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Member since: Sat Jan 5, 2008, 07:45 PM
Number of posts: 43,710

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The Paradise Tsunami: 13.4 million pages 1.4 Terabytes 100 media outlets

We are all about to become experts in the Paradise Papers, a follow up on the Panama Papers.

It consists of 13.4 million pages, 1.4 Terabytes of Data all of which has been sent to 100 media outlets.

It has already showed that Ross and Kushner have DIRECT ties to Russian government entities. It includes offshore transactions for Tillerson, Mnuchin, Huntsman, as well as the Queen of England and Prime Minister Trudeau. We are going to see a nightly revelation as all of the media outlets start wading through 13 million pages of transactions.

Here is a good summary of what we know as of today:



A massive leak of financial documents appears to reveal that many of US President Donald Trump's advisors, members of his cabinet, and donors hold accounts in offshore tax havens. Those individuals include US secretary of state Rex Tillerson, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Trump's ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, among others, according to reports.

The leaked documents also show that Trump's commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, retained business investments with a Russian shipping company with ties to a Russian oligarch subject to US sanctions, and Vladimir Putin's son-in-law, according to the New York Times.

The massive leak of 13.4 million financial documents also paints of a picture of how the world's most powerful individuals and companies — from the Queen of England to Apple — use and benefit from offshore tax havens.

The documents, obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, come a year after the Panama Papers similarly revealed the inner workings of offshore tax havens. As with the Panama Papers, Süddeutsche Zeitung handed over the 1.4 terabytes of data to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which then distributed the documents to around 100 media outlets around the world.

"Many of the stories focus on how politicians, multinationals, celebrities and high-net-worth individuals use complex structures of trusts, foundations and shell companies to protect their cash from tax officials or hide their dealings behind a veil of secrecy," wrote the BBC, one of the media outlets that received documents from the ICIJ.

The BBC, The Guardian, The NYT and 97 other media outlets competing for the Pulitzer Prize. We are going to need bigger federal prisons.

Senator Corker is a rare Republican. On 3 big issues he has put country above party.

Senator Corker has put country before party and before ambition three times this year.

1) After working with President Obama to get the deal passed he affirmed this year that the Iranians are in compliance with a good agreement.


“After more than a year of bipartisan work and a veto threat from the White House, I am pleased to see this bill become law so that any final nuclear agreement with Iran will have to go through Congress where the American people will have a say and lawmakers will have a vote,” said Corker. “I appreciate the strong bipartisan support for this effort that demonstrates Congress’s determination to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. With the role of Congress now guaranteed, the administration must address the many significant concerns raised by Congress, and our negotiators should take advantage of the added leverage to force further concessions from the Iranians so that any agreement reached is verifiable, enforceable and can assure the American people Iran will not be able to develop a nuclear weapon.”


The Iranian agreement requires that the President certifies their compliance every 120 days. The ONLY reason that Trump hasn't decertified is because that Corker keeps saying "they are in compliance:

So you look at where we are, there’s some nuance to this certification. What it actually says is that they are implementing the deal. Iran is implementing the deal. They do have technical violations that take place. Most of them have not been what I would—it’s like a loan covenant. This is the way I’ve talked to the president, “Mr. President, we’re in loan covenant.” There’s a technical issue and then there are material breaches that matter, right? Well, right now, they’ve had some technical non-compliance but they get back into compliance from time-to-time.

Senator Corker, more than any other single person, is the obstacle keeping Trump from ripping up the Iranian Nuclear Agreement.

2) Senator Corker has openly question Trump's competence. The removal of a President cannot be done with a partisan brush. There must be independents and Republicans who agree to the basic premise of competence and that Trump is a danger. Corker took the first shot.


"The President has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful," Corker said, according to a video posted by local news website Nooga.com.
"He has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great and what it is today, and he's got to demonstrate the characteristics of a president who understands that," Corker added.

3) Today Corker killed the Tax Cut Bill


In an exclusive interview on Meet the Press, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) tells Chuck Todd that if the GOP’s new tax reform plan adds a penny to the deficit he won’t support it.

This will give the Republican debt hawks enough of a spine stiffening that it will kill the Tax cut insanity of the Goldman Sachs clique. It will doom their "Tax Reform" con.

The reason that I am a debt hawk (besides stimulus and other similar legislation) is that Republicans use debt to give away big ticket items to the business establishment and leaves the budget strangling to find money for the poor and middle class. If we didn't have to pay interest on the current debt we would have sufficient revenues to fund most of a single payer health care system.

While we don't agree with Corker on many issues I think we should respect Corker for putting the country above the party on Iran, Trump's competence and the Tax cut for the rich.

When they come to rebuild the Republican Party they will need people like Corker to return it to sanity.

It, almost certainly, is about to get worse.

A week ago I had a business meeting and the fellow started with something that was obviously on his mind, "I don't want to get into a partisan thing, and I don't agree with everything that Trump says BUT I do agree with him about athletes standing for the national anthem and not disrespecting the flag".

We talked for a bit and I gave him an alternative way of looking at it but then remarked, "its about to get much worse, much worse." He was curious and I explained that we weren't getting news from PR but when we did the news was going to be much worse than people thought. I explained that in modern society when you wipe out the electrical grid you have wiped out the foundation of society. Not only refrigerated food and drugs but also fresh drinking water, and much worse, sewage. When I told him that we were facing a real cholera epidemic that could effect tens of thousands, very quickly, I couldn't really follow the football drama or the stupid tweets. Cholera in the US affecting thousands should be everyone's first concern.

As the situation in PR allows for more interaction we will start getting the details and the pictures. When the basics have been established then there will be a house by house search for victims and it will take weeks to find all those that didn't survive the hurricane.

It will be a relentless day by day record of pain and suffering, some of which is not the fault of anybody and a lot of how Trump's cluelessness caused unnecessary death, suffering and loss.

At that point it will, almost certainly, get worse, much worse.

Trump has only one out. Trump isn't just a vacuous narcissistic semi-literate superficial performer, he is a vacuous narcissistic semi-literate superficial ONE TRICK performer. He has only one out - escalate the buffoonery to a new and higher level of confrontation, reframing, alarmist, scape goading.

The only way that he will get to out flank the pincer movement of bad Puerto Rico stories, general mismanagement stories, Bannon taking over the Republican Party stories, and the drip drip drip leaks from the Mueller investigation is to engage in a military confrontation.

China's closing of most of North Korean expat businesses has put China in the driver's seat in dealing with the North Koreans, along with almost everyone, including Russian revulsion at Trumps wild gestures.

That leaves Iran. At a time when Iran has swerved to its most rational course and made every effort to respond positively to the international agreement including large purchases of Boeing civilian aircraft Trump will be able to stir anti Iranian hysteria that too many including Senator Schumer have used for cheap and dishonest appeals to their bases.

A simple confrontation that triggers brief firing confrontations that doesn't lead to an actual open ended conflict (that would disrupt too much of Trump's golf and social schedule) could bring him weeks of headlines, threats, bombastic tweets and vitriolic nonsense wiping all of the other news of the front page.

It would also bring other benefits for Trump. Any military activity in the Straits of Hormuz will invalidate the underwriting of insurance for the shippers and disrupt 40% of the worlds freely traded oil. Oil prices would go up and bring immediate relief to Russia, OPEC (especially Saudi Arabia who is having an inconvenient debt crises) and the petroleum base of the Republican Party.

It is bad now but we should prepare ourselves for the possibility that it is about to get much worse.

Heartbreak at the UN

For those of us who have had the privilege to work as international civil servants in the UN/Intergovernmental Committee institutions (most UN work is done by stand alone intergovernmental committees, like UNHCR, UNICEF and so on and don't report to either the UN General Assembly or the UN Security Council) watching the buffoonery by Trump at the UN was an additional heartbreak to what we all have had to bear these last 8 months.

There are many countries that make generous contributions to the UN from Denmark, Norway to Australia, and so on. The US however has been the anchor, its membership on the governing committees is the only one that has the 'heft' to keep these agencies pointed at long term humanitarian goals.

Today we saw the US become untethered from its role as sextant to help a complicated world work together to plan a common objective. With the similarly banal abandonment of the voluntary Paris Accords the US has established a new drum beat that will appeal to the darkest natures of the craven and ambitious in every country: Everyone for themselves.

The churlish and juvenile threat to "wipe North Korea off the map" reveals a casual indifference to the loss of tens of millions of lives, not just in North Korea but also South Korea. It will not be long before not only our traditional allies abandon our common cause but we are met with unified opposition by Russia, China and all nations who see the casual tossing of nuclear weapons to be a precedent in no one's interest.

We need to establish a line, not between the factions of the Democratic Party but between Trump and all rational people, a national coalition of all people who oppose his madness, nothing else is of consequence.

The best case scenario is now a bar so low as to be incomprehensible: The best outcome is that the rest of the world responds in disgust at what is promoting. The worst case scenario is an apocalyptic horror initiated by the richest country in the world with a chip on its shoulder.

Trump's message is "The people that support the higher morality of international cooperation, understanding and mutual development are CHUMPS. It is everyone for the themselves between countries and within countries". There are deplorables in every country who will hear this clarion call for tribalism and rip their countries apart trying to advance their personal fortunes and power.

Pressure mounts on Israels prime minister as aide agrees to testify

Source: Washington Post

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime ­Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is known for being a political survivor, but the revelation this past week that a former top aide will testify against him has led to speculation that his indictment in relation to allegations of corruption is increasingly inevitable.

Ari Harow, who served as Netanyahu’s chief of staff, will turn state’s witness in two probes into the premier, Israeli police said Friday. Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

The details of the investigations — from the Cuban cigars and other lavish gifts Netanyahu is alleged to have received from prominent business executives to allegations of collusion with Israel’s dominant newspaper for favorable news coverage — have gripped Israel in recent months. Harow’s agreement to testify, though, significantly ramps up pressure on the premier, now serving his fourth term.

The agreement “has one virtually irreversible implication: an indictment against Netanyahu is coming,” an analysis in Israel’s daily Haaretz said Saturday, as the Israeli press mulled whether it could mark the end for his premiership.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pressure-mounts-on-israels-prime-minister-as-aide-agrees-to-testify/2017/08/05/5bfb6e3e-79d5-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html?utm_term=.86e7b0e77b53

I think Trump is aware that Netanyahu is much brighter than he is, and has a much more favourable home field advantage than Trump does, especially now that Trump has started a war with his own party. If Netanyahu is indicted I predict our sleep deprived President is about to have real insomnia.

I think we can now coin a new term, "Trumpesque", as in the 'Netanyahu family is very Trumpesque' as this excerpt from the article shows:

Meanwhile, his eldest son caused a furor as he lashed out at a website that criticized his lavish lifestyle with a Facebook post signed off with emoji of a raised middle finger and a pile of excrement.

One thing, and the most important thing, has changed by having Kelly as COS

The leak which had Kelly calling Comey after he was fired (which had to have been leaked by one or both of them) and threatening to resign as Secretary of DHS to express his anger has made one thing clear IMO: Kelly will not sanction a Mueller firing. Interestingly it is reported that Comey urged him not to resign.

If he was upset about Comey getting fired he would be 10 times more angry at being a part of a huge Saturday Night Massacre that would take Mueller out.

Notice that all of the attacks against Sessions and the rumors of appointing a new AG during recess have evaporated since Kelly moved in.

Trump has to realize that Kelly has a hundred ways to block an attack on Mueller beyond resigning in protest.

Kelly could simply leak details and allow key players to be prepared ahead of time. Exposing a move against Mueller would likely get a resolution from the Senate, among intensive public reaction.

It may be that Kelly approved the leak in order to not only show his personal take on the move but that he was prepared to go outside normal channels, that if Trump moves against Mueller he will have to go through Kelly.

Price reveals Trump's likely next move, destroying the ACA by sabotage


“All things are on the table to try to help patients,” Price told Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week.”

Price, who President Donald Trump jokingly suggested last week he would fire if efforts to repeal the act failed, claimed that the mandate was contributing to higher health care costs.

“The individual mandate is actually one of those things that is driving up the cost for the American people in terms of coverage,” Price said. The mandate may result in higher individual costs for Americans who previously went without health insurance or purchased bare-bones plans eliminated by the Affordable Care Act ― commonly known as Obamacare.

But it also almost certainly functions as a check on overall costs for people who get their coverage on Obamacare’s individual insurance exchanges by bringing healthy people into the risk pool. Eliminating the mandate unilaterally is liable to create chaos in the individual exchanges as insurers scramble to offset the departure of healthy enrollees.

That’s why the insurance industry trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans wrote a letter to Congress opposing the so-called “skinny” repeal bill that the Senate rejected early Friday morning. The legislation would have abolished the individual mandate and the rule requiring large employers to offer their employees coverage. “Eliminating the individual coverage requirement by itself will likely result in fewer people covered and a deterioration of the risk pool, which will increase premiums,” AHIP wrote.

Significant evidence exists that one of the problems facing Obamacare is that the fine for violating the individual mandate is too modest to encourage enrollment, leading to a disproportionate ratio of sicker Americans in the exchanges. Insurers have responded by driving up premiums to offset the costs of coverage and withdrawing from some high-cost areas.

By taking out the mandate people would wait to purchase insurance only when they are sick, driving premiums up and having even fewer people in the pool. This kind of "adverse legislative selection" which requires insurance companies to cover everyone, regardless of pre existing conditions, but doesn't require universal participation would lead to a collapse of the markets as insurance would get increasingly expensive for smaller pools with an increasingly sickening census, called a "death spiral".

We now know exactly what happened. NSA will have the tapes.

Chris Hayes detailed the emails between Jr. and Goldstone that requested a contact to get information. Goldstone finds Emin who is on stage but will call after he finishes his show. An hour later Jr. confirms the call took place with a thank you note back to Goldstone.

Following up on the phone call Goldstone details that they will send the Russian attorney in response to JRs request for help.

Phone records will exist but more importantly this phone call is recorded and sitting in the NSA cloud so that they can recall it once they know what call to look for.

Four hours later Trump boasts to a crowd that he expects to get some very damaging information on Secretary Clinton.

We now have a very clear idea of what exactly happened. The video shows Trump and Goldstone in active conversation when they met in Las Vegas a couple of years before. It is clear that Trump tasked Junior with contacting Goldstone to get the Clinton emails which the Russians had. A confirmed phone call initiated by Jr sets up the meeting. The Russians got the compromising position on the Trumps but probably told them that they couldn't pass the original source material directly to the campaign because it would be too easily traced by the CIA/NSA.

The Russians tell the Trump campaign that they will release it through Wikileaks so that they can maintain deniability. Trump gets impatient and actually makes a public plea "if the Russians have the 30,000 emails please release it". In order to show that the Trump administration will deliver on promises to relax sanctions Manafort pushes through a Ukranian plank that is soft on Russia at the convention. This is an important "offer of proof" by Trump to signal to the Russians that he understands what they want and will be able to deliver the product.

Trump wants to follow up on his quid pro quo but knows that the CIA/NSA will be able to pick off his communication and asks Jared to meet with Russian Ambassador and set up a secret back door channel so that they can carry out their "Sanction relief for contracts in Russian energy development" plan that will bring them the billions that have evaded him.

Trump sees Comey closing in on the above and fires him.

Many elements of this will be easily confirmed with telephone records and with NSA captured conversations.

Trump complained about the "cloud" over his administration. A lot of the cloud has dissipated and we can now see how the dots were connected. In this case the "cover up" won't be nearly as bad as what they almost got away with.

Updated with the emails from June 6th

6 June 2016
Goldstone to Trump Jr

Let me know when you are free to talk with Emin by phone about this Hillary info – you had mentioned early this week so wanted to try to schedule a time and day. Best to you and your family.

Trump Jr to Goldstone

Rob could we speak now?

Goldstone to Trump Jr

Let me track him down in Moscow. What number he could call?

Trump Jr to Goldstone

My cell.

Goldstone to Trump Jr

He’s on stage in Moscow but should be off within 20 minutes so I am sure can call.

Trump Jr to Goldstone (about one hour later)

Rob thanks for the help.

7 June 2016

Goldstone to Trump Jr

Hope all is well. Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and the Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday. I believe you are aware of the meeting – and so wondered if 3pm or later on Thursday works for you? I assume it would be at your office.

Full text of all emails here: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/11/donald-trump-jr-emails-full-text-russia-rob-goldstone

This nothingburger has about 43,000 calories.

Post: Russia probe current WH official - Guess Who! NBC CONFIRMS


The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter.

The senior White House adviser under scrutiny by investigators is someone close to the president, according to these people, who would not further identify the official.

The revelation comes as the investigation also appears to be entering a more overtly active phase, with investigators shifting from work that has remained largely hidden from the public to conducting interviews and using a grand jury to issue subpoenas. The intensity of the probe is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks, the people said.

The sources emphasized that investigators remain keenly interested in people who previously wielded influence in the Trump campaign and administration but are no longer part of it, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Who do you think it is?

I have to think that it is Kushner, Trump signals that he is the only one he trusts because he has been involved in all of the international deals he has been doing.

UPDATE: NBC IS NOW CONFIRMING THE WP STORY *********************************************

While similar to Watergate it is in fact a daily reenactment of "Lord of the Flies"

Its like a "Groundhog Day" experience where we have to relive the last third of "Lord of the Flies" everyday.

Piggy is dead, the conch is broken, they started a fire on the island and we are just praying that some adult arrives before things get REALLY bad. Just when things seem beyond the possibility of further disintegration you fall asleep and when you wake up you realize that Piggy is dead, the conch is broken, and someone just started another fire on the island.
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