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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 05:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,436

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

A Trump hotel project seems to have involved a front for Iran's Revolutionary Guard

It wouldn’t be the first time Trump got into money-laundering trouble
http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/6/14827604/trump-tower-baku


A lengthy new investigative story published by Adam Davidson in the New Yorker reveals that Donald Trump’s business dealings in Azerbaijan likely violated the Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act, and may have served as a conduit for money-laundering and other underhanded activities undertaken by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

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The kind of exacting scrutiny that his finances would necessarily undergo in the event of a thorough investigation of Trump’s possible links to the Russian government would bring an enormous amount to light about a huge range of deals. That, in turn, might uncover illegal or scandalous activity that, like this story about Trump in Azerbaijan, has no apparent relationship at all with Vladimir Putin or Russian intelligence.

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The story raises two related legal issues.

One is whether Trump’s business ties to an extraordinarily corrupt Azerbaijani family involved violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a law that Trump has been sharply critical of in public but which remains on the books and which Attorney General Jeff Sessions swore during his confirmation hearings he was committed to upholding.

The other is whether the Mammadov-Azarpassillo nexus violates US sanctions against Iran. The legal rules barring US firms from receiving funds that originated with a sanctioned Iranian entity, which certainly includes the Revolutionary Guard, are quite strict. You can’t simply say you didn’t know that the developer who was paying you for your licensing services was actually getting his money from a Revolutionary Guard front group. You need to do strict due diligence.

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Trump's baseless wire-tap claim,, Uh, you want us to investigate whether Obama's an alien too?

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/04/politics/trump-obama-wiretap-tweet/


President Donald Trump made a stunning claim Saturday, alleging without offering evidence that his predecessor, Barack Obama, wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower ahead of the 2016 election.

"Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!" Trump tweeted early Saturday morning in one part of a six-tweet tirade that began just after 6:30 a.m.

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Yeah, he just found out from Steve Bannon.

Senator suggests FBI has transcripts that might point to collusion between Trump and Russia

https://thinkprogress.org/senator-suggests-fbi-has-transcripts-that-might-point-to-collusion-between-trump-and-russia-38bf9918f77e#.r95dtpkv9


During an interview with NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell on Friday, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) expressed frustration that the intelligence community has so far resisted congressional requests to be forthcoming with their investigations into the Trump administration’s communication with Russian officials. He also suggested there were transcripts detailing what the FBI and other agencies know.

For months now, the intelligence community has been looking into whether senior officials within the Trump campaign (and now Trump White House) communicated or colluded inappropriately with Russian officials. The administration has already lost one cabinet official for his failure to disclose inappropriate communication with Russian diplomats, and on Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his recusal from all ongoing and future investigations involving Russia after he too failed to disclose communications with Russian officials.

Democrats—and more than a few Republicans—on the Senate and House intelligence committees are insisting that the intelligence community cooperate with their own investigations into possible collussion or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to sway the outcome of the November election. So far, the FBI has resisted full disclosure of their findings.

‘‘I would say at this point we know less than a fraction of what the FBI knows,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) the top-ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, after a closed-door hearing with FBI Director James Comey. Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) was less critical of Comey’s testimony, but did agree that the committee expected more information from Comey. He called the hearing “a good first step.”

“It think it’s important that the outcome of that counterintelligence investigation be fully shared with the intelligence committees, both in the house and the senate,” said Coons on Friday. “There are transcripts that provide very helpful, very critical insights into whether or not Russian intelligence and senior Russian political leaders, including Vladimir Putin, were cooperating, were colluding with the Trump campaign at the highest levels to influence the outcome of our election.”
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Schiff: FBI Walled Off Details of Russia Probe From Congress (Comey working overtime 4 GOP again?)

https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2017-03-02/house-committee-accuses-fbi-of-withholding-information-about-russia-probe

The top Democrat on the House committee probing Russia's efforts to interfere with the U.S. election on Thursday accused FBI Director James Comey of withholding crucial information from lawmakers.

"I would say at this point we know less than a fraction of what the FBI knows," Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told reporters Thursday after a briefing with Comey at the Capitol.

"I appreciate we had a long briefing and testimony from the director today, but in order for us to do our investigation in a thorough and credible way, we're going to need the FBI to fully cooperate, to be willing to tell us the length and breadth of any counterintelligence investigations they are conducting," Schiff said. "At this point, the director was not willing to do that."

Schiff said during the briefing, which lasted more than three hours, there were areas of the investigation Comey "walled off" from discussions with lawmakers.

"Those walls are going to have to come down if we are going to do our job," he said. "And we're better off getting that through the voluntary cooperation of the FBI than having to contemplate whether we need to subpoena the FBI."
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The 3 investigations into Trump and Russia are all hopelessly compromised

[font size="+1"]The case for an independent investigation just got stronger.[/font]



https://thinkprogress.org/the-three-investigations-into-trump-and-russia-are-all-hopelessly-compromised-3f277465f601#.3a6sv65rg


The lawmakers in charge of investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives are also helping the Trump campaign counter negative news stories, according to reporting by The Washington Post and Axios.

The news — confirmed by the White House and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), one of the lawmakers — is a strong blow to the credibility of the congressional investigation and any appearance that the investigation is being conducted free from political influence.

According to the reports, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer asked Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Nunes to speak to reporters and dispute stories alleging frequent contact between Trump campaign members and Russian intelligence operatives. Burr picked up the phone at Spicer’s request and told reporters the story was false, Axios reports, but didn’t provide any evidence to back it up, and wasn’t quoted on the record.

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Nunes, on Saturday, likened the news reports and ongoing investigation to McCarthyism.

“This is almost like McCarthyism revisited,” he told reporters, calling the investigation and calls for a special prosecutor a “witch hunt.”

“At this point, there’s nothing there,” Nunes said. “We can’t go on a witch hunt against the American people, any American people who have not had any contact, just because they appeared in a news story.” (yeah, that's because the committee hasn't heard testimony from anybody yet!)
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Nunes perhaps achieves the most outrageous level of hypocrisy, speaking as he is for the Party which is the master of McCarthyist campaigns - in particular the 3 yr long, 8 committee investigations Sec of State, Hillary Clinton, which GOP operatives admitted were intended not to find out any 'truths' about Benghazi, but were intended to hurt Clinton politically. Nunes expressing 'concerns' about uses of McCarthyist inquiries is like Jack the Ripper speaking out for more police protection for streetwalkers killed on the streets of London.

THe ASS-hole, citing no evidence, accuses Obama of Nixon/Watergate plot to wiretap Trump Tower

[font size=+1"] Our illustrious Ass-Hole, pussy grabber, tweets perhaps his most laugable lie of all....(will Obama finally tell this pathological liar to "go fuck himself"?) ... the World stands aghast at America's Shame..(i.e. that ~46% of the people voted for this pathologically lying fraudster.)[/font]


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/03/04/trump-accuses-obama-of-nixonwatergate-plot-to-wire-tap-trump-tower/?utm_term=.5b14424940bc
President Trump on Saturday angrily accused former president Barack Obama of orchestrating a “Nixon/Watergate” plot to tap the phones at his Trump Tower headquarters last fall in the run-up to the election.

While citing no evidence to support his explosive allegation, Trump said in a series of four tweets sent Saturday morning that Obama was “wire tapping” his New York offices before the election in a move he compared to McCarthyism. “Bad (or sick) guy!” he said of his predecessor, adding that the surveillance resulted in “nothing found.”

Trump offered no citations nor did he point to any credible news report to back up his accusation, but he may have been referring to commentary on Breitbart and conservative talk radio suggesting that Obama and his administration used “police state” tactics last fall to monitor the Trump team. The Breitbart story, published Friday, has been circulating among Trump's senior staff, according to a White House official who described it as a useful catalogue of the Obama administration's activities.

Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for Obama, said in a statement early Saturday afternoon: “A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
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The Trump-Russia scandals: a quick visual guide - Vox.com

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/2/14791084/trump-russia-chart

President Donald Trump’s Russia scandals are deeply intertwined.

As Vox’s Zack Beauchamp writes, there are three separate Trump-Russia scandals that together call into question the nature of Trump’s relationship with Russia: the resignation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn; the hacking of the DNC; and the as yet mostly unproven dossier. Now it seems there could be a fourth: The Washington Post reported Wednesday night that Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with Russia’s ambassador to the US twice, even though he has stated twice that he did not.

To explain how the players in these scandals are related, we made a web that highlights the important cross-connections in this Trump-Russia universe.

Trump Chumps: Media echoes Iraq War cheerleading by praising Trumps empty speech

"The mainstream media is falling back into an old pattern of enabling the worst possible presidential behavior (and fawning over any Repugnant in the WH or Congress) by praising Donald Trump’s disastrous address to Congress."


http://shareblue.com/trump-chumps-media-echoes-iraq-war-cheerleading-by-praising-trumps-empty-speech/


Trump’s speech was packed to the gills with lies, exaggerations, xenophobia, and all manner of falsehoods. Few of the lines read off a teleprompter — which he repeatedly attacked President Obama and Hillary Clinton for using — had any truth, and even when not lying, Trump was touting ideas and policies designed to hurt the most vulnerable communities in America.

It was a bad speech, unworthy of the office he holds.

But the mainstream press is apparently tired of reporting on an unpopular president with an unpopular legislative agenda who has failed to get the basic daily functions of the federal bureaucracy staffed at a reasonable level (though it has plenty of billionaires, men, and cronies), let alone delivering on what the country needs.

Because Trump spoke in uncharacteristically measured tones, the media has decided to fall over themselves in a rush to praise him, largely ignoring the actual substance — or lack thereof — of his words.

We have been here before.
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Jeff Sessions said that people who commit perjury must be removed from office - ThinkPRogress

https://thinkprogress.org/jeff-sessions-said-that-people-who-commit-perjury-must-be-removed-from-office-135edbfb84d9#.wzyeqzw6r


The Washington Post reported Wednesday night that Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke to Russia’s ambassador twice last year, despite testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee that “I did not have communications with the Russians.”

Eighteen years ago, however, then-Sen. Sessions (R-AL) was called upon to judge a president who, he believed, had lied under oath. As political scientist Scott Lemieux notes, Sessions did not look kindly on President Bill Clinton during that president’s impeachment.

It now appears very likely that Sessions committed the very same crime he once voted to convict President Clinton of. The federal perjury statute forbids anyone who has “taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person” from “willfully and contrary to such oath” making a statement on “any material matter which he does not believe to be true.”

There is, to be fair, some wiggle room in this statute. To convict Sessions, for example, a prosecutor would have to prove that Sessions did not believe that his reportedly false statements about “the Russians” to be true. Thus, if Sessions had somehow forgotten about those meetings, that would provide him with a defense.
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Trump Advocated White Nationalism With An "Indoor Voice," And Pundits Loved It - Media Matters

https://mediamatters.org/blog/2017/03/01/trump-advocated-white-nationalism-indoor-voice-and-pundits-loved-it/215509


After President Donald Trump gave a speech to joint members of Congress filled with exaggerations, lies, and policy plans that contained no specifics -- and in many cases were based on propagating fear about and demonizing immigrants -- the takeaway from pundits and talking heads was somehow that he sounded “presidential.”

That's how low the bar has been set. So low that because the president sounded like an adult for an hour and refrained from transparently attacking people of color, allies, or the press, media figures forgot the glaring abnormalities of Trump’s presidency thus far. To some in the media, the speech was a “reset” for the new president.

As soon as he finished speaking, the accolades from pundits began to roll in. Fox’s Chris Wallace said, “I feel like tonight, Donald Trump became the president of the United States.” ABC’s Alex Castellanos similarly said Trump “became president tonight. I think we saw the long-awaited pivot.” MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki claimed that Trump had “a more presidential tone, a more optimistic tone,” and Fox’s Chris Stirewalt said Trump “did sound like the president, look like the president, act like the president.” They weren’t the only ones.

It wasn’t just pundits on TV either. Newspaper headlines also lauded “a more temperate Trump,” his supposed “milder tones,” and his call for an “end to ‘trivial fights.’”

Essentially, the media set the bar so low for the speech that when Trump, the president of the United States, sounded like the president of the United States, it was lauded as a victory.

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