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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / FOX replaces George Will with Nigel Farage on: January 22, 2017, 09:29:41 PM
http://100percentfedup.com/arrogant-anti-trumper-george-will-gets-axe-from-fox-newsyoure-gonna-love-whos-replacing-him/
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Soros behind "Women's March" on: January 22, 2017, 09:18:50 PM
http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2017/01/20/billionaire-george-soros-has-ties-to-more-than-50-partners-of-the-womens-march-on-washington/
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mattis goes to work on ISIS on: January 22, 2017, 08:49:27 PM
http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/22/mattis-celebrates-first-day-at-pentagon-by-blowing-up-isis-31-times/?utm_campaign=thedcmainpage&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social#ixzz4WXgR1jaD
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / President Trump makes a phone call on: January 22, 2017, 08:47:37 PM
I've modified the name of this thread  cool

http://bluelivesmatter.blue/president-donald-trump-lt-debra-clayton/
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Inaugeration rioters facing ten years on: January 22, 2017, 08:45:26 PM
second post

http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/22/over-200-inauguration-day-protesters-face-felony-rioting-charges/?utm_campaign=conservativereview&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Franken ermerging as liberal force on: January 22, 2017, 08:43:53 PM
http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/315393-franken-emerges-as-liberal-force-in-hearings
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Spicer's presser playing very poorly on: January 22, 2017, 08:37:28 PM
http://www.weeklystandard.com/trumpism-corrupts-spicer-edition/article/2006432
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump welches on tax return promise on: January 22, 2017, 08:27:34 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/22/politics/kellyanne-conway-trump-tax-returns/
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The unloyal opposition plots and plans on: January 22, 2017, 08:25:15 PM
http://freebeacon.com/uncategorized/confidential-david-brock-memo-defeat-trump-impeachment/


https://www.scribd.com/document/337235212/Confidential-David-Brock-American-Bridge-Memo

10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Transition/Administration on: January 21, 2017, 03:48:28 PM
http://bluelivesmatter.blue/white-house-website-police-issues/
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH misleads on Perry on: January 21, 2017, 11:57:26 AM
http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/fake-new-hq-new-york-times-caught-again-with-fake-news/
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTHh fake news Sec Des. of Energy Perry on: January 21, 2017, 11:56:52 AM
http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/fake-new-hq-new-york-times-caught-again-with-fake-news/
13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / With Obama gone, Reps target DC gun laws on: January 21, 2017, 11:35:25 AM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/with-obama-leaving-republicans-target-dcs-gun-laws-abortion-funding-assisted-suicide-and-marijuana/2017/01/18/fd4eed14-dda0-11e6-918c-99ede3c8cafa_story.html?tid=ss_fb-amp&utm_term=.dfd8a638ce99
14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mead: Trump's Jacksonian Revolt on: January 21, 2017, 10:52:19 AM
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2017-01-20/jacksonian-revolt

https://www.city-journal.org/html/plain-and-powerful-inaugural-address-14978.html

15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Spengler on Trump on: January 21, 2017, 10:28:44 AM
https://pjmedia.com/spengler/2017/01/20/donald-trump-american-hero/
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sec Def Mattis: on: January 21, 2017, 12:43:45 AM
https://news.usni.org/2017/01/20/document-first-message-defense-department-secdef-mattis
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / History of President Jimmy Carter and Israel on: January 20, 2017, 09:26:00 PM
Jimmy Carter's Lifelong Pursuit of a Palestinian State
by A.J. Caschetta
American Thinker
December 30, 2016
http://www.meforum.org/6469/jimmy-carter-pursuit-of-palestinian-state
 
Perhaps sensing that he would soon have to relinquish his position as America's worst ex-president, Jimmy Carter reminded everyone last month how he earned the title with yet another call for the U.S. to recognize a Palestinian state. Carter's call is a departure from American diplomacy, which insists, per UN Resolution 338, that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement can only be reached through negotiations "between the parties."

Carter's presidency was mired in bad foreign policy decisions, and his post-presidency has been marred with excusing terrorism, attempting to revise history, and meddling in the affairs of every subsequent occupant of the White House – especially where the Middle East, which Carter considers his forte, is concerned. At each stage of his post-presidency, he has advocated on behalf of the Palestinians and against Israel, a nation he considers an apartheid state.
The Carter presidency is notable mostly for its failures: a 21.5% prime interest rate, the aborted April 1980 mission to rescue American hostages held in Iran, and dreary speeches to the nation, like the "crisis of confidence" or "malaise" speech. The only bright spot, and the one achievement upon which he has built his post-presidency reputation, is the Egyptian-Israeli peace deal known as the Camp David Accords. Were it not for that lone foreign policy success during his presidency, few would listen to Jimmy Carter today.

At each stage of his post-presidency, Carter has advocated on behalf of the Palestinians against Israel.

Unfortunately, Carter gets too much credit for Camp David. He almost botched the whole deal with two ill-advised strategies: bringing the USSR into the negotiations and insisting on a comprehensive deal that would create a Palestinian state.

Egypt had been moving out of the Soviet orbit long before Camp David. Egyptian president Anwar Sadat wrote in his autobiography: "I wanted to put the Soviet Union in its place... to tell the Russians that the will of Egypt was entirely Egyptian; I wanted to tell the whole world that we are always our own masters. Whoever wished to talk to us should come over and do it, rather than approach the Soviet Union."

In a secret meeting on September 16, 1977 in Morocco, Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister Hassan Tuhami conducted the second round of negotiations, without the assistance or even the knowledge of anyone in the Carter administration. At that meeting, Tuhami told Dayan that Sadat "do[es] not wish to be in touch with the Soviet Union, but only with the U.S."

The other flaw in Carter's plans was his attempt to involve the Arab states in a deal that would create a Palestinian state, even after Sadat made it clear that he was pursuing a bilateral arrangement with Israel. Sadat told the American ambassador in Cairo that the negotiations "are getting lost in the papers," meaning the process Carter was cooking.

A few weeks into his presidency, Carter spoke about the Palestinians in a way that no previous U.S. president had ever spoken. Abandoning the positions of every prior administration since Harry S. Truman's, he said: "There has to be a homeland provided for the Palestinian refugees who have suffered for many, many years."
 
Jimmy Carter had nothing to do with the defining moment that made bilateral Israel-Egyptian negotiations possible.

Though contrary to U.S. official policy at the time, Carter even reached out secretly to Yassir Arafat, only to be snubbed by the PLO leader.
Carter's two errors converged when U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko announced a return to the 1973 Geneva Conference in a joint statement. An incensed Sadat rejected the call and soon made his own historic trip to Israel. It was the defining moment that made bilateral negotiations possible, and Jimmy Carter had nothing to do with it.

In the best book on the topic, Heroic Diplomacy, Kenneth W. Stein describes the American reaction to Sadat's trip:

In Washington there was a sense of disarray and surprise, because Carter and Brzezinski were particularly immersed in getting to Geneva. The administration had not been consulted, and the American game plan was thrown out of kilter.

Sadat went to Israel, breaking what Stein calls "the Arab psychological barrier by recognizing the existence and legitimacy of the Jewish state.
Menachem Begin soon made his own historic trip to Egypt and the peace accord they eventually signed in 1979 bowed neither to Carter's comprehensive negotiating formula nor to his demand for a Palestinian state.

It is no accident that Begin and Sadat were co-recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 -- the year before the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty was signed. The brave actions each man took paved the way for the treaty. Jimmy Carter, whose advocacy for a Palestinian state almost made the treaty impossible, got his Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 -- largely because a politicized Nobel Committee sought to reward him for undercutting George W. Bush's response to 9/11.

Carter left office convinced that he could have brokered a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace settlement.

Carter came into office believing he could personally arrange an Israeli-Arab peace deal. After losing his reelection bid to Ronald Reagan, he left office convinced that he could have finalized a deal in his second term, and has been, in Asaf Romirowsky's words, "practicing foreign affairs without an electoral mandate" ever since.

After Hamas won control of the Palestinian parliament in the 2006 election, Carter fretted in the Washington Post that, as Hamas is a terrorist organization, the West would henceforth be unable to distribute aid in the territories and thereby further "alienate the already oppressed and innocent Palestinians." Carter seemed unconcerned that these same "innocents" had just elected a terrorist organization to represent them.
 
Carter receiving a warm reception by Gaza standards, June 2009.

In 2014 Carter wrote in Foreign Policy that the West needs to recognize Hamas' "legitimacy as a political actor" in order to facilitate peace in Gaza. Here he was echoing his former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski's November 2007 open letter to President George W. Bush urging him to open "a genuine dialogue with the organization." This is the same Brzezinski who suggested in 2008 that a President Obama might order the downing of Israeli airplanes should they cross into Iraqi airspace on a mission to bomb Iranian nuclear sites.

Carter needs to ask himself why the world should accept a Palestinian state comprised of the highest concentration of Muslims who believe that suicide bombing is justified when carried out "against civilian targets in order to defend Islam from its enemies." Why should the U.S. accept a nation ruled by terrorists who have repeatedly killed Americans, even when we were there to offer scholarships to Palestinian students? And why should Israel to accept a state on its borders that does not recognize its own right to exist?

The world should not confuse admiration for Jimmy Carter's charitable and philanthropic work and joy that he beat brain cancer with the delusion that he was an effective president whose wisdom can see us through troubled times 35 years after he left office.

A.J. Caschetta is a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum and a senior lecturer at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: January 20, 2017, 06:06:45 PM
This decision was discussed on the Constitutional Law thread on the SC&H forum.  IIRC some wag with a local NH position made a move to subject Justice Souter's home to eminent domain.
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: Lock her up! on: January 20, 2017, 06:03:49 PM
The Dog Didn't Bark: No Pardon For Hillary
By DICK MORRIS
Published on DickMorris.com on January 20, 2017
If Bill and Hillary looked dour at Donald Trump's inauguration, it may have been more than just frustration and sour grapes at losing the election.  As Obama passed into history and Trump took power as president, what didn't happen may have had more consequence for the former first couple than what did take place:  Obama did not pardon Hillary.

Now the coast is clear for a thorough investigation of Hillary both on charges of mishandling state secrets and of running a pay-for-play operation out of the State Department.

As president-elect, Trump vowed not to pursue Hillary and expressed the wish that she not be prosecuted, but said that it "was not something I feel very strongly about."  In a series of tweets on November 22nd, Trump said that a prosecution of Hillary would be "very divisive" and noted that the Clintons have "suffered greatly" already.  But, significantly, he refused to say that he would take prosecution of Hillary "off the table."

Anyone watching the inaugural ceremonies could not fail to note how deliberately President Trump avoided eye contact with either Clinton, passing right by under their noses rather than pause for a handshake.

For his part incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions has promised to recuse himself from any investigation.

But the investigators themselves -- in at least four US Attorney offices -- are by no means letting up.  If they find a case that Hillary ran afoul of the law in either scandal (pay for play or national secrets), it is quite likely that they will recommend prosecution.  In that eventuality, it is hard to see either Sessions of President Trump refusing to bring the case.

Hillary's only secure protection would have been an Obama pardon.  But now she is exposed.  She may have to face the fruits of her own criminality.
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: Lock her up! on: January 20, 2017, 06:03:22 PM
The Dog Didn't Bark: No Pardon For Hillary
By DICK MORRIS
Published on DickMorris.com on January 20, 2017
If Bill and Hillary looked dour at Donald Trump's inauguration, it may have been more than just frustration and sour grapes at losing the election.  As Obama passed into history and Trump took power as president, what didn't happen may have had more consequence for the former first couple than what did take place:  Obama did not pardon Hillary.

Now the coast is clear for a thorough investigation of Hillary both on charges of mishandling state secrets and of running a pay-for-play operation out of the State Department.

As president-elect, Trump vowed not to pursue Hillary and expressed the wish that she not be prosecuted, but said that it "was not something I feel very strongly about."  In a series of tweets on November 22nd, Trump said that a prosecution of Hillary would be "very divisive" and noted that the Clintons have "suffered greatly" already.  But, significantly, he refused to say that he would take prosecution of Hillary "off the table."

Anyone watching the inaugural ceremonies could not fail to note how deliberately President Trump avoided eye contact with either Clinton, passing right by under their noses rather than pause for a handshake.

For his part incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions has promised to recuse himself from any investigation.

But the investigators themselves -- in at least four US Attorney offices -- are by no means letting up.  If they find a case that Hillary ran afoul of the law in either scandal (pay for play or national secrets), it is quite likely that they will recommend prosecution.  In that eventuality, it is hard to see either Sessions of President Trump refusing to bring the case.

Hillary's only secure protection would have been an Obama pardon.  But now she is exposed.  She may have to face the fruits of her own criminality.
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: January 20, 2017, 01:43:14 PM
 cheesy cheesy cheesy
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: January 20, 2017, 01:40:27 PM
Not the thread for this-- this is not a catch all thread for "items of interest".   

"Politics" is a better catch all thread for items of interest.
23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Judicial Watch: two federal rulings on: January 20, 2017, 01:37:40 PM
New Email Action by Court As Obama Leave Office

It is likely when you receive this email, our nation will have a new president, Donald Trump.  Judicial Watch wishes the new president all the best and hope he brings with him a respect for the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution – a respect sorely lacking from the Oval Office’s previous occupant.  One of the Obama’s legacy of lawlessness are the pending Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against various executive agencies.  Yesterday, all of these lawsuits, well over 60, were against the Obama administration.  Today, they are against agencies of the Trump administration.  Ironically, the Trump administration will have to grapple with all of Judicial Watch’s Clinton email-related lawsuits against the State Department and other agencies!

President Trump should commit to a transparency revolution, especially as Hillary Clinton’s war on transparency helped make his presidency possible.  The Trump administration and new Congress must focus on restoring the rule of law and accountability after the eight years of a lawless Obama administration.  Corruption in government is an overwhelming problem.  We expect, but will not rely on, President Trump or other DC politicians to do the right thing.  Judicial Watch will continue its independent investigations and lawsuits in order to hold politicians of both political parties accountable to the rule of law.
Let’s hope the Trump administration takes a different approach to transparency, one that respects the law and the people’s right to know.  His appointees will have to deal with the transparency issue immediately, especially as the courts took actions this week to make sure that the Obama administration wouldn’t destroy some public documents on its way out the door.

This week U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan granted our Motion to Preserve  emails of a U.S. Department of Justice assistant attorney general. Judge Sullivan issued a Minute Order on January 17, 2017, requiring the Justice Department to “preserve all agency records and potential agency records between the dates of December 1, 2014 and November 7, 2016 in any personal email account of Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Peter Kadzik.”

The court order came in response to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit we filed against the U.S. Department of Justice on January 15, 2017, seeking access, in part, to email correspondence between Peter Kadzik, the Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs, and John Podesta, then-chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, regarding the Justice Department’s review of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-00029)).

According to Wikileaks, on May 19, 2015, Kadzik sent Podesta an email appearing to tip off Clintons’ campaign about the Justice Department’s review of Clinton’s emails:

There is a HJC oversight hearing today where the head of our Civil Division will testify. Likely to get questions on State Department emails. Another filing in the FOIA case went in last night or will go in this am that indicates it will be awhile (2016) before the State Department posts the emails.

On November 7, 2016, Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Justice Department seeking:

•   All email correspondence between Peter Kadzik on either his official Justice Department email account or peterkadzik@gmail.com and any non-government employee regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of non-state.gov email to conduct official government business;
•   All email correspondence between Peter Kadzik on either his official Justice Department email account or peterkadzik@gmail.com and John Podesta; and
•   All email correspondence between Peter Kadzik on his official Justice Department email account or peterkadzik@gmail.com and any official, officer or employee of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign.
•   The timeframe for this request is December 1, 2014 to November 7, 2016.
Also on November 7, we submitted another FOIA request to the Justice Department seeking:
•   All emails sent to or received by Peter Kadzik using the email address peterkadzik@gmail.com in which he conducted official government business; and
•   All emails copied and/or forwarded … to Peter Kadzik’s Justice Department email account from peterkadzik@gmail.com.
•   The timeframe for this request is January 1, 2016 to the present.

After the Justice Department failed to respond to its FOIA requests, we filed a FOIA lawsuit on January 5, 2017, and, the next day filed a Motion for Preservation Order for the court to order the Justice Department to preserve the agency records “currently residing” in Kadzik’s Gmail account:
The records at issue are in the physical possession of Assistant Attorney General Kadzik. With the upcoming change in administrations on January 20, 2017, it is likely that he will leave government service on or around that date.

***
[Judicial Watch] is concerned that after Assistant Attorney General Kadzik leaves government employment, Defendant will no longer have control over the actions of this official.

In the Justice Department’s January 17, 2017 Opposition to Judicial Watch’s Motion for Preservation Order, the Department contended that:

It is the government’s understanding that Mr. Kadzik has located no agency records or potential agency records in his Gmail account and that, therefore, there are no such documents to preserve … Because the government has already taken the action that Judicial Watch’s motion requests, and has informed the Court of that action, Judicial Watch’s motion is moot and should be denied.

The court was not persuaded, did not find Judicial Watch’s motion moot, and issued the Preservation Order the same day.

It is astonishing that the Obama Justice Department played games with its emails, especially Clinton-related emails.  We hope this and our other lawsuits -- and the court’s hard-hitting court order – sent a signal to the entire Obama administration not to destroy government records to spite the American people’s right to know.  It will now be up to the Trump administration to either finally vindicate the rule of law or continue its obstruction.
 
Federal Court Orders Top Obama DHS Officials To Preserve Emails

Yet another federal judge ordered the Obama administration to preserve emails in yet another Obama email scandal – this one at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

U.S. District Court Judge Randolph D. Moss this week ordered  Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and three other top DHS officials to preserve “all emails regarding, concerning, or related to official United States Government business” they sent through non-“gov” emails from December 23, 2013, and December 29, 2015.”

The court order came in our Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit seeking agency records in the personal email accounts used by the four top Homeland Security officials (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Homeland Security  (No. 1:16-cv-00967)(D.D.C.)).

Ruling “out of an abundance of caution,” Judge Moss ordered the preservation of records “to minimize the risk of any inadvertent loss of potentially responsive emails.” The court ruling covers Johnson, Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Chief of Staff Christian Marrone, and General Counsel Stevan Bunnell:

ORDERED that Secretary Johnson preserve all emails sent or received between December 23, 2013, and December 29, 2015, that are stored in any of his private email accounts that may contain responsive records, including any emails in archived or deleted folders, on a portable thumb drive or hard drive to be kept in his possession until this Court determines that the emails must be provided to the Department for processing or that they may be deleted;
FURTHER ORDERED that Deputy Secretary Mayorkas, former Chief of Staff Marrone, and former General Counsel Bunnell do the same with respect to their own private email accounts that may contain responsive records…

On December 22, 2016, Judicial Watch filed a Motion for Preservation Order in which it asked the court to issue a “preservation order” for the non-.gov emails of Johnson, Mayorkas and Bunnell because their departure from government service was anticipated upon the installation of the new administration, at which point, Homeland Security would no longer have any control over the former officials:

With the upcoming change in administrations on January 20, 2017, it is likely that the three officials currently in office (Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and General Counsel Stevan Bunnell) will leave government service.

Counsel for DHS has informed [Judicial Watch’s] counsel that DHS has “asked” these officials to preserve the agency records in their possession. DHS’ counsel declined to provide any evidence supporting this assertion. Because [Judicial Watch] does not know specifically what DHS asked its employees to do and what, if any, other steps DHS has taken to ensure preservation, Plaintiff is concerned DHS’s mere requests to its employees are insufficient. This will be particularly concerning once the officials possessing the emails leave government employment, as the agency will have no control over the actions of these officials…

A court order requiring preservation of these emails is particularly necessary now as DHS has suggested that these officials may have been acting without authorization by sending emails from these accounts…. As such, there is no assurance that these officials will abide by a “request” by the agency to preserve these emails, particularly after their employment ends…

At a hearing on January 5, Obama Justice Department lawyers confirmed that they had done nothing to retrieve government records from Jeh Johnson or the other officials’ accounts. On January 10, Judge Moss ordered  DHS to produce any “preservation requests” for emails sent to Johnson, Mayorkas, Marrone, and Bunnell. In today’s court ruling, Judge Moss specifically ordered the DHS officials to preserve all of the contested emails.

We have every reason to believe that there are government records on Jeh Johnson’s and other top DHS officials’ personal email accounts. The fact that the Obama administration has stonewalled their production is yet another example of the lack of transparency that has permeated this administration. Once again, it took persistent legal action from Judicial Watch to preserve the public’s right to know.

In June, Judicial Watch in a related case  obtained 693 pages of Homeland Security records revealing that Secretary Jeh Johnson and 28 other agency officials used government computers to access personal web-based email accounts despite an agency-wide ban due to heightened security concerns. The documents also reveal that Homeland Security officials misled Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) when Perry specifically asked whether personal accounts were being used for official government business.

The waivers were granted to Johnson and other senior staffers after Homeland Security’s Sensitive Systems Policy Directive 4300A was promulgated on April 30, 2014. The Directive was issued after hackers breached  the Office of Personnel Management computer system. Directive 4300A states, “The use of Internet Webmail (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL) or other personal email accounts is not authorized over DHS furnished equipment or network connections.”  These national security concerns were thrown out the window so top DHS officials evade the transparency laws.  Let’s hope the Trump administration has the political will to hold these Obama officials to account to the law and the American public by disclosing any government records from their “private” email accounts.

 
Clinton Email Benghazi Lawsuit Heats Up

The Clinton email and Benghazi scandals aren’t over. Not by a long shot.

Just last week, JW’s attorneys asked a federal court for additional discovery. In addition to document requests, the new Revised Discovery Proposal asks for depositions from Clinton, Clinton aide Cheryl Mills and eight other State Department officials to explore “evidence of wrongdoing or bad faith with respect to State Department’s response” to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request as well as some earlier FOIA requests.

The January 10 filing is the latest move in our July 2014 FOIA lawsuit  seeking records related to the drafting and use of the Benghazi talking points (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). This lawsuit forced the Clinton email issue into the public eye in early 2015.

In March 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth granted “limited discovery ” to Judicial Watch, ruling that “where there is evidence of government wrong-doing and bad faith, as here, limited discovery is appropriate, even though it is exceedingly rare in FOIA cases.” In May 2016, we filed an initial Proposed Order for Discovery seeking written and oral information. (In December Judge Lamberth requested both parties to file new proposed orders in light of information discovered in various venues since last May.)

You won’t be surprised to learn that the thoroughly corrupt Obama State Department opposed our proposal.

In last week’s filing, we informed the court that despite repeated conferences with the State Department, they had been “unable to reach agreement on a discovery proposal” and that “Defendant [State Department] is unwilling to agree to any discovery at all in this action.”  Judicial Watch’s new discovery proposal focuses on “two main areas:”

These areas are: (i) evidence of wrongdoing or bad faith with respect to State Department’s response to Plaintiff’s FOIA request for records related to the talking points provided to U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice following the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack and (ii) potential remedies that may ensure a sufficient search for responsive records is undertaken…

Our Revised Discovery Proposal seeks both documents and depositions. The documents requested include:

1.   All documents that concern or relate to the processing of any and all searches of the Office of the Secretary for emails relating to the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack and its aftermath…

2.   All communications that concern or relate to the processing of all searches referenced in Document Request No. 1 above, including directions or guidance about how and where to conduct the searches…

3.   All records that concern or relate to the State Department’s policies, practices, procedures and/or actions (or lack thereof) to secure, inventory, and/or account for all records…

4.   Plaintiff requests copies of the attached records [previously obtained by Judicial Watch] with the Exemption 5 redactions removed…
In addition to basic documents, we think testimony is essential, including a deposition of Hillary Clinton to learn:

[the] identification of individuals (whether State Department officials, other government officials, or third-parties, including but not limited to Sidney Blumenthal) with whom Secretary Clinton may have communicated by email.

We are asking to depose former Clinton aides, including Cheryl Mills, chief of staff; Jacob Sullivan, Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy Planning; Heather Samuelson, head of the White House Liaison Office; Lauren Jiloty, Special Assistant; and Monica Hanley, confidential assistant. Also on the list is Clarence Finney, currently Deputy Director of the State Department’s Executive Secretariat Staff; Sheryl L. Walter, who was Director of the Office of Information Program and Services; and Gene Smilansky, a department lawyer.

In one of their last gasps of obstruction of justice, Obama State Department continues to oppose court-ordered efforts to gather the facts from Secretary Hillary Clinton and her top aides about how their email practices violated the American’s people right to know what really happened in Benghazi.
The Trump administration must now decide whether to reverse course on this desperate, last minute obstruction. 

Until next week...
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China Trade Shock on: January 20, 2017, 12:55:50 AM
http://www.aei.org/publication/what-now-for-workers-after-the-china-trade-shock-short-read-version/?utm_source=paramount&utm_medium=email&utm_content=AEITODAY&utm_campaign=011917
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama sneaks another $500M to United Nations on: January 20, 2017, 12:54:24 AM
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/01/obama-500m-green-climate-fund
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Deep State uses Pravda on the Hudson to continue its subversion of Trump on: January 20, 2017, 12:38:31 AM
Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates

By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT, MATTHEW ROSENBERG, ADAM GOLDMAN and MATT APUZZOJAN. 19, 2017


WASHINGTON — American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.

The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts.

It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself. It is also unclear whether the inquiry has anything to do with an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and other attempts to disrupt the elections in November. The American government has concluded that the Russian government was responsible for a broad computer hacking campaign, including the operation against the D.N.C.

The counterintelligence investigation centers at least in part on the business dealings that some of the president-elect’s past and present advisers have had with Russia. Mr. Manafort has done business in Ukraine and Russia. Some of his contacts there were under surveillance by the National Security Agency for suspected links to Russia’s Federal Security Service, one of the officials said.
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Russian Hacking in the U.S. Election
Complete coverage of Russia’s campaign to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.

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Mr. Manafort is among at least three Trump campaign advisers whose possible links to Russia are under scrutiny. Two others are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative.

The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.

Counterintelligence investigations examine the connections between American citizens and foreign governments. Those connections can involve efforts to steal state or corporate secrets, curry favor with American government leaders or influence policy. It is unclear which Russian officials are under investigation, or what particular conversations caught the attention of American eavesdroppers. The legal standard for opening these investigations is low, and prosecutions are rare.

“We have absolutely no knowledge of any investigation or even a basis for such an investigation,” said Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the Trump transition.

In an emailed statement Thursday evening, Mr. Manafort called allegations that he had interactions with the Russian government a “Democrat Party dirty trick and completely false.”

“I have never had any relationship with the Russian government or any Russian officials. I was never in contact with anyone, or directed anyone to be in contact with anyone,” he said.

“On the ‘Russian hacking of the D.N.C.,’” he said, “my only knowledge of it is what I have read in the papers.”

The decision to open the investigations was not based on a dossier of salacious, uncorroborated allegations that were compiled by a former British spy working for a Washington research firm. The F.B.I. is also examining the allegations in that dossier, and a summary of its contents was provided to Mr. Trump earlier this month.

Representatives of the agencies involved declined to comment. Of the half-dozen current and former officials who confirmed the existence of the investigations, some said they were providing information because they feared the new administration would obstruct their efforts. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the cases.
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Numerous news outlets, including The New York Times, have reported on the F.B.I. investigations into Mr. Trump’s advisers. BBC and then McClatchy revealed the existence of a multiagency working group to coordinate investigations across the government.

The continuing investigation again puts the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, in the middle of a politically fraught investigation. Democrats have sharply criticized Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Mrs. Clinton has said his decision to reveal the existence of new emails late in the campaign cost her the election.

The F.B.I. investigation into Mr. Manafort began last spring, and was an outgrowth of a criminal investigation into his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and for the country’s former president, Viktor F. Yanukovych. In August, The Times reported that Mr. Manafort’s name had surfaced in a secret ledger that showed he had been paid millions in undisclosed cash payments. The Associated Press has reported that his work for Ukraine included a secret lobbying effort in Washington aimed at influencing American news organizations and government officials.

Mr. Stone, a longtime friend of Mr. Trump’s, said in a speech in Florida last summer that he had communicated with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that published the hacked Democratic emails. During the speech, Mr. Stone predicted further leaks of documents, a prediction that came true within weeks.

In a brief interview on Thursday, Mr. Stone said he had never visited Russia and had no Russian clients. He said that he had worked in Ukraine for a pro-Western party, but that any assertion that he had ties to Russian intelligence was “nonsense” and “totally false.”

“The whole thing is a canard,” he said. “I have no Russian influences.”

The Senate intelligence committee has started its own investigation into Russia’s purported attempts to disrupt the election. The committee’s inquiry is broad, and will include an examination of Russian hacking and possible ties between people associated with Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Investigators are also scrutinizing people on the periphery of Mr. Trump’s campaign, such as Mr. Page, a former Merrill Lynch banker who founded Global Energy Capital, an investment firm in New York that has done business with Russia.

In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Page expressed bewilderment about why he might be under investigation. He blamed a smear campaign — that he said was orchestrated by Mrs. Clinton — for media speculation about the nature of his ties to Russia.

“I did nothing wrong, for the 5,000th time,” he said. His adversaries, he added, are “pulling a page out of the Watergate playbook.”

The lingering investigations will pose a test for Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, who has been nominated for attorney general. If Mr. Sessions is confirmed, he will for a time be the only person in the government authorized to seek foreign intelligence wiretaps on American soil.

Mr. Sessions said at his confirmation hearing that he would recuse himself from any investigations involving Mrs. Clinton. He was not asked whether he would do so in cases involving associates of Mr. Trump.
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sec State Kerry goes to bat for CAIR with UAE on: January 19, 2017, 11:21:32 PM
Fg scum bag!  angry angry angry

The Inside Story of How John Kerry Secretly Lobbied to Get CAIR Removed From UAE's Terrorist Organization List
by Steven Emerson
IPT News
January 19, 2017
http://www.investigativeproject.org/5758/the-inside-story-of-how-john-kerry-secretly

 
On Nov. 16, 2014, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took the unusual step of designating the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the Muslim American Society (MAS) – as terrorist organizations. They were among 83 groups named for their connections to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

This outraged CAIR officials, who immediately began efforts to get their organization removed from the list. They found a powerful ally in Secretary of State John Kerry, who authorized State Department officials to meet regularly with UAE officials to lobbying on behalf of CAIR and MAS .  CAIR already had a sympathetic ear in the Obama administration, including the State Department, that had openly embraced and legitimized the entire spectrum of radical Islamist groups falsely posing as religious or civil rights groups, which both CAIR and MAS had done.

At a daily State Department press briefing two days after UAE released its list, a spokesman said that State does not "consider CAIR or MAS to be terrorist groups" but that it was seeking more information from UAE about their decision. He added that "as part of our routine engagement with a broad spectrum of faith based organizations, a range of U.S. government officials have met with officials of CAIR and MAS. We at the State Department regularly meet with a wide range of faith based groups to hear their views even if some of their views expressed at times are controversial."

In making that admission, the State Department official had effectively affirmed the Obama Administration policy of embracing radical Islamist group under the euphemism of calling them "faith based groups."

The UAE had good reason to designate CAIR, as records obtained by the FBI indicate it was created as front group for a Hamas support network. While CAIR bills itself as "the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization," the reality is quite different.  Before helping launch CAIR, Executive Director Nihad Awad worked as public relations director for the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a Hamas propaganda arm in the United States. A 2001 Immigration and Naturalization Service memo documented IAP's support for Hamas and found that the "facts strongly suggest" that IAP was "part of Hamas' propaganda apparatus."

IAP was part of the "Palestine Committee," created by the Muslim Brotherhood to support Hamas politically and financially. CAIR was added to the Palestine Committee's roster just after its 1994 creation.  In 2008, the FBI cut off official contact with CAIR, citing evidence from the Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial which documented the connections between CAIR and its founders to Hamas.  In a letter to U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, the FBI explained, "until we [the FBI] can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner."

During a 2003 Senate hearing, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, said that CAIR is known "to have ties to terrorism." In 2009 correspondence with the FBI, he wrote that cutting off contact with the Islamist group "should be government-wide policy."

CAIR and its representatives, meanwhile, often espouse radical ideology and propagate the jihadist narrative that the United States is waging a "war on Islam." Awad repeated that message as recently as September when he denounced legislation allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia.
CAIR officials often side with Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists.

CAIR-New York board member Lamis Deek, an attorney, tweeted during the 2012 war between Israel and Hamas that Gaza is a "beacon of resistance, exposes shackles, awakens dignity, inspires revolution, reaffirms our oneness – the reason 'israel' won't last."

During a 2009 fundraiser for an effort to break Israel's embargo against the Hamas government in Gaza, Deek explained that Palestinian support for Hamas is a choice for "one united Palestinian state on all of the 1948 territories from the north to the very south. That is what Palestinians chose. And in supporting Palestinian choice we are saying we support their right to liberation from violent colonialism."

Just days before the UAE's 2014 designation of CAIR as a terrorist group in the organization's San Francisco chapter bestowed its "Promoting Justice" award to Sami Al-Arian and his family. Al-Arian secretly ran an American support network for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist group in the late 1980s and early 1990s. PIJ was responsible for terrorist attacks which killed dozens of Israelis and several Americans.

Al-Arian pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide goods or services to the PIJ. His plea agreement included an admission that he was associated with the PIJ. U.S District Judge James S. Moody went further in sentencing Al Arian: "The evidence was clear in this case that you were a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad," Moody said. "You were on the board of directors and an officer, the secretary. Directors control the actions of an organization, even the PIJ; and you were an active leader."

Since 2001, six CAIR officials have been convicted of terror-related charges. A longtime national board member was deported in part because of his Hamas support.  Yet despite the massive evidence linking CAIR to Hamas and other terror groups, the Obama administration repeatedly invited CAIR officials and other radical Islamist groups to the White House.

In December 2014, CAIR met with top officials of the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Justice Department, asking them to pressure the UAE to remove them from the list, according to reliable sources intimately familiar with the communications. On December 22, 2014, CAIR issued a press release asserting that "the two American Muslim organizations and the U.S. government pledged to work together to achieve a positive solution to the UAE designations.

In response to a letter sent by CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad sent to Secretary Kerry protesting the UAE designation, Kerry responded on May 5, 2015 in a letter to Awad stating, "Let me reiterate, first, that the U.S. government clearly does not consider CAIR to be a terrorist organization. As your letter noted, the Department of State rejected this allegation immediately after the UAE designations were announced in November, and we will continue to do so....U.S. officials have raised the issue of CAIR's inclusion on the UAE's terror list with UAE officials on multiple occasions..."

That portion of the letter now appears on CAIR's website. But at the time that the letter was sent to CAIR, according to knowledgeable sources, there was an agreement between CAIR and the State Department to keep the letter secret. An excerpt from it was posted on CAIR's website only in May 2016, a year after it was received. The IPT has learned that Kerry and CAIR made this agreement to keep the letter secret so as to protect Kerry from public embarrassment. In light of CAIR's numerous ties to Hamas and other unsavory aspects of its record, Kerry had good reason to believe that the letter could cause a public relations disaster for him.

Whatever influence the State Department exerted on the UAE did not work. There has been no indication CAIR and MAS were removed from the Gulf state's terrorist list.  When the UAE list was published, CAIR realized that it was going to a public relations disaster for them as well. So they published a FAQ attacking the UAE as a "politically 'authoritarian' regime."

The organization seemed more comfortable with this authoritarian regime in 2006, when Awad and CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper led a delegation on a fundraising trip to the UAE. State Department cables show that the delegation, led by the public relations firm Hill and Knowlton, sought millions of dollars from UAE donors. The cables, obtained by the IPT through the Freedom of Information Act, show that CAIR officials met with top UAE leaders and attended an evening reception "in honor of the CAIR group" hosted by a top presidential adviser. The cable also noted that "UAE press has reported that Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al-Makhtoum Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Industry, 'has endorsed a proposal to build a property in the U.S. to serve as an endowment for CAIR.' The cable added that CAIR had already received substantial contributions from several wealthy UAE donors, including one who had already given CAIR $1 million.

The Muslim American Society, meanwhile, has its own lengthy record of defending accused terrorists and terror supporters. It was formed as the Muslim Brotherhood's overt arm in the United States. Co-founder Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who pleaded guilty in 2004 to engaging in illegal transactions with Libya and facilitating a Libyan plot to assassinate then-Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, testified in 2012 that MAS's connection with the Brotherhood cannot be disputed.

This sordid episode of going to bat for a Hamas-support organization is emblematic of the larger problem of the Obama's administration's inability to pinpoint the heart of the impasse between the Palestinians and the Israelis as unceasing Palestinian terrorism, continued Palestinian subsidies paid to terrorist families, incendiary glorification of terrorists who kill Jews, and massive anti-Semitic incitement in Palestinian schools and media.

The outgoing Secretary of State recently crowed in the New York Times about what he got right. This episode is a stark example of what he got wrong.
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Uber alles trucking on: January 19, 2017, 04:46:30 PM
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/uber-freight-its-just-truck-drivers-whose-jobs-risk-john-mcdermott
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stratfor: Can an ambitious India seize the moment? on: January 19, 2017, 04:37:47 PM

Can an Ambitious India Seize the Moment?
Geopolitical Diary
January 19, 2017 | 03:37 GMT Text Size
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Broadening India's role on the world stage is an ambition that Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar (R) embraces. (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)

The world is in a state of flux, and according to Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, that can be a good thing for a rising regional power such as India, which in many ways is primed to seize the moment and propel itself toward a greater global leadership role. Today at the Raisina Dialogue, an international conference in New Delhi, Jaishankar touted India's diplomatic successes while laying out the country's global ambitions to an audience of 250 delegates that included such leaders as British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, head of U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Harry Harris and former Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Many factors support a more influential global role for India. The country benefits from a relatively young population (a significant proportion of which speaks English) and has one of the fastest growing major economies in the world. Thanks to its history of multilateral engagement, it has made few enemies. What's more, India was spared the worst effects of the 2008 global financial crisis.

What is a Geopolitical Diary?

Of course, discussion of India's ambitions must be measured against the reality of its constraints. India's fiscal limitations stymie investment into the infrastructure projects it needs to spur growth. It is weighed down by an unwieldy parliamentary system that struggles to channel the demands of its billion-citizen polity into coherent policies. And it must contend with the persistent security threat from archrival Pakistan, which has prompted it to commit resources to support a strong military presence in Indian-held Kashmir, in turn undercutting the integration of South Asia's economies.

India also suffers from demographic shortcomings that limit its economic development. About 70 percent of Indians live in rural areas, and up to a quarter of the population is impoverished. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to grow India's manufacturing base and employ more of its large pool of semiskilled labor remain hamstrung by the lack of land and labor reform in the country. Even if India could implement land and labor reforms, however, it would still struggle to develop a globally competitive manufacturing sector in this era of increasing automation. For India, then, a further embrace of multilateralism could give it a path not only to compensate for those shortcomings and earn the investments it needs to bolster the economy but also to help it place a check on Pakistan.

Even as Jaishankar alluded to the uncertainty that colors New Delhi's view of U.S. intentions under President-elect Donald Trump, he sees an opportunity as the new U.S. administration takes power for India to increase its international engagement as a way to overcome its limitations. Sensing that Washington will grow more reluctant to throw itself into the affairs of distant nations, India wants to fill the vacuum by assuming a greater global leadership role of its own.

Historically, Indian policymakers have generally honored the call by Jawaharlal Nehru, the country's first prime minister, to avoid entangling alliances. But the country has grown discontented with remaining aloof. In the past year alone, it has demonstrated the scope of its vision by engaging with every major region in the world. To wit, India hosted both the India-Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit and the BRICS summit and ratified the United Nations climate change protocol in Paris. Modi addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress in June and embarked on a four-nation tour to Africa in July. He also hosted British Prime Minister Theresa May in what was her first visit outside of the European Union since taking office, and on Jan. 26, he will host Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nuhayyan, Abu Dhabi's crown prince, as the chief guest for India's annual Republic Day parade.

Yet for all of its diplomatic fervor, India bickers over foreign policy with its northern neighbor, China. Despite protestations and support from Washington, India has been unable to persuade China to place Masood Azhar, the leader of the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad, on a U.N. blacklist. Similarly, an 11th-hour diplomatic pitch in June and support from Washington failed to earn India a vote needed from China that would have allowed it to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a 48-member body whose members share nuclear technology with one another. At the Raisina conference, Modi took a jab at China, saying that if Beijing wants its regional connectivity projects, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which runs through Kashmir, to be successful, it must respect India's sovereignty.

The prickly dynamic between the countries, in part, is a continuation of a difficult history. A lingering dispute stemming from their 1962 border war complicates any Chinese investments in infrastructure projects in South Asia, which India perceives as a form of encroachment. But beyond critical statements from New Delhi, India is limited in how it can retaliate. In addition, China's interests in denying India's diplomatic desires have more to do with its support of Pakistan. Thus, while its embrace of multilateralism is a way for India to compensate for its constraints, these international forums themselves can be constrained through the presence of China — and by extension the interests of Pakistan, which views China as its strongest ally.

During his famous speech to the Indian parliament on the eve of India's independence, Nehru said the moment rarely comes when "the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance." Over the past 70 years, India, as one of Asia's dominant powers, has sought to be the voice of the world's developing nations. Now it has the opportunity, but can it get others to listen?
 
30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CNN fantasizes about Trump and Pence being assassinated , , , on: January 19, 2017, 03:46:58 PM
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31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Electro Magnetic Propulsion System moving forward on: January 19, 2017, 03:38:24 PM
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32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CA cooking the books again on: January 19, 2017, 10:54:34 AM
http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/moodys-to-pay-nearly-a-billion-dollars-for-misleading-ratings/
33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Volume of Muslim call to prayer may be lowered on: January 19, 2017, 10:42:26 AM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/18/israels-muslims-fear-worst-as-netanyahu-eyes-curbs/?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTjJObFpEbGlNRFF5TVRsaSIsInQiOiJUVDdVeWpmcWVpdlRNTWdrYzk0cFpkVlB4WFI2OFVBZmlvZjAxK0Y5Y2pBeXQyc01FWWZWQXpGTGdHTjE2SlBjRVwvWlhndm96MUJiWGNleUV2cENnXC9vVDhwWWdkSHY1bEpnT3NxVlwvcjBlTVpcL21oTTVqcWlpQ1l4alJZT1hVXC9sIn0%3D
34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 50 Obama officials to stay on for now on: January 19, 2017, 10:29:50 AM
second post

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/315049-trump-keeping-50-obama-administration-officials
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 5 things to watch for in Mnuchin hearing on: January 19, 2017, 08:49:59 AM
http://thehill.com/policy/finance/314965-five-things-to-watch-for-in-mnuchin-hearing?utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5779

=============================

POtH:

‘The rich are different’ — Steve Mnuchin edition

At first blush, Mr. Mnuchin was a busy enough man, with his investment business and his Hollywood endeavors listed on a Dec. 19 questionnaire for the Senate Finance Committee that he swore was “true, accurate and complete.”

But when pushed by committee aides, Mr. Mnuchin conceded there was more. In a revised questionnaire submitted to the committee this month, he disclosed that he was also the director of Dune Capital International Ltd., an investment fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands, a tax haven. He also revealed his management posts in seven other investment funds, which he said he “inadvertently missed,” according to Finance Committee documents obtained by The New York Times.

According to those documents:

    In his revised questionnaire, Mr. Mnuchin disclosed several additional financial assets, including $95 million worth of real estate — a co-op in New York City; a residence in Southampton, New York; a residence in Los Angeles, California; and $15 million in real estate holdings in Mexico. Mr. Mnuchin has claimed these omissions were due to a misunderstanding of the questionnaire — he does not consider these assets to be “investment assets” and thus did not disclose them, even though the Committee directs the nominee to list all real estate assets.

He also forgot to disclose the $906,556 worth of artwork held by his children.
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump team prepares dramatic cuts? on: January 19, 2017, 08:46:17 AM
http://thehill.com/policy/finance/314991-trump-team-prepares-dramatic-cuts?utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5779
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Apache reservation was used as test ground on: January 19, 2017, 08:31:30 AM
latimes.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=f089ecc9238c5ee13b8e5f471&id=694a4f94c9&e=ea32bca718
38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Red Team hackers break into US power grid on: January 19, 2017, 08:15:35 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL9q2lOZ1Fw&feature=youtu.be

 shocked shocked shocked
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bill Ayers dancing over FALN pardon on: January 19, 2017, 08:10:22 AM
http://www.libertyheadlines.com/bill-ayers-dancing-obamas-pardon-faln-member/?AID=7236
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Where are the numbers? on: January 18, 2017, 10:57:53 PM
http://thefederalist.com/2017/01/18/nyt-hid-numbers-hottest-year-record/#.WIA-4Q2C8kt.facebook
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Hollywood take on Trump on: January 18, 2017, 10:31:12 PM
http://variety.com/2017/biz/news/rob-long-donald-trump-hollywood-1201961237/
42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Newt on Trump's approach to balancing the budget on: January 18, 2017, 07:16:52 PM
A “Trumpian” Approach to Balancing the Budget
The following is adapted from my January 17th speech at the Heritage Foundation, which can be viewed in full here.
As a candidate, Donald Trump repeatedly stated that balancing the budget would be a goal of his administration.
 
Many so-called experts have dismissed the idea that he can actually achieve this goal as president.   As usual, the experts have it wrong.  In fact, President Trump’s focus on the fundamentals of the economy and the government will shrink the deficit and balance the budget.

To use a sports analogy, Bill Walsh, the former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, never focused on the score of the game. His focus was always on getting his players to perfectly execute their plays. If every play was perfectly executed, he believed the score would reflect the team’s actions.

This same principle holds true for balancing the budget. If Trump’s policies are implemented, the result will be a balanced federal budget.

I say this with some authority. As Speaker of the House, we achieved four consecutive balanced budgets. In the four years before I became Speaker, the combined deficit was more than a trillion dollars! Starting in fiscal 1998, we achieved a surplus of $559 billion.

How did we balance the federal budget?

We balanced the budget by focusing on the fundamentals of the economy and the government.

We cut capital gains. Our capital gains tax cut was very successful, and people responded positively to it. This was key to accelerating investment and to expanding small businesses – leading to more tax revenue.

We reformed welfare. Welfare reform not only put millions of people back to work, it also led to the largest decline in child poverty in American history.
We also enacted major reforms to communications regulations which played a role in the explosion of the telecommunications industries, including mobile phone technology and e-commerce.

All of this strengthened the dollar and resulted in lower interest rates.

The combined impact of these and other policy changes led to reduced spending and more federal revenue. That is how we balanced the budget when I was Speaker, and this is how President Trump, working with Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell can do it again.

Here is what a “Trumpian” approach to balancing the budget would look like.

•   According to Jim Frogue in his book, Stop Paying the Crooks, if President-elect Trump’s team brought in American Express, Visa, and MasterCard to replace the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) payment bureaucracy, the government could save $1 trillion in fraud over a decade.

•   Applying this same principle to food stamps and disabilities, the government could save another $50 billion a year. If we apply this to the VA and TRICARE, the changes could be immense.

•   We must insist on health information technology interoperability to save lives and reduce costs.

•   We must create a public-private partnership for reaching Mars and the moon - we have to get into space faster for less. This will work if we redesign NASA and create public-private partnerships with entrepreneurs eager to make these exciting achievements happen.

•   We must liberate federal lands for energy, mineral, and other development reflecting the original sense of America as a land of opportunity. We must protect our national parks and truly sensitive environments, but also recognize, for example, that the federal government owning 82% of Nevada deprives Americans of opportunities. These policy changes would generate more than $200 billion a year, or over a trillion a decade.

•   Finally, we must bring American money back home. A five percent, one-time repatriation for the $2 trillion in profits locked up overseas could yield $100 billion in revenue and a substantial increase in investment in the U.S. The revenue from this growth would move us toward a balanced budget and create more jobs.

These are just a few examples. On almost every front, the current policies and bureaucracies are so inefficient and out of touch with 21st century capabilities that the potential is enormous for a less expensive federal government leading to a dramatically bigger American economy with far higher incomes.

This is the path to a Trumpian balanced budget. It will be a consequence of the right policies to spur economic growth and make our government operate more efficiently and effectively.

I will continue my‘Understanding Trump and Trumpism’ series this Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 8am ET. The speech will be streamed live on Facebook and transcript and video will be made available at Gingrich Productions and The Heritage Foundation following the presentation.

Your Friend,
Newt
 
43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / VDH: Putin, Obama, and Trump on: January 18, 2017, 06:40:04 PM
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443903/obama-misread-putin-trump-might-not-new-era-big-sticks-common-enemies-mutual-benefit
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ryan and Bannon working together on tax reform on: January 18, 2017, 06:26:03 PM
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/314710-ryan-bannon-strike-surprising-truce
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Transition/Administration on: January 18, 2017, 03:39:41 PM
https://patriotpost.us/alexander/46958
46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury sees four rate increases in 2017 on: January 18, 2017, 02:00:55 PM
The Consumer Price Index Increased 0.3% in December To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist
Robert Stein, Deputy Chief Economist
Date: 1/18/2017

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.3% in December, matching consensus expectations. The CPI is up 2.1% from a year ago.

"Cash" inflation (which excludes the government's estimate of what homeowners would charge themselves for rent) rose 0.3% in December and is up 1.7% in the past year.

Energy prices rose 1.5% in December, while food prices were unchanged. The "core" CPI, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.2% in December, matching consensus expectations. Core prices are up 2.2% versus a year ago.

Real average hourly earnings – the cash earnings of all workers, adjusted for inflation – rose 0.1% in December and are up 0.8% in the past year. Real average weekly earnings are up 0.2% in the past year.

Implications: A fitting reading on consumer prices for the final month of 2016, as December's 0.3% rise in prices pushed the twelve-month increase above the Fed's 2.0% target for the first time in more than two years. That is a significant pickup from the 0.7% increase we saw in 2015, and we expect 2017 will continue to see prices move gradually higher. Year-to-year prices have been steadily on the rise over recent months as energy prices, up 1.5% in December and rising at a 27.4% annual rate in the past three months, have turned into a tailwind after serving as a headwind for much of the past two-and-a-half years. Energy prices will likely average at modestly higher prices than 2016, but even stripping out energy and food prices – the latter of which have now been unchanged for six consecutive months – shows inflation up 2.2% in the past year, just a tad higher than the 2.1% gain in 2015. The "core" measure was once again led higher by housing prices in December. Owners' equivalent rent, which makes up about ¼ of the CPI, rose 0.3% in December, is up 3.6% in the past year – the largest annual rise going back to 2007 - and will be a key source of higher inflation in the year ahead. On the earnings front, today's report shows real average hourly earnings rising 0.1% in December. Real earnings rose a modest 0.8% in 2016, a slower pace than the 1.9% gain in 2015, but given continued employment gains this should move higher over the next year. With prices - both including and excluding food & energy costs – rising at or above the Fed's 2% target and continuing a steady climb higher, paired with continued strength in employment, we expect the Fed to raise rates three (and possibly four) times in 2017.
 
47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sec HHS nominee Price insider dealing? on: January 18, 2017, 01:50:29 PM
Good to see Pelosi getting nailed.

In fairness, I thought I saw something on Sec HHS nominee Price in a similar regard.  Anyone have anything on this?
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / California train slower than a speeding bullet and a lot more expensive on: January 18, 2017, 01:47:52 PM
third post of day:

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-cost-overruns-20170106-story.html
49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: California on: January 18, 2017, 01:47:05 PM
Off the top of my head, if I were drafting the law i would say:

a) no advertising
b) no public consumption
c) over 18 or over 21
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Judicial Watch approves Trump's conflict of interest plans on: January 18, 2017, 01:42:19 PM
http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-statement-trumps/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Tipsheet%201-18-17%20%281%29&utm_content=
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