March 31, 2019

Kenneth Starr, Special Prosecutor Who Went Crazy Trying To Get A Dem Pres. impeached, Responsible For Barr Power Now

and...we ...wait... before we find out if the President is a crook and wether he commited many crimes and felonies and misdemeanors which makes him a bad President and one to be impeached if there is enough evidence. The Waiting is and not legal nor right...tic tac tic tac and Trump keeps preaching how good he is and how he was exonerated by Barr and Mueller. He now plans to get back to media reporers and stations, etc that reported what we know about the report and Trump. He wants to to deny station licenses and is calling for Congressman to be fire (The President does not have that power)  The idiot lost it a long time ago but it seems being crazzy is not one of the reasons to lock you up or get you out of the job which will be enough for any one of us if we behaved on that way.

 Kenneth Starr, A Republican named special prosecutor not because he was good on his resume but partisan. As it happens he loved power and to bring down a popular president on sex, what else could make the religious right high on the sex stuff?? Even though they had to go for the dress and the stair because Clinton instead of following the Trump lawless book of justice decided to testify. Still, Starr lost and people hated him and his way of going around. A President being brought down on sex and a question which the answer lies? So what the Congress do?? The eliminated the office of specisl counsel. Ann ad hoc matter they will appoint one if one needed and the rules will be set by the ruling party, in this case, Trump and the GOP. Something now proved by the way Barr is impeding the release of their results on a two year investigation. On Barr The investigation all the boxes of the investigation were in Congress in hours not weeks.
(Adam Gonzalez)
Attorney General William Barr may have written the epitaph of Robert Mueller’s investigation, but another conservative lawyer from the ‘90s put an unmistakable imprint on the probe into President Donald Trump: former independent counsel Ken Starr. 
In 1998, Starr published his official report on former President Bill Clinton’s extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky — chockfull of lurid detail about the couple’s sexual relationship, including oral sex in the Oval Office.  It was considered so explicit that it was dubbed a “voluminous work of demented pornography” by the writer Renata Adler. And it provoked such a severe backlash that it changed how American presidents get investigated — and it's why you can't read the Mueller report. It also helped make sure Trump’s own attorney general got to make a ruling on his boss’s alleged obstruction of justice — before Congress could even review the evidence. 
Starr’s report drifted so far from his original mandate, which was to investigate the Clintons’ shady land deals in Arkansas, that both Republicans in Congress and the Clinton administration agreed to rein in the power of the independent counsel’s office. 
Even Starr ultimately agreed the old law should go. So did Janet Reno, Clinton’s Attorney General at the time. During Congressional hearings about the rules in the spring of 1999, Reno called big final reports a “problem.”
“We believe that information obtained during a criminal investigation should, in most all cases, be made public only if there is an indictment and prosecution, not in lengthy and detailed reports filed after a decision has been made not to prosecute,” Reno told Congress at the time. “The final report provides a forum for unfairly airing a target’s dirty laundry…. We have come to believe that the price of the final report is often too high.”
So in the summer of 1999, the old law was allowed to quietly die, and Reno’s DOJ put new regulations in place, which have governed Mueller’s entire investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia. They are the reason his final report isn’t yet public.
What changed:
  • The title: “independent counsel” became “special counsel.” That word change signified a major shift in the power and independence granted to the position.
  • The process: The new rules put more power in the hands of the attorney general — including the right to decide how much of the investigator’s concluding document would ever see the light of day. Specifically, the old rules had called for the independent counsel to submit a report directly to Congress that documented any “substantial and credible information that an impeachable offense may have been committed” — a standard Ken Starr himself later described as a “surprisingly low threshold of evidence.”
  • The power: Now, the only thing that the attorney general had to share with Congress was a notification that the special counsel’s investigation was over, and a list of every time the AG had overruled the special counsel.
The new rules required a “confidential” final report to be sent to the attorney general, granting the AG near-total discretion over how much of that final report should be shared with anyone else.
This fundamental shift rests at the heart of the battle that is now brewing between Democrats in Congress, who are pounding their desks to read the full report, and Barr, who has so far only shared a four-page letter summarizing what Mueller found.
Barr wrote that Mueller did not find that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian efforts to tip the 2016 election — or at least, that the evidence Mueller found wasn’t enough to allow him to charge a crime.
“Prosecutors can only bring charges when they believe they have evidence to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Mary McCord, a former top DOJ official who oversaw the department’s investigation of foreign interference in the election before Mueller was appointed. 
Yet crimes are not the same thing as impeachable offenses — which was what Starr was tasked with reporting to Congress. Starr’s report outlined plenty of behavior that didn’t rise to the level of a chargeable crime, such as when Clinton lied to the American people about his relationship with Lewinsky. Clinton’s public lying and “refusing to testify for six months during the independent counsel investigation,” Starr wrote, helped delay a possible Congressional inquiry. “This represents substantial and credible information that may constitute grounds for an impeachment,” Starr wrote. 
Trump, of course, never agreed to speak with Mueller’s team at all, only submitting written answers to questions.  
 It’s easy to imagine that if Mueller had been operating under Starr’s old rules, the endgame of the Russia investigation would have played out very differently.
Congress — and anyone with access to the internet — would have been able to instantly access every relevant clue that Mueller found, and judge for themselves whether it appeared likely that the Trump campaign had actively supported or cooperated with Russian efforts to tip the 2016 election.
And they would have been able to sift through Mueller’s evidence regarding the question of obstruction of justice, too, for themselves — just like Americans did with the Starr report.
Instead, interested outsiders were only told that Mueller had not found enough evidence of coordination with Russian spies to formally include any members of Trumpworld into the conspiracy charges that were already outlined against Russian spies and internet trolls.
Mueller specifically wrote that his report did not “exonerate” the president. But uncovering a crime beyond a reasonable doubt is a far higher threshold than pointing to “substantial and credible information” that impeachable offenses occurred like those Starr cited against Clinton. 
This shift in the counsel’s threshold takes on added urgency when considering the question of obstruction of justice, especially because Mueller declined to offer a final decision on the matter. 
Neal Katyal, who helped write the 1999 regulations himself, tweeted this week that Mueller may well have wanted the obstruction question to be decided by Congress.  
The more I think about it, the more it looks like Mueller believed that Congress, not Barr, should resolve the obstruction of justice Question&Barr inserted himself in.

If Mueller Report said “I’m leaving this to AG,” wouldn’t Barr have quoted that yest? 
 Katyal’s argument fits with previous investigations into obstruction of justice by a sitting president: That exact charge loomed large in the impeachment proceedings against both Richard Nixon and Clinton. 
But Barr, Trump’s hand-picked attorney general, issued a public ruling on the criminal question before Congress got a chance to decide for itself on the basis of Mueller’s findings. And it’s safe to say that Barr’s got a decidedly different perspective of the matter than Congress. 
In fact, Barr had already telegraphed his conclusion months ago, when he wrote a lengthy, detailed memo calling the potential obstruction-of-justice case against Trump “fatally misconceived.”
While Mueller’s evidence remains unseen, the decision that there was no obstruction of justice was essentially a judgment call by Barr, said McCord.
Another attorney general could have conceivably reached a different conclusion while reviewing the same evidence, McCord added.
And until we get to see Mueller’s report, and possibly his underlying evidence, the entire country, including the President of the United States himself, will have to take Barr’s word for it. 
Cover: Then-independent Counsel Kenneth Starr holds up his report while testifying on Capitol Hill Thursday, Nov. 19, 1998, before the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearing. (AP Photo/Joe Marquette)

March 30, 2019

Grindr Was Banned From Selling Dating Apps to US Personnel Being A Threat~~But Then China Comes In

grindr china


A Chinese gaming company has decided to sell the popular LGBTQ dating app Grindr LLC after a U.S. national security panel declared the app to be a threat to service members, Reuters first reported.

Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd, which has owned the California-based dating app since 2016, decided to sever ties at the behest of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, which pointed to major concerns over personal data of app users — notably military and intelligence personnel — being made publicly available.

Grindr, which labels itself “the largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people,” came under intense heat last year when it was revealed that the app was releasing the HIV statuses of users without their permission.

The app had 27 million users as of 2017, Reuters reported.

Currently, the app’s privacy policy allows for the data collection of a user’s location, messages and HIV status, the report said.

The decision of CFIUS to intervene in Grindr’s business operations signals increasing doubt on the part of U.S. officials in the ability of Chinese businesses to keep sensitive information of Americans secret.

In recent years, the panel also blocked the sale of the money transfer company MoneyGram to Chinese business owners, the report said.

The Trump administration has been at the forefront of scrutinizing Chinese cyber practices.

Trump says Google is committed to US not Chinese military

Amid growing concern about the risks of Google and other U.S. companies doing business in China, President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the CEO of Google has "strongly stated" that he is "totally committed" to the American, not Chinese, military.

By: Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
Earlier this month, President Trump accused Google in a tweet of “helping China and their military, but not the U.S.”

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Google’s artificial intelligence venture in China and other U.S. companies’ business in the country indirectly benefit the Chinese military and create a challenge for the United States as it seeks to maintain a competitive advantage.

“CFIUS made the right decision in unwinding Grindr’s acquisition," U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey commented in a statement acknowledging CFIUS’ intervention of the app.

“It should continue to draw a line in the sand for future foreign acquisition of sensitive personal data.”

A spokesman for CFIUS said the national security panel does not comment on public cases like Grindr, according to Reuters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Women Prefer Gay Friends Than Straights

When women found out they were interacting with gay men, their body language became more engaging and intimate.
Source: Pexel
The women reported greater comfort levels when interacting with gay men compared to straight men. However, these effects changed based on a woman’s level of perceived attractiveness, such that only women who rated themselves as being more attractive reported increased comfort while interacting with a gay man. Additionally, women’s actual behavior also shifted after learning that they were interacting with a gay 

Can men and women ever just be friends? A recent study published in Psychological Science has attempted to answer this question by exploring the differences in how friendships develop between women and men as a function of the man's sexual identity. In other words, they examined how friendship development varies based on whether a straight woman is making friends with a gay man or a straight man.
Past research has shown that straight women and gay men form close relationships due to an apparent increased willingness to engage in intimate conversations1. Some have suggested that this may be because straight men and women are perceived as having less in common with each other compared to straight women and gay men2. This explanation, however, is based on the stereotypical assumptions about gay men and femininity. Consequently, researchers at the University of Texas explored an alternate potential explanation: Straight women may develop friendships with gay men more easily than they do with straight men because, when interacting with gay men, the necessity of worrying about whether the potential friend will seek to gain sexual access to them has been removed from the equation3. In other words, concerns about miscommunication over sexual interest may make straight women more hesitant when interacting with straight men. 

 To explore this issue, the researchers examined whether a woman’s awareness of a man’s sexual orientation alters her feelings of comfort with that man, and, in turn, if this changes the quality of conversational interactions4. Two studies were conducted. The first asked women to predict their levels of comfort when engaging in hypothetical conversations with men. Participants were asked to imagine sitting in a waiting room with a male stranger who initiated a conversation with them.
Initially, women provided ratings of how comfortable they would be interacting with this stranger based on a generic scenario in which they were unaware of the hypothetical man's sexual identity. Participants were then presented with a second scenario in which they were asked to imagine that during the course of that same interaction, they learned of the man’s sexual identity. Participants again indicated how comfortable they thought they would be while continuing to interact with the man after learning of his sexual identity (either gay or straight). In addition to providing ratings of comfort at each stage of the scenario, the women also indicated the extent to which they would feel anxious about the man’s sexual intentions as well as anxiety about not having anything in common with the man.
As the researchers had predicted, the results demonstrated that women anticipate being more comfortable interacting with gay men versus straight men, largely due to the removal of concerns related to the man’s sexual intentions. Women reported feeling more comfortable when they found out that their hypothetical male conversation partner was gay, rather than straight, and this association was explained by their reduced anxiety about the man’s sexual intentions.

The women reported greater comfort levels when interacting with gay men compared to straight men. However, these effects changed based on a woman’s level of perceived attractiveness, such that only women who rated themselves as being more attractive reported increased comfort while interacting with a gay man. Additionally, women’s actual behaviour also shifted after learning that they were interacting with a gay man. They were more intimate, positive, and engaging, orientating their bodies towards the man, and their conversations lasted longer.
Ultimately, the researchers concluded:
“Explicit knowledge of a man’s sexual preference not only increased a woman’s comfort with a gay man (vs. a straight man), but also affected the degree to which the women (particularly attractive ones) were willing to engage with the man on a more intimate level” (Russell et al., 2018, p.13-14).
This novel research provides insight into the development of friendships—both those between straight men and women as well as gay men and straight women. In particular, it appears that anxiety and concern over a straight man’s sexual intentions serve as a barrier that slows the pace of intimate friendship development between straight men and women, while the removal of this anxiety paves the way for women to quickly develop trusting and intimate friendships with gay men. Thus, with respect to the original question of whether men and women can ever "just be friends," the answer may hinge on whether that man is gay or straight. If he is gay, the friendship will develop more quickly and be facilitated by the woman’s reduced anxiety over his potential sexual interest, and she may engage more openly and intimately. If he is straight, anxiety and concern about his sexual intentions will delay the development of a trusting and close friendship, perhaps, in some cases, even indefinitely.

George Clooney Calls for Boycott Associated with Brunei, If Fairness Doesn’t Hit Them Maybe $$ Will

FILE - This combination of file photos shows George Clooney in Pasadena, Calif., on Feb. 11, 2019, left, and Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in Brussels on Oct. 18, 2018. Clooney is calling for the boycott of nine hotels in the U.S. and Europe with ties to Sultan Bolkiah, who's country will implement Islamic criminal laws in April 2019 to punish gay sex by stoning offenders to death. (AP Photo/Willy Sanjuan and Francisco Seco, File)
 George Clooney and the Brunei Homophobe(Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in Brussels on Oct. 18, 2018)
Associated Press

Actor George Clooney called for the boycott of nine hotels owned by the sultan of Brunei in an op-ed published Thursday by the industry website Deadline. The Asian nation will implement a law next week making gay sex and adultery punishable by death.
“Every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery,” Clooney wrote. “Brunei is a monarchy and certainly any boycott would have little effect on changing these laws. But are we really going to help pay for these human-rights violations?"
Though its population totals under a half-million, Brunei ranks among the wealthiest nations in the world due to its oil and natural gas production. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah announced the new strict laws in 2014 when Brunei became the first country in its region to adopt sharia law. Homosexuality has been illegal in Brunei since it was a British colony, but the new laws specify the death penalty as a punishment. The Brunei Investment Agency owns several luxury hotels that make up the Dorchester Collection: The Dorchester, 45 Park Lane and Coworth Park in the United Kingdom; the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air in the United States; Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee in France; Hotel Eden and Hotel Principe di Savoia in Italy. Clooney noted that many people in Hollywood previously boycotted the Los Angeles-area hotels in 2014 because of Brunei’s mistreatment of the LGBTQ community, going so far as to cancel a fundraiser for the Motion Picture Retirement Home that had been held at the Beverly Hills Hotel for years.
“But like all good intentions when the white heat of outrage moves on to the hundred other reasons to be outraged, the focus dies down and slowly these hotels get back to the business of business,” he continued. “And the Brunei Investment Agency counts on that.”  
Clooney has been actively involved in humanitarian work for years and vocal about human-rights violations worldwide. He and his wife, human-rights lawyer Amal Clooney, pledged $500,000 to the March for Our Lives organization last year and were honored earlier this month for their international humanitarian work at a charity gala in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Brunei’s new law goes into effect Wednesday. Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Brunei researcher at Amnesty International, publicly called for the nation to “immediately halt its plans” and for the international community to “urgently condemn Brunei’s move to put these cruel penalties into practice.”
Others, such as actress Jamie Lee Curtis, have reacted similarly and expressed their support for Clooney’s boycott.
“I’ve learned over the years of dealing with murderous regimes that you can’t shame them,” Clooney concluded. “But you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way.”

March 29, 2019

Buttigieg Is Leaving Beto Way Back in The Dust!

 Pete Buttigieg
 Yes, I’m a millennial. Yes, I speak for all of us. No, I’m not sorry for killing chain restaurants. Next up: the electoral college.

The Commentary

This is the week of Pete Buttigieg.
He’s a Rhodes scholar, Navy veteran, the young mayor of a midsize city (he was elected to lead South Bend, Ind., at age 29; he’s now 37), and apparently moonlights as an Arabic translator for hospital patients in tragic need. The hopeful gay millennial candidate has come out of nowhere and caught the nation’s eye — Cory Booker, formerly America’s Sparkliest Young Mayor™, must be grinding his teeth.
Buttigieg (it’s “Boot-edge-edge,” if you’re still struggling) has distinguished himself from the current Democratic field, and from most politicians generally, by seeming to have a well-thought-out and comprehensive position on almost any topic. He’s developed an opinion on everything from white nationalism (not just “economic anxiety,” but a larger context of disorientation and lost community and identity) to Chick-fil-A (does not approve of its politics, kind of approves of its chicken). Potential voters approve: Last weekend’s Emerson Poll showed him shooting up to third place in the race in Iowa, behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, but ahead of Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. 
What are his chances of actually winning the nomination? Still slim — his experience is in governing a midsize city, he’s unusually young, and he’s still not really a household name. That said, in a field as wide as this one, anything could happen.
Other happenings?
Continuing in her role as the most policy-oriented candidate, Warren rolled out yet another substantive proposal, this one focusing on family farms and antitrust measures for agriculture. Is anyone listening? Hard to tell.
Kirsten Gillibrand released 12 years of her tax returns and called President Trump a “coward” from a stage outside a Trump-branded high-rise in Manhattan. She’s clearly trying to goad the president and increase her visibility, but it’s getting harder to pay attention to any candidate whose name doesn’t begin with the letter B. 
Meanwhile, rumors of Stacey Abrams as a potential Joe Biden VP pick continue to fly, and her team continues to bat them down in ever-sharper terms terms. One adviser: “What makes it particularly exploitative is that Biden couldn’t be bothered to endorse Stacey in the gubernatorial primary. Now he wants her to save his a--. That’s some serious entitlement.” (Biden did endorse Abrams, but he bowed out of a visit to campaign for her because of a “scheduling conflict.”)
Still… yikes.
— Christine Emba

The Ranking

1.Joe Biden
2.Bernie SandersUP 1
3.Kamala D. HarrisDOWN 1
4.Pete ButtigiegUP 4
5.Beto O’RourkeDOWN 1
6.Elizabeth WarrenUP 1
7.Cory BookerDOWN 2
8.Amy KlobucharDOWN 3
9.Kirsten GillibrandUP 3
11.John HickenlooperDOWN 2
12.Michael BennetDOWN 2
13.Julián CastroDOWN 2
14. (TIE)Jay InsleeDOWN 1
14. (TIE)Howard Schultz
Falls off ranking: Andrew Yang
Also receiving votes: Yang, Terry McAuliffe, Tim Ryan, Larry Hogan
Don’t forget to click on the yellow highlighted text above to expand the Ranking Committee’s annotations. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments. We’ll see you for the next ranking. Until then, watch your back: We millennials are everywhere. One might even become president.

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