Wednesday, November 15, 2017

To Rep. Jim Jordan: Yes, FBI DID pay Golden Showers Dossier's Steele, per CNN article, 3/1/17. Source says deal was structured to pay "expenses" for Steele rather than saying they "hired" him. It doesn't "look like" FBI paid Steele, they actually DID pay him. Over to you.

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FBI illegally tried to throw the US 2016 election to Hillary by using US tax dollars to pay expenses of Golden Showers Anti-Trump dossier compiler, Christopher Steele:

"Golden Showers" anti-Trump dossier
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3/1/2017, "FBI reimbursed some expenses of dossier author," CNN, Evan Perez 

"The FBI reimbursed some expenses of the former British intelligence operative who produced a dossier containing allegations of President Donald Trump's ties to Russia, people familiar with the matter said.

The short-lived arrangement before the US election ended abruptly in part because of the frustration of [UK businessman] Christopher Steele, the former MI6 spy, that the FBI wasn't doing enough to investigate the Trump-Russia ties.

The Washington Post first reported Tuesday that the FBI and Steele had sought to reach a payment arrangement.

An official familiar with the discussions said the FBI didn't hire Steele as an informant, but that the arrangement instead allowed for expenses to be paid. It couldn't be learned how much he was paid and for how long.

The FBI obtained a version of Steele's dossier last summer and investigators there used it to compare to some of their own work related to Russia's attempts to influence the US election. The FBI used its own sources and worked with US intelligence agencies to try to check aspects of Steele's work. The FBI was able to match some communications that the dossier described as happening between people described and on the dates the dossier described.
 
[UK businessman] Steele had previous paid deals with the FBI and with other US government agencies dating back years, according to people familiar with the matter. He had helped uncover information that aided the FBI's corruption investigation of FIFA, the world soccer governing body.

In the case of the Trump-Russia dossier, Steele initially had been hired by a Washington research firm working on behalf of Trump's political opponents -- initially in the Republican primary and then later Democrats."
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Comment: CNN article says FBI "didn't hire" Steele, "instead" gave him US taxpayer dollars for "expenses," though, it "couldn't be learned" how many US taxpayer dollars were given away by the US government to throw the election to Hillary. FBI says it can't reveal existence or lack thereof of documents related to its Steele dealings "pursuant to its national security and foreign intelligence functions." This standard excuse doesn't hold when the matter is the US government trying to throw a US presidential election. ........................

Added: Where was "Golden Showers" anti-Trump dossier compiler, UK businessman Christopher Steele, in April 2016 when then US Pres. Obama brazenly intervened in the crucial June 23, 2016 Brexit vote in Steele's own country? Obama even threatened the UK with economic harm if they didn't vote as he wished. The outcome of the Brexit vote was so momentous that it caused the resignation of Obama's friend, UK Prime Minister David Cameron after the vote went against him.

"It is the biggest intervention I can think of by an American president who has turned up in this way and intervened directly in the politics of a Western democracy since the end of the Cold War....It is above and beyond what people do in Western democracies," said a Kings College London professor. "Obama was urging Britain to pool its sovereignty with other nations in a way that the United States would never countenance for itself.""

Fri., 4/22/2016, "Obama exhorts Britain to stay in EU, warns on trade if it leaves," Reuters, Roberta Rampton, Kylie MacLellan, London


4/21/16, Reuters
"President Barack Obama made a bold intervention into the politics of Washington's closest ally on Friday, exhorting Britons to stay in the EU and warning that if they left they would be at "the back of the queue" for a U.S. trade deal. 

Obama's plea to British voters ahead of a June referendum on membership of the European Union was welcomed by Prime Minister David Cameron and other supporters of the EU, but denounced by those campaigning to leave as meddling in British affairs."...
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Added: In June 2017, FBI, on grounds of "national security," wouldn't confirm or deny existence of documentation that it paid British anti-Trump dossier compiler Steele. In March 2017 Cause of Action, a nonprofit watchdog group, "filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI seeking access to records to determine whether the FBI paid, or intended to pay, Steele. CoA filed a lawsuit in federal court the following month (April 2017) against the FBI for not responding to the request. The FBI replied to CoA last week in a letter, writing that the agency cannot speak to the potential existence of such records." Apparently, CNN has more forthcoming sources: "FBI reimbursed some expenses of dossier author"

June 26, 2017, "FBI Won’t Confirm or Deny Existence of Records of Payment to British Trump Dossier Researcher," Washington Free Beacon, Jack Heretik

"The FBI will not confirm or deny the existence of records showing whether the bureau paid the researcher behind the unverified, controversial ['Golden Showers' anti-Trump] dossier alleging ties between President Donald Trump and Russia.

Christopher Steele, a former British spy, gathered information for the dossier while working for a Washington research firm that supporters of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign hired. Trump has denied that the dossier is true while Steele has said parts of it are unverified.

The Washington Post reported earlier this year that Steele had reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before Election Day in November to continue investigating then-candidate Trump.

Cause of Action Institute, or CoA, a nonprofit watchdog group, wanted to know whether Steele was ever paid by the FBI to probe Trump.

In March of this year, CoA (Cause of Action) filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI seeking access to records to determine whether the FBI paid, or intended to pay, Steele. CoA filed a lawsuit in federal court the following month (April 2017) against the FBI for not responding to the request.

The FBI replied to CoA last week in a letter, writing that the agency cannot speak to the potential existence of such records.

"The FBI can neither confirm nor deny the existence of records responsive to your request," the letter, signed by an official in the bureau's Records Management Division, said.

The FBI argued that it cannot acknowledge the existence of or give access to potential records concerning financial transactions with Steele because the FOIA request "implicates records the FBI may or may not compile pursuant to its national security and foreign intelligence functions." The bureau provided other reasons for its decision not to disclose information, including concerns over privacy and interfering in ongoing federal investigations.

Cause of Action Institute president and CEO John Vecchione released a statement castigating the FBI's response.

"The FBI is circling the wagons by claiming potential harm to national security if it discloses its relationship with Christopher Steele," Vecchione said. "Regardless of whether a payment was ever made, the FBI's affiliation with a political opposition researcher in the midst of a presidential election deserves scrutiny.

"The FBI should be forthcoming about whether and how the agency was relying upon a former foreign spy who, in the pay of private parties, compiled a report of salacious accusations intended to harm the reputation of then-candidate Donald Trump," Vecchione added." 


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Additional article about FBI refusal to provide Steele documents, mentions $50,000 widely reported to have been offered to Steele by FBI but never delivered (or it's unknown if it was delivered): "Who authorized a private citizen to engage in an unsupervised investigation of a candidate for president?" 

June 27, 2017, "FBI Refuses to Say if It Paid ['Golden Showers'] Trump Dossier Money for More Fiction," RedState.com, Streiff

"This is the second of three related posts I’m going to write today on the FBI, Fusion GPS, and their actions during the 2016 election (part one), part three."...

"One of the mysteries surrounding the Trump [Golden Showers] dossier is how it was received by the FBI. Despite the fact that there was nothing in the report that could be actually verified— for instance, Czech authorities say that Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, did not visit Prague as alleged — the FBI became totally enamored with the document. So enamored, in fact, that they offered to pay the author, Christopher Steele, $50,000 if he could dig up still more stuff on Trump."...


We don’t know what happened next. And we may never know...Keep in mind the issue here is NOT what Steele produced or any evaluation of Steele’s work but whether or not appropriated funds were spent to pay for a report by him. This kind of information is not protected by FOIA and it is routinely published on agency websites. Indeed, it must be reported to Congress

There is no way divulging the expenditure of funds can impact an ongoing federal investigation particularly when the disbursement would be nearly a year old.

It is pretty obvious from the vociferous nature of the refusal to answer that the FBI DID pay Steele for more investigatory work. Congress should find out who authorized a private citizen to engage in an unsupervised investigation of a candidate for president and why they thought it was a good idea."
 

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Added: Three sources citing FBI offering Steele $50,000 and that the sum wasn't ultimately delivered: Washington Post, NY Times, Washington Times:

2/28/17, "FBI once planned to pay former British spy who authored controversial Trump dossier," Washington Post, Tom Hamburger, Rosalind S. Helderman

4/22/17, "Comey Tried to Shield the F.B.I. from Politics. Then He Shaped an Election." NY Times, Matt Apuzzo, Michael S. Schmidt, Adam Goldman, Eric Lichtblau

April 25, 2017, "Ex-spy admits anti-Trump dossier unverified, blames Buzzfeed for publishing," Washington Times, Rowan Scarborough

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Source 1

2/28/17, "FBI once planned to pay former British spy who authored controversial Trump dossier," Washington Post, Tom Hamburger, Rosalind S. Helderman 

"In October (2016)...Steele and the FBI reached a spoken understanding: He would continue his work looking at the Kremlin’s ties to Trump and receive compensation [in the form of US taxpayer dollars] for his efforts."... 

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Source 2

4/22/17, "Comey Tried to Shield the F.B.I. from Politics. Then He Shaped an Election." NY Times, Matt Apuzzo, Michael S. Schmidt, Adam Goldman, Eric Lichtblau 

Former British spy Christopher Steele, compiler of the 'Golden Showers' anti-Trump dossier "met his F.B.I. contact in Rome in early October (2016), bringing a stack of new intelligence reports....The agent said that if Mr. Steele could get solid corroboration of his reports, the F.B.I. would pay him $50,000 [US taxpayer dollars] for his efforts....Ultimately he was not paid."... 

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Source 3

April 25, 2017, "Ex-spy admits anti-Trump dossier unverified, blames Buzzfeed for publishing," Washington Times, Rowan Scarborough 

"Presumedly, ['Golden Showers' anti-Trump dossier compiler] Mr. Steele would continue to investigate the president as a surrogate for the FBI. The deal, however, did not go through."...

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

John McCain solicited illegal contribution from Russian official for his 2008 US presidential campaign. Since he'd opted for pubic financing, it was illegal for McCain to solicit a private donation. It's also illegal to solicit or accept donations from foreign nationals-Politico, Oct. 20, 2008

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Oct. 20, 2008, "McCain camp hits up Russian envoy," Politico, Ben Smith

"The Russian Mission to the United Nations has released a standard-issue fundraising letter [from U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain]...addressed to the Russian envoy to the U.N., Vitaly Churkin, at the mission's address, but without his title....Bakhtin [press secretary of the Russian mission] confirmed the story to Politico...."We just find it amusing," he said....The Russian newswire RIA-Novosti tells it:"...




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Race hoax as Military Weapon: Hoaxer, a black football player and prospective cadet is exposed and gone. But not before Gen. Silveria dressed down 4000 cadets standing at attention at US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for their phantom white bigotry, invoking Charlottesville, Ferguson, and the NFL.To Gen. Silveria it's no problem it turned out to be a hoax-Gilbert T. Sewall, Am. Spectator

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Nov. 13, 2017, "Race Hoax as a Military Weapon: Was Gen. Silveria credulous or calculating?" Gilbert T. Sewall, American Spectator

"The race hoax at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs has unraveled. The hoaxer, a black football player and prospective cadet at its prep school, is exposed and gone. Racial slurs scrawled across dorm whiteboards were fakes, the student’s own.

Gen. Silveria
But Air Force Academy superintendent, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, demonstrates no chagrin for the spectacle he created, when he dressed down 4,000 standing cadets and the faculty on account of phantom white racial bigotry.

(Gen.) Silveria remains nonchalant and remorseless. “Regardless of the circumstances under which those words were written, they were written, and that deserved to be addressed,” Silveria emailed the Colorado Springs Gazette, when asked for comment. “You can never over-emphasize the need for a culture of dignity and respect — and those who don’t understand those concepts aren’t welcome here.”

This is actually an astonishing response under the circumstances. Silveria’s Sept. 28 speech was a carefully staged, almost cinematic tour de force. Invoking events at “Charlottesville and Ferguson, the protests in the NFL, Silveria said, “I have a better idea… and it’s the power of diversity.” He declared:
If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you can’t teach someone from another gender, whether that’s a man or a woman, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out. And if you can’t treat someone from another race or a different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.
Silveria finished, repeating his command: “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.”

Silveria drew immense applause and adulation for his speech. The YouTube clip got over a million hits. The Washington Post editorial board praised his “moral guidance,” comparing him favorably to the president, and Forbes lauded his “commitment to upholding military values” that “remind us of the higher calling of national service.”

Was Gen. Silveria credulous or calculating? In either case, how he dealt with a reported hate crime — one that never really passed the smell test — reflects badly on the man. His rashness and histrionics deserve censure, not ovation.

Maybe it was the camera lights, but the righteous glint in Silveria’s eye as he spoke to thousands below was not reassuring. Standing behind him, motionless, was stern Academy commandant, Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin, bomber pilot and very out lesbian. Goodwin was obviously in on this political theater, helping to script the show.

Six weeks later, the hoax now exposed, Silveria stands his ground.

Such diversity hauteur is the rule among college officials. When asked to verify suspicious racial incidents, they often grow indignant. Trustees and faculties need gruesome stories to prove there’s more anti-racism work to be done. Even hoaxes, some say, provide teachable moments and a time for reflection. Yes, academics really think this way.

Silveria of course is not an ordinary college president, so his reaction is doubly bad news for Americans who want U.S. military leaders able to assess dicey situations coolly and correctly, in the interests of those they command. His response reveals the degree to which diversity issues drive the nation’s top officers and service academies.

Remember when Maj. Hasan opened fire at Ft. Hood in 2009, killing 13 and wounding 32 others, shouting Allahu Akbar? Gen. George Casey, U.S. Army chief of staff, stated on NBC’s Meet the Press: “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.” 

The U.S. military has since come a long way, diversity moving from strength to foundational belief. To meet diversity’s imperatives, priorities inevitably shift from technical excellence, combat readiness, general morale, and the projection of force. What will be the long-run impact on national security, we can only guess."


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Image above, screen shot from video

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Trump has 5% higher approval among Virginia voters than Republican Party. 5 point negative swing in Virginia Gov. election was due to dislike of GOP Establishment, not Trump-The Hill, Mark Penn...(Deep State GOP run weak candidates like Ed Gillespie and Romney because they prefer Democrat wins)

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"This 5-point swing is exactly how much worse the Republicans fared this time compared to 2016....Gillespie was a D.C. lobbyist and party chairman; he couldn’t battle “the swamp” — he was “the swamp.”"...................... 

11/12/17, "In Virginia, Republican Party more to blame than Trump," The Hill, by Mark Penn, opinion contributor

"It was neither the sweeping repudiation of Trump that some Democrats would like to believe nor the ushering in of the age of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. 

The measured takeaway in Virginia for the Democrats is that moderate candidates, especially after they have done a good job in a state, can beat establishment Republicans today, perhaps even handily. Democrat Ralph Northam defeated the liberal he faced in the Virginia primary who had the backing of the left; he is an Army veteran, and backed away from such signature liberal-left policies as sanctuary cities. He represents the power that Democrats could unlock with moderate candidates in the bullpen....

The easy storyline is to blame Donald Trump for the loss but only 34 percent of the voters labeled that a major factor in their voting. Trump’s approval rating in the exit polling was 40 percent in a state he lost by 5 points; that strongly suggests his actual national approval rating is about 42 to 45 percent, rather than in the 30s, as many national polls have been proclaiming. That’s still short of a majority but well above George Bush, who was often in the low 20s, and close to ratings that Barack Obama had much of the time.

A more likely suspect here is the Republican Party and the fratricide going on within. Asked about the Virginia Democratic Party, voters gave it a surprisingly positive 51/46, while the Republican Party was intensely disliked, garnering  a 37 favorable/59 unfavorable rating. The Republican Party, therefore, is significantly lower than Donald Trump in its ratings it was 3 points further down in favorable ratings and 2 points higher in unfavorable ratings. 

This 5-point swing is exactly how much worse the Republicans fared this time compared to 2016. 

Bear in mind, this is not a very liberal electorate. Voting groups who cared about guns or immigration favored the Trump policies; 57 percent said hands-off those Confederate statues. And, judging by the turn-about Northam did on sanctuary cities, it’s unlikely there is much support for sanctuary cities in Virginia — and we know nationally it is a big loser for Democrats....

Overall, Gillespie was a D.C. lobbyist and party chairman; he couldn’t battle “the swamp” — he was “the swamp.”

It wasn’t Trump who lost those moderate men, but Gillespie, who was neither fish nor fowl to them; he wasn’t going to do a better job on the core issues than Northam, and the last-minute Hail Marys on the social issues probably just created more confusion about who he was.

People want these elections to be about simple storylines and, yet, real events are more complex. This election was one-part moderate Democratic candidate, one-part anti-Trump reaction, especially among young women, one-part successful state Democratic administration that people wanted to continue, and one part swamp” establishment lobbyist from a disrespected Republican Party.  

Together, the mix was good for the Democrats, toxic for the Republicans."

"Mark Penn is co-director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll and was a pollster for Bill Clinton during six years of his presidency."

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11/8/2013, "Sabotage Republicans," Jeffrey Lord, American Spectator

"The Republican Party has two serious problems on its hands. 

The first is with those like Eric Cantor’s ex-chief of staff who are invited into leadership positions in the party — when they in fact are not conservatives at all and quietly or openly seek to sabotage the party.

The second is with those Establishment Republicans who do manage to win — and then see their job as merely managing the leftist status quo....That is the Republican Party’s real problem. And it’s a big one." (end of article)

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Comment: Just as Ed Gillespie couldn't battle the swamp, Romney as the author of ObamaCare's model couldn't seriously battle ObamaCare. Swamp GOP desperately wanted to keep ObamaCare. Democrats knew this and the two parties just let enough years go by for it to cease being an issue. Swamp GOP said Romney absolutely HAD TO be the 2012 candidate--which, knowing he'd lose, guaranteed a few more years for O'Care to settle in. It was Republican voters who didn't want it. GOP E has no interest in what voters want, they know GOP voters have nowhere else to go. Swamp slime like Ed Gillespie and Romney merely guarantee Democrat wins. Under no circumstances are the rubes allowed to have a real candidate. If the US had two separate and distinct political parties, the country wouldn't have most of the problems it has today. With only one political party, you have a dictatorship. The people are slaves, completely unprotected.







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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Lack of Republican brand allows Republican winners in 2017 NY State Erie County elections. Republican wins were combination of unaffiliated voters, those chosing among 5 minor party lines, and those who just can't bring themselves to vote GOP. Republicans retained 3 countywide posts despite +133,756 Democrat advantage-Buffalo News

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11/12/17, "GOP keeps rolling despite Democratic advantage," BuffaloNews.com, Robert J. McCarthy

"On the face of things, Erie County appears as a most hospitable place for Democrats seeking office.

Upstate New York’s largest metropolitan area boasts a strong Democratic tradition, unified party leadership and – most of all – 133,756 more Democrats than Republicans.

But voters once again on Tuesday showed that anything can happen in Erie County. Despite the overwhelming advantage in Democratic registration, Republicans retained the three countywide posts of sheriff, comptroller and clerk.

Granted, Lancaster-Cheektowaga voters in a swing district returned the County Legislature to Democrats for the first time in four years, and Democrats scored convincing victories in towns like Amherst. 

But Tuesday’s results underscored Erie County’s reputation as a place where Republicans can – and do ‑ win elections in blue turf.

“It’s a ticket splitting county,” said Erie County Republican Chairman Nicholas A. Langworthy, noting Democratic success on Tuesday in other major New York counties like Westchester and Nassau.

Veteran Buffalo pollster Barry Zeplowitz adds that voters everywhere, and especially here, are more and more apt to shop around....

They’re not tied to party lines any more.”...

President Trump, meanwhile, came within six points of winning the county for the GOP last year while New York State as a whole flocked to Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“People say he didn’t win the county. He didn’t compete here, but his message resonated,” presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway said during a January visit to Buffalo. “This is a great example of a region where he did not show up here past the primaries, but his message carried on.”

Veteran observers list a host of reasons for GOP competitiveness in Erie County, including: 

The lack of general election contests in heavily Democratic Buffalo, continuing a recent trend of depressed city turnout and Republicans exploiting their heavier enrollment in the suburbs. 

The occasional conservative tilt of big suburban towns like Cheektowaga, Lancaster and West Seneca, where Republican Sheriff Timothy B. Howard won or came very close in Tuesday’s election. 

New Yorkers’ ability to support candidates endorsed by major parties on minor lines like Conservative. While the Democratic candidates for sheriff, comptroller and clerk all won or came very close in their head-to-head, Democrat-versus-Republican contests Tuesday, Republicans prevailed via voters turning to the same candidates on five minor party lines.

*The tendency on Tuesday for unaffiliated voters to trend Republican. 

The inability of either party to motivate its members on Election Day compared to the past.

“Headquarters are a thing of the past; they have lost their power,” said former Common Council President George K. Arthur, a Democrat.

Lobbyist Carl J. Calabrese, a former Republican Tonawanda supervisor and deputy county executive, says the attraction of minor party lines ‑ especially Conservative - cannot be overemphasized. Erie County’s sizeable contingent of “Reagan Democrats” often join the Conservatives, especially when they just can’t bring themselves to vote on the GOP line....

Calabrese says countywide candidates recognize strong Democratic fervor in Buffalo, but look to the “golden triangle of Cheetowaga, Lancaster and West Seneca” as Democratic strongholds that will at least listen to a Republican ‑ though it remains a challenge. 

“If Republicans in Erie County are down about 135,000, they have to be clicking on all eight cylinders,” Calabrese said, “because the majority party can win on six.” 

The “golden triangle” pattern held to a significant degree on Tuesday in Cheektowaga, a Democratic enclave of ethnic, working class Catholics who often return to their Reagan Democrat roots. In last week’s countywide elections, out of the 14,216 Cheektowagans who went to the polls, only 62 more voted for Democratic sheriff candidate Bernard A. Tolbert. Democratic clerk candidate Steven J. Cichon beat Republican Michael P. Kearns 7,625 to 5,976, but Republican Stefan I. Mychajliw Jr. defeated Democrat Vanessa Glushefski 7,265 to 6,331 in the race for comptroller. 

Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane M. Benczkowski, also vice chairwoman of the town’s Democratic Committee, said party volunteers worked tirelessly during the campaign to bring home the Democratic vote. But she also said her constituents “do their homework.” 

“Though they may be blue collar, they believe in some Republican values,” she said. Times are very tough for our residents making ends meet, and they tell me that when I’m doing the budget.

“They say the candidates can’t keep spending, spending, spending,” she added. 

Arthur, the former Council president who ran for mayor of Buffalo in 1985, said much has changed since he started in politics 60 years ago. Both parties operated under a more rigid structure, he said, especially under former Democratic chairmen like Peter J. Crotty and Joseph F. Crangle. In those days, he said, voters responded. 

“Back then you had people who were not afraid to identify with a party, Democrat or Republican,” he said. “Today you don’t know one candidate from the other.” 

Calabrese noted that Republicans will probably continue working in the suburbs, especially when their county leaders show no inclination to ever run Buffalo candidates again in a city where Democrats enjoy a 7 1/2 to 1 registration advantage. 

And, he said, all sorts of variables enter every campaign and must be taken into account. 

“There are issues, candidates make mistakes, all kinds of things,” he said. “And you have to take into account incumbency, fund-raising, conveying the right message, grass roots organization and strategy. 

“It’s why we campaign,” he said."





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Boston record low temperature of 23 degrees on Nov. 11, 2017 was a degree colder than previous record set for the date in 1901-Boston Herald

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11/12/17, "Cold in Boston breaks low-temp records," Boston Herald, Jordan Frias

"Yesterday’s bone-chilling weather set two Boston records for the date: lowest low temperature and lowest high temperature

The low temperature of 23 degrees recorded early yesterday morning was a degree colder than the previous record, which was set on Nov. 12, 1901.

Then, at about 3 p.m., the National Weather Service announced yesterday’s high of 37 was a new record for the lowest maximum temperature for the day. The chilly high was a degree lower than the record, which was set in 1890, 1987 and 1971. 

National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simpson said an unusual weather pattern was to blame for the blistering low temps.

This air is coming basically from the North Pole, Simpson said.

And the weather records could keep being set today, Simpson said, if the mercury falls below 25, a mark achieved on Nov. 12, 1926.

The typical high temperature for this time of year, he said, is 53 degrees.

The unseasonable weather had Boston-area firefighters braving freezing conditions while extinguishing blazes yesterday.

The cold was also blamed for a massive water main break in Cambridge that sent a geyser of water flowing onto the street."






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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

For Prince Charles, climate isn't about "the children," it's about his bank account: Prince Charles campaigned to alter global warming agreements without disclosing his private estate had offshore financial interest in what he was promoting-BBC

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"Prince lobbied on policy after shares buy. Private estate had secret interest in offshore firm that would benefit from rule change, leaked documents show."

11/7/17, "Paradise Papers: Prince Charles lobbied on climate policy after shares purchase,"  

"Prince Charles campaigned to alter climate-change agreements without disclosing his private estate had an offshore financial interest in what he was promoting, BBC Panorama has found.

The Paradise Papers show the Duchy of Cornwall in 2007 secretly bought shares worth $113,500 in a Bermuda company that would benefit from a rule change.

The prince was a friend of a director of Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd.

The Duchy of Cornwall says he has no direct involvement in its investments.

A Clarence House spokesman said the Prince of Wales had "certainly never chosen to speak out on a topic simply because of a company that it may have invested in. 

"In the case of climate change his views are well known, indeed he has been warning of the threat of global warming to our environment for over 30 years.

"Carbon markets are just one example that the prince has championed since the 1990s and which he continues to promote today." 

'Conflict of interest' 

He added Prince Charles was "free to offer thoughts and suggestions on a wide range of topics" and "cares deeply" about the issue of climate change but "it is for others to decide whether to take the advice".

Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said Prince Charles's actions amounted to a serious conflict of interest.

He said: "There's a conflict of interest between his own investments of the Duchy of Cornwall and what he's trying to achieve publicly.

"And I think it's unfortunate that somebody of his importance, of his influence, becomes involved in such a serious conflict."

The leaked documents held by law firm Appleby show the Duchy of Cornwall also made offshore investments totalling $3.9m in four funds in the Cayman Islands in 2007. This is legal and there is no suggestion of tax avoidance.

A Duchy of Cornwall spokesman said Prince Charles voluntarily pays income tax on any revenue from his estate.

He added the estate's investments "do not derive any tax advantage whatsoever based on their location or any other aspect of their structure and there is no loss of revenue to HMRC as a result". 

Kept confidential 

The prince began campaigning for changes to two important environmental agreements weeks after Sustainable Forestry Management (SFM) sent his office lobbying documents.

Prince Charles's estate almost tripled its money in just over a year although it is not clear what caused the rise in the share value. Despite his high profile campaign, the environmental agreements were not changed.

The documents reveal the Duchy of Cornwall, an £896m private estate that provides Prince Charles with an income and which he is said to be "actively involved" in running, bought the shares in February 2007. At the time $113,500 was worth about £58,000.

One of SFM's directors was the late Hugh van Cutsem, a millionaire banker and conservationist who has been described as the one of the Prince's closest friends. 

The minutes of a company board meeting that approved the Duchy's shareholding say: "The Chairman thanked Mr van Cutsem for his introduction of the Duchy of Cornwall and the Board unanimously agreed that the subscription by the Duchy of Cornwall be kept confidential except in respect of any disclosure required by law." 

Source document: 

 

 

 

 

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Added: Poor African countries will remain poor: 

11/7/17, Tycoon made $41m from ‘people’s fund’ 

"An entrepreneur charged with managing the oil wealth of the struggling African state of Angola was paid more than $41m in just 20 months, leaked documents reveal."

 

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Hijack of 800 US school district websites caused them to redirect to Arabic message promoting Islamic state-NBC NY

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11/7/17, "Pro-ISIS Video Appears on Hacked New Jersey School Website," nbcnewyork.com

"The FBI is investigating after the company that hosts a New Jersey school district's website was hacked and the district's page was one of hundreds across the country to display a message in support of the Islamic State.


SchoolDesk, the company which maintains the site, said in a statement that technicians discovered a small file was injected into the root of one of its websites. That redirected approximately 800 school and district websites to a YouTube page containing an audible Arabic message, unknown writing and a picture of Saddam Hussein.

The company says it has added more protections.

Earlier this summer, a Long Island town's website was hacked by ISIS sympathizers. Pro-ISIS messages appeared on Brookhaven's and 75 other pages around the world."




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Leading into "climate summits" the US political class is always eager to sell out US taxpayers. It published "science" before 2009 Copenhagen summit implying US CO2 emissions cause African civil wars, and US taxpayers must pay. Nine months later, more PNAS science found CO2 didn't cause African wars after all-BBC, Nov. 2009, Sept. 2010

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Image above leads BBC article. Meaning: Greedy Americans made this African person cry and US politicians will make them pay.





(Below, links for above paragraph:)

Copenhagen Climate Summit, Dec. 7-18, 2009.
45,000 belched CO2 into the air traveling to Copenhagen to pick up what they had reason to believe would be their share of massive amounts of US taxpayer cash handed out by the US political class as "compensation for decades of warming." 

11/24/2009, "Climate 'is a major cause' of conflict in Africa," BBC, Richard Black

"Climate has been a major driver of armed conflict in Africa, research shows-and future warming is likely to increase the number of deaths from war.

US researchers found that across the continent, conflict was about 50% more likely in unusually warm years. 

Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they suggest strife arises when the food supply is scarce in warm conditions. 

Climatic factors have been cited as a reason for several recent conflicts. 

One is the fighting in Darfur in Sudan that according to UN figures has killed 200,000 people and forced two million more from their homes."...

[Ed. note: Encouraging even more frenzy surrounding the grotesque sight of 45,000 people flying to Copenhagen for their anticipated US taxpayer funded windfall, the US releases a PNAS study effectively telling the world that greedy Americans were mass murderers of Africans, and that US taxpayers would be expected to pay: "Our findings provide strong impetus to ramp up investments in African adaptation to climate change."...""I think it strengthens the argument for ensuring we compensate the developing world for climate change, especially Africa." And: "The United States backed what amounts to the single biggest transfer of wealth from rich to poor nations for any one cause--in a sense offering compensation for decades of warming the Earth."



(continuing): "Previous research has shown an association between lack of rain and conflict, but this is thought to be the first clear evidence of a temperature link.

The researchers used databases of temperatures across sub-Saharan Africa for the period between 1981 and 2002, and looked for correlations between above average warmth and civil conflict in the same country that left at least 1,000 people dead. 

Warm years increased the likelihood of conflict by about 50% - and food seems to be the reason why. 

"Studies show that crop yields in the region are really sensitive to small shifts in temperature, even of half a degree (Celsius) or so," research leader Marshall Burke, from the University of California at Berkeley, told BBC News. 

"If the sub-Saharan climate continues to warm and little is done to help its countries better adapt to high temperatures, the human costs are likely to be staggering." 

Conflicting outcomes

If temperatures rise across the continent as computer models project, future conflicts are likely to become more common, researchers suggest.


Their study shows an increase of about 50% over the next 20 years. 

When projections of social trends such as population increase and economic development were included in their model of a future Africa, temperature rise still emerged as a likely major cause of increasing armed conflict. 

"We were very surprised to find that when you put things like economic growth and better governance into the mix, the temperature effect remains strong," said Dr Burke. 

At next month's UN climate summit in Copenhagen, governments are due to debate how much money to put into helping African countries prepare for and adapt to impacts of climate change.

"Our findings provide strong impetus to ramp up investments in African adaptation to climate change by such steps as developing crop varieties less sensitive to extreme heat and promoting insurance plans to help protect farmers from adverse effects of the hotter climate," said Dr Burke.

Nana Poku, Professor of African Studies at the UK's Bradford University, suggested that it also pointed up the need to improve mechanisms for avoiding and resolving conflict in the continent.

"I think it strengthens the argument for ensuring we compensate the developing world for climate change, [ie, "reparations"] especially Africa, and to begin looking at how we link environmental issues to governance," he said. 

"If the argument is that the trend towards rising temperatures will increase conflict, then yes we need to do something around climate change, but more fundamentally we need to resolve the conflicts in the first place.""

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Added: 9 months later another US PNAS study finds CO2 isn't responsible for civil wars in Africa after all:

9/6/2010, "Climate shifts 'not to blame' for Africa civil wars,"


The 2009 paper suggested that climate had been a major driver of armed conflict in Africa, and that future warming was likely to increase the number of deaths from war.

US researchers found that across the continent, conflict was about 50% more likely in unusually warm years.

'Lack of research'

Dr Buhaug said it was too early to make such assertions.

"It is not a misunderstanding as such, more a case of the research still being in its infancy - we still don't know enough yet," he told BBC News.

"My article points to the fact that there has been too much emphasis on single definitions of conflict and single definitions of climate.

"Even if you found that conflict, defined in a particular way, appeared to be associated with climate, if you applied a number of complementary measures - which you should do in order to determine the robustness of the apparent connection - then you would find, in almost all cases, the two were actually unrelated."

Dr Buhaug explained that there were a variety of ways to define what constituted a civil war.

One method requires the conflict to claim 1,000 lives overall. Another method says unrest can only be categorised as a civil war if it results in 1,000 deaths each year.

Other definitions have much lower thresholds, ranging between one casualty and 25 casualties per year.

"I tried quite a few different and complementary definitions of conflict," said Dr Buhaug.

He found that that there was a strong correlation between civil wars and traditional factors, such as economic disparity, ethnic tensions, and historic political and economic instability.

"These factors seemed to matter, not so when it came to climate variability," he observed.

He says that it will take a while yet, even taking into account his own paper, for academic research to converge on an agreed position.

'Action still needed'

When it came to politicians and policymakers, many of the adopted positions were "speculative", he added.

"It is partly a result of a lack of solid evidence in the first place," the researcher explained. 

"If you do not have any solid scientific evidence to base your assumptions, then you are going to have to speculate."

He also said that the end of the Cold War also seemed to have had a impact on civil unrest in African nations.

"You did see a shift in the focus of quite a few conflicts during the 1990s, when the ending of the supply of arms saw some groups lay down their arms, while others sought alternative forms of funding, such as diamonds."

However, he concluded, the uncertainty about the link between conflict and climate did not mean that global climate mitigation and adaptation measures did not matter.

"Targeted climate adaptation initiatives, such as those outlined in various UN (strategies), can have significant positive implications for social well-being and human security.

"But these initiatives should not be considered a replacement for traditional peace-building strategies.

"The challenges imposed by future global warming are too daunting to let the debate...be sidetracked by atypical, non-robust scientific findings and actors with vested interests.""
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Added: Corruption and lack of good governance are main obstacles to climate adaptation in Bangladesh:

10/5/2013, "On October 3, (2013) a Transparency International Bangladesh report said the main obstacles to adapting to the negative impacts of climate change are corruption and a lack of good governance." "Climate Change Trust flouting own law with annual reporting failure," Dhaka Tribune, (Bangladesh), Abu Bakar Siddique

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