It appears Special Counsel Robert Mueller has a serial leaker. Following last weekend’s well-timed leak of Manafort’s looming arrest – which dominated the weekend media’s speculation – NBC News reports sources familiar confirming federal investigators have gathered enough evidence to bring charges in their investigation of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser and his son. As a reminder, Flynn was fired in February following public revelations that he had lied to Vice President Pence about his dealings with the Russian ambassador to the U. S., Sergey Kislyak. Michael Flynn, who was fired after just 24 days on the job, was one of the first Trump associates to come under scrutiny in the federal probe into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign. A week after the Manafort, Gates, Papadopoulos ‘smoking guns’ hit the headlines, “multiple sources familiar with the investigation” that Mueller is set to apply pre pressure to Mike Flynn (and his son). As NBC News reports, the investigators are speaking to multiple witnesses in coming days to gain more information surrounding Flynn’s lobbying work, including whether he laundered money or lied to federal agents about his overseas contacts, according to three sources familiar with the investigation.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 5, 2017.
It’s been nearly two months since Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges were abruptly shuttered by local regulators, part of President Xi Jinping’s ongoing crackdown on capital outflows and potentially embarrassing or destabilizing market forces in the weeks ahead of last month’s National Party Congress. But now that China’s new president emperor has cemented his grip on power by installing political allies on the Politburo and successfully lobbying to have his name enshrined in China’s Constitution, the exchanges are taking tenative steps to figure out if it’s safe to do business in China again, and what constraints would apply to their operations going forward. And while providing an online exchange for fiat-to-digital currency transactions is still expressly prohibited, a couple of the country’s biggest exchanges are rolling out an OTC model that resembles the popular peer-to-peer bitcoin trading website Local Bitcoins, and which will “also support fiat currency transactions.” Here’s CoinDesk: Some of China’s top bitcoin exchanges are now shifting to the over-the-counter (OTC) market in the wake of a crackdown by regulators in the country. In announcements made on Oct. 31, both OKEx and Huobi Pro said they will introduce peer-to-peer trading platforms that support fiat currency transactions, including the Chinese yuan, as an alternative for the country’s domestic cryptocurrency investors. Based in Hong Kong, the two exchanges had previously provided solely crypto-to-crypto trading since being founded by their respective parent exchanges, Beijing-headquartered OKCoin and Huobi. They will now pivot toward a combination of the existing structure and the direct, peer-to-peer model.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 4, 2017.
I'm exposing new evidences on how Turkish charity IHH works with Turkish intelligence MIT to empower jihadists — Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) November 2, 2017
‘The main supplier of weapons and military equipment to ISIL fighters is Turkey, which is doing so through non-governmental organizations,’ Churkin said in a letter dated March 18, referring to the self-declared ‘Islamic State’ (IS) group by another acronym, ISIL. Churkin accused the Besar Foundation, the Iyilikder Foundation and the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms (IHH) of shipping ‘various supplies’ on behalf of Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency.’ ~ DW report The following report is by exiled Turkish journalist, Abdullah Bozkurt, President of the Stockholm Centre for Freedom: ‘A new cache of confidential documents from a classified investigation in Turkey shows that controversial charity group the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (nsan Hak ve Hrriyetleri ve nsani Yardm Vakf, or IHH, in Turkish) has been working with the Turkish spy agency, the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), to enable jihadist terror groups.
The biggest story yesterday, the one that has the Dems in a dither, is Podesta running from his firm. What he know about Crooked Dems is…. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2017
As the mainstream media circus ran wild with the Paul Manafort indictment yesterday, Trump, who repeatedly dismissed the charges as being unrelated to his campaign, has just tweeted that the biggest story revealed yesterday, a story which was largely ignored by the “fake news”, was Tony Posesta’s sudden resignation from the powerful lobbying group that bears his name. Meanwhile, Trump also seemingly called on the Podesta brothers to “Drain the Swamp” by dishing whatever “earth shattering” dirt they have on Democrats to Special Counsel Mueller. “The biggest story yesterday, the one that has the Dems in a dither, is Podesta running from his firm. What he know about Crooked Dems is earth shattering. He and his brother could Drain The Swamp, which would be yet another campaign promise fulfilled. Fake News weak!”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 31, 2017.
Submitted by iBankCoin Tony Podesta sent a Cease and Decist letter to ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ hours after resigning from his role at the Podesta Group – a D. C. lobbying firm accused by a former executive of pedaling Russian influence along with fellow lobbyist and short-lived Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Tony Podesta threatened "Tucker Carlson Tonight" after resigning. Wanted our reporting shutdown. #Tucker @FoxNews — Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) October 31, 2017
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 31, 2017.
For all the talk about Paul Manafort’s indictiment, one can’t help but feel that there is a distinct undercurrent amid today’s newsflow focusing on Hillary Clinton: from the resignation of one of the most powerful Democrats, Tony Podesta, who earlier today parted ways with the lobbying firm he founded after it became ensnared in the Mueller probe (and who is also brother of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta) to the sudden reemergence of the Benghazi attack narrative, one wonders if Trump is not preparing to launch a broadside attack on his former presidential challenger. Lost in the general newsflow, on Monday the AP reported that US special ops forces captured a militant Sunday who was the US says was instrumental in the 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The September 2012 assault killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, and led to allegations that then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to provide an adequate response to the attack, and subsequently blamed the attack on a Youtube video clip.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 30, 2017.
As the left and the media ramp up their Manafort-ian mania against Trump, it appears the trail of destruction from special counsel Mueller’s probe has spread to Democratic power-lobbyist Tony Podesta. As we explained in Aug 2016, Paul Manafort – now under indictment on 12 charges – and his deputy Rick gates previously worked with the Podesta Group, run by Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. …emails obtained by the Associated Press showed that Gates personally directed two Washington lobbying firms, Mercury LLC and the Podesta Group, between 2012 and 2014 to set up meetings between a top Ukrainian official and senators and congressmen on influential committees involving Ukrainian interests. Gates noted in the emails that the official, Ukraine’s foreign minister, did not want to use his own embassy in the United States to help coordinate the visits. And this is where the plot thickens, because while the bulk of the press has so far spun the entire Ukraine lobbying scandal, which led to Manafort’s resignation, as the latest “proof” that pro-Moscow powers were influencing not only Manafort but the Trump campaign in general (who some democrats have even painted of being a Putin agent), the reality is that a firm closely tied with the Democratic party, the Podesta Group, is just as implicated.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 30, 2017.
Having sworn themselves to secrecy, Republicans on the House Ways and Means committee are scrambling to put together a tax bill by next week. But not knowing anything about the details of the plan, as it stands right now, hasn’t stopped an army of lobbyists from mobbing Capitol Hill with one overweening mission: To threaten, cajole or otherwise coax lawmakers into preserving loopholes that benefit their clients. Here’s Bloomberg: The stage was set with the House’s adoption Thursday of a budget resolution designed to speed the course of tax legislation and kick off a three-week sprint toward a House bill. Now, lobbyists representing every corner of the economy are poised to first devour, then attack what may be hundreds of pages of legislation that Brady says he’ll release Nov. 1. Special interests from realtors to dairy farmers will be trying to save their industry-specific tax breaks, said Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity. His group, which is backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, supports ending such breaks. ‘It’s pretty fierce,’ Phillips said. ‘We met with Brady on Tuesday and he was saying their offices are swamped with all the special interest groups swarming in asking to be protected.’ The immense pressure to find a source of revenue to compensate for the sweeping cuts to corporate and individual rates has already nearly derailed the tax reform process. Yesterday, House Republicans narrowly approved the Senate version of a $4 trillion federal budget over the objections of 20 blue-state Republicans who oppose the elimination of the state and local tax deduction, which they say would disproportionately raise taxes on middle-class taxpayers in blue states, which tend to have higher taxes. Yet, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady has said the elimination of the SALT deduction will stay in the bill – for now, at least.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.
As discussed earlier, nearly 54 years after the assassination of JFK, in a release that was greenlighted by the president himself last week, and which Trump is eagerly awaiting… The long anticipated release of the #JFKFiles will take place tomorrow. So interesting! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2017
While this was met with great anticipation as conspiracy theorists everywhere hoped to close the books on their various ideas surrounding the death of Kennedy, at the last minute President Trump appeared to cave to persistent cross-agency lobbying and announced he would not order the release of the full tranche of records, instead following last-minute recommendations of his national security agencies that some of those records be redacted to give in to pressure from the CIA. Instead, the National Archives, in its role as custodian, has unveiled a smaller batch of so-called “JFK Files“: some 2,891 JFK Assassination records meant to shed more light on what happened in Dallas at 12:30pm on November 22, 1963. While it is hoped that the release will answer some questions about the assassination of John F Kennedy, with virtually everyone in the US who is next to a computer trying to access the files at this moment…
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 26, 2017.
As our elected officials in Washington D. C. continue to debate whether or not Trump’s proposed border wall would be an effective deterrent to those looking to come to the U. S. illegally, the one thing that is becoming increasingly clear is that Mexico’s drug wars are spiraling out of control…a fact that the Trump administration will almost certainly leverage as it seeks additional funding for border security. As PanAmPost notes, Mexico has recorded a staggering 24,000 homicides in 2017 through September with 73% of those murders being tied to organized crime. 2017 might be the most violent year in Mexican history, one NGO claims. Semforo Delictivo said that, due to the 24,000 homicides between January and September, the year is proving even worse than 2011, when President Felipe Caldern’s war on drugs led to 22,000 homicides. President of the organization, Santiago Roel, said that 73 percent of murders committed in the first eight months of the year were related to organized crime. He said that in 2007, there were 2,828 executions. Now, a decade later, 18,017 have been reported. All high-impact crimes have increased during the current year, including abductions, homicides and grand theft auto at gunpoint. According to Roel, the main cause of violence and corruption is the ‘Mrida Plan,’ which focuses on eradicating drug cartels.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 26, 2017.
An historic opportunity is being missed. The disastrous 2016 presidential election could and should have been a wakeup call. A corrupt political system that gave voters a choice between two terrible candidates is not democracy. This should have been the signal to face reality. The US political system is totally rotten, contemptuous of the people, serving the corporations and lobbies that pay to keep them in office. The time had come to organize a genuine alternative, an independent movement to liberate the electoral system from the grip of billionaires, to demand a transition from a war economy to an economy dedicated to improving the lives of the people who live here. What is needed is a movement for the pacification of America, at home and abroad. That is a big order. Yet this approach could meet with wide support, especially if vigorous young people organized to stimulate popular debate, between real live people, from door to door if necessary, creating a mass movement for genuine democracy, equality, and peace. This is as revolutionary a program as possible in the present circumstances. A moribund left should be coming back to life to take the lead in building such a movement. Quite the opposite is happening.
Authored by ZeroPointNow, originally published on iBankCoin Tony Podesta and his lobbying firm the Podesta Group are under federal investigation by FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller in connection with the Russia investigation, three sources told NBC News. The firm, co-founded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta, was subpoenaed in late August along with three other public relations firms who worked with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort during a 2012-2014 lobbying effort for a pro-Ukraine think tank – the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU) – tied to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Two of the subpoenaed firms include Paul Manafort’s Mercury, LLC and the Podesta Group, founded by John and Tony Podesta and operated by the latter. Manafort’s firm earned $17 million between 2012 – 2014 consulting for Yanukovych’s centrist, pro-Russia ‘Party of Regions.’ During the same period, Manafort oversaw a lobbying campaign for the pro-Russia ‘Centre for a Modern Ukraine,’ a Brussels based think tank linked to Yanukovych which was pushing for Ukraine’s entry into the European Union. The Podesta group, operating under Manafort, earned over $1.2 million as part of that effort. In a statement to NBC, a spokesman for the Podesta Group said the firm “is cooperating fully with the Special Counsel’s office and has taken every possible step to provide documentation that confirms timely compliance. In all of our client engagements, the Podesta Group conducts due diligence and consults with appropriate legal experts to ensure compliance with disclosure regulations at all times – and we did so in this case.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 23, 2017.
On Thursday 19th October, the Media on Trial Event was held in the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church (BCBC) in London. Prior to the event there had been the usual stream of emails denouncing the speakers as ‘genocide deniers’ ‘Kremlin agents’ ‘conspiracy theorists’ and ‘Assad propagandists’ in an attempt to get the event shut down by targeting the venue. BCBC stuck by the principles of freedom of speech and nobly refused to be swayed by what amounted to aggressive lobbying for its suppression. When we arrived at the church in the afternoon to set up for the evening event, we were told that two men had entered the church during the afternoon. When asked why they wanted to go into the church, they told the staff that they wanted to pray. They were allowed in. They then poured what smelled like ‘skunk water’ (raw sewage) onto the carpet at the front of church, directly in front of the pulpit where the speakers would be presenting. This was a deliberate campaign to sabotage the event and to clamp down on any dissent against the corporate media narrative on Syria that has unanimously supported UK State foreign policy ie the removal of President Assad and the destabilisation of Syria by any means available. This, of course, included the backing & promotion of the multitude of terrorist entities inside Syria, euphemistically described by the UK FCO as the ‘Syrian opposition’ or the ‘democracy’ ‘freedom fighters’. The desecration of Christian church property is a crime that has been committed throughout Syria by the US Coalition-financed & armed extremist globe-trotters. Drugged-up mercenaries, whose disdain for sacred sites, protected by Syria’s secular state for centuries, translates into the destruction of Christian heritage sites with a violent, brutal hatred. They have had pretty much the same intent as the two saboteurs in London, to simply destroy all that stands in the way of their ideological supremacy in the region. Abdo Haddad is a respected geopolitical analyst and esteemed representative of the ancient Syrian Christian town of Maaloula that was invaded by the US Coalition terrorist factions in 2013/14. When he heard about the attacks on the BCBC & the Media on Trial Event, he wrote the following on his facebook page:
Meet Daphne Caruana Galizia, the journalist who led the Panama Papers investigation into corruption in Malta. *** A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by Politico as a ‘one-woman WikiLeaks’. To John Dalli, a former European commissioner whom she helped bring down in a tobacco lobbying scandal, Galizia is ‘a terrorist.’ To opposition MPs, she’s a political force of nature, one who fortunately has her guns aimed at the other side of the aisle. ‘She single-handedly brought the government to the verge of collapse,’ says one MP. ‘The lady has balls,’ says another. Galizia’s mantra was simple: blog relentlessly about the ‘cronyism that is accepted as something normal here. I can’t bear to see people like that rewarded.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 17, 2017.
In yet another astonishing eyewitness report that contradicts the official story surrounding the worst mass shooting in American history, a married couple who were celebrating their 10th anniversary in Las Vegas at the time of the shooting have come forward to reveal that there was an active shooter inside the Bellagio Hotel around the same time that supposed lone gunman Stephen Paddock was found dead. During the confessional, a Canadian man by the name of Jeff detailed the fact that he and his wife were in the Bellagio Resort and Casino around 11:20pm on the night of the shooting when panic broke out in the hotels lobby. Jeff begins the interview by making clear his belief that there were multiple active shooters targeting different places in Las Vegas on the night of the attack. ‘First of all, I think what needs to be said is that, from my perspective, there were multiple events that occurred around Las Vegas, up and down the Strip that night. It wasn’t just centralized around the Mandalay Hotel,’ the witness claimed.
This post was published at shtfplan on October 14th, 2017.
Another Trump-Russia collusion narrative has bitten the dust. In a stunning revelation that goes a long way toward alleviating the cloud of suspicion that has hovered over Donald Trump Jr. since details about a meeting organized by Trump Jr. involving Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort along with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and her entourage were first publicized in July, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that newly disclosed emails between Veselnitskaya and Azerbaijani-Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov largely support Veselnitskaya’s account that the meeting focused on her years long lobbying effort to kill the Magnitsky Act. *** The emails, which were provided to WSJ by Scott Balber, a lawyer for Agalarov, cover a period of time leading up to the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower. They begin in October 2015, when Veselnitskaya first shared information about her anti-Magnitsky efforts with Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 9, 2017.
‘Mass shootings have become routine in the United States and speak to a society that relies on violence to feed the coffers of the merchants of death. Given the profits made by arms manufacturers, the defense industry, gun dealers and the lobbyists who represent them in Congress, it comes as no surprise that the culture of violence cannot be abstracted from either the culture of business or the corruption of politics. Violence runs through US society like an electric current offering instant pleasure from all cultural sources, whether it be the nightly news or a television series that glorifies serial killers.’ – Professor Henry A. Giroux This latest mass shooting in Las Vegas that left more than 50 people dead and more than 500 injured is as obscure as they come: a 64-year-old retiree with no apparent criminal history, no military training, and no obvious axe to grind opens fire on a country music concert crowd from a hotel room 32 floors up using a semi-automatic gun that may have been rigged to fire up to 700 rounds a minute, then kills himself. We’re left with more questions than answers, none of them a flattering reflection of the nation’s values, political priorities, or the manner in which the military-industrial complex continues to dominate, dictate and shape almost every aspect of our lives. For starters, why do these mass shootings keep happening? Mass shootings have taken place at churches, in nightclubs, on college campuses, on military bases, in elementary schools, in government offices, and at concerts. This shooting is the deadliest to date. What is it about America that makes violence our nation’s calling card?
‘I don’t think the ham-handedness of this action is fully appreciated.’ Wolf here. This is what Bill Tilles, one of the authors of the article below, wrote in an email about the article. It should see the light of day: As for the DOE action re subsidizing coal plants, there’s a real dog-bites-man aspect to the story, in addition to being extreme inside baseball. Conservative Republicans, eager to reward coal and nuclear interests, propose new regulations by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that aggressively favor coal and nuclear over natural gas to overcome the significant cost advantages that natural gas now has. To me, the real story is in the 19-page document that the Department of Energy sent to FERC. It was a polemic. In politics that’s permissible, even expected. But the unusual aspect is that DOE is directing FERC – the agency with real administrative expertise in the area – to make wide-ranging rate changes favorable to coal and nuclear interests based on no additional evidence other than a fake crisis! You have to think about that for a minute. FERC dockets are voluminous with every imaginable interest group weighing in. And time consuming. These folks in the Trump administration are in effect saying to FERC, ‘We don’t need no stinkin’ records.’ It’s a ginned up crisis. With a predictable, cronyist solution: Hand over money to that special interest. And do it fast, they say, or we’ll all be freezing come winter.
This post was published at Wolf Street by Leonard Hyman and Willian Tilles ‘ Oct 5, 2017.
Are you ready for mass chaos in Washington? There are lobbyists for just about every cause that you can possibly imagine, and they are always working hard to influence members of Congress on their particular issues. But when you are talking about a major tax reform bill, that is something that virtually every single lobbyist in the entire city will want to be involved in. Our tax code is over two million words long, and the regulations are over seven million words long, and any changes to our immensely complex system could have absolutely enormous implications. There will be winners and there will be losers with any piece of legislation, and lobbyists will zealously fight to defend the turf belonging to their particular clients. Often lobbyists from different sides will literally be pitted directly against one another, and it won’t be pretty. In fact, one analyst that works for Cowen Washington Research Group says that we could soon be watching ‘the corporate hunger games’… Almost every industry, special interest, and consumer group has an interest in the tax code, especially if the package ends up being as ambitious as Trump and Republican leaders want it to be. Chris Krueger, an analyst at Cowen Washington Research Group, told Business Insider that the battle over which loopholes to keep and which to throw out could get nasty.