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(David Bythewood) #363

I did not see this coming. Yahoo is alleging that the Seth Rich conspiracy the right has been in love with for so long was a Russian disinformation plant.

You know Russia, the people who ACTUALLY hacked the DNC? Yup.

The true origins of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. A Yahoo News investigation.

(David Bythewood) #364

Retired Marine lieutenant colonel and combat pilot Amy McGrath is taking on the Cocaine Mitch “Grim Reaper” “Koopa Patrol” “I Have Too Many Nicknames” McConnell for his Senate seat.

Pictures below.


Go Amy McGrath…Take down Mitch…

Here’s her powerful new ad - called The Letter. She’s tough, she’s gonna take him on… :boom:

Watch this video :point_down:

(David Bythewood) #366

President Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter, federal appeals court rules


:eyes: Wow, what a detail!

He appears to have been doing business and trading currencies through Deutsche Bank until just a few months ago, according to two people familiar with his business activities. But as the possibility of federal charges loomed, the bank ended its client relationship with Mr. Epstein. It is not clear what the value of those accounts were at the time they were closed.

Seriously what is up with Deutsche Bank? Are they like some sort of special evil villain bank or something?

Day 915

And there’s this new development:

The sprawling, multibillion-dollar Malaysian development fraud scandal that has toppled a prime minister and stretched from Hollywood to Wall Street is threatening to implicate another major global financial institution: Deutsche Bank.

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether the German lender violated foreign corruption or anti-money-laundering laws in its work for the 1Malaysia Development Bhd. fund, which included helping the fund raise $1.2 billion in 2014 as concerns about the fund’s management and financials had begun to circulate, according to people familiar with the matter.

The investigation into Deutsche Bank has been helped in part by a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive, Tim Leissner, who is cooperating with authorities, according to the people familiar with the matter. Prosecutors have been investigating similar issues at Goldman, where Mr. Leissner, a former managing director, pleaded guilty last year and admitted to earlier helping siphon off billions of dollars from the fund.

A state economic-development fund, 1MDB turned into a major global scandal after billions of dollars were drained from it between 2009 and 2014, leading to multiple government investigations and the downfall of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The U.S. Justice Department has said the stolen money totals at least $4.5 billion and that it was used to pay bribes to government officials, pad a slush fund controlled by the former prime minister and purchase hundreds of millions of dollars in luxury goods including jewelry, artwork and real estate. …

Some notables that are not covered in this article:

(David Bythewood) #369

New Orleans Braces for a One-Two Weather Punch

The dual threat of late-season river flooding and early-season hurricanes is a sign of things to come for our warming world.


At least a dozen new victims have come forward to claim they were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein even as the multimillionaire money manager tries to convince a federal judge to allow him to await a sex trafficking trial from the comfort of the same $77 million Manhattan mansion where he’s accused of luring teenage girls into unwanted sex acts.

Following Epstein’s arrest Saturday in New Jersey, four women have reached out to New York lawyer David Boies, and at least 10 other women have approached other lawyers who have represented dozens of Epstein’s alleged victims in the past.

Jack Scarola, a Palm Beach attorney, said at least five women, all of whom were minors at the time of their alleged encounters with Epstein, have reached out to either him or Fort Lauderdale lawyer Brad Edwards.

“The people we are speaking to are underage victims in Florida and in New York. They are not individuals whose claims have previously been part of any law enforcement investigation,’’ Scarola said.
The new accusers are surfacing as Epstein’s attorneys argue their client is being tried on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges that for the most part were resolved years ago in Palm Beach. His legal team filed a motion Thursday for pre-trial release arguing that Epstein has maintained a “spotless” record since prosecutors in South Florida set aside a federal sex trafficking investigation a decade ago and allowed him to plead guilty to lesser state charges.


Hostage diplomacy at work in China…with tensions worsening for US company employees who are held in China and not permitted to leave. T is escalating this with his hot/cold approach to the Chinese, and arrest of Huawei employee in Canada on behalf of the US. Yes, there is fall out…big time.

A Koch Industries executive was told he could not leave China. An ex-diplomat who helped organize a technology forum in Beijing was hassled by authorities who wanted to question him. An industry group developed contingency plans, in case its offices were raided and computer servers were seized.

Business executives, Washington officials and other frequent visitors to China who were interviewed by The New York Times expressed increasing alarm about the Chinese authorities’ harassment of Americans by holding them for questioning and preventing them from leaving the country.

They worry that trade tensions between Washington and Beijing could turn businesspeople and former officials into potential targets. Some companies are reviewing or beefing up their plans in case one of their employees faces problems, three people said. Many of the more than a dozen people interviewed by The Times asked for anonymity because they feared reprisals from the Chinese authorities.

“In a very not-so-subtle manner, the Chinese government has upped the ante by detaining Americans at the borders and at their hotels, and with the obvious intent to send a message to the Trump administration that they can engage in hostage diplomacy if push comes to shove,” said James Zimmerman, a partner in the Beijing office of the law firm Perkins Coie, which works with American companies in China.

“If they go in that direction, this would not be received well by the American business community, which puts at risk billions of dollars of investment in China,” he said.

The problems escalated after Canadian officials arrested an executive of Huawei, the Chinese technology giant, at the behest of American officials. China then detained a Canadian businessman and a former diplomat.

The fear spreading through the American business community highlights how fraught ties between the world’s two largest economies have become. **Though President Trump and China’s president, Xi Jinping, have agreed to restart trade talks**, **which broke off in May**, the two sides remain far apart on the most contentious issues.

President Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, right, have agreed to restart trade talks, yet the two sides remain far apart on the most contentious issues.

President Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, right, have agreed to restart trade talks, yet the two sides remain far apart on the most contentious issues.

Chinese officials see the American trade stance as a threat to their country’s economic future. By imposing tariffs on Chinese imports, the Trump administration is encouraging companies to shift their supply chains away from China. The administration has also threatened to withhold crucial American technology from some of China’s most successful companies. China has had to look further afield to find ways to punch back, in part because it imports less from the United States.

The extent of the harassment is unknown, but several recent episodes are likely to add to the concerns. Companies that publicly discuss such problems in China could face punishment from the politicized court system, calls for boycotts in the state-run news media or other punishments meted out behind closed doors. Officials at China’s Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Public Security, its main police agency, did not respond to requests for comment.

Many American business figures still come and go without major incident. Elon Musk, the chief executive of the electric-car maker Tesla, was offered permanent residency by Li Keqiang, China’s premier, after he visited China in January to open a factory.

Still, a number of recent run-ins with the authorities have prompted broader worries. In late June, one American industry group sent an email to its members detailing how it was trying to mitigate its own risks.

Foreign staff in particular have reported a high level of anxiety about the current environment,” it said in the message, which was reviewed by The Times. It said it was “in the process of finalizing a detailed crisis plan to be used in the event that one of our offices is raided and/or one of our staff is detained.”

Those plans included a procedure if its servers were seized. It also said it had reviewed insurance policies to ensure that staff evacuations were covered, and it recommended that workers not travel to sensitive parts of China.

Washington officials continue to warn travelers that the Chinese authorities have blocked a number of Americans from leaving China, a practice known as exit bans. Many of those targeted are businesspeople. Often they are naturalized American citizens who were born in China.

In some cases, the Chinese authorities use such bans to exert pressure on Americans who are members of the families of local officials, like the wife and children of Liu Changming, a former executive at state-owned bank accused of fraud. Huang Wan, the American daughter-in-law of Zhou Yongkang, a fallen former senior leader, has also publicly said she has been forbidden to leave.

In early June, a Chinese-American executive at Koch Industries, the conglomerate owned by the conservative billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, was told he could not leave the immediate vicinity of his hotel in southern China, according to three people with knowledge of the matter He was then interrogated for multiple days, with the discussion hitting on the trade war and souring relations between the United States and China.

Chinese leaders see American restrictions on companies like Huawei, the telecommunications giant, as an effort to hold back their country’s progress.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Chinese leaders see American restrictions on companies like Huawei, the telecommunications giant, as an effort to hold back their country’s progress.

While the authorities told the man that he would not be allowed to leave China, they did not take his passport. After the State Department intervened, tensions subsided and he was able to fly out of the country, the people added.

Given some of the discussion, two of the people with knowledge of the episode involving the Koch Industries executive said they believed it was an attempt to send a message to Mr. Trump.

The Kochs have traditionally been major financial backers of Republicans, including Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state and a former Republican congressman from Kansas. Koch Industries also has big investments in China, where it employs more than 23,000 people. Last year, a Koch subsidiary said it would put more than $1 billion into a chemical plant in Shanghai.

But the Kochs, whose views are more libertarian than populist, have also criticized Mr. Trump’s trade and immigration policies, prompting the president on Twitter to call them “a total joke in real Republican circles.”

In late June, the authorities tried to interrogate a former Beijing-based American diplomat, according to three people with knowledge of the incident. The former diplomat had been attending an artificial intelligence forum in Beijing, which he helped organize, when a hotel employee called his room on the night of June 25, saying that government security officers in the lobby wanted to speak with him. Alarmed, the former diplomat emailed the other American conference attendees, then went down.

Two plainclothes officers asked him to go with them to answer questions. They asked him about his diplomatic status and whether he had diplomatic immunity, the people said. They demanded to see his passport, which he refused to show.

The former diplomat called American Embassy officials. After a few senior diplomats arrived, the Chinese officers left, the people said.

Other run-ins create an atmosphere of intimidation. Early this year, a technology industry executive who has traveled to and worked in China for more than a decade without major incident encountered authorities in a smaller city in eastern China, according to an account from the person, who asked not to be identified publicly for fear of retaliation.

While the executive was traveling between meetings, a black car appeared to be following, often taking no precautions to disguise its presence. When the executive arrived at the airport to leave, a group of about six men with earpieces and bulletproof vests emerged from the car. One carried a visible sidearm, and another filmed the executive. Two of the men then followed the executive through security to the airport gate before the executive flew out.

As the trade war has intensified, China has tried to use American businesses to send a message to the Trump administration. It summoned American executives in June to warn them that they would suffer if they followed the administration’s proposed ban on sales of American technology. Businesspeople have taken new steps to reduce their profiles when traveling in China, including using burner phones and wiping laptops that may contain sensitive information, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

Over all, that has led to growing nervousness among businesspeople.

A lot of Western businesses are not willing to speak up loudly because they think things could get worse,” said Peter Humphrey, a British private investigator who was imprisoned in China in 2013 while working for GlaxoSmithKline. Now living in Britain, he advises companies on security and business issues in China and says his clients face growing retaliation.

“I believe we are seeing the worst environment since the Cultural Revolution,” he added, “in terms of the extent to which people are under surveillance and control, and the extent to which people are punished.”


More reporting that Epstein may be hiding some very dubious, if not outright criminal, financial dealings:

Long before Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in Florida more than a decade ago, his fellow Palm Beach resident and hedge-fund manager Douglas Kass was intrigued by the local gossip about his neighbor.

“I’m hearing about the parties, hearing about a guy who’s throwing money around,” says Kass, president of Seabreeze Partners Management. While stories about young girls swarming Epstein’s waterfront mansion and the sex parties he hosted for the rich and powerful were the talk of the town, Kass was more focused on how this obscure person, rumored to be managing billions of dollars, had become so wealthy without much of a track record.

Kass was well-connected on Wall Street, where he’d worked for decades, so he began to ask around. “I went to my institutional brokers, to their trading desks and asked if they ever traded with him. I did it a few times until the date when he was arrested,” he recalls. “Not one institutional trading desk, primary or secondary, had ever traded with Epstein’s firm.”

“How did he get the money?” Kass kept asking.


Yes, it is such a mystery…I was reading this too last night and see that some are conjecturing he was actually investing big accounts into index funds, which are not traceable in terms of transactions, and make a reasonable return. But the real kicker is that he got to sort of ‘own’ them through some potential information, for a possible blackmail. All conjecture…but interesting theory to have the girls collect dirt on his big fish - including Clinton, Prince Andrew…and so on. Getting information was good enough to hold onto them.

WIth Leslie Wexner, an original investor, Epstein got the $77 million mansion for $0 (Wexner was the title owner, but it then became Epstein’s, however these two were in some sort of partnership financially.)

Since his arrest, there have been quite a few conspiracy-ish theories floating around that say the reason Epstein’s finances are so opaque is that he’s been engaging in money laundering, and/or blackmailing famous investors we don’t know about by keeping their sexual indiscretions private. What do you make of these sorts of suggestions?

I think he’s engaged in blackmail. The reason I think this is that I read the Palm Beach police report when they did the search warrant. Epstein had advanced warning they were coming, so he scrubbed the place as much as he could, but he left wires and audiovisual cables for uploading video files to computers, and I guess the Palm Beach Police themselves installed some of his audiovisual surveillance equipment in his residence — it’s a service they apparently do, putting in security cameras for residents. And some of his victims, like Virginia Roberts, in her court filings, said that Epstein remarked to her that “information is king,” and mentioned that Bill Clinton was there because “he owes me a favor.” He bragged that that’s how powerful he was. So I suspect, based on that evidence, that’s it’s likely, since that’s the way Epstein operates, is he uses information to his advantage. Does he get investment money for his hedge fund that way? That’s a strong possibility. Does he not have to pay back investors maybe using the blackmail information as a threat? That’s a possibility.

(David Bythewood) #374


This is a REAL poll from Donnie’s campaign they’re spreading around:

I REALLY wanted this to be a parody.

As far as I can tell, it’s not.

And for the record, NOT parody:

(David Bythewood) #375

The US will soon have an Acting Labor Sec, an Acting DHS Sec and no Dep Sec, an Acting Defense Sec and no Dep Sec, an Acting White House Chief of Staff, an Acting CBP Commiss., an Acting ICE Dir, an Acting USCIS Dir, an Acting UN Ambassador, an Acting FDA Commiss., An Acting OMB Director, an Acting Secretary of the Army, an Acting Secretary of the Air Force, an Acting DHS Under Secretary for Management, no DHS Under Secretary for Science & Tech, no DHS Under Secretary for Strategy, and an Acting FEMA Director. (PS: it’s hurricane season!)

Trump prefers acting heads because he can control them more easily. The sheer volume of acting heads shows

-A) Trump has an unstable government

-B) Trump isn’t interested in congressional oversight inherent in the confirmation process - more chiseling away at the constitution.

(David Bythewood) #376

Trump’s USDA Suspends Honeybee Survey

The suspension of the Honey Bee Colonies report is at least the third bee-related data set to be halted or reduced under the Trump administration, and comes three weeks after Trump’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the emergency use of bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor on 13.9 million acres. It also comes as the population of bees, which help pollinate a third of edible crops, has been declining since 2006.

Trump Stings Honeybees While They’re Down

The president just okayed a bee-killing insecticide and squashed a USDA program to track the insects’ health.

Critics worry Trump turning blind eye to honeybee decline


Thank you.

(David Bythewood) #378

Indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter is sending Islamophobic mail pieces to voters in his Southern California district, attacking his Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, for his deceased grandfather alleged ties to a 1972 terrorist attack.

The mailers show a photo of one of the terrorists involved in an attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics wearing a ski mask on one side, and photos of Campa-Najjar and Muslim Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, on the other. Campa-Najjar is Christian.

The Marine Corps has issued a cease-and-desist letter to Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., for using the official Corps emblem and phrase on campaign mailers that link his likely 2020 opponent and two Democratic congresswomen to terror.

In a letter to Hunter obtained by NBC News, the Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office tells the congressman, “It has come to our attention that your campaign is using the official USMC Eagle, Globe and Anchor (Emblem) and the phrase ‘No Better Friend, NO Worse Enemy’ (Phrase) as an integral part of your political campaign, namely, on at least one fundraising mailer to your constituents.”

The letter, dated Tuesday, demands that Hunter’s campaign “immediately remove the Emblem and the Phrase from its mailers, and, without limitation, from all other campaign materials including websites and other instances where the Emblem or the Phrase are being used. We also request that you provide us with a timetable as to your compliance with our requests.”

(David Bythewood) #379

House Votes To End Subminimum Wage



Astronaut Michael Collins takes on Trump’s hate for the Press. Yes! :boom:

(David Bythewood) #382

The Commerce Department has reached its apex of dysfunction under Wilbur Ross, according to people with knowledge of the inner workings of the department

Under Secretary Wilbur Ross, the department is chaotic and adrift: ‘It’s a disaster over there’

“Because he tends to fall asleep in meetings, they try not to put him in a position where that could happen so they’re very careful and conscious about how they schedule certain meetings,” said the former outside adviser. “There’s a small window where he’s able to focus and pay attention and not fall asleep.”

Maybe his next job should be as spokesman for MyPillow?