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pnwmom's Journal
pnwmom's Journal
August 16, 2016

LOVE IT!!! MSNBC is asking the Trump campaign the same question I was asking yesterday.

Why is Paul Manafort, who may or may not have taken millions from a Putin-connected Ukrainian candidate, working FOR FREE for the Trump campaign?

This is not usual for a top campaign official.

And the answer they're getting amounts to "That's between him and Trump."

And "the operatives don't matter."

In other words, none of your business.


August 15, 2016

CNN: please FACT CHECK the Trump people on their lies about pledges to the Global Initiative.

I just saw it again -- a Trump surrogate repeatedly insisting on a billion dollar donation to the Clinton foundation from the Nigerian billionaire, Gilbert Chagoury. And the CNN reporter didn't correct him.

The fact is Chagoury did NOT donate a billion dollars to the Clinton Foundation. As a member of the Global Initiative, he made a public commitment to build a billion dollar seawall in Nigeria, a project that he alone is in charge of and for which he alone controls the money. Not a dime of that commitment goes to the Clinton Foundation.

None of the funds for any of the projects connected with the Clinton Global Initiative are controlled by the initiative or funneled through it. The Initiative is an educational and networking resource that holds conferences for its members. It doesn't carry out any projects itself.


August 15, 2016

Richard Clarke: Why Putin and ISIS would love Trump to be President.

Clarke, chairman of the Middle East Institute, is former White House counter-terrorism czar (1993-2001).


Russian military units and ISIS terrorists are fighting and killing each other in Syria, but ironically the leaders of Russia and ISIS might both want the same candidate in the U.S. presidential election. Moreover, they might both be in positions to influence the outcome to some degree. These two foreign forces may help decide who the next American President will be.

For Vladimir Putin, the election of Donald Trump may undermine the NATO military alliance. Trump has said that the U.S. would not automatically defend its treaty allies and that we might withdraw forces from Europe and Asia. This weakening of the U.S. commitment to NATO comes at a time when the military alliance is seeking to deter Russia from threatening to annex the Baltic nations, as it did the Crimea.

For ISIS, the election of Trump would help them to validate the group’s contention that the U.S. is at war with Islam. That narrative has been a powerful tool for ISIS in recruiting people to join its ranks and commit terrorist attacks. Trump’s anti-Islamic remarks and proposals could, perversely, strengthen the terrorist group.


August 15, 2016

3 women are being honored with medals -- and 1 man decides to make it about him.

And the media plays along -- because an engagement ring is a "bigger prize" than an Olympic medal! (That's what the AP story actually said.)

If this is a thing, Olympic athletes, please make it stop! Is this really the message we want to send to our girls and young women? That an engagement ring is a bigger deal than an Olympic medal that an athlete has worked for years for?


Olympic diver gets proposed to during medal ceremony after winning silver at Rio

Olympic diver He Zi was stunned to tears when her boyfriend and teammate Qin Kai proposed to her during the Olympics medal ceremony.

The Chinese diver won silver for the women's three-metre springboard event and had just accepted her medal when her boyfriend rushed up to her podium and dropped to one knee with a diamond ring in one hand and a glass-encased red rose in the other.


He Zi is a world class champion diver. At the 2012 Olympics, the now 25-year-old Chinese diver took a silver and a gold medal. In Rio this weekend, she again excelled, earning a silver women’s 3m springboard diving. But you probably know her as that girl who got proposed to.

On Sunday, Qin Kai, her boyfriend of six years, decided to make an honest woman out of his special and ask her to marry him. And he chose to do it right at what was actually her big moment. As the Olympics reported, he “climbed up to the stage after He Zi received her silver medal, getting down on one knee while holding a red box with the ring and a glass-encased rose.” So I guess you can just deal with sharing the spotlight at your moment of triumphant Olympic honor, right, gold medal winner Shi Tingmao and bronze finisher Tania Canotto? I mean, there’s a man here who has something he wants to say! Let’s all accommodate him, then.

Shi Tingmao, who is He Zi’s teammate, graciously told reporters later that she’d known what was up in advance, and Canotto likewise demurred, “It’s a really great moment to ask her to marry him.” And it was a moment that lent itself easily to headlines about “taking the plunge,” and how Zi had earned a “silver in 3m, gold in love.” But it wasn’t the only romantic gesture of its kind — last week, Brazilian women’s rugby player Isadora Cerullo got a proposal from her girlfriend Marjorie Enya right after the medal ceremony in the first women’s rugby sevens final. As CNN reported, “With microphone in hand and heart-shaped balloons on standby, Enya, 28, asked Cerullo to marry her.” It was, as The Guardian ominously predicted at the time, only the first marriage proposal of the games.


But what makes bride-to-be He Zi’s happy news a little harder to take than some garden variety Jumbotron question-popping is that is it actively pulled the focus away from what she and the other two women were actually there for — and then that became the story. The Associated Press, for example, reported on the news that “Love is in the air at the Olympic diving pool. He Zi of China settled for silver in women’s 3-meter springboard on Sunday before accepting an even bigger prize: an engagement ring.” Didn’t know the AP was qualified to make those value judgments.
August 15, 2016

Poor Trump. He's trying to make his big teleprompted foreign policy speech, and all

that mean old nasty media wants to do is harp about his connections to Putin.

So unfair!

August 15, 2016

Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau confirms investigation into possible Manafort payments.


(CNN)Donald Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has been named in an investigation by Ukrainian authorities looking at whether he and others received millions in illegal payments from Ukraine's former pro-Russian ruling party, according to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The probe is part of a wider investigation by the bureau into allegations of corruption and influence peddling against ex-president Viktor Yanukovich's administration, for whom Manafort worked as a political consultant, before the leader's violent ouster in 2014.

The investigation is looking into "shadow accounting" and potentially illegal payments made by Yanukovich to Manafort and other Ukrainian election officials, according to Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption.

The announcement of the investigation follows a report published late Sunday by The New York Times, which first revealed that Ukrainian investigators had found Manafort's name included in an off-the-books, handwritten ledger detailing a series of secret payments -- among them, a $12.7 million payout to Manafort.

August 15, 2016

Fusion editor hints at a "worse" story for Manafort, coming out later this week.

There are lots of damning tweets in this article, along with Weinstein's ominous tweet.


Adam Weinstein, Twitter

Speaking as someone who has a story coming this week: This is just the beginning for Manafort. It gets worse.

David Frum, Twitter

Assuming it is Trump to whom Manafort ultimately answers. But that’s a question now, isn’t it?
August 15, 2016

Are there any "on the books" payments from Ukraine to Manafort? If not, why not?

Surely he didn't work for them, for years, for free? How much they pay him, on or off the books?


Accounts of the controversial payments surfaced this weekend when The New York Times reported Manafort's name appears on a list of payments amounting to $12.7 million between 2007 and 2012.

A spokesman for the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption bureau confirmed the details in the Times story.

In the time period covered by the payment list, Manafort worked for former Ukrainian President Viktor F. Yanukovych, who was supportive of Russia's Vladimir Putin and was ousted in 2014.

The Anti-Corruption bureau spokesman emphasized that so far it has not been confirmed whether Manafort received the cash, since the bureau has not yet been able to confirm if signatures in the recipient column are Manafort's or not. The spokesman said the Anti-Corruption bureau is now conducting an analysis of the signatures.

August 15, 2016

Why would Paul Manafort take such a big job FOR FREE, as a VOLUNTEER? Unless, maybe,

he was getting compensated somewhere else . . .


Mrs Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook said: "Donald Trump has a responsibility to disclose campaign chair Paul Manafort's and all other campaign employees' and advisers' ties to Russian or pro-Kremlin entities, including whether any of Trump's employees or advisers are currently representing and or being paid by them."

Why would Trump "trust" and "respect" someone who wanted to work for him so much that he was willing to work for nothing?

(Okay, that's easy. He's a notoriously cheap narcissist. He'd figure anyone should be thrilled to work for him, with or without pay.)


Manafort has really remarkable sway over Trump – much greater than most operatives in the job that he holds. Before he joined the campaign as an unpaid adviser, Trump had criticized Barack Obama for not doing enough to check Russian aggression in Ukraine. Without a coherent explanation, the GOP nominee has dramatically softened his position on Crimea and became more forgiving of Putin’s occupation since the adviser joined his inner circle. (Politico’s Michael Crowley recently tracked how Trump’s position has changed over the past two years.)


In recent weeks, as Trump's vice-presidential selection process kicked into gear, Ayers developed close ties with Manafort and earned his confidence.

Ayers has decided to follow Manafort's lead in working for the campaign for no pay, while the rest of Pence's team will be paid staff members. Serving as a volunteer helped Manafort gain Trump's trust and respect this spring when he fought internally with other senior aides.


The campaign did not respond to a request for an interview.

His Trump work is volunteer, he has said.

Manafort’s compensation in Ukraine is not easily documented in federal lobbying databases, but has been investigated by reporters at PolitiFact and other media organizations. Some of his earlier arrangements with foreign clients have been documented by the Center for Public Integrity.

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