Federal election regulators fined Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee earlier this month for not properly disclosing the money they spent on controversial opposition research that led to the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.
The DNC was fined $105,000 and the Clinton campaign was fined $8,000, according to a letter sent by the Federal Election Commission to a conservative group that requested an inquiry.
Political candidates and groups are required to publicly disclose their spending to the FEC, and they must explain the purpose of any specific expenditure more than $200. The FEC concluded that the Clinton campaign and DNC misreported the money that funded the dossier, masking it as "legal services" and "legal and compliance consulting" instead of opposition research.
The dossier was compiled by retired British spy Christopher Steele. It contained unverified and salacious allegations about Donald Trump, including claims that his campaign colluded with the Kremlin to win the 2016 election. Trump's campaign had numerous contacts with Russian agents, and embraced Russian help, but no one was ever formally accused of conspiring with Russia.
And here is THE DAILY BEAST:
The Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign have agreed to a settlement in which they will pay $113,000 to the Federal Election Commission for costs accrued into just how the infamous Steele dossier came to be. The Democratic big hitters are accused of misreporting payments in order to hide money being paid to conduct opposition research into then-candidate Donald Trump’s alleged Russian ties. That research eventually became the Steele dossier and included such unforgettable nuggets as the “pee tape” Russians were said to have had of Trump in compromised circumstances. On election spending forms, the Clinton campaign tagged the spending as legal services.
Grasp how her campaign lied repeatedly. Grasp how they denied being behind it and those denials continued even after it became public that they had paid for it. They are now paying a fine. Yes, the DNC and Ms. Clinton's campaign paid for the laughable Steel Dossier and then lied to the public repeatedly about having done so.
Reminder, Betty and I are covering THE THING ABOUT PAM. Last time we offered:
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Thursday, March 31, 2022.. Robert Pether remains in an Iraqi jail, Julian Assange remains persecuted, Iraq still can't name a president and Jada Pinkett remains bald.
Kicking off with the assault of Chris Rock, let's note this from Jimmy Dore about how Will Smith's assault is now encouraging others to call for assaulting comedians.
It's amazing. And, as Elaine pointed out:
I like Jonathan Turley but I think he's missed the boat on one issue.
He rightly documents the attacks on free speech. So far, however, he has not written of Will Smith attacking Chris Rock at the Oscars. Maybe he is doing a column on it?
If so, he may be holding the topic for that reason.
But I would argue that all the attacks on free speech, all the self-righteous grand-standing to justify censoring people. We see that in the attack, we see that in some of the responses to the attack.
I support free speech.
What Will Smith did was outrageous. Some of the reactions to the assault have been even more outrageous.
This is part of the attack on free speech. It's also something more.
I'm remembering having to learn the name of Nicholas Sandman. My life was fine without ever knowing his name. But he was made into a national incident and a monster by the same group that's defening Will and talking how hard it is on Jada Pankitt. Nicholas didn't do anything to warrant the outrage or the hate heaped on him. But Will slapped Chris Rock on a national statge -- that Will wasn't supposed to be on -- in front of the whole world and lairs and whores want to pretend like it's okay?
I've read that garbage THE WASHINGTON POST published from the dumb idiot who wanted to argue in favor of Jada and tell you it was race and sexism and Jada was the victim.
You stupid f**king idiot. You are the reason outlets used to argue that women couldn't cover abortion -- they were women and they could get pregnant so they couldn't be objective was the claim.. We saw that same thing with the idiot in Congress who Tweeted applauding the assualt because she's bald too.
Get over yourselves. Being bald? If that's the worst thing in your life, you should be thanking your higher power, personal god, whatever that this is all you're facing.
And stop applauding Will for 'defending' his wife while claiming to be a feminist.
A woman needs rescued? That's offensive. A woman can't handle words? That's offensive.
You certainly are trapped in your gender roles as you stumble around at the corner of race and gender.
And you miss the reality of the actual trope that's at play -- because you can't/won't refute the systematic racism of the system you are electing to endorse, embrace and play with it.
A woman needs defending, you argue, so Will was alright to do what he did.
As you spew your garbage endlessly, do you not realize what you're doing?
Because the way I see it, violence gainst a Black man is again being justified because someone claims a woman's 'honor' has been besmirched.
Emmett Till wasn't an exception, he's just one of the few that's widely known. Time and again, Black men were targeted in the US with the claim that they had dishonored a woman in some way. Women? We can defend ourselves. Claiming otherwise is a cute way for men to justify attacking others. Claiming that we can't defend ourselves -- not even from words -- is sexism.
But that reality is ignored and Chris Rock is attacked.
Chris Rock deserved to be attacked because he's Black?
I'd drop your faux feminism and your academic nonsense and grasp the reality of the situation. Violence against a Black man is once again being justified and minimized.
Don't tell me #BlackLivesMatter when you think it is perfectly acceptable for Chris Rock to be assaulted while performing an act he was asked by the Academy to perform on live television.
Chris Rock has been very nice about this and very kind. And who's sticking up for him? (I know Chris Rock and consider him a friend.) No one. Whores like Pee-Pee in his mouth Diddy lied -- and I told you he was lying -- to protect Will Smith. Who's defending Chris.
Chris was the one attacked.
And Jada, ya still bald.
And it's still not the end of the world, and you're still not going to die from it.
Chris was invited on that stage. Will was not. Chris was doing exactly what he was asked to do by the Academy. And he got assaulted. There's no excuse for that. There's no defense for that. And shame on anyone applauding that attack and not grasping that they are falling into the historical racist construct that says it is okay to assault a Black man to defend a woman's 'honor.'
An attack on free speech is what the persecution of Julian Assange is all about. US President Joe Biden continues to persecute the journalist for opening the truth up to the world. Attacking Julian is about intimidating any journalist in the future with knowledge of War Crimes carried out by the US so that the journalist will not report them.
In marked contrast to the war in Ukraine, the Iraqi war was covered by journalists embedded with the invading forces.
Civilian deaths were dismissed as “collateral damage”.
When WikiLeaks showed us what “collateral damage” looked like from the perspective of Iraqi civilians, releasing a video of a massacre by an Apache helicopter gun crew of Iraqi civilians and two Reuter journalists, Julian Assange called it Collateral Murder.
This intervention played an important role in ending the illegal UK, U.S. and Australian invasion of a sovereign nation, and because of this, the war criminals he exposed are destroying Julian Assange with the consent of the Australian Government, claiming he is the criminal.
But Assange was a hero for peace.
For the Apache helicopter crew, the civilians on the ground were dehumanised. Like boys playing a computer game, they exclaimed “light ‘em up!” as they blew apart their victims from their unseen platform a mile in the sky.
When a good samaritan stopped to help those still living, he and his children were ruthlessly machine-gunned. The crew blamed their father, saying he shouldn’t have brought children to a war zone.
Let's note two reports from 60 MINUTES>
And let's note that this 60 MINUTES in Austrtalia. In the US, nothing. In the US, whose president is persecuting Julian Assange? Silence.
Julian's 'crime' is journalism. He is targed by the president of the United States. And you have to look to 60 MINUTES in aonther country to get coverage.
Julian remains persecuted. And the silence goes a long, long way towards explaining why that continues.
Hard working, principled journalists — who’d be legends and treasures in a long lost era of good press ethics in society — and their sources are paying a high price out of their human rights under the aegis of a craven new age of US imperialism. Most modern states bar the integration of legitimate journalistic activity with the penal code, like those currently being deployed to get Julian Assange. But in the data age, with less developed laws around the link between technology and sources, criminalisation is being embraced, or at least is being seized upon in the moment before laws and regulation are clarified and tightened up to get Assange.
But it stinks. For one evidence cited in attempts to justify his arrest and pursuit under the law are at best dubious, at worst slanderous. Moreover in a zeitgeist defined by Brexit negotiations steeped deep in the rhetoric of protecting parliamentary sovereignty it ought to worry us British courts are willing to yield to the whims of US courts who are willing to put Assange away for life, or kill him, for the crime of doing journalism.
It’s time that the establishment drops pretences and stops using the phrase “no man is above the law” as if the mantra is still meaningful. Either justice is a right or its not. For so many, conspicuously all in the business of exposing corruption, they don’t get it. It’s time to reform society’s treatment of whistleblowers and remove all legal obstructions to their freedoms.
Joe Biden has become a threat to a free press and to the First Amendment. Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) addresses the damage that Joe's doing with his words:
“I mean what I say when I say it!” Those words were spoken by president elect Joe Biden in December 2020 during a meeting with a group described as “civil rights leaders.” Video of the meeting was leaked and Biden’s insulting and dismissive attitude towards Black people was clear even to those who ignored this tendency he has shown throughout his 50 years of public life.
Biden did us a favor by revealing himself and by telling us to pay attention when he speaks. That advice should be followed no matter how strange his words may seem. Even in his bad tempered confusion, Biden always reveals what he is doing.
He recently made news for all the wrong reasons during his recent trip to Europe where he attended a combination G7 summit and NATO meeting in Brussels followed by a trip to Poland.
At the NATO meeting he rather nonchalantly informed the people of the world that they will all suffer because of the misguided effort to punish Russia with sanctions. “With regard to food shortages, yes we did talk about food shortages and it’s going to be real. The price of these sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia. It's imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well. And because both Russia and Ukraine have been the bread basket of Europe in terms of wheat for example.” Ukraine won’t have a good harvest in the near future and Russia won’t be able to sell what it grows. That means rising prices for those scarce wheat products that may still be available. Biden’s casual tone is an indication he thinks people and governments all over the world should accept the oncoming disaster he created without complaint.
Not content to disrupt global food supplies he also announced his future plans for Ukraine. He said this to 82nd Airborne troops stationed in Poland. "And you’re going to see when you’re there. And you — some — some of you have been there. You’re going to see — you’re going to see women, young people standing — standing the middle of — in front of a damn tank, just saying, 'I’m not leaving. I’m holding my ground.' They’re incredible." Why are U.S. troops going to see anything in Ukraine? He tried to clean it up with “you may have already seen it” but he was saying that he intends to have US troops deployed in a country where Russia already has forces. His photo opportunity turned into the announcement of a hot war.
The most remarkable Biden statement that his apologists call a “gaffe ” also took place in Poland. He gave what was supposed to be a conventional speech portraying the U.S. as the beacon of freedom and democracy while Russia is really bad. His remarks should have been fairly standard and unexceptional but as always Biden told us what he was up to. In referring to Vladimir Putin he said, "This man cannot remain in power."
The clarifications and backpedaling were immediate, but no one could unhear Biden’s words. Despite all denials to the contrary, Biden is after regime change against the Russian government and his actions prove it. The very idea that Russia’s government will fall because of sanctions pressure is ludicrous. But once again, Biden gave a heads up in July 2021 .
“When I was with Mr. Putin, who has a real problem. He's sitting on top of an economy that has nuclear weapons and oil wells and nothing else. Nothing else. Their economy is, what, the eighth smallest in the world now, largest in the world? He knows he's in real trouble, which makes him even more dangerous, in my view."
As the US government pursues conflict with Russia, the site of the ongoing war that the US started, Iraq, gets worse and worse. As we noted yesterday, for the third time this year, Iraq held a session of Parliament to elect a president. nd for the the third time -- this year -- they failed to do so.
This year. We're in the third month of this year.
Three times, they have failed.
The parliamentary election was held when? October 10th. And they are supposed to move quickly. They didn't. That is why they are now almost two months beyond the date set in their own Constitution for naming a president.
They can't name a prime minister until they have a president.
Follwing the results of October 10th, too many corporate outlets in the west tried to spin reality. Reailty was that the turnout was the lowest ever. Further reality is that turn out has gone repeatedly ever since Joe Biden (via The Erbil Agreement) overturned the 2010 election results. The people didn't want Nouri al-Maliki to have a seond term. The White House did. The result was the rise of ISIS, yes. But it also resulted in an eroison of trust in the ballot box -- something many of us were warning of at that time.
The whorish corporate press wanted to name Moqtada al-Sadr a victor, hurrah! A kingmaker, they called him. They didn't bother to note that not only did he not win enough seats to form a government on his own but that his group also got less votes than they did in the previous elections.
Moqtada was hailed by the western press -- as though he'd never been responsible for the deaths of US troops, as though he'd never attacked Iraq's LGBTQ community, as though he wasn't attempting to curtail the rights of women. all of that was washed away.
Reality, Moqtada's not a kingmaker.
Reality, Nouri al-Maliki continues to stall and delay him. What Nouri's not personally carrying out is other people copying Nouri's previous plays.
And Moqtada, hailed by the corporate press backin October, still can't form a government. We're tend days away from April 10th, ten days away six months since the elections. And the political stalemate continues.
None of this is surprising if anyone had paid attention. We did. I'm not suprised at all and I said over and over that Moqtada was not a kingmaker, that nothing indicated he was, that facts argued he had lost support. But facts and today's corporate press are at opposite ends. They're openly hostile to one another.
The western press that sold the illegal war still can't get the facts right all this time later.
Six months after Iraq's parliamentary vote, the war-scarred country is no closer to electing a president amid a bitter political stalemate that has thrown institutions into limbo.
Wrangling between rival Muslim Shiite blocs in the assembly on Wednesday scuppered the legislature's third attempt to elect a head of state.
Though a largely ceremonial role, the president determines the country's next prime minister who will in turn form a cabinet to be voted in by an absolute majority of lawmakers.
- What is the hold-up? -
A schism running through the so-called "Shiite house" of Iraqi politics lies at the heart of the impasse.
Firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr has long claimed the largest bloc in parliament, with 73 seats out of the 329-member legislature.
But his bloc does not have enough members to establish a clear majority -- forcing him to reach out to form an untraditional alliance.
Eschewing the more predictable grouping with other Shiite factions, Sadr has chosen to ally with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Sunni parties to form a coalition dubbed "Saving the Homeland", with 155 seats.
The coalition backs KDP candidate Rebar Ahmed for the presidency -- a post reserved for Kurds, while the post of prime minister by convention goes to a Shiite.
Shirking the tradition of forming a "consensus government" between Shiite parties, Sadr hopes to put forth a "majority government" led by his cousin, Iraq's ambassador to Britain Jaafar al-Sadr.
This has placed his coalition at loggerheads with the Coordination Framework -- a powerful force that includes former premier Nuri al-Maliki's party and the Iran-backed Fatah Alliance, the political arm of the Shiite-led former paramilitary group Hashed al-Shaabi.
Maybe ahead of next year's Academy Awards, Mila can announce that she once again misspoke about what country she was from and that, this time, it was really Australia and then she can ask for a moment of silence to honor the persecuted Robert Pether and Julian Assange?
The following sites updated: