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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,164

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

Trump will be happy to arbitrage our national security to put more money in his greedy little hands.

Evidence of Bizarre Trump-Russia Ties Continues to Ooze Out

So what's new on the Trump-Russia front? First up, the Independent tells us that the former MI6 agent behind the now-famous dossier alleging close ties between Russia and the Trump team was dismayed that his findings didn't generate more action during the presidential campaign:

Mr Steele became increasingly frustrated that the FBI was failing to take action on the intelligence from others as well as him. He came to believe there was a cover-up, that a cabal within the Bureau blocked a thorough inquiry into Mr Trump, focusing instead on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

....By late July and early August MI6 was also receiving information about Mr Trump. By September, information to the FBI began to grow in volume: Mr Steele compiled a set of his memos into one document and passed it to his contacts at the FBI. But there seemed to be little progress in a proper inquiry into Mr Trump. The Bureau, instead, seemed to be devoting their resources in the pursuit of Hillary Clinton’s email transgressions.

The New York office, in particular, appeared to be on a crusade against Ms Clinton. Some of its agents had a long working relationship with Rudy Giuliani, by then a member of the Trump campaign, since his days as public prosecutor and then Mayor of the city.


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The more I read about this stuff, the harder I find it to believe. It just seems wildly ridiculous, the kind of thing that would barely pass muster on a TV potboiler, let alone in real life. The truth is that I'd probably dismiss it entirely if it weren't for the vast amount of very public and very strange evidence that Team Trump and Team Putin are very close.

I don't know. This is all completely outlandish, and I can hardly bring myself to credit it. And yet, there's an awful lot of evidence that points in the direction of it being true—or at least partly true, anyway. Strange days.





{to whom it may concern: paragraphs excerpted from another article for legal purposes are considered part of the paragraph referencing them in the original (citing) article}

The Legitimate President - offers a prescription for America's Shame

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-legitimate-president_us_587930cfe4b077a19d180d84?


On Friday, a prominent Democrat on Capitol Hill finally said it.

“I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” said Representative John Lewis, D-Ga., in an exclusive interview with NBC News. “I think the Russians participated in helping get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”

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The Jokes On Us

Instead, Putin’s approval ratings have gone UP among Republicans. Blinded by party loyalty and trained to make every political conflict a ‘Democrats versus Republicans’ issue, conservatives would rather side with Putin than acknowledge the legitimacy of a Hillary Clinton presidency. The result? A troubling trend towards normalizing Trump’s ‘unpresidented’ behavior.

That Trump’s diversions mimic an effective Russian government propaganda tactic known as the 4D Approach (dismiss, distort, distract, dismay) is particularly unsurprising in light of reports of an explosive dossier released this week that alleges that the Russian government has been cultivating Donald Trump for years and has compromising personal, sexual, and financial information on him.

Suddenly, reports that Trump’s campaign made contact with Russian officials in November, and Mr. Trump’s reticence to disclose his foreign assets, paint a troubling picture of a president-elect groomed, owned by, and acting in concert with a hostile foreign power.
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Midnight health care massacre: Republicans take middle-of-the-night vote to pave way to kill the ACA

Republicans still don't have an idea on what they'll do to replace the Affordable Care Act

http://www.salon.com/2017/01/12/republican-led-senate-takes-first-step-to-repeal-obamacare/


The Senate early has passed a measure to take the first step forward on dismantling President Barack Obama’s health care law, responding to pressure to move quickly even as Republicans and President-elect Trump grapple with what to replace it with.

The nearly party-line 51-48 vote early Thursday came on a nonbinding Republican-backed budget measure that eases the way for action on subsequent repeal legislation as soon as next month.

“We must act quickly to bring relief to the American people,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The House is slated to vote on the measure on Friday, though some Republicans there have misgivings about setting the repeal effort in motion without a better idea of the replacement plan.

(more)

Government Ethics & Legal Experts Pan Trump's "Prohibited" & Conflict-Ridden Plan 4 Trump Organizatn

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2017/01/11/government-ethics-and-legal-experts-pan-trumps-prohibited-and-conflict-ridden-plan-trump/214983


Government ethics and legal experts say President-elect Donald Trump's plan to transfer oversight of his company to his sons does not go far enough to avoid serious conflicts of interest as president, and they urged journalists not to let him off the hook.

Trump announced today at a press conference that he would transfer control of The Trump Organization to a trust controlled by his eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, and Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, but would still retain an ownership interest in the business and receive reports on the business' finances.

His attorney, Sheri Dillon of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, told reporters the company would also appoint an in-house ethics consultant to review future actions and cancel pending foreign deals. Still, ethics experts say the plan falls short of a clear separation from the business side.

“It doesn’t do what everybody wanted it to do,” said Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project On Government Oversight. “In essence, keeping an ownership interest in the business is a wrong decision. He can’t just set up firewalls between himself and his sons who are running the business and think there isn’t a conflict of interest.”

(more)

Trump is headed toward an ethics train wreck

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/01/12/trump-is-headed-toward-an-ethics-train-wreck/?tid=hybrid_experimentrandom_2_na&utm_term=.bfee29bde80d


President-elect Donald Trump’s showy press conference on Wednesday did not put concerns about his conflicts of ethics and potential violations of the emoluments clause to rest. Far from it. Informed observers could quickly ascertain that this was a hoax, not a good-faith attempt to resolve serious ethical problems.

On Wednesday afternoon, Walter M. Shaub Jr., director of the Office of Government Ethics, made clear that Trump had failed to even come close to removing ethical violations that will go to the heart of his ability to govern. Shaub has taken heat for tweets trying to cajole Trump into taking appropriate steps to rectify his ethical problems. But Shaub’s tweets and his willingness to step forward to deliver a tutorial on ethics for the benefit of Trump and the country were gutsy acts of a public servant who sees a gross departure from bipartisan precedent on ethics; perhaps he will goad members of Congress into performing their constitutional obligations.

Shaub cited Trump’s own secretary of state nominee, Rex W. Tillerson, to highlight Trump’s ethical shortcomings. “Mr. Tillerson is making a clean break from Exxon. He’s also forfeiting bonus payments worth millions,” Shaub said. “As a result of OGE’s work, he’s now free of financial conflicts of interest. His ethics agreement serves as a sterling model for what we’d like to see with other nominees. He clearly recognizes that public service sometimes comes at a cost. The greater the authority entrusted in a government official, the greater the potential for conflicts of interest. That’s why the cost is often greater the higher up you go.”

Trump, however, has done nothing approaching this, Shaub pointed out. He dismantled the facade of a “blind trust”:

Stepping back from running his business is meaningless from a conflict of interest perspective. The Presidency is a full-time job and he would’ve had to step back anyway. The idea of setting up a trust to hold his operating businesses adds nothing to the equation. This is not a blind trust — it’s not even close. I think Politico called this a “half-blind” trust, but it’s not even halfway blind. The only thing this has in common with a blind trust is the label “trust.” His sons are still running the businesses, and, of course, he knows what he owns. His own attorney said today that he can’t “un-know” that he owns Trump Tower. The same is true of his other holdings. The idea of limiting direct communication about the business is wholly inadequate. That’s not how a blind trust works. There’s not supposed to be any information at all.


Shaub rapped Trump’s paid lawyer. “The president-elect’s attorney justified the decision not to use a blind trust by saying that you can’t put operating businesses in a blind trust. She’s right about that. That’s why the decision to set up this strange new kind of trust is so perplexing,” he said. “The attorney also said she feared the public might question the legitimacy of the sale price if he divested his assets. I wish she had spoken with those of us in the government who do this for a living. We would have reassured her that presidential nominees in every administration agree to sell illiquid assets all the time.”

(more)

The GOP's crusade to defund Planned Parenthood nationwide, explained - Vox.com

Most Americans support Planned Parenthood. Defunding it could backfire on Republicans politically. Why do they keep trying anyway?

http://www.vox.com/identities/2017/1/12/14189500/defund-planned-parenthood-congress-paul-ryan-republicans


Republicans in Congress are taking the first of three steps necessary to repeal the Affordable Care Act: The Senate passed the budget resolution to start that process at 1 am on Thursday, and the House is expected to do the same on Friday.

And as they work to repeal the ACA, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan promised last week that Republicans in Congress also plan to defund Planned Parenthood.

The GOP has been trying for years to do both of these things, and now they have the chance to make both happen in one fell swoop — through a process that Democrats will be powerless to stop on their own.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is working out the details of the Planned Parenthood defunding bill, Ryan’s office told Vox, and the committee hasn’t released those details yet. One possible model could be a bill that passed the House last year, which prohibits Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for one year, unless its affiliates and clinics stop performing abortions.
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Justice Department inspector general to investigate pre-election actions by department and FBI

.. Nice, but we need a special prosecutor for Comey's abuse of power and sabotage of a democratic election.



https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/01/12/justice-department-inspector-general-to-investigate-pre-election-actions-by-department-and-fbi/?utm_term=.b36cfd77429e


The Justice Department inspector general will review broad allegations of misconduct involving FBI Director James B. Comey and how he handled the probe of Hillary Clinton’s email practices, the inspector general announced Thursday.

The investigation will be wide ranging — encompassing Comey’s various letters and public statements on the matter and whether FBI or other Justice Department employees leaked nonpublic information, according to Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.

The inspector general’s announcement drew praise from those on both sides of the political aisle, for different reasons, and once again put Comey on the hot-seat. Democrats and Clinton herself have blamed Comey for the Democratic candidate’s loss, arguing that the renewed inquiry and the FBI director’s public missives on the eve of the election blunted her momentum. Comey also has been criticized for months by former Justice officials for violating the department’s policy of avoiding any action that could affect a candidate close to an election. President-elect Donald Trump has notably declined to commit to keeping the FBI Director.

Brian Fallon, a former Clinton campaign spokesman, praised the investigation Thursday.

“This is highly encouraging and to be expected given Director Comey’s drastic deviation from Justice Department protocol,” Fallon said. “A probe of this sort, however long it takes to conduct, is utterly necessary in order to take the first step to restore the FBI’s reputation as a non-partisan institution.”


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Trump bars reporters from examining stacks of folders at press conference (i.e. fake documentation)


... Trump's plan to "disentangle himself from his business"..file under fake plan, fake news.



Trump barred reporters from examining stacks of folders at press conference
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/313907-trump-didnt-allow-reporters-to-see-documents-detailing-split


President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday wouldn't allow reporters to see piles of documents displayed at his press conference, which he and lawyers said detailed his plans to disentangle himself from his business.

“These papers are just some of the many documents I’ve signed turning over complete and total control to my sons,” Trump said during his press conference, standing next to a table stacked with manila folders.

“They are not going to discuss with me,” Trump said of his sons. “Again, I don't have to do this. They're not going to discuss it with me.”

CNN reported that the press was not allowed to take a closer look at the documents. The Associated Press similarly reported that Trump staffers blocked journalists from looking at the folders.
Trump announced Wednesday that he is handing control of his business empire to his two adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, and placing his assets into a trust. The press conference was the first Trump has held since the election and included long-awaited details of how the president-elect plans to avoid conflicts of interest when sworn into office.
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Politics BBC: The CIA Has Credible Claims Russia Has Second Trump Sex Tape

http://occupydemocrats.com/2017/01/11/bbc-cia-credible-claims-russia-second-trump-sex-tape/


A top BBC Washington correspondent has just revealed that there is a secondary source that appears to confirm the allegations filed by a former British MI6 intelligence agent that the Russian government has kompromat – compromising information – about Donald Trump and are blackmailing the President-elect with it.
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... couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

Trump finally announced his plan to avoid business conflicts. Its a sham. - Vox.com

http://www.vox.com/2017/1/11/14238556/trump-press-conference-conflicts-interest


Donald Trump held his first press conference Wednesday to directly answer the question of what he plans to do to inoculate himself from his many conflicts of interest. His answer: pretty much nothing.

Trump’s plan, as his lawyer Sheri Dillon outlined, is to put his businesses in a trust managed by his two adult sons, Eric and Donald Jr., and the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.

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Trump hasn’t addressed how he will tackle domestic conflicts of interest in policymaking. He will oversee lenders who have lent money to him, appoint members to a labor relations board who rule on disputes at his properties, and hire the next head of the Government Services Agency, which rents him his DC hotel.

On the foreign policy front, Trump claims he’ll donate foreign profits from his hotels to the Treasury. But he’d still be profiting, even if he gets rid of the proceeds. (He still earned the money; he’s just using it in in an altruistic way.) Trump could also make money off other foreign business deals. All of this, ethics lawyers argue, would violate the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

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