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Member since: Mon May 23, 2016, 04:42 AM
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In the scheme of things, Trump's efforts to build a Moscow Trump Tower will soon seem like, well,

chump change. This wasn't the only deal that was cooking. What will probably come out, in time, are

1) The $500BN Exxon joint venture with Rosneft in Siberia which should drag Tillerson and Carter Page into another Trump kickback

The Rosneft Commission: Trump’s Inevitable Downfall Will Involve Money, and Lots Of It

THAT THERE WAS COLLUSION, in the popular if not legal use of the world, between the Trump campaign and Putin’s Russia is now impossible to deny. Manafort and Gates are indicted. Papadopoulos, the liaison between the campaign and the Russians, has been cooperating with the feds. Junior was on the cover of Time magazine under the headline RED HANDED. Flynn may be arrested before I finish typing this paragraph, Cambridge Analytica’s Robert Mercer suddenly divested his interests in Breitbart and his own hedge fund, and Sessions and Kushner both look like they’re in trouble deep, at a minimum.

None of this has been enough to convince Republicans to repudiate their compromised president, and Trump himself stand firm in his insistence that he is innocent of all charges, and that Hillary is the one who colluded with Russia — never mind that this throws all logic out the window. The arcana of Trump/Russia is too complex to be a proper smoking gun. As I’ve written before, what will doom Trump ultimately is evidence of what he’s gained financially from his relationship with Putin. If the Steele dossier can be believed, the quid pro quo has something to do with Rosneft, the Russian state-owned oil company. MOST AMERICANS have never heard of it, but Rosneft is one of the world’s largest publicly traded oil companies, with revenues of $91 billion in 2015 ranking 23rd overall among oil and gas concerns. Its majority owner is the Government of Russia — in other words, Vladimir Putin and his circle of oligarchs, including Rosneft CEO/Putin BFF Igor Sechin.

In 2012, Rosneft entered into a $500 billion joint venture with ExxonMobil, which at the time was run by current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; it was this mammoth joint venture, apparently, that inspired Putin to award Tillerson the Medal of Friendship in 2013. The oil reserves in the Arctic, the reason for the venture, are estimated to contain 85 billion barrels. At a conservative price of $50 a barrel, that amounts to a staggering $4.25 trillion in potential gross revenue. Trillion, with a T.

These are dizzying numbers — but Putin will not see a kopek as long as the US continues to impose sanctions on Russia. Small wonder, then, that Putin and Sechin want the sanctions lifted as soon as possible. If and when that happens, the Exxon deal would be back on, and money would begin to pour in to the depleted Kremlin coffers. Whether or not there proves to be collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, Putin clearly preferred Candidate Trump, if for no other reason than the GOP nominee was, and is, much more likely to lift those pesky sanctions than was Hillary Clinton, whom Putin perceived as a mortal enemy. The question is: How much were the Russian president and his cronies willing to pay to affect that result?

More at


2) Building of Russian built Nuclear Plants in the middle East inc Saudi Arabia which includes Flynn, Kushner and Erik Prince

Exclusive: Mideast nuclear plan backers bragged of support of top Trump aide Flynn

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Backers of a U.S.-Russian plan to build nuclear reactors across the Middle East bragged after the U.S. election they had backing from Donald Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn for a project that required lifting sanctions on Russia, documents reviewed by Reuters show. The documents, which have not previously been made public, reveal new aspects of the plan, including the proposed involvement of a Russian company currently under U.S. sanctions to manufacture nuclear equipment. That company, major engineering and construction firm OMZ OAO, declined to comment.

The documents do not show whether Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, took concrete steps to push the proposal with Trump and his aides. But they do show that Washington-based nuclear power consultancy ACU Strategic Partners believed that both Flynn, who had worked as an adviser to the firm as late as mid-2016, and Trump were firmly in its corner. “Donald Trump’s election as president is a game changer because Trump’s highest foreign policy priority is to stabilize U.S. relations with Russia which are now at a historical low-point,” ACU’s managing director, Alex Copson, wrote in a Nov. 16, 2016 email to potential business partners, eight days after the election.

White House officials did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. ACU declined comment and also declined to make Copson available for an interview. Previously they told a congressional committee that they had not had any dealings with Flynn since May 2016, before Trump became the Republican Party’s presidential candidate.The email was titled “TRUMP/PUTIN ME Marshall plan CONCEPT.” ME stands for Middle East. The title, evoking the post-World War Two plan to rebuild Western European economies, reflected the hopes of the plan’s backers that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin could cooperate on a project that would boost Middle East economies.

This is the email http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/TEST-TEST/0100520D4JR/pdf-redacted2.pdf




The Mueller investigation is pursuing a new investigative thread related to the UAE and possible corruption that seemingly has little connection to an investigation into collusion with Russia. This has left many observers wondering how the Nader-UAE corruption investigation actually ties into the Russia investigation? But these two investigative threads may in fact be directly connected by way of the “Mideast Marshall Plan” backed by Michael Flynn.

There has been intense speculation around a mysterious meeting in the Seychelles between representatives of the Trump administration and Russia. Right before Trump’s inauguration, Erik Prince, a prominent Trump backer and founder of the Blackwater private security company, met with:

UAE Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed (MbZ)
George Nader, a lobbyist for the UAE lobbyist who is now cooperating with the Mueller investigation, and
Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund.

The Plan and its Backers

The so-called Mideast Marshall Plan was a convoluted idea that brought the US and Russia together to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East, possibly in conjunction with Ukrainian, Israeli, and French interests. The Russians would manufacture much of the nuclear equipment, while the US would provide certain nuclear technology as well as security for the plants to limit the proliferation risk. Hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for the scheme would come from the Gulf States, particularly the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Thus, the three critical players in this scheme would be the US, Russia, and a wealthy Gulf state (or states) — perfectly mirroring the representatives at the Seychelles meeting.

The dizzying timeline of meetings and contacts during the transition tracks with a concerted effort to push the Mideast Marshall Plan.

November 2016: ACU pushes the plan to Flynn.
December 1 or 2: Flynn and Kushner meet with Ambassador Kislyak in Trump Tower where Kushner suggests using a backchannel through the Russian embassy.
December 5: Flynn and IP3’s McFarlane are photographed in the Trump Tower lobby together.
December 13th or 14th: Kushner meets with Sergei Gorkov, the head of Vnesheconombank (RDIF was spun-off from VEB), in Trump Tower.
There are differing explanations for this meeting, with Gorkov saying Kushner was representing his family’s company and Kushner saying the meeting was “unrelated to personal business” – of course the Mideast Marshall Plan involved both.
December 14/15th: Gorkov then flies to Japan where Vladimir Putin is on an official visit.
December 16: Flynn, Kushner, and Steve Bannon have a three hour meeting with MBZ in Trump Tower.
The meeting irked the Obama administration, as MbZ did not notify them of his trip to the US.
December 29: Flynn has five phone calls with Kislyak where they discuss sanctions. This conversation prompts Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to later express concerns about Flynn’s “underlying conduct.”
Early January: Flynn “talked favorably about the deal” with Tom Barrack, head of the inauguration.
January 11th: Seychelles meeting occurs.
The Intercept reports that “Alexander Mashkevich, a Kazakh businessman linkedto a shady Trump investment vehicle known as Bayrock, also arrived to meet with Zayed, who was ‘holding court’ at his mansion on the island, accordin to a source familiar with the meetings. Abdulrahman Khalid bin Mahfouz, a Saudi billionaire whose grandfather founded the first Saudi private bank and whose father allegedly helped Al Qaeda, was also present.”
January 17-20th: At the Davos World Economic Forum, Anthony Scaramucci meets with Dmitriev. He also gives an interview to the Russian news outlet TASS, as a Trump advisor, disparaging sanctions and suggesting US and Russia have “common objectives.”
January 20th, 12:11pm: Flynn allegedly texts “good to go.”
Copson also reportedly says that “Mike has been putting everything in place for us” and that “This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people.”
He also allegedly says that Flynn planned to “ripped up” sanctions upon entering office.


Brexit : The Brexit road to Britain's collapse

This is a good article, though I suspect there are quite a few twists and turns to go yet, not least potential resignation of May, a General Election and one or two Referendums.

The gradual journey to withdrawal has become a sudden leap for clarity and conclusion.

How did you go bankrupt, asks a character in the Hemingway novel The Sun Also Rises. Two ways, comes the reply: “Gradually, and then suddenly.” Gradually and suddenly is the story of Brexit. The 2016 vote to quit the EU has drained Britain of energy, purpose and international influence. It happened gradually. Many people have not noticed. Now, suddenly, the end is in view. It may well turn out to be something worse than bankruptcy.

Across Whitehall, committees of civil servants are hurriedly preparing contingency plans against a national emergency. The National Health Service warns it could run out of drugs. Aircraft may be grounded, bank trading rooms shut down. The port of Dover, the vital entry point for food imports, could grind to a halt. Supermarkets say their shelves would empty within days. These are just a sample of the costs were Britain to crash out of the EU without a deal.

Across the road at Westminster, politics seems oblivious. Hardline Conservative MPs have been collecting signatures to force a vote of confidence in their own prime minister. The EU departure deal negotiated by Theresa May, these Kamikaze Brexiters declare, would imprison Britain as “a vassal state”. Better, they conclude, to try to put one of their own in No 10, wave two fingers at Brussels and crash out of the union when the Article 50 clock stops at the end of March 2019. Britain, they say, has stood alone before.


Parliament could vote to seek an extension of Article 50 talks and insist the government explore other options. My sense of the politics, though, is that we are indeed approaching a moment of clarification. If they reject Mrs May’s deal, MPs will also put an end to the search for a middle-way, muddle-through Brexit. It will be all or nothing — the status quo or a complete rupture.

In 2016 the UK voted to leave the EU but did not specify where it wanted to go. Now it knows what lies ahead. A second referendum would present a choice of the two destinations. Yes, it would be divisive and bloody. In a fit of self-loathing, voters might even decide to drive over the cliff. But gradually has run its course. Suddenly, Britain must make up its mind.


They Shall Not Grow Old - New Trailer - In Theaters December 17 & 27 Only ***** MUST SEE ******

I've seen it on BBC, and it is astounding. I couldn't recommend it highly enough. If you get the chance to see it, make the effort to do so.


Peter Jackson’s ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ Set for U.S. Release in December


Fathom Events has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures to bring Peter Jackson’s World War I documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” to U.S. theaters on Dec. 17 and Dec. 27, Variety has learned exclusively.

Tickets go on sale on Nov. 16.

Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures, said, “With this being the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, I can’t imagine a more appropriate time to honor the courage of the soldiers who fought in WWI — what was then ‘the war to end all wars’ — many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice. Peter has made history come alive through the medium of film, and we are so pleased to be a part of bringing his vision to today’s audiences.”

“They Shall Not Grow Old” will air on the BBC in the U.K. on Nov. 11 — Armistice Day. It’s the day on which the allies and Germans agreed to cease hostilities. The film was commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the U.K. arts program for the First World War centenary, and the Imperial War Museum, in association with the BBC.

Fathom Events is a joint venture of AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings, and Regal Entertainment Group — the three largest movie theater chains in the U.S.

Brexit : Myths (Fake News) about the EU, LONG before Trump


Euromyths A-Z index


Let’s quit EU and link up with America

October 26th, 1998
Number of views : 3611
The Sun, October 1998

We could … get out from under the deluge of idiotic Euro directives by withdrawing from political union. We could then join the renamed North American Free Trade Association.

The single market operates on the basis of enforceable rules – regulations and directives which have established the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons in the EU. Getting out from under the directives means getting out of the single market. This is not in the UK’s economic interest – as the Sun itself points out.
The EU has already negotiated substantial trade liberalisation with its largest trading partner – the United States. Joining the current Northern American Free Trade Agreement would actually represent a step backwards for UK companies trading with the United States for example in the recognition of product safety standards.
HM Treasury estimates that 50 per cent of UK overall foreign trade is with the European Union. Almost 60 per cent of UK foreign trade in goods is with the other 14 Member States. This myth is potentially damaging for Britain’s trade with both of its most important trading partners.

EU ‘Bans Boozing’#

February 21st, 2005
Number of views : 7829

Clampdown on off-licences (The Sun 21 February 2005)

EU health chiefs are drawing up plans to close thousands of British off-licences… The proposal is said to be part of a drive to curb alcohol abuse across Europe. Other measures include a Monday to Friday ban on off-sales and huge booze price hikes through tax rises. A blueprint masterminded by EU health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou also contains moves to control sales through a state-run monopoly…

EU’s crazy bid to bar weekday sales (Daily Star 21 February 2005)
Supermarkets and off licences will only be allowed to sell booze at weekends under secret plans by barmy Brussels bureaucrats. A leaked document reveals EU chiefs want to ban take-away sales of alcohol from Monday-Friday in an over-the-top clampdown on binge drinking. They also plan to raise the tax on drink sold in pubs.

The EU has no plans, nor secret documents proposing to clamp down on off licenses by closing them or banning Monday-Friday sales. The EU does not have, nor does it seek, the power to propose such measures which are a matter for national governments. At the request of all EU health ministers, including the UK’s, the EU is looking into ways to reduce the harm caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, particularly among young people. The document referred to in these articles is a working paper, not adopted by the Commission, which seeks to draw views from the drinks industry and European countries (including the UK) on possible ways to combat excessive drinking. It contains a review of measures in place in different member states.

Bananas and Brussels

September 21st, 1994
Number of views : 18766

Myth: Curved bananas have been banned by Brussels bureaucrats, with shops ordered not to sell fruit which is too small or abnormally bent.

Sources: The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Daily Express (21 September 1994)

Truth: Yes … and no. Curved bananas have not been banned. In fact, as with the supposed banning of curved cucumbers, the Commission regulation classifies bananas according to quality and size for the sake of easing the trade of bananas internationally.

Quality standards are necessary in order that people buying and ordering bananas can rest assured that what they are getting lives up to their expectations. Individual EU member states have tended to have their own standards, as has the industry (whose standards are often very stringent). The European Commission was asked by the Council of Ministers and the industry to prepare a draft regulation laying down EU quality standards, and this has been the subject of consultation for some time now. As such it represents a consensus position. The following points should be noted however:

1) These are minimal rules, applied solely to green, unripe bananas, rather than those destined for the processing industry.
2) These standards should improve the quality of bananas produced within the Community. They should thus be able to command a higher price in the Community markets. This should also help reduce Community aid and therefore relieve pressure on the Community budget.
3) Far from being an interference in trade these norms should facilitate it throughout the Community

Traditional Barristers wig to be scrapped

April 7th, 2002
Number of views : 3699

Don’t let the EU take away Rumpole’s wig

The death knell is being sounded for the barrister’s trusty wig as Lord Chief Justice Woolf submits proposals for the more modern ‘Euro-gown’ to be used in British courts. His plan has been much derided by traditionalists …. Take away Rumpole’s wig and it may be another step down the primrose path to Euro-trials.
(The Mail on Sunday, 7 April 2002, page 63)

The headline writers of this Mail on Sunday story clearly did not even bother to spend the time reading their own copy. If they had done so, they would have realised that this proposal has nothing whatsoever to do with the European Union. It may be that Lord Chief Justice Woolf has made certain proposals for the use of wigs and gowns, but the suggestion that the EU is somehow responsible is completely incorrect and misleading.

EU wants to purge the Queen from our passports (Daily Mail, 10 September 2007)

Queen may be dropped from UK passports (Daily Telegraph,10 September 2007)

The EU has no intention to “drop” or “purge” the Queen from UK passports, as the Mail and the Telegraph suggest.There has been talk about including in passports a passage on all EU citizens’ right to consular protection outside the EU but there is currently no legal proposal to that effect. And under no circumstances would this replace any existing texts or symbols in passports, including references to Her Majesty.
EU nationals make some 180 million trips each year to third countries and this number is likely to rise. A Eurobarometer survey from summer 2006 showed that half of the EU citizens expected to travel to a non-EU country in the next three years. Also, events such as the 2004 Tsunami catastrophe in South East Asia, the 2005 terrorist attack in Bali and the civil war in Lebanon in 2006 showed the shortcomings under the current situation. Thousands of EU citizens suddenly found themselves in need of urgent help in a third country in which their member states were not represented.
The Commission wants to make sure EU nationals are not stranded if when abroad. This will not lead to replacing texts or symbols in passports but providing EU citizens with more information about their rights to consular protection even if their own government is not represented in their country of destination.

Yoghurt to be renamed

March 5th, 2006
Number of views : 2849

Brit yoghurt – EU says we have to call it Fermented Milk Pudding (Sunday Mirror 5 March 2006)

British yoghurt will be renamed “fermented milk pudding” – if Brussels has its way. Under plans being discussed by EU officials, only yoghurts made using the sour-tasting bacteria according to traditional Bulgarian recipes will be called “yoghurt”.

There are no plans to rename yoghurt as heat fermented milk pudding. This is a recycled story, once again: Discussions in 2003 centred around a harmonised definition of yogurt to make trading easier for manufacturers across the EU, including those from the UK who were unable to sell some of their products in France. However, no official proposals were presented at the time and none are intended.

Brexit : Theresa May's draft withdrawal agreement..and Farage gets pwned

Fisticuffs await at Westminster

What is the withdrawal agreement?

Think of it as the separation agreement between the UK and the EU. Running to a rumoured 400 to 600 pages, it covers three main areas:

Britain’s financial settlement with the EU to meet agreed commitments.
The post-Brexit rights of EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU.
A mechanism to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.
The agreement also includes a much shorter (and non-binding) political declaration, probably of about 15 pages, outlining what the two sides see as their desired future trading relationship – which remains to be negotiated.


So how has this been resolved?


The solution appears to involve concessions on both sides. On the EU side, the chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has accepted the idea of a whole-UK customs union with the EU, satisfying the UK’s demands that its territorial integrity must be preserved.

But in return, Britain must agree that it will not be allowed to exit the backstop unless and until the EU agrees there is no prospect of a return to a hard border. In addition, it will have to accept special “deeper” customs arrangements for Northern Ireland, and the EU’s so-called “level playing-field” conditions for the whole of the UK.These address member states’ concerns that de facto customs union membership without the obligations of the single market could give the UK an unfair advantage, so will require Britain to observe EU rules on, for example, state aid, competition, the environment, tax and labour market rules.


The Northern Ireland unionists of the DUP – on whose votes in Westminster the government relies for its majority – also fear “deeper” customs arrangements and additional checks on livestock and food crossing the Irish Sea breach the party’s red lines on identical treatment for Northern Ireland.




Georgia Secretary of State election, 2018, Barrow (D) v. Raffensperger (R) v. Duval (L)

Almost as important as the top Georgia race, Kemp's replacement will be important going forward.

Poll Poll sponsor
U Georgia October 21-30, 2018 Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2

John Barrow (D) 42%
Brad Raffensperger (R) 41%
Smythe Duval (L) 5%
Undecided 11%
Margin of Error +/-3.0
Sample Size 1,091

Katy Tur was on about the Kemp Hacking bull, and never mentioned it was the Dems who reported it.

Seriously, what kind of fecking asshole is she ?

Full of bothsides-ism of course.

Venice flooded

Three-quarters of Venice flooded after exceptional high tide


Rain-soaked tourists were barred from St Mark's Square in Venice where local authorities said the "acqua alta" (high water) peaked at 156cm, leaving almost three-quarters of the Italian city under water.

Elevated wooden platforms usually placed on main passageways in the Renaissance city were not high enough to ensure safe passage in the low-lying square.

Families carried children on their shoulders through the surrounding streets.

While some tourists donned wellies, others had opted to take off their shoes and wade through the water.

The waters have only topped 150cm five times before in recorded history.

In 1966, when floods swept through the country, famously devastating Florence's historic centre, the waters reached 194cm in Venice.


Irish Blasphemy Referendum and Presidential Election : Exit Poll

In a continuance of the efforts to modernise the Irish Constitution, the Repeal of the Blasphemy article is going to be a resounding Yes by 71 to 27%.

Also President Michael D. Higgins is going to be re-elected for another 7 year term, with 58% of the vote. The only downside is that 1 of the 3 Reality TV "stars" (I know, I know), Peter Casey, was on course to finish last, but last week caused consternation when he rejected Irish Travellers right to have their own ethnicity, taking a leaf from the Trump playbook. He came second on about 20% of the vote.

The only plus is that there was a low turnout nationally, so it was about 20% of 40% turnout, where as normally a General Election would bring 65% turnout.



Podhoretz again, on Morning Joe

He really is a despicable asshole, saying the races are tightening because of Kavanaugh and that there isn't a shred of corroboration of Dr Ford. My rageometer is through the roof, so I turned it off for today. There's a fucking narrative by dickheads like him, coupled with the sham FBI Kavanaugh investigation that is going to see Republicans railroad his nomination through.
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