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Koinos

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Member since: Fri Apr 17, 2015, 09:43 AM
Number of posts: 2,789

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FBI’s Comey has a history as a political and corporate fixer (from Marketwatch)

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fbis-comey-has-a-sinister-history-as-a-political-and-corporate-fixer-2016-11-02

Comey is no Eliot Ness, and he’s not your father’s G-Man. He is a long-standing Washington hack who has pocketed millions from federal contractors, a powerful hedge fund and a shady bank with a record of international money laundering. Yes, really. He has a career of trading “access” for money, and he is a donor to Republican political campaigns.


Comey was first appointed to the Justice Department by the Bush-Cheney administration. After they had launched the second Iraq war and committed billions to it, he was hired as consigliere and chief fixer by defense giant Lockheed Martin LMT, -2.62% . (Oh, and Lockheed has now deleted the web page announcing the appointment. How cute. Alas for them, the page has been archived.)


For most of those years, Lockheed — and Comey — successfully hid how much he earned. But in 2009, due to some oversight, they had to disclose it in a public filing. His pay for that year alone? Try $6.1 million. No, really. (Check out the table on Page 48 of the stockholder proxy statement, right here.) Further details showed that, by then, this fixer had also accumulated at least $11 million in free stock — in addition to the outsized salaries and bonuses he’d earned along the way.


Three times Comey has publicly intervened in the election in a manner most likely to help Donald Trump. It’s not even ambiguous.

Happy to say we voted early in Maryland today!

It was raining, but very, very crowded. Maryland does it right!

It felt so good to vote for Hillary and Tim!

Maryland early voting takes place from October 27 through November 3 (including Saturday, October 29 and Sunday, October 30) from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

It feels good to put two more nails in the Trump and Republican coffins.

Daily Kos: "October Surprises: Trump's Child Sex Trafficking is Finally Becoming a Major Story"

Must read article about Trump's sex and drug parties. It is based on the account in the Daily Beast, but has added commentary:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/10/25/1586568/-Daily-Beast-Inside-Donald-Trump-s-One-Stop-Parties-Attendees-Recall-Cocaine-and-Very-Young-Models

Help for flood victims in Louisiana -- email from Martin O'Malley:

Martin O'Malley - O'Say Can You See PAC

Friend,

11 years ago, our neighbors in Louisiana were struck by Hurricane Katrina, a calamity that devastated New Orleans and Louisiana. This past week, torrential rainfall has caused historic flooding so great that people are calling it the worst American disaster since Hurricane Sandy.

11 years ago, the people of Baltimore opened up their hearts to those in need. We sent two buses of the Baltimore Fire Department crew, computers, a full kitchen, and more – because Americans are stronger together.

Today, as I did 11 years ago, I’m asking you to join me in sending aid and relief to our neighbors in Louisiana to help them recover and rebuild what has been lost in this tragedy. Here are three great organizations that have been at the nexus of providing real relief over the past week: Project 70805, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and Volunteer Louisiana.

At last count, the flood has killed 13 people and damaged at least 60,000 homes across 20 parishes. An estimated $30 million will be needed to fund recovery efforts.

This is a critical moment to make a difference. Consider donating to Project 70805, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, or Volunteer Louisiana. You can also learn more about what you can do to help.

Thank you for your kindness and friendship,

Martin

The New Yorker: "Trump and Putin: A Love Story"

"Trump and Putin: A Love Story: The attraction is mutual, but history shows who’s really using whom."

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/trump-and-putin-a-love-story

This is an excellent account of Putin's rise to power, his desire to restore the influence and power of the Soviet Union, his opposition to the policies of the Clintons and President Obama, and the advantage he sees in Trump's being elected president.

About Putin's ambitions for spreading Russian influence:

It is safe to say that, on a strictly intellectual level, Donald Trump understands little of this. In recent weeks, he has made it plain that he is ignorant of the basics of contemporary Russian and geostrategic reality. He has declared NATO “obsolete” and has suggested that he might do away with Article 5, which promises that an attack on one member state is an attack on all. He makes the threat not because he is interested in reassessing anything as complex as global-security strategy but, rather, because not every member state is forking over its dues.


On Trump's and his associates' economic ties with Russia:

Some analysts have said that Trump’s affection for Putin is based mainly on his own, and his circle’s, economic interests. Paul Manafort, his campaign manager, profited immensely as an adviser to Viktor Yanukovich, the pro-Russian (and now deposed) leader of Ukraine. (Manafort has also worked as a lobbyist for other dictators, including Mobutu Sese Seko, of Zaire, and Ferdinand Marcos, of the Philippines.) Carter Page, one of Trump’s foreign-policy advisers, has longstanding ties to Gazprom, a pillar of Russia’s energy industry. Donald Trump, Jr., has made it plain that the family has pursued opportunities in Russia for decades. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” he said, in a speech in 2008 to a real-estate conference, according to the Washington Post. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” The public would have a more detailed sense of this if Trump were ever to release his tax returns.


Putin sees Trump as a useful idiot:

Vladimir Putin is a cunning and cynical reader of his adversaries. He notices that Trump does not know the difference between the Quds Force and the Kurds, or what the “nuclear triad” is; that his analysis of Brexit was based in part on what might be good for his golf courses in Britain; that his knowledge of world affairs is roughly that of someone who subscribes to a daily newspaper but doesn’t always have time to get to it. Overwhelmed with his own problems at home, Putin sees the ready benefit in having the United States led by an unlettered narcissist who believes that geostrategic questions are as easy to resolve as a real-estate closing. Putin knows a chump when he sees one.


A long article, but well worth the read. Another reason why it is dangerous to elect a moron as president.

Donald's craziness is diverting attention from his ties to Russia.

DailyKos: "Donald Trump may be acting crazy, but it's keeping the news away from the one story he wants to bury"

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/8/3/1555927/-Donald-Trump-may-be-acting-crazy-but-it-s-keeping-the-news-away-from-the-one-story-he-wants-to-bury#read-more

Why would Trump be so concerned to change one plank in the Republican platform?

He might not. But Paul Manafort would. Trump’s campaign manager worked long and hard for pro-Russian forces inside the Ukraine that were trying to destroy the pro-western government....

In doing this work, Manafort has been working directly against the interests of the United States. And directly for the interests of Vladimir Putin.

And he may still be on the payroll.


This is an excellent summary of ties between Trump's campaign and Russia. The article is long, but well worth the read. In my opinion, this story has got to be kept in the public view during this campaign. Manafort's efforts directly conflict with past and current US policy toward Russia; and a sizeable majority of both Republicans and Democrats are opposed to Trump's boosting of Putin, advocating parting ways with NATO, and handing Crimea to Russia.

New York Times Editorial: "Mr. Trump and Spineless Republicans"

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/02/opinion/mr-trump-and-spineless-republicans.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region®ion=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

"How Paul Manafort Wielded Power in Ukraine Before Advising Donald Trump"

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/01/us/paul-manafort-ukraine-donald-trump.html?ref=politics&_r=2

This link (with excerpts and additional information) was originally posted by StrictlyRockers in "Latest Breaking News," but it was subsequently locked for having been posted in the wrong forum. The New York Times article details an ongoing involvement of Paul Manafort in the turmoil in the Ukraine. The story of Manafort's association with Putin and Yanukovych resembles a James Bond thriller. It boggles my mind that Republicans attempted to derail Hillary's campaign with bogus Benghazi investigations, while they ignore Manafort's association with Putin and Yanukovych and the Ukranian conflict. I find it hard to believe that any candidate for the presidency of the United States could survive a revelation of this magnitude. It appears that Manafort has tried to put lipstick on an authoritarian pig more than once.

Many thanks to StrictlyRockers for fetching this article. The locked thread (with excerpts from the article, as well as additional information) can be found here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10141539138.

Harry Reid: How Can Intel Community Give Trump Classified Briefings Now?

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/harry-reid-trump-classified-briefings-putin

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was left flabbergasted by the prospect of giving Donald Trump classified briefings on the campaign trail after the nominee's comments about Russian hackers.

“How would the CIA and the other intelligence agencies brief this guy? How could they do that? I would suggest to the intelligence agencies, if you’re forced to brief this guy, don’t tell him anything, just fake it, because this man is dangerous,” Reid said in a Wednesday interview with The Huffington Post. “Fake it, pretend you’re doing a briefing, but you can’t give the guy any information.”

Josh Marshall on Putin and Trump

I know this has been posted before, but in case anyone missed it:

"Trump & Putin. Yes, It's Really a Thing," by Josh Marshall

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trump-putin-yes-it-s-really-a-thing

Here are just a few points he makes, but the whole article deserves to be read:

1. All the other discussions of Trump's finances aside, his debt load has grown dramatically over the last year, from $350 million to $630 million. This is in just one year while his liquid assets have also decreased. Trump has been blackballed by all major US banks.

2. Post-bankruptcy Trump has been highly reliant on money from Russia, most of which has over the years become increasingly concentrated among oligarchs and sub-garchs close to Vladimir Putin. Here's a good overview from The Washington Post, with one morsel for illustration ...


To put this all into perspective, if Vladimir Putin were simply the CEO of a major American corporation and there was this much money flowing in Trump's direction, combined with this much solicitousness of Putin's policy agenda, it would set off alarm bells galore. That is not hyperbole or exaggeration. And yet Putin is not the CEO of an American corporation. He's the autocrat who rules a foreign state, with an increasingly hostile posture towards the United States and a substantial stockpile of nuclear weapons. The stakes involved in finding out 'what's going on' as Trump might put it are quite a bit higher.

There is something between a non-trivial and a substantial amount of circumstantial evidence for a financial relationship between Trump and Putin or a non-tacit alliance between the two men. Even if you draw no adverse conclusions, Trump's financial empire is heavily leveraged and has a deep reliance on capital infusions from oligarchs and other sources of wealth aligned with Putin. That's simply not something that can be waved off or ignored.
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