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  • Wolverine's Avatar
    Today, 05:37 PM
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • Wolverine's Avatar
    Today, 04:17 PM
    McCain: "The New World Order Is Under Enormous Strain" by Tyler Durden Mar 25, 2017 10:25 PM It was a bumper day for John McCain when on Friday Donald Trump's Republican nemesis gloated as Trump's "art of the deal" collapsed in the last minute, after the President and Ryan-led effort to repeal Obamacare suffered what appears to be a terminal setback. In the wake of Trump's misfortune, McCain renewed his calls on Friday for a return to a legacy neocon status quo, when speaking at the Brussels forum, said that the world "cries out for American and European leadership" through the EU and Nato, and said that the EU and the US needed to develop "more cooperation, more connectivity". In a "new world order under enormous strain" and in "the titanic struggle with forces of radicalism … we can't stand by and lament, we've got to be involved," said McCain who is now chairman of the armed services committee in the US Senate, quoted by the EU Observer . "I trust the EU," he said, defending an opposite view from that of US president Donald Trump, who said in January that the UK "was so smart in getting out" of the EU and that Nato was "obsolete". He said that the EU was "one of the most important alliances" for the US and that the EU and Nato were "the best two sums in history", which have maintained peace for the last 70 years. Further attacking Trump's global worldview, McCan said that "we need to rely on Nato and have a Nato that adjusts to new challenges." He noted that "the EU has too many bureaucrats, not much bureaucracy," but added that "it's not the only place on earth with that problem." He said that he was "still wondering what the overall effect of Brexit will be" and that he did not know "if this is the beginning of a serious problem for the EU". McCain did not disagree, however, with Trump's demand that European countries increase their defense spending for Nato. McCain also revealed he hasn’t met the President Donald Trump in person since he took office, and he urged Trump to reach out to his opponents—Democratic and otherwise—ala Ronald Reagan if he wants to repeal Obamacare. “Do some outreach. Get to know some of these Democratic leaders,” he said. “You can find common ground.” McCain said he’d met Trump “some years ago” when he was a businessman, but had not met him since. McCain said he did speak “almost daily” to National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, however. “He doesn’t seem to be that upset that he’s not talking to him,” said German Marshall Fund’s Derek Chollet, a former Obama Pentagon official. “He’s trying to run U.S. defense policy through Mattis and effectively ignore Trump.” That said, McCain also said it was "too early" to pass judgment on his presidency, although his series of critical comments in recent weeks have demonstrated his growing skepticism about the Trump administration. Furthermore, while McCain said he was "very pleased" by Trump's picks for his national security team - despite suggesting that they were being bypassed by more ideological and less competent people - he took the opportunity to attack Trump's decisionmaking, saying "the question is: who does the president listen to, who drives the tweets at 6 in morning?”, he said.Asked whether he thought that "Russia owns a significant part of the White House," he said: "I don't worry about that." The unspoken suggestion: Russia. What worries McCain, he said, was "the Russian role in our elections", even if he admitted that he has seen "no evidence they succeeded” in affecting the outcome of last year's US vote. Noting that Russia was now trying to influence elections in France and in Germany, he said that if it succeeded it would be "a death warrant for democracy". "It's an act of destruction that is certainly more lethal than dropping some bombs," he insisted. McCain, a Russia hawk, said that Putin wanted to restore the Russian empire: “He wants the Baltics, he has taken Crimea, he's been in Ukraine." "These are KBG thugs, my friends," he said, referring to the former Russian spy service for which Putin used to work. He added that the US needed to "respond accordingly". He said however that there was "nothing wrong" if Trump met Putin. "I'm not against meeting," he said, reminding the Brussels forum that US presidents met Soviet leaders during the Cold War. But he added that "the best way to go to a meeting is with a strong hand" and that was not the case for the US right now. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-25/mccain-new-world-order-under-enormous-strain
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:03 PM
    Trump’s Next Challenge: Russia Returns to Afghanistan America’s 16-years in Afghanistan has so far resulted in 2,216 dead soldiers, 20,049 casualties, and an estimated $800 billion in direct war costs -- not including veterans’ health and pension payments that could reach $400 billion before it’s all over. Add another $100 billion of USAID reconstruction costs, which is more than the cost of the Marshall Plan to rebuild western Europe, adjusted for inflation, and you’re well over a trillion dollars. The Pentagon still has 8,400 troops in place, a figure Defense Secretary James Mattis may alter, which is why it’s especially troubling that Russia has decided to flex its territorial muscles and perhaps test the new Trump administration’s resolve. Russia stayed well clear of Afghanistan once the Soviet army was forced to retreat in 1989 after a decade of war. Now it’s back, “keen to enter the scene in a big way,” says Michael Kugelman of the Woodrow Wilson International Center. This is not good news for strategists in Washington. Russia’s now supplying military and economic assistance to the Kabul regime. It’s also attempting to broker peace talks between the government and the still-insurgent Taliban, and Kabul is listening. What this means is very simple: Afghanistan’s turning into another competitive arena between Moscow and Washington. Events have moved swiftly since the start of the year. Moscow is advancing the peace process it launched in December with a group that includes China and Pakistan, the latter a U.S. ally and one of Russia’s longtime adversaries. Not to be missed, Russia is also bringing the Taliban into this process, as Zamir Kabulov, Moscow’s special envoy to Afghanistan, confirmed last month. That puts Russia directly at odds with U.S. strategy. When Rex Tillerson goes to Moscow next month, it’s safe to assume that Afghanistan will be added to his list that includes Ukraine and Syria. How will Tillerson handle this? Depending on how he plays it, Afghanistan could easily turn into one more reason President Trump’s idea of a new détente with Moscow won’t happen. The U.S. has three current objectives: Defend the National Unity government in Kabul, fight the Islamic State, active in Afghanistan since 2014, and hold territory recaptured from the Taliban last year. None of this is going especially well, which leaves the strategy vulnerable to challenge. The Kabul government is fractious, the Taliban plans to target provincial capitals in a spring offensive, and ISIS has expanded from its stronghold in the east of the country. Earlier this month it launched an attack against an Afghan military hospital in the capital. Why is Russia suddenly so interested in Afghanistan? Its main concern is ISIS’ presence in a tenuously governed nation not far from its southern border. Militants from Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic, are already fighting with ISIS in Afghanistan. The fear of ISIS is understandable. More worrisome in Washington and among U.S. military commanders is Moscow’s decision to work with the Taliban as an ally fighting the Islamic State. Russia’s new design in Afghanistan marks a big reversal in a couple of ways. After the September 11, 2001, attacks, Vladimir Putin was the first world leader to telephone the Bush White House to offer assistance. He quickly granted the Pentagon overflight privileges as it launched its initial campaign in Afghanistan, which Putin supported. In subsequent years, Russia gave Kabul modest amounts of aid, including military assistance, approved by the NATO–Russia Council. But that changed with the crisis in Ukraine—another theater of U.S.–Russian contention where the clock is still ticking. In Afghanistan, what was once cooperation now has a competitive edge. There’s a larger reason Tillerson must discuss Afghanistan in Moscow next month. Russia and China are both laying the groundwork for a unified Eurasia to match the Atlantic alliance. It’s early days, but this is the biggest challenge to Washington’s global leadership now on the horizon. Russia has its Eurasian Economic Union and China its “new silk road” and its Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which convenes China and the Central Asian republics. Afghanistan’s a piece of this picture. That’s why Beijing is on board as a key participant in the Moscow-sponsored peace process now getting under way.
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:54 PM
    WorldThe coincidences mount, as another Putin critic is shot dead An outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin was shot dead in broad daylight in Kiev Thursday, just two days after a lawyer for the family of a slain Russian whistleblower was injured in a mysterious fall from his fourth-story apartment near Moscow. Denis Voronenkov was a former Russian Communist Party member who’d become increasingly critical of Putin’s policies after fleeing to Ukraine in 2016. In light of his murder, which Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called an “act of state terrorism by Russia,” the Washington Post’s Moscow Bureau Chief David Filipov compiled a list of nine other Putin critics “who died violently or in suspicious ways.” As it has after similar incidents, the Kremlin swiftly rejected any suggestion it was involved in Voronenkov’s murder. Still, Filipov argued, the people on his list had more in common than simply disapproving of the president. “There’s a specific group of people who have ended up dead in suspicious circumstances,” he told Yahoo News and Finance Anchor Bianna Golodryga Friday. Whether they were journalists, oligarchs or former KGB agents, almost all of the people on Filipov’s list had either been investigating alleged human rights abuses by the Russian military in Chechnya or the suspicious 1999 Moscow apartment bombings that prompted Russia to declare war on Chechnya and ultimately paved the way for Putin to become president in 2000, or they were raising questions about deaths of other people who’d tried to investigate these things. “Essentially, it’s all about the rise to power of Putin in the late ’90s and the Chechen that provided the sort of impetus” for his presidency, said Filipov. This pattern, he said, compounded by the fact that these cases have never been solved, creates a perception that “if you criticize the Kremlin, you’re risking your life.” However, despite plenty of “circumstantial evidence that critics of Putin end up dead,” Filipov clarified that it’s impossible to say whether he actually ordered that they be murdered or, in some cases, even wanted them dead. For example, Putin expressed shock and outrage over the mysterious shooting of former political ally-turned-opposition leader Boris Nemtsov outside the Kremlin in 2015, vowing to ensure punishment for “the perpetrators of this vile and cynical crime.” Over the course of Putin’s presidency, Nemtsov had become increasingly critical of the government, speaking out against human rights abuses in Chechnya, corruption, and, shortly before his death, Russian military involvement in Ukraine. Still, Filipov said he believes Nemtsov’s murder, with four shots to the back outside the Kremlin, was not orchestrated by Putin. “One thing people have to always consider when something goes wrong in Russia: While Putin might be ultimate authority, there are people going around hoping to get Putin’s approval,” he said, suggesting that this interest may drive people who run private security companies or work for oligarchs to think, “If we get rid of this guy, it will be good for the boss.” “The way they say it in Russia is, ‘Nothing happens until one guy makes up his mind, but there’s 10 guys standing in line with a piece of paper saying, please make up your mind in my direction,’” Filipov said. “One theory is people do things to get attention, to get the head of that line.”
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:46 PM
    GardaWorld, a global leader in comprehensive security and risk management, has made its weekly security report available to Iraq Business News readers. Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country, including the battle to liberate Mosul. Please click here to download the latest report free of charge. For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 48 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:06 PM
    The whole Trump growth story is about to face a huge challenge Jeff Cox@JeffCoxCNBCcom With the first quarter coming to a close, the accepted narrative that this is going to be a breakout year for the economy is coming under closer scrutiny. The Trump rally in the stock market has been predicated on the notion that a pro-growth agenda will lift the economy out of its plodding post-financial crisis recovery. Sentiment surveys have indicated big hopes for the future. However, that optimism has been slow to show up in actual hard data. So as March turns to April, initial readings loom on how the economy has done in a broad sense. Much is at stake. "When you've got unbridled enthusiasm, people get excited about stuff, and then it runs up against fact," said Michael Yoshikami, CEO and founder of Destination Wealth Management. "The sentiment could change in a heartbeat as soon as a small group of facts conflicts with the sentiment." The jitters have been further propelled by the ongoing political stalemate over health-care reform. Wall Street is worried that if President Donald Trump and Congress cannot agree on a measure, it will derail promised tax cuts and regulatory relief. The current state of the financial markets is a conflict between equity investors who have pushed the S&P 500 up about 9.6 percent since the November election, and fixed income investors who have held government bond yields — typically a proxy for growth expectations — in check. "There's a pretty clear signal the bond market is sending, which is that facts aren't being priced in by the market," Yoshikami said. The slide from February to March Investors have been nervous about growth, and that anxiety has been exacerbated by a closely watched indicator: the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow tracker, which keeps a running tally on how quarterly growth is progressing. That certainly wasn't the way things were supposed to go. And it may not in fact be an accurate picture of what's really happening. In an analysis released Thursday night, Goldman Sachs asserted that first-quarter growth actually may be close to double what the Atlanta Fed thinks — more like 1.8 percent than the barely 1 percent indicated by the central bank's tool. Hill addresses a central sticking point in the current growth quandary: the difference between "hard" and "soft" data. The former refers to actual reports on spending, manufacturing, sales and the like. The latter consists primarily of sentiment surveys from consumers, investors and business executives about anticipated activity ahead. Durables downer Friday brought another round of decidedly mixed hard data. Durable goods orders grew a better-than-expected 1.7 percent overall, but internal numbers were softer. Excluding transportation, the gain was just 0.4 percent, a little lower than estimates, while orders actually declined by 0.1 percent. The importance of the numbers, particularly orders, is that it points to a softer outlook for business investment, considered a cornerstone for future growth. There are troubling signs again in the first quarter of 2017, and if the trends in hard data don't swing, it could pose a risk to Wall Street's momentum. Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, posed a series of critical questions for the economy:We certainly know the actual data in hand has lent itself to Q1 GDP growth of possibly no better than 1%. Are companies feeling better but not acting upon it just yet? Is it just the reality that we are late cycle in this recovery and we've pulled forward so much economic activity that it's just natural to slow down? Are companies worried about higher interest rates and thus reigning in some optimism because corporate debt has exploded higher over the past 7 years? With the auto sector such a huge contributor to economic growth since the recession and now signs of sales and delinquencies rolling over, is the ripple effect filtering into other areas? His unsettling conclusion: "I would say all of the above."
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:59 PM
    Politics Intel chair Nunes admits mishandling Trump wiretap claim House intelligence committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., apologized to members of the panel today for his public claims about intelligence community surveillance of President Trump’s transition team amid charges from Democrats that his unilateral announcement on the White House lawn had “betrayed” the panel’s bipartisan investigation of Russian cyberattacks on the 2016 election. “At this point, the committee’s independence is on life support,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., told Yahoo News after a closed-door meeting of the committee Thursday. “Not since Sept. 11 has this committee been charged with such an important responsibility,” Swalwell added, referring to the panel’s Russia probe. “And that requires independence and collaboration He has betrayed both of those.” Swalwell’s comments followed an apparently tense meeting of the committee during which Democrats pressed Nunes on the source of his information that communications involving transition team members had been intercepted — a revelation that President Trump immediately claimed justified his March 4 tweets accusing President Obama of “wiretapping” his office at Trump Tower. The Democrats also demanded to know why Nunes had not shared his new information with them before rushing to the White House to brief Trump and then talking to reporters on the White House lawn. Nunes issued what sources described as a partial apology Thursday morning, acknowledging that he should have informed Democrats on the panel about his new information and promising to share it with them by Friday. He did not back off his claims, however, that intelligence community surveillance of foreign targets had “incidentally” picked up conversations that the targets had with members of Trump’s transition team. “He just apologized; he didn’t specify what his apology was about,” Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., told reporters after the meeting, according to an NBC News account. Intelligence community officials have long acknowledged that such “incidental” collection is not unusual. The identities of American citizens whose conversations are collected in that way are supposed to be “masked” or concealed when intelligence reports are circulated within the government. It is not clear whether Nunes had evidence that this was not done with Trump transition representatives; he seemed to be suggesting that the identity of members of the transition team could be inferred from the context. NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander reported that Nunes acknowledged that he might have mishandled the situation. “The president didn’t invite me over. I called down there and invited myself because I thought he needed to understand what I saw and that he needed to try to get information, because he has every right to see it,” Nunes said. “It’s a judgment call on my part. At the end of the day, sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you don’t.” Nunes declined to say where he saw the intelligence reports about the Trump transition surveillance, fueling suspicions among Democrats that he was, as one said, “put up” to make the claim by the White House in an effort to justify Trump’s tweets. The incident raised questions about whether Nunes, who was a member of Trump’s transition team, has retained sufficient credibility to continue to run an investigation that, among other things, is looking into whether members of Trump’s campaign collaborated with Kremlin figures in the release of internal Democratic Party emails and documents stolen by Russian state-sponsored hackers. “I think he sent a signal that as a member of the Trump transition team himself, he probably should not be intricately involved in this investigation,” said House Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi. In one of the ironies of the incident, a Trump administration ally circulated a claim Thursday by ex-NSA contractor and fugitive Edward Snowden, who said in a tweet from Moscow that Nunes had a point. “Right or wrong, if a spy agency — via any method — intercepts, copies, or otherwise reviews your communications, they have spied on you,” tweeted Snowden, whom Trump has previously called a “terrible traitor.” Among those retweeting Snowden’s comment: Michael Cohen, who describes himself on Twitter as “personal attorney to President Donald J. Trump.”
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • BatmaninIraq's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:04 AM
    I've never heard of them before.... Beny Wilson Iraqi RV Update - March 23, 2017 BREAKING NEWS IMF JUST ANNOUNCE TO ALL THE BANKS IN AND OUT SIDE OF IRAQ. THE FOLLOWING: THIS IS A TRANSLATION FROM ARABIC. " TO ALL LICENSES BANKS AND LICENSES MONEY TRANSFER TO ALL COMPANIES AND FINANCIAL AND INVESTMENTS AND BROKERS IN BUYING AND SELLING FOREIGN EXCHANGE CURRENCIES, APPROVE ALL COMPANIES FOR EXCHANGE RATE. ACCORDING TO THE DECISION DATED THAT THE CENTRAL BANK OF IRAQ GRANTS THE INTERNATIONAL PRICE WHICH IS THE REAL EQUIVALENT RATE FOR THE FOREIGN CURRENCIES AND ORDER TO DETERMENT IT'S VALUE OF TRADING OF THESE CURRENCIES AND THE YEARLY REPORT. MORE OVER THE YEARLY REPORT SHOULD STATES CLEARLY THE ABOVE DATA THAT DEFINES THE REAL VALUE ACCORDING TO INTERNATIONAL RATING, DIRECTED TO THE BANKS AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTES THAT DEALS WITH THE MONEY AND FOREIGN MONEY" WHAT THIS ANNOUNCEMENT MEANS? IT MEANS THAT THE IMF IS GIVEN THE GREEN LIGHT TO ALL BANKS TO TRADE AND EXCHANGE THE IRAQI DINAR TO IT'S REAL VALUE!!! For those of you who is being following in my Facebook Page and in my private chat rooms. knows exactly that I been telling you that there is no Dragon to follow or Elders or any other Aliens but the bankers. People are waiting for the Arab Summit and what Abadi may announce to the world this Friday or Saturday? But my Contacts in the UBS has told me that We need to wait for Saturday as They believe it's going to a FANTASTIC NEWS.!! You can share this letter if you want to. I also leaving you a site from the Ministry of Planning of Iraq. I believe this is a old information. but it's always good to know that the Iraqi government is ready for their new value of their currency. http://www.mop.gov.iq/mop/index.jsp?sid=1&id=308&lng=en
    0 replies | 116 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 11:52 PM
    Trump supporter: My husband is being deported Friday As a popular Indiana restaurant owner faces deportation under President Trump’s immigration directives, his family becomes the latest in a series of Trump supporters to find campaign promises affecting their lives. According to a report from Indiana Public Radio, Roberto Beristain’s family said he’s expected to be deported on Friday and has already been moved from the detention facility in Wisconsin where they had been visiting him. Beristain is the owner of Eddie’s Steak Shed in Granger, Ind., which he purchased from his sister-in-law earlier this month after eight years of working at the restaurant. Beristain was detained during his routine voluntary check-in at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Indianapolis in February. He immigrated to the United States from Mexico illegally in 1998, deciding not to return after a visit to a family member in California. According to his immigration lawyer, Beristain was in possession of a legal Social Security number, work permit and driver’s license after registering with ICE in 2000. “We were for Mr. Trump,” said Beristain’s wife, Helen, in an interview with WSBT-TV. “We were very happy he became the president. Whatever he says, he is right. But, like he said, the good people have a chance to become citizens of the United States.” “I understand when you’re a criminal and you do bad things, you shouldn’t be in the country. But when you’re a good citizen and you support and you help and you pay taxes and you give jobs to people, you should be able to stay.” Helen and her family immigrated to the United States from Greece over three decades ago. She has three children with Beristain. The Beristains are the latest in a series of Trump voters being surprised that the president’s campaign promises — both vague and specific — are affecting them. Headlines like the one in last month’s Washington Post — “These Iowans voted for Trump. Many of them are already disappointed” — are not uncommon, and the Twitter account titled Trump Regrets has already earned over 250,000 followers by simply retweeting users who say they are suffering from Trump buyer’s remorse. In February, Public Radio International reported on a group of Syrians turned away at the Philadelphia airport under Trump’s original travel ban despite holding U.S. visas. “It was a shock,” said Syrian-American Sarmad Assali, a Trump supporter. “If had an issue with them entering the United States, we should have been told about it. It should have been discussed. We should be able to get some legal help in there. … The way they were returned in a two-hour period, it was just devastating.” Last month the New York Times reported on an Illinois man named Juan Carlos Hernandez Pacheco, an undocumented immigrant who managed a restaurant in the city of Frankfort. In a county that backed Trump with 70 percent of the vote, residents were upset that the president who promised to deport undocumented immigrants was rounding up undocumented immigrants in order to deport them. “I knew he was Mexican, but he’s been here so long, he’s just one of us,” Debra Johnson, a resident, told the Times. “I think people need to do things the right way, follow the rules and obey the laws, and I firmly believe in that,” said Lori Barron, another member of the Frankfort community. “But in the case of Carlos, I think he may have done more for the people here than this place has ever given him. I think it’s absolutely terrible that he could be taken away.” Assali’s relatives eventually made it into the United States and Hernandez was released after a stay in ICE detention, but it appears that Beristain will be deported barring an eleventh hour intervention. A Change.org petition created by Beristain’s stepson Phil Kolliopoulos lays out how the Indiana man ended up in the federal immigration system: In 2000, Roberto took his wife and stepson to see Niagara Falls. Due to a wrong turn, they ended up at the border of The United States and Canada and Roberto was detained. A bail was paid in the amount of $1500. Roberto was given a voluntary deportation order but with Roberto expecting his first child soon, this was not an option for him to leave. He believed to be the supportive and loving husband and father he was made to be. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg wrote an essay earlier this week about why Beristain should be allowed to stay, stating that “it is worth remembering that it’s not just Americans in New York or Los Angeles who believe that we need a more humane and rational system.” Mishawaka, where the Beristains live, and Granger, where the restaurant is located, are just outside South Bend. Kolliopoulos told the South Bend Tribune that if Beristain were to be deported, he would have family in Mexico City, including his parents and children. The family expects it would take about nine months for Beristain to acquire a green card and return to the United States legally. LOL....there you go...that is what you get for voting for The Puppet.... I will tell you what is going to happen next...Donaldof is going to issue free visas and most likely, citizenship to his Russians friends....then, he is going to import Russian teachers to teach Russian to this country, afterwards, Donaldof will then pass the law to have the Russian as our official language, then he will replace the dollar with the ruble..everything is falling in place for him..
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 11:46 PM
    House GOP abruptly scraps health care vote WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan suddenly pulled the President Trump-backed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare in a last-minute admission he was not able to marshal the required 216 votes Friday afternoon. “We were very close,” Trump said from the Oval Office late Friday afternoon. “We learned a lot about loyalty,” he later mused, adding that he would pivot to tax reform. Trump had thrown his full endorsement to the health care bill in recent weeks and has long staked his reputation on being a master negotiator. The dropped vote also raises serious questions about how effective Ryan can be as speaker, and even arguably how long his speakership is going to last. “I spoke to the president just a little while ago and I told him the best thing I think to do is to pull this bill, and he agreed with the decision,” Ryan said at a brief press conference shortly after canceling the vote. “I will not sugarcoat this: This is a disappointing day for us. Doing big things is hard,” he added. “All of us, myself included, we will need time to reflect on how we got to this moment, what we could have done to do it better.” Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., said Ryan’s message to the caucus was to take a breather from health care. Griffith said they’ll come back to the issue within the year. When asked if he believed Congress would ever repeal Obamacare, Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., a moderate Republican who opposed the AHCA, said he didn’t know. On Friday morning, House leadership made last-minute changes to appeal to House Republicans’ conservative and moderate wings who were opposed to the package, the American Health Care Act, but it wasn’t enough to win their support. With the crucial vote delayed, the blame game is likely to begin. At his press conference, Ryan attributed the failure to the “growing pains” that come from “moving from an opposition party to a governing party.” The speaker further insisted the bill came “really close” despite the defeat. On Thursday night, Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, ratcheted up the pressure on Republicans, telling them to vote on the bill Friday or the White House would move on from the issue, leaving them “stuck with” the Affordable Care Act. Mulvaney’s message, as well as a tweet calling out the conservative Freedom Caucus on Friday morning, raised the possibility that the president would blame House Republicans, not Democrats, for the legislation falling short. Trump has previously said he thinks the smartest political move would be to let Obamacare exchanges “fail” and then blame Democrats. He repeated that point while speaking in the Oval Office on Friday. “I’ve been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do, politically speaking, is let Obamacare explode. It is exploding right now,” the president said. He repeatedly bashed Democrats for their unanimous opposition to the GOP bill. Ryan, in particular, may take heat, though members defended his leadership Friday. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said he would continue to back Ryan. “The speaker is a human being,” Barton said, who had to cope with the “diversity” of the GOP Congress. “Paul’s done everything he can,” Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told Yahoo News before the vote was pulled. “That’s a very tough job. He’s worked harder than anybody I’ve seen,” echoed Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas. Others are likely to question Trump’s hardball negotiation strategy of forcing a vote before the caucus was united. White House press secretary Sean Spicer brushed off that suggestion earlier in the day. He pointed out that the U.S. is “not a dictatorship.” As for Obamacare, Ryan said it’s here to stay — for now. “Obamacare is the law of the land, it’s going to remain the law of the land until it’s replaced,” he said in response to a question. “We did not have quite the votes to replace this law. And so, yeah, we’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.” He added, “I don’t know how long it’s going to take us to replace this law.”
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 11:43 PM
    Ha ha ha ha!! Since when? This man is the utmost American Patriot this country has ever produced. I wish I had a fraction of the resume this honorable Senator has and I know that the day he retires, an UN-fillable void will be left. Not only that....he comes from a military lineage, something that YOU will NEVER, ever ever dreamed to have (probably you come from a couch potato background). I am sure of it. I had the honor to meet this man in Baghdad, while your boy Donaldof was eating his juicy steaks at this mansion !!! Boy...you need to check your facts....because what you are showing here is the enormity of how huge of an OXYMORON and politically blinded you are. Funny thing, I bet that you voted for him when he ran for President....how hypocrite of you....!!!!!!
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • Wolverine's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 06:10 PM
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  • Screaming Eagle's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 05:40 PM
    Winning! Palestinian Terrorist and Leader of Women’s March Stripped of U.S. Citizenship, Will Be DeportedCristina Laila Mar 24th, 2017 11:40 am 47 Comments Convicted ‘Palestinian’ terrorist and leader of ‘A Day Without a Woman’ march, Rasmea Odeh, 69 is being stripped of her U.S. citizenship and will be deported to Jordan. Odeh is being charged with immigration fraud for lying on her visa and citizenship forms about her past terrorist convictions and ties to terrorist groups. Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh will avoid jail but lose US citizenship https://t.co/jXv3QNBwrl pic.twitter.com/H0sC9phJqd — Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) March 24, 2017 The Daily Caller reports: Rasmea Odeh, 69, will avoid jail time as part of the deal, the Rasmea Defense Committee announced on Thursday. “She will plead guilty to Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, lose her U.S. citizenship, and be forced to leave the country, but will exit the U.S. without having to serve any more time in prison or ICE detention, a victory, considering that the government had earlier fought for a sentence of 5-7 years.” An activist with the Arab American Action Network, Odeh was alleged to be a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terror group. She was convicted in Israel in 1970 of taking part in two bombings the year before, one at a supermarket in Jerusalem and another at the British consulate. Two Israeli students were killed in the supermarket bombing. Nine were injured in the two blasts. Odeh was freed from prison in 1980 as part of a prisoner exchange. She emigrated to the U.S. in the 1990s and gained citizenship in 2004. She has denied taking part in the terrorist acts and has claimed that she was tortured and sexually assaulted by Israeli police to elicit her confession. The left’s unholy alliance with Islam is very dangerous. They have fully embraced Islam as a pro-woman, pro-freedom faction when it’s actually the exact opposite. Feminists have reached a new level of insanity as Muslim women and the hijab are the new face of the movement. This terrorist being stripped of her U.S. citizenship and being deported is a huge win for freedom! Hopefully this is the beginning of many many Muslims with terrorist ties being stripped of their citizenship and deported.
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  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 05:17 PM
    Why are they so scared?.....What are they hiding?......See, Donaldof Cried about "wiretapping" during the "sacred" elections...but....what is so sacred to him that he sold this country to the Russians in the name of making his business empire bigger, make his friends richer and making YOU pay for all of it....it is like this...why spend your own money when there are millions of poor souls who would pay for your and your friends lavish lifestyle at no cost to you?....well, that is Donaldof...The Puppet of Master Grand Putin and loyal to his motherland Russia.....
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • Screaming Eagle's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 04:17 PM
    MS-13 Gang Member Deported 4 Times Sexually Assaults 2 Year-Old – Then Beats Her (VIDEO) Jim Hoft Mar 24th, 2017 8:50 am94 Comments MS-13 gang member Tommy Alvarado-Ventura was arrested in Long Island after sexually assaulting and beating a 2 year-old girl and stabbing the girl’s mother. Alvaredo-Ventura had been deported four times. <font color="#444444"><span style="font-family: Lato"><font size="5"><font color="#ff0000"> News 12 reported:A Hempstead man accused of sexually abusing a 2-year-old girl and stabbing two different women – all on the same night – was held without bail after his arraignment Thursday. Police say Tommy Alvarado-Ventura beat and sexually abused his girlfriend’s daughter early Wednesday morning while her mother was at work. He then allegedly went to El Mariachi Loco Bar in Hempstead, where he’s accused of getting into a fight with a 24-year old woman about purchasing marijuana. Police say Alvarado-Ventura then followed that 24-year old woman to a back parking lot where he stabbed her multiple times, puncturing her lung. Authorities say Alvarado-Ventura then returned to his girlfriend’s apartment. They say when the child’s mother got home, she found her daughter beaten.
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • Screaming Eagle's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 04:15 PM
    House Intel Chair Calls FBI and NSA Chiefs for Closed Door Session – to Discuss Spying on Trump OfficialsJim Hoft Mar 24th, 2017 11:08 am 0 Comments House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep Devin Nunes (R-CA) called an impromptu press conference Friday announcing that he’ll call both FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers before a closed session of the House Intelligence Committee to discuss topics which “they couldn’t answer in a public setting.” Nunes made headlines this week when he told reporters the Obama administration was caught spying on several Trump Transition Team members from election day to Inauguration Day in January. Today Nunes said he was meeting with the FBI and NSA leaders behind closed doors. Via Zero Hedge: BREAKING: House Intelligence Committee chair Nunes says Trump's former campaign chairman has volunteered to be interviewed by the committee. pic.twitter.com/yb8OJnwETW — CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) March 24, 2017 Nunes told reporters his questions to the intelligence chiefs could not be answered in public. .@DevinNunes: "There are just questions that we have for Dir. Comey and Adm. Rogers probably that they couldn't answer in a public setting." pic.twitter.com/tEeJA6QDPx — Fox News (@FoxN ews) March 24, 2017
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • Screaming Eagle's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 02:19 PM
    Potential ‘Smoking Gun’ Showing Obama Admin Spied on Trump Transition Team Cristina Laila Mar 23rd, 2017 8:41 pm116 Comments Republican congressional investigators expect a potential “smoking gun” showing that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself, will be produced to the House Intelligence Committee this week, a source told Fox News. Via Fox News:Classified intelligence showing incidental collection of Trump team communications, purportedly seen by committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and described by him in vague terms at a bombshell Wednesday afternoon news conference, came from multiple sources, Capitol Hill sources told Fox News. The intelligence corroborated information about surveillance of the Trump team that was known to Nunes, sources said, even before President Trump accused his predecessor of having wiretappedhim in a series of now-infamous tweets posted on March 4. The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump, according to sources. The key to that conclusion is the unmasking of selected U.S. persons whose names appeared in the intelligence, the sources said, adding that the paper trail leaves no other plausible purpose for the unmasking other than to damage the incoming Trump administration. The FBI hasn’t been responsive to the House Intelligence Committee’s request for documents, but the National Security Agency is expected to produce documents to the committee by Friday. The NSA document production is expected to produce more intelligence than Nunes has so far seen or described – including what one source described as a potential “smoking gun” establishing the spying. The Obama administration including Obama himself must be brought to justice. The Obama administration is the most corrupt administration our country has ever seen. He won’t stop undermining President Trump with his shadow government until he is charged with his many crimes. All the hacks who accused @realDonaldTrump of lying about being under Obama surveillance owe him a massive apology. https://t.co/sAXX7rbFj1 — Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) March 23, 2017
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • Screaming Eagle's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 02:15 PM
    Rep Devin Nunes: Obama Officials Who Released General Flynn Transcripts Face Five Years in Prison (VIDEO) Jim Hoft Mar 23rd, 2017 10:18 pm 188 Comments Rep Devin Nunes: Obama Officials Who Released General Flynn Transcripts Face Five Years in Prison Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, went on with Sean Hannity to discuss the surveillance by the Obama administration on the Trump Transition Team. Nunes said the crime of releasing General Flynn’s conversations to the Russian Ambassador is up to five years in prison.Sean Hannity: Not only an unmasking took place but also an intelligence leak. And as I understand it never happens in a case where signature intelligence such as this is in fact obtained. Is that correct? Rep. Devin Nunes: Yeah, I’ve never heard of that happening before and as I’ve said many times the only crime that has been committed here is that one and it’s quite clear that it was a crime… Sean Hannity: And in the case of any type of leak that would be a violation of the espionage act. That would be a felony. That would be five years potentially in prison? Rep. Devin Nunes: That’s correct and it appears that that happened. Via Hannity: <font color="#444444"><span style="font-family: Lato"><font size="5"><font color="#008080"> .@DevinNunes: “What I saw had nothing to do with Russia. This has nothing to do with the Russia investigation.” #Hannity — Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) March 24, 2017 .@michellemalkin: “You cannot just settle for half a loaf when the entire loaf is poisoned.” #Hannity — Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) March 24, 2017
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 02:13 PM
    By*Zakiyeh Yazdanshenas for*Al-Monitor.*Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of*Iran Business News. In June 2014, Mosul was seized by the Islamic State (IS), whose leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi soon afterward announced a caliphate from the city’s grand mosque. Now the caliphate is seemingly coming to an end. Iraqi government forces took the eastern part of Mosul from IS on Jan. 24*after three months of fighting. On March*15, a spokesman for Iraq’s*Counterterrorism Service said 60% of the western part of Mosul is under the control of Iraqi security forces. The day before, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi*had said the operation is in its final stage, pledging the defeat of IS. But military victory in Mosul is just the beginning of a more complicated phase for Iraq. Disparate forces have so far come together to pursue the common objective of expelling IS from Iraq. With the imminent achievement of this goal, many underlying and preceding power struggles will likely re-emerge. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that various external powers — including Iran and the United States — have become greatly involved in Iraq’s security-related affairs and expanded their spheres of influence within the country since*IS’*2014 onslaught. One key question is who will step in to fill the power vacuum in post-IS Mosul. Will the United States*revert to its previous retreat from the Middle East, or will it opt to reassure its regional allies by keeping at least a part of its current forces in Iraq? Will Iran seek to establish a presence in northern Iraq, either directly or through its allies? After having withdrawn in late 2011, the United States*has once again become militarily engaged in the country, deploying over 5,000 troops and special forces, and spending more than $10 billion on combating IS in Iraq and Syria. Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 02:13 PM
    The displacement crisis in Mosul is likely to become more acute in the near term, as fighting intensifies in the densely populated western parts of the city, according to Bruno Geddo, the Representative of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in Iraq. An estimated 400,000 people are thought to be living in the Old City in western Mosul, with about 600,000 still in all the neighbourhoods of the Western side of the Tigris River, Geddo said on a call with reporters on Thursday (March 23). The area lies on the frontline of a renewed offensive by Iraqi-led forces against extremists who are well dug in, Geddo said, noting that the fighting has been more intense than during the battle for the less densely populated east of the city, which ended in January. “The worst is yet to come,” he said, “400,000 people trapped in the Old City in that situation of panic and penury may inevitably lead to the cork popping somewhere, sometime — presenting us with a fresh outflow of large-scale proportions.” Geddo was speaking by phone from the UNHCR transit and reception centre at Hammam al-Alil, about 25 kilometres south of the city. He highlighted the risks for those who remain in west Mosul, who could become casualties of the fighting and must cope with a lack of food, clean water and fuel to keep themselves warm when temperatures drop at night. At the same time, there are grave dangers should they attempt to flee. Those leaving their homes risk being shot on site by extremists. Some have tried to leave during prayers or under cover of fog at first light. And some did not make it to safety. “People are stuck between a rock and a hard place,” Geddo added. “There’s fighting shelling, bombing.” UNHCR has 13 camps open or under construction with capacity to host up to 145,000 people. Hammam al-Alil currently comprises a screening and transit site and government-built camp. UNHCR has almost completed a second camp to house 30,000 people. The first section of the camp is due to open next week, with capacity for 10,000 people. Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 02:13 PM
    UNAMI and civil society organizations discuss enhancing women’s participation and representation in electoral and political processes The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) hosted today a meeting of civil society organizations to discuss measures aimed at strengthening the participation and representation of women in the electoral and political processes. Nineteen representatives from civil society organizations and activists – women and men – participated in the forum. The need to have regular forums with civil society groups was highlighted during the global open day of the UN Security Council 1325 on women peace and security organised by UNAMI in October 2016. In opening remarks, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Iraq for Political and Electoral Affairs, Mr. György Busztin, welcomed the opportunity to have such a productive discussion. “There is a need for the political actors and decision-makers to further define and adopt appropriate measures to increase representation of women at all levels of government, including in legislative, executive and judicial bodies, in close consultation with and active participation of civil society organizations and women activists,” Mr. Busztin emphasized. “It is vital that the participation of women in the upcoming elections as voters, candidates, election observers and so forth is enhanced”, he added. Participants recognized the critical role of the participation of women in elections as candidates and the advancement of women in all spheres of public life. They also acknowledged that there was a regress in the participation of women, and more efforts were needed to bring about a change in negative attitudes and norms to recognize the positive role women can play in decision-making positions and provide opportunities for women to participate equally with men in pursuing peace and security in Iraq through political processes. Several concrete recommendations were put forward, including on further increasing women representation pursuant to constitutional provisions, adopting measures, including in the electoral framework that encourage political parties to integrate women in elective public positions, for addressing barriers and difficulties women face during the electoral process. Participants further called for increasing their representation at the IHEC as well as in facilitating a more meaningful participation of women elected to the Council of Representatives and the Provincial and District Councils. UNAMI’s Principal Electoral Adviser, Mr. Aamir Arain, thanked the participants for coming forward with a very concrete set of recommendations which can be brought to the attention of the committees in the Council of Representatives, wherein UNAMI has been invited to participate, as they deliberate on various electoral reform proposals. (Source: UNAMI) (Picture: Women voting in Iraq) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 02:13 PM
    By John Lee. Iraqi oil minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi has ordered the completion of a new tourism facility at Muftiya City, on the Shatt al Arab. The 38-acre water city will included a waterpark, a leisure resort for families, and an aquarium. There will also be a zoo over 52 acres, a closed football stadium, Olympic swimming pool, sports and entertainment facilities, and restaurants. The Minister has also ordered other projects in the Basra area, including the rehabilitation of the Ashar River, the restoration of an ancient clock in Basra, and the building of a model school. (Source: Ministry of Oil) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 02:13 PM
    A study by the Iraqi Government into a planned oil pipeline that would extend from Iraq to Jordan has revealed that the project will cost between 5 and 7 billion dollars. Jordanian press quoted energy minister Ibrahim Seif saying that a decision over the implementation of the project is expected from the Iraqi side soon. “The pipeline will extend from Iraq’s city of Najaf, along the Saudi borders, to (Jordan’s) al-Aqaba,” the minister said, adding that both countries* will be adopting a build-operate-transfer (B.O.T) system within 15-20 years in carrying out the undertaking. Officials from both countries agreed recently in Amman on the project that is meant to transfer nearly 100 million barrels of oil, covering Jordan’s needs of crude oil, which are estimated at 150.000 barrels a day. The remaining amounts are transferred to Egypt and other countries having oil deals with Iraq. Jordan and Iraq had already signed a deal involving supplies to Jordan at 10.000 barrels of crude oil per day, surging to 30.000. Oil imports from Iraq are on a halt at present, though, due to the unstable security situation in the country. (Source: GardaWorld) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 58 view(s)
  • Screaming Eagle's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 02:11 PM
    Trump State Department Approves Keystone XL Pipeline – Creating THOUSANDS of to refineries in the United States.New Jobs Jim Hoft Mar 24th, 2017 8:34 am11 Comments The Keystone Pipeline project was expected to create tens of thousands of high paying jobs in the oil industry. The project itself would create 20,000 construction jobs. And the pipeline would bring oil from Canada and North Dakota (Bob McCarty) Obama rejected the plan in 2011 and again in 2015. This week the Trump State Department signed and issued permits for the completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline. TransCanada reported, via Zero Hedge:TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) today announced that the U.S. Department of State has signed and issued a Presidential Permit to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline. “This is a significant milestone for the Keystone XL project,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer. “We greatly appreciate President Trump’s Administration for reviewing and approving this important initiative and we look forward to working with them as we continue to invest in and strengthen North America’s energy infrastructure.” Keystone XL is an important piece of TransCanada’s comprehensive U.S. growth portfolio driving an investment of more than US$15 billion in liquids and natural gas projects that will create thousands of well-paying jobs and generate substantial economic benefits across the U.S. TransCanada will continue to engage key stakeholders and neighbors throughout Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota to obtain the necessary permits and approvals to advance this project to construction. In conjunction, TransCanada has discontinued its claim under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and will end its U.S. Constitutional challenge.
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 04:48 AM
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  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 04:42 AM
    Politics Report suggests FBI has travel, business, and phone records that could tie Trump's campaign to Russia Washington (CNN) The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, US officials told CNN. This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, according to one source. The FBI is now reviewing that information, which includes human intelligence, travel, business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings, according to those U.S. officials. The information is raising the suspicions of FBI counterintelligence investigators that the coordination may have taken place, though officials cautioned that the information was not conclusive and that the investigation is ongoing. In his statement on Monday Comey said the FBI began looking into possible coordination between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives because the bureau had gathered "a credible allegation of wrongdoing or reasonable basis to believe an American may be acting as an agent of a foreign power." The White House did not comment and the FBI declined to comment. Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said Thursday the Russian government would not comment on information from unnamed sources. "This is another piece of information without any sources which can't be commented on, neither can it be taken as some serious thing," Peskov told reporters in response to a question about CNN's reporting. White House press secretary Sean Spicer maintained Monday after Comey's testimony that there was no evidence to suggest any collusion took place. "Investigating it and having proof of it are two different things," Spicer said. One law enforcement official said the information in hand suggests "people connected to the campaign were in contact and it appeared they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready." But other U.S. officials who spoke to CNN say it's premature to draw that inference from the information gathered so far since it's largely circumstantial. The FBI cannot yet prove that collusion took place, but the information suggesting collusion is now a large focus of the investigation, the officials said. The FBI has already been investigating four former Trump campaign associates -- Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Carter Page -- for contacts with Russians known to US intelligence. All four have denied improper contacts and CNN has not confirmed any of them are the subjects of the information the FBI is reviewing. One of the obstacles the sources say the FBI now faces in finding conclusive intelligence is that communications between Trump's associates and Russians have ceased in recent months given the public focus on Russia's alleged ties to the Trump campaign. Some Russian officials have also changed their methods of communications, making monitoring more difficult, the officials said. Last July, Russian intelligence agencies began orchestrating the release of hacked emails stolen in a breach of the Democratic National Committee and associated organizations, as well as email accounts belonging to Clinton campaign officials, according to U.S. intelligence agencies. The Russian operation was also in part focused on the publication of so-called "fake news" stories aimed at undermining Hillary Clinton's campaign. But FBI investigators say they are less focused on the coordination and publication of those "fake news" stories, in part because those publications are generally protected free speech. The release of the stolen emails, meanwhile, transformed an ordinary cyber-intrusion investigation into a much bigger case handled by the FBI's counterintelligence division. FBI counterintelligence investigations are notoriously lengthy and often involve some of the U.S. government's most highly classified programs, such as those focused on intelligence-gathering, which can make it difficult for investigators to bring criminal charges without exposing those programs. Investigators continue to analyze the material and information from multiple sources for any possible indications of coordination, according to US officials. Director Comey in Monday's hearing refused to reveal what specifically the FBI was looking for or who they're focusing on. US officials said the information was not drawn from the leaked dossier of unverified information compiled by a former British intelligence official compiled for Trump's political opponents, though the dossier also suggested coordination between Trump campaign associates and Russian operatives. All right Folks....let's see what so is fake news about all this tender and juicy information....
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    03-24-2017, 12:32 AM
    If CNN's New Russia Report Is True, We May Be Seeing the Beginning of the End of Donald Trump's Presidency Jack Moore The reports won't stop coming. Donald Trump is in the middle of a non-stop waking nightmare. Every single day finds the nation's most powerful conspiracy theorist at the center of what might be the biggest conspiracy in our nation's history. And unlike the theories Trump likes to push (Obama having Trump's "wires tapped," Obama not being born in America, etc.), more and more this one seems like the real deal. Yesterday reports came out that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had worked for a Russian oligarch with the intention of furthering Vladimir Putin's interests in the United States. That alone would usually make for the latest in a long line of bad weeks for the administration. Not unlike the week where Michael Flynn was fired because of his failure to disclose his Russian connections or the week where attorney general Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from any Russia investigation due to his lying under oath about his own contact with Russian officials during the campaign. Yes, if that was the last bad news for the administration on the Russia front, it would already have been a shitty week... It was not the last bad news for the administration on the Russia front. Last night CNN reported that it looks like the FBI's investigation into whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to swing the election may be looking bad for Donald Trump. The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, US officials told CNN. This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, according to one source. Now at this moment, the investigation is still ongoing and that evidence is not yet conclusive, so we don't know exactly what happened. But we do know that the deeper everyone (the press and the intelligence community alike) dig into this story, the more and more shady shit they find. And not just that, each revelation has been more damning than the last. If this pattern continues we may be witnessing the beginning of the end of Donald Trump's presidency. Look, I can hear some of you calling me a cuck and a snowflake and saying that this is all circumstantial evidence, and sure, that's fair. But there are two important things to remember about that. The first is that "where there's smoke, there's fire" may be a tired metaphor, but that doesn't mean that it's not true. The second is that The White House's posture in all of this has not been to vindicate itself. Rather, Donald Trump and Sean Spicer have repeatedly lied openly and tried to distract the press with garbage theories and doublespeak. And the closer this investigation gets, the more desperate they've become. Ahhhh!!! This is what we are hoping.....I will really enjoy see Mike Pence as the President, a true American, a real hombre who doesn't discriminate and lacks the bigotry Donaldof Trumpler has..besides, Mike Pence is loyal to America, not like Donaldof who is loyal to his Master Grand Putin and his motherland Russia.....feeling like Donaldof sold your country to Russia?...don't feel like you are alone...there are millions that think like you...
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    03-23-2017, 10:50 PM
    AP Exclusive: Manafort had plan to benefit Putin government
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  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    03-23-2017, 10:49 PM
    AP Exclusive: Manafort had plan to benefit Putin government WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests. Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse. Manafort pitched the plans to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP. Manafort and Deripaska maintained a business relationship until at least 2009, according to one person familiar with the work. "We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success," Manafort wrote in the 2005 memo to Deripaska. The effort, Manafort wrote, "will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government." Manafort's plans were laid out in documents obtained by the AP that included strategy memoranda and records showing international wire transfers for millions of dollars. How much work Manafort performed under the contract was unclear. The disclosure comes as Trump campaign advisers are the subject of an FBI probe and two congressional investigations. Investigators are reviewing whether the Trump campaign and its associates coordinated with Moscow to meddle in the 2016 campaign. Manafort has dismissed the investigations as politically motivated and misguided, and said he never worked for Russian interests. The documents obtained by AP show Manafort's ties to Russia were closer than previously revealed. In a statement to the AP, Manafort confirmed that he worked for Deripaska in various countries but said the work was being unfairly cast as "inappropriate or nefarious" as part of a "smear campaign." "I worked with Oleg Deripaska almost a decade ago representing him on business and personal matters in countries where he had investments," Manafort said. "My work for Mr. Deripaska did not involve representing Russia's political interests." Deripaska became one of Russia's wealthiest men under Putin, buying assets abroad in ways widely perceived to benefit the Kremlin's interests. U.S. diplomatic cables from 2006 described Deripaska as "among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis" and "a more-or-less permanent fixture on Putin's trips abroad." In response to questions about Manafort's consulting firm, a spokesman for Deripaska in 2008 — at least three years after they began working together — said Deripaska had never hired the firm. Another Deripaska spokesman in Moscow last week declined to answer AP's questions. When asked Wednesday about Manafort's work for Deripaska, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "we do not feel it's appropriate to comment on someone who is not an employee at the White House." Manafort worked as Trump's unpaid campaign chairman last year from March until August. Trump asked Manafort to resign after AP revealed that Manafort had orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation until 2014 on behalf of Ukraine's ruling pro-Russian political party. The newly obtained business records link Manafort more directly to Putin's interests in the region. According to those records and people with direct knowledge of Manafort's work for Deripaska, Manafort made plans to open an office in Moscow, and at least some of Manafort's work in Ukraine was directed by Deripaska, not local political interests there. The Moscow office never opened. Manafort has been a leading focus of the U.S. intelligence investigation of Trump's associates and Russia, according to a U.S. official. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the investigation were confidential. Meanwhile, federal criminal prosecutors became interested in Manafort's activities years ago as part of a broad investigation to recover stolen Ukraine assets after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych there in early 2014. No U.S. criminal charges have ever been filed in the case. FBI Director James Comey, in confirming to Congress the federal intelligence investigation this week, declined to say whether Manafort was a target. Manafort's name was mentioned 28 times during the hearing of the House Intelligence Committee, mostly about his work in Ukraine. No one mentioned Deripaska. Manafort and his associates remain in Trump's orbit. Manafort told a colleague this year that he continues to speak with Trump by telephone. Manafort's former business partner in eastern Europe, Rick Gates, has been seen inside the White House on a number of occasions. Gates has since helped plan Trump's inauguration and now runs a nonprofit organization, America First Policies, to back the White House agenda. Gates, whose name does not appear in the documents, told the AP that he joined Manafort's firm in 2006 and was aware Manafort had a relationship with Deripaska, but he was not aware of the work described in the memos. Gates said his work was focused on domestic U.S. lobbying and political consulting in Ukraine at the time. He said he stopped working for Manafort's firm in March 2016 when he joined Trump's presidential campaign. Manafort told Deripaska in 2005 that he was pushing policies as part of his work in Ukraine "at the highest levels of the U.S. government — the White House, Capitol Hill and the State Department," according to the documents. He also said he had hired a "leading international law firm with close ties to President Bush to support our client's interests," but he did not identify the firm. Manafort also said he was employing unidentified legal experts for the effort at leading universities and think tanks, including Duke University, New York University and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Manafort did not disclose details about the lobbying work to the Justice Department during the period the contract was in place. Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, people who lobby in the U.S. on behalf of foreign political leaders or political parties must provide detailed reports about their actions to the department. Willfully failing to register is a felony and can result in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, though the government rarely files criminal charges. In strategy memos, Manafort proposed that Deripaska and Putin would benefit from lobbying Western governments, especially the U.S., to allow oligarchs to keep possession of formerly state-owned assets in Ukraine. He proposed building "long term relationships" with Western journalists and a variety of measures to improve recruitment, communications and financial planning by pro-Russian parties in the region. Manafort proposed extending his existing work in eastern Europe to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Georgia, where he pledged to bolster the legitimacy of governments friendly to Putin and undercut anti-Russian figures through political campaigns, nonprofit front groups and media operations. For the $10 million contract, Manafort did not use his public-facing consulting firm, Davis Manafort. Instead, he used a company, LOAV Ltd., that he had registered in Delaware in 1992. He listed LOAV as having the same address of his lobbying and consulting firms in Alexandria, Virginia. In other records, LOAV's address was listed as Manafort's home, also in Alexandria. Manafort sold the home in July 2015 for $1.4 million. He now owns an apartment in Trump Tower in New York, as well as other properties in Florida and New York. One strategy memo to Deripaska was written by Manafort and Rick Davis, his business partner at the time. In written responses to the AP, Davis said he did not know that his firm had proposed a plan to covertly promote the interests of the Russian government. Davis said he believes Manafort used his name without his permission on the strategy memo. "My name was on every piece of stationery used by the company and in every memo prior to 2006. It does not mean I had anything to do with the memo described," Davis said. He took a leave of absence from the firm in late 2006 to work on John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. Manafort's work with Deripaska continued for years, though they had a falling out laid bare in 2014 in a Cayman Islands bankruptcy court. The billionaire gave Manafort nearly $19 million to invest in a Ukrainian TV company called Black Sea Cable, according to legal filings by Deripaska's representatives. It said that after taking the money, Manafort and his associates stopped responding to Deripaska's queries about how the funds had been used. Early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Deripaska's representatives openly accused Manafort of fraud and pledged to recover the money from him. After Trump earned the nomination, Deripaska's representatives said they would no longer discuss the case.
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    03-23-2017, 10:44 PM
    Intel chair Nunes admits mishandling Trump wiretap claim House intelligence committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., apologized to members of the panel today for his public claims about intelligence community surveillance of President Trump’s transition team amid charges from Democrats that his unilateral announcement on the White House lawn had “betrayed” the panel’s bipartisan investigation of Russian cyberattacks on the 2016 election. “At this point, the committee’s independence is on life support,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., told Yahoo News after a closed-door meeting of the committee Thursday. “Not since Sept. 11 has this committee been charged with such an important responsibility,” Swalwell added, referring to the panel’s Russia probe. “And that requires independence and collaboration He has betrayed both of those.” Swalwell’s comments followed an apparently tense meeting of the committee during which Democrats pressed Nunes on the source of his information that communications involving transition team members had been intercepted — a revelation that President Trump immediately claimed justified his March 4 tweets accusing President Obama of “wiretapping” his office at Trump Tower. The Democrats also demanded to know why Nunes had not shared his new information with them before rushing to the White House to brief Trump and then talking to reporters on the White House lawn. Nunes issued what sources described as a partial apology Thursday morning, acknowledging that he should have informed Democrats on the panel about his new information and promising to share it with them by Friday. He did not back off his claims, however, that intelligence community surveillance of foreign targets had “incidentally” picked up conversations that the targets had with members of Trump’s transition team. “He just apologized; he didn’t specify what his apology was about,” Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., told reporters after the meeting, according to an NBC News account. Intelligence community officials have long acknowledged that such “incidental” collection is not unusual. The identities of American citizens whose conversations are collected in that way are supposed to be “masked” or concealed when intelligence reports are circulated within the government. It is not clear whether Nunes had evidence that this was not done with Trump transition representatives; he seemed to be suggesting that the identity of members of the transition team could be inferred from the context. NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander reported that Nunes acknowledged that he might have mishandled the situation. “The president didn’t invite me over. I called down there and invited myself because I thought he needed to understand what I saw and that he needed to try to get information, because he has every right to see it,” Nunes said. “It’s a judgment call on my part. At the end of the day, sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you don’t.” Nunes declined to say where he saw the intelligence reports about the Trump transition surveillance, fueling suspicions among Democrats that he was, as one said, “put up” to make the claim by the White House in an effort to justify Trump’s tweets. The incident raised questions about whether Nunes, who was a member of Trump’s transition team, has retained sufficient credibility to continue to run an investigation that, among other things, is looking into whether members of Trump’s campaign collaborated with Kremlin figures in the release of internal Democratic Party emails and documents stolen by Russian state-sponsored hackers. “I think he sent a signal that as a member of the Trump transition team himself, he probably should not be intricately involved in this investigation,” said House Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi. In one of the ironies of the incident, a Trump administration ally circulated a claim Thursday by ex-NSA contractor and fugitive Edward Snowden, who said in a tweet from Moscow that Nunes had a point. “Right or wrong, if a spy agency — via any method — intercepts, copies, or otherwise reviews your communications, they have spied on you,” tweeted Snowden, whom Trump has previously called a “terrible traitor.” Among those retweeting Snowden’s comment: Michael Cohen, who describes himself on Twitter as “personal attorney to President Donald J. Trump.”
    5516 replies | 193266 view(s)
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