GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to Flynn

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Czer, Jun 30, 2017.

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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Ex-Palm Beach State Attorney Says It Was Acosta’s ‘Secret Negotiations’ With Epstein Lawyers That Tanked Case

    Former Palm Beach State Attorney Barry Krischer has accused Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta of attempting to “rewrite history” by suggesting state prosecutors went easy on Jeffrey Epstein when he got a cushy plea deal more than a decade ago. In a statement released shortly after Acosta's press conference Wednesday, Krischer said the labor secretary's “recollection of the matter is completely wrong.” The 53-page indictment against Epstein was abandoned, Krischer said, after “secret negotiations between Mr. Epstein’s lawyers and Mr. Acosta.” He said the State Attorney’s office had no part in the meetings and negotiations, nor did they participate in the “Non-Prosecution Agreement and the unusual confidentiality agreement that kept everything hidden from the victims.”

    “If Mr. Acosta was truly concerned with the State’s case and felt he had to rescue the matter, he would have moved forward with the 53-page indictment that his own office drafted. Instead, Mr. Acosta brokered a secret plea deal that resulted in a Non-Prosecution Agreement in violation of the Crime Victim’s Rights act,” Krischer wrote, adding that Acosta should not be allowed to “rewrite history.”

  2. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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  3. Red

    Red TZT Neckbeard

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    I wish I was a billionaire
  4. Red

    Red TZT Neckbeard

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    Not for child rape but because my secret island would be dank as fuck and have secret DMT tunnels
    Kilinitic likes this.
  5. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    I would go full kane / brotherhood of nod

    no piddly farcry 5 stuff
  6. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    CA lawmakers pass bill requiring Trump, presidential candidates to release tax returns
    July 11, 2019

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California legislation that would require presidential and state gubernatorial candidates to release their tax returns in order to appear on the state's ballot cleared a significant hurdle, passing the State Assembly with an overwhelming majority vote.

    SB 27, co-authored by Senators Mike McGuire and Scott Wiener, was approved by the State Assembly Monday with a 57-17 vote, according to McGuire's office. It will be heard again in the State Senate this week, and if approved, will head to Gov. Gavin Newsom for his signature.

    "Presidential candidates need to put their own interests aside in the name of transparency," McGuire's office said in a written statement. "So far, our current President has done the opposite and it's time that President Trump steps up, stops with the obstruction, and follows through with 40 years of time-honored tradition that has made this nation's democracy stronger. This commonsense legislation applies equally to all candidates, from all political parties, including the Governor of California."

    In May, McGuire and Wiener amended the legislation to extend the transparency rules to the office of the Governor of California, as well as presidential candidates.

    The Presidential Tax Transparency & Accountability Act will require basic tax information to be shared with California residents, and require that all presidential and gubernatorial candidates release the last five years of their tax returns in order to appear on the state ballot. The returns will be made available to the public on the Secretary of State's website, according to McGuire's office.

    The measure also includes an urgency clause, which would allow the legislation to take effect immediately, prior to the filing deadline for 2020 presidential candidates.
    Meanwhile, Trump's New York tax returns could be given to Congress under a new law in his home state that was signed Monday by the Democratic governor and dismissed by Republicans as a partisan game that wouldn't stand up in court.

    The measure signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo directs state tax officials to share state returns of certain elected and appointed officials upon written request from the chairpersons of one of three committees: House Ways and Means, Senate Finance or Joint Committee on Taxation.

    Designed to give Congress a way around the Republican president's refusal to release his returns, the new law is expected to face legal challenges. And it's unclear whether Congress will request access to Trump's state returns, which tax experts say would include many of the same details as his federal return.

    Trump has long filed taxes in New York as a resident of the state. He is the first president since Watergate to decline to make his returns public, often claiming that he would release them if he were not under audit.
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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    California Gov. Gavin Newsom orders dismissal of state's top oil regulator
    July 11, 2019

    PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday directed his secretary of natural resources to fire Ken Harris, the state’s top oil regulator, after learning from The Desert Sun/USA TODAY and watchdog groups that fracking permits have doubled without his knowledge since he took office and that seven supervisors charged with regulating the industry own shares in major oil companies.

    Ann O’Leary, chief of staff to Newsom, sent a letter to Wade Crowfoot, California’s secretary for Natural Resources, asking him to immediately make several changes in the Department of Conservation, including firing Harris.

    Harris is the head of the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, also known as DOGGR. He could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

    O'Leary also told Crowfoot to "continue at full pace the investigation you have already started related to the allegations that employees at DOGGR have holdings in energy companies, which could constitute actual or apparent conflicts of interest, and take the maximum disciplinary action appropriate under law."

    In the meantime, she directed him to ensure that all employees and contractors who own oil or gas stocks recuse themselves from all permitting decisions pending individual reviews based on new conflict rules that are being formulated.

    On Wednesday, The Desert Sun reported the pace at which fracking permits are issued has doubled since Newsom took office in January, and thousands of permits for new and re-used oil and gas wells also have been approved, angering environmental and public health groups who hoped for a phase-out of the state's billion-dollar industry following the retirement of Gov. Jerry Brown.

    The Desert Sun also reported on the findings of two watchdog groups, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance, who uncovered records showing that top state regulators and engineers held investments in Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, Valero and other petrochemical giants.

    Almost half of the 2,300 well permits issued in 2019 have benefited oil companies invested in by agency officials, the consumer groups said.

    Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance uncovered the regulators' personal investments and permit data through public records requests, and the two groups shared the documents with The Desert Sun and the USA TODAY Network.

    "This is a good start," said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. “This shows the governor wants to change the culture at the agency to make sure it’s free of conflicts and safety comes before the oil companies’ interests. The next move has to be to hold accountable Mr. Harris’ supervisors, who were well aware that this was an agency that was permitting wells with the oil companies’ interests first in its mind and the public last.”

    Investments could be up to $100,000

    The investments were reported on required disclosure forms completed by agency supervisors or senior officials in March this year. The forms cover 2018 holdings of stock and other securities and show seven senior staff with investments in a dozen of the world's top petroleum companies.

    The exact amounts are unclear, because the forms ask supervisors to simply indicate whether their investments are valued at less than $10,000 or between $10,001 and $100,000, or higher amounts.

    On Wednesday, the groups asked Newsom to put a freeze on all drilling permits and to clean house at DOGGR.

    "We have uncovered outrageous conflicts of interest at the state agency charged with oil and gas well approval and inspections that endanger the public. Oil regulators should not be invested in the same oil companies that they regulate," wrote Court; Adam Scow, senior consumer advocate with the nonprofit; and Brook Lenker, executive director of FracTracker Alliance.

    "This scandalous ethical breach is an opportunity to advance your stated goal of curbing drilling and fracking in the state," they added. "Reform begins with ethical and honest regulation."

    In her letter to Crowfoot on Thursday, Newsom's chief of staff said:

    "The governor is taking these actions today because he has learned that since January 2019, well stimulation (fracking) permits have increased without his knowledge. The governor has long held concerns about fracking and its impacts on Californians and our environment, and knows that ultimately California and our global partners will need to transition away from oil and gas extraction. In the weeks ahead, our office will work with you to find new leadership of DOGGR that share this point of view and can run the division accordingly."

    Harris was not among those DOGGR officials and employees who disclosed oil industry investments. Among those who did disclose investments were several of his senior staff, including:

    • The agency's deputy director of programs, David Gutierrez, reporting to Harris.
    • The agency's enforcement unit supervisor, Simeon Okoroike.
    • District supervisors, deputies and senior engineers in various oil-producing sections of the state.
    Nicholas Abu, a senior oil and gas engineer overseeing the state's underground gas storage program, reported owning a side gas consulting business called Sandstone Reservoir Solutions.

    The Desert Sun reached out on Wednesday to the eight supervisors who disclosed investments or consulting. Only one, Gutierrez, responded.

    Deputy director: 'I'm trying to follow the rules'
    Gutierrez told The Desert Sun that when he was hired less than two years ago, he informed DOGGR officials he held shares in Exxon Mobil and Magellan Midstream Partners and asked if he should sell them. He said he was told that because California was not currently regulating either company, he didn't need to divest. He said he was told that if a conflict did arise, "you would just kind of step back" and leave decisions about the company to other agency officials.

    According to Gutierrez’s job description, he has "direct program management responsibility" of several statewide well programs and is responsible for compliance with state environmental laws. He's also charged with formulating and implementing policies to support DOGGR's mission "to prevent damage to life, health, property and natural resources, while also encouraging the wise development of oil, gas and geothermal resources to increase the ultimate recovery of these natural resources."

    He filled out Form 700 as required this March, checking the boxes showing that in 2018, he owned between $10,000 and $100,000 worth of investments in Exxon and Magellan.

    He said as soon as the agency received a Public Records Act request from the two watchdog groups in late April and he was notified, he “instantly” sold the stocks. He said, "I asked our legal office and I asked our ethics attorneys" and "they calmed me down and said 'don't worry about it.'

    "I'm trying to follow the rules," Gutierrez said.

    He said he earned about $14,000 by selling 200 shares in Exxon Mobil, and about $25,000 from just under 400 shares he had owned in Magellan. He said he had owned both sets of shares for at least 10 years and had all but forgotten about them. Prior to DOGGR, he said he was in the federal sector, and held a variety of posts in Washington, including "doing national security work."

    Gutierrez also said he is not involved in permitting, and wasn’t aware until April that Aera Energy was a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, one of the companies in which he owned stock.

    Aera Energy, which is jointly owned by Exxon Mobil and Shell affiliates, has received the lion’s share of fracking permits this year, and says on its website that it spent most of 2017 "educating" DOGGR about why an alternative method to verify well integrity would work. Without DOGGR approval, it “might have been forced to spend millions of dollars abandoning and re-drilling wells.”

    Court, the president of Los Angeles-based Consumer Watchdog, was harshly critical of Gutierrez’s response, saying that the highest-ranking civil servant in the agency overseeing the oil industry should know that Aera and Exxon Mobil are linked, and if he doesn’t, he should find a new job.

    211 fracking permits issued in first half of 2019
    Others said it is not just conflicts of interest that are at stake, but public health. They want the oil industry phased out completely in the Golden State, both to stem climate change and to keep dangerous toxics out of air and water.

    Since Newsom took office, DOGGR has been issuing permits for controversial hydraulic fracking at twice the rate they were issued under Brown, according to a Desert Sun review of records: 211 permits were issued in the first half of 2019, compared to 223 in all of 2018 and 228 the year before.

    Batches of applications are being processed in as little as three weeks, with most going to Aera Energy. Key positions in the agency also continue to be held by former California oil company executives, engineers and other industry staff.

    An analysis by the Last Chance Alliance – a network of organizations that says it was “formed to address the ongoing climate, health, and environmental justice emergency caused by the oil and gas industry in California” – found at least 20 of DOGGR’s appointments and hires during Brown’s tenure came from oil companies operating in the state, and, the group said, all are still there, including two top officials.

    William "Bill" Bartling, a DOGGR chief deputy who oversees field operations across the state, previously headed or managed several oil-related companies, and worked for Chevron for 14 years. Chevron has received 616 permits from DOGGR this year for new wells or to rework existing wells. Bartling did not report any investments in oil companies.

    The so-called "revolving door" and accelerated permitting has concerned environmentalists. Many hoped for major change under Newsom, who signed a pledge not to take any oil industry donations during his campaign.

    But backers of the industry note that its products play a vital role in everyday life, not just in transportation but in myriad other products. The Western States Petroleum Association or WSPA, a lobbying and trade group, as well as major oil companies, have routinely been among the largest donors to candidates. They are also active in opposing or supporting ballot measures seen as harmful or helpful to the industry. There are 368,000 jobs in California connected to oil and gas operations, with $24.6 billion in tax revenues, according to WSPA's website.

    Foes of the industry are heartened that Newsom included $3 million in his first budget for a pair of studies: one on how to phase out fossil fuel use in California and the second on accelerating electric vehicle use. But they say that's hardly enough.

    “DOGGR continues to roll out the red carpet for and is doing the bidding of the industry they’re supposed to be regulating,” said Kassie Siegel, Climate Law Institute director for the Center for Biological Diversity, who is based in the Morongo Valley. “The agency has done nothing to change its culture.”

    Calls for change at agency date back years
    DOGGR was often riven by controversy during Brown’s tenure.Harris was appointed after it was learned his predecessor had agreed to a request from the then-governor to evaluate the Brown family's ranch lands for potential oil holdings. An independent science commission in 2015 determined there were large, unknown risks due to fracking and a second oil extraction technique. The panel recommended a suite of changes to current policies, including a 2,500-foot buffer between oil production facilities and schools and homes, an end to unlined wastewater pits and other measures designed to protect public health and groundwater aquifers near drilling sites.

    Under increasing scrutiny by the legislature since the report, DOGGR has pledged for the past four years to put public health front and center as part of an overhaul. But it has not instituted a buffer zone or other recommendations.

    The Golden State is the fifth-largest producer of oil in the nation, extracting and refining about 200 million barrels per year, though production has been gradually declining since 1990. To tap last bits of oil in largely exhausted fields, energy companies are increasingly turning to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, blasting steam down boreholes to fracture rocks holding remnant crude oil.

    Oil extraction, production and use have been linked to air and water pollution and serious illness. The Central Valley, greater Los Angeles and the Coachella Valley have the worst ozone smog in the nation, according to air quality regulators. About 80% of that pollution comes from cars, trucks and trains that use petroleum, while another large chunk comes from refineries that process the oil into fuel.
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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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  10. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    China to impose sanctions on U.S. firms that sell arms to Taiwan
    JULY 12, 2019

    BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China said on Friday it would impose sanctions on U.S. firms involved in a deal to sell $2.2-billion worth of tanks, missiles and related equipment to Taiwan, saying it harmed China’s sovereignty and national security.

    On Monday, the Pentagon said the U.S. State Department had approved the sale of the weapons requested by Taiwan, including 108 General Dynamics Corp M1A2T Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles, which are manufactured by Raytheon.

    Washington said the sales would not alter the basic military balance in the region, but Beijing, a major U.S. security rival with which Washington has been engaged in a year-long trade war, has demanded the deal be revoked.

    China’s latest statement came as Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was in New York en route to visit four Caribbean allies, a trip that has also incensed China.

    A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said the U.S. arms sale constituted a serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations.

    The spokesman, Geng Shuang, also called the sale a serious violation of the “one-China” principle, under which the United States officially recognizes Beijing and not Taipei.

    “To safeguard our national interests, China will impose sanctions on the U.S. enterprises involved in the above-mentioned arms sales to Taiwan,” Geng said.

    The State Department declined to comment and the U.S. firms involved in the Taiwan arms deal did not immediately respond.

    It was unclear what, if any, impact the Chinese move might have, as U.S. defense contractors have been barred from dealings with Beijing since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

    While its relations with Taiwan are technically unofficial, the United States is required by law to assist Taiwan in its defense and is its main supplier of arms.

    China deems Taiwan a wayward province and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.

    On a visit to Budapest on Friday, China’s top diplomat Wang Yi warned Washington it should “not play with fire” on the question of Taiwan.

    He said no foreign force could stop the reunification of China and no foreign force should try to intervene.

    “We urge the U.S. to fully recognize the gravity of the Taiwan question ... (and) not to play with fire on the question of Taiwan,” Wang told a news conference via an interpreter.

    Tsai was last in the United States in March, but her transit stops this time will be unusually long and analysts said the extended stopovers, in which she will spend four nights on U.S. soil, emphasized the Trump administration’s support for her at a time when she has been under increasing pressure from Beijing.

    Speaking at Columbia University in New York on Friday, Tsai said it was important for the international community to support a free and democratic Taiwan, according to a transcript of her speech on the website of the presidential office.

    “The cultural and political differences across the Taiwan Strait only grow wider by the day; and each day that Taiwan chooses freedom of speech, human rights, the rule of law, is a day that we drift farther from the influences of authoritarianism,” she said, referring to China.

    The U.S. State Department has said there has been no change in the U.S. one-China policy and that it allowed such transit stops “out of consideration for the safety, comfort, convenience and dignity of the passenger.”
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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    New leak claims Trump scrapped Iran nuclear deal 'to spite Obama'

    Donald Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal to spite Barack Obama, according to a leaked memo written by the UK's former ambassador to the US.

    Sir Kim Darroch described the move as an act of "diplomatic vandalism", according to the Mail on Sunday.

    It says the memo was written after the then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson appealed to the US in 2018 to stick with the nuclear deal.

    Under that agreement Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities.

    It would also allow in international inspectors in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

    However, President Trump did not think that the deal went far enough.

    The newspaper reports that after Mr Johnson returned to the UK from the US, Sir Kim wrote that President Trump appeared to be abandoning the nuclear deal for "personality reasons" because the pact had been agreed by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

    The British ambassador is said to have highlighted splits amongst US presidential advisors and that the White House did not have a "day-to-day" strategy of what to do following withdrawal from the deal.

    The paper reports that Sir Kim wrote a memo to Mr Johnson, saying: "The outcome illustrated the paradox of this White House: you got exceptional access, seeing everyone short of the president; but on the substance, the administration is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons - it was Obama's deal.

    "Moreover, they can't articulate any 'day-after' strategy; and contacts with State Department this morning suggest no sort of plan for reaching out to partners and allies, whether in Europe or the region."

    The latest disclosure comes despite a warning from Scotland Yard to media about publishing leaked diplomatic memos.

    They warned that journalists who released further details of the former ambassador's communications could be in breach of the Official Secrets Act.

    Those memos, which emerged a week ago, saw the then UK ambassador refer to the Trump administration as "clumsy and inept".

    That prompted a furious response from the US president, who described Sir Kim as "a very stupid guy" with whom he would no longer deal.

    The government launched an internal Whitehall inquiry into the publication following the reports.

    But Sir Kim stepped down as US ambassador on Wednesday, saying it was "impossible" for him to continue.

    Following his resignation police launched a criminal investigation into the origins of the leak with Scotland Yard's Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu saying there was a "clear public interest" in bringing those responsible to justice.

    Press freedom row

    But editors and senior politicians - including the two men vying to become the next prime minister - have criticised his warning against publishing further details.

    Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he defended "to the hilt" the right of the press to publish leaks if they "judge them to be in the public interest".

    His rival Boris Johnson said it was correct the person responsible for the leak was "hunted down and prosecuted" but it was wrong for police to target the media.

    Following the backlash, Asst Commissioner Basu added that the Met had "no intention" of trying to prevent the publication of stories in the public interest.

    However, he added: "We have also been told the publication of these specific documents, now knowing they may be a breach of the OSA [Official Secrets Act], could also constitute a criminal offence and one that carries no public interest defence."

    The Mail on Sunday has defended its decisions to publish more further details from the memos.

    A spokesman for the newspaper said it was in the public interest and revealed "important information" on the UK's attempts to stop President Trump abandoning the Iran nuclear deal.

    He added: "What could be more in the public interest than a better understanding of how this position was reached, which may have serious consequences for world peace?"

    In response, a Foreign Office spokesman called it a "totally unacceptable leak" of "sensitive material" and called for the source of the leak to "face the consequences of their actions".

    He added that it was "not news" that the UK and US differ in their approach to preventing Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon.
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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Joe Biden knocks Democratic presidential rivals on ‘Medicare for All’
    July 13, 2019

    LONDONDERRY, N.H. — Former Vice President Joe Biden continued to dig at his Democratic presidential rivals over their support for “Medicare for All” while campaigning in New Hampshire Saturday, saying he has a “fundamental disagreement” with those seeking to get rid of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act.

    “I have a fundamental disagreement with them on scrapping Obamacare,” Biden told an overflow crowd of more than 400 in a barn at Mack’s Apples in Londonderry.

    “I think we should build on it. We should provide a public option for anybody,” Biden said. “I’m against anybody who wants to do away with it and start over.”

    Biden has been striking at support for the single-payer health care plan championed by the likes of U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. He called out Sanders to reporters on Friday. In Atkinson, N.H., Saturday morning, Biden said, “I admire the rest of the field, from Bernie, to Elizabeth, to Kamala (Harris), who want Medicare for All. But let me tell you, I think one of the most significant things we’ve done in our administration is pass the Affordable Care Act.”

    Later in Londonderry, Biden said when it comes to health care for diseases like cancer, “It’s a matter of days, minutes, hours — and we can’t afford any break in any of this kind of coverage.” His son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer.

    While Biden spoke in Londonderry, Sanders’ campaign sent an email calling the former vice president’s criticism “misinformation.”

    “At a time when Donald Trump and the health insurance industry are lying every day about Medicare for All, I would hope that my fellow Democrats would not resort to misinformation about my legislation,” Sanders said. “Under Medicare for All, over a four-year period, we will transition to a system in which Medicare is expanded to cover every man, woman, and child in the country. It is preposterous to argue that as we expand Medicare for All that people with cancer and other illnesses will not get the care that they need.”

    Biden also knocked Trump for trying to do away with Obamacare and called out the president for immigration raids expected to begin today.

    Earlier in the week, immigrant rights activists from Movimiento Cosecha called on Biden to apologize for the roughly 3 million Obama-era deportations. Friday, the New Hampshire Youth Movement confronted Biden on the issue in Dover.

    On Saturday, Biden said Trump’s immigration policies and the upcoming sweeps are “wrong. It’s not who we are,” to cheers.

    Biden also addressed hits on his record as a senator, saying, “I’m proud of my record. Did I make mistakes? Sure, I made mistakes. But the fact of the matter is you have to know context.”

    As his rivals attack his past, Biden said he’s looking to the future. “We have to unite this country. I know that’s not very much en vogue these days. I’m told, ‘Well Biden thinks it’s like go back to the old days.’ I don’t want to go back to anything old.”

    Some New Hampshire voters say they’re tired of the Democrats’ infighting.

    “If they don’t quit the infighting and get behind Biden, I think Donald Trump is going to win again,” said lifelong Democrat Gerri Layne, 88, of Nashua.

    Layne, a black woman, said U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris’ attack on Biden over his record on race during last month’s debate was “disappointing.” So, too, did Momodou Sisay, 71, of Nashua, who said he voted for Trump in 2016 but now believes it’s time to “rally people around” one candidate to defeat the president.


    Biden Tells Elite Donors He Doesn’t Want to ‘Demonize’ the Rich
    June 18, 2019

    Former Vice President Joe Biden told affluent donors Tuesday that he wanted their support and -- perhaps unlike some other Democratic presidential candidates -- wouldn’t be making them political targets because of their wealth.

    “Remember, I got in trouble with some of the people on my team, on the Democratic side, because I said, you know, what I’ve found is rich people are just as patriotic as poor people. Not a joke. I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who’s made money,” Biden told about 100 well-dressed donors at the Carlyle Hotel on New York’s Upper East Side, where the hors d’oeuvres included lobster, chicken satay and crudites.

    “Truth of the matter is, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done,” Biden said. “We can disagree in the margins. But the truth of the matter is, it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living would change. Nothing would fundamentally change,” he said.

    Former Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and former Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, both of whom spent decades on Wall Street, were among the attendees at the event.

    Invoking Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’s goal of political “revolution,” Biden suggested that he would be the antidote by making marginal changes that would improve the lives of working and middle class Americans without slapping onerous taxes on the rich.

    “When you have income inequality as large as we have in the United States today, it brews and ferments political discord and basic revolution,” he said. Also perhaps hinting at President Donald Trump he continued: “It allows demagogues to step in” and blame what’s wrong in voters’ lives on “the other.”

    “You’re not the other,” Biden told the assembled group, most of whom were wearing suits. “I need you very badly.”
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    Jeffrey Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico linked to sex trafficking, abuse investigation
    July 13, 2019

    At the centre of Jeffrey Epstein‘s secluded New Mexico ranch sits a sprawling residence the financier built decades ago _ complete with plans for a 4,000-square-foot (372-square-meter) courtyard, a living room roughly the size of the average American home and a nearby private airplane runway.

    Known as the Zorro Ranch, the high-desert property is now tied to an investigation that the state attorney general’s office says it has opened into Epstein with plans to forward findings to federal authorities in New York.

    Epstein, who pleaded not guilty this week to federal sex trafficking charges in New York, has not faced criminal charges in New Mexico. But the scandal surrounding him has still sent a jolt through the rural southwestern state as it comes under scrutiny for laws that allowed him to avoid registering as a sex offender following a guilty plea a decade ago in Florida.

    “New Mexico continues to lag behind the rest of the country in strengthening outdated and weak laws that fail to protect our children from abuse,” New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press. “This is a huge black eye for our state.”

    In addition to confirming his office had interviewed possible victims of Epstein who visited his ranch south of Santa Fe, Balderas’ spokesman also said Friday that the attorney general would renew his push for legislation requiring anyone with a sex trafficking conviction to register as a sex offender in New Mexico.

    In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida to state charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution under an agreement that required him to spend 13 months in jail and register as a sex offender. The agreement has been widely criticized for secretly ending a federal sex abuse investigation involving at least 40 teenage girls at the time that could have landed him behind bars for life.

    Labour Secretary Alexander Acosta said Friday he’s stepping down amid the tumult over his handling of the 2008 deal with Epstein. Acosta was the U.S. attorney in Miami when he oversaw the non-prosecution agreement.

    The indictment filed in New York this week accuses Epstein of paying girls hundreds of dollars in cash for massages and then molesting them at his homes in Palm Beach, Florida, and New York from 2002 through 2005. The charges carry the potential for up to 45 years in prison.

    In New Mexico, the attorney general said he has been in touch with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. Balderas’ office has not said, however, how many accusers his office has interviewed and he has not elaborated on what they say took place at the ranch.

    In a 2015 court filing in Florida, a plaintiff in a lawsuit against Epstein said she had been abused at several locations, including the New Mexico property.

    Records show Epstein purchased the ranch, valued by county officials at over $12 million, from the family of former Gov. Bruce King, who died 10 years ago. A 1995 Santa Fe New Mexican story about his plans to build a mansion on the property said the home would be 26,700 square feet (2,480 square meters) with a 2,100-square-foot (195-square-meter) living room.

    Aerial images of the property show an airplane hangar and landing strip. Closer to the east edge of the property, several structures that appear to serve as small homes and stables stand in public view.

    The King family still owns land surrounding much of Epstein’s ranch near the town of Stanley, a rural outpost on the plains that stretch east of the Sandia Mountains.

    Gary King, the son of the former governor, was the state attorney general from 2007 to 2015, and was among a handful of candidates in the state who returned Epstein campaign donations.

    King had received $15,000 from Epstein in 2006 during his first-bid for attorney general, and then received $35,000 from firms linked to Epstein in 2014.

    Former Gov. Bill Richardson donated $50,000 in 2006 gubernatorial campaign contributions from Epstein to charity.

    On Saturday, the Arizona Republic reported that Epstein donated $50,000 to the University of Arizona in 2017.

    The Republic and the Daily Beast website report that Jeffrey Epstein gave the money to the university through his foundation Gratitude America Ltd. The money was designated for a 2017 Science of Consciousness conference, the Daily Beast reported.

    Pam Scott, the university’s associate vice-president of external communications, told the Republic that the university didn’t know of Epstein’s involvement in the foundation. Scott said the university does not plan to return the donation.
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    The State Department Once Rented A Townhouse Seized From Iran To Jeffrey Epstein — Then Sued Him For Subletting It
    A weird and forgotten case from the 1990s shows how connected Jeffrey Epstein was to power.
    July 14, 2019

    Jeffrey Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion has become notorious for its reportedly macabre interior decor, immense size and monetary value, and as the site of some of his lurid alleged crimes.

    But Epstein, the financier who has been charged with sex trafficking and accused of sexually abusing young girls, used to live in a different Upper East Side mansion only a few blocks away. It's a mansion that embroiled him in a dispute involving a lawyer for French Connection heroin ring suspects, the State Department, and transitively the government of Iran.

    The now-forgotten case — laid out in newspaper clips from the time and extensive court documents — offers a glimpse into a strange facet of Epstein’s life at the time, and constitutes an early example of Epstein popping up in the media as a rich and connected but mysterious New York figure.

    Beginning in February 1992, Epstein rented a former Iranian government building that had been taken over by the State Department during the Iranian revolution, at 34 East 69th Street in one of Manhattan’s most expensive neighborhoods, and at a rate of $15,000 a month.

    But things went sour when the government sued Epstein in the Southern District of New York, alleging that he had at one point failed to pay the rent on time and had violated the lease by moving out in early 1996 and subletting the place without the State Department’s permission. His subtenant was Ivan Fisher, a New York City criminal defense lawyer who had famously defended members of the French Connection and Pizza Connection drug rings. The government also sued Fisher.

    A lawyer for Epstein did not respond to a request for comment, and attempts to reach Fisher were unsuccessful.

    A New York Daily News article from the time, headlined “Lawyer Pays Not A Cent For Palatial East Side Digs,” said Fisher had stopped paying rent after learning that the State Department had terminated Epstein’s lease as a result of the conflict over Fisher’s subtenancy, and was thus living in the home for free.

    “I’m the perfect tenant,” Fisher told the Daily News. The paper described the home’s opulence: “carved oak doors, a white marble foyer, three kitchens, three bedrooms, a library with floor-to-ceiling bookcases, a steam room, 19th-century chandeliers, brass sconces, and a white marble central staircase.” “I pray to God I can stay,” Fisher told the Daily News.

    Epstein is described in the story as a “Palm Beach, Fla., financial advisor.” The incident is also briefly mentioned in Vicky Ward’s 2003 Vanity Fair profile of Epstein.

    The government’s complaint rested on its assertion that Epstein had not received permission before installing Fisher as the subtenant, and its grievance with Epstein was only intensified by his charging Fisher $20,000 a month for the rent when State was charging $15,000 — netting Epstein a monthly profit.

    The voluminous court documents in the case include a later-amended complaint by the government, which added more defendants to the suit — a clutch of other lawyers whom, the government alleged, were in turn subletting office space from Fisher. In a sworn statement, one of those lawyers, Lawrence Gerzog, told the court that he had given Fisher free legal services in exchange for office space, among several other lawyers.

    The government eventually moved to evict Fisher, and the court ordered Fisher and Epstein — who in the course of the process were eventually involved in litigation against each other — to pay the back rent and to vacate the premises. An eviction order was served on July 16, 1998, and the marshal noted on the service receipt that the tenants had moved out.

    A story on the case in the New York Daily News, Dec. 23, 1997.

    Getting there wasn’t an easy process for the State Department, which had begun by exchanging strongly worded letters with Epstein’s lawyer, Jeffrey Schantz. These were included in the court filings.

    “As you are aware, Mr. Epstein’s apparent departure from the house and his failure to make timely rental payments in February and March of this year have been matters of serious concern to this office,” wrote Thomas E. Burns Jr., then the deputy director of the Office of Foreign Missions, in April 1996 in a letter attached to court filings. Burns wrote that the OFM had already found someone to take over the lease from Epstein, a developer named Xenophon Galinas, and that they would not approve the sublease to Fisher.

    In June, Burns wrote again, this time directly to Epstein, to notify him that he had violated the lease by leaving the property and subletting it and give him 30 days to kick Fisher out and move in again himself. In August, Burns wrote again to tell Epstein that because Fisher was still there, the State Department was ending the lease. At the end of October, the government filed suit.

    Epstein was accused of carrying out an effort to put someone else in the house in his stead without clearing it with the State Department. When Richard C. Massey, an OFM official who had been the point person for Epstein’s lease, was deposed in 1997 by the defendants’ lawyers, he told them Epstein had appeared to make a concerted effort to put someone else in the property without State knowing. “Mr. Epstein was shopping the property around town without our knowledge, all over town,” Massey said. “We had calls from real estate agents who asked us about it. I do not know how many people in the City of New York had a copy of Mr. Epstein’s lease.”

    Massey was not able to be reached for comment.

    What was Epstein up to? Why had he abandoned the decadent mansion so abruptly and moved out without getting permission to sublet? Epstein made it publicly known when he was moving out, telling the New York Times in January 1996 that the mansion on East 71st Street that would become famous in the context of his alleged crimes was now his. It belonged to Epstein’s client and mentor Les Wexner. It’s unclear how much Epstein paid for the house, if anything, as it was reportedly transferred without a purchase price from a trust linked to both him and Wexner to a company controlled by Epstein.

    Fisher, who reportedly once counseled law students to look into a mirror and practice telling potential clients their retainer was $100,000, was banned from practicing in federal court in the Southern District of New York in 2013 after a court grievance committee ruled that he had stolen money from a client.
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    Jeffrey Epstein had cash, diamonds and a foreign passport stashed in safe, prosecutors say
    The judge is expected to rule Thursday whether the 66-year-old financier and registered sex offender should get bail.
    July 15, 2019

    Agents unearthed a "pile of cash, diamonds" and "a passport from a foreign country" in a safe belonging to Jeffrey Epstein, prosecutors told a judge Monday during a bail hearing for the wealthy financier and accused sex trafficker.

    Federal authorities are arguing for Epstein to be denied bail and to remain behind bars until he's tried for sex-crime charges in acts allegedly involving underage girls.

    "Just this morning, the government became aware of a safe that contained a pile of cash, diamonds, a passport from a foreign country with a picture of the defendant under another name," Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rossmiller told U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman.

    The judge seemed surprised by the passport revelation and asked Rossmiller: "Say that again?"

    "The passport was issued in the name of a foreign country, it was issued in the 1980s, it is expired, it shows a picture of Jeffrey Epstein, and another name," Rossmiller said, adding the passport showed Epstein's residence as Saudi Arabia.

    Earlier in the 2-hour-long hearing, Berman said he would not rule on Epstein’s bail request until Thursday.
    Two women testified they were victims of Epstein and asked that he remain jailed.

    "I was 16 years old when I had the misfortune of meeting Mr. Epstein here in New York," said Annie Farmer, adding she was there to voice her support for the prosecution's move to keep Epstein locked up.

    When Berman asked if she was sexually abused, the witness responded: "He was inappropriate with me. I would prefer not to get into the details at this time."

    Another woman, Courtney Wild, said she was sexually abused by Epstein.

    "Hi, your honor, my name is Courtney Wild and I was sexually assaulted by Jeffrey Epstein at the age of 14," she told the court.

    Wild also asked that Epstein not be released before his trial.

    "He is a scary person to have walking the street," she said.

    During the hearing, Epstein wore blue jailhouse scrubs with a purple T-shirt. He wrote and passed notes to his lawyers.

    "He's going to defend this case," his lawyer Martin Weinberg said.

    Epstein, 66, was arrested July 6 at a New Jersey airport after arriving from Paris and accused of sex trafficking and conspiracy. He faces up to 45 years in prison on allegations that he sexually abused dozens of underage girls at his homes in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005.

    Epstein is also accused of paying his victims to recruit others, allowing him to build a vast network of girls to exploit. He has pleaded not guilty.

    His arrest came more than a decade after he signed a controversial non-prosecution deal in 2008 that allowed him to dodge a federal indictment alleging he abused several underage girls.

    Epstein ultimately pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting minors for prostitution, and served a 13-month sentence in a Florida county jail. He was forced to register as a sex offender under that deal.

    Since the wealthy financier was nabbed off his private plane at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, he's been locked up at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. He's pleaded not guilty to the two-count indictment.

    Federal agents conducting a search of his lavish Upper East Side townhouse found "an extraordinary volume of photographs of nude and partially-nude young women or girls," prosecutors say in court papers.

    Federal prosecutors have said Epstein poses an "extraordinary risk of flight" given his exorbitant wealth, private planes and international ties.

    On Friday, they said Epstein needs to be kept locked up because he has a history of seeking to "influence" possible co-conspirators.

    He wired $350,000 to a pair of possible co-conspirators just days after the publication of a newspaper story alleging he sexually abused dozens of underage girls, according to prosecutors. They said the payments were made last November after the bombshell Miami Herald story came out about his crimes and favorable plea bargain, demonstrating his alleged willingness to tamper with witnesses.

    "This course of action, and in particular its timing, suggests the defendant was attempting to further influence co-conspirators who might provide information against him in light of the recently re-emerging allegations," the prosecutors wrote in court papers arguing against Epstein's bail.

    In their court papers, Epstein's lawyers proposed that his bond be secured by a mortgage on his Manhattan mansion, valued at $77 million. They say his private jet can be pledged as collateral.

    Epstein's arrest shed renewed light on the deal he struck in 2008 with local and federal prosecutors in south Florida. The U.S. attorney in Miami at the time was Alex Acosta, who went on to become labor secretary for President Donald Trump.

    During a lengthy press conference last Tuesday, Acosta defended the deal, saying it was the best prosecutors could do at the time. Acosta resigned Friday.

    Prosecutors have said Epstein has long made a habit of bringing in teenage girls he paid for "massages" at his West Palm Beach, Florida, estate in the early 2000s.
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    Robert Gehrke: Mitt Romney is doing exactly what he told Utahns he’d do, whether you like it or not

    “That’s all I’ve got.”

    That was Sen. Mitt Romney’s response when a reporter asked him point-blank whether it was racist for Donald Trump to tweet that a group of four House members — all women of color — should “go back where they came from” since they don’t like his policies.

    Make no mistake: It absolutely was racist.

    And it fits a pattern of race-baiting and quasi-nationalist rhetoric that this president has trotted out time and again going back decades.

    Romney’s dodge, to his credit, came at the end of criticism of Trump, noting that the president has a “noble calling to unite all Americans … and I think in that case, the president fell far short with his comments yesterday."

    Later in the day, he issued an even stronger rebuke: “The president’s comments were destructive, demeaning, and disunifying,” the senator said. “People can disagree over politics and policy, but telling American citizens to go back to where they came from is over the line.”

    Rational people will have a hard time finding anything in those statements with which to disagree. But Romney still held off addressing the big issues — race, culture and gender. There is a power in labeling racist rhetoric for what it is, and Mitt kept it in his back pocket.

    Then on Wednesday, Romney told reporters he would not sign on to a resolution proposed by Democrats to condemn Trump’s racist tweet.

    In many ways it encapsulates Romney’s first six months in office.

    This is the same guy who gutted Trump during the campaign — “Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University” — only to get force-fed crow at history’s most humiliating dinner after Trump was elected.

    After special counsel Robert Mueller completed his investigation into Russian meddling and White House obstruction, Romney said he was “sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the president.”

    But he also declared the issue closed and said “the business of government can move on.”

    Days before his inauguration, Romney wrote in an opinion column that Trump’s actions were “evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.”

    But then he votes with Trump 82 percent of the time.

    Here’s the thing: Utah knew what it was buying. Romney told us exactly what he was going to do and he has done it.

    Five months before his election, he wrote in The Salt Lake Tribune that he would endorse the president’s policies when he believed it advanced the nation’s interests and criticize him when “compelled by conscience.”

    “I have and will continue to speak out when the president says or does something which is divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions,” the future senator wrote.


    He has done that — up to a point — and likely will continue the pattern.

    Romney has bucked the White House more than all but five of his fellow Republicans (Sen. Mike Lee, by the way, is one of those ahead of him). He is far more likely to vote against Trump than former Sen. Jeff Flake was.

    But he’ll still fall in line with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the mainstream Republican agenda. No surprise there.

    As one of the most junior senators, he doesn’t have the muscle that past critics like Sens. John McCain or Bob Corker once did. Romney, it seems, is trying to figure out how to play a relatively weak hand. The only tool he really has is the profile and platform afforded to him by his presidential bid, and he has used it with some regularity.

    Of course it drives progressives crazy when he pulls punches or bites his tongue in the face of Trump’s latest outrage. But consider the alternatives available in our among-the-reddest of states?

    Romney’s Republican opponent, Mike Kennedy, ran to Romney’s right and cozied up to Trump during the campaign. Lee, the senior senator, didn’t even acknowledge Trump’s racist twitter tirade, nor, for that matter did any of the Republicans in the congressional delegation until after the House voted to condemn the remarks. They basically said both sides are to blame. Gov. Gary Herbert dodged the issue.

    Do you think Sen. Orrin Hatch would have spoken out more forcefully or voted any differently? Or former Sen. Bob Bennett for that matter? Or anyone else who has held the office?

    Not a chance.

    No, Romney will never be Elizabeth Warren, but Utah would never elect Elizabeth Warren. What he has been is exactly what he promised he would be, and frankly he’s been more outspoken and critical of a renegade president than I had expected.

    In that respect, the Romneytron 3000 is functioning exactly as it was programmed and Utahns are getting what they voted for.
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    Kilinitic 6,000 feet beyond man and time

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    fucking mittens