Weekend Dec. 7-8-9

JAIL TO THE CHIEF?

“There’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him. That he may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time.”
Rep. Adam Schiff
as reported by The Hill


Look out below! The financial bubble in one chart

central-bank-balance-sheets-209-trillion-2018-12-05

If you can’t clearly see how the above chart explains the massive price inflation over the past years in stocks, bonds and real estate, you’ll have no chance of understanding what’s coming next.  Best of luck to everyone choosing to avoid paying attention to this critical information.
Zero Hedge

NY Times: White House zombie Kushner advised murderous Saudi prince on “how to weather the storm.”
— They’re text buddies, of course, and on a first-name basis.


typewriter-realnews-line


Suspicion: Russian bot conspiracy helped kill Net Neutrality 
Buzzfeed
— The Justice Department is investigating whether crimes were committed when potentially millions of people’s identities were posted to the FCC’s website without their permission, falsely attributing to them opinions about net neutrality rules, BuzzFeed News has learned.
— Two organizations told BuzzFeed News, each on condition that they not be named, that the FBI delivered subpoenas to them related to the comments.

China kinda pissed, wants its arrested exec freed
CBS News
— China summoned the Canadian ambassador to protest the detention of a top executive of leading Chinese tech giant Huawei, calling it “unreasonable, unconscionable, and vile in nature” and warning of “grave consequences” if she is not released. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou is being held in Vancouver last Saturday and faces extradition to the U.S., where she could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.


FRENCH REVOLUTION?


From the UK Telegraph:

It’s street riots in Paris … tear gas … hundreds arrested.
France24

Yellow-vest protests grow in Belgium, Netherlands
AP
>>> London cops prepare for riots over “Brexit Betrayal” march

champs-elysees-first-clash_0


Dem senators demand probe of sweetheart deal for billionaire child rapist
NY Daily News
— Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of sexually molesting dozens of girls — some as young as 14 — faced up to life in prison before his legal team hammered out the generous agreement in 2008, which landed him in Palm Beach County Jail for only 13 months, with work-release privileges.

Heading for the worst case scenario: President Traitor
Wired
— Mueller’s court filings, when coupled with other investigative reporting, paint a picture of how the Russian government, through various trusted-but-deniable intermediaries, conducted a series of “approaches” over the course of the spring of 2016 to determine, as Wittes says, whether “this is a guy you can do business with.”
— The answer, from everyone in Trumpland—from Michael Cohen in January 2016, from George Papadopoulos in spring 2016, from Donald Trump, Jr. in June 2016, from Michael Flynn in December 2016—appears to have been an unequivocal “yes.”

Humpty-Trumpty was playing with the Russkies all along
AP
— President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was in touch as far back as 2015 with a Russian who offered “political synergy” with the Trump election campaign and proposed a meeting between the candidate and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the special counsel said Friday.
— Court filings from prosecutors in New York and special counsel Robert Mueller’s office lay out previously undisclosed contacts between Trump associates and Russian intermediaries and suggest the Kremlin aimed early on to influence Trump and his campaign by playing to both his political aspirations and his personal business interests.

Prosecutors say Trump directed illegal payments during campaign
MSN/NY Times
— Federal prosecutors said on Friday that President Trump directed illegal payments to ward off a potential sex scandal that threatened his chances of winning the White House in 2016, putting the weight of the Justice Department behind accusations previously made by his former lawyer.
— The lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, had said that as the election neared, Mr. Trump directed payments to two women who claimed they had affairs with Mr. Trump. But in a new memo arguing for a prison term for Mr. Cohen, prosecutors in Manhattan said he “acted in coordination and at the direction of” an unnamed individual, clearly referring to Mr. Trump.
— In another filing, prosecutors for the special counsel investigating Russia’s 2016 election interference said an unnamed Russian offered Mr. Cohen “government level” synergy between Russia and Mr. Trump’s campaign in November 2015. That was months earlier than other approaches detailed in indictments secured by prosecutors.
— And in a separate case on Friday, the special counsel accused Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman, of lying about his contacts with an individual they accuse of ties to Russian intelligence, and about his interactions with Trump administration officials after he was indicted on criminal charges.
— Together, the filings laid bare the most direct evidence to date linking Mr. Trump to potentially criminal conduct, and added to an already substantial case that Russia was seeking to sway the 2016 election in his favor.
— Mr. Trump sought on Friday to dismiss the news, wrongly claiming it “Totally clears the President. Thank you!”

“Friendly Fire” Killed Sheriff’s Sergeant At Thousand Oaks, Calif., Shooting Scene
NPR
— When Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer responded to a shooting last month in Thousand Oaks, Calif., they faced a barrage of gunfire from a suspect.
— But officials announced Friday that the sergeant’s fatal wound was a result of a shot fired by his fellow law enforcement officer.

American Entrepreneurs Who Flocked to China Are Heading Home, Disillusioned
Wall Street Journal
SHANGHAI—Fifteen years ago in California, a tall technology geek named Steve Mushero started writing a book that predicted the American dream might soon “be found only in China.” Before long, Mr. Mushero moved himself to Shanghai and launched a firm thatAmazon.com Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. certified as a partner to serve the world’s biggest internet market.
— These days, the tech pioneer has hit a wall. He’s heading back to Silicon Valley where he sees deeper demand for his know-how in cloud computing. “The future’s not here,” said the 52-year-old.
— For years, American entrepreneurs saw a place in which they would start tech businesses, build restaurant chains and manage factories, making potentially vast sums in an exciting, newly dynamic economy. Many mastered Mandarin, hired and trained thousands in China, bought houses, met their spouses and raised bilingual children.
— Now disillusion has set in, fed by soaring costs, creeping taxation, tightening political control and capricious regulation that makes it ever tougher to maneuver the market and fend off new domestic competitors. All these signal to expat business owners their best days were in the past.

More secrets leak from Mk-Ultra, CIA’s secret, illegal mind control project
The Sun
— DISTURBING details of secret mind-control experiments carried out by the CIA have been revealed in newly released documents – that officials have been trying to hide for decades.
— The new documents, released under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal how the CIA experimented on both humans and animals using drugs, hypnosis and electronic devices as part of the top secret – and illegal – mind control project MKUltra.
— Shockingly the swathes of information still missing or redacted in the records could mean the CIA is STILL carrying out the experiments to this day, according to experts.
— One document details how the CIA planned to drug “criminals awaiting trial held in a prison hospital ward” in a bid to develop “improved techniques in drug interrogation”.
— Another document details the CIA’s interest in developing ways to cause amnesia in humans using experiments “no matter how weird, inconclusive or unusual”.
— It goes on to detail how they were looking to find ways of developing hypnotic speaking techniques which would control the minds of “large audiences” and “heighten group susceptibility”.

What we know about the alleged ballot tampering plot in North Carolina
Vox
— Republican Mark Harris beat Democrat Dan McCready by less than 1,000 votes on Election Day. But those results are tainted by explosive allegations involving a local political operative who was working for the Harris campaign and a scheme to collect and possibly tamper with absentee ballots.
— Taken together, the evidence we have points to a highly unusual, coordinated system for collecting absentee ballots in the Ninth District. But what happened to the ballots, whether it amounts to illegal activity, and how much the Harris campaign actually knew about the plot are the most important questions left to answer.
— The state elections board has set a hearing for December 21 to review the evidence of possible fraud. It is within the board’s legal authority under state law to call a new election if the basic fairness of last month’s election is in doubt.

Wisconsin sabotage: Republicans approve 82 Scott Walker nominees in one day
Salon
— Some haven’t been vetted or subject to a public hearing.

Redskins quarterback, in hospital with broken leg, faces serious complications
NBC Sports

Marlboro man bets big on marijuana
Seattle Times/AP
— One of the world’s biggest tobacco companies is diving into the cannabis market with a $2.4 billion buy-in.
— Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. is taking a 45 percent stake in Cronos Group, the Canadian medical and recreational marijuana provider said Friday.

Six Michigan doctors indicted in mega-fraud
Fox Local
—  Indictment says: defendants submitted more than $272.6 million to Medicaid, $182.5 million to Medicare and $9.2 million to Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan for medically unnecessary services and equipment.

Trial of James Fields
Whack-job who mowed down Charlottesville protester: “It doesn’t matter.”
The Hill
>>>>>>>>>> Friday night update: Guilty
— The self-professed neo-Nazi accused of killing a woman with his car during a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., attacked the victim’s mother during taped phone calls from jail.
— James Alex Fields Jr., 21, is currently on trial for the first-degree murder of Heather Heyer, a woman who was killed when Fields rammed his car into a group of counterprotesters.
— Jurors heard a taped phone call between Fields and his mother from jail in December 2017 going after Heyer’s mother Susan Bro.
— Fields accused Bro of publicly slandering him and called her a “communist” and “anti-white supremacist.”
— “She lost her daughter,” his mother reminded him.
— “It doesn’t (expletive) matter,” Fields said.

Trump’s housekeeper: a border-hopping immigrant
NY Times
MORALES
BEDMINSTER, N.J. — During more than five years as a housekeeper at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Victorina Morales has made Donald J. Trump’s bed, cleaned his toilet and dusted his crystal golf trophies. When he visited as president, she was directed to wear a pin in the shape of the American flag adorned with a Secret Service logo.
— Because of the “outstanding” support she has provided during Mr. Trump’s visits, Ms. Morales in July was given a certificate from the White House Communications Agency inscribed with her name.
— Quite an achievement for an undocumented immigrant housekeeper.
…. she made the decision to come forward because of mistreatment by her direct supervisor at the golf resort, including what she described as “physical abuse” on three occasions.

KELLY’S A GONER?…. White House Chief of staff John Kelly is expected to step down in the coming days, according to two administration officials. Kelly, a retired Marine general who joined the White House staff in July 2017, has weathered several months of rumors that the president wants him out.  …. TRUMP PICKS BUSHIE FOR ATTY GEN’L  William Barr to be the new attorney general, a post he held in the 1990s. A well-known conservative lawyer, Barr held the role under President George H W Bush from 1991 to 1993. …

.FOX HACK TO BE REP AT UN  … Heather Nauert’s meteoric rise is unusual considering that she has been in government for less than two years, and has never specialised in international relations.

neverletyoudown


EBOLA OUTBREAK SPREADS TO BIG CITY
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The second-largest Ebola outbreak in history has spread to a major city in eastern Congo, as health experts worry whether the stock of an experimental vaccine will stand up to the demands of an epidemic with no end in sight.
— Butembo, with more than 1 million residents, is now reporting cases of the deadly hemorrhagic fever. That complicates Ebola containment work already challenged by rebel attacks elsewhere that have made tracking the virus almost impossible in some isolated villages.

GAMBLING HABITS
— Two longtime nuns at St. James Catholic School in Torrance Calif. allegedly embezzled as much as $500,000 in tuition, fees and donations, perhaps spending some of the money on trips and gambling at casinos while telling parents the school was operating on a shoestring budget, officials and parents said.
— The figure represents only what auditors have been able to trace in six years’ of bank records and might not include other cash transactions, officials from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles told parents and alumni at a meeting Monday night.

The U.S. Just Became a Net Oil Exporter for the First Time in 75 Years
Bloomberg

Former MLB Players Luis Valbuena, Jose Castillo Killed in Venezuela car crash
CNN/Bleacher Report
BREAKING:

Venezuelan authorities have arrested four suspects found with Valbuena’s and Castillo’s personal belongings following the crash. State governor Julio León Heredia says authorities believe the former MLB players were the victims of criminals in Venezuela who throw rocks onto roadways to disable cars or cause crashes and then rob the vehicles’ occupants.

Company laid their pipeline on private land, without permission or payment, but that’s just fine, says Louisiana judge.
Courthouse News Service
…  landowner Theda Larson Wright is entitled to 37 cents for the land and timber Bayou Bridge took and Peter K. Aalestad and his sister Katherine Aalestad should each receive $2.17.
…. More from the Pelican State: Electricity supplier Entergy New Orleans claims in court that a Virginia-based public relations firm hired actors instead of recruiting supporters to speak at public meetings in favor of a proposed power plant, spurring a costly investigation into whether the utility knew its backers were paid.

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