from Tracy Beanz:
by Susan Duclos, All News Pipeline:
In a new report from The Hill about how Congress is reeling from the sexual harassment deluge, which details how Congressional leaders are conflicted and dealing with each new allegation about multiple members on a case-by-case basis, attempting to decide which newly exposed member should be asked to resign, balancing that with the need to offer due process and how to move forward, and how everyone in Congress is panicked and wondering who is next to be exposed, but it is towards the middle of the article we see how deep the rot is and how many “sewer rats” there truly are walking the halls of Congress.
The three bombshell resignations in a single week — Conyers, Franken and Franks — have created a panicked atmosphere on Capitol Hill. Rumors are running rampant. The latest ricocheting around the Capitol is that a major national news outlet will publish a list of 20 to 30 lawmakers accused of harassment in the coming days. One GOP source said the listcould refer to secret Congressional Office of Compliance records of lawmakers who’ve privately settled sexual harassment claims in recent decades.
This past week we saw the announced resignations of three members of Congress over sexual harassment charges, allegations of inappropriate behavior, and paid settlements to hide sexual harassment. Democratic Senator Al Franken resigned after members of his party demanded it over groping women, Democratic Representative John Conyers after reports exposed him for paying out hefty settlements over sexual harassment claims, and Republican Representative Trent Franks who was about to be investigated by the House Ethics Committee for conversations with two female staffers in regards to becoming surrogates for he and his wife due to fertility issues.
In order to understand how massive a problem harassment claims in Congress truly are, the chart below, compiled by the Congressional Office of Compliance, released on November 16, 2017, showing the amount of money issued in settlements from 1997 to the date of the report in 2017, offers insight into how much taxpayer money goes towards secretly pay off the accusers.
The problem with that report and the chart is it does not inform the public of how many of those settlements were for sexual harassment claims, or who the accused is, or the accuser, and in fact it is not only the public that is unaware as we see a report from December 7, 2017, in USA Today, that even members of Congress cannot obtain that information from the Office of Compliance, because that information is “strictly confidential.”
The once-sleepy Office of Compliance, which handles congressional labor and employment disputes, has no power to investigate sexual harassment complaints or enforce settlements. And it operates under a cloak of confidentiality that shields both accusers and the accused alike.
“So we’re not getting anything?” Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., asked at a House Administration Committee hearing on sexual harassment in Congress Thursday.
Brooks’ question came after she asked the compliance office to provide her with detailed information about sexual harassment claims made against House members or their staffs.
The compliance office provided this answer by letter on Thursday: “All counseling and mediation conducted by the Office of Compliance is ‘strictly confidential’ and all administrative proceedings and deliberations are ‘confidential’.”
Susan Tsui Grundmann, executive director of the compliance office, said she could only release information if a case had gone to a hearing officer and if the complainant had been consulted. Many cases are settled before they reach the hearing stage.
“The law doesn’t allow us to release anything to your committee,” Grundmann told Brooks on Thursday. Brooks participated in Thursday’s hearing because she is the chairwoman of the House Ethics Committee, which could investigate sexual harassment allegations if it had the names of accused lawmakers’ offices.
Let me get this straight. Congress has managed to build laws into their own system which prevents their own ethics committee from investigating settlements that have been paid out for members accused of sexual harassment. A special law to cover up the cover ups themselves?
Another issue regarding the chart above is doesn’t separate how many of those settlements stemmed directly from the House of Representatives or the Senate itself because a portion of cases before the OOC come from employing offices in the legislative branch other than the House of Representatives or the Senate, according to their November 13, 2017 “Correcting the record” newsletter.
Read More @ AllNewsPipeline.com
by JD Heyes, via The Daily Sheeple:
As we have regularly documented on this site, the so-called “mainstream media” is replete with hucksters, frauds, liars, and phonies. In fact, truth be told, the vast majority of establishment media types are little more than far-Left hacks and shills for the Democratic Party.
That helps explain a rather remarkable finding in a recently-conducted survey by one of the very purveyors of misleading, false, and fake news: CBS News. [That wasn’t always the case, by the way, because CBS Newsused to employ crack investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson — who has reported the truth about the dangers of vaccines.]
The network conducted a poll claiming that Americans were “split” on the so-called “Russia” investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller (with a very Democrat-heavy, anti-Trump staff, by the way).
The poll found that most Republicans believe the Russian probe is nothing more than a politically-motivated witch hunt. But 91 percent of Democrats say that it’s a “serious matter” that ought to worry President Donald J. Trump.
This 91 percent of Democrats, by the way, most likely get 100 percent of their news from “mainstream” media sources that are working hand-in-hand with the Deep State and political establishment to undermine and even oust Trump.
“Americans divide in their views on the Russia investigation: eight in 10 Republicans call it politically motivated, while three in four Democrats say it is justified,” CBS News reported.
There you go. Knowing that Democrats watch Left-wing, anti-Trump media makes it easy to understand how they can be duped into thinking this “Trump-Russia collusion to steal the election from Hillary” thing is real, when clearly it isn’t.
But that hasn’t stopped the mainstream media from continuing to look for “proof” that it happened, as evidenced recently by CNN.
Those fools intentionally misreported a story last week claiming Donald Trump Jr. was offered “dirt” on Clinton from someone allegedly tied to Wikileaks, with the insinuation that it was really a “Russia” connection because everyone knows Russia “hacked” the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign (except that they didn’t).
The Fake News Network reported that on Sept. 4, an email offering the dirt was sent to Don Jr. from a person named Mike Erickson. In reality, Erickson sent Don Jr. an email on September 14, not the 4th.
That is significant because on September 13 Wikileaks published that very same trove of data, so the organization could not have possibly offered it exclusively to the Trump campaign.
What’s more, the email from Erickson makes it clear that Erickson is only directing Don Jr. to a website where the data is stored because the trove is more than 400 megabytes and far too large to send as an email attachment.
The email is clearly dated Sept. 14. A tweet from Wikileaks is clearly dated Sept. 13.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) September 13, 2016
Why would the initial report claim the tweet was sent Sept. 4?
The only explanation for CNN purposely misreporting the timeline is to leave its easily duped viewers and readers with the impression that ‘the smoking gun of collusion’ had been found!
When it hadn’t.
It’s this kind of routine fabrication of details that has led to nine of 10 Democrats still believing in the Trump-Russia collusion hoax.
Read More @ TheDailySheeple.com
by Derrick Broze, via The Daily Sheeple:
Several new attempts are being made to reform a controversial law that prevents the public from knowing the identities of politicians accused of sexual misconduct.
At least two new efforts are being launched to reform a law that shields the identities of politicians accused of workplace sexual harassment and forces the American taxpayer to foot the bill. The attempts at reforming the Congressional Accountability Act are part of a broader effort to combat allegations of rampant sexual assault and harassment among the elite of Hollywood and Washington D.C.
On Thursday the House Administration Committee held a hearing to explore the Congressional Accountability Act and how they might make the process of reporting sexual misconduct more transparent and responsive.
The Washington Examiner reports that House Administration Committee Chairman Gregg Harper “intends to move legislation through the panel by late January that would reform the 1995 Congressional Accountability Act, which governs the way the Legislative Branch handles workplace claims, including sexual harassment.”
“My goal is that we would have all this resolved and have a markup at the end of January,” Harper told the Washington Examiner.
Chairman Harper and the House Ethics Committee are investigating past settlements conducted as part of the Congressional Accountability Act to determine whether lawmakers violated House rules or U.S. law. However, the Office of Compliance, which oversees the claims, denied the Committee access to the information.
“The OOC believes they are barred by law to give it, but if you change the law they’d be happy to give it to Ethics,” Harper told the Examiner. “So that is one of the things we should look at changing.”
The program created under the Congressional Accountability Act had not received much public attention until Representative Jackie Speier revealed to MSNBC that in the last ten years alone the U.S. House of Representatives has spent $15 million in taxpayer funds to settle sexual misconduct lawsuits. Speier, a Democrat from California, disclosed the amount during a recent interview on Meet the Press Daily with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.
“We really need to reform the entire Office of Compliance process,” Speier said. “Right now it takes about 90 days for you to file a complaint, and before actually going through the mediation, you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement and then you are not represented by counsel, but the harasser is represented by the House of Representatives general counsel.”
Speier has since introduced her own bill to fight against workplace misconduct in D.C. Speier’s bill – known as the Member and Employee Training and Oversight on Congress Act, or the Me Too Congress Act – would address the lack of transparency surrounding the process for reporting sexual harassment or abuse.
Read More @ TheDailySheeple.com
by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept:
FRIDAY WAS ONE of the most embarrassing days for the U.S. media in quite a long time. The humiliation orgy was kicked off by CNN, with MSNBC and CBS close behind, with countless pundits, commentators and operatives joining the party throughout the day. By the end of the day, it was clear that several of the nation’s largest and most influential news outlets had spread an explosive but completely false news story to millions of people, while refusing to provide any explanation of how it happened.
The spectacle began on Friday morning at 11:00 am EST, when the Most Trusted Name in News™ spent 12 straight minutes on air flamboyantly hyping an exclusive bombshell report that seemed to prove that WikiLeaks, last September, had secretly offered the Trump campaign, even Donald Trump himself, special access to the DNC emails before they were published on the internet. As CNN sees the world, this would prove collusion between the Trump family and WikiLeaks and, more importantly, between Trump and Russia, since the U.S. intelligence community regards WikiLeaks as an “arm of Russian intelligence,” and therefore, so does the U.S. media.
This entire revelation was based on an email which CNN strongly implied it had exclusively obtained and had in its possession. The email was sent by someone named “Michael J. Erickson” – someone nobody had heard of previously and whom CNN could not identify – to Donald Trump, Jr., offering a decryption key and access to DNC emails that WikiLeaks had “uploaded.” The email was a smoking gun, in CNN’s extremely excited mind, because it was dated September 4 – ten days before WikiLeaks began promoting access to those emails online – and thus proved that the Trump family was being offered special, unique access to the DNC archive: likely by WikiLeaks and the Kremlin.
It’s impossible to convey with words what a spectacularly devastating scoop CNN believed it had, so it’s necessary to watch it for yourself to see the tone of excitement, breathlessness and gravity the network conveyed as they clearly believed they were delivering a near-fatal blow to the Trump/Russia collusion story:
There was just one small problem with this story: it was fundamentally false, in the most embarrassing way possible. Hours after CNN broadcast its story – and then hyped it over and over and over – the Washington Post reported that CNN got the key fact of the story wrong.
The email was not dated September 4, as CNN claimed, but rather September 14 – which means it was sent after WikiLeaks had already published access to the DNC emails online. Thus, rather than offering some sort of special access to Trump, “Michael J. Erickson” was simply some random person from the public encouraging the Trump family to look at the publicly available DNC emails that WikiLeaks – as everyone by then already knew – had publicly promoted. In other words, the email was the exact opposite of what CNN presented it as being.
How did CNN end up aggressively hyping such a spectacularly false story? They refuse to say. Many hours after their story got exposed as false, the journalist who originally presented it, Congressional reporter Manu Raju, finally posted a tweet noting the correction. CNN’s PR Department then claimed that “multiple sources” had provided CNN with the false date. And Raju went on CNN, in muted tones, to note the correction, explicitly claiming that “two sources” had each given him the false date on the email, while also making clear that CNN did not ever even see the email, but only had sources describe its purported contents:
All of this prompts the glaring, obvious, and critical question – one which CNN refuses to address: how did “multiple sources” all misread the date on this document, in exactly the same way, and toward the same end, and then feed this false information to CNN?
It is, of course, completely plausible that one source might innocently misread a date on a document. But how is it remotely plausible that multiple sources could all innocently and in good faith misread the date in exactly the same way, all to cause to be disseminated a blockbuster revelation about Trump/Russia/WikiLeaks collusion? This is the critical question that CNN simply refuses to answer. In other words, CNN refuses to provide the most minimal transparency to enable the public to understand what happened here.
Read More @ TheIntercept.com
by Ben Kew, Breitbart:
The story, published on Friday morning, detailed how Beverly Young Nelson, who accused Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager, admitted to adding “notes” to part of her yearbook, which she claims Moore signed.
This revelation came despite Nelson claiming at her initial press conference alongside her lawyer Gloria Allred, that the entire yearbook document was solely Moore’s handwriting.
In a message sent to Breitbart News’s Facebook page, the company warned that there was “additional reporting” from liberal fact-checker Politifact on the issue.
“Before you share this content, you might want to know that there is additional reporting on this from PolitiFact,” the message read.
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 8, 2017
This message is now sent to everyone who tries to share the link.
“A conspiracy-minded website attempted to cast doubt on the evidence presented by one of eight women who accused Roy Moore of sexual assault in a misleading headline days ahead of the Alabama Senate race,” Politifact wrote about the incident.
“Nelson says she added the time and location to the inscription. But she says the note and signature were from Moore,” the article continues. “That’s not what the headlines of the Gateway Pundit, Breitbart or Silence is Consent. All three say Nelson said she either tampered with Moore’s signature or forged the inscription. There’s no evidence of that.”
Read More @ Breitbart.com
by Justin Huggler, The Telegraph:
The man who could be Germany’s vice-chancellor within weeks on Thursday called for the European Union to transform itself into a “United States of Europe”.
Martin Schulz, the leader of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), called for a new federal constitution for the EU by 2025.
Hours before his party voted to open talks on forming a new coalition with the beleaguered Angela Merkel, Mr Schulz made clear he would demand radical EU reform and far deeper integration than previously envisaged as his price for ending weeks of political crisis in Germany.
“I want a new constitutional treaty to establish the United States of Europe. A Europe that is no threat to its member states, but a beneficial addition,” he said in a speech to his party conference.
Under Mr Schulz’s proposals, Brussels would be given power over individual member states’ foreign and domestic policy, as well as taxes.
Countries who refuse to sign up to a new federal Europe should automatically lose their EU membership, he said.
A deal with Mr Schulz’s party is Mrs Merkel’s last chance to prevent new elections after coalition negotiations with smaller parties broke down last month.
Urging delegates to vote in favour of talks with Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), Mr Schulz said he would make a “complete turnaround in Germany’s European policy” a central condition of any deal.
But Mrs Merkel lost no time in rejecting Mr Schulz’s proposals for a federal Europe, ruling them out before delegates had even finished voting.
“I believe the ability to act now is the priority, not setting long-term goals,” she said.
More cooperation between EU members was more important than drawing up new constitutions and taking powers from member states, she argued.
“We have to be economically strong, we need to work better together in the field of defence. We must pursue a common foreign policy, a common development policy, to be taken seriously as a continent or as a European Union.
“That’s why my goal for 2025 is better cooperation on defence and these other issues.”
The threat of new German elections receded after the SPD on Thursday voted in favour of “open-ended talks” with Mrs Merkel’s party.
Read More @ TheTelegraph.co.uk
by Francis Martel, Breitbart:
The “medical flea markets” appear to have taken on the same form of the “pop-up” markets that became popular in Venezuela in 2014, when shortages of laundry detergent, deodorant, baby formula, and other goods triggered demand for trade outside of the nation’s strict ration system. The government has vowed to crack down on traders participating in these markets, referred to often as bachaqueros, and dictator Nicolás Maduro has resisted accepting humanitarian aid from neighbors like Colombia.
Speaking to Venezuelans in San Cristobal, on the border with Colombia, and Maracaibo, Reuters found that many are searching for painkillers, birth control, and other common drugs. Bachaqueros told Reuters that anticonvulsants have come into more demand lately, and antibiotics are perennially necessary.
The drugs, Reuters explains, comes partially from hospital employees, who sell them to the merchants to bring in some extra income, and from Colombia. Those smuggled in are often “stacked on top of each other. The packaging is visibly deteriorated: The cases are discolored and some are even dirty.” They are sold alongside food and other goods.
Doctors tell Reuters that the conditions these drugs are kept in are not ideal for preservation, meaning many could have gone bad by the time they are sold.
Previous reports have exposed the unreliable nature of the legal drugs in Venezuela, as well, likely contributing to Venezuelans being comfortable buying the drugs in flea markets rather than waiting for legal supplies. In April, a group of cancer patients complained that the drugs they had received in government hospitals, which Venezuela bought from the communist government of Cuba, were causing side effects that made their health status “worse than when we were first diagnosed with the disease.”
In January 2016, the Venezuelan Pharmaceutical Federation declared a “humanitarian emergency,” noting that the nation was facing a “100 percent shortage” of necessary drugs on a national level and 85 percent of the nation’s pharmacies were on the brink of bankruptcy. The legally acquired drugs began disappearing in mid-2016 from hospitals completely. Hospital staff then began asking patients to bring their own medicine—as well as bandages, gauze, and other necessary tools—to hospitals and not expect to be medicated upon arriving.
The situation has gotten worse since. In an extensive report published this week, Venezuela’s El Nacional newspaper highlighted individual cases of citizens suffering severe medical shortages. One mother explained that she only had money for her necessary kidney medications or her child’s milk, but not both. Another lamented that her child, diagnosed with a highly curable form of leukemia, is likely to die due to lack of treatment.
Venezuelans who have managed to leave the country often send medicine home from abroad, though many have to pay a high price to acquire it. The Miami Herald reports that women, in particular, find themselves in dangerous situations after using their savings to flee Venezuela. Many end up in prostitution, which often generates enough money to buy the drugs their relatives at home need to survive, even if only the suspect black market versions of the drugs they need.
Read More @ Breitbart.com
by Mac Slavo, SHTFPlan:
Silicon Valley is the home to tech giants like Facebook, Apple, and Google. It’s also home to a surging working homeless population who live in dilapidated RV’s, tents, and their own cars, all thanks to the policies Democrats love to implement.
The surging number of those working in Silicon Valley and still unable to afford adequate housing should be a warning about big government, but it sure doesn’t seem like anyone is taking notice as their taxes continue to rise. As governments creep toward socialism though, poverty becomes the norm, not the exception. Silicon Valley has the highest median income in the nation. But a soaring tax burden and expensive regulations have caused housing prices to increase which has also caused homelessness to surge.
More than 10,000 people were living without shelter across San Jose and Santa Clara Counties on any given night in 2016, though that figure is probably low. Thanks to big government, the cost of living is not low. An influx of tech workers along with decades of under-building (thanks again to the regulations of big government) has created a historic homelessness in the Bay Area.
The governments in California continue to attempt to control deadly Hepatitis A outbreaks caused by a booming homeless population and usually do so by taking even more from those who actually work. The cycle will continue: socialists governments will put a cheap band-aid on the gaping wound they created themselves.
Rather than freeing poor people from dependence on benefactors and bosses, they merely transfer the dependence to the state, leaving the least politically connected people at the mercy of the political process. – FEE
The one thing government has are programs to help those in poverty. But those have proven ineffective. And the one thing that will work is the very thing government refuses to do: Climb off the backs of those they pretend they want to help.
Progressives routinely deplore the “affordable housing crisis” in American cities. But it is the very laws that Progressives favor—land-use policies, zoning codes, and building codes—that ratchet up housing costs, stand in the way of alternative housing options, and confine poor people to ghetto neighborhoods. Historically, when they have been free to do so, poor people have happily disregarded the ideals of political humanitarians and found their own ways to cut housing costs, even in bustling cities with tight housing markets. – FEE
Read More @ SHTFPlan.com