Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Congress seeks investigation into Russian collusion with US environmental groups pushing what appears to be propaganda advancing foreign interests to the detriment of average Americans. US groups accepting Russian financing via paperless money trails could be required to register as foreign agents-Washington Examiner, Kevin Mooney, opinion

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1/15/18, "Environmental group may have to register as foreign agents," Washington Examiner, Kevin Mooney, opinion

"U.S. environmental activists who are working to halt the production and use of fossil fuels could be required to register as foreign agents if Congress gets serious about enforcing an existing law.

There was some potential movement in that direction last October [2017] when Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced legislation that would put some teeth into the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The law, which was first passed in 1938, calls for individuals and organizations to provide full disclosure when they are working to advance the public policy interests of a foreign government.

As the Washington Examiner has reported, Grassley’s proposed legislation would close off an exemption that has allowed lobbyists for foreign interests to avoid registration while providing the U.S. attorney general with additional authority to conduct investigations. 

While the media remains largely focused on ongoing investigations into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, the connection between Vladimir Putin’s government and U.S. environmental groups deserves more scrutiny.

Klein Ltd., a Bermuda-based shell corporation run by executives with strong ties to longtime Putin friend Leonid Reiman and Russian energy investment groups including Firebird New Russia Fund and Vimpelcom Ltd., reportedly funneled $23 million to the Sea Change Foundation, according to a detailed 2014 U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee report.

Klein’s legal counsel dismisses such charges as “completely false and irresponsible.” But in a letter addressed to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, members of Congress document evidence pointing to a paperless money trail that flows from Russia into U.S. environmental groups through the Sea Change Foundation. The implication is that the Russians have been pouring tens of millions of dollars into willing environmental advocacy groups in an effort to spread propaganda directed against fracking in the U.S. and the technology that makes it possible, according to evidence presented in the letter. 

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and his colleagues have called on the U.S. Treasury Department to conduct an investigation into the allegations of Russian collusion with U.S. environmental groups. In response to a media inquiry I sent last year asking about the allegations, a U.S. Treasury spokesman said in an email message, “We respond as appropriate to Congressional inquiries, but wouldn’t comment publicly on an investigation.”

The motivation for Russian interference here is clear. As the congressional letter notes, American ingenuity in the oil and gas industry have significant geopolitical ramifications. Thanks to innovative extraction technologies such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the U.S. now has access to vast reserves of oil and gas previously held to be unrecoverable. The unexpected energy resource bonanza has dramatically shifted the dynamics of the economic and geopolitical landscape in America’s favor.

The U.S. is the top producer of natural gas in the world. In 2016, U.S. natural gas imports set a record low even though consumption has increased. In 3 of the first 5 months of 2017, U.S. natural gas exports were greater than imports — the growing trend points to the U.S. becoming a net exporter. This new commitment to natural gas means less expensive energy bills for consumers as well as economic, environmental, and national security benefits for the country as a whole. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the fracking boom has created 2.7 million jobs, with an estimated additional 3.5 million projected by 2035.

From a foreign policy perspective, the U.S. can now export liquefied natural gas to parts of Europe that have been dependent on Putin’s government for their gas. This weakens Putin and puts the U.S. in a stronger position to exert influence. Up until now, periodic disputes with Russia have resulted in economic bullying tactics from Moscow that include wintertime threats to close pipelines supplying oil and natural gas. Those days may be over now that American natural gas development is poised to impact Russia and its Gazprom oil company.

However, an international campaign known as “Keep It in the Ground” has been pushing an anti-fossil fuel agenda that advances Russia’s geopolitical interests at the expense of the U.S. and America’s allies. The campaign claims support from more than 400 organizations across the globe, with a sizable percentage operating inside the U.S. The campaign is opposed not just to the extraction of fossil fuels, but to any fossil fuel-related project including pipelines, rail transportation, refineries, and energy exploration.

These groups include Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, 350.org, the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, the Rainforest Action Network, Earthworks, and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, to name just a few. Some of the larger environmental advocacy groups in the U.S., such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the League of Conservation Voters, don’t appear on the list of 400, yet do support the same anti-fossil policy aims and draw from the same pool of financial supporters.

The common denominator here between many of these groups is the San Francisco-based Sea Change Foundation, which has been identified as the incubator for Russian funding of environmental groups. Another key player is the Energy Foundation, which is also based in San Francisco and appears to be an offshoot of the Sea Change Foundation.

If Grassley succeeds in bolstering the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a good starting point for an investigation would be with the “Keep It in the Ground” campaign members and with other environmental groups that support the campaign’s agenda.

While these groups are free to advocate for their preferred policies, they should not be permitted to posture as grassroots activists if they are in fact doing the bidding of foreign interests, to the detriment of average Americans who benefit from affordable and reliable sources of energy."

"Kevin Mooney (@KevinMooneyDC) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. He is an investigative reporter in Washington, D.C. who writes for several national publications."

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Added: "All the funds from the [Sea Change] foundation come from their [Simons family] personal fortune, or wealth associated with Renaissance Technology, the wildly successful hedge fund that Nat's father, James Simons, created and where Nat spent years as a portfolio manager. There's also income from a vaguely named company based in Bermuda, which has drawn accusations from various conspiracy-prone bloggers." (So one is a "conspiracy blogger" if one questions financing and expenditures of a massively funded political effort aimed directly at defenseless Americans who aren't millionaires and have no political power? Where did you get the idea that "trust us" is sufficient? ed.) 

Sea Change Foundation's " past grantees include the Center for American Progress (CAP), a progressive think tank in Washington, D.C....Beyond giving millions every year to its main grantee, the Energy Foundation, and well over $1 million a year to major organizations such as the Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, and CAP, it also gives mid-six-figure grants to a wide array of other groups involved in energy or climate issues."



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Monday, January 15, 2018

Obama called African nation Libya a 'shit show' due to UK PM Cameron failure to follow up there after US spent $1 billion bombing to get regime change. Obama didn't want European and Arab states 'holding our coats while we did all the fighting. Free riders aggravate me'-UK Independent, March 2016

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3/10/2016, "Barack Obama says David Cameron allowed Libya to become a 's*** show'," UK Independent, Tim Walker, Nigel Morris 

"Unprecedented attack by serving US President claims UK was 'distracted'" 

"Barack Obama has sharply criticised David Cameron for the UK’s role in allowing Libya to become a “shit show” after the fall of the dictator Muammar Gaddafi, in an unprecedented attack on a British leader by a serving US President.

 Mr Obama said that following a successful military intervention to aid rebels during the 2011 Arab Spring revolt, Libya was left to spiral out of control – due largely to the inaction of America’s European allies.

In a candid U.S. magazine [Atlantic] interview, Mr Obama said: “When I go back and I ask myself what went wrong… there’s room for criticism, because I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity, being invested in the follow-up.”

Singling out the British Prime Minister, he suggested that Mr Cameron had taken his eye off Libya after being “distracted by a range of other things”.

Mr Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy, then the French President, pushed hard for the bombing raids on Colonel Gaddafi’s forces that led to his fall, but since 2011 Libya has sunk further into violence and civil war, and latterly has become a focal point for Isis in North Africa.

Mr Obama went on: “We actually executed this plan as well as I could have expected: We got a UN mandate, we built a coalition, it cost us $1bn – which, when it comes to military operations, is very cheap. We averted large-scale civilian casualties, we prevented what almost surely would have been a prolonged and bloody civil conflict. And despite all that, Libya is a mess.”

Referring to that mess in private, Mr Obama reportedly uses the more colourful term, “shit show”.

 







The comments will be a severe embarrassment to Mr Cameron, who has often been forced to defend British involvement in Libya on the grounds that Western intervention helped to avert a bloodbath. They will also place strain on the transatlantic alliance as coalition forces target Isis positions in Syria and Iraq.

Mr Cameron’s spokeswoman said he had frequently made clear that he still believed military action in Libya was “absolutely the right thing to do” and stressed that the Government had put support for the country on the agenda when the UK hosted a meeting of G8 leaders in 2013.

She said: “We would share the President’s assessment that there are real challenges in Libya. That’s why we are continuing to work hard with international partners to support a process in Libya that puts in place a government that can bring stability, and why we are talking about how we can support such a government in the future.”

Speaking at length to The Atlantic, Mr Obama revealed that the Prime Minister had risked damaging the countries’ “special relationship” by delaying an increase in defence spending to meet a Nato target of 2 per cent of GDP. Alluding to Mr Cameron’s foot-dragging, Mr Obama said: “Free riders aggravate me.”...

Mr Obama also said Mr Cameron’s failures had affected his decision not to enforce a “red line” over President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons during the Syrian civil war. The President had planned a strike against Assad’s forces in August 2013....The strike was called off at the 11th hour. One “major factor” in the decision, the President said, “was the failure of Cameron to obtain the consent of his Parliament” for military action. 

During his White House tenure, Mr Obama explained, he has tried to encourage other nations to act in international matters without always waiting for the US to take the lead.

It was precisely to prevent the Europeans and the Arab states from holding our coats while we did all the fighting that we, by design, insisted” that they spearhead the Libyan intervention, he said, describing the strategy as “part of the anti-free rider campaign”.

Mr Obama also said Mr Sarkozy, who left office the year after the Libyan intervention, had been keen to “trumpet” France’s involvement. The White House allowed him to take disproportionate credit for the air strikes, thus “[purchasing] France’s involvement in a way that made it less expensive and less risky for us,” Mr Obama said." Images above from UK Independent

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Added: UK had accepted major favors from Obama so put themselves in position to be humiliated by him. From 2009-2012 Obama admin. gave UK gov. $137 million in new global spy equipment. UK GCHQ can track US citizens inside US-such as a US presidential candidate and staff-which NSA needs a warrant to do. Edward Snowden warned of cozy NSA and UK GCHQ relationship which UK is desperate to keep. British spies were "first," had "crucial" role in US 2016 election meddling, supplied alleged anti-Trump info to Obama admin. 

Aug. 1, 2013, "Exclusive: NSA pays £100m [$137,290,032] in secret funding for GCHQ," UK Guardian, Nick Hopkins, Julian Borger

*Secret payments revealed in leaks by Edward Snowden

GCHQ expected to 'pull its weight' for Americans
 Weaker regulation of British spies 'a selling point' for NSA 

"The US government has paid at least £100m [$137,290,032] to the UK spy agency GCHQ over the last three years to secure access to and influence over Britain's intelligence gathering programmes. The top secret payments are set out in documents which make clear that the Americans expect a return on the investment, and that GCHQ has to work hard to meet their demands. "GCHQ must pull its weight and be seen to pull its weight," a GCHQ strategy briefing said.

The funding underlines the closeness of the relationship between GCHQ and its US equivalent, the National Security Agency. But it will raise fears about the hold Washington has over the UK's biggest and most important intelligence agency, and whether Britain's dependency on the NSA has become too great."...

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Added: UK spies were "first" to meddle in US 2016 election with alleged anti-Trump "intelligence" which they turned over to Obama admin.:

April 13, 2017, "British spies were first to spot Trump team's links with Russia," UK Guardian, Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Nick Hopkins  

"Exclusive: GCHQ [UK Government Communications Headquarters] is said to have alerted US agencies after becoming aware of contacts in 2015....Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told."...UK is free to collect data on US citizens inside the US while US  government needs a warrant to collect communications of American citizens inside the US ....UK GCHQ says they didn't target Trump, acquired data incidentally and gave it to Obama officials.
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Sunday, January 14, 2018

NY City firefighter arrested for trafficking fentanyl-NY Daily News, 1/13/18

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1/13/18, "FDNY firefighter cuffed at Staten Island home for trafficking fentanyl," NY Daily News, John Annese, Thomas Tracy, Stephen Rex Brown

"A city firefighter was arrested at his Staten Island home Friday for trafficking fentanyl, law enforcement sources said.

Anthony Murino was taken out of his house in handcuffs by federal officers.

Murino is suspected of purchasing the addictive opioid on the dark web and getting it by mail, law enforcement sources said.

United States Postal Inspectors were the head investigators and had help from Drug Enforcement Agency and Homeland Security, the sources said.

Murino has worked for nearly four years at Ladder 11 on East 2nd St. in the East Village.

Sources tell the Daily News that he was not on active duty.

He is expected to face federal charges for allegedly trafficking the drug often mixed with heroin.

The FDNY did not respond to a request for comment or information about Murino’s employment."


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Mainstream media is in the tank in most violent way against Donald Trump that I've seen in 45 years that I've been at the top of presidential politics. It's a terrifying crisis in democracy. Media believes American people are yokels to be manipulated-Pat Caddell, 8/1/2016, Breitbart

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August 2016 article

8/1/2016, "Pat Caddell: Pro-Clinton Media Bias Is a ‘Terrifying Crisis in Democracy’; ‘Clinton Foundation Is Literally a RICO Case Waiting’," Breitbart, John Hayward 

"Allowing that the Democrat Party was still nominally his own-he’s worked on Democrat campaigns stretching back to the Carter era-(Pat) Caddell said he can’t believe how far it has degenerated from the party of principle he remembers....

This is the crisis of democracy – the mainstream media, which is in the tank, in the most violent way, against Donald Trump and for Hillary Clinton, that I have ever seen in the 45 years that I have been at the top of presidential politics,Caddell exclaimed. “And it is terrifying. It’s not what they’re telling us, it’s what they’re omitting to tell us. Not that they’re just for Hillary, and telling us that Trump is evil, and my God, no human being could possibly vote for him. It is what they are omitting, the facts that they will not tell the American people."... 

All of the media believes the American people are yokels, and that they are fools, and they’re there to be manipulated, so that they – the press, the better people – can set the tone."...




 
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Media have become enemy of the American people and fundamental threat to democracy says former Democrat pollster Pat Caddell, 9/21/2012. Media have "made the decision they will control the political process." In 2012 Romney should've said, 'I'm running against the media which will not tell you the truth'-Sept. 21, 2012 remarks

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Sept. 2012 article:

9/27/2012, "Pat Caddell Says: Media Have Become “Enemy of the American People”," Roger Aronoff, AIM

"In remarks to the AIM conference...on September 21st, former Democratic pollster and analyst Pat Caddell said, “I think we’re at the most dangerous time in our political history in terms of the balance of power in the role that the media plays in whether or not we maintain a free democracy.” Caddell noted that while First Amendment protections were originally provided to the press so they would protect the liberty and freedom of the public from “organized governmental power,” they had clearly relinquished the role of impartial news providers.

Nowhere was this more evident than during the tragic death of a U.S. ambassador in Libya that was covered up for nine days because the press and the administration did not want to admit it was a terrorist attack. 


We’ve had nine day of lies over what happened because they can’t dare say it’s a terrorist attack, and the press won’t push this,” said Caddell. Yesterday there was not a single piece in The New York Times over the question of Libya. Twenty American embassies, yesterday, are under attack. None of that is on the national news. None of it is being pressed in the papers.”

Caddell added that it is one thing for the news to have a biased view, but It is another thing to specifically decide that you will not tell the American people information they have a right to know.”


He closed his talk with these words: "The press’s job is to stand in the ramparts and protect the liberty and freedom of all of us from a government and from organized governmental power. When they desert those ramparts and go to serve—to decide that they will now become an active participants—when they decide that their job is not simply to tell you who you may vote for, and who you may not, but, worse—and this is the danger of the last two weeks—what truth that you may know, as an American, and what truth you are not allowed to know, they have, then, made themselves a fundamental threat to the democracy, and, in my opinion, made themselves the enemy of the American people. And it is a threat to the very future of this country if…we allow this stuff to go on, and…we’ve crossed a whole new and frightening slide on the slippery slope this last two weeks, and it needs to be talked about.”

You can watch highlights of his talk here. You can also watch the entire talk along with Q and A below, or watch along with a transcript here." "The Audacity of corruption."
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More Pat Caddell from 9/21/2012 transcript referenced above:

"These individual reporters—let me tell you something about the press: Reporters become reporters and don’t enter the political fray because, basically, they can’t stand the heat."...


9/21/2012, "“The Audacity of Corruption,” Transcript, Accuracy in Media Conference, Speaker: Pat Caddell

From Caddell transcript: "When I first started in politics – and for a long time before that – everyone on both sides, Democrats and Republicans, despised the press commonly, because they were SOBs to everybody. Which is exactly what they should be. They were unrelenting. Whatever the biases were, they were essentially equal-opportunity people. That changed in 1980.  There’s a lot of reasons for it.... 

Most recently, what I call the nepotism that exists, where people get jobs—they’re married to people who are in the administration, or in politics, whatever. But the overwhelming bias has become very real and very dangerous. 


We have a First Amendment for one reason. We have a First Amendment not because the Founding Fathers liked the press—they hated the press—but they believed, as [Thomas] Jefferson said, that in order to have a free country, in order to be a free people, we needed a free press. That was the job—so there was an implicit bargain in the First Amendment, the press being the only institution, at that time, which was in our process of which there was no checks and balances. We designed a constitutional system with many checks and balances.

The one that had no checks and balances was the press, and that was done under an implicit understanding that, somehow, the press would protect the people from the government and the power by telling—somehow allowing—people to have the truth. That is being abrogated as we speak, and has been for some time. It is now creating the danger that I spoke to.... 


The New York Times, The Washington Post, or the most important papers that influence the networks, ABC, NBC, and, to a lesser extent—because CBS has actually been on this story, partly because the President of Libya appeared on [Bob Schieffer’s Face the Nation] and said, on Sunday, while [U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.] Susan Rice was out—the U.N. Ambassador has no portfolio on this matter—lying, said of the Secretary—you know why, notice the Secretary of State wasn’t out there doing this—was on national television, lying and promoting the White House line while the Libyan President, the very same moment, is saying “This is a premeditated attack.” Nobody has asked that question. This morning—take a look at The New York Times this morning, it’s a minor reference.  Oh, now we’ve decided that it was a terrorist incident. But this is—that would have changed, that should change the politics.

This is not without accomplices, because the incompetence of the [Mitt] Romney campaign, which I said a week ago is the—my God!the worst campaign in my lifetime, and the Republican establishment in general’s inability to fight, has allowed these things to happen in part because they don’t do it....

There is no doubt that Romney is blowing an election he could not lose, and has done everything he can to lose it.... We have a political campaign where, to put the best metaphor I can on it, where the referees on the field are sacking the quarterback of one team, tripping up their runners, throwing their bodies in front of blockers, and nobody says anything. The Republicans don’t.... 


Too many political people in the Republican party in this town, want to maintain their relationships with the press. This is how Sarah Palin got handed over to Katie Couric and to ABC before she was ready—because Steve Schmidt and others want to preserve their view, their relationships with the press.  You know, people have their own agendas, and often it’s not winning."... 

From Q and A:

"CADDELL: The corruption in this town is so great.  Everybody in Washington seems to almost be on the take....When you have firms that have Ed Gillespie in business with Jack Quinn, who was the counsel for Bill Clinton, and responsible for the pardon of Marc Rich, among other things, is because everybody in this—those people on K Street, in both parties, are about arrangements and money. Everyone in the press is. We have stimulus money being given. We have people who, as I said, the relationships, when people are making contracts, and their husbands and wives are getting—Jay Carney’s wife works in the government! Now he works—he was the head of the Time Magazine! He was a liar then, and a liar now, apparently! You know—and nobody says there’s anything wrong with this. And you’re right: Everybody’s on the take here, and everybody’s cutting up their stock. That’s why, what used to be one of the best and most important things for the press, which was the investigative journalism of corruption and money, the stealing of the taxpayers, the looting of the Treasury isn't an issue, and why no one speaks of it in this town.... 

AUDIENCE MEMBER 4: Thank you....I am very concerned about Romney’s poor campaign, combined with the media bias the way it is. Is there anything that Romney can do at this point?

CADDELL: Well, he should’ve been out there already! He should’ve been out there pushing back—and so should the Republican establishment. The Republican establishment, as I said, in this town...to me, a lot of the establishment, is getting a lot of money to line their pockets, and not fighting or doing things that are effective. Why aren’t they out there challenging this? Why isn’t Romney himself getting up and saying, “I’m running against two organizations: I’m running against the Democrats and the President, and I’m running against the mainstream media, which will not tell you the truth”? 

Now let me tell you something: You want to liven up some of your rallies? That’ll do it. But they don’t do it because this man dares to be cautious. He’s going to dare-to-be-cautious himself right out of a race that was his to lose, and he’s losing it.... 

(Caddell): These individual reporters—let me tell you something about the press: Reporters become reporters and don’t enter the political fray because, basically, they can’t stand the heat. That’s my experience. You ever watch reporters under attack in a public venue and so forth? They wilt like—they melt like ice on the equator. The fact is that they need to be called out. Their organizations need to be called out. Ezra Klein still writes for The Washington Post? I mean, this is unbelievable! They had a secret operation group, “Journo” group, online, coordinating how they would promote Obama, and how they would attack Republicans—and he’s still there? But nobody calls out the publisher, or the editor, or whatever—there is no effort here—or calls him.... 


We have a different press now. They have now made the decision they will control the political process. They are serving—with the hundreds of millions of dollars that the networks and these newspapers are, in effect, contributing—in-kind contributions to candidates in the Democratic Party. 

That’s the legal issue that I would have been exploring.  I mean, I would begin to put the heat on.


But the Republicans never said a word."... 

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"Pat Caddell is the founder of Cambridge Survey Research, a public opinion pollster, and an expert in analyzing public opinion.  Many will recognize him from his frequent appearances on Fox News, and some of us—the older ones in here—will remember him from all the way back to the McGovern campaign.  He also worked on the Carter campaign, for Gary Hart, for Joe Biden, and Jerry Brown. What some of you might not be aware of is that Pat Caddell also worked as a consultant to various movies, TV shows, and documentaries, most notably Apocalypse Now, The West Wing, on TV, and, most recently, to a documentary you may have seen the last couple weeks on Fox called The Hope and the Change.  And without further ado, I’m going to welcome Pat Caddell."



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Sara Carter flops in Deep State's latest Fox News Infotainment bid to fool the rubes...(Why doesn't Sara report that Hillary destroyed the Democrat Party? In Nov. 2016, between 6.7-9.2 million Obama voters bypassed Hillary and became Trump voters)

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Sara Carter says: "Sources" tell her what really happened is Putin fooled poor Hillary and Fusion GPS into thinking Trump was a spy. The only meaningful news about Hillary is that in the Nov. 2016 election between 6.7 and 9.2 million former Obama voters bypassed her and became Trump voters, "far more than enough to provide Trump his electoral College victory."..."The biggest common denominator among Obama-Trump voters is a view that the political system is corrupt and doesn’t work for people like them."...6/8/17, "The Democratic Party Is in Worse Shape Than You Thought," NY Times, Thomas B. Edsall, commentary
 
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Sara Carter parrots new poor Hillary angle:
 
1/13/18, "Trial Balloon – Sara Carter and Dan Bongino Discuss The Steele Dossier and The DOJ/FBI FISA Abuse," tcth, sundance 

"Sara Carter plays the role of controlled opposition. Carter shiftily helps Hillary Clinton deal with her “Dossier Problem“.

Unfortunately, but not unpredictably, Sara Carter begins deploying deep state ‘countermeasures’ from her ‘sources’ that are telling her Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele and Hillary Clinton was hoodwinked by a comprehensive Russian disinformation campaign; carried out by professional Russian intelligence agents; who duped the Clinton Campaign into THINKING Trump was a proxy political agent of Russia.

Ergo,…the ever patriotic Clinton campaign had no other option, except to do their civic  duty, and inform the FBI of the Russian claims… and that led to the entire FBI operation investigating candidate Donald Trump. Thankfully, Donald Trump wasn’t a Russian spy.

Well, there’s the trial balloon narrative from those at risk within the Deep State Clinton group, and there’s Sara Carter testing it out for them....[Fox News 1/13/18 video at link]








Why does the DOJ leak to Sara Carter?  Remember the text messages leak? ” SEE HERE “" (Above Fox News Sara Carter image via tcth)

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Among comments to above post:

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"Mary kate says:

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scott467 says:


She always does."

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scott467 says:


It’s a disinformation campaign by SOMEBODY, Sara.
I wonder by who?
Quick, grab a mirror!"

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"scott467 says:
Spot-on?!?
Is he hitting a crack pipe?"

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Added: Between 2011 and 2017, Hillary and the Democrat Party lost their blue collar base:

"For the Democratic Party, the loss of white people without college degrees is highly problematic. For starters, this group is a larger share of the electorate than is commonly understood."










































Maps above from Dec. 2017, "Party Hoppers: Understanding Voters Who Switched Partisan Affiliation," Democracy Fund Voter Study Group  

"Implications for 2018 and Beyond ...

For the Democratic Party, the loss of white people without college degrees is highly problematic. For starters, this group is a larger share of the electorate than is commonly understood. While the national exit poll of the major networks and the AP indicated that non-college white voters made up 34 percent of voters in 2016, the actual number is probably closer to 45 percent.(ii) 

Even small losses among these voters can have a decisive impact on parties’ electoral fortunes — particularly in state and local elections. The reason for this is that non-college white voters are well distributed throughout the country for the purpose of political representation. With few exceptions, they make up a significant, if not overwhelming, portion of voters in counties across the nation. This geographic dispersion makes them influential in every state and in a disproportionate number of congressional districts (Figure 6)."...


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Added:

The Democrat Party has no intention of appealing to white, working class voters. It's staying with unisex bathrooms, identity politics, and being anti-Trump:

4/5/17, "Democrats are still ignoring the people who could have helped them defeat Trump, Ohio party leaders say," Washington Post, William Wan, Youngstown, Ohio


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Comment: Those who run the Republican Party have no interest in working class voters either--or any voters, for that matter.





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Saturday, January 13, 2018

King and Queen of Haiti: Bill and Hillary Clinton. Like many before them the Clintons focused on Haiti's elites rather than its general population-Politico, Jonathan M. Katz, 5/5/2015

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5/5/2015, "The king and queen of Haiti," Politico, Jonathan M. Katz

"There’s no country that more clearly illustrates the confusing nexus of Hillary Clinton’s State Department and Bill Clinton’s foundation than Haiti—America’s poorest neighbor."... 

"Two months later [in March 2011], Martelly [Hillary's choice] was elected president. Fewer than one in five adult Haitians voted. At his inauguration, Martelly pledged his country would at last be “open for business.” 

Bill Clinton applauded from a few feet away.

Many in Haiti thought the Clintons’ influence had reached its peak when, shortly after Martelly took office, he selected one of Bill Clinton’s top aides, Garry Conille, to be his prime minister. Conille had been Bill Clinton’s chief of staff at the U.N. Office of the Special Envoy, and many in the Haitian political elite assumed that the Clintons had imposed him to keep an eye on the unpredictable new president.

If that was the idea, it failed. Conille lasted just four months. He was replaced by Laurent Lamothe, Martelly’s longtime business partner, whom the former pop star had once referred to, lovingly, as a “true bandit” in a song.

Things have only gotten more discordant since. Haiti has not held a single election, at any level, in Martelly’s four years in office. Parliament disbanded late last year when the terms of its members expired, leaving Martelly to rule by decree. Both the Clintons and the State Department tried to remain enthusiastic about the Martelly-Lamothe administration. But when opposition protests broke out last year, even Bill’s last-ditch endorsement of the prime minister in a Miami Herald interview could not save him from being forced to resign.

Shortly thereafter, a New York Times article by reporter Frances Robles [3/16/15, "Haitian Leader’s Power Grows as Scandals Swirl"] spotlighted criminality surrounding the Martelly administration, including its protection of members of an alleged kidnapping and drug smuggling ring. A day after the article’s publication, one of the most prominent allies of the president, Woodley Ethéart, was indicted on charges of kidnapping and murder—only to be freed within weeks.

I asked Hillary Clinton’s spokesperson, Nick Merrill, whether Martelly’s track record had changed her opinion about the leader she helped put in power. “She supports democratic elections, just like she did as secretary,” Merrill said. He declined further comment....

When (Bill) Clinton ran for president in 1992, he blasted the George H.W. Bush administration for rounding up boats of Haitians fleeing the military junta that ousted Aristide and for taking too light a hand countering the junta itself, many of whose leaders had received U.S. training or money. Ultimately, Clinton’s intervention returned Aristide to power....

As president, Bill Clinton had intensified a crippling embargo against Haiti’s then-ruling military junta and ordered the 1994 U.S. invasion to restore the democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to power. Now he was supposed to finish the job, spearheading development after a hunger crisis and a series of damaging hurricanes that had struck in late 2008. Haitians weren’t sure what to think: Clinton was popular with the masses for returning Aristide to power and hated by the elites for the same reason....

But Aristide did not live up to White House expectations. In the years ahead, U.S. relations worsened, and in 2004 the George W. Bush administration provided a plane to fly him into exile, touching off years of instability and lost growth, all capped by the 2010 earthquake. That last disaster presented another chance for the U.S. to get involved and another chance for redemption....

(Bill) Clinton won headlines by apologizing for having maintained as president the import-substitution policies that destroyed Haiti’s food sector—policies built on the dangerously misguided theory that factory jobs obviated the need to produce rice and other food locally. He made a special point to note that the policy had benefited farmers in his home state of Arkansas. The message was clear: This time would be different. And he had grand plans for what the industry could become. Clinton predicted that with the right support to the garment sector, 100,000 jobs would be created “in short order.”

Secretary Clinton joined in too: She hired Collier’s research partner in Haiti, Soros Economic Development Fund consultant Jean-Louis Warnhoz, as a senior adviser. 

She and her key aide Cheryl Mills negotiated an agreement between the Haitian and U.S. governments, multilateral financiers and the South Korean textile giant Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd., which makes clothes for Old Navy, Walmart, Kohl’s, Target and other retailers. The Haitian government provided the land. To create a “plug and play” environment in a country lacking nearly all basic services, IADB and USAID invested millions in roads, water systems, a power plant, executive dormitories and the warehouse-like “shells” that would house the factories. The Clinton Foundation “helped to promote Caracol as an investment destination and worked … to attract new tenants and investments to the park,” says Greg Milne, the foundation’s director of Haiti programs.

In October 2012, Hillary and Bill Clinton flew down to join President Martelly at the ribbon-cutting, where she pledged, “Our partnership, I promise you, will extend far beyond my time as secretary of state. And so, too, will the personal commitment that my husband and I have to Haiti.”

If things went as planned, Caracol would be a triumph of the Clintons’ core model: the “public/private partnership”—U.S. taxpayer dollars, Haitian land and private corporations working together to put cheap clothes on American shelves and wages in Haitian pockets.

Today’s reality, though, falls far short of the 2012 dream—despite an incredible financial investment. Far from 100,000 jobs—or even the 60,000 promised within five years of the park’s opening—Caracol currently employs just 5,479 people full time.

That comes out to roughly $55,000 in investment per job created so far; or, to put it another way, about 30 times more per job than the average Sae-A worker makes per year. The park, built on the site of a former U.S. Marine-run slave labor camp during the 1915-1934 U.S. occupation, has the best-paved roads and manicured sidewalks in the country, but most of the land remains vacant....
 
To many close observers of Haiti, the Clintons made the same mistake that has been made for generations. Though striking a populist pose, in practice they were attracted to power in Haiti, which meant making alliances and friendships within the Haitian elite. “The strong push toward Caracol is evidence of this,” says Robert Maguire, an expert on development in Haiti and the director of The George Washington University’s Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program. Their project responded not as much to the “more inclusive development priorities pushed for by most Haitians and their governmentbut rather to those supported by Haiti’s economic elites, who stood to benefit the most from them.”

That does not mean that the Haitian elite are all fans of the Clintons. Far from it. Many still smart over Bill’s decision to reinstate the overthrown Aristide. Others are resentful of the power and money the Clintons bring with them in their entourage, including billionaires like O’Brien (who in turn have no love for the oligarchical power of the Haitian import-export cartels). But infighting, the maneuvering of power and political brinkmanship have long been tactics of the Haitian elite. 

In a way, some whisper in Port-au-Prince, it’s as if the Clintons have joined their ranks.

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The Washington Post recently wrote that “the Clintons’ long influence in Haiti is hard to overstate.” It’s indeed hard—but not impossible. While the Clintons and their allies sometimes seem to be omnipresent, they are not omnipotent. In part, that’s because, as a rule, things in Haiti do not go as planned.

The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission closed shop in 2011, derided for ineffectiveness and decisions “not necessarily aligned with Haitian priorities,” according to the Government Accountability Office. In December 2010, the IHRC’s Haitian members protested in a letter that they were being sidelined by Clinton, Bellerive and major donors on the board, including the U.S. representative to the commission, Mills. “In reality, Haitian members of the board have one role: to endorse the decisions made by the Director and Executive Committee,” they wrote....

Others have questioned a $500,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation made by the Algerian government after the 2010 earthquake, and a $900,000 donation by Boeing to support Haitian schools at the same time Secretary Clinton was lobbying the Russian government to buy that company’s planes. The (Clinton) foundation has acknowledged it violated an ethics agreement with the Obama White House by taking the Algerian donation.. Boeing indeed won a major contract, according to the Washington Post....

But even looking at money and institutional heft alone barely captures the reach and influence of the Clintons’ network in Haiti: a vast, diffuse web of power in all its 21st-century permutations.

Take the story of actor Sean Penn and his unlikely transformation into a Haiti power player. Penn used his celebrity to establish the aid group J/P HRO in the weeks after the earthquake, then to forge a friendship with Bill Clinton—who in turn used his foundation and his own celebrity to help turn J/P HRO into one of the most powerful NGOs in Haiti. That led to deeper ties to the newly elected government of Martelly, which named Penn an ambassador....
 
But, though tracing the money in Haiti is difficult, there are no solid indications that the donations went anywhere other than where they were supposed to go. A Clinton Foundation spokesman says the Algerian money went into a $16.4 million direct aid fund, which in turn provided money to groups including Partners in Health, the operating fund of the IHRC, and Sean Penn’s J/P HRO. 

Boeing’s money went to a now-defunct NGO named Architecture for Humanity, which rebuilt a quake-damaged school in the impoverished Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Bel-Air. I visited on a recent school day. While the new building does not scream luxury—there is no library or computer lab, barely any furniture, and the school building does not get electricity—it does seem to be a well-put-together piece of construction, certainly by Haitian standards, where schools collapsed from shoddy building materials even before the earthquake. The former lead for the project, Kate Evarts, told me that while she no longer has immediate access to the books, she thinks that $900,000 sounds about right as a price tag when considering fees, licenses and the cost of subcontractors. The foundation says some money also went to teacher training....
  
Even poring over documents doesn’t tell you much: In 2013, the most recent tax year for which disclosures are available, the foundation raised $295 million overall and spent $223 million—of which it says $197 million, or 88 percent, went to “program services.” That intentionally vague term, used universally by NGOs across the aid world, includes anything that can be justifiably linked to specific projects including travel, office expenses and salaries....

There is little transparency in Haiti. Almost every deal, even a legitimate one, gets made out of sight—and over the past five years, the Clintons have seemingly had a representative or friend in all the most important backrooms. That power discrepancy, along with the Clintons’ fondness for keeping their cards close to the vest, has led to wild rumors everywhere. Many center on the Clintons supposedly buying land, the traditional source of wealth and power....

The complexity and limits of the Clinton model in Haiti can be summed up in a complex of 750 pastel-colored houses up the road from Caracol. The residents of Village La Difference are happy to have homes with electricity and water cisterns. But the settlement has been plagued by construction problems since the beginning. 

Two USAID contractors have been suspended for failures including using shoddy concrete blocks and failing to separate water and sewage pipes."...

....................

"Jonathan M. Katz spent three-and-a-half years covering Haiti for The Associated Press and is the author of The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster (Palgrave Macmillan 2013). Follow him at @KatzOnEarth. The reporting and photographs for this article were assisted by a grant from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. This piece originally appeared on POLITICO.com."





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Obama admin. gave UK gov. $137 million in new spy equipment 2009-2012. UK GCHQ can track US citizens inside US-such as a US presidential candidate and staff-which NSA needs a warrant to do. Edward Snowden warned of cozy NSA and UK GCHQ relationship which UK is desperate to keep-UK Guardian 8/1/2013...(UK spies were "first," had "crucial" role in US 2016 election meddling, supplied alleged anti-Trump info to Obama admin.)

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April 13, 2017, "British spies were first to spot Trump team's links with Russia," UK Guardian, Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Nick Hopkins  

"Exclusive: GCHQ [UK Government Communications Headquarters] is said to have alerted US agencies after becoming aware of contacts in 2015....Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told."...UK is free to collect data on US citizens inside the US while US  government needs a warrant to collect communications of American citizens inside the US ....UK GCHQ says they didn't target Trump, acquired data incidentally and gave it to Obama officials.
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Aug. 1, 2013, "Exclusive: NSA pays £100m in secret funding for GCHQ," UK Guardian, Nick Hopkins, Julian Borger

*Secret payments revealed in leaks by Edward Snowden
 GCHQ expected to 'pull its weight' for Americans
Weaker regulation of British spies 'a selling point' for NSA

"The US government has paid at least £100m [$137,290,032] to the UK spy agency GCHQ over the last three years to secure access to and influence over Britain's intelligence gathering programmes. The top secret payments are set out in documents which make clear that the Americans expect a return on the investment, and that GCHQ has to work hard to meet their demands. "GCHQ must pull its weight and be seen to pull its weight," a GCHQ strategy briefing said.

The funding underlines the closeness of the relationship between GCHQ and its US equivalent, the National Security Agency. But it will raise fears about the hold Washington has over the UK's biggest and most important intelligence agency, and whether Britain's dependency on the NSA has become too great.

In one revealing document from 2010, GCHQ acknowledged that the US had "raised a number of issues with regards to meeting NSA's minimum expectations". It said GCHQ "still remains short of the full NSA ask".

Ministers have denied that GCHQ does the NSA's "dirty work", but in the documents GCHQ describes Britain's surveillance laws and [more lenient] regulatory regime as a "selling point" for the Americans.

The papers are the latest to emerge from the cache leaked by the American whistleblower Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who has railed at the reach of the US and UK intelligence agencies.

Snowden warned about the relationship between the NSA and GCHQ, saying the organisations have been jointly responsible for developing techniques that allow the mass harvesting and analysis of internet traffic. "It's not just a US problem," he said. "They are worse than the US."

As well as the payments, the documents seen by the Guardian reveal:

GCHQ is pouring money into efforts to gather personal information from mobile phones and apps, and has said it wants to be able to "exploit any phone, anywhere, any time".

Some GCHQ staff working on one sensitive programme expressed concern about "the morality and ethics of their operational work, particularly given the level of deception involved".

The amount of personal data available to GCHQ from internet and mobile traffic has increased by 7,000% in the past five years – but 60% of all Britain's refined intelligence still appears to come from the NSA.

GCHQ blames China and Russia for the vast majority of cyber-attacks against the UK and is now working with the NSA to provide the British and US militaries with a cyberwarfare capability.

The details of the NSA payments, and the influence the US has over Britain, are set out in GCHQ's annual "investment portfolios". 

The papers show that the NSA gave GCHQ £22.9m in 2009. 

The following year (2010) the NSA's contribution increased to £39.9m, which included £4m to support GCHQ's work for Nato forces in Afghanistan, and £17.2m for the agency's Mastering the Internet project, which gathers and stores vast amounts of "raw" information ready for analysis.

The NSA also paid £15.5m towards redevelopments at GCHQ's sister site in Bude, north Cornwall, which intercepts communications from the transatlantic cables that carry internet traffic. "Securing external NSA funding for Bude has protected (GCHQ's core) budget," the paper said.

In 2011/12 the NSA paid another £34.7m to GCHQ. [Running tally, 113.2 million British pounds= $155.4 million US tax dollars].

The papers show the NSA pays half the costs of one of the UK's main eavesdropping capabilities in Cyprus

In turn, GCHQ has to take the American view into account when deciding what to prioritise.

A document setting out GCHQ's spending plans for 2010/11 stated: 

"The portfolio will spend money supplied by the NSA and UK government departments against agreed requirements."

Other documents say the agency must ensure there has been "an appropriate level of contribution … from the NSA perspective".

The leaked papers reveal that the UK's biggest fear is that "US perceptions of the … partnership diminish, leading to loss of access, and/or reduction in investment … to the UK".

When GCHQ does supply the US with valuable intelligence, the agency boasts about it. In one review, GCHQ boasted that it had supplied "unique contributions" to the NSA during its investigation of the American citizen responsible for an attempted car bomb attack in Times Square, New York City, in 2010.

No other detail is provided – but it raises the possibility that GCHQ might have been spying on an American living in the US. The NSA is prohibited from doing this by US law.

Asked about the payments, a Cabinet Office spokesman said: "In a 60-year alliance it is entirely unsurprising that there are joint projects in which resources and expertise are pooled, but the benefits flow in both directions."

A senior security source in Whitehall added: "The fact is there is a close intelligence relationship between the UK and US and a number of other countries including Australia and Canada. There's no automaticity, not everything is shared. A sentient human being takes decisions."

Although the sums represent only a small percentage of the agencies' budgets, the [US taxpayer] money has been an important source of income for GCHQ. The cash came during a period of cost-cutting at the agency that led to staff numbers being slashed from 6,485 in 2009 to 6,132 last year.

GCHQ seems desperate to please its American benefactor and the NSA does not hold back when it fails to get what it wants. On one project, GCHQ feared if it failed to deliver it would "diminish NSA's confidence in GCHQ's ability to meet minimum NSA requirements". Another document warned: "The NSA ask is not static and retaining 'equability' will remain a challenge for the near future."

In November 2011, a senior GCHQ manager working in Cyprus bemoaned the lack of staff devoted to one eavesdropping programme, saying: "This is not sustainable if numbers reduce further and reflects badly on our commitments to the NSA."

The overriding necessity to keep on the right side of the US was revealed in a UK government paper that set out the views of GCHQ in the wake of the 2010 strategic defence and security review. The document was called: "GCHQ's international alliances and partnerships: helping to maintain Britain's standing and influence in the world." It said: "Our key partnership is with the US. We need to keep this relationship healthy. The relationship remains strong but is not sentimental. GCHQ must pull its weight and be seen to pull its weight."

Astonishingly, the document admitted that 60% of the UK's high-value intelligence "is based on either NSA end-product or derived from NSA collection". End product means official reports that are distillations of the best raw intelligence.

Another pitch to keep the US happy involves reminding Washington that the UK is less regulated than the US. The British agency described this as one of its key "selling points". This was made explicit two years ago when GCHQ set out its priorities for the coming years.

"We both accept and accommodate NSA's different way of working," the document said. "We are less constrained by NSA's concerns about compliance."

GCHQ said that by 2013 it hoped to have "exploited to the full our unique selling points of geography, partnerships [and] the UK's legal regime".

However, there are indications from within GCHQ that senior staff are not at ease with the rate and pace of change. The head of one of its programmes warned the agency was now receiving so much new intelligence that its "mission management … is no longer fit for purpose".

In June, the government announced that the "single intelligence account" fund that pays for GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 would be increased by 3.4% in 2015/16. This comes after three years in which the SIA has been cut from £1.92bn to £1.88bn. The agencies have also been told to make £220m savings on existing programmes.

The parliamentary intelligence and security committee (ISC) has questioned whether the agencies were making the claimed savings and said their budgets should be more rigorously scrutinised to ensure efficiencies were "independently verifiable and/or sustainable".

The Snowden documents show GCHQ has become increasingly reliant on money from "external" sources. In 2006 it received the vast majority of its funding directly from Whitehall, with only £14m from "external" funding. In 2010 that rose to £118m and by 2011/12 it had reached £151m. Most of this comes from the Home Office."



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