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Excellent article. Ross has been in the news lately for illegally attempting to add a citizenship question to our census (a way of gaming it to hugely benefit Republicans). However, to me, that’s just a distraction from the big question of how he ever became Secretary of Commerce in the first place. For example, consider this:

And there’s this – a piece I wrote a year ago – it seems timely to re-up it now:

4 Quick Facts about Wilbur Ross

  1. Ross’ position 2014-2017: Co-chair of Bank of Cyprus. Cyprus is known as the primary country through which Russian oligarchs launder money.

  2. Ross’ Co-chair at Bank of Cyprus: Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, Russian oligarch and close friend of Vladimir Putin.

  3. Ross’ appointment as Chairman of the Board at Bank of Cyprus: Josef Ackermann, former CEO of Deutsche Bank. DB was fined $630 million for laundering Russian money through Cyprus and other countries and is the only bank willing to do business with Donald Trump following his many bankruptcies.

  4. Ross’ benefactor: Donald Trump who appointed him as Secretary of Commerce in 2017.

“Trump’s commerce secretary oversaw Russia deal while at Bank of Cyprus,” The Guardian, 2017-03-23
“Deutsche Bank fined $630m over Russia money laundering claims,” The Guardian, 2017-01-17

(David Bythewood) #384

Who muses casually about killing 10 million people to win a war in a week? Why Trump, of course.

‘Off the face of the earth’: Trump says U.S. could win Afghanistan war in a week



NYTimes: Ricardo Rosselló, Puerto Rico’s Governor, Resigns After Protests
Effective Aug 2nd.

(David Bythewood) #387

The human smuggling was moving migrants WITHIN the country.

16 Marines arrested on human smuggling and drug charges

At least eight other Marines have been questioned on their involvement in alleged drug offenses as well.

(David Bythewood) #388

Unemployment Is Low, but That’s Only Part of the Story

The unemployment rate was only 3.7 percent in June, near its lowest level since 1969, as tens of thousands of people gave up actively looking for another job. But in doing so, the dropouts meant the labor force participation rate was stuck at 62.9 percent, near its lowest level since 1977.

(M A Croft) #389

The unemployment rate in all developed countries is perhaps one of the most misunderstood economic statistics. It is beloved by economists and politicians, but it hides a multitude of sins. As highlighted in the article above one of the hidden factors in determining the unemployment rate is the number of persons actively seeking employment. This factor can vary for a wide variety of reasons - for instance seasonal and demographic - which have little do with the economic settings of a country.
And then on the other side of the equation is the assessment of just what constitutes “work”. How many realise that just one hours work a week constitutes being in employment? This rather loose definition has been in use since 1982

It is argued that there are so few people who fall into this situation that they do not affect the calculation of the unemployment rate overall. However, over more recent years with the growing use of zero hour employment contracts the situation is now very different to what it was in 1982.

(David Bythewood) #390

“He Might’ve Stayed a Minute”: Coal Miners With Black Lung Slam McConnell for Brushing Them Off in Healthcare Meeting

“It was a worthless trip, that’s the way I feel,” said one of the 120 coal miners who traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with the Republican leader

USDA To Give U.S. Farmers Additional Multi-Billion Dollar Taxpayer Bailout


Anyone who opposes Putin has every reason to fear being poisoned by state intelligence agents. See the link below for what happened to Viktor Yushchenko – he’s the Ukrainian presidential candidate who stood up to Putin and was then poisoned. His face was horribly disfigured as a result (see before and after photos in that article).

A personal doctor for Russia’s most prominent opposition activist, Alexey Navalny, insists he was deliberately poisoned with a “chemical agent” after he was hospitalized with a sudden skin illness he contracted while in a Moscow jail.

Navalny was taken to the hospital from jail on Sunday with what authorities said was a “severe allergic reaction.” His face and eyes were heavily swollen and much of his upper body was covered with a rash, according to his long-time eye-doctor, Anastasia Vasilyeva. The sudden illness quickly set off fears among his supporters that the Kremlin critic might have been poisoned.

Navalny was released from the hospital and returned to jail on Monday following treatment after doctors at the hospital deemed him well enough to leave.

But his doctor, Vasilyeva, speaking to reporters outside the hospital on Monday, condemned that decision and said she had no doubts he had been poisoned, dismissing suggestions his illness might have resulted from an allergy.

“What happened to Alexey was a toxic reaction to an unknown chemical agent,” Vasilyeva said. "Alexey has had negative allergy tests for his whole life. He is in principle not allergic. At all."

And here’s a comprehensive list of Russian dissidents who have been poisoned:


More oppression from Trump’s BFF, Putin:

Not sure if I would have the guts to protest in Moscow. I hate to think what happened to the protesters we see being beaten here after they were hauled away to jail.

Here’s some background on the crackdown – which included the arrest of Navalny whose lawyer claims he was poisoned while in jail (see above).

These recent events make it all the more disturbing that our new Director of National Intelligence will most likely (as Barr has done in the DoJ) act as a front man for Trump in covering up Russian attacks on our elections:

(David Bythewood) #393

This feels like an issue to keep a watch on.

Trump’s Pick for Top Intelligence Post Overstated Parts of His Biography

Aides revised old claims about Representative John Ratcliffe’s role in prosecuting a prominent terrorism case.


Federal reserve lowered it’s interest rate by 1/4 of a point (not sure how to make that number) and Fed chair Powell asserted he did so without regard for political pressure. It also appeared that he will not lower it any further this year, which sent the markets in a bit of a tailspin.

Federal Reserve

Powell says Fed will never move rates because of political factors or to prove its independence

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank’s rate decision was not a result of political pressure.

We never take into account political considerations. There’s no place in our discussions for that. We also don’t conduct monetary policy in order to prove our independence,” Powell spoke at a press conference on Wednesday.

(David Bythewood) #395

This is just so neat.

California architects install see-saws at U.S.-Mexico border so children can play together


The religious leaders of Washington DC and surroundings have written a letter condemning T’s language and recall a time in the McCarthy hearings when it was asked by a US Army Attorney Welch to Sen Joseph McCarthy “Have you no sense of decency?”

The same can apply here…Church and state do remain separated, but in this case these heads of church can not stand idly by.

  • July 30, 2019

The escalation of racialized rhetoric from the President of the United States has evoked responses from all sides of the political spectrum. On one side, African American leaders have led the way in rightfully expressing outrage. On the other, those aligned with the President seek to downplay the racial overtones of his attacks, or remain silent.

As faith leaders who serve at Washington National Cathedral ¬– the sacred space where America gathers at moments of national significance – we feel compelled to ask: After two years of President Trump’s words and actions, when will Americans have enough?

As Americans, we have had such moments before, and as a people we have acted. Events of the last week call to mind a similarly dark period in our history:

“Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. … You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

That was U.S. Army attorney Joseph Welch on June 9, 1954, when he confronted Senator Joseph McCarthy before a live television audience, effectively ending McCarthy’s notorious hold on the nation. Until then, under the guise of ridding the country of Communist infiltration, McCarthy had free rein to say and do whatever he wished. With unbridled speech, he stoked the fears of an anxious nation with lies; destroyed the careers of countless Americans; and bullied into submissive silence anyone who dared criticize him.

In retrospect, it’s clear that Welch’s question was directed less toward McCarthy and more to the nation as a whole. Had Americans had enough? Where was our sense of decency?

We have come to accept a level of insult and abuse in political discourse that violates each person’s sacred identity as a child of God. We have come to accept as normal a steady stream of language and accusations coming from the highest office in the land that plays to racist elements in society.

This week, President Trump crossed another threshold. Not only did he insult a leader in the fight for racial justice and equality for all persons; not only did he savage the nations from which immigrants to this country have come; but now he has condemned the residents of an entire American city. Where will he go from here?

Make no mistake about it, words matter. And, Mr. Trump’s words are dangerous.

These words are more than a “dog-whistle.” When such violent dehumanizing words come from the President of the United States, they are a clarion call, and give cover, to white supremacists who consider people of color a sub-human “infestation” in America. They serve as a call to action from those people to keep America great by ridding it of such infestation. Violent words lead to violent actions.

When does silence become complicity? What will it take for us all to say, with one voice, that we have had enough? The question is less about the president’s sense of decency, but of ours.

As leaders of faith who believe in the sacredness of every single human being, the time for silence is over. We must boldly stand witness against the bigotry, hatred, intolerance, and xenophobia that is hurled at us, especially when it comes from the highest offices of this nation. We must say that this will not be tolerated. To stay silent in the face of such rhetoric is for us to tacitly condone the violence of these words. We are compelled to take every opportunity to oppose the indecency and dehumanization that is racism, whether it comes to us through words or actions.

There is another moment in our history worth recalling. On January 21, 2017, Washington National Cathedral hosted an interfaith national prayer service, a sacred tradition to honor the peaceful transfer of political power. We prayed for the President and his young Administration to have “wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties that they may serve all people of this nation, and promote the dignity and freedom of every person.”

That remains our prayer today for us all.

The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde , Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington
The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith , Dean of Washington National Cathedral
The Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglas , Canon Theologian of Washington National Cathedral


Definitive article on Epstein’s and T’ relationship '- they were friends, wingmen and both interested in the same property in Palm Beach. This was the property that T sold “to Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million.”

Once Epstein started getting caught, T backed down.

In an interview, Luzinski described the showdown as “two very large Palm Beach egos going at it.”

It is unclear whether Trump and Epstein were in contact after the house sale. That month, Trump left two messages for Epstein at his home in Palm Beach, according to records obtained by Vice News — the last known interaction between the two men.

Four years after he bought the Gosman mansion, Trump sold it to Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million, more than doubling his investment.

‘He’s a real creep’

It is unclear when Trump learned of allegations that Epstein was preying on teenage girls. In a 2002 interview, he gave no indication of concern, telling New York magazine that Epstein “enjoys his social life.”

“It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side,” Trump said.

On Nov. 28, 2004 — less than two weeks after the mansion auction — Palm Beach police fielded a tip that young women were seen coming and going from Epstein’s home, then-Police Chief Michael Reiter said in a deposition. Reiter declined to comment.

Four months later, in March 2005, police received a complaint from a woman who alleged that her 15-year-old stepdaughter had been paid $300 by Epstein to massage the financier while partially undressed, according to the police report. The Palm Beach police investigation identified more than a dozen possible victims, the report shows.

In 2006, a Palm Beach grand jury returned an indictment against Epstein of a single count of soliciting a prostitute. Epstein pleaded not guilty. That July, news organizations first reported that Palm Beach police had investigated Epstein for unlawful sex with minors and wanted the FBI to take up the case.

After a lengthy FBI investigation, federal prosecutors agreed not to prosecute Epstein under federal law, allowing him instead to plead guilty in state court in 2008 to two felony counts, including soliciting a minor.

Epstein is now facing federal charges in New York of sexually abusing dozens of girls. He has pleaded not guilty.


@dragonfly9 I can’t bring myself to read anything beyond the horrific headlines coming out of the Epstein stories. But here’s another one that goes with yours. :nauseated_face:


…yes, skimmed it. And he’s revolting, but hard to look away like a trainwreck…however, this one takes the cake for all possible excesses, BS meter busting, and WTFery.:anguished:


Wow :hushed:

Exclusive: FBI document warns conspiracy theories are a new domestic terrorism threat

The FBI for the first time has identified fringe conspiracy theories as a domestic terrorist threat, according to a previously unpublicized document obtained by Yahoo News. (Read the document below.)

The FBI intelligence bulletin from the bureau’s Phoenix field office, dated May 30, 2019, describes “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists,” as a growing threat, and notes that it is the first such report to do so. It lists a number of arrests, including some that haven’t been publicized, related to violent incidents motivated by fringe beliefs.

The document specifically mentions QAnon, a shadowy network that believes in a deep state conspiracy against President Trump, and Pizzagate, the theory that a pedophile ring including Clinton associates was being run out of the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant (which didn’t actually have a basement).

“The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts,” the document states. It also goes on to say the FBI believes conspiracy theory-driven extremists are likely to increase during the 2020 presidential election cycle.


Interesting and scary piece about how data can be manipulated and conspiratorial ideas can be amplified. When events like Pizzagate or Sandy Hook happens…and facts are twisted to pervert the truth. Content designed to fragment knowledge.

More millenials use YouTube as a search engine…and very manipulated results.

(David Bythewood) #402

Military members fear end of policy allowing undocumented relatives to stay in U.S.

The “Parole in Place” policy allows undocumented, immediate family members of veterans and current military members to stay in the country while their loved ones serve. While Lewis Ramos is on a year-long deployment in Afghanistan, his mother Rosa can stay in their home in the U.S., and apply for a green card. But now the Trump administration is considering ending the policy.