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It has been quite a poignant scene as three members of Congress resigned in the aftermath of revelations of misconduct.   Ted Franks, the Congressman from Arizona, offered $ 5 Million to someone to carry his child–and this from a guy who was an ardent conservative.

What Corey Robin noted in his latest blog post was poignant enough for me to choose to feature this here in my “WordPress Corner” because it is just absolutely abhorrent.    This is also as former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. was fired from Morgan Stanley after a complaint from a Journalist that he denied–We will emerge stronger ever more because of this…..

Prominent libertarian jurist Alex Kozinski has been accused of sexual harassment by six women, all of them former clerks or employees. One of the women is Heidi Bond. In a statement, Bond gives a fuller description of Judge Kozinski’s rule, sexual and non-sexual, in the workplace. One day, my judge found out I had been…

via When Libertarian Judges Rule — Corey Robin

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The team at The Daily Outsider has been busy as it has been working away .  I just got to know this organization that represents 2,000 Rabbis in the US and Canada that supports the two State Solution and came out in opposition to the decision by President Trump when he spoke yesterday.

Here is a “Snapshot” as I also saw that Vladimir Putin will run again for the Russian Presidency….

Interesting times….

the T’ruah is an organization of rabbis from all streams of Judaism that acts on the Jewish imperative to respect and protect the human rights of all people. Grounded in Torah and our Jewish historical experience and guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we advocate for human rights in Israel and North America.

Source: T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Captain Charles A. May’s squadron of the 2nd Dragoons slashes through the Mexican Army lines. Resaca de la Palma, Texas, May 9, 1846

While “on the prowl” working away w/commitments to the Daily Outsider & Other Projects, I decided to “digress a bit” to take a more historical focus thanks to the team at DelanceyPlace w/this from President Grant.   This is kind of timely especially as the new Grant Biography has come out which I have it on my Reading List for Q1 2018.

Happy Holidays…enjoy!!

Today’s selection — from the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. In 1845, the U.S. annexed the Republic of Texas. Mexico considered the land at the southern edge of Texas, the land between the Rio Grande River and the…

Source: how to start a war — 12/05/17

A new week and a new month has begun.     As the implications of the Flynn plea continues to work its’ way through (and the Daily Outsider team worked on a Notation Column that would be available), I picked this up that underscores some of the profound challenges by the Reality TV Show that is the Trump Administration.

It will be certainly be challenging as I note this……

Below is my column on the Flynn plea agreement and its potential significance to the Russian investigation. One development is that President Donald Trump is now denying that he ever told Director James Comey to let Flynn go. This follows a highly damaging tweet that a Trump lawyer now says was his sloppy mistake. It […]

via The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Of The Flynn Plea — JONATHAN TURLEY

On the Prowl…..

 

I just picked this up on General Flynn.   As I read this, I ran across this from Keith Olbermann (as he foresaw some of the very things we are faced with now especially with the Tax Cuts ) as he finished his final piece for GQ over Twitter–scary times:

 

 

 

Since the appointment of the Special Counsel in the Russian investigation, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has been the most obvious target for not simply a criminal charge but a possible prosecutorial deal. The news that Flynn is no longer sharing information under the prior joint defense agreement with Trump figures could prove significant […]

via Flipping Flynn: The Real and Imagined Damage For A Mueller Deal — JONATHAN TURLEY

I have been spending some “think hour” assessing how things have been throughout November–as I also have been working away tending to commitments at The Daily Outsider.   

The President went after CNN yet again–which was extremely worrisome.  What I saw courtesy of David Jolly, the former Congressman from Florida, was quite a read:

Corey Robin’s reflections on his Princeton Classmate is interesting to give some “sense” of what is happening as we await the “other shoe” to drop….

Onward to December as I hope all enjoy:
I wrote Robert Kelner, the attorney for Former-National-Security-Advisor-For-A-Day Michael Flynn, just notified Trump’s people that Flynn will no longer be discussing Mueller’s investigation with them. People are taking this as a sign that Flynn is ready to cooperate with Mueller and tell all. I hadn’t heard or thought of the name Robert Kelner in over 25 years.…

via Trump and the Princeton Tory — Corey Robin

 

It has been quite a week already as we’re in this thanksgiving week here in the United States.    I picked up this from Professor Turley that truly captures the essence of our times especially in light of what happened with Charlie Rose (fired by CBS & PBS) & Congressman John Conyers, the Dean of the House.

President Trump, after two weeks, came down in support of Roy Moore just because they want the votes for an agenda that is essentially stalled.     I have repeatedly called Roy Moore, America’s Ayatollah, and his self-professed claims of morality and Christianity especially after the allegations is simply hypocritical.    It will be interesting to see how the people of Alabama react.

Happy Thanksgiving to all….onward to December with all its’ possibilities…

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the ever-increasing list of politicians and celebrities accused of sexual assault or harassment. The latest news cycle has brought more instances of strategic belief or non-belief. President Donald Trump indicated that it was better to elect Roy Moore over a liberal to guarantee a majority in […]

via THE POLITICS OF BELIEVING: IN WASHINGTON AND HOLLYWOOD ETHICS IS STRICTLY A MATTER OF TIMING — JONATHAN TURLEY


Elie Faras, once again, said it like it is and I salute him–the words speak for themselves:

It’s the epitome of irony when the country that gave the world the masterminds and executioners of 9/11, whose soil gave birth to Bin Laden and other infamous terrorists that have killed innocents the world over, whose money has funded terrorism in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Europe and America, whose entire existence is about destabilizing as […]

via Cancer Of Arabism, Breeder of Terrorism, And Radical Islam Harborer Saudi Arabia Is Walking All Over Lebanon’s Reputation & Sovereignty Because We Allow It — A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

On the Prowl…

It has been quite a week.     It began with the Paradise Papers–here is quite a snapshot of it courtesy of the team at Transparency International:

 

This week, the Paradise Papers released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and its partners, showed us how the rich and powerful are able to hide and hoard their wealth through complex and opaque financial structures.

The sheer volume of the Paradise Papers documents (13.4million in all) hints at a vast, secret parallel financial universe where the reporting requirements that the rest of us are subject to do not apply.

Public figures, such as the Queen and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, are shown to have hidden offshore investments, while companies involved include household names such as AppleNike and Uber.

You might think: “So what? This isn’t necessarily illegal.”

Well, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned.

The documents show that even the compliance manager at offshore law firm Appleby found plenty to worry about, like large amounts of money that were “definitely tainted”, and proceeds of alleged corruption infiltrating the business.

They reveal activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo by mining giant Glencore, which appears to have secured under-valued extraction licenses with the help of a powerful lobbyist that it loaned $45million to.  

The documents also reveal how the company that manages Angola’s sovereign wealth fund used this money to finance its other projects. And how Kazakhstan’s former oil minister built up a vast personal fortune obscured behind a labyrinthine network of companies held by a corporation called Meridian.

“This was possible, in part, thanks to Kazakhstan’s notorious corruption and weak rule of law,” write the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. “But it was the Meridian founders’ exploitation of the international financial system that enabled them to hide their riches from the eyes of their own people.”

That’s the problem here, and that’s why we’re calling for tougher controls on the offshore financial markets.

Secrecy can lead to corruption, and the kinds of structures exposed in the Paradise Papers are the tools of the trade that the corrupt use to launder their ill-gotten gains.

    News from Transparency International banner2  

#Paradisepapers: Time to clean up the offshore financial havens 

‘Paradise Papers’ show how the rich and powerful around the world are able to avoid paying tax and keep their business dealings secret. The mechanisms they use can also benefit the corrupt, and must be made more transparent.

     Transparency International warns climate summit to demand accountability to prevent corruption

In our latest report we analyse progress made by four key multilateral climate funds: Although progress has been made to increase transparency, accountability and integrity policies, there is still more to be done.

         Corruption in the news this week Latest Stories European Union : MEPs probing ‘private’ expenses oppose transparency 
EUobserver ( 11 November, TI mention)

MEPs leading a probe into how members of the parliament spend millions of euros of taxpayers’ money opposed transparency moves to make the same funds public and accountable.

      Saudi Arabia : How the Saudi Arabia corruption crackdown will play out 
The Guardian (10 November)

On the face of it, nothing much in Saudi Arabia has changed as a result of the sweeping crackdown last weekend. But scratch the surface, and it soon becomes apparent that everything has changed for the kingdom’s business and economic elite, some of whom opposed the reform plans.

      Global : Ex-SBM executives plead guilty in U.S. to Petrobras bribe charges 
Reuters (9 November)

Two former executives at Dutch oil services company SBM Offshore NV have pleaded guilty to U.S. charges that they participated in a scheme to bribe officials at three foreign state-run oil companies, including Brazil’s Petrobras.

      Israel : Police complete fifth questioning of PM Netanyahu in corruption probes 
The Jerusalem Post (9 November)

Police questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the fifth time  on Thursdayover his involvement in corruption cases 1000 and 2000. In Case 1000, the “gifts affair,” it is suspected that Netanyahu accepted expensive gifts from different businessmen.

    Focus on: Paradise Papers Global : What to know about the ‘Paradise Papers’ leak 
TIME (6 November)       Global : Paradise Papers: Apple shifted billions offshore to avoid tax 
DW (7 November, TI mention)     Blog/Opinion Global : Why aren’t the streets full of protest about the Paradise Papers? 
The Guardian (10 November)       USA : Commerce Secretary offshores his ethics 
Bloomberg (6 November)

As the World was dealing with this, then there is the case of Roy Moore–a symbol of the profound challenges we have in our World as so eloquently laid out by Professor Turley:

Alabama Auditor Defends Roy Moore: “Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”

by jonathanturley

Murillo_immaculate_conceptionAlabama Senate candidate Roy Moore has long been controversial and I will readily admit to being one of his most vocal critics over his defiance of legal authority and extremist views.  However, he is now perfectly radioactive after allegations that he initiated sexual contact with a 14-year-old when he was in his 30s.  Perhaps the strangest defense came from Alabama state auditor Jim Ziegler (right) told the Washington Examiner that, if Moore did engage in pedophilia, it was “much ado about nothing.”: “Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.” In the meantime, Moore has called his multiple accusers as people engaging in “intentional defamation.”  What is clear is someone is lying.  If Moore is telling the truth, the next step would presumably be a defamation lawsuit.  The same can be said for these four women who have now been called liars.  This is a time when a little litigation would go a long way.

Re

It has been quite a 24 hours as the Democrats have pulled out some major wins in this off-year election which is bad news for the President as he is traveling in Asia.  What caught my eye was Rick Perry’s nonsense that was featured by Professor Turley that is telling–this is not as bad as one of the other characters, Wilbur Ross, that the New York Times noted in its’ DealBook this morning–this is as the so-called Tax Reform Bill that the Speaker and others have been pushing will add 1.7 Billion Dollars to the deficit…

Here is the “snapshot” that blew me away on Wilbur Ross:

The Forbes article accusing the commerce secretary of inflating his net worth has been the talk of Wall Street and Washington. Here’s how declarations of Mr. Ross’s net worth have evolved over the past two years:
• $2.9 billion, according to a Forbes estimate in 2016
• Less than $700 million, according to Mr. Ross’s financial disclosure forms after his nomination to lead the Commerce Department
• $3.7 billion, Mr. Ross told Forbes last month, arguing that the bulk of his assets were in a trust
Dan Alexander of Forbes pulls no punches in asserting that the financier has been dishonest about his assets, and the magazine has pulled Mr. Ross from its list of the richest people in America. From the article:
It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004. In addition to just padding his ego, Ross’ machinations helped bolster his standing in a way that translated into business opportunities.
A former Ross colleague told Forbes, “Wilbur doesn’t have an issue with bending the truth.” A spokesman for the Commerce Department, responding to the FT, pointed to the Forbes article’s use of several anonymous sources.
In related news: A Trump administration official says that Mr. Ross will sell all of his holdings in shipping companies tied to associates of Vladimir Putin, which were disclosed in the so-called Paradise Papers. (CNBC)

..and so Rick Perry, here it is–this is as China is moving on to Green Energy and the World is evolving big time–as the President himself likes to say..sad!!!!!

With the expanding allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein and others, Energy Secretary Rick Perry appears to have the answer: fossil fuels. That’s right, more fossil fuel less sexual assault.

via Rick Perry: More Fossils Fuels Means Fewer Rapes — JONATHAN TURLEY