President Trump

The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. (Plato)
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Marie
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La Trump's legal victory poses ethical questions

Postby Marie » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:49 pm

More important than Mrs Trump's prevailing in this libel suit is whether the implications of her expectation of profiting monetarily from her unique identity as first lady pose serious conflict of interest questions.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/melania-tru ... her-filed/

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: President Trump

Postby Marie » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:04 pm

Submitted for your consideration:

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-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Trump speech before Congress 2/28/2017

Postby Marie » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:54 pm

Tonight we got our first look at the tank and miracle solution in which the president is being preserved when not active!!!

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-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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The week in Trump 3/5/2017

Postby Marie » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:35 am

Inside Trump’s fury
The president rages at leaks, setbacks and accusations
By Philip Rucker, Robert Costa and Ashley Parker
washingtonpost.com
3/5/2017

PRESIDENT TRUMP SPENT the weekend at “the winter White House,” Mar-a-Lago, the secluded Florida castle where he is king.

The sun sparkles off the glistening lawn and warms the russet clay Spanish tiles, and the steaks are cooked just how he likes them (well done). His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, celebrated as calming influences on the tempestuous president, joined him.

But they were helpless to contain his fury. Trump was mad — steaming, raging mad.

Trump’s young presidency has existed in a perpetual state of chaos. The issue of Russia has distracted from what was meant to be his most triumphant moment: his address last Tuesday to a joint session of Congress. And now his latest unfounded accusation — that Barack Obama tapped Trump’s phones during last fall’s campaign — had been denied by the former president and doubted by both allies and fellow Republicans. When Trump ran into Christopher Ruddy on the golf course and later at dinner Saturday, he vented to his friend. “This will be investigated,” Ruddy recalled Trump telling him. “It will all come out. I will be proven right.”

“He was pissed,” said Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax, a conservative media company. “I haven’t seen him this angry.”

Trump enters week seven of his presidency the same as the six before it: enmeshed in controversy while struggling to make good on his campaign promises. At a time when White House staffers had sought to ride the momentum from Trump’s speech to Congress and begin advancing its agenda on Capitol Hill, the administration finds itself beset yet again by disorder and suspicion. At the center of the turmoil is an impatient president increasingly frustrated by his administration’s inability to erase the impression that his campaign was engaged with Russia, to stem leaks about both national security matters and internal discord and to implement any signature achievements.

This account of the administration’s tumultuous recent days is based on interviews with 17 top White House officials, members of Congress and friends of the president, many of whom requested anonymity to speak candidly.

Gnawing at Trump, according to one of his advisers, is the comparison between his early track record and that of Obama in 2009, when amid the Great Recession he enacted an economic stimulus bill and other big-ticket items. This week Trump’s team is trying again to reboot, with the president expected to sign a new executive order Monday implementing an entry ban for some countries after the initial one was blocked in federal court. The administration also intends to introduce a legislative plan later in the week to repeal and replace Obama’s health-care law, officials said. The rest of Trump’s legislative plan, from tax reform to infrastructure spending, is effectively on hold until Congress first tackles the Affordable Care Act.

White House legislative staffers concluded late last week that the administration was spinning in circles on the health-care plan, amid mounting criticism from conservatives that the administration was fumbling. With Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on the road with Vice President Pence, a decision was made: Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, would become the point person, though officials insisted Price had not been sidelined.

On Friday, Mulvaney convened a meeting at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with top administration officials and senior staff of House and Senate leaders to hammer out the final details of the proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act. “Mulvaney has been essential in helping us get health care over the finish line,” said Marc Short, the White House legislative affairs director. On Capitol Hill, Price is seen by some Republicans as more knowledgeable about health-care policy than Mulvaney, given his experience as a physician and his time as chairman of the House Budget Committee. But Mulvaney benefits from the close relationships he has forged with Trump’s top advisers and with the House’s conservative wing.

Trump, meanwhile, has been feeling besieged, believing that his presidency is being tormented in ways known and unknown by a group of Obama-aligned critics, federal bureaucrats and intelligence figures — not to mention the media, which he has called “the enemy of the American people.” That angst over what many in the White House call the “deep state” is fomenting daily, fueled by rumors and tidbits picked up by Trump allies within the intelligence community and by unconfirmed allegations that have been made by right-wing commentators. The “deep state” is a phrase popular on the right for describing entrenched networks hostile to Trump.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), an advocate of improved relations between the United States and Russia, said he has told friends in the administration that Trump is being punished for clashing with the hawkish approach toward Russia that is shared by most Democrats and Republicans. “Remember what Dwight Eisenhower told us: There is a military-industrial complex. That complex still exists and has a lot of power,” he said. “It’s everywhere, and it doesn’t like how Trump is handling Russia. Over and over again, in article after article, it rears its head.”

The president has been seething as he watches round-the-clock cable news coverage. Trump recently vented to an associate that Carter Page, a onetime Trump campaign adviser, keeps appearing on television even though he and Trump have no significant relationship. Stories from Breitbart News, the incendiary conservative website, have been circulated at the White House’s highest levels in recent days, including one story where talk-radio host Mark Levin accused the Obama administration of mounting a “silent coup,” according to several officials.

Stephen K. Bannon, the White House chief strategist who once ran Breitbart, has spoken with Trump at length about his view that the “deep state” is a direct threat to his presidency. Advisers pointed to Bannon’s frequent closed-door guidance on the topic and Trump’s agreement as a fundamental way of understanding the president’s behavior and his willingness to confront the intelligence community, and said that when Bannon spoke recently about the “deconstruction of the administrative state,” he was also alluding to his aim of rupturing the intelligence community and its influence on the U.S. national security and ­foreign policy consensus.

Bannon’s view is shared by some top Republicans. “It’s not paranoia at all when it’s actually happening. It’s leak after leak after leak from the bureaucrats in the [intelligence community] and former Obama administration officials and it’s very real,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “The White House is absolutely concerned and is trying to figure out a systemic way to address what’s happening.”

The mood at the White House on Tuesday night was different altogether — jubilant. Trump returned from the Capitol shortly before midnight to find his staff assembled in the residence cheering him. Finally, they all thought, they had seized control. The president had even laid off Twitter outbursts, a small victory for a staff often unable to drive a disciplined message. “He nailed it, and he knew it,” said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president.

The merriment came to a sudden end on Wednesday night, when the Washington Post first reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador despite having said under oath at his Senate confirmation hearing that he had no contact with the Russians.

Inside the West Wing, Trump’s top aides were furious with the defenses of Sessions offered by the Justice Department’s public affairs division and felt blindsided that Sessions’s aides had not consulted the White House earlier in the process, according to one senior White House official. The next morning, Trump exploded, according to White House officials. He headed to Newport News, Va., on Thursday for a splashy commander-in-chief moment. The president would trumpet his plan to grow military spending aboard the Navy’s sophisticated new aircraft carrier.

But as Trump, sporting a bomber jacket and Navy cap, rallied sailors and shipbuilders, his message was overshadowed by Sessions. Then, a few hours after Trump had publicly defended his attorney general and said he should not recuse himself from the Russia probe, Sessions called a news conference to announce just that, amounting to a public rebuke of the president.

Back at the White House on Friday morning, Trump summoned his senior aides into the Oval Office, where he simmered with rage, according to several White House officials. He upbraided them over Sessions’s decision to recuse himself, believing that Sessions had succumbed to pressure from the media and other critics instead of fighting with the full defenses of the White House. In a huff, Trump departed for Mar-a-Lago, taking with him from his inner circle only his daughter and Kushner, who is a White House senior adviser. His top two aides, Chief of Staff ­Reince Priebus and Bannon, stayed behind in Washington.

As reporters began to hear about the Oval Office meeting, Priebus interrupted his Friday afternoon schedule to dedicate more than an hour to calling reporters off the record to deny that the outburst had actually happened, according to a senior White House official. “Every time there’s a palace intrigue story or negative story about Reince, the whole West Wing shuts down,” the official said. Ultimately, Priebus was unable to kill the story. He simply delayed the bad news, as reports of Trump dressing down his staff were published by numerous outlets Saturday.

Trouble for Trump continued to spiral over the weekend. Early Saturday, he surprised his staff by firing off four tweets accusing Obama of a “Nixon/Watergate” plot to tap his Trump Tower phones in the run-up to last fall’s election. Trump cited no evidence, and Obama’s spokesman denied any such wiretap was ordered. That night at Mar-a-Lago, Trump had dinner with Sessions, Bannon, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly and White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, among others. They tried to put Trump in a better mood by going over their implementation plans for the travel ban, according to a White House official.

Trump was brighter Sunday morning as he read several newspapers, pleased that his allegations against Obama were the dominant story, the official said. But he found reason to be mad again: Few Republicans were defending him on the Sunday political talk shows.

Some Trump advisers and allies were especially disappointed in Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), who two days earlier had hitched a ride down to Florida with Trump on Air Force One. Pressed by NBC’s Chuck Todd to explain Trump’s wiretapping claim, Rubio demurred. “Look, I didn’t make the allegation,” he said. “I’m not the person that went out there and said it.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... 9d895cd8f6

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Randon Trump appointments

Postby Marie » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:43 am

Energy Department parts company with Trump appointee who called Muslims ‘maggots’
By Michael Crowley
Politico
March 11, 2017

President Donald Trump appointed a massage therapist from New Hampshire with no apparent relevant experience to work at the Energy Department, but parted company with the employee Friday after a series of anti-Muslim social media posts came to light, current and former DOE employees tell POLITICO.

Sid Bowdidge had received a nameplate and taken up residence this week in the director’s office of the agency’s Office of Technology Transitions, a career DOE employee said, but it was not clear precisely when he started or what his job would be. OTT specializes in shepherding research developed at the national labs into the private sector, an area in which Bowdidge didn't seem to have any experience. Before joining DOE, Bowdidge worked for the Trump campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records. An August 2015 NBC News report quoted Bowdidge attending a debate watch party in Trump’s New Hampshire campaign office, describing him as a “massage therapist from Bedford.”

DOE employees were unsettled by Bowdidge’s caustic Twitter account, on which he accused then-President Barack Obama of having terrorist "relatives" and spouted anti-Muslim views. POLITICO took several screenshots of Bowdidge’s Twitter account Thursday night before it was made private sometime Friday. In a tweet on Dec. 6, 2015, Bowdidge wrote that “Obama won’t use the term radical Islam because they’re his relatives!!!!” A day later, replying to a CNN tweet that included a picture of the suspected San Bernardino shooters, Bowdidge wrote, “Scum sucking maggots of the world. Exterminate them all.” And during a dispute with someone on Twitter a week later, Bowdidge replied to the person "wouldn't say that if it was your wife, sister or family member that was murdered by some Muslim piece of shit."

DOE said Friday that Bowdidge is not with the agency any more. Buzzfeed first reported the news. Greentech Media reported earlier in the day on his social media history and apparent lack of qualifications. “Normally, we do not comment on personnel matters. In this case, we can confirm that Sid Bowdidge is no longer employed at the Department of Energy,” said Bob Haus, a DOE spokesperson.

Bowdidge is not the first person to join the Trump administration despite a disconcerting social media presence. Several Trump appointees to the Education Department have also been found to have shared controversial views about women, African-Americans and transgender people, among others. Bowdidge’s unfiltered opinions caught the attention of some DOE staff.

“Every time there’s a new political that comes in, we’re all ‘Who is this guy? What’s his background?’” the career staffer told POLITICO. OTT staff hadn’t received many details about Bowdidge’s official responsibilities, experience or position but their Google searches turned up some “colorful” information.

“This person’s in charge of, theoretically, overseeing the policy around commercializing billions of dollars of federal research,” the employee said. “This guy seems like he’s pretty far out, and we just don’t know. It looks like sort of a ridiculous appointment.”

Bowdidge could not be reached for comment.

Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz launched OTT in 2015 to help address longstanding bureaucratic hurdles involved with getting research from its 17 national labs into the marketplace. Rochelle Blaustein, the senior member of OTT’s career staff, has been serving as the office’s acting director.

https://t.co/DCgSKOIjN4

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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POTUS Trump won't say whether he's donating salary as promised

Postby Marie » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:02 am

It's going the same way as the income tax audit -- unproven:

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald- ... d_nn_tw_ma

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Marie
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So are they all, all honorable men

Postby Marie » Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:43 am

One by one, conservative lawmakers are deserting the president over his Obama phone tap allegation.

One can just imagine how he feels...

https://twitter.com/JoshMankiewicz/stat ... 6307443712

#IdesOfMarch

#HeWasAmbitious

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Marie
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Trump house of cards beginning to fold?

Postby Marie » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:16 am

Just looking at Keith's timeline today, the articles he highlights seem to presage the beginning of the end. Clearly, people have been studiously attending to business while the rest of us were wondering if anybody was still on the job:

Sen. Feinstein on potential for Trump ouster: 'I think he's gonna get himself out'
Asked directly by a demonstrator whether President Donald Trump had committed impeachable offenses, Dianne Feinstein replied, "I can't answer that right now."
By Jeff Greenfield
Politico
3/18/2017

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN seemed to indicate Friday that she expects President Donald Trump may disqualify himself from office over potential constitutional breaches and conflicts of interest.

Surrounded by a group of mostly liberal protesters outside a Los Angeles fundraiser, Feinstein fielded a slew of questions on her feelings about what the left has alleged are Trump's constitutional breaches, including one activist's recitation of Trump's potential conflicts of interest -- from profiting off of his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, to winning trademarks in China.

"How are we going to get him out?" the questioner asked. "I think he's gonna get himself out," the California Democrat and member of the Senate intelligence committee replied. Her comment was captured on video by LA Times reporter Javier Panzar, who posted the exchanges on Twitter. Feinstein, though, stopped short of suggesting that Trump should be impeached.

Asked directly by another demonstrator whether Trump had committed impeachable offenses, Feinstein replied, "I can't answer that right now." A Feinstein spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

MORE: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/f ... ote-236217

Senators ask Trump adviser Roger Stone to preserve any Russia-related documents
By Maggie Haberman
The NYT
3/19/2017

ROGER J. STONE JR., an informal adviser to President Trump, has been asked by the Senate Intelligence Committee to preserve any records he may have in connection to a broader inquiry into Russian attempts to interfere with United States elections. The letter sent to Mr. Stone, a copy of which was obtained by the New York Times, represents the first public indication of the scope of the committee’s inquiry, and possible connections to Mr. Trump’s campaign.

The Senate committee asked Mr. Stone, who is also under scrutiny from other federal investigators, to “preserve and retain all hard copies and electronically stored information as specified below in furtherance of the committee’s ongoing investigation into Russian actions targeting the 2016 U.S. elections and democratic processes globally.” Mr. Stone confirmed the existence of the letter, which was dated Feb. 17. However, he said he had received it only on Friday, by email. Mr. Stone has acknowledged trading messages over Twitter with Guccifer 2.0, the online persona that officials believe was actually Russian intelligence officers.

The letter to Mr. Stone was signed by the committee’s chairman, Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, and its ranking Democrat, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia. Press officers for Mr. Burr and Mr. Warner declined to comment on the letter.

Democrats and some investigators, as well as some Republicans, have been watching Mr. Stone, a Richard M. Nixon acolyte and self-described “dirty trickster,” more closely since he posted on Twitter in August 2016 about John D. Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, whose private emails were hacked and provided to WikiLeaks. Mr. Stone said on Twitter that Mr. Podesta would soon face his “time in the barrel,” two months before the emails were made public. Mr. Stone maintained that he was alluding to business activities he attributed to Mr. Podesta, not prior knowledge of the hackings.

Mr. Stone said he is eager to provide the committee with information. “I am anxious to rebut allegations that I had any improper or nefarious contact with any agent of the Russian state based on facts, not misleading and salacious headlines,” he said, adding, “I am willing to appear voluntarily if the committee isn’t looking for the headline of issuing a subpoena.” Mr. Stone, who has strenuously denied the allegations for months, has retained two lawyers to assist with his response to the inquiry, as well as in the hope of pushing federal investigators to either make their information public or say that no case exists. “The intelligence agencies pushing this false Russian narrative through a series of illegal leaks have hurt my ability to make a living and are soiling my reputation,” he said. “The government is in possession of no evidence whatsoever that shows that I colluded with the Russian state.”

Mr. Stone has also been critical of the investigation into Mr. Trump’s unproven assertion that President Barack Obama wiretapped his phones during the presidential campaign, even challenging the truthfulness of James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director. Mr. Stone has said any contact he had with Russians represented only surface-level exchanges with no broader import.

In 2016, Mr. Stone said at a public event that he had been in communication with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, and suggested they had a large collection of material to publish on Mrs. Clinton and her husband, Bill, in the weeks before Election Day. Mr. Stone later clarified that it was through an intermediary and, he said, “perfectly legal.” In February 2016, the Smoking Gun website approached Mr. Stone about private messages exchanged on Twitter with Guccifer 2.0. Mr. Stone, who initially told the site that he did not recall the messages, later sent captured shots of the brief exchange to the Washington Times, describing them as “innocuous.” He also pointed out that the messages were sent well after the hacked Democratic National Committee emails were made public. He would have “needed a time machine to have colluded,” he said. In an interview this week, CBS News asked Mr. Stone about 16 interactions with Guccifer 2.0, which Mr. Stone told The New York Times included public Twitter posts and private messages, and he maintained that they were all part of “exchanges,” as opposed to separate contacts.

Mr. Stone, who believes his communications were monitored by intelligence officials, based on published reports, maintained that he had “released the only exchanges” with Guccifer 2.0, saying the contacts were so “benign” that he had forgotten about them. He also does not fully accept American intelligence information indicating that Guccifer 2.0 is a front for Russian intelligence officers. “I had never heard allegations that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian asset until now, and am not certain it’s correct,” Mr. Stone said. He pointed out that he wrote a piece for Breitbart, a conservative website, on Aug. 5, nine days before the message exchange. “I’m just an available foil,” he said.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/18/u ... 0&referer=

Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort wanted for questioning in Ukraine corruption case
By Simon Ostrovsky, CNN Investigations
March 19, 2017

UKRANIAN PROSECUTORS want to question Paul Manafort in connection with a corruption investigation and have made repeated requests for assistance from US authorities, CNN has learned. Prosecutors in Kiev said they have made seven separate appeals over the past two years for help in questioning President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, including letters to FBI Director James Comey and US Justice Department officials. Ukrainian officials said the US has not responded to those requests. Under a "mutual legal assistance" treaty, the two countries have agreed to regularly assist each other in law enforcement efforts, such as gathering statements and other evidence for prosecutions. US authorities confirmed to CNN that the requests were received but declined further comment. Manafort served as Trump's campaign chief until being pushed out in August 2016.

The official requests from a special prosecution unit in Kiev started in December 2014, and involve a corruption case targeting Ukraine's former Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych. Manafort has not been charged with a crime. Prosecutors want him to testify, Ukraine's prosecutor for special investigations Serhiy Gorbatyuk said. Prosecutors allege that Lavrynovych illegally diverted more than $1 million in government funds to a prominent New York City law firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Lavrynovych had hired Skadden to review the 2011 jailing of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who had received a seven-year sentence for allegedly harming Ukraine's interests in gas supply negotiations with Russia.

Tymoshenko was the main political rival of the Kremlin-backed President Viktor Yanukovych, whom Manafort advised until Yanukovych was deposed in 2014. Tymoshenko was released from jail at the same time that Yanukovych was ousted. Many saw her sentencing as politically motivated by the pro-Russian government. In 2012, as a result of the sentencing, Ukraine faced the possibility of an unfavorable ruling from the European Court of Human Rights, and US lawmakers were considering sanctions. In response to the deteriorating international climate, Ukrainian prosecutors say, Manafort drafted a public relations strategy that included hiring Skadden to review the Tymoshenko case and show the conviction had a sound legal basis. But a spokeswoman for the US State Department in 2012 said the report Skadden eventually came out with "was incomplete and doesn't give an accurate picture."

Prosecutors told CNN that Ukraine's Justice Ministry had signed an agreement with Skadden to provide legal services for the equivalent of only $12,000, the legal limit above which it would have been necessary to hold a public competition to award a government contracting job. Prosecutors provided CNN with the details of a bank transfer that took place on May 30, 2013 to a Citibank account allegedly belonging to Skadden from a Justice Ministry bank account. The document shows the ministry wired Skadden more than $1 million -- $1,075,381.41. It is this payment that prosecutors charge was a misappropriation of government funds. "We believe they wanted to avoid the time-consuming competition they would have had to organize to hire the law firm legally, so they drew up the undervalued contract and probably arranged to pay the real fee in cash," Gorbatyuk told CNN, speaking in Russian. However, when Tymoshenko's legal team publicly pointed out that the government could not have secured Skadden's services for just $12,000, Skadden asked Ukrainian officials to draw up a second contract that reflected a more realistic fee, prosecutors allege.

Asked to comment on its involvement in the matter, Skadden released a statement to CNN: "We have been and will continue cooperating with appropriate requests." Members of Gorbatyuk's office showed CNN a record of seven separate occasions when they asked the US authorities for help. The first letter was sent in December 2014 to the US Justice Department's Office of International Affairs, and was a request to question Skadden partner Gregory Craig, who also served as a White House counsel in the Obama administration. In December 2015, Gorbatyuk's office sent another letter to the Department of Justice asking to question Manafort. The trigger for the request was two emails prosecutors found. The contents of those emails were provided to CNN: One between Craig and Manafort where Craig asked Manafort to help secure paperwork from Ukraine needed for Skadden's report, and another between a Skadden employee and a Ukrainian official that mentioned Manafort's presence at a meeting with the Justice Minister. Prosecutors also showed CNN documentation they sent to the DOJ in which they told the US authorities that their investigation had "established that the well--known American political strategist Paul Manafort is implicated in the relationship between the Skadden Arps. firm and the Justice Ministry of Ukraine." Of Manafort, the letter said he "was likely the person who advised representatives of the former Government of Ukraine to hire the law firm and was present during talks about this issue."

The final letter was dated September 2016: Ukraine's Prosecutor General, the equivalent of a US Attorney General, sent a letter directly to FBI director James Comey asking for clarification for why the US authorities would not help. Some of the attempts to question Manafort coincided with a time period when the FBI grappled with the issue of whether to subpoena Manafort in its separate investigation surrounding his business dealings in Ukraine, last summer. Comey has faced criticism for taking a different approach on legal matters relating to the Hillary Clinton campaign after he controversially sent a letter to Congress announcing the FBI's renewed interest in her use of a personal server during her time as Secretary of State just 11 days before the election.
Manafort currently faces an FBI investigation over millions of dollars' worth of payments he allegedly received while working for Yanukovych. Manafort has denied those claims. Manafort declined to provide comment for this story.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/17/polit ... rt-ukraine

Senators question whether Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka has ties to a Nazi-linked group
By Jeff Stein
Newsweek
3/18/17

NORMALLY, second-tier White House foreign policy advisers are rarely seen and even more rarely heard. But these are not normal times, and Sebastian Gorka is no normal adviser. Gorka’s unorthodox views on political Islam were known but little noted outside of military and far-right quarters before Steve Bannon, his former Breitbart News boss and Donald Trump’s top political adviser, invited him to join his Strategic Initiatives Group in the White House.

But since jumping into that cauldron he’s come under fierce fire. Critics have attacked his academic credentials and insistence that a “global jihadist movement” is driven principally by passages from the Koran, rather than regional government corruption and repression and sectarian, tribal, political or economic factors. “Despite casting himself as an expert on radical jihadi ideology, Gorka does not speak Arabic and has spent no time in the Middle East,” Daniel Nexon, a leading international affairs expert at Georgetown University, noted in the latest scathing review of Gorka’s work, in the Friday edition of Foreign Policy.

Now three U.S. senators are asking the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to investigate whether Gorka covered up his membership in a Nazi-linked Hungarian organization on his 2012 application for American citizenship. “We are deeply concerned by reports that Dr. Gorka concealed the material fact of his membership in the Vitézi Rend, a far-right anti-Semitic Hungarian organization, when he applied for U.S. citizenship,” wrote the three senators, Richard Durbin of Illinois, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Ben Cardin of Maryland. A day earlier, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, also a Democrat, had asked President Trump to send Gorka’s immigration papers to the House Judiciary Committee. All said they were troubled by the findings of an extensive investigation into Gorka’s Hungarian past by the Forward, a 120-year-old New York Jewish newspaper based in New York, which reported on March 16 that the White House adviser was a “sworn member” of the Historical Vitézi Rend, “a virulently anti-Semitic organization that operated under the direction of the Nazis during World War II.” The paper said Gorka had taken a “lifelong oath of loyalty” to the organization, according to its leaders.

The senators were also upset by reports and photos of Gorka proudly displaying a medal from the group on his brocaded jacket, called a “bocskai,” at Trump’s inaugural ball. “Right-wing Hungarian media in particular fixated on what it saw as Gorka's callback to a resurgent native icon of the far-right,” Miklós Horthy. While regent of the Kingdom of Hungary in the 1920s, " Horthy’s paramilitary units killed Jews by the hundreds,” according to the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum. "Murders, lynchings, pogroms, and torture occurred at dozens of locations and were in many cases initiated by the local population.” With the advent of World War Two, Horthy at first resisted pressure from Germany’s Adolf Hitler to exterminate his country's Jews, but eventually succumbed and " accepted the installation of a pro-Nazi government with complete power to institute and carry out anti-Jewish measures, and agreed to deport the Jews,” according to Israel’s Yad Vashem research center. More than 437,400 Jews were shipped out on 147 trains in just 56 days between May 15 and July 9, 1944.

Hitler’s chief deportations expert, S.S. Lt. Colonel Adolf Eichmann, "was surprised at how actively and enthusiastically Hungarian authorities collaborated to achieve what was clearly a common purpose,” the Holocaust Museum reports, "initiating many anti-Jewish measures on their own.” “Dr. Gorka was photographed wearing a Vitézi Rend medal on several occasions, including at a Presidential inaugural ball earlier this year,” the senators complained in their March 17 letter to Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. “He has also identified himself as ‘Dr. Sebastian L. v. Gorka’ in written testimony before Congress. Experts note that the initial “v.” is used by sworn members of the Vitézi Rend.”

The senators said they were additionally concerned “because of the White House’s own checkered record on religious discrimination,” citing the administration’s failure to mention Jewish victims on Holocaust Remembrance Day -- “an omission which Dr. Gorka publicly defended” -- and the president’s “slow” condemnation of “the wave of attacks on Jewish community centers.” But another Jewish publication, the Tablet, came to Gorka’s defense, saying he wore the medal only in honor of his father, who was decorated by the Vitézi Rend for being "a dedicated member of the anti-Communist underground.” Gorka also told the Tablet he had “never been a member of the Vitézi Rend” or “taken an oath of loyalty to the Vitéz Rend.” He did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Newsweek after the letter from the senators was published on Friday.

Gorka’s Hungary problems began bubbling up in December, when President-elect Trump said he had invited its far-right prime minister, Viktor Orban, to Washington for a state visit. In early February, freelance D.C. investigative reporter Eli Clifton took note on LobeLog blog of Gorka’s prominent display of the medal of “Nazi collaborators” on his jacket during the inaugural festivities. More critical reports on Gorka’s Hungarian ties, his academic credentials and his views on “Islamic terrorism” followed in several prominent media outlets, climaxing with the Forward’s in-depth report that spurred this week’s congressional inquiries and a demand by Jewish groups that he resign.

Gorka, a former national security editor of the far-right Breitbart News, which Bannon ran until he joined Trump’s campaign, lashed back, calling one persistent critic of his academic credentials and views at home and allegedly threatening to take legal action against him. And he went after Clifton, claiming in interviews and a Tweet that the writer was “allegedly fired from his previous position for making antisemitic and anti-Israel statements.” Clifton told Newsweek he had “never been fired for anti-Semitism or anything else, for that matter,” and on February 17 his lawyer sent Gorka a ”cease and desist” demand. They have received no response. Clifton also called Gorka’s response to his writing “an interesting case study of what the White House's war on journalists looks like.”

Gorka also went after critics of the Trump administration’s executive orders on immigration. On March 16 he went on the Breitbart Daily News radio show and claimed—falsely—that the Trump travel ban order was ever linked to a particular religious group. “There is not one instance on the campaign trail or after the President took office in which the travel suspension was mentioned without reference to national security -- it was never mentioned, 'we're doing this because of a certain religious group.’" he said. CNN and other news organizations quickly dug up a December 2015 Trump press release in which the candidate called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." It was headlined, "DONALD J. TRUMP STATEMENT ON PREVENTING MUSLIM IMMIGRATION."

Statements like that moved a federal judge in Hawaii on March 15 to issue a nationwide halt on Trump's revised travel ban order. A federal judge in Maryland later issued a similar order. (Fox News personality Sean Hannity suggested the next day that the Hawaii judge and former President Obama had done drugs together. "Were they part of the Choom Gang, smoking pot and hanging out and doing a little bit of weed and maybe even a little blow?" Hannity asked.)

In February, the New York Times piece on Gorka was headlined, “A Trump Adviser Comes Out of the Shadows.” Now he’s in the spotlight.

http://www.newsweek.com/senators-questi ... oup-570453

And then, following the 17-min. intrusion on White House grounds by Jonathan Tuan-Anh Tran, there's this:
Security's tight at Mar a Lago:
"Snuck by secret service to catch this selfie. They might have told us not to go in there."
https://twitter.com/nmeyersohn/status/8 ... 6932268032

What's happening w/the Secret Service? Hmm? :-k

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Marie
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Re: President Trump

Postby Marie » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:56 am

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-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Like they say, horn blows, how about the...

Postby Marie » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:32 pm



LOL, I have a feeling Keith has seen "The Last Hurrah" w/Spencer Tracy!

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Later that day...

"I Love Trucks" pins henceforth de rigueur at White House cabinet meetings.

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Holy General Trelane's jacket! The president is a child!

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Broken windows

Postby Marie » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:05 am

The windows of The People's House being broken by a careless man playing a game where he should not.

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https://twitter.com/Missy_Ann_Tx/status ... 3470911488

It would have been so much better for the country had we broken the glass ceiling instead.

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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'Our Dishonest President' - LA Times editorial

Postby Marie » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:41 pm

Here comes the Benghazi/emails-obsessed media's buyer's remorse.

Expect to see more of the same in days to come. Sometimes you just can't tell these guys anything, they're so infatuated with their own prefabricated story lines.

#LessNarrativesMoreFacts


-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Marie
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Trump's 'accomplishments' in his first 2 months

Postby Marie » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:34 pm

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-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Marie
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Re: Trump's 'accomplishments' in his first 2 months

Postby Marie » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:09 pm

And he can't bring coal miners' jobs back (and neither can anyone else, since the industry has PERMANENTLY CHANGED).

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-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Student reporters were skeptical abt new principal's resume

Postby Marie » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:18 am

She said Dubai -- but they said "hello"!

Wow, if Betsy DeVos needs a deputy education secretary w/credentials similar to hers, has Pittsburg (KS) Unified School District 250 got a candidate for her!

Pittsburg school board accepts newly hired principal’s resignation
By Angela Deines
The Topeka Capital-Journal
4-3-2017

LESS THAN A MONTH after she was hired to begin leading Pittsburg High School in August, Amy Robertson is out of a job. On a unanimous vote Tuesday, members of the Pittsburg Unified School District (USD) 250 board accepted Robertson’s resignation after a group of Pittsburg High School journalism students published a story that questioned her education credentials and work as an education consultant.

“I’m so incredibly proud of them,” said Eric Thomas, executive director of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association. “They were told so many times there was nothing to see here. It took incredible courage to do that. These kids stood up for the truth. When you’re right, you shouldn’t back down.” Thomas had advised the students while they were working on the story, since their student advisor, Emily Smith, had to recuse herself because she was on the committee that hired Robertson.

Robertson had claimed she is currently CEO of Atticus I S Consultants LLC, an educational company based in Dubai. An online search on Monday found no website for the company.

Smith said Tuesday that she was proud of how her students conducted themselves throughout the investigation of Robertson’s statements, which she had made about her qualifications and experience while the students were interviewing her for an introductory article for their school’s newspaper. “They worked hard to verify every fact,” Smith said. “It was not easy for them. They were just very professional, and I could not be more proud of them for that.”

The school’s newspaper, the Booster Redux, discovered that Corllins University, where Robertson received a master’s degree and doctorate, is considered a diploma mill and isn’t accredited. The Better Business Bureau’s website says Corllins’ physical address is unknown and the school isn’t a BBB-accredited institution.

Robertson said she attended Corllins before it lost accreditation, the Booster Redux reported.

USD 250 voted to hire Robertson at a March 6, 2017 board meeting for $93,000 a year. The Topeka Capital-Journal obtained a copy of Robertson’s contract Tuesday through a Kansas Open Records Act request. It stated in a “special note” that she needed to obtain a license as a building administrator in Kansas by Aug. 1, 2018.

“Robertson comes to Pittsburg with decades of experience in education, which include international exposure as a teacher and administrator,” according to a USD 250 statement on March 30. "The district received multiple applications for this position, but Dr. Robertson’s diverse and extensive experience impressed district staff and leadership and repeatedly propelled her to the top of the candidate lists."

“I’m excited about the opportunity,” Robertson was quoted as telling the Booster Redux in the article published March 31. “I could easily stay (in Dubai) for another 10 years working in schools as a principal here, but I want to come home. I want to be in the U.S., and I want to be part of a community. Pittsburg is the right community to put down roots in.”

On Tuesday, the board voted to accept her resignation after a 10-minute executive session.

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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