Obama is rushing to Trump-proof the White House

December 9, 2016 Leave a comment

President Barack Obama gestures during a U.S. counterterrorism strategy speech at MacDill Air Force Base Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in Tampa, Fla.

Since Election Day, President Barack Obama has appointed 56 people to boards, commissions and offices in the hopes that they remain in those posts for years to come.

He has reduced the prison sentences of 79 federal inmates. He has handed out the nation’s highest civilian honor to 21 people who he said personally made an impact on his life.


President Obama honored 21 recipients during his last Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House Tuesday. “Everybody on this stage has touched me in a very powerful, very personal way,” Obama said. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elouise Cobell, Ellen

 

And he has churned out rules, regulations and policies several times a week.

Obama is trying to put the people and policies in place that he wants to outlast his presidency in the final weeks before Donald Trump takes over. And his supporters want more, way more.

Every president tries to push through last-minute policies before their time in office comes to a close. But this year has a more frantic feel as special interest groups push Obama to do more, not just because the president-elect is of a different party but because few people know what he will do.

“People are, as you can imagine, they are getting quite desperate,” said Rena Steinzor, a member of the Center for Progressive Reform, a liberal advocacy group, who is pressing Obama to act. “Filling boards and doing whatever he can to establish protections that Trump would have to unwind is a good strategy.”

With six weeks remaining, their to-do list for Obama is long:

They want him to issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political donations. They want him to pardon immigrants in the country illegally and direct federal employees to quickly process applications for immigrants who came into the United States illegally as children. And they want him to make good on his campaign pledge to close the prison for suspected terrorists at Guantánamo Bay.

Time is running out for President Obama to fulfill his promise to close Guantánamo. He now has less than 50 days to finish the job and close the door or he risks opening the floodgates for President-elect Trump. Amnesty International USA’s Security & Human Rights Program Senior Campaigner Elizabeth Beavers

No one disputes that Obama has the authority to do what he is doing, but Trump supporters don’t think he should be doing them anyway.

“There’s a few weeks left. The voters have spoken,” said Diane Katz, a senior research fellow in regulatory policy at the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation. “Someone who is more humble or respectful might say they made a choice a different than me and allow the new administration to do it.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest pushed back on that notion, saying Obama is president until Jan. 20 and that the administration is engaged in “a continuous and persistent effort to complete the work that’s already been started.”

I think their general approach seems to be that probably two days after my reelection, I should stop until the next election. I don’t think that that’s what the Constitution calls for. President Barack Obama on Republicans

In the last month since Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, Obama has:

▪ Appointed people to a slew of boards and commissions, including the American Battle Monuments Commission, United States Air Force Academy’s Board of Visitors, the Pacific Salmon Commission and National Council on Disability. Some are new appointments, some are renewals.

▪ Granted a record number of commutations to federal inmates as part of an initiative announced in 2014 to reduce the sentences of non-violent drug dealers to a sentence they likely would have gotten under today’s more lenient sentencing guidelines.

▪ Awarded the Presidential Medals of Freedom to 21 more recipients, which pushed him to a record number for his tenure, to “folks who have helped make me who I am.”

▪ Finalized rules to determine whether schools were succeeding or failing under the sweeping the Every Student Succeeds Act; released the next five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing, which blocks drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic; and denied a permit for a pipeline to run through North Dakota, a victory for local Native Americans.

“It’s his job,” said Carmel Martin, a former Obama appointee who is now executive vice president of policy at the left-leaning Center for American Progress. “I think it’s … not just appropriate but necessary for the current president to keep moving forward. President Obama is trying to leave the house in good working order.”

Trump won’t be able to reverse Obama’s actions easily.

Sure he can change Obama’s executive actions with a quick stroke of the pen. But rule changes require justification following a Reagan-era court case mandating that regulation changes aren’t done on a whim. Many of the appointments could outlast Obama and Trump because the terms are five to seven years and require Senate confirmation.

“When the new president gets in there and sees what it takes to change – or has to pay the price to change it – it may take longer,” said George Edwards, a presidential scholar at Texas A&M University who wrote the book “Overreach” analyzing presidential leadership during the Obama presidency.

Still, Obama needs to be careful he doesn’t push out last-minute actions subject to a rarely used law, Congressional Review Act, designed to prevent so-called midnight regulations.

House Republicans recently sent a letter to Obama administration officials – similar to a request in 2008 – asking that they not try to push new regulations before leaving office.

There is a tradition of bipartisan opposition to regulations imposed at the end of an outgoing administration. …The last thing that we need to see today or in the next weeks is unelected bureaucrats pushing through regulations at the 11th hour. House Speaker Paul Ryan

Some of the special interest groups pushing Obama know that whatever he does could end up in court but they don’t mind because at least that provides a chance at maintaining the action. “If you don’t even try, you don’t get there,” Steinzor said. “People are saying ‘see you court.’”

Researchers Find Proof of Hell… Facing An “Organized Evil” That Infests DC Politics

December 9, 2016 Leave a comment

Public domain image.

This article was written by Brandon Smith and published at his Alt-Market.com site.

Editor’s Comment: The evil is so pervasive that it becomes a part of the system, injected into its bloodstream. There is a dark, depraved path that winds together the roads traveled upon by politicians, lobbyists and spies, with the taboos, sins and temptations put there to stumble their path, and fulfill the power of their masters and lenders. Blackmail material makes for solid collateral, and a partnership is formed. Keeping secrets is vital to remaining trustworthy and alive…

I can only imagine so far about how dark and wicked this stuff is, but there is obviously some truth to it, whether or not #pizzagate ever gets legitimate play, and whether or not leaked material is being set up to propagate material that will in turn be flagged and censored. Washington has a history with scandal, and the world’s most powerful people have already taken advantage of the more vulnerable. Prostitution scandals, human trafficking and illicit services from underage individuals have all trailed back to politicians and the company they keep. CIA has infiltrated, and corruption has become contagion. The rot of the system, and the depths to which it has sank, cannot be readily compared to the evil of one man, or the wrongs of some one group. It is leviathan, it has taken sacrifices, even literally. Its followers are committed to predatory doctrines. Men (and women) have succumbed to all out evil – in a big, and well organized way, for ends which we do not readily comprehend.

This truth can be understood by some, and is implicitly known to certain people, but it cannot be told to the many. That truth must not make headlines and political impact. And so we are witnessing censorship and repression. The media has always been a participant in this rewriting of reality, in this witch hunt for those who speak too loudly, and with a tone of conviction.

Political blacklists are actually now in use, and everyone knows how dark it gets from there.

“Fake news” objects are being implemented right now by Facebook and Google; will they stretch it out to its logical conclusion? Is it any wonder that Google is a top client of the major lobbyist at the heart of this scandal, or that Eric Schmidt served as an unofficial advisor to Hillary’s campaign? How many layers are there to this cake?

Washington’s Dark History of Sex Scandals –
Now Full Circle Again (see full expose)

Understanding evil: From globalism to Pizzagate

by Brandon Smith

I have spent the better part of the last 10 years working diligently to investigate and relate information on economics and geopolitical discourse for the liberty movement. However, long before I delved into these subjects my primary interests of study were the human mind and the human “soul” (yes, I’m using a spiritual term).

My fascination with economics and sociopolitical events has always been rooted in the human element. That is to say, while economics is often treated as a mathematical and statistical field, it is also driven by psychology. To know the behavior of man is to know the future of all his endeavors, good or evil.

Evil is what we are specifically here to discuss. I have touched on the issue in various articles in the past including Are globalists evil or just misunderstood, but with extreme tensions taking shape this year in light of the U.S. election as well as the exploding online community investigation of “Pizzagate,” I am compelled to examine it once again.

I will not be grappling with this issue from a particularly religious perspective. Evil applies to everyone regardless of their belief system, or even their lack of belief. Evil is secular in its influence.

The first and most important thing to understand is this — evil is not simply a social or religious construct, it is an inherent element of the human psyche. Carl Gustav Jung was one of the few psychologists in history to dare write extensively on the issue of evil from a scientific perspective as well as a metaphysical perspective.  I highly recommend a book of his collected works on this subject titled Jung On Evil, edited by Murray Stein, for those who are interested in a deeper view.

To summarize, Jung found that much of the foundations of human behavior are rooted in inborn psychological contents or “archetypes.”  Contrary to the position of Sigmund Freud, Jung argued that while our environment may affect our behavior to a certain extent, it does not make us who we are. Rather, we are born with our own individual personality and grow into our inherent characteristics over time. Jung also found that there are universally present elements of human psychology. That is to say, almost every human being on the planet shares certain truths and certain natural predilections.

The concepts of good and evil, moral and immoral, are present in us from birth and are mostly the same regardless of where we are born, what time in history we are born and to what culture we are born. Good and evil are shared subjective experiences.  It is this observable psychological fact (among others) that leads me to believe in the idea of a creative design — a god.  Again, though, elaborating on god is beyond the scope of this article.

To me, this should be rather comforting to people, even atheists.  For if there is observable evidence of creative design, then it would follow that there may every well be a reason for all the trials and horrors that we experience as a species.  Our lives, our failures and our accomplishments are not random and meaningless.  We are striving toward something, whether we recognize it or not.  It may be beyond our comprehension at this time, but it is there.

Evil does not exist in a vacuum; with evil there is always good, if one looks for it in the right places.

Most people are readily equipped to recognize evil when they see it directly.  What they are not equipped for and must learn from environment is how to recognize evil disguised as good.  The most heinous acts in history are almost always presented as a moral obligation — a path towards some “greater good.”  Inherent conscience, though, is the greater good, and any ideology that steps away from the restrictions of conscience will inevitably lead to disaster.

The concept of globalism is one of these ideologies that crosses the line of conscience and pontificates to us about a “superior method” of living.  It relies on taboo, rather than moral compass, and there is a big difference between the two.

When we pursue a “greater good” as individuals or as a society, the means are just as vital as the ends.  The ends never justify the means.  Never.  For if we abandon our core principles and commit atrocities in the name of “peace,” safety or survival, then we have forsaken the very things which make us worthy of peace and safety and survival.  A monster that devours in the name of peace is still a monster.

Globalism tells us that the collective is more important than the individual, that the individual owes society a debt and that fealty to society in every respect is the payment for that debt.  But inherent archetypes and conscience tell us differently.  They tell us that society is only ever as healthy as the individuals within it, that society is only as free and vibrant as the participants.  As the individual is demeaned and enslaved, the collective crumbles into mediocrity.

Globalism also tells us that humanity’s greatest potential cannot be reached without collectivism and centralization.  The assertion is that the more single-minded a society is in its pursuits the more likely it is to effectively achieve its goals.  To this end, globalism seeks to erase all sovereignty. For now its proponents claim they only wish to remove nations and borders from the social equation, but such collectivism never stops there.  Eventually, they will tell us that individualism represents another nefarious “border” that prevents the group from becoming fully realized.

At the heart of collectivism is the notion that human beings are “blank slates;” that we are born empty and are completely dependent on our environment in order to learn what is right and wrong and how to be good people or good citizens.  The environment becomes the arbiter of decency, rather than conscience, and whoever controls the environment, by extension, becomes god.

If the masses are convinced of this narrative then moral relativity is only a short step away. It is the abandonment of inborn conscience that ultimately results in evil. In my view, this is exactly why the so called “elites” are pressing for globalism in the first place. Their end game is not just centralization of all power into a one world edifice, but the suppression and eradication of conscience, and thus, all that is good.

To see where this leads we must look at the behaviors of the elites themselves, which brings us to “Pizzagate.”

The exposure by Wikileaks during the election cycle of what appear to be coded emails sent between John Podesta and friends has created a burning undercurrent in the alternative media. The emails consistently use “pizza” references, and independent investigations have discovered a wide array of odd connections between political elites like Hillary Clinton and John Podesta to James Alefantis, the owner of a pizza parlor in Washington D.C. called Comet Ping Pong. Alefantis, for reasons that make little sense to me, is listed as number 49 on GQ’s Most Powerful People In Washington list.

The assertion according to circumstantial evidence including the disturbing artwork collections of the Podestas has been that Comet Ping Pong is somehow at the center of a child pedophilia network serving the politically connected. Both Comet Ping Pong and a pizza establishment two doors down called Besta Pizza use symbols in their logos and menus that are listed on the FBI’s unclassified documentation on pedophilia symbolism, which does not help matters.

Some of the best documentation of the Pizzagate scandal that I have seen so far has been done by David Seaman, a former mainstream journalist gone rogue. Here is his YouTube page.

I do recommend everyone at least look at the evidence he and others present. I went into the issue rather skeptical, but was surprised by the sheer amount of weirdness and evidence regarding Comet Pizza.  There is a problem with Pizzagate that is difficult to overcome, however; namely the fact that to my knowledge no victims have come forward.  This is not to say there has been no crime, but anyone hoping to convince the general public of wrong-doing is going to have a very hard time without a victim to reference.

The problem is doubly difficult now that an armed man was arrested on the premises of Comet Ping Pong.  Undoubtedly, the mainstream media will declare the very investigation “dangerous conspiracy theory.”  Whether this will persuade the public to ignore it, or compel them to look into it, remains to be seen.

The reason I am more convinced than skeptical at this stage is because this has happened before, and in past scandals of pedophilia in Washington, some victims did come forward.

I would reference the events of the Franklin Scandal between 1988 and 1991. The Discovery Channel even produced a documentary on it complete with interviews of the alleged child victims. The documentary was quashed before it was ever shown to the public. The only reason it can now be found is because an original copy was released without permission by parties unknown.

I would also reference the highly evidenced Westminster Pedophile Ring in the U.K., in which the U.K. government lost or destroyed at least 114 related files related to the investigation.

Accusations of pedophilia seem to follow the globalists and elitist politicians wherever they go. This does not surprise me. They often exhibit characteristics of narcissism and psychopathy, but their ideology of moral relativity is what would lead to such horrible crimes.

Evil often stems from people who are empty. When one abandons conscience, one also in many respects abandons empathy and love.  Without these elements of our psyche there is no happiness. Without them, there is nothing left but desire and gluttony.

Narcissists in particular are prone to use other people as forms of entertainment and fulfillment without concern for their humanity. Add in sexual addiction and aggression and narcissists become predatory in the extreme. Nothing satisfies them. When they grow tired of the normal, they quickly turn to the abnormal and eventually the criminal.  I would say that pedophilia is a natural progression of the elitist mindset.

Beyond this is the nature of cultism. It is not that the globalists are simply evil as individuals; if that were the case then they would present far less of a threat. The greater terror is that they are also organized. When one confronts the problem of evil head on, one quickly realizes that evil is within us all. There will always be an internal battle in every individual. Organized evil is in fact the ultimate danger, and it is organized evil that must be eradicated.

For organized evil to be defeated, there must be organized good. I believe the liberty movement in particular is that good; existing in early stages, not yet complete, but good none the less.

Recognize and take solace that though we live in dark times, and evil men roam free, we are also here. We are the answer to evil, and we have been placed here at this time for a reason. Call it fate, call it destiny, call it coincidence, call it god, call it whatever you want, but the answer to evil is us.

Michigan Supreme Court denies Jill Stein’s appeal in recount case

December 9, 2016 Leave a comment

Lauren Gibbons | lgibbon2@mlive.com

The Michigan Supreme Court has denied Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s appeal to restart the statewide presidential recount, exhausting what’s likely the last legal option for the Stein campaign.

In a 3-2 order issued Friday evening, the court ruled a recount petition in Michigan “must allege both that fraud or mistake exists and that the alleged fraud or mistake caused the candidate to be aggrieved.”

The majority order concurs with a State Court of Appeals ruling that ordered Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers, which certifies election results and handles other election-related issues, to reject the recount on grounds that Stein was not sufficiently “aggrieved” as required under state statute earlier this week.

The Michigan Supreme Court justices split along partisan lines, with all three Republican-nominated judges ordering a denial of Stein’s appeal. The two Democratic-nominated judges, Richard Bernstein and Bridget McCormack, each wrote dissenting opinions.

McCormack wrote that she would have approved the appeal and ordered expedited oral arguments, while Bernstein wrote he would have reversed the Court of Appeals decision altogether and allowed the recount to continue.

Stein’s legal effort won a small victory on Thursday morning when Republican-nominated Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. and Justice Joan Larsen agreed to recuse themselves from the case due to being on a list of potential Supreme Court nominees for president-elect Donald Trump, who won Michigan’s election.

After waiting for most of Tuesday for a ruling from the U.S. District Court, board members voted 3-1 to put a stop to the recount in line with the state court’s ruling if federal judge Mark Goldsmith lifted his order. The board initially had another meeting scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, but it was canceled after Wednesday’s vote was deemed sufficient to end the process.

A federal judge on Wednesday vacated his order that had allowed the recount to proceed, putting an end to the statewide presidential recount that had begun noon Monday in two counties. It had already been concluded in Ingham County and Kalamazoo County.

In a press conference held Friday morning, Stein attorney Mark Brewer said the recount had uncovered problems on a statewide basis, making it an important effort to continue.

“Every vote is not being counted because again, we’ve seen shifts here and votes being counted for the first time, because they were not on election night,” Brewer said.

Secretary of State spokesperson Fred Woodhams has said the Stein campaign would pay for the precincts already counted since the recount began and would be reimbursed for those that were not counted or were deemed unrecountable under state law. State officials are currently working to determine what that cost will be, he said.

In Wayne County, concerns arose over the number of unrecountable precincts due to numbers in the poll books not matching the machine ballot count. Members of the state House Democrat Detroit Caucus and 23 state senators led by Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, have called for an investigation into the irregularities.

The Michigan Republican Party and Attorney General Bill Schuette declared victory after the initial state and federal court ruling stopping the recount in what’s been a flurry of legal drama over the statewide recount process.

Results certified by the Board of State Canvassers last month show President-elect Donald Trump beating Democrat Hillary Clinton in Michigan by 10,704 votes. Stein earned 1.07 percent of the statewide vote.

Data from Michigan Secretary of State’s office showed Clinton narrowed the loss by 102 votes in the unofficial partial recount, but the official certified results stand as the recount was not completed.

About 2.1 million votes were recounted, and 2,725 precincts were recounted before the recount was stopped, according to a statement from the Secretary of State’s office.

MLive reporter Emily Lawler contributed to this report.

Revealed! Leftists plotting Army-Navy game attack

December 9, 2016 Leave a comment

Multiple fires are lit in dumpsters and trash cans during protests in downtown Oakland, Calif., late Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. President-elect Donald Trump’s victory set off multiple protests. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP)

It’s a game of honor and tradition.

The 117th face-off between West Point’s Black Knights and the United States Naval Academy’s Midshipmen is scheduled to take place Saturday at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium.

And liberal activists are plotting to shut it down.

The so-called “Mid-Atlantic General Defense Committee” — a radical leftist organization — has gathered the pledges of nearly 1,000 local activists to take action in an angry protest of President-elect Donald Trump, who in keeping with tradition has announced his plans to attend the game.

The group’s intention appears to be violent, as protesters have labeled their goal to “stand up to defend our homes, our neighbors, and communities around the globe. We will meet [Trump] at every event with our rage and our brilliance. We will protect each other and our city. Meet at McKeldin Fountain and march from there to let our voices be heard and our resistance be seen and felt!”

Additionally, at least one attendee is comparing their plans to infiltrate the stadium Saturday to the beginning of a “war.”

facebook-army-navy

The organizers have experience, and security experts are concerned they’ve learned from previous failures.

On Nov. 10th, hundreds of anti-Trump protests in the city attempted to stop fans from attending the Baltimore Ravens NFL game on Nov. 11th, causing multiple arrests.

The mob blocked traffic, intimidated bystanders, threatened unfriendly reporters, and called for the assassination of the president-elect.

WASH POST FAKE NEWS? CIA says Russia intervened in election. No Proof at ALL!!

December 9, 2016 Leave a comment
The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.

“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. “That’s the consensus view.”

The Obama administration has been debating for months how to respond to the alleged Russian intrusions, with White House officials concerned about escalating tensions with Moscow and being accused of trying to boost Clinton’s campaign.

In September, during a secret briefing for congressional leaders, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) voiced doubts about the veracity of the intelligence, according to officials present.

The Trump transition team dismissed the findings in a short statement issued Friday evening. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again,’ ” the statement read.

Trump has consistently dismissed the intelligence community’s findings about Russian hacking.

“I don’t believe they interfered” in the election, he told Time magazine this week. The hacking, he said, “could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”

The CIA shared its latest assessment with key senators in a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill last week, in which agency officials cited a growing body of intelligence from multiple sources. Agency briefers told the senators it was now “quite clear” that electing Trump was Russia’s goal, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says he wants to investigate whether Russia interfered with the 2016 U.S. election, amongst claims that Donald Trump’s rhetoric on Russia and Vladimir Putin is too soft. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

The CIA presentation to senators about Russia’s intentions fell short of a formal U.S. assessment produced by all 17 intelligence agencies. A senior U.S. official said there were minor disagreements among intelligence officials about the agency’s assessment, in part because some questions remain unanswered.

For example, intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin “directing” the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks, a second senior U.S. official said. Those actors, according to the official, were “one step” removed from the Russian government, rather than government employees. Moscow has in the past used middlemen to participate in sensitive intelligence operations so it has plausible deniability.

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has said in a television interview that the “Russian government is not the source.”

The White House and CIA officials declined to comment.

On Friday, the White House said President Obama had ordered a “full review” of Russian hacking during the election campaign, as pressure from Congress has grown for greater public understanding of exactly what Moscow did to influence the electoral process.

“We may have crossed into a new threshold, and it is incumbent upon us to take stock of that, to review, to conduct some after-action, to understand what has happened and to impart some lessons learned,” Obama’s counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

Obama wants the report before he leaves office Jan. 20, Monaco said. The review will be led by James Clapper, the outgoing director of national intelligence, officials said.

During her remarks, Monaco didn’t address the latest CIA assessment, which hasn’t been previously disclosed.

Seven Democratic senators last week asked Obama to declassify details about the intrusions and why officials believe that the Kremlin was behind the operation. Officials said Friday that the senators specifically were asking the White House to release portions of the CIA’s presentation.

This week, top Democratic lawmakers in the House also sent a letter to Obama, asking for briefings on Russian interference in the election.

U.S. intelligence agencies have been cautious for months in characterizing Russia’s motivations, reflecting the United States’ long-standing struggle to collect reliable intelligence on President Vladi­mir Putin and those closest to him.

In previous assessments, the CIA and other intelligence agencies told the White House and congressional leaders that they believed Moscow’s aim was to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system. The assessments stopped short of saying the goal was to help elect Trump.

On Oct. 7, the intelligence community officially accused Moscow of seeking to interfere in the election through the hacking of “political organizations.” Though the statement never specified which party, it was clear that officials were referring to cyber-intrusions into the computers of the DNC and other Democratic groups and individuals.

Some key Republican lawmakers have continued to question the quality of evidence supporting Russian involvement.

“I’ll be the first one to come out and point at Russia if there’s clear evidence, but there is no clear evidence — even now,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the Trump transition team. “There’s a lot of innuendo, lots of circumstantial evidence, that’s it.”

Though Russia has long conducted cyberspying on U.S. agencies, companies and organizations, this presidential campaign marks the first time Moscow has attempted through cyber-means to interfere in, if not actively influence, the outcome of an election, the officials said.

The reluctance of the Obama White House to respond to the alleged Russian intrusions before Election Day upset Democrats on the Hill as well as members of the Clinton campaign.

Within the administration, top officials from different agencies sparred over whether and how to respond. White House officials were concerned that covert retaliatory measures might risk an escalation in which Russia, with sophisticated cyber-capabilities, might have less to lose than the United States, with its vast and vulnerable digital infrastructure.

The White House’s reluctance to take that risk left Washington weighing more-limited measures, including the “naming and shaming” approach of publicly blaming Moscow.

By mid-September, White House officials had decided it was time to take that step, but they worried that doing so unilaterally and without bipartisan congressional backing just weeks before the election would make Obama vulnerable to charges that he was using intelligence for political purposes.

Instead, officials devised a plan to seek bipartisan support from top lawmakers and set up a secret meeting with the Gang of 12 — a group that includes House and Senate leaders, as well as the chairmen and ranking members of both chambers’ committees on intelligence and homeland security.

Obama dispatched Monaco, FBI Director James B. Comey and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to make the pitch for a “show of solidarity and bipartisan unity” against Russian interference in the election, according to a senior administration official.

Specifically, the White House wanted congressional leaders to sign off on a bipartisan statement urging state and local officials to take federal help in protecting their voting-registration and balloting machines from Russian cyber-intrusions.

Though U.S. intelligence agencies were skeptical that hackers would be able to manipulate the election results in a systematic way, the White House feared that Russia would attempt to do so, sowing doubt about the fundamental mechanisms of democracy and potentially forcing a more dangerous confrontation between Washington and Moscow.

In a secure room in the Capitol used for briefings involving classified information, administration officials broadly laid out the evidence U.S. spy agencies had collected, showing Russia’s role in cyber-intrusions in at least two states and in hacking the emails of the Democratic organizations and individuals.

And they made a case for a united, bipartisan front in response to what one official described as “the threat posed by unprecedented meddling by a foreign power in our election process.”

The Democratic leaders in the room unanimously agreed on the need to take the threat seriously. Republicans, however, were divided, with at least two GOP lawmakers reluctant to accede to the White House requests.

According to several officials, McConnell raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.

Some of the Republicans in the briefing also seemed opposed to the idea of going public with such explosive allegations in the final stages of an election, a move that they argued would only rattle public confidence and play into Moscow’s hands.

McConnell’s office did not respond to a request for comment. After the election, Trump chose McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, as his nominee for transportation secretary.

Some Clinton supporters saw the White House’s reluctance to act without bipartisan support as further evidence of an excessive caution in facing adversaries.

“The lack of an administration response on the Russian hacking cannot be attributed to Congress,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who was at the September meeting. “The administration has all the tools it needs to respond. They have the ability to impose sanctions. They have the ability to take clandestine means. The administration has decided not to utilize them in a way that would deter the Russians, and I think that’s a problem.”

Philip Rucker contributed to this report.

Black Homeless Woman Says Trump Allowed Her to Live in Trump Tower Rent Free For 8 Years

December 9, 2016 1 comment

This doesn’t fit with the media’s portrayal of Trump as a racist bigot

A homeless black woman reveals that she has been living in Trump Tower for eight years with the blessings of the Donald himself.

Filming from her hotel window, the woman says she originally snuck in the building before becoming a squatter in one of the empty rooms. Police arrived the next day and told the woman to leave or she’d be arrested.

“When I told them I would not go, they contacted Mr. Trump over the phone and he came down here. Instead of evicting me off the property, he said that I can stay and it’s been eight years I’ve been here,” the woman reveals.

“Not only did he not evict me off the property, he made sure that I ate three meals a day by room service and that I get a delivery of fresh flowers every week,” she adds.

The African-American woman expresses her displeasure at the characterization of Trump as a “bad guy”.

“If it weren’t for him I’d be homeless – I’d be dead right now, I’d be in the street,” she says, adding that Trump hasn’t asked her to pay a dime.

“Donald Trump is not a bad guy, he’s a wonderful wonderful man, and everything I’m telling you today is true,” she concludes.

Trump is renowned for his acts of kindness towards people in unfortunate circumstances, although the mainstream media is loathe to mention them.

After Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson’s brother and mother were murdered in 2008, Trump offered a hotel suite for Hudson and her family and paid the cost for her entire stay.

Fake news peddlers and muckrakers risk “sickness of coprophilia,” says Pope

December 9, 2016 Leave a comment

Pontiff: publishing fake news “probably the greatest damage that the media can do.”

(UK) –

Fake news hawkers have copped a sizeable telling off from Pope Francis, who has compared the phenomenon of spreading scandalous and false stories online to coprophilia—an abnormal fascination with poop.

The Pope’s pop at phony folk who run fake news stories on the Web—published mostly to stir up bizarre and frenzied smears against politicians and other public figures—sits at the extreme end of clickbait and, for many commentators, it left a skid-mark over the recent US election.

“I believe that the media should be very clear, very transparent, and not fall prey—without offence, please—to the sickness of coprophilia, which is always wanting to communicate scandal, to communicate ugly things, even though they may be true,” he told Belgian Catholic weekly newspaper Tertio. “And since people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia, it can do great harm.”

The Oxford English Dictionary describes coprophilia as an “Abnormal interest and pleasure in faeces and defecation,” while the word coprophagia refers to people who eat faecal matter.

He said that it was sinful to circulate fake news, adding it was “probably the greatest damage that the media can do.” And described the spread of misinformation as deeply harmful because “opinion is guided in one direction, neglecting the other part of the truth.”

He also warned—in a nod to the so-called “right to be forgotten” debate—against the use of slander to smear politicians that “can be used as a means of defamation,” adding: “in defamation, we leak a document, as we say in Argentina, ‘Se hace un carpetazo’—and we uncover something that is true, but already in the past, and which has already been paid for with a jail sentence, with a fine, or whatever. There is no right to this. This is a sin and it is harmful.”

The Pope’s pungent words on fake news and coprophilia can be read in full on the Vatican’s website, which has published a transcript of his interview with Tertio.

This post originated on Ars Technica UK

Categories: WORLD NEWS
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