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herding cats

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Member since: Mon Nov 18, 2013, 03:56 PM
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REPORT: Trump Had Boeing CEO Listen In When He Called Pentagon About Rival Lockheeds Fighter Jets

Days before taking office, President-elect Donald Trump made two surprise calls to the Air Force general managing the Pentagon’s largest weapons program, the Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 jet. Listening in on one of those calls was Dennis Muilenburg — the CEO of Lockheed’s chief rival, Boeing Co. Trump, who has repeatedly criticized the $379 billion F-35 program as “out of control,” made the highly unusual calls to Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan on Jan. 9 and Jan. 17, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Muilenburg, whose company makes a fighter jet Trump has suggested might be an alternative to the F-35, was in the president-elect’s New York office for a meeting during the second call. He appeared caught off-guard but was able to listen in on the call, according to the people, who asked to remain anonymous discussing sensitive information. One of the people said the call was on speakerphone.

After speaking with Trump, Bogdan wrote two three-page memos, titled “phone conversations with President-Elect,” dated Jan. 10 and 18th and stamped “For Official Use Only,” to limit distribution. They outlined Trump’s questions about the capabilities of Boeing’s Super Hornet fighter and how it might compete against Lockheed’s F-35C, said the people. About a dozen Pentagon officials were alerted to the calls after they occurred, the people said.

http://www.joemygod.com/2017/02/16/report-trump-boeing-ceo-listen-called-pentagon-rival-lockheeds-fighter-jets/

Detained dreamer files lawsuit against DHS

Source: The Hill

A man detained by immigration authorities in Seattle despite his protected status under an Obama administration program sued the government Wednesday for violation of his constitutional rights.

Daniel Ramirez Medina, a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, was detained Tuesday by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials when they showed up at his house to arrest Ramirez's father.

The complaint alleges that agents violated Ramirez's Fifth Amendment due process rights by failing to adhere to the terms of DACA.

ICE agents were allowed into the home by Ramirez's father to notify Ramirez and his brother of the arrest, according to a complaint filed by lawyers.

Read more: http://thehill.com/latino/319748-detained-dreamer-files-lawsuit-against-dhs

Democrats mock FBI Comey with "Designated Survivor" resolution!!



Democrats appear to be mocking FBI Director James Comey with a resolution admonishing the TV show "Designated Survivor."

A Wall Street Journal reporter tweeted Wednesday that a Democratic National Committee resolution to be considered later this month describes the show as focused on a fictional FBI director "being blackmailed into confessing to a crime he did not commit."


"The portrayal of this situation is unbelievable and could result in the undermining of faith in the FBI," the resolution states.
The resolution goes on to criticize Comey, saying he "demonstrated in the recent 2016 election that he does not need to be blackmailed to engage in illegal partisan actions."

"Director Comey's infamous, partisan and illegal letters resulted in the election of the man some refer to as 'not my president,'" the resolution says.

"All US citizens are encouraged to have the same respect for the FBI as Director Comey demonstrated with his illegal actions."

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/319734-dnc-mocks-comey-with-resolution-condemning-tv-show-designated


U.S. ALLIES ALSO INTERCEPT RUSSIA-TRUMP ADVISER COMMUNICATIONS

As part of intelligence operations being conducted against the United States for the last seven months, at least one Western European ally intercepted a series of communications before the inauguration between advisers associated with President Donald Trump and Russian government officials, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The sources said the interceptions include at least one contact between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and a Russian official based in the United States. It could not be confirmed whether this involved the telephone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that has led to Flynn’s resignation, or additional communications. The sources said the intercepted communications are not just limited to telephone calls: The foreign agency is also gathering electronic and human source information on Trump’s overseas business partners, at least some of whom the intelligence services now consider to be agents of their respective governments. These operations are being conducted out of concerns that Russia is seeking to manipulate its relationships with Trump administration officials as part of a long-term plan to destabilize the NATO alliance.

Moreover, a Baltic nation is gathering intelligence on officials in the Trump White House and executives with the president’s company, the Trump Organization, out of concern that an American policy shift toward Russia could endanger its sovereignty, according to a third person with direct ties to that nation’s government.

These sources spoke on condition that they not be identified because they were not formally authorized to disclose the information. While Newsweek was told which allied nations intercepted the communications and are gathering intelligence on Trump associates, the sources did so on condition that the countries not be identified out of concern those governments would incur the president’s wrath.

<>

These operations reflect a serious breakdown in the longstanding faith in the direction of American policy by some of the country’s most important allies. Worse, the United States is now in a situation that may be unprecedented—where European governments know more about what is going on in the Executive Branch than any elected American official. To date, the Republican-controlled Congress has declined to conduct hearings to investigate the links between Trump’s overseas business partners and foreign governments, or the activities between Russia and officials in the Trump campaign and administration—the very areas being examined by the intelligence services of at least two American allies.

http://www.newsweek.com/allies-intercept-russia-trump-adviser-communications-557283


This is a must read IMO. Kurt Eichenwald is an excellent investigative reporter.

Why Trump Can't Come Clean on Russia

The saying "it's not the crime, it's the cover-up" may not apply here.

There is an old chestnut that gets tossed out whenever a scandal hits: It's not the crime, it's the cover-up. The saying traces back to Watergate. Sen. Howard Baker, the top Republican on the Senate Watergate committee, once noted, "It is almost always the cover-up rather than the event that causes trouble." This week, following the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, NBC News' Chuck Todd was one of many who quipped, "It's not the crime, it's the cover-up." And that was certainly a significant element of the Flynn imbroglio: Flynn had lied about his December conversation with the Russian ambassador, concealing the fact that they had discussed the sanctions President Barack Obama had just levied on Russia as punishment for its covert efforts to swing the 2016 election to Trump. But in this case the bigger scandal at hand is not a cover-up. It is the thing itself: the connections between the Trump camp and Moscow during the campaign, when Vladimir Putin was trying to subvert American democracy.

< Read much more here >

On Tuesday, I bumped into a prominent Republican consultant, and he said that Trump had to "get out in front of" the burgeoning scandal and disclose all the facts because "the cover-up is always worse." The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza offered similar advice to the president on Wednesday morning: "What is really needed at this point is a full and complete debrief for the American people from Trump himself. Why was his campaign in 'constant' contact with Russian officials? Who in the campaign—or the broader Trump organization—was involved? Are they still with the campaign or the business? What was discussed on these calls?...Why is Trump so reluctant to condemn Russia and Vladimir Putin in particular?"

But the cover-up here may not be worse than the actions being covered up.

At a minimum, it seems that Trump associates—at least Flynn—were secretly interacting with the Putin regime as it was plotting to subvert American democracy to help Trump win the White House. A key question is obvious: What did they discuss? The darkest possibility is that they talked about the Kremlin assault on the US election. Short of that, might Flynn or others have encouraged Putin's clandestine operation by signaling that Moscow would have an easier time with a Trump administration than with a Clinton administration? Were there any winks or nods? After all, in late July, Trump called on Russia to hack Clinton. Whatever was discussed, any Trump associate who spoke with Russian officials during the summer or fall of the campaign had reason to know that he or she was interacting with a member of a regime that was actively attempting to undermine the election in a manner beneficial to Trump.

< much more excellent analysis here >

Another famous line is this: You can't handle the truth. Further revelations about contacts between the Trump camp and Russia could pose an existential threat to the Trump White House. The clear choice for him and his gang is to deny, to stonewall, to distract, to lie. Trump doesn't explain the pre-election contacts; he complains about leaks. He casts all interest in this controversy as merely the revenge of the Clinton losers. He calls reporting on the Russia connection "fake news" and slams journalists pursuing the Flynn story as "fake media." This is not shocking. He might not be able to survive a full accounting. The poison of the cover-up may be less deadly than the poison of the event itself. Only Trump and the people involved can know for sure. But investigations of the Russian contacts now being conducted by the FBI and the congressional intelligence committees—if they are mounted effectively and yield public results—may eventually allow us to see the full calculation. In the meantime, the public can justifiably conclude that when it comes to Trump-Russia connections during the campaign, the Trump team has been covering up for very good reasons.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/donald-trump-cant-come-clean-on-russia-michael-flynn

Questioned About Anti-Semitism, Trump Brags About Election Victory

President Donald Trump responded Wednesday to a question about increased anti-Semitic incidents after his election by bragging about his victory in the Electoral College and citing his Jewish relatives.

"Well, I just want to say that we are very honored by the victory that we had," Trump told a reporter who asked him to respond to Jewish constituents who are concerned about xenophobic and racist undercurrents in his administration.

"306 Electoral College votes, we were not supposed to crack 220, you know that, right?" said during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "There was no way to 221. But then they said there's no way to 270."

Trump said that "there's tremendous enthusiasm" for his administration's agenda, which the President described as stopping "a lot of bad things."
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-answers-question-on-antisemitism-by-bragging-about-election-win


Not only did he just toss out the two state solution like it was nothing, he took yet another victory lap during the press conference.

GOP senators unveil bill to give Congress control of consumer bureau budget

Source: The Hill

More than a dozen Republican senators are backing a bill to give Congress greater control and oversight of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) will introduce a bill Wednesday to let Congress control CFPB’s budget, his office told The Hill on Wednesday.

Called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Accountability Act of 2017, the bill would place CFPB under the congressional appropriations process, letting lawmakers control its budget. That would give Congress the ability to drastically limit the scope and size of the bureau, regardless of who controls it.

The CFPB, opened in 2011 per a section of Dodd-Frank mandating its creation, is currently independently funded by the Federal Reserve.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/finance/319681-gop-senators-unveil-bill-to-make-congress-control-consumer-bureau-budget

Exclusive: U.S. arrests Mexican immigrant in Seattle covered by Obama program

Source: Reuters

U.S. authorities have arrested an immigrant from Mexico who was brought to the United States illegally as a child and later given a work permit during the Obama administration in what could be the first detention of its kind under President Donald Trump.

Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23-year-old with no criminal record, was taken into custody last week at his father's home in Seattle by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. The officers arrived at the home to arrest the man's father, though court documents did no make clear the reason the father was taken into custody.

Ramirez, now in custody in Tacoma, Washington, was granted temporary permission to live and work legally in the United States under a program called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, established in 2012 by Democratic President Obama, according to a court filing.

The program protects from deportation 750,000 people who were brought to the United States illegally as children, sometimes called the "dreamers," and gives them the temporary right to work legally in the United States.

Read more: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN15T307

US Allies In Europe Have Literally No Idea Whats Going On With The Trump Administration

“It’s a wake-up call to European leaders that counting on America isn’t currently a smart policy,” one European intelligence official said after the sudden resignation of the US national security adviser.

BRUSSELS — Already concerned by the Trump administration’s erratic approach to the trans-Atlantic alliance, European security services have been shaken by the resignation of US national security adviser Michael Flynn over allegations he lied about his contacts with Russian diplomats, amid increasing concern that the new US administration is pursuing an uncomfortably close relationship with NATO’s foremost rival, Russia.

Flynn’s resignation Monday night immediately sent European officials into a frenzy of attempting to determine what the change of the president’s top national security adviser would mean as the Atlantic alliance has already been struggling with understanding how the new president will approach a litany of complex European situations from the expansion of NATO to the war against ISIS to concerns about an expansionist Russia.

“I was hoping you could tell me what the fuck is going on over there,” said one European Union intelligence official who, like the other officials contacted, declined to speak about such a diplomatically sensitive situation on the record.



“There’s no guide for handling this sort of situation, happening with such an important and powerful ally,” the official said. “If anything, it’s a wake-up call to European leaders that counting on America isn’t currently a smart policy. Of course this is exactly what Putin wants — to destabilize the Atlantic alliance — but I have to counsel my policymakers the best I can, and right now it’s ‘Prepare to handle some crises without US support.’”

https://www.buzzfeed.com/mitchprothero/us-allies-in-europe-have-no-idea-what-the-fuck-is-going-on-w?utm_term=.ihAjj3pojw#.ebL66eRM6j

GOP bill would eliminate Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Source: The Hill

Two Republican lawmakers introduced Tuesday a bill to eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the controversial watchdog agency long targeted by the GOP.

The bill from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) would repeal Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act, which established the CFPB.

Republicans have long sought to eliminate or drastically reform the CFPB, but Cruz and Ratcliffe’s approach goes further than current GOP proposals to reshape the bureau.

Cruz said in a statement his bill “gives Congress the opportunity to free consumers and small businesses from the CFPB’s regulatory blockades and financial activism, which stunt economic growth.”

“While there’s much more to do to scale back the harmful regulatory impositions of Dodd-Frank, this legislation takes a critical step in the right direction,” said Cruz.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/finance/319517-gop-bill-would-eliminate-consumer-financial-protection-bureau
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