Tuesday, October 31, 2017

FOX to offer 24/7 coverage of BILL CLINTON'S IMPEACHMENT.


NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—Calling it a story “too hot for the other cable-news networks to handle,” Fox News Channel announced on Tuesday that it would begin airing twenty-four-hour coverage of Bill Clinton’s 1998–99 impeachment.
Fox anchor Sean Hannity announced the programming change, telling viewers that Fox would devote all its resources to reporting the Clinton impeachment to the exclusion of all other news stories.
“This story has everything: sex, lies, and misdeeds at the highest levels of our government,” Hannity said. “We are planning to flood the zone to bring it to you.”
Calling it “the story Bill and Hillary Clinton don’t want you to hear,” Hannity said Fox would be unstinting in its effort to get to the bottom of the impeachment.
“For years, this hushed-up chapter of our history has been shrouded in silence,” Hannity said. “That silence ends today.”
  • Andy Borowitz 

Monday, October 30, 2017

MANAFORT CHARGES EXPLAINED - interesting and easy to read and follow


The Painstaking Detail of the Manafort-Gates Indictment Shows What a Solid Job Robert Mueller Has Done

Paul Manafort in June 2016 in New York City.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Monday charged former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his former business associate Rick Gates with a laundry list of crimes related to secret work done on behalf of a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party. That list includes failing to register as lobbying agents of a foreign government, laundering millions of dollars in payments from those lobbying efforts through unreported offshore accounts, using that money in a property loan scheme to defraud banks, and lying to federal investigators in attempt to cover up the schemes.
The charges are the first in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election. Most of the crimes took place long before Manafort was working for Trump. While Manafort was head of Trump’s campaign, though, Russia took part in an extensive effort to get Trump elected that included hacking the Democratic National Committee. Before that hack, Donald Trump Jr. arranged for Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner to meet with an attorney who was offering help directly from Russia. (Trump Jr. famously responded to the offer of dirt on Clinton by saying, “[I]f it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”) Manafort resigned from the campaign in mid-August 2016 after news reports about Manafort’s alleged lobbying efforts and his attempts to conceal them.
The indictment is a painstaking catalogue of Manafort’s alleged connection to and support of Russian interests prior to the Trump campaign, how he allegedly profited handsomely off them and went to great lengths to cover them up, and how he allegedly used that wealth to further defraud banking institutions to the tune of millions of more dollars. Manafort is said to have laundered at least $18 million, while Gates transferred $3 million from offshore accounts to others he controlled. “In total, more than $75 [million] flowed through the offshore accounts,” according to the indictment.
Here are some of the highlights alleged in the indictment:
  • Manafort and Gates “generated tens of millions of dollars in income” from their work as unregistered agents supporting former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych between at least 2006 and 2015. (The pro-Russian Yanukovych was ousted in 2014, which ultimately led to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.) The pair helped set up a dummy “center” that was headed by Yanukovych and his political party. It then set up a pair of ostensibly separate dummy companies to do lobbying work on behalf of the center. They told investigators that they were mere facilitators in all of this, but Mueller’s indictment says that they engaged in weekly calls and frequent emails with the companies to give them specific directions on lobbying work, sought detailed reports on the lobbying effort, communicated directly with U.S. officials in connection with the work, and “paid the firms over $2 million from offshore accounts they controlled.” A raid of Manafort’s home this past July uncovered numerous documents related to this lobbying effort.
  • Between 2006 and 2016, the pair “laundered money through scores of United States and foreign partnerships, and bank accounts.” These included shell companies and offshore accounts in Cyprus, Grenadines, and the Seychelles.
  • When confronted by federal investigators with their failure to register as foreign agents, the pair “responded with a series of false and misleading statements.” The pair is said to have falsely claimed to investigators the following: That their lobbying efforts did not include meetings or outreach in the U.S., that neither man had an agreement to provide lobbying services, that they did not connect Yanukovych’s party to the dummy company, that they did not conduct outreach to U.S. officials or media on behalf of Yanukovych’s party, and that they did not have any documentation that might relate to these apparent lobbying efforts.
  •  Manafort “used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income.” According to the indictment, that apparently included $934,350 spent at an antique rug store in Alexandria, millions of dollars in home improvements, $849,215 spent at a “men’s clothing store in New York,” $623,910 spent at an antique dealer in New York, $520,440 spent at a clothing store in Beverly Hills, $163,705 in “payments relating to three Range Rovers,” a $62,750 Mercedes Benz, a $47,000 Range Rover, and $20,000 in housekeeping.
  •  Manafort used the money from his offshore accounts to purchase real estate and take out mortgages on those properties allowing him “to have the benefits of liquid income without paying taxes on it.” This included New York City condo in Soho that cost $2.85 million and a Brooklyn brownstone in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood  that cost $3 million. He then borrowed $5 million against one of his properties ostensibly for construction but used the loan to pay off a separate mortgage and put a down payment on another property in California. In order to acquire a loan, he instructed his daughter and son-in-law to lie to a bank and say that they were living in the property as a secondary home. The property was actually a rental property. Gates helped facilitate this effort.
  • Manafort lied on his taxes about all of this income.
Again, the indictment demonstrates how meticulously Mueller has worked to prove that the man at the helm of Trump’s presidential campaign for much of 2016 profited enormously off extensive ties to Russian interests. It is the first shot fired in Mueller’s investigation, it is a heavy one, and it seems likely not to be the last.

Michael Moore OUT TWEETS Trump, BIGLY.


Like many of President Donald Trump's tweets, the one lashing out at filmmaker Michael Moore seemed to come out of nowhere.
"While not at all presidential ... " it began, before taking aim at Moore's Broadway play, "The Terms of My Surrender," which had ended its run the weekend before.
"I must point out that the Sloppy Michael Moore Show on Broadway was a TOTAL BOMB and was forced to close. Sad!" Trump tweeted.
It's unclear what prompted Trump to send such a tweet on the cusp of a Saturday evening - though, like Moore himself, "The Terms of My Surrender" did not hold back on its criticisms of Trump and his presidency. Officially, the play was billed as "a hilarious satirical tour through the depraved new world we find ourselves in since appointing a madman as the leader of the free world."
Promotional posters for the one-man show, which featured a rotating band of guests, trumpeted: "Can a Broadway show bring down a sitting president?" The New Yorker's Michael Schulman described the play as "a cheeky rebuke to the Trump Administration that plays mostly as a liberal pep rally."

A few hours after Trump's tweet posted, Moore responded on Twitter to dispute claims that the show had bombed or closed early. "The Terms of My Surrender" began previews Belasco Theatre in New York on July 28 and officially opened Aug. 10. It was always scheduled for a 12-week engagement; its final performance was Oct. 22.
Moore said as much Saturday, reiterating that the limited run was because of his commitments to other TV and movie projects.
"On Broadway, Donald, they call it a 'LIMITED ENGAGEMENT' - just like we're planning on making your presidency," Moore fired back at Trump in one of a dozen threaded tweets. He also posted an undated photo of himself with Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, claiming he still had "one fan in the White House."
In addition, Moore claimed "The Terms of My Surrender" was the highest-grossing nonmusical play of the summer, "despite my offering $29 cheap seats + free student tix so ALL could afford." According to the Broadway League statistics, the show grossed $4.2 million, just under half of its potential gross, with an average capacity of 78 percent. Playbill confirmed that it was the highest-grossing nonmusical plays among those that had opened this summer, though another one that had opened earlier ("The Play That Goes Wrong") grossed more in the 12-week period in which Moore's play ran.

The Washington Post's theater critic, Peter Marks, gave "The Terms of My Surrender" a lackluster review, calling it "less a jaunty excursion than an unvarnished ego trip" and "a slog through cringe-inducing skits and only occasionally engaging anecdotes about Moore's stumble into the life of a political gadfly." Earlier last week, Moore had announced that he planned to take "The Terms of My Surrender" on a national tour in 2018.
Moore also accused Trump of trying to distract from more-pressing issues, such as the situation in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and special counsel Robert Mueller III's ongoing investigation into whether Trump's campaign coordinated with Russians seeking to meddle in the 2016 election.

Former Trump Campaign Chairman Manafort charged with 12 criminal Charges along with his underling Gates.


Manafort and Gates charged with conspiracy against the United States in 12-count indictment

The indictment against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime colleague Rick Gates has been released — and it includes 12 counts, including charges of money laundering, tax evasion and conspiracy against the United States.
The indictment represents the first charges stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The indictment, which was released on Monday morning, accuses Manafort and Gates of engaging in a money laundering conspiracy over a span of a decade related to their work for a Kremlin-backed political party in Ukraine. Gates served as served as his deputy in the Trump campaign
“Manafort and Gates generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work,” the indictment alleges. “In order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, Manafort and Gates laundered money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts.”
The indictment’s timeline suggests that Manafort was engaged in an illegal conspiracy even while he was serving as Trump’s campaign manager.
In total, the indictment claims Manafort laundered over $18 million that he used to buy “property, goods, and services in the United States, income that he concealed from the United States Treasury.”
Manafort and Gates were charged on Friday in the District of Columbia. The indictment was unsealed Monday morning.
Both men have surrendered to the FBI.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Joy Reid rips into GOP person with facts about the Lousy Report about Uranium and Hillary - Very Good


This conservative just found out the hard way that Joy Reid don’t play.

On Sunday MSNBC’s Joy Reid gave a schooling to a conservative who tried to push lies about Hillary Clinton and the Uranium One deal. This is one of the best take-downs I’ve seen in a long time. Journalists everywhere should take notes. This is how you deal with right-wing liars.
Last week Trump surrogates and Republicans tried to recycle an old debunked story about Hillary. They are in a panic because the walls are starting to close in on Trump and his administration regarding the Russia investigation. So they’re doing their best to distract and deflect with old worn out attacks on Hillary.
Unfortunately a lot of the media fell for this ruse last week. But at least one journalist did her homework and was ready to respond when a conservative guest on her show started with the lies. Joy Reid shut her down immediately.
“Who got the money when the Canadian company was sold to the Russian company in Uranium One?”Reid asked the woman.
“Ummm….I presume the company,” her guest responded.
Still on the attack Reid replied, “MmHmm, yep. Second question: Who approved the sale? Because when any sort of uranium or any company sells these sort of sensitive type products…and by the way the uranium that’s mined in these mines is for nuclear power, it’s not for nuclear bombs, right? But when that happens there’s an organization called CFIUS that approves it. Do you know what CFIUS stands for?”
“Yes,” her guest responded. “Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.”
Then Joy immediately asked, “How many people sit on that committee?”
“Nine members,” the woman answered.
“How many have to approve a deal like this?” Joy asked.
“Ummm, all nine of them,” the conservative admitted.
Joy shot back, “All nine of them. And how many approved this deal?”
The woman answered, “Umm, nine of them.”
Then Joy asked, “Did Hillary Clinton sit personally on that deal?”
“No but she pushed for it,” the woman started to say before being quickly cut off by Reid.
“No she did not. She did not. Who is the person who donated to Hillary Clinton who is related to and had an investment in Uranium One? What is that person’s name? Do you remember their name?”
The woman answered, “Umm, they are board members of Uranium One, [they] donated up to $143 million to the Clinton Foundation.”
Then Joy asked, “And did he own any assets in Uranium One at the time that Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State?”
“You know I do not know that but,” the woman admitted before Reid cut her off again.
Then Joy went in for the kill.
“No he did not. He sold them years before. So what you’re talking about is a deal that nine members of CFIUS approved unanimously. None of them was Hillary Clinton. You have a donor who separately gave Hillary Clinton a donation at a time when she was not Secretary of State. The two things cross in the night. They have no relation to each other. The members of CFIUS have been very clear that Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with approving that deal. She would’ve had to strong-arm eight other people in order to get them to unanimously approve the deal. And ultimately the President of the United States would intervene if they saw any problem.” 
Reid continued, “The CFIUS people say now if that deal came before them today, they would still approve it unanimously. There’s actually nothing about the deal that’s controversial. The only reason we’re talking about it is because per your admission, which I think is very honest, the RNC would like us to be talking about this now.”

Adam Schiff: Is the Dossier true?


During an interview on ABC’s This Week, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee investigating Trump and Russia, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), cut through the GOP Steele Dossier distraction in seconds with a single vital question.
Schiff: Most important question about the Trump dossier isn't who paid for it, but "how much of it is true."
Schiff said, “I certainly would have like to have known who paid for it earlier, but none the less, that’s just one factor to be considered. It doesn’t answer the ultimate question, which is how much of the work is accurate? How much of it is true? Any my colleagues don’t seem particularly interested in that question, but that is really the most important question for the American people is how much of this allegation that Christopher Steele makes and the reports that he hears are true about the Russian government wanting to help the Trump campaign? A lot of that has been corroborated.”
Trump and the Republicans want to talk about one part of the financing for the dossier, but notice that they have never disputed anything has been verified from the dossier. The sensational sexual allegations have not been verified, but Trump’s deep relationship with Russia and the Russians efforts to use Trump have.

Rep. Schiff has Republicans dead in the water. Why don’t they want to talk about the allegations of a Trump/Russia relationship and the two working together during the 2016 election? The answer to that question holds the truth that Trump and his party are trying to muddy and hide. Adam Schiff is effortlessly slicing through the distractions, and his efforts will eventually help to provide the truth that Trump is desperately trying to hide.