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kpete

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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 59,449

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http://shihtzuman.tumblr.com/image/155800065605

Human Rights Group Portrays U.S. as Major Threat, Citing Trump

Human Rights Watch on Thursday released its annual report on threats to human rights around the world, and for the first time in the 27 years it has done these surveys, the United States is one of the biggest. The reason: the rise of Donald J. Trump.

Eight days before Mr. Trump is to be sworn in as president, the human-rights advocacy group declared that his path to power, in a campaign marked by “misogynistic, xenophobic and racist rhetoric,” could “cause tremendous harm to vulnerable communities, contravene the United States’ core human rights obligations, or both.”

This is not the first time Human Rights Watch has cast the United States as a bad actor. After the terrorist attacks in September 2001, it took the administration of President George W. Bush to task for waterboarding and other interrogation techniques widely considered to be torture.

But Kenneth Roth, the organization’s executive director, said in an interview: “This is a more fundamental threat to human rights than George Bush after 9/11. I see Trump treating human rights as a constraint on the will of the majority in a way that Bush never did.”



MORE:
http://eurasiadiary.com/news/world/99162-human-rights-group-portrays-us-as-major-threat-citing-trump

Donald Trump, Russia, and the Political Witch Hunt That Isn't - By Frank Rich

Do Trump’s Tax Returns Show His Financial Ties To Russia?

Let’s not pretend we don’t know what is happening here. There is evidence that Donald Trump and his administration-in-formation are partially, perhaps wholly, beholden to the Kremlin and/or those Russian oligarchs in its thrall. This is why Trump refused to answer that question about contacts with Russia during the campaign — and why he’ll lie about it when he finally feels he must muster some kind of answer. His symbiosis with Russia is also why he will never release his tax returns, for what other reason could there be at this point except that they reveal the Russian financial ties he denies? After all, we already know the other embarrassments contained in those returns — that he hasn’t paid taxes for years, that he practices no actual philanthropy, and that his businesses are in a perennial waltz with bankruptcy, fraud, and failure.

No, Russia is the big story here. The elephant in the room is a bear. Trump has made no bones about repeatedly hiring fellow Putin sycophants, whether his former campaign chief Paul Manafort, the incoming National Security Adviser, Mike Flynn, or the secretary of State nominee, Rex Tillerson. When the heroic aviator Charles Lindbergh was awarded a medal, the Service Cross of the German Eagle, by Hermann Goering “by order of der Führer” before World War II, it helped make him persona non grata in the FDR White House. When Tillerson received a Russian Order of Friendship Award from Putin, Trump regarded it as an incentive to hire him.


How this will play out once Trump is inaugurated is impossible to fathom. We have a president-elect who trusts Putin and Julian Assange more than he does America’s intelligence agencies, whom he has compared to the Nazis. Perhaps Trump’s only real goal is to grab money from deep Russian pockets as fast as he can in opaque business deals managed by his sons while he’s in office. Even so, it’s entirely possible that he and Flynn will help facilitate Putin’s own political aims in exchange — all the while claiming that their motive is merely to band with Russia in “fighting ISIS.” What’s clear is that we are not going to get straight answers to any Russian questions. Even before Trump took over the lectern at his Wednesday press conference, his press spokesman, Sean Spicer, unleashed a preemptive lie about still another Trump-Kremlin connection by claiming that Trump “does not know” Carter Page, an investment banker who was investigated by the F.B.I. last summer for suspicions of private dealings with Russian leaders. In fact, Page had been announced as a Trump foreign-policy adviser by his campaign last year and had been cited by name by Trump himself in an interview with the Washington Post editorial board in March. Both Page and Trump, by the way, have used the term “witch hunt” to describe any attempts to investigate their Russian dealings — the same term used by the Kremlin to fend off evidence that Putin manipulated the American election. Perhaps Page and Trump have the same Kremlin handler, whether or not it is the former KGB agent Putin himself.



MORE:
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/01/trump-russia-and-the-political-witch-hunt-that-isnt.html

On today's front cover of @tagesanzeiger


https://twitter.com/russian_market/status/819511086533771266

Donald Trump shows the world folders 'containing his business plan', then they the pages are blank.




And the pages themselves appear to be blank. While the majority of the sheets were hidden, some of them were visible – and there was no sign of page numbers or the sticky notes that lawyers tend to use to mark places in large documents.

The paper itself also appeared to be the wrong size, printed on A4 rather than legal size sheets, and appears to have fallen like fresh sheets of paper. And the folders themselves were also entirely blank, despite Mr Trump suggesting that each of them related to a different business that Mr Trump was moving himself away from.

It is possible that the documents had been printed precisely for the press conference, but the fact that reporters weren't allowed to check the details of the documents led to concern that they didn't include any information at all.

The room also appears to have been filled with staff members, as well as the reporters who attended the event. Those staff members laughed and applauded throughout the conference, in noted contrast with the occasional hostility from journalists.

..................

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-press-conference-folders-business-plan-empire-blank-fake-handover-donald-jr-eric-a7523426.html

Luckovich: "Big Shoes"

WSJ edit calls for comeys resignation

The new AG should ask the director to resign for the good of the FBI.

........


There may be a temptation among some in the Trump Administration to want Mr. Comey to remain in office, on the theory that they benefitted politically from his October letter. But if the FBI director has demonstrated anything in the last year, it’s that he has lost the trust of nearly everyone in Washington, along with every American who believes the FBI must maintain its reputation as a politically impartial federal agency.

The Justice Department’s Inspector General said Thursday that he plans to investigate how Mr. Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, handled the Clinton probe, which means the 2016 election melodrama will continue into the new Administration.

The best service Mr. Comey can render his country now is to resign. Failing that, Jeff Sessions should invite him for a meeting after he is confirmed as Attorney General and ask him to resign. If Mr. Comey declines, Donald Trump can and should fire him in the best interests of the nation’s most important law enforcement agency.

MORE:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/james-comeys-best-service-1484266535

Donald Trump dossier: intelligence sources vouch for author's credibility

Donald Trump dossier: intelligence sources vouch for author's credibility
Ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele, named as writer of Donald Trump memo, is ‘highly regarded professional’


.............

On Thursday night, as the former spy was in hiding, having fled his home in the south-east of England, former colleagues rallied to defend him. One described him as “very credible” – a sober, cautious and meticulous professional with a formidable record.

The former Foreign Office official, who has known Steele for 25 years and considers him a friend, said: “The idea his work is fake or a cowboy operation is false – completely untrue. Chris is an experienced and highly regarded professional. He’s not the sort of person who will simply pass on gossip.”

The official added: “If he puts something in a report, he believes there’s sufficient credibility in it for it to be worth considering. Chris is a very straight guy. He could not have survived in the job he was in if he had been prone to flights of fancy or doing things in an ill-considered way.”

That is the way the CIA and the FBI, not to mention the British government, regarded him, too. It’s not hard to see why.


MORE:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/12/intelligence-sources-vouch-credibility-donald-trump-russia-dossier-author

The FEC sent Trump a 250 page letter listing what appear to be illegal campaign contributions


https://twitter.com/christinawilkie/status/819728563624673280?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

??? C-Span was temporarily interrupted this p.m. & replaced with feed of RT (formerly, Russia Today)

C-Span was temporarily interrupted this afternoon and replaced with the feed of RT (formerly, Russia Today)



https://twitter.com/cspan/status/819652454237278208
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/i-m-sure-this-is-normal-and-fine
https://thinkprogress.org/cspan-rt-russia-today-97502f1426b9#.8vbtc6n9s


Video here:
https://twitter.com/bubbaprog/status/819632340272054272?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
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