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Шелдон Адельсон
Шелдон Адельсон
Шелдон Адельсон (Sheldon Gary Adelson) — один из крупнейших мировых воротил игрового бизнеса и один из самых богатых жителей планеты. Ему принадлежит игорная корпорация Las Vegas Sands, расположенная в Лас-Вегасе, производительность которой составляет примерно миллион долларов в час. По данным ...

Шелдон Адельсон (Sheldon Gary Adelson) — один из крупнейших мировых воротил игрового бизнеса и один из самых богатых жителей планеты. Ему принадлежит игорная корпорация Las Vegas Sands, расположенная в Лас-Вегасе, производительность которой составляет примерно миллион долларов в час. По данным на 2014 год, его состояние оценивается в 38 млрд долларов. Самый состоятельный американский еврей и самый щедрый в истории США политический донор.

 

Как-то Буш, отвечая на вопросы журналистов о его отношения с Шелдоном Адельсоном, сказал – «Этот сумасшедший еврей-миллиардер постоянно на меня кричит!»

Шелдон Адельсон родился 1 августа 1933 г. в окрестностях Бостона в городе Дорчестер. Его родители – второе поколение еврейских эмигрантов в США: мать – c Украины, отец – литовец. Сам он считает себя американцем, однако от исторической составляющей не отказывается.

В то время Америка все еще ощущала на себе последствия Великой депрессии, Великой засухи и отмены сухого закона. Отец Шелдона – водитель такси, который не мог нормально прокормить семью, так как львиную долю не самого большого заработка ему приходилось отдавать мафии: «Я родился в очень бедной семье и вырос в нищете. На всю семью у нас была одна кровать, на ней спали мои родители, а дети спали на полу» – так рассказывал Адельсон о своем детстве. И тем не менее в те суровые годы Адельсон-старший преподал сыну урок, который он запомнил на всю оставшуюся жизнь: «Однажды я заметил, что отец откладывает деньги в какую-то коробку. На мой вопрос, зачем он это делает, он ответил, что это деньги для бедных. Тогда я спросил его: «Папа, но мы сами бедные, зачем же ты откладываешь эти деньги?» Он ответил: «Да, мы бедные, но это деньги для тех, кто еще беднее, чем мы». И когда Адельсон разбогател, он стал львиную долю своих доходов отдавать на благотворительность и разнообразные медицинские исследования. Он вообще говорит, что вся его деятельность и его богатство «просто позволяют мне заниматься добрыми делами».

 

Упорный труд и первые успехи

Шелдон понимал, что у него перед родителями есть преимущество: он уже не эмигрант, а человек «местного разлива», и следовательно, возможностей у него гораздо больше, чем у папы с мамой. Мальчик видел, как тяжело его семье, и думал: нет, я так жить не буду. Поэтому с младых ногтей принялся упорно трудиться.

Свои первые деньги Шелдон Адельсон заработал в десять лет, продавая газеты. Но очень скоро ему это наскучило: парень смекнул, что «в этом бизнесе нет системы». Свою систему юный Адельсон внедрил уже через неделю. Нанял группу сверстников, которых расставил в самых людных местах своей улицы с одним условием: с каждого проданного экземпляра надо было платить. При этом сам менеджер внимательно следил за тем, чтобы система не давала сбоев, и не уходил домой, пока не кончалась торговля.

 

Но в неблагополучном районе Бостона, в котором рос Шелдон, мало было заработать несколько монет, нужно было еще донести их до дома. «Я не был еврейским мальчиком со скрипочкой, – вспоминает Шелдон Адельсон. – Зато я умел хорошо драться. Моим оружием было все: кулаки, ногти, зубы, кирпичи, палки… Я и сейчас не позавидую тому, кто захочет загнать меня в угол.» Улица – второй главный учитель в жизни Шелдона. Именно улица научила его находить общий язык с откровенными бандитами и никогда не отдавать своего.

 

Вместе со своими друзьями – Тедом Катлером, Ирвином Хафецом и Джорданом Шапиро – Шелдон придумывал различные способы заработка. Консьержи в отелях с удовольствием перепоручали мальчишкам забрать из химчистки чей-то костюм или доставить из магазинов покупки для постояльцев. «Мальчики» – Шелдон до сих пор называет так своих многолетних партнеров: их уличную компанию не разделили ни годы, ни деньги – имели свой процент с вознаграждения, которое получал консьерж.

По окончании школы Шелдон решил не искать новых путей, а развивать «отельный бизнес». Вместе с друзьями он стал продавать небольшим отелям туалетные принадлежности: бумагу, салфетки, мыло, крем для бритья, помазки, различные щетки и мочалки. Все те же, уже знакомые консьержи, управляющие, швейцары и горничные помогали Шелдону и его «мальчикам» реализовывать товар, получая с этого свой процент.

По воспоминаниям друзей, Шелдону приходили в голову самые невероятные и безумные идеи, и он без тени сомнения брался их реализовывать. Торговля театральными билетами, организация чартерных перелетов, сдача в аренду коммерческой недвижимости… Что бы ни предложил Шелдон, «мальчики» безоговорочно принимали участие в любой авантюре. По другому и быть не могло: Шелдон не терпел возражений, лени, отсутствия настойчивости и тупости. Если у него закрадывалось сомнение в том, что друзья его поддержат, Шелдон начинал орать так, что уши закладывало.

Шелдон впадал в ярость, если его приказы не выполнялись, – рассказывает Питер Янг, много лет проработавший с Адельсоном в качестве менеджера по связям с общественностью – «Его бешеные вопли стали легендой. Но никому и в голову не приходило обижаться на это. Он был боссом не потому, что его назначили, а потому, что он был самым умным и совершенно «без тормозов», как сейчас говорят. Если Шелдон ставил цель, он пёр на нее, не думая о трудностях. И ему было все равно, кто и что думает по этому поводу. Если бы кто-то принялся ему возражать или учить, Шелдон послал бы его куда подальше, невзирая ни на возраст, ни на положение

Своим напором, неутомимостью, а иногда неистовым криком Шелдон Адельсон «жарил» и своих партнеров, и потенциальных клиентов. Со временем в окружении Адельсона вошла в обиход такая поговорка: «Хочешь работать с Шелдоном – купи себе тефлоновый костюм».

Через некоторое время он осознал, что некоторые виды деятельности приносят ему больше денег, чем другие, и стал заниматься только прибыльными. Например, балаганом своего дядюшки на местной ярмарке. Он внимательно наблюдал за тем, как дядя крутит «Колесо фортуны» и кладет себе в карман немаленькие суммы. Впоследствии это пригодилось ему, когда он купил свое первое казино: «Все дело в законе больших чисел. У моего дяди имелось деревянное колесо, в которое было забито 100 гвоздей. Игрок мог поставить на любое число от 1 до 100. Если угадывал, то получал игрушку стоимостью $10. Стоимость участия составляла $0,1. То есть приз был в 100 раз дороже стоимости участия. Согласно закону больших чисел, если вы крутанете колесо 100 раз, то оно по разу остановится на каждой цифре. И сколько бы раз вы ни крутили, шансы для каждого номера будут 1/100. Если кто-то поставит разом 100 монет, то он точно выиграет приз. Фактически вы даете возможность получить удовольствие игрокам, торгуя игрушками. В нашем бизнесе вместо игрушек вы получаете доллары…»

Вот так незамысловато мальчик постигал науку больших чисел и науку управления финансами. Цифры давались Шелдону легко.

Несколько лет назад дотошные журналисты подсчитали, что за свою жизнь Шелдон Адельсон создал больше пятидесяти компаний в самых разных сферах деятельности. В 60-х годах Шелдон попробовал себя в качестве театрального антрепренера, потом переквалифицировался в торговца недвижимостью и ипотечного брокера. «Деньги нужно зарабатывать ТАМ, где деньги ЕСТЬ», – не уставал повторять Шелдон. Следуя этому принципу, он пошел на биржу. Здесь, в «машинном отделении бизнеса», Шелдон постигал, как работают экономические законы. Полученного за несколько лет практического опыта хватило Адельсону для того, чтобы стать финансовым и инвестиционным консультантом. Теория Шелдона подтверждалась: хочешь быть богатым – держись ближе к деньгам и тем, у кого они есть.

Несмотря на то что денег он зарабатывал прилично, высшее образование так и не получил: ему было интересно зарабатывать, а не слушать о том, как можно заработать. Как можно заработать, он и сам знал…

Вместе с двумя своими друзьями в конце 60-х он открыл чартерное туристическое агентство. К началу 70-х Шелдон решил основательно заняться «обслуживанием бизнеса». «Ездить на переговоры к каждому потенциальному клиенту или партнеру обременительно и скучно, – рассуждал Шелдон. – Куда как правильнее несколько раз в год собирать всех в одном месте и заключать сделки, не отходя от барной стойки. В этом и заключается роль руководителя.»

 

Выставочный бизнес

Кто бы мог подумать, что на выставке можно заработать миллионы? В середине 70-х годов прошлого века – никто. Никто кроме Шелдона Адельсона.

Как-то в конце апреля 1979 года Шелдон просматривал пилотный номер журнала Computer Systems News, впоследствии канувшего в Лету. Издание предназначалось для производителей компьютерной техники и публиковало материалы, посвященные тому, что потом стало называться дистрибуцией. Тут-то его и осенило: в мире нет ни одной крупной выставки или заметного представительного форума, посвященного этой проблеме — дистрибуции с участием дилеров-профессионалов.

Его предложение об учреждении регулярной экспозиции, которая стала бы, по его словам, барометром всей компьютерной индустрии в мире, было воспринято китами бизнеса на ура. Ради этого хозяева полусотни компаний из заранее составленного и тщательно обдуманного списка, к которым Шелдон обратился со своим предложением, готовы были раскошелиться. Так под его началом возникает компания Computer Dealers Exhibition, больше известная как Comdex.

Учуяв возможности невероятного развития компьютерных технологий, Шелдон обустроил в 1979 году первую частную компьютерную выставку. Она имела невероятную популярность и завоевала все возможные награды в компьютерном и выставочном мирах, какие только возможны. Не имея собственных площадей для обустройства постоянной экспозиции, Адельсон снимал для своих целей отели и быстро заработал миллионы.

«Фантастические перспективы, которые открывала компьютерная индустрия, привлекли к мероприятию внимание прессы, и мы получили грандиозную рекламу почти бесплатно, – вспоминает бывший исполнительный директор «СOMDEX» Джейсон Чудновский (Jason Chudnofsky). — Производители компьютеров, программного обеспечения, многочисленные инвесторы бронировали выставочные площади, места для переговоров и номера в отелях. Шелдон Адельсон арендовал выставочные площади по цене 25 центов за метр в сутки, компании-участники платили Адельсону уже 25 долларов за метр, не считая монтажа выставочного оборудования, обслуживания и других дополнительных возможностей

К 1988 году Comdex развилась настолько, что ей потребовались собственные площадки. И тогда!.. «Для строительства экспоцентра мне нужен был кусок земли, причем непременно рядом с крупным отелем. Только в таком случае мой экспоцентр работал бы наиболее эффективно. Изначально я искал именно кусок земли, а нашел отель, у которого было много земли. Но купить участок отдельно было невозможно. Так что мы купили все разом. И отель, и находившееся в нем казино, и земельный участок, на котором мы и построили наш экспоцентр. Один из моих партнеров тогда сказал мне, что у него есть приятель, который разбирается в гостиничном и игорном бизнесе. Я сказал, что пусть тогда он им и управляет, но у него это получилось плохо. Второй и третий управляющие тоже не справились. В конце концов мне все это надоело и я сам разобрался, что к чему. Так я и оказался в игорном бизнесе…» — вспоминает Шелдон Адельсон.

Comdex тем временем продолжал приносить очень хорошую прибыль, но Шелдону уже стало неинтересно – его увлекло казино. И поэтому он продал экспоцентр японской Soft Bank Corporation за 862 миллиона. Доля Адельсона составила чуть больше полумиллиарда.

 

Игорный бизнес

в 1988 году Адельсон и его партнеры выкупили легендарное казино «The Sands Hotel & Casino» в Лас-Вегасе, где любили бывать Фрэнк Синатра и популярная в США группа «The Rat Pack». На следующий год Адельсон и его партнеры построили новый выставочный центр «The Sands Expo Convention Center», который упрочил позиции Лас-Вегаса в выставочной индустрии США.

Колорит Лас-Вегаса и слава клуба «Sands», где, по слухам, нередко собирались мафиозные боссы, создали Шелдону Адельсону репутацию непростого человека, который сумел найти общий язык даже с мафией. Да ведь всем известно, что казино заправляют сплошь мафиози, а Лас-Вегас вообще построил калифорнийский бандит Бенджамин Сигел.

Однако на вопросы журналистов, касающиеся этой деликатной темы, Шелдон реагирует спокойно и обстоятельно рассказывает: «Когда-то, когда Лас-Вегас только становился игорным центром, этот бизнес действительно был тесно связан с организованной преступностью. Багси Сигел имел репутацию «человека мафии». Первые несколько десятилетий казино в Лас-Вегасе были под контролем мафии. Но потом появился Говард Хьюз владеющий множеством методов по разрешению конфликтов, который скупил половину казино в Лас-Вегасе и выгнал оттуда мафию. Кроме того, власти штата Невада установили строжайшие правила, согласно которым даже человек, который просто знал члена мафии, уже не мог получить лицензию на занятие игорным бизнесом. Система лицензирования и строгие правила помогли очистить этот бизнес. Я могу с уверенностью сказать, что сегодня никакой мафии в Лас-Вегасе нет. Тогда уже не было. Я бы сказал, что этот бизнес чист уже лет тридцать-сорок. Если бы я узнал, что там есть мафия, я бы уехал из Лас-Вегаса…»

Во время свадебного путешествия в Венецию, в которое он отправился со своей второй женой, Адельсону в голову пришла идея мегакурорта. Адельсон решил обустроить огромный отель-казино с венецианскими мотивами на месте своего «Sands», которые самолично взорвал (уничтожение легендарного отеля направленным взрывом транслировали даже в прямом эфире телевидения), не моргнув глазом. Вот так и появился полуторамиллиардный Venetian – шикарнейшее местечко в Лас-Вегасе. В нем все напоминает о любезной сердцу Адельсона и миллионам туристов Венеции: кухня, оформление и даже шопинг-центры с каналами, гондолами и поющими гондольерами.

Казалось бы: сиди себе тихо и радуйся жизни. Не тут-то было! Неугомонный антрепренер знал только одно направление по жизни: против шерсти. До появления Адельсона Город Грехов специализировался исключительно на низкопробном кайфе: гостиничные номера по бросовым ценам (10–20 долларов в сутки), дешевый общепит, дешевые варьете и дешевый гамблинг от квотера за ставку. Адельсон не просто взорвал The Sands Hotel & Casino, но пересмотрел всю концепцию удовольствия в пустыне. Курорт – а это именно курорт, а не просто казино – получил все мыслимые и немыслимые архитектурные награды, и Шелдон решил начать завоевание мира.

 

Мировая экспансия

«Я почувствовал себя богатым, когда перестал беспокоиться о сведении баланса по своей чековой книжке. Когда я был молодой и еще небогатый, я клал деньги в банк и затем выписывал чеки. В конце месяца мне приходилось долго разбираться с чеками и беспокоиться, чтобы не превысить баланс. Когда необходимость в этом отпала, я понял, что стал богатым…» В 1999 году бизнесмен Шелдон Адельсон захотел переместить свои интересы в… Китай. Ну то есть не в сам Китай, а в Макао – бывшую португальскую колонию, которую КНР получала обратно от колонизаторов именно в конце 1999 года. Почему именно туда? «В Макао я инвестирую $12 млрд. Это крупнейшая инвестиция частной компании в одну страну. Зачем? Затем, что мне возвращают $6 млрд, только чтобы я вложился в их страну! Да еще и выделяют землю рядом с крупным городом с 8–10 млн населения, обеспечивают доступ к международному аэропорту, рабочей силой и строительными мощностями и т. п

Затраты на Макао отбились меньше чем за год, и тогда Адельсон понял, что можно двигаться по миру дальше. Может быть, в Россию? «Нет. Я не вижу для себя никаких возможностей в России. Мне предлагали инвестировать в Калининград. Но это же смешно! Чтобы открыть комплекс, как в Макао, мне нужно, чтобы он был рядом с крупным городом с большим международным аэропортом, в который летают все крупные международные авиакомпании. А в Калининграде ничего этого нет. Туда не летают основные авиакомпании. Там нет достаточных строительных мощностей, чтобы построить комплекс площадью 1,5 млн кв. м. Кроме того, мне нужно жилье и отели для рабочих на время строительства, а затем для гостей. В результате это слишком большая инвестиция ради слишком маленькой прибыли. Мы не просто ставим рулетку и пару стульев, мы не сконцентрированы исключительно на казино. Мы создаем интегрированные курорты…»

Las Vegas Sands Corp. построил гостинично-развлекательный комплекс The Marina Bay Sands в Сингапуре стоимостью в $1,4 млрд.

Выход на международную арену придал деловой хватке Адельсона недостающую уверенность. В Лас-Вегасе Шелдон мучился и всегда говорил, что чувствует себя аутсайдером. Даже в Белом Доме ощущал себя скованным по рукам и ногам упрямым нежеланием чиновников пусть даже самого высокого ранга исполнять его прихоти. Зато в Китае и Сингапуре Адельсон вдохнул полной грудью и заработал по-взрослому.

Сегодня два испанских города, Барселона и Мадрид, рьяно соревнуются за право заиметь на своей территории европейский аналог Лас-Вегаса. Ее победитель определится только в сентябре – именно в этом месяце Шелдон Адельсон пообещал объявить место, в котором его компания Las Vegas Sands построит комплекс казино под названием EuroVegas.

Европейский проект, предусматривающий строительство шести фешенебельных казино, 12-этажного отеля и целого ряда развлекательных объектов, позволит испанцам получить порядка четверти миллиона новых рабочих мест. Предполагаемая стоимость объектов недвижимости колеблется в пределах от $2,5 миллиардов до $3 миллиардов.

 

Состояние Шелдона Адельсона

В 2004 году компания Шелдона Адельсона (он и его семья владеют почти 70 % акций) разместила акции на Нью-Йоркской фондовой бирже. В результате стоимость состояния Адельсона возросла многократно: в 2003 году эксперты оценивали его в 1,3 миллиарда долларов, но после выхода на фондовый рынок стоимость его активов была уже 17 миллиардов. Как сказал сам бизнесмен, он не ощутил какой-либо очевидной разницы между владением одним миллиардом и семнадцатью миллиардами; впрочем, меняться в обратную сторону он желания не выказал. В 2007 году Адельсон с капиталом в 26 миллиардов долларов был шестым богачом на планете Земля. Мировой кризис существенно сказался на доходах игрового бизнеса, так что Шелдон в 2010 году был почти в два раза беднее – «всего» 14,7 миллиардов. Но в предыдущем году финансовые дела Адельсона снова резко пошли в гору – и в марте 2011 года он «стоил» уже 23,3 миллиарда долларов.

По данным на 2014 год, его состояние оценивается в 38 млрд долларов.

 

Личная и семейная жизнь Шелдона Адельсона

Со своей первой женой Шелдон расстался в 1988-м, после покупки «Сэндс Хотел» и казино «Лас-Вегас» – того самого, которое некогда служило базой для пресловутой «Крысиной стаи» Фрэнка Синатры и Дина Мартина. Многие говорили, что правоверная еврейка Сандра не вынесла вхождения мужа в криминальный бизнес.

Вообще личная жизнь Шелдона Адельсона складывалась менее удачно, чем бизнес. К тому времени, когда он стал «королем Лас-Вегаса», оба его сына, Митчел и Гэри, были законченными наркоманами. Их жизнь протекала между бесконечными кокаиновыми вечеринками и палатами дорогих частных клиник, куда отправлял их отец. Даже свою вторую жену Адельсон встретил в одной из клиник для наркоманов: Мириам Ошсорн работала врачом в клинике, где лечился старший сын Шелдона Митчел. К тому моменту, когда Мириам и Шелдон решили узаконить свои отношения, Митчел был уже неизлечим. Для нормального существования ему требовалось пять–шесть доз героина ежедневно. Ходили слухи, что Митчел болен СПИДом. В 2005 году Митчел умер от передозировки наркотиков.

Помня заветы отца, Шелдон Адельсон не жалеет денег на благотворительность. Ежегодно он переводит в собственный благотворительный фонд 200 миллионов долларов, которые расходуются на нужды Израиля и евреев. Регулярно Адельсон делает многомиллионные пожертвования сионистским организациям. На его средства в 2007 году был создан и функционирует Центр медицинских исследований в Тель-Авивском университете.

 

Секреты успеха Шелдона Адельсона

«Он очень резкий, некоторые даже могут сказать: беспричинно резкий, – говорит Гарри Лавмен (Gary Loveman), исполнительный руководитель «Harrah’s», крупнейшей сети казино в Лас-Вегасе. – Когда у него есть своя точка зрения, он следует ей без малейших отклонений. С ним бывает невыносимо работать. Но Шелдон – прекрасный бизнесмен, – добавляет Лавмен.»

Несмотря на свой возраст – в 2008 году ему исполнилось 75 лет – Шелдон, по его собственному выражению, «крепко сидит в седле». Он по-прежнему в состоянии поставить на место любого «зарвавшегося засранца». В 2008 году он выиграл иск на 4 миллиона фунтов стерлингов у английского издания «Daily Mail», которое позволило себе заподозрить Адельсона в «коррупции» и «политической поддержке бизнеса». Рассказывают, что, когда во время конфликта Шелдона с профсоюзом кулинаров какой-то хулиган забрался в ванную одного из его особняков и написал на зеркале «мертвый еврей», Шелдон лично примчался, чтобы «надрать ему задницу». Шелдон не упускает момента, чтобы нанести очередной удар по своим врагам.

Часто Адельсона обвиняют в заискивании перед властями. В 2007 Адельсон основал группу Freedom’s Watch, выступающую в поддержку курса Буша в Ираке (как-то Буш, отвечая на вопросы журналистов о его отношения с Шелдоном Адельсоном, сказал – «Этот сумасшедший еврей-миллиардер постоянно на меня кричит!»), а сегодня готов спонсировать Митта Ромни, кандидата на пост президента США от республиканской партии. Впрочем, в этом обвиняли многих миллиардеров, в том числе и самого богатого человека Бразили Эйке Батисту, самого богатого человека Мексики Карлоса Слима, металлургического магната Лакшми Миттала и многих других.

Источник

 

Интервью газете Ведомости, 2007

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15 января, 15:21

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12 января, 23:15

Your Favorite NFL Team Doesn't Care About You

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12 января, 15:21

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The hours-long act of protest culminated in the early hours of Thursday when Democrats made a dramatic display of rising to speak out against the repeal measure as they cast their votes. “The Democrats continued to record their opposition over their objections of Senate Republicans. ‘Because there is no replace, I vote no,’ said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) as she delivered her vote. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) also voted no, in part over concerns that GOP leaders have not committed to a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act after it is repealed. Democrats forced nearly seven hours of mostly symbolic votes amid growing concerns in the congressional GOP that the party is rushing to dismantle the ACA without an alternative. Democrats forced the frenzied vote series called a ‘vote-a-rama’ well into Thursday morning, although they could not prevent the GOP from following through on its repeal plans.” http://wapo.st/2iK8OIz -- @BresPolitico at 1:23 a.m., about the Democrats’ protest during the roll call vote: “Been covering the Senate for a long time & I’ve never seen anything quite like this” … Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) also at 1:23: “Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren among the parade of Democrats drowned out when defending Obamacare.” 41-second video http://bit.ly/2ifYQSZ THE HOUSE votes on its resolution to get repeal started Friday. Remember what we told you yesterday: Republicans in Congress plan to officially repeal the law by the end of February, and replace it by the end of March -- at the earliest.HAPPENING TODAY -- NYT A23, “Mike Pompeo, Trump’s C.I.A. Pick, Faces the Balancing Act of His Career,” by Matt Rosenberg: “The good news for Representative Mike Pompeo of Kansas, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s nominee to run the Central Intelligence Agency, is that he appears to share the same adversarial view of Russia as most American spies. The bad news for Mr. Pompeo is that he will have to square his views with those of Mr. Trump, who has denigrated American intelligence agencies, praised President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and is now contending with a dossier of unsubstantiated reports that Russia has collected compromising and salacious personal information about him. Known as a pugnacious Republican partisan by his colleagues in Congress, Mr. Pompeo is going to have pull off the political balancing act of his career to keep the confidence of the Trump White House while winning over the C.I.A., an agency that is notoriously hostile to outsiders in the best of times. His Senate confirmation hearing, scheduled for Thursday before the Senate intelligence committee, will be the first test of whether he has the diplomatic finesse to manage it. Mr. Trump’s aides will no doubt be keeping close watch for any signs that they cannot rely on Mr. Pompeo, while Democrats on the committee will be eager to look for any daylight between the nominee and Mr. Trump. That will be especially true when it comes to the assessment by intelligence agencies that Russia used cyberattacks and disinformation to undermine American democracy and promote the candidacy of Mr. Trump.” http://nyti.ms/2ig7bpP FOGGY BOTTOM WATCH -- “The top takeaways from Tillerson’s rocky Hill performance: Florida Republican Marco Rubio seemed exasperated with some of his answers on Russia,” by Burgess Everett and Andrew Restuccia: “Rex Tillerson will only need Republican votes to become secretary of state — and the GOP was largely kind to him during Wednesday’s audition to be Donald Trump’s top diplomat. Everyone, that is, except for Marco Rubio. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is narrowly divided, with the GOP holding just a one-seat advantage. And most Democrats, if not all, sounded skeptical about Tillerson’s performance before the panel. So Rubio may determine whether Tillerson’s nomination can successfully win committee approval -- or come to a floor vote after being given an ‘unfavorable’ recommendation by the panel. … Rubio stays cool to Tillerson … Coach Corker … Whenever Tillerson seemed to make a misstep, there was Chairman Corker to keep things on course … Tillerson rattled by tough questions … Tillerson breaks with Trump.” http://politi.co/2jazwx2 THE PRESS CONFERENCE -- “Trump admits to Russian hacking even as he attacks U.S. intelligence community,” by WaPo’s Phil Rucker and Ashley Parker in New York: “President-elect Donald Trump acknowledged for the first time here Wednesday that Russia was responsible for hacking the Democratic Party during last year’s election, but he denied that the leaks were intended to boost him and argued that Moscow would cease cyberattacks on the United States once he is sworn in. In a rollicking hour-long news conference, Trump furiously denounced as ‘fake news’ the reports that Russia had obtained salacious intelligence that could compromise him. He suggested that any damaging information collected by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration would already have been released — and he celebrated what had leaked out about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. ‘As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,’ Mr. Trump said. ‘Hacking’s bad, and it shouldn’t be done. But look at the things that were hacked, look at what was learned from that hacking.’” http://wapo.st/2iK0Grs -- BEING THERE -- DETAIL OF THE DAY -- AP’s Jonathan Lemire: “Only one seat was saved by a Republican National Committee aide, a front-row spot for a reporter from Breitbart, the conservative news outlet until recently run by Trump senior adviser Steve Bannon. Other reporters scrambled to save their seats. Reporters shouted and waved their arms at Trump to get his attention, rather than the president calling on questioners from a list, as is often the practice.” http://apne.ws/2in56H6-- FT: “Dollar falls after Trump presser disappoints growth bulls: Stock markets soft and Treasury yields fall as gold jumps to $1,200,” by Jamie Chisholm: “The dollar, Treasury yields and equities are lower -- with pharmaceutical groups in the firing line -- as traders question the ‘Trumpflation trade’ following the US president-elect’s fractious press conference on Wednesday. The yen is stronger, signalling waning risk appetite among traders, while gold is back above $1,200 -- a seven-week high.” http://on.ft.com/2iKhVZC TRUMP INC. -- “Donald Trump to Place Business Holdings in a Trust Run by Adult Sons: Some ethics experts say the trust and other measures don’t create the firewall needed to fully insulate him from his holdings,” by WSJ’s Peter Nicholas and Alexandra Berzon: “Mr. Trump will sever management ties to the Trump Organization and play no role in its operations under the terms of the trust. While he is in office, his real-estate empire will abide by ‘severe restrictions on new deals,’ an attorney retained by the president-elect said. If foreign governments make payments to his hotels—including a new one near the White House -- Mr. Trump plans to donate all profits to the U.S. treasury, said the attorney, Sheri Dillon. The announcement drew sharp criticism from ethics experts who said the steps laid out Wednesday are inadequate to create a clean separation between Mr. Trump’s business interests and his presidency. ... “An analysis by The Wall Street Journal of Mr. Trump’s financial disclosures last year estimated his 2016 pretax income at $160 million. A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign said this figure was wrong by ‘a lot,’ but didn’t elaborate. Mr. Trump also will continue to be aware of the sources of this income. For example, Mr. Trump’s financial disclosures said he received $1 million to $5 million from his licensing deal with the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Panama. If the U.S. were to get into a dispute with that country during the Trump administration, a desire to maintain this revenue stream could potentially influence Mr. Trump’s decision-making, some experts argue.” http://on.wsj.com/2inmWtF THE “TIME MAGAZINE” COVER THIS WEEK is a photo of a helicopter landing on the White House lawn, with the headline “INCOMING” and the subhead “A survival guide to the White House from Team Obama for Team Trump”; the online headline is “Life at 1600”. From Time: “Our editors spoke with eighteen current and former Obama White House staffers -- including Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, Josh Earnest, Jen Psaki, Jason Furman, Dan Pfeiffer and others -- about life at 1600 and words of advice they have for their Trump Administration replacements.” See the cover: http://bit.ly/2jEY16v ... Story www.time.com/trumpadvice FIRST IN PLAYBOOK -- TRUMP DONORS LOOK DOWN BALLOT -- Life after Harry Reid in Nevada isn’t looking so rosy for Democrats. Republican Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt has cleared the field in his gubernatorial bid. Now, he’s attracting some major attention from deep-pocketed billionaire donors, many of whom supported Trump. Topping that list: Rebekah Mercer, a major player in Trump’s transition team, and Republican mega donor Sheldon Adelson. Former Treasury Secretary James Baker and former ambassador and top GOP lawyer C. Boyden Gray have also thrown their support to Laxalt.Others GOP donors backing Laxalt include: Boone Pickens, chair of the hedge fund BP Capital Management; L.E. Simmons, chairman of SCF Partners; Dick and Liz Uihlein; Don Ahern, CEO of Ahern Rentals; Alex Cranberg, a member of the University of Texas System board of regents and founder of the Alliance for Choice Education; Frank Fertitta, CEO of Station Casinos; Lorenzo Feritta of Fertitta Enterprises; Tilman Fertitta, owner of Landry’s Inc.; Sean Fieler, chairman of the American Principles Project; and Frank Hanna of Hannah Capitol. FOR YOUR RADAR -- “Trump officials start Hill talks on maternity leave, child-care proposals,” by Rachael Bade: “House GOP staff and Donald Trump transition officials will talk Thursday about the president-elect’s campaign pledge to lower child-care costs and guarantee women six weeks of paid maternity leave — policies endorsed by his eldest daughter Ivanka but which could meet steadfast GOP resistance. Trump officials, who initiated the conversations, will talk with staff on the powerful tax-writing Ways and Means Committee about Trump’s child care pitch, although final logistics were still being worked out. The Trump team also plans to involve the Education and the Workforce Committee in the future. The talks are expected to be the first of several meetings as Trump works to get the ball rolling on the lower-profile campaign pledge.” http://politi.co/2ij3LxCHAPPENING THIS MORNING -- Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) go on “Morning Joe” for their first joint interview. WE HEAR: they are dropping a bill together.THE HEARINGS.-- WHAT BEN CARSON WILL SAY: “It’s difficult for a child to learn at school if he or she doesn’t have an adequate place to live. In these situations, government can and should help. However, I believe we need to ensure that the help we provide families is efficient and effective. It cannot, and should not, trap people in an intergenerational cycle of poverty.”On climbing the ladder: “Social mobility has become stagnant. However, if we think holistically about this – we will know that it’s more than just housing. We must include the areas of healthcare, education, jobs and the skills to do them, in addition to transportation. ... We need to work across silos, and I intend to do that.”On miracles: “Throughout my life, I have done things that many deemed impossible. I pledge to work with this Committee and the dedicated career staff at HUD to solve difficult, seemingly obstinate issues.”On mortgages: “With the Fed raising rates recently, mortgages are likely to get more expensive. Loans are now bifurcated: the well-off have their pick of loans and lenders while many others without solid credit or stable incomes are locked out – one of the reasons the economic recovery was slower than many would have liked. … We need to make sure HUD and FHA are fulfilling their missions to help people build up an asset, like a home.” Letter from four former HUD secretaries supporting Carson http://politi.co/2jatNYi -- WHAT POMPEO WILL SAY: “Having been a Member of the House Intelligence Committee, I understand full well that my job, if confirmed, will be to change roles from policymaker to information provider. The Director must stay clearly on the side of collecting intelligence and providing objective analysis to policymakers, including this committee. … This is the most complicated threat environment the United States has faced in recent memory. … We rely on intelligence from around the globe to avoid strategic or tactical surprise. Intelligence helps make other elements of national power effective, including economic and legal measures against weapons proliferators, terrorist financiers, and other criminals. … It will be the CIA’s mission, and my own, if confirmed, to ensure the Agency remains the best in the world at its core mission: collecting what our enemies do not want us to know. In short, the CIA must be the world’s premier espionage service. … I will lead the agency to aggressively pursue collection operations and ensure analysts have the time, political space, and resources to make objective and sound judgments.”-- WHAT JIM MATTIS WILL SAY: “I will work to make sure our strategy and military calculus are employed to reinforce traditional tools of diplomacy, ensuring our president and our diplomats negotiate from a position of strength. In addition to ensuring collaboration across government and the adoption of an integrated strategy, we must also embrace our international alliances and security partnerships. History is clear: nations with strong allies thrive and those without them wither. If you confirm me, my watchwords will be solvency and security in providing for the protection of our people and the survival of our freedoms. My priorities as secretary of Defense will be to strengthen military readiness, strengthen our alliances in league with our diplomatic partners, and bring business reforms to the Department of Defense by instilling budget discipline and holding our leaders accountable. Our military is the envy of the world, representing America’s awesome determination to defend herself. Working with you I will endeavor to keep our unique all-volunteer force second-to-none … “[O]n a personal note, I have worked at the Pentagon twice in my career. But few people may know I am not the first person in my family to do so. When, in the wartime spring of 1942, my mother was 20 years old and working in military intelligence, she was part of the first wave of government employees to move into the still-unfinished Pentagon. She had come to America as an infant and lives today on the banks of the Columbia in the Pacific Northwest. Little could she imagine in her youth that more than 90 years after she immigrated to this country, and 75 years after she first walked through the doors of the War Department, one of her sons would be sitting here today before the Senate.”THE MAP – NYT A15, “Eric Holder to Lead Democrats’ Attack on Republican Gerrymandering,” by Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin: “Thwarted for much of his term by a confrontational Republican Congress, and criticized by his fellow Democrats for not devoting sufficient attention to their down-ballot candidates, [President Barack] Obama has decided to make the byzantine process of legislative redistricting a central political priority in his first years after the presidency. Emerging as Mr. Obama’s chief collaborator and proxy is Eric H. Holder Jr., the former attorney general of the United States and a personal friend of the president. He has signed on to lead the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a newly formed political group aimed at untangling the creatively drawn districts that have helped cement the Republican Party in power in Washington and many state capitals. “In an interview this week at Covington & Burling, the Washington law firm where he is now in private practice, Mr. Holder, 65, said that he and Mr. Obama believe Republicans have undermined the political system by creating a patchwork of legislative maps -- at both the state and federal levels -- that are designed to stifle the will of voters. Echoing a number of Mr. Obama’s top advisers, Mr. Holder described fighting Republican gerrymandering as a ‘primary concern’ for the president once he leaves the White House. ‘He thinks, and I think, that this is something that threatens our democracy,’ Mr. Holder said. ‘We have a system now where the politicians are picking their voters, as opposed to voters making selections about who they want to represent them.’” http://nyti.ms/2j41dFR HILLWATCH -- “NRCC chairman sets team for 2018,” by Rachael Bade: “National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers has tapped a diverse array of lawmakers to serve as his top lieutenants — a move aimed at making good on his promise to diversify House Republicans’ fundraising arm. The Ohio Republican on Thursday will unveil a roster of vice-chairs and deputies that spans from centrist Republicans to arch-conservative House Freedom Caucus members. An early copy of the list, obtained by POLITICO, includes younger rising-star lawmakers like sophomore California Republican Mimi Walters, to more senior members of the conference, such as seven-term Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas.” http://politi.co/2jzi1U0 MAUREEN DOWD in the NYT, “Peter Thiel, Trump’s Tech Pal, Explains Himself”: “Let others tremble at the thought that Donald J. Trump may go too far. Peter Thiel worries that Mr. Trump may not go far enough. ‘Everyone says Trump is going to change everything way too much,’ says the famed venture capitalist, contrarian and member of the Trump transition team. ‘Well, maybe Trump is going to change everything way too little. That seems like the much more plausible risk to me.’ Mr. Thiel is comfortable being a walking oxymoron: He is driven to save the world from the apocalypse. Yet he helped boost the man regarded by many as a danger to the planet. ‘The election had an apocalyptic feel to it,’ says Mr. Thiel, wearing a gray Zegna suit and sipping white wine in a red leather booth at the Monkey Bar in Manhattan. ‘There was a way in which Trump was funny, so you could be apocalyptic and funny at the same time. It’s a strange combination, but it’s somehow very powerful psychologically.’” http://nyti.ms/2ifWC5Z REMEMBER HIM? -- “Khizr Khan: ‘I Really Have No Animosity Towards’ President-Elect Trump,” by Breitbart’s Neil W. McCabe: “‘I really have no animosity towards him, but towards his policies? Yes,’ said Khizr Khan, a attorney and supporter of Hillary R. Clinton in the last presidential election. ‘If he says: “We must reconcile. We will treat all citizens equally in all of this and there is no discrimination based on religion or race and all that” I will support him,’ Khan said.” http://bit.ly/2ijwIJZ IN MOSCOW – “Russia moves to decriminalize domestic violence,” by Politico Europe’s Zoya Sheftalovich: “A bill that seeks to downgrade domestic violence from a criminal to an administrative offense passed its first reading on Wednesday in the duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament. A total of 368 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, with one ‘no’ and one abstention. Under the proposed rule, the charge of ‘battery within the family,’ currently a criminal offense, would become an administrative one, with a fine, community service or a brief prison term levied against perpetrators.” http://politi.co/2in6hWO HOLLYWOODLAND -- “Apple Sets Its Sights on Hollywood With Plans for Original Content,” by WSJ’s Ben Fritz, Tripp Mickle and Hannah Karp: “Apple Inc. is planning to build a significant new business in original television shows and movies, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that could make it a bigger player in Hollywood and offset slowing sales of iPhones and iPads. These people said the programming would be available to subscribers of Apple’s $10-a-month streaming-music service, which has struggled to catch up to the larger Spotify AB. Apple Music already includes a limited number of documentary-style segments on musicians, but nothing like the premium programming it is now seeking. The technology giant has been in talks with veteran producers in recent months about buying rights to scripted television programs. It also has approached experienced marketing executives at studios and networks to discuss hiring them to promote its content.” http://on.wsj.com/2jmBat0 MEDIAWATCH -- COMING ATTRACTIONS -- “President Barack Obama will appear in his last presidential interview on network television on 60 MINUTES PRESENTS ‘Barack Obama: Eight Years in the White House,’ an hour-long special to be broadcast Sunday, Jan. 15 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.” http://bit.ly/2ifWTpxTHE PUSHBACK -- STATEMENT FROM CNN ABOUT DONALD TRUMP’S CRITICISM OF THE NETWORK -- “CNN’s decision to publish carefully sourced reporting about the operations of our government is vastly different than Buzzfeed’s decision to publish unsubstantiated memos. The Trump team knows this. They are using Buzzfeed’s decision to deflect from CNN’s reporting, which has been matched by the other major news organizations. We are fully confident in our reporting. It represents the core of what the First Amendment protects, informing the people of the inner workings of their government; in this case, briefing materials prepared for President Obama and President-elect Trump last week. We made it clear that we were not publishing any of the details of the 35-page document because we have not corroborated the report’s allegations. Given that members of the Trump transition team have so vocally criticized our reporting, we encourage them to identify, specifically, what they believe to be inaccurate.”--“Fox News host Shep Smith defends CNN in monologue: No journalist ‘should be subjected to belittling’ by president-elect” – Business Insider: 30-second video http://read.bi/2jaBn4USPOTTED -- Valerie Jarrett on the 4 p.m. United ORD-DCA Wednesday … Corey Lewandowski at Shelly’s Back Room holding court and enjoying celebratory Make America Great Again cigars. He was also spotted taking a celebratory birthday photo at Shelly’s with Ron Phillips, former Chairman of the D.C. Republican Party and an early Trump backer in Washington.OUT AND ABOUT -- SPOTTED at Mike Bloomberg’s party last night for Richard Haass and his new book “A World in Disarray”: Norah O’Donnell, Charlie Rose, Eric Schmidt, Katie Couric, Richard Plepler, Susan Mercandetti, Sam Haass, Amanda Burden, Bob Rubin, Joel Schumacher, Patti Harris, Tina Brown, Darren Walker, Alisyn Camerota, David Petraeus, Pete Peterson, Pete Dominick, Richard Falkenrath, David Miliband, Ray Kelly, Joanna Coles, Gideon Rose, Isobel Coleman, Warren Bass, François Delattre, David Westin, Richard Cohen, Kayce Freed, Rick Kaplan, Leon Black, Glenn Lowry, Neal Shapiro. $21 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2incDWh FIRST IN PLAYBOOK -- Jon Kohan is joining Jamestown Associates as executive vice president. Kohan, who most recently served as campaign manager to former New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte and ran Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst’s successful campaign in 2014, returns to Jamestown after two cycles away. He also previously served as chief of staff and campaign manager to South Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Sanford. ... After spending nearly 2 years at the DNC, Walter Garcia is going to be the national press secretary for Keith Ellison for DNC Chair. … Sarah K. Magruder Lyle has been named president of the Common Ground Alliance; she previously was with American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers.WHITE HOUSE DEPARTURE LOUNGE -- JAKE BRODER FINGERT, senior policy adviser for the National Economic Council, will be a partner at Camber Creek, a D.C.-based venture capital firm focused on real estate tech. Jake covers infrastructure and real estate at the White House and previously helped manage the federal government's real estate portfolio, acquisitions program, and IT as a senior adviser at GSA. FRITZ BROGAN, a Republican fundraiser and D.C. restaurateur, has been named national co-chair of Maverick PAC, an organization that recruits young professionals to participate in GOP bundling. Brogan, who was the youngest member of Jeb Bush’s national finance committee, replaces Jay Zeidman, who was a national co-chair for the last decade. On Jan. 20, “MAVPAC,” as it’s known, will host a late night inaugural bash for its members at Hawthorne, the U Street bar that Brogan owns.TRANSITIONS -- “DGA Names Former Rep. Steve Israel as Advisor to ‘Unrig the Map’”: “As the former chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Israel will work to advance the DGA’s strategic effort to elect Democratic governors who can make a meaningful difference in the 2021 redistricting process.” http://bit.ly/2jahGu5 WELCOME TO THE WORLD -- Elizabeth Golding, manager of public affairs at EnLink Midstream and a Mary Bono and Chris Lee alum, and Garrett Golding, VP at consulting firm The Rapidan Group and a House E&C alum, have welcomed Quinn Rebecca Golding, 7 lb 6 oz. Pic http://politi.co/2jmzm3b BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Christiane Amanpour, celebrating “on the road, figuring out my bucket list!” -- read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2inceTG BIRTHDAYS: Sidwell Friends School’s most famous alum Doug Thornell (hat tip: C.R. Wooters) … Theo Baker is 12 ... Jeff Bezos is 53 ... Rush Limbaugh is 66 ... Howard Stern is 63 ... Case Button, longtime HRC aide and speechwriter ... Sarah Karlin-Smith of Politico’s health team ... Stephanie Rigizadeh, senior associate at Hamilton Place Strategies ... Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee … Chris Laible, CBS News Asia bureau chief based in Beijing and a CNN and Fox alum ... AP’s Sam Hananel, covering the Supreme Court and legal affairs … A.J. Rice … Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) is 67 ... Will Nelligan … … newly-wed Kevin Curran, managing director of Rock Creek Advisors and executive director of Maverick PAC, is 37. “He will be celebrating with his smart and smoking hot wife Sarah.” (h/t his wife Sarah) ... Jamie Kamlet, director of advocacy and comms at Academy of Hope Adult Public Charter School, and older brother Ben (yes, born same day two years apart), producer at KickTV ... author John Aloysius Farrell … Bush 43 alum Chris Marston ... journalist Sarah Kershaw … Taylor Foran ... WTOP’s Debra Feinstein … Angela Foster Birdseye … Kate Noel … Lisa DePaulo … Julian Potter … Allison Cutler … Anne Mosle … Danny O’Brien, a Biden and Menendez alum now on GE’s global gov’t affairs team … ... Natalie Gregory ... Tien Hunter (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Dana Perri Miller, LD for Rep. Nita Lowey ... Kirstie Alley is 66 (h/t AP)

Выбор редакции
10 января, 14:11

Убытки Исраэль Ха-Йом превысили 700 миллионов шекелей

Исраэль ха-Йом несет убытки примерно в один шекель с каждого напечатанного экземпляра.

08 января, 18:16

KNOWING TRUMP’S CABINET -- ROBERT GATES to the Hill -- SUNDAY BEST feat. OBAMA -- PLAYBOOK Power List...Coming tomorrow -- What SCHUMER is reading -- B’DAYS: Anita Dunn and John Podesta

Good Sunday morning. Landing tomorrow: The Playbook Power List. The 30 most powerful people and institutions in Donald Trump’s Washington -- as suggested by you guys and vetted by us. Zach Montellaro, one of the great web producers who helps with Playbook, has worked hard with graphics folks Erin Aulov and Katie Ellsworth putting together a really cool package.CHICAGO PAPERS WEIGH IN ON OBAMA’S LEGACY -- CHICAGO TRIBUNE(big front-page package): “A COMPLICATED LEGACY IN CHICAGO: As nation’s 1st black president prepares his farewell speech, allies and activists debate his impact on adopted hometown” http://bit.ly/2iWdxdF … CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: “CHICAGO’S PRESIDENT … City had front-row seat as state senator from South Side rose to become nation’s first African-American commander in chief… PLUS: Despite achievements, Obama couldn’t stem Chicago violence” http://bit.ly/2iRApZmKNOW BEFORE YOU GO -- DOWNTOWN D.C. SHUT DOWN FOR INAUGURATION -- Check out the maps and details of road closures in D.C. http://bit.ly/2iWye95 BREAKING -- “At Least 4 Dead and 15 Injured in Jerusalem Truck Attack,” by NYT’s Isabel Kershner in Jerusalem: “A truck plowed into a group of people as they were getting off a bus in Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon, killing at least four people and injuring about 15 others, the police said. The police called the episode an act of terrorism. Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, said the attacker had been shot, and the police released images showing the truck’s windshield, riddled with bullet holes. The dead included three women and one man, and although there was no immediate confirmation from the military, witnesses said that some of the people who were run over were soldiers. Several people were hospitalized, some with critical injuries.“The attack occurred on the Armon Hanatziv Promenade, which is between east and west Jerusalem and offers sweeping views of the Old City. The violence ended several months of relative calm in the city, following a period of frequent stabbings, shootings and car attacks. Maan, an independent Palestinian news agency, identified the driver of the truck as Fadi Ahmad Al-Qanbar, 28, a resident of the nearby Palestinian neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber in East Jerusalem.” http://nyti.ms/2i2Rz8TKNOWING TRUMP’S CABINET PICKS:SLOTTED FOR TOMORROW’S NYT FRONT PAGE -- JEFF SESSIONS: “Jeff Sessions, a Lifelong Outsider, Finds the Inside Track,” by NYT’s Sharon LaFraniere and Matt Apuzzo with Emily Bazelon, Campbell Robertson and Matt Rosenberg, Kitty Bennett and Jacqueline Williams: “Mr. Sessions is in many ways Mr. Trump’s antithesis: reedy-voiced, diminutive and mild-mannered, a devout Methodist and an Eagle Scout who will soon celebrate a golden wedding anniversary with his college sweetheart. His father ran a country store in the Deep South. And he is widely regarded as rigidly honest and inflexible on issues he considers matters of principle. Mr. Trump has meandered across the political spectrum; Mr. Sessions has been a deeply conservative Republican his entire life. But besides their age -- both are 70 -- Mr. Sessions shared one trait with Mr. Trump: He was an outsider, dismissed by much of the Republican Party as a fringe player on all but his signature issue, immigration. The two men unexpectedly bonded over their willingness to buck the establishment and the unlikely hope that lower-middle- and working-class voters would carry a billionaire to the White House.” http://nyti.ms/2i52Xwf-- The Huntsville Times’ A1: “All Eyes on Sessions: The genial senator stands at the portal to enormous power. But a fierce confirmation hearing awaits.” http://bit.ly/2i4ThC2-- REX TILLERSON: “Rex Tillerson showed pragmatism as Boy Scouts chief,” by the Boston Globe’s Matt Viser: “This is what secretary of state nominee Tillerson’s art of diplomacy looks like. In this case, during a 2013 gathering in Texas, he took on one of the most fraught issues ever faced by an organization that he deeply loves. As the most recent president of the Boy Scouts, he had just helped lead the century-old organization into endorsing a historic change. And then he had to help calm the tempest that followed. The years-long debate over allowing gay Scouts -- a seismic shift the group called, euphemistically, the debate over ‘membership standards’ -- left deep fissures. Tillerson’s role during that period provides insights into his diplomatic instincts, his pragmatism, and his willingness to accept change. It illustrated as well how he approached thorny questions without a clear answer — the kind secretaries of state often encounter — and showcased a leadership style centered on consensus building, putting people at ease by absorbing their thoughts before rendering his own judgment.” http://bit.ly/2i4ZKwP … Boston Globe A1 http://bit.ly/2i2V53a-- DALLAS MORNING NEWS A1: “Before Exxon, there were bands, Scouts” … A1 PDF http://bit.ly/2jhrLlPWE HEAR…. That former Defense Secretary Bob Gates is speaking at both Rex Tillerson’s and John Kelly’s respective nomination hearings next week.WHAT CHUCK SCHUMER IS READING -- “Ethics official warns against confirmations before reviews are complete,” by WaPo’s Ed O’Keefe and Sean Sullivan: “A top ethics official has warned that plans to confirm Donald Trump’s top Cabinet choices before background examinations are complete are unprecedented and have overwhelmed government investigators responsible for the reviews. The concerns prompted Democrats on Saturday to call for delaying the confirmation process, but Republicans signaled they are unlikely to budge on the eve of a slew of hearings in the Senate. The Trump administration-in-waiting faces its first big test in coming days, with as many as seven nominees for Cabinet positions -- many of them already the subject of questions about their qualifications -- scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill. The process begins Tuesday, when Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump’s controversial nominee for attorney general, is scheduled to begin two days of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. But the big show is planned for Wednesday, when five hearings are scheduled, bringing a marathon of nationally televised scrutiny to the thin public records and vast wealth of many of Trump’s Cabinet picks.” http://wapo.st/2j5qz5u--“Ethics czar mulls reining in officials' off-the-books trusts,” by Josh Gerstein: “The federal office overseeing ethics for executive branch employees is considering cracking down on a type of financial arrangement that allows some federal officials to avoid publicly reporting investments that could benefit them. The Office of Government Ethics published a notice this week asking for public comment on whether it may have been too lax in its treatment of discretionary trusts — a holding method for investments where the beneficiary is not guaranteed any particular payment or income.” http://politi.co/2iRGKDM-- WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT: We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. Many of Trump’s picks are extraordinarily wealthy, and have never before had to lay out their financial situation. Many of them probably never thought they would have to fill out a financial disclosure form. So it will be interesting to see how folks like Betsy DeVos, Tillerson, Wilbur Ross and Steve Mnuchin have their money invested.HEARING SCHEDULE -- Tues.: John Kelly at Homeland Security and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who is Trump’s nominee for attorney general, at Judiciary. Wed.: Sec of State nominee Rex Tillerson at Foreign Relations, Ed nominee Betsy DeVos at HELP, CIA nominee Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) at Intelligence, Transportation nominee Elaine Chao at Senate Commerce. Thurs.: HUD nominee Ben Carson at Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Commerce nominee Wilbur Ross at Senate Commerce. Next week: Labor nominee Andy Puzder at Senate Commerce.DANIEL CAM -- PLAYBOOK IRL -- The Kalorama house in which Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will live: http://bit.ly/2j5yUWO ... The new Obama house yesterday http://bit.ly/2i2WneL ... http://bit.ly/2i2XzP5 … The two houses are a three-minute walk from each other -- in case Jared needs a cup of sugar!HOT IN JERUSALEM -- NETANYAHU UPDATE -- “Netanyahu on Secret Tape: Negotiated Favorable Press Coverage With Media Mogul,” by Ha’aretz: “Media tycoon Arnon Mozes is the businessman who negotiated a quid pro quo with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in conversations caught on tape that came to light on Sunday. Haaretz reported Sunday that suspicions in the main corruption affair involving Netanyahu are backed by recordings documenting contacts between him and a businessman over mutual benefits. According to Channel 2, several months ago Netanyahu offered Mozes, publisher of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, a deal that would limit the circulation of the free daily Israel Hayom, Yedioth’s top competitor and widely regarded as the prime minister’s mouthpiece. In return, Mozes would make Yedioth’s coverage more sympathetic to Netanyahu. Israel Hayom, now Israel’s largest newspaper, is owned and published by U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a close confidant of the prime minister.” http://bit.ly/2i5ehbDSUNDAY BEST -- PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA spoke to GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS on ABC’s “THIS WEEK” -- STEPHANOPOULOS: “You’ve talked to the president-elect Trump now several times over the course of this transition. What have you tried to impress on him about the job?” OBAMA: “Well, as I’ve said before, the -- the conversations have been cordial. He has been open to suggestions, and the main thing that I’ve tried to transmit is that there’s a difference between governing and campaigning, so that what he has to appreciate is as soon as you walk into this office after you’ve been sworn in, you’re now in charge of the largest organization on Earth. You can’t manage it the way you would manage a family business. You can’t manage it the way you would manage a Senate office. I -- I was a senator before I became president. And so you have to have a strong team around you. You have to have respect for institutions and the process to make good decisions because you are inherently reliant on other folks. So when I talked to him about -- our intelligence agencies, what I've said to him is-- is that there are gonna be times where you’ve got raw intelligence that comes in and in my experience, over eight years, the intelligence community is pretty good about saying, ‘Look, we can’t say for certain what this means.’ But there are gonna be times where the only way you can make a good decision is if you have confidence that the process is working, and the people that you put in charge are giving you their very best assessments.”-- ON TRUMP’S TWEETING: “On the one hand information is--is moving quick, and -- I -- I -- or -- or the way in which people consume information is changing so fast. Clearly this worked for him, and it gives him a direct connection to a lot of the people that voted for him. I -- in -- I’ve said to him, and I think others have said to him that the day that he is the President of the United States, there are world capitals and financial markets and people all around the world who take really seriously what he says, and in a way that's just not true before you're actually sworn in as president.”-- ON THE DECLINE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: “I take some responsibility on that. I -- I think that some of it was circumstances. If you look at -- what happened, I came in in the middle of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. And unlike FDR who waited-- well, didn't take office until about three years into the Great Depression, it was happening just as I was elected. I think we did a really good job in saving this economy and putting us back on the track of growth. But what that meant is in 2010 there were a lot of folks who were still out of work. There were a lot of folks who had lost their homes or saw their home values plummet, their 401k’s plummet. And we were just at the beginnings of a recovery. And the, you know, whoever is president at that point is gonna get hit and his party’s gonna get hit. That then means that suddenly you’ve got a redistricting in which a lot of state legislatures are now Republican. They draw lines that give a huge structural advantage in subsequent elections. “So -- so some of this was circumstances. But what I think that what is also true is that partly because my docket was really full here, so I couldn’t be both chief organizer of the Democratic Party and function as Commander-in-Chief and President of the United States. We did not begin what I think needs to happen over the long haul, and that is rebuild the Democratic Party at the ground level.”SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-S.C.) to CHUCK TODD on NBC’s “MEET THE PRESS” -- “You know, here’s the deal for me. I think he’s worried that inquiring into what Russia did in the election is going to undermine his credibility and his legitimacy. Quite frankly, I haven’t heard any Democrat at all of prominence say that we doubt that Donald Trump won. Putin’s not the reason that Clinton lost and Trump won. I don’t think anybody’s saying that. So Mr. President-elect, that’s not what we’re trying to do. What we’re trying to do is find out what the Russians did in our elections and make sure that other people including the Russians won’t do it next time. No doubt in my mind that Russians interfered, that John Podesta’s emails were hacked by the Russians, not some 14-year-old kid or 300-pound guy, and that the DNC was compromised by the Russians. And it seems pretty clear to me that WikiLeaks got it from the Russians. It didn’t affect the outcome, but they tried to interfere in our election. So he’s going to be the defender of the free world here pretty soon … You should let everybody know in American, Republicans and Democrats, that you’re going to make Russia pay a price for trying to interfere. Even though it didn’t affect the outcome, they tried to interfere. And they need to pay a price. And I don’t care what their motives were.” REINCE PRIEBUS to JOHN DICKERSON on CBS'S "FACE THE NATION" -- DICKERSON: "Let me move on to Obamacare, which is coming up. Donald Trump would like to see repeal and replace happen at the same time. Is that right?" PRIEBUS: "You know, look. I'm not going to get into exactly where this is going to go. But I will tell you that it would be ideal if we could do it all in one big action. But look. It may take time to get all the elements of the replace in place. (UNINTEL) have to use reconciliation for part of it, which is a 50-vote majority. There are other parts of the replacement, such as allowing people and companies across state lines, allowing for open pricing, allowing for health care pooling, that may take 60 votes. So the full replacement may take more time than an instantaneous--" DICKERSON: "So it sounds like you--" PRIEBUS: "action. But our intent is to make it happen as quickly as possible, to repeal and the full replace as fast as we can." DICKERSON: "Sen. Rand Paul said something that sounded like Donald Trump would not support what you've just said, which is more like a repeal and delay. So it sounds like there's some wiggle room there now from the president-elect in terms of the pacing." PRIEBUS: "No. I don't think so at all. I mean, if you can get 60 votes, you know, within a few weeks and get all of those elements of Rand Paul's bill into place, that would be great. But I think we all understand that things sometimes do take some time. And the full repeal and replace may take a little bit more time. But it's going to happen as quickly as possible."-- THIS SEEMS IMPORTANT: Things take time, the incoming W.H. chief of staff said. Just like we said yesterday, this repeal and replace process is going to take some time if they want to do it in one fell swoop.ALL IN THE FAMILY -- “Donald Trump Jr. backs the ‘Hearing Protection Act,’ an effort to ease restrictions on gun silencers,” by WaPo’s Michael S. Rosenwald: “The federal government has strictly limited the sale of firearm silencers for as long as James Bond and big-screen gangsters have used them to discreetly shoot enemies between the eyes. Now the gun industry, which for decades has complained about the restrictions, is pursuing new legislation to make silencers easier to buy, and a key backer is Donald Trump Jr., an avid hunter and the oldest son of the president-elect, who campaigned as a friend of the gun industry. The legislation stalled in Congress last year. But with Republicans in charge of the House and Senate and the elder Trump moving into the White House, gun rights advocates are excited about its prospects this year.“They hope to position the bill the same way this time — not as a Second Amendment issue, but as a public-health effort to safeguard the eardrums of the nation’s 55 million gun owners. They even named it the Hearing Protection Act. It would end treating silencers as the same category as machine guns and grenades, thus eliminating a $200 tax and a nine-month approval process. ‘It’s about safety,’ Trump Jr. explained in a September video interview with the founder of SilencerCo, a Utah silencer manufacturer. ‘It’s a health issue, frankly.’” http://wapo.st/2i2NBNSOBAMA LEGACY -- “Obama taps longtime aide to oversee presidential records process,” by Josh Gerstein: “President Barack Obama has selected his close aide Anita Decker-Breckenridge to act as his representative in the process that will lead to many of his White House records becoming public in future decades. A letter Obama sent to the National Archives in July authorizes Breckenridge to convey Obama’s wishes about which of his presidential files can be made public and which should be kept under wraps for a period of time. The letter, released to POLITICO on Friday under the Freedom of Information Act, also indicates that Obama is exercising his rights to put many of those records off-limits for 12 years after he leaves the presidency later this month. While the move could be seen as at odds with Obama’s frequently-stated commitment to transparency, it’s a step other recent presidents have also taken before leaving the White House.” http://politi.co/2i6RY8YINAUGURATION WATCH -- Insight America is hosting “The 2017 Black Tie & Chic Gala” celebrating Trump and a “Salute to Republican African American Leaders” on Jan. 18 at the Watergate Hotel. Armstrong Williams and Angela Sailor are serving as the master and mistress of ceremonies. Honorary chairs for the event include: Michael Steele and J.C. Watts. The invite http://bit.ly/2i6RSy2 COVERBOY -- Who is on the cover of the Jan. 13 edition of India Abroad? Manu Raju, with a full photo spread and the headline, “King of the Hill.” http://bit.ly/2iOvJ8uSPORTS BLINK -- NFL playoffs schedule today: Dolphins at Steelers, 1:05 p.m. on CBS … Giants at Packers, 4:40 p.m. on Fox.IN CASE YOU MISSED IT -- Obama went to Jacksonville, Florida, last night for Marvin Nicholson's wedding. Nicholson is the special assistant to Obama -- and a frequent POTUS golf partner. CABINET WATCH -- “Trump’s Cabinet picks undergo grueling prep for hearings,”by Nancy Cook and Andrew Restuccia: “They call them ‘murder boards’ for a reason. Seated beneath bright lights that mimic the conditions of a camera-packed hearing room, President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks are being put through hours-long mock confirmation hearings this weekend to prepare for the Senate grillings that may decide their fates. Numerous murder board sessions are being run in anticipation of one of the most consequential weeks for the Trump transition: Nine of the president-elect’s Cabinet picks, many of whom have no federal government experience, will face Senate questioning this week — including hostile Democrats eager to score points on everything from the president-elect’s admiration of Vladimir Putin to the candidate's wealth and potential conflicts-of-interest.“The idea is to replicate the high-pressure environment of a televised hearing where senators may lob questions in rapid succession about arcane and awkward topics in an effort to trip them up. A room on the sixth floor of the team’s downtown D.C. headquarters has been transformed into a mock Senate hearing room, with staffers playing the senators on relevant committees and a countdown clock to ensure candidates keep their answers short, according to several transition officials. Those officials asked for anonymity to describe the preparations for the upcoming confirmation hearings out of fear of violating the transition team’s strict non-disclosure agreements.” http://politi.co/2i2H9Gp-- “Inside the 116 Club, Jeff Sessions’ hidden haunt,” by Isaac Arnsdorf and Ken Vogel: “Two blocks from Jeff Sessions’ Senate office stands an unassuming red townhouse where he rubs shoulders with lobbyists and Washington power players, outside of public view. If there is a physical embodiment of the lobbying and influence peddling that Donald Trump has railed against, the 116 Club might be it. The private club’s roster is a closely guarded secret, but Sessions’ membership is evident from $25 monthly dues payments listed on his most recent campaign filings. It highlights for Sessions, an Alabama senator since 1997, his status as a Washington insider who is likely to cruise to confirmation as attorney general despite complaints from Democrats and civil rights leaders.” http://politi.co/2i6VccrWEST COAST WATCH -- “Pro-Trump Californians hope his victory can fuel a GOP revival in the Golden State,” by LA Times’ Seema Mehta: “Hundreds of Donald Trump’s California supporters gathered Saturday to celebrate his impending inauguration — and to try to funnel the energy that propelled him to the White House into turning their cobalt-blue home state red. ‘If we can get Donald J. Trump to be president of the United States, certainly we can get Californians registered to be Republicans,’ longtime conservative activist Johnnie Morgan said to applause. ‘With the energy we have now, with the momentum we have now, with the inspiration we have now, with the committed people we have now, we can do this. It will spread like wildfire.’ It’s a tall order. Voter registration in the GOP is at a historic low in the state, no Republican has been elected statewide in more than a decade, and Democrats dominate the state’s congressional delegation and Legislature. Trump supporters hope this could be dislodged by the coalition the Republicans stitched together to win the presidency, although most acknowledge the hurdles they face.” http://lat.ms/2j5CPmTROBIN WRIGHT on NewYorker.com, “Trump and Iran: Yet Another Hostage Crisis”: “Short of last-minute diplomacy, Donald Trump will inherit another hostage crisis with Iran on Inauguration Day—thirty-five years after the first hostage drama at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran ended ... The Islamic Republic has quietly arrested more Americans since the nuclear deal went into effect, in January, 2016, which coincided with a separate U.S. payment of $1.7 billion, transferred in three planeloads of cash, to settle a legal case from the Shah’s era. ... At least six Americans and two green-card holders are now imprisoned or have disappeared in the Islamic Republic. One is now the longest-held civilian hostage in U.S. history. An undisclosed number have not been publicly identified. ... Two weeks away from Trump’s Inauguration, almost two-thirds of Americans oppose pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal or trying to renegotiate it, according to a survey released Wednesday by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation.” http://bit.ly/2iRE5KDMEDIAWATCH -- “The Future of the Times: A View From the Top” -- Q&A with NYT executive editor Dean Baquet questioned by public editor Liz Spayd: “We’re going to think harder about how we’re going to edit The New York Times. Trying to edit The Times the way we edited it in a purely print era is unreasonable. The layers of editing, the number of people who touch a story. The fact is that we now write so much more. … The challenge is how to still be fast and give people a story in a form that is accurate. But it’s hard. … Also, I think people will see more changes in the print New York Times.” http://nyti.ms/2jqKH5RBONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:--“True Confessions: Carrie Fisher Interviews Madonna” – June 13, 1991 issue of Rolling Stone: “Two iconic women discuss men, marriage, mothers – and share stories about god, death, ecstasy and spankings.” http://rol.st/2hZLi9p--“Vietnam: The War That Killed Trust,” by Karl Marlantes in the NYT: “Vietnam changed us as a country. In many ways, for the worse: It made us cynical and distrustful of our institutions, especially of government. For many people, it eroded the notion, once nearly universal, that part of being an American was serving your country.” http://nyti.ms/2ir7z0V--“A radical approach to gun crime: paying people not to kill each other,” by Jason Motlagh in The Guardian: “Richmond, California had a murder rate 11 times higher than New York City. A controversial scheme cut the number of victims in half – but not everyone is happy.” http://bit.ly/2iNdkqw--“Death of a Giant,” by John Seabrook in the June 1994 issue of Harper’s magazine: “Stalking the disappearing bluefin tuna.” http://bit.ly/2il0Cyg--“A Chat with Mark Lilla about Those Who Think ‘History Has Gone Off Course,’”by David Skinner in the Winter issue of Humanities: Some people “have a catastrophic conception of history. ... They believe that some calamitous event has taken place in time, that history has gone off course, and that the kind of society they lived in (or imagined they lived in) has shattered. They find themselves on the shore, looking on as the debris of everything they valued is swept away by the current.” http://bit.ly/2iL0ivD (h/t TheBrowser.com)--“After the Great Flood of Florence,” by Marco Grassi in The New Criterion: “On the wreckage and recovery of art works in the Arno River flood of 1966.” http://bit.ly/2hYLACl--“The Couple Who Saved China’s Ancient Architectural Treasures Before They Were Lost Forever,” by Tony Perrottet in the Jan. issue of Smithsonian: “As the nation teetered on the brink of war in the 1930s, two Western-educated thinkers struck out for the hinterlands to save their country’s riches.” http://bit.ly/2iRkrAG--“How a Remote Town in Romania Has Become Cybercrime Central,” by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, author of “The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI’s Hunt for America’s Stolen Secrets,” in the Jan. 2011 issue of Wired: “Among law enforcement officials around the world, the city of 120,000 has a nickname: Hackerville. ... According to authorities, these schemes have brought tens of millions of dollars into the area over the past decade, fueling the development of new apartment buildings, nightclubs, and shopping centers. Râmnicu Vâlcea is a town whose business is cybercrime, and business is booming.” http://bit.ly/2iRkeO0 ... $19.17 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2j06nlG (h/t Longform.org)--“The Greatest Civilisation Ever Forgotten?” by Andrew Robinson in History Today: “The civilisation that arose in the Indus valley around 5,000 years ago was only discovered in the early 20th century. Andrew Robinson looks at what we know about this extraordinary culture.” http://bit.ly/2hYPTgQ--“The Art of the Escort,” by David Rennie in 1843 Magazine: “The Economist’s Washington bureau chief examines how a nation’s character is reflected in its motorcades.” http://bit.ly/2iN66TC--“Why anything? Why this?” by Derek Parfit in the London Review of Books: “[W]hy is there a Universe at all? It might have been true that nothing ever existed: no living beings, no stars, no atoms, not even space or time. When we think about this possibility, it can seem astonishing that anything exists.” http://bit.ly/2iRckUE--“How To Be Good,” by Larissa MacFarquhar in the Sept. 5, 2011 issue of The New Yorker: “An Oxford philosopher thinks he can distill all morality into a formula. Is he right?” http://bit.ly/2jd0Pnd--“The Captive Aliens Who Remain Our Shame,” by Annette Gordon-Reed in the N.Y. Review of Books, reviewing “The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution,” by Robert Parkinson: “[B]eing an American is a matter neither of blood nor of cultural connections forged over time. It is, instead, a commitment to a set of ideals famously laid down by the country’s founders, and refined over generations with a notion of progress as a guiding principle.” http://bit.ly/2ilag3L ... $30.71 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2iRzOci--“Reading Burma,” by Sebastian Strangio in the L.A. Review of Books, reviewing “The Lady and the Generals: Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma’s Struggle for Freedom,” by Peter Popham: “As regional neighbors like Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore shot to prosperity in the 1960s and 1970s, Burma slumbered under the rule of General Ne Win, who led the 1962 coup and introduced what came to be known as the ‘Burmese Way to Socialism.’ This fatidic doctrine had little to do with socialism in any meaningful sense.” http://bit.ly/2iZKKSk ... $10.07 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2hZ68KS--“Police Said They Couldn’t Find the Men Who Gang-Raped This Woman While Her 2-Year-Old Watched. Then Another Woman Was Raped,” by Andy Kopsa in Cosmo: “In August, the Independence Police Department closed Taylor Hirth’s case. Now a man has been charged with raping her and endangering her child.” http://bit.ly/2iZHDdfSPOTTED -- John Legend flying first class from Dulles to LAX Saturday … Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) playing slots at the MGM Saturday … Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul (a birthday boy yesterday) and his wife enjoying a bottle of red in the window of Aqua al 2, both wearing their winter beanies sans coatsWEEKEND WEDDING -- “Conchita Cruz, Brendan Kelly” -- N.Y. Times: “Ms. Cruz, 30, ... is a founder and a director of the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York. … Mr. Kelly, who is 33 and works in Washington, is the director of field mobilization for the Alliance for Retired Americans, an affiliate of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. that represents union retirees throughout the country. He graduated from Rutgers. … The couple met in 2008 in Albuquerque, where the bride was working for the Democratic Party of New Mexico as its press secretary; the groom was the field director for Senator Martin Heinrich’s first race for the House of Representatives.” With pic http://nyti.ms/2iWbSorBIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Ashley Callen, staff director for the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology committee (h/t Kristina Baum)BIRTHDAYS: Anita Dunn, managing director of SKDKnickerbocker (hat tips: Hilary, Kelley McCormick, Jill Zuckman, Doug Thornell, Jon Haber) ... Heather Podesta, the pride of Rochester (h/t Amy Weiss, Dan) ... John Podesta is 68 (h/ts Tony, Amy, Dan) ... Buckley Carlson ... Sander Vanocur is 89 ... Charles Osgood is 84 ... Jeannie Kedas, EVP at Viacom (h/t Haber) ... Politico Europe’s Nirvi Shah ... WSJ senior style reporter Elizabeth Holmes ... Ted Leonsis is 6-0 ... Israel Hernandez, head of comms and marketing at Afero and a Facebook alum ... Trump transition team media advisor David White is 45 (h/t wife Kimball Stroud) ... Adam Hechavarria … La Opinión’s Maria Pena, who covers Congress and the White House for the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the country ... Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) is 41, celebrating with his girls – wife Brooke and daughters Caroline (3) and Eloise (1) at home in Kansas (h/t CJ Grover) ... former Rep. Charles F. Bass (R-N.H.) is 65 … Andrew Bates, former NC spox for Hillary and former USTR press secretary, is 3-0 … Caitlin Oakley, press secretary for Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) ... Dina Fraioli, senior account exec at CRC and pride of Babylon, NY (h/t Kyle Buckles) ... Jason Mehta, Assistant U.S. Attorney in Jacksonville, turns 34 today.… Newsweek senior editor Ross Schneiderman is 35 ... former Sen. Slade Gordon (D-Wash.) is 89 ... former Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) is 56 … James Reed ... DOE’s Kathryn Grant ... Chris Tanner ... Angelo Mathay ... Mary Jane Volk … Micah Honeycutt ... Rob Melick ... Sally Smith, executive director of the Nexus Fund ... Chip Giller, founder and CEO of Grist ... Scott Fairchild … Jane Lucas, Sen. Thune’s L.D. ... James Quinn ... Kevin Ryan is 5-0 ... Emma Brown ... former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft is 75 ... Snapchat’s Russ Caditz-Peck, an FCC alum … Amanda McTyre ... Jason Mehta, assistant U.S. attorney in Jacksonville, Fla., and former State Dept. attorney ... Nora Catherine Steinhauser ... Andy Smarick ... Gul Jammas Hussain ... Jake Bailey of Sen. Cotton’s office ... Nicole Tieman, comms. director for Rep. Sensenbrenner ... Deborah Weigel, COS for Rep. Andy Biggs ... Dena Horton of Sen. Cantwell’s office ... Joseph Sgroi of Sen. Booker’s office ... Andrew Franke of Rep. Jenkins’ office ... Michael Calvert of Rep. Wilson’s office ... Sarah Wright of Rep. Mark Takano’s office ... Laura Pinsky (h/ts Legistorm) … physicist Stephen Hawking is 75 ... David Bowie is 7-0 (h/ts AP)

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08 января, 14:06

Оглашены подробности переговоров Мозеса с Нетаниягу

Нетаниягу просил Мозеса не печатать информацию о сыне главы правительства. 

05 января, 23:52

Leaders Of Iran's Green Movement At A Three Ways: Execution, Freedom, Or Indefinite Imprisonment

Is there any hope for positive political developments and move toward democracy in Iran, or the hardliners have shut all the doors for the foreseeable future? Perhaps the fate of the leaders of Iran's Green Movement - former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Dr. Zahra Rahnavard, and former Speaker of the Majles [parliament] Mehdi Karroubi - can provide some clues to this important question. They have been under strict house arrest since February 2011. All are in their 70s, with Karroubi approaching 80. Their release from house arrest has been a national demand, with President Hassan Rouhani and Majles deputies adding their voice to the demand. During his campaign for president in 2013 Rouhani had promised to try to release them. Only Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei makes the decision for releasing the trio, and he has made it clear that he opposes it. In fact, he has repeatedly stated that the "sedition" - the name he gave to the Green Movement - is the "redline" of his regime. For example, in a meeting with Rouhani and his cabinet in 2014 Khamenei said, "The problem of the sedition and the seditionists is a critical issue and a redline that you gentlemen [the cabinet] must keep in mind and keep your distance from it, just as you promised when you received vote of confidence [from the Majles]." Most recently, Mohammad Reza Toyserkaani, Khamenei's representative to the Basij paramilitary force said on December 5, "The Supreme Leader wants [continuation of] the house arrest [of the trio]. If they repent, they will be treated kindly and pardoned. But without repenting it would be unwise to pardon them." Ali Motahhari, Deputy Speaker of the Majles who has courageously pursued the release of the trio said recently, "Because the Supreme Leader wants to continue the house arrest, other officials do not discuss the issue [with him]." Since his election in 2013, President Rouhani has pursued release of the three leaders from house arrest, but has always been opposed by Khamenei, the IRGC high command, and some senior clerics close to Khamenei. Motahhari has also stated that Rouhani has spoken to Khamenei about releasing the three leaders from house arrest, as well as lifting the ban on the press publishing pictures of former Reformist President Mohammad Khatami, but has not been able to convince Khamenei to do so. The 10th Majles that was elected in February 2016 represented a small step forward in that, many of the elected deputies want the three leaders to gain their freedom, but only few of them dare to speak about it publicly. The current Majles is also much more moderate than the last one that was controlled by the extremists. But, pressure on Khamenei is mounting, prompting cleric Ahmad Alam-olhoda, Khamenei's ally and his representative to the Khorasan Razavi province (in northeastern Iran) to declare on December 30 that the three leaders have become agents of the United States to topple the Islamic Republic, and "from a most scared organ of the Islamic Republic, the Majles, whispers are heard in support of the "sedition." Knowingly or unknowingly, they [the Majles deputies] are sending signals to the United States that if it begins a new "sedition," they will act as the U.S. agents." Khamenei's Desired "Bipolar" Political Environment The third step toward moderation, after electing Rouhani in 2013 and the 10th Majles last year will be taken in the next five months. Iran's next presidential elections will be held on 19 May 2017. Khamenei, his appointed clerics, and senior military and intelligence officials have been fiercely attacking Rouhani for negotiating the nuclear agreement with P5+1, claiming that he made a grave mistake, with some even declaring that Rouhani committed treason. Their goal is to either defeat him in the upcoming elections, or weaken him strongly, rendering him useless to the moderates and reformists., The hardliners have been trying to create a bipolar political environment based on dividing the people into "revolutionary" and "counter-revolutionary." The "revolutionaries" are those who oppose the U.S. and negotiating with it to resolve the disputes; support the "axis of resistance" in the Middle East - Iran, Syria, the Lebanese Hezbollah and Hamas - against Israel; support the "resistance economy", a vague notion proposed by Khamenei to help the poor, and profess continued loyalty to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Khamenei. On the other hand, Khamenei and other hardliners believe that the "counter-revolutionaries" are those who support negotiations with the U.S. and are creating an even worse "sedition" by presenting the "criminal and imperialist" United States as a nation that can help Iran solve its problems: do not shout any slogan against Israel and do not support the "resistance axis;" advocate a neoliberal economy for Iran that will make the rich richer, and those who want to transform the Islamic Republic to a liberal democracy. December 31 is the 7th anniversary of the day that the hardliners claim the "Iranian nation" put down the Green Movement for good. Thus, using it as an excuse, the hardliners have been once again attacking fiercely the Green Movement's leaders, claiming that their house arrest is the "most merciful act" by Khamenei. Otherwise, they say, the trio must be put on trial with their least punishment being execution for committing treason, trying to stage a coup, starting a "colored revolution," and other "treasonous" acts. Khamenei and his supporters are well aware that they cannot put the trio on trial, as it will leader to large-scale demonstrations throughout the country. Their goal in talking about executing the three is preventing further debates on their release from house arrest. Karroubi has repeatedly demanded to be put on trial, but the hardliners have refused. Yousef Tabatabaei, Khamenei's representative to the Isfahan province in central Iran said the other day, "As a judge of the Supreme Court I know that if they [the Green Movement's leaders] are put on trial, their punishment will undoubtedly be execution. Due to the interests of the nation, the Supreme Leader and other Marjas [grand ayatollahs and source of emulation for the Shiite masses] can sometimes reduce their punishment, which is what has happened here." Another hardline cleric, Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, has also stated multiple times that the execution is the appropriate punishment for the three leaders, but due to the interests of the nation, they have not been hanged on the order by Khamenei. Democratic Groups' Desired Bipolar political Environment As Iran's presidential elections are approached, the state usually allows more freedom of expression and the press in order to encourage people to participate in the electoral process. This provides the people with the opportunity to talk about their demands and aspirations. Although the hardliners try to present themselves as the true revolutionaries, and their opponents as the counter-revolutionaries, they do not like an open political environment, and support a society that is closed to the outside world, socially, economically, politically, and culturally. Their "anti-foreigners" tendencies are along the same lines as those of other right wingers worldwide, such as those in Europe and the United States. Of course, Iran's true revolutionaries are the critics of the present state-of-affairs. They want peaceful revolution - reforms - to change the system for the better. In particular, the release from prison of all political prisoners, including the Green Movement's leaders, is one of their prime demands. Thus, the main fissures in Iran are those that separate dictatorship from democracy. Democratic groups, which respect fundamental rights of the citizens, are standing against the groups that support the religious dictatorship. It is in this way that the democrats try to create a bipolar political environment in Iran. Given the current balance of power in the country and the conditions in the regions, the democratic groups have modest goals, but they are trying to eliminate the military and radical right from the political arena through democratic means. The Iranian people have witnessed the catastrophic results of the military interventions of the West and its allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, which have resulted in total destruction, over a million dead, and millions of refugees, not to mention the possibility of disintegration of these nations. They do not wish a similar fate for their nation. But, due to its dictatorial nature, the Islamic Republic has, on the one hand, institutionalized ethnic, religious, and gender discriminations and, on the other hand, due to its confrontation with Saudi Arabia and Israel is being presented as a nation far more powerful than its actual strength, in order to demonize it so that it could have the same fate as Syria and Iraq. Thus the threat to Iran is grave. Under such conditions, wisdom and Iran's national interests call for caution. If Iran, a nation of 80 million people, has the same fate as Syria, millions will be killed and millions more will be refugees, the consequences of which will be catastrophic for the entire world. Thus, opposing the dictatorship of the Islamic Republic cannot be synonymous with opposing Iran as a nation and its people. The only way to move forward is through a peaceful transition to democracy and respect for human rights. Iran and the Incoming Trump Administration Polls indicate that a large majority of the American people also oppose military intervention in other countries. During his campaign for president Donald Trump repeatedly declared his opposition to "regime change" that the neoconservatives have favored. But, given the national security team that he has selected so far, the Iranian people cannot be sure about the direction that the Trump administration will take regarding their country. Many members of President-Elect Trump are fiercely anti-Iran. In the past, some in the GOP have called for bombing Iran. Sheldon Adelson, a major backer of Trump, even called for nuclear attack on Iran. Iranian reformists and moderates, and the Green Movement's leaders want better relations with Western nations and the United States. They are worried that the Trump administration will take a course action that will only benefit Iran's hardliners, leading to the elimination of the moderates from power. Trying to scrap the nuclear agreement with Iran, or imposing new sanctions will only benefit the hardliners, but hurt the moderates. Iran and the United States have many common interests in the Middle East. Good relations between the two countries will contribute to Iran transitioning to a democratic state. On the other hand, external pressure will be used by the hardliners to further their repression of the Iranian people. If the reformists and moderates can defeat the hardliners in the upcoming elections by a wide margin, President Rouhani will be able to form a more effective cabinet. The defeat of Iran's extreme right is a major defeat for Khamenei. The democratic groups have no choice but supporting the moderates, so that the peaceful transition to democracy becomes possible. The threats that Khamenei and IRGC commanders make for executing the Green Movement's leaders and further tightening the restrictions against Khatami indicate, more than anything else, that they are terrified by the four leaders, and that the Green Movement has a powerful social base. Leaders of the Green Movement are Iran's national asset who can help their nation and their peaceful movement for a democratic state. The world should pressure Khamenei to release the three leaders. Iran is different from the rest of the world. In Iran Mohammad Mojtahed Shabestari proclaims that the Quran is not a direct revelation from God. He also proposes that the religious jurisprudence and its masters, the influential "Sources of Imitation" in Qum theological seminary are the Shi'a equivalents of ISIS. Finally, he publically challenges and invites him to a debate to prove him wrong. The former have introduced proxies for this debate, but he has refused and stipulated that he would only face the highest authorities, if they dare to confront him. In Iran it is possible to deny the truth of revelation and to equate the ruling religious doctrine and the rank and file of the clerical hierarchy with their mortal and highly despised enemy: ISIS. What other Islamic country would tolerate that? This article was translated by Ali N. Babaei -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

04 января, 15:15

SCHUMER SPEAKS IN PLAYBOOK INTERVIEW -- NEW Dem Obamacare repeal catchphrase: ‘Make America Sick Again’ -- EXCLUSIVE: JOSH BOLTEN to head BRT -- What to expect from PENCE and OBAMA visits to the Hill

Listen to Playbook in 90 Seconds http://bit.ly/2izHdwq… Subscribe on iTunes http://apple.co/2eX6Eay … Visit the online home of Playbook http://politi.co/2f51Jnf Good Wednesday morning. We sat down with SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-N.Y.) on his first day as minority leader for a Playbook Interview. He seemed energized for battle with Donald Trump. And he used the Playbook Interview to reveal a brand new Democratic messaging campaign seeking to paint an apocalyptic picture of America when Republicans repeal Obamacare.THE PHRASE: “MAKE AMERICA SICK AGAIN.” Democrats are going to use the slogan across the country to describe GOP attempts to repeal the health-care law. It begins immediately, but will be most prominent at nationwide rallies on Jan. 15. He used the word “chaos” several times in the interview, a sign that Democrats are going to try to talk about the efforts to scrap the Affordable Care Act as not only unwise, but prompting disorder across the country. Full story http://politi.co/2iOjCG5-- SCHUMER’S VIEW OF GOP EFFORTS TO REPEAL THE LAW: “It’s chaos rather than affordable care. Because once you repeal and don’t replace it with anything, lots of things happen. Costs go up. All the insurance companies and everybody else in charge are going to charge a lot more because they are not sure what’s going to happen. You’re going to lose a lot of benefits, unless the Republicans put tens of billions of dollars down on the table. … They are like the dog who caught the bus. … Because you cannot repeal a plan and put nothing in its place. It doesn’t matter if you say the repeal won’t take place for a year or two years.”-- CONVERSATIONS WITH TRUMP ABOUT HEALTH CARE: “No, I talked to the president-elect once about this, and … he said costs keep going up. I said [the growth rate on costs has slowed] since ACA [passed], and that only 8 percent of all Americans are covered by ACA. There are lots of other problems in the system. But he didn’t bite at that. He said it’s terrible. Costs are going up and we have to repeal it. But then replace it with something. They can’t. It’s virtually impossible to keep all the benefits everyone wants kept and repeal it.”-- DEMS WON’T HELP WITH AN OBAMACARE ALTERNATIVE: “[I]f they think we’re going to come in and save their butts when they screw it up? No. If they are having trouble, work with us not to repeal ACA, but to improve ACA. … [T]he idea of just tweaking a Republican plan that takes away these benefits, the bottom line is there is virtual unanimity in our caucus that we’re all from Missouri. ‘Show me.’ If they show us a plan, and it’s a plan that we can live with, of course. But we’re not going to sit down in a room with them once they repeal and say let’s figure out a joint plan. They have to show us what their alternative is, and there’s a small chance maybe it’s a good plan. Highly unlikely.”-- HIS CONFIRMATION HEARINGS STRATEGY: “The American people deserve extensive hearings, where we see who these people are. To say they have to be done in week one when these people can be in for four years and they have such potential conflicts of interest, and such potential ability to do damage is ridiculous. … We’re not going to rush this. Now, could they try to jam us? Yes. I think there will be an outcry in America and if they jam us … we have the ability to slow a lot of things down. We prefer not to do that.”-- HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH TRUMP: Schumer said they never dined together, or played golf, but he ran into him in New York political circles. “He was a Democrat. And I asked all the big Democrats in New York to help the DSCC and he had a big fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago for the DSCC that helped us take back the Senate. God bless him. But I don’t know him that well. And it doesn’t matter. What matters are the issues and our values, not pats on the back. They can try to flatter me. It’s not going to work.”THE REPUBLICAN RESPONSE -- “Senate Moves to Dismantle Health Law,” by WSJ’s Siobhan Hughes and Kristina Peterson: “The Republican-controlled Senate on Tuesday took its first step toward dismantling the 2010 Affordable Care Act, using its initial day in office to introduce a measure that sets an aggressive timeline for developing plans to repeal much of President Barack Obama’s signature health law … The first fireworks over the repeal of the 2010 health law will begin Wednesday, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) is set to open debate on a measure known as a budget resolution. If approved as expected, it would set in motion a controversial legislative process allowing the GOP to repeal much of the health law with a simple majority vote. Republicans are using the process because they hold 52 seats in the new Senate, short of the 60 needed to approve most legislation.” http://on.wsj.com/2i9rGjX-- “GOP plans to crush Democratic opposition to Trump Cabinet,” by Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim: “Senate Republicans have a plan to break the Democratic resistance to Donald Trump’s Cabinet: Make their delay tactics as excruciating as possible. With Senate Democrats threatening to drag out the confirmation process for weeks, the GOP is preparing to keep the chamber running around the clock if that’s what it takes to speedily confirm Trump’s cabinet. It’s the kind of retaliatory strategy that will bring all-night sessions, 3 a.m. votes and a long slog through the first months of Trump’s presidency that could sap some of the GOP’s legislative momentum. Sen. John Thune, the No. 3 Senate Republican, said the GOP will do ‘whatever it takes’ to get Trump his team as quickly as possible.” http://politi.co/2j87AKSPLAYBOOK EXCLUSIVE -- BOLTEN TO HEAD BRT -- Josh Bolten, George W. Bush’s former White House chief of staff, will be the next president and CEO of the Business Roundtable. The veteran GOP operative comes on board as the business group looks to raise its profile and adjust to the impending Trump administration and Republican Congress. It recently named JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon as its chairman effective Jan. 1. The BRT, which is comprised of nearly 200 CEOs, expects to be heavily engaged on tax reform, infrastructure investment and other economic priorities. Bolten takes over from former Michigan Gov. John Engler, who announced his retirement in December. http://bit.ly/2j7XNVnBRAIN DRAIN -- Republicans on Capitol Hill are heading for the exits, looking to cash out on their control of Congress and the White House -- some are being forced out. The brain drain is increasingly apparent in House GOP leadership offices. First there was Speaker Paul Ryan’s chief of staff Dave Hoppe. Now, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s chief of staff Tim Berry is leaving for a gig at the new startup Axios. That follows McCarthy’s lead coalitions staffer, Danielle Burr, who left for the lobbying firm Peck Madigan Jones. And, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s communications aide T.J. Tatum also left for Finsbury before the new Congress.-- FIRST IN POLITICO: “McCarthy taps [Barrett] Karr as new chief of staff,” by Rachael Bade: “House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will announce Barrett Karr as his new chief of staff Wednesday, promoting the longtime House staffer to lead his office as Republicans gear up for busy four years of policymaking. The Texas native, who currently serves as McCarthy’s deputy chief of staff, takes the reins of the No. 2 House leadership office from Tim Berry, who left the Hill on Tuesday. Her rich legislative background -- overseeing House schedules for the leader, running both rank-and-file offices and the Education and the Workforce Committee, and acting as a top liaison to the Hill for George W. Bush’s White House -- was one of her strongest appeals to the California Republican.” http://politi.co/2iOgv0J DAY TWO -- “House Republicans, Under Fire, Back Down on Gutting Ethics Office,” by NYT’s Eric Lipton and Matt Flegenheimer: http://nyti.ms/2iOBwZj … BEHIND THE SCENES -- “Inside the House GOP ethics debacle,” by Rachael Bade, John Bresnahan and Kyle Cheney. http://politi.co/2hP6NcS … “What we’ve learned from the GOP’s ethics fiasco,” by Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan. http://politi.co/2iOnmaE ... WaPo leadall, “A day of chaos at the Capitol as House Republicans back down on ethics changes,” by Bob Costa, Mike DeBonis and Phil Rucker. http://wapo.st/2hPorxa --“The Final Episode Of The Joe Biden Show,” by BuzzFeed’s Emma Loop and Lissandra Villa: “For the last time, the vice president held court during the ceremonial swearing in where he flirted, hugged, and schmoozed with the families of senators.” http://bzfd.it/2iHgD54--“13 awkward moments during the Biden swearing-in” -- 2-min. video http://politi.co/2iCE2lxAT 1600 – “President Obama to host a goodbye party at the White House on Friday,” by WaPo’s Helena Andrews-Dyer: “President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will host a goodbye party for close friends and major donors Friday.” http://wapo.st/2j8bWBSHAPPENING TODAY -- VP-ELECT MIKE PENCE and PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA are coming to Capitol Hill today to discuss health care. Of course, Pence is going to be a leading figure in the repeal and replace movement, while Obama is trying to rally Democrats to not participate in gutting the law. We spoke to leading Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday, and they told us WHAT TO EXPECT: Pence’s visit is mostly a rah-rah-type rally, urging Republicans on the Hill to work closely with Republicans in the Trump administration. House Republicans feel like Pence is one of them. Just a few years ago, he was chatting with reporters in the basement outside HC-5 -- the House GOP meeting room. A lot of guys in the House have his cell phone. Don’t expect policy proclamations out of this meeting. OBAMA’s visit won’t be terribly different. He doesn’t want Democrats to fall into the trap of allowing Republicans to use Obamacare as a negotiating chip. Obama will try to rally Democrats to stick by his side -- even after he’s a goner. Schumer told us Obama’s message is the “same as ours.” “Our message is not just on Obamacare. Our message is don’t cut health care. Medicare. Medicaid. Obamacare.”NEW POLITICO/MORNING CONSULT POLL -- 74% of voters say it's important for Trump to talk about healing the country in his inaugural address…. STEVE SHEPARD: “Voters want Trump to concentrate on jobs”: “Voters want President-elect Donald Trump to focus on bringing back manufacturing jobs from overseas and preventing more jobs from leaving the country when he takes office later this month. A new POLITICO/Morning Consult survey reveals less enthusiasm for some other major Trump proposals during last year’s presidential campaign, including building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border or restricting Muslims from entering the country.” http://politi.co/2izygmIDISCONNECT ALERT -- Just 43% had heard not much or nothing about the U.N.’s resolution condemning Israel for building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Voters are split on whether Israel is right to build in those disputed areas. 28% support it, 28% say it’s illegal and 44% said they didn’t know or had no opinion. This shows a MAJOR disconnect with Capitol Hill, which is working this week to condemn the U.N. resolution.MEGYN KELLY TO NBC -- NYT A1: “Megyn Kelly’s Jump to NBC From Fox News Will Test Her, and the Networks,” by Jim Rutenberg: “For Megyn Kelly, the shift from Fox News to NBC -- where she will host a daily daytime show and a Sunday newsmagazine program -- will be a test of whether she can connect with a broader audience in a different format and reach another level of television stardom. … For NBC, the addition of Ms. Kelly, 46, may help address a challenge confronting many major news organizations: connecting with a politically diverse audience. … Ms. Kelly had spoken with top executives at ABC News, CNN and in the syndication industry, as well as NBC News, but NBC remained largely under the radar as a landing spot. ... [NBC News chairman Andrew] Lack won her over by starting the talks with a question about what she was seeking, instead of flatly offering possibilities. He then came back with a deal that was tailored to her preferences. A daytime show would give her a schedule that would allow her to see her children off to school and to have dinner with them and her husband, Douglas Brunt, a novelist.” http://nyti.ms/2j8mf95 -- A FEW THOUGHTS -- WHAT INSIDERS ARE SAYING … Andy Lack 1, Jeff Zucker 0 in 2017… If MSNBC now locks up Greta Van Susteren for the 6 p.m. hour, that solidifies a pretty formidable lineup in the Trump era. “Morning Joe,” which has an insider’s read on Trump, Kelly and Greta, combined with the leading liberals in the evening could boost ratings … N.Y. MAG’S GABE SHERMAN: “According to insiders I spoke with ... the consensus seems to be that the Murdochs will choose a woman to fill her 9 p.m. time slot. The leading internal contenders include Trish Regan, Shannon Bream, Sandra Smith, and Martha MacCallum. Two sources said Kimberly Guilfoyle is lobbying for the job.” http://nym.ag/2i9t9Xm … CNN’S DYLAN BYERS: “Previous TV news talents who have made the jump to daytime include Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper and Meredith Vieira. All three of their shows were canceled within a few years.” http://cnnmon.ie/2hQgDAc FOR YOUR RADAR -- SHOT: @realDonaldTrump: “The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!” ... CHASER: WaPo (and a bunch of other outlets): “Trump alleges delay in his briefing on ‘so-called’ Russian hacking; U.S. official says there wasn’t one” http://wapo.st/2hRptf2 TRUMP INC. -- “Trump’s agenda would boost his bottom line,” by Darren Samuelsohn: “Donald Trump stands to personally profit from the legislative agenda he is expected to push in his first 100 days, raising questions about whether he can separate his financial interest from his public office without totally cutting ties from his business empire. The top items on the president-elect's policy checklist - from rewriting the tax code to scrapping Wall Street regulations to repealing Obamacare - have for years been Republican orthodoxy. But Trump could see a direct benefit to muscling through broad tax cuts and eliminating regulations: billions of dollars in new savings for him and his family and fresh revenue for his business portfolio, according to a POLITICO analysis of Trump’s public statements and financial disclosures and interviews with tax experts.” http://politi.co/2hRCzZVCABINET WATCH -- “Tillerson, Exxon set conflict-of-interest agreement,” by Anthony Adragna: “Oil giant Exxon Mobil announced late Tuesday it had reached an agreement with secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson over the hundreds of millions of dollars he’s owed from the company. Under the deal that Exxon said was developed with ethics regulators to comply with conflict of interest requirements that Tillerson sever all ties with the company, the former chairman and CEO would see the value of the more than 2 million deferred shares that he is owed put into an independently managed trust, and the share awards would be canceled. At current market prices, those shares are worth more than $180 million.” http://politi.co/2hQjqsM-- Wilbur Ross’ Commerce questionnaire http://bit.ly/2hPpmO5– “Jeff Sessions says he handled these civil rights cases. He barely touched them,” by J. Gerald Hebert, Joseph D. Rich and William Yeomans in the WaPo: “We worked in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, which brought those lawsuits; we handled three of the four ourselves. We can state categorically that Sessions had no substantive involvement in any of them.” http://wapo.st/2hRxxwF … “[Deval] Patrick urges US senators to reject Sessions as AG,” by Boston Globe’s Annie Linskey: http://bit.ly/2iOzmZz … The letter http://politi.co/2iOHdWX-- “Report fuels questions about Mnuchin role in foreclosure crisis,” by Zach Warmbrodt: “Treasury Secretary-nominee Steven Mnuchin is facing new criticism over the foreclosure practices of the bank that he and partners helped establish after the 2008 housing crisis because of leaked details of an investigation by the state of California. The 2013 document published Tuesday by The Intercept suggests that investigators looking into foreclosures by the bank, OneWest, found evidence of ‘widespread misconduct.’ Investigators suggested there was evidence OneWest signed backdated documents and undertook steps in the foreclosure process when it wasn’t allowed to do so. Though the California attorney general did not pursue charges, the internal findings have given critics of Mnuchin’s nomination fresh ammunition ahead of a Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing. Democrats and progressive groups have been planning for weeks to make OneWest’s foreclosures a centerpiece of their opposition campaign against Mnuchin.” http://politi.co/2j3zm79 … The Intercept story http://bit.ly/2iHe8PX COUNTERPROGRAMMING -- The Trump Transparency Project, an initiative of Allied Progress, is launching two six-figure ad buys on broadcast and cable TV in Arizona and Nevada urging Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) to reject Steven Mnunchin as Treasury Secretary. Their message: the senators have a “simple choice” to stand with Mnunchin and Wall Street or their constituents.-- “Democratic Party builds a war room to battle Trump,” by WaPo’s Philip Rucker: “The DNC has hired John Neffinger, a longtime operative who runs the Franklin Forum, to serve as interim communications director and oversee the national party’s operation. He will be joined by two Clinton veterans who spent the campaign focused on Trump ... Zac Petkanas, the Clinton campaign’s rapid-response director, will serve as a senior adviser to the DNC and direct the Trump war room, while Adrienne Watson, a [former] Clinton campaign spokeswoman, will serve as the DNC’s national press secretary.” http://wapo.st/2iHfY3DWEST WING WATCH -- “Pence expected to name Josh Pitcock as chief of staff,” by Matt Nussbaum: “Pitcock served as an aide to Pence during his time in the House and eventually became his chief of staff there. After Pence was elected governor of Indiana in 2012, Pitcock stayed in Washington during Pence’s governorship, serving as the state’s lobbyist. The soft-spoken Pitcock served as a senior policy adviser to Pence throughout the campaign and the transition.” http://politi.co/2hRwWuS-- AP’s Julie Pace and Julie Bykowicz: “Omarosa Manigault ... is expected to join President-elect Donald Trump’s White House staff ... Her job is expected to focus on public engagement. ... This will be her second tour of duty at the White House — she worked in the office of Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton Administration.” http://abcn.ws/2izlUuYADELSON WATCH -- “Next Stop, Hawaii: Sheldon Adelson Sets Record With 18-Hour Flight From Israel: Billionaire flies direct to Honolulu on his private Airbus A340 from Ben Gurion International Airport - the longest flight ever to depart from Israel,” by Ha’aretz’s Gili Melnitcki: “Adelson’s Airbus A340 allows for very long flight times, especially when it’s empty of passengers and cargo. With a total range of 15,000 kilometers, the Airbus model is meant to carry as many as 380 passengers and serves the longest commercial route in the world - from Singapore to Newark. According to various reports, Adelson's plane is personalized to his needs and includes bedrooms with double beds as well as a bottom floor with large bathrooms and showers at passengers’ disposal. All the seats that are installed in the plane are on the first-class level, with advanced accessories.” http://bit.ly/2i8nil0 -- NYT A4, “In Graft Inquiry, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Worst Enemy May Be Himself,” by Isabel Kershner and Peter Baker in Jerusalem: “He has dominated the Israeli political scene for years, outmaneuvering or outlasting one opponent after another, the ultimate survivor in a system that has chewed up many of his predecessors. But after a nighttime visit by police investigators who read him his rights before asking him if he was corrupt, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now faces a new kind of challenge. The opponent who just might sink him is none other than Benjamin Netanyahu himself. Abraham Diskin, a political scientist at the Academic Center of Law and Science outside Tel Aviv who has advised Mr. Netanyahu, said on Tuesday that it was ‘not very clear that Netanyahu is going to escape some kind of indictment.’ And ‘once there is an indictment,’ Professor Diskin added, ‘he will have to resign.’ Details of the graft investigation remain murky -- ‘the truth is that we don’t know anything,’ Professor Diskin said -- but the questions it raises are clear: Could an appetite for high living abetted by wealthy business executives ultimately undercut Mr. Netanyahu as it has so many other politicians in Israel and around the globe?” http://nyti.ms/2iCGGru -- PLAYBOOK’S TAKE: If Netanyahu is indicted, and elections are called, could the left win a majority of seats in the Knesset, stymying Trump’s plans to push U.S./Israel relations further to the right?FIRST IN PLAYBOOK -- The Food Policy Action Education Fund is rolling out a three-year anti-hunger initiative backed by $300 million of donated media from major media partners for a campaign called “A Place at the Table.” The campaign’s first commercial, a montage of average people going about their daily lives worried about putting food on the table, features Michelle Obama. Viacom, BuzzFeed and iHeartMedia are among the media partners. The campaign includes broadcast, digital and print advertising.MEDIAWATCH -- “Meet the Harvard whiz kid who wants to explain Trumpism,” by Eliana Johnson: “[N]ext month, Julius Krein, a 2008 Harvard graduate who has spent most of his admittedly short career in finance, is launching a journal of public policy and political philosophy with an eye toward laying the intellectual foundation for the Trump movement. If his nerdy swagger is any indication, he has big ambitions: He noted wryly that he is — ‘coincidentally’— the same age that William F. Buckley Jr. was six decades ago when he founded National Review, the magazine that became the flagship of the conservative movement.” http://politi.co/2iCArUM-- “Inside Dan Senor’s Bid for [Israeli newspaper] Globes” – Jewish Insider: “Over the past few weeks, reports and rumors have been swirling on both sides of the Atlantic about Dan Senor’s $13.6 million bid for the Globes newspaper. ... According to a report last week in Globes itself, ‘the bid to acquire ‘Globes’ is not related to American-Jewish billionaire Paul Singer. Senor wants to buy ‘Globes’ with his own money, and is not serving as a front for anybody.’ Senor has said publicly — as recently as October to a group of entrepreneurs in Tel Aviv — that Israel deserves a world-class business newspaper, on par with the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.” http://bit.ly/2iOhqy6 … Globes’ Senor story http://bit.ly/2hQvOcx--“BuzzFeed News hires ‘FOIA terrorist’ Jason Leopold from Vice News,” by Poynter’s Benjamin Mullin: http://bit.ly/2izhAvU--“How the team of wonks at Vox will cover Trump’s presidency,” by Poynter’s Benjamin Mullin: “Jim Tankersley, who covers economic policy for The Washington Post, is heading to Vox.com to run its politics and policy section. He'll replace Laura McGann, who is being promoted to the new position of editorial director. Lauren Williams, the site's managing editor, is also being promoted, to the position of executive editor.” http://bit.ly/2iCzcF8--JAMES TARANTO’s final WSJ.com “Best of the Web” column, “Finale: Parting thoughts on journalism, authority and the Trump era.” His new gig is the Journal’s editorial features editor. http://on.wsj.com/2hQfZCM--Per Morning Media: “Bloomberg Media has hired veteran media executive Stephen Colvin, former CEO of Tina Brown and Barry Diller’s Newsweek-Daily Beast mashup and most recently CEO of luxury mag the Robb Report, to head up and expand its two-year-old global events division, Bloomberg Live.” http://politi.co/2iOrHua COMING ATTRACTIONS – “CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper will sit down with House Speaker Paul Ryan for a primetime Town Hall on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 9 p.m. ET live from George Washington University.”Yup. That's Rex Tillerson in my local Safeway shopping like a plebeian. His security guy is about 20 paces behind him. pic.twitter.com/9ptVGo8dBE— Sanho Tree (@SanhoTree) January 4, 2017TRUMP TOWER POOL REPORT DU JOUR -- Per Politico’s Annie Karni: “At 2:03 p.m., Bob Woodward left the building. The AP’s Steve Peoples ran after him and delivers us this exchange: Why were you up there? [A:] ‘Just visiting a couple of people that’s all. I’ve got to come back not to see somebody else.’ Q: Not the president elect? [A:] ‘I’ve agreed, I’m kind of --’ Q: You’re one of us. Why the secrecy? [A:] ‘There’s no secrecy about it. It’s just that I’m doing my work.’ Q: Are you reporting? [A:] ‘Yeah.’ ‘It’s something I’m working on long term. I hope you’ll understand.’”SPOTTED: Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) snapping photos with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) on the House floor Tuesday … Dick Cheney walking around the Capitol with his daughter, Rep. Lynne Cheney (R-Wyo.) … Mayor Rahm Emanuel flying yesterday from St. Thomas to AtlantaINSTAPIC DU JOUR -- VAN HOLLEN and SCHUMER, from CR Wooters. http://bit.ly/2hRxkcB SPOTTED at Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s reception yesterday: a huge crush of Clinton alumni and other high-profile types far beyond the typical freshman reception: Sen. Bob Menendez, Don Baer, Steve Elmendorf, Kiki McLean, Michael Keegan, Chris Wayne, Lara Bergthold, Jeff Shesol, Paul Orzulak, Jeff Nussbaum, Matt Bennett, Ian Alberg, David Saperstein, Kristen Ludecke, many more.OUT AND ABOUT -- Sen. Rand Paul hosted a swearing-in party yesterday that attracted some luminaries of the libertarian movement and a number of former campaign staffers. SPOTTED: Matt and Terry Kibbe, Grover Norquist, former Sen. Jim DeMint, John Berlau, Mike Biundo, Steve Munisteri, George Will, Brian Darling, Norm Singleton, Jack Hunter, Sam Feist, Cliff Maloney, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Tommy Behnke, Suhail Khan, Marianne Copenhaver, Sen. Roger Wicker.PLAYBOOK METRO SECTION -- “Ivanka Trump Will Move into a House in Kalorama,” by Washingtonian’s Marisa M. Kashino: “[M]ultiple real-estate sources say Trump and husband Jared Kushner will move into 2449 Tracy Pl, NW, in Kalorama. That will put the couple less than two blocks from the Obamas, who will reportedly move here post-White House. The six-bedroom house at 2449 Tracy Place sold on December 22nd for $5.5 million, though it is unclear whether Trump and Kushner bought it, or will rent it from the recent buyer.” With 13 pix on one page http://bit.ly/2iOudka --WHAT THE D.C. JEWISH COMMUNITY IS WONDERING: Will Ivanka and Jared, who are Orthodox, go to Chabad’s TheSHUL, Rabbi Levi Shemtov’s synagogue off Connecticut Avenue? (Shemtov is a longtime D.C. political player). Or will they opt for the traditional Kesher Israel in Georgetown?-- “Tony Kornheiser, Gary Williams and Maury Povich walk into a bar. Then they buy it,” by WaPo’s Dan Steinberg: “Tony Kornheiser announced on his podcast Tuesday that an ownership group that includes himself, former Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams and TV host Maury Povich purchased Chad’s, the longtime Friendship Heights restaurant and bar. Kornheiser said the group plans to rename the former Chadwick’s, soliciting naming suggestions from his podcast listeners, among others. He also said he would like to put a studio in the Wisconsin Avenue hangout, where he could record his podcasts and potentially host other local podcasters.” http://wapo.st/2iBo9Mm -- POVICH frequented the haunt for 15 years when he worked at Fox 5, which had its studios on Wisconsin Avenue. We -- well, really just Jake -- idolize Kornheiser, and love his show. We’ll go to this restaurant and hope Playbookers go, too.TRANSITIONS – TIM GRIFFIN to Brunswick as senior counselor -- “The current lieutenant governor of Arkansas, Tim was previously elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served on the Ways and Means Committee, was Deputy Majority Whip for the Republican caucus, and the Vice Chair for strategy and communications at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). Earlier in his career, he was special assistant to the President and deputy director of the Office of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush.” Griffin was most recently at Purple Strategies and continues in his part-time job as Arkansas’ lieutenant governor. http://bit.ly/2i9saX2--Marsha Catron, fresh off a four-year stint at DHS as deputy assistant secretary of public affairs, is headed back to Capitol Hill as chief of staff for freshman Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-Calif.). ... Faiz Shakir, a former senior aide to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid (who also advised Bernie Sanders) is going to work for the ACLU as its interim national political director -- a move that seems to suggest the non-partisan group may be preparing to do battle with Trump on its animating civil liberties issues. ...... AMD has named Amy Wolverton as associate vice president for U.S. gov’t affairs; she was previously at smartphone and virtual reality hardware manufacturer HTC America. ... Logan Churchwell, longstanding comms director for voters’ rights group True the Vote, is now leading the comms shop for Public Interest Legal Foundation helmed by best-selling author and DOJ whistle-blower J. Christian Adams.ENGAGED -- Former Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) recently proposed to Atlanta entrepreneur and philanthropist Angèle Hawkins. They made the announcement to their families over Christmas. Barrow was the last white Democrat in Congress from the Deep South, and Hawkins is a co-founder of Dynamix Group Inc. and New Hope Enterprises. Barrow recently wrote a former colleague, “This never would’ve happened if I was still married to my old job. Thank you, John Boehner!” And he’s being recruited to run for statewide office in Georgia. Pic http://bit.ly/2hQd9NTWELCOME TO THE WORLD -- Jamie Mageau, director of research projects at the U.S. Travel Association, and Mike Mageau, managing director of The Sotor Group, and have welcomed Addison Aida Mageau, who was born at 12:34 p.m. last Thursday. Pics http://bit.ly/2iHdVfW … http://bit.ly/2j8eakJ ... http://bit.ly/2hRLfPR BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY -- Ben Mayer, senior broadcast producer of “Morning Joe,” is 32, celebrating with good friends in Colorado. “I always forget how dry it is here, but on the bright side, less sweaty, which is good for large/beardy people like me” -- read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2iHlu6j ... Jeremy Funk, comms. director of Americans United for Change, is 38, celebrating by having dinner with his wife Erica at Le Diplomate. “I’ve challenged her to a snail eating contest, but we’ll both be winners either way” -- Q&A: http://politi.co/2hRAixU BIRTHDAYS: Rob Gifford, senior producer at CBSN, is 38 ... Doris Kearns Goodwin is 74 ... James Warren, chief media writer for the Poynter Institute, and contributing editor for N.Y. Daily News ... Politico’s David Kihara, the quiet hero who helps keep Politico.com running ... Politico’s Caitlin Emma Kuchman is 28 ... comedian and satirist Andy Borowitz is 59 (hat tip: Jewish Insider) ... Samantha Slosberg, alum of Hillary for America and Dewey Square Group ... Politico’s Deborah Matteliano ... Sarah Andrews, a Vermont native, Obama and Hillary campaign alum, who most recently worked for the Colorado Democratic Party ... Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history (and now Shula’s Steak House magnate), is 87 ... Hillary Brandenburg, policy adviser in Treasury’s Office of Financial Institutions ... Philly lobbyist Holly Kinser ... Myanmar (Burma) is 69 on its Independence Day (h/t @BCIU) ... Hoyer alum Terry Lierman ... Nan Aron, founder and president of Alliance for Justice … Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium research associate Audrey Hickenlooper (h/t Colby Bermel) ... Jim Friedman is 7-0 (h/t son Andrew) ... Courtney Piron, global health-care practice lead at APCO (h/t Anthony DeAngelo) … Marc Brumer, comms director for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand …… Chip Kahn, CEO and president of the Federation of American Hospitals ... Barbara Menard … David Muir, British political consultant and former Harvard Institute of Politics visiting fellow … Qianwei Zhang of Baobab Group SE ... Peter Schorsch publisher of FloridaPolitics.com … Doug Centilli ... Jen Flaherty, a Romney alum … Michele Remillard, executive producer of C–SPAN’s Washington Journal … Anthony Terrell ... WJLA’s Brian van de Graaff and his son Tony, who shares his birthday … Madeleine Daly, daughter of Meredith Carlson Daly and Matthew Daly of AP ... Patrick Connolly, associate at Portfolio Advisors ... Joe Hansen ... Belen Mendoza ... Lorraine Driscoll (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... Jennifer Sullivan ... Patrick Purtill, director of legislative affairs at the Faith and Freedom Coalition ... Adam Goldman is 45 ... OFA alum Claire Zucker ... Ronnie Stangler ... David Phelps ... Anthony Terrell ... Jeff Angevine … Erin Moffet, comms director for Rep. Charlie Crist ... Lisa Pittman of House Natural Resources ... Doug Campbell of House Foreign Affairs ... Tiana McCall of Rep. Cheri Bustos’ office ... Amanda Septimo of Rep. Jose Serrano’s office ... Joe McAndrew of Sen. Schatz’s office ... Anne Louise Simmons of House Ag (h/ts Legistorm)

30 декабря 2016, 21:20

The Kerry Speech Illustrates Our Political Dysfunction: Hard Truths Too Late, But Not The Whole Truth

In his UN Security Council speech earlier this week, Secretary of State John Kerry finally delivered some hard truths which the Obama administration was too afraid to share with Americans and Israelis until its last month in office. It was a remarkable admission that the president and secretary of State, operating in our current miserable political environment, could not tell us what they really thought about Israel-Palestine – for all the years they have been in office. As Secretary Kerry said on Wednesday, nothing in his speech was new. All of it was readily apparent and known to Obama in 2009 and to Kerry when he was in the Senate and when he became Secretary of State in 2013. The belated candor Wednesday, while welcome for its substance, should be a wakeup call for the American people. If we don’t change our dysfunctional political and electoral system so that it is no longer impossible for well-intentioned leaders to level with the American people, we will not be a democracy worthy of the name. That means getting the big money out of politics. It means adopting a new paradigm of elections and campaign finance. It means no longer kowtowing to the billionaire class of donors like Haim Saban on the left and Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers on the right. It means public financing of campaigns, and millions of “little guys” giving $25 or $50 or $100 of their hard-earned wages to the candidates of their choice. We need to empower our president to tell us the hard truths throughout his time in office, so we as citizens can knowledgeably empower him or her (and the Congress) to make correct decisions on the most important and controversial of our foreign and domestic affairs. Albeit late, we can be thankful that Kerry, with Obama’s blessing, finally did give us the benefit of his experience on a conflict which must be resolved in order for both Israel and the Palestinians and the wider Arab world to stabilize and advance, and for us to finally begin to unburden ourselves of the obligations we have to clean up the mess we have made of much of the Middle East. The crux of the lesson he imparted, borne of four years of intensive labor there, is that peace can only come when “the core needs of both sides” are satisfied — when both sides are willing to satisfy the essential needs of the other. While Kerry cast his speech as though the two-state solution (“2SS”) was still breathing, the facts on the ground to which he referred actually demonstrate that the 2SS is long past saving. There is simply no way to create a contiguous viable Palestinian state in the West Bank and East Jerusalem containing almost 600,000 Jewish settlers, located in places designed precisely to prevent the establishment of such a state. Between the settlements, the outposts, and the ribbon of highways and walls, the West Bank has effectively been carved up into cantons. It would take a civil war to uproot hundreds of thousands of settlers who do not want to move, dead set on creating a Greater Israel ― Jewish dominion over all the land of Israel-Palestine. They have their own legal, administrative, political and economic infrastructure, which is not going away. And frankly, even if it were possible, there is now little support for it in Israel. The Israeli government is certainly not for it, and there is no longer a large Israeli peace movement pushing for it. If Israel did not seriously pursue the Saudi Peace Initiative, endorsed by the Arab League in 2002 and again in 2007, when it was promised full normalization and peaceful relations with every Arab and Moslem country in the region if Israel withdrew from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Israel is not going to be persuaded to do so now without enormous outside pressure by the entire world. So if, as Kerry said, the Quartet and the UN agree with the Palestinians that any Palestinian state must be contiguous and viable and that the 1967 lines with only slight changes must be the basis of any 2SS, but Israel will not agree to return to those lines, there can and will be no 2SS. Israel’s strategy to prevent the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state in which Palestinians could live in freedom and dignity, free of Israeli domination, has succeeded. Kerry therefore told us some hard truths but not the whole truth, which is that Israel’s strategy to prevent the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state in which Palestinians could live in freedom and dignity, free of Israeli domination, has succeeded. There is not going to be a 2SS solution. But the fundamentalist idea of a Greater Israel, privileging Jews and subjugating Palestinians, is ultimately untenable, as Kerry said. The Palestinians will never accept it, and they will continue to resist. The Arab world will not accept it, and never grant Israel peace and stability for as long as it pursues that dream. The entire world, other than the United States, will continue to reject it, and despite the election of Donald Trump, for whatever period his misbegotten Administration lasts, the American people, both Jews and Christians, will ultimately not accept it because it is inconsistent with our democratic values, and frankly with Judeo-Christian moral and religious values. Ultimately, American support will wither for this kind of Jewish state. And when American protection ends, Israel will suffer the isolation and sanction of the entire world, as South Africa did before it. This was Kerry’s explicit warning and core message. So where does this leave Jews and Palestinians? What are the alternatives to Greater Israel or two states living side by side in peace and security? Can we devise an alternative vision for the core needs of the two peoples? Is there an alternative political arrangement that meets the fundamental need for Israeli Jews to live in a peaceful and secure Jewish homeland in the heart of the Arab and Moslem world, where their political and religious rights are guaranteed in perpetuity? Can that same political arrangement meet the fundamental need of Palestinians to live in freedom, dignity and security, in the same state which is also their national homeland? With these questions in mind, if you look again at Secretary Kerry’s speech, shorn of its 2SS aspects, focusing on the fundamental principles he outlined for the achievement of peace and security between the two peoples, there are some reasons to think that the answer could be yes. He said there must be firm, full and equal rights for both peoples, no matter where they live in the two states. He acknowledged that 1.7 million Palestinians live in Israel and must be free and equal, with both sides upholding full equal rights for all their respective citizens. This fundamental principle is not only every bit as consistent with one binational state as with two separate states, but it is probably easier to achieve in one state with a single national constitutional framework. Kerry then said Jerusalem must be the international capital of both states, with all religions approving, and all religious sites protected. He also said that the basic national aspirations of both peoples to have Jerusalem as its capital should be vindicated without dividing the City. Accomplishing this second fundamental principle would be much easier in one state. If the two-state solution is dead... the conversation about a feasible vision of such a state which meets the core needs of both peoples must now begin. Kerry next said there must be a full solution to the Palestinian refugee problem. He emphasized compensation, and an acknowledgment of Palestinian suffering. He mentioned the Nakba, the 1948 exodus or expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages — perhaps the first time a senior American diplomat has given public voice and recognition to that catastrophe — but he surely was thinking also of their suffering under military occupation. This truth and reconciliation work would have to begin at the start of serious negotiations about any solution, but is likely better completed in the context of one state rather than two. He said that there must be options and assistance finding permanent homes, with the world providing support, financial and otherwise. He did not mention the right of return, but some right of return, enshrined in an early UN Security Council resolution, has been the subject of discussion for decades now. Were there one state rather than two, with constitutional and international guarantees protecting the national and religious rights of both peoples in perpetuity, it would be easier to resolve the thorny issue of the return of those Jews and Palestinians in the diaspora who might want to do so. With both peoples constitutionally protected living together in one state, there might be fewer concerns about altering its “fundamental character,” depending upon the political structure selected for the binational state. Kerry noted that any Palestinian state must not have a military, and there must be full satisfaction of Israel’s security needs. How that would be accomplished in two states, he did not say. But if the Palestinians are ultimately amenable to such a defenseless state, they may also be amenable to vindicating and guaranteeing their national, political and religious rights in one state, in which the top military leaders are Jewish. Two other important factors were alluded to in the speech. First, Palestinian leadership and governance is widely acknowledged to be inefficient, divided and corrupt. It is not at all clear that the Palestinian people would be better served by such leadership rather than, say, the leaders of the Joint List, the Israeli Arab party in the Knesset. Second, Kerry made clear that the Middle East is rapidly changing, that Egypt and Jordan are willing to coordinate on security issues with Israel, that Israel is covertly and even openly cooperating with key Arab states like Saudi Arabia, and that the time is ripe for Israel to achieve its life-long dream of peaceful and normal relations with that world if only there were genuine interest in normalizing its relations with the Palestinians as well. If the 2SS is dead, this can and must be done in one binational state, and the conversation about a feasible vision of such a state which meets the core needs of both peoples must now begin. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

27 декабря 2016, 21:31

Guess Which Billionaire (From Omaha) Made More Money Than Anyone Else In The World Thanks To Trump

Staunch Hillary Clinton supporter (and vehement anti-Trump-er) Warren Buffett had a better year than any other billionaire on earth... thanks to Donald Trump. Buffett's net worth is up around $12 billion this year - with the majority of his gains coming in the weeks since Trump was elected - sending him up the ranks to become the 2nd richest man in the world (behind Bill Gates). Fracking titan Harold Hamm is $8.4 billion richer now compared to December 31, 2015, the third biggest dollar gain of anyone in America. Shares of his oil giant Continental Resources soared 136% thanks to the rising price of crude oil. The Texas oilman has ridden oil’s boom and bust cycles for years. He gained more than $13 billion from 2010 to 2014, lost more than $13 billion by March 2016, then regained most of it in the last nine months. Today he is worth $15.3 billion, Bloomberg calculates. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also had a big year, adding $6.5 billion to his coffers as Amazon shares rose. And gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson gained $5.4 billion. Still, no one could match Buffett, who would be even richer if he had not given away $2.9 billion worth of Berkshire stock in July.   As Forbes notes, it wasn’t all a smooth ride for Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett’s firm is the largest shareholder of bank Wells Fargo, which was fined $185 million in September for opening millions of accounts without customers’ permission. Federal officials opened investigations, members of Congress berated the bank, and CEO John Stumpf ultimately left his position in October. Berkshire shares dropped 4% in the month after authorities fined Wells Fargo. Berkshire Hathaway stock began to make a comeback on Nov. 4, when the company released its third-quarter results. Buffett’s firm reported $11.4 billion in quarterly revenues, up 8% from the previous year. Shares edged upwards, gaining 3% from Nov. 4 to Nov. 8, slightly outpacing the market’s overall rise heading into Election Day. Once Donald Trump won, Berkshire took off along with the rest of the stock market. Six years ago Buffett and his friend Bill Gates created the Giving Pledge, a commitment by billionaires around the world to donate over half of their money. For his part, the Omaha investor has promised to donate more than 99% of his fortune. So far, he has given away more than $28.5 billion.

24 декабря 2016, 20:52

Former CIA Spy Has A Christmas Message For Trump

Submitted by Robert Steele via TheMindUnleashed.com, "Dear Mr. Trump, I am among the tens of millions who voted for you, and also among the twenty thousand or so that spent fifteen months obsessively devoted to getting you elected. I went to bed in tears on election night, only to be woken at midnight by my wife to watch the miracle unfold. Perhaps someone will read this and in a second miracle, you will hear my voice. I am going to make seven points with seven paragraphs and seven graphics. #1 You are not only an accidental president, you are a fringe president. 27% of the eligible voters elected you (1% more than elected Barack Obama). 26% of the eligible voters hate you with the passion common to the brain-washed or brain-dead, and 47% did not vote at all. Trump won against all odds (20-1 at best, 200-1 at worst) because Hillary Clinton was not able to use the same electronic voting fraud against you that she used to steal thirteen primaries from Bernie Sanders. That was the big one; in combination with her calling us all “deplorables,” her spaz attack in NYC, her doctor and nurse in constant attendance, and of course the emails leaked by insiders – not the Russians, John Brennan is a liar plain and simple – she lost more than you won. A miracle. Get a grip. You do not represent all of us, you represent 27% of us, and fixing that should be your first priority. Here is the political landscape – note that the Establishment – the two-party tyranny that opposed you to the bitter end – controls 30% of the vote. Your mission is to mobilize the 47% who did not vote in 2016, toward joining the Movement you lead in time to impact on 2018, while embracing the Sandernistas and the Libertarians and Tea Party Conservatives to the fullest extent. #2 You cannot govern responsibly as long as our electoral system is corrupt. The electoral system is rigged twelve different ways not counting George Soros’ funding of protestors and the occasional false flag shooting of cops to be blamed on blacks. Although you spoke to a rigged system, and your allies blocked Hillary Clinton from leveraging the electronic voting fraud option she used so successfully against Bernie Sanders, there are at least two sucking chest wounds in our political process that you need to address, ideally before you submit a single nomination to the Senate. First, you must free the Members from their dependence on campaign finance controlled by the extreme wealthy, the banks, and the various industrial complexes, from the agricultural to the educational to the military to the pharmaceutical to the prison complexes. Second, you must break the back of the two-party tyranny and open the halls of Congress to a swing vote – Independents and members of small parties. I had to run for president in 2012 to learn that there are six accredited small parties (eligible for matching federal funds) that are blocked from ballot access by the two-party tyranny. The Republican Party is delusional in thinking that it can avoid the same implosion that befell the Democratic Party. Now is the time for you to go direct to the public, mobilize the 47%, and demand an Electoral Reform Act of 2017 – a Unity Act. The system is rigged twelve different ways. Challenge Senator Chuck Schumer on this, and if he fights you, bury him. #3 The media purveys fake news. Between now and Inauguration Day you should ask Mike Flynn, your National Security Advisor, to sit down with Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale (Giles-Parscale), Andrew Garfield (Glevum Associates), and me, to discuss the repurposing of the White House floor space and resources now wasted on the fake news press. In my view, this space could house the National Security Advisor and a Grand Strategy Cell that is directly supportive of your thinking about Whole of Government strategy and policy; a Trump Studio that broadcasts a mix of Trump appointees, subject matter experts, and regular Public Briefings that cannot be filtered or manipulated by the corrupt media and are vastly superior to the crap you are getting in the President’s Daily Brief; a presidential polling unit under Kellyanne’s direct control but leveraging the extraordinary methodologies of Andrew Garfield and Glevum Associates as well as others far superior to the mediocrities used by the media during the campaign; and an Open Source element that can give you 90% of what you need in the way of decision-support at very low cost – with the added advantage that being unclassified, this intelligence can be shared widely. #4 Ike Eisenhower was the last president to have a grand strategy – you need one. The US Government (USG) has not had a Grand Strategy since Project Solarium was commissioned by President Ike Eisenhower in 1953. As you strive to overcome decades of irresponsible spending and bad management across all the government stovepipes, the single fastest way to get both your Cabinet nominees and the Senate leaders of the oversight committees on the same page is to have a one-week retreat in which a Grand Strategy is devised for Whole of Government – not only for national security, but for domestic security and prosperity as well. Such a retreat would begin with a proper briefing on the ten high-level threats to humanity (eight of which the secret intelligence community ignores); it would have a broad range of subject matter experts present to brief on the documented 50% waste across each government domain and the true cost of proposed alternative courses of action; and it would illuminate how you can end borrowing, achieve a balanced budget, and still finance your ambitious objectives with tax reform far beyond what you are contemplating now (see #5). Below is half of a Grand Strategy for your consideration – the National Security half. A similar approach can be taken to address each of the major domestic domains, especially Agriculture, Energy, Health, Infrastructure, and Water. #5 Eliminate All Taxes Less the Fractional Tax on All Transactions. The tax code is a how Congress extorts money from banks and corporations seeking exemptions and special treatment. Simplifying it is not going to increase your revenue and is not going to change the fact that we are not taxing 80% of the transactions including stock and currency transactions. Kill the entire tax code and eliminate the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can double government revenue by imposing a tiny fractional transaction tax on all transactions. Edgar Feige, the University of Wisconsin professor who has documented the simplicity and the utility of this approach, is available to brief you personally. Note: this is probably the one thing that your Goldman Sachs nominees have been ordered to sabotage – this is their loyalty test. #6 You are surrounded by traitors – financial, ideological, and religious. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a theatrical agency. It has not been allowed to go after traitors within the USG (I estimate 500 not now being investigated) or across our nation-wide commercial, industrial, and our scientific & technical networks (I estimate 5,000 not now being investigated). It is not possible for you to be effective in devising strategy, making policy, and managing the budget if you are undermined from within. Within the FBI itself there are secret societies including the original pedophile protective association started by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, himself a rampant pedophile and cross-dresser – each generation hand-picks and promotes the next generation of “protectors.” Other secret societies within the FBI respond to the Vatican, to Israel, and to Wall Street. Within NSA and CIA there are numerous traitors who consider it their primary duty to spy on US politicians including the President, and who use blackmail to protect their budgets and their ability to run drugs, guns, money, and children, often leveraging military assets conscripted for “sensitive” programs. Sensitive, indeed. The FBI needs to be scrubbed, and then unleashed, with its budget tripled, toward the below priorities. #7 You are being set up by Wall Street – a financial melt-down looms. More than one observer including David Stockman and Richard Fisher (former Dallas Federal Reserve President) and Brandon Smith of Alt-Market.com, has documented the massive bubble that will pop – deliberately – during your first four years. You appear to be aware of the threat but may not have considered at least one radical idea that could “checkmate” your financial opponents: a call from you to all US citizen debtors, particularly the young with student debt and the elderly with medical debt but also including those with credit debt and small business debt, to sign the Debt Renunciation Pledge shown below. This pledge to be located on a website to be created by Brad Parscale and funded privately, would strive to register $2 trillion in debt across 100 million debtors, each of whom would be explicitly authorizing you as a President to re-negotiate that debt. Michael Hudson, the most honest visionary economist we have in America, suggests that you need to orchestrate a debt jubilee anyway, but I see this as a superb check on the financial community and its plans to crash the system on their terms. You can organize a soft landing on your terms. And now, a word for the 73% of eligible voters who did not vote for Donald Trump. First, please join me in praising the Lord for our accidental president. Accidental and fringe he may be, but he was elected legitimately within a severely flawed system and his greatest attribute – one we should treasure – is that he is “unshackled.” He was elected against the opposition of the two-party tyranny that fronts for Wall Street and the various complexes; he was elected without taking substantial funds from any major donors including Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers; and he was elected without the aid of the wide variety of lobbying firms that spent over a billion dollars for what they thought was a “sure thing” – the election of the most flawed candidate ever to be put before the American public.   Second, please acknowledge that Bernie Sanders, not Hillary Clinton, is the rightful nominee and the spiritual leader of the Democratic Party. We now know – as incontrovertible fact – that Hillary Clinton stole thirteen primaries from Bernie Sanders (Stanford University has documented this) and that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was a criminal conspiracy against Bernie Sanders throughout the primary campaign. We must, however, also acknowledge that Bernie Sanders was complicit – he knew he was being cheated and he ultimately went along, just as Al Gore rolled over and played dead when Warren Christopher delivered the bribe offer from Wall Street — $100 million to accept Jeb Bush’s “reasonable dishonesty” in rigging the Florida general election.   Third, and this is really important, please consider the very real prospect of the Republican Party imploding between now and 2018 just as the Democratic Party has imploded. The next batch of leaked emails could be focused on Scott Walker, Reince Priebus, and the Republican National Committee (RNC). There are six accredited national political parties that have been blocked from ballot access, with the Libertarian being the largest followed by the Greens. Emerging parties such as Working Families are easily kept from growing, and Independents – solitary individuals by nature, have virtually no prospect of electoral relevance as the system is now structured – rigged twelve different ways. What this means is that the 47% who chose not to vote – and the 13% that wanted Bernie Sanders – as well as the roughly 13% like myself who are totally disgusted with the Republican Party and its lack of intelligence with integrity – could form a critical mass of 73%. I’ve done all one man can do. Now it is up to you, the 73%, to decide if you want your country back. The only thing standing in your way is your apathy. Merry Christmas – and God Bless America

16 декабря 2016, 12:39

Американские казино "взяли на прицел" Японию

Компании-операторы крупнейших казино, базирующиеся в США, взяли курс на Японию, одну из крупнейших в мире игорных стран, после того как парламент в четверг утром принял закон, предписывающий правительству подготовить проект по первому казино-курорту.

12 декабря 2016, 23:34

The Age Of Rage And Resentment

The degradation in American political discourse has been obvious since the early 90s. Spurred by the first influx of extremists into the Republican party and Congress, led by Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay, the rise of fascism and anti-American behavior has become more evident each year since. Intent on nothing less than the destruction of the federal government, as stated explicitly by Grover Norquist, the conservative movement ushered in the age of white rage and resentment that has finally blossomed today. We've moved from Lee Atwater's dog whistles and Willie Horton ads to public pride in pathological lying and the promulgation of false news. We will soon have a government in thrall to the Russian Empire thanks to the treasonous and seditious behavior of the future president, the Senate Majority leader, and his allies. 62 million people either deliberately voted their bigotry or cared not a whit that they were electing a racist, sexist autocrat who took pride in his multiple criminal behaviors. And what do they say to liberal, productive America? Stop being elitist. Stop looking down on the population that has become expert at taking and not producing. Stop being so smug behind your post-graduate degrees, and reach out to the poor white people of this country. I don't remember poor white America every reaching out to diverse America to get to know us. I don't recall them demanding better education for their children so they could understand the theory of evolution, or learn skills they could use to start their own companies in a spirit of Republican entrepreneurship, rather than wasting away in a haze of narcotic addiction. I don't recall them demanding the FDA send nutrition experts to their towns and cities to teach them how to prevent diabetes and obesity, so they could lead healthy and productive lives. All I can recall is their biannual voting for Republicans who stole from them to redistribute to their own pockets, and then shut down the government so it was incapable of responding to their needs. They elected arch-conservative state legislatures which piled on, conning them repeatedly, but apparently not placating that seething resentment towards "librals," which kept them enthralled to their leaders, both religious and secular, preaching hate. And after calling Obama all the slurs in the book, demonizing and dehumanizing him when he provided tens of millions of them with health insurance and saved their damn jobs while preventing a great depression, they unleashed the "Whitelash" and voted for a real kleptocratic demagogue, a man who has never done anything of value in his entire seventy years. Congratulations, America, your resentment reached its peak and now you own it. I will add that rage and resentment isn't isolated to white men who happen to be uneducated. There is plenty within the progressive community, too, which is threatening to tear it apart. After years of apathy and limited involvement, the Occupy crowd found themselves a candidate, and when he lost, many lost their minds in conspiracy theories long the province of right-wing lunatics. Maybe enough to throw the election. Even within the LGBT community there is resentment over the privileging of white men and women with the focus on marriage equality, and the subsequent drop-off in funding and energy since the Supreme Court decision last year. And even within my tiny trans community there are women who are still embittered and enraged that they weren't hired or given leadership positions over the past fifteen years, and young trans persons who know nothing of the community's history or their current situation in an aggressive world targeting them. We're in a crisis, and there is no room anymore for petty personal politics. Today, as every day, matters continue to worsen. Friday night the CIA reported, as part of an intelligence investigation covering all the agencies but obviously timed so that the headline got out before the Electoral College votes on December 19, that the Russians effectively intervened to throw the election to Trump. We know Trump was at least a useful fool to the Russians, but it's clear to anyone with a brain that he was complicit as well. We see all his advisers on the Putin payroll, many of his cabinet picks the same, his call for them to hack the DNC (a bit of a slip during the campaign, it looks like now), and his response to the CIA report consisting of an attack on the CIA rather than the Russians. I'm glad I studied Russian in high school and college. We are clearly through the Looking Glass as Il Duce is defending the Russian dictator while undermining his country's intelligence agencies. Unless, of course, we're already a colony of the Russian Empire. November 8, 2016 - the day the Confederacy finally won the Civil War, and the Soviet Union won the Cold War. I've never seen a film or HBO series with this plot line, and if it didn't mean the end of America it might be an interesting viewing experience. But it's real, at least for people who live in a fact-based reality. As of now, there are only a few Republicans willing to stand up to the treason of Mitch McConnell and the Trump team. That's what it is - treason - and we need to repeat it ad nauseum. Just as we need to repeat that everything out of Der Fuhrer's mouth are lies. Give no quarter. Obstruct. Resist. We can overcome the destruction of the United States if patriotic Republicans take a stand. If, indeed, the patriotism they flaunted and flogged for the past forty years was real and not a faux put-on to shame Democrats, then it is possible to stop this transition in its tracks. There is no constitutional road map, because no one could have written a script where 62 million Americans burn their house down and then turn the keys over to the Russians. With Machiavellian conspirators like Karl Rove and Ben Ginsberg, who managed to shut down the Florida recount in 2000, changing sides and willing to stand up for freedom, it may be possible to succeed. There was an interesting story recently in The Washington Post showing that the media has had an impossible time finding columnists willing to support the Republicans. We know all newspapers supported Hillary, except for a Sheldon Adelson dishrag, and that efforts at resistance continue with the trashy USA Today the only paper able to coax the dregs of bloggers to write something so they can call themselves even-handed. They even found a crackpot Harvard physicist, which is not surprising considering that physicists' minds can become so distorted to be able to conceive of quantum reality that when it comes to politics they lose their grasp entirely. William Shockley, one of the inventors of the transistor, comes to mind. We will now see if true patriots step up to save the Union, for if they do not, the only viable response to the upcoming United Soviet States of America will be something like the Disunion I discussed recently. Steven Pearlstein at The Washington Post appears to be moving in that direction. Dire times require dire solutions. We are not one country, and we have never been one country. This is not a simulation where a tweak of the software gets the game back on track. This is real, and decent Americans must be willing to sacrifice, to put their lives on the line, to ensure they have a future. If not, rage and resentment will win the day, and the West will die. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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11 декабря 2016, 17:00

Sheldon Adelson's Net Worth Falls $2.4 Billion As Macau Further Limits Cash Withdrawals

The billionaire casino magnate, a prominent Trump supporter, has suffered a $2.4 billion decline to his fortune in the wake of new government regulations in Macau.

10 декабря 2016, 09:00

Выборы в США — лохотрон

До президентских выборов остается всё меньше времени, а кандидаты так и не «расцвели». Подразумевается, что по мере приближения гонки к финишу, кандидаты должны уже достаточно показать себя, обозначить свои сильные стороны и активно их педалировать, чтобы набирать очки и всячески обходить конкурента. Но это история не этих выборов. Текущая выборная компания в США напоминает борьбу […]

10 декабря 2016, 00:49

Donald Trump Rewarding Million-Dollar Donors With Plum Postings

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Donald Trump routinely blasts his political foes for “pay-to-play” politics and “crony capitalism and corruption.” But Trump is now rewarding some of his biggest campaign bankrollers with unparalleled access, influence, prestige and power in his presidential administration-in-waiting, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of new campaign finance disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission. In all, 18 ultra-wealthy Americans — the majority are billionaires whose fortunes are greatly affected by government decisions — contributed at least $1 million to the Republican’s presidential campaign and political efforts supporting Trump’s bid, the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis shows. At least one person on this list, former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon, is slated to serve in Trump’s Cabinet: Trump this week tapped McMahon to lead the federal government’s Small Business Administration. In addition to spending $6.2 million to support Trump’s presidential effort, she and husband Vince McMahon have together donated millions of dollars to Trump’s scandal-plagued charitable foundation. Trump is also nominating six-figure contributors to cabinet-level positions: billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos as education secretary, restaurant mogul Andy Puzder as labor secretary and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary. And four days before Election Day, Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary nominee Ben Carson’s old presidential campaign committee likewise gave a pro-Trump super PAC$100,000. Another top backer, hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, gave $2 million to a pro-Trump super PAC he helped establish with his daughter, Rebekah Mercer, called “Make America Number 1.” The father-daughter duo helped convince Trump to overhaul his campaign leadership in August and install operatives with close ties to the Mercer operation. They are now poised to play a leading role in a new organizationdesigned to advance Trump’s legislative agenda. Rebekah Mercer is also a member of Trump’s presidential transition team executive committee. In a sign of how much the Mercers have endeared themselves to the president-elect, Trump, on Saturday, made a surprise appearance at the Mercer’s “Villains and Heroes”-themed Christmas costume party on Long Island, New York. Then there’s Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel, who gave $1 million to the Mercer-led, pro-Trump “Make America Number 1” super PAC during the presidential campaign’s final days, new federal campaign finance disclosures show. One of the few tech titans to openly speak about his support for Trump, Thiel is now on the executive council of Trump’s presidential transition team. Joe Ricketts, the billionaire founder of online brokerage TD Ameritrade who initially funded an anti-Trump super PAC, also earned Trump’s favor after contributing $1 million in September to pro-Trump super PAC “Future45.” Ricketts son, Todd Ricketts, helped run “Future45.” Todd Ricketts is now Trump’s nominee for deputy commerce secretary. Trump has given his No. 1 and No. 2 overall financial backers — casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, and his wife, Miriam Adelson — new jobs since winning the presidency: They’re finance vice-chairmen of Trump’s inaugural committee, which is working to raise tens of millions of dollars to pay for his inauguration. It’s an event that itself promises top donors posh perks and exclusive access to Trump and his administration. Sheldon Adelson — the chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. — waited until late October to put big dollars into backing Trump. But both he and Miriam Adelson ultimately invested $10.2 million each into pro-Trump groups. The Adelsons are strong supporters of Israel and opponents of online gambling. During the Republican presidential primary, Trump had accused Adelson of attempting to use his wealth to control Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who was also seeking the GOP presidential nomination. Representatives from Trump’s transition team did not respond to requests for comment. Trump has promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. — an allusion to what he says is a capital city controlled by corrupt, self-interested lobbyists, political operatives and businesspeople. On one hand, Trump can argue that many of his top donors are not creatures of Washington, D.C., but rather, successful outsiders he trusts to reform the federal government, said Meredith McGehee, chief of policy, programs and strategy for campaign finance reform organization Issue One. On the other hand, Trump offering top donors key postings and intimate access “raises the question of whether they bought their positions,” she said. In the end, Trump was the biggest single bankroller of his campaign. He ultimately contributed $66.1 million of his own funds to his presidential campaign — about 19 percent of the $339 million he ultimately raised for the primary and general elections, federal disclosures show. Like all candidates, Trump’s campaign was prohibited from raising more than $5,400 per donor — $2,700 for the primary and $2,700 for the general election. But a host of super PACs ultimately sprang up to support the billionaire businessman and celebrity reality TV star. And thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision in 2010, and a related lower court ruling, these groups are allowed to accept donations of any amount from contributors. Trump also operated two joint fundraising groups with the Republican National Committee that could collect six-figure checks, money which was split between the Trump campaign, RNC and several state Republican parties. Not all of Trump’s top donors have received key posting in Trump’s administration or transition team — yet. Take Robert McNair, CEO of the Houston Texans, who doubled down on Trump in the final weeks of the election. According to new campaign finance filings, McNair contributed $2 million to a pro-Trump group called “Great America PAC” on Oct. 21. But another football mogul — Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets and a major Trump donor — is a member of Trump’s inaugural committee. Trump is also reportedly considering Johnson for nomination as the United States’ ambassador to the United Kingdom. Modern presidents, both Democrats and Republicans, have regularly offered top donors ambassadorships. Trump has offered no indication he will change this practice. Trump also has yet to begin doling out most ambassador positions. Two other top Trump donors — billionaire Diane Hendricks, the richest woman in Wisconsin, and billionaire Stephen Feinberg, CEO and founder of investment firm Cerberus Capital Management — served as economic advisers to Trump during the campaign. It’s not yet clear whether either will have a more formal role in Trump’s administration. Bernard Marcus, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot, donated $7 million to pro-Trump super PACs, ranking him just behind the Adelsons in overall contributions. Marcus says he has no interest in a formal role with the Trump administration, but has said he will be available if Trump wants his advice. Former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin doesn’t rank among Trump’s top donors. But Mnuchin, who as Trump’s top campaign fundraiserwas responsible for convincing so many wealthy individuals to give Trump money, is also enjoying the spoils of victory. Trump has nominated Mnuchin as his U.S. Treasury secretary. Chris Zubak-Skees contributed to this report. The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington, D.C. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

10 декабря 2016, 00:49

Donald Trump Rewarding Million-Dollar Donors With Plum Postings

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Donald Trump routinely blasts his political foes for “pay-to-play” politics and “crony capitalism and corruption.” But Trump is now rewarding some of his biggest campaign bankrollers with unparalleled access, influence, prestige and power in his presidential administration-in-waiting, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of new campaign finance disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission. In all, 18 ultra-wealthy Americans — the majority are billionaires whose fortunes are greatly affected by government decisions — contributed at least $1 million to the Republican’s presidential campaign and political efforts supporting Trump’s bid, the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis shows. At least one person on this list, former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon, is slated to serve in Trump’s Cabinet: Trump this week tapped McMahon to lead the federal government’s Small Business Administration. In addition to spending $6.2 million to support Trump’s presidential effort, she and husband Vince McMahon have together donated millions of dollars to Trump’s scandal-plagued charitable foundation. Trump is also nominating six-figure contributors to cabinet-level positions: billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos as education secretary, restaurant mogul Andy Puzder as labor secretary and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary. And four days before Election Day, Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary nominee Ben Carson’s old presidential campaign committee likewise gave a pro-Trump super PAC$100,000. Another top backer, hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, gave $2 million to a pro-Trump super PAC he helped establish with his daughter, Rebekah Mercer, called “Make America Number 1.” The father-daughter duo helped convince Trump to overhaul his campaign leadership in August and install operatives with close ties to the Mercer operation. They are now poised to play a leading role in a new organizationdesigned to advance Trump’s legislative agenda. Rebekah Mercer is also a member of Trump’s presidential transition team executive committee. In a sign of how much the Mercers have endeared themselves to the president-elect, Trump, on Saturday, made a surprise appearance at the Mercer’s “Villains and Heroes”-themed Christmas costume party on Long Island, New York. Then there’s Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel, who gave $1 million to the Mercer-led, pro-Trump “Make America Number 1” super PAC during the presidential campaign’s final days, new federal campaign finance disclosures show. One of the few tech titans to openly speak about his support for Trump, Thiel is now on the executive council of Trump’s presidential transition team. Joe Ricketts, the billionaire founder of online brokerage TD Ameritrade who initially funded an anti-Trump super PAC, also earned Trump’s favor after contributing $1 million in September to pro-Trump super PAC “Future45.” Ricketts son, Todd Ricketts, helped run “Future45.” Todd Ricketts is now Trump’s nominee for deputy commerce secretary. Trump has given his No. 1 and No. 2 overall financial backers — casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, and his wife, Miriam Adelson — new jobs since winning the presidency: They’re finance vice-chairmen of Trump’s inaugural committee, which is working to raise tens of millions of dollars to pay for his inauguration. It’s an event that itself promises top donors posh perks and exclusive access to Trump and his administration. Sheldon Adelson — the chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. — waited until late October to put big dollars into backing Trump. But both he and Miriam Adelson ultimately invested $10.2 million each into pro-Trump groups. The Adelsons are strong supporters of Israel and opponents of online gambling. During the Republican presidential primary, Trump had accused Adelson of attempting to use his wealth to control Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who was also seeking the GOP presidential nomination. Representatives from Trump’s transition team did not respond to requests for comment. Trump has promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. — an allusion to what he says is a capital city controlled by corrupt, self-interested lobbyists, political operatives and businesspeople. On one hand, Trump can argue that many of his top donors are not creatures of Washington, D.C., but rather, successful outsiders he trusts to reform the federal government, said Meredith McGehee, chief of policy, programs and strategy for campaign finance reform organization Issue One. On the other hand, Trump offering top donors key postings and intimate access “raises the question of whether they bought their positions,” she said. In the end, Trump was the biggest single bankroller of his campaign. He ultimately contributed $66.1 million of his own funds to his presidential campaign — about 19 percent of the $339 million he ultimately raised for the primary and general elections, federal disclosures show. Like all candidates, Trump’s campaign was prohibited from raising more than $5,400 per donor — $2,700 for the primary and $2,700 for the general election. But a host of super PACs ultimately sprang up to support the billionaire businessman and celebrity reality TV star. And thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision in 2010, and a related lower court ruling, these groups are allowed to accept donations of any amount from contributors. Trump also operated two joint fundraising groups with the Republican National Committee that could collect six-figure checks, money which was split between the Trump campaign, RNC and several state Republican parties. Not all of Trump’s top donors have received key posting in Trump’s administration or transition team — yet. Take Robert McNair, CEO of the Houston Texans, who doubled down on Trump in the final weeks of the election. According to new campaign finance filings, McNair contributed $2 million to a pro-Trump group called “Great America PAC” on Oct. 21. But another football mogul — Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets and a major Trump donor — is a member of Trump’s inaugural committee. Trump is also reportedly considering Johnson for nomination as the United States’ ambassador to the United Kingdom. Modern presidents, both Democrats and Republicans, have regularly offered top donors ambassadorships. Trump has offered no indication he will change this practice. Trump also has yet to begin doling out most ambassador positions. Two other top Trump donors — billionaire Diane Hendricks, the richest woman in Wisconsin, and billionaire Stephen Feinberg, CEO and founder of investment firm Cerberus Capital Management — served as economic advisers to Trump during the campaign. It’s not yet clear whether either will have a more formal role in Trump’s administration. Bernard Marcus, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot, donated $7 million to pro-Trump super PACs, ranking him just behind the Adelsons in overall contributions. Marcus says he has no interest in a formal role with the Trump administration, but has said he will be available if Trump wants his advice. Former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin doesn’t rank among Trump’s top donors. But Mnuchin, who as Trump’s top campaign fundraiserwas responsible for convincing so many wealthy individuals to give Trump money, is also enjoying the spoils of victory. Trump has nominated Mnuchin as his U.S. Treasury secretary. Chris Zubak-Skees contributed to this report. The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington, D.C. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

09 декабря 2016, 08:00

These Super PAC Donors Were Able To Hide Their Identities Before The Election

WASHINGTON ― In the final days of the 2016 election, there was concern among Democrats that voters in Philadelphia wouldn’t be able to get to their polling locations due to a transit workers strike. A group of investors in Silicon Valley came up with an idea: Provide free or discounted rides through the ride-sharing taxi services Uber and Lyft. Funding came through a super PAC called My Ride to Vote. But at the time, no one knew who provided the money. This is one of many cases in which super PACs spent money on the election in the final weeks of the election without having to disclose their donors until after the election. The cutoff for pre-election disclosure is Oct. 19. Those donations were revealed Thursday. Those who took advantage of My Ride to Vote’s services were getting their Uber or Lyft rides subsidized by Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The billionaire donated $1 million to fund the ride-sharing super PAC. Some of these late-stage donations went to super PACs whose purposes were already well-known. Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC supporting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign, raised a little more than $15 million in the final three weeks of the election. There were no surprises among the late donors, just more money from the same mega-donors who help make Priorities USA Action the most well-funded super PAC ever. The group did end the election with $2.1 million cash on hand. Perhaps some of this money could have been spent in Michigan or Wisconsin. A coterie of pro-Donald Trump super PACs also reported their late contributions. Future45 raised the most, with $11.3 million in contributions raised in October and November. Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, contributed the most with $10 million combined. The second biggest donor was World Wrestling Entertainment’s Linda McMahon, Trump’s pick to head the Small Business Administration, with a $1 million donation. McMahon had previously donated $6.2 million to pro-Trump super PACs. Future45 also donated $100,000 to another anti-Clinton super PAC called Character Counts. The group had not reported any donations prior to Election Day. Another pro-Trump super PAC that had not reported any prior donations, RallyPAC, disclosed Thursday that it got $250,000 from banker Andy Beal. Rebuilding America Now, another pro-Trump super PAC, raised less in its final days with just $2.1 million. The biggest donor was Los Angeles real estate developer Geoff Palmer, with a $1 million. Cerberus Capital Management head Stephen Feinberg, a major private equity investor, gave $975,000, while the private prison company GEO Group chipped in $125,000. The final major pro-Trump super PAC, Make America Number 1, raised $1.1 million. It received $1 million from Trump’s biggest Silicon Valley ally, Peter Thiel, and $100,000 from the presidential campaign committee of Dr. Ben Carson. Carson has since been named to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and an associate of Thiel’s has been floated as a potential head of the Food and Drug Administration. There were other late contributions to groups in down-ballot races, too. In the Nevada Senate race, the super PAC Silver State PAC received a late boost to help Rep. Joe Heck, the Republican candidate for Senate, in the form of a $100,000 contribution from billionaire hedge fund investor Robert Mercer. Heck, however, lost the race. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) won his Senate race against Democrat Deborah Ross and was aided by late spending from the super PAC Grow NC Strong. The group had raised only about $400,000 before Oct. 20 but received a $1 million boost from the Reynolds American tobacco company in the final weeks to help Burr. A similar situation played out in Missouri, where Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) won election with support from Heartland Resurgence, a super PAC run by his former chief of staff-turned-lobbyist Gregg Hartley. The group had not raised much before the final weeks of the campaign, but then it received over $1 million for the last stretch, including checks of $250,000 each from Missouri-based donors David Humphreys and Sam Fox. The National Horizon super PAC reported no donations before Oct. 20. This meant that no one knew who was behind the attacks it ran against Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty and New York Democratic House candidate Zephyr Teachout in the last days of the campaign. A disclosure filed Thursday reveals that Ronald Lauder, an heir to the Estee Lauder cosmetics fortune, donated $700,000 and the conservative Club for Growth, a nonprofit that does not disclose its donors, gave $500,000. In Louisiana, a super PAC called Prosperity With Accountability ran ads promoting Democratic Senate candidate Carolyn Fayard. The group ran ads that compared Fayard to barrier-breaking Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-N.Y.) and attempting to tie the other Democrat in the race, Foster Campbell, to noted racist and Trump supporter David Duke. The ads did not work. Campbell finished in the top two on Election Day, which in Louisiana means he moved on to a runoff that will be held Saturday. As for who was behind Prosperity With Accountability’s attempt to boost Fayard. It was her mom, Cynthia Fayard. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

27 августа 2014, 12:50

Шелдон Адельсон: Король неоконов

От редакции: Неоконсерваторы – один из самых живучих образов американской политики в российском коллективном бессознательном, начиная с прихода нового тысячелетия. В годы первого срока Владимира Путина с ними пытались дружить, а в стране создавать нечто похожее. При Джордже Буше-младшем неоконсерваторы «были на коне», поставляя кадры для Белого дома и администрации, зачинали войны в Афганистане и Ираке. Фиаско в последнем военном предприятии заставило их покинуть государственную службу, а всеобщее на тот момент времени презрение – расколоться на группы, которые зачастую враждовали друг с другом. Не раз и не два неоконсерватизм объявляли «закончившемся», казалось, с полным на то основанием и по объективным причинам. Но нет – перебегая от республиканцев к демократам, меняя «места дислокации» с заслуживающим уважение мастерством, сеть неоконов, даже в расколотом на фракции состоянии, является крупнейшим игроком при формировании американской внешней политики. И сегодня мы предлагаем читателям Terra America возможность познакомиться с человеком, долгие годы стоящим за неоконами, их главным споносором и покровителем, одним из самых влиятельных «торговцев властью» в США – Шелдоном Адельсоном, в очерке Константина Черемных.                  *** Сенатор Джон Маккейн как-то раз сравнил Барака Обаму с солдатом, ушедшим в самоволку. И вот почему. 17 июля, когда упал малазийский «Боинг», Обама отправился не в Пентагон, а на партийное рекламное мероприятие в штат Делавэр, а оттуда в Нью-Йорк – на аналогичное собрание. Узнав об истории с самолетом от Владимира Путина (крушение случилось во время беседы), Обама стал бить тревогу, задумался – будто ждал, не случится ли что-нибудь еще. Намекал же накануне Дик Чейни на «новое 11 сентября». Только по пути из Делавэра в Нью-Йорк Обама отзвонился Порошенко и Наджибу Раззаку из самолета, причем борт N1 под предлогом звонков изменил маршрут. Зигзагами, будто путая следы, Обама прибыл в Нью-Йорк, где первым делом отыскал Байдена и обсудил с ним одновременно а) крушение «Боинга» и б) начало наземной операции в секторе Газа. И только после этого позвонил премьеру Нидерландов.   Был ли резон для Обамы (и редакции New York Times заодно) связывать «Боинг» и Газу в один сюжет? Да. Рухнувший «Боинг» очень технично вытеснил военные приключения  Биньямина Нетаньяху в Газе из числа самых горячих новостей.  Заодно поведав миру, что «главный злодей нашего времени – это Путин». Еще две недели, усилиями Валентина Наливайченко и украинской диаспоры, Украина отвлекала мир также от иракского и ливийского сюжетов. Головорезы из ИГИЛ, между тем, заслуживали более пристального внимания, чем шумного, которое они в итоге получили. Хотя о предводителе ИГИЛ, Абу Бакре аль-Багдади, можно было узнать не только как о «чудовищном экстремисте». Колумнист La Stampa Джордано Стабиле писал: «В 2009 году, по завершении "умиротворения", аль-Багдади был отпущен на свободу. Согласно одной из версий, имела место его встреча с генералом Дэвидом Петреусом. Генерал объяснял ему секреты "длительных" военных побед»... Или вот еще один любопытный сюжет тех дней, оставшийся в тени. О признании Иракского Курдистана независимым хлопочет только одно лицо – все тот же премьер-министр Израиля Биньямин Нетаньяху. Израиль принял танкер с курдистанской нефтью. СМИ Израиля уже обосновали курдскую независимость исторически и идеологически. И очень популярно разъяснили, что курды полезны «не только ради нефти», но и ради создания «неприятностей» Ирану. К удобному для той же цели ИГИЛ сторонники Ликуд тоже оказались на тот момент времени поразительно толерантны: в Алжире, как сообщает Algérie360, израильтяне, например, оказывают медпомошь боевикам ИГИЛ. Уже бывший премьер-министр Ирака Нури аль-Малики считает, что провинцию Киркук курды столь легко взяли под контроль, поскольку договорились с ИГИЛ. Курды этого сговора и не отрицают и посмеиваются над аналитиками, которые их пугают «ежом» халифата. Малики должен хорошо помнить, как еще в 2007 году по американским СМИ прокатилась серия статей, где предлагалось его убрать его заменить его Ийядом Аллави. Пиар-контракт был заказан фирме Barbour, Griffith and Rogers (ныне BGR Holdings LLC). Эта же фирма по контракту с Курдской демократической партией еще в июле 2004 года пиарила присоединения Киркука к Иракскому Курдистану. Вице-президент BGR Holdings Брэд Блейкман в 2008 году возглавил Freedom’s Watch – знаменитое агитационное НПО, бомбардировавшее редакции и конгрессменов призывами продолжить войну в Ираке. Финансировал же Freedom’s Watch истинный герой «американского Закулисья» – Шелдон Адельсон. Человек, который является неучтенной в публичном пространстве значимой фигурой всего этого глобального конфликта. И не замечать ее попросту опасно. Шелдон Адельсон. Главный спонсор Биньямина Нетаньяху и блока Ликуд, а в 2012 году – избирательной кампании Ньюта Гингрича в США, организатор первого мероприятия в поддержку Джеба Буша (23 марта 2014). Адельсон полной рукой «одаривал» американских неоконсерваторов десятилетиями и содержал их СМИ – самый состоятельный американский еврей и самый щедрый в истории США политический донор. Из «щекотливого» в биографии: его старший сын умер от передозировки наркотиков, младший сын и супруга лечились от наркотической зависимости. Сам он в суде признался, что «сидит на метадоне». Адельсон никогда не занимался нефтью. Его отрасль – игорный бизнес, который больше связан с другими рынками. Игорно-отельные мощности Адельсона расположены в Лас-Вегасе, на Аомыне (Макао) и в Сингапуре. Бакшиш на Аомыне (Venetian Macao – шестое по величине здание в мире) платится, естественно, местным китайским чиновникам. Адельсон требовал сатисфакции от Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, заявившего, что «республиканцы пополняют свою кассу деньгами китайских проституток». К делу такое заявление не пришьешь. Как и неоднократно мелькавшие в прессе ссылки на анонимных представителей полиции, уверенных что «кто-то из бонз мирового игорного бизнеса» является крупнейшим работорговцем планеты. Зато предназначение крупных центров развлечений и досуга в оффшорных автономиях Азии известно любому интересующемуся. А способы «поставок» в такие центры – вопрос уже не шуточный.   О цели войны в Газе сказал сам господин Нетаньяху. «Мы боремся с туннелями», - сказал он. «Через них (через Филадельфийский коридор – границу Египта с Газой) чего только не тащат – средства связи, наручники, наркотики…». «Рынок наручников» – на совести Нетаньяху. Но вот на рынках наркотиков и «живого товара» (специализация курдских теневиков в Европе) избыток туннелей – это демпинг. Спор между Израилем, ФАТХ и ХАМАС 16 июля состоял в том, кто же «сидит» на этом теневом транзите. «Коварный» ХАМАС предлагал передать весь Филадельфийский коридор под контроль международных сил – как в Косово. А еще ХАМАС предлагал построить в Газе порт и аэропорт. При таком раскладе сама Газа стала бы в потенциале новым Аомынем или Эйлатом. И кто бы тогда срывал куш? Шимон Перес уже назвал главного врага (заодно и главного лоббиста проекта) – это Катар. И разве не с «катарскими» ИГИЛ воюют в Ливии за аэропорт и за контейнерный (а не нефтяной) порт Мисурата? Затем наступает злосчастное 17 июля, и агентство Bloomberg разоблачает Джеба Буша в тайном оффшорном бизнесе в Гонконге и Хайнане. После чего губернатор Хайнаня был уволен, а шансы Джеба (спонсируемого Адельсоном) попасть на президентские выборы 2016 года стали таять. А 26 июля в Париже госсекретарь США Джон Керри поддержал идею порта и аэропорта в Газе – в присутствии главы МИД Катара. После чего адельсоновская «Исраэль ха-йом» изобличила Керри в «предательстве Израиля»… Генерал Гарольд Грин, раньше времени решивший обсуждать в Кабуле щекотливейший вопрос транзита через Мазари-Шариф, погиб, так как не понял, что такие вопросы вне его компетенции, и решаются они не во благо «абстрактных интересов» Соединенных Штатов, а по воле и в интересах вполне конкретного человека. И теперь вы его знаете. Черемных Константин