Saturday, October 28, 2017

Today's Links

"The moral high-ground in Washington has always been measured in millimeters."     Jonathan Turley

How much of the dossier has been substantiated?

There has been no public corroboration of the salacious allegations against Mr. Trump, nor of the specific claims about coordination between his associates and the Russians. NYT

Oliver Stone
Those who promoted the corrupt Dossier’s findings (McCain, Brennan, etc.) are the same people who support the unproven Russiagate narrative.

Oliver Stone

HRC/DNC helped pay for the Steele Dossier. That it took 10+ months to find out who funded it speaks to MSM’s protection of Establishment.

Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony,  for a year  Maggie Haberman NYT

When I tried to report this (dossier) story, Clinton campaign lawyer @marceelias pushed back vigorously saying, "You (or your sources) are wrong." Kenneth Vogel NYT

1--Kaepernick: Collusion?

“NFL teams exhibited unusual and bizarre behavior regarding Mr. Kaepernick’s prospective employment. Multiple NFL head coaches and general managers stated that they wanted to sign Mr. Kaepernick, only to mysteriously go silent with no explanation and no contract offer made to Mr. Kaepernick. Other NFL teams stated they had no interest in Mr. Kaepernick and refused to explain why. NFL teams who ran offensive systems favorable to Mr. Kaepernick’s style of play instead employed retired quarterbacks or quarterbacks who had not played in a regular season game in years, and signed them to significant contracts while prohibiting Mr. Kaepernick from even trying out or interviewing for those jobs.”

We know the NFL is full of quarterbacks who aren’t as good as Colin Kaepernick. We’ll soon find out if this fact means Kaepernick will emerge victorious in arbitration. Perhaps, it will ultimately be President Trump’s words and deeds that help the quarterback score a huge win off the field.

2--FBI Informant’s Lawyer — Obama Admin ‘Threatened’ My Client And His Career

A former FBI informant who blew the whistle on a high-profile bribery case involving a Russian energy company was intimidated by Obama administration lawyers into dropping a civil suit against the government last year, his attorney says.
Victoria Toensing, the lawyer for the informant, told The Daily Caller’s Vince Coglianese that Obama Justice Department lawyers told her client that “his reputation and liberty [was] in jeopardy” if he did not drop a lawsuit against the government.

On Wednesday, the Trump Justice Department released the informant from a confidentiality agreement, clearing the way for him to testify before several congressional committees about his undercover work at Uranium One, a Canada-based energy company that has ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton and their family foundation.

In 2010, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an inter-agency governmental committee that reviews applications for foreign purchases of companies, granted the Russia-owned energy company Rosatom the right to purchase Uranium One.

The deal, which gave Rosatom control over 20 percent of U.S. uranium reserves, was approved despite evidence from the informant which showed that Uranium One was involved in a massive bribery and extortion scheme.
The informant, who has not been publicly identified, helped the FBI while working for Uranium One from 2009 to 2014.
The Justice Department’s waiver will allow the informant to meet with the Senate Judiciary Committee, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the House Intelligence Committee

The Clinton’s connections to Uranium One are also under scrutiny.
Uranium One executives donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation during the period when the sale of the company was being considered by CFIUS. As secretary of state at the time the Uranium One sale was approved, Hillary Clinton served on the inter-agency government panel.

3--America’s oligarchy: No money for opioid crisis, endless funds for corporate tax cuts

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump proclaimed the opioid crisis, which killed some 64,000 people last year, a “public health emergency,” a move that, despite appeals from medical professionals and public health advocates, did not include one cent in additional funding.

More people died last year from drug overdoses than American soldiers were killed during the entire Vietnam War, with a staggering 175 people killed every day. Countless millions more have been affected, from friends and family members of addicts whose lives have been upended, to children born addicted to opioids.

Trump’s response to the opioid epidemic mirrors his administration’s response to every social crisis and disaster, such as the hurricanes that struck Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. The government has provided no meaningful federal aid to Puerto Rico, still suffering from widespread blackouts, while demanding it step up its payments to its Wall Street creditors.

But when it comes to funneling money to the US oligarchy, the White House and Congress are more than willing to oblige. Just hours before Trump’s announcement on the opioid crisis, the House of Representatives passed a budget bill that clears the way for Trump’s tax cut for corporations and the rich to be fast-tracked through Congress, for possible passage before Thanksgiving.

The plan, which would cost taxpayers some $5.8 trillion over the next ten years, would slash the corporate tax rate from the current 35 percent to 20 percent, eliminate the estate tax for multimillion-dollar inheritances, and slash rates for “repatriating” corporate profits held offshore...

In Capital, Marx’s study of the capitalist system, the founder of the modern socialist movement concluded that the “accumulation of wealth at one pole is…at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole.”
This statement is not only true, but empirically quantifiable. One study by epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett found a direct correlation between social inequality and a series of social ills, including homicides and violent crime, school achievement and dropout rates, teenage births, life expectancy and infant mortality, obesity, mental illness, and more.
Compared to other developed countries, the United States is off the charts on all measures. It is simultaneously the most unequal and the most socially distressed.

4--Bombshell: Hillary Clinton, DNC Colluded With Russia In An Attempt To Steal The Election From Donald Trump

Fresh off the heels of a shocking report, published by the Washington Post, that confirmed that the infamous “Russia dossier” was actually funded by both the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, an even more startling revelation has emerged – The Clinton-DNC machine colluded with the Russians to fabricate and spread serious disinformation about Donald Trump in a failed attempt at swaying the election in the favor of Hillary Clinton.

That’s right, in a literal reverse of what the entire mainstream media has fed the American people for over a year, we now have evidence that, either wittingly or unwittingly, the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for what amounted to disinformation that came directly from “Russian sources”.

5--Even with Syria’s Al-Omar oil fields, Kurdish forces lose 150 times more oil in Iraq

For Syrian War observers, the capture of the Al-Omar oil fields by Kurdish militias might appear to be a strategic victory. Perhaps in Syria it is, but in the greater scheme of things throughout the region and in accordance statistical realities, this recent gain by Kurdish forces means very little at all.

That reality stands that whilst the Al-Omar field produced 7,500 barrels of oil per day before the Syrian War (about one-forth of the nationwide total), the Kirkuk and Bai Hasaan fields in Iraq, which have now been restored to the control of Baghdad produce – currently – a combined total of around 1.2 million barrels per day.

Prior to its recapture by Iraqi pro-government forces, the Kirkuk and Bai Hasaan fields provided Israel with 77 percent (Financial Times statistic for 2015) of its imported oil needs at very low prices. Needless to say, the Israeli government is very upset with Baghdad’s action over the last week.

Given the damage caused to the Al-Omar fields in the months preceding its surrender by ISIS, it would not be surprising if the energy site produces even one-tenth of its pre-war output which is, at full capacity, already dwarfed by a factor of almost 150 compared to the fully operational Kirkuk and Bai Hasaan fields in Iraq.
With these statistics being put into perspective, it can be seen that the Kurdistan cessation project – which all Western observers agree was only ever going to be possible if the Kurdish separatists possessed a major oil economy – has essentially died with Baghdad’s reclaiming of the oil fields north of Kirkuk

6--The Uranium-Gate Informant Cometh

"It’s hard to not see this thing going a long way — at the same time that financial markets and geopolitical matters are heading south. - Keep your hats on."

7--More Russia bombshell revelations to come? Tucker

8--Potential legal implications from Trump dossier scandal

both podesta and wasserman Schultz expressly said there was no connection between the DNC and the Steele dossier.
They lied. 

9-- Visiting the remote headquarters of Whitefish Energy, recipient of controversial contract

The Trump administration denied Friday that political connections had anything to do with restoring electrical connections in Puerto Rico.
A contract worth $300 million was awarded to a tiny company called Whitefish Energy in Whitefish, Montana, hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Zinke said Friday he had nothing to do with the contract.

10-- New York Times reporters cry foul over 'Trump dossier' pushback

Two New York Times reporters are calling out people tied to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee for denying the Clinton campaign and DNC's role in the making of the so-called "Trump dossier," following a report Tuesday that found they funded the research for the dossier.
"When I tried to report this story, Clinton campaign lawyer @marceelias pushed back vigorously, saying "You (or your sources) are wrong," New York Times reporter Kenneth Vogel tweeted of Hillary Clinton's campaign lawyer Marc Elias.

According to the Washington Post report published Tuesday evening, Elias' law firm hired Fusion GPS, a Washington opposition research firm, to conduct research that resulted in the Trump dossier, which contained scandalous material tying  president Trump to Russia

"Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year," Maggie Haberman, White House correspondent for the New York Times tweeted.
Fusion GPS was hired by the Clinton campaign and DNC lawyer Mark Elias in April 2016 to oversee the research, the Post reported, citing unnamed sources. Fusion GPS then hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who authored the dossier.
The research firm had already been conducting research on Trump during the Republican primaries, work that was funded by an unknown Republican client.
Most of the scandalous allegations included in the document have not been verified

11--What to Know About the Dossier of Trump Research and Who Paid for It

The so-called Steele dossier of research into President Trump’s connections to Russia is back in the news, with the revelation that it was at least partly funded by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

What is the dossier?

It is a 35-page collection of research memos written by Christopher Steele, a respected former British intelligence agent, primarily during the 2016 presidential campaign. The memos allege a multifaceted conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to help Mr. Trump defeat Mrs. Clinton. The memos also detail unsubstantiated accounts of encounters between Mr. Trump and Russian prostitutes, and real estate deals that were intended as bribes, among other claims about Mr. Trump’s businesses.

Campaigns and party committees frequently pay companies to assemble what’s known in politics as opposition research — essentially damaging information about their opponents — and nothing is illegal about the practice.
However, Republicans and campaign watchdogs have accused the Clinton campaign and the D.N.C. of violating campaign finance laws by disguising the payments to Fusion GPS on mandatory disclosures to the Federal Election Commission. Their disclosure reports do not list any payments from the Clinton campaign or the D.N.C. to Fusion GPS. They do list a total of $12.4 million in payments to Perkins Coie, but that’s almost entirely for legal consulting, with only one payment — of $66,500 — for “research consulting” from the D.N.

Officials from the Clinton campaign and the D.N.C. have said they were unaware that Perkins Coie facilitated the research on their behalf, even though the law firm was using their money to pay for it. Even Mrs. Clinton only found about Mr. Steele’s research after Buzzfeed published the dossier, according to two associates who discussed the matter with her. They said that she was disappointed that the research — as well as the fact that the F.B.I. was looking into connections between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia — was not made public before Election Day.
But word of the memos and their contents had circulated in Washington political and media circles before the election. In British court filings, Mr. Steele’s lawyers said that he and Fusion GPS briefed journalists from a range of media outlets, including The New York Times, on his research starting in September of 2016

James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director whose firing by Mr. Trump prompted the appointment of a special counsel to oversee the Justice Department’s Russia investigation, received a copy of the memos after Election Day from Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. Mr. McCain had dispatched David J. Kramer, a former top State Department official, to obtain the dossier directly from Mr. Steele. And before Election Day, the F.B.I. reached an agreement to pay Mr. Steele to continue his research, though that plan was scrapped after the dossier was published. During the presidential transition, senior American intelligence officials briefed Mr. Trump and President Barack Obama on the dossier.
Investigators from the House and Senate intelligence committees and Mr. Mueller’s team have been exploring claims made in the dossier. Mr. Mueller’s team reportedly interviewed Mr. Steele over the summer

12-- What Did Hillary Clinton Know?

There is also no doubt about the significance of the Steele Dossier in spurring the Russia-gate scandal forward.
When Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, offered what amounted to a prosecutor’s opening statement in March, his seamless 15-minute narrative of the Trump campaign’s alleged collaboration with Russia followed the trail blazed by Steele, who had worked for Britain’s MI-6 in Russia and tapped into ex-colleagues and unnamed sources inside Russia, including supposedly leadership figures in the Kremlin.....

After that letter, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday night that the Clinton campaign and the DNC had helped fund the Steele effort with attorney Elias retaining Fusion GPS in April 2016 and with Fusion GPS then hiring Steele.

The Post reported that “people familiar with the matter” disclosed that outline of the arrangement but still would not divulge how much the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid to Fusion GPS. One source told me that the total amount came to about $1 million.

Despite the dubious quality of Steele’s second- and third-hand information, the June 2016 report appears to have impressed Team Clinton. And once the bait was taken, Steele continued to produce his conspiracy-laden reports, totaling at least 17 through Dec. 13, 2016.
Framing the Investigation
The reports not only captivated the Clinton political operatives but influenced the assessments of President Obama’s appointees in the U.S. intelligence community regarding alleged Russian “meddling” in the presidential election.

13--DNC Failed to Disclose Legally Required Information about Funding of Trump-Russia Dossier

14-- Democrats Block Witnesses from Testifying in House Intel Probe

House Democrats are continuing to block testimony from about a dozen witnesses who sought to appear before the intelligence oversight panel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election...

Many of the dossier's claims, including charges that Page met with Russians intelligence figures, have been debunked.

"In support of that forthcoming appearance, I have recently been in contact with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and other Justice Department officials regarding the multiple outstanding requests for immediate release of the illegitimate FISA warrants that were allegedly filed by the Obama Administration against me in 2016," Page said in the May 22 letter. He was referring to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrants reportedly issued.
Page denied any improper interaction between himself and Russian business or government officials.
Instead, he is charging that the Obama administration engaged in a political intelligence-gathering operation targeting Trump and his associates...

Noting he has had extensive business contacts with Russians since 1991, Page said he "personally saw no active measures by the Russian government or other foreign entities to interfere in any political campaigns whatsoever—neither last year nor at any point throughout my life."
A U.S. intelligence assessment made public in January charged that Russia had engaged in a cyber-enabled influence operation during the 2016 campaign targeting the U.S. democratic system and aimed at denigrating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

15--Carter Page letter to Schiff

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