1--Buzzfeed editor defends baseless idea that Russia meddled in elections--I’m Proud We Published the Trump-Russia Dossier
Since we published, the public has learned a great deal more about how seriously the F.B.I. took the dossier. The F.B.I., CNN reported, used the dossier to justify its effort to spy on an American citizen, and reimbursed Mr. Steele for some of his expenses. The BBC reported that the dossier was a “road map” to the F.B.I. investigation. Fox News recently reported that a top Department of Justice official met with Mr. Steele during the 2016 campaign. And on Tuesday, the public was given a glimpse, in the release of secret testimony, into the fierce battle between Senate Democrats and Republicans over the dossier and how the F.B.I. made use of it during the 2016 campaign....
“Are we in the midst of a major criminal investigation against the president of the United States as a result of this dodgy dossier?” asked Tom Fitton, a Trump ally, on “Fox & Friends” recently.
While Mr. Trump’s camp dismiss the dossier as malicious fiction or pure political opportunism, some elements have been corroborated. For example, that the Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort hid payments for his work in Ukraine, as federal authorities have alleged; that the Russian diplomat Mikhail Kalugin was withdrawn suddenly from the United States; and that Mr. Trump sought, but never consummated, business deals in Russia...
Mr. Steele also reported, in pages submitted just 11 days after a Russian lawyer reportedly promised Mr. Trump’s aides negative information on Hillary Clinton during a meeting in Trump Tower, that “the Kremlin had been feeding Trump and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“One large portion of the dossier is crystal-clear, certain, consistent and corroborated,” a C.I.A. veteran, John Sipher, wrote recently. “Russia’s goal all along has been to do damage to America and our leadership role in the world.”
2--Catherine Deneuve joined more than 100 other Frenchwomen in entertainment, publishing and academic fields Tuesday in the pages of the newspaper Le Monde and on its website in arguing that the two movements, in which women and men have used social media as a forum to describe sexual misconduct, have gone too far by publicly prosecuting private experiences and have created a totalitarian climate.
“Rape is a crime. But insistent or clumsy flirting is not a crime, nor is gallantry a chauvinist aggression,” the letter, dated Monday, begins. “As a result of the Weinstein affair, there has been a legitimate realization of the sexual violence women experience, particularly in the workplace, where some men abuse their power. It was necessary. But now this liberation of speech has been turned on its head.”
They contend that the #MeToo movement has led to a campaign of public accusations that have placed undeserving people in the same category as sex offenders without giving them a chance to defend themselves. “This expedited justice already has its victims, men prevented from practicing their profession as punishment, forced to resign, etc., while the only thing they did wrong was touching a knee, trying to steal a kiss, or speaking about ‘intimate’ things at a work dinner, or sending messages with sexual connotations to a woman whose feelings were not mutual,” they write. The letter, written in French was translated here by The New York Times...
They write that “a woman can, in the same day, lead a professional team and enjoy being the sexual object of a man, without being a ‘promiscuous woman,’ nor a vile accomplice of patriarchy.”
3--All part of a smear campaign? Fusion admits deliberate leaks to media to tarnish Trump
4--Syria--Drones attack Russian base--Whodunnit?
The recent drone attack on the Russian base Khmeimim in Latakia is just one example. Thirteen sophisticated armed drones with a reach of some 100 kilometers attacked the base at the same time as a U.S. electronic warfare plane was circling off the Syrian coast. The attack was unsuccessful. Russia has sophisticated electronic warfare means and hijacked the command over six of the drone. The other seven were taken down by Russian air defenses.
To claim, as the U.S. does, that ISIS or some "rebels" did this is nonsense. ISIS has made short range weaponized drones flown by remote control in line of sight mode. This attack was by autonomous drones using GPS and barometric sensors to find their way to their targets. This is qualitatively on a whole new level. I doubt that Russia will let this go unanswered. Look out for some "mishap" that may soon hit some U.S. troops or interests abroad.
Mr. Trump’s top national security aides are united behind a plan to decertify the deal, but leave it in place, with a goal of revising its terms. But in pursuing that course, the president will set off a volatile sequence of events that some warn could end up mortally wounding the agreement.
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers will have to decide whether to reimpose punitive sanctions on Tehran, a move that would almost certainly scuttle the 2015 deal that was brokered by world powers. In European capitals, allies are showing signs of resisting pressure to join the United States in trying to renegotiate its terms.
“While the Trump administration is making a very fine distinction between a decertification that is a report to Congress rather than leaving the deal, I’m concerned that that distinction will be lost on our allies and adversaries,” said Senator Chris Coons, a senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.
6--"The first player banned from the National Football League for his political views."--Colin Kaepernick and the Shame of Black America
Unless you have been hibernating during the Winter of Trump or hiding in a cave in the event of a Trump-induced nuclear holocaust, then you are probably aware that Colin Kaepernick is on his way to being the first player banned from the National Football League for his political views. The only thing worse than the racist right wing hegemony exhibited by the NFL owners is the indolent lap dog acceptance of this travesty by far too many black Americans
The facts are that the NFL has welcomed players who have killed people, raped women, beaten women, ingested all manner of recreational and performance enhancing drugs and paid them enormous sums of money. The facts are that NFL players have expressed their support for Donald Trump despite his history of racism, misogyny, sexual assault and xenophobia without consequence....
It is sad to see so little resistance from Black America when the NFL owners are acting in such obvious concert to silence black protest. It is sad to see such silence from the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Urban League and Black Lives matter. For that matter, what has happened to the voices of Jay-Z, Oprah Winfrey, Kevin Hart, LeBron James and all the other black men and women who manage to dominate the American media for their own profit? In this age of virulent Trumpism, racism and degradation must be confronted all the time.
7--Publicly, We Say #MeToo. Privately, We Have Misgivings
In our current climate, to be accused is to be convicted. Due process is nowhere to be found
These are scary times, for women as well as men. There is an inquisitorial whiff in the air, and my particular fear is that in true American fashion, all subtlety and reflection is being lost. Next we’ll be torching people for the content of their fantasies.
Sexual harassment and assault are emotive and very real issues. But portions of the American establishment have not taken up these questions because they suddenly feel deeply about abuse and injustice. They feel nothing about such matters. This is a coldly calculated political operation directed by the Democratic Party and its media orbit, including the Times.
It is one element of the reaction of the Democrats to their defeat in 2016. They hope to leverage this, the sexual misconduct/assault issue, into electoral and political success. At the same time, they want to muddy the waters and divert attention from the conditions of life for millions and the malignant social polarization.
This campaign falls into the same fraudulent category as the “fake news” censorship drive and the hysterical Russophobia that has gripped considerable layers of the upper-middle class.
People are being led by the nose—and many of them quite willingly—into supporting a campaign that will facilitate outright political repression. The present crusade has as much to do with sex as the anti-Russian campaign has to do with protecting American democracy
9--And the Golden Globe award goes to … Witch hunting
The Golden Globes ceremony stank of reaction and self-satisfaction. It was a celebration of inquisitions and unsubstantiated allegations. Increasingly, masses of working class people, female and male, struggling to keep their heads above water, will see through this.
11--CDC prepares for nuclear attack on jan 16-- Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation
what could go wrong?
12--China is reportedly thinking of halting US Treasury purchases and that's worrying markets right now
Time’s Up is a self-indulgent campaign spurred on by the patronizing #MeToo movement that was largely fueled by finger wagging, the demonization of men, and the proud embracement of victimhood. ... The #MeToo movement devolved into an anti-male grievance fest, normalizing mob behavior and infantilization of accusers. There was no room for open discourse and dialogue....
The media often portrays this dogmatic fight for gender equality by throwing generic trauma-ridden words such as ‘brave’ and ‘courageous’ – often catering to the powerful elite, to create that emotional narrative and drive the message home. These ‘feminist’ movements (and I use the term ‘feminist’ loosely here) are not the first symbolic, patronizing gestures that we have seen coming from the liberal elite. They happen all the time. Hillary Clinton’s presidential platform was wholly dependent on identity politics while her political platform served more as an afterthought. Clinton garnered wide celebrity support, despite the many contradictions and hypocrisies that seeped out of her campaign. She fought for gender equality yet she used her own gender as a way to gain special treatment and votes exclusively from women. Her female supporters were quick to whip out the pitch forks whenever Clinton the Feminist Cheerleader was challenged
15--Iran: World must prepare for possible US withdrawal from JCPOA
t is not clear what will the US President Donald Trump's decision be January 12, when he must decide again whether to certify the Islamic Republic's compliance with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka nuclear deal), as he is required to do every three months....
17--Iran Nuke's deal deadline looms