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Trump aides were in constant touch with senior Russian officials during campaign

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trump tweet
The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by "intelligence" like candy. Very un-American

Stonekettle tweet

 Funny, it was all kinds of American when Assange and Comey were doing it last year.

Berniebros and Stormtrumpers alike loved it

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trump tweet
The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by "intelligence" like candy. Very un-American

Stonekettle tweet

 Funny, it was all kinds of American when Assange and Comey were doing it last year.

Berniebros and Stormtrumpers alike loved it

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Sal wrote:
RealLindaL wrote:
Sal wrote:The fact is that the intelligence community suspected Michael Flynn of being a Russian agent and finally, after the Trump team refused to act, brought out the long knives and took him out themselves.

Fact??  From what source, please?  Or is this just you, speculating?

From whence do you suppose the leaks originated?

Shall I answer your answer with yet another question? C'mon, Sal, you said it was "the fact...that the intelligence community suspected Michael Flynn of being a Russian agent..." I'm asking you where you learned this astounding fact, as it was news to me.

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I don't know about him being a Russian agent but the intelligence community sure doesn't trust Trump and has held intel from him according to the Wall St. Journal.

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Vikingwoman wrote:I don't know about him being a Russian agent but the intelligence community sure doesn't trust Trump and has held intel from him according to the Wall St. Journal.

Sure don't blame 'em there!!

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RealLindaL wrote:
Vikingwoman wrote:I don't know about him being a Russian agent but the intelligence community sure doesn't trust Trump and has held intel from him according to the Wall St. Journal.

Sure don't blame 'em there!!



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Rand Paul summed it up best when he explained: "We'll never even get started with doing the things we need to do, like repealing Obamacare, if we're spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans."

There it is in a nutshell. The hard-liners in the Republican party are not going to let the little whiff of the possibilty that Americans are being governed by a man taking his cues from Moscow get in the way of depriving millions of healthcare, demolishing the safety net and letting polluters pollute freely again.

Paul Krugman boils down the story so far in his Friday column:


A foreign dictator intervened on behalf of a U.S. presidential candidate - and that candidate won. Close associates of the new president were in contact with the dictator's espionage officials during the campaign, and his national security adviser was forced out over improper calls to that country's ambassador - but not until the press reported it; the president learned about his actions weeks earlier, but took no action.

Meanwhile, the president seems oddly solicitous of the dictator's interests, and rumors swirl about his personal financial connections to the country in question. Is there anything to those rumors? Nobody knows, in part because the president refuses to release his tax returns.

Maybe it's all perfectly kosher, but an awful lot of reasonable and knowledgeable people think it merits a little looking into. One would think the uber-patriots in Congress, who endlessly investigated Hillary Clinton for the Benghazi raid might cock an eyebrow. But no, Ryan, Chaffetz, Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and company are all ready to move on for apparently the precise reason that Paul laid out. They've got other things to do.



http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/paul-krugman-discloses-a-far-scarier-possibility-than-the-alleged-trump-putin-axis/

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There won't be any meaningful "looking into". See: last administration.

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PkrBum wrote:There won't be any meaningful "looking into". See: last administration.

Positively tiresome.

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RealLindaL wrote:
PkrBum wrote:There won't be any meaningful "looking into". See: last administration.

Positively tiresome.

Well... you might as well come to terms with it now. The hair on fire routine won't affect it any.

There will be smoke screens... obfuscations... diversions... destroy/lost documents/emails/etc...

That's the pattern... that's the new normal.

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polecat wrote:trump tweet
The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by "intelligence" like candy. Very un-American

Stonekettle tweet

 Funny, it was all kinds of American when Assange and Comey were doing it last year.

Berniebros and Stormtrumpers alike loved it

The whole "Berniebros" thing doesn't sit well with me, and I don't think Sanders supporters were cheering the attacks on Hillary Clinton. I certainly wasn't. Several questions: Why did the FBI ignore all the Russian influence in this election, playing up every Hillary and DNC "scandal", and remain silent about the...shall we say...much more obvious concern of blatant Russian interference in support of Trump? How much in debt is Trump to the Russian oligarchs? Why are Russian spy ships cruising off our Eastern coast? Why don't people understand that our "president"...yes, I meant the lower case...is nothing but a con man...always has been...always will be?

At this point, it appears that, not only is Trump committing treason...so is the GOP leadership...Ryan, McConnell and Chaffetz are the most egregious...but there are certainly others. All of them knew about the Wikileaks hacking...surely they also knew about the Russian investigations, and some of them apparently used the situation to their political advantage, long before November. Chaffetz is now opening a new investigation into Hillary's emails...how timely. The GOP must now decide if they want to go down with the Titanic.

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"I get great ratings, nuclear war is bad, Hillary is awful, and news is fake if they report on real leaks!"
#TrumpPressConference, abridged - Erik Bransteen


Trump is to the presidency as a redneck saying "hey, watch this!" is to fireworks safety. - Jeff Tiedrich


Pentagon considering sending combat forces into Syria to distract from whatever it is Trump f**ked up today. - Tea Party Cat


Trump reminds you that he strongly supports torture to get people to tell the truth.
Unless we're talking about Michael Flynn. - John Fugelsang


The  GOP is concerned about crime. So they're deporting people who want to pay taxes & making it easier for mentally ill people to get guns.- LOLGOP


Through Trump, Putin is probing the patriotism and will of Congressional Republicans. So far he loves what he sees. - Peter Daou


Once upon a time, the GOP investigated Bill Clinton's use of the White House Christmas card list. This warranted 140 hours of testimony.- Kara Calavera

Just ask Paul Ryan: "If an illegal deal with a foreign power made it possible to cut rich people's taxes, you'd be cool with that, right?"- LOLGOP



The real question should be "Does anyone in the Trump administration have ties to America?" - Tea Party Cat


The best way to stop the NSA & FBI from leaking info about treasonous activities?
Don't engage in treasonous activities.
#BenedictDonald - Erik Bransteen


Pissing off the CIA is like pissing off your waiter. They have countless ways of exacting horrific revenge. - goldengateblond


Putin Starting to Wonder if His Puppets are Smart Enough to Pull This Off. -  Andy Borowitz

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Positively tiresome.


As if 17 house and senate investigations was nothing.....oh thats right...they found nothing, but one investigation which has a high probability of discovering improper conduct.....no investigation.......tiresome is being way too polite.

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2seaoat wrote:Positively tiresome.


As if 17 house and senate investigations was nothing.....oh thats right...they found nothing, but one investigation which has a high probability of discovering improper conduct.....no investigation.......tiresome is being way too polite.

Neither you nor Pkr caught my drift.  It is PKR'S continuing same old same old tune about the "one set of standards" that I find tiresome, and that's the best thing I can say about it.

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It's a valid answer as to why the dems/media will have their concerns shut down. Ignore it all you like.

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This is from a FB comment that is not attributed...I will try to find the source.

Michael Flynn is just part of the story - Follow the oil money to TREASON:

This is what Trump and Putin are up to: Exxon Mobil, under Rex Tillerson, brokered a deal with Russia in 2013 for 60 million acres of Russian land to pump oil out of, but all that Russian oil went through pipelines in the Ukraine, who heavily taxed the proceeds, and were applying for admission into NATO at the time.

Putin subsequently invaded Ukraine in 2014, secured the routes to export the oil tax-free by sea, and took control of the port where their Black Sea Naval Fleet is based, by taking the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine by force and not giving it back. This was Hitler-tier imperialism that broke every international law in the free world.

After Obama sanctioned Russia for the invasion, they could only pump oil from approximately 3 of those 60 million acres. But now Rex Tillerson is our Secretary of State, and as of today, there’s information circulating that Donald Trump will likely unilaterally remove all sanctions against Russia in the coming days or weeks.

Putin will make half a trillion (500 Billion) dollars from that much untapped oil. All pumped tax-free through Crimea, stolen from Ukraine, now owned by Russia. Putin may have subverted our government just to become the richest man in the world. **According to leaked docs Trump will get 19% cut (Rosneft stock).

********

This, however, does fit with what's written above:

Trump's Repeal of Bipartisan Anti-Corruption Measure Proves He's a Fake
By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
17 February 17

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/42011-trumps-repeal-of-bipartisan-anti-corruption-measure-proves-hes-a-fake

The man who ran as an outsider and champion of the common man plays the stooge for industry
n October 13th of last year, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Donald Trump gave a desperate speech at a desperate moment. A week after the surfacing of the infamous "grab them by the pussy" video, Trump presented himself as the common man's only defense against a vast conspiracy of global financial interests:

"There is nothing the political establishment will not do," he said, "and no lie they will not tell, to hold on to their prestige and power at your expense."

Including running Donald Trump as an anti-corruption candidate! He went on:

"For those who control the levers of power in Washington, and for the global special interests they partner with, our campaign represents an existential threat," Trump said. "It's a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class ... and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities."

In conjunction with this speech, which was sold as the "crossroads of history" address (and triggered a new hashtag, #TrumpTheEstablishment), Trump released a 100-day "action plan" that supposedly targeted "special interest corruption."

Among the measures proposed: new restrictions on lobbying, including a five-year ban on White House and congressional officials becoming lobbyists after leaving office.

Months later, with the self-proclaimed "existential threat" to special interests in office, the "establishment" has it better than ever. Not only has the money-over-principle dynamic not changed inside the Beltway, it's ascendant. Under "outsider" rule, Washington has never been more Washington-y.

Tuesday, for instance, Trump signed a repeal of a bipartisan provision of the Dodd-Frank bill known as the Cardin-Lugar Amendment. The absurd history of this doomed provision stands as a perfect microcosm of how Washington works, or doesn't work, as it were.

The election of a billionaire president who killed the anti-corruption measure off is only the brutal coup de grace. The rule was stalled for the better part of six years by a relentless and exhausting parade of lobbyists, lawyers and other assorted Beltway malingerers. It then lived out of the womb for a few sad months before Trump smothered it this week.

Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act was created by Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin and then Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar. Passed in 2010, the rule was simple: It required oil, gas and mining companies to disclose any payments above $100,000 made to foreign governments.

The law was designed to prevent energy companies from bribing foreign dictators. The simple goal was to ensure that the wealth of resource-rich countries would be enjoyed by their citizens, and not converted into obscene personal collections of yachts, mansions, sports cars and Michael Jackson memorabilia – as, for instance, it was when oil was discovered in Equatorial Guinea, and the brutal dictator Teodoro Obiang started doing business with Rex Tillerson's ExxonMobil.

The provision originally passed in the summer of 2010 and became law when Dodd-Frank was signed later that year. But it didn't go into effect right away. As hotshot Wall Street lobbyist Scott Talbott of the Financial Services Roundtable cracked, "When [Obama] signed the financial reform law, that was halftime."

After passage, the law went back to the SEC for the rule-writing process, where it spent two years being bandied around while special interest groups harangued the agency with suggestions and comment letters.

Those first years of SEC rule-writing included multiple meetings and rule addendum suggestions from trade groups like the American Petroleum Institute (API), as well as with executives from companies like ExxonMobil. (Exxon VP Pat Mulva and Corporate Securities and Finance Coordinator Brian Malnak met with the SEC twice in November of 2010.)

Then, on August 22nd, 2012, a version of the rule passed the commission by a vote of 2-1. Success! Yet shortly after the rule passed – on October 10th, 2012, to be exact – the aforementioned API, along with the Chamber of Commerce, filed a lawsuit against the SEC to block the provision.

The suit charged that the SEC "failed to conduct an adequate cost-benefit analysis as required by law" (this was a trick used multiple times to block Dodd-Frank provisions) and that the agency "grossly misinterpreted its statutory mandate to make a 'compilation' of information available to the public."

Industry whined that the rule would prohibit deals in countries where local laws prohibited disclosure of such payments, and that it would force firms to "sell their assets … at fire sale prices." The basic idea was that international capitalism would grind to a halt if they had to make public which dictator's yachts they were buying, and for how much.

The legal Hail Mary worked, naturally, as such suits nearly always do in Washington, and the rule was struck down by a D.C. district court in 2013. The court ruling required the SEC to either write a new rule or come up with a new justification for the old one.

This commenced another years-long slog of meetings, letters and suggestions. The oil-and-gas people, of course, pretended the whole time that they didn't want to kill the provision, exactly, just improve it.

"As we discussed," the API wrote to the SEC on November 7th, 2013, "API strongly believes an effective and workable result can be achieved that accomplishes the transparency objectives of the statute while also protecting investors from significant harm."

API then proceeded to offer 16 maddening pages of suggestions that would ostensibly improve the provision. The SEC would ultimately cave on a number of these industry requests, resulting in a rule that in the end was significantly more convoluted than the original version.

This is why laws like Dodd-Frank end up being unwieldy monstrosities of thousands and thousands of pages: On the road to trying to kill a law outright, lobbyists usually try to weigh it down first by adding exceptions and verbiage. Ironically, this ends up driving the industry's own compliance costs higher in the meantime, but it's worth it, as it stalls the process.

Another irony here is that the public perception that nothing ever gets done in Washington is driven by this very dynamic. The public becomes impatient for action when every tiny provision of every bill gets bogged down as fat-cat lawyers fight for years on end over the definition of words like "compilation" and "project."

This is the ultimate in overpaid busywork for the overeducated. The ongoing bureaucratization of the legislative process is really just a high-priced welfare program for corporate lawyers.

And while lawyers make fortunes pushing commas around and adding mountains of words to already overwritten laws, ex-middle-class workers in places outside of the Beltway keep finding their slice of the pie smaller and smaller.

This leads to frustration with Washington inaction. And as we've seen, this leads to political support for big talkers like Trump who promise, hilariously, to cut through the red tape and "get things done."

To make a long story short, the Cardin-Lugar provision ended up being delayed time and time again. At one point, the SEC had be kicked into action by Oxfam, which sued the agency essentially to force it to complete the rule.

Only after settling with the human rights organization (like many human rights advocates, Oxfam's interest here was in preventing bribes to repressive regimes) did the SEC finally go back to completing its court-ordered and congressionally mandated work.

Despite all of the delays and wrangling, however, it did finally pass last June. But in yet another lurid example of how idiotic our system is, the provision was upended by an asinine law called the Congressional Review Act.

This obscure Gingrich-era statute (signed into law by Bill Clinton), which seems to exist entirely for the purpose of allowing newly elected officials to overturn the work of their predecessors, permits the government to reconsider any piece of legislation within a window of 60 session days after implementation.

The CRA mechanism was put to use shortly after Trump's inauguration. There were a few hours of debate in the Senate, a brief debate in the House, and then Cardin-Lugar was "executed at dawn," as the Lugar Center put it, in an unusual early-morning Senate session that began at 6:30 a.m. on February 3rd.

"Congress," the center noted, "took fewer than five days from the beginning of the legislative process to the end." There were no subcommittee reviews, no hearings, nothing. After six grueling years being pushed uphill, in a process that cost God knows how much in billable hours, the rule was scuttled in Congress and sent to Trump's desk to be wiped out in a matter of weeks.

Ask Trump supporters about this episode, and many would say they won't weep for the loss of any government regulation.

But they should ask themselves if, when they were whooping and hollering for the man who promised to end special interest and lobbyist rules in Washington, they imagined the ExxonMobil chief in charge of the State Department cheering as the new president wiped out anti-bribery laws. The "establishment" sure is on the run, isn't it?

(video)

*************



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There are going to be token rollbacks of regulations... but don't worry... the authoritarian nature of an enormous central govt and collusion w conglomerate corporations will remain. As will the attacks on civil liberties. See: civil forfeiture, information gathering, fed land grabs, command economy... etc.

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PkrBum wrote:It's a valid answer as to why the dems/media will have their concerns shut down. Ignore it all you like.

And you can worry and pontificate about it all you like, but it won't change for a minute the fact that valid concerns will continue to be pursued, and not just by "dems/media," but by all who recognize the unprecedented national and international threat we currently have occupying the Oval Office.

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