Tuesday, September 25, 2018



They’re All In It Together – Weinstein Paid for Bill Clinton’s Legal Fees During His Sex Abuse Scandal


by Rachel Blevins, The Free Thought Project:

When Bill Clinton was facing his most public sex scandal, Harvey Weinstein came to his aid with donations to Clinton’s legal fund.

When Bill Clinton was at the height of the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, Hollywood was by his side, offering donations for his legal fees, and one significant donor was a man who is now going through his own sex scandal—Harvey Weinstein.

More than 20 women have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, sexual assault or rape. After the New York Times and the New Yorker published in-depth stories detailing the testimonies of women who have been abused by Weinstein—and in many cases, paid off with airtight non-disclosure agreements—the stories have continued to come to light.

Former President Bill Clinton is no stranger to sex scandals. The scandal that received the most media attention came about in the late 1990s after former Arkansas state employee Paul Jones filed a civil lawsuit against him for sexual harassment when he was the state’s governor. During the discovery phase of the case, in which Jones’ legal team was searching for Clinton’s inappropriate relationships, the name of a White House intern surfaced: Monica Lewinsky.

In August 1998, a report from the Washington Post noted that Clinton was being accused of perjury and obstruction of justice regarding his testimony about his conduct with Lewinsky. At the same time, influential members of Hollywood were coming to Clinton’s defense.

The report noted that according to Clinton’s legal defense fund, a total of more than $2.2 million was raised in six months, which was notably more than was collected in funding during the previous four years of his presidency—combined.

Hollywood was quick to come to the president’s aid. Among the 62 donors giving the maximum $10,000 were performers and directors such as Tom Hanks, Barbra Streisand, Michael Douglas, Ron Howard, Norman Lear, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw-Spielberg as well as studio executives Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen,Harvey Weinstein and Bud Yorkin.”

The fact that more than 60 members of the Hollywood elite were willing to donate both thousands of dollars and their public support to Bill Clinton is notable because the stories of Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky were not his only accusations of rape, sexual harassment or inappropriate relationships with his employees.

Jones returned to the spotlight in October 2016, when she arrived at a press conference with then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, and along with two other women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault.

Clinton’s name was also linked to sexual predator and wealthy Wall Street hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein spent just 13 months in prison and home detention for conviction of solicitation and procurement of minors for prostitution. That sentence is absolutely ludicrous, considering the fact that he was found sex-trafficking girls as young as 12 years old to facilitate rape parties with his wealthy friends on a private island.

Epstein’s private jet, which transported his friends to Little St. James Island, was nicknamed “Lolita Express.” Initial records claimed that Bill Clinton was listed as a passenger on the jet at least 11 times between 2001 and 2003. That number was then changed to more than double with 26 trips, showing that Clinton flew on the plane at least once a month during the two-year period.

Harvey Weinstein was a big-time Hollywood producer, a major Democratic donor and a notable close friend of the Clintons. While it is not clearly whether Weinstein was one of the wealthy men who also was connected to Epstein and used his access to rape underage girls, it is clear that there seems to be a trend among ultra-wealthy sexual predators where they lend money to one another when they are caught.

Hillary Clinton waited nearly a week to release a statement on the scandal, and when she did, she focused more on standing up for the victims than on condemning the criminal actions of her close friend. Bill Clinton has yet to make a statement, which raises questions about whether he is concerned that an investigation into Weinstein’s past could bring even more of the Clintons’ dirty laundry to light.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

Majority Of Republicans Support Preemptive Strike On North Korea, Déjà Vu Edition


by Eric Blair, Activist Post:

After just a few short months of being propagandized, a recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University revealed that a majority of Republicans (46{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 41{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}) now support a preemptive strike on North Korea.

Newsweek reports:

An increasingly hostile relationship between the U.S. and North Korea has Americans considering a preemptive strike on the country—and many Republicans are all for it. About 46 percent of Republicans support a preemptive strike on North Korea today—compare that with just 42 percent of Republicans who say they don’t support it, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

The poll also showed a large majority of Republicans (63{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 29{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}) believe that it’s more important to “take away North Korea’s nuclear weapons” than to “avoid war.”  Nearly opposite views are held by people identifying as Democrats (24{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 69{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}).

Previously viewed as aggressive invasion, the United States has normalized preemptive war.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney argued that Iraq was such a threat that they must be bombed and invaded to prevent a very unlikely attack “at home.”  A majority fell for it.

Remember “45 minutes to a mushroom cloud?” Remember Secretary Powell disgracing himself at the UN with vials of anthrax and diagrams of “mobile chemical weapons labs?”

It’s important to remember the lies that promoted preemptive wars as they’re being rolled out once again.

The change in public policy from a supposed defensive nation to an aggressive war machine was called the “Bush Doctrine.”  Obama continued the policy as if it was standard operating procedure.

When the Obama Administration argued that the US must preemptively strike Libya’s ruler Gaddafi in support of a “rebel” uprising, the majority fell for it. They told us it was a preemptive “humanitarian war.”  They said the operation would only take days. And of course Republicans went along with it because the war machine pays their bills.

Obama, who came into office and received a Nobel Peace Prize after just 8 months, became the first president to spend every day at war. Obama also exported twice as many weapons as the Bush Administration. In his final year as president, the US dropped 26,171 bombs around the world. Some could argue he was the most warlike president ever.

Anti-war activists finally stood up to this preemptive war agenda when Obama wanted to launch yet another in Syria. Using the same script Obama cited “humanitarian reasons,” aka Assad was killing his own people. As it turned out, Assad was fighting Western-backed terrorist militias just as Gaddafi was in Libya. Americans had enough. They called Congress in record numbers to oppose the aggression.

Both Iraq and Libya wars have been absolute disasters. No honest person can claim the people of those nations are better off after the US-backed mass murder and destruction. But if the goal was to weaken stable nations to strengthen certain neighboring opponents, then it may be mission accomplished.

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

Blacklist, Monsters Among US


by Gordon Duff, New Eastern Outlook:

Hundreds of thousands travel freely among us, some even live as our neighbors, teach in our schools, borrow from our banks. They are war criminals, they have murdered, raped, run narcotics, been involved in arms and sex trafficking and are, in some cases, honored as heroes.

Who are these individuals, those brutalized by war, those who murder children, who wipe out villages, who arm and aid ISIS or run heroin out of Afghanistan? Who are those who have strafed the beaches of Gaza, gunning down running children or driven bulldozers over huddling families? Let us take a quick look.

Today the US is considering blacklisting the Iranian Republican Guards who have been fighting ISIS for years. This is Trump of course, infamous fraudster whose endless coffers have silenced dozens, even hundreds of sex assault victims. He is the “decider.”

When I served in Vietnam as a Marine, I expected to be blacklisted from travel after returning. Units I served with were accused of murdering civilians and some of those I served with abused civilians though when I was present, I physically intervened on more than one occasion. As a low ranking non-commissioned officer, I couldn’t be everywhere and the orders to kill civilians came from the top, from Annapolis grads who stressed body counts and not asking embarrassing questions. Thus, I was surprised when I was never questioned, never put under prohibition, never asked to account for my actions where millions of innocents had been slaughtered.

I see not just the same thing today, I see so much worse. There is no question that the US is involved in, as with Vietnam, pushing brutal dictatorships on freedom loving people around the world. We did it in Afghanistan, we did it in Iraq, we tried it in Syria and by my own accounts we are still aiding ISIS, still trying to subject millions to brutal slavery.

We are doing it in nation after nation, perhaps in every nation.

How many Americans are involved? It used to be only military. Now contractors are involved, tens of thousands, up to 400,000, some American paid, some paid by Saudis or big corporations. They operate everywhere, stealing oil and minerals, running human slaves, overseeing the world’s drug trafficking, all fully partnered with governments, able to move at will across any border, running private airlines, running torture prisons, concentrations camps, leaving behind endless mass graves of their victims and no questions asked.

Then there are the insidious tech companies, something we will get into later, who set a new standard of evil.

Long ago, America turned a blind eye to those who choose to fight for Israel. The big lie, that Israel had been attack by Arabs in 1967, sent so many to train and fight, not knowing the whole thing a farce, fiction and propaganda.

Decades later, Americans train in Israel, they come back like Jonathan Pollard, one of thousands, to spy on America, to continue to serve their “foreign princes,” as long prohibited by the constitution. While in Israel, they ethnically cleanse, they man sniper towers, they bulldoze homes or, less well known, they train ISIS, supply them with intelligence and even command their units in the field.

When they return to the US, their crimes are honored, never punished and their clear violation of US law forgiven, never questioned even if, as is suspected to be the case, they continue to serve a foreign master while enjoying American citizenship.

For others, the “contractors,” American trained military serve around the world for a series of criminals and despots, engaged in unspeakable brutality for fat paychecks. Worst of all is Erik Prinz, now candidate for US Senate in Wyoming, whose Blackwater Group in its various guises has been the worse of the worst.

Each nation has their mercenaries, their war criminals, those who recruited ISIS fighters from 80 nations, who gave them travel papers, who supplied their modern American weapons, who protected them and their businesses.

ISIS partnered with a dozen governments, Turkey, Jordan, Ukraine, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Romania, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan Georgia, India, Britain, Germany, Poland and others.

The American planes that supplied air cover for ISIS, where are those pilots? The Israeli and Turkish pilots as well? Who flew the helicopters that moved ISIS from place to place? Who sold them the Raytheon missiles? How were they delivered?

When ISIS stole entire factories and billion in antiquities, who marketed it all, who profited, who ran the London auction houses?

Who sent 12,000 oil trucks, more than half formerly licenses for American roads, to Iraq and Syria to move oil for ISIS? Did anyone ever suspect that ISIS was also Exxon, BP, Haliburton or Bechtel? We did.

Let’s talk about the Kurds who guarded the ISIS oil trucks as they loaded and drove through the capitol of Erbil and through Kurdish held Duhoc right into Turkey? Everyone involved is a terrorist, why are none of them blacklisted?

Americans who served in Afghanistan all saw the drug traffic there, watched the poppy fields planted, the fertilizer and irrigation projects by USAID that addicted and killed millions around the world. Where did the money go?

When the Panama Papers was published, why were records of the drug money included, money that included dozens of top US officials along with the few listed in Pakistan?

Read More @: Journal-NEO.org

Wikileaks Mocking US Government Over Bitcoin Shows Why There Is No Stopping Bitcoin


by Jeff Berwick, The Dollar Vigilante:

As I write, bitcoin is currently yet again at an all-time high, now over $5,800 with a $97 billion market cap.

And the cryptocurrency space as a sector is on the cusp of an all-time high as well, sitting at $177 billion, just shy of the $178 billion high hit six weeks ago.

People who are against bitcoin – and why in the world would you be against a free market money unless you are an immoral statist or a paid government troll? – like to make themselves feel better about missing out on the biggest thing since the internet by saying, “The government will shut it down!”

First, if you really believe the government will do that AND you are not doing everything within your power to end government then you are a pathetic slave of epic proportions.

But, there really isn’t a lot, short of shutting down the power and/or internet, the government can do to stop bitcoin.

And, again, if you think the government will soon cut off the internet or power to try to keep people enslaved and you aren’t spending every waking minute trying to get rid of government… then, again, you are a pathetic slave who likely deserves all the oppression coming to you.

That said, aside from trying to bring the world back to the stone age the government and the central banks don’t have a lot they can do.

Look what happens when they try to get rid of Wikileaks, for example.

I am still not entirely sure what to make of Wikileaks, but agents of the state have tried everything they can to stop it… and what happened? They made Wikileaks exponentially wealthier in the process.

At the end of 2010, bitcoin was trading at less than $0.30. If Wikileaks even had $10,000 worth of bitcoin then and hadn’t sold it since they’d have $200 million in funds that cannot be stolen by the government.

Whoops, that really backfired on demented McCain.

Another whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has also been active on Twitter advocating for an even more private cryptocurrency, ZCash.

Considering how ostracized he has been by the US government it is not hard to imagine that he also moved all of his capital into bitcoin years ago as well.

If so, those are two attempts by the US government to stop the flow of real information that ended up massively enriching their targets.

While Jamie Demon may be trying to talk down bitcoin I know, personally, of numerous JPMorgan employees that have been heavily involved in cryptocurrencies who either have or will soon be quitting their jobs with JPMorgan.

Read More @ TheDollarVigilante.com



by Ryan Devereaux and Spencer Woodman, The Intercept:

AN INTERNAL HANDBOOK obtained by The Intercept provides a rare view into the extensive asset seizure operations of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, an office that trains its agents to meticulously appraise the value of property before taking it.

HSI’s 71-page “Asset Forfeiture Handbook,” dated June 30, 2010, underscores the role seizures play in “helping to fund future law enforcement actions” and covering costs “that HSI would otherwise be unable to fund.” It thus offers an unprecedented window into ICE’s wide-ranging asset forfeiture operations and the premium the agency places on seizing valuable property. Forfeiture proceeds can bolster ICE’s partnerships with local police departments, which are now the subject of heightened debate given the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration agenda.

ICE confirmed to The Intercept that the handbook reflects the agency’s most up-to-date guidance on asset forfeiture. Agents under its instruction are asked to weigh the competing priorities of law enforcement versus financial profit and to “not waste instigative time and resources” on assets it calls “liabilities” — which include properties that are not profitable enough for the federal government to justify seizing. “As a general rule, if total liabilities and costs incurred in seizing a real property or business exceed the value of the property, the property should not be seized,” the document states.

The handbook also instructs ICE agents on the various ways laws can be used to justify the seizure of a property, and devotes a significant portion of its pages to the seizure of real estate. The manual instructs agents seeking to seize a property to work with confidential informants, scour tax records, and even obtain an interception warrant to determine whether “a telephone located on the property was used to plan or discuss criminal activity” in order to justify seizing the property.

The handbook acknowledges that civil forfeiture can be used to take property from a person even when there’s not enough evidence for a criminal indictment. There “may be third party interest that would prevail in a criminal case, but would not survive in a civil proceeding, making the civil proceeding essential to forfeiture,” the handbook states, referencing a property owner not officially implicated in a crime. “Those situations generally occur when a property owner is not convicted of a crime but is also not an innocent owner. Under criminal forfeiture, that property owner would be entitled to the return of the property. Under civil forfeiture, however, the owner would lose his or her interest to the Government.”

Noting that ICE is not alone among federal agencies in relying on asset forfeiture, ICE spokesperson Danielle Bennett told The Intercept in a statement, “Asset forfeiture is an essential element of comprehensive and effective law enforcement as it deprives transnational criminal organizations of their illicitly obtained assets. The forfeiture of assets can be and is utilized as a sanction in criminal, civil, and administrative investigative activities.”

 ICE special agents search a vehicle heading into Mexico at the Hidalgo border crossing on May 28, 2010, in Hidalgo, Texas.
ICE special agents search a vehicle heading into Mexico at the Hidalgo border crossing on May 28, 2010, in Hidalgo, Texas.

THE DEPARTMENT OF Homeland Security has seized billions of dollars in assets over the last decade, with the bulk of the revenue coming from investigations overseen by ICE. While the agency is best known for its role in immigration enforcement — carried out chiefly by officers in its Enforcement and Removal Operations division — its lesser-known HSI component has a much broader mandate, enforcing more than 400 criminal statutes with a nexus between cross-border crime and transnational criminal organizations, including human trafficking and smuggling, child pornography, terrorism, counterfeit goods, and drug smuggling. With more than 6,000 agents working in 185 field offices across the country and 63 locations overseas, HSI has the second-largest number of federal agents on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces and has played a key role in numerous high-stakes investigations over the years. To fulfill its missions, which often involve undercover infiltrations, multi-year probes, and occasionally multimillion-dollar seizures, HSI agents have access to powerful intelligence and data systems that link federal law enforcement to the CIA and the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency.

Despite its size and the sweeping scope of its work, HSI has managed to maintain a low profile in comparison to some of its federal counterparts. With the Trump White House turning virtually every undocumented immigrant in the country into a target for deportation, ICE’s role in law enforcement has become a topic of intense public debate and increasingly pulled HSI out of the shadows. The handbook obtained by The Intercept now offers a unique window into a key component of the agency’s quiet investigations.

Read More @ TheIntercept.com

Russia and China Strengthen Their Alliance, Weakening the US Dollar in the Process – Nathan McDonald

by Nathan McDonald, Sprott Money:

Month after month, year after year, the mighty King Dollar is slowly being weakened, its monopolistic grip as the fiat reserve currency of the world steadily lessening. To many, this reality passes them by, as they are blissfully ignorant to the facts, living their lives without knowing the true ramifications that this will have on their lives.

People have simply taken for granted the reality that they live in and the power that comes along with having the unique status of “reserve currency of the world”. This has granted the United States the ability to expand its empire and military might, despite the fact that it is utterly bankrupt, with its debt levels just recently exceeding the stunning $20 trillion mark. This is a debt that will never be repaid.

Yet, it has not just been the United States that has benefited. Their closest allies have also experienced a trickling down effect and benefited from the close relationships they have formed with their ally and chief trading partner.

Indeed, it has been a good ride, but like all rides, eventually they must come to an end. This is exactly where we stand now. The ride is slowing down and not because the passengers want to get off, but because those waiting in line are demanding their turn.

China and Russia have been increasingly growing closer and closer as the years go on. They have been forced into this uncanny partnership due to the numerous economic sanctions placed on Russia and the ratcheting rhetoric used against China.

This partnership is not one that should be overlooked, as these two economic powers possess a stunning amount of not just military force, but also natural resources – the latter of which they continue to gobble up from lesser nations at a feverish pace.

Two resources that both countries desire, seemingly above all else, are oil and gold.

Russia, luckily, has a massive reserve of oil under the ground, being the world’s largest producer of oil in the world , and China needs it to keep its economic engine running. Both have large reserves of gold both in the ground and in stockpile.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise to anyone following this story to see that both countries are once again moving even closer together, supplanting the need to settle in USD, and establishing the first ever Yuan to Ruble payment system .

This has to have the United States government and the elites who control the fiat based system worried. The need to have US dollars, also known as the “Petro Dollar”, is what drives their might and power.

They cannot have countries simply abandoning this system haphazardly and setting up their own payment methods, and this is exactly what has led to so many countries in the middle east being ransacked for even thinking about doing so.

Read More @ SprottMoney.com

How Many Coincidences Does It Take to Make a Conspiracy?


by Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show:

According to CNN, FOX, CBS, PBS, ABC, NBC and MSNBC there is no such thing as a conspiracy theory. These people believe that two bad people would never get together and plan to do something wrong. The American media has the majority of the public so brainwashed against the possibility of any conspiracy theory being true, that they reject any conspiracy out of hand. And if two or more people ever get caught doing something wrong, it is just an accident, and any one who believes otherwise, should immediately don their tin-foil hat and seek immediate therapy! HOW DO I KNOW THIS? THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA TOLD ME SO!

This article is written for the dumbed-down sheep who I would label as the naive “Coincidence Theorists.” These people believe in the accidental theory of history. It is not likely that Coincidence Theorists will read the article by themselves, so you, the aware Conspiracy Theorists, may have to help them. Therefore, this article is also written for the awake among us so that you can use the following information to educate the naive that there are indeed conspiracy theories that are true and that many of these proven theories serve to threaten the well-being of every American. Simply have your asleep and unaware neighbors and/or family members click on each hypertext link and have them verify the “Conspiracy Theories” that are mentioned within this article.


When former President Obama, with his hand caught in the cookie jar, admitted that the NSA did, indeed, spy on regular citizens emails. However, as the President put it, it was just an accident.  One can tell that the President went to Harvard as this is a brilliant response. The unaware “Duck Dynasty” crowd is not even cognizant of the fact that the event took place. The Coincidence Theorists” now have plausible deniability and can continue to live their lives without a worry for their future or the future of their children. And of course, there are the rest of us who are watching as Obama shovels one more load of dirt over America’s grave.

OK Coincidence Theorists, school is in session. Is it just an accident that Obamacare gives CPS agents the right to come into your home and take your children without probable cause or even be in possession of a warrant under the new HHS manual? If you tell the Coincidence Theorists that if your child gets a bad grade in school that CPS can come for their kids under the “education neglect” category listed in the manual, they will laugh at you. The Coincidence Theorists” will never believe this, so click on the link and help the sheep discover all the wonderful things that Obamacare has in store for our children and their parents. Is it just an accident that Obamacare really does have death panels? And we still won’t repeal this travesty. 

Is it just an accident that Michael Hastings car blew up, or Andrew Breitbart died under very mysterious circumstances?  No elaboration is needed here. Simply click the link and let the pictures and the brief narrative do the talking. Understanding the Hastings issues is paramount to understanding that the establishment thinks nothing of murdering someone for getting to close to the truth. If your Coincidence Theorist friend has any degree of empathy, you may convince them by educating them on the Hastings’ case alone.

Was it just an accident when Ambassador Stevens was murdered despite having asked for more protection before he was killed by CIA al-Qaeda proxy troops? Was it just an accident when General Hamm and Admiral Gayoutte were arrested for attempting to disobey a direct order by launching a rescue mission in an attempt to save Ambassador Stevens?

Was it just an accident that Obama, the communist who is fulfilling his communist mission to destroy America, had been groomed for the task since he was nine years old which will culminate in him surpassing Benedict Arnold as the country’s biggest traitor?  After clicking on the link, please ask your Coincidence Theorist friend to articulate the purpose of groups like the American Communist Party, the Weathermen Underground, ACORN, etc. By this point, my Conspiracy Theorist friends, your Coincidence Theorist family member will be experiencing cognitive dissonance. They may get a headache and need a break. But whatever you do, find a way to induce them to read the following.

Is it just an accident that Obama permitted at least 150,000 Russians training on our soil training to occupy this country along with FEMA and DHS? At the same time, is it just an accident that Obama previously granted himself the right to seize, secretly incarcerate and even murder American citizens without a warrant under the NDAA?  Is it just an accident that Obama had granted himself the authority to take control over every resource and every person in America, with or without a declared emergency, in Executive Order 13603? Have them click on these three links and ask them if this tyrannical oppression directed at Americans by this establishment is just a coincidence or an accident? Ask your Coincidence Theorist friends to explain the meaning of the “the land of the free and the home of the brave” in a modern day context after reading this paragraph.

These are just the recent events, post-Obama inauguration. But what about now. Since Donald Trump has been elected, are there any active conspiracy theories that cannot be explained away by coincidence?







Read More @ TheCommonSenseShow.com

LVMPD and FBI in full damage control mode at latest press conference: Las Vegas shooting update


from Intellihub:

LVMPD and FBI show “hand-in-hand” solidarity in active shooter investigation, bar independent journalist from attending

(INTELLIHUB) — Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department appeared to be visibly shaken when told reporters Friday that he wasn’t attempting to be “subversive” in previous statements he made surrounding details of the October 1 massacre at the Route 91 Music Festival where 58 people lost their lives.

In the ‘no questions’ conference, which members of the independent media were not allowed to attend, the sheriff said that he’s “well aware” of the timeline dispute released by MGM Management on Thursday which claims that Stephen Paddock fired his weapon into the crowd just seconds after Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos was struck by a bullet in the 32nd-floor hallway outside the shooter’s end suite.

The sheriff stuck to his guns on Friday when he told reporters that he still ‘stands by’ his latest timeline which lists Campos’s encounter with Paddock at 9:59 p.m., 6 minutes prior Paddock’s first known volley of fully-automatic gunfire.

The visibly nervous sheriff also made clear that “there is no conspiracy between the FBI, LVMPD, or the MGM” and that “nobody is attempting to hide anything” in reference to the investigation and noted his solidarity with the FBI.

“We are standing hand-in-hand with the FBI in the continuance of this investigation,” the sheriff explained. “I feel confident that there are no other individuals that are intending to cause harm to our community associated with the 1 October event.”

Sheriff Lombardo also provided an explanation for changes he recently made to the publicly released timeline surrounding Paddock’s arrival to Vegas and his check-in date at the Mandalay Bay.

“We have come to learn that the suspect did occupy the room on the 25th and the situation on how the room was compensated or paid for had changed on the 28th to include Marilou Danley,” he explained.

Read More @ Intellihub.com

The Spanish Civil War, revisited


by Pepe Escobar, The Asia Times:

Puigdemont’s political twist could invoke a lethal response from Madrid: suspension of Catalonia’s government

Call it theatre of the absurd – with a lethal subtext. Under pressure from all corners – even Donald Tusk, president of the EU Council – in his fateful date with destiny Carles Puigdemont, President of Catalonia, came up with some last-minute judo dialectics. He issued a non-denial denial Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Spain. What was declared was immediately suspended; the Republic of Catalonia lasted for six seconds.

 Catalan President Carles Puigdemont signs a declaration of independence at the Catalan regional parliament in Barcelona, on October 10, 2017. Photo: Reuters/Albert Gea
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont signs a declaration of independence at the Catalan regional parliament in Barcelona, on October 10, 2017. Photo: Reuters/Albert Gea

The deft political gambit left Madrid predictably bewildered. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, a.k.a. nano-Franco, issued an ultimatum; you have five days to say if you declared independence or not.

Independent of the answer, Madrid’s nuclear option remains on the cards; infamous article 155 of the Constitution, which calls for the suspension of Catalonia’s government and parliament from six to 12 months.

Yet that may come with a twist; a 155 in slow motion, parallel to the hazy offer of starting a process, in six months maximum, leading to Spanish constitutional reform. Madrid needs Catalonia for this reform to succeed. So, essentially, Puigdemont just needs to say “no” for the train to start rolling.

It’s way more complex than it seems. The Catalan extreme left, up to the last minute, was trying to convince Puigdemont to proclaim unconditional independence. At the same time, those six seconds left Catalan unionists predictably furious. Moderates for their part prefer to see a faint light at the end of the tunnel.

The problem is that even with discreet back channels in place, Madrid’s strategy is to ultimately force a fissure in the independentist coalition; secession inside Catalonia to prevent secession from Spain. So far, the fissure has been prevented by some members of the Catalonian Parliament signing a declaration of support for the – still non-existent – republic.

Scrap that constitution

The President of the Cantabria region, Miguel Ángel Revilla, sums it all up: Rajoy is to blame. Revilla worries that “50{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of Catalans want to leave Spain. Four years ago, that was not the case.” He stresses how a “Catalan statute – approved by the Catalans and the Spanish Parliament – was impugned by the Constitutional court, so they had to be mad, right? It did not deal with independence, it was a pact, delineating a series of obligations.”

So the unwillingness of the Spanish government to talk, according to Revilla, is what led to the current impasse. No wonder; Rajoy is closely advised by former Prime Minister José María Aznar.

The extremely reactionary administration in place in Madrid could have defused the bomb even before the referendum, by mobilizing sectors of the working class in Catalonia whose first language is Spanish, not Catalan; many of these view the independence dossier as a “war of the elites”.

Madrid though opted for Franco-ist repression tactics. King Felipe VI had one chance to appeal for calm and reunite the nation; he chose to play Scaremonger-in-Chief. EU “leaders” stuck to platitudes, like Rothschild favorite Emmanuel Macron extolling his “profound” vision of an integrated Europe and Chancellor Angela Merkel abdicating from her role of Dispenser of Wisdom; after all, this is not Crimea.

The European Commission (EC), losing the scarce credibility it still possessed, sharply ignored its own “core values”; the rights of national minorities enshrined in Article 2 of the EU founding treaty, as well as Article 21 of its charter of fundamental rights.

Podemos has some decent ideas to “save Spanish democracy”.

Yet there seems to be only one sensible road map ahead.

  1. Kick out the incompetent, nano-Franco administration, which does not want any dialogue; a tough call in a nation so viscerally conservative as Spain.
  2. Explain to everyone in Catalonia, especially the different strands of the working class, what independence would mean in practice – something the current “leaders” are incapable of. Catalonia – one of the EU’s wealthiest regions – in or out of the EU? Trading in which currency? Without an army? Able to manage a neighboring hostile power (Spain) and not recognized by France?
  3. Launch a comprehensive national dialogue process to reform the outdated 1978 constitution – privileging a modern, federal charter, emphasizing more consensus among regions, and considering the concerns of at least 25{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of hardcore independentists in Catalonia.

None of this seems to be on the cards – and that’s why the real tragedy is only beginning. Spain is already broken – and there will be no turning back.

Calling Rosa Luxemburg

The temptation to strike parallels with Europe a century ago are strong. What about adapting Rosa Luxemburg’s latest, searing essay before she was assassinated in January 1919; “You stupid henchmen! Your ‘order’ is built on sand.” At the same time Rosa Luxemburg warned the Left about the petty-bourgeois nationalisms emerging after the collapse of the Habsburgs (the exception was Czechoslovakia.)

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