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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 02:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,536

Journal Archives

Jill Stein: I Attended RT Dinner With Putin to Convince Russia Not to Wage War on Middle East

by Justin Baragona | 3:40 pm, July 1st, 2017

Besides associates of Donald Trump’s campaign, it appears that the probes into Russian election interference may have another target when it comes to potential collusion — Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. Regarding her attendance of RT’s 10th anniversary celebration which featured her and Michael Flynn sitting at the same table with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) had the following to say:

<< “We’re certainly interested in any efforts the Russians made to influence our election. There have been public reports, I think, that Jill Stein was also in Russia attending the RT function, so we’re going to need to look at any efforts the Russians made through whatever means to influence our elections.” >>

Appearing on MSNBC this afternoon, the progressive doctor was asked about her attendance at the dinner and why it is getting talked about more and more now.

“I think it’s coming up now in part because the Democrats aren’t doing so well and they’re looking for scapegoats,” she exclaimed. “They’re blaming Jim Comey. They’re blaming myself, Bernie Sanders, everyone they can think of other than themselves.”


GOPs latest worry: White House turmoil dividing Trump, Pence staffs

JUNE 30, 2017 6:49 PM
GOP’s latest worry: White House turmoil dividing Trump, Pence staffs
[email protected]

WASHINGTON - Republicans are growing concerned that the staffs of Donald Trump and Mike Pence are starting to feud, the latest trouble to hit a White House that has spent months battling crisis after crisis.

They worry that any rift could be delaying decisions, distracting aides from their already stalled legislative agenda and could lead to more infighting and leaks, problems that have plagued the White House since Inauguration Day.

A half-dozen Republicans, including four who advised or worked for Trump’s campaign or transition and are still in contact with their former colleagues, said they think the two sides are talking less, disagreeing more and occasionally bad mouthing each others’ bosses. One said the staffs are “walled off” from each other. Several of the Republicans asked to not speak publicly because of the sensitivity of the situation.

“There is clearly tension between the two staffs,” a former Trump adviser said. “There’s so much internet chatter. That’s going to fuel the animosity.”

Republicans say it’s only natural that some of the president’s aides are reconsidering who they can trust as the White House continues to reel from an undisciplined president and multiple inquiries into whether Trump associates joined Russia in meddling in the presidential election.


2020, North Korea, Gay Rights, Foreign Policy Turf War Overtime with Bill Maher (HBO)

BuzzFeed subpoenas feds for Trump dossier info

BuzzFeed subpoenas feds for Trump dossier info

Media outlet seeks to use Russian tech executive’s libel suit to seek records from spy agencies.

By JOSH GERSTEIN 06/30/2017 04:11 PM EDT

Add this surprising entry to the growing list of those issuing subpoenas for insight into the imbroglio involving President Donald Trump and the Russians: BuzzFeed.

The online media outlet sent formal demands Thursday to the CIA, the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, seeking details on the distribution of an unverified intelligence dossier about Trump said to have been in the possession of Russian intelligence during last year’s presidential campaign, POLITICO has learned.

BuzzFeed is also seeking testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey, as well as former DNI James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, said a source familiar with the subpoenas.

BuzzFeed issued the demands for documents and testimony in connection with a libel suit the site is facing from Russian technology executive Aleksej Gubarev over BuzzFeed’s decision to publish the salacious intelligence dossier in its entirety in January.

Gubarev and two of his companies were mentioned in the document the website put online. Claiming that the references were inaccurate and defamatory, Gubarev and the firms filed suit in February in a county court in Florida, naming as defendants BuzzFeed and its editor-in-chief Ben Smith.


An inside view of the House Russia probe

An inside view of the House Russia probe

The former top Democratic aide on the House Intelligence Committee details his experience on the frequently-beleaguered investigation.


It was late March, and Michael Bahar was being blocked from entering the White House, the latest in a series of surreal moments that month for the then-Democratic staff director of the House Intelligence Committee.


Bahar has had an unparalleled view of the secretive House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling, including the bickering between Schiff and House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) that captured the nation’s attention and almost derailed the panel’s efforts.


He stayed with the committee for an extra six months, he said, to ensure the Russia probe “got off its feet” to its next phase — conducting witness interviews and depositions.

Those extra six months were both rewarding and at times sad, he said, especially for longtime staffers who take pride in the committee’s reputation for bipartisanship. The breakdown in relations between Schiff and Nunes, who had previously worked together to pass major legislation, left both the majority and minority staffs — who share office space and have forged strong ties over many years — feeling shaken, according to Bahar.

“For those people that had been around the longest, I think there was — I would describe it as sadness through this, because this is not what we're used to,” Bahar said.

But Bahar, who previously spent nearly a decade on active duty as a Navy lawyer and was a deputy legal advisor to the National Security Council in the Obama administration before first joining the House Intelligence Committee in 2012 as general counsel, said he is optimistic about the investigation going forward. He praised Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), who’s now leading the probe following Nunes’ decision to step aside, as someone who’s “truly trying to follow the facts wherever they may lead.”



How Trump Made Justin Trudeau a Global Superstar

After one year, Canada’s charismatic young prime minister was struggling. Then Trump was elected.

By JARED LINDZON July 01, 2017

The last time a Canadian prime minister got this much attention, his last name was Trudeau.

It was the late 1960s, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the hip 48-year-old law professor-turned-Liberal Party leader, ignited a fervid, fast-moving era of Canadian history known as “Trudeaumania.” Throngs of adoring teenagers chased the fashionably dressed then-bachelor through the streets of Ottawa. His swinging personal life, including his longtime relationship with Barbra Streisand, was tabloid fodder. John Lennon, fresh off his Montreal “bed-in” with Yoko Ono, declared, “If all politicians were like Mr. Trudeau, there would be world peace.”

It would have been easy to dismiss Trudeau’s rise as a passing fad. But even as Trudeaumania waned, Trudeau the leader stayed, presiding over a controversial 15-year reign during which he carved out a spot for himself on the metaphorical Canadian Mount Rushmore. At home, he established Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the nation’s equivalent of the Bill of Rights) and codified bilingualism, recognizing the importance of French Canada even as he worked to obliterate Quebec’s violent guerrilla separatists. Pierre Trudeau put himself—and Canada—on the world stage as an independent nation of its own, rather than simply a British Commonwealth country.

But the attention Trudeau inspired was an exception. “By and large, we don’t get the time of day,” says Bob Reid, a Canadian political commentator and public relations consultant. Since Trudeau left office in 1984, no Canadian politician has enjoyed anything close to the same level of recognition—at least not until recently.

In 2015, when Pierre Trudeau’s eldest son, Justin, led the Liberals to victory and ousted the Conservative government, Canada again erupted in a bout of Trudeaumania. The newly elected prime minister was dashing, and his Disney prince looks and movie-star charisma inspired fawning fandom online, reminiscent of his father’s pre-internet virality.


Trump voter-fraud panel's data request a gold mine for hackers, experts warn

Source: Politico

By ERIC GELLER and CORY BENNETT 07/01/2017 01:00 PM EDT

Cybersecurity specialists are warning that President Donald Trump’s voter-fraud commission may unintentionally expose voter data to even more hacking and digital manipulation.

Their concerns stem from a letter the commission sent to every state this week, asking for full voter rolls and vowing to make the information “available to the public.” The requested information includes full names, addresses, birth dates, political party and, most notably, the last four digits of Social Security numbers. The commission is also seeking data such as voter history, felony convictions and military service records.

Digital security experts say the commission’s request would centralize and lay bare a valuable cache of information that cyber criminals could use for identity theft scams — or that foreign spies could leverage for disinformation schemes.

“It is beyond stupid,” said Nicholas Weaver, a computer science professor at the University of California at Berkeley. “The bigger the purse, the more effort folks would spend to get at it,” said Joe Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a digital advocacy group. “And in this case, this is such a high-profile and not-so-competent tech operation that we're likely to see the hacktivists and pranksters take shots at it.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/01/trump-voter-fraud-panel-hackers-240168

Former Reagan adviser Richard Clarke tells Maher that Russia hacking is far worse than people....

Former Reagan adviser Richard Clarke tells Bill Maher that Russia hacking is far worse than people realize


Trump appoints anti-trans activist to key human rights post

By Alex Bollinger · Saturday, July 1, 2017

Donald Trump has appointed a person whose most recent work was activism against transgender rights to be the senior adviser for women’s empowerment in the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

USAID is an independent agency that administers foreign aid programs, including poverty and disaster relief programs.

Bethany Kozma worked for the Department of Homeland Security under George W. Bush. In 2016, she started the “United We Stand” campaign to end Barack Obama‘s protections for transgender students.

In a post to a publication run by the anti-LGBTQ Heritage Foundation, Kozma wrote, “To put it simply, a boy claiming gender confusion must now be allowed in the same shower, bathroom, or locker room with my daughter under the president’s transgender policies. When I learned that predators could abuse these new policies to hurt children in school lockers, shelters, pool showers, or other vulnerable public places like remote bathrooms in national parks, I realized I had to do something.”


Trump's nominee to lead civil rights unit defended an anti-LGBT law

By Jeff Taylor · Friday, June 30, 2017

President Donald Trump appointed a Washington, D.C. lawyer, Eric Dreiband to lead the Justice Department‘s civil rights division.

Dreiband not only argued on behalf of the University of North Carolina in support of House Bill 2, a law that limited bathroom use for transgender people and invalidated nondiscrimination ordinances passed by cities in the state offering protections to the LGBTQ community.

He also represented companies in discrimination cases, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in an age discrimination case, as well as Bloomberg in a pregnancy discrimination case.

The choice is drawing criticism from advocates, including Vanita Gupta, who heads up the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and who was a leader of the civil rights division under Barack Obama.

“Whoever leads the ‘crown jewel’ of the Justice Department must have deep relationships with stakeholders and marginalized communities, and have a deep, abiding faith in our nation’s civil rights laws,” Gupta said in a statement. “They must respect the laws that touch everyone, rights that people have literally died for. They must respect the role of what has been called the conscience of the federal government. In all those regards, Eric Dreiband is woefully unqualified to lead the Civil Rights Division.”

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