Doing Advance Work

News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Syria and Iraq refugee status of two arrested for London bucket bombing omitted by NY Times-Daily Caller...This was 5th terrorist attack on UK in 6 months-Telegraph

""An 18-year-old Iraqi orphan who had a reputation for getting into fights and had been in the foster care of a retired couple, and a 21-year-old from Syria who had escaped the civil war there and was working at a fried-chicken shop." The report left out that both of the suspects arrested were refugees."

9/20/17, "Media Criticism: NYT Buries Nationalities Of London Bombers And Omits Refugee Status In Report," Daily Caller, Will Ricciardella

"In a report detailing new arrests in connection with the London subway bombing Wednesday, The New York Times omitted the refugee status of two suspects, and reports that connect a third to Islamic motives.

“Three people have been arrested in a 24-hour period in Wales” in connection to the attack, begins The [NY] Timesarticle. “Scotland Yard said two men, ages 48 and 30, were arrested on Wednesday under counterterrorism laws.”

Oddly enough, without first divulging anything that ties any of the suspects or the bombing to Islamic terrorism, The Times reported that ISIS had claimed responsibility, but authorities are trying to “piece together the events” to ascertain any influence by “extremists.”

In short, the report comprised of only 11 paragraphs, it wasn’t until the eighth paragraph that The Times provided context in the report by detailing arrests made on Saturday: 

"An 18-year-old Iraqi orphan who had a reputation for getting into fights and had been in the foster care of a retired couple, and a 21-year-old from Syria who had escaped the civil war there and was working at a fried-chicken shop."
The report left out that both of the suspects arrested were refugees. The 18-year-old was described by The Times’ as an “orphan” from Iraq, and the 21-year old from Syria. Both suspects had attended a foster home well known for taking in refugees. 

The third paragraph of the report mentions the arrest of a 25-year old suspect, but ignores entirely reports that allude to Islamic influence.

Residents said the arrested man had lived in the area for many years and attended local mosquesreported The Telegraph Wednesday. “I know he is a Muslim but I don’t know what mosque he went to” said one resident, according The Telegraph."


Article linked in top post:

9/20/17, "U.K. Police Arrest 3 More Over Parsons Green Attack," NY Times, Dan Bilefsky


Article linked in top post:

9/18/17, "MSNBC Ignores Refugee Status Of Suspected London Bombers," Daily Caller, Amber Athey

Linked in above 9/18/17 article:

9/17/17, "Police Raid Syrian Refugee’s Home In Connection To London Attack," Daily Caller, Jacob Bojesson, Foreign Correspondent

Linked in above 9/17/17 article

9/17/17, "Teen arrested on suspicion of planting Tube bomb 'an Iraqi refugee who moved to the UK aged 15'," UK Evening Standard, Chloe Chaplain

Linked in above 9/17 Daily Caller article: 

21 year old "refugee foster child" arrested. This was fifth terrorist attack on the UK in just six months.

9/17/17, "Parsons Green bombing: Police arrest second refugee foster child," UK Telegraph, Rozina Sabur, Martin Evans, Hayley Dixon

Yahyah Farroukh, 21, was arrested outside the chicken shop where he worked in Hounslow on Saturday night just hours after police caught the 18-year-old suspected of planting the Tube bomb at the Port of Dover, witnesses say."... 



Image via, 9/20/17, "Parsons Green: Third arrest over bucket bomb attack as 'painter-decorator' is detained in Wales," UK Telegraph, Telegraph reporters


Russia Foreign Minister Lavrov says Obama administration spoiled US-Russia relations. Lavrov at UN news conference said Obama "put this time bomb in US-Russia relations, I didn't expect that from a Nobel Peace Prize winner." As to alleged Russian meddling in 2016 election, Lavrov said after a year of inquiries, "we did not see a single fact," asked Rex Tillerson for evidence, but pathetic Tillerson told Lavrov it was "confidential." Lavrov dismissed that, considering volume of leaks-NY Times, 9/22/17

9/22/2017, "Russia Says ‘Small-Hearted’ Obama Administration Spoiled Ties," NY Times, Somini Sengupta, United Nations

"Russia’s top diplomat said Friday that the Obama administration had been “small-hearted” and vindictive toward his country, spoiling relations and jeopardizing cooperation on critical issues including the Syria conflict.

The remarks, by Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov, came during a news conference he held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

U.S.-Russia relations are suffering not from the fact that there are conflicts but rather because the previous U.S. administration was small-hearted and they were revengeful, Mr. Lavrov said. “They put this time bomb in U.S.-Russia relations. I didn’t expect that from a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for former President Barack Obama, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Mr. Lavrov was referring to the steep slide in relations between Washington and the Kremlin over a variety of issues, including the imposition of sanctions on Russia in connection with Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine. 

He said he had never bargained with his Western counterparts about the lifting of sanctions. He also dismissed allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 American presidential election to tilt the outcome in favor of Donald J. Trump instead of Hillary Clinton.

Even after a year of inquiries, Mr. Lavrov said, “we did not see a single fact.

Mr. Lavrov said he had asked his American counterpart, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, for evidence of Russian meddling in the election and was told it was confidential.

Mr. Lavrov dismissed that contention as well.

You know I cannot believe that,” he said. “Information is leaking all the time.

Especially in an investigation that involves so many people, he went on, “it cannot be so that not a single fact is leaked. It would have been leaked.

There are still large gaps between the Russian and American positions on a number of matters, from the question of what to do about Iran to how to handle the North Korean nuclear crisis.

On Iran, Mr. Lavrov said he agreed with European diplomats who this week rejected American demands to reopen the 2015 nuclear agreement. The deal has been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, Mr. Lavrov said, and if there are other concerns about Iran, such as its ballistic missiles program or its role in Syria, they should be addressed separately.

“Bringing together apples and oranges would be wrong, especially in such a complicated issue as the Iran nuke deal,” Mr. Lavrov said.

On North Korea, he said it was time to “calm down the hotheads” and consider offers of mediation, including one by Secretary General António Guterres of the United Nations. Mr. Lavrov advocated what he called a “reasonable” approach to resolving the standoff, “instead of kindergarten fights between children.”"


The forgotten man and woman in this country, they stood up, and we beat the swamp. But, alas, 10 months later, guys, the swamp, it’s trying to hijack this presidency-Sarah Palin, 9/21/17, campaigning in Alabama for Judge Roy Moore

9/22/17, "Sarah Palin: ‘We Voted to Put America First, Not the Political Elite That Ignored Us for Decades’," Breitbart News

"Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said at a campaign rally Thursday night for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore that the swamp is “trying to hijack” Donald Trump’s presidency,, the Washington Post’s Jenna Johnson reports.

From the Washington Post:

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican backed by the Tea Party movement, suggested that [in supporting Luther Strange over Roy Moore] the president was misled by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, whom the crowd repeatedly booed. Jan Morgan, a spokeswoman for the Citizens for Trump grass-roots group, said “the president was ill-advised when he made his decision.” And former Alaska governor Sarah Palin accused the swamp — which is what Trump likes to call the Washington establishment — of trying to overpower the president.

The forgotten man and woman in this country, they stood up, and we beat the swamp. But, alas, 10 months later, guys, the swamp, it’s trying to hijack this presidency,” said Palin who...was one of the leaders of the Tea Party movement that predated the Trump movement. “The swamp is trying to steal the victory that we worked so long and hard for — to steal the victory that a lot of us put our reputations on the line for. We voted to put America first, not the political elite that had ignored us for decades.”

Palin described Moore as being “deplorable before deplorable was cool,” borrowing the label that Democrat Hillary Clinton applied to some Trump supporters last year.

A vote for Judge Moore isn’t a vote against the president,” Palin said. “It is a vote for the people’s agenda that elected the president. It’s for the big, beautiful movement that we’re all a part of. The president needs support to keep the promises that elected him. So we’re sending Trump someone who has our back, not Mitch McConnell’s…Make no mistake, ‘Big Luther’ is Mitch McConnell’s guy.”"...

Read the rest of the article, here."

Added:  Referenced above, "The Forgotten Man," once remembered by Trump:

"The Forgotten Man," Jon McNaughton painting

Jon McNaughton on Feb. 3, 2012 about this painting:

"Against the background of a darkening sky, all of the past Presidents of the United States gather before the White House, as if to commemorate some great event. In the left hand corner of the painting sits a man. That man, with his head bowed appears distraught and hopeless as he contemplates his future. Some of the past Presidents try to console him while looking in the direction of the modern Presidents as if to say, "What have you done?" Many of these modern Presidents, seemingly oblivious to anything other than themselves, appear to be congratulating each other on their great accomplishments. In front of the man, paper trash is blowing in the wind. Crumpled dollar bills, legislative documents, and, like a whisper—the U.S. Constitution beneath the foot of Barack Obama. The Forgotten Man. Go to"


1/20/17, "Trump's Inaugural Address Was Like No Other in History," Gary

"I don't know which phrase will get quoted in the future. But I'll tell you one that grabbed my attention: "This American carnage stops right here and stops right now." American carnage. He has it, exactly.

But this is more likely to stick: "From this moment on, it's going to be America First." 

He is not the polished speaker that John Kennedy was. He does not have the hearts of the people in the way that Franklin Roosevelt did in the midst of the Great Depression. He is not the rhetorical master that Abraham Lincoln was. But more than any President I have ever heard or read at an inaugural, he laid out his agenda, showed how that agenda is a fundamental break from the political past, and promised his supporters that he would not betray them. The implication is obvious: previous Presidents have all betrayed them. And they have. Four of them were standing behind him when he said it. This was a breach of etiquette. I loved it.

No matter what happens in terms of the details of his administration, and no matter what happens to the economy as a result of central bank profligacy, Donald Trump delivered an inaugural address that is going to go down in history. His enemies will try to bury him in his own words. But that plays into his hands. They will have to use his own words to bury him. It's Catch-22 for the establishment. Let the battle begin!"

Added: From Ann Coulter as Trump is about to sell us out: If he fails on immigration, "Donald Trump will go down in history as the man who killed America." 

9/13/17, "NO AMNESTY IS A GOOD AMNESTY," Ann Coulter 

"Donald Trump is being told that amnesty for "Dreamers," or DACA recipients, will only apply to a small, narrowly defined group of totally innocent, eminently deserving illegal immigrants, who were brought to this country "through no fault of their own" as "children." (Children who are up to 36 years old.)

Every syllable of that claim is a lie, and I can prove it.

To see how DACA will actually work, let's look at another extremely limited amnesty that was passed in 1986. 

Farmers wanted temporary guest-worker permits for their cheap labor, so that they could continue pretending that the Industrial Revolution never happened and refuse to mechanize. (And, boy, did that work! We haven't heard a peep about "crops rotting in the fields" since then.)

The agricultural amnesty was supposed to apply to -- at most -- 350,000 illegal aliens. It would be available only to illegals who were currently in the country doing the back-breaking farm work that no American would do. Without them, crops would wither on the vine. They were saving us from starvation!

Talk about deserving. Are any Dreamers saving us from starvation?

But instead of guest-worker permits, then-Rep. Charles Schumer -- from the lush farmland of Brooklyn -- decided to grant full amnesty to any illegals who had done farm work for at least 90 days in the previous year.

That's pretty restrictive, isn't it? In the end, "up to 350,000 farm workers" turned into 1.3 million.

Oh well, what are you going to do? No use worrying -- let's just move forward and get all these people voter registration cards!

This innocent little amnesty for a small, clearly defined group of illegals quickly became amnesty for anyone who applied. The same thing will happen with any other amnesty, no matter how strictly the law is written. (And it won't be written strictly.)

In the first few years of the agricultural amnesty, internal Immigration and Naturalization Service statistics showed that 888,637 legalization applications were fraudulent. According to immigration agents, "farm workers" stated in their interviews that cotton was purple or that they had pulled cherries from the ground.

Of the 888,637 fraudulent applications, guess how many our government approved. Answer: More than 800,000.

The agricultural amnesty was so carefully administered that not one, but TWO of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers were in this country because of it. (More on that in another column.)

The main problem with the farm worker amnesty, the DACA amnesty or any amnesty is that everyone involved in the entire immigration apparatus is feverishly working, on the taxpayer's dime, to transform this country into a Third World hellhole. Lawyers for La Raza and lawyers for the government both believe it is their mission to humiliate and destroy white Christian America. (Actually, this country is "biracial Christian America," plus a few Amerindians and anyone else who assimilated to Western European culture.)

There are multitudes of them, and they will never, ever stop.

Congress could pass a law granting amnesty to any 7-foot-tall, left-handed, red-headed illegal aliens from Lichtenstein -- and hundreds of left-wing outfits would instantly set to work, demanding amnesty for witch doctors, cannibals, pederasts, terrorists and the rest of the multicultural universe that makes America so vibrant.

On the other side of the application process would be government immigration bureaucrats who either used to work at La Raza, or hope to in the future.

On the off chance that some particularly risible amnesty application is denied by a stodgy rules-follower in our immigration bureaucracy, that denial will be litigated before a federal judge in Hawaii, then appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

For two decades after the 1986 amnesty, the federal courts were tied up with dozens of class-action lawsuits brought on behalf of illegal aliens -- regular illegal aliens, farm worker illegal aliens and still-in-Mexico illegal aliens -- challenging every aspect of the law.

Is that how American tax dollars should be spent? On endless litigation, brought by America-hating activists on behalf of people who have no right to be in our country
and decided by Democrat-appointed judges? (Who are also America-hating activists.)

And when their work is done, there will be a lot more Democrat-appointed judges because there will be a lot more Democrats.

Lawyers sued over everything -- the absence of Creole interpreters, the requirement that illegals have proof of prior farm work and the rare denials of amnesty. Congress desperately tried passing laws that would prevent courts from hearing these cases -- all to no avail. Left-wing lawyers just had to pick the right judge, and they won.

In 2005 -- nearly 20 years after the 1986 amnesty -- the Ninth Circuit was still granting amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who claimed they had been unfairly denied because they were not in the country for the first amnesty. Seriously.

No matter how the law is written, as long as anyone is eligible for amnesty, everybody's getting amnesty.

President Trump is the last president who will ever have a chance to make the right decision on immigration. After this, it's over. The boat will have sailed.

If he succeeds, all the p@ssy-grabbing and Russia nonsense will burn off like a morning fog. He will be the president who saved the American nation, its character, its sovereignty, its core identity. But if he fails, Donald Trump will go down in history as the man who killed America."
copyright Ann Coulter


Comment: Across the entire US political class, as soon as each is elected, he immediately turns his focus to the needs of non-Americans. This is considered normal. In the case of elected Republicans, they eventually start scolding and lecturing the people who elected them.



The two political parties pretend to be gridlocked, to have different agendas. This is just for show, it's how the Establishment disguises itself-Rush Limbaugh, 9/20/17

9/20/17, "The Establishment Must Destroy Donald Trump," Rush Limbaugh 

"The establishment has been in charge, in control and running things for longer than you would believe. And it gets away with disguising itself by having two political parties that appear to be at war with each other, and they make a pretty good show of it. There are some differences in the parties. I mean, the establishment’s not all friends. They’re not all like-minded. 

They’re not all going to backyard barbecues together, but even those who are on the outs politically, say Republicans not part of the mainstream media apparatus, not part of the dominant liberal culture, they nevertheless are members, and they value that, and they treasure it, and they will put their remaining membership, staying a member of the establishment above anything else: winning elections, finding certain kinds of employment.... 

It’s relatively small, when you compare it to the entire population of the country, but it is where all of the power and the wealth is actually concentrated.... 

It’s an attitude, it’s an aura, and the attitude is one of total superiority, supremacy, knowledge, power, they’re better and they know it, than everybody else. It doesn’t matter how dumb or stupid they are. These are the people ruining everything, by the way. These are the people that got us into $20 trillion in debt."...


Overshadowed by Rocket Man verbage, Trump’s UN address was clarion call to reject transnationalism and to re-embrace a world of sovereign nation-states that cherish their independence and unique identities. Buchanan: US itself will end if it continues interventionist addiction-Pat Buchanan, 9/22/17

"Trump is repudiating the New World Order of Bush I, the democracy crusades of the neocons of the Bush II era, and the globaloney of Obama."

9/22/17, "Trump--American Gaullist," Pat Buchanan 

"If a U.S. president calls an adversary "Rocket Man…on a mission to suicide,” and warns his nation may be “totally destroyed,” other ideas in his speech will tend to get lost. 

Which is unfortunate. For buried in Donald Trump’s address is a clarion call to reject transnationalism and to re-embrace a world of sovereign nation-states that cherish their independence and unique identities.

Western man has engaged in this great quarrel since Woodrow Wilson declared America would fight in the Great War, not for any selfish interests, but “to make the world safe for democracy. 

Our imperialist allies, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, regarded this as self-righteous claptrap and proceeded to rip apart Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Ottoman Empire and to feast on their colonies.

After World War II, Jean Monnet, father of the EU, wanted Europe’s nations to yield up their sovereignty and form a federal union like the USA.

Europe’s nations would slowly sink and dissolve in a single polity that would mark a giant leap forward toward world government — Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.”

Charles De Gaulle lead the resistance, calling for “a Europe of nation-states from the Atlantic to the Urals.”

For 50 years, the Gaullists were in constant retreat. The Germans especially, given their past, seemed desirous of losing their national identity and disappearing inside the new Europe.

Today, the Gaullist vision is ascendant.

“We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government,” said Trump at the U.N.

“Strong sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect.…

“In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch.”

Translation: We Americans have created something unique in history. But we do not assert that we should serve as a model for mankind. Among the 190 nations, others have evolved in different ways from diverse cultures, histories, traditions. We may reject their values but we have no God-given right to impose ours upon them.

It is difficult to reconcile Trump’s belief in self-determination with a National Endowment for Democracy whose reason for being is to interfere in the politics of other nations to make them more like us. Trump’s idea of patriotism has deep roots in America’s past.

After the uprisings of 1848 against the royal houses of Europe failed, Lajos Kossuth came to seek support for the cause of Hungarian democracy. He was wildly welcomed and hailed by Secretary of State Daniel Webster.

But Henry Clay, more true to the principles of Washington’s Farewell Address, admonished Kossuth:

“Far better is it for ourselves, for Hungary, and for the cause of liberty that, adhering to our wise, pacific system, and avoiding the distant wars of Europe, we should keep our lamp burning brightly on the western shore as a light to all nations, than to hazard its utter extinction amid the ruins of fallen or falling republics in Europe.”

Trump’s U.N. address echoed Clay: “In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government’s first duty is to its people…to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values.”

Trump is saying with John Quincy Adams that our mission is not to go “abroad in search of monsters to destroy,” but to “put America first.” He is repudiating the New World Order of Bush I, the democracy crusades of the neocons of the Bush II era, and the globaloney of Obama.

Trump’s rhetoric implies intent; and action is evident from Rex Tillerson’s directive to his department to rewrite its mission statement — and drop the bit about making the world democratic.

The current statement reads: “The Department’s mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world.”

Tillerson should stand his ground. For America has no divinely mandated mission to democratize mankind. And the hubristic idea that we do has been a cause of all the wars and disasters that have lately befallen the republic.

If we do not cure ourselves of this interventionist addiction, it will end our republic. When did we dethrone our God and divinize democracy?

And are 21st-century American values really universal values?

Should all nations embrace same-sex marriage, abortion on demand, and the separation of church and state if that means, as it has come to mean here, the paganization of public education and the public square? 

If freedom of speech and the press here have produced a popular culture that is an open sewer and a politics of vilification and venom, why would we seek to impose this upon other peoples?

For the State Department to declare America’s mission to be to make all nations look more like us might well be regarded as a uniquely American form of moral imperialism."


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Facebook keen on beefing up its presence in Beltway power corridors, is big spender on federal lobbying. Voters were forced to look at Facebook logo 100% of the time on screen in 2015 and 2016 televised Republican debates it sponsored. Facebook "data" was plugged by tv debate "moderators" as alleged barometer of public mood. Public interest advocates are raising concerns about tech's high profile on the campaign trail. Facebook had 'lounges' for media at tv debates-The Hill, 3/13/2016

8/6/2015, Facebook sponsor logo, lower right

Image from 8/6/2015, "Fox News goes blocky in updated debate look,"

"Also at play: the desire to get a piece of the political online ad spending that analysts predict will hit hundreds of millions of dollars this cycle."... 

3/13/2016, "Tech's big play in 2016," The Hill, David McCabe 

"The country's most valuable and visible tech companies are making their presence felt in the 2016 presidential election. 

Their efforts-some public, others less obvious to voters-are an aggressive play to make their brands an even bigger part of the political process and cement their position in American life.... 

Tech companies are now regularly co-sponsors of primary debates, their logos visible behind candidates during broadcasts that are breaking ratings records. 

More than half of the sanctioned primary debates this cycle have been co-sponsored by tech companies. That's more than in 2012 and in 2008, when the only tech-network partnership, between CNN and YouTube, was treated as a novelty. 

The companies are also influencing what gets onscreen. Google has has YouTube stars ask candidates questions and Facebook’s data is regularly referenced by debate moderators as a barometer of the public mood. 

Sometimes, what’s happening on social networks affects, in real time, the questions asked on stage. 

Social media exploded when Hillary Clinton defended raking in millions in Wall Street donations by saying she represented New York state on 9/11 during a November CBS debate co-sponsored by Twitter. 

CBS producers with the help of an embedded Twitter team used new social tools to find a critical tweet. Moderators referenced it in a follow-up question. 

“Fifty years of televised presidential debates and [it was] the first time that people yelling at the screen had their voice heard on the stage,” said Adam Sharp, the head of news, government and elections at Twitter. 

The companies have also rolled out more features voters can use to learn about the candidates. 

It's now possible to read through a candidate’s positions on the issues without ever leaving Google's search results page. The tech giant now allows campaigns to post content directly into results. Microsoft’s Bing search engine has a similar feature. 

And new tools are making it easier for voters to interact with what's onscreen. During Thursday night's GOP debate, Facebook users could share their reactions to what they were watching — with the results reflected in a real-time graph.... 

For all the public efforts, tech companies are also increasingly inserting themselves behind-the-scenes, targeting influential campaign operatives and political journalists in ways voters rarely see. 

Google, Facebook and Twitter have built lush lounges that host journalists covering the events and also act as embassies for their brands. 

Google’s spin room, which has been used at several debates, has displays showing the company’s data in real-time and allowing journalists to use it in their coverage. 

Facebook does something similar in its debate lounges.

Reporters can learn how to use Facebook professionally from company staffers and browse data related to the events on touchscreens.

“The lounge is just a great spot because you have hundreds of journalists all in one spot that we can kind of do that sort of training and outreach,” said Katie Harbath, who leads the Facebook team handling engagement around elections. 

But the debate lounges and spin rooms are also opportunities for the companies to make a good impression on debate attendees. Google offers visitors to the spin room breakfast, lunch and dinner, for example, and has had a barista on site. And there are party favors: Google-branded headphones or gloves and blankets in New Hampshire. 

Facebook’s debate lounges have featured branded Rubik's Cubes, selfie sticks and, in at least one case, a teal carpet brought in just for the event.

And Microsoft spent more than a year working on smartphone applications that state party volunteers used in Iowa to run the caucuses. They also provided a media-filing center in Des Moines on the night of the vote.

Stan Freck, Microsoft’s senior director for campaign technology services, said that it was part of a larger effort to increase the company's civic engagement.

This is not the first election cycle where large tech companies have made a play for a seat at the political table. Social media companies have long been thrust into election season because of the political conversation on their platforms.

But the flurry of activity this year is taking place as the companies try to increase their influence in Washington.

Tech has spent years beefing up its presence in Washington’s corridors of power. Google and Facebook are both big spenders on federal lobbying. Twitter announced at the end of last year that they were hiring outside lobbying firms for the first time. 

Also at play: the desire to get a piece of the political online ad spending that analysts predict will hit hundreds of millions of dollars this cycle. 

All four major companies sell ads — Microsoft and Google for their search products and Facebook and Twitter on their social platforms — to campaigns of all sizes. They tout the ability they give advertisers to target potential voters based on a wide range of demographic factors. 

But public interest advocates are raising concerns about tech's high profile on the campaign trail. 

“The more engaged in Washington [a company is], the more difficult it can be to draw clear lines between what you might call corporate social responsibility, and benevolent, well-intentioned programs, and efforts that are designed to influence political outcomes,” said Todd O’Boyle, the director of the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause. 

Microsoft’s Freck said his company, which has a significant government contracting business, certainly sees a business upside to its involvement in politics — but it’s far from a quid pro quo.

"This isn’t going to be the next multi-billion dollar business for the company,” he said. “On the other hand, the people who are involved in this process and will see the technology — and use it and touch it and smell it and try it and do something that to them is very important, which is get elected — eventually end up in office as well and do think, Who can help me with tough problems the next time something shows up?’...

Former Rep. Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.), who leads Google’s D.C. office and its lobbying, has attended debates co-sponsored by the company. But the company says the spin rooms are meant to provide journalists access to data, and not be a venue for lobbying....

The tech companies are certain to keep their new role in the political arena row. Some of them are among the most valuable companies in the world, and their cache in Washington is only growing. And that to voters' changing media habits."...

Above image from 8/6/2015, "Fox News goes blocky in updated debate look,"

Fox News goes blocky in updated debate look

Comment: Screen shot above is from 2015. It didn't appear in The Hill article, I added it. Susan


'Today’s NSA is in position to clear up any and all questions about intrusions into the DNC.' No need to "assess," no need for CrowdStrike, no need for Russia-Gate, no need for presidential order to release NSA data. Apparently Trump prefers Americans to be misinformed-William Binney, Ray McGovern, Consortium News

"Today's NSA is in position to clear up any and all questions about intrusions into the DNC."...Media making millions off Russia-Gate, so it's Too Big to Fail.
9/20/17, "More Holes in Russia-gate Narrative," Consortium News, William Binney, Ray McGovern

"Must Americans, apparently including President Donald Trump, remain in a Russia-did-it-or-could-have-maybe-might-have-done-it subjunctive mood on this important issue – one that has been used to inject Cold War ice into relations with Russia? The answer is absolutely not. Rather, definitive answers are at hand.

How can we be so confident? Because NSA alumni now active in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) are intimately familiar with NSA’s capabilities and practice with respect to bulk capture and storage of fiber-optic communications. Two of us actually devised the systems still in use, and Edward Snowden’s revelations filled in remaining gaps. Today’s NSA is in position to clear up any and all questions about intrusions into the DNC.

In sum, we are certain that the truth of what actually happened – or didn’t happen – can be found in the databases of NSA. We tried to explain this to President Barack Obama in a VIPS Memorandum of Jan. 17, just three days before he left office, noting that NSA’s known programs are fully capable of capturing – and together with liaison intelligence services do capture – all electronic transfers of data.

Our Jan. 17 Memorandum included this admonition: “We strongly suggest that you ask NSA for any evidence it may have indicating that the results of Russian hacking were given to WikiLeaks.” … “If NSA cannot give you that information – and quickly – this would probably mean it does not have any.”

We also appealed to Obama in his final days in office to order the chiefs of the NSA, FBI and CIA to the White House and have them lay all their cards on the table about “Russian hacking,” and show him what tangible evidence they might have – not simply their “assessments.” We added, “We assume you would not wish to hobble your successor with charges that cannot withstand close scrutiny.” Having said this, we already were reaching the assumption that there was no real evidence to back the “assessments” up.

FBI: Not Leaning Forward

The FBI could still redeem itself by doing what it should have done as soon as the DNC claimed to have been “hacked.” For reasons best known to former FBI Director James Comey, the Bureau failed to get whatever warrant was needed to confiscate the DNC servers and computers to properly examine them.

In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee six months ago, Comey conceded “best practice is always to get access to the machines themselves.” And yet he chose not to. And his decision came amid frenzied charges by senior U.S. officials that Russia had committed “an act of war.”

But is it not already too late for such an investigation? We hope that, at this point, it is crystal clear that the answer is: No, it is not too late. All the data the FBI needs to do a proper job is in NSA databases including data going across the Internet to the DNC server and then included in their network logs. 

If President Trump wants to know the truth, he can order the FBI to do its job and NSA to cooperate. Whether the two and the CIA would obey such orders is an open question, given how heavily invested all three agencies are in their evidence-impoverished narrative about “Russian hacking.” 

Let us close with the obvious. All three agencies have been aware all along that NSA has the data.

One wonders why it should require a Presidential order for them to delve into that data and come up with conclusions based on fact, as opposed to “assessing.”"

"William Binney ( worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA. Ray McGovern ( was a CIA analyst for 27 years; from 1981 to 1985 he briefed the President’s Daily Brief one-on-one to President Reagan’s most senior national security officials."

Added: James Clapper, who admitted lying to the US Senate in 2013, is on Advisory Board of Rob Reiner's Committee to Investigate Russia:



Added: In 2013 James Clapper lied to the US Senate about NSA surveillance. "What else will he lie about?" Clapper wasn't fired, was given even more authority:

6/11/2013, "Fire James Clapper," Slate, "The Director of National Intelligence lied to Congress about NSA surveillance. What else will he lie about?" Slate, Fred Kaplan

"Nor was this a spontaneous lie or a lie he regretted making. Wyden revealed in a statement today that he'd given Clapper advance notice that he would ask the question and that, after the hearing, he offered Clapper a chance to revise his answer. Clapper didn’t take the offer." 



9/19/17, "Reiner, Frum headline group to publicize Russia probes," CNN, Daniella Diaz

"Film director Rob Reiner and Atlantic senior editor David Frum are teaming up to promote a group that aims to widely share information about Russia's involvement in the 2016 election and its ongoing threat to US institutions. 

The Committee to Investigate Russia's website,, launched on Tuesday and includes a video featuring actor Morgan Freeman. Reiner and Frum, who are both members of the group's advisory board, told CNN that they felt compelled to act on the news of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election....

Frum was a former special assistant to President George W. Bush and has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump. Reiner is a lifelong liberal who backed Hillary Clinton during both of her failed White House bids and hosted a fundraiser for her at his Los Angeles home in 2015.




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