This just might spoil what has so far been a strong year for Carl Icahn. Bloomberg is reporting that the FBI has issued subpoenas for information on Carl Icahn’s possible lobbying to change biofuel policy while serving as an informal adviser to President Donald Trump, according to regulatory filings. Icahn, who briefly served as an adviser to the president and who was once suspected of being a possible pick for Treasury, announced in August that he was no longer serving as an adviser to the president regarding regulatory reform. In his curiously worded letter, he specified that he ‘never had a formal position’ in the White House. The Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York is ‘seeking production of information’ pertaining to Icahn’s activities regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard, according to a Form 10-Q that Icahn Enterprises LP filed on Friday with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The investigators also want information on Icahn’s role as an adviser to the president, the document says.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 8, 2017.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Barack Obama is funding the anti-Trump movement through a series of backdoor deals and policies. Wall Street may be surprised to learn that it is also helping bankroll the anti-Trump ‘resistance’ whether they wanted to or not. Wall Street is fighting policies which would heavily favor it, including corporate tax cuts and the repeal of Obama-era banking and health-care regulations. We have the Obama administration to thank for the harsh anti-Trump movement by far left groups, according to an article by the New York Post. The Obama administration’s massive shakedown of Big Banks over the mortgage crisis included unprecedented back-door funding for dozens of Democratic activist groups who were not even victims of the crisis. At least three liberal nonprofit organizations the Justice Department approved to receive funds from multibillion-dollar mortgage settlements were instrumental in killing the ObamaCare repeal bill and are now lobbying against GOP tax reform, as well as efforts to rein in illegal immigration. An estimated $640 million has been diverted into what critics say is an improper, if not unconstitutional, ‘slush fund’ fed from government settlements with JPMorgan Chase and Co., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., according to congressional sources. The payola is potentially earmarked for third-party interest groups approved by the Justice Department and HUD without requiring any proof of how the funds will be spent. Many of the recipients so far are radical leftist organizations who solicited the settlement cash from the administration even though they were not parties to the lawsuits, records show. ‘During the Obama administration, groups committed to ‘revolutionary social change’ sent proposals and met with high-level HUD and Justice Department officials to try to get their pieces of the settlement pie,’ Cause of Action Institute vice president Julie Smith told The Post. -New York Post
This post was published at shtfplan on September 25th, 2017.
Imagine this movie-script: a former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge… narrates the ominous sounding voice of Morgan Freeman. The hysteria continues, and this time Hollywood has been enlisted. No this is not The Onion, but yet another serious committee for seriouspeople. Meet the “Committee to Investigate Russia” which launched on Tuesday and immediately garnered broad coverage in pop-culture and entertainment news sites for its release of a short Morgan Freeman narrated video which aims to “tell us the truth” about Russian meddling in the US election. ‘We have been attacked,’ Freeman says in his familiarly reassuring voice while gazing into the camera. ‘We are at war.’ Not only did the video burn up social media on Tuesday, but the founders of the lobbying group behind the production, barely one day old, were given substantial air time on cable news from CNN to MSNBC. Of course, it helps that actor, director, and lifelong Democrat Rob Reiner is behind it – he’s teamed up with neocons David Frum, Max Boot, and national security insiders like James Clapper.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 20, 2017.
What’s next? A unicorn captured in Tennessee? The world I grew up in has changed. American Universities are handing out Play-Doh to comfort distraught liberals and ‘Never Trump’ students. Protestors defaced a Thomas Jefferson statueat the University of Virginia due to his slave ownership. Race baiters attacked Hobby Lobby for displaying raw cotton in vases. The P. C. Police have continually demonstrated their desire to attack the America many of us love. Now, the snowflake class is writing articles stating Ron Paul – the former Texas congressman that made a career out of criticizing bloated defense budgets and hawkish foreign policy decisions – is shilling for the defense industry. Their ‘evidence’ is that he received five-year-old campaign contributions from some employees of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, which they falsely credited with coming directly from the companies themselves. Dr. Paul’s alleged wrongdoing was writing an op-ed mildly critical of Elon Musk, a government subsidy-eating machine and poster boy for left-wing environmental causes. In the article, Paul, an Air Force veteran, expressed his opposition to Section 1615 of the National Defense Authorization Agreement (NDAA), which many speculate was written with the congressional intent of quietly extinguishing all serious competition to Musk’s SpaceX.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 18, 2017.