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saidsimplesimon

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Member since: Sun Sep 16, 2012, 11:48 AM
Number of posts: 4,716

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Treasury wants to lift Russia sanctions, don't let it happen

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/congress-is-examining-decision-to-lift-sanctions-on-russian%E2%80%99s-firms/ar-BBROJFb

Congress Is Examining Decision to Lift Sanctions on Russian’s Firms
By KENNETH P. VOGEL
11 hrs ago

….snip

The solution approved by the Treasury Department would lift the sanctions against Mr. Deripaska’s companies in exchange for him reducing his stake in EN+ from approximately 70 percent to less than 45 percent, and giving up control of that company and Rusal.

Mr. Deripaska himself would remain on the sanctions list, the department said, casting the agreement as a way to punish the oligarch by separating him from his companies without creating broader economic problems.

Representative Lloyd Doggett, Democrat of Texas, accused the administration of approving “a Rusal ruse” to “cover for one of Putin’s closest buddies.”

Other Democrats contended that the Treasury Department was trying to ram the sanctions-relief decision through before the new Congress had time to stop it, and before the special counsel issued findings that might touch on Mr. Deripaska’s work with Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman and a target of the special counsel investigation.

edit to correct link and add source of article oops


Posted by saidsimplesimon | Sat Jan 5, 2019, 11:18 AM (2 replies)

Fed workers go without pay while adm. officials due a 10K raise

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/while-federal-workers-go-without-pay-senior-trump-administration-officials-are-poised-to-get-dollar10000-raises/ar-BBRNQP3

Washington Post

While federal workers go without pay, senior Trump administration officials are poised to get $10,000 raises

Lisa Rein, Peter Whoriskey
12 hrs ago

While many federal workers go without pay and the government is partially shut down, hundreds of senior Trump political appointees are poised to receive annual raises of about $10,000 a year.

The pay raises for Cabinet secretaries, deputy secretaries, top administrators and even Vice President Pence are scheduled to go into effect beginning Jan. 5 without legislation to stop them, according to documents issued by the Office of Personnel Management and experts in federal pay.

The raises appear to be an unintended consequence of the shutdown: When lawmakers failed to pass bills Dec. 21 to fund multiple federal agencies, they allowed an existing pay freeze to lapse. The pay freeze for top federal executives was enacted by Congress in 2013 and renewed each year since then. The raises will occur because that cap will expire on Saturday without legislative action, allowing raises to kick in that have accumulated over those years but never took effect. The raises start with paychecks to be issued next week.

Posted by saidsimplesimon | Sat Jan 5, 2019, 11:15 AM (3 replies)

Russian GRU launching sofisticated cyber attacks

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/how-russia’s-military-intelligence-agency-became-the-covert-muscle-in-putin’s-duels-with-the-west/ar-BBRwGaB

The Washington Post

How Russia’s military intelligence agency became the covert muscle in Putin’s duels with the West
Anton Troianovski, Ellen Nakashima 1 day ago
…snip
GRU units also are suspected of deploying a highly disruptive computer virus dubbed NotPetya, analysts said. Launched on June 28, 2017 — Ukraine’s Constitution Day — the virus wiped data from the computers of banks, energy firms, senior government officials and an airport in Ukraine.

It also affected computers in Denmark, India and the United States. The White House called it “the most destructive and costly cyberattack in history.”

In response to the NotPetya virus and other suspected hackings, the United States in March placed sanctions on six GRU officials.
“Ukraine is to 21st-century hybrid warfare what Spain was in the 1930s for battlefield blitzkrieg techniques — the place where the bad guys try out what they may use against us later on,” said Daniel Fried, a former senior State Department official who helped lead the West’s response to Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine.

Russia has denied that the GRU engages in malign activity around the world. After Mueller’s indictment of 12 officers accused of interfering in the U.S. election, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that “it has become the norm in Washington to promote fake news and initiate criminal proceedings for obvious political purposes.”
Posted by saidsimplesimon | Sat Dec 29, 2018, 10:23 AM (3 replies)

Russian GRU engages in malign espionage

The essay below is an excellent source for anyone interested in how Putin has weaponized the internet. That includes deployment of one or more viruses. The timeline is tied to the beginnings of GRU attacks on Ukraine. It’s long and worth the time to read.

Scary stuff considering the buffoon who was selected by Tsar Putin occupies our WH. The Republicans in Congress, especially loud mouth rumpers like Graham, are a disgrace to our democracy. I continue to be disgusted, outraged and shocked by the daily betrayals of the American people by Republicans.

Who are these members of Congress or candidates who have taken Russian/NRA money to fund political self-interests?
I am not in favor of a McCarthy style inquisition. I do expect our Congress to enforce The Rule of Law and follow established law on contributions to campaigns by hostile foreign governments. As an idealist, I want to believe in fair, equal and swift justice for all.

Congress must police their own. They have the tools to do. Establish priorities and hold hearings, bring the filth out into the open for public shaming. Failure to do so is to be complicit in this systematic destruction of our institutions by powers both foreign and domestic.
As always, just my opinion

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/how-russia’s-military-intelligence-agency-became-the-covert-muscle-in-putin’s-duels-with-the-west/ar-BBRwGaB

The Washington Post

How Russia’s military intelligence agency became the covert muscle in Putin’s duels with the West
Anton Troianovski, Ellen Nakashima 1 day ago
…snip
GRU units also are suspected of deploying a highly disruptive computer virus dubbed NotPetya, analysts said. Launched on June 28, 2017 — Ukraine’s Constitution Day — the virus wiped data from the computers of banks, energy firms, senior government officials and an airport in Ukraine.

It also affected computers in Denmark, India and the United States. The White House called it “the most destructive and costly cyberattack in history.”

In response to the NotPetya virus and other suspected hackings, the United States in March placed sanctions on six GRU officials.
“Ukraine is to 21st-century hybrid warfare what Spain was in the 1930s for battlefield blitzkrieg techniques — the place where the bad guys try out what they may use against us later on,” said Daniel Fried, a former senior State Department official who helped lead the West’s response to Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine.

Russia has denied that the GRU engages in malign activity around the world. After Mueller’s indictment of 12 officers accused of interfering in the U.S. election, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that “it has become the norm in Washington to promote fake news and initiate criminal proceedings for obvious political purposes.”
Posted by saidsimplesimon | Sat Dec 29, 2018, 10:18 AM (0 replies)

Chinese espionage

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/chinese-spy-how-a-former-cia-officer-was-caught-betraying-his-country-60-minutes/

Dec 23, 2018
Anderson Cooper

This is what espionage looks like. The man standing on the right in the yellow shirt is Kevin Mallory, who once held a top-secret security clearance while working for the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Footage from a surveillance camera at a Virginia FedEx store in April last year caught him as he prepared to hand a clerk stacks of classified documents to be scanned onto an SD card, the kind that can be inserted into a mobile phone.

Ryan Gaynor: So this is the rare moment, right, in an investigation, in an espionage case, where we actually have video footage of the individual preparing the classified material for transmission to the foreign intelligence service.

We watched the tape with Ryan Gaynor, the FBI supervisory special agent who investigated Mallory, and Jennifer Gellie, who prosecuted the case against him for the National Security Division of the Department of Justice. They say Kevin Mallory sent national security secrets to a Chinese spy on a covert communication device.The man standing on the right in the yellow shirt is Kevin Mallory, who once held a top-secret security clearance while working for the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Footage from a surveillance camera at a Virginia FedEx store in April last year caught him as he prepared to hand a clerk stacks of classified documents to be scanned onto an SD card, the kind that can be inserted into a mobile phone.

Posted by saidsimplesimon | Mon Dec 24, 2018, 06:42 AM (0 replies)

Chinese Spy

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/chinese-spy-how-a-former-cia-officer-was-caught-betraying-his-country-60-minutes/

Dec 23, 2018

Anderson Cooper


This is what espionage looks like. The man standing on the right in the yellow shirt is Kevin Mallory, who once held a top-secret security clearance while working for the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Footage from a surveillance camera at a Virginia FedEx store in April last year caught him as he prepared to hand a clerk stacks of classified documents to be scanned onto an SD card, the kind that can be inserted into a mobile phone.

Ryan Gaynor: So this is the rare moment, right, in an investigation, in an espionage case, where we actually have video footage of the individual preparing the classified material for transmission to the foreign intelligence service.

We watched the tape with Ryan Gaynor, the FBI supervisory special agent who investigated Mallory, and Jennifer Gellie, who prosecuted the case against him for the National Security Division of the Department of Justice. They say Kevin Mallory sent national security secrets to a Chinese spy on a covert communication device.The man standing on the right in the yellow shirt is Kevin Mallory, who once held a top-secret security clearance while working for the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Footage from a surveillance camera at a Virginia FedEx store in April last year caught him as he prepared to hand a clerk stacks of classified documents to be scanned onto an SD card, the kind that can be inserted into a mobile phone.

Posted by saidsimplesimon | Mon Dec 24, 2018, 06:39 AM (0 replies)

This is what espionage looks like. (Chinese)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/chinese-spy-how-a-former-cia-officer-was-caught-betraying-his-country-60-minutes/

Dec 23, 2018
Anderson Cooper


This is what espionage looks like. The man standing on the right in the yellow shirt is Kevin Mallory, who once held a top-secret security clearance while working for the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Footage from a surveillance camera at a Virginia FedEx store in April last year caught him as he prepared to hand a clerk stacks of classified documents to be scanned onto an SD card, the kind that can be inserted into a mobile phone.

Ryan Gaynor: So this is the rare moment, right, in an investigation, in an espionage case, where we actually have video footage of the individual preparing the classified material for transmission to the foreign intelligence service.
We watched the tape with Ryan Gaynor, the FBI supervisory special agent who investigated Mallory, and Jennifer Gellie, who prosecuted the case against him for the National Security Division of the Department of Justice. They say Kevin Mallory sent national security secrets to a Chinese spy on a covert communication device.
Posted by saidsimplesimon | Mon Dec 24, 2018, 06:31 AM (2 replies)

The Depravity of Climate-Change Denial

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/the-depravity-of-climate-change-denial/ar-BBQ861v

The New York Times

The Depravity of Climate-Change Denial

By PAUL KRUGMAN 1 day ago

The Trump administration is, it goes without saying, deeply anti-science. In fact, it’s anti-objective reality. But its control of the government remains limited; it didn’t extend far enough to prevent the release of the latest National Climate Assessment, which details current and expected future impacts of global warming on the United States.

True, the report was released on Black Friday, clearly in the hope that it would get lost in the shuffle. The good news is that the ploy didn’t work.

The assessment basically confirms, with a great deal of additional detail, what anyone following climate science already knew: Climate change poses a major threat to the nation, and some of its adverse effects are already being felt. For example, the report, written before the latest California disaster, highlights the growing risks of wildfire in the Southwest; global warming, not failure to rake the leaves, is why the fires are getting ever bigger and more dangerous.

But the Trump administration and its allies in Congress will, of course, ignore this analysis. Denying climate change, no matter what the evidence, has become a core Republican principle. And it’s worth trying to understand both how that happened and the sheer depravity involved in being a denialist at this point.
….snip
Posted by saidsimplesimon | Wed Nov 28, 2018, 11:10 AM (0 replies)

Facebook has a problem with black people, former employee charges

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/facebook-has-a-problem-with-black-people-former-employee-charges/ar-BBQa3MJ

USA Today

Facebook has a problem with black people, former employee charges

Jessica Guynn 14 hrs ago

SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook has a problem with black people.

That's the assessment of Mark Luckie, a former employee who says racial discrimination is real, both on the company's Silicon Valley campus and on the social media giant's platform.

A Facebook post he shared with management and employees earlier this month and released publicly on Tuesday exposes racial fault lines that Luckie says should be a matter of grave public alarm, with the lack of representation and agency of black people inside Facebook directly affecting how black people on Facebook are treated.

"I wish I didn't have to write it. I was determined to stay there and build," Luckie told USA TODAY in an interview Tuesday. "I had to write what all the black employees are saying and feeling and we don’t feel empowered to speak up about."
…..snip
Posted by saidsimplesimon | Wed Nov 28, 2018, 11:07 AM (0 replies)

A black man helped his drunk neighbor get home -- and got arrested

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-black-man-helped-his-drunk-neighbor-get-home-and-got-arrested/ar-BBQakHW?li=BBnb7Kx

A black man helped his drunk neighbor get home — and got arrested

Michael Brice-Saddler 15 hrs ago

A black man who was arrested in Montgomery County, Md., earlier this month after helping his intoxicated neighbor says he thinks his race was a factor in the incident.

The arrest took place on the morning of Nov. 17 outside 23-year-old Samir Ahmed’s Silver Spring home. After safely dropping off his neighbor — who was drunk and repeatedly falling down — Ahmed said he noticed numerous police cars and firetrucks gathered near his driveway.

Someone had called emergency services to aid the drunk man, Montgomery County police told him. Ahmed explained he’d already walked the man home. An officer then asked him for the man’s exact address, and Ahmed was reluctant to share it, telling The Washington Post on Tuesday that he felt the situation had already been resolved.
…..snip
Posted by saidsimplesimon | Wed Nov 28, 2018, 11:05 AM (4 replies)
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