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Snarkoleptic

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Chicago
Home country: USA
Current location: Chicago
Member since: Fri May 4, 2007, 11:12 AM
Number of posts: 5,077

Journal Archives

U.S. District Court -DC appears to have added 17 sealed indictments today

Few know who is involved, but this is an avalanche of legal activity!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-y7R63vrNR82QONXB8KodSHSXg_IvveR/view

BRING IT ON!!

Wilbur Ross continues to profit from business dealings with Moscow. (original German source)

Link to the English language part of the German newspaper breaking the story.
Scrolling through the text will reveal a diagram of how this thing is set up.

https://projekte.sueddeutsche.de/paradisepapers/politik/wilbur-ross-e333048/

Politically, this is significant for several reasons.
First, Ross is involved in deals concerning maritime freight, an industry – at least insofar as the U.S. is concerned – he is responsible for regulating as commerce secretary.

Second, he is tasked with administering the “America First” trade policies Trump promised to his voters – yet at the same time, he profits from Russian competition on the energy market.

And third, Navigator’s business partner Sibur is controlled by multiple oligarchs close to Putin who have Western sanctions in place against themselves or their companies.

The connection is also problematic considering that hardly any other issue has dogged Trump’s presidency as much as his alleged contacts to the Russian government, particularly in the run-up to the election. A special counsel is currently investigating whether Moscow illegally supported Trump during his campaign. The first charges have already been filed and the first arrests made, including that of Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.



More here--- Down the rabbit hole we go....
https://projekte.sueddeutsche.de/paradisepapers/politik/the-new-offshore-leak-e969006/

And a web untangler here-
https://www.icij.org/article/us-president-donald-trumps-influencers/
Posted by Snarkoleptic | Sun Nov 5, 2017, 02:39 PM (0 replies)

#MuellerIsComing

https://twitter.com/AgentHades/status/924112609409875969

Meanwhile--UK state should pay for housing, food, transport and internet, says report

While we blame the victims, while seeking more avenues to inflict economic violence upon the poor and working class, UK has mature/adult conversations.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/11/uk-universal-basic-services-jonathan-portes

Free housing, food, transport and access to the internet should be given to British citizens in a massive expansion of the welfare state, according to a report warning the rapid advance of technology will lead to job losses.

Former senior government official Jonathan Portes and Professor Henrietta Moore, director of University College London’s Institute for Global Prosperity make the call for a raft of new “universal basic services” using the same principles as the NHS. They estimate it would cost about £42bn, which could be funded by changes to the tax system.

The recommendations include doubling Britain’s existing social housing stock with funding to build 1.5m new homes, which would be offered for free to those in most need. A food service would provide one third of meals for 2.2m households deemed to experience food insecurity each year, while free bus passes would be made available to everyone, rather than just the over-60s.

The proposals also include access to basic phone services, the internet, and the cost of the BBC licence fee being paid for by the state.

PRESIDENTIAL OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE: THE CASE OF DONALD J . TRUMP

Link to the whole 108-page document from Brookings/CREW-

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/presidential-obstruction-of-justice-the-case-of-donald-j-trump-final.pdf

iii
Executive Summary
There are significant questions as to whether President Trump obstructed justice. We do not yet know all the relevant facts, and any final determination must await further investigation, including by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But the public record contains substantial evidence that President Trump attempted to impede the investigations
of Michael Flynn and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including by firing FBI Director James Comey. There is also a question as to whether President Trump conspired to obstruct justice with senior members of his administration although the public facts regarding conspiracy are less well developed.

Attempts to stop an investigation represent a common form of obstruction. Demanding the loyalty of an individual involved in an investigation, requesting that individual’s help to end the investigation, and then ultimately firing that person to accomplish that goal are the type of acts that have frequently resulted in obstruction convictions, as we detail. In addition, to the extent conduct could be characterized as threatening, intimidating, or corruptly persuading witnesses, that too may provide additional grounds for obstruction charges.

While those defending the president may claim that expressing a “hope” that an investigation will end is too vague to constitute obstruction, we show that such language is
sufficient to do so. In that regard, it is material that former FBI Director James Comey interpreted the president’s “hope” that he would drop the investigation into Flynn as an
instruction to drop the case. That Comey ignored that instruction is beside the point under applicable law. We also note that potentially misleading conduct and possible cover
-up attempts could serve as further evidence of obstruction. Here, such actions may include fabricating an initial justification for firing Comey, directing Donald Trump Jr.’s inaccurate statements about the purpose of his meeting with a Russian lawyer during the president’s campaign, tweeting that Comey “better hope there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations,” despite having “no idea” whether such tapes existed, and repeatedly denouncing the validity of the investigations.

Homeland security adviser pushes upbeat PR campaign for Puerto Rico

They're more concerned with optics and PR, than doing the hard work at hand.

https://www.axios.com/scoop-homeland-security-adviser-pushes-upbeat-pr-campaign-for-puerto-rico-2491615820.html

Bossert, back from a trip to Puerto Rico earlier in the week, says it's "still an urgent situation," but that the administration has "a strong ground game in place on the island with military leadership":

"I hope to turn the corner on our public communications ... I recommend that [this weekend] we use the general theme of supporting the governor and standing with the people of Puerto Rico to get them food, water, shelter and emergency medical care."

"Monday and Tuesday we can pivot hopefully to a theme of stabilizing as we address temporary housing and sustaining the flow of commodities and basic government services, including temporary power. After that we focus on restoration of basic services throughout next week and next weekend."

"Then we start a theme of recovery planning for the bright future that lies ahead for Puerto Rico. Planned hits, tweets, tv bookings and other work will limit the need for reactionary efforts."

"The storm caused these problems, not our response to it. We have pushed about as much stuff and people through a tiny hole in as short a timeframe as possible."
Posted by Snarkoleptic | Sun Oct 1, 2017, 09:24 AM (3 replies)

Allowing states to define essential health benefits could weaken ACA protections-ACROSS THE BOARD!

Call your Senators, they're coming for your employer-based coverage too!!

https://www.brookings.edu/2017/05/02/allowing-states-to-define-essential-health-benefits-could-weaken-aca-protections-against-catastrophic-costs-for-people-with-employer-coverage-nationwide/

In particular, a single state’s decision to weaken or eliminate its essential health benefit standards could weaken or effectively eliminate the ACA’s guarantee of protection against catastrophic costs for people with coverage through large employer plans in every state. [1] The two affected protections are the ACA’s ban on annual and lifetime limits, as well as the ACA’s requirement that insurance plans cap enrollees’ annual out-of-pocket spending. Both of these provisions aim to ensure that seriously ill people can access needed health care services while continuing to meet their other financial needs.

----

In particular, a single state’s decision to weaken or eliminate its essential health benefit standards could weaken or effectively eliminate the ACA’s guarantee of protection against catastrophic costs for people with coverage through large employer plans in every state. [1] The two affected protections are the ACA’s ban on annual and lifetime limits, as well as the ACA’s requirement that insurance plans cap enrollees’ annual out-of-pocket spending. Both of these provisions aim to ensure that seriously ill people can access needed health care services while continuing to meet their other financial needs.

----

Under current law, allowing large employer plans this type of flexibility has limited impact since all states’ essential health benefit definitions are required to meet basic federal standards. But if each state could set its own definition of essential health benefits, as states would be allowed to do under the MacArthur Amendment, the consequences of allowing this flexibility would be significant.

----

Suppose that even one state secured a waiver that allowed it to drop maternity services, mental health services, or prescription drugs from the definition of essential health benefits—a plausible scenario since these services were
commonly not covered in individual market plans prior to the ACA and since waivers would be easy to obtain. In this case, a large employer plan that wanted to impose an annual or lifetime on limit on these services could simply adopt that state’s definition of essential health benefits. Likewise, a large employer plan that did not want to limit enrollees’ out-of-pocket spending with respect to these services could also take this approach. In a more extreme, but still plausible, scenario in which even one state elected to completely eliminate its essential health benefit standards, the requirement to provide these protections would effectively disappear entirely for large employer plans nationwide.

Thread w/ all CBPP analyses & estimates of the highly damaging Cassidy-Graham bill in one place....

https://twitter.com/EdwinCBPP/status/909887634612273152


Individual links for those who don't do Twitter-
https://www.cbpp.org/research/health/cassidy-graham-state-estimates-irrelevant-to-assessing-their-health-bills-effects
https://www.cbpp.org/health/commentary-rushed-senate-consideration-of-cassidy-graham-would-be-designed-to-hide-bills
https://www.cbpp.org/blog/cassidy-grahams-waiver-authority-would-gut-protections-for-people-with-pre-existing-conditions
https://www.cbpp.org/research/health/like-other-aca-repeal-bills-cassidy-graham-plan-would-add-millions-to-uninsured
https://www.cbpp.org/research/health/cassidy-graham-plans-damaging-cuts-to-health-care-funding-would-grow-dramatically-in

aaaand some graphics....



Trump: Hurricanes are helping the Coast Guard improve its 'brand'

Yet another example of how a business person has not idea how public service works.

>Warning- Stupid statement followed by Palinesque word-salad<

http://www.thedailybeast.com/donald-trump-hasnt-faced-a-single-climate-change-question-since-hurricanes-hit

President Trump said Sunday that the major hurricanes hitting the U.S. are improving the “brand” of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Trump told a reporter that the country has “great people” responding to the massive storms and that “a group that really deserves tremendous credit is the United States Coast Guard," according to a White House pool report.

“What they've done — I mean, they've gone right into that, and you never know. When you go in there, you don't know if you're going to come out. They are really — if you talk about branding, no brand has improved more than the United States Coast Guard,” Trump said.

Everthing Trump Touches Dies -- Trump anger at Cohn raises doubts about his White House tenure

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-cohn/trump-anger-at-cohn-raises-doubts-about-his-white-house-tenure-sources-idUSKCN1BJ06U

Several sources said Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, had long planned to stay in his post for at least a year. But one source said concern had grown among Cohn’s allies over the past 24 hours that he might be pressured to leave.

The recent concerns stem from a report in the Wall Street Journal – confirmed by other news media, including Reuters – that Cohn was unlikely to be nominated by Trump as a potential successor to Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

Trump had mentioned Cohn in July for the job. Cohn resigned as president of Goldman Sachs to join the new administration.

“The calculus has shifted for Gary. He’s gone, essentially, from untouchable to possibly being bounced out,” the source said. “The message is clear that suddenly Cohn’s job in the White House has real downside risk.”
Posted by Snarkoleptic | Fri Sep 8, 2017, 06:55 AM (4 replies)
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