914: Fack Base

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 18m
March 23rd, 2017
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Executive Producers: Nicholas Haller Sir Vive of the Virtual Reality, Grand Duke of the Pacific Northwest Dwayne Melancon, Stefan Kallweit, Sir HMFIC Baron of the US Armed Forces, Grand Duke of the USA Sir David Foley, Brian Hertziger Sir Veiled of Nebrassnuts

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Chad Beiderman Baron of Guam, Ben Smith Sir Reptitious the Stealthy, Tony Tanzi, Sir Dennis Cruise, Sir John The Brewer, David C

Cover Artist: Nick the Rat

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
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Caliphate!
Syria Invasion
Hi Adam,
My friend's son just finished boot camp less than 3 weeks ago. Friend and I were hanging out yesterday and he told me the the HMFIC of the bootcamp relayed the following to all of the grads...
POTUS asked The secretary general of the army for invasion plans of Syria. Iraq is a rest stop. Soure was new Army grad, my friends son and a solid dude. Take it for what it's is.
Peace and FUCK R. Madcow!
London police simulate Thames boat hijacking in counter-terror exercise | Reuters
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:29
Sun Mar 19, 2017 | 2:23 PM EDT
LONDON London police simulated a hijacking of a tourist boat on the River Thames on Sunday as part of training for a possible terror attack.
The Metropolitan Police said more than 200 police officers and staff took part in the exercise on Sunday and also involved other organizations including the fire brigade, ambulance service and coastguard.
"The scenario involved a group of terrorists hijacking a passenger pleasure boat on the Thames and taking a number of hostages, to travel up the Thames to central London to carry out a terrorist attack," the Met Police said in a statement.
"It was designed to test the response and command and control protocols of emergency services, working with maritime partners, in dealing with this kind of situation in a marine environment."
The Met said the scenario was not based on any specific intelligence but last year an independent review of London's preparedness to respond to a terrorist attack, ordered by the mayor, recommended strengthening security measures on the river.
Britain's terrorism threat level is at "severe", which means an attack is deemed "highly likely".
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Jason Neely)
Chilling 4chan post written day before London terror attack appears to predict incident
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:52
A post on an online forum appeared to predict the terror attack at Westminster, according to internet users.
At least one man ran over members of the public with a car before trying to stab and injure police officers. He was shot by armed police next to the Houses of Parliament.
The attack may have been flagged by a post on the 4chan forum, which contained references to its exact location. It also contained a photo, taken from the internet, of two guns.
It isn't known that the post was anything to do with the attacker, and it made no explicit reference to the date or nature of the incident. But many internet users are pointing out the chilling coincidence of the two events.
The reference to the location was posted through a strange code. Alongside the picture, the user posted a series of dashes and dots '' when translated into Morse code, they pointed to a URL, and at that page was the exact co-ordinates for the attack.
Video shows terrifying moment police open fire outside parliament
Those co-ordinates pointed to Westminster Bridge, which the attacker drove over. Specifically, they are located at the side where Parliament is located, which is where the shooting took place.
An air ambulance lands after gunfire sounds were heard close to the Palace of Westminster in London PA wire
MPs wait until the situation is under control in Westminster. 'The alleged assailant was shot by armed police,' David Lidington, leader of the House of Commons, told the house. BBC News
Crowds gather in Westminster after shooting incident, which police are treating as terror attack BBC News
Police were also called to an incident on Westminster Bridge nearby AP
Swipe to continue
Early reports indicate the car, which mounted the pavement on Westminster Bridge and mowed into around a dozen people, was the same vehicle which then rammed into the railings of the Palace of Westminster, just around the corner Reuters
Security sources described the suspected assailant as a middle-aged Asian man, who is understood to have left the car before attacking a police officer with a seven-to-eight inch knife PA wire
Police have asked people to avoid the immediate area to allow emergency services to deal with the ongoing incident AP
One woman has died and a number of others, including the police officer, have been hurt, according to a junior doctor at St Thomas' Hospital Reuters
At least three gun shots were heard by those inside Westminster, and proceedings in the House of Commons have been suspended AP
The post went live on the afternoon of 21 March, almost exactly 24 hours before the attack. It featured a note written on paint that included that date, making clear that it had been posted to 4chan's "Politically Incorrect" board.
One user followed the code and posted "Big Ben?", just minutes after it went online.
STINGRAY
US persons also includes an IP address
Text - H.R.356 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Protecting Our Democracy Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 04:25
There is one version of the bill.
Shown Here: Introduced in House (01/06/2017)
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress][From the U.S. Government Publishing Office][H.R. 356 Introduced in House (IH)]115th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 356 To establish the National Commission on Foreign Interference in the 2016 Election._______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES January 6, 2017Mr. Swalwell of California (for himself, Mr. Cummings, Ms. Jackson Lee, Mr. Aguilar, Ms. Barragan, Ms. Bass, Mrs. Beatty, Mr. Bishop of Georgia, Mr. Blumenauer, Ms. Bonamici, Ms. Bordallo, Mr. Brendan F. Boyle of Pennsylvania, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, Mr. Brown of Maryland, Ms. Brownley of California, Mrs. Bustos, Mr. Butterfield, Mr. Capuano, Mr. Carbajal, Mr. Cardenas, Mr. Cartwright, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Ms. Castor of Florida, Mr. Castro of Texas, Ms. Judy Chu of California, Mr. Cicilline, Ms. Clark of Massachusetts, Mr. Clay, Mr. Cleaver, Mr. Clyburn, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Cooper, Mr. Correa, Mr. Costa, Mr. Courtney, Mr. Crowley, Mr. Cuellar, Mr. Danny K. Davis of Illinois, Mrs. Davis of California, Mr. DeFazio, Ms. DeGette, Mr. Delaney, Ms. DeLauro, Mr. DeSaulnier, Mr. Deutch, Mr. Doggett, Mr. Michael F. Doyle of Pennsylvania, Mr. Ellison, Mr. Engel, Ms. Eshoo, Ms. Esty, Mr. Evans, Mr. Foster, Ms. Frankel of Florida, Ms. Fudge, Mr. Gallego, Mr. Garamendi, Mr. Gonzalez of Texas, Mr. Al Green of Texas, Mr. Gene Green of Texas, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Hastings, Mr. Heck, Mr. Himes, Mr. Hoyer, Mr. Huffman, Ms. Jayapal, Mr. Jeffries, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Keating, Ms. Kelly of Illinois, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Khanna, Mr. Kihuen, Mr. Kildee, Mr. Kilmer, Mr. Kind, Mr. Krishnamoorthi, Mr. Langevin, Mr. Larsen of Washington, Mr. Larson of Connecticut, Mrs. Lawrence, Ms. Lee, Mr. Levin, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, Mr. Loebsack, Ms. Lofgren, Mrs. Lowey, Mr. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, Ms. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, Mr. Lynch, Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, Ms. Matsui, Ms. McCollum, Mr. McEachin, Mr. McGovern, Mr. McNerney, Mr. Meeks, Ms. Meng, Mr. Moulton, Ms. Moore, Mr. Nadler, Mrs. Napolitano, Mr. Neal, Mr. Norcross, Ms. Norton, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Panetta, Mr. Pascrell, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Perlmutter, Mr. Peters, Mr. Peterson, Ms. Plaskett, Mr. Pocan, Mr. Polis, Mr. Price of North Carolina, Mr. Quigley, Mr. Raskin, Miss Rice of New York, Mr. Richmond, Ms. Rosen, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Ruiz, Mr. Ruppersberger, Mr. Ryan of Ohio, Ms. Sanchez, Mr. Sarbanes, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Schiff, Mr. Schneider, Mr. Scott of Virginia, Ms. Sewell of Alabama, Ms. Shea-Porter, Mr. Sherman, Ms. Sinema, Ms. Slaughter, Mr. Smith of Washington, Mr. Soto, Ms. Speier, Mr. Suozzi, Mr. Takano, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Mr. Thompson of California, Ms. Titus, Mr. Tonko, Mrs. Torres, Ms. Tsongas, Mr. Vargas, Mr. Veasey, Mr. Vela, Ms. Velazquez, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Ms. Maxine Waters of California, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Mr. Welch, Mr. Yarmuth, Ms. Adams, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mrs. Dingell, Mr. Espaillat, Ms. Gabbard, Mr. Higgins of New York, Ms. Kuster of New Hampshire, Mr. Lowenthal, Mrs. Murphy of Florida, Mr. O'Rourke, Mr. Rush, Mr. Sablan, Mr. Serrano, Mr. Sires, and Ms. Wilson of Florida) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs_______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To establish the National Commission on Foreign Interference in the 2016 Election. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Protecting Our Democracy Act''.SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT. There is established in the legislative branch the National Commission on Foreign Interference in the 2016 Election (in this Act referred to as the ``Commission'').SEC. 3. PURPOSES. (a) Activities of Russian Government.--The purpose of the Commission is to examine any attempts or activities by the Russian government, persons or entities associated with the Russian government, or persons or entities within Russia to use electronic means to influence, interfere with, or sow distrust in elections for public office held in the United States in 2016, including the following: (1) Electronic hacks by the Russian government, persons or entities associated with the Russian government, or other persons or entities within Russia into-- (A) the electronic systems of the Democratic National Committee; (B) the electronic systems of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; (C) the electronic systems of Mr. John Podesta, campaign chairman for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton; (D) the electronic systems of former Secretary of State Colin Powell; and (E) the electronic systems of Arizona, Illinois, and Florida, particularly voter database information. (2) Efforts by the Russian government, persons or entities associated with the Russian government, or persons or entities within Russia to put forward, disseminate, or promote false news about the campaigns for elections for public office held in the United States in 2016. (3) Efforts by the Russian government to work with other governments, entities, and individuals to carry out activities described in paragraphs (1) and (2). (b) Activities of Others.--In addition to the purpose described in subsection (a), the purpose of the Commission is to examine attempts or activities by governments other than the Russian government, persons associated with governments other than the Russian government, and other entities and individuals to use electronic means to influence, interfere with, or sow distrust in elections for public office held in the United States in 2016, including activities similar to those described in paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection (a).SEC. 4. COMPOSITION AND COMPENSATION OF COMMISSION. (a) Members.--The Commission shall be composed of 12 members, of whom-- (1) 3 shall be appointed by Speaker of the House of Representatives and 3 shall be appointed by the Majority Leader of the Senate; and (2) 3 shall be appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and 3 shall be appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate. (b) Chair and Vice Chair.--The Commission, by majority vote, shall choose a Chair and Vice Chair, of whom-- (1) one shall be a member appointed under paragraph (1); and (2) one shall be a member appointed under paragraph (2). (c) Qualifications.-- (1) Nongovernmental appointees.--An individual appointed to the Commission may not be an officer or employee of the Federal Government, any State, or any local government. (2) Other qualifications.--It is the sense of Congress that individuals appointed to the Commission should be prominent United States citizens, with national recognition and significant depth of experience in such professions as governmental service, law enforcement, the armed services, law, public administration, intelligence gathering, foreign affairs, cybersecurity, and Federal elections. (3) Deadline for appointment.--All members of the Commission shall be appointed not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. (4) Vacancies.--Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made. (5) Compensation.-- (A) In general.--Each member of the Commission may be compensated at not to exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay in effect for a position at level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, for each day during which that member is engaged in the actual performance of the duties of the Commission. (B) Travel expenses.--While away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission, members of the Commission shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in the Government service are allowed expenses under section 5703(b) of title 5, United States Code.SEC. 5. PROCEDURES OF COMMISSION. (a) Initial Meeting.--The Commission shall meet and begin the operations of the Commission as soon as practicable. After its initial meeting, the Commission shall meet upon the call of the chairman or a majority of its members. (b) Quorum.-- (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), a majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum. (2) Alternative quorum for taking testimony.--For purposes of taking testimony of witnesses, two members of the Commission may constitute a quorum, so long as at least one of the members is a member appointed under paragraph (1) of section 4(a) and at least one of the members is a member appointed under paragraph (2) of section 4(a). (c) Voting.--No proxy voting shall be allowed on behalf of a member of the Commission. (d) Rules of Procedure.-- (1) In general.--The Commission shall establish rules for the conduct of the Commission's business, if such rules are not inconsistent with this Act or other applicable law. (2) Adoption at initial meeting.--At its initial meeting, the Commission shall adopt the rules established under paragraph (1).SEC. 6. FUNCTIONS OF COMMISSION. (a) In General.--The duties of the Commission are as follows: (1) To investigate attempts or activities by the Russian government, persons or entities associated with the Russian government, or persons or entities within Russia to use electronic means to influence, interfere with, or sow distrust in elections for public office held in the United States in 2016, including the following: (A) Electronic hacks by the Russian government, persons or entities associated with the Russian government, or other persons or entities within Russia into-- (i) the electronic systems of the Democratic National Committee; (ii) the electronic systems of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; (iii) the electronic systems of Mr. John Podesta, campaign chairman for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton; (iv) the electronic systems of former Secretary of State Colin Powell; and (v) the electronic systems of Arizona, Illinois, and Florida, particularly voter database information. (B) Efforts by the Russian government, persons or entities associated with the Russian government, or persons or entities within Russia to put forward, disseminate, or promote false news about the campaigns for elections for public office held in the United States in 2016. (C) Efforts by the Russian government to work with other governments, entities, and individuals to carry out activities described in subparagraphs (A) and (B). (2) To investigate attempts or activities by governments other than the Russian government, persons or entities associated with governments other than the Russian government, and other entities and individuals to use electronic means to influence, interfere with, or sow distrust in elections for public office held in the United States in 2016, including activities similar to those described in subparagraphs (A) through (C) of paragraph (1). (3) To identify, review, and evaluate the lessons learned from the attempts, activities, and efforts described in paragraphs (1) and (2) relative to detecting, preventing, protecting from, and responding to such attempts, activities, and efforts. (4) To make such recommendations as the Commission considers appropriate to ensure that foreign governments and persons associated with foreign governments never again use electronic means to influence, interfere with, or sow distrust in elections for public office held in the United States. (b) Reports to the President and Congress.-- (1) Interim reports.--The Commission may submit to the President and Congress interim reports containing such findings, conclusions, and recommendations as have been agreed to by a majority of Commission members. (2) Final report.--Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall submit to the President and Congress a final report containing such findings, conclusions, and recommendations as have been agreed to by a majority of Commission members.SEC. 7. POWERS OF COMMISSION. (a) Hearings and Evidence.--The Commission or, on the authority of the Commission, any subcommittee or member thereof, may, for the purpose of carrying out this Act-- (1) hold such hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, administer such oaths; and (2) subject to subsection (b)(1), require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of such witnesses and the production of such books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents, as the Commission or such designated subcommittee or designated member may determine advisable. (b) Subpoenas.-- (1) Issuance.-- (A) In general.--A subpoena may be issued under this subsection only-- (i) by the agreement of the chair and vice chair; or (ii) by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Commission. (B) Signature.--Subject to subparagraph (A)(i), subpoenas issued under this subsection may be issued under the signature of the chairman or any member designated by a majority of the Commission, may be served by any person designated by the chairman or by a member designated by a majority of the Commission. (2) Enforcement.-- (A) In general.--In the case of contumacy or failure to obey a subpoena issued under paragraph (1), the United States district court for the judicial district in which the subpoenaed person resides, is served, or may be found, or where the subpoena is returnable, may issue an order requiring such person to appear at any designated place to testify or to produce documentary or other evidence. Any failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt of that court. (B) Additional enforcement.--In the case of any failure of any witness to comply with any subpoena or to testify when summoned under authority of this section, the Commission may, by majority vote, certify a statement of fact constituting such failure to the appropriate United States attorney, who may bring the matter before the grand jury for its action, under the same statutory authority and procedures as if the United States attorney had received as certification under sections 102 through 104 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (2 U.S.C. 192 through 194). (c) Contracting.--The Commission may, to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts, enter into contracts to enable the Commission to discharge its duties under this Act. (d) Information From Federal Agencies.-- (1) In general.--The Commission is authorized to secure directly from any executive department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality of the Government, information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics for the purposes of this Act. Each department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality shall, to the extent authorized by law, furnish such information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics directly to the Commission, upon request made by the chairman, the chairman of any subcommittee created by a majority of the Commission, or any member designated by a majority of the Commission. (2) Receipt, handling, storage, and dissemination.-- Information shall only be received, handled, stored, and disseminated by members of the Commission and its staff consistent with all applicable statutes, regulations, and Executive orders. (e) Assistance From Federal Agencies.-- (1) General services administration.--The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission on a reimbursable basis administrative support and other services for the performance of the Commission's functions. (2) Other departments and agencies.--In addition to the assistance prescribed in paragraph (1), departments and agencies of the United States may provide to the Commission such services, funds, facilities, staff, and other support services as they may determine advisable and as may be authorized by law. (f) Postal Services.--The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as departments and agencies of the United States.SEC. 8. STAFF. (a) In General.-- (1) Appointment and compensation.--The chairman, in accordance with rules agreed upon by the Commission, may appoint and fix the compensation of a staff director and such other personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to carry out its functions, without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, except that no rate of pay fixed under this subsection may exceed the equivalent of that payable for a position at level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of title 5, United States Code. (2) Personnel as federal employees.-- (A) In general.--The staff director and any personnel of the Commission who are employees shall be employees under section 2105 of title 5, United States Code, for purposes of chapters 63, 81, 83, 84, 85, 87, 89, 89A, 89B, and 90 of that title. (B) Members of commission.--Subparagraph (A) shall not be construed to apply to members of the Commission. (b) Detailees.--Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement from the Commission, and such detailee shall retain the rights, status, and privileges of his or her regular employment without interruption. (c) Expert and Consultant Services.--The Commission is authorized to procure the services of experts and consultants in accordance with section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, but at rates not to exceed the daily rate paid a person occupying a position at level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.SEC. 9. PUBLIC MEETINGS; PUBLIC VERSIONS OF REPORTS. (a) Requiring Public Meetings and Release of Public Versions of Reports.--The Commission shall-- (1) hold public hearings and meetings to the extent appropriate; and (2) release public versions of the reports required under section 6(b). (b) Public Hearings.--Any public hearings of the Commission shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the protection of information provided to or developed for or by the Commission as required by any applicable statute, regulation, or Executive order.SEC. 10. SECURITY CLEARANCES FOR COMMISSION MEMBERS AND STAFF. The appropriate Federal agencies or departments shall cooperate with the Commission in expeditiously providing to the Commission members and staff appropriate security clearances to the extent possible pursuant to existing procedures and requirements, except that no person shall be provided with access to classified information under this Act without the appropriate security clearances.SEC. 11. TERMINATION. (a) In General.--The Commission, and all the authorities of this Act, shall terminate 60 days after the date on which the final report is submitted under section 6(b)(2). (b) Administrative Activities Before Termination.--The Commission may use the 60-day period referred to in subsection (a) for the purpose of concluding its activities, including providing testimony to committees of Congress concerning its reports, and disseminating the final report.SEC. 12. FUNDING. (a) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be appropriated $3,000,000 to carry out this Act. (b) Duration of Availability.--Amounts made available to the Commission under subsection (a) shall remain available until the termination of the Commission.SEC. 13. DEFINITION. In this Act, the term ``electronic systems'' means computers, servers, and electronic communications.
Errata Security: Pranksters gonna prank
Mon, 20 Mar 2017 18:34
So Alfa Bank (the bank whose DNS traffic link it to trump-email.com) is back in the news with this press release about how in the last month, hackers have spoofed traffic trying to make it look like there's a tie with Trump. In other words, Alfa claims these packets are trying to frame them for a tie with Trump now, and thus (by extension) it must've been a frame last October.There is no conspiracy here: it's just merry pranksters doing pranks (as this CNN article quotes me).
Indeed, among the people pranking has been me (not the pranks mentioned by Alfa, but different pranks). I ran a scan sending packets from IP address to almost everyone one the Internet, and set the reverse lookup to "mail1.trumpemail.com".
Sadly, my ISP doesn't allow me to put hyphens in the name, so it's not "trump-email.com" as it should be in order to prank well.
Geeks gonna geek and pranksters gonna prank. I can imagine all sorts of other fun pranks somebody might do in order to stir the pot. Since the original news reports of the AlfaBank/trump-email.com connection last year, we have to assume any further data is tainted by goofballs like me goofing off.
By the way, in my particular case, there's a good lesson to be had here about the arbitrariness of IP addresses and names. There is no server located at my IP address of 209.216.230.75. No such machine exists. Instead, I run my scans from a nearby machine on the same network, and "spoof" that address with masscan:
$ masscan 0.0.0.0/0 -p80 --banners --spoof-ip 209.216.230.75
This sends a web request to every machine on the Internet from that IP address, despite no machine anywhere being configured with that IP address.
I point this out because people are confused by the meaning of an "IP address", or a "server", "domain", and "domain name". I can imagine the FBI looking into this and getting a FISA warrant for the server located at my IP address, and my ISP coming back and telling them that no such server exists, nor has a server existed at that IP address for many years.
In the case of last years story, there's little reason to believe IP spoofing was happening, but the conspiracy theory still breaks down for the same reason: the association between these concepts is not what you think it is. Listrak, the owner of the server at the center of the conspiracy, still reverse resolves the IP address 66.216.133.29 as "mail1.trump-email.com", either because they are lazy, or because they enjoy the lulz.
It's absurd thinking anything sent by the server is related to the Trump Orgainzation today, and it's equally plausible that nothing the server sent was related to Trump last year as well, especially since (as CNN reports), Trump had severed their ties with Cendyn (the marketing company that uses Listrak servers for email).
Also, as mentioned in a previous blog post, I set my home network's domain to be "moscow.alfaintra.net", which means that some of my DNS lookups at home are actually being sent to Alfa Bank. I should probably turn this off before the FBI comes knocking at my door.
Report confirms Fox News' Napolitano got his British Intelligence conspiracy theory from Russian state media
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 04:48
Breitbart and Infowars under investigation for ties to Russia: report
WATCH: Trump supporter okay with Russian collusion because the 'liberal' media wouldn't take down Clinton
'Oh, come on Jeffrey': Anderson Cooper finally reaches his limit with Jeffrey Lord defending Trump lies
WATCH: Adam Schiff masterfully connects the dots between Trump and Russia '-- and it's damning
Former Republican lawmaker stuns CNN panel when he says Trump isn't smart enough to be president
'A stunning moment': MSNBC panel shines a floodlight on 'buried' Comey testimony on Britain and Germany
Tomi Lahren suspended from The Blaze: report
'It puts us on defense all the time': Republicans and White House staff 'weary' of defending Trump's tweets
Fox News boots Judge Napolitano off the air for pushing Obama wiretap claims
'He has an audience of one': Dana Bash slams Sean Spicer for lying about Manafort because Trump is watching
Syria
U.S. base rises from the rubble for Mosul push | Reuters
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 04:40
Sun Mar 19, 2017 | 7:51 AM EDT
By Angus MacSwan | QAYYARA WEST AIRFIELD, Iraq
QAYYARA WEST AIRFIELD, Iraq U.S. troops are hard at work rehabilitating this battle-scarred, rubble-strewn airfield as a logistics and support hub for Iraqi and international forces in the decisive battle against Islamic State for the city of Mosul 60 km to the north.
The whirl of activity and the return of American soldiers signify a new U.S. build-up in Iraq 14 years on from the invasion that set off a conflict which has undergone various permutations. (For a map of Mosul battlefront click tmsnrt.rs/2fd0nGE)
But senior officers insist this mission is limited and temporary. The stated goal is to annihilate Islamic State and to help the Iraqi army.
"They are a sovereign nation and they've allowed us to come and advise them. We want to get rid of the bad guys. We are all moving toward the same objective," said Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Curtis of the 82nd Airborne support battalion.
Nine months ago, Islamic State still held Qayyara West. The hardline militants had seized it from the Iraqi army in 2014 and destroyed the place, demolishing buildings and breaking up the runway with jackhammers.
A resurgent Iraqi army recaptured it last July and soldiers from the U.S. 101st Airborne Division were deployed here in October as the offensive to recapture Mosul, Islamic State's last stronghold in the country, got underway. The 82nd Airborne took over at Q-West, as the base is known, in December.
About 1,000 personnel, mostly Americans but including other members of the international coalition, are based at Q-West out of a total of about 1,700 in the area of the Mosul operation, base commander Lieutenant Colonel Sebastian Pastor said.
Designated in military parlance as an Intermediate Staging Base, it provides support and logistics for several Tactical Assembly Areas closer to the battlefront. U.S. advisors are out on the field but Q-West also has an offensive role -'' a rocket battery is stationed here and regularly fires missiles at IS positions in western Mosul, and an air cavalry troop flies its helicopters in support of Iraqi forces on the ground.
POST APOCALYPSE
The place has a post-apocalypse look to it. Piles of rubble from destroyed buildings dot the landscape. Concrete blast walls surround the perimeter and snake through the inside. Containers and pallets of supplies are piled everywhere and fleets of armored vehicles and bulldozers are parked in rows.
The soldiers sleep in small concrete bunkers under tenting. A toppled water tower has become a landmark. In recent days, heavy rains had turned the ground into a sea of mud.
It is a far cry from when it was a major U.S. base at the height of the occupation, with a golf-driving range and a swimming pool, and was dubbed Key West after the Florida holiday island.
"It's going to get bigger but it's not going to get nicer," said battalion planner Captain Anne Nagy, who is in charge of construction.
Nagy described the base as a giant Greyhound bus station.
"We have hundreds of people in transit and they need supplying. You have a lot of people who are basically dedicated to organizing people, food, fuel, ammunition."
More troops will be arriving but how many and for how long depends on the battle for Mosul and its aftermath, Nagy said.
"We are going to hand it over to the Iraqi army as this operation closes out," she said.
Lieutenant Colonel Curtis also stressed that the build-up did not mean the United States was committing its forces to a long and costly new era of involvement.
She had served in Iraq during the 2003 invasion.
"It's a different fight now. We are here to support the Iraqi government. We are here on their permission and at their request. We are not the ones doing the fighting. We are advising them."
Asked how long they might stay, she said. "Our fight right now is in west Mosul. We can't speculate on the way ahead."
Handing over the airfield to Iraqi control is also a principle aim, said Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Carrie Coleman, head of the 370th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group detachment.
The runway has been repaired and can handle giant C-130 transporters. Two or three land per day, mostly at night for security reasons. There are air traffic controllers, weather specialists and cargo teams.
"Our mission here is to keep the logistics moving, bringing in cargo and people. Our goal is to get the Iraqis on their feet as soon as we can," Coleman said.
How long might that be? "Maybe in a year or so."
(Reporting by Angus MacSwan, Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)
Aliens
Hundreds Report Justin Bieber Shape-Shifted Into a Giant Lizard in Public
Mon, 20 Mar 2017 22:30
Per BuzzFeed, hundreds of Australian fans *allegedly* saw Justin Bieber morph into a giant reptile at the Perth Airport last week. One Australian outlet published an article about the startling *alleged* transformation and how ''all hell broke loose'' upon Justin's *alleged* shape-shifting but quickly deleted it.
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YourNewsWire.com reports this is not the first time a site has taken down an article describing the accidentally public *alleged!* shape-shifting of a celebrity (they themselves reported last June many had seen Queen Elizabeth transform into ''reptilian form'' on live TV.). But since otheraccounts of Justin's *alleged* transformation remain live, let's examine them together.
The way NeonNettle.com tells it, Justin's *alleged* morphing ''traumatized'' witnesses so badly it caused ''mass panic. Some frantically took to social media while [others] vomited and scrambled into taxis to escape.'' Unbelievable.
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''Multiple accounts'' claim Alizustin (that's *alleged* Lizard Justin) had ''greenish-brown claws'' and ''turd-colored scales.'' Others say Alizustin took ''full female reptilian form,'' though who are they to assign a gender identity to a reptilian shape-shifter? It's 2017, you all should know better than to judge a human-size lizard by his/her/their cover.
The now-deleted Perth Now piece detailed Alizustin's appearance (god, really, though, guys, is this proof we are far too focused on looks or what??) further: ''His head shrunk and his eyes went black with a black stripe down the middle. He grew a few feet taller and had gross [colored] scales all over his body,'' the post read. In fact, Alizustin's transformed appearance was so scary to some, one fan told the site she ''won't be going to any [Justin Bieber concerts] now, no way.'' Wow.
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The day after the *ALLEGED* airport sighting, rumors of further shapeshifting persisted. A local skater told YourNewsWire.com Justin couldn't control the constant, *ALLEGED * shifting, turning back and forth from human to lizard while he hung out with a bodyguard. The skater, who clearly has reading to do on the offensive and common stereotyping of Resting Gigantic Reptile Bitch Face, said Alizustin had ''slitty little reptile eyes.''
Listen, I know *ALLEGED!!!!* celebrity shape-shifting can be scary. But is it really a reason to discriminate? Do human-lizard hybrids not also bleed some form of blood? Do they not too feel some form of feelings? Do they not cry themselves to sleep at night reading Facebook comments about how some trolls wish they'd die? I'm just saying. I'm just saying.
You should all be ashamed of yourselves.
Follow Tess on Twitter.
AHCA
Trump's No-Win Health Care Debacle - POLITICO Magazine
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 15:54
AP
1600 Penn
Even if the GOP repeal bill passes the House, it will be a Pyrrhic victory.
By Jeff Greenfield
March 22, 2017
A new president faces his first major legislative test, and the portents do not look good. His majorities in both houses are rickety; key House and Senate members are voting no. If his proposal fails, the political fallout will be enormous, and he will be labeled a failure.
That's exactly what Bill Clinton faced in 1993, and his near-death experience demonstrates two lessons: First, ''saving my presidency'' is a powerful argument; and second, ''winning'' may not be all that it's cracked up to be.
Story Continued Below
Clinton entered office with strong majorities in both houses: 57 senators, 258 House members. But he'd won without coattails. Thanks to Ross Perot, who won 19 percent of the vote, almost every Democrat in Congress had run ahead of Clinton. And Perot was more significant. His focus on the deficit imposed a heavy political weight on Clinton, especially when the outgoing Bush administration revealed that the deficit'--a then-staggering $282 billion'--would be billions higher than forecast.
That fact meant that Clinton had to walk a tightrope between keeping his campaign promises of significant new investments, and the demand for action on the deficit. That demand was strengthened by the fact that Clinton had surrounded himself with economic conservatives, like Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Wall Street's Robert Rubin. (Their emphasis on deficit reduction'--which would lead, they argued, to lower interest rates'--caused James Carville to proclaim that when he was reincarnated, ''I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.'')
The resulting bill'--the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act'--had just enough bad-tasting medicine in it to drive some key Democrats away from support. A ''BTU tax'''--a precursor of a carbon tax'--meant that senators from energy-producing states, like Oklahoma's David Boren, would be opposed. So was New Jersey's Frank Lautenberg, whose suburban constituents wanted no part of the plan. And those defections were costly because every single Republican in both houses of Congress opposed the bill'--a foreshadowing of what the next Democratic president would face.
As the vote neared, the White House fell back on one key argument to wavering members: Losing this vote will effectively destroy my presidency. That argument was enough to persuade Pennsylvania's Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky to cast the 218th vote that gave the bill its majority. (Republicans serenaded her with ''Bye, bye, Marjorie'' as she left the well of the House.)
The Senate was equally close. On the eve of the vote, Clinton had 49 votes; he needed 50 to enable vice president Al Gore to break the tie. And the one senator whose vote was up for grabs was Nebraska's Bob Kerrey'--no fan of the president. (He would later describe Clinton as ''an unusually good liar.'')
After days in seclusion, followed by a contentious phone call with Clinton'--Kerrey took the guidance of New York Senator Daniel Moynihan. ''I decided,'' he said, ''that I could not and should not cast a vote that brings down your presidency.''
That argument is now being directed at dissident House Republicans. Its potency is one reason why a gambler would be well disposed to bet that Obamacare repeal will pass the House, letting the fight move to the Senate and buying time for accommodation with the bill's Republican foes.
But there's another lesson here. While Clinton got his tax and budget bill through Congress, the political costs were high. There was no immediate economic boom, and in 1994, Republicans were able to turn their argument about ''highest the increase in history'' into a midterm electoral rout, even though it was not exactly true. Democrats lost both houses of Congress, and the House and Senate remained in GOP hands for the rest of the Clinton presidency. That effectively ended any chance for Clinton to initiate a bold legislative agenda, and'--not so incidentally'--gave Republicans the votes they needed in the House to impeach him.
Now it is Trump who needs wavering members of his party to come to his rescue. His argument'--that voting against repeal may cost Republicans their seats'--does have resonance. Unlike Clinton in 1993, Trump has a base within the rank and file. Had Clinton threatened Democrats with a warning that he'd campaign against them, just about every member of Congress would have laughed in his face. A promise/threat from Trump would have to be taken seriously, even though the last president who tried to ''purge'' disloyal members of Congress'--that would be FDR in 1938'--was singularly unsuccessful.
There is, however, a counterweight: the prospect that by 2018, the impact of ''Trumpcare'' will be start to be felt; and if the analyses of the Congressional Budget Office, the Kaiser Family Foundation and others are correct, the impact will be felt most sharply among older, less affluent, working-class Americans '... in other words, Trump's base. If that prospect ripens into reality, what would be celebrated as a legislative triumph may wind up as an epic disaster.
So even if Trump manages to win with Clinton's most powerful argument'--''save my presidency!'''--it may be that the political consequences of Obamacare repeal will turn out to be a classically Pyrrhic victory.
Jeff Greenfield is a five-time Emmy-winning network television analyst and author.
F-Russia
Eurovision 2017: Ukraine bars Russian singer Samoilova from contest - BBC News
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 15:52
Image copyright Channel One Russia/ EVN Image caption Samoilova is a former Russian X Factor contestant Ukraine has barred Russia's Eurovision contestant because she performed in Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014.
Julia Samoilova was banned from entering Ukraine for three years because of her "illegal" visit, the Ukrainian SBU security service said.
Samoilova, 27, has confirmed that she sang in Crimea in 2015. Ukraine is due to host Eurovision in Kiev, in May.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which founded Eurovision, said it was "deeply disappointed" by the news.
"We have to respect the local laws of the host country, however we are deeply disappointed in this decision as we feel it goes against both the spirit of the contest and the notion of inclusivity that lies at the heart of its values," it said in a statement.
The EBU said it would "continue a dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities with the aim of ensuring that all artists can perform" in Kiev.
Senior Russian politicians called for a boycott of the event.
Howls of outrage: Analysis by Sarah Rainsford, BBC News, MoscowImage copyright AP Image caption Samoilova appeared at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi The Eurovision song contest just got political. Russia and Ukraine are now locking horns over Moscow's choice of competitor.
There is already a predictable chorus of fury here. A deputy foreign minister called the ruling outrageous, cynical and inhumane - no less. One MP is demanding that the contest is moved to another country while a second warns that Russia will boycott every Eurovision to come unless organisers intervene to resolve this.
Some suspect this is precisely what Moscow wanted when it chose Julia Samoilova, knowing that she had travelled to Crimea.
Adding to the howls of outrage here is the fact that the singer being banned has used a wheelchair from childhood and this year the slogan for Eurovision is celebrating diversity.
The SBU has blacklisted at least 140 other Russian artists.
Russia and Ukraine have been at loggerheads since the annexation of Crimea and subsequent fighting in east Ukraine, which Moscow is accused of stoking.
Ukraine is hosting the competition after its singer, Jamala, caused an upset by winning in Sweden last year.
Her song, 1944, was about Joseph Stalin's mass deportation of the Crimean Tatars during World War Two.
The SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) said earlier it would verify information about Samoilova's visit to Crimea and take a decision.
Responding to the ban, Russian state TV's Channel One, which broadcasts Eurovision, said in a statement: "Ukraine didn't even have the common sense to make use of this opportunity to look like a civilised country."
Who is Julia Samoilova? Image copyright Channel One Russia/ EVN Image caption Samoilova was selected just one day before the 13 March deadline for nomination The singer-songwriter was born in April 1989 in Ukhta, RussiaHer song Flame is Burning was composed by Leonid Gutkin, who also produced Russia's 2013 and 2015 entriesThe Russian entrant has been in a wheelchair since childhood, suffering from spinal muscular atrophy: a neuromuscular disorder causing muscle wastageShe was a 2013 finalist in Russia's X Factor competition and performed at the opening ceremony to the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympics Last month, the contest was rocked by the resignation of 21 top-level staff who organise the event.
The Ukrainian Eurovision team said they had been stripped of major responsibilities in December, when a new boss was appointed to the organising committee.
According to their resignation letter, they were "completely blocked" from making decisions about the show.
The EBU told Ukraine's public broadcaster to "stick to the timeline" despite the upheaval. It insisted the event would go ahead as planned in Kiev.
Key witness in Preet Bharara's Russian crime probe was just thrown from fourth floor of building - Palmer Report
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:21
Just days after Donald Trump took care of business on his end by firing U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who had been investigating a Russian financial crime ring in New York, it appears the Kremlin is trying to take care of business on its end. According to the BBC, one of the key Russian witnesses in Bharara's case was just thrown from the fourth floor of a building in Moscow.
Remarkably, Nikolai Gorokhov is still alive and in intensive care. Daniel Sandford of the BBC tweeted this afternoon that ''Gorokhov has been ''thrown from the 4th floor of his apartment building'' in Moscow.'' Sandford then added that ''Nikolai Gorokhov is in the intensive care unit of Botkin hospital in Moscow with severe head injuries according to Bill Browder.'' Browder is a longtime vocal critic of Vladimir Putin.
Gorokhov is notable for two reasons. One is that he was the attorney for Russian political activist Sergei Magnitsky, who was murdered in Russia in 2009, allegedly by Vladimir Putin. But as the Daily Beast has pointed out, Gorokhov was also a key witness in Preet Bharara's Russian crime probe in the United States. And perhaps most alarmingly, Sandford is also reporting that ''Gorokhov was due at the Moscow City Appeals Court tomorrow to argue on behalf of Sergei Magnitsky's mother.''
It appears the Kremlin is already attempting to float a coverup story involving Gorokhov falling out a fourth story window while he was helping some workers move a bathtub. But it's entirely unclear why an attorney would be helping workers move a bathtub, particularly one day before he was due to appear in court. Here's hoping Gorokhov survives his injuries so that we don't have to add him to the list of nine prominent Russians who have all mysteriously died since the Trump-Russia scandal exploded. Contribute to Palmer Report
If you appreciate the investigative reporting of Palmer Report, consider making a contribution:Bill Palmer is the founder and editor in chief of the political news outlet Palmer Report
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AP Exclusive: Before Trump job, Manafort worked to aid Putin
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:48
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The White House on Wednesday acknowledged the AP's revelations had "started to catch a lot of buzz" but brushed them aside, though some members of Congress expressed alarm.
Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse.
Manafort pitched the plans to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP. Manafort and Deripaska maintained a business relationship until at least 2009, according to one person familiar with the work.
"We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success," Manafort wrote in the 2005 memo to Deripaska. The effort, Manafort wrote, "will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government."
White House spokesman Sean Spicer indicated Wednesday that President Trump had not been aware of Manafort's work on behalf of Deripaska.
"To suggest that the president knew who his clients were from 10 years ago is a bit insane," Spicer said. He noted the AP's reporting "has started to catch a lot of buzz" but said Manafort's work occurred long before he became Trump's campaign chairman. "I don't know what he got paid to do," Spicer said, adding, "There's no suggestion he did anything improper."
Manafort's plans were laid out in detailed documents obtained by the AP that included strategy memoranda and records showing international wire transfers for millions of dollars. How much work Manafort performed under the contract was unclear. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.
Manafort confirmed again Wednesday in a statement that he had worked for Deripaska but denied his work had been pro-Russian in nature. He added, "I look forward to meeting with those conducting serious investigations of these issues."
An official representative of Deripaska said simply in a statement Wednesday: "There was an agreement between Mr. Deripaska and Mr. Manafort to provide investment consulting services related to business interests of Mr Deripaska which now is a subject to legal claims."
The disclosures come as Trump campaign advisers are the subject of an FBI probe and two congressional investigations, and they appear to guarantee that Manafort will be sought as a key witness in upcoming hearings. Investigators are reviewing whether the Trump campaign and its associates coordinated with Moscow to meddle in the 2016 campaign. Manafort has dismissed the investigations as politically motivated and misguided. The documents obtained by AP show Manafort's ties to Russia were closer than previously revealed.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the disclosures "serious stuff" and more evidence that an independent congressional committee should investigate the Trump administration. "Other shoes will drop," he said.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a frequent Trump critic, said of Manafort: "Clearly, if he's getting millions of dollars from a billionaire close to Putin, to basically undermine democratic movements, that's something I'd want to know about. I doubt if Trump knew about it."
Democrats on the House intelligence committee said the new revelations will feature in their investigations.
The disclosure "undermines the groundless assertions that the administration has been making that there are no ties between President Trump and Russia. This is not a drip, drip, drip," said Rep. Jackie Speier of California. "This is now dam-breaking with water flushing out with all kinds of entanglements."
Deripaska became one of Russia's wealthiest men under Putin, buying assets abroad in ways widely perceived to benefit the Kremlin's interests. U.S. diplomatic cables from 2006 described him as "among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis" and "a more-or-less permanent fixture on Putin's trips abroad." In response to questions about Manafort's consulting firm, a spokesman for Deripaska in 2008 '-- at least three years after they began working together '-- said Deripaska had never hired the firm. Another Deripaska spokesman in Moscow last week declined to answer AP's questions.
Manafort worked as Trump's unpaid campaign chairman last year from March until August, a period that included the Republican National Convention that nominated Trump in July. Trump asked Manafort to resign after AP revealed that he had orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation until 2014 on behalf of Ukraine's ruling pro-Russian political party.
The newly obtained business records link Manafort more directly to Putin's interests in the region. According to those records and people with direct knowledge of Manafort's work for Deripaska, Manafort made plans to open an office in Moscow, and at least some of his work in Ukraine was directed by Deripaska, not local political interests there. The Moscow office never opened.
Manafort has been a leading focus of the U.S. intelligence investigation of Trump's associates and Russia, according to a U.S. official. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the investigation are confidential. Meanwhile, federal criminal prosecutors became interested in Manafort's activities years ago as part of a broad investigation to recover stolen Ukraine assets after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych there in early 2014. No U.S. criminal charges have ever been filed in the case.
FBI Director James Comey, in confirming to Congress the federal intelligence investigation this week, declined to say whether Manafort was a target. Manafort's name was mentioned 28 times during the hearing of the House intelligence committee, mostly about his work in Ukraine. No one mentioned Deripaska.
On Monday, Spicer had said Manafort "played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time" in the presidential campaign, even though he was Trump's campaign chairman. Spicer on Wednesday said further that Manafort was hired to oversee the campaign's delegate operation. "To be clear, he got the job done on the delegates," Spicer said.
Manafort and his associates remain in Trump's orbit. Manafort told a colleague this year that he continues to speak with Trump by telephone. Manafort's former business partner in eastern Europe, Rick Gates, has been seen inside the White House on a number of occasions, helped plan Trump's inauguration and now runs a nonprofit organization, America First Policies, to back the White House agenda.
Gates, whose name does not appear in the documents, told the AP that he joined Manafort's firm in 2006 and was aware Manafort had a relationship with Deripaska but was not aware of the work described in the memos. Gates said his work was focused on domestic U.S. lobbying and political consulting in Ukraine at the time. He said he stopped working for Manafort's firm in March 2016 when he joined Trump's presidential campaign.
Manafort told Deripaska in 2005 that he was pushing policies as part of his work in Ukraine "at the highest levels of the U.S. government '-- the White House, Capitol Hill and the State Department," according to the documents. He also said he had hired a "leading international law firm with close ties to President Bush to support our client's interests," but he did not identify the firm. Manafort also said he was employing unidentified legal experts for the effort at leading universities and think tanks, including Duke University, New York University and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Manafort did not disclose details about the lobbying work to the Justice Department during the period the contract was in place.
Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, people who lobby in the U.S. on behalf of foreign political leaders or political parties must provide detailed reports about their actions to the department. Willfully failing to register is a felony and can result in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, though the government rarely files criminal charges. "I don't know if he violated the Foreign Agent Registration Act," Sen. Graham said, "but it's something I think we all need to know more about."
Deripaska owns Basic Element Co., which employs 200,000 people worldwide in the agriculture, aviation, construction, energy, financial services, insurance and manufacturing industries, and he runs one of the world's largest aluminum companies. Forbes estimated his net worth at $5.2 billion. How much Deripaska paid Manafort in total is not clear, but people familiar with the relationship said money transfers to Manafort amounted to tens of millions of dollars and continued through at least 2009. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the secret payments publicly.
In strategy memos, Manafort proposed that Deripaska and Putin would benefit from lobbying Western governments, especially the U.S., to allow oligarchs to keep possession of formerly state-owned assets in Ukraine. He proposed building "long term relationships" with Western journalists and a variety of measures to improve recruitment, communications and financial planning by pro-Russian parties in the region.
Manafort proposed extending his existing work in eastern Europe to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Georgia, where he pledged to bolster the legitimacy of governments friendly to Putin and undercut anti-Russian figures through political campaigns, nonprofit front groups and media operations.
For the $10 million annual contract, Manafort did not use his public-facing consulting firm, Davis Manafort. Instead, he used a company, LOAV Ltd., that he had registered in Delaware in 1992. He listed LOAV as having the same address as his lobbying and consulting firms in Alexandria, Virginia. In other records, LOAV's address was listed as Manafort's home, also in Alexandria. Manafort sold the home in July 2015 for $1.4 million. He now owns an apartment in Trump Tower in New York, as well as other properties in Florida and New York.
One strategy memo to Deripaska was written by Manafort and Rick Davis, his business partner at the time. In written responses to the AP, Davis said he did not know that his firm had proposed a plan to covertly promote the interests of the Russian government.
Davis said he believes Manafort used his name without his permission on the strategy memo. "My name was on every piece of stationery used by the company and in every memo prior to 2006. It does not mean I had anything to do with the memo described," Davis said. He took a leave of absence from the firm in late 2006 to work on Sen. McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.
Manafort's work with Deripaska continued for years, though they had a falling out laid bare in 2014 in a Cayman Islands bankruptcy court. The billionaire gave Manafort nearly $19 million to invest in a Ukrainian TV company called Black Sea Cable, according to legal filings by Deripaska's representatives. It said that after taking the money, Manafort and his associates stopped responding to Deripaska's queries about how the funds had been used.
Early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Deripaska's representatives openly accused Manafort of fraud and pledged to recover the money from him. After Trump earned the nomination, Deripaska's representatives said they would no longer discuss the case.
___
Associated Press writers Jack Gillum, Eric Tucker, Julie Pace, Ted Bridis, Stephen Braun, Julie Bykowicz and Monika Mathur contributed to this report in Washington; Nataliya Vasilyeva contributed from Moscow and Kiev, Ukraine; and Jake Pearson contributed from New York.
___
Submit reporting tips to The Associated Press: https://www.ap.org/tips
SJW BLM LGBBTQQIAAP
YouTube Blocks LGBTQ Videos Under Restricted Mode | Teen Vogue
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:57
YouTube is working on ways to filter out offensive content, but some vloggers have noticed that one of its latest tactics has created a serious feeling of censorship towards the LGBTQ+ community. The platform's "Restricted Mode" has notably been blocking and filtering out content from LBGBTQ+ creators, which is confusing considering that the feature is designed only to "use community flagging, age-restrictions, and other signals to identify and filter out potentially inappropriate content."
Tyler Oakley, who is one of YouTube's biggest stars, recently became aware that one of his newest videos was blocked under Restricted Mode. He took to Twitter to address the situation, writing: "Still not fixed. One of my recent videos '8 Black LGBTQ+ Trailblazers Who Inspire Me' is blocked because of this. I'm perplexed, @YouTube." He also encouraged his followers to "actively check on all LGBTQ+ creators you're subscribed to & continue to support their content."
Tyler tells Teen Vogue that this filtering could have negative effects on the LGBTQ+ community. "YouTube has always been a place for disenfranchised voices to reach audiences who are actively seeking representation in media," he explains. "It's often the first place many LGBTQ+ youth around the world see themselves and their stories shared and celebrated. Blocking LGBTQ+ creators and content is harmful, plain and simple."
And he is definitely not alone '-- other YouTubers are expressing concern about their blocked videos as well. Rowan Ellis told Gizmodo that the filtering is troubling because "there is a bias somewhere within that process equating LGBTQ+ with 'not family friendly.'" And creator SeaineLove tweeted that her videos about being transgender were all blocked under Restricted Mode.
As both Tyler and Rowan pointed out, this feature is not only harmful but also sends the wrong message. There is nothing "inappropriate" or "offensive" about simply being who you are, and YouTube has always been an outlet for that necessary self-expression. Hopefully the platform will recognize these problems sooner than later and take action to rectify the situation.
Related:This New Music Video Perfectly Captures the Magic of Falling in Love
Check This Out:
ABC News Public Relations '-- DIANE SAWYER INTERVIEWS CAITLYN JENNER TWO YEARS...
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 22:04
One Millennial Entrepreneur Will Make the Deal That Takes 'Shark Tank' Over the Threshold in a Special Episode Airing Friday February 24, Followed by '20/20's' ''Shark Tank: The Road to $100 Million''
'20/20' Takes a Closer Look at the Incredible American Entrepreneurs Behind $100 Million in Deals Over the Last Eight Seasons, America's Favorite Sharks, Their Greatest Hits, Biggest Misses and the Best Behind-the-Scenes Moments
Two-Hour Programming Event From 'Shark Tank' and '20/20' Airs on the ABC Television Network, Friday, February 24, Starting at 9:00 p.m. EST
9:00''10:00 p.m. EST
''Episode 818'''-- In a special episode featuring millennial entrepreneurs, one will make the deal that takes the award-winning ''Shark Tank'' across the $100 million threshold of deals made in the Tank, on ''Shark Tank,'' airing FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24 (9:00-10:01 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network.
Since 2009, more than 600 entrepreneurs have pitched their businesses in the Tank in hopes that they will be closer to attaining the American Dream. ''Shark Tank'' has given people from all walks of life the opportunity to secure business deals that could make them millionaires.
Those daring to swim with the Sharks in this pinnacle episode are: a former tech consultant-turned-chef and a former strategy and operations consultant from San Diego, California, who believe their tasty, artificial-free nutrients are the future of food supplements; a woman from Scranton, Pennsylvania, who comes from a family of entrepreneurs, needs a Shark to propel her training and educational courses for would-be drone pilots; two college friends now living in Brooklyn, New York, seek to help the animals that inspired their company with elephant-themed apparel; and three beach lovers from San Diego, California, introduce a stylish option to the standard beach towel, with proceeds helping to preserve marine life. Also, an update from David Heath and Randy Goldberg from New York, New York, and their sock company with a social mission, Bombas, which Daymond John invested in during season six.
The Sharks in this episode are Mark Cuban, Kevin O'Leary, Lori Greiner, Daymond John and Robert Herjavec.
Mark Burnett, Clay Newbill, Yun Lingner and Phil Gurin are the executive producers of ''Shark Tank,'' which is based on the Japanese ''Dragons' Den'' format, created by Nippon Television Network Corporation. The series is produced by MGM Television in association with Sony Pictures Television.
10:00''11:00 p.m. EST
''20/20'' takes a look back at the Emmy Award-winning series ''Shark Tank'' and the incredible American entrepreneurs behind $100 million in deals made over the past eight seasons.
Anchors Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir interview America's favorite sharks '' Mark Cuban, Kevin O'Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec and Lori Greiner '' about the most successful investments and the biggest misses in show history.
Muir takes a look at some of the ''Shark Tank'' products made in America and the entrepreneurs behind them who brought jobs to small towns nationwide.
Plus, the cast talks about the ''kidpreneurs'' who got their start on ''Shark Tank'' and where they are now.
Then the Sharks take viewers behind the scenes, revealing how competitive they really are with one another when the cameras aren't rolling and their favorite memories from the show.
''Shark Tank: The Road to $100 Million'' airs on ''20/20,'' FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24 (10:01-11:00 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network.
''Shark Tank'' is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format with stereo sound. This program carries a TV-PG parental guideline.
''20/20'' is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir. David Sloan is senior executive producer.
For more information on ''Shark Tank,'' visit abc.com.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SharkTank
Twitter: @ABCSharkTank and @ABC_Publicity
Hashtag: #SharkTank
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ABC2020
Twitter: @ABC2020
Hashtag: #ABC2020
'' ABC ''
Daily 49er : Milk new symbol of hate?
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 02:30
White nationalists and neo-nazis using milk as form of racial supremacy.
Samantha Diaz, Staff Writer
March 13, 2017
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When you think of milk, what first comes to your mind? If you're a millennial, you probably think of strong bones, Got Milk? commercials, or maybe eating your favorite cereal while watching cartoons on a Saturday morning.
What about racism? White nationalism? If you're having trouble finding the connection between these institutions and milk, you're not alone. You, along with the rest of the nation, have been so accustomed to hearing the benefits of milk that you probably didn't even realize the subtle racism hidden in our health facts.
It may not surprise you that the United States was founded on racism. That every institution we uphold has racist roots that are sometimes difficult to catch and even harder to fight against. This phenomenon affects our voter ID laws, state testing and, yes, even our federal dietary guidelines. But how can our health guidelines, a system meant to be built upon scientific fact alone, have racist messages? Where there is a deep-rooted tradition to suppress an entire race's existence, there's a way.
The federal endorsement of milk in American diets contributes to the problem by uncritically pushing people to drink milk, despite the potential detriment it has on non-white people's health.
Our current federal dietary guidelines urge people to drink three cups of milk a day, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The main health benefit of milk is to guard against osteoporosis, a disease that weakens your bones '-- hence the ''stronger bones'' rhetoric. While this is a very practical health benefit, osteoporosis affects Africans at a significantly lower rate than it does most Americans, according to an article on Mother Jones.
These facts about milk were brought to attention by a scientific magazine that got trickled down into the world of 4chan, where the facts were distorted and exaggerated to fit a racist rhetoric for white supremacy. The online trollers decided to take their milk jugs to the public using Shia LaBeouf's social experiment livestream project, ''He Will Not Divide Us,'' which began as a protest against President Donald Trump. The installation has since been shut down by the host, The Museum of Moving Images, for being being ''a serious and ongoing public safety hazard,'' according to a February article by USA Today.
This is the basis that white supremacist milk chuggers used for their bring-your-own-milk-jug party using Shia LaBeouf's camera to advance their hateful message. In an effort to prove their masculinity, a dozen middle-aged white men showed up shirtless, shouting about how they need to ''secure the future of our diet and the future for milk drinking.'' One man proudly displayed his neo-Nazi tattoo while spitting milk into the livestream camera.
This odd form of white supremacy also received cinematic attention through Jordan Peele's horror movie ''Get Out,'' a movie that highlights racism in a post-racial America. Peele artistically addresses the new medium of hate with one of the film's most eerie scenes, which shows a white woman meticulously sipping milk from a bendy straw. The scene would have gone unnoticed in the movie, but audiences were forced to notice the long, drawn-out frame of the woman taking a sip; Peele wanted people to notice.
These seemingly coincidental acts of racism are backed by the way milk continues to be represented in American diets.
The Mother Jones article states that not only is milk non-beneficial to Africans, but following the guidelines may actually be detrimental to their health. There is a strong correlation to calcium consumption and an increased risk of prostate cancer, unproportionally affecting African men. Furthermore, both black children and adults generally secrete less calcium on a daily basis than white people, making them less dependent upon milk.
Remember that this is the dietary guidelines for Americans. I want to emphasize that last word. These guidelines are for Americans . This means they should reflect the health needs of the ethnicities that make up America which, news flash, isn't just white people. And since the African American community in the U.S. is continuously rising, it seems only logical to acknowledge that while something may be beneficial for one group of people, that may not be the case for another.
These differences are now leaving the world of health and spilling into our political and social lives. Milk has now become a symbol of racial superiority for white nationalists and neo-Nazis, claiming that their ability to process milk makes them racially superior.
That Peele came up with the idea for the scene days before shooting began, not knowing that the release of his movie would be perfectly timed with the sudden rise of interest for milk among white supremacists, is proof that the connection between milk and white supremacy is gaining visibility.
''That scene is just one of my favorites,'' Peele told the LA Times. ''There's no dialogue in it '-- just this beautiful psychotic image that gives me glee when it happens in the film.''
The milk scene in ''Get Out,'' along with LaBeouf's livestream, turned what started out as internet trolling into yet another form of nonsensical white superiority. And while there is little logic to the train of thoughts involved in choosing the next inanimate face of racism, our country's health guidelines certainly take part of the blame for this one.
Until we recognize the racist roots in our own systems of government and fight to remove them, we are all in part responsible for the white, creamy form of racism currently taking hold in our country.
Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People - Wikipedia
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:32
The Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People are non-binding protocols outlining the usual treatment for individuals who wish to undergo hormonal or surgical transition to the other sex. Clinicians' decisions regarding patients' treatment are often influenced by this standard of care (SOC).
Prior to the advent of the first SOCs, there was no semblance of consensus on psychiatric, psychological, medical, and surgical requirements or procedures. Before the 1960s, few countries offered safe, legal medical options and many criminalized cross-gender behaviors or mandated unproven psychiatric treatments. In response to this problem, the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association (now known as the World Professional Association for Transgender Health) authored one of the earliest sets of clinical guidelines for the express purpose of ensuring "lasting personal comfort with the gendered self in order to maximize overall psychological well-being and self-fulfillment." These standards are still the most well-known; however, other sets of SOCs, protocols and guidelines do exist, especially outside the USA.
WPATH standard of care [ edit] The Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), formerly known as the Benjamin Standards of Care, are the most widespread SOC used by professionals working with transsexual, transgender, or gender variant people.[1] The WPATH-SOC are periodically updated and revised. The latest revision was released September 25, 2011. This is the seventh version of the WPATH-SOC since the original 1979 document was drafted. Previous revisions were released in 1980, 1981, 1990, 1998, and 2001.[2]
Included in the guidelines are sections on purpose and use of the WPATH-SOC, the global applicability of the WPATH-SOC, the difference between gender nonconformity and gender dysphoria, epidemiology, treatment of children, adolescents and adults, mental health, hormone replacement therapy (female-to-male or male-to-female; HRT), reproductive health, voice and communication therapy, sex reassignment surgery, lifelong preventive and primary care, applicability of the WPATH-SOC to people living in institutional environments, and applicability of the WPATH-SOC to people with disorders of sex development.
Summary of WPATH-SOC For Gender Identity Disorders, Sixth Version [ edit] The sixth revision recommends that mental health professionals document a patient's relevant history in a letter, which should be required by medical professionals prior to physical intervention. One letter is required for hormone replacement therapy or either augmentation mammoplasty or male chest reconstruction. Two additional letters are needed for genital surgeries.[3]
The Eligibility Criteria and Readiness Criteria give certain very specific minimum requirements as prerequisites to HRT or sex reassignment surgery (SRS). For this and other reasons, the WPATH-SOC is a highly controversial and often maligned document among patients seeking medical intervention (hormones, and/or surgery), who state that their legally protected right to proper medical care and treatment is unjustly and unduly withheld or even denied based on the SOC.
WPATH-SOC sections One through Four are introductory in nature, explaining (section I) the purpose, intent, and need for the SOC, (section II) epidemiological considerations relating to transsexual people, (section III) diagnostic nomenclature, and (section IV) the job of the mental health professional.
Sections Five through Eight begin the actual guide to treatment. They specifically address the manner in which to diagnose transsexualism in both minors and adults, the manner in which to document the diagnoses and recommendations ("The Letter") and also covers requirements and treatment using hormones, including use and effects of hormones.
Section Nine covers "The Real-life Experience," during which individuals seeking hormonal and other treatments are expected to begin transitioning publicly to their preferred gender role.
WPATH-SOC sections Ten through Twelve specifically cover the surgical treatment of transsexual people. Section Twelve, titled "Genital Surgery," deals directly with all concerns about sex reassignment surgery. It includes six "Eligibility Criteria" and two "Readiness Criteria", which are intended to be used by professionals for both diagnosis and guidance before providing patients "letters of recommendation."
The Thirteenth and final section covers "post-transition follow-up".
Criticism of the WPATH-SOC [ edit] Numerous criticisms have been made against the WPATH-SOC over the course of its history, some of which are reflected in later versions of the guidelines. Most of these criticisms are related to the strictness of the requirements, noting that the rate of post-surgical regret among transsexual people is very low '-- lower than many medically necessary and cosmetic procedures with less stringent requirements. Provisions related to the necessity of real-life experience (noting that requiring real-life experience in an incongruous anatomical/social role can be both mentally harmful as well as physically dangerous to the individual) have been particularly under fire, as is the SOC's very strict requirements on the treatment of minors. Under all but the most recent version of WPATH-SOC, even hormonal treatment to delay the onset of puberty was forbidden in all cases, leading to often irreversible bodily changes. This has been changed to allow for hormone treatment (both hormone blockers and hormones) in limited circumstances. The WPATH has also removed the set length of time for psychotherapy.
WPATH has also come under fire for adopting pathological language when referring to Intersex individuals in its latest revision, SOC 7. The SOC uses the term "Disorders of Sex development" even though many Intersex individuals don't consider their biological differences a disorder, and argue that the language used by the SOC is stigmatizing and offensive.[citation needed ]
Other SOCs, protocols and guidelines for treatment of Gender Dysphoria [ edit] In some countries or areas, local standards of care exist, such as in the Netherlands, Germany or Italy. Also, some health care providers have their own set of SOCs which have to be followed to have access to health care. The criticism about the WPATH-SOCs applies to these as well; some of these SOCs are based on much older versions of the WPATH-SOCs, or are entirely independent of them. A more lenient version that has been increasing in acceptance is the Health Law Standards Of Care, developed by the Health Law Project (also known as the ICTLEP guidelines), which is based on a harm-reduction model.
Treatment according to older SOCs is often reserved for transsexual people only, not for other transgender people, who might not want to undergo the complete set of treatments, or who see themselves outside a binary gender system. Such older SOCs are often used to withhold medical interventions from transgender people altogether.
In other regions, notably Latin America, surgeons follow no particular set standards and use their own criteria for eligibility for surgery.
In Western countries the emphasis is on psychiatry or psychology; typically, in Latin America, the emphasis is on the ability to "pass", and in Thailand the emphasis is on cross-living experience.
See also [ edit] References [ edit] ^ Britt Colebunders; Griet De Cuypere; Stan Monstrey (2015). "New Criteria for Sex Reassignment Surgery: WPATH Standards of Care, Version 7, Revisited". International Journal of Transgenderism. 16 (4): 222-233. Retrieved December 10, 2016 . ^ "Standards of Care, Version 7". WPATH. Retrieved December 10, 2016 . ^ "The Mental Health Professional." The World Professional Association for Transgender Health's Standards Of Care For Gender Identity Disorders. 6th ed. 2001. External links [ edit]
New Criteria for Sex Reassignment Surgery: WPATH Standards of Care, Version 7, Revisited: International Journal of Transgenderism: Vol 16, No 4
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:31
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Armageddon
Macy's is copying TJ Maxx
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 07:26
Macy's is copying TJ Maxx. Reuters Macy's is morphing into a discount store.
The department-store chain is testing self-service systems in its shoe departments and at its beauty counters, meaning customers would serve themselves instead of finding a salesperson to retrieve shoes or make eyeliner recommendations.
Thi s model copies highly successful off-price retailers like TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack.
Customer service was once what set Macy's apart from those retailers.
But now customers don't even want that level of service when they're shopping, according to Macy's chief financial officer Karen Hoguet.
"Lots just say, 'Leave me alone, let me get the shoe I want and move on,'" Hoguet said Wednesday at a conference in Boston, according to Fortune.
This isn't the first time Macy's has copied discount stores, and it won't be the last.
Hoguet said that Macy's would be incorporating even more elements from discount stores into its business model going forward.
"I think you're going to see more of that enter into the Macy's logic," she said, according to CNBC.
Macy's added a clearance section to its department stores that it calls "Last Act." Reuters
A couple years ago, Macy's launched an off-price brand called "Backstage" that sells Macy's brands at steeply discounted prices, up to 80% off.
The company opened a number of standalone "Backstage" stores and then last year started rolling them out within existing Macy's locations.
At the same time, Macy's added a clearance section to its department stores that it calls "Last Act." The clearance section compiles discounted items from racks around the store and centralizes them in one place.
Macy's is realizing that the traditional department store model is crumbling, and it needs to become more like a discount store to stay competitive.
Macy's same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, fell 2.7% in the key holiday quarter. The company said it expects that metric to drop between 2.2% and 3.3% this year.
Sears and JCPenney also reported dismal holiday quarters. The three chains are collectively closing nearly 400 stores in the first half of the year to slow the losses.
The retail apocalypse has officially descended on America
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 05:46
Woodbridge Mall in New Jersey. Business Insider/Sarah Jacobs
Thousands of mall-based stores are shutting down in what's fast becoming one of the biggest waves of retail closures in decades.
More than 3,500 stores are expected to close in the next couple months.
Department stores like JCPenney, Macy's, Sears, and Kmart are among the many companies shutting down stores, along with middle-of-the-mall chains like Crocs, BCBG, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Guess.
Some retailers are exiting the brick-and-mortar business altogether and trying to shift to an all-online model.
For example, Bebe is reportedly closing all 170 of its stores to focus on growing online sales, according to a Bloomberg report. The Limited also recently shut down all 250 of its stores, while still selling merchandise online.
Others, like Sears and JCPenney, are aggressively paring down their store counts to unload unprofitable locations and try to staunch losses.
Mike Nudelman
Sears is shutting down 10% of its Sears and Kmart locations, or 150 stores, and JCPenney is shutting down 14% of its locations, or 138 stores.
According to many analysts, the retail apocalypse has been a long time coming in the US, where stores per capita far outweigh any other country.
The US has 23.5 square feet of retail space per person, compared with 16.4 square feet in Canada and 11.1 square feet in Australia '-- the next two countries with the highest retail space per capita, according to a Morningstar report from October.
Visits to shopping malls have been declining for years with the rise of ecommerce, as well as titanic shifts in how shoppers are spending their money.
Visits to malls declined by 50% between 2010 and 2013, according to real estate research firm Cushman & Wakefield.
A Sears store inside the Woodbridge Center Mall in Woodbridge, NJ. Business Insider/Sarah Jacobs
And people are now devoting bigger shares of their wallets to restaurants, travel, and technology '-- like smartphones '-- than ever before, while spending less on apparel and accessories.
As stores continue to close, many shopping malls will be forced to shut down as well.
When an anchor store like Sears or Macy's closes, it often triggers a downward spiral in performance for shopping malls.
The malls don't only lose the income and shopper traffic from that store's business. The closure often triggers "co-tenancy clauses" that allow the remaining mall tenants to exercise their right to terminate their leases or renegotiate the terms, typically with a period of lower rents, until another retailer moves into the vacant anchor space.
Getty Images
To reduce losses, malls must quickly find a replacement tenant for the massive retail space that the anchor store occupied , which is nearly impossible '-- especially in malls that are already financially strapped '-- when every major department store is reducing its retail footprint.
That can have grave consequences for shopping malls, especially in markets where it's harder to transform vacant mall space into non-retail space like apartments, according to the analysts.
The nation's worst-performing malls '-- those classified in the industry as C- and D-rated '-- will be hit the hardest by the store closures.
The real estate research firm Green Street Advisors estimates that about 30% of all malls fall under that category.
That means that nearly a third of all shopping malls are at risk of dying off as a result of the store closures.
Trains Good, Planes Bad
Dear Virgin America | Virgin
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 04:48
With a lot of things in life, there is a point where we have to let go and appreciate the fact that we had this ride at all. Many years ago, I shed tears over selling my beloved Virgin Records for $1 billion, which we needed to fight off British Airways' Dirty Tricks campaign to try to put Virgin Atlantic out of business. Many tears are shed today, this time over Alaska Airlines' decision to buy and now retire Virgin America.
It has a very different business model and sadly, it could not find a way to maintain its own brand and that of Virgin America.
virgin_38513084899.jpgImage from Virgin America
When a company goes public, decisions are made that benefit the shareholders. In the best of times, they also benefit consumers. It remains to be seen what will happen now '' for travellers '' with fewer airlines in the US than ever. Being different and on a mission to truly reinvent an experience for the customer is increasingly rare in this business.
Remember that time from 2004 to 2007 when we leased planes that were sitting on the runway while we waited for the US government to give us a license so that we could make flying good again? Remember the naysayers who said you could not create an experience-driven airline in the US and survive? Remember launch day '' August 8th, 2007 '' when even an epic tornado didn't stop our brilliant team getting our first flight an on-time departure?
Remember that time in 2014 when Dallas residents signed a petition to make sure city council members did the right thing and gave us two gates at Dallas Love Field? And the party we threw to thank Dallas for letting us fly? The legacy airlines kept trying to stop us flying. But we won over people in Newark, Chicago and Boston in similar fashion. We grew to more than 25 cities, swept every single major consumer travel award and became profitable. Even if the industry 'experts' did not, you and your guests always believed that an airline can stay in business by delivering a better flying experience.
virgin_22430127577.jpgImage from Virgin America
We went through a lot together. And you were worth every minute, every penny (there were many!), every battle. We earned every loyal guest and fan. Every market was hard-won. The launch parties, the networking, the productivity on flights, the live concerts at 35,000 feet, the marriage proposals, the first in-flight wedding, the Oprah Skype to the plane! And who could forget that time in 2008 when I nearly ripped my arse jumping off the side of The Palms in Vegas?
It was a long and hard journey but in the end you are the best consumer airline in America. You invented concepts like 'moodlighting' and 'on-demand food,' you reinvented cabin amenities from seat-to-seat chat to Netflix in the sky. You chose warm and soothing pink to purple moodlighting that transitions based on outside light. You proved it is possible to run a business with a strategy that does not rely on low fares and a dominant position alone: you attracted premium flyers with a fun and beautiful guest experience. You created the world's most loved safety video. You proved that it is possible to create a business with a terrific culture and a brand that people love.
Virgin America HighlightsYou let Teammates think differently, and invested a lot of time and money into lifting your Teammates up with extraordinary training. You also gave back at every turn, even when you weren't yet profitable. Investing in and operating one of the youngest and most fuel and carbon efficient fleets in the US. Starting mentoring conversations among seasoned and aspiring entrepreneurs. Putting the spotlight on adopting animals that need homes on the adorable annual Chihuahua airlift day. One of my favourite moments was joining KIPP students on a flight to watch Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo fly alongside us; the flight inspired a new generation of engineers and pilots and ensured that an exciting future of transportation belonged to everyone. Throughout it all, you aimed to make flying good again - and you did.
virgin_20097046190.jpgImage from Virgin America
To each of your brilliant Teammates, I know that you will continue to do great things, whether you stay on with Alaska or pursue a different path. Build a business that puts its people first. Work with partners who share your same progressive and inclusive values. Focus on delivering a great customer experience, and success will come. Make business a force for good. Stay positive; attitude is everything.
To our wonderful guests, I speak for everyone at Virgin America when I say we are eternally thankful. For believing in the little airline that could. For giving up your miles on ''Blah airlines'' - so you could fly us for the experience. For supporting us in every tussle we got in with the big guys. For believing that all airlines don't have to be the same '' and that experience matters.
You would not believe the number of people who tell me how much they love flying Virgin America. Keep expecting '' and demanding '' more from your airlines! If you miss flying Virgin America, you still have your beautiful sisters; Virgin Atlantic is starting service from London to Seattle next week, and Virgin Australia is starting direct service from Melbourne to Los Angeles the week after that. Virgin flies on.
virgin_38513085504.jpgImage from Virgin America
Businesses come and go but beloved brands make lasting impressions and remain in your heart. Virgin's purpose is to change business for good. We give humans permission to be and do the best they can. With that simple approach, Virgin builds companies around the world that get into your heart. We earn lasting loyalty and love that you don't normally see for a bank or a health club or a small satellite launcher. We have all those and more. We have been busy building a number of new and exciting Virgin businesses in the US, and they are gathering pace. Later this year in San Francisco, we will open a Virgin Hotel and put on our first Virgin Sport US festival. We have just launched the Virgin Pulse Global Challenge, Virgin Voyages has started building the first of its three ships, and we continue to expand our space tourism and small satellite launch businesses in southern California. As an entrepreneur's brand, Virgin is always starting new businesses. And we will not stop.
George Harrison once said, ''All Things Must Pass.'' This was the ride and love of a lifetime. I feel very lucky to have been on it with all of you. I'm told some people at Virgin America are calling today "the day the music died". It is a sad (and some would say baffling) day. But I'd like to assure them that the music never dies.
NA-Tech News
Farmers are pirating John Deere tractor software to stick it to the man - ExtremeTech
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:07
Many of us have downloaded cracked software from the darker corners of the internet over the years. Remember when the only way to get Photoshop was to buy a $700 license? Yeah, enough said. Some of the most prolific users of cracked software these days aren't who you think. Farmers across the US are grabbing modified copies of tractor software from sketchy Eastern European websites to get around John Deere's draconian software restrictions.
Large-scale farming is now a heavily mechanized industry, and some of these pieces of machinery can cost several times as much as your car. John Deere is becoming known as a particularly troublesome company to deal with when you need to make repairs on one of the expensive pieces of farm equipment you bought. Farmers explained to Motherboard recently how the software running on their tractors make even simple repairs a pain.
John Deere's tractor firmware prevents the owners from making an unauthorized repairs. Whenever maintenance is needed, an authorized agent needs to swing by and connect to the tractor with diagnostic software. They okay the repair, and the tractor then works. Without that, it's a very big paperweight. John Deere charges several hundred dollars for service calls, plus $150 per hour for the technician. When techs aren't available, they have to wait. The alternative many are starting to turn to is pirating the diagnostic software themselves.
Most of the cracked John Deere programs seem to be coming out of Poland and Ukraine. Gaining access involves finding one of the secretive invite-only forums and paying a membership fee. Once inside, farmers can buy John Deere's software kits for a few hundred dollars '-- the cost of just a few maintenance checks. The legality of this is questionable. The Librarian of Congress has approved a temporary exemption to the DMCA that allows owners of land vehicles to circumvent locked down software. Doing it with cracked software is a different matter.
The farm-heavy state of Nebraska is one of those pushing right-to-repair legislation, which would render John Deere's license agreement void. Then, the company would have to sue individual customers for violating the contract if it wanted to enforce it. Naturally, it's fighting the legislation hard. Farmers fear what will happen if right to repair doesn't become law.
Will John Deere get to decided when their tractors stop working by ending repair service? It's like when a game developer shuts down the online authentication server for that game you bought five years ago. Except instead a game that cost you $40, it's a tractor that cost $30,000 and should be able to run for years to come.
General Motors, John Deere want to make tinkering, self-repair illegal - ExtremeTech
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:08
The ability to modify a vehicle you've purchased is, in many ways, a fundamental part of America's car culture '-- and, to some extent, embedded in our culture, period. From the Fast & Furious saga to Han Solo's ''She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications,'' we value the right to tinker. More practically, that right can be critically important when it comes to fixing heavy farm equipment. That's why it's significant that companies like John Deere and General Motors have joined forces to argue that no, you don't actually own the equipment you purchase at all.
Without those modifications, what are the chances that the Falcon could make .5 past light speed? I am a huge nerd.
The tractor and farm equipment manufacturer doesn't mince words. ''In the absence of an express written license in conjunction with the purchase of the vehicle [to operate its software], the vehicle owner receives an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle, subject to any warranty limitations, disclaimers or other contractual limitations in the sales contract or documentation.''
GM, meanwhile, alleges that ''Proponents incorrectly conflate ownership of a vehicle with ownership of the underlying computer software in a vehicle.'' The problem with these arguments is that while existing software laws confirm that individuals are licensing code rather than purchasing it when they buy a license from Adobe or Microsoft, the cases in question did not generally anticipate that the code would be used to artificially create extremely high barriers to repair. As tractors have gone high tech, John Deere has aggressively locked away critical information needed for adjusting either aspects of the vehicle's timing and performance or the necessary information to troubleshoot problems. Kyle Wiens wrote about the issue a few months back, noting how John Deere's own lockouts and high-tech ''solutions'' have supposedly caused a spike in demand for older, simpler vehicles. Farmers, it seems, don't like having to pay expensive technicians. As a result, the used tractor business is booming.
Both companies go on to assert that the Copyright Office shouldn't consider allowing tractor owners or car enthusiasts make any sort of modifications to their vehicles because doing so might enable piracy through the vehicle entertainment system. While this is theoretically possible in a modern car, I suppose, if improbable, it's downright laughable in a tractor. A new tractor can cost upwards of $100,000 '-- is anyone seriously going to pirate One Direction CDs while ploughing a field?
The other argument '-- that users will abuse these capabilities to engage in unsafe or dangerous activities '-- ignores the fact that Americans enjoyed this level of tweaking and tuning for decades. True, a modern computer system might make it easier to modify certain characteristics, but it's not as if the concept of tuning a car got invented alongside OBD-II.
Arr! Raise the Jolly Roger! Ahead ploughing speed!
John Deere makes a number of scare tactic allegations around the very idea of a modifiable tractor, including this gem: ''Third-party software developers, pirates, and competing vehicle manufacturers will be encouraged to free-ride off the creativity and significant investment in research and development of innovative and leading vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, and authors of vehicle software. The beneficiaries of the proposed exemption will not be individual vehicle owners who allegedly want to repair, redesign or tinker with vehicle software, but rather third-party software developers or competing vehicle manufacturers who '-- rather than spending considerable resources to develop software from scratch '-- instead would be encouraged to circumvent TPMs in order to make unauthorized reproductions of, and derivative works based on, the creativity of others.''
Just in case you're confused, we're still talking about tractors '-- not someone stealing the crown intellectual property of a literary genius.
The long-term risk of locking-out repair I've never modded my car and I haven't been near a tractor in decades. But the reason this fight matters is directly rooted in the ability to repair anything. With multiple manufacturers shoving the concept of an Internet of Things full throttle, how long before basic appliance repair has become something you can only perform with a licensed technician? It's not an altogether crazy concept. Device and appliance manufacturers have fought to build repair monopolies for decades in various industries, with generally limited success.
Thanks to the DMCA and the rules of software licensing, those efforts could finally succeed in the 21st century. As the IoT advances, virtually everything can be locked off and limited to only those shops that can afford sophisticated diagnostic equipment '-- thereby limiting user choice and freedoms.
Marvel Comics Cancels Ghost Rider; Possibly Dozens More - Cosmic Book News
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:09
Marvel Comics looks to be cancelling upwards of eight or more titles come May with retailers told April's Ghost Rider #6 is cancelled and will not be resolicited.
Newsarama also points out the following titles are absent from Marvel Comics' May solicits and speculated to be getting the axe: Black Panther: World of Wakanda, Silver Surfer, Silk, Great Lakes Avengers, Thunderbolts, Gamora, and Deadpool & The Mercs for Money.
Thunderbolts writer Jim Zub did confirm the series is on a hiatus during the Secret Empire event, with Marvel said to be resuming the Thunderbolts (or more likely relaunching) later in 2017.
Other books on the fence that could be cancelled in the near future probably also include the following as their February sales are pretty lousy: Ultimates 2, Deadpool the Duck, Hawkeye, Ms Marvel, US Avengers, Doctor Strange Sorcerers Supreme, Uncanny Inhumans, Nova (told ya), Deadpool The Duck, Black Widow, Totally Awesome Hulk, Captain America Sam Wilson, Gwenpool, Karnak, Spider-Man 2099, Unstoppable Wasp, Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord, Power Man And Iron Fist, Spider-Woman, Occupy Avengers, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Scarlet Witch.
Regarding Ghost Rider, Marvel Comics recently relaunched the comic with the character's debut on Agents of SHIELD. While the latter was done exceptionally well, as I noted in my 1-star review of the comic, it didn't even come close to the TV series, it was just awful, so this comes as no surprise.
It's been my opinion for the past few years that readers have been losing more and more faith in Marvel Comics because of the direction of the company and the comics. Ever since Axel Alonso came on board as the new EIC, Marvel Comics has gone downhill, if not took a complete nose-dive.
It remains to be seen if Marvel Comics will be able to get any of the fans back, because as it stands now, Marvel comics barely last six issues.
Trapping a Self-Driving Car is Surprisingly Easy | Nerdist
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:14
It looks like self-driving cars are the future, doesn't it? Studies have suggested traffic would be quicker to navigate with a robot behind the wheel instead of humans, andriverless cars are getting better at understanding real-world environments, too, thanks to Grand Theft Auto. That said, they are definitely the future, as in not the present, because they're not quite ready yet. Self-driving cars are already out there running red lights, and beyond things that like, there are serious ethical concerns to address.
Now, we can sadly add another point to the loss column, since British artist James Bridle demonstrated just how easy it is to trap a self-driving car, preventing it from going anywhere with just what looks like a bag of flour.
We don't know precisely how the technology involved with self-driving cars works, but it seems simple enough to explain here. They're equipped with a lot of cameras and sensors, and the job of some of those is to look at road lines to help the car figure out where it should and should not drive. Dotted white lines can be crossed, while solid white lines shouldn't be.
If that's a core part of the car's logic, then tripping it up can be easy, as the video above shows. Just draw a white dotted circle surrounding a white solid circle. The car will drive through the dotted line, but by the time it processes that solid lines aren't to be messed with, it finds itself surrounded by solid white on all four sides.
In the video, you can even see the car trying to think through this situation, nudging forward a little bit, looking for an escape but finding none. Although this test is artistic in nature, it raises a good point: Driverless cars can be pretty easy to mess with, so perhaps they're not quite ready for prime time, at least until wrinkles like these are ironed out.
Featured Image: stml
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO - Judge Gorsuch explains the law to Democrat Feinstein - YouTube
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:52
VIDEO - Klobuchar asks Gorsuch if, as an originalist, he thinks women should be allowed to be president - YouTube
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:44
VIDEO - Franken Visibly Frustrated When Gorsuch Doesn't Take Bait on Merrick Garland Question - YouTube
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:42
VIDEO - Hadley: We must lead a new international order. 21 Mar 2017 - YouTube
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:21
VIDEO - FBI & NSA: Is Russia our adversary? 20 Mar 2017 - YouTube
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:17
VIDEO - Albright on NATO expansion: Putin needs an enemy. 21 Mar 2017 - YouTube
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:15
VIDEO - Tucker Carlson - Multiculturalism An Invitation For Terrorism Katie Hopkins - YouTube
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:07
VIDEO - DNC Chair Donna Brazile Admits She Gave Clinton Campaign Town Hall Topics | Fox News The Five - YouTube
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:01
VIDEO - Former CIA Official Exposes CNN's Pre-Interview Procedure ON-AIR | End Fake News - YouTube
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:52
VIDEO - BREAKING: PROOF Of Trump Surveillance Exposed By Nunes | Hannity Fox News 3/22/17 - YouTube
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:43
VIDEO - "The Days Of Economic Surrender For The United States Are Over!" President Trump's Weekly Address - YouTube
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:40
VIDEO - GMA Gushes Over 'Incredible' 'Moving' 'Courageous' Mother and Son Changing Into Opposite Genders | MRCTV
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:30
On Tuesday's Good Morning America, anchor Robin Roberts and Nightline anchor Juju Chang touted a story of a mother and son both declaring themselves as transgender and getting gender re-assignment hormones and surgery. The two ABC anchors mutually gushed over the ''incredible'' ''moving'' and ''touching'' story. At the end of the report, Roberts and Chang even praised the courage of the mother for being ''inspired'' to change genders because of her child's transformation.
Read more on Newsbusters here.
VIDEO - NBC Reporter Fears London Terror Will 'Put Wind in the Sails' of 'Right-Wing Movement' | MRCTV
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:13
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
During MSNBC's live breaking news coverage of the suspected terrorist attacks in London on Wednesday, NBC News reporter Matt Bradley reported via phone from the British capital and was more worried about the violence helping conservative politicians than he was about the victims: ''We've seen this rise of a kind of a right-wing movement here and throughout Europe. And this is only going to put wind in the sails of those who would say that this is an issue that needs to be looked at, that needs to be examined in terms of refugees.''
Desperately trying to downplay any possible connection to Islamic terrorism, Bradley touted: ''But it should be noted, that MI-5, which is the domestic intelligence agency and police agency for the UK, they've come out and said that there is no terror link so far.'' Anchor Ali Velshi replied: ''Yeah, good point. They're saying that it's too early to say, certainly, that it isn't, they're still trying to get it locked down.''
VIDEO - Truth-Challenged Brian Williams Skeptical of Someone Else's Reliability | MRCTV
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:08
[See NewsBusters for more.] Disgraced anchor Brian Williams, who has a history of not telling the truth, on Wednesday offered a skeptical take on the claim by a Republican Congressman that Donald Trump's aides were surveilled during the presidential transition. Regarding the assertions made by Representative Devin Nunes, Williams explained in a doubting tone: ''[Nunes] says he is now in receipt of information. It's intelligence information that he found alarming enough to go down to the White House and brief the President. [This is] not traditionally the role of the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.'' Williams, who falsely said he was shot down in 2003, added, ''[Nunes] has a lot of other people he reports to.... He has got an FBI director and NSA director who are going to be real interested in what he came to tell the President.'' The anchor, who told tales about seeing dead bodies while covering Hurricane Katrina, wondered, ''Central question: Is what he has discovered at all confirmation of the President's tweets?''
VIDEO - Susan Rice Speaks on White House Putting Out Information That is 'Inaccurate if Not Deliberately False' | MRCTV
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:01
Former Obama administration national security advisor Susan Rice said in a PBS interview Wednesday that when the White House puts out information seen to be ''inaccurate if not deliberately false, it shakes the credibility and the confidence of our allies.'' Five years ago, Rice was accused of lying on behalf of the White House when she discussed the deadly Benghazi terrorist attack on five Sunday talkshows.
VIDEO - Adam Schiff Calls Devin Nunes' Surveillance | Video | C-SPAN.org
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 04:04
March 22, 2017 Representative Schiff on Russian Election Interference House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) said revelations by Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) of incidental surveillance of the Trump'... read more
Representative Schiff on Russian Election Interference House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) said revelations by Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) of incidental surveillance of the Trump transition team were concerning because Representative Nunes first shared information pertinent to the scope of committee's investigation with the White House before sharing it with other members of the committee. Representative Schiff stressed that the chair needs to decide if he's leading an independent investigation or whether he's a surrogate of the White House. close
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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VIDEO - 'Barbie hijabs' designed by US moms to promote inclusive generation of kids (VIDEO) '-- RT Viral
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 04:02
Published time: 22 Mar, 2017 11:00
Three Pittsburg moms are taking on Islamophobia with ''Barbie-compatible'' headscarves in an effort to teach children to be more inclusive by exposing them to doll-sized hijabs.
Gisele Fetterman, Safaa Bokhari and Kristen Michaels created Hello Hijab to encourage inclusivity among the next generation.
''They will see it as a kind memory from their playtime, and then they will grow into a kinder generation, being used to playing with dolls that look different to them.'' Fetterman explained.
Fetterman came up with the idea when she noticed none of her five-year old daughter's dolls looked like many of her Muslim friends. Enlisting the help of her friend Safaa Bokhari and Pittsburg non-profit For Good, Hello Hijab was born.
The $6 handmade hijabs come with a card explaining what a hijab is, and will be available from April 1, with the proceeds going to non-profits which serve multicultural communities.
The women have received ''dozens of hijabs from women who want them to be repurposed for this purpose.'' The hijabs will be made from both new materials and hijabs that are donated to the cause.
Fetterman and Michaels say they have experienced some negativity, but ''it just continues to validate the need for a project like this,'' Fetterman said.
''It's allowed for a lot of conversations, it's allowed for an education, a lot of folks aren't familiar with so much of it.''
''We've had people come up to us and say 'I never knew it was called a hijab, but now I know, now I've read about it, and I've spoke to my children about it,''' she said.
''Barbies are played with all over the world,'' Michaels said. ''And there are Muslim women in America that are American who wear hijabs and also Muslim women in America who aren't American and wear hijabs, and they should be welcome here.''
READ MORE: 'Muslim Peppa Pig' alternative sparks fury & confusion
VIDEO - Starbucks Doubles Down on Military Hiring After Boycott Threats - Bloomberg
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 04:00
Starbucks Corp., after facing a backlash for promising to hire refugees, plans to employ more U.S. military veterans.
The coffee retailer will hire 25,000 veterans and their spouses by 2025, it said on Wednesday. Starbucks already has brought on 10,000 of them, ahead of a previously set goal. As part of its global expansion, more than 240,000 new jobs will be created globally over the next five years.
''We are still in the early stages of growth as we strive to meet our highest growth aspirations for the company,'' said Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz, who is stepping down from the role next month to focus on the company's premium Reserve brand.
The chain drew boycott threats earlier this year after saying it would hire 10,000 refugees globally -- a response to President Donald Trump's proposed ban on travelers from certain nations. It's also facing a sales slowdown. In January, the company cut its annual revenue forecast for this year, citing a challenging environment amid a broader industry slump.
In support of military communities, the chain also said it's opening 100 more locations near major U.S. bases in the next five years. The announcements may appease some customers who boycotted the company after it pledged to hire refugees and provide legal counsel to employees affected by Trump's plan.
China ExpansionStarbucks' global expansion -- 12,000 new stores over the next five years -- includes a focus on China, where it has more than 2,600 locations. Growth there will accelerate in the future, Starbucks said.
In the U.S., Starbucks is planning for 3,400 new locations by fiscal 2021, or about 680 stores a year, on average. The chain opened 651 domestic cafes last year.
The company also announced details to bring customers in beyond the morning hours. It will begin selling a new line of grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, dubbed ''Mercato,'' in Chicago next month. Starbucks also is trying to lure more diners with a gluten-free breakfast sandwich and vegan bagel.
VIDEO - Sen. Leahy Tries a Gotcha Question, But Judge Gorsuch Wreck His Face Instead
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 02:37
Sen. Leahy has been asking judges questions, it looks like since Jesus was a boy. Maybe longer. Word to the senator: moisturize. Bro-tip, son. Anyway, every hearing you can expect the same leftist hackery from Leahy. It's all the Vermont Senator knows. That and how to accurately age a tree. Since he invented the method. But Leahy gotta do his thang, so it's no surprise he tried baiting Judge Gorsuch'...
Ok, that wasn't the clip. We played a little ''gotcha'' of our own, something delightful before we have Gorsuch drop Leahy. We already did a Cruz post today, and we couldn't let the day go without posting the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy clip somewhere. #Goals
No, here's where Neil Gorsuch wrecks Sen. Leahy's face. It's okay if you want to enjoy with an adult beverage. Methinks you'll be raising it in toast here. Bad screen capture aside, this is the shizzle.
Leahy tried the same gotcha question four different ways, even ancient Gaelic, but Gorsuch wouldn't take the bait. Word to your mom, senator. In this case, mother Earth. Or Methuselah. But though Gorsuch be a young snapper whipper, dude's got game.
I honestly don't know why I feel like typing gangsta today. Someone stop me.
Leahy tried lighting the judge up with a gotcha, Gorsuch came along and popped a truth cap in Leahy's @ss.
Seriously, someone has to stop me.
But Leahy should know, there is a grand tradition I support: you can't ask a judge who is nominated for '' a potential judge who is nominated for a judgeship '' about a specific case that might come before them. This kind of situation often parades itself around as ''fairness'' and ''equality under the law.'' All things the Democrats claim to love, but show no respect for when the skids hit the pavement.
That last one wasn't gangsta at all, was it? Dang. I was trying to up my street cred with my street squad.
BTW, guess which sentence in the previous paragraph belonged to Chuck Schumer. Guess.
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VIDEO - "Drinking milk is hate speech" #HWNDU - YouTube
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 02:30
VIDEO - BOOM=> House Intel Chair: We Cannot Rule Out That Sr. Obama Officials Were Involved in Trump Surveillance
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 01:35
House Intelligence chair, Devin Nunes confirmed that President-elect Trump and his transition team were surveilled between Election Day and Inauguration Day.
Information was ''incidentally collected'' about people involved in Trump transition; surveillance not related to Russia probe. This was highly unethical behavior for a sitting president.
REPORTER: Can we rule out senior OBAMA Admin officials were involved in [WIRETAPPING Trump Team]?
NUNES: ''No we can not''
Q: Can we rule out senior OBAMA Admin officials were involved in [WIRETAPPING Trump Team]?
NUNES: "No we can not"ðŸ'¥ðŸ‘ŠðŸ'¥https://t.co/zlICgsN2SF
'-- Boston🇺🇸Bobblehead (@DBloom451) March 22, 2017
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VIDEO - Adam Schiff: 'There Is More Than Circumstantial Evidence Now' - The Atlantic
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 01:26
Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said MSNBC Wednesday afternoon that there is evidence that is ''not circumstantial'' of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
Schiff's statement escalates the rhetoric on Capitol Hill about allegations of ties between Russia and the president's circle. It follows two major developments. On Monday, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his bureau is investigating collusion. Then, on Wednesday, Representative Devin Nunes, the chair of the House intelligence committee, made a puzzling announcement about so-called incidental collection of information from Trump team members. Nunes made that announcement without informing Schiff first.
Related StoryWhat Devin Nunes's Bombshell Does and Doesn't Say
Schiff was furious. During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, he cast doubt on whether the House investigation was still viable.
''The chairman will need to decide whether he is the chairman of an independent investigation into conduct which includes allegations of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or he is going to act as a surrogate of the White House, because he cannot do both,'' Schiff said. ''Unfortunately I think the actions of today throw great doubt in the ability of the both the chairman and the committee to conduct the investigation the way it ought to be conducted.''
Then Schiff went on Meet the Press Daily, where Chuck Todd asked him about statements by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump team and Russia. Schiff disagreed with Clapper.
''I don't think it was deliberate on the director's part, but all I can tell you is reviewing the evidence that I have, I don't think you can conclude that at all, far from it,'' Schiff said.
A surprised Todd asked Schiff to concede that any suggestion of collusion was circumstantial evidence at best.
''Actually, no, Chuck,'' Schiff said. ''I can tell you that the case is more than that. And I can't go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now '... I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial, and is very much worthy of investigation.''
That is a surprising statement. Thus far, inquiries into Trump and Russia by both the press and the intelligence community have created a great deal of smoke but no fires, at least publicly. Some Democrats have implied or stated outright that they believe there was collusion, leading to accusations that they are overplaying their hand and overstating the available evidence.
But Schiff's comment is different. He is both the ranking member on the intelligence committee, and is also not seen as the type of politician prone to hyperbole. He is also a former federal prosecutor.
As Wednesday draws to a close, the top Republican and Democrat on the committee investigating Russian collusion have erupted into a round of bitter recriminations. One of them is almost certainly overplaying his hand. Which man that is remains to be seen.
VIDEO - Nancy Pelosi Tries to Start a Chant at Save Obamacare Rally, Doesn't Go Well - YouTube
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 22:41
VIDEO - Chairman Devin Nunes: Post Trump Debrief on Surveillance Discovery '' Press Conference
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 22:39
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes conducts a press conference following his debrief with President Trump discussing the surveillance of the Trump transition team by former President Obama's intelligence community.
[Alternate Video Backup HERE]
['...] I briefed the president on the concerns that I had about incidental collection and how it relates to President-Elect Trump and his transition team; and the concerns that I have. As I said earlier, there will be more information hopefully by Friday. The NSA is cooperating very very well; and lastly, I'll say that the reports that I was able to see did not have anything to do with Russia or the Russian investigation or any tie to the Trump team.
Question: Why is it appropriate for you to brief President Trump?
''Because what I saw had nothing to do with Russia or the Russian investigation, it has everything to do with possible surveillance activities and the President needs to know these intelligence reports are out there and I have a duty to tell him that.''
Question: Was it political surveillance?
''What I have read '' bothers me '' and I think it should bother the president himself and his team, '' because some of it seems to be inappropriate. but like I said until we get everything to the committee it's hard to really say until we see everything in its totality.''
Question: Does this go beyond General Flynn type surveillance?
''Well, it definitely goes beyond what happened to General Flynn'' '... ''I'll tell you NSA has been cooperative, but so far the FBI has not told us if they will respond to the March 15th request.'' '... ''What I've read, seems to me to be some level of surveillance activity, perhaps legal, but I don't know that it's right '' and I don't know that the American people would be comfortable with what I have read.''
Question: Was the President [Trump] correct with what he tweeted?
''It is possible.''
.
From the beginning of the intel issues, well before the actual election itself, CTH stood on the position that DNI Director James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan were absolute political operatives within the intelligence community. Years of their activity reflected their politicization of both departments. Both were easily identified as black hat operatives.
FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers were more unknown commodities. However, Comey's increasingly visible and specific activity throughout the 2016 election cycle seemed to indicate he was leveraged, or at least leaning, more toward the black hat side of the FBI self-preservation model.
One of the lesser discussed reasons the essential character of Comey was always sketchy revolves around his comments after the Orlando Pulse nightclub attack. Comey stated the FBI did have some prior knowledge of the attacker. However, Comey deferred the 'slipping through the system excuse', by stating the origin of the individual report of Omar Mateen (to the FBI) was of a generalized nature.
A week after Comey made that announcement, we discovered it was actually the Palm Beach County Sheriffs' office that contacted the FBI '' not some happenstance ordinary concerned citizen. The person who told the FBI that Mateen was specifically dangerous was the actual Sheriff of Palm Beach County Florida. The sheriff, not an individual officer '' the actual sheriff himself, notified the FBI three times (twice in writing) of the risk/danger that Mateen seemed to be exhibiting.
Director Comey's obfuscation of that alert indicated he was more concerned about image and position than the accurate dispensation of law-and-order. It was a tip-off into his self preservation mindset.
Comey's evasive non-answer in the Monday Intelligence Committee hearing, yet again exemplified this inherent sense and behavior ''SEE HERE-. That was the final issue which highlighted and solidified Comey as a career/professional black hat operative.
Obviously in the eight months since the FBI investigation began in July 2016, Comey had briefed his supervisor, DNI James Clapper, the DOJ and the White House. However, Director Comey never informed the congressional oversight ''gang of eight'' of the counter-intelligence investigation until March 2017.
Everything about what Chairman Nunes is now stating about the FBI delaying and potentially refusing to provide information backs up our earlier reference points on Comey.
Director Comey's specific lack of transparency within his role and responsibility, shows he too has made the decision to politicize his own office. Having done that Comey has painted himself into a corner where genuine sunlight is now a risk to the public discovering the politicization of his department.
Comey may not have set out to engage in that political outcome; but his willful blindness and quiet acquiescence to the political demands of the Obama White House, combined with his decision to go-along-to-get-along with the investigations to nowhere, have created that outcome.
His pride, just like with the Omar Mateen example, is now trying to protect a career and avoid the embarrassment of discovery. Hence, he wears a black hat.
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VIDEO - Oct. 1, 2009 - Rex Tillerson proposes a Carbon Tax
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 22:38
VIDEO - Elite Pedophile Politicians Raped Her as a Child, Now She's Alerting the PublicElite Pedophile Politicians Raped Her as a Child, Now She's Alerting the Public - Filming Cops
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 22:29
UPDATE: 3/22/2017 | 2:30 PM PST: the video is being pulled and censored from multiple platforms. We found a new link but there is a good chance it will disappear again very soon. Watch while you still can.
The victim now goes by the name of ''Kendall.''
She was interviewed today on Dr. Phil's national broadcast to millions of viewers, the first appearance she has made on television after breaking out of her confinement and fleeing from sex traffickers.
What she describes is profoundly unsettling, and Dr. Phil confirms that he ''100% believes'' that she is telling the truth.
She says that she was sold by her very own parents at birth to an elite pedophile ring made up of police, politicians, and other powerful men and women. Some of these pedophiles are extremely wealthy and have their own islands. One of them even owns a major sports team.
She says the politicians forced her to rape other children as young as five, broke her bones, sat on her, and even made her kill.
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She also described ''hunting parties'' that the pedophile ring hosts. On their private lands, they make multiple children run and hide in fear. Then they begin literally hunting the children as if they were hunting animals. They find the children, rape them, and torture them for fun.
When asked about the first time she was raped by them, she said thatit happened when she was at a very young age. Indeed they began raping her before she could even speak, she replied.
The audience was horrified to hear the details, but also supportive.
Kendall described how they put children in cages and suspend the cages from ceilings. The pedophiles trafficked her around the world to be raped by other elites. Dr. Phil says many of the elites are believed to be ''pillars of their communities'' but when they are behind closed doors with children, they are evil and sadistic.
The pedophile politicians took great care to hide what they were doing. They would dress her in nice clothes so that nobody ever knew she was a sex slave. They have been raping children for many years, she says, and it's a reality that the politicians involved are completely hiding from voters.
Corrupt police are also said to be included among the many clients who are part of the elite pedophile network.
It is the latest example to emerge among several others of what is being called #PedoGate. #PedoGate refers to an international pedophile ring composed of politicians and other moguls. Over 1,500 pedophiles and human traffickers have been arrested since January of 2017.Watch the video below:Her story matches that of other victims.
It is important to note that none of these victims know each other and they all testified at different times, independently.
Yet strikingly, their details match, including the fact that it is wealthy politicians and aristocrats who are part of the pedophile rings. Via LivingResistance.com:
Anneke Lucas describes how she was raped and tortured by wealthy aristocrats in the pedophile network.
A 15-yr-old girl describes what happened to her when her grandma gave her to a pedophile ring comprised of wealthy elite.
Though this is an older video, it is one of the most disturbing and illustrates why it is important to know about the pedophile sex trafficking ring that is still active today:
Brooke Axtell describes what happened when a nanny who sold her to pedophiles at the age of 7.
Cory Feldman describes what happens when children are raped and used in pedophile rings in Hollywood ''
Two children described what happened when their father used them in a pedophile sex cult comprised of politicians and other high level individuals '' the media accused them of lying and worked unceasingly to spread lies about them '-- they were taken by the State.
The video is constantly banned and taken down, here is one of the latest uploads.
On March 9, 2017, the children's mother released the following video stating that the pedophile network is still trying to cover it up and they are creating bot accounts online to spread lies in order to dilute the facts. (If you look at the comments under the video, you can see some of them. They were identified by attentive readers.)
Cathy Obrien talks about her abuse by politicians and an exam revealed proof of sexual abuse and ritual cutting of her vagina '--
VIDEO - FBI wiretapped Russian gambling ring based at Trump Tower - NY Daily News
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 22:02
The Feds were monitoring Russian activity at Trump Tower '-- but it was years before President Trump ever ran for office.
The FBI had a court-sanctioned warrant from 2011 to 2013 to monitor a Russian crime organization working out of a unit three floors below President Trump's penthouse, according to an ABC News report.
Listening in on the Russians' happenings resulted in more than 30 people being indicted in April 2013, with federal agents raiding the Trump Tower apartment. But the mastermind, Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov, got away and has since fled the United States justice system.
Emergence of the Russian gambling wiretap comes as President Trump claims his own residence at Trump Tower was bugged at the direction of President Obama, but the intelligence community says there's no evidence to back that up.
Laptop with Trump Tower floor plans stolen from Secret Service
Months after the 2013 raid, ABC News notes, Tokhtakhunov was in the VIP section of Miss Universe Moscow not far from President Trump. The President had previously sold the rights to the Russian incarnation of the show to a billionaire developer based in the country.
''He is a major player,'' Mike Gaeta, lead agent on the FBI investigation, said of Tokhtakhunov in 2014. ''He is prominent, he has extremely good connections in the business world as well as the criminal world, overseas, in Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, other countries.''
Tokhtakhunov is accused of having run a major gambling ring '-- headquartered out of unit 63A of Trump Tower '-- that saw $50 million of illegal money come into the U.S., according to ABC News.
43 photos view gallery
Donald Trump in the White House He's no stranger to the law's radar, either. Tokhtakhunov was previously indicted for trying to fix figure-skating competitions at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Britain says White House apologized for Trump wiretap claims
The President wasn't named in the investigation, but his flagship skyscraper was under heavy surveillance.
Just a few floors below Trump's home, ABC reported, prosecutors said there was an ''international money laundering, sports gambling and extortion ring.''
(STR/ASSOCIATED PRESS) Vadim Trincher, a Russian businessman and power player, lived in the 63rd-floor unit, and was sentenced to five years in jail for his illegal happenings at the tower.
''He would have people come in and meet with them,'' said ABC News consultant and ex-FBI agent Rich Frankel. ''He would use the phones ... His base of operations was in the Trump Tower.''
Trump's claim earlier this month that President Obama tapped his own residence in the months before the 2016 elections has proved to not be as successful.
National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers and FBI Director James Comey both testified before the House Intelligence Committee that there was no evidence the President's home was secretly monitored in the lead up to last year's election.
Last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer cited a Fox News commentator's claim that British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters carried out the surveillance of Trump's home before the election, causing Great Britain to take offense. Despite reports in British media that the White House apologized for the statment, officials dismissed that notion, saying they merely spoke to British authorities about it.
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VIDEO - Watch: Tommy Robinson Rips Liberal Reporter At Scene Of London Attack - MILO NEWS
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:47
Former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson went to town on a reporter today after he was interrupted in the midst of a Rebel Media interview at the scene of the London terror attack. Robinson was speaking with Rebel Media's Caolan Robertson on the unsurprising nature of the incident in light of the suspected perpetrator's identity being released.
''This isn't a shock to me,'' said Robinson. ''I don't understand people who are surprised by this. We have over 3,000 Muslims who are monitored 24 hours a day 7 days a week at a cost of nine billion [pounds] a year. We're following them, waiting for them to do this.''
As Robinson continued to rant, a crowd apparently formed around him and began filming. Among them was a reporter who quickly took the offense against Robinson. ''Do you have information that no one else seems to have?'' inquired the reporter.
''I have information that shows there was four terrorist attacks last week in France,'' shot back Robinson. ''There was 12 planned last year. Driving your car like this man has done is exactly what the 'Inspire' magazine, which is Al Qaeda's magazine, which was downloaded by 50,000 British Muslims last year'... 50,000 British Muslims downloaded a terrorist manual.''
''There was 12 planned last year. Driving your car like this man has done is exactly what the 'Inspire' magazine, which is Al Qaeda's magazine, which was downloaded by 50,000 British Muslims last year'... 50,000 British Muslims downloaded a terrorist manual in our country. Not 10, not 20. 50,000 people who want to see exactly what you see there '' that's what they want.''
''They want war, they want death and we keep on pandering like you just [came] up to me saying it's got nothing to do with Islam.''
See the full exchange below.
VIDEO - Michael Moore Urges Democrats To 'Declare A National Emergency' Amid FBI Trump Probe | The Huffington Post
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:35
Of course, Moore made his point in a most engaging way on Instagram, using a red light '-- specifically, that of sentient computer HAL 9000 from ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' '-- to call on Democratic leaders to respond with full alarm to the ''shock in our democracy.''
''The Democratic leadership in the House and Senate needs to bring a halt to all business being done in the name of this potential felony suspect, Donald J. Trump,'' Moore wrote. ''No bill he supports, no Supreme Court nominee he has named, can be decided while he is under a criminal investigation. His presidency has no legitimacy until the FBI '• and an independent investigative committee '• discovers the truth.''
The Oscar-winning documentary director has been an outspoken critic of President Trump, having instructed Americans on how to resist his administration from Day 1.
This time, he punctuated his point by using an ironic quote from former Republican President Richard Nixon.
The man does have a flair for inspiring action.
This post has been updated to note that the image Moore uses is from ''2001: A Space Odyssey.''
VIDEO - Franken Takes Shot at the Late Antonin Scalia's Understanding of the Constitution
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:19
BY: Cameron Cawthorne
March 20, 2017 3:48 pm
Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) questioned the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's understanding of the Constitution on Monday during the confirmation hearing for President Trump's nominee to the high court, Judge Neil Gorsuch.
Franken began his line of questioning to Gorsuch by discussing Trump's "litmus test" for his Supreme Court nominee.
"In fact, he openly discussed his litmus test. He said that he would 'appoint judges very much in the mold of Scalia' during the final presidential debate," Franken said. "Then-candidate Trump said, 'The justices I'm going to appoint will be pro-life. They will have a conservative bent.'"
Franken then praised Scalia before taking a shot at his knowledge of the Constitution.
"Justice Scalia was a man of great conviction and, it should be said, a man of great humor," Franken said. "But Justice Scalia embraced a rigid view of our Constitution, a view blind to the equal dignity of LGBT people, and hostile to women's reproductive rights, and a view that often refused to acknowledge the lingering laws and policies that perpetuate the racial divide."
Franken acknowledged that nobody can dispute the late Scalia's love for the Constitution, but he went on to say "the document he revered looks very different from the one I have sworn to defend."
"It troubles me that at this critical juncture in our nation's history, at this moment when our country is so fixated on things that divide us from one another, that President Trump would pledge to appoint jurists whose views of our founding document seek to reinforce those divisions rather than bridge them," Franken added.
Scalia, who unexpectedly passed away last February, served on the Supreme Court for three decades. Prior to serving on the nation's highest court, Scalia was appointed Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
He was chairman of the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law from 1981 to 1982 and served as a senior figure in the Justice Department in the 1970s. The late Supreme Court justice previously was a professor at multiple top law schools and received his law degree from Harvard University.
Franken did not attend law school or practice law before entering the Senate in 2009.
VIDEO - Franken Visibly Frustrated When Gorsuch Doesn't Take Bait on Merrick Garland Question - YouTube
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:07
VIDEO - Papantonio: NBC/ABC/MSNBC - Owned & Operated By US Drug Corporations - YouTube
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:59
VIDEO - WAIT, WHAT!? LIMBAUGH: CNN PRAISES 'WALL' In Special Coverage Of UK Terror Attack - YouTube
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:54
VIDEO - D.C. Fox Affiliate Runs Segment Pushing DNC Staffer Murder Conspiracy Theories | Mediaite
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:43
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Washington D.C. Fox affiliate WTTG ran a Wednesday morning segment that lent credence to the conspiracy theory that Democratic staffer Seth Rich was murdered in 2016 for knowing too much.
The hosts interviewed infamous Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman, best know for his 2014 attempt to get Congress to ban gay NFL players. In January, Burkman paid for a series of billboards in the D.C. area and offered up a $100,000 reward to anyone with information on Rich's killer.
Police believe Rich's murder was simply a botched robbery and has nothing to do with his work at the DNC. But that didn't keep Burkman from insisting that he had been murdered by the Russians after discovering that they had hacked the DNC. Burkman told the hosts that he had been approached by a former intelligence officer with the claim, and he found it credible.
Conspiracy theories about Rich's death were common during the 2016 election, particularly among alt-right and Bernie supporters who pinned the blame on Hillary Clinton. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange even strongly hinted that Rich had been murdered for leaking him the DNC emails. (U.S. authorities believe Assange actually received the hacked emails from Russian intelligence.)
Watch above, via Fox 5 DC.
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VIDEO-9:30- - Unfilter 227 - Tender Trump (3-1-17) - YouTube
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:36
VIDEO - Donald Trump will resign 'soon', says top Democrat Dianne Feinstein | The Independent
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:26
Donald Trump is going to ''get himself out of office soon'', a leading Democratic senator has claimed.
Dianne Feinstein suggested the President would quit before he was potentially forced out of office after anti-Trump protesters in Los Angeles demanded to know why more wasn't being done by Congress to remove him from office.
''We know he is breaking the law every day," a protester asked the 83-year-old political veteran. "He has obvious dealings with Russia. There's so many things he's doing that are unconstitutional. How are we going to get him out?''
Hinting she might know more than she is able to let on, Ms Feinstein, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, replied: ''We have a lot of people looking into this. I think he's going to get himself out.''
She went on to cite several potential conflicts of interests surrounding the Trump business empire, but she declined to say whether she thought the President had done anything that was worthy of impeachment.
''I can't answer that right now,'' she said.
Referencing recent trips to Dubai by Mr Trump's sons, Donald Jr and Eric, where they opened a new golf club, she said: ''I think sending sons to another country to make a financial deal for his company and then have that covered with Government expenses, I believe those Government expenses should not be allowed.
''We're working on a bill that would do that now ... We're working on a couple of bills that would deal with conflicts of interest.''
Ms Feinstein is not the first to suggest the billionaire tycoon may decide to quit the White House of his own volition.
Left-wing film-maker and social commentator Michael Moore '' who predicted Mr Trump would win the election, went on to incorrectly suggest he could quit before his inauguration.
Devin Nunes : "Let me be clear. We know there was not a wiretap on Trump Tower"
Several commentators have predicted Mr Trump will be impeached at some point, including Allan Litchmann, dubbed the ''Prediction Professor'' after he correctly called every US election since 1984.
Richard Nixon is the only US President in history to have resigned before his certain impeachment over the Watergate scandal.
Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were impeached by the House of Representatives but both were acquitted by the Senate.
VIDEO - Nunes: Trump transition members were under surveillance during Obama administration - POLITICO
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:07
By Austin Wright
03/22/17 01:19 PM EDT
Updated 03/22/17 03:28 PM EDT
Members of the Donald Trump transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under U.S. government surveillance following November's presidential election, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday.
Nunes said the monitoring appeared to be done legally as a result of what's called "incidental collection," but said he was concerned because it was not related to the FBI's investigation into Russia's meddling in the election and was widely disseminated across the intelligence community.
Story Continued Below
''I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were, I guess, at least monitored,'' Nunes told reporters. ''It looks to me like it was all legally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the president-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.''
Nunes said he is heading to the White House later Wednesday to brief Trump on what he has learned, which he said came from ''sources who thought that we should know it.'' He said he was trying to get more information by Friday from the FBI, CIA and NSA.
Nunes described the surveillance as most likely being ''incidental collection.'' This can occur when a person inside the United States communicates with a foreign target of U.S. surveillance. In such cases, the identities of U.S. citizens are supposed to be kept secret '-- but can be ''unmasked'' by intelligence officials under certain circumstances.
Nunes said his new information appears to show that additional members of the Trump transition team '-- beyond former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn '-- were unmasked. This means they were identified in U.S. intelligence reports.
He said the information that he had seen and was disseminated across the intelligence community appeared to him to have "little or no apparent intelligence value."
He also said he did not know yet whether the Trump transition team members who were unmasked were communicating from Trump Tower. Earlier this month, Trump claimed in a series of Tweets that former President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of the phones at Trump Tower '-- something Nunes reiterated on Wednesday he had no evidence of.
Democratic Rep. David Cicilline knocked Nunes on Twitter for his decision to brief the White House on his findings '-- noting that Nunes is leading a congressional investigation into possible collusion between the Trump team and Russia.
''Investigators are not supposed to 'brief' the folks being investigated,'' the Rhode Island congressman said.
Rep. Adam Schiff of California, Nunes' Democratic counterpart on the intelligence panel, was not informed of the news ahead of Nunes' press conference on Wednesday, according to a Schiff spokesman.
Nunes said he briefed House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on the information on Wednesday morning.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer read from Nunes' statement during his opening remarks at a press briefing Wednesday, showing how eager Trump's team was to amplify the remarks.
Spicer said he was concerned about Trump transition team members being unmasked.
''An American citizen who's caught up in a surveillance has, by rule of law, has their name protected,'' he told reporters. ''The idea that individuals' names were unmasked and let known suggests '-- raises serious questions. Why was that name unmasked, what was the intention of doing that?''
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The Intelligence panel is set to hold a public hearing next Tuesday with members of the Obama administration, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired by Trump in January after refusing to defend his first travel ban executive order in court.
They are almost certain to face questions on the matter.
FBI Director James Comey appeared before the panel on Monday and confirmed that the FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation in July into Russia's election meddling, including possible coordination with the Trump campaign.
It was previously known that Flynn's pre-inauguration phone calls with Russia's ambassador were intercepted by the U.S. government; he resigned last month after it became clear he misled his colleagues about the nature of the calls.
Nunes has said Flynn's calls were picked up through incidental collection and said his committee is investigating why Flynn's name was unmasked and leaked to the news media.
Madeline Conway contributed to this report.
VIDEO - 'Full Frontal with Samantha Bee': Donald Trump Resistance is Futile? - Goldderby
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 05:41
''Full Frontal with Samantha Bee'' has spent weeks targeting Donald Trump and his political enablers, but on March 15 she also focused on the resistance '-- or rather the ''#Resistance'' that has become a social media buzzword and meme, but does it really have any teeth? Protestors have taken confronted congressmen at town hall meetings and taken to the streets in protests. ''I'm surprised Lululemon hasn't come out with a line of $200 protest leggings,'' says Samantha Bee. ''Oh, they just did!'' Watch her take on the Trump opposition above.
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Anti-Trump activists ''are taking their cue from the Tea Party '-- you know, the people we called a bunch of dumb losers back in 2009 right before those losers won 25 statehouses and gerrymandered Democrats out of power for a decade in spite of all our sick burns.'' But the key to really replicating the electoral success of the Tea Party, Bee asserts, is actually electing people. ''[Democrats] fall short in one area that is slightly more important: [voting].'' She points out that voter turnout for a recent Los Angeles mayoral election was under 12% '-- ''That's less than the percent of Los Angeles that turned out to audition for the 'Mr. Belvedere' reboot. What the shit, Angelenos? '... It's not enough just to yell your opinions '-- that's my job. You need to vote!''
Dish 'Full Frontal' with Hollywood insiders in our notorious forums
That's not all. Bee also interviewed popular Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef, whose ridicule of Egyptian leaders led to his exile from the country. ''I know that you guys have these fancy ideas of resisting and revolting, but we had Mubarak who was president for 30 years, also known in the Middle East as a very short first term,'' Youssef explained. ''You need at least a couple more decades of dictatorship to know how to resist.''
Really? ''No, that's not going to work,'' Bee replied. ''Americans don't like to wait. We get annoyed when we have to stir the mac-and-cheese halfway through the microwaving.'' Watch the rest of Bee's resistance report above, and her interview with Youssef here.
Predict the Emmy nominees now; change them until July 13
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums.
VIDEO - A 'Blacks Only' Field Trip Has Parents Stunned and Outraged '' Three Percenter Nation
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 05:40
An Indiana school district is coming under fire after planning an upcoming field trip that would only allow black students to attend, and it has both white and black parents crying foul.
ABC57 reported that a total of seven schools in the South Bend school district are participating in two separate trips to three colleges in the area, but only students who are African-American are allowed to participate in the field trip.
ABC57 News '' See the Difference Michiana
Dr. G. David Moss is the director of the African-American student/parent support department and he said ''I want these third graders to have the opportunity to think of themselves as college students.'' According to The South Bend Tribune, Moss was formerly a senior consultant with the Office of Student Affairs at the University of Notre Dame.
Parents of different ethnic backgrounds have raised objections to Moss' plan to exclude students who aren't black.
Charles Yost, a parent of one of the students, said ''We should be able to do everything together and not separate,'' and Deirdra Mullings, who has a child participant in one of the field trips, added ''I feel like all kids should be going.''
Erika Herron is one parent who agrees with what Moss is trying to accomplish, by excluding students. Herron said ''I don't think it's a race issue. I think they're giving black children a chance.''
''It was not meant to be exclusionary. It was only meant to support and give these kids what they need to think positively about themselves and about their future,'' said Moss.
I was hired to look at the issues facing African-American kids in the South Bend Community Schools Corporation and my job specifically says that I need to develop programs and develop strategies to help these kids and their families become more successful academically.
Some students embarked on the trip Thursday, while others will be going Monday.
I can't help but wonder how people would be acting differently if it were a 'whites only' field trip and black students were disallowed from participating. The ACLU and NAACP would have a field day, no doubt about it.
This double-standard that allows the segregation based on situation is what promotes racial divide and it's the very thing that Martin Luther King, Jr., campaigned against. There is no such thing as ''separate but equal''.
VIDEO - South by Southwest: Jimmy Kimmel Interviews People About Fake Bands | Time.com
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:02
Mary-Kate and Nasty? DJ Underwire? Cheese Wiz Khalifa? Jimmy Kimmel managed to trick a bunch of people into professing their love and appreciation for those artists '-- even though they are entirely fictional.
For his latest "Lie Witness News" segment, Kimmel sent his team to Austin for the South by Southwest music festival to ask people for their opinions about everyone from Vlad and the Putins (which should actually be a real artist) to DJ Cialis (which should not be.)
It's pretty incredible to see how gullible these festival-goers are '-- and how willing they are to lie just so they seem cool. Sure, they could just be acting, but we really want to believe they're all just total liars.
Read next: Wiz Khalifa Is Not Entirely Sure Who Taylor Swift Is
Artists Who Have Never Won A Grammy VIEW GALLERY | 23 PHOTOS
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VIDEO - Tim Allen Compares Hollywood Liberalism to 1930s Germany - Today's News: Our Take | TVGuide.com
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 05:23
Last Man Standing star Tim Allen has been known to stoke the flames of controversy in the past. The stand-up-comic-turned-Home Improvement star, who had previously been arrested for cocaine possession in the '70s, left people aghast over his unusual perspective on racial slurs and confounded liberals with his comparison of Hillary and Bill Clinton to sexually-transmitted disease.
So perhaps it's not too surprising to hear that his name is ensnared in another bit of hubbub over his haughty choice of words on the subject of politics. The latest gaffe, however, might be the most disturbing of all: the Toy Story 4 star basically compared being a conservative in Hollywood to living in Nazi Germany. Yes, really.
Allen recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and discussed his appearance at the inauguration of President Donald Trump. He said, "Yeah, I went to the inauguration ... You've gotta be real careful around here, you know, you get beat up if you don't believe what everybody believes."
"This is like '30s Germany," he continued. "I don't know what happened. If you're not part of the group -- 'You know what we believe is right,' 'you know, I might have a problem with that' -- I'm a comedian. I like going on both sides."
The actor has been outspoken about his support for the Republican Party during and after the recent election cycle and has previously compared Tinseltown's tendency to be largely liberal to bullying. He told Megyn Kelly on Fox News, "What I find odd about Hollywood is they didn't like Trump because he was a bully. But if you had any kind of inkling that you were for Trump, you got bullied."
VIDEO - Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News & Analysis - The Washington Post
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 05:18
The proposed law, which is being reintroduced on the 400th anniversary of Pocahontas's burial, faces hurdles, but if approved, it would make federal funds for housing, education and medical care available to the tribes and, its sponsors say, would help right a long-standing wrong.
VIDEO - Shaquille O'Neal Believes The Earth is Flat NBA Goes Flat Earth! - YouTube
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 04:46
VIDEO - This TRUTH Actually Aired in 1981 - Why Would the Elites Allow it?? - YouTube
Mon, 20 Mar 2017 14:44
VIDEO - 5:47 History of Dada - YouTube
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VIDEO - First Trump-Merkel meeting reflects different views, styles - YouTube
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 15:17

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The 25th

Agenda 2030

AHCA

Caliphate!

London Terror Attack - Multiculturalism An Invitation For Terrorism Katie Hopkins.mp3
NBC Reporter Matt Bradley Fears London Terror Will ‘Put Wind in the Sails’ of ‘Right-Wing Movement’.mp3
Tillerson- Many ISIS Terrorists Are Not Poor, But ‘Come From Middle-Class or Even Upper-Class Backgrounds’.mp3

F-Russia

Albright on NATO expansion- Putin needs an enemy.mp3
D.C. Fox Affiliate Runs Segment with Jack Burkman-GOP Lobbyist-Pushing DNC Staffer Seth Rich Murder Conspiracy Theories.mp3
Sen Speier-FBI & NSA- Is Russia our adversary?.mp3

Flat Earth

JCD Clips

Andrew Sullivan on Tavis show.mp3
armed in Arkansas.mp3
captain planet theme song.mp3
Carl Beernstein interrupts break.mp3
CBS OBIT on Chuck Barris.mp3
CBS report from London complete.mp3
CCTV the russian analyst one.mp3
CCTV the russian analyst TWOon Comey.mp3
comey and turner --the wapois full of crap.mp3
cronkite summary.mp3
erdowan off the rails.mp3
Flynn rundown CBS Jeff pegues one.mp3
Flynn rundown CBS Jeff pegues two.mp3
gorsuch humor.mp3
GWB on flying saucers.mp3
jones kill everybody.mp3
leading authorities release details on russian meeting.mp3
Manafort Report part One.mp3
Manafort Report part Three.mp3
Manafort Report part Two.mp3
norman cousins globalgoveernance award to cronkite.mp3
Nunes comments on lawn Hook to A.mp3
PBS on Nunes with dubious conclusion A.mp3
rehearesd bit with pelly and Morrell.mp3
some nunes comments on CBS.mp3
susan rice disscussing micromanagement.mp3
Trying to explain russian event booked by leading authorities.mp3
woodward on O'reilly.mp3

Media Puns

NWO

Invoking Syrian Refugee Crisis, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini Says US Foreign Aid Cuts Could Cause Destabilization.mp3
Mr. Stephen Hadley, Former National Security Advisor We must lead a new international order.mp3

SCOTUS

Franken Takes Shot at the Late Antonin Scalia’s Understanding of the Constitution-Franken has a different one??.mp3
Judge Gorsuch explains 2nd amedment to Feinstein.mp3

SJW BLM LGBBTQQIAAP

‘Barbie hijabs’ designed by US moms to promote inclusive generation of kids-Hello Hijab!.mp3
Drinking milk is hate speech.mp3
Ellen Is Confused By Non-Binary Gender Pronouns-actress Asia Kate Dillon.mp3
GMA Gushes Over ‘Incredible’ ‘Moving’ ‘Courageous’ Mother and Son Changing Into Opposite Genders.mp3
Kimmel-Tim Allen Says Being Conservative in Hollywood Is Like Living in 1930s Germany.mp3

STINGRAY

First Presser-Chairman Devin Nunes- Post Trump Debrief on Surveillance Discovery.mp3
Former CIA Official Larry C Johnson-1-explains GCHQ was old news.mp3
Former CIA Official Larry C Johnson-2-RT is NOT influencial-PRE-INTERVIEW.mp3
Fox on wiretaps-who approved the logs and who saw them-2 QUESTIONS.mp3
Maxine Waters-2013-OFA- ‘Obama Has Put In Place’ Secret Database With ‘Everything On Everyone’ .mp3
Nunes on Wiretappin gof Trump people and unmasking.mp3
Schiff with Chip Tuck-’There Is More Than Circumstantial Evidence Now’-INDEPENDANT INVESTIGATION.mp3
Susan Rice Speaks on White House Putting Out Information That is ‘Inaccurate if Not Deliberately False’.mp3

TrumpCast

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