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ser·en·dip·i·ty

[ˌserənˈdipədē]

the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way:

“a fortunate stroke of serendipity” ·

[more]synonyms: (happy) chance · (happy) accident · fluke · luck · good luck · good fortune · fortuity · providence · happy coincidence
Oxford Dictionaries · © Oxford University Press

 

The FBI has a way of stumbling upon things. 11 days before Election Day, FBI Director James Comey released a letter to eight Republican committee chairs stating that, while investigating an unrelated case, the FBI had discovered emails that might be connected to the bureau’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails and that he was extending, therefore, that investigation. Hillary’s campaign hit back with a one two punch.

Fast-forward to this week.

US officials: Info suggests Trump associates may have coordinated with Russians

Comey was clear in stating that this evidence did not surface via the investigation of possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian operatives, but, rather, arose from  a different investigation, apparently involving surveillance of foreign operatives.

In other words,  the FBI came upon this information much the way they discovered emails related to Hillary Clinton on Anthony Weiner’s laptop – emails, it turned out, that the bureau had already seen. They were investigating Weiner, and some of Hillary’s emails appeared.

For the record, the fact that these “foreign” communications turned up in a bureau investigation and Comey announced it does not absolve Comey of releasing that October 28 letter and probably influencing the vote.

In this case, they were surveilling foreign operatives, and  – whoops! Trump campaign staff were talking to them!

Everything is a big, fat mess. As Leonard Cohen said, “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Comey violated bureau policy when he released that letter 11 days before the election. The emails in question would have been a huge nothing-burger had the letter not been released so close to Election Day. As it turned out, the letter was likely a factor in turning the election against Hillary Clinton and electing the guy whose campaign, transition team, and administration are riddled with Russian ties.

How ironic and how fitting! Karma can really suck when it’s bad. Unfortunately, this bad karma for the Trump regime is unlikely to change anything. Confirmation hearings continue for appointees and a SCOTUS justice nominated by what could possibly be proven an illegitimate administration.

This is the kind of malarkey being spouted by a Democrat!

“It’s only natural for us to want to go back and relive the elections,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.). “But that’s not going to happen. It’s about moving forward in the future. I think my Republican colleagues said it best when they said it happened to Democrats this time, it may very well happen to Republicans in the future, and that’s why it’s important to seek the truth.”

Read more at HuffPo >>>>

What? We should just keep on truckin’ like all of this is normal because  …  what? Because it may happen to Republicans at some unspecified point in the future? Sorry, but that should not be allowed to wash. This should never happen in any U.S. election. Period. That is the whole reason people are upset about it.

If this administration is found to have committed high crimes and misdemeanors and /or treason, the office of POTUS should not simply pass to the Veep of the same administration. I know we have no provision in the Constitution for this possibility, but that does not mean that we should just ignore a festering wound to our democracy. The situation is unprecedented. Whether collusion is eventually proven or not, steps should be taken to ensure the security of future elections.

Retweeted
 The intelligence community concluded the Russians will interfere again. This is why full investigation is important to country. Please stop.

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Last Thursday, I mentioned the new administration’s tactic of choice, diversion.  This week, thanks to George Lakoff, we have a handy diagram for the analysis of tweets from Trump.

So it comes as no surprise that while Trump lobbed a grenade at Nordstrom’s and while we were all attending to the ninth circuit court of appeals which upheld the stay on the immigration ban and the endless confirmation hearings,  the explosions were happening elsewhere.

Last night and today, massive immigration raids were taking place in at least six states.

U.S. immigration authorities made a series of arrests in at least half a dozen states across the country on Thursday and Friday, sweeping up an unknown number of undocumented immigrants, immigration lawyers and advocates said.

The raids, which appeared to target scores of people, including those without criminal records, mark the first largescale episode of immigration enforcement inside the United States since President Trump’s Jan. 26 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally. Immigration lawyers and advocates said some of the enforcement efforts included traffic stops and checkpoints, though Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials disputed those accounts, saying the agency does not use checkpoints while engaging in targeted enforcement operations.

Read more >>>>

These followed the very high profile deportation of an Arizona woman who had reported as required of her to a local ICE office.

Typically, while we attend to all of this, we are supposed to be distracted from the Russia story, but that one grew extra legs just this evening. It appears that U.S. investigators have been able to corroborate portions of the dossier we referred to last week as the Christopher Steele Memos.

US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier

Coupled with that one was this.

 National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say

National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were interpreted by some senior U.S. officials as an inappropriate and potentially illegal signal to the Kremlin that it could expect a reprieve from sanctions that were being imposed by the Obama administration in late December to punish Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 election.

Read more >>>>

This story, of course, is the elephant in the room. The Russian connection to the Trump campaign and White House impugns the integrity of the election and the intentions of the administration with regard to Russian sanctions, not only for alleged election hanky-panky but also those imposed over Russian incursions in Ukraine. It lends credence to the idea that Putin’s antipathy to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was based on a lot more than a personality conflict and his idée-fixe that she somehow orchestrated mass demonstrations following the Russian parliamentary elections in 2011.

Deep Throat told Bob Woodward to follow the money. It is not hard to imagine that transactions involving Donald Trump might revolve around money. Alex Mohajer, late of Bros4Hillary, has constructed bulletin board worthy of Carrie Mathison from a series of interlocking documents. It is not complete, but is the best job of connecting the dots so far.

THE ROSNEFT RECEIPTS

Alex Mohajer @alexmohajer This morning

In light of Wash Post’s explosive article revealing Trump’s NSA Flynn contacted Russian officials BEFORE inauguration to discuss lifting sanctions, it’s getting harder to ignore growing evidence that Trump was involved with Russian oil deal.

See the documents >>>>

From this, we can see what entities acquired those mysterious Rosneft shares even if principals behind it remain shrouded.  it’s great detective work!  We can be relatively sure Alex will not let this opus rest here, so we can be reasonably sure that he will elaborate as he finds additional evidence. We look forward to that.

As for Hillary, she has steered clear of the Russian story which she tried to expose at the October 19 presidential debate. She did, however, register a reaction to the court decision on Thursday. Touted as ultimate shade, her tweet was concise.

Feb 9

 3-0

Ha!

09-26-16-z-24

The thing never to ignore is that Trump and the Republicans are working as a team. Wherever the fireworks go off, look elsewhere.  And watch this space.

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We are bloody but unbowed. Yesterday, after massive efforts of letter writing, phone calling, emailing, and petition signing, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education by an historic tie-breaking vote by VP and Senate President Mike Pence.

Not long afterward, the effort to confirm Jeff Sessions, noted bigot, as Attorney General ran into an effort by Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to read a letter penned in 1986 by Coretta Scott King in opposition to Sessions being appointed a federal district judge in Alabama.

We see how this is going.

Here are the Twitter hashtags.

“Silencing Elizabeth Warren”

#LetLizSpeak

#ShePersists

#ShePersisted

Here is the exchange on the Senate floor.

The swamp gases in DC are toxic.

Stay battle-ready. This is just the beginning.

Thank you, Liz!

Here is the letter.

My Senator, Cory Booker.

From Hillary Clinton:

Happy Black History Month!

Cross-posted at The Department of Homegirl Security.

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We should know by now, two weeks in, what the new administration’s tactic is. Like a shell game con artist, they employ a certain sleight of hand. They throw a fireball out that dazzles, enrages, and engages attention. While we are attending to this distraction, even more serious shady doings are going on somewhere else that we somehow miss. An example.

Yesterday, Trump’s meandering, inept introduction of Black History Month so astonished (and, frankly, amused to the point of Twitter parodies) that while we were all attending to 199-year-0ld Frederick Douglass “who has done a terrific job that is being recognized by more and more people,” the Senate confirmed Rex Tillerson for secretary of state while Congress removed an anti-graft section of Dodd-Frank that will permit petroleum companies (among others) to conceal payments to foreign governments.  Actually, according to one source, all of these things happened.

Today, at the National Prayer Breakfast, there was this:

“And I want to just pray for Arnold if we can, for those ratings” Trump says after boasting Apprentice “went down the tubes” once he left”

The media and the social nets went nuts!  Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

The US Treasury just amended Obama’s sanctions order to ‘authorize certain transactions’ with Russia’s FSB

Who’s going to notice this after Trump prayed for Arnold’s pitiful ratings?

Of course back on September 24, Hillary Clinton’s campaign issued this statement.

Hillary for America Statement on Bombshell Report About Trump Aide’s Chilling Ties To Kremlin

Friday, HFA senior national spokesperson Glen Caplin released the following statement in response to the new bombshell report that Trump’s foreign policy adviser is being probed for suspected meetings with senior Russian officials:

“It’s chilling to learn that U.S. intelligence officials are conducting a probe into suspected meetings between Trump’s foreign policy adviser Carter Page and members of Putin’s inner circle while in Moscow. You have to ask why he would meet with Igor Diveykin, who is believed by U.S. officials ‘to have responsibility for intelligence collected by Russian agencies about the U.S. election.’ This comes as Russian hackers continue their attempts to influence the outcome of our elections, something Trump openly invited. This is serious business and voters deserve the facts before election day.

Read more >>>>

During the October 19 presidential debate, this.

WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, I want to clear up your position on this issue, because in a speech you gave to a Brazilian bank, for which you were paid $225,000, we’ve learned from the WikiLeaks, that you said this, and I want to quote. “My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.” So that’s the question…

TRUMP: Thank you.

WALLACE: That’s the question. Please quiet, everybody. Is that your dream, open borders? CLINTON: Well, if you went on to read the rest of the sentence, I was talking about energy. You know, we trade more energy with our neighbors than we trade with the rest of the world combined. And I do want us to have an electric grid, an energy system that crosses borders. I think that would be a great benefit to us.

But you are very clearly quoting from WikiLeaks. And what’s really important about WikiLeaks is that the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans. They have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions. Then they have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the Internet.

This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly, from Putin himself, in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.

So I actually think the most important question of this evening, Chris, is, finally, will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this and make it clear that he will not have the help of Putin in in this election, that he rejects Russian espionage against Americans, which he actually encouraged in the past? Those are the questions we need answered. We’ve never had anything like this happen in any of our elections before.

WALLACE: Well?

TRUMP: That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders, OK? How did we get on to Putin?

WALLACE: Hold on — hold on, wait. Hold on, folks. Because we — this is going to end up getting out of control. Let’s try to keep it quiet so — for the candidates and for the American people.

TRUMP: So just to finish on the borders…

WALLACE: Yes?

TRUMP: She wants open borders. People are going to pour into our country. People are going to come in from Syria. She wants 550 percent more people than Barack Obama, and he has thousands and thousands of people. They have no idea where they come from.

And you see, we are going to stop radical Islamic terrorism in this country. She won’t even mention the words, and neither will President Obama. So I just want to tell you, she wants open borders.

Now we can talk about Putin. I don’t know Putin. He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good. If Russia and the United States got along well and went after ISIS, that would be good.

He has no respect for her. He has no respect for our president. And I’ll tell you what: We’re in very serious trouble, because we have a country with tremendous numbers of nuclear warheads — 1,800, by the way — where they expanded and we didn’t, 1,800 nuclear warheads. And she’s playing chicken. Look, Putin…

WALLACE: Wait, but…

TRUMP: … from everything I see, has no respect for this person.

CLINTON: Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.

TRUMP: No puppet. No puppet.

CLINTON: And it’s pretty clear…

TRUMP: You’re the puppet!

CLINTON: It’s pretty clear you won’t admit…

TRUMP: No, you’re the puppet.

CLINTON: … that the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do, and that you continue to get help from him, because he has a very clear favorite in this race.

So I think that this is such an unprecedented situation. We’ve never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17 — 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.

WALLACE: Secretary Clinton…

CLINTON: And I think it’s time you take a stand…

TRUMP: She has no idea whether it’s Russia, China, or anybody else.

CLINTON: I am not quoting myself.

TRUMP: She has no idea.

CLINTON: I am quoting 17…

TRUMP: Hillary, you have no idea.

CLINTON: … 17 intelligence — do you doubt 17 military and civilian…

TRUMP: And our country has no idea.

CLINTON: … agencies.

TRUMP: Yeah, I doubt it. I doubt it.

CLINTON: Well, he’d rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us. I find that just absolutely…

We were warned by Hillary even though no government agency stepped up to clarify the situation.  Some of what we heard back then appears, more specifically, in what have come to be known as the Christopher Steele Memos.

There we learned, not only of Kremlin quid pro quos for the lifting of sanctions, as cited below, but also of potential ‘kompromat’ on Trump. (see p.9) Unfortunately, the media focused heavily on the ‘kompromat’ which involved some hanky-panky with prostitutes rather than on the bigger picture which included influencing U.S. voting blocs in order to get Trump elected so that sanctions could be lifted. The implication of that ‘kompromat’ is, of course, that Trump can be blackmailed to do anything the Kremlin wants.

Memos: CEO of Russia’s state oil company offered Trump associate, allies a stake if sanctions were lifted

While it remains true that these memos have not been verified, it is awfully spooky that these sanctions are being lifted.  Can we expect the Ukraine sanctions to fall next?

Oh, and by the way, subsequent to all of that there was this in October! No one knows who bought those shares.

The deal on the sale of a 19.5 percent stake in Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft will bring Moscow some $11.1 billion in revenues, the company announced Saturday.

Hillary Clinton and her team tried to warn us. But, you know, emails, wikileaks, ‘flawed,’ ‘ill,’ and ‘shrill.’ Not the perfect (female) candidate – which is the enemy of not just the good, but of the best yet.

10-19-16-z-15

The next time the ‘central committee’ sends up a flare, look in the other direction. That is where the damage will be occurring – in the shadows.  Watch this space!

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Monday I posted this: #WatchThis Space: Arctic Activity.  Well you really have to watch! Things are moving fast, and there are a lot of moving parts. This, from Michael Grunwald in Politico.

Rex Tillerson Tried to Get This Rule Killed. Now Congress Is About To Do It For Him

Should oil companies disclose payments to foreign governments? The GOP, and former Exxon CEO, think not.

February 01, 2017

… back in 2010, ExxonMobil’s then-CEO, Rex Tillerson, was deeply worried about Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms, a bipartisan amendment that required drilling and mining companies to disclose any payments they make to foreign governments. So Tillerson and one of his lobbyists paid a half-hour visit to the amendment’s Republican co-author, then-Senator Richard Lugar, to try to get it killed.

Tillerson argued that forcing U.S. oil firms to reveal corporate secrets—such as paying foreign governments—would put them at a competitive disadvantage. He also explained that the provision would make it especially difficult for Exxon to do business in Russia, where, as he did not need to explain, the government takes a rather active interest in the oil industry.

SNIP

Today, seven years later, Republicans confirmed Tillerson as President Trump’s Secretary of State, despite allegations that he’s too cozy with Russia. At the same time, the GOP is preparing to try to kill the disclosure rule created under Section 1504, despite warnings from international aid groups that the move would provide a wink-and-nod blessing to hidden corporate payments to petro-thugs. The House is expected to act this afternoon, and since the move relies on a special mechanism for reversing rules enacted late in a presidential term, Senate Republicans will need a mere majority rather than a filibuster-proof 60 votes to follow suit.

Read more >>>>

As you probably could have guessed …

U.S. House Passes Resolution to Kill Extractive Anti-Graft Rule

Four years to the day since Hillary Clinton exited the State Department, Tillerson will occupy Foggy Bottom, and Congressional Republicans have blown smoke and fog over corporate payments to foreign governments. This in conjunction with the Arctic activity slips past much of the MSM while they occupy themselves with Trump thinking Frederick Douglass is still alive.

Just a reminder: The Benghazi-cum-server-cum emails Oversight Committee railed and wailed a lot in the course of their hearings about Hillary’s State Department initiatives promoting American businesses overseas.  That is part of the Secretary of State’s job, and all of those initiatives were transparent.

John Kerry’s successor enters with a cloak of invisibility ready made.

02-01-13-Z-08

Keep watching this space!  The war in Urkraine is escalating.  Remember that plank in the Republican platform that Trump had removed?

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For many years, George Lakoff has been asking the Democrats to beat the GOP at the “frame game.”  Here he provides not only the frame but also the rationale for it. It is a long read, but well worth the time because it’s all about the frame!

A Minority President: Why the Polls Failed, And What the Majority Can Do

in Political

  1. The American Majority

Hillary Clinton won the majority of votes in this year’s presidential election.

The loser, for the majority of voters, will now be a minority president-elect. Don’t let anyone forget it. Keep referring to Trump as the minority president, Mr. Minority and the overall Loser. Constant repetition, with discussion in the media and over social media, questions the legitimacy of the minority president to ignore the values of the majority. The majority, at the very least, needs to keep its values in the public eye and view the minority president’s action through majority American values.

The polls failed and the nation needs to know why. The pollsters and pundits have not given a satisfactory answer.

I will argue that the nature of mind is not a mere technical issue for the cognitive and brain sciences, but that it had everything to do with the outcome of the 2016 election — and the failure of the pollsters, the media, and Democrats to predict it. They were not alone. The public needs to understand better how the human mind works in general — but especially in politics. There is a lot to know. Let us go step by step.

Keep reading! >>>>

Reblogged from The Department of Homegirl Security

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So it turns out that Trump has a secret server.  The FBI probably knows this, but Director Comey resists releasing any information about the Trump-Russia investigation while being all to willing to make statements and write letters to GOP committee chairs about the FBI investigation of Hillary’s emails and server.

Comey is the subject of a Hatch Act violation complaint submitted by Richard Painter, George W, Bush’s ethics counsel.  See the bottom of this page.

Statement from Jake Sullivan on New Report Exposing Trump’s Secret Line of Communication to Russia

In response to a new report from Slate showing that the Trump Organization has a secret server registered to Trump Tower that has been covertly communicating with Russia, Hillary for America Senior Policy Adviser Jake Sullivan released the following statement Monday:

“This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow. Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.

“This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia. It certainly seems the Trump Organization felt it had something to hide, given that it apparently took steps to conceal the link when it was discovered by journalists.

“This line of communication may help explain Trump’s bizarre adoration of Vladimir Putin and endorsement of so many pro-Kremlin positions throughout this campaign. It raises even more troubling questions in light of Russia’s masterminding of hacking efforts that are clearly intended to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign. We can only assume that federal authorities will now explore this direct connection between Trump and Russia as part of their existing probe into Russia’s meddling in our elections.”

Statements-Fact-sheets

Now more than ever, Hillary and Democrats need your support.  Please donate before the FEC deadline at midnight.

stand4

KODAK Digital Still Camera

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