Tuesday, November 01, 2016

The Brennan Center of Justice asks Americans to practice their proud right and vote.

....Stand up for democracy (click here) now by pledging to vote and to help others exercise their right with these four simple steps:
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  3. Tell your friends and family that you plan to vote. Research has shown that this simple act can increase turnout.
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Sign now to pledge to vote and to help others exercise their right. After you sign, we'll send you a reminder of the steps you can take to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.
The Nation 
The Brennan Center for Justice 
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law 
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Daily Kos 
Rock the Vote 

If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it must be a very slick duck.

October 31, 2016
By Franklin Foer

Registration of site (click here and enter any code, the registration is there) 

...In late July, (click here) one of these scientists—who asked to be referred to as Tea Leaves, a pseudonym that would protect his relationship with the networks and banks that employ him to sift their data—found what looked like malware emanating from Russia. The destination domain had Trump in its name, which of course attracted Tea Leaves’ attention. But his discovery of the data was pure happenstance—a surprising needle in a large haystack of DNS lookups on his screen. “I have an outlier here that connects to Russia in a strange way,” he wrote in his notes. He couldn’t quite figure it out at first. But what he saw was a bank in Moscow that kept irregularly pinging a server registered to the Trump Organization on Fifth Avenue....

...The researchers quickly dismissed their initial fear that the logs represented a malware attack. The communication wasn’t the work of bots. The irregular pattern of server lookups actually resembled the pattern of human conversation—conversations that began during office hours in New York and continued during office hours in Moscow. It dawned on the researchers that this wasn’t an attack, but a sustained relationship between a server registered to the Trump Organization and two servers registered to an entity called Alfa Bank....

...That wasn’t the only oddity. When the researchers pinged the server, they received error messages. They concluded that the server was set to accept only incoming communication from a very small handful of IP addresses. A small portion of the logs showed communication with a server belonging to Michigan-based Spectrum Health. (The company said in a statement: “Spectrum Health does not have a relationship with Alfa Bank or any of the Trump organizations. We have concluded a rigorous investigation with both our internal IT security specialists and expert cyber security firms. Our experts have conducted a detailed analysis of the alleged internet traffic and did not find any evidence that it included any actual communications (no emails, chat, text, etc.) between Spectrum Health and Alfa Bank or any of the Trump organizations. While we did find a small number of incoming spam marketing emails, they originated from a digital marketing company, Cendyn, advertising Trump Hotels.”)

Spectrum accounted for a relatively trivial portion of the traffic. Eighty-seven percent of the DNS lookups involved the two Alfa Bank servers. “It’s pretty clear that it’s not an open mail server,” Camp told me...

...“The parties were communicating in a secretive fashion. The operative word is secretive. This is more akin to what criminal syndicates do if they are putting together a project.”...

The color is to delineate the different sources of information.

05 March 2014
By Our Foreign Staff

...20th February 2014
More than 100 people (click here) reportedly die in 48 hours as protesters and police clash in Kiev, with government snipers opening fire...

OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) (click here)

The Ukraine/Russia-related sanctions program implemented by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) began on March 6, 2014, when the President, in Executive Order (E.O.) 13660, declared a national emergency to deal with the threat posed by the actions and policies of certain persons who had undermined democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threatened the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine; and contributed to the misappropriation of Ukraine’s assets. In further response to the actions and polices of the Government of the Russian Federation, including the purported annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine, the President issued three subsequent Executive orders that expanded the scope of the national emergency declared in E.O. 13660. Together, these orders authorize, among other things, the imposition of sanctions against persons responsible for or complicit in certain activities with respect to Ukraine; against officials of the Government of the Russian Federation; against persons operating in the arms or related materiel sector of the Russian Federation; and against individuals and entities operating in the Crimea region of Ukraine. E.O. 13662 also authorizes the imposition of sanctions on certain entities operating in specified sectors of the Russian Federation economy. Finally, E.O. 13685 also prohibits the importation or exportation of goods, services, or technology to or from the Crimea region of Ukraine, as well as new investment in the Crimea region of Ukraine by a United States person, wherever located...

...While the researchers went about their work, the conventional wisdom about Russian interference in the campaign began to shift. There were reports that the Trump campaign had ordered the Republican Party to rewrite its platform position on Ukraine, maneuvering the GOP toward a policy preferred by Russia, though the Trump campaign denied having a hand in the change. Then Trump announced in an interview with the New York Times his unwillingness to spring to the defense of NATO allies in the face of a Russian invasion. Trump even invited Russian hackers to go hunting for Clinton’s emails, then passed the comment off as a joke. (I wrote about Trump’s relationship with Russia in early July.)...

All Russian oligarchs of Alpha Bank needed was a front man.

Where is the FBI? 

Where is the NSA? 

Where is Edward Snowdon? Edward needs to be brought home with a degree of immunity. I think it is very foolish to leave him in Russia.

There is no such thing as a secure cyber space.

The way he made his billions matters.

October 31, 2016
By David Barstow, Mike McIntrire, Patricia Cohen and Russ Buettner

Donald J. Trump proudly (click here) acknowledges he did not pay a dime in federal income taxes for years on end. He insists he merely exploited tax loopholes legally available to any billionaire — loopholes he says Hillary Clinton failed to close during her years in the United States Senate. “Why didn’t she ever try to change those laws so I couldn’t use them?” Mr. Trump asked during a campaign rally last month.

Legislatures, regardless whether it is Hillary Clinton or Harry Reid, don't have the slick billionaire in mind when they are looking for a fair minded IRS. This is ridiculous. His behavior is near criminal and of course everyone in the federal legislature knows about every bit of criminal like activity that occurs.

Donald Trump makes ridiculous statements. Legislators are suppose to hold hearings when there is something wrong within the IRS. The hearings held since the Republican majority of 2010 hardly pursued criminal like behavior. They were far more interested in playing politics with the taxpayer's monies than anything recognizable as progress through a better tax system.

But newly obtained documents show that in the early 1990s, as he scrambled to stave off financial ruin, Mr. Trump avoided reporting hundreds of millions of dollars in taxable income by using a tax avoidance maneuver so legally dubious his own lawyers advised him that the Internal Revenue Service would most likely declare it improper if he were audited.

Thanks to this one maneuver, which was later outlawed by Congress, Mr. Trump potentially escaped paying tens of millions of dollars in federal personal income taxes. It is impossible to know for sure because Mr. Trump has declined to release his tax returns, or even a summary of his returns, breaking a practice followed by every Republican and Democratic presidential candidate for more than four decades....

Donald Trump is SLICK. Understand that? He runs up incredible debt with a bank so the bank has to pander to him to receive their monies back. He found that a very interesting method to maintain some degree of wealth in his life.

That matters.

Being a slick billionaire is hardly a man of integrity. He also treated his companies as if they owned him more than the income he received, the beauty queen contests were playgrounds for his voyeurism.

There isn't anything moral about him in any of his activities. His enterprises were designed to fail in bankruptcy so he had a better cash flow. He exploited businesses that contracted with him. It is amazing any contractor will actually sign a contract with him. 

All to often the wealthy persons lining the halls of the Democratic Party are complained about. I think I get it now. If a person comes by their wealth honestly and within moral standards, they aren't members of the "Clubs of the Corrupt and Corruptible."

Donald Trump's wealth came to him through corruption and exploitation. If he didn't carry out immoral standards, he'd be a pauper.
Health Care Savings Accounts are not replacements for Health Care Insurance.

I've had Health Care Savings Accounts, but, I also had health care insurance for myself and my children. 

The Health Care Saving Accounts were to cover the deductibles, but, the payment of all those deductibles are still the subscriber's responsibilities. Only after the deductibles were paid could the receipts be submitted for reimbursement. I was fortunate enough to have an income that allowed me to pay the deductibles twice. First to establish the health care savings account and then to pay the deductibles to submit for reimbursement. Not all Middle Class families are that fortunate to have that level of disposable income to achieve that outcome.

For those that cannot afford a Health Care Savings Account the expanded Medicaid program is a sincere answer for them. 

There is one other downside to Health Care Savings Accounts and that is correctly estimating the monies that will be paid for deductibles annually. If the submitted receipts do not equal or exceed the amount paid into the Health Care Savings Account that money is lost to the company holding the monies for reimbursement. These are tax free dollars and coming to an accurate amount of monies to be used for deductibles or bills is very important otherwise it does not pay to set up the account.

There was some confusion when the Orlando police responded to the Pulse shooting and deaths.

That may be an issue in training, but, there is also the greater issue that Mateen purchased his weapons in Florida. It was a gun purchased in Florida and ultimately killed Floridian citizens and those visiting the Orlando area.

October 31, 2016
By Gal Tziperman Lotan, Rene Stutzman and David Harris

The man on the phone (click here) said he was the person who had just opened fire June 12 inside Pulse nightclub, but Orlando police could not be sure.
The caller, later identified as Omar Mateen, repeatedly hung up on the Orlando police negotiator who had to call him back more than a dozen times.
From about 3:15 a.m. to about 3:20 a.m., officers could be heard in the background trying to pinpoint where Mateen might be. The background noise was "sterile," said one officer, as if he were in an office. Or a bathroom, said another.
"I'm still not convinced this guy's in there," the negotiator said as Mateen's phone rang. Law enforcement officers were going to Mateen's address in Fort Pierce to check whether he was home, and Orlando police pinged his cellphone to establish his location.
Despite his misgivings, the negotiator, who identified himself as Andy, treated Mateen seriously when they talked....

It takes a woman.

November 1, 2016
By Seema Mehta 

It was the home of Richard Nixon, (click here) the cradle of Ronald Reagan’s career and, for decades, a virtual synonym for the Republican Party of California.
Now, for the first time since the Depression, Orange County stands on the verge of choosing a Democrat for president, potentially ending the longest streak of Republican presidential victories of any county in the state.
That possibility symbolizes how the American political map has been upended by Donald Trump’s campaign: He has sped up a decade-long shift in which the GOP has gathered strength in white, blue-collar regions that once routinely elected Democrats, but traditional Republican suburbs increasingly have turned blue.
From Chester County outside Philadelphia to Gwinnett County east of Atlanta and on to Fort Bend County near Houston and Tarrant County west of Dallas, big, affluent suburban regions seem likely to shift significantly toward Hillary Clinton this year, according to analysts who track county-level voting trends....

October 31, 2016
By David Zahniser and James Queally

The Los Angeles district attorney’s office (click here) said Monday that it would review a series of campaign contributions made by donors with ties to a developer who secured approval for a controversial $72-million apartment complex.
On Sunday, a Times investigation showed that more than 100 donors who were directly or indirectly connected to developer Samuel Leung had made donations totaling more than $600,000 to L.A.-area politicians while his 352-unit Sea Breeze project was being reviewed....