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Devil Child

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Member since: Mon Jun 16, 2008, 07:51 PM
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Bill Clinton Went to Jeffrey Epstein's Island With 2 'Young Girls', Virginia Giuffre Says

Source: Newsweek

In recently unsealed court documents involving dead child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell, a woman named Virginia Giuffre, who publicly accused Epstein of sex trafficking, said that she once saw former Democratic President Bill Clinton on Epstein's island with "two young girls" from New York.

In the questioning by lawyer Jack Scarola, Guiffre was asked, "Do you have any recollection of Jeffrey Epstein's specifically telling you that 'Bill Clinton owes me favors?'"

"Yes, I do," Guiffre answered. "It was a laugh though. He would laugh it off. You know, I remember asking Jeffrey what's Bill Clinton doing here [on Epstein's island] kind of thing, and he laughed it off and said well he owes me favors."

"He never told me what favors they were," Guiffre continued. "I never knew. I didn't know if he was serious. It was just a joke... He told me a long time ago that everyone owes him favors. They're all in each other's pockets."

Read more: https://www.newsweek.com/bill-clinton-went-jeffrey-epsteins-island-2-young-girls-virginia-giuffre-says-1521845



So disappointed if true.

Facebook's Election Rules Are No Match for Bloomberg's Billions

Over the past four years, Facebook has made a big show of demonstrating how much it cares about democracy and how much it’s doing to combat election interference or fake news. It has assembled “war rooms” and published white papers. It has hired thousands of content moderators (as in, they’re looking at content; they’re actually miserable). And the company is constantly reminding people that it’s spending more on security now than the total of its revenue at the beginning of the decade. Big numbers! Facebook cares!

snip...

Over the past couple of weeks, candidate Mike Bloomberg has rolled out an aggressive program of buying endorsements on social media. He isn’t just asking celebrities and other mayors (of smaller cities) for their backing or posting weird tweets: Last week, a number of popular Instagram accounts with tens of millions of followers rolled out jokey sponcon for the former New York City mayor. Today, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Bloomberg’s campaign will go one step further by paying regular social-media users to post about the candidate on the platforms.

snip...

That’s more than $1.25 million Bloomberg is spending just to kinda shotgun his name all over social media and into group chats. This comes in addition to a reported program for “microinfluencers,” i.e., people with small follower counts, whom Bloomberg would pay $150 in exchange for their support. That’s a lot for any campaign, but it’s nothing for the former mayor, who seems more than willing to throw money at the wall and see what sticks.

snip...

Bloomberg has managed to exploit loopholes and vagueness in various Facebook policies. That Facebook’s rules for political ads and fact-checking are clearly toothless and that Facebook doesn’t recognize how Bloomberg’s strategy may run afoul of its current rules on coordinated inauthentic behavior make it clear that Facebook’s policies are not robust. Or maybe Facebook is just willing to bend the rules for certain clients — like, I dunno, a billionaire named Mike who’s spending exponentially more on Facebook ads than any other Democratic candidate is.


https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/02/facebooks-election-rules-are-no-match-for-bloombergs-money.html

Will Faceboook enforce their established rules to reign in or regulate campaign activity on their platforms? Probably not when looking at the sheer amount of money involved.

Bloomberg campaign paying workers $2,500 per month to promote Bloomberg through texts, social media

In addition to promoting Bloomberg, the campaign's job description for the position states that organizers may be asked to do more traditional campaign tasks such as phone banking. Source accounts and documents revealed to the Journal that the undertaking will cost the campaign millions of dollars monthly.

The staffers will be aided by Outvote, an app that allows users to send pre-written texts, post to social media platforms and then send data back to the campaign.

Outvote, which was created by a Democratic political tech incubator, also reportedly allows users to see if their friends are registered to vote by cross-referencing their phone contacts with public data.

"We are meeting voters everywhere on any platform that they consume their news," Bloomberg's senior national spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told The Hill.


https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/483653-bloomberg-campaign-paying-workers-2500-per-month-to-promote-bloomberg-to

More insight into the efforts of the Bloomberg's online efforts to sway public opinion. $2500 a month is quite an income boost to flood your social media or forum platform with pro-Bloomberg posts. This news coincides quite nicely with the following link describing suspension of pro-Bloomberg twitter accounts for platform manipulation.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/1287558140

Turkey and Russia Near Breaking Point in Syrian Standoff

Source: Bloomberg

As Turkey slides toward war with Russian-backed Syrian forces, Ankara has appealed to the U.S. and European allies for support in a conflict that risks undermining the friendly ties he’s built with Moscow. The about-turn comes as the threat rises of a mass refugee movement toward Turkey, and of the defeat of Turkish-backed rebels in Syria.

Ankara’s answer is to reach out to Washington to ask for a pair of Patriot missile-defense batteries to be deployed on the Syrian border. It needs the U.S.-operated Patriots to deter Russian air strikes in support of an offensive on Idlib, the last rebel stronghold in Syria, by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Turkey also signaled its readiness to accept similar support from European allies.

The request is an abrupt change of tack for Erdogan after years of goading the U.S. and European partners, and underlines how much is at stake for Turkey as it wades into the Syrian conflict on the opposing side to Russia. While Turkey insists it will avoid any confrontation with Russian forces, the pressure on Erdogan to respond is rising as the toll of Turkish casualties mounts.

“We’re on the edge of the precipice and we need to come to a deal,” said Irina Zvyagelskaya, a Middle East expert at the state-funded Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow. The latest Turkish deaths this week brought home the dangerous and unpredictable nature of the situation, and “should be a wake-up call,” she said.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-21/turkey-and-russia-near-breaking-point-in-syria-military-standoff



As war between Turkey, Syria, and Russia loom on the horizon, Erdogan has pulled a 180 and come crawling back to the West for military and humanitarian assistance. Now he is asking (quite ironically) for a pair of US Patriot missile systems to deploy in southern Turkey to threaten Russian air assets. Quite a troublesome request as these systems would have US service members at their controls.

There are also reports out in the twitterverse that Russia has struck Turkish armored forces and destroyed several of their tanks.

China expels foreign journalists as coronavirus deaths climb

Source: Al Jazeera

China has ordered the expulsion of three Wall Street Journal reporters as criticism mounts over the country's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which has so far killed more than 2,000 people and infected close to 75,000 others.

The order, which escalates Beijing's fraught relations with foreign media, came late on Wednesday after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused the publication of racism for publishing an opinion piece with the headline, China is the Real Sick Man of Asia.

"The Chinese people do not welcome media that publish racist statements and smear China with malicious attacks," Geng Shuang, the foreign ministry spokesman, said at a press conference.

snip...

In a statement, the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China said the decision was an "extreme and obvious attempt by the Chinese authorities to intimidate foreign news organisations by taking retribution against their China-based correspondents".

Read more: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/china-expels-foreign-journalists-coronavirus-deaths-climb-200220003102995.html



China continues the crackdown on free-flow of information regarding the outbreak and freedom of speech in general.

Devices found in missiles, Yemen drones link Iran to attacks

Source: ABC

A small instrument inside the drones that targeted the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry and those in the arsenal of Yemen's Houthi rebels match components recovered in downed Iranian drones in Afghanistan and Iraq, two reports say.

These gyroscopes have only been found inside drones manufactured by Iran, Conflict Armament Research said in a report released on Wednesday. That follows a recently released report from the United Nations saying its experts saw a similar gyroscope from an Iranian drone obtained by the U.S. military in Afghanistan, as well as inweaponsshipmentsseized in the Arabian Sea bound for Yemen.

The discovery further ties Iran to an attack that briefly halved Saudi Arabia's oil output and saw energy prices spike by a level unseen since the 1991 Gulf War. It also ties Iran to the arming of the rebel Houthis in Yemen's long civil war. Iran denies it had a hand in that assault but has increasingly promoted its influence over the Houthis and launched a ballistic missile attack on American troops in Iraq after a U.S. drone strike killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad last month.

“This gyroscope ... we've seen it now enough times in Iranian-manufactured material to be able to confidently say that the presence of it in a Houthi-produced item suggests that the material was supplied from Iran,” Jonah Leff of Conflict Armament Research told The Associated Press.

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/devices-found-missiles-yemen-drones-link-iran-attacks-69064032



This can be filed under: Not surprising in the least.

LAT Op-Ed: Bloomberg is not the candidate to take on Trump. Here's why

This should be a happy time for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Right now, his ads are drowning the airwaves in the 14 states that will vote on Super Tuesday, March 3, while in most of those states, the campaigns of his non-billionaire opponents for the Democrats’ presidential nod have barely begun.

As the campaign rolls on, however, Democratic voters will learn more about Bloomberg’s actual record. The mass incarceration in black and brown communities that resulted from police practices he put in place as mayor; the preemptive arrests he authorized of people who sought to protest the 2004 Republican convention in New York (for which the city had to pay hefty fines for false arrests); his defense of Wall Street bankers in the wake of the 2008 financial panic (he termed the fines levied against banks for misconduct “outrageous”) — these are just some of the many Bloomberg policies and positions that should give Democrats pause.

snip...

It’s hard to imagine a Democrat less able to win working-class votes — those of young black and Latino workers, and those of the white workers who swung the 2016 election to Trump. Minority voters are unlikely to look kindly on his mayoral record: intensifying stop-and-frisk, vetoing legislation that banned predatory lenders from doing business with the city, and opposing city legislation to raise the living wage. Now that he’s running for president he says he backs a minimum wage hike, but in 2014, he told Fox News, “I’ve always thought that this impetus to raise the minimum wage is one of the most misguided things we can do.”

For those white workers who pushed Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania into Trump’s column, Bloomberg is the personification of everything they can’t abide. On one hand, he’s perhaps America’s biggest-spending proponent of gun control and a prominent advocate for other socially liberal positions — those the right denigrates as heralding “the nanny state.” On the other, he’s been a constant advocate for deepening economic globalization, for the very trade deals many American workers believed decimated manufacturing here. To this very day, he remains, with Henry Kissinger, the American public figure most supportive of the Chinese regime.


https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-02-18/op-ed-bloomberg-is-not-the-candidate-to-take-on-trump-heres-why

Good analysis highlighting the many concerning issues that a Bloomberg nomination would bring.

Guardian OP-ED: Mike Bloomberg's election spending spree tells an ugly story

Mike Bloomberg’s election spending spree tells an ugly story

The former mayor of New York is the first billionaire to try to buy his way to being president – but he won’t be the last

It looks as if Michael Bloomberg is trying to find out. Since entering the race in November, he has spent an unprecedented amount of money trying to win the Democratic nomination. In less than three months, Bloomberg, who is worth about $60bn (£46bn), has spent about $320m on TV advertising alone – more than double the amount Tom Steyer, the other billionaire running and the second-biggest spender, has shelled out on ads. Since January, Bloomberg has spent more on Facebook ads than Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren combined.

His strategy (spend, spend, spend and see what sticks) seems to be paying off. He has surged to third place in some opinion polls, despite skipping Iowa and New Hampshire, and has been racking up endorsements from people including the mayor of Washington DC and the former ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson. It is still early, but he may be the candidate who faces Donald Trump in the general election.

If these two billionaires end up battling it out for the presidency, I am not sure it matters who wins in November. Democracy will have lost. We will have entered a new age of American oligarchy. A dangerous precedent will have been set. Money and politics will become even more intertwined. We might not see a non-billionaire become president again for a very long time.

snip...

Yes. I don’t think you can underestimate the optics of Bloomberg’s unapologetic spending spree. It lifts the veil on money in politics. It sends a dispiriting message to an already disillusioned electorate that politics is a swamp where ordinary people are not represented and where influence is bought. Even if Bloomberg doesn’t win the nomination, it seems inevitable that his success so far will pave the way for more billionaires. Bezos 2024? Zuckerberg 2028? It looks increasingly likely.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/18/michael-bloomberg-election-spending-spree-tells-an-ugly-story-billionaire-president

As the author notes, our democracy is threatened by the the wealthiest of individuals with their unprecedented purchasing power and lack of campaign finance reform.

Baghdad explosions: rockets strike near US embassy in Iraq

Source: Guardian

Multiple rockets hit near the US embassy in Iraq’s capital early on Sunday, an American military source said, the latest in a flurry of attacks against US assets in the country.

The assault sent warning sirens blaring across the diplomatic compound but it was unclear exactly what was hit and how many rockets made impact, the US source and a western diplomat based nearby said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Agence France-Presse’s correspondents heard multiple strong explosions followed by aircraft circling near the green zone, the high-security enclave where the US mission is located.

It was the 19th attack since October to target either the embassy or the roughly 5,200 US troops stationed alongside local forces across Iraq. The attacks are never claimed but the US has pointed the finger at Iran-backed groups within the Hashed al-Shaabi, a military network officially incorporated into Iraq’s state security forces.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/16/iraq-explosions-rockets-strike-near-us-embassy-in-baghdad



Continued tit-for-tat escalation between Iran, their supported Iraqi militants, and the US military.

NYT: We Checked the Iowa Caucus Math. Here's Where It Didn't Add Up.

Since the troubled Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3, the state Democratic party has revised the results for about 100 of the state’s 1,765 precincts, and officials are still scrambling to verify dozens more precinct results after reports of widespread inconsistencies.

There has often been some fuzziness in the way the results of the Iowa caucuses were calculated and reported. But this is the first year that Iowa Democrats released raw vote counts. The transparency provided the public with its first opportunity to check the complex math that determines which candidates get the delegates they need to win the Democratic nomination.

And in many cases, the math did not check out. In such a close race — Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., is leading Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont by a tenth of a percentage point — even small mistakes can add up.

Here are some of the inconsistencies and errors The New York Times uncovered in an analysis of the Iowa Democratic Party’s results.


https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/02/14/us/politics/iowa-caucus-results-mistakes.html

Inconsistencies and errors noted by the NYT review include: recorded vote totals do not add up in 79 precincts; candidates without enough supporters won delegates in 21 precincts; too many delegates awarded in 8 precincts; delegates calculated improperly in at least 28 precincts; and data entry mistakes in at least 100 precincts
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