Saturday, September 17, 2016

It’s All About Pipelines In Syria——Assad’s Death Warrant



“Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the…


Cass Sunstein: Employing Behavioral Modification in Laboratory America

Cass Sunstein: Employing Behavioral Modification in Laboratory America:

'via Blog this'

Selective Editing Syndrome and the News

The following is a news media commentary

A fuss was raised this week when The CBS Evening News edited out a few words in an interview with President Clinton. Clinton was answering a question from Charlie Rose about whether Hillary Clinton’s health concerns are serious. The controversy is summed up in an article in The Hill:

“Well, if it is, then it’s a mystery to me and all of her doctors,” Bill Clinton said when Rose asked him if Hillary Clinton was simply dehydrated or if the situation was more serious. “Frequently — well, not frequently, rarely, on more than one occasion, over the last many, many years, the same sort of thing’s happened to her when she got severely dehydrated, and she’s worked like a demon, as you know, as secretary of State, as a senator and in the year since.”
But the “CBS Evening News” version cut Clinton’s use of “frequently” out. And a review by The Hill of the official transcript released by the network shows that Clinton saying “Frequently — well, not frequently,” is omitted as well.
Chuck Ross of The Daily Caller first discovered the edit of the television version.

CBS News responded with a statement saying the edit was purely a matter of time: that the three seconds saved by editing the clip were crucial in a half hour broadcast:

The clip in question from former President Clinton’s interview with Charlie Rose ran in its entirety on CBS THIS MORNING,[] and on CBSN, CBS News’ 24/7 digital streaming news service. One clip that ran on CBS Evening News was edited purely for time while on deadline for the live broadcast.–CBS News Statement

In broadcast news, edits for the sake of time are made all the time. And it’s true that sometimes even a few seconds matter. This instance is a question of motive and judgement. It would be unethical for an edit to be made if it misrepresents the interview or changes important context. Had it been my story, I would have considered the President’s equivocation between “frequently” and “rarely” to be significant for viewers to hear so they could make up their own mind about what they think. After all, the two words are antonyms and, in context, may add to the uncertainty surrounding Hillary’s health in the minds of some. Others might conclude the President misspoke and corrected himself. But it should be left up to viewers to judge.

Consider a different edit that CBS News could have made that would have also saved time:

“Frequently — well, not frequently, rarely, on more than one occasion, over the last many, many years, the same sort of thing’s happened to her when she got severely dehydrated, and she’s worked like a demon, as you know, as secretary of State, as a senator and in the year since.”

The fact is, when they edited out “frequently,” they made a choice that advanced one narrative (Hillary rarely gets severely dehydrated and falls when she works hard) rather than another (Hillary frequently gets severely dehydrated and falls when she works hard).

When I had great executive producers at CBS News, and I did in most of my 21 years there, it wouldn’t have even been a question. They wouldn’t have balked at the three seconds it took to keep the entire sentence in the story. They would have found three less-important seconds to cut from somewhere else. They would have understood, without explanation, how questionable it might look to some viewers if they were to discover we edited out certain words.

This certainly isn’t the first case of selective editing. You’ll recall NBC’s editing of a 911 call that falsely made it appear as though George Zimmerman had made a racial remark in the Trayvon Martin death case. (A judge later dismissed a defamation lawsuit finding there was no evidence the edit was made with “actual malice.”)

The same year, there was the CBS Evening News selective editing of President Obama’s interview on Sept. 12, 2012 where he admitted he had not called attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya “terrorist” attacks. When it became an issue in the President’s re-election, certain managers at CBS Evening News went out of their way to make it seem as though the President had said the opposite. A number of good journalists inside the news organization became concerned, and made me and others aware of it. I recount the story in my book Stonewalled:


I should have known something was up when I received an unsolicited phone call from a White House official a few days before the second debate between President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney on October 16, 2012. The president was coming off a tough loss in the first debate, after which uncommitted voters, by a 46 percent to 22 percent margin, said Romney won; and 56 percent had an improved opinion of the Republican candidate. The White House of official and I chatted casually about unrelated topics and then he introduced a non sequitur: “The president called Benghazi a ‘terrorist attack’ the day after in the Rose Garden,” he told me.

At the time, I hadn’t given any thought to whether the president had or hadn’t termed the Benghazi assaults “terrorism.” The debate on that point hadn’t widely emerged and I was still focused on the State Department’s denial of security requests from Americans in Libya prior to the attacks. Since I really didn’t know what the president had said in the Rose Garden the day after, I didn’t offer a comment to the White House official on the other end of the phone. He repeated himself as if to elicit some sort of reaction.

“He did call it a terrorist attack. In the Rose Garden. On September twelfth.”

I had no idea that the question of how the administration portrayed the attacks—and whether it was covering up the terrorist ties—would emerge as a touchstone leading up to the election. But the White House already seemed to know.

A couple of days later, I’m watching the Obama-Romney debate at home on television as moderator Candy Crowley of CNN asks a Benghazi-related question. My ears perk up when the president replies using very similar language to that of the White House official on the phone.

OBAMA The day after the attack, Governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that we are going to nd out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime.
I now feel as though the White House official had been trying to prep me to accept the president’s debate claim that he’d called the Benghazi assaults an “act of terror” on September 12.
The Benghazi question and the president’s response are all Rom- ney needs to try to seize control of the debate and score big points. He accuses the president of downplaying terrorist ties to protect his campaign claim that al-Qaeda was on the run.
ROMNEY I—I think it’s interesting the president just said something which—which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.
OBAMA That’s what I said.
ROMNEY You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror? It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying?
OBAMA Please proceed, Governor. . . .
ROMNEY I want to make sure we get that for the record be- cause it took the president fourteen days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.
OBAMA Get the transcript.
The exchange feels strangely awkward. Romney seems genuinely bewildered and President Obama seems oddly anxious to move on. Then, the moderator, Crowley, comes to the president’s rescue.
CROWLEY It—it—it—he did in fact, sir. So let me—let me call it an act of terror. . . .
OBAMA Can you say that a little louder, Candy?
CROWLEY He—he did call it an act of terror.

Crowley is quick with her take. It makes me wonder if she, too, had gotten that call from a White House official in advance, telling her that the president had immediately labeled Benghazi a terrorist act.

Why is this point so important to the Obama administration?

The next day, I look for a transcript of the president’s Rose Garden statement to see if I can figure out the puzzle.
When I locate and review the remarks that the president made in the Rose Garden on September 12, 2012, I find that he did not say Benghazi was “an act of terror,” as he’d claimed in the debate. In fact, at each point in his speech when he could have raised the specter of “terrorism” or “terrorists,” he’d chosen a synonym:

THE PRESIDENT Good morning. . . . Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi. Among those killed was our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, as well as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith. . . . The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. . . . And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts. Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya. Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans. . . .

Nope, no mention of terrorism there.

Where the president may be granted some wiggle room, though there’s no doubt he overstated it in the debate, is when his speech segued to the fact that the attacks happened on the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. That’s when he used the word terror. But not referring directly to Benghazi.

THE PRESIDENT Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. We mourned with the families who were lost on that day. I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed. And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi. As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it. Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe. No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our com- mitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done. But we also know that the lives these Americans led stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers. . . .

One might be able to believe that the administration’s wholesale avoidance of the term terrorism in direct reference to Benghazi is an accident of wording. Except that the same accident happened in those early days when White House spokesman Carney briefed reporters, when Secretary of State Clinton spoke at the return of the victims’ bodies, and when U.S. ambassador Rice appeared on Sunday talk shows. Except that the references to terrorism and al-Qaeda were purposefully removed from the talking points used to relate details to the public. In fact, one would have to go out of his way to use so many synonyms for the attackers and not say the actual word terrorist.
Taken together, it’s difficult to believe the wording is anything other than a purposeful strategy. The main unanswered questions: Who spearheaded the strategy? Why? And in what form was it transmitted to all the officials who got on board with it?

So what does all this have to do with my own situation at CBS?

In an unexpected way, it came to expose the extraordinary lengths to which some of my colleagues would go to misrepresent and slant the facts when they had explicit evidence to the contrary, which they kept hidden. It was enough to irreparably destroy any con dence in and respect I might have had for those at the network who were involved…

It’s October 19, 2012, three days after that fateful Obama- Romney debate and less than three weeks before the election. Obama had managed to turn around Romney’s advantage. The president had held his own in the debate. Maybe even thrown Romney back on his heels with his Benghazi answer, insisting he’d immediately labled the attacks “terrorism”. After being smacked down by Crowley, Romney would hesitate to raise the specter of Benghazi again during the rest of the campaign.

But still simmering in the background is the building flap over whether the Obama administration had tried to hide the Benghazi attacks’ terrorist ties. The CBS Evening News wants the controversy addressed and, preferably, put to rest. The New York producers commission a story on the topic from a fellow CBS Washington correspondent.
Midday, I’m in the Washington newsroom when I overhear our senior producer relay strict instructions from New York. The instructions say that the other correspondent’s story must include a specific, never-before-aired sound bite from President Obama’s September 12 60 Minutes interview with [Steve] Kroft. I’m busy working on my own story that day, but it’s news to me that 60 Minutes had spoken to the president about Benghazi weeks before. New York also dictates the precise wording that the other correspondent should use to introduce the chosen Obama sound bite. It appears to be an attempt to make the president’s case for him—that he had called the Benghazi attacks “terrorism.”

The resulting Evening News script reads as follows:

It had been about 14 hours since the attack, and the President said he did not believe it was due simply to mob violence. “You’re right that this is not a situation that was exactly the same as what happened in Egypt,” Obama said, referring to protests sparked by an anti-Islam lm. “And my suspicion is that there are folks involved in this who were looking to target Americans from the start.” Shortly after that, Obama stepped into the Rose Garden and spoke of the killing of four Americans as if it were a terrorist attack. “No act of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation,” Obama said in his Rose Garden remarks.

I mentally note that my own interpretation of the president’s Rose Garden remarks isn’t quite the same.
Meanwhile, in subsequent days, my producers and I break several more important stories on Benghazi as documents and witnesses chip away at the Obama administration’s narrative…

It’s not until the weekend before the November presidential election that I learn something that would shake any remaining faith I had in the New York fishbowl. It’s Friday afternoon. A colleague calls.

“You know that interview 60 Minutes did with Obama in the Rose Garden on September twelfth?” the colleague says.

“Yes,” I answer. “Why?”

“I just got a transcript. Of the entire interview.”

“From who?

“I can’t say. But holy shit.”

“What’s it say?” I ask.

“Holy shit.”

The colleague proceeds to read to me from the transcript. It’s undeniably clear to both of us. We instantly know that the interview that had been kept under such a tight wrap for nearly eight weeks is explosive.

The very first comment Kroft made, and the president’s response, proved that Romney had been correct all along:

KROFT Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word terrorism in connection with the Libya attack.
OBAMA Right.

Kroft’s take on the president’s wording and intent was the same as mine had been and, according to the president himself, at the time, our take was correct. All the synonyms used by Obama, Clinton, White House spokesman Carney, and Ambassador Rice were intentional. They “went out of their way to avoid use of the word terrorism.”
Then Kroft asked a question that offered the president the opportunity to clarify or at least hint at the behind-the-scenes conclusions already formed by nearly everyone on the inside: that the attacks were
the work of terrorists. But the president balked.

KROFT Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?
OBAMA Well, it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans.

Kroft had asked the question point blank. Though the president has told the world that he unequivocally called it a terrorist attack that very day, and though the media has largely sided with his interpretation, his own hidden interview with CBS belied the claim.

My thought turns to the selectively chosen Obama sound bite the Evening News had directed me to use a week before. To put it mildly: it was misleading.

This was a really bad thing.

Besides the implications for the story itself, I couldn’t get past the fact that upper-level journalists at CBS had been a party to misleading the public. Why wouldn’t they have immediately released the operative sound bite after Romney raised the issue in the debate? It would have been a great moment for CBS. The kind of break that news organizations hope for. We had our hands on original material that no other news outlet had that would shed light on an important controversy. But we hid it.

Now, eight years after Rathergate, I feared that we’d once again mischaracterized facts in advance of a presidential election to hurt a Republican. We not only had stood by silently as the media largely sided against Romney, but we’d also taken an active part in steering them in that direction.

Still on the phone with my colleague, we both knew what had to be done but I said it out loud.

“This has to be published,” I said. “Before the election.”

“I know,” agreed my colleague.

Read more in Stonewalled, a New York Times bestseller

Manipulation by and of the media will be further discussed in my new, upcoming book. Stay tuned.


Friday, September 16, 2016

What’s The FBI Hiding That Triggered A Congressional Subpoena?


Submitted by Andrew Napolitano via,

Earlier this week, Republican leaders in both houses of Congress took the FBI to task for its failure to be transparent. In the House, it was apparently necessary to serve a subpoena on an FBI agent to obtain what members of Congress want to see; and in the Senate, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee accused the FBI itself of lawbreaking.

Here is the back story.

Ever since FBI Director James Comey announced on July 5 he was recommending that the Department of Justice not seek charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a result of her failure to safeguard state secrets during her time in office, many in Congress have had a nagging feeling that this was a political, not a legal, decision. The publicly known evidence of Clinton’s recklessness and willful failure to safeguard secrets was overwhelming. The evidence of her lying under oath about whether she returned all her work-related emails that she had taken from the State Department was profound and incontrovertible.

And then we learned that people who worked for Clinton were instructed to destroy several of her mobile devices and to remove permanently the stored emails on one of her servers. All this was done after these items had been subpoenaed by two committees of the House of Representatives.

Yet the FBI — which knew of the post-subpoena destruction of evidence and which acknowledged that Clinton failed to return thousands of her work-related emails as she had been ordered by a federal judge to do, notwithstanding at least three of her assertions to the contrary while under oath — chose to overlook the evidence of not only espionage but also obstruction of justice, tampering with evidence, perjury and misleading Congress.

As if to defend itself in the face of this most un-FBI-like behavior, the FBI then released to the public selected portions of its work product, which purported to back up its decision to recommend against the prosecution of Clinton. Normally, the FBI gathers evidence and works with federal prosecutors and federal grand juries to build cases against targets in criminal probes, and its recommendations to prosecutors are confidential.

But in Clinton’s case, the hierarchy of the Department of Justice removed itself from the chain of command because of the orchestrated impropriety of Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton, who met in private on the attorney general’s plane at a time when both Bill and Hillary Clinton were subjects of FBI criminal investigations. That left the FBI to have the final say about prosecution — or so the FBI and the DOJ would have us all believe.

It is hard to believe that the FBI was free to do its work, and it is probably true that the FBI was restrained by the White House early on. There were numerous aberrations in the investigation. There was no grand jury; no subpoenas were issued; no search warrants were served. Two people claimed to have received immunity, yet the statutory prerequisite for immunity — giving testimony before a grand or trial jury — was never present.

Because many members of Congress do not believe that the FBI acted free of political interference, they demanded to see the full FBI files in the case, not just the selected portions of the files that the FBI had released. In the case of the House, the FBI declined to surrender its files, and the agent it sent to testify about them declined to reveal their contents. This led to a dramatic service of a subpoena by the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on that FBI agent while he was testifying — all captured on live nationally broadcast television.

Now the FBI, which usually serves subpoenas and executes search warrants, is left with the alternative of complying with this unwanted subpoena by producing its entire file or arguing to a federal judge why it should not be compelled to do so.

On the Senate side, matters are even more out of hand. There, in response to a request from the Senate Judiciary Committee, the FBI sent both classified and unclassified materials to the Senate safe room. The Senate safe room is a secure location that is available only to senators and their senior staff, all of whom must surrender their mobile devices and writing materials and swear in writing not to reveal whatever they see while in the room before they are permitted to enter.

According to Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the FBI violated federal law by commingling classified and unclassified materials in the safe room, thereby making it unlawful for senators to discuss publicly the unclassified material.

Imposing such a burden of silence on U.S. senators about unclassified materials is unlawful and unconstitutional. What does the FBI have to hide? Whence comes the authority of the FBI to bar senators from commenting on unclassified materials?

Who cares about this? Everyone who believes that the government works for us should care because we have a right to know what the government — here the FBI — has done in our names. Sen. Grassley has opined that if he could reveal what he has seen in the FBI unclassified records, it would be of profound interest to American voters.

What is going on here? The FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton has not served the rule of law. The rule of law — a pillar of American constitutional freedom since the end of the Civil War — mandates that the laws are to be enforced equally. No one is beneath their protection, and no one is above their requirements. To enforce the rule of law, we have hired the FBI.

What do we do when the FBI rejects its basic responsibilities?


Documents Reveal Sugar Industry Paid Off Scientists, Shaping Mass Perception Of Nutrition For Money


According to newly uncovered documents, in the 1960s the sugar industry began funding research to cast doubt on sugar’s role in heart disease, mainly by pointing the finger at fat instead.

A recently published analysis based on correspondence between a sugar trade group and researchers from Harvard University clearly demonstrates how food and beverage makers actively shape the public’s understanding of nutrition for their own financial gain.

The Evidence

In 1964 a group known as The Sugar Association went over a campaign to address any “negative attitudes toward sugar” after studies linking sugar with heart disease began to emerge, according to documents that were dug up from the now public archives. The following year the group approved a project called “Project 226,” which involved paying researchers from Harvard the equivalent of todays $48,900 USD for an article reviewing scientific literature, supplying the materials they wanted reviewed and reviewing drafts of the article prior to publication.

The result was an article, published in 1967, which concluded there was “no doubt” that reducing cholesterol and saturated fat was the only dietary guideline necessary to prevent heart disease effectively. The consistency of the literature on fat and cholesterol were overstated by researchers, and studies on sugar were severely downplayed, according to the analysis.

One of the employees of the sugar industry group even wrote to one of the authors about how pleased they were with the outcome of the article, saying, “Let me assure you this is quite what we had in mind and we look forward to its appearance in print.”

When the New England Journal of Medicine published the article, the sugar industry’s funding of and role in the study were not disclosed. Author disclosures were not requested by the journal until 1984.

In a recently published editorial that accompanied the sugar industry’s analysis, New York University Professor of Nutrition Marion Nestle noted that for decades following the study, health officials and scientists were focused solely on reducing saturated fat and not sugar to prevent heart disease.

Is Fat Really the Enemy?

The hugely successful “low-fat” and “fat-free” movements soon began. Food and beverage manufacturers started reducing or removing fat from their products in order to appeal to the public, but they soon discovered that by removing the fat from foods, they also took away much of the flavour. They needed some way to compensate for this loss, and sugar was the answer — and not just a little bit of sugar, but copious amounts. Ironically, while this allowed them to market their products as fat-free, it did not make their products fat-proof, since when processed by the body, sugar is stored directly as fat.

Scientists are still working to find the links between diet and heart disease, and increasingly their inquiries are leading them toward sugar and away from fat, according to Nestle. A committee advising the federal government on dietary guidelines says that the available evidence “shows no appreciable relationship” between dietary cholesterol and heart disease, though limiting saturated fats is still recommended.

In fact, the American Heart Association cites a study published in 2014 that says that too much added sugar can increase the risk of heart disease, though the authors of that particular study claim that the biological reasons for the link are not yet completely understood.

More recently, the journal of JAMA Internal Medicine published an analysis in t based on 31 pages of correspondence between the sugar group and one of the Harvard researchers who authored the review. Former dentist Cristin Kearns is using its findings in an ongoing project aimed at revealing the sugar industry’s decades-long efforts to counter any science that links sugar to negative health effects, including diabetes.

Follow the Money…

In a statement, the Sugar Association admitted it “should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities,” but that funding disclosures were not standard procedure when the review was published. The group even questioned Kearns’ “continued attempts to reframe historical occurrences” to play into the current public sentiment against sugar, but I think it’s important to ask here what Kearns stands to gain by researching and revealing this information.

The Sugar Association said it was a “disservice” that industry-funded research in general is considered “tainted,” though I believe it to be self-evident that industry-funded research should not be allowed in the first place — or at the very least, their results must be replicated by an unbiased party before being considered for publication.

Companies like Coca-Cola Co. and Kellogg Co. regularly fund studies that end up becoming a part of scientific literature and are even cited by other researchers and touted in news releases. I fail to see how this isn’t a gross conflict of interest.

These corporations claim they adhere to scientific standards and many researchers feel that industry funding is crucial to advancing science, given the growing competition for government funds, but some critics say studies like these are often just marketing ploys that greatly undermine genuine efforts to improve public health. These companies are funding studies with the express intent to achieve specific, favourable results, and this simply isn’t good science.

“Food company sponsorship, whether or not intentionally manipulative, undermines public trust in nutrition science, “ wrote Nestle.

This is why it’s important to follow the money. Follow the research and form your own opinion. If you are skeptical, trust that feeling and look into things further.

Many experts agree that sugar is the tobacco of the 21st century, and just as we were lied to then, until the relationship between smoking and cancer could no longer be denied, we are being lied to now. But the light is starting to shine on the dangers of sugar consumption.

Related CE Articles

Is Science Bullsh*t? John Oliver Explains The Corruption Behind Scientific Studies

The Sugar And Cancer Connection Many Doctors Aren’t Telling You

Is Sugar The New Tobacco?

Sugar Identified As Top Cause For Obesity And Cancer Surge

Much Love



Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hillary Clinton Flat Out Lied About Health Situation and Here is Proof

Hillary Clinton

We live in astonishing times when a nominee for President of the United States can flat out lie on a consistent basis and the associated base doesn’t appear to care. But while hardcore Democrats are giving the story a pass, the rest of the world is today in shock.

This because Hillary Clinton is now fully exposed as a candidate who chooses a lie over the truth wherever and whenever possible. Exposed due to her blatant lie about her health over the weekend.

More here.

Despite her campaign claiming it was pneumonia that led to her ill health in New York on Sunday, Hillary Clinton was caught on camera receiving a neurological test from someone who appeared to be a nurse.

The image shows Hillary grasping the woman’s fingers with her fist, which is a classic motor neuron test to determine abnormalities in the nervous system.

The NYU School of Medicine details how the test is conducted:

“Test the patient’s grip by having the patient hold the examiner’s fingers in their fist tightly and instructing them not to let go while the examiner attempts to remove them. Normally the examiner cannot remove their fingers. This tests the forearm flexors and the intrinsic hand muscles. Compare the hands for strength asymmetry.”

This is precisely what appears to be taking place in the image above. So why would Hillary be receiving a motor neuron test if she was only suffering from pneumonia, as her campaign claimed?

The absurdity of this lie reaches record levels. This is a Presidential nominee, remember, so if a doctor actually had diagnosed her with pneumonia last Friday that same doctor would have most certainly advised that she not go out into large crowds of voters, hugging babies and gripping hands on the campaign trail.

How anyone can continue defending this madness is beyond us. Hillary Clinton’s entire campaign is a lie. Why would anyone believe a Clinton Presidency wouldn’t be one big lie as well?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Opinion: Before You Spend $26,000 on Weight-Loss Surgery, Do This

Elizabeth Warren Asks Newly-Chatty FBI Director to Explain Why DOJ Didn’t Prosecute Banksters


Like a lot of other Americans, Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to know why the Department of Justice hasn’t criminally prosecuted any of the major players responsible for the 2008 financial crisis.

On Thursday, Warren released two highly provocative letters demanding some explanations. One is to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, requesting a review of how federal law enforcement managed to whiff on all 11 substantive criminal referrals submitted by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), a panel set up to examine the causes of the 2008 meltdown.

The other is to FBI Director James Comey, asking him to release all FBI investigations and deliberations related to those referrals. The FBI typically doesn’t release investigative details about cases that DOJ chooses not to pursue, but Warren pointed out that in releasing information about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in July, he had pretty much shattered that precedent, and set a new one.

“You explained these actions by noting your view that ‘the American people deserve those details in a case of intense public interest,’” Warren wrote to Comey. “If Secretary Clinton’s email server was of sufficient ‘interest’ to establish a new FBI standard of transparency, then surely the criminal prosecution of those responsible for the 2008 financial crisis should be subject to the same level of transparency.”

In other words, if Comey can spend hours relating FBI decision-making about State Department emails, he can do the same for the activity that made millions jobless and homeless.

The FCIC’s criminal referrals, which were sent to the Justice Department in October 2010, have never been made public. But Warren’s staff reviewed thousands of other documents released in March by the National Archives, including hearings and testimony, witness interviews, internal deliberations and memoranda, and found descriptions and records of them.

They detail potential violations of securities laws by 14 different financial institutions: most of America’s largest banks – Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual (now part of JPMorgan), and Merrill Lynch (now part of Bank of America) – along with foreign banking giants UBS, Credit Suisse, and Société Generale, auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers, credit rating agency Moody’s, insurance company AIG, and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The FCIC presented DOJ with evidence that these institutions gave false representations about the loan quality inside mortgage-backed securities; misled credit ratings agencies; overstated assets and earnings in financial disclosures; failed to disclose credit downgrades, subprime exposure and the financial health of their operations to shareholders; and suffered breakdowns in internal company controls. All of these were tied to specific violations of federal law.

And the FCIC named names, specifying nine top-level executives who should be investigated on criminal charges: CEO Daniel Mudd and CFO Stephen Swad of Fannie Mae, CEO Martin Sullivan and CFO Stephen Bensinger of AIG, CEO Stan O’Neal and CFO Jeffrey Edwards of Merrill Lynch, and CEO Chuck Prince, CFO Gary Crittenden and Board Chairman Robert Rubin of Citigroup.

None of the 14 financial firms listed in the referrals were criminally indicted or brought to trial, Warren writes. Only five of the 14 even paid fines in civil settlements. None of the nine named individuals were criminally prosecuted, and only one – Crittenden, of Citigroup – had to pay so much as a personal fine, for a mere $100,000.

Fannie Mae’s Daniel Mudd recently reached a civil settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that imposed a fine of $100,000, but allowed Fannie Mae to pay it, rather than Mudd. It’s not clear whether the others were even investigated. In March, Fortune Magazine reported that Rubin “was never contacted by the Justice Department in relation to the commission’s allegations.”

“Not every individual or company accused of a crime is guilty of that crime and not every DOJ referral results in a conviction,” Warren writes in her letter to the inspector general. “But the DOJ’s failure to obtain any criminal convictions of any of the individuals or corporations named in the FCIC referrals suggests that the department has failed to hold the individuals and companies most responsible for the financial crisis and the Great Recession accountable. This failure requires an explanation.”

Warren has at least one ally on the House side. Just last week, Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., asked the FBI to publicly release case files relating to crisis-era investigations.

She also has support from Phil Angelides, the chair of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. “There’s a gnawing feeling among the American people that this justice system may not have worked as it should have,” Angelides said in an interview with The Intercept.. “Senator Warren is right on and Americans have a right to know.”

Angelides said “I know as little as you know” about the criminal referrals he sent to the Justice Department. He stressed that it’s not too late to prosecute on some activities, where the 10-year statute of limitations doesn’t run out until 2017. But if nothing happens, he believes that financial institutions will internalize the message that they can continue to violate the law with impunity.

“It’s like someone who robs a 7-11. If you can steal $1,000 and settle for $20 would you do it again? Probably.”

Read Warren’s letter to Horowitz, which includes information on the specific criminal referrals:

Read Warren’s letter to Comey:



Sign up for The Intercept Newsletter here.

The post Elizabeth Warren Asks Newly-Chatty FBI Director to Explain Why DOJ Didn’t Prosecute Banksters appeared first on The Intercept.


Why These Federal Agencies Should Be Abolished


By Dr. Mercola

The use of marijuana for medical purposes is now legal in 25 states and, as of this writing, two additional states (Arkansas and Florida) have pending legislation or ballot measures to legalize medical marijuana.1 

Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and the District of Columbia have also legalized recreational use of marijuana for adults, while 16 states have decriminalized certain marijuana possession offenses.2

According to estimates, between 85 and 95 percent of Americans are in favor of medical cannabis, and nearly 60 percent support complete legalization of marijuana. And, contrary to what you might think, doctors overwhelmingly agree.

A 2013 survey found a majority of physicians — 76 percent — approve of the use of medical marijuana.3 CNN’s chief medical correspondent and neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta also made a highly publicized reversal on his marijuana stance after the production of his two-part series “Weed,” which aired in 2014.4

Despite this trend, many families are still unable, legally or otherwise, to obtain this herbal treatment. Families with a sick child are being forced to split up, just so that one parent can live in a place where medical cannabis can be legally obtained in order to help their child.

A major part of the problem lies at the federal level, where marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance5 — a category reserved for the most addictive and dangerous of drugs, including heroin and LSD.

Marijuana Does Not Meet Criteria for Schedule 1 Controlled Substances

According to the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, Schedule 1 drugs are defined as those having a "high potential for abuse" and "no acceptable medical use in treatment." Research to date shows that marijuana meets neither of these criteria. For example, studies have shown medical cannabis:

  • Stimulates appetite in AIDS patients
  • Reduces neuropathic pain and spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Treats chronic pain
  • Reduces (and in some cases eliminates) epileptic seizures
  • In Israel, doctors use marijuana to treat cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome and many other conditions

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has spent the last five years deliberating whether it should reclassify marijuana to a Schedule 2 substance — a class that includes both cocaine and methamphetamines; dangerous drugs that nonetheless have some accepted medicinal use.

DEA Rejects Petition to Lower Classification of Marijuana

Earlier this month, the agency delivered its verdict: Marijuana will remain a Schedule 1 substance. As reported by Newsweek:6

“The decision is the DEA's response to a 2011 petition by two former state governors who had urged federal agencies to reclassify marijuana as a drug with accepted medical uses.

In a letter to the petitioners, the DEA said it had asked the Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] for a scientific and medical evaluation of the issue.

‘HHS concluded that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision,’ the letter said.”

This really challenges logic on many fronts. For starters, in October 2003, the HHS actually obtained a patent for marijuana as a “neural protectant,” claiming it can protect your brain against stroke and trauma.7

How can the HHS own a patent for the medical use of marijuana on the one hand, while concluding that “marijuana has no accepted medical use … and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision” on the other?

DEA and HHS Should Be Abolished

With this decision, the DEA and HHS have completely lost all credibility, proving they will act AGAINST the public good if it means protecting corporate interests. The hypocrisy is so blatant it’s infuriating.

Because who actually benefits from marijuana being a banned? Primarily drug companies, privatized prisons — which make millions of dollars from incarcerating non-violent marijuana users — and law enforcement, including police and prison guard unions.8,9

In 2011 alone, 850,000 people in the U.S. were arrested for marijuana-related crimes.10 As noted by

“The revenue from waging the war on drugs has become a significant source of financial support for local law enforcement.

Federal and state funding of the drug war — as well as the property police forces seize as a part of drug raids — have become significant financial supplements to local forces’ budgets …

One of the largest for-profit prison companies, Corrections Corporation of America, even stated in a regulatory filing that keeping the drug war alive is essential to its success as a business:

‘[A]ny changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances … could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.’”

Current Scheduling of Marijuana Ignores Scientific Evidence

As noted by Carl L. Hart, Ph.D.,12 a researcher of behavioral and neuropharmacological effects of psychoactive drugs and the department chair of the psychology department at Columbia University:13

“[T]herapeutic benefits … have compelled citizens to vote repeatedly over the past two decades to legalize medical marijuana at the state level … And yet Federal law still technically forbids the use of medical marijuana …  

As a scientist and educator, I am worried that we have lost credibility … with those seeking treatments for a variety of medical conditions because our current scheduling of marijuana ignores the scientific and medical evidence.

When we make decisions based on factors other than the available empirical evidence, we are less than objective, which means we are no longer acting as scientists.”

Hart also points out that the glaring inconsistencies between the Federal law and so many other state initiatives — not to mention mounting scientific evidence demonstrating the medical benefits of cannabis — really undermines peoples’ trust in federal agencies.

I strongly concur, especially as it relates to the DEA, which really seems more interested in protecting the profits of prisons and drug companies than anything else.

DEA Vows to Make Marijuana Research Easier

In response to rising demand from scientists, the DEA has agreed to loosen restrictions around the growing of marijuana for research purposes. In April 2014, 161 scientists were registered to study marijuana. As of March 2016, there were 244.

At present, the University of Mississippi is the only federally legal grower of cannabis, and researchers who want to study the herb must jump through a number of bureaucratic hoops in order to receive approval from the HHS, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the DEA.

The DEA has agreed to raise the amount of marijuana it will allow to be grown for research purposes. It will also allow other facilities to grow marijuana for research. Many other time-consuming and costly hurdles will remain, however.14,15

Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist at New York University Langone Medical Center, has pushed for looser restrictions on marijuana research. He told STAT News:16

“The main holdup for researchers is the scheduling, not the ability to obtain the product, which is a secondary issue. This change is a positive one, but will do relatively little to advance our scientific understanding.”

Indeed, while all Schedule 1 drugs must gain FDA approval, researchers studying marijuana must undergo additional review processes by both the HHS and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) that no other drug must go through.17

Moreover, there’s no deadline for the HHS/NIDA review, and no formal appeals process should the study be rejected. As a result, marijuana research is easily stifled, delayed or prevented altogether. 

Synthetic Pot Drugs Approved While Marijuana Remains Banned

Ironically, while acting DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg states that “no drug product made from marijuana has yet been shown to be safe and effective,” he admits that two synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) medicines — Marinol and Cesamer — have recently received FDA approval for sale as, you guessed it, patented drugs.

Rosenberg took over as acting director of the DEA in May 2015, taking over the role after scandals drove out Michele Leonhart.18 Leonhart was harshly criticized for opposing the legalization of marijuana, yet Rosenberg is following in the exact same footsteps.19

Earlier this year, Rosenberg even referred to the concept of medical marijuana as “a joke.” Somehow, I don’t think the manufacturers of these synthetic THC drugs would agree with him. In fact, the very approval of these drugs should be sufficient to prove marijuana has medical applications. Why else would they be approved for the treatment of nausea? These synthetic THC drugs are listed as Schedule 3 and 2 respectively, meaning they have acknowledged medicinal value.

THC is a subclass of cannabinoids, the general category of active chemical compounds found in marijuana. Cannabidiols (CBD) is another subclass.20 Cannabinoids produce biological effects because, just like opiates interacting with your opiate receptors, cannabinoids interact with specific receptors located in your cell membranes.

The therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana occur when particular cannabinoids activate their associated receptors, and the effects depend on the areas of your body and brain in which they interact. Some cannabinoids are psychoactive, whereas others are not. THC is the most psychoactive, the one that produces the “high” associated with smoking pot.

Why Are DEA and HHS Ignoring Human Endocannabinoid System?

Cannabinoid receptors can be found on cell membranes throughout your body — in fact, scientists now believe they may represent the most widespread receptor system in the human body.21 Two receptor types have been identified:

  • CB1: Cannabinoid receptors that are extremely prolific in your brain (excluding your brain stem), but also present in your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and other parts of your body
  • CB2: Cannabinoid receptors primarily found in your immune system

Your endocannabinoid system is thought to help regulate nearly every physiological process and plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis, and yet this is not taught in medical school. We’ve shared this important system with all vertebrate species and even sea squirts for more than 600 million years. Science to date suggests that your endocannabinoid system is integral to the following biological processes, and chances are we’ve barely scratched the surface.22

Immune function

Inflammation (especially tamping it down)

Energy intake and storage

Appetite control and cravings

Nutrient transport

Cellular communication

Emotional balance


Pain sensation


Bone growth


Why Big Pharma Hates Pot

Were marijuana decriminalized nationwide, the drug industry clearly would take a big hit. Not only would people have access to a far less expensive, more effective and natural version of the synthetic CBD and THC drugs currently selling at a premium, many would also turn to marijuana to relieve their aches, pains, nausea, sleep problems, anxiety, depression and more.

The sad fact is that drug companies are fighting to shut down the legalization of marijuana in order to maintain their drug monopoly. For starters, the opioid painkiller market would be severely threatened by marijuana legalization.

Narcotic painkillers have been identified as the new gateway drug to heroin, and even government officials have publicly acknowledged that these drugs have become the No. 1 drug problem in the U.S., addicting and killing people in record numbers. More than 28,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2014 — more deaths than any other year on record according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).23

The number includes deaths from both heroin and prescription opioid pain relievers, but the latter accounted for at least half. Yet little is being done to curb their use. Instead, agencies like the DEA, FDA and HHS are fighting against marijuana! It’s illogical at best. Then again, profit has nothing to do with logic, and this is how you know that many federal agencies have ceased working for the public good.

Why Won’t Senate Release Its Opioid Report?

In 2012, as opioid overdoses continued to rise, two senators — Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) — began an investigation into financial ties between the drugs’ makers and the medical organizations setting guidelines on opioid use. The targets of the investigation were Purdue Pharma (maker of Oxycontin), Endo International plc (Percocet) and Johnson & Johnson (Duragesic) along with five organizations, including the Center for Practical Bioethics and the American Pain Foundation (APF).

Senate staffers spent a year working on the investigation and subsequent report, but its results have not been made public (the report is sealed in the Senate Committee on Finance's office).24 Due to changes in position, it’s now Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), current chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who stand to get the opioid report released.

In 2015, public health advocates requested the release of the findings, noting that many of those targeted by the report continue to “promote aggressive opioid use and continue to block federal and state interventions that could reduce overprescribing.” Still, the report remains sealed. The question is why. What did they find that they don’t want anyone to know?

Drug Companies Downplay Addictive Nature of Opioids

The attorney general of New Hampshire, Joseph Foster, is trying to prove five drug companies — Actavis, Endo, Janssen, Teva and Purdue Pharma — broke the law when they marketed their opioid painkillers. He believes false marketing has contributed to rising abuse of illicit drugs like heroin. According to Foster, these companies are stifling his investigation and refusing to cooperate with the state’s attorneys. In a recent NPR program, Foster said:25

“If they are continuing to mislead the public, we're going to continue to improperly create addicts in our state. Four out of 5 folks who turned to heroin were addicted to prescription opiates first.”

Chicago, two California counties and Mississippi have already filed lawsuits against one or more of the same companies currently under investigation in New Hampshire. James Boffetti, New Hampshire’s lead attorney on the case told NPR:

“We're in a mess. You know, we have a country that's addicted to opioids that move to heroin. So we need to solve this problem, and part of it is we need to figure out what the drug companies did, if anything, to create this problem … [But] I've yet to receive one piece of paper from any of these drug companies. And you've got to ask yourself, why? Why are they fighting so hard?”

DEA Has Impeded and Rejected Science for 40 Years

Like the drug industry, the DEA has spent decades fighting AGAINST that which is right. As noted by “The DEA has existed for more than 40 years but little attention has been given to the role the agency has played in fueling mass incarceration, racial disparities, the surveillance state and other drug war problems.” It goes into further detail in its report, “The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science.”27 The report highlights the following five case studies:

  • DEA Obstructs Marijuana Rescheduling, Part One 1973-1994
  • DEA Overrules Administrative Law Judge to Classify MDMA (synthetic cannabinoids) as Schedule I, 1985
  • DEA Obstructs Marijuana Rescheduling: Part Two, 1995-2001
  • DEA Overrules Administrative Law Judge to Protect Federal Monopoly on Marijuana for Research, 2001-2013
  • DEA Obstructs Marijuana Rescheduling: Part Three, 2002-2013

According to the report, “These case studies reveal a number of DEA practices that work to maintain the existing, scientifically unsupported drug scheduling system and to obstruct research that might alter current drug schedules.” Failing to act in a timely fashion, overruling DEA administrative law judges and creating regulatory Catch-22s are among the agency’s most common tactics.

Unfortunately, with its recent decision to reject the petition to reclassify marijuana, it’s apparent that the agency is still playing the same old game. Meanwhile, families and individual lives continue to be destroyed by a nonsensical drug policy that targets marijuana users — even when the herb is used to treat terminal illness for which there are few other safe options.

It’s hard to understand how federal policy makers can sacrifice the lives of so many, including children, to protect corporate profit centers. But that’s what they’re doing.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Privacy, the forgotten issue: Apathy is making Americans vulnerable



Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden (Credit: Getty Images)

“Saying you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is like saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”

—Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden should know because his former job involved helping the government spy on every single one of us. Our phones and computers contain a striking amount of intimate details about us, and corporations and the government work tirelessly to obtain that information. Yet Americans often seem increasingly apathetic about maintaining their privacy. While it may seem like you have no reason to hold privacy in high regard if you’re not a criminal, there are many reasons why protecting privacy is one of the most important things a person can fight for.

Journalists lose their ability to reveal the truth when the government can identify the anonymous sources they’re using to investigate the government’s violation of the Constitution or other laws. Activists are silenced when they fear speaking out because they’re aware that they’re being monitored. Lawyers cannot adequately defend a victim of government abuse when the agency they’re battling can see their every communication and all their data remotely.

Even if you’re not a journalist, activist or a lawyer, you may in some way rely on the actions undertaken by such professionals. Furthermore, every customer of a corporation can be manipulated when that company knows what details to use against him or her, and we’re all customers to some degree.

One concerning example of a corporation trying to use someone’s personal information against him or her is the case of Uber looking at how much someone will pay for a ride when their phone’s battery is low. One wouldn’t expect Uber to have access to that information, but that’s possible when privacy is not protected. Another example would be a health care provider’s charging someone more because it finds out they drink regularly.

“If people know things about you, they can take advantage of you,” Ryan Calo, an assistant professor of law and a technology expert at the University of Washington, told Salon. Corporations have “the capacity and incentive to manipulate consumers to their benefit based on what they know about them” and “the same is true of government.”

Ira Rubinstein, a senior fellow at New York University’s Information Law Institute, told Salon he believes many people are ignorant to the costs of surveillance or cynical thinking there’s no way to avoid being spied on; so they don’t try to avoid it. To me, that sounds like jumping off a cliff because there’s no way to avoid death.

Calo said privacy threats will become only greater when machine learning is regularly applied to trying to understand people. That would mean artificial intelligence could use data to identify patterns and create detailed pictures of who we are.

One hope for the future would be if private companies try to help people protect their data by building protections into their products. We’ve seen this happen with companies like Apple putting advanced encryption into its phones. If consumers appear to value privacy, sometimes companies benefit from helping them maintain it.

The top presidential candidates have not spent much time talking about privacy, but we do know some things about how they might handle surveillance and other privacy issues. While Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton supported the USA Freedom Act, which was meant to rein in the surveillance started by the Patriot Act, she had voted for the Patriot Act years earlier. To be fair, the surveillance powers have grown far beyond what one of the authors of the Patriot Act claims to have originally intended.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, on the other hand, appears eager to use surveillance powers. He has proposed surveilling mosques, and he’s said he supports the idea of mass domestic surveillance being done by the National Security Agency. We know he’ll at least be surveilling our Twitter feeds.

“Trump has made repeated references to, if anything, vastly expanding a surveillance authority,” Calo said. “Whereas, Clinton, I imagine, will be . . . a little more restrained,” he added. “On balance, Trump would be much worse for privacy than Clinton.”

For the record, the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies has found mass domestic surveillance does not help fight terrorism.

Rubinstein said another concerning thing about this presidential election is how much data candidates are collecting in an attempt to find likely supporters. “If candidates routinely rely on massive surveillance of voters’ habits and preferences to attract undecided voters, raise money, and get out the vote — then what does this mean for their future views on consumer privacy?” Rubinstein said. “I worry that their own use of these methods will desensitize presidents (and their political staff) to the whole issue of consumer privacy.”

When citizens give up their power, it almost always be used against them. When the government or a private entity knows everything about you, it will use that knowledge to influence or perhaps harm you. We all have something to hide, even if it’s not always obvious.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

This Is How Much It 'Costs' To Get An Ambassadorship: Guccifer 2.0 Leaks DNC 'Pay-To-Play' Donor List


After addressing a cybersecuirty conference in London, notorious hacker 'Guccifer' shared over 500Mb of documents detailing 100,000 DNC donors contact info and donations. A large number of the largest donors received senior diplomatic or political positions following thge donations, ranging from UK Ambassador to Assistant Attorney General. The DNC released a statement pre-emptively claiming that this was the work of Russia (and reigniting Trump's links to Putin).

Probably just coincidence...


The dcoments contained detailed lists of 100,000 alledged donors, addresses, and phone numbers, and well as amounts donated...



Source: imgur

Here is the first cut of the alleged major donors on the leaked documents and the positions they received (via

  • #1 Matthew Berzun … Ambassador to UK
  • #2 Julius Genachowski … Former chairman to FCC
  • #3 Frank Sanchez…. Under secretary of commerce
  • #8 Kirk Wagner… Ambassador to Singapore
  • #9 Alan Solomont … Ambassador to Spain
  • #11 John Roos… Ambassador to Japan
  • #12 Nicole Avant… Ambassador to Bahamas
  • #13 Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe … Ambassador to the UN
  • #16 Steve Westly – CFO of California
  • #17 Don Beyer – Ambassador to Switzerland
  • #21 Don Gips – Ambassador to South Africa
  • #22 Howard Gutman – Ambassador to Belgium
  • #24 Cynthia Stroum – Ambassador to Luxembourg
  • #27 Mark Gilbert – Ambassador to New Zealand
  • #31 Norm Eisen – Ambassador to Czech Republic
  • #37 Bruce Oreck – Ambassador to Finland
  • #43 Tony West – deputy Attorney General
  • #45 Bill Kennard – Ambassador to EU


The DNC responded to the latest hack claim Tuesday through its Interim Chair Donna Brazile, who stated that the “DNC is the victim of a crime,” which she blamed on “Russian state-sponsored agents,” while also cautioning that the hacked documents were still being authenticated by the DNC legal team, as “it is common for Russian hackers to forge documents.” DNC pre-emptively published a statement in an attempt to change the narrative...

The DNC is bracing itself for the release of more documents

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) September 13, 2016

  Once again blaming Russia   (and Trump)... As RT reports, it's not the first time that the name of Vladimir Putin has been brought up in the US presidential campaign, but this time the US president used this “argument” while openly campaigning for Clinton against Trump. The situation has become “really ludicrous and it borders on the ridiculous,” believes Gregory R. Copley, editor of Defense & Foreign Affairs.

“In my 50 odd years covering the US government, I have never seen this level of partisanship within the administration where a sitting president actually regards the opposition party as the enemy of the state,” Copley told RT.


The analyst said that the democrats are “blaming the messenger to revert the attention from the message.”


“The message which Donald Trump delivered on RT was unambiguous in his campaign. Just like the fact that WikiLeaks revelation of the hacked emails was very explicit in showing up what the Democratic party itself was doing,” Copley added.


The US establishment is “sacrificing key bilateral relationships in order to win [a] domestic election,” believes Copley. He added that neither Obama nor Clinton are interested in unifying the country, but they are rather “interested in winning and engaging in what modern democracy seems to have become – the tyranny of the marginal majority over the marginal minority.”


“When you think about the number of times that the Clinton campaign has brought up President Putin and the alleged Russian hacking of Hillary Clinton’s service, it makes you wonder just how desperate they are,” Copley noted. “President Obama has lost literally all prestige in an international community…with the loss of prestige he has become desperate.”

Some of the alleged major donors (via

Richard M. Lobo


It appears Richard M. Lobo’s wife, Caren Lobo, donated $716,000 to DNC. Obama then nominated Richard Lobo for Director of the International Broadcasting Bureau.


Richard Lobo was nominated by President Obama to be Director of the International Broadcasting Bureau in February, 2010, and was confirmed to the post by the Senate in September of that year.

You can find Caren Lobo’s donation in this photo.


Pamela Hamamoto

Pamela Hamamoto

Pamela Hamamoto paid DNC $605,000 then became the Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva.

More on Pamela Hamamoto

Jane Hartley

Jane Hartley

Jane Hartley paid DNC $605,000 and then was nominated by Obama to serve concurrently as the U.S. Ambassador to the French Republic and the Principality of Monaco.

More on Jane Hartley

Crystal Nix-Hines

Crystal Nix-Hines

Crystal Nix-Hines paid DNC $600,000 and then was nominated by President Obama to the position of United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization with the rank of Ambassador.

More on Crystal Nix-Hines

Bruce J. Oreck

Bruce J. Oreck

Bruce J. Oreck donated $1,136,613 to the DNC and served as US ambassador to Finland 2009 to 2015.

More on Bruce Oreck

Robert A. Mandell

Screen Shot 2016-09-14 at 1.15.05 AM

Robert A. Mandell donated $1,121,250 to the DNC then President Obama named Mandell the Ambassador to Luxembourg in June 2011.

More on Robert Mandell

You can find Robert Mandell’s donation in this photo (as Bob Mandell).

Julius Genachowski


Julius Genachowski donated $3,494,919 toDNC and served as Chairman of the FCC from 2009 to 2013.

More on Julius Genachowski

You can find Robert Mandell’s donation in this photo.



Karol Mason


Karol Mason donated $856,000 to the DNC and Obama appoints her as Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs.

*  *  *

It's probably nothing...


Your Money Or Your Life: What's Behind The Latest Government Scam To Rob You Blind?


Submitted by John Whitehead vis The Rutherford Institute,

“The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: Your money, or your life. And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.”—Lysander Spooner, American abolitionist and legal theorist

It used to be that the Constitution served as a bulwark against government abuses, excesses and wrongdoing.

That is no longer the case.

Having been reduced to little more than a historic document, the Constitution now provides scant protection against government abuses, misconduct and corruption.

Not only are “we the people” painfully vulnerable to the whims of any militarized cop on the beat, but we are also sitting targets for every government huckster out to fleece the taxpayer of their hard-earned dollars.

We get taxed on how much we earn, taxed on what we eat, taxed on what we buy, taxed on where we go, taxed on what we drive, and taxed on how much is left of our assets when we die.

Because the government’s voracious appetite for money, power and control has grown out of control, its agents have devised other means of funding its excesses and adding to its largesse through taxes disguised as fines, taxes disguised as fees, and taxes disguised as tolls, tickets and penalties.

The government’s schemes to swindle, cheat, scam, and generally defraud Americans have run the gamut from wasteful pork barrel legislation, cronyism and graft to asset forfeiture schemes, the modern-day equivalent of highway robbery, astronomical health care “reform,” and costly stimulus packages.

Now the government and its corporate partners in crime have come up with a new scheme to not only scam taxpayers out of what’s left of their paychecks but also make us foot the bill, and it’s coming at us in the form of a war on cash.

What is this war on cash?

It’s a concerted campaign to do away with large bills such as $20s, $50s, $100s and shift consumers towards a digital mode of commerce that can easily be monitored, tracked, tabulated, mined for data, hacked, hijacked and confiscated when convenient.

Much like the war on drugs and the war on terror, this so-called “war on cash” is being sold to the public as a means of fighting terrorists, drug dealers and tax evaders. Just the mere possession of cash is enough to implicate you in suspicious activity and have you investigated. In other words, cash has become another way for the government to profile Americans and render them criminals.

The rationale is that cash is the currency for illegal transactions given that it’s harder to track, can be used to pay illegal immigrants, and denies the government its share of the “take,” so doing away with paper money will help law enforcement fight crime and help the government realize more revenue.

Despite what we know about the government and its history of corruption, bumbling, fumbling and data breaches, not to mention how easily technology can be used against us, the campaign to do away with cash is really not a hard sell.

It’s not a hard sell, that is, if you know the right buttons to push, and the government has become a grand master in the art of getting the citizenry to do exactly what it wants. And if you belong to the growing class of Americans—46% of consumers, approximately 114 million adults and rising—who use your cell phone to pay bills, purchase goods, and transfer funds, then the government is just preaching to the choir when it comes to persuading you of the convenience of digital cash.

In much the same way that Americans have opted into government surveillance through the convenience of GPS devices and cell phones, digital cash—the means of paying with one’s debit card, credit card or cell phone—is becoming the de facto commerce of the American police state.

It’s not just cash that is going digital, either.

A growing number of states—including Delaware and California—are looking to adopt digital driver’s licenses that would reside on your mobile phone. These licenses would include all of the information contained on your printed license, along with a few “extras” such as real-time data downloaded directly from your state's Department of Motor Vehicles.

Of course, reading between the lines, having a digital driver’s license will open you up to much the same jeopardy as digital cash: it will make it possible for the government to better track your movements, monitor your activities and communications and ultimately shut you down.

So what’s the deal here?

First, it’s hard to imagine how a cashless world navigated by way of a digital wallet doesn’t signal the beginning of the end for what little privacy we have left and leave us vulnerable to the likes of government thieves and data hackers.


Second, digital wallets will make it that much easier for government agents to take advantage of civil asset forfeiture schemes. ERAD (Electronic Recovery and Access to Data) devices supplied by the Department of Homeland Security allow police to not only determine the balance of any magnetic-stripe card (i.e., debit, credit and gift cards) but also freeze and seize any funds on pre-paid money cards.


Third, the war on cash is about giving the government the ultimate control of the economy and complete access to the citizenry’s pocketbook.


Fourth, every technological convenience that has made our lives easier has also become our Achilles’ heel, opening us up to greater vulnerabilities from hackers and government agents alike. Digital cash will be no different. In recent years, the U.S. government and a host of financial institutions, retailers and entertainment giants have been repeatedly hacked. And these are the people in charge of protecting our sensitive information?


Fifth, if there’s one entity that will not stop using cash for its own nefarious purposes, it’s the U.S. government. Who could forget the $12 billion in shrink-wrapped $100 bills that the U.S. flew to Iraq only to claim it had no record of what happened to the money.


Sixth, this drive to do away with cash is part of a larger global trend driven by international financial institutions and the United Nations that is transforming nations of all sizes, from the smallest nation to the biggest, most advanced economies.


Finally, short of returning to a pre-technological, Luddite age, there’s really no way to pull this horse back now that it’s left the gate.

To our detriment, we really have little control over who accesses our private information, how it is stored, or how it is used. Whether we ever had much control remains up for debate. However, in terms of our bargaining power over digital privacy rights, we have been reduced to a pitiful, unenviable position in which we can only hope and trust that those in power will treat our information with respect.

America’s founders, however, did not believe in trusting government officials or giving them too much power. In fact, they believed those entrusted with power will eventually pervert it into tyranny. As Thomas Jefferson observed, “Let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

Unfortunately, that Constitution has since been shredded.

Our republic has been transformed into an oligarchy.

We have come full circle, back to a pre-revolutionary era of taxation without any real representation.

We the people, once free citizens of a free nation, are now at the mercy of cutthroats and villains masquerading as government agents and elected officials. We continue to be robbed at gunpoint, treated like cattle, tracked incessantly and forced to serve and obey. We continue to be branded rebels and traitors and enemy combatants, shot without hesitation for daring to resist an official order or challenge injustice, and duped into believing all this was done for our “good.”

In the end, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we are no better than when we first started out more than 200 years ago as indentured slaves to a government elite intent on using us for their own profit and gain.


The Wisdom Of John Quincy Adams——A Republic, Not An Empire



By Jacob G. Hornberger The following is a modified version of the speech I delivered at the Ron Paul Institute’s “Peace and Prosperity” conference in Virginia on September 10, 2016. On the Fourth of July in 1821, John Quincy Adams delivered one of the most remarkable speeches in American history. The speech is entitled, “In…


Don't Blame the Internet for Conspiracy Rumors


I have mixed feelings about Zeynep Tufekci's op-ed about conspiracy theories in today's New York Times. On the plus side, she recognizes that such stories aren't simply an irrational invasion from the fever swamps—that when elites are secretive and dishonest, suspicious speculations follow. But her arguments about the internet are much weaker.

"I'm originally from Turkey, so I'm used to my Western friends snickering at the prevalence of conspiracy theories in the Middle East," Tufekci writes. "It is frustrating, but the reason for these theories is not a mystery. Elites do practice excessive secrecy. Foreign powers have meddled in the region for decades. Institutions that are supposed to be trusted intermediaries, separating facts from fiction while also challenging the powerful, are few and weak." And the Middle East, obviously, isn't the only place where some or all of that is true:

People think that their governments are working against them, or at least not for them, and in some cases this is true. Ruling elites around the world are circling their wagons, and fueling more suspicion and mistrust. Reversing that would be the best defense against baseless paranoia...

Since Tufekci's piece is pegged to recent rumors about Hillary Clinton's health, it's worth noting a big reason those long-simmering stories just boomed: Last weekend, Clinton really did try to conceal a health problem. Hide one secret, and people find it easier to believe you're hiding more. It isn't the most significant case of secrecy sparking speculation, but it's a pretty clear-cut example.

So that's where Tufekci is right. What I have trouble buying is her argument that "new technologies" are making conspiracy theories more popular:

The new, internet-driven financing model for news outlets is great for spreading conspiracy theories. Each story lives or dies by how much attention it attracts. This rewards the outrageous, which can get clicks more easily.

However, conspiracy theories can live only to the degree they can find communities to flourish in. That's where social media comes in. Finding a community online has been great for many people—the dissident in Egypt, the gay teenager in a conservative town—but the internet is not Thor's hammer, which only the purest of heart can pick up. Connecting online also works for an anti-vaccination parent or a Sept. 11 truther. Conspiracists can organize online and can push their version of the world into the mainstream.

First of all: The profits-through-outrageousness business model did not begin with the internet. It emerges any time you've got a lot of commercial news outlets competing with each other, a fact you can confirm by looking back at the days when every big city had more than two dailies duking it out for readers. Or, hell, by looking at a city where you still have more than two dailies duking it out for readers? Remember this headline from 2002?

There was a legitimate story there about Bush being briefed on the threat of domestic Al Qaeda attacks—and there were two giant words that implied he knew those particular attacks were on the way. While I'm sure the Post got a lot of clicks that day, that cover was conceived with newsstand sales in mind.

In any event, conspiracy theories have always found "communities to flourish in," circulating in alternative media or via stories transmitted orally. The internet has made many of those communities more visible—now you can watch a rumor spread among people you've never met!—but more visible does not necessarily mean more widely believed. More people may be seeing those stories, but more people are seeing debunkings now too; it is easier than ever to check whether the yarn you just heard is an urban legend. (How I wish that Snopes existed when I was growing up.) It is far from clear that the theories are garnering more believers than the critiques, and it certainly can't simply be asserted as fact that they are. Both bullshit and bullshit detectors are plentiful online.

Bonus links: Hillary Clinton isn't the first presidential candidate to be dogged by allegations of a health cover-up. To read about a case where the rumors were bunk, go here. To read about some cases where there really was a cover-up, go here.