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cali's Journal
cali's Journal
August 15, 2016

Questions for Manafort: Did you do any paid work for former Ukraine President

Yanukovych or the party he represented, or any person or persons supporting or representing Yanukovych between 2007 and 2012?

Were you paid for your services?

Was any payment you received for such services, declared as income?

How much were you paid?

How much did you declare?

I suspect Manafort is in potential spend-a-lot-of-years-in-jail-territory.


Donald Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, featured 22 times in a secret ledger which appears to detail cash payments by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's pro-Russian political party. Manafort previously worked as a consultant for the now defunct Party of Regions.

Citing Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau, the New York Times (NYT) reported the ledgers revealed some $12.7m (£9.8m) in undisclosed cash payments designated for Manafort from the Yanukovych administration between 2007 and 2012. It is not yet clear whether Manafort actually received the cash detailed in the ledger, but investigators say it could be part of an illegal off-the-books system.

Ukrainian officials are trying to get a clearer picture of the network of corruption which was essentially used by the previous government to rob the state and influence elections. Yanukovych was ousted in 2014 after months of protests.

Given Manafort's top-level political connections, prosecutors say it is unlikely that he was not aware of the deep-rooted corruption, which included channeling money to offshore shell companies.

"He understood what was happening in Ukraine," Vitaliy Kasko, a former senior official with the general prosecutor's office in Kiev, told the NYT. "It would have to be clear to any reasonable person that the Yanukovych clan, when it came to power, was engaged in corruption." Kasko added: "It's impossible to imagine a person would look at this and think, 'Everything is all right.'"

Manafort's lawyer Richard Hibey denied his client had received "any such cash payments," branding the claims as "suspicions, and probably heavily politically tinged ones." He added: "It is difficult to respect any kind of allegation of the sort being made here to smear someone when there is no proof and we deny there ever could be such proof."



August 15, 2016

In NY, Trump is bleeding republican support- Clinton leads 57%-27%

Poll shows Trump losing support among home-state Republicans

Others Republicans on ballot could be in trouble

Democrat Hillary Clinton continues to enjoy a commanding lead in the presidential race in New York, according to a Siena Research Institute poll of registered voters conducted last week.

She’s beating Republican Donald Trump by 57-27 in a one-on-one matchup and 50-25 when third-party candidates are factored in. And while her favorability rating continues to be low — 51 percent of voters view her favorably and 46 percent unfavorably — it’s far better than Trump’s 24-72.

Those numbers are to be expected, because the state both candidates call home is solidly blue. What is surprising, however, is how poorly Trump is polling among members of his own party in his home state, according to the poll. He enjoys the support of barely half of New York’s Republicans, which has the potential to inflict serious damage on other Republicans running in New York in November.

Clinton’s support among New York’s Democrats is comparable to the numbers President Barack Obama received at this point in both of his presidential campaigns. In a Siena poll conducted during Obama’s first campaign, Democrats planned to vote for him over Sen. John McCain 77-12. Four years later, Democrats planned to vote for him by a margin of 83-14.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2016/08/clinton-trump-poll-augurs-poorly-for-nys-down-ballot-republicans-104715#ixzz4HOsLhttO
Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

August 15, 2016

Fighting Rages in Aleppo, Syria, Killing Dozens of Civilians

Fighting in Aleppo, Syria, killed dozens of civilians over the weekend, a high toll even for a city that has been the scene of intense fighting recently, a monitoring group said on Sunday.

Government and Russian airstrikes and artillery bombardment of opposition neighborhoods and the outskirts of the city on Saturday killed 46 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group based in Britain, and nine were killed by opposition shelling in government-held areas of western Aleppo.

Another 20 people were killed in rural villages in nearby Idlib Province after 26 airstrikes on Saturday, the group said. Activists and journalists in Idlib also confirmed the airstrikes.

The fighting has intensified in Aleppo after the rebels managed a week ago to break a government siege of their positions in the city, Syria’s largest, which has been divided between government and opposition forces for four years. The siege had set off a humanitarian crisis there.


August 15, 2016

I don't see how on earth, President Obama gets his lame duck session vote on the TPP

Conyers is against it. Ryan is against it. Pelosi is against it. Reid is against it. McConnell says he won't push for a vote for it. Sanders and Warren are against it.

The President's allies on a lame duck session TPP vote, are few and far between. Yes, only the Senate will vote (yay or nay, no amendments), but under the terms of the TPA, passed last year, both Houses must hold hearings prior to the Senate voting. The vast majority in both houses are against a lame duck vote. Hearings would have to begin within a month for a vote to even be possible between November 9 and inauguration day.

I'm unclear why the President believes he'd prevail- unless he has some word from influential democrats that they'll reverse their positions against a lame duck vote once the election is over. In other words, that they are not being honest with the American people.

This article is now over two months old, but opposition to a lame duck vote on the TPP has only increased since it was published and details some of the obstacles.


August 15, 2016

How progressives are putting Hillary Clinton in a tough spot on trade (again)

Attention, Bernie Sanders supporters: Hillary Clinton wants you to know she does NOT support President Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Not now, not ever.

"My message to every worker in Michigan and across America is this. I will stop any trade deal that kills jobs or holds down wages, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership," she said in an economic speech outside Detroit on Thursday. "I'll oppose it now, I'll oppose it after the election and I'll oppose it as president."

That's about as clear as it gets. Clinton was trying to convince progressives who have been skeptical of her stance on trade that she is, indeed, on their side. And it seemed to have worked. Mostly.




August 15, 2016

Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States

and I hope to hell to be eating a lot of crow.

I want her to succeed. And by succeed I don't mean win every battle. I just want her to engage in the battles she promised she would; to fight for raising the federal minimum wage, to appoint justices who will overturn Citizens United as well as uphold Roe, to oppose the TPP as she has repeatedly promised, to adjust the way we formulate FTAs, to focus on environmental and climate change issues, to not let Wall Street and certain CEOs continue manipulating parts of the market, to uphold and strengthen anti-trust laws, to fight to do something about student debt, to fight to make the criminal justices system less biased against the AA community, etc.

I don't want a pony or a unicorn. Never have. I don't expect miracles. I don't believe in them.

I don't generally expect politicians to hold to their promises. I get that things on the ground can change. I do hope for HRC to fight for working class and the social safety net.

And if she does, I'll be happy to eat crow.

August 13, 2016

I could never support a democrat who supports loan sharks over poor, desperate people


And the Payday Loan Industry is legalized loan sharking.

August 13, 2016

‘Triumph’s Summer Election Special Shows The Truly Horrifying Part of The Presidential Election

There’s a bit in Triumph’s Summer Election Special 2016, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog’s new special for Hulu, where a focus group of real Donald Trump supporters watch what they believe are TV ads being tested by Trump’s campaign.

The ads are fake, created by Robert Smigel, Triumph’s inventor and voice, and his team of comedy writers. But the response to them is more scary than funny.

One of the ads, which are voiced by a Trump impersonator, mentions that Trump’s infamous wall with Mexico will take time to build. In the interim, “Trump” suggests putting up an invisible electric fence, and placing “shock collars” around the necks of all 150 million Mexicans by putting “bling” inside them.

Put aside, for a moment, the idea’s remarkable leaps of logic, including the notion of building an “invisible” anything, or the concept that since one huge project will take time, they should build an equally huge, but more unfathomable project as a stop-gap measure.

The Trump supporters discuss this with utmost seriousness. One brings up the challenge of getting all of Mexico to wear the collars, but her objections are practical. How would you get people to wear them? Another woman mentions that if the Mexicans know there’s “bling” inside, they’ll simply break the collars and sell them. Another wonders if collars are needed for the fence. The first woman assures her it’s the only way to make it doable.

One of the women gets creative and suggests a vaccine. The moderator asks how this would work. “They wouldn’t know,” the woman says with a sheepish laugh, as if she just suggested playing a harmless prank on a friend. “They’d think they were getting vaccinated for something [else],” she says.


Much, much more:


August 13, 2016

National Republicans are targeting Vermont's Gubernatorial Race

Republican Governors Association wastes no time with first ad for Scott

The Republican Governors Association is the first organization out of the gate to launch a media buy after the Vermont primary.

The TV ad posted on YouTube promotes Phil Scott, the GOP winner in Tuesday’s primary. Scott beat his rival, Bruce Lisman, by 20 points.


Thompson declined to disclose how much the RGA is spending on the ad.

“It’s a significant buy,” Thompson said by email. “We don’t usually comment on exactly how much we are spending or plan to spend since that’s a part of our strategy. Same for budgeting, that’s not something we comment publicly on since it’s a part of our strategy. I can say that we see Phil Scott as an extremely strong candidate and the Vermont governor’s race as a prime opportunity for pick-up.”

It is not known at this time where the ad will air.

Thompson says the RGA is investing in 12 gubernatorial races this year.


It's a really good ad for Vermont, where negative advertising almost invariably backfires badly.


Margolis: For Republicans, Scott is the life of a small party

Vermont Republicans are feeling pretty good this week.

Both of them?

No, of course not. Old joke, and a bit unfair. As it turns out, 46,383 Vermonters were Republicans on Tuesday, some 60 percent of them voting to make Lt. Gov. Phil Scott the party’s nominee for governor in November.

That’s what Republicans are feeling good about, and their confidence may be justified. Conventional political wisdom — which, remember, is more often than not correct (that’s how it gets to be conventional) — makes Scott the favorite over Sue Minter, who won the Democratic primary.


But the challenges confronting the GOP remain formidable. There is no party registration in Vermont, so no exact count of party loyalty. Eric Davis, the emeritus professor of political science at Middlebury College, estimates that about 25 percent of the state’s roughly 450,000 registered voters consider themselves Republicans and 35 percent are Democrats.

That might understate the Democratic advantage. The results of recent elections indicate that what the computer nerds would call the default position of most of those 40 percent who are independents is to vote Democratic unless given some reason to do otherwise.

Scott, who is down-to-earth, affable and moderate, might provide that reason. But his victory is by no means certain. Sue Minter is an energetic and appealing candidate. She has the challenge of separating herself from the Shumlin administration, which she served as transportation secretary. But that can be done, and she and her advisers quite possibly know how to do it, though no doubt Scott and the Republicans will make it as hard for them as possible.



Jon Margolis is VTDigger's columnist. He is the author of The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964, left the Chicago Tribune early in 1995 after 23 years as Washington correspondent, sports writer, correspondent-at-large and general columnist.

August 12, 2016

this will leave you speechless.

Trump Supporters React to Outrageous (fake pro-trump) Campaign Ads • Triumph's Summer Election Special 2016

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Gender: Female
Hometown: born is LA, grew up there and in New Canaan CT
Home country: USA
Current location: East Hardwick, Vermont
Member since: Wed Sep 29, 2004, 03:28 PM
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