en Paolo Gentiloni Picked As Italy's New Prime Minister <p>With the ECB snubbing Italy on Friday, and refusing to grant insolvent bank Monte Paschi more time to find a financial rescue, it was of paramount urgency for Italy to announce a replacement government that of outgoing prime minister Matteo Renzi, in order to mitigate concerns about the ongoing political chaos.&nbsp; As a result, on Sunday, Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella asked departing Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni - a loyalist from Renzi's Democratic Party - to form a new government, in the process hopefully bringing to a close a political crisis triggered by a ‘no vote’ in a referendum on constitutional reform last weekend. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="281" /></a></p> <p>As the <a href="">WSJ first reported</a>, Mattarella gave Gentiloni the mandate to try to form a new caretaker cabinet. Gentiloni, 62, accepted and will begin consultations with political parties to put together his team of ministers. That list could emerge as soon as Sunday evening, setting the stage for the new government to seek votes of confidence in parliament by Tuesday. Correspondents say that if he is successful in rallying support a government could be formed in days.</p> <p>A quick biographical snapshot of the new prime minister:</p> <ul> <li>Born to an aristocratic family, has the title Nobile</li> <li>Worked as a journalist on an environmental magazine</li> <li>Organised Francesco Rutelli's successful 1993 campaign for Rome mayor</li> <li>Elected to parliament in 2001</li> <li>Communications minister from 2006-08</li> <li>Appointed foreign minister in 2014</li> <li>Dealt with difficult issues such as killing of Giulio Regeni in Egypt</li> </ul> <p>Gentiloni said in a brief speech that he has accepted the mandate “with great honor and responsibility”. He added he’s aware of the urgent need to address the economic and social problems Italian citizens are facing and the country’s upcoming international commitments.&nbsp; “I’ll be back to Mr. Mattarella [with a list of ministers] as soon as possible,” the premier-designate told reporters. </p> <p>The political development signals a rapid resolution to a government crisis sparked by the resignation this week of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who stepped down after a stinging defeat in last Sunday’s referendum on constitutional reform he had staked this political future on.&nbsp; As noted above, the urgency stems in part from the need to deal with a growing crisis at Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, Italy’s No. 3 lender and one of Europe’s weakest banks. The Tuscan bank urgently needs a capital injection, but with little appetite from private investors, the new government will likely orchestrate a state rescue plan. <strong>The problem became even more pressing Friday after the European Central Bank refused the bank’s request for a 20-day extension on the end-of-year deadline the central bank set for the lender to raise new capital.</strong> </p> <p>Given the need to act quickly on Monte dei Paschi, Mr. Gentiloni is likely to reconfirm Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, a well-regarded economist who has led Italy’s efforts to solve the country’s banking problems; Padoan had also been rumored to be the frontrunning candidate for the PM position. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>As the WSJ notes, in choosing Gentiloni, Mattarella is reaching for a seasoned politician who enjoys cross-party esteem in Italy, something that can help him navigate the political tensions that have exploded since the resignation of Mr. Renzi. Italian parties are now pushing hard for elections to be brought forward from their current timetable of spring 2018. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, the country needs a new electoral law before Mr. Mattaralla can dissolve parliament because of a court challenge to the current law. Moreover, there are two different electoral rules for each of Italy’s parliamentary houses, a situation that would likely produce a hung legislature. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Gentiloni enjoys wide support within the center-left Democratic Party, the largest party in parliament. He also has a good relationship with former Premier Silvio Berlusconi as a result of Mr. Gentiloni’s stint as communications minister in the mid-2000s. Those relationships could help him with the complicated task of rewriting voting rules just as an election looms. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Gentiloni is also highly regarded on the international front. Having joined the Renzi government as foreign minister in October 2014 after Federica Mogherini stepped down to become Europe’s foreign policy chief, he has spearheaded Italy’s efforts to gather international support for a solution to the Libyan crisis. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mr. Gentiloni has also had to strike a delicate balance regarding Italy’s Russia policy. While the U.S. has pressed European leaders to take a hard line on Russia, Rome has struck a more conciliatory tone with Moscow, arguing that the West should work more closely with Russian President Vladimir Putin to resolve the crisis in Syria and elsewhere. </p> </blockquote> <p>A new government will be sworn in after Gentiloni holds consultations with the other parties, and chooses choose his ministers. The premier and his new cabinet will then be required to win confidence votes in each of Italy’s two parliamentary chambers to fully take power. That will likely happen before this Thursday, thus allowing Mr. Gentiloni to represent Italy at a European Union summit that day. </p> <p>It remains to be sen if the rapid change in Italy's government will provoke more confidence among potential Monte Paschi investors, or if the third rescue plan of the bank will conclude with nationalization, a step many had expected could take place as soon as today.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="624" height="351" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Democratic Party Democratic Party European Central Bank European Central Bank European Union European Union Gentiloni Italy Italy Italy's government Matteo Renzi Monte Paschi Nationalization Paolo Gentiloni Politics Politics of Italy Prime minister Renzi Cabinet Renzi government Sergio Mattarella Silvio Berlusconi Vladimir Putin Sun, 11 Dec 2016 14:45:04 +0000 Tyler Durden 580480 at Here's How Trump Could Still Actually 'Lose' The Presidential Election <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Jake Anderson via,</em></a></p> <p>On Wednesday night, controversial filmmaker Michael Moore made yet another mind-numbing prediction:<strong> He <a href=";utm_medium=socialflow" target="_blank">strongly suggested</a> to late-night talk show host Seth Meyers that the Electoral College would deny President-elect Donald Trump a victory prior to his January 20th, 2017 inauguration.</strong> Moore previously stunned everyone by <a href="" target="_blank">predicting Trump&rsquo;s victory</a> at a time when the analytics &mdash; and the political-media establishment &mdash; all favored Hillary Clinton.</p> <p><strong>There is a mechanism for what Moore is suggesting, however unlikely, and it exists within the Electoral College itself in the form of a decentralized, existential bunch of wonks.</strong> And, historically speaking, they have never actually asserted their power and <a href="" target="_blank">changed a presidential election</a>. They&rsquo;re called &lsquo;faithless electors,&rsquo; people nominated to represent the will of the people but who may, constitutionally speaking, revoke their duties. So far, there are <a href="" target="_blank">seven &lsquo;faithless electors&rsquo;</a> who have defected from voting for Trump in the Electoral College. Count &lsquo;em, seven &mdash; out of 270. That&rsquo;s not a lot, obviously, but the mind balks at how quickly momentum could swing against a candidate that garnered <a href="" target="_blank">over 2.5 million fewer votes</a> than his challenger in the popular vote.</p> <p><strong>As of Thursday evening, the <a href="" target="_blank">first Republican &lsquo;faithless elector&rsquo;</a> declared he would not vote Trump and that the presidency &ldquo;is not a done deal.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>Here are three reasons why I believe Trump could, incredibly, still lose this election:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><h2>Trump has revealed himself to be fully in support of the establishment.</h2> <p>With his selections for pretty much the full gamut of <a href="" target="_blank">cabinet positions</a>, Trump has revealed himself to be an <a href="" target="_blank">establishment</a> <a href="">figure</a>, which is exactly the perception he ran against. Will his voters turn against him? Mostly no (or, at least, not yet). Will the other <a href="" target="_blank">74.5 percent of Americans</a> who did not support him reject his victory? Possibly. Will this alone cause Trump to end up losing the vaunted Electoral College? No. Of course not! That&rsquo;s why there are two more reasons.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Hillary won the&nbsp;popular vote by over 2.5 million.</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">This is fact</a>. The number is actually growing. It&rsquo;s historic; it&rsquo;s actually disgusting if one is prone to be disgusted by electoral politics. Will this alone &mdash; or in conjunction with reason one &mdash; cause Trump to lose? No. Of course not! That&rsquo;s why there&rsquo;s one more, <em>important</em>, reason.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Elections can be stolen.</h2> <p>This happens. It happens more than you think. Usually, it happens before the popular vote &ndash; you know, when the votes are actually coming in, in the form of <a href="" target="_blank">vote flipping</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">&ldquo;magic fractions.&rdquo;</a> The <a href="" target="_blank">2000 election</a> was <a href="" target="_blank">stolen for Bush</a>,&nbsp;the <a href="" target="_blank">2004 election</a> was <a href="" target="_blank">stolen again</a> for <a href="" target="_blank">Bush</a>, and the <a href="" target="_blank">Obama elections</a>&nbsp;probably would have been stolen except that he won by such huge margins it would have been obvious. And <a href="" target="_blank">many, many elections</a> have been rigged or gerrymandered in some way.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>It can happen. </strong>The question is whether it can happen after the popular vote and before the inauguration, which, admittedly, is unheard of.</p> <p>But here&rsquo;s why I think it will happen. <em>[And, to be clear, this is not because I support Hillary Clinton, though, frankly, she would be better for alternative media than Trump. Why? That&rsquo;s for a future op-ed. Oh, it&rsquo;s also because Trump is a tyrant who will likely pass more draconian laws against journalists than Bush and Obama combined.]</em></p> <p>A scenario that could easily turn the election &mdash; and would constitute &lsquo;stealing&rsquo; an election according to the Right (the same Right that despised Trump not two months ago) &mdash; <strong>involves the &lsquo;faithless electors&rsquo; launching a coup</strong>. You don&rsquo;t think coups happen in America? They happen a lot &ndash; you just don&rsquo;t hear about them from the mainstream media that is instructed, not permitted, to neglect them.</p> <p><strong>One coup happened between 2000 and 2001</strong>, when one political party hatched a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed populist moderate candidate whose conservative establishment convinced the elites to use their embedded political operatives and hackers to <a href="" target="_blank">electronically steal</a> an election and then use a terrorist attack to embroil us in an endless war in the Middle East and legalize the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Patriot Act</a>.</p> <p>Now it is possible the Dems and a <a href="" target="_blank">rogue &lsquo;faithless elector&rsquo; group</a> are working on a similar pitch to steal this election and push through a candidate who will give us more endless war in the Middle East and legalize the TPP.</p> <p><strong><em>There are other ways, too, involving &ldquo;false flag&rdquo; assassinations and terrorist attacks on Washington that would induct <a href="" target="_blank">COG (&lsquo;continuity of government&rsquo;)</a>&nbsp;schemes. But who&rsquo;s got time for that&hellip;?</em></strong></p> <p><em><strong>So, this is it, liberal America. Do you have the temerity to trigger a gun-toting Right revolution? Do you have the audacity to cajole a &lsquo;faithless elector&rsquo; coup? Because &mdash; not that I&rsquo;m endorsing it &mdash; that&rsquo;s how you could steal this election.</strong></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="706" height="337" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Business Climate change skepticism and denial Conservatism in the United States Donald Trump Donald Trump Electoral College Legal affairs of Donald Trump Michael Moore Middle East Middle East Political positions of Donald Trump Politics Politics of the United States The Apprentice United States presidential election WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 11 Dec 2016 04:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 580397 at Trump Picks Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson As Secretary Of State <p>In a move that is certain to infuriate those who see Trump as nothing more than a puppet of the Kremlin, moments ago NBC reported that Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil and late entrant into the SecState race after his first meeting with the president elect this past Tuesday at the Trump Tower, has been picked by Trump to serve as his next Secretary of State. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">JUST IN: Trump to name Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, sources say <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— NBC News (@NBCNews) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>As <a href="">NBC adds</a>, Tillerson met Saturday with Trump at Trump Tower in New York, the president-elect's spokesperson confirmed.&nbsp; The selection of Tillerson comes after Trump and his transition team spent weeks searching for someone to fill the post of the top U.S. diplomat. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani were reportedly in the running. Giuliani said Friday he had taken his name out of consideration. </p> <p>The 64-year-old Texas oilman, whose friends describe as a staunch conservative, emerged as a Secretary of State contender only last week following a meeting with Trump, when it was speculated that he would consider the offer "due to his sense of patriotic duty and because he is set to retire from the company next year." Tillerson's appointment would introduce the potential for sticky conflicts of interest because of his financial stake in Exxon: he owns Exxon shares worth $151 million, according to recent securities filings.</p> <p>A quick biographical sketch of Tillerson <a href="">courtesy of the WSJ</a>:</p> <p>The son of a local Boy Scouts administrator, Tillerson was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. He attended the University of Texas, where he studied civil engineering, was a drummer in the Longhorn band and participated in a community service-oriented fraternity. </p> <p>He joined Exxon in 1975 and has spent his entire career at the company. </p> <p>For most of his adult life, he has also been closely involved with the Boy Scouts of America, even occasionally incorporating the Scout Law and Scout Oath into his speeches.&nbsp; Mr. Tillerson played an instrumental role in leading the organization to change its policy to allow gay youth to participate in 2013, Mr. Hamre said. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates subsequently moved to lift the organization’s ban on gay adult leaders as Boy Scouts president in 2015.&nbsp; “Most of the reason that organizations fail at change is pretty simple: People don’t understand why,” Mr. Tillerson said in a speech after the 2013 decision, urging leaders to communicate about the policy to help make it successful. “We’re going to serve kids and make the leaders of tomorrow.”</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>However it is not his Boy Scout exploits that will be the key talking point for pundits in the coming days, <strong>but rather his close relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin. </strong></p> <p>According <a href="">to the WSJ</a>, few U.S. citizens are closer to Mr. Putin than Mr. Tillerson,&nbsp; a recipient of Russia's Order of Friendship, bestowed by the president...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="387" /></a></p> <p>... who has known Putin since he represented Exxon’s interests in Russia during the regime of Boris Yeltsin. </p> <p>“He has had more interactive time with Vladimir Putin than probably any other American with the exception of Henry Kissinger,” said John Hamre, a former deputy defense secretary during the Clinton administration and president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank where Mr. Tillerson is a board member. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p><em>Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson with Vladimir Putin, then Russia’s prime minister, at </em><br /><em>a signing ceremony in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in August 2011. </em></p> <p>In 2011, Mr. Tillerson struck a deal giving Exxon access to prized Arctic resources in Russia as well as allowing Russia’s state oil company, OAO Rosneft, to invest in Exxon concessions all over the world. The following year, the Kremlin bestowed the country’s Order of Friendship decoration on Mr. Tillerson.</p> <p>The deal would have been transformative for Exxon. Mr. Putin at the time called it one of the most important involving Russia and the U.S., forecasting that the partnership could eventually spend $500 billion. But it was subsequently blocked by sanctions on Russia that the U.S. and its allies imposed two years ago after the country’s invasion of Crimea and conflicts with Ukraine. </p> <p>Tillerson spoke against the sanctions at the company’s annual meeting in 2014. “We always encourage the people who are making those decisions to consider the very broad collateral damage of who are they really harming with sanctions,” he said. </p> <p>As such, many have speculated that under his regime, the State Department may quietly drop any existing sactions against Russia.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p><strong>Then there is the thorny issue of potential conflicts of interest, and his massive holdings of Exxon stock. </strong></p> <p>One of the first issues Tillerson would have to resolve as secretary of state would be his holdings of Exxon shares, many of which aren’t scheduled to vest for almost a decade. The value of those shares could go up if the sanctions on Russia were lifted.&nbsp; </p> <p>The shares would likely have to be sold under State Department ethics rules, Chase Untermeyer, a former U.S. Ambassador to Qatar, said in an interview. “He could not erase his strong relationship with a particular country,” Mr. Untermeyer said. “The best protection from a conflict of interest is transparency.” </p> <p>Tillerson will sell his $150+ million in XOM shares tax free, courtesy of the same tax break that was introduced in 1989 under the administration of President George H.W. Bush, which allowed Hank Paulson, Colin Powell and plenty of other public servants to dispose of their equity holdings without paying taxes: to get the tax relief, it must be deemed “reasonably necessary” for a public official to divest his shares, or a congressional committee must require the asset sale, according to section 1043 of the tax code, something which is virtually assured in the case of Tillerson. </p> <p>* * *</p> <p>Finally, the environmentalists will certainly be displeased with Trump's choice, even thought Tillerson helped shift Exxon’s response to climate change when he took over as CEO in 2006. He embraced a carbon tax as the best potential policy solution and has said climate change is a global problem that warrants action. That was a break from his predecessor, Lee Raymond. </p> <p>Still, Mr. Tillerson is a polarizing figure among Democrats and environmental activists. They have accused Exxon of sowing doubt about the impacts of climate change during Mr. Raymond’s tenure and say Mr. Tillerson hasn’t done enough to disclose the future impact of climate-change regulations on the company’s ability to get oil out of the ground. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“<strong>This is certainly a good way to make clear exactly who’ll be running the government in a Trump administration—just cut out the middleman and hand it directly to the fossil-fuel industry</strong>,” said Bill McKibben, the environmental activist and founder of </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Exxon has disputed the criticism and accused activists and Democratic attorneys general of conspiring against the company. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The son of a local Boy Scouts administrator, Mr. Tillerson was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. He attended the University of Texas, where he studied civil engineering, was a drummer in the Longhorn band and participated in a community service-oriented fraternity.</p> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As secretary of state, Tillerson would be fourth in line to the presidency. </p> <p>No matter how US diplomacy plays out under Tillerson, however, one thing is certain: at least Mitt Romney will not be setting US foreign policy for the next four years. This particular ritual humiliation has now been duly completed... </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">REPORT: Mitt Romney May Be Forced to Publicly Apologize to Trump in Exchange For Sec of State Bid <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Mediaite (@Mediaite) <a href="">November 25, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Finally, as NBC also adds, Tillerson's deputy secretary of state for day-to-day management of the department will be former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.</p> <p>To summarize: a cabinet run by Wall Street and big oil (with a neocon backstop), and a handful of veteran generals thrown in. The writing should be on the wall as to what comes next.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1280" height="853" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent black sea Business Carbon tax Center for Strategic and International Studies Clinton administration Department of State Economy Exxon Exxon ExxonMobil Fail Hank Paulson Hank Paulson Henry Kissinger Lee Raymond Mitt Romney NBC New York City Politics Rex Tillerson Rex Tillerson Robert Gates Rockefeller family State Department Transparency Trump Administration Twitter Twitter U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Ukraine United Nations United States University of Texas University of Texas at Austin Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin Sun, 11 Dec 2016 04:05:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 580371 at THE CIA MOVES TO INVALIDATE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS BY BLAMING RUSSIAN HACKING <p>It's happening. After careful analysis of all the media punditry and the 'leaks' coming out from the CIA, I can only conclude that there is a concerted effort taking place to invalidate the U.S. elections, in an effort to unseat Donald Trump. Last night the Washington Post reported a leak from inside the CIA, saying they had a report that showed evidence that Russia hacked the elections in order to elect&nbsp;Donald Trump. They're being very specific about that point. Pay attention.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Source: Reuters<br /> The CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help President-elect Donald Trump win the White House, and not just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, the Washington Post reported on Friday.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Citing U.S. officials briefed on the matter, <strong>the Post said intelligence agencies had identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, to WikiLeaks</strong>.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>The officials described the individuals as people known to the intelligence community who were part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and reduce Clinton's chances of winning the election.</strong></p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>"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," the Post quoted a senior U.S. official as saying. "That's the consensus view."</strong> </p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The Post said the official had been briefed on an intelligence presentation made by the Central Intelligence Agency to key U.S. senators behind closed-doors last week.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The CIA, in what the Post said was a secret assessment, cited a growing body of evidence from multiple sources. Briefers told the senators it was now <strong>"quite clear" that electing Trump was Russia's goal</strong>, the Post quoted officials as saying on condition of anonymity.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In October, the U.S. government formally accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.</p> <p>President Barack Obama has said he warned Russian President Vladimir Putin about consequences for the attacks. But Russian officials have denied all accusations of interference in the U.S. election.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>A CIA spokeswoman said the agency had no comment on the report</strong>.</p></blockquote> <p>In response to the Washpo article, the Trump campaign issued the following statement.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," Trump's representatives said in a statement attributed to the transition team. "The election ended a long time ago ... It's now time to move on and 'Make America Great Again.'"</p></blockquote> <p>Bob Baer, former CIA and current 'Hunting Hitler' shill, said in an interview today that if the evidence regarding Russia hacking the elections are true, then the only logical thing to do is to hold new elections.</p> <p>&nbsp;'If the evidence is there, I don't see any other way than to vote again.' &nbsp;<iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bear in mind, this is all in response to the Wikileaks revelations about the abject corruptness of both the DNC and the Hillary Clinton camp, via the Podesta emails. Instead of offering an explanation for their egregious actions, the elite cadre inside of the Clinton camp have instead gone on the offensive to blame the messenger. The media is running with this story with long strides, not only suggesting that Russia hacked the elections, but also saying Trump was -- in fact -- a 'witting asset' of Moscow. What's next, an arrest order for Trump and his campaign staff for being covert Russian spies?</p> <p>&nbsp;'This nation was attacked by a cyber warfare operation.&nbsp;'</p> <p> <iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> Whatever happened to the smug certainty that the elections wouldn't be rigged? I suppose what Obama meant was they wouldn't be rigged had Hillary won, yes? <iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> Paul Joseph Watson offers some valuable incite, in regards to the naked hypocrisy of America's ruling elite.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Russia interfered in the election! (no evidence).</p> <p>LEFT FREAKS OUT.</p> <p>Saudi Arabia provably bankrolled Clinton's campaign.</p> <p>MEH.</p> <p>— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">Content originally generated at&nbsp;</span><a href="" style="font-size: 13.008px;"></a></p> American people of German descent American politics Barack Obama Business Central Intelligence Agency Climate change skepticism and denial Democratic National Committee Democratic Party Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Email hacking Hillary Clinton Mike Pence Podesta emails Political positions of Donald Trump Politics Politics Politics of the United States Reuters Russian government Saudi Arabia The Apprentice United States US government Vladimir Putin White House White House WikiLeaks WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 11 Dec 2016 03:51:39 +0000 The_Real_Fly 580469 at "Hard-Core Clinton Fanatic" Manufactured "Viral Fake News" That MSNBC Used To Discredit Wikileaks <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Glenn Greenwald via The Intercept,</em></a></p> <div> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The phrase &ldquo;Fake News&rdquo;</span> has exploded in usage since the election, but the term is similar to other malleable political labels such as &ldquo;terrorism&rdquo; and &ldquo;hate speech&rdquo;; because the phrase&nbsp;lacks any clear definition, </strong>it is essentially useless except as an instrument of propaganda and censorship. The most important fact to realize about this new term: those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.</p> <p><strong>One of the most egregious examples was the recent Washington Post article hyping a new anonymous group and its <a href="">disgusting blacklist</a> of supposedly pro-Russia news outlets</strong>&nbsp;&ndash; a <a href="">shameful article mindlessly spread</a> by countless journalists who love to decry Fake News, despite&nbsp;the Post article itself being centrally based on Fake News. (The Post this week <a href="">finally added a lame editor&rsquo;s note</a> acknowledging these critiques; the Post editors absurdly claimed that they did not mean to&nbsp;&ldquo;vouch for the validity&rdquo; of the blacklist even though the article&rsquo;s key claims were&nbsp;based on doing exactly that).</p> <p><u><strong>Now we have an even more compelling example.</strong></u> Back in October, when WikiLeaks was releasing emails from the John Podesta archive, Clinton campaign officials and their media spokespeople <a href="">adopted a strategy</a> of <a href="">outright lying</a> to the public, <a href="">claiming</a> &ndash; with no basis whatsoever &ndash; that the emails were doctored or fabricated and thus <a href="">should be ignored</a>. That lie &ndash; and that is what it was: a claim made with knowledge of its falsity or reckless disregard for its truth &ndash; was most aggressively amplified by MSNBC personalities such as <a href="">Joy</a> <a href="">Ann Reid</a>&nbsp;and <a href="">Malcolm Nance</a>, <a href="">The Atlantic&rsquo;s David Frum</a>, and <a href="">Newsweek&rsquo;s</a> <a href="">Kurt Eichenwald</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Clinton camp chief strategist <a href="">@benensonj</a>: &quot;I&#39;ve seen things&quot; in Wikileaks emails &quot;that aren&#39;t authentic&quot; <a href="">#ThisWeek</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; This Week (@ThisWeekABC) <a href="">October 23, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <p><strong>That the emails in the Wikileaks archive were doctored or faked &ndash; and thus should be disregarded &ndash; was classic Fake News, spread not by Macedonian teenagers or Kremlin operatives but by established news&nbsp;outlets such as MSNBC, the Atlantic and Newsweek. And, by design, this Fake News spread like wildfire all over the internet, hungrily&nbsp;clicked and shared by tens of thousands of people eager to believe it was true. </strong>As a result of this deliberate disinformation campaign, anyone reporting on the contents of the emails was instantly met with claims that the documents in the archive had been proven&nbsp;fake.</p> <p><strong>The most damaging such claim came from MSNBC&rsquo;s intelligence analyst Malcolm Nance.</strong> As I <a href="">documented on October 11</a>, he tweeted what he &ndash; for some bizarre reason &ndash;&nbsp;labeled an &ldquo;Official Warning.&rdquo; It decreed: &ldquo;<a class="PrettyLink hashtag customisable" href="" rel="tag"><span class="PrettyLink-prefix">#</span><span class="PrettyLink-value">PodestaEmails</span></a> are already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries &amp; <a class="PrettyLink hashtag customisable" href="" rel="tag"><span class="PrettyLink-prefix">#</span><span class="PrettyLink-value">blackpropaganda</span></a> not even professionally done.&rdquo; That tweet was re-tweeted by more than 4,000 people. It was vested with added credibility by Clinton-supporting journalists like&nbsp;<a href="">Reid</a> and <a href="">Frum</a>&nbsp;(&ldquo;expert to take seriously&rdquo;).</p> <p>All of that, in turn, led to <a href="">an article in something called &ldquo;The Daily News Bin&rdquo;</a> with the headline:<em><u><strong> &ldquo;MSNBC intelligence expert: WikiLeaks is releasing falsified emails not really from Hillary Clinton.&rdquo;</strong></u></em> This classic fake news product &ndash; citing Nance and Reid among others &ndash; was shared more than 40,000 times on Facebook alone.</p> </div> <div> <div class="img-wrap align-center width-fixed" style="width: 540px;"><a href=""><img class="aligncenter size-article-medium wp-image-101788" src="" /></a></div> <div class="img-wrap align-center width-fixed" style="width: 540px;"><a href=""><img class="aligncenter size-article-medium wp-image-101789" src="" /></a></div> <div class="img-wrap align-center width-fixed" style="width: 540px;"><a href=""><img class="aligncenter size-article-medium wp-image-101785" src="" /></a></div> </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Joe, Malcolm Nance &amp; other experts have validated these emails have been forged &amp; altered by Russia before passing them off to Wikileaks! <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; VLB (@BickiDoodle) <a href="">October 27, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">The media (<a href="">@ABC</a>, <a href="">@CBSNews</a>, <a href="">@NBCNews</a> and <a href="">@PBS</a>) must heed Malcolm Nance: &quot;You should have ZERO CONFIDENCE in the contents&quot; of Wikileaks dumps!</p> <p>&mdash; Thomas Gordon (@EarthOrb) <a href="">October 23, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Joy now discussing WikiLeaks with security expert Malcolm Nance who says we can have zero confidence in authenticity of documents. <a href="">#AMJoy</a></p> <p>&mdash; LaurenBaratzLogsted (@LaurenBaratzL) <a href="">October 22, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></div> <div> <div class="img-wrap align-center width-fixed" style="width: 540px;"><a href=""><img class="aligncenter size-article-medium wp-image-101792" src="" /></a></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">From the start,</span> it was obvious that it was <em>this accusation</em> from Clinton supporters &ndash; not the WikiLeaks documents &ndash; that was a complete fraud,</strong> perpetrated on the public as deliberate disinformation. With regard to the claim about the Podesta emails, now we know exactly who created it in the first instance: a hard-core Clinton fanatic.</p> <p>When Nance &ndash; MSNBC&rsquo;s &ldquo;intelligence analyst&rdquo; &ndash; issued his &ldquo;Official Warning,&rdquo; he linked to <a href="">a tweet</a>&nbsp;that warned: &ldquo;Please be skeptical of alleged <a class="twitter-hashtag pretty-link js-nav" href="">#<strong>PodestaEmails</strong></a>. Trumpists are dirtying docs.&rdquo; That tweet, in turn, linked to a tweet from an anonymous account calling itself &ldquo;The Omnivore,&rdquo; which had <a href="">posted an obviously fake transcript</a> purporting to be a Hillary Clinton speech to Goldman Sachs. Even though that fake document was never published by WikiLeaks, that was the entire basis for the MSNBC-inspired claim that some of the WikiLeaks documents were doctored.</p> <p><u><strong>But the person who created that forged Goldman Sachs transcript was not a &ldquo;Trumpist&rdquo; at all; he was a devoted supporter of Hillary Clinton. </strong></u>In the Daily Beast, the person behind the anonymous<strong> &ldquo;The Omnivore&rdquo; account <a href="">unmasks himself as &ldquo;Marco Chacon,&rdquo;</a> a self-professed&nbsp;creator of &ldquo;viral fake news&rdquo; whose targets were Sanders and Trump supporters</strong> (he specialized in blatantly fake anti-Clinton frauds&nbsp;with the goal of tricking her opponents into citing them, so that they would be discredited). When he wasn&rsquo;t posting fabricated news accounts designed to make Clintons&rsquo; opponents look bad, his account looked like any other standard pro-Clinton account: numerous negative items about Sanders and then Trump, with links to many Clinton-defending articles.</p> <p>In his Daily Beast article, published on November 21, Chacon describes how he manufactured the forged Goldman Sachs speech transcript. He says he did it prior to learning that the WikiLeaks releases of Podesta emails contained actual Clinton speech excerpts to Wall Street banks. But once he realized WikiLeaks had published actual Clinton transcripts, Chacon&nbsp;began trying to lure people he disliked &ndash; Clinton critics &ndash; into believing that his forged speeches were real, so that he could prove they were&nbsp;gullible and dumb.</p> <p>Sadly for Chacon, however, the people who ended up getting fooled by his Fake News items were the nation&rsquo;s most prominent Clinton supporters, including supposed experts and journalists from MSNBC who used his obvious fakes to try to convince the world that the WikiLeaks archive had been compromised and thus should be ignored. That it was pro-Clinton journalists who spread his Fake News as real&nbsp;now horrifies even Chacon:</p> <div class="Text"> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <p>The tweet went super-viral. It started an almost trending&mdash;but still going today&mdash;hashtag #bucketoflosers. A tweet declaring it a bad forgery was picked up by Malcolm Nance, an intelligence analyst for MSNBC among others, who tweeted to be wary of the WikiLeaks release. .</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>That did not stop Nance, who with a firm intelligence background should have been able to easily spot the fake with &ldquo;(chaos)&rdquo; actually written in the side bar and &ldquo;((makes air quotes))&rdquo; written before the &ldquo;bucket of losers&rdquo; piece in the completely comical so-called transcript, from referencing the document and saying: &ldquo;Official Warning: #PodestaEmails are already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries &amp; #blackpropaganda not even professionally done&rdquo; . . . .</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the end of the day, did this change anything? I don&rsquo;t know. I think I inadvertently hurt WikiLeaks, which I&rsquo;m not proud of&mdash;but I&rsquo;m not too sorry about either. I suspect that some people came to realize that they were believing in fake things.</p> </blockquote> </div> <p>That last sentence &ndash; that as a result of his fraud, &ldquo;some people came to realize that they were believing in fake things&rdquo; &ndash; is false, at least insofar as it applies to people like Eichenwald, Frum, Nance and Reid. Even though it was clear from the start to any rational and honest person that there was zero evidence that any of the WikiLeaks documents were doctored, and even though (as Chacon himself says) nobody minimally informed (let alone supposed &ldquo;intelligence experts&rdquo;) should have been fooled by his blatant Fake News, none of the journalists who lied to the public about these WikiLeaks documents have even once acknowledged what they did.</p> <p><strong>Their Fake News tweets &ndash; warning people to view the WikiLeaks documents as fake &ndash; remain posted, with no subsequent retraction or acknowledgment of the falsehoods that they spread about the WikiLeaks archive. That includes MSNBC segments which spread this accusation.</strong></p> <p>Indeed, not only should it have been blatantly obvious that Chacon&rsquo;s anonymously posted&nbsp;document did not impugn the WikiLeaks archive, but also the slightest research would have revealed that the person who manufactured the forgery was <em>a Clinton supporter</em>, not a &ldquo;Trumpist&rdquo; or a Kremlin operative. Indeed, one of the Clinton-criticizing journalists who Chacon tried to trick, Michael Tracey, <a href="">said exactly this at the time</a>.&nbsp;B<strong>ut because his facts contradicted the MSNBC/Newsweek political agenda, they were ignored in favor of the lie that the WikiLeaks archive had been compromised and doctored:</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">FYI: one of the accounts (<a href="">@OmnivoreBlog</a>) that circulated a fake HRC speech transcript is a pro-Clinton troll spreading disinformation. <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Michael Tracey (@mtracey) <a href="">October 11, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I will be shocked if any of them now acknowledge this even with Chacon&rsquo;s&nbsp;confession. That&rsquo;s because MSNBC has repeatedly proven that it tolerates Fake News and outright lies from its personalities as long as those lies are in service of the right candidate (when Democrats were <a href="">smearing Jill Stein as a Kremlin stooge</a>, Reid&rsquo;s program aired Nance&rsquo;s lie to MSNBC viewers that Stein had previously hosted her own show on&nbsp;RT: an utter fabrication that MSNBC, to this day, has never corrected or even acknowledged despite <a href="">multiple requests</a> from <a href="">FAIR</a>).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">On Reid&#39;s show, Malcolm Nance falsely claimed Jill Stein hosted an RT show, &amp; they just refuse to correct/retract it. How is that allowed? <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) <a href="">October 19, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <p><strong>Every day, literally, you can turn on MSNBC and hear various people so righteously lamenting the spread of &ldquo;Fake News.&rdquo; Yet MSNBC itself not only spreads Fake News but refuses to correct it when it is exposed. How do they have any credibility to denounce Fake News? They do not.</strong></p> <p>That&nbsp;journalists and &ldquo;experts&rdquo; outright lied to the public this way in order to help their favorite candidate is obviously dangerous. This was most powerfully pointed out &ndash; ironically &ndash; by Marty Baron, Executive Editor of the Washington Post, who <a href="">told The New York Times&rsquo; Jim Rutenberg</a>: &ldquo;If you have a society where people can&rsquo;t agree on basic facts, how do you have a functioning democracy?&rdquo;</p> <p>Exactly: if you have prominent journalists telling the public to trust an anonymous group with a false McCarthyite blacklist, or telling it to ignore informative documents on the grounds that they are fake when there is zero reason to believe that they are fake, that is a direct threat to democracy. In the case of the Podesta emails, these lies were perpetrated by the very factions that have taken to most loudly victimizing themselves&nbsp;over the spread of Fake News.</p> <p><u><strong>But the problem here goes way beyond mere hypocrisy.</strong></u> Complaints about Fake News are typically accompanied by calls for &ldquo;solutions&rdquo; that involve censorship and suppression, either by the government or tech giants such as Facebook. But until there is a clear definition of &ldquo;Fake News,&rdquo;&nbsp;and until it&rsquo;s recognized that Fake News is being aggressively spread by the very people most loudly complaining about it, the dangers posed by these solutions will be at least as great as the problem itself.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="757" height="408" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American politics Cyberspace Email hacking Espionage John Podesta Liberalism in the United States Malcolm Nance MSNBC National security New York Times News leaks Podesta emails Politics Politics Security WikiLeaks Sun, 11 Dec 2016 03:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 580345 at Mapping The Top States For Resettling Refugees In 2016 <p>The Obama administration admitted nearly 85,000 refugees into the United States in fiscal year 2016, the highest number since 1999.&nbsp; Moreover, as we noted back in September, Obama's administration has laid the groundwork to increase that number even further in fiscal year 2017 to 110,000 (see "<a href="">Hillbama Administration Plans To Admit At Least 110,000 Refugees In 2017</a>").&nbsp; </p> <p>Of course, not every state is doing their "fair share" to house the massive influx of immigrants with <a href="">Pew Research Center</a> recently pointing out that the top ten states are taking in 54% of refugees.</p> <p><a href="" title="Infographic: The Top U.S. States For Refugee Resettlement In 2016 | Statista"><img src="" alt="Infographic: The Top U.S. States For Refugee Resettlement In 2016 | Statista" width="100%" height="auto" style="width: 100%; height: auto !important; max-width: 960px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As Pew points notes, California, Texas and New York alone resettled 24% of incoming refugees while Nebraska took in the most on a per capita basis.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>California, Texas and New York resettled the most refugees in fiscal 2016</strong> (which began on Oct. 1, 2015, and ended Sept. 30, 2016), together taking in 20,738 refugees, or about a quarter (24%) of the U.S. total. Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, North Carolina, Washington, Pennsylvania and Illinois, which each received 3,000 or more refugees, rounded out the top 10 states by number of resettled refugees. Overall, 54% of refugees admitted to the U.S. in 2016 were resettled in one of these 10 states.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the other end of the spectrum, some states and the District of Columbia took in few or no refugees in fiscal 2016. <strong>Arkansas, the District of Columbia and Wyoming resettled fewer than 10 refugees each, while two states – Delaware and Hawaii – took in none.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>In fiscal 2016, Nebraska (76), North Dakota (71) and Idaho (69) resettled the most refugees per 100,000 residents.</strong> Other states like Vermont (62), Arizona (60) and Kentucky (54) far exceeded the U.S. national average of 26 refugees per 100,000 residents.</p> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, the <strong>Democratic Republic of the Congo was the top country of origin for refugees resettled in the U.S. in 2016 while Syria was a close second.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The Democratic Republic of the Congo (16,370) was the top origin country among refugees resettled in 2016. Some 10% were resettled in Texas, 7% in Arizona and 6% in both New York and North Carolina.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, Syrian refugees – the second-largest origin group with 12,587 resettled in fiscal 2016 – have garnered more attention from state leaders, with 31 governors opposing this group’s resettlement in their states. Even so, resettlement patterns of Syrian refugees across the states are similar to the national average. California had the largest number (1,450) of resettled Syrian refugees in fiscal 2016, followed by Michigan (1,374) and Texas (912).</p> </blockquote> <p>And while the Obama administration has announced plans to admit even more refugees in 2017, we suspect president-elect Trump may have other ideas.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Trump: Will suspend immigration from areas in the world where there is proven history of terrorism against U.S. <a href=""></a></p> <p>— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) <a href="">June 13, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="761" height="485" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Aftermath of war Asylum in the United States Barack Obama Business Demography Forced migration Human geography Illinois Michigan None Obama Administration Obama administration Obama's administration Ohio Pew Research Center Politics Presidency of Barack Obama Refugee Refugee crisis Right of asylum Social Issues United States War Sun, 11 Dec 2016 03:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 580412 at Clinton Aides "Soul Crushed" By Speculation Of Russian Election "Interference" <p>As the debacle of the <a href="">too-secret-to-show-you fantasy CIA report 'proving' Russia's interference</a> with the US election becomes the new news cycle narrative, <em><strong>Hillary Clinton staffers are reportedly "soul crushed" by these new 'facts'</strong></em>.</p> <p>Following her <a href="">screaming match with Trump campaign manager KellyAnne Conway last week</a>, Clinton campaign manager Jennifer Plamieri tweeted this morning about her <strong>devastation </strong>at the 'news' of Russian interefence...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Soul crushing are the only words I have. Can barely stand to read the story. <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Jennifer Palmieri (@jmpalmieri) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>“<strong><em>We shouted about this as loud as we could</em></strong>,” added former Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin in another tweet. “<strong><em>Hardly anyone listened.</em></strong>”</p> <p><a href="">As The Hill reports,</a> <strong>other former staffers took aim at Trump</strong>, whose transition team blasted the CIA in a statement Friday night following the report, saying, “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Since being elected, Trump has<br />- insulted CIA<br />- refused intel briefings<br />- slammed our generals<br />- spurned State Dept<br />- attacked US elections</p> <p>— Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">kind of impressive that Hillary got more votes than any white man in history, including ~3M more than the guy Putin was boosting!</p> <p>— Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Likelihood <a href="">@realDonaldTrump</a> tweets something outrageous tonight or in the morning to change the topic? <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Jesse Ferguson (@JesseFFerguson) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">So with stories that a foreign govt interfered with US elections, his reaction is move on? No concerns for broader implications? <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Christina Reynolds (@creynoldsnc) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>And so it is that 'they' lost the election due to Russian interference and the biased electoral college, and not in any way due to running 'the most flawed candidate ever' and promising more of the same?</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="225" height="134" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Business Central Intelligence Agency Central Intelligence Agency Climate change skepticism and denial Computing Conservatism in the United States Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Hillary Clinton James Comey Kellyanne Conway Mike Pence Politics Politics of the United States Software The Apprentice Twitter United States WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 11 Dec 2016 02:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 580372 at Keep The Federal Courts Out Of The Electoral College <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,</em></a></p> <p>The United States was originally constructed in such a way that the <strong>states themselves would dominate the electoral process</strong>. Historically, states have determined who can vote, when they vote, and how they vote. Through this power states have also been given limited <em>de facto </em>power of determining citizenship.</p> <p><strong>Over time, the federal courts have increasingly seized local prerogatives in this matter, </strong>but even today, states and counties are the primary government organizations that conduct elections, collect the votes, print the ballots, and determine the winners.&nbsp;</p> <p>This is appropriate, of course, since the <strong>United States was intended to function on a confederation model</strong> in which it would be up to the states to decide for themselves how they would send representatives to Congress. There is no such thing as a &quot;national election&quot; in the United States because there <a href="">wasn&#39;t supposed to be a single nation</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Unfortunately, in the wake of the 2016 election, opponents of the election&#39;s outcome have been petitioning the Supreme Court to step in and take even more power away from the states in deciding how presidents are selected through the Electoral College. </strong>Specifically, two electors in Colorado are <a href="" target="_blank">suing in federal court</a> to overturn a state law that requires members of the electoral college to support the winner of the statewide vote:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The two electors, Polly Baca and Robert Nemanich, are suing to overturn a Colorado law that requires them to support the winner of their statewide popular vote -- Hillary Clinton -- during the general election last month.</p> </blockquote> <p>In this case, the two electors who are suing are pro-Clinton, and Clinton won the statewide vote in Colorado. So, as electors, they&#39;ll be voting for the candidate they supported in the general election anyway. <strong>But, they&#39;re hoping their lawsuit will lead to the nullification of state laws over the electoral college, which could free up electors in other states. </strong>Currently, in addition to Colorado, <a href="" target="_blank">28 states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws</a> mandating the electors vote for the winner of the statewide vote. Failure to comply with these mandates, however, generally bring only a fine.&nbsp;</p> <p>This follows a mandate from the current US Constitution which states in Article II, Section 1 that: &quot;Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.&quot;</p> <p><strong>In other words, the text is explicit that the state legislature has nearly untrammeled control over how electors are appointed.</strong></p> <p>Thus, by extension, the state legislature could also be entitled to force electors to legally pledge to support the winner of the statewide vote.&nbsp;</p> <p>This method would also be reminiscent of methods used prior to the 17th Amendment when members of the legislature were pledged to appoint to the US Senate the winners of statewide votes.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Of course, the method that states use to appoint or bind electors is beside the point.</strong> States ought to be free to appoint, manage, remove, or regulate electors totally outside any interference from federal courts, federal regulators, or federal policymakers of any kind. If fifty states employ fifty different methods of assigning electoral votes, this would merely reflect the diversity of the American states.&nbsp;</p> <p>Were the federal courts to step in and begin regulating states on how they manage their electoral college votes, <strong><em>it would be a significant swing in favor of federal centralization and greater federal power.&nbsp;</em></strong></p> <h4><u>The Current System Favors the Democrats&nbsp;</u></h4> <p><strong>As a final note, we might also look at how the current system of binding electors to the statewide vote in each state actually favors the Democrats.</strong> The fact that the state legislatures so often defer to the winner of the statewide vote <em>limits </em>legislative power, and puts electoral votes beyond the reach of the legislature once the votes are counted. This&nbsp;<em>helps </em>the Democrats in a period where the Republicans have an overwhelming advantage at the state-government level.&nbsp;</p> <div class="ds-1col file file-image file-image-png view-mode-wide_player clearfix"> <div class="img img-responsive"><img height="448" src="" width="693" /></div> </div> <p>For example, given current party control of state government, were legislatures to reserve to themselves more active control over the electoral college, Republicans would be guaranteed victory in at least &nbsp;23 states where the GOP has a so-called trifecta &mdash;&nbsp;control over all houses of the legislature and the governor&#39;s office. This means the GOP would get 248&nbsp;out of the necessary 270 electoral votes right off the bat. The Democrats by this measure would win 7&nbsp;states for a total of 86 electoral votes. &nbsp;Once we add in other states <a href="" target="_blank">where the GOP controls the legislature</a> but not the governor&#39;s office, the GOP <em>easily</em> wins the necessary electoral votes.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>This advantage will be even greater once the GOP&#39;s additional state-level gains in the 2016 election take effect next year.</strong> Post-2016, the GOP will have a trifecta&nbsp;in 24 states with 255 electoral votes. The Democrats will have a trifecta in 6 states with 83 electoral votes.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="238" height="145" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Congress Democracy Elections in the United States Electoral College Electoral College Faithless elector Government Mises Institute Mises Institute National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Politics Presidential elections in the United States Republican Party Republicans state legislature Supreme Court United States Senate Sun, 11 Dec 2016 02:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 580401 at A "Soft Coup" Attempt: Furious Trump Slams "Secret" CIA Report Russia Helped Him Win <p>Overnight the media propaganda wars escalated after the late Friday release <a href="">of an article by the Washington Post </a>(which last week <a href="">admitted to using unverified, or fake, news </a>in an attempt to smear other so-called "fake news" sites) according to which a secret CIA assessment found that Russia sought to tip last month’s U.S. presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor, a conclusion presented without any actual evidence, and which drew an extraordinary, and angry rebuke from the president-elect’s camp. </p> <p><strong>“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” </strong>Trump’s transition team said, launching a broadside against the spy agency. “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.’ ”</p> <p>The Washington Post report comes after outgoing President Barack Obama <a href="">ordered a review of all cyberattacks that took place during the 2016 election cycle</a>, amid growing calls from Congress for more information on the extent of Russian interference in the campaign. The newspaper cited officials briefed on the matter as saying that individuals with connections to Moscow provided WikiLeaks with email hacked from the Democratic National Committee, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief and others. </p> <p><iframe src="//" width="480" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>Without a shred of evidence provided, and despite Wikileaks' own on the record denial that the source of the emails was Russian, the WaPo attack piece claims the email messages were steadily leaked out via WikiLeaks in the months before the election, damaging Clinton’s White House run. Essentially, according to the WaPo, the Russians’ aim was to help Donald Trump win and not just undermine the U.S. electoral process, hinting at a counter-Hillary <em>intent </em>on the side of Putin.</p> <p><strong>“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,”</strong> the newspaper quoted a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation last week to key senators as saying. “<strong>That’s the consensus view.”</strong></p> <p>CIA agents told the lawmakers it was “quite clear” - although it was not reported exactly what made it "clear" - that electing Trump was Russia’s goal, according to officials who spoke to the Post, citing growing evidence from multiple sources. </p> <p>And yet, key questions remain unanswered, and the CIA’s report fell short of being a formal U.S. assessment produced by all 17 intelligence agencies the newspaper said, for two reasons. As we reported in November "<a href="">The "Fact" That 17 Intelligence Agencies Confirmed Russia is Behind the Email Hacks Isn’t Actually…A "Fact</a>", and then also because aside from so-called "consensus", there is - <em>once again </em>- <strong>no evidence, </strong>otherwise the appropriate agencies would have long since released it, and this is nothing more than another propaganda attempt to build tension with Russia. In fact, the WaPo admits as much in the following text, which effectively destroys the article's entire argument : </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>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.</p> <p><strong>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. </strong>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.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>&nbsp;“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,” </strong></span>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.”</p> </blockquote> <p>And since even the WaPo is forced to admit that intelligence agents don’t have the proof that Russian officials directed the identified individuals to supply WikiLeaks with the hacked Democratic emails, the best it can do is speculate based on circumstantial inferences, especially since, as noted above, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has <a href="">denied links with Russia’s government</a>, putting the burden of proof on the side of those who challenge the Wikileaks narrative. So far that proof has not been provided.</p> <p>Nonetheless, at the White House, <strong>Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said Obama called for the cyberattacks review earlier this week to ensure “the integrity of our elections.” </strong></p> <p><em>“This report will dig into this pattern of malicious cyberactivity timed to our elections, take stock of our defensive capabilities and capture lessons learned to make sure that we brief members of Congress and stakeholders as appropriate,” </em>Schultz said. </p> <p>Taking the absurdity to a whole new level, Obama wants the report completed before his term ends on January 20, by <strong>none other than a proven and confirmed liar</strong>: "<em><strong>The review will be led by James Clapper, the outgoing director of national intelligence, officials said.</strong></em>" In other words, the report that the Kremlin stole the election should be prepared by the time Trump is expected to be sworn in.</p> <p>“We are going to make public as much as we can,” the spokesman added. “This is a major priority for the president.”</p> <p>The move comes after Democrats in Congress pressed the White House to reveal details, to Congress or to the public, of Russian hacking and disinformation in the election. </p> <p>On Oct. 7, one month before the election, the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence announced that “the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations.” “These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process,” they said. </p> <p>Trump dismissed those findings in an interview published Wednesday by Time magazine for its “Person of the Year” award. Asked if the intelligence was politicized, Trump answered: “I think so.” </p> <p>“I don’t believe they interfered,” he said. “It could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.” </p> <p>Worried that Trump will sweep the issue under the rug after his inauguration, seven Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee called on Nov. 29 for the White House to declassify what it knows about Russian interference. The seven have already been briefed on the classified details, suggesting they believe there is more information the public should know. On Tuesday this week, leading House Democrats called on Obama to give members of the entire Congress a classified briefing on Russian interference, from hacking to the spreading of fake news stories to mislead U.S. voters. </p> <p>Republicans in Congress have also promised hearings into Russian activities once the new administration comes in. </p> <p>Obama’s homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco said the cyberinterference goes back to the 2008 presidential race, when both the Obama and John McCain campaigns were hit by malicious computer intrusions. </p> <p>* * * </p> <p>An interesting aside to emerge from last night's hit piece and the Trump team response is that there is now a full blown turf war between Trump and the CIA, as NBC's Chuck Todd observed in a series of late Friday tweets:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">The implication in the Trump transition statement is that he doesn't believe a single thing from the CIA.</p> <p>— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Is the next Commander-in-Chief is signaling that the CIA won't be a major player in his national security team?</p> <p>— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">So stunned by the Trump transition statement on the Post-CIA-Russia story that I half expect a walk back by tomorrow</p> <p>— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">How helpful is it for the CIA's reputation around the world if the next US questions their findings so publicly? Good luck Mike Pompeo</p> <p>— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>To which Glenn Greenwald provided the best counterargument:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Yes, the CIA's sterling reputation around the world for truth-telling and integrity might be sullied if someone doubts their claims... <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">When is it hardest to get people not to blindly accept anonymous, evidence-free CIA claims? When it's very pleasing to believe them.</p> <p>— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>However, of the mini Tweetstorm, this was the most important aspect: the veiled suggestion that in addition to Russia, both the FBI <em><strong>and </strong></em>the Obama presidency prevented Hillary from becoming the next US president... </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">While Obama&#39;s FBI director smeared Hillary, Obama sat on evidence of Russian efforts to elect Trump that had basis in evidence.</p> <p>&mdash; Franklin Foer (@FranklinFoer) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>... which in light of these stunning new unproven and baseless allegations, she may very well have renewed aspirations toward. </p> <p>* * * </p> <p>So while there is <em>no "there" </em>there following the WaPo's latest attempt to fan the rarging fires of evidence-free propaganda, or as the WaPo itself would say "fake news", here is why the story has dramatic implications. First, the only two quotes which matter:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"...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.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"...Obama wants the report before he leaves office Jan. 20, Monaco said. The review will be led by [PROVEN LIAR] James Clapper, the outgoing director of national intelligence, officials said."</p> </blockquote> <p>And then the summary:</p> <ol> <li>Announce "consensus" (not unanimous) "conclusion" based in circumstantial evidence now, before the Electoral College vote, then write a report with actual details due by Jan 20.</li> <li>Put a proven liar in charge of writing the report on Russian hacking.</li> <li>Fail to mention that not one of the leaked DNC or Podesta emails has been shown to be inauthentic. So the supposed Russian hacking simply revealed truth about Hillary, DNC, and MSM collusion and corruption.</li> <li>Fail to mention that if hacking was done by or for US government to stop Hillary, blaming the Russians would be the most likely disinformation used by US agencies.</li> <li>Expect every pro-Hillary lapdog journalist - which is virtually all of them - in America will hyperventilate (Twitter is currently on fire) about this latest fact-free, anti-Trump political stunt for the next nine days.</li> </ol> <p>Or, as a reader put it, <strong>this is a soft coup attempt by leaders of Intel community and Obama Admin to influence the Electoral College vote, similar to the 1960s novel "<a href="">Seven Days in May</a>."</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="318" height="159" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Barack Obama Central Intelligence Agency Central Intelligence Agency China Congress Corruption Democratic National Committee Department of Homeland Security Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Electoral College Email hacking Espionage Fail FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Government House Intelligence Committee John McCain Julian Assange Mike Pence national intelligence National Intelligence national security National security News leaks Newspaper None Politics Politics Russian government Russia’s government Secretariat of Intelligence Security Senate Intelligence Committee SPY the Washington Post Time Magazine Twitter Twitter US government White House White House WikiLeaks Sun, 11 Dec 2016 02:11:06 +0000 Tyler Durden 580326 at Nate Silver "Calculates" Hillary Would Win If Not For Comey, Russia As Democrats Come Swinging <p>In the immediate aftermath of <a href="">last night's WaPo article revealing </a>a "secret" CIA assessment according to which Russia (without a shred of evidence) helped Trump win the election, we explained - in five points - how this was nothing short of a "soft coup" attempt by leaders of the US Intel community and Obama administration to influence the Electoral College vote. To wit:</p> <ol> <li>Announce "consensus" (not unanimous) "conclusion" based in circumstantial evidence now, before the Electoral College vote, then write a report with actual details due by Jan 20.</li> <li>Put a proven liar in charge of writing the report on Russian hacking.</li> <li>Fail to mention that not one of the leaked DNC or Podesta emails has been shown to be inauthentic. So the supposed Russian hacking simply revealed truth about Hillary, DNC, and MSM collusion and corruption.</li> <li>Fail to mention that if hacking was done by or for US government to stop Hillary, blaming the Russians would be the most likely disinformation used by US agencies.</li> <li>Expect every pro-Hillary lapdog journalist - which is virtually all of them - in America will hyperventilate about this latest fact-free, anti-Trump political stunt for the next nine days.</li> </ol> <p>Shortly thereafter, the prominent <a href="">beacon of liberal thought</a>, Paul Krugman, confirmed that this agenda was quickly taking shape when he tweeted that "we'll have a president who lost the pop vote by 2.1%, got in thanks to FBI and Putin. And supporters will demand respect. Um, no."</p> <p>He continued: "Also note CIA held findings until after election; FBI splashed its story -- which turned out to be LITERALLY nothing -- 10 days before", and concluded furiously that "The big problem, for me at least, it how to keep the rage on a simmer, rather than boiling over. The path to justice will be long 9:24 AM - 10 Dec 2016."</p> <p>That was the initial salvo. It was to be followed promptly by many other liberal voices who have not only concluded that if it not for Russia, Trump would not win, but that without the involvement of FBI director Comey and Vladimir Putin, Hillary would have won the key swing states, and thus the presidency. Case in point, statistician Nate Silver who, together with all other experts, called the election drastically wrong, and is now seeking scapegoats. He appears to have found them.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Clinton lost 4 states (FL, MI, WI, PA) by ~1 point. If not for Comey/Russia, she probably wins them all by ~2 points &amp; strategy looks great.</p> <p>— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>And so, with Krugman laying out the ideological strawman, and "statistical genius" Nate Silver validating the fabricated strawman by calculating the odds of Hillary's victory if it wasn't for the FBI and evil Russian government hackers, the Democrats have come out swinging, with another liberal commentator, Keith Olberman, laying out the party line that "Priority now is preventing swearing in of Trump (R-Russia). From 9/28: "Is @realDonaldTrump Loyal To This Country?"...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Priority now is preventing swearing in of Trump (R-Russia). From 9/28: "Is <a href="">@realDonaldTrump</a> Loyal To This Country?" <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...followed the the punchline: getting the Electoral College to "realize" that Clinton would be the winner, if only the unproven intervention of Putin (and his lapdog, FBI diretor Comey) had not happened.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Dem congressman: Electoral College has 'right' to weigh Russian hacking <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— POLITICO (@politico) <a href="">December 10, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p><a href="">From Politico</a>: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>A Democratic congressman is suggesting that members of the Electoral College should be able to consider Russian interference in the presidential election — and whether it influenced the outcome — when deciding how to cast their vote. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Cicilline appears to be the first member of Congress and the highest-ranking elected official in the country to endorse the notion that electors aren’t simply rubber stamps for their states’ popular vote. </strong>Earlier Saturday, <strong>he retweeted a Rhode Island-based national security expert who argued that the intelligence community “must brief electoral college about Russia before vote.” </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"To the extent that foreign interference in the United States presidential elections may have influenced the final result, I believe the electors have the right to consider that,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) said in a statement to POLITICO on Saturday. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Cicilline’s comments come amid the explosive determination by the U.S. intelligence community that Russia interfered in the presidential election in support of Donald Trump. Trump’s transition team has forcefully denied the conclusion. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>“EC exists to protect republic from candidate under foreign influence,” </strong>the expert, Salve Regina University researcher Jim Ludes, wrote. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Cicilline stopped short of endorsing that sentiment in his statement to POLITICO. <strong>But in a second tweet on Saturday, he urged the White House to publicize information surrounding the CIA’s assessment that Russia intervened in the election to help Trump. “Before the Electoral College votes,” he added</strong>.</p> </blockquote> <p>If Trump isn't profusely nervous at this very moment - when everyone from the Obama administration, to US intel, to every living, breathing liberal, to the "unbiased" press - will be screaming that Trump should not get the Dec. 19 EC vote and effectively engaging in a "soft coup", then he is not paying attention.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1600" height="193" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Business Central Intelligence Agency Congress Corruption Donald Trump Donald Trump Electoral College Email hacking Fail FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation Hillary Clinton James Comey Krugman national security Obama Administration Obama administration Paul Krugman Podesta emails Politics Russian government The Apprentice Twitter Twitter U.S. intelligence United States US government Vladimir Putin White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 11 Dec 2016 01:48:51 +0000 Tyler Durden 580457 at