriate," Mook said. "Our hope would be that a little bit more time will be given for people who were expecting to be able to get registered before the election."
Scott currently serves as national chairman of pro-Trump Super PAC Rebuilding America Now.
Meanwhile, South Carolina officials extended their voter registration deadline to October 11.
IRS
Dozens arrested at India call center linked to IRS scam calls
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 18:17
NEW DELHI (AP) '' Indian police have arrested 70 people and are questioning hundreds more after uncovering a massive scam to cheat thousands of Americans out of millions of dollars by posing as U.S. tax authorities and demanding unpaid taxes, a police officer said Thursday.
According to police in Mumbai, the yearlong scam involved running fake call centers which sent voice mail messages telling U.S. nationals to call back because they owed back taxes.
Those who called back and believed the threats would fork out thousands of dollars to ''settle'' their case, Mumbai police officer Parag Marere said Thursday.
The scam brought in more than $150,000 a day, Marere said without giving a total sum. If the scam netted that amount daily, it would have made almost $55 million in one year.
Some victims were also told to buy gift vouchers from various companies, and hand over the voucher ID numbers which the impostors then used to make purchases, Marere said.
Police said they are likely to file charges against many of the 600 or more people still being questioned on suspicion of running the fake call centers, housed on several stories of a Mumbai office building.
Those arrested so far include several of the alleged ringleaders, as well as people accused of providing equipment and setting up the fake call centers. The criminal charges filed against the suspects include extortion, impersonation and violations of India's information technology laws.
''We are questioning those who were involved in the fraud, including those posing as tax investigators,'' Marere said.
Police raided the offices this week and seized hundreds of hard disks, hard disks, high-end servers and other electronic equipment.
Indian media reports said 70 percent of the scam's proceeds were retained by the suspects in India, while the rest was paid to collaborators in the U.S.
Indian news broadcaster NDTV reported that one U.S.-based company allegedly collected the victims' personal information and passed it to the fake call centers.
The IRS reports receiving more than 900,000 complaints about similar scam calls since October 2013. More than 5,000 people have fallen for the scam, paying out more than $26 million collectively as a result of scams.
The IRS has yet to comment on this recent arrest in India.
The IRS warns it will never call and demand immediate payment. It will never require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, like a gift card or prepaid debit card. The agency will never ask for credit card numbers over the phone.
If you receive a call form someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, you should never give out personal information. Report the call to the IRS using their ''IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting'' web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
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'Achter islamisering zit een plan' | Nieuws | AD.nl
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 10:46
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Obama Nation
The way ahead | The Economist
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 22:08
WHEREVER I go these days, at home or abroad, people ask me the same question: what is happening in the American political system? How has a country that has benefited'--perhaps more than any other'--from immigration, trade and technological innovation suddenly developed a strain of anti-immigrant, anti-innovation protectionism? Why have some on the far left and even more on the far right embraced a crude populism that promises a return to a past that is not possible to restore'--and that, for most Americans, never existed at all?
It's true that a certain anxiety over the forces of globalisation, immigration, technology, even change itself, has taken hold in America. It's not new, nor is it dissimilar to a discontent spreading throughout the world, often manifested in scepticism towards international institutions, trade agreements and immigration. It can be seen in Britain's recent vote to leave the European Union and the rise of populist parties around the world.
Much of this discontent is driven by fears that are not fundamentally economic. The anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim and anti-refugee sentiment expressed by some Americans today echoes nativist lurches of the past'--the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, the Know-Nothings of the mid-1800s, the anti-Asian sentiment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and any number of eras in which Americans were told they could restore past glory if they just got some group or idea that was threatening America under control. We overcame those fears and we will again.
But some of the discontent is rooted in legitimate concerns about long-term economic forces. Decades of declining productivity growth and rising inequality have resulted in slower income growth for low- and middle-income families. Globalisation and automation have weakened the position of workers and their ability to secure a decent wage. Too many potential physicists and engineers spend their careers shifting money around in the financial sector, instead of applying their talents to innovating in the real economy. And the financial crisis of 2008 only seemed to increase the isolation of corporations and elites, who often seem to live by a different set of rules to ordinary citizens.
So it's no wonder that so many are receptive to the argument that the game is rigged. But amid this understandable frustration, much of it fanned by politicians who would actually make the problem worse rather than better, it is important to remember that capitalism has been the greatest driver of prosperity and opportunity the world has ever known.
Over the past 25 years, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has fallen from nearly 40% to under 10%. Last year, American households enjoyed the largest income gains on record and the poverty rate fell faster than at any point since the 1960s. Wages have risen faster in real terms during this business cycle than in any since the 1970s. These gains would have been impossible without the globalisation and technological transformation that drives some of the anxiety behind our current political debate.
This is the paradox that defines our world today. The world is more prosperous than ever before and yet our societies are marked by uncertainty and unease. So we have a choice'--retreat into old, closed-off economies or press forward, acknowledging the inequality that can come with globalisation while committing ourselves to making the global economy work better for all people, not just those at the top.
A force for good
The profit motive can be a powerful force for the common good, driving businesses to create products that consumers rave about or motivating banks to lend to growing businesses. But, by itself, this will not lead to broadly shared prosperity and growth. Economists have long recognised that markets, left to their own devices, can fail. This can happen through the tendency towards monopoly and rent-seeking that this newspaper has documented, the failure of businesses to take into account the impact of their decisions on others through pollution, the ways in which disparities of information can leave consumers vulnerable to dangerous products or overly expensive health insurance.
More fundamentally, a capitalism shaped by the few and unaccountable to the many is a threat to all. Economies are more successful when we close the gap between rich and poor and growth is broadly based. A world in which 1% of humanity controls as much wealth as the other 99% will never be stable. Gaps between rich and poor are not new but just as the child in a slum can see the skyscraper nearby, technology allows anyone with a smartphone to see how the most privileged live. Expectations rise faster than governments can deliver and a pervasive sense of injustice undermines peoples' faith in the system. Without trust, capitalism and markets cannot continue to deliver the gains they have delivered in the past centuries.
This paradox of progress and peril has been decades in the making. While I am proud of what my administration has accomplished these past eight years, I have always acknowledged that the work of perfecting our union would take far longer. The presidency is a relay race, requiring each of us to do our part to bring the country closer to its highest aspirations. So where does my successor go from here?
Further progress requires recognising that America's economy is an enormously complicated mechanism. As appealing as some more radical reforms can sound in the abstract'--breaking up all the biggest banks or erecting prohibitively steep tariffs on imports'--the economy is not an abstraction. It cannot simply be redesigned wholesale and put back together again without real consequences for real people.
Instead, fully restoring faith in an economy where hardworking Americans can get ahead requires addressing four major structural challenges: boosting productivity growth, combating rising inequality, ensuring that everyone who wants a job can get one and building a resilient economy that's primed for future growth.
Restoring economic dynamism
First, in recent years, we have seen incredible technological advances through the internet, mobile broadband and devices, artificial intelligence, robotics, advanced materials, improvements in energy efficiency and personalised medicine. But while these innovations have changed lives, they have not yet substantially boosted measured productivity growth. Over the past decade, America has enjoyed the fastest productivity growth in the G7, but it has slowed across nearly all advanced economies (see chart 1). Without a faster-growing economy, we will not be able to generate the wage gains people want, regardless of how we divide up the pie.
A major source of the recent productivity slowdown has been a shortfall of public and private investment caused, in part, by a hangover from the financial crisis. But it has also been caused by self-imposed constraints: an anti-tax ideology that rejects virtually all sources of new public funding; a fixation on deficits at the expense of the deferred maintenance bills we are passing to our children, particularly for infrastructure; and a political system so partisan that previously bipartisan ideas like bridge and airport upgrades are nonstarters.
We could also help private investment and innovation with business-tax reform that lowers statutory rates and closes loopholes, and with public investments in basic research and development. Policies focused on education are critical both for increasing economic growth and for ensuring that it is shared broadly. These include everything from boosting funding for early childhood education to improving high schools, making college more affordable and expanding high-quality job training.
Lifting productivity and wages also depends on creating a global race to the top in rules for trade. While some communities have suffered from foreign competition, trade has helped our economy much more than it has hurt. Exports helped lead us out of the recession. American firms that export pay their workers up to 18% more on average than companies that do not, according to a report by my Council of Economic Advisers. So, I will keep pushing for Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership and to conclude a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the EU. These agreements, and stepped-up trade enforcement, will level the playing field for workers and businesses alike.
Second, alongside slowing productivity, inequality has risen in most advanced economies, with that increase most pronounced in the United States. In 1979, the top 1% of American families received 7% of all after-tax income. By 2007, that share had more than doubled to 17%. This challenges the very essence of who Americans are as a people. We don't begrudge success, we aspire to it and admire those who achieve it. In fact, we've often accepted more inequality than many other nations because we are convinced that with hard work, we can improve our own station and watch our children do even better.
As Abraham Lincoln said, ''while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else.'' That's the problem with increased inequality'--it diminishes upward mobility. It makes the top and bottom rungs of the ladder ''stickier'''--harder to move up and harder to lose your place at the top.
Economists have listed many causes for the rise of inequality: technology, education, globalisation, declining unions and a falling minimum wage. There is something to all of these and we've made real progress on all these fronts. But I believe that changes in culture and values have also played a major role. In the past, differences in pay between corporate executives and their workers were constrained by a greater degree of social interaction between employees at all levels'--at church, at their children's schools, in civic organisations. That's why CEOs took home about 20- to 30-times as much as their average worker. The reduction or elimination of this constraining factor is one reason why today's CEO is now paid over 250-times more.
Economies are more successful when we close the gap between rich and poor and growth is broadly based. This is not just a moral argument. Research shows that growth is more fragile and recessions more frequent in countries with greater inequality. Concentrated wealth at the top means less of the broad-based consumer spending that drives market economies.
America has shown that progress is possible. Last year, income gains were larger for households at the bottom and middle of the income distribution than for those at the top (see chart 2). Under my administration, we will have boosted incomes for families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution by 18% by 2017, while raising the average tax rates on households projected to earn over $8m per year'--the top 0.1%'--by nearly 7 percentage points, based on calculations by the Department of the Treasury. While the top 1% of households now pay more of their fair share, tax changes enacted during my administration have increased the share of income received by all other families by more than the tax changes in any previous administration since at least 1960.
Even these efforts fall well short. In the future, we need to be even more aggressive in enacting measures to reverse the decades-long rise in inequality. Unions should play a critical role. They help workers get a bigger slice of the pie but they need to be flexible enough to adapt to global competition. Raising the Federal minimum wage, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit for workers without dependent children, limiting tax breaks for high-income households, preventing colleges from pricing out hardworking students, and ensuring men and women get equal pay for equal work would help to move us in the right direction too.
Third, a successful economy also depends on meaningful opportunities for work for everyone who wants a job. However, America has faced a long-term decline in participation among prime-age workers (see chart 3). In 1953, just 3% of men between 25 and 54 years old were out of the labour force. Today, it is 12%. In 1999, 23% of prime-age women were out of the labour force. Today, it is 26%. People joining or rejoining the workforce in a strengthening economy have offset ageing and retiring baby-boomers since the end of 2013, stabilising the participation rate but not reversing the longer-term adverse trend.
Involuntary joblessness takes a toll on life satisfaction, self-esteem, physical health and mortality. It is related to a devastating rise of opioid abuse and an associated increase in overdose deaths and suicides among non-college-educated Americans'--the group where labour-force participation has fallen most precipitously.
There are many ways to keep more Americans in the labour market when they fall on hard times. These include providing wage insurance for workers who cannot get a new job that pays as much as their old one. Increasing access to high-quality community colleges, proven job-training models and help finding new jobs would assist. So would making unemployment insurance available to more workers. Paid leave and guaranteed sick days, as well as greater access to high-quality child care and early learning, would add flexibility for employees and employers. Reforms to our criminal-justice system and improvements to re-entry into the workforce that have won bipartisan support would also improve participation, if enacted.
Building a sturdier foundation
Finally, the financial crisis painfully underscored the need for a more resilient economy, one that grows sustainably without plundering the future at the service of the present. There should no longer be any doubt that a free market only thrives when there are rules to guard against systemic failure and ensure fair competition.
Post-crisis reforms to Wall Street have made our financial system more stable and supportive of long-term growth, including more capital for American banks, less reliance on short-term funding, and better oversight for a range of institutions and markets. Big American financial institutions no longer get the type of easier funding they got before'--evidence that the market increasingly understands that they are no longer ''too big to fail''. And we created a first-of-its-kind watchdog'--the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau'--to hold financial institutions accountable, so their customers get loans they can repay with clear terms up-front.
But even with all the progress, segments of the shadow banking system still present vulnerabilities and the housing-finance system has not been reformed. That should be an argument for building on what we have already done, not undoing it. And those who should be rising in defence of further reform too often ignore the progress we have made, instead choosing to condemn the system as a whole. Americans should debate how best to build on these rules, but denying that progress leaves us more vulnerable, not less so.
America should also do more to prepare for negative shocks before they occur. With today's low interest rates, fiscal policy must play a bigger role in combating future downturns; monetary policy should not bear the full burden of stabilising our economy. Unfortunately, good economics can be overridden by bad politics. My administration secured much more fiscal expansion than many appreciated in recovering from our crisis'--more than a dozen bills provided $1.4 trillion in economic support from 2009 to 2012'--but fighting Congress for each commonsense measure expended substantial energy. I did not get some of the expansions I sought and Congress forced austerity on the economy prematurely by threatening a historic debt default. My successors should not have to fight for emergency measures in a time of need. Instead, support for the hardest-hit families and the economy, like unemployment insurance, should rise automatically.
Maintaining fiscal discipline in good times to expand support for the economy when needed and to meet our long-term obligations to our citizens is vital. Curbs to entitlement growth that build on the Affordable Care Act's progress in reducing health-care costs and limiting tax breaks for the most fortunate can address long-term fiscal challenges without sacrificing investments in growth and opportunity.
Finally, sustainable economic growth requires addressing climate change. Over the past five years, the notion of a trade-off between increasing growth and reducing emissions has been put to rest. America has cut energy-sector emissions by 6%, even as our economy has grown by 11% (see chart 4). Progress in America also helped catalyse the historic Paris climate agreement, which presents the best opportunity to save the planet for future generations.
A hope for the future
America's political system can be frustrating. Believe me, I know. But it has been the source of more than two centuries of economic and social progress. The progress of the past eight years should also give the world some measure of hope. Despite all manner of division and discord, a second Great Depression was prevented. The financial system was stabilised without costing taxpayers a dime and the auto industry rescued. I enacted a larger and more front-loaded fiscal stimulus than even President Roosevelt's New Deal and oversaw the most comprehensive rewriting of the rules of the financial system since the 1930s, as well as reforming health care and introducing new rules cutting emissions from vehicles and power plants.
The results are clear: a more durable, growing economy; 15m new private-sector jobs since early 2010; rising wages, falling poverty, and the beginnings of a reversal in inequality; 20m more Americans with health insurance, while health-care costs grow at the slowest rate in 50 years; annual deficits cut by nearly three-quarters; and declining carbon emissions.
For all the work that remains, a new foundation is laid. A new future is ours to write. It must be one of economic growth that's not only sustainable but shared. To achieve it America must stay committed to working with all nations to build stronger and more prosperous economies for all our citizens for generations to come.
Real News
'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' on Hold After Kim Kardashian Robbery | Variety
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 15:15
Following Kim Kardashian West's robbery at gunpoint in Paris, production on ''Keeping Up With the Kardashians'' has been shut down, Variety has learned.
''Kim's well-being is our core focus right now. No decision has been made as to when production will resume,'' a spokesperson for E! tells Variety.
''Keeping Up With the Kardashians'' returns on Oct. 23 with the back half of Season 12 '-- as of now, that premiere date will not be moved, in light of production temporarily stopping. No word on which season was currently filming, but the E! juggernaut has been renewed for Season 13, as the famous family inked a three-year extension deal with the network in early 2015, taking ''KUWTK'' to 2018.
When asked if cameras were rolling in Paris around the time of the robbery, E! declined to comment.
The production hiatus comes after Kardashian West was held at gunpoint by masked men in her Paris hotel, on Monday around 3 a.m. The reality star was bound at her hands and feet and locked in a bathroom, while the robbers stole more than $10 million of jewelry and other valuables, including cell phones. Her husband, Kanye West, was alerted of the emergency during his concert, and he abruptly left the stage to tend to his wife and family. The couple is now heading back to their home in L.A., and has kept a low profile since the scary incident.
''Kim Kardashian West was held up at gunpoint inside her Paris hotel room this evening, by two armed masked men dressed as police officers. She is badly shaken but physically unharmed,'' Kardashian West's rep told Variety the day of the heist.
Kardashian West, Kourtney Kardashian and their mother, Kris Jenner, were in Paris for Fashion Week. She was at the Balenciaga show the day of the robbery (pictured).
Kardashian West has remained silent on social media, since the robbery. On Wednesday, her sister Kourtney Kardashian posted a passage from her daily prayer book on Twitter seemingly in relation to the robbery, and on Tuesday, Caitlyn Jenner wrote on Instagram, ''Love my girl! After hearing the full story, I'm so thankful she's okay.''
Kim Kardashian Confesses Paris Robbery 'Staged' - Show Cancelled
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 15:18
Kim Kardashian has filmed a confession detailing her role in the Paris robbery and E! executives have responded by cancelling Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
An E! network spokesman said ''no decision has been made as to when production will resume,'' but an assistant producer claims executives have cancelled the show.
Kim's filmed confession, in which she implicates Kanye West and expresses regret at her decision to aid and abet him, will feature in the final ever episode of KUWTK.
E! have admitted that Kim is ''overcome with regret and self-doubt,'' saying that she ''feels responsible and remorseful.''
In the upcoming interview Kim shocked producers by saying ''I didn't even know what we did was against Paris law. I just want to rewind my life. I'm not interested in any insurance money now, so people need to get over saying this is illegal.''
Kardashian clan on lockdown as E! announce they have halted production of the show
Kim initially approached producers and informed them she had something to get off her chest and that they needed to film her. As the cameras were rolling and the confession played out, producers were shocked to hear what Kim and Kanye had done.
When the interview was over, Kim said that she felt relieved and that a big weight had been lifted off her shoulders. She told producers that she thought it would be ''great PR for the show.''
A senior producer, realizing the seriousness of Kim's confession, made her sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and then executives at E! were shown the footage.
Executives consulted with lawyers and then immediately cancelled the show. They will air the episodes of the new season that have already been filmed, and Kim's confession will feature in the final episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
Kim has canceled all her scheduled appearances since the announcement, and there has been radio silence from all her social media accounts. The signed NDA prevents Kim from discussing her confession until it is aired in the final episode.
The Kardashians and the Wests have built a wall of silence around the Paris robbery investigation, ignoring calls from police to assist in their investigation and threatening a diplomatic incident between the United States and France.
Mother and manager Kris Jenner is desperate to keep the family and business together. In an attempt to misdirect away from the scandal, Kris has reportedly enlisted the assistance of celebrity psychic Tyler Henry to uncover the perpetrators behind the Paris crime.
Kris enlists the assistance of celebrity psychic Tyler Henry to uncover the perpetrators behind the Paris robbery.
Kanye, who has stopped asking for public donations to help him clear his debt, has even declined the proceeds of a gofundme.com fundraising effort without giving any reason for the sudden about face.
E! have confirmed that Kanye ''would like their lives to go back to normal'' and that he would even ''like to replace Kim's multi-million dollar ring.'' Fans are confused why Kanye was asking for money just weeks ago, and now, straight after the robbery, is boasting about buying tens of millions of dollars worth of new jewelry.
Baxter DmitryPassionate about motor sports, military history and the truth, Baxter has travelled in over 80 countries and won arguments in every single one.
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War on Men
Lawsuit: Yahoo CEO tried to get rid of male employees
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 10:56
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer led a secret campaign to purge the company of male employees, according to a lawsuit filed in San Jose District Court this week.
Scott Ard, a media executive who worked for Yahoo for about three and a half years until he was fired in January 2015, alleged in the lawsuit that "Mayer encouraged and fostered the use of [an employee performance-rating system] to accommodate management's subjective biases and personal opinions, to the detriment of Yahoo's male employees."
Yahoo spokesperson Carolyn Clark told CNBC on Friday the lawsuit has no merit, saying, "fairness is a guiding principal of [the company's] annual review and reward process."
"With the unwavering support of our CEO we are focused on hiring employees with broad and varied backgrounds, and perspectives," she said. "As we have stated in the past, the quarterly performance review process is not only fair, but has improved our overall performance."
The complaint said quarterly performance reviews were implemented by Mayer in August 2012, shortly after becoming president and CEO of the company. Managers would assign each of their employees a quarterly rating on a scale of zero to five points, based on their performance.
The lawsuit argued that during a second step of the review process, called "calibration," higher-level management would modify employee ratings, despite having little to no actual contact with the employee. The suit further alleged that employees were never told their actual numeric rating, or how it had been determined.
Two other executives, Kathy Savitt, Yahoo's chief marketing officer at the time, and Megan Liberman, current editor-in-chief of Yahoo News (identified as vice president of news for Yahoo at the time), are mentioned in the lawsuit.
Ard alleged that 14 of the 16 senior-level editorial employees hired or promoted by Savitt in about an 18-month period were female. He also alleged Savitt has publicly expressed support for increasing the number of women in media and has intentionally hired and promoted women, while firing and demoting men because of their gender.
The suit also alleged that in November 2014, Liberman applied the review process and subsequently terminated another employee, Gregory Anderson, while he was on approved leave for the prestigious Knight-Wallace fellowship at the University of Michigan. Anderson reported directly to Ard at the time, but Liberman only allegedly shared her termination plan with him right before she carried it out.
Anderson filed a lawsuit against Yahoo in February 2016, alleging he was fired because of his gender. His attorney, Jon Parsons, declined to comment.
Parsons also represents Ard, making this the second case he has filed against Yahoo alleging anti-male discrimination.
NA-Tech News
CMU website, others targeted by hackers to toy with Google search results | TribLIVE Mobile
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 10:55
Updated 20 hours ago
Carnegie Mellon University's website was hacked.
But it wasn't an attack intended to take the university offline or one aimed at stealing personal information.
Instead, the hackers slipped a single word, ''machine,'' into a page about the executive director of CMU's Australia campus and linked the word to an online casino site, according to an investigation by eTraffic, an Israeli web marketing company that discovered the hack last month.
That link, and dozens like it on college and government sites, helped the casino website '-- mobileslotcash[dot]com '-- shoot to the top of Google's search results, likely driving traffic to the site and potentially bringing in $80 per click.
It was a classic ''black hat'' search engine optimization (SEO) tactic, experts told the Tribune-Review. It's the shady side of Internet marketing, in which some groups break the rules and sometimes resort to hacking to rank near the top of search engine results.
''We felt that applying this kind of SEO strategy is aiming a bit too low,'' eTraffic wrote in a report on its investigation. ''There's no other way to put it '-- this is just wrong.''
The hack targeted CMU and more than 70 other university, college and government websites, all ending in .edu or .gov. ETraffic said the hackers took advantage of the ''last online resort free of exactly these kinds of manipulations.''
The phrase ''online slot machines for real money'' and a link appeared in a Stanford University page about how to build a website. ''Online casino games real money no deposit'' appeared on a website for the city of Reading, which was intended to give step-by-step directions to access government services. Boston University's library page for The North American Fichte Society, a site for scholars devoted to the study of German philosopher J.G. Fichte, had the words ''real money mobile slots'' on it.
Links from these types of sites are prized in the SEO world. They can add credibility and legitimacy to sites Google scans, causing the search engine to list it higher in results.
The renegade words and links have since been removed from many of the affected websites. The casino website has since disappeared from Google search results. Google likely learned about its SEO trickery and banned it, experts said.
In a statement to the Tribune-Review, Google declined to comment on specifics.
''Our webmaster guidelines are designed to protect users, and when a site violates them, we reserve the right to take action to preserve a good user experience. This helps ensure that in the long run people can find the best possible search results on Google, and website owners can compete on a level playing field for traffic,'' Google wrote.
CMU declined to comment on the hack. Other universities, colleges and governments contacted for the story did not comment.
Little is known about the casino site behind the links. Mobileslotcash[dot]com claims to have information and links to online casinos. The site's editors make casino ratings once a month to ''give a complete picture of what online casinos are worth your attention, so that you can try your luck in them,'' according to the site.
The site is registered in the Czech Republic. When asked for comment via email, mobileslotcash[dot]com directed the Tribune-Review to fill out a form used to report abuses by the site. No one responded.
Guy Regev, CEO of eTraffic, told the Trib his company has detected black hat SEO tactics before but not on such an aggressive level.
ETraffic reached out to the affected sites through Twitter but saw little reason for concern.
''The perpetrators got what they wanted '-- a link from high-trust sites. My intuition says that's all there is there,'' Regev said. ''The main takeaway is that there is a lot of money in search, probably too much, and people will go to insane lengths to get their hands on some of it.''
Vanitha Swaminathan, a marketing and business economics professor at University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, said black hat tactics can produce significant short-term results. But if Google or others find out, they can ban websites from their searches, costing companies dearly.
Large, reputable companies such as BMW, Toys R Us and J.C. Penney have all inadvertently hired a search engine consulting firm that used black hat tactics to inflate their search ranks.
''But, when they were found out, their rankings dropped so significantly, it cost the company a great deal by way of lost sales,'' Swaminathan said. ''Be aware of the risks of using black hat SEO '-- when you get found out, the search engine can make you regret you ever did it.''
Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7986 or aaupperlee@tribweb.com.
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO-US officially blames Russia for political hacking attempts
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 11:16
Alexei Nikolsky | AFP | Getty Images
President Barack Obama (R) meets his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (L) in Los Cabos, Mexico, on June 18, 2012.
Putin denied the allegations despite U.S. officials and cybersecurity experts pointing to evidence that Russia was behind the security breach that resulted in the release of thousands of emails.
While this activity is "not new to Moscow," the U.S. intelligence community and Department of Homeland Security said it would be "extremely difficult" for hackers to actually "alter ballot counts or election results," because of the "decentralized nature" of the U.S. election system and the "number of protections state and local election officials have in place."
The Department of Homeland Security, however, urged election officials to remain vigilant and ask for cybersecurity assistance if needed.
Despite earlier reports that Russia was behind the hack attempts, some have expressed skepticism. For one, Donald Trump seemed to question those conclusions in the first presidential debate.
"I don't know if we know it was Russia who broke into the DNC," the Republican presidential candidate said when the first presidential debate turned to the topic of cybersecurity. "She keeps saying 'Russia, Russia, Russia,' and maybe it was. It could be Russia but it could be China, could also be lots of other people. It could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds."
Tensions between the United States and Russia have been high since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014. And in more recent months, representatives for President Barack Obama and Putin have struggled to coordinate efforts in Syria, resulting in increased tensions.
In September, Secretary of State John Kerry announced an agreement with Russia in an attempt to implement a nationwide cease-fire in the war-torn country. Kerry, at the time, called the deal a potential "turning point" in the Syrian conflict.
But the State Department said Monday that Russia did not hold up its end of an agreement. The Kremlin has similarly blamed the U.S. for the collapse of the deal and strongly cautioned the U.S. against carrying out attacks on Syrian government forces.
'-- NBC News' Bob Windrem, Kelly O'Donnell, Tracy Snyder and Alexey Eremenko contributed to this report.
VIDEO-CONFIRMED: U.S. backs down over Syria after Russian threat to shoot down American aircraft
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 11:03
Following Russian warning of American aircraft being shot down, White House spokesman confirms plan for U.S. air strikes on Syria has been rejected.
Following yesterday's Russian warning that Russia stood ready to shoot down US aircraft or missiles attacking Syria, the US has confirmed all plans for military action against Syria have been dropped.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed this speaking to reporters on Thursday 6th October 2016.
''The president has discussed in some details why military action against the Assad regime to try to address the situation in Aleppo is unlikely to accomplish the goals that many envisioned now in terms of reducing the violence there. It is much more likely to lead to a bunch of unintended consequences that are clearly not in our national interest.''
The US will never admit that it was the Russian warning that deterred it from carrying out air and missile strikes, and it is still pretending that the option of military strikes is still on the table. In Josh Earnest's words
''I'm not going to take any options off the table. I am not going to be in a position [we're] taking options off the table for the commander-in-chief.''
However these are face-saving words.
Military strikes against Syria would have happened long ago had it not been for the strong opposition of Russia. The fact the Russian military is now physically present in Syria with advanced surface to air missiles and is warning that it stands ready to shoot US aircraft down if the lives of Russian personnel are put in danger has taken the idea of US military strikes off the table.
I would add that these warnings would have been given by the Russians to the US in private before they were made public yesterday.
It is because the military option no longer exists that the US has been obliged to return to diplomacy.
I do not expect this to change whoever is elected President in November.
VIDEO-Conflict Zone - Guest: Pavlo Klimkin, Ukrainian Foreign Minister | All media content | DW.COM | 05.10.2016
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 10:52
Conflict Zone"Security should be there and Russia should be out, in order to get Donbas back into Ukraine," the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told Tim Sebastian on Conflict Zone.
google+TumblrVZXingdel.icio.usNewsvineDiggWatch video26:03
VIDEO-President Obama says, "Gotta have them ribs and p*ssy too!" - YouTube
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 10:48
VIDEO-GOP Lawmakers Withdraw Support for Trump Over Lewd Video
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 10:25
GOP Lawmakers Withdraw Support for Trump Over Lewd Video10/8/2016 2:45PM
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VIDEO-On GPS: The dangerous state of U.S.-Russian relations - CNN Video
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 04:21
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Source: CNNStories worth watching (12 Videos)On GPS: The dangerous state of U.S.-Russian relationsFareed Zakaria, GPS
The Nation's Stephen Cohen on why the U.S. is on the brink of a conflict with Russia that will be far more dangerous than the preceding Cold War.
Source: CNN
VIDEO-CNN Has 15 Year Old Girl Responding To Donald Trump "Grab Them By The Pussy" Tape - YouTube
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 03:26
VIDEO-Shepard Smith to Florida woman: Do you expect us to cover your funeral? - YouTube
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 03:25
VIDEO-If You Don't Listen to Shepard Smith, You Will Die | SUPERcuts! #373 - YouTube
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 03:24
VIDEO-Continetti On Clinton's Wall Street Speeches: Goes to the Heart of the Untrustworthiness Problem - YouTube
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 03:22
VIDEO-Robert De Niro Goes OFF on Donald Trump!
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 03:16
Donald Trump definitely won't be getting Robert De Niro's vote in the upcoming Presidential election.
The actor released a video to convince others not to vote for Trump either, but instead of sticking to politics, De Niro went OFF and shaded TF out of Trump!
A list of De Niro's words he used to describe the Presidential candidate include: a punk, a dog, a mutt, a fool and a bozo. Damn, Robert. Tell us how you really feel!
Peep the video.
VIDEO-Must Watch Rant From Judge Jeanine | The Deplorable Climate Science Blog
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 03:03
VIDEO-'You're a rapist!': Protesters Taunt Bill Clinton at Milwaukee Rally >> Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 02:45
Former President Bill Clinton was heckled Saturday during an early voting event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by protesters shouting, ''Bill Clinton is a rapist!''
(Incident occurs around 21:00. See it on Facebook here.)
In the middle of discussing Trump's position on global warming, the former Commander-in-Chief was notably jarred when interrupted by two persons, one of whom is holding a Bill Clinton Rape poster.
''No one can dispute the fact,'' Clinton starts his sentence.
''That you're a rapist!'' a person in the audience shouts, followed by another yelling, ''Bill Clinton is a rapist!''
This is the second time in three days Clinton has been heckled during a speech at a rally for his wife, Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Earlier this week, the former president was also interrupted during a campaign rally in Canton, Ohio, by a woman shouting, ''Bill Clinton is a rapist,'' while she held a display bearing the same message.
The patriots' brave efforts to expose the Clintons are inspired by Infowars' promotion highlighting the former president's numerous rape accusations.
Infowars is paying out up to $5000 for anyone that can get the ''Rape'' shirt seen on local or national TV for five seconds, and/or can be heard saying, ''Bill Clinton is a rapist.''
Read the rules here and join the movement!
See the rest of the videos below.
Entries can be emailed to rape@infowars.com.
Pick up your Bill Clinton Rape shirt by clicking the image below:
While former President Clinton has a well-documented history of being accused of rape, Democrats are now trying to make Donald Trump out to be a rapist. Alex Jones has more:
VIDEO-ABC Censors 'Embarrassing' Leaks of Hillary Clinton Speeches | MRCTV
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 02:41
ABC's morning and evening newscasts, as of the morning of 8 October 2016, have yet to report on the 7 October 2016 release of purported excerpts from some of Hillary Clinton's speeches to corporate audiences. The same programs on the evening of 7 October 2016 and the morning of 8 October 2016. hyped the vulgar Donald Trump audio from 2005. By contrast, the 7 October 2016 of CBS Evening News mentioned how the website Wikileaks "published...some embarrassing excerpts from her [Clinton's] paid Wall Street speeches." The 8 October 2016 edition of NBC's Today and CBS This Morning Saturday also aired full reports on the potentially-problematic revelations for the Democratic nominee," as the latter newscast put it.
VIDEO-McCain Called His Wife C-Word
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 02:36
No you silly hobos, it wasn't ''runt''! We all know how angry John ''McNasty'' McCain is, and since he only married Cougar Cindy for her beer money and firm bum bum, they would obviously have a dysfunctional relationship. According to Cliff Schecter's new book, The Real McCain, this one time in 1992, he went all ''Hanoi'' on her and called her a cunt. That is what he called her.
Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain's intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, ''You're getting a little thin up there.'' McCain's face reddened, and he responded, ''At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt.'' McCain's excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.
That strumpet, always being playful about his age! But yeah for real he can't be president.
Book: McCain temper boiled over in '92 tirade, called wife a 'cunt' [Raw Story]
VIDEO-Obamacare architect blames premium hikes on Marco Rubio and Republicans - YouTube
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 02:20
VIDEO-Huckabee: Clinton's House is Not The One You Want to Trick-or-Treat At - YouTube
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 02:17
VIDEO-Obamacare Architect, Fox Host Have Testy Exchange Over Law's Problems - YouTube
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 02:10
VIDEO-Clinton called for 'open trade and open borders' in private, paid speeches | Fox News
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 15:21
WASHINGTON '' Hillary Clinton told bankers behind closed doors that she favored "open trade and open borders" and said Wall Street executives were best-positioned to help reform the U.S. financial sector, according to transcripts of her private, paid speeches leaked Friday.
The leaks were the result of another email hacking intended to influence the presidential election.
Excerpts of the speeches given in the years before her 2016 presidential campaign included some blunt and unguarded remarks to her private audiences, which collectively had paid her at least $26.1 million in speaking fees. Clinton had refused to release transcripts of the speeches, despite repeated calls to do so by her primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The excerpts were included in emails exchanged among her political staff, including Campaign Chairman John Podesta, whose email account was hacked. The WikiLeaks organization posted what it said were thousands of Podesta's emails. It wasn't immediately clear who had hacked Podesta's emails, though the breach appeared to cover years of messages, some sent as recently as last month.
Among the emails was a compilation of excerpts from Clinton's paid speeches in 2013 and 2014. It appeared campaign staff had read all Clinton's speeches and identified passages that could be potentially problematic for the candidate if they were to become public.
One excerpt put Clinton squarely in the free-trade camp, a position she has retreated on significantly during the 2016 election. In a talk to a Brazilian bank in 2013, she said her "dream" is "a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders" and asked her audience to think of what doubling American trade with Latin America "would mean for everybody in this room."
Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, has made opposition to trade deals a cornerstone of his campaign.
Podesta posted a series of tweets Friday night, calling the disclosures a Russian hack and raising questions about whether some of the documents could have been altered.
"I'm not happy about being hacked by the Russians in their quest to throw the election to Donald Trump," Podesta wrote. "Don't have time to figure out which docs are real and which are faked."
Podesta's comments came just hours after U.S. officials publicly accused the Russian government of directing cyberattacks on political organizations and American citizens in an attempt to interfere with U.S. elections.
The joint statement from the office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Homeland Security Department cited disclosures of "alleged hacked emails" on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks as being "consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts."
The statement didn't refer by name to the affected political institutions, but federal authorities are investigating cyberattacks on the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement, "It's not hard to see why she fought so hard to keep her transcripts of speeches to Wall Street banks paying her millions of dollars secret."
The emails released Friday included exchanges between Podesta and other Clinton insiders, including campaign manager Robby Mook. Most were routine, including drafts of Clinton speeches, suggested talking points for campaign surrogates and suggested tweets to be sent out from Clinton's account.
The excerpts include quotes from an October 2013 speech at an event sponsored by Goldman Sachs, in which Clinton conceded that presidential candidates need the financial backing of Wall Street to mount a competitive national campaign.
"Running for office in our country takes a lot of money, and candidates have to go out and raise it," Clinton said. "New York is probably the leading site for contributions for fundraising for candidates on both sides of the aisle, and it's also our economic center. And there are a lot of people here who should ask some tough questions before handing over campaign contributions to people who were really playing chicken with our whole economy."
In the same speech, Clinton was also deferential to the New York finance industry, exhorting wealthy donors to use their political clout for patriotic rather than personal benefit. She also spoke of the need to include Wall Street perspectives in financial reform.
"The people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry," Clinton said.
In an April 2013 speech to the National Multifamily Housing Council, Clinton said politicians must balance "both a public and a private position" while making deals. Clinton gave an example from the movie "Lincoln," and the deal-making that went into passage of the 13th Amendment, a process she compared to sausage-making.
"It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be," Clinton said. "But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position."
Clinton's speeches often touched on technology and privacy. In an April 2014 speech to JPMorgan, she denounced National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden for going abroad, saying, "if he really cared about raising some of these issues and stayed right here in the United States, there's a lot of whistleblower protections."
But she told her audience that her time in the public eye left her sympathetic to privacy concerns.
"As somebody who has had my privacy scrutinized and violated for decades, I'm all for privacy, believe me," she said.
Speaking on international affairs, Clinton's comments were largely in line with her positions as secretary of state, if sometimes more blunt.
"The Saudis have exported more extreme ideology than any other place on Earth over the course of the last 30 years," she told the Jewish United Fund at a 2013 dinner.
The speech transcripts were produced under an agreement Clinton routinely imposed on any organization that hired her to speak. The contracts, such as ones crafted by the Harry Walker Agency, required the organizations to hire, at their own expense, a stenographer who would provide the transcripts to Clinton and not keep copies for themselves.
In some cases, the contracts themselves were obtained by news organizations under public records laws because Clinton was being paid to speak by public universities or colleges.
VIDEO-Kim Kardashian Is Still Really Freaked Out by Paris Robbery, Shocked Thieves Haven't Been Caught on Kardashians | E! News
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 15:16
Kim Kardashian West is trying to move past her robbery in Paris, turning to her friends and family for support.
Although she has been staying with Kanye West in New York City, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star has made sure to keep in touch with those closest to her, E! News has learned. Kim has been sending texts and emails to her inner circle, assuring them that she's "doing OK" despite being "shaken up" by the experience.
"I emailed her and she emailed right back thanking me for checking up on her," a source close to Kim tells E! News. "I swear she must have spent hours responding to all the people who were concerned about her."
The source also tells us that Kim is telling everyone she's on the mend.
"[Kim] says she doing OK, but that the whole thing really freaked her out. She's just relieved that Kanye and the kids are OK," the source adds. "That's what she's concerned about'--their safety."
Given Kim's level of fame and the items stolen, friends of the star are baffled as to how the thieves have yet to be caught. "Kim is shocked, we are all shocked," the friend adds. "She is the most documented woman in the world right now and the fact that they were able to pull this off and get away with it without getting caught is really scary!"
In addition to feeling shaken up, Kim also has had to deal with the aftermath of those who are questioning the validity of the incident. "It's crazy to her that people, even for a second, think she is fabricating this story," another source close to the star told E! News, adding that right now, "She feels like no one understands her and what she been through."
"Kim is surrounded by her friends and family now. She is really upset and is going to speak to a therapist in deeper lengths about this," the insider added.
VIDEO-CNN Panel Devolves Into Shouting Match About 'Pussy' | Huffington Post
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 14:44
WASHINGTON '• Well? What's left to do in this presidential campaign except shout about women's hoohas?
Ana Navarro, a Republican CNN contributor, went ahead and took care of that early Saturday. Hours after a bombshell video surfaced of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump making lewd comments about women '• he talked about grabbing women ''by the pussy,'' among other things '• Navarro tore into Republicans still standing by him.
''I think that every single Republican is going to have to answer the question, 'What did you do the day you saw the tape of this man boasting about grabbing a woman's pussy?''' Navarro said angrily. ''Period.''
That was too much raunch for fellow panelist Scottie Nell Hughes, a Trump surrogate, who chided Navarro for using the ''p'' word.
''Will you please stop saying that word?'' Hughes said. ''My daughter is listening.''
That did NOT go over well with Navarro.
''You know what Scottie? Don't tell me you're offended when I say 'pussy,' but you're not offended when Donald Trump says it!'' Navarro shouted at Hughes. ''I'm not running for president. He is.''
Hughes tried to interject, but Navarro kept going.
''Don't act outraged and offended when I say the word that you're not offended by the man who you are supporting for president is saying,'' Navarro continued. ''That is absurd.''
''I said I was offended by him saying that too,'' Hughes said quietly.
Here's a video of their exchange:
The show had to go to commercial break, but not before Navarro ended the segment with an agitated, ''Mmmm.'' When the show came back, she was missing from the panel.
She tweeted soon after that she was going to bed.
The best thing that came from the segment may be this Vine video of panelists' reactions to Navarro's tirade. It doesn't get old.
VIDEO-Loretta Lynch Just Got Forced To Admit Why She Really Let Hillary Go | The Proud Conservative
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 14:10
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Loretta Lynch appeared before the House Judiciary Committee and got absolutely raked over the coals while avoiding questions that would incriminate Hillary Clinton an expose her own bias, but her stock answer to almost everything was that she couldn't or wouldn't comment.
However, that didn't stop numerous Congressmen from embarrassing her in front of the entire nation by asking questions that backed her into a very uncomfortable corner. It's blatantly obvious that Loretta Lynch is lying to the America people.
Here is what one Texas Congressman had to say'...From Breitbart:
''That shadow which you cast on the Department of Justice just got a whole lot bigger,'' said Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas).
In one of the emotional high points of the more than four hours of back-and-forth between the congressmen and President Barack Obama's second attorney general came when Ratcliffe challenged Lynch to pledge that she would not accept another hitch as attorney general if Hillary Clinton is elected president. After Lynch met privately with President Bill Clinton on her plane in Phoenix, there were media reports that the Clinton campaign would welcome Lynch joining the former first lady's cabinet.
''Because if you're not willing to rule out future employment in the Hillary Clintonadministration, what that means is the American people have every right to wonder whether or not you looked at this through a fair and impartial lens,'' the congressman said. Clinton is the expected Democratic nominee for president.
''Because your answer tells the American people that after the FBI Director told you that Ms. Clinton had been extremely careless with at least 110 emails marked as top secret, secret or classified and may have jeopardized the lives of actual Americans, and told you that she made numerous false public statements about sending, receiving or turning over classified materials, you might want to apply for a job with her?'' he said.
This video of the EPIC takedown is a MUST SEE!Trey Gowdy also made her look like a complete fool'....Each Congressmen went down the line unloading on Lynch'...SHARE this on Facebook below'...America deserves to know!
VIDEO-WikiLeaks CONFIRMS Hillary Sold Weapons to ISIS'... Then Drops Another BOMBSHELL! | EndingFed News Network
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 12:33
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is a controversial character. But there's no denying the emails he has picked up from inside the Democrat Party are real, and he's willing to expose Hillary Clinton.
Now, he's announcing that Hillary Clinton and her State Department was actively arming Islamic jihadists, which includes the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
Clinton as repeatedly denied these claims, including during multiple statements while under oath in front of the United States Senate.
WikiLeaks is about to prove Hillary Clinton deserves to be arrested:
The Reagan administration officials hoped to secure the release of several U.S. hostages, and then take proceeds from the arms sales to Iran, to fund the Contras in Nicaragua.
Sounds familiar?
In Obama's second term, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton authorized the shipment of American-made arms to Qatar, a country beholden to the Muslim Brotherhood, and friendly to the Libyan rebels, in an effort to topple the Libyan/Gaddafi government, and then ship those arms to Syria in order to fund Al Qaeda, and topple Assad in Syria.
Clinton took the lead role in organizing the so-called ''Friends of Syria'' (aka Al Qaeda/ISIS) to back the CIA-led insurgency for regime change in Syria.
Under oath Hillary Clinton denied she knew about the weapons shipments during public testimony in early 2013 after the Benghazi terrorist attack.
In an interview with Democracy Now, Wikileaks' Julian Assange is now stating that 1,700 emails contained in the Clinton cache directly connect Hillary to Libya to Syria, and directly to Al Qaeda and ISIS.
via The Duran
Here is the incredible transcript:
JUAN GONZLEZ: Julian, I want to mention something else. In March, you launched a searchable archive for over 30,000 emails and email attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton's private email server while she was secretary of state. The 50,547 pages of documents span the time from June 2010 to August 2014; 7,500 of the documents were sent by Hillary Clinton herself. The emails were made available in the form of thousands of PDFs by the U.S. State Department as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request. Why did you do this, and what's the importance, from your perspective, of being able to create a searchable base?
JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, WikiLeaks has become the rebel library of Alexandria. It is the single most significant collection of information that doesn't exist elsewhere, in a searchable, accessible, citable form, about how modern institutions actually behave. And it's gone on to set people free from prison, where documents have been used in their court cases; hold the CIA accountable for renditions programs; feed into election cycles, which have resulted in the termination of, in some case'--or contributed to the termination of governments, in some cases, taken the heads of intelligence agencies, ministers of defense and so on. So, you know, our civilizations can only be as good as our knowledge of what our civilisation is. We can't possibly hope to reform that which we do not understand.
So, those Hillary Clinton emails, they connect together with the cables that we have published of Hillary Clinton, creating a rich picture of how Hillary Clinton performs in office, but, more broadly, how the U.S. Department of State operates. So, for example, the disastrous, absolutely disastrous intervention in Libya, the destruction of the Gaddafi government, which led to the occupation of ISIS of large segments of that country, weapons flows going over to Syria, being pushed by Hillary Clinton, into jihadists within Syria, including ISIS, that's there in those emails. There's more than 1,700 emails in Hillary Clinton's collection, that we have released, just about Libya alone.
It appears that Hillary Clinton committed perjury, just like her husband was caught doing as President.
This is a breaking news story. We will update this as more details become available.
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VIDEO-FBI director: Hackers 'poking around' voter systems - CNNPolitics.com
Sat, 08 Oct 2016 12:31
Earlier Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey spoke of additional attempted hacks at a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, but did not specify a number.
"There have been a variety of scanning activities which is a preamble for potential intrusion activities as well as some attempted intrusions at voter database registrations beyond those we knew about in July and August. We are urging the states just to make sure that their deadbolts are thrown and their locks are on and to get the best information they can from DHS just to make sure their systems are secure," he said.
The FBI director is telling states to make sure they are on top of their voter registration systems, saying would-be hackers are "poking around."
Comey said while there haven't been any additional successful hacks, there have been scans and attempts that indicate "bad actors" are trying to see where they can get in, in response to questions about a warning the FBI sent to states in June, and two successful intrusions into voter registration databases in Illinois and Arizona.
In no cases was information changed, nor were any actual voting systems at risk. Comey reiterated to Congress that those actual voting systems are not connected to the Internet and are decentralized, making broad hacking of the election nearly impossible.
Hacking attempts are also not a cause for panic. Voting registration databases have always been appealing targets for hackers, who can use personal information for financial crime. This cycle, there is a concern that Russian government-linked hackers are also looking to sow distrust in the US election system as a way to undermine Western power.
Without commenting on Russia's specific activity, Comey said the takeaway is for states to make sure they are secure.
"We are urging the states just to make sure that their deadbolts are thrown and their locks are on and to get the best information they can from (the Department of Homeland Security) just to make sure their systems are secure," Comey said. "Because there's no doubt that some bad actors have been poking around."
On Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said 18 states have requested cyberassistance from his department for voting systems.CNN's Pamela Brown contributed to this report.
VIDEO-NOFX - "Oxy Moronic" (Official Music Video) - YouTube
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 23:58
VIDEO-Haitian Ambassador Seems Concerned About Relief - vidme
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 19:50
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VIDEO-Tech billionaires convinced we live in the Matrix are secretly funding scientists to help break us out of it | The Independent
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 19:49
Some of the world's richest and most powerful people are convinced that we are living in a computer simulation. And now they're trying to do something about it.
At least two of Silicon Valley's tech billionaires are pouring money into efforts to break humans out of the simulation that they believe that it is living in, according to a new report.
Philosophers have long been concerned about how we can know that our world isn't just a very believable simulation of a real one. But concern about that has become ever more active in recent years, as computers and artificial intelligence have advanced.
Elon Musk - The chance that we are not living in a computer simulation is 'one in billions'
That has led some tech billionaires to speculate that the chances we are not living in such a simulation is ''billions to one''. Even Bank of America analysts wrote last month that the chances we are living in a Matrix-style fictional world is as high as 50 per cent.
And now at least two billionaires are funding scientists in an effort to try and break us out of that simulation. It isn't clear what form that work is taking.
''Many people in Silicon Valley have become obsessed with the simulation hypothesis, the argument that what we experience as reality is in fact fabricated in a computer,'' writes The New Yorker's Tad Friend. ''Two tech billionaires have gone so far as to secretly engage scientists to work on breaking us out of the simulation.''
The detail came from a New Yorker profile of Sam Altman, who runs Y Combinator which helps develop tech companies.
Mr Friend didn't indicate whether Mr Altman was one of those two, or who those people might be. A number of prominent tech billionaires have discussed the idea of the simulation '' including Elon Musk, who has used his fortune to fund potentially odd efforts in the past.
Mr Musk spoke earlier this year about the fact that he believes that the chance that we are not living in a computer simulation is ''one in billions''. He said that he had come to that conclusion after a chat in a hot tub, where it was pointed out that computing technology has advanced so quickly that at some point in the future it will become indistinguishable from real life '' and, if it does, there's no reason to think that it hasn't done already and that that's what we are currently living through.
If we aren't actually living through a simulation, Mr Musk said, then all human life is probably about to come to an end and so we should hope that we are living in one. ''Otherwise, if civilisation stops advancing, then that may be due to some calamitous event that stops civilisation,'' he said at the Recode conference.
Mr Altman seemed to echo that fear and told the New Yorker that he was concerned about the way that the devices that surround us might lead to the extinction of all consciousness in the universe. He spoke about how the best scenario for dealing with that is a ''merge'' '' when our brains and computers become one, perhaps by having our brains uploaded into the cloud.
''These phones already control us,'' he said. ''The merge has begun '' and a merge is our best scenario. Any version without a merge will have conflict: we enslave the A.I. or it enslaves us.
''The full-on-crazy version of the merge is we get our brains uploaded into the cloud. I'd love that. We need to level up humans, because our descendants will either conquer the galaxy or extinguish consciousness in the universe forever. What a time to be alive!''
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VIDEO-A Smiling Fox News Anchor Said A Hurricane Will Kill Everyone And Their Children
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 18:31
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2. Smith advised the people of Florida that if the hurricane veers a bit more inland there could be major damage and lives lost.Fox News
4. HOLD UP. Did Shepard Smith just tell me my kids were going to die? And did he seem kind of'...HAPPY ABOUT IT?Comedy Central
11. RIP us and RIP Shepard Smith.Fox News
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VIDEO-Tim Kaine Interrupted By A Protester Yelling Bill Clinton Is A Rapist - YouTube
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 18:20
VIDEO-Cops hunt Putin fans who hung 40-foot banner on Manhattan Bridge - NY Daily News
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 04:09
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, October 8, 2016, 9:45 AM
Vladimir Putin has two No. 1 fans '-- and cops want to see them in cuffs.
Two men were responsible for lugging the 20-foot wide banner of the Kremlin strongman that was unfurled over the side of the Manhattan Bridge Thursday, sparking an internet firestorm over Donald Trump's BFF, police sources said Friday.
Surveillance cameras on the East River span showed the duo lugging the massive rolled-up banner of the Russian president with the words ''peacemaker'' on the bottom on the bridge's outer bicycle path at about 1:20 p.m., according to cops.
They hung the 40-foot-long banner from a small gap between the safety fence and the railing, police sources said.
Banner of Vladimir Putin appears on Manhattan Bridge
The installation took about 30 minutes to complete, officials estimated.
As they set up, a bicyclist called 911 reporting what was going on, but by the time cops arrived, the suspects had unfurled their message and run off. They were still being sought Friday, cops said.
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