911: Opinews

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 57m
March 12th, 2017
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Executive Producers: Sir Dwayne Melancon Grand Duke of the Pacific NW, Sir Tyler Oglesby Paladin of the Permian, Sir Simon of Jefferson, Matt W,

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Nick of the SouthSide, Sir Mark Borghese, John Overall, Nathan Hodge

Cover Artist: Cesium137

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COPYRIGHTS
TRUMP ABC DISNEY RIFT-We'll Probably Never Free Mickey, But That's Beside the Point | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Fri, 10 Mar 2017 06:04
In a mere 24 months, Mickey Mouse will enter the public domain'--right?
Wrong.
Mickey Mouse is synonymous with copyright term extension, and with good reason. Every time the first Mickey cartoons creep towards the public domain, Disney's powerful lobbyists spring into action, lobbying Congress for a retrospective term-extension on copyright, which means that works that have already been created are awarded longer copyright terms. In the USA, copyright law is supposed to serve an incentive to make new works, and there's no sensible way that getting a longer copyright on something you've already made can provide an incentive to do anything except lobby for more copyright, and sue people who want to make something new out of your creation.
Nevertheless, in 1976 and 1998, the US Congress gave Disney'--and everyone else, including the overwhelming majority of absentee proprietors who didn't know or care about any of this'--decades of extra copyright on works that already existed. This state of affairs has been lamented at enormous length by people smarter than me, so let's just say that economists, cultural theorists, and copyright scholars are virtually unanimous in viewing retrospective copyright term extension as both absurd and tragic.
In 2018, the copyright on those early Mickey cartoons will end (if Congress doesn't repeat the sins of '76 and '98, that is'--and you can bet we'll be pulling out all the stops to prevent that). What happens then?
Almost nothing, if Disney and friends get their way.
Those Mickey cartoons are almost certainly in the public domain anyway. In the late 1920s, copyright wasn't automatic: rightsholders had to undertake certain "formalities"'--registering with the Copyright Office and displaying correctly formatted notices'--and then renew those formalities periodically. Scholars who've looked into the matter make a very good case that the early Disney organization flubbed its registration, notice and renewal, and there are probably cartoons that are in the public domain today.
Which is not to say that Disney wouldn't sue you if you tried to remix them, upload them to the Internet Archive, or sell them in on a compilation DVD of other public domain cartoons from the period. They almost certainly would, and it would cost you an unthinkable sum of money to defend yourself. Emerging victorious but impoverished, you would have won a small victory.
But at that point, we expect that Disney will try to use another body of law to suppress creativity and commerce involving Mickey Mouse, whether or not "Steamboat Willie" and "Plane Crazy" are in the public domain: trademark law. If you sell something Mickeyish'--including its public domain cartoons'--Disney might ask a court to stop you because people who buy thecartoons from you may think they're buying from Disney. Back to court with you!
Disney would be wrong, according to current law. The Supreme Court ruled in 2003's Dastar v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. that you can't use trademark law to extend an expired copyright. But we suspect that with the copyrights on many iconic films and characters poised to expire, Disney and friends will try to get Dastar overruled or at least undermined.
If you want to make a new Mickey Mouse thing, you might be better off arguing fair use than public domain, anyway. Fair use covers transformational use for commentary, parody, education and many other uses. If you're trying to make new Mickey stuff with the "public domain" Mickey from the 1928 cartoons, you'll have to be careful not to encroach upon the visual elements of Mickey that Walt Disney, Ub Iwerks and the other artists who worked on the shorts developed over time in other cartoons that are still under copyright. Fair use has no such constraint.
So why is Disney fighting so hard to keep these'--minor, probably public domain'--cartoons still in copyright(ish)? Because of what happens after "Steamboat Willie" enters the public domain. Have a gander at the Disney filmography. If "Steamboat Willie" unambiguously enters the public domain in 2018, then in 2027, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves joins it there. Things putter along for another decade (Pinocchio and Fantasia, 2030; Dumbo, 2031; Bambi, 2032; The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, 2039) but in 2040, we get to Cinderella and after that, it's pretty much a major feature film every year: Alice in Wonderland in 2041, then Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty... Every year, a new major movie that anyone can sell, remix, or build a ride around'--assuming they can navigate the trademark issues.
The ambiguity of overlapping trademarks and copyrights, combined with the very long duration of copyrights, and confused legal history about whether characters themselves get copyright when parts of their canon enter the public domain is a source of great mischief for many of the characters of the last century. Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain (so long as you steer clear of details introduced in some of the films, and elements of the character developed in the handful of stories published after 1923), but litigious organizations threaten people who treat Robert E Howard's Conan as if he were in the public domain, and the same goes for Buck Rogers and the HP Lovecraft canon.
"Free Mickey" is a great slogan to shorthand what's going on with term extension, but the reality is a lot messier. Disney's lobbying for term extension isn't a stiff-necked insistence that everything that Saint Walt laid his hand upon must be forever his company's stewardship: it's a long-term bid to retain control over assets they make a lot of money off of. The side effects of their self-interested pursuits are arguably a lot worse than what we lose by keeping a handful of unregarded cartoon shorts in copyright: the overwhelming mountains of orphan works for which no owner can be found, meaning all copies of them will likely disappear before their copyright lapses; and the welcoming territory for naked copyright trolling by those who would simply extract rents from the creations of the long dead.
We're taking part in Copyright Week, a series of actions and discussions supporting key principles that should guide copyright policy. Every day this week, various groups are taking on different elements of the law, and addressing what's at stake, and what we need to do to make sure that copyright promotes creativity and innovation.
(Animation and title-card from "Steamboat Willie," copyright 1928, Disney)
/SJW / BLM / LGBBTQQIAAP /
Pitzer College RA: White People Can't Wear Hoop Earrings | The Claremont Independent
Fri, 10 Mar 2017 06:40
A wall on the side of a dormitory at Pitzer College devoted to unmoderated free speech through art (colloquially named ''the free wall''), was recently painted by a group of Latino students who wrote the message, ''White Girl, take off your [hoop earrings]!!!''
When one white student expressed confusion about the message, Alegria Martinez (PZ '18) '' a Pitzer College Resident Assistant (RA) and active member of the ''Latinx Student Union'' '' responded in an email thread sent to the entire student body: ''[T]he art was created by myself and a few other WOC [women of color] after being tired and annoyed with the reoccuring [sic] theme of white women appropriating styles '... that belong to the black and brown folks who created the culture. The culture actually comes from a historical background of oppression and exclusion. The black and brown bodies who typically wear hooped earrings, (and other accessories like winged eyeliner, gold name plate necklaces, etc) are typically viewed as ghetto, and are not taken seriously by others in their daily lives. Because of this, I see our winged eyeliner, lined lips, and big hoop earrings serving as symbols [and] as an everyday act of resistance, especially here at the Claremont Colleges. Meanwhile we wonder, why should white girls be able to take part in this culture (wearing hoop earrings just being one case of it) and be seen as cute/aesthetic/ethnic. White people have actually exploited the culture and made it into fashion.''
Jacquelyn Aguilera (PZ '19), another student claiming credit for the spray-painted message, responded to the school-wide email thread, ''If you didn't create the culture as a coping mechanism for marginalization, take off those hoops, if your feminism isn't intersectional take off those hoops, if you try to wear mi cultura when the creators can no longer afford it, take off those hoops, if you are incapable of using a search engine and expect other people to educate you, take off those hoops, if you can't pronounce my name or spell it '... take off those hoops / I use ''those'' instead of ''your'' because hoops were never ''yours'' to begin with.'' Aguilera attached an image of herself and the others who spray-painted the wall exposing their own hoop earrings.
Pitzer's website states that on the free wall ''you'll find artistic representation of local and global issues that usually spark educational discussion across campus!''
Martinez and Aguilera declined the Independent's requests to elaborate on their comments.
_______________________
Photo: Elliot Dordick
Cultural AppropriationMicroaggressionPitzer College
White Men Are Denied An Identity
Sat, 11 Mar 2017 23:12
Up until the end of 2016 (known as the Current Year), young White men were denied an identity of their own. They were laughed at, ridiculed, and openly attacked for having any identity that even remotely was tied to their ethnic or racial background.
Now that the Current Year of 2016 is over, the Present Year of 2017 is here, and with it, big changes ahead.
Young White Men Were The Only Ones Denied An IdentityAll other races were not only allowed, but actively encouraged to have 'pride' in their ancestors and past history. They were told that they didn't need another type of identity; that their 'skin color' was the only identity that they needed.
As such:
An Asian could simply identify as an Asian. He could work his job, go to his all Asian church and network/socialize with all Asians. He could celebrate his homeland's holidays and eat his people's food. He didn't need to be anything else but Asian.A black was told that he should strongly identify as being black, as that is the only way non-blacks viewed him. He did not view the world in terms of individuals, but in terms of black and non-black. He didn't need to be anything else but Black.Mestizo Hispanics could also just identify as a Hispanic (or Mexican, which is basically the same as most Hispanics in the U.S. are of Mexican origin anyways). He could just eat his traditional food, go to fiestas, and go to an all Hispanic, Spanish speaking church. He didn't need to be anything else besides Hispanic (Mexican).Now, a White man, on the other hand, is told that he cannot identify as White. Eating traditional American (White) food didn't make him special, as the food is just ''everyone's'' food. Hanging out with all White people was painted as meaning the person was a racist for not having non-White friends. Celebrating American or European Christian holidays was seen as just a way to push your European Christian religion in everyone's face. Also, all the National holidays are just about repressing poor non-Whites anyways, and are inherently bad, so who cares about them. A White man is not allowed to identity as a 'White man' without being seen as a bad/evil person.
Evil Racist White Europeans choosing to spend their time with other White Europeans who are very similar to them.
Now, some identities were allowed for young White men.
Video Game Playing StonerWeekend Partier/P.U.A.HomosexualFanatic Sports FanLibertarianA 'Principled' CuckservativeGoth/Emo, Punk RockerLARPing as a HippieThese are some of the main ones, among others. Of course, if you are 'ethnic' in the U.S., you could still have some, but not too much, pride in your Irish, Danish, or Italian background (not too much German pride allowed). But, these were usually bashed in the popular culture anyways, as a 'drunk Irish', 'Nazi German, or 'Criminal Gangster Italian.'
''Deconstructing Whiteness'' Is A Tactic Used To Divide White EuropeansOne of the major parts in denying Whites an identity is the whole Cultural Marxist movement to 'Deconstruct Whiteness.' The purpose is to esoterically break down the meaning of being ''White'', in order to reduce Whiteness down to nothing but a social construct, thus something that is 'man made'. By breaking it down like this, the purpose is to make Whites feel that 'being White/European' isn't important, special, or worth anything; that it's just something society came up with; and thus not worth preserving.
If there is no such thing as a 'White Person', then there is no reason to identify or care about being a White European.
What one should notice is that this is never used for other races. There is no movement to 'deconstruct blackness', or any other race. It is only used as a weapon again White Europeans, and needs to be identified as such.
This is all a tactic of the Cultural Marxist Left to break down any and all traditions of our European Culture. If you can boil down race, specifically White Europeans, to a social construct, you can boil a whole host of things. We have seen gender treated this way.
People of European Descent are Told To Feel Shame and Guilt For Their PastOne way to control White Europeans into not identifying with where their ancestors came from is to brainwash them into feeling guilt and shame about their ancestor's past.
People of European descent are constantly told via the government schools and 'higher' education, the Corporate Media, and Hollywood that their ancestors were the cause of the greatest crimes in history, and they personally have to atone for these supposed crimes.
How many movies and T.V. shows have the White husband as the goofy, incompetent, fat idiot? Or, have the effeminate White male as the side kick to the feminist 'kick ass' woman who is in charge (usually with a black male as her partner? IE: Current Year Star Wars).
It's seen as uncool to be ''White'', and a negative in today's culture where everyone wants to identify as a victim (non-Whites, women, homosexuals, etc).
After being constantly told how horrible and boring it is to 'only' be "White (European)", what else would you expect
The End GameThe purpose of denying identity, deconstructing 'Whiteness', and White European Guilt is meant to divide and deny any unity between people of European descent, while at the same time actively promoting identity for other groups of people.
As such, a White male cannot identity with being a White man, but a homosexual is praised for identifying with being a homosexual. The same goes for blacks proudly identifying with being black, and a women proudly identifying as a woman.
This is referred as 'identity politics':
a tendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, etc., to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics.
Identity politics, until very recently, was openly denied to people of European descent. But, with the election of Donald Trump and an overall change in the American landscape, this is no longer the case. Control words such as 'racist', Islamophobe, etc have become meaningless, and they are no longer working to silence White Europeans.
Also Published at Purpose To Power
F-Russia
Russia's Largest Bank Confirms Hiring Podesta Group To Lobby For Ending Sanctions | Zero Hedge
Fri, 10 Mar 2017 12:35
Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, has confirmed that it hired the consultancy of Tony Podesta, the elder brother of John Podesta who chaired Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, for lobbying its interests in the United States and proactively seeking the removal of various Obama-era sanctions, the press service of the Russian institution told TASS on Thursday.
"The New York office of Sberbank CIB indeed hired Podesta Group. Engagement of external consultants is part of standard business practices for us," Sberbank said.
Previously, The Daily Caller reported that Tony Podesta was proactively lobbying for cancellation of a range of anti-Russian sanctions against the banking sector. In particular, he represented interests of Sberbank and was paid $170,000 for his efforts over a six-month period last year to seek to end one of the Obama administration's economic sanctions against that country. Podesta, founder and chairman of the Podesta Group, is listed as a key lobbyist on behalf of Sberbank, according to Senate lobbying disclosure forms. His firm received more than $24 million in fees in 2016, much of it coming from foreign governments, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Former President Barack Obama imposed the Russian sanctions following the break out in violence in east Ukraine in 2014.
Podesta's efforts were a key part of under-the-radar lobbying during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign led mainly by veteran Democratic strategists to remove sanctions against Sberbank and VTB Capital, Russia's second largest bank.
The two Russian banks spent more than $700,000 in 2016 on Washington lobbyists as they sought to end the U.S. sanctions, according to Senate lobbying disclosure forms and documents filed with the Department of Justice.
The Podesta Group charged Sberbank $20,000 per month, plus expenses, on a contract from March through September 2016.
Both Sberbank and VTB Capital have faced severe cash shortages due to plunging oil prices, plus the U.S. sanctions. If Obama's sanctions were lifted, however, both banks could legally seek funds from American financial institutions. The lobbying campaign targeted Congress and the executive branch, with Podesta and other lobbyists arranging at least two meetings between Sberbank officers and Department of State officials, according to Elena Teplitskaya, Sberbank's board chairman, who spoke to House aides in August.
''The Democrats are sitting there trying to convince us that the Russians are trying to throw the election to Trump,'' a congressional aide who requested anonymity and met Teplitskaya told TheDCNF.
''And then they're with us here in the House and meeting directly with the administration behind closed doors on the issue of the sanctions. The hypocrisy could not be any richer,'' he said.
As the Caller puts it, "the discovery of high-profile Democrats like Podesta being paid lucrative fees for lobbying to lift U.S. sanctions on Russia contrasts with charges from Democrats that President Donald Trump and his key aides are soft on Russia while the Obama administration was tough on Moscow."
Podesta is one of the Democrat's highest profile lobbyists who enjoys close personal and business connections to former Presidents Obama and Bill Clinton. John Podesta was chief of staff in Clinton's White House and special counselor in the Obama White House.
Some more details on the meeting: joining the Podesta lobbying campaign was David Adams, who describes himself on the Podesta Group website as a ''trusted adviser'' to Hillary Clinton, serving as her as assistant secretary of state for congressional affairs. Another Podesta lobbyist was Stephen Rademaker, a former Department of State official in the George W. Bush administration. The Podesta Group represented Sberbank and its subsidiaries, Troika Dialog Group in the Cayman Islands, SBGB Cyprus Ltd in Nicosia, Cyprus, and SB International in Luxembourg. Troika Dialog also was related to Klein, Ltd., a Cayman Island organization that once funneled tens of millions of dollars to environmental groups to oppose low-cost fracking in the U.S., which was hurting the Russian oil industry.
Regular readers will recall that the Sberbank-Podesta relationship goes back many years. Sberbank was the lead financial institution in the Russian deal to purchase Uranium One, owned by one of Bill Clinton's closest friends, Frank Giustra. Giustra and Bill Clinton lead the Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership, an integral part of the Clinton Foundation. Giustra has additionally donated $25 million to the Clinton Foundation.
Giustra sought to sell his stake in uranium reserves that included ore deposits in the Western United States, and Hillary Clinton, who as secretary of state, approved the sale. And in one felled swoop, 20 percent of America's uranium ore was sold to the Russian state atomic agency.
During the pending sale, the Podesta Group represented Giustra's company and tried to advance the transaction.
We do not expect to read about the Podesta lobbying relationship with Russia's largest bank in such truth-seeking, at least according to their ad campaigns, publications as the NYT and/or WaPo.
SPY vs SPY
CIA admits it broke into Senate computers; senators call for spy chief's ouster | McClatchy DC
Sat, 11 Mar 2017 01:21
An internal CIA investigation confirmed allegations that agency personnel improperly intruded into a protected database used by Senate Intelligence Committee staff to compile a scathing report on the agency's detention and interrogation program, prompting bipartisan outrage and at least two calls for spy chief John Brennan to resign.
''This is very, very serious, and I will tell you, as a member of the committee, someone who has great respect for the CIA, I am extremely disappointed in the actions of the agents of the CIA who carried out this breach of the committee's computers,'' said Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., the committee's vice chairman.
The rare display of bipartisan fury followed a three-hour private briefing by Inspector General David Buckley. His investigation revealed that five CIA employees, two lawyers and three information technology specialists improperly accessed or ''caused access'' to a database that only committee staff were permitted to use.
Buckley's inquiry also determined that a CIA crimes report to the Justice Department alleging that the panel staff removed classified documents from a top-secret facility without authorization was based on ''inaccurate information,'' according to a summary of the findings prepared for the Senate and House intelligence committees and released by the CIA.
In other conclusions, Buckley found that CIA security officers conducted keyword searches of the emails of staffers of the committee's Democratic majority _ and reviewed some of them _ and that the three CIA information technology specialists showed ''a lack of candor'' in interviews with Buckley's office.
The inspector general's summary did not say who may have ordered the intrusion or when senior CIA officials learned of it.
Following the briefing, some senators struggled to maintain their composure over what they saw as a violation of the constitutional separation of powers between an executive branch agency and its congressional overseers.
''We're the only people watching these organizations, and if we can't rely on the information that we're given as being accurate, then it makes a mockery of the entire oversight function,'' said Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with the Democrats.
The findings confirmed charges by the committee chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that the CIA intruded into the database that by agreement was to be used by her staffers compiling the report on the harsh interrogation methods used by the agency on suspected terrorists held in secret overseas prisons under the George W. Bush administration.
The findings also contradicted Brennan's denials of Feinstein's allegations, prompting two panel members, Sens. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., to demand that the spy chief resign.
''I have no choice but to call for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan,'' Udall said in a statement. ''The CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into Senate Intelligence Committee computers. This grave misconduct not only is illegal, but it violates the U.S. Constitution's requirement of separation of powers. These offenses, along with other errors in judgment by some at the CIA, demonstrate a tremendous failure of leadership, and there must be consequences.''
Another committee member, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and some civil rights groups called for a fuller investigation. The demands clashed with a desire by President Barack Obama, other lawmakers and the CIA to move beyond the controversy over the ''enhanced interrogation program'' after Feinstein releases her committee's report, which could come as soon as next week
Many members demanded that Brennan explain his earlier denial that the CIA had accessed the Senate committee database.
''Director Brennan should make a very public explanation and correction of what he said,'' said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. He all but accused the Justice Department of a coverup by deciding not to pursue a criminal investigation into the CIA's intrusion.
''I thought there might have been information that was produced after the department reached their conclusion,'' he said. ''What I understand, they have all of the information which the IG has.''
He hinted that the scandal goes further than the individuals cited in Buckley's report.
''I think it's very clear that CIA people knew exactly what they were doing and either knew or should've known,'' said Levin, adding that he thought that Buckley's findings should be referred to the Justice Department.
A person with knowledge of the issue insisted that the CIA personnel who improperly accessed the database ''acted in good faith,'' believing that they were empowered to do so because they believed there had been a security violation.
''There was no malicious intent. They acted in good faith believing they had the legal standing to do so,'' said the knowledgeable person, who asked not to be further identified because they weren't authorized to discuss the issue publicly. ''But it did not conform with the legal agreement reached with the Senate committee.''
Buckley was joined by Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Andrew B. Willison, the chamber's chief law enforcement officer, who has been looking into the alleged unauthorized removal of classified materials by the panel staff.
The meeting came two days after Brennan briefed Feinstein and Chambliss on Buckley's conclusions and apologized to them for the improper intrusion into the database, CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said in a statement.
''The director . . . apologized to them for such actions by CIA officers as described in the OIG (Office of Inspector General) report,'' he said.
Brennan will submit Buckley's findings to an accountability board chaired by retired Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, who served on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Boyd said.
''This board will review the OIG report, conduct interviews as needed, and provide the director with recommendations that, depending on its findings, could include potential disciplinary measures and/or steps to address systemic issues,'' Boyd said.
Feinstein called Brennan's apology and his decision to submit Buckley's findings to the accountability board ''positive first steps.''
''This IG report corrects the record and it is my understanding that a declassified report will be made available to the public shortly,'' she said in a statement.
''The investigation confirmed what I said on the Senate floor in March _ CIA personnel inappropriately searched Senate Intelligence Committee computers in violation of an agreement we had reached, and I believe in violation of the constitutional separation of powers,'' she said.
It was not clear why Feinstein didn't repeat her charges from March that the agency also may have broken the law and had sought to ''thwart'' her investigation into the CIA's use of waterboarding, which simulates drowning, sleep deprivation and other harsh interrogation methods _ tactics denounced by many experts as torture.
Buckley's findings clashed with denials by Brennan that he issued only hours after Feinstein's blistering Senate speech.
''As far as the allegations of, you know, CIA hacking into, you know, Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, we wouldn't do that. I mean, that's _ that's just beyond the _ you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we would do,'' he said in an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest issued a strong defense of Brennan, crediting him with playing an ''instrumental role'' in the administration's fight against terrorism, in launching Buckley's investigation and in looking for ways to prevent such occurrences in the future.
Earnest was asked at a news briefing whether there was a credibility issue for Brennan, given his forceful denial in March.
''Not at all,'' he replied, adding that Brennan had suggested the inspector general's investigation in the first place. And, he added, Brennan had taken the further step of appointing the accountability board to review the situation and the conduct of those accused of acting improperly to ''ensure that they are properly held accountable for that conduct.''
The conciliatory tone of the CIA announcement and Feinstein's statement sharply contrasted with the unprecedented battle that erupted over the issue between the spy agency and its congressional overseers and appears to represent attempts to ease what have been seriously icy relations.
In her Senate floor speech in March, Feinstein asserted that the CIA may have violated the law and the Constitution by monitoring her staff's computers and blocking access to documents that had been placed in the protected database.
The allegations and the separate CIA charge that the committee staff removed classified documents from the secret CIA facility in Northern Virginia without authorization were referred to the Justice Department for investigation.
The department earlier this month announced that it had found insufficient evidence on which to proceed with criminal probes into either matter ''at this time.'' Thursday, Justice Department officials declined comment.
The CIA required the committee staff to use CIA computers in the top-secret agency facility to review more than 6 million pages of classified reports, emails and other documents related to the detention and interrogation program.
In January, Brennan confronted Feinstein behind closed doors over a committee request for top-secret material that the CIA determined the panel staff already had obtained.
He contended that her staff may have improperly accessed the material, which comprised an internal CIA review that Feinstein and other lawmakers contend verified the panel's main finding that the agency's use of the harsh interrogation methods failed to produce much valuable intelligence.
In her speech, Feinstein asserted that her staff found the material _ known as the Panetta review, after former CIA Director Leon Panetta, who ordered it _ in the protected database and that the CIA discovered the staff had it by monitoring its computers in violation of the user agreement.
The inspector general's summary, which was prepared for the Senate and the House intelligence committees, didn't identify the CIA personnel who had accessed the Senate's protected database.
Furthermore, it said, the CIA crimes report to the Justice Department alleging that panel staffers had removed classified materials without permission was grounded on inaccurate information. The report is believed to have been sent by the CIA's then acting general counsel, Robert Eatinger, who was a legal adviser to the interrogation program.
''The factual basis for the referral was not supported, as the author of the referral had been provided inaccurate information on which the letter was based,'' said the summary, noting that the Justice Department decided not to pursue the issue.
Unaware that Brennan then halted an internal CIA inquiry into the allegation, the agency's Office of Security ''conducted a limited investigation'' that included a keyword search of emails that the committee staff had sent over the CIA computer network established for its work, the summary said.
Some of the emails' contents also were reviewed, it said.
The three information technology specialists ''demonstrated a lack of candor'' in interviews with Buckley's office, it said, using a euphemism for lying.
The committee's full report, which is being reviewed at the White House following a declassification process at the CIA, found that the use of the harsh interrogation techniques produced little valuable intelligence, according to classified conclusions obtained by McClatchy.
It also determined that the agency misled the Bush administration, Congress and the public on the interrogation program's failure to produce much valuable intelligence, according to the conclusions.
Former Bush administration officials, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, the CIA and those who oversaw the program, which ran from 2001 until 2006, have vigorously disputed those findings. They've also insisted that the techniques were legal and didn't constitute torture.
Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union, criticized the CIA announcement, saying that ''an apology isn't enough.''
''The Justice Department must refer the (CIA) inspector general's report to a federal prosecutor for a full investigation into any crimes by CIA personnel or contractors,'' said Anders.
Lesley Clark of the Washington Bureau contributed.
STINGRAY
Fix Is In: House Committee on 'Russian Hacking' Includes Only DNC-Hired Tech Experts
Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:13
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The initial witness list released by House Intelligence includes a number of intelligence officials, all appointed during the Obama administration, such as former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, but the sole technical people on the invitation list are two representatives of CrowdStrike, President Shawn Henry, and the co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch.
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Breitbart News has interviewed tech experts who do not agree with the CrowdStrike assessment or Obama administration's claims that the DNC/DCCC hacks clearly committed by Russian state actors, with much criticism aimed at the FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report (JAR) ''Grizzly Steppe'' that was released at the end of December. As ZDNet reported after the JAR report was released by the Obama administration on the same day that they announced sanctions against Russia:
The JAR included ''specific indicators of compromise, including IP addresses and a PHP malware sample.'' But what does this really prove? Wordfence, a WordPress security company specializing in analyzing PHP malware, examined these indicators and didn't find any hard evidence of Russian involvement. Instead, Wordfence found the attack software was P.AS. 3.1.0, an out-of-date, web-shell hacking tool. The newest version, 4.1.1b, is more sophisticated. Its website claims it was written in the Ukraine.
Mark Maunder, Wordfence's CEO, concluded that since the attacks were made ''several versions behind the most current version of P.A.S sic which is 4.1.1b. One might reasonably expect Russian intelligence operatives to develop their own tools or at least use current malicious tools from outside sources.''
True, as Errata Security CEO Rob Graham pointed out in a blog post, P.A.S is popular among Russia/Ukraine hackers. But it's ''used by hundreds if not thousands of hackers, mostly associated with Russia, but also throughout the rest of the world.'' In short, just because the attackers used P.A.S., that's not enough evidence to blame it on the Russian government.
Independent cybersecurity experts, such as Jeffrey Carr, have cited numerous errors that the media and CrowdStrike have made in discussing the hacking in what Carr refers to as a ''runaway train'' of misinformation.
For example, CrowdStrike has named a threat group that they have given the name ''Fancy Bear'' for the hacks and then said this threat group is Russian intelligence. In December 2016, Carr wrote in a post on Medium:
A common misconception of ''threat group'' is that [it] refers to a group of people. It doesn't. Here's how ESET describes SEDNIT, one of the names for the threat group known as APT28, Fancy Bear, etc. This definition is found on p.12 of part two ''En Route with Sednit: Observing the Comings and Goings'':
As security researchers, what we call ''the Sednit group'' is merely a set of software and the related network infrastructure, which we can hardly correlate with any specific organization.
Unlike CrowdStrike, ESET doesn't assign APT28/Fancy Bear/Sednit to a Russian Intelligence Service or anyone else for a very simple reason. Once malware is deployed, it is no longer under the control of the hacker who deployed it or the developer who created it. It can be reverse-engineered, copied, modified, shared and redeployed again and again by anyone.
Despite these and other criticisms from technical experts with no political axe to grind, the House Intelligence committee has called no independent cybersecurity professionals to challenge the Democrats' claims of ''Russian hacking'' that have been repeated ad naseum by the media.
Instead of presenting counter-arguments to allow the general public to make up their own minds, the House committee has invited Shawn Henry and Dmitri Alperovitch from CrowdStrike,
The danger is especially high since the subject involves technical details that the public'--and, frankly, most politicians'--don't understand and can be easily fooled about. A presentation with no rebuttal at all from other technical experts will lead to even more disinformation being given to the American people.
There are a number of reasons to be skeptical of the objectivity of CrowdStrike's assessments.
As Esquire reported in a long profile piece, the DNC specifically used Alperovitch and Henry as part of an anti-Trump publicity plan related to the hacking in early June 2016:
The DNC wanted to go public. At the committee's request, Alperovitch and Henry briefed a reporter from The Washington Post about the attack.
'...
Alperovitch told me he was thrilled that the DNC decided to publicize Russia's involvement. ''Having a client give us the ability to tell the full story'' was a ''milestone in the industry,'' he says. ''Not just highlighting a rogue nation-state's actions but explaining what was taken and how and when. These stories are almost never told.''
The Esquire piece also indicates that as the election wore on, the Obama administration was also using Alperovitch and CrowdStrike's claims to push the Democrat narrative that the Russians were behind the attack:
On October 7, two days before the second presidential debate, Alperovitch got a phone call from a senior government official alerting him that a statement identifying Russia as the sponsor of the DNC attack would soon be released. (The statement, from the office of the director of national intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security, appeared later that day.)
It is worth noting that CrowdStrike and Alperovitch's story has evolved over time to match a Democrat narrative. In an article in Inc. on June 14, 2016, titled ''Why the DNC Hired This Cybersecurity Firm to Fight Russian Spies,'' Alperovitch claimed that the purpose of the DNC hack was to expose Donald Trump:
On Tuesday, it was revealed that the Russian government is implicated in a security breach of the Democratic National Committee's computer network, through which opposition research on the bombastic presidential candidate was lifted.
''Every world leader is trying to figure out who Mr. Trump is, especially if he's elected president, and they want to know what his foreign policies would be. Russia is no exception,'' says Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and CTO of CrowdStrike. His firm was hired to manage the breach. ''The actors are also interested in any other information the DNC might have in their opposition research to use it against Trump if he becomes president,'' says Alperovitch, who leads the Intelligence, Technology and CrowdStrike Labs teams.
There is no justification for a technical expert like Alperovitch ascribing motives to the hackers or making statements about what ''world leaders'' think. It is simply outside his area of expertise, but the point of the Democrats using Alperovitch and Henry to promote their ''Russian hacking'' narrative is to provide a technical veneer to their story to score political points.
Shawn Henry, the other House witness from CrowdStrike scheduled to testify on March 20 before House Intelligence, said on his LinkedIn page that he also works for NBC News, where he says his role is to ''advise NBC News on all aspects of national, homeland, and cyber security, to include on-air appearances on all NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC News programs.'' He added that he is to ''regularly appear on Nightly News, The Today Show, and MSNBC news programming.''
CrowdStrike also has a financial connection to one of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats' most high-profile supporters in Silicon Valley: Google.
In 2015, CrowdStrike raised $100 million in a new round of financing, according to the New York Times, which reported that ''the investment was led by Google Capital, one of the technology giant's venture capital arms, in its first cybersecurity deal.''
As Breitbart News reported, the WikiLeaks releases showed that Eric Schmidt, executive of Google Capital parent company and financier Alphabet, appeared to be working directly with the Clinton campaign.
All of this makes the reliance of the House Committee and the media on CrowdStrike disturbing, but even worse, earlier this year, BuzzFeed reported that the FBI did not examine the servers of the Democratic National Committee but, instead, based their assessment on CrowdStrike's evaluation:
Six months after the FBI first said it was investigating the hack of the Democratic National Committee's computer network, the bureau has still not requested access to the hacked servers, a DNC spokesman said. No US government entity has run an independent forensic analysis on the system, one US intelligence official told BuzzFeed News.
'...
The FBI has instead relied on computer forensics from a third-party tech security company, CrowdStrike, which first determined in May of last year that the DNC's servers had been infiltrated by Russia-linked hackers, the U.S. intelligence official told BuzzFeed News.
'...
''CrowdStrike is pretty good. There's no reason to believe that anything that they have concluded is not accurate,'' the intelligence official said, adding they were confident Russia was behind the widespread hacks.
Despite that claim by an unnamed intelligence official, there is reason to believe that what CrowdStrike has concluded is not accurate. At this point, however, the House Committee and the American people will not see it.
Breitbart News has requested an interview with Dmitri Alperovitch, but at press time there was no response.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence says that initial witness invitation lists ''may be expanded or modified as warranted.''
Follow Breitbart News investigative reporter and Citizen Journalism School founder Lee Stranahan on Twitter at @Stranahan.
#pedogate
Facebook reported BBC journalists to the police after they sent it child exploitation images shared on the platform '' Press Gazette
Thu, 09 Mar 2017 22:56
Facebook has reported the BBC to the police after journalists confronted it with sexualised images of children which were found on the social network.
The BBC said it used Facebook's ''report button'' to flag up 100 photos on the website but 82 were not removed, with an automated response saying they did not breach ''community standards''.
The images included under-16s in sexualised poses, pages aimed at paedophiles and an image apparently taken from a child abuse video.
The BBC says that when it provided examples of the images to Facebook the social media giant cancelled a planned interview and reported its journalists to the National Crime Agency.
Facebook's UK policy director Simon Milner said: ''We have carefully reviewed the content referred to us and have now removed all items that were illegal or against our standards.
''This content is no longer on our platform. We take this matter extremely seriously and we continue to improve our reporting and take-down measures.
''Facebook has been recognised as one of the best platforms on the internet for child safety.
''It is against the law for anyone to distribute images of child exploitation. When the BBC sent us such images we followed our industry's standard practice and reported them to CEOP [Child Exploitation and Online Protectio Centre, part of the National Crime Agency][.
''We also reported the child exploitation images that had been shared on our own platform. This matter is now in the hands of the authorities.''
The BBC's director of editorial policy, David Jordan, said: ''The fact that Facebook sent images that had been sent to them, that appear on their site, for their response about how Facebook deals with inappropriate images'...the fact that they sent those on to the police seemed to me to be extraordinary.
''One can only assume that the Facebook executives were unwilling or certainly reluctant to engage in an interview or a debate about why these images are available on the Facebook site.''
A BBC spokesperson said: ''In 2016 a BBC investigation found that paedophiles were using secret groups on Facebook to post and swap sexually suggestive images of children which led to one man receiving a four-year prison sentence.
''One year later in this follow-up investigation we found similar images still on the site, which we reported using Facebook's own moderation procedures. Some of the images were then removed, but the majority remained on the site.
''When the BBC approached Facebook with its findings, Facebook agreed to an interview on the condition the BBC provided examples of the remaining material which had been deemed acceptable by Facebook's own moderation procedure. The BBC provided that evidence to Facebook.''
PP
FUNGIBILITY-How Planned Parenthood Can Spend Taxpayer Money on Abortions Despite Federal Law Prohibitions | Daily Wire
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 05:34
Thursday, CNN hosted a town hall with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI). During the event, a female college student asked Ryan about federal funding of Planned Parenthood:
"I can tell you personally that Planned Parenthood provided help when I couldn't go to anybody else...So my question for you is: If Planned Parenthood is defunded, then where will millions of women, low-income groups, and people like me go?"
Speaker Ryan's answer was spot on. He talked about shifting federal funds to community health centers that offer many of the same services Planned Parenthood does, minus the abortions. When host Jake Tapper tried to fact-check Ryan, telling him federal law prohibits taxpayer money from going to abortion, Ryan responded, saying: "money's fungible, and it effectively floats [around] these organizations."
Understanding the fungibility of money within an organization is paramount if one wants to understand why many Republicans want to pull federal dollars from Planned Parenthood. Merriam-Webster defines "fungibility" as "being something (such as money or a commodity) of such a nature that one part or quantity may be replaced by another equal part or quantity in paying a debt or settling an account."
Here's an example.
Joanne wants to help her son Max because he's struggling financially. One day, she writes Max a check for $500--but there's a caveat. Joanne knows that Max wants to buy an HDTV, so she tells him that the money must be deposited in his savings account, or used only on essentials (like rent or groceries). Joanne explicitly forbids Max from using her gift to buy himself an HDTV.
Max's monthly expenses would normally prohibit the purchase of the $500 TV. After paying for rent, wireless, student loans, and food, Max is usually left with only $200 in his checking account. Meanwhile, he only has about $300 in savings.
Honoring his mother's demand, Max deposits the check into savings. Now he has $800 in his account. He then transfers the original $300 from his savings into his checking, and buys an HDTV for $500. Max can certainly claim he didn't spend his mother's money on the TV, but her money did allow him to purchase it.
That's fungibility; money floats around. Even if federal law like the Hyde Amendment prohibits taxpayer dollars from directly funding abortions, federal money can be used elsewhere within the Planned Parenthood organization so that other funds can be reallocated for abortion services.
The pro-choice lobby tries to deceive Americans by citing the Hyde Amendment every time Republicans threaten to pull federal funding from Planned Parenthood. They claim those funds are only used for "women's health services," like cancer screenings and contraceptives.
While such a claim may be true in the most technical sense, in the end, the fungibility of money within an organization means that taxpayers are indeed funding the termination of human life.
Here's a short but fantastic video about fungibility and Planned Parenthood:
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Birtherism
Date formats in Kenya - Obama Conspiracy Theories
Fri, 10 Mar 2017 06:19
Lucas Smith, still trying to recover from the fatal mistake of using the wrong date format on his fake Kenyan birth certificate for Barack Obama, the POSFKBC, wrote a new article where he claims to prove that Kenya uses both MM/DD/YYYY (US date format) and DD/MM/YYYY (most everybody else's date format).
So I watched a couple seconds of his video, and recognized where he was going. It was a Kenyan Government website, something I had looked at in detail some time back (and I guess never wrote up). Rather than wading through the video, this little screen shot (click to enlarge) should explain Smith's argument, and mine.
It clearly shows a date in Kenyan format (16/2/2009) and one in US format (8/29/2008) and one in which the reader has no idea at all what the format is (4/2/2009). That last date is the problem. No one would mix date formats on a page intentionally because it is impossible to know which is which.
Indeed, this is why a country wouldn't mix date formats because people reading them couldn't be sure what the date means. That would be utter chaos.
I can only speculate why this particular Kenyan web site (the only one I've seen with the issue) had some dates in the US format in its calendar, but whatever it was, they changed it after March of 2009. Commenter Paul Pieniezny offers an explanation.
The true official government format from 1961 is easily shown by the official government announcements in the Kenya Gazette where you won't find any US dates.
One the double down theme, Smith calls his little anomaly ''definitive and categorical proof'' just as Donofrio calls his inapplicable citation from Happersett v. Minor ''binding precedent.'' I guess big lies are easier to sell than small lies. The birthers just eat this stuff up, all inflated with false confidence.
Sometimes I think I should be focusing more on propaganda than conspiracy theories.
Update:
I found one reference source that says that in Kenya, text written in the Kiswahili language uses m/d/y format. I wrote this up in a later article.
WelcomeObama Conspiracy Theories since 2008 has been your des­tination for conspiracy theories and fringe views about Barack Obama. Having an argu­ment with your buddies at the office? You're in the right place. Use the Search box below or check out our featured articles. If you don't agree with what you see, feel free to add your thoughts to the over 250,000 comments others have left. To leave a comment not on the current articles, visit the Open Thread.Also check out The debunker's guide to Obama conspiracy theories
Quote of the dayThe only place you'll find millions of fraudulent ballots are right beside that fake birth certificate of Barack Obama inside the imagination of President Trump.
-- NAACP president Cornell Brooks-- CNN (2017)
View previous Quotes of the Day.
ConspiraciesConspiracies
Sometimes people leave comments designed to offend or outrage the reader, and invoke a firestorm of protest in response. These are the Internet trolls. Replying to them is feeding them and they will come back for more. Refusing to play their game encourages them to go away.
Chiner$
Dalian Wanda Group Said to Kill Dick Clark Productions Acquisition | Variety
Fri, 10 Mar 2017 06:29
Dalian Wanda Group's $1 billion acquisition of Dick Clark Productions appears to be scrapped, a casualty of the Chinese government's efforts to curb the flow of capital out of the country.
Industry sources said Dalian Wanda Group chairman Wang Jianlin had pressed hard for the greenlight to complete the deal reached in November. Dick Clark Productions, owned by Eldridge Industries, was approached by Wanda earlier in the year. The surprisingly rich offer from Wanda forced Eldridge to open up an auction process on Dick Clark Productions even though no other contender came close to Wanda's $1 billion bid.
The deal had been expected to close in February. The first sign of trouble came in late January. Industry insiders chalked it up to nervousness about the political climate for Chinese companies investing in the U.S. under the new Trump administration.
But it has also become increasingly clear that the Chinese government is taking steps to stop the capital flight that has seen major congloms like Wanda and Alibaba spend freely on acquisitions and joint ventures.
Reps for Wanda and Eldridge Industries declined to comment.
Dick Clark Productions is home to such awards show franchises as the Golden Globes, the American Music Awards and ACM Awards. It produces ABC's annual ''Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve'' special among other live events. The purchase of DCP would have given Wanda its first toehold in unscripted and live event production in the U.S. market.
Wanda in the past two years has acquired exhibition giant AMC Entertainment and Legendary Entertainment. Wang Jianlin said in January the company expected to spend $5 billion to $10 billion on acquisitions this year, most of it focused on entertainment and sports.
Dick Clark Productions was acquired by Guggenheim Partners for $370 million in 2012. The company changed hands again in 2015 when investor Todd Boehly left Guggenheim, taking DCP, the Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and other assets with him to the new Eldridge Industries banner.
(Pictured: 2017 Golden Globe Awards)
Ottomania
Rotterdamse burgemeester Ahmed Aboutaleb: Turkse consul heeft tegens ons gelogen | ThePostOnline
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 12:59
Minister Fatma Bet¼l Sayan Kaya (Familiezaken) is Nederland uitgezet omdat ze als ongewenst vreemdeling werd gezien in ons land. Dat zei de Rotterdamse burgemeester Ahmed Aboutaleb van Rotterdam zaterdagnacht in een toelichting op de situatie die zaterdag was ontstaan bij het Turkse consulaat.
De minister is op dit moment onderweg naar Duitsland, onder begeleiding. Ook haar begeleiders en beveiligers rijden mee op weg naar de grens.
Volgens de burgemeester heeft de consul op schandalige wijze gelogen over wat de bedoeling was. Aboutaleb sprak van een schandalige misleiding door deze man. ''Hij heeft opgeroepen naar het consulaat te komen.'' Bovendien stuurden de Turken verschillende konvooien in de richting van Rotterdam om de politie te misleiden.
Bovendien heeft Aboutaleb er grote moeite mee dat de Turkse regering Nederland verwijt er nazi-praktijken op na te houden. ''Ze vergeten dat ik burgemeester ben van een stad die in de oorlog door de nazi's is gebombardeerd.''
Lees ookTPO '' Turkse minister in Rotterdam aangehouden en uitgezet tijdens demonstratie
Steun ThePostOnlineDoe een donatie aan TPOMaak TPO mogelijk
Toon / Verberg Reacties
Steun ThePostOnlineDoe een donatie aan TPOMaak TPO mogelijk
Nieuwe aanbiedingen
Nieuws overzicht13:40Turkije telt maar voor slechts 1 procent mee in totale Nederlandse export/import
13:24Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 'Nederlanders zullen hoge prijs betalen'
13:21Actrice Kitty Courbois (79) overleden
13:12WomansMarch-millennials 'voor hoop, tegen haat' gaan met bus door land rijden en burgers spreken
13:09Sybrand Buma (CDA) wil associatieverdrag met Turkije opzeggen
13:08Doodenge beelden: millennial dreigt macht over te nemen in Nederland
12:50Dieuwertje Kuijpers interviewt oud-commandant der strijdkrachten Dick Berlijn
LiveLeak.com - Turkey: Erdogan threatens to open Turkey's borders with EU
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 13:00
Speaking in Istanbul on Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Turkey could open its border, allowing an influx of migrants to enter the EU, following the European Parliament's decision to temporarily freeze accession talks with Ankara.
SOT, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish President (Turkish): "You [the EU] have never been honest to the world. You have never look to it truthfully. You didn't save baby Alan when his dead body was washed to the shore. You didn't save baby Imran. We are the shelter for three and a half million refugees. You didn't keep your promises."
SOT, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish President (Turkish): "When 50,000 immigrants reached (the border town) of Kapikule, you wailed. What would we do if Turkey opened the border gates, you've pondered. Look here, if this goes any further, those border gates will be opened. Neither me nor my people get nothing out of those false threats."
25th
Donald Trump could be impeached on four grounds, former Labor Secretary says
Sat, 11 Mar 2017 13:26
There are now four grounds to impeach Donald Trump and a fifth is "on its way", according to former Labour Secretary Robert Reich.
Posting on Twitter, Mr Reich outlined the four reasons he thinks Mr Trump could be impeached.
He said Mr Trump is "'unfaithfully' executing his duties" by accusing former President Barack Obama of "undertaking an illegal (and impeachable) act."
Last weekend, Mr Trump accused Mr Obama of wiretapping his phones in Trump Tower, though he provided no evidence for his claim.
A spokesman for Mr Obama denied he ever ordered the wiretapping of any US citizen.
Mr Reich also said although part of the constitution forbids government officials from taking things of value from foreign governments, "Trump is making big money off his Trump International Hotel by steering foreign diplomatic delegations to it, and will make a bundle off China's recent decision to grant his trademark applications for the Trump brand '-- decisions Chinese authorities arrived at directly because of decisions Trump has made as president."
China recently granted preliminary approval for dozens of Trump-branded businesses, including new hotels, spas, massage parlours and personal security services.
The former Labor Secretary also said Mr Trump's ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries violates the 1st Amendment of the Constitution, which bans any law "respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
He also said Mr Trump "labelling the press the 'enemy of the people' and choosing whom he invites to news conferences based on whether they've given him favourable coverage" could be another reason for impeachment, as he said it violates the 1st Amendment on the freedom of the press.
Finally, he wrote: "Article III Section 3 of the Constitution defines 'treason against the United States' as 'adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.' Evidence is mounting that Trump colluded with Russian operatives to win the 2016 presidential election."
Mr Trump has repeatedly denied his team had contact with Russian officials during the 2016 election, but was revealed to have met with Russia's US ambassador at the height of his campaign.
"The question is no longer whether there are grounds to impeach Trump. The practical question is whether there is the political will," Mr Reich concluded.
"As long as Republicans remain in the majority in the House (where a bill of Impeachment originates), it's unlikely.
"Another reason why it's critically important to flip the House in 2018."
Agenda 2030
Scott Pruitt's statement on climate change
Sat, 11 Mar 2017 23:19
by Judith Curry
My analysis of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's recent statements on climate change, and the response to his statements.
Last week, there was a controversial interview of Scott Pruitt on CNBC. A sampling of the headlines reporting on his interview:
New Yorker: Scott Pruitt rejects climate change reality. A relatively thorough summary of the interview with Scott Pruitt.
Washington Post: On climate change, Scott Pruitt causes an uproar '-- and contradicts the EPA's own website.
CNBC: Scott Pruitt's climate denial is dangerous and out of step.
Guardian: EPA head Scott Pruitt denies that carbon dioxide causes global warming. Subtitle: Trump adviser shocks scientists and environmental advocates with statement that negates EPA policy and 'overwhelmingly clear' evidence on climate change
David Robert at Vox: Scott Pruitt denies basic climate science. But most of the outrage is missing the point. Subtitle: It's not about Pruitt and it's not about facts. Excerpt: The right's refusal to accept the authority of climate science is of a piece with its rejection of mainstream media, academia, and government, the shared institutions and norms that bind us together and contain our political disputes.
A number of scientists have responded in various venues regarding their opinion on Scott Pruitt's statements. Here I include the 'official' statement from the AGU:
AGU Responds to Statements from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Climate Change. Excerpt: The position statement of the American Geophysical Union regarding climate change leaves no doubt that increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide resulting from human activity is the dominant source of climate change during the last several decades.
You may recall my concerns about the AGU policy statement on climate change [link]
What Scott Pruitt actually said
Listen to what Scott Pruitt actually said on CNBC and then compare it to the portrayal in the media. Here is the key text:
I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. But we don't know that yet. We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.
Can you square what Pruitt actually said with the distorted quotes and headlines about this? I can't.
I think that these two statements made by Pruitt are absolutely correct:
I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact
We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.
The other two statements give slightly conflicting messages:
I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. But we don't know that yet.
The main statement of controversy is:
I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.
You can interpret this in two ways:
1.Pruitt is denying that CO2 is a primary contributor to recent global warming
OR
2.Pruitt is saying that he does not accept as a 'fact' that CO2 is a primary contributor because we simply don't know.
Since his subsequent statement is ''But we don't know that yet'', #2 is obviously the correct interpretation.
I think he is saying that he is not convinced that we know with certainty that humans have caused 100% of the recent warming (which is what some climate modelers are saying, see recent tweets from Gavin Schmidt), or that humans have caused 'more than half' of the recent warming (which was the conclusion from the IPCC AR5.
JC reflections
If I am interpreting Pruitt's statements correctly, I do not find anything to disagree with in what he said: we don't know how much of recent warming can be attributed to humans. In my opinion, this is correct and is a healthy position for both the science and policy debates.
Exactly what the Trump administration intends to do regarding funding climate science, energy policy and the Paris climate agreement presumably remain as subjects of debate within the administration. Looking at every little leak and quote out of context as a rationale for hysteria simply isn't rational or useful.
The most interest reaction to all this is David Robert's vox article:
The right's refusal to accept the authority of climate science is of a piece with its rejection of mainstream media, academia, and government, the shared institutions and norms that bind us together and contain our political disputes.
The 'problem': a change of administration and party after 8 years, mainstream media no longer has a lock on the media's message (given all of the new news sources on the internet), academia's profoundly liberal bias is being challenged, and the consensus that has been negotiated and enforced by certain elite scientists is being challenged.
Three cheers for democracy, the internet and the scientific process.
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO - Top Democrat Provides Update On Trump-Russia Investigation : NPR
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 13:39
NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Sen. Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia and ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, about the Congressional investigation into Russia's influence on the U.S. election.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
We start with a major player in the Senate's investigation into Russian meddling in last year's election. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia is the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. He has called his role in this investigation - and I'm quoting - "probably the most important thing I've done in public life." And he joins us from Capitol Hill. Welcome to the program, Senator.
MARK WARNER: Thank you, Robert.
SIEGEL: If it's that important, is an investigation by a committee that operates behind closed doors an appropriate forum, or should there be a much more public airing as there was after 9/11 or as there was after Watergate, for that matter?
WARNER: I think it's really, really important that we come up with a bipartisan report. I also think, to your point, there are certain things that will be done behind closed doors because it involves sources and methods of how our spy agencies work, and people's lives and techniques could be put in jeopardy.
But it's also really responsible that we hold public hearings - and I think we're going to be holding our first public hearing within the next couple of weeks - that we have a report that is going to be public when we conclude this investigation. And my sense would be - the president continues to say he's done nothing; his people have had no contacts that were inappropriate. Then he should welcome...
SIEGEL: Yep.
WARNER: ...This investigation and help it because it would remove the cloud that's over the administration.
SIEGEL: General Clapper, who until January was director of national intelligence, said that he had seen no evidence of collusion between Donald Trump and Russia. Is that still an open question for the Senate Intelligence Committee and for you?
WARNER: It is still an open question that we have to investigate any kind of contacts between either campaign and Russian operatives before the election. Oftentimes what happens is if one of our traditional agencies, say, like the CIA, will determine some kind of contact, they have to turn that over to the FBI. And that falls into the counter-espionage category. And generally speaking, the FBI doesn't then make comments about ongoing investigations. So these are all things that we're going to have to work through in an appropriate way.
SIEGEL: But when you say that's still an open question, I mean is that because it hasn't been disproved or because there's so much smoke that you're concerned there's a fire there?
WARNER: No, Robert. I'm saying I'm not going to forejudge where this investigation is going to end up. We're going to follow the intelligence wherever it leads. We're going to get to the bottom of this. We're going to run down all the appropriate leads. We're going to interview people. And I think we'll be able to reach our own conclusion. And my hope is, the sooner the better because at this point in time, with all these stories dribbling out on a daily basis, it is - I think it really has caught the attention of the American people.
SIEGEL: What about President Trump's claim that his lines were tapped by President Obama? Is that an allegation that the Senate Intelligence Committee should investigate, or is it...
WARNER: I would say this, Robert. If we see any evidence and if the president has any evidence of that, we will follow it.
SIEGEL: Is it his obligation to present that evidence to Senate now?
WARNER: I sure as heck believe it is. I mean to accuse the former president of what would be a felony and then not put forward any information, any evidence - Chairman Burr and I've said we'll follow any evidence wherever it leads. But you've got to have some evidence. You just can't put out a morning tweet and then switch to Arnold Schwarzenegger...
SIEGEL: Yeah.
WARNER: ...And not expect folks to scratch their heads.
SIEGEL: Let's say that there's no evidence found of collusion between Americans and Russians - no Russian money entering the campaign, no Russian blackmail against any candidate. Is the fact that Russia tries to influence U.S. policy not in those criminal ways but more generally - if it tries to influence policy however it can, is that some kind of new danger or even a danger that's unique to Russia?
WARNER: It is absolutely a new danger. I mean the Russians have almost created a new theory of war that says beyond fighting in the land, air and sea, cyber is a whole new domain. And they are experts at misinformation, disinformation. They've done this for a long time in Eastern European elections, sometimes much more obviously with old-fashioned payola and bribes. They're doing it right now in the French presidential elections where they've actually put financial resources behind Marine Le Pen - the far-right candidate's campaign.
So I think Americans - one of the things that disappointed me - I know there was lots going on - that there wasn't more kind of general outrage with the Russian manipulation in our election regardless of whether there was any contact between candidates.
SIEGEL: And I guess I should ask you about one new thing that happened this week, which was that General Michael Flynn, who had been the national security adviser and is - who had to resign all about what he told Vice President Pence about his contact with the Russians - he has now registered retroactively as having been an agent for Turkey and having taken payments from a Turkish company but with interest that involved the extradition of a Turkish cleric in this country between August and November of last year. Is your committee interested in any conceivable relationship between General Flynn and Turkey?
WARNER: I'm not going to comment on individuals that we hope to question. Just on an individual basis, though, I found this morning's reports about General Flynn very troubling.
SIEGEL: Senator Warner, thanks for talking with us.
WARNER: Thank you, Robert.
SIEGEL: That's Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, who is the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
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VIDEO - Homeland Security Announces Decline In Illegal Mexican Border Crossings : NPR
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 13:34
The Department of Homeland Security announced a marked decline in the number of illegal border crossings from Mexico in recent months. It credits President Trump's tough stance on illegal immigration.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
The Department of Homeland Security has released new figures that show a marked decline in the number of people trying to cross the border illegally from Mexico. From January through February, federal officials say apprehensions of unauthorized immigrants dropped 40 percent. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says that dramatic drop happened after Donald Trump took office.
NPR's Wade Goodwyn joins us from Texas to discuss the new report. And Wade, first of all, what are you hearing about the explanation behind this drop in apprehensions or, like, what's causing it?
WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: Well, the view is that this is a result of President Trump's tough talk on illegal immigration and his executive orders beefing up border security and building a wall. And that's led to a perception in this country and abroad that life for unauthorized immigrants in America could get a lot more unpleasant going forward. And the sources I've talked to explained that perception can be a big factor in driving illegal immigration numbers.
You know, there hasn't been a massive deportation and enforcement effort from the Trump administration yet. There have been a series of well-publicized raids around the country, though, and I don't think that it takes a huge leap of faith to surmise that's what's driving this dramatic decline.
Here are the numbers - about 31,500 apprehensions in the month of January. The next month, it's just 18,700. One note of caution - it's only been a month and a half since the president took office, and this is a short timeframe to try to draw long-term conclusions from, probably too short.
CORNISH: Right, so could this be temporary?
GOODWYN: It could. There are other powerful influences on attempted border crossings that have nothing to do with U.S. policy or enforcement. In 2014, the first spike in attempted crossings from people from Central America involved unaccompanied men. The living situation in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala had become so compromised that thousands of people who would not have considered the long, dangerous journey to the U.S. decided that was better than staying in their countries. And then six months, a year later, U.S. Border Patrol saw this spike in women and children from those countries likely because their husbands, brothers, fathers had sent the money they needed for them to try to make the trip.
The point here is that this happened in spite of the increase in both manpower, boots on the ground and deportations that was going on at exactly that same time under Obama. And then when the Mexican economy began to pick up last year, that helped stem the tide from coming from Mexico. I think the moral is, it's sometimes about what's happening on this side of the border but not always.
CORNISH: At the same time, people here figure, like, 40 percent. And I'm sure they're wondering, could this be different?
GOODWYN: That's a good question. I mean this - it could be different. This is a big decline. And if it continues, we may start to see its effect on the construction and agricultural industries in this country. For example, here in Texas, housing construction is booming, and contractors are having trouble expanding as fast as they'd like. It's no secret here anyway that a significant number of these men framing these homes and picking fruits and vegetables are unauthorized immigrants. If employers lose access to cheap labor, Americans are going to pay more for the products they produce. It's straightforward economics.
CORNISH: That's NPR's Wade Goodwyn in Texas. Wade, thanks so much.
GOODWYN: It's my pleasure.
Copyright (C) 2017 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio record.
VIDEO - LiveLeak.com - Fears of confrontation in Seoul amid turmoil over president's ousting
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 13:05
Thousands of supporters of the ousted South Korean President have turned out on to the streets, while opposing protesters call for her to be arrested.
Tension is high after the country's constitutional court confirmed impeachment and removed Park Geun-hye from office over allegations of corruption.
Fears of confrontation are high after the deaths of two Park supporters during clashes on Friday. A third elderly man also died of a heart attack.
Kim Yong-Deok, the head of the National Election Commission, told reporters: ''We are in a very serious situation where we must elect the next president by May the 9th at the latest.
''It is concerning that the conflict we've seen might now be aggravated due to the election or that the election atmosphere might get overheated.''
Park is the country's first democratically elected president to be kicked out of office.
The move came after months of political turmoil and protests over a corruption scandal that has also seen the arrest of the head of the Samsung conglomerate.
Park, who has now lost her immunity, could yet face charges.
VIDEO - LiveLeak.com - Netherlands refuses landing rights for Turkish foreign minister's plane
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 13:01
The Dutch government says it has refused landing rights for the Turkish foreign minister's plane, as the row over the holding of Turkish political meetings in the EU escalates.
A statement from the Netherlands says the flight was refused because of ''public order and security concerns''.
It also says the threat of sanctions from Turkey over the issue, and a call for a ''massive public rally'', made it impossible to find a ''reasonable solution''.
The Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, earlier vowed that he would travel to Rotterdam, despite a ban on him addressing a political meeting of ex-pat Turks.
Turkey is attempting to garner support among ex-pats in the EU for an upcoming referendum on extending the powers of the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In response to the flight ban, Erdogan slammed the Netherlands as ''Nazi remnants and fascists''.
Bans on similar meetings have been imposed in Germany and Austria also barred Turkish officials from holding referendum rallies.
Erdogan caused outrage in Germany last week when he also condemned bans on meetings there as ''no better than what the Nazis did''.
The Netherlands is in the middle of a tense election campaign, in which immigration issues are being hotly debated.
VIDEO - Mall closed over terror threat in Germany | Euronews
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 06:38
world news
11/03/2017Naples protests against campaign visit by Northern League leader
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VIDEO - Netherlands-Turkey row heats up in Rotterdam | Euronews
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 06:32
world news
12/03/2017'I was fired', prominent US prosecutor in standoff with Trump
]]>
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VIDEO - "U.S. Commander Takes Responsibility For Yemen Raid!" (The Buck Doesn't Stop With The President?) - YouTube
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 05:36
VIDEO - Anti-Life Greene REFUSES simple questions, gets ABORTED by Tucker Carlson - YouTube
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 05:14
VIDEO - New Head Of EPA Says Carbon Emissions Have Little To Do With Climate Change! - YouTube
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 04:59
VIDEO - U.S. Lawmakers Looking For Ways To CENSOR Russia Today And Other Alternative News Sources! - YouTube
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 04:45
VIDEO - CNBC's Kernen Says Trumponomics 'Optimism' Helped Jobs | MRCTV
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 04:17
The economic optimism of Donald Trump's election is becoming harder to deny, although many liberals are still trying.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced March 10, that the U.S. economy added 235,000 new jobs in February, beating estimates by 38,000. Following that news, CNBC's Squawk Box co-anchor Joe Kernen argued Trump instilled confidence in the economy by surrounding himself by successful businessmen.
Kernen said these good jobs numbers are not about ''what he [Trump] has done'' in his first few weeks as president. Instead he argued that unlike ''the last administration'' the economy is ''in more competent hands'' with successful businessmen like Richard LeFrak, Carl Icahn, Wilbur Ross, and Gary Cohn all advising Trump.
While Kernen acknowledged some government programs should not have a ''profit incentive,'' he said that things like ''accountability'' and getting things done ''under budget and on time'' are better handled by people in the private sector.
Unsurprisingly, the president of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress Neera Tanden told Squawk Box viewers she is ''not attributing this to the new administration, since it's the first month of his presidency.''
Though the media have downplayed Trump's influence by minimally reporting good economic news the stock market has seen record gains since Election Day. The February jobs report was also the second month in a row of strong jobs reports. The BLS noted that January revisions brought that month up to 238,000 jobs added.
VIDEO - EPA chief Scott Pruitt says CO2 not a primary contributor to warming
Sat, 11 Mar 2017 23:19
Schatz said lawmakers would hold Pruitt accountable through the appropriations process and oversight of the EPA, and by making sure he follows the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
Pruitt previously served as Oklahoma attorney general, where he rose to prominence as a leader in coordinated efforts by Republican attorneys general to challenge President Barack Obama's regulatory agenda. He sued or took part in legal actions against the EPA 14 times.
Democrats and environmentalists opposed Pruitt's nomination to lead the EPA due to his close relationship with fossil fuel companies and his history of casting doubt on climate change. Conservatives and the energy industry have cheered his efforts to push back on what they view as over-regulation under Obama.
Pruitt maintained on Thursday it's possible to be pro-growth, pro-jobs and pro-environment all at once.
"This idea that if you're pro-environment you're anti-energy is just something we've got to change so that attitude is something we're working on very much," he said.
Asked whether he would seek to roll back the EPA's 2009 determination that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases are a danger to public health, Pruitt suggested he would like to see Congress take up the issue.
"I think all those things need to be addressed as we go forward but not least of which is the response by the legislative branch with respect to the issue," he said.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the EPA has the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases from automobiles. In 2014, it determined the agency could also regulate some sources of greenhouse gases, such as power plants.
Pruitt also called the Paris Agreement, an international accord aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change, "a bad deal." He said it puts the United States on a different playing field than developing countries like China and India.
VIDEO - Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad Interview With Chinese Media'... | The Last Refuge
Sat, 11 Mar 2017 23:14
Don't listen to the Western media version of what Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says. It is important to listen to his words directly:
.
CNN has intentionally broadcast a filtered version of this interview focusing on the ''foreign invaders'' perspective. However, pay close attention to the 06:15 point of the video above where Assad discusses President Trump and his policy, and how Assad (correctly) views Turkey as facilitating ISIS.
''We have hopes that this administration in the United States is going to implement what we have heard, taking into consideration that talking about ISIS doesn't mean talking about the whole terrorism; ISIS is one of the products, al-Nusra is one of the products, you have so many groups in Syria but they are not ISIS '' but they are al-Qaeda. They have the same background of the Wahhabi extremist ideology''. [ie. The Muslim Brotherhood]
Asked about cooperation with President Trump specifically, President Assad expands:
''In theory, yes. But practically not yet. Because there is no link between Syria and the United States on a formal level. Even their raids against ISIS which I have just mentioned, which are only a few raids, have been without the cooperation or consultation with the Syrian Army, or the Syrian government '' which is illegal as we always say. So theoretically we share those goals, but practically '' not yet.''
Do you have personal contact with the United States, direct or indirect:
''No. Not at all. Indirect we have so many channels but you cannot bet on private channels. It should be formal, that way we can talk about direct discussion with another government.''
Interesting interview.
Here's the CNN filtered view of the interview.
Pay particular attention to how CNN claims that Turkey is fighting ISIS, which is in direct contradiction with all known information, including the mouth of Bashar Assad himself who says that Turkey is facilitating ISIS.:
.
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VIDEO - Putin 'cautiously optimistic' about Syria political settlement with help of US & others '-- RT News
Sat, 11 Mar 2017 23:13
Russia is cautiously optimistic about consolidating the Syrian ceasefire and moving towards a political settlement with the assistance of other players, including the US, President Vladimir Putin said at a joint briefing with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
''As for the prospects [of the settlement in Syria], we must say frankly that the situation remains complicated. There are a lot of uncertainties; a lot of contradictions in the region and in the country itself '' in Syria,'' Putin said after the talks with Erdogan in the Russian capital on Friday.
Read more
"Therefore, I want to express cautious optimism that by joining efforts with other solid players, including the US, we will be able to effectively contribute to the strengthening of the ceasefire regime and, on its basis, to move towards a full-fledged political settlement," he said.
The Russian leader stressed that peace in Syria and the whole region can only be achieved if Syrian territorial integrity is restored.
''For peace and calm to remain in the region and the rebuilding of Syria to begin, the principle of the territorial integrity of states must be respected, and in this sense the restoration of the territorial integrity of Syria is '' in our view '' a paramount condition for a full-fledged settlement in this country,'' he said.
Erdogan echoed Putin's words by saying that ''both in Syria and in Iraq, the territorial integrity of the countries is our main goal. We can't tolerate the division of these territories.''
The Russian leader has praised the level of cooperation between the Russian and Turkish militaries and intelligence agencies in Syria.
''Mainly due to the active role of Russia and Turkey, it became possible not only to achieve cessation of hostilities between the government forces and the opposition, but to start direct, concrete negotiations between the warring sides in Astana,'' he said.
''Because of the coordinated actions by Russia, Turkey and Iran, the ceasefire in Syria is generally being observed. The level of violence has decreased,'' Putin added.
Erdogan also called the meetings in Astana, Kazakhstan where the Syrian ceasefire was agreed earlier this year ''an additional factor, making the process launched in Geneva more effective.''
The Turkish president said that both Ankara and Moscow ''want to cooperate with the (US-led) coalition on liberating the city of Manbij'' in northern Syria on the River Euphrates.
Back to mutual trustIt was the second meeting between Putin and Erdogan since Turkey's downing of a Russian bomber jet in Syrian border in November 2015 delivered a huge blow to bilateral relations between Moscow and Ankara.
The Turkish leader expressed belief that the Friday's talks completed the process of normalization of relations between the two countries.
"We managed to overcome provocative actions and all problems. Much work was done to normalize our relations. We think that there is a noticeable shift in our relations,'' he said.
''Even if we do not agree on all issues, we keep all channels of communications open, as a result of the establishment of mutual trust we shall continue strengthening cooperation,'' Erdogan said. Now that the relations have normalized, it's time for ''mutual trust'' to prevail, according to the Turkish leader.
Putin, on his part, said that Russia is considering Turkey a ''key partner,'' being ready to further develop political dialogue with Ankara.
"We can say with certainty that our countries have returned to the path of authentic multi-faceted partnership," he said.
The Russian president also announced that Moscow's ban on hiring Turkish workers in the Russian construction industry, imposed among other restriction after the downing of the Russian jet, will be lifted in near future.
VIDEO - Texas vehicle inspections could be a thing of the past
Sat, 11 Mar 2017 13:46
By News Staff |
Posted: Thu 9:35 PM, Mar 09, 2017 |
Updated: Fri 4:47 PM, Mar 10, 2017
AUSTIN -- Your annual vehicle inspection may be no more after Senator Don Huffines (R-Dallas) filed Senate Bill 1588.
According to a press release, the Senate Bill would repeal the annual requirement that all passenger vehicles receive a state-certified inspection.
In a statement Senator Huffines says," With significant technological advances in vehicle design and technology, this 66-year-old program is a relic of the past. State government is wasting Texans' time & money on the annual chore of passenger inspections when 34 other states, including populous states like California, don't require it of their drivers. Once you realize that these inspections aren't about safety, it's clear that they're simply a tax on Texans' time and money."
The inspections began in 1951, then in 1976 the federal government decided to drop the nationwide requirement.
According to the release, today, only 16 states still impose this mandate on drivers.
If passed this proposal would save drivers approximately $150 million, and 9 million hours that are lost while having passenger vehicles inspected.
"This is perhaps the most onerous and needless mandate that stategovernment imposes on its citizens. With nearly 20 million inspections done annually, most Texans will feel immediate relief with the elimination of this program. It's a joyous day in the Capitol when we have the opportunity to help millions of hard-working Texans by getting a worthless mandate off of their backs," Huffines concluded.
VIDEO - 'Propaganda virus': US lawmakers debate 'Russian misinformation' - YouTube
Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:36
VIDEO - Denzel Washington on fake news and information overload - BBC News - YouTube
Fri, 10 Mar 2017 06:53
VIDEO - Gay Couple Publicly Humiliated On Kiss-Cam By Announcer's Homophobic Insult
Fri, 10 Mar 2017 06:47
A gay couple was subjected to humiliation and homophobic abuse at an ice hockey game over the weekend when the arena announcer called their kiss-cam smooch ''disgusting.''
David Simms, an executive and public announcer for the Sheffield Steelers, reacted to the couple's kiss by saying: ''That's disgusting. Security, get rid of them.''
Simms took to BBC Radio Sheffield to respond to justify his comments: ''Maybe I live in a different world. I can't really see the offence I have caused.''
''But if people have been offend'... people who know me know I don't like to offend. I am truly sorry if I did do.''
''Unfortunately the world has moved on to a place that either I haven't realized it's got to or I am comfortable with.''
Hundred's of angry fans took to Twitter to voice their disgust with the homophobic announcer:
''I am not homophobic, you have known me long enough. I haven't got a bad bone in my body,'' Simms later told The Star. ''If the comments made anyone upset or offended anybody then of course I apologize completely.''
In response to the backlash, the Sheffield Steelers released a statement reiterating Simms' apology:
''The club would like to put on record our sincere apology to any fans or members of the LGBT community who were offended by comments made by David Simms during the game on Saturday 4th March,'' it read. ''In no way did Mr. Simms intend what was said in a derogatory or offensive way. David Simms has personally apologized to fans on social media, the club, the EIHL and has been in touch with LGBT direct.''
h/t: Gay Times
VIDEO - New details put the spotlight back on Trump's Russia scandal | MSNBC
Fri, 10 Mar 2017 06:26
The first real sign of trouble came last summer, when Republican officials were putting together the party platform at their national convention in Cleveland. As regular readers know, when Republican officials were putting together the party platform, Donald Trump and his campaign team were completely indifferent towards the document and the process '' with one notable exception.
The only thing Team Trump quietly pushed was a subtle change to make the Republican platform more in line with Russia's foreign policy preferences. One GOP congressman was quoted saying soon after that the ''most under-covered story'' of the Republican convention'' was Team Trump's efforts to change the party platform to be more pro-Putin. The Rachel Maddow Show, 3/8/17, 9:20 PM ET
Trump, Tillerson weaken State Department as Putin would want Rachel Maddow shows how the Donald Trump's State Department under Rex Tillerson is being drastically weakened, a situation that suits Vladimir Putin well in taking U.S. soft power influence out of his way.
About a month later, ABC News' George Stephanopoulos asked the then-candidate about this. ''I wasn't involved in that,'' Trump said. ''Honestly, I was not involved.'' Told that members of his team were responsible for pushing the platform in a direction Russia wanted, Trump added, ''Yeah. I was not involved in that.''Left unresolved is why Team Trump found it necessary to change the platform, and who on the Republican's team pushed for the change. As Rachel noted on last night's show, this report from Politico brings the story into sharper focus.
U.S. and Ukrainian authorities have expressed interest in the activities of a Kiev-based operative with suspected ties to Russian intelligence who consulted regularly with Paul Manafort last year while Manafort was running Donald Trump's presidential campaign.The operative, Konstantin Kilimnik, came under scrutiny from officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State Department partly because of at least two trips he took to the U.S. during the presidential campaign, according to three international political operatives familiar with the agencies' interest in Kilimnik.
Kilimnik, a joint Russian-Ukrainian citizen who trained in the Russian army as a linguist, told operatives in Kiev and Washington that he met with Manafort during an April trip to the United States. And, after a late summer trip to the U.S., Kilimnik suggested that he had played a role in gutting a proposed amendment to the Republican Party platform that would have staked out a more adversarial stance towards Russia, according to a Kiev operative.
I'm not in a position to say whether Kilimnik's claims are true, but it would at least make sense of a story that, to date, has been very difficult to understand.It also dovetails with a CNN report from last week in which J.D. Gordon, the Trump campaign's national security policy representative at the Republican convention, said he helped push for the platform change that ''Donald Trump himself wanted and advocated for.'' Gordon later told TPM he spoke with RNC officials about the platform language, but denied having ''pushed'' for the change.
Shortly after learning about the platform change, practically everyone on Team Trump shrugged their shoulders and proceeded to spend months denying any involvement. Now, however, we're learning that those denials, like so many claims about the Russia scandal, weren't entirely true.Complicating matters further, we also have thisPolitico report from Tuesday,
Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski approved foreign policy adviser Carter Page's now-infamous trip to Moscow last summer on the condition that he would not be an official representative of the campaign, according to a former campaign adviser.A few weeks before he traveled to Moscow to give a July 7 speech, Page asked J.D. Gordon, his supervisor on the campaign's National Security Advisory Committee, for permission to make the trip, and Gordon strongly advised against it, Gordon, a retired Naval officer, told POLITICO.
Page then emailed Lewandowski and spokeswoman Hope Hicks asking for formal approval, and was told by Lewandowski that he could make the trip, but not as an official representative of the campaign, the former campaign adviser said.
Hmm. Donald Trump chose Carter Page, who has extensive Russian ties, as one of his top foreign policy advisors for reasons that are still unclear. Page sought and received permission from Team Trump to go to Russia in July, and a week later, Team Trump quietly pushed the Republican platform in a more Putin-friendly direction. (A week after that, Wikileaks started publishing stolen documents from the DNC, believed to have been taken by Russian officials to help the Trump campaign.) The Rachel Maddow Show, 3/7/17, 9:01 PM ET
Pieces of Trump dossier check out despite investigative dearth Rachel Maddow notes that while the dossier of intelligence about Donald Trump ties to Russia remains unconfirmed, pieces of it have checked out upon investigation by the press, though the primary government investigators are former Trump campaign'...
What's more, let's also not forget that the now-infamous dossier about Trump and Russia, which remains unverified, specifically alleges not only that the Trump campaign was aware of the Russian hacks, but the change in the Republican platform was part of a quid-pro-quo between Team Trump and Moscow.And while there are plenty of important questions about the validity of that dossier, key pieces of the document now appear to be accurate.
Health care and wiretap conspiracy theories have helped push the Russia scandal off front pages, but the controversy continues to move forward in a way the White House should find alarming.
VIDEO - FBI investigation continues into 'odd' computer link between Russian bank and Trump Organization - CNNPolitics.com
Fri, 10 Mar 2017 04:17
Questions about the possible connection were widely dismissed four months ago. But the FBI's investigation remains open, the sources said, and is in the hands of the FBI's counterintelligence team -- the same one looking into Russia's suspected interference in the 2016 election.
One U.S. official said investigators find the server relationship "odd" and are not ignoring it. But the official said there is still more work for the FBI to do. Investigators have not yet determined whether a connection would be significant.
The server issue surfaced again this weekend, mentioned in a Breitbart article that, according to a White House official, sparked President Trump's series of tweets accusing investigators of tapping his phone.
CNN is told there was no Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant on the server.
The FBI declined to comment. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
In addition, companies involved have provided CNN with new explanations that at times conflict with each other and still don't fully explain what happened.
The story -- of a possible connection between computer servers -- is a strange tale because there are no specific allegations of wrongdoing and only vague technical evidence.
Internet data shows that last summer, a computer server owned by Russia-based Alfa Bank repeatedly looked up the contact information for a computer server being used by the Trump Organization -- far more than other companies did, representing 80% of all lookups to the Trump server.
It's unclear if the Trump Organization server itself did anything in return. No one has produced evidence that the servers actually communicated.
Slate and The New York Times were first to report the unusual server activity.The Times said the FBI had concluded there could be an "innocuous explanation." And cybersecurity experts told CNN this isn't how two entities would communicate if they wanted to keep things secret.
But for those who have studied the data, the activity could suggest an intent to communicate by email during a period of time when ties between the Trump Organization and Russia are being closely scrutinized because of Russia's alleged involvement in hacking the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chief John Podesta.
This issue intrigued a dozen computer researchers at a recent business conference in Washington, D.C. that pulled together the world's top network operators, the ones who help run the internet. To them, it's a strange coincidence that merits further scrutiny.
Another computer researcher, Richard Clayton of Cambridge University, said it's just plain weird.
"It's not so much a smoking gun as a faint whiff of smoke a long way away. Maybe there's something else going on. It's hard to tell," said Clayton, who has independently examined the scant evidence available.
What is known:
Last year, a small group of computer scientists obtained internet traffic records from the complex system that serves as the internet's phone book. Access to these records is reserved for highly trusted cybersecurity firms and companies that provide this lookup service.
These signals were captured as they traveled along the internet's Domain Name System (DNS).
These leaked records show that Alfa Bank servers repeatedly looked up the unique internet address of a particular Trump Organization computer server in the United States.
In the computer world, it's the equivalent of looking up someone's phone number -- over and over again. While there isn't necessarily a phone call, it usually indicates an intention to communicate, according to several computer scientists.
What puzzled them was why a Russian bank was repeatedly looking up the contact information for mail1.trump-email.com.
Publicly available internet records show that address, which was registered to the Trump Organization, points to an IP address that lives on an otherwise dull machine operated by a company in the tiny rural town of Lititz, Pennsylvania.
From May 4 until September 23, the Russian bank looked up the address to this Trump corporate server 2,820 times -- more lookups than the Trump server received from any other source.
As noted, Alfa Bank alone represents 80% of the lookups, according to these leaked internet records.
Far back in second place, with 714 such lookups, was a company called Spectrum Health.
Spectrum is a medical facility chain led by Dick DeVos, the husband of Betsy DeVos, who was appointed by Trump as U.S. education secretary.
Together, Alfa and Spectrum accounted for 99% of the lookups.
This server behavior alarmed one computer expert who had privileged access to this technical information last year. That person, who remains anonymous and goes by the moniker "Tea Leaves," obtained this information from internet traffic meant to remain private. It is unclear where Tea Leaves worked or how Tea Leaves obtained access to the information.
Tea Leaves gave that data to a small band of computer scientists who joined forces to examine it, several members of that group told CNN, which has also reviewed the data.
Possible explanations
The corporations involved have different theories to explain the server activity. But they haven't provided proof -- and they don't agree.
Alfa Bank has maintained that the most likely explanation is that the server communication was the result of spam marketing. Bank executives have stayed at Trump hotels, so it's possible they got subsequent spam marketing emails from the Trump Organization. Those emails might have set off defensive cybersecurity measures at the bank, whose servers would respond with a cautious DNS lookup. Alfa Bank said it used antispam software from Trend Micro, whose tools would do a DNS lookup to know the source of the spam.
Alfa Bank said it brought U.S. cybersecurity firm Mandiant to Moscow to investigate. Mandiant had a "working hypothesis" that the activity was "caused by email marketing/spam" on the Trump server's end, according to representatives for Alfa Bank and Mandiant. The private investigation is now over, Alfa Bank said.
Computer scientists agree that such an explanation is possible in theory. But they want to see evidence.
Alfa Bank and Mandiant could not point to marketing emails from the time period in question. "Mandiant has found evidence of an old marketing campaign, which... is too old to be relevant," Alfa Bank said in a statement.
CNN reached out to the Trump Organization with detailed technical questions but has not received answers.
Cendyn is the contractor that once operated marketing software on that Trump email domain. In February, it provided CNN a Trump Organization statement that called the internet records "incomplete" and stressed that they do not show any signs of "two-way email communication." That statement lends credibility to the spam marketing theory, because it says the Trump server was set up in 2010 to deliver promotional marketing emails for Trump Hotels. But Cendyn acknowledged that the last marketing email it delivered for Trump's corporation was sent in March 2016, "well before the date range in question."
Spectrum Health told CNN it "did find a small number of incoming spam marketing emails" from "Cendyn, advertising Trump Hotels." But it pointed to emails sent in 2015, long before the May-through-September 2016 time period examined by scientists. Spectrum Health said that it "has not been contacted by the FBI or any government agency on this matter."
Having the Trump Organization server set up for marketing also doesn't explain why Alfa Bank and Spectrum would stand out so much.
"If it were spam, then a lot of other organizations would be doing DNS lookups. There would be evidence of widespread connectivity with devices," said L. Jean Camp, a computer scientist at Indiana University who has studied the data.
Cendyn has also provided another possible explanation, suggesting a highly technical case of mistaken identity.
Cendyn routinely repurposes computer servers -- like the one used by the Trump Organization.
Cendyn's software, like its event planning tool Metron, sends email and thus relies on the 20 different email servers rented by the company. After "a thorough network analysis," Cendyn has said that it found a bank client had used Metron to communicate with AlfaBank.com.
But Alfa Bank starkly denies "any dealings with Cendyn." And, it says, it's unlikely that it received any emails from that server. "Mandiant investigated 12 months of email archives and it found no emails to or from any of the IP addresses given to us by the media."
On Wednesday, Cendyn provided another explanation to CNN. Cendyn claims the Trump Hotel Collection ditched Cendyn and went with another email marketing company, the German firm Serenata, in March 2016. Cendyn said it "transferred back to" Trump's company the mail1.trump-email.com domain.
Serenata this week told CNN it was indeed hired by Trump Hotels, but it "never has operated or made use of" the domain in question: mail1.trump-email.com.
Upon hearing that Cendyn gave up control of the Trump email domain, Camp, said: "That does not make any sense to me at all. The more confusing this is, the more I think we need an investigation."
Other computer experts said there could be additional lookups that weren't captured by the original leak. That could mean that Alfa's presence isn't as dominant as it seems. But Dyn, which has a major presence on the internet's domain name system, spotted only two such lookups '-- from the Netherlands on August 15.
Alfa Bank insists that it has no connections to Trump. In a statement to CNN, Alfa Bank said neither it, bank cofounder Mikhail Fridman and bank president Petr Aven "have had any contact with Mr. Trump or his organizations. Fridman and Aven have never met Mr. Trump nor have they or Alfa Bank had any business dealings with him. Neither Alfa Bank nor its officers have sent Mr. Trump or his organization any emails, information or money. Alfa Bank does not have and has never had any special or exclusive internet connection with Mr. Trump or his entities."
Scientists now silent
The bank told CNN it is now trying to identify the person or entity who disseminated this internet traffic. "We believe that DNS traffic in mainland Europe was deliberately captured - in a manner that is unethical and possibly illegal -- in order to manufacture the deceit," it said.
Fear has now silenced several of the computer scientists who first analyzed the data.
Tea Leaves refused to be interviewed by CNN and is now "hiding under a rock," according to an intermediary contact.
Paul Vixie, who helped design the very DNS system the internet uses today, was quoted in the Slate story saying that Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization "were communicating in a secretive fashion." Vixie declined to go on the record with CNN.
Even the skeptics have unanswered questions.
Robert Graham is a cybersecurity expert who wrote a widely circulated blog post in November that criticized computer scientists for premature conclusions connecting the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank.
But he's still wondering why Alfa Bank and Spectrum Health alone dominated links to this Trump server.
"It's indicative of communication between Trump, the health organization and the bank outside these servers," he told CNN. "There is some sort of connection I can't explain, and only they are doing it. It could be completely innocent."
VIDEO - Samantha Bee's 'Full Frontal' Apologizes for Saying Cancer Patient Has "Nazi Hair" | Hollywood Reporter
Thu, 09 Mar 2017 22:52
11:49 AM PST 3/9/2017 by THR Staff
On Wednesday's Full Frontal, a segment on the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) labeled a variety of attendees with partially shaved heads as having "Nazi hair." One of the men depicted in the segment is undergoing treatment for brain cancer, and his sister called out Samantha Bee's show on Twitter.
When @iamsambee makes fun of your brother for having "Nazi hair." He actually has stage 4 brain cancer, but whatever floats your boat. pic.twitter.com/ULJC8nA3IX
'-- Megan Coddington (@meg_kelly16) March 9, 2017"We deeply apologize for offending @_that_kyle in our CPAC segment," tweeted the Full Frontal account. "We only learned of his condition today & have removed him from the piece."
The video of the CPAC segment has been taken down from YouTube. Correspondent Michael Rubens narrated that part of the segment, which featured images of attendees with shaved haircuts, and said, "This year, the bow ties were gone, replaced by Nazi hair, Nazi hair, Nazi hair" and called the CPAC "decidedly Trump country."
We deeply apologize for offending @_that_kyle in our CPAC segment. We only learned of his condition today & have removed him from the piece.
'-- Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) March 9, 2017

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Agenda 2030

BBC->New Head Of EPA Says Carbon Emissions Have Little To Do With Climate Change.mp3
CNBC-EPA chief Scott Pruitt says carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming.mp3

AHCA

Anti-Life Jehmu Greene REFUSES simple questions, gets ABORTED by Tucker Carlson.mp3

Awn Brotherhood

CREC-2017-03-10-pt1-PgH2045-6.pdf

Caliphate

CNN-U.S. Marines IN SYRIA Preparing For Attack On Raqqa.mp3

F-Russia

Matthews Goes Conspiracy Theorist, Suggests Trump Smiling Means He’s in with Russia.mp3
NPR Top Democrat Mark Warner Provides Update On Trump-Russia Investigation-Le Pen Sponsorship.mp3
Pelosi on Clapper's 'No Evidence' of Trump-Russia 'Collusion' -- We Still Need an Investigation.mp3
RT->U.S. Lawmakers Looking For Ways To CENSOR Russia Today And Other Alternative News Sources.mp3

Fake News

Denzel Washington on fake news and information overload - BBC News.mp3

JCD Clips

assange 80-percentr.mp3
assange regular.mp3
brian ross question of assange.mp3
Canibal News Network 1.mp3
Canibal News Network2-tweets.mp3
Canibal News Network3 -lionel.mp3
china 2025.mp3
CNN deep state convo not new interesting flub.mp3
dead russian ambassador.mp3
fence jumper at White House BGR CBS.mp3
holly williams talks to ISIS fighter CBS.mp3
joy reid on wikileaks-2.mp3
joy reid on wikileaks-3.mp3
joy reid on wikileaks.mp3
Joy reid purging the sabateurs --starts with hannity.mp3
Korea update ousted president PBS.mp3
Kuchinisch on wire tapping.mp3
PMQT one vanity projects.mp3
PMQT TWO vanity projects.mp3
pope priests and marriage.mp3
prisoners released by obama CBS.mp3
random March 15 podcaster.mp3
shared bikes a problem in China.mp3
trump slump travel.mp3
turks killing kurds UN get involved.mp3
yemen update.mp3

JOBS JOBS JOBS

CNBC’s Kernen Says Trumponomics ‘Optimism’ Helped Jobs.mp3
Spicer- Trump Says Jobs Report ‘May Have Been Phony in the Past, But It’s Very Real Now’.mp3

Migrants

CAIR Blames White House ‘Islamophobes’ and ‘White Supremacists’ for New Travel Order.mp3
NPR-Homeland Security Announces Decline In Illegal Mexican Border Crossings.mp3
Wacky WaPo Jennifer Rubin Joins MSNBC's Hayes to Slam Trump, Fox on Immigration.mp3

Ottomania

Netherlands refuses landing rights for Turkish foreign minister’s plane.mp3
Netherlands-Turkey row heats up in Rotterdam | Euronews.mp3
Sweaty Sean confusing comment Flynn - FULL - ABC 2017-03-10.mp3
Sweaty Sean confusing comment Flynn - ISO - ABC 2017-03-10.mp3
Turkish - German Relations Remain Tense.mp3

The 25th

MSNBC Entertains Conspiratorial Rambling of Maxine Waters Demanding Trump Impeachment.mp3

The Machine

Monica Crowley canary in the coalmine-The Machine wants to eliminate Trump all together.mp3
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