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(NEWS) Weekly roundup of important political stories, December 4-11, 2016

Some of this is pretty decently known already, but note the emerging word "presstitutes," item 8 on FBI hacking rules changes (which amount to unlimited hacking), and item 9 on Mr. Trump's weaknesses. Also, the NPR story implies that the expected crackdown on science and knowledge is already in the transition paperwork.


----- 1 -----
Retracted Allen B. West Facebook page post advocates "extermination" of "Muslims" -
Page editor deletes post, apologises
Saturday, December 10, 2016

This extermination/genocide "meme" was posted by someone with posting access to the Allen West account on Allen West's facebook page:

https://twitter.com/rezaaslan/status/807840920288665600

Here is the editor's retraction, calling it "despicable" - however, it had to have been posted by a staffer, even if it was without the editor's approval. See the screencapped apology here:

https://twitter.com/mowheeler/status/807953723280490496

Who is Allen West? Former GOP representative from Florida who met with Mr. Trump and fired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn a few days ago:

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/308802-allen-west-meets-with-pence-flynn-at-trump-tower

Who is Michael Flynn:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/03/us/politics/in-national-security-adviser-michael-flynn-experience-meets-a-prickly-past.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2016/12/06/donald-trumps-most-terrifying-appointment/


----- 2 -----
Donald Trump Ties C.I.A. Reports on Russian Meddling to Democrats’ Shame
The New York Times
By NICHOLAS FANDOS - DEC. 11, 2016

[The buried lead here is that Mr. Trump will not receive daily intelligence briefings. Mike Pence will.]

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/11/us/politics/trump-russia-democrats.html?_r=0

He also indicated that as president, he would not take the daily intelligence briefing that President Obama and his predecessors have received. Mr. Trump, who has received the briefing sparingly as president-elect, said that it was often repetitive and that he would take it “when I need it.” He said his vice president, Mike Pence, would receive the daily briefing.

“You know, I’m, like, a smart person,” he said. “I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years.”


----- 3 -----
Harry Reid: FBI Chief Comey Covered Up Russian Hacking, Should Resign
Slate
By Daniel Politi
December 10, 2016

[The Washington Post's story on this did not have named sources. Slate's does.]

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/12/10/harry_reid_says_fbi_chief_comey_hid_information_on_russian_hacking_should.html

Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid came out guns blazing against FBI chief James Comey on Sunday, saying he should be ousted for covering up information regarding Russia’s efforts to meddle with the U.S. elections. Reid went as far as to call Comey the “new J. Edgar Hoover,” saying he had the information of Russian involvement in the election and kept it from the American public.

In an interview with MSNBC, Reid said the FBI knew that the CIA had concluded with a high level of certainty that the Russian government was trying to get Donald Trump elected, as reported in an explosive story in the Washington Post. “This is not fake news. Intelligence officials are hiding connections to the Russian government. There is no question,” Reid said. “Comey knew and deliberately kept this info a secret.”

(Washington Post story: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/12/10/cia_concludes_russia_tried_to_interfere_in_u_s_elections_to_help_trump_win.html )


----- 4 -----
Trump Transition Asks Energy Dept. Which Employees Work On Climate Change
NPR
December 9, 2016

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/11/us/politics/trump-russia-democrats.html?_r=0

Among his campaign promises, President-elect Donald Trump vowed to increase domestic energy production and roll back President Obama's efforts to combat climate change. A lengthy questionnaire recently sent to the Department of Energy suggests that effort may dig deep.

Among the transition's inquiries, NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports:

"It wants to know who at the Department of Energy attended domestic and international climate talks. It wants emails about those conferences. It also asks about money spent on loan-guarantee programs for renewable energy. ... The Trump team questionnaire also asks about the Energy Department's role in the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has called 'stupid.' And it asks for the 20 highest paid employees at the department's national laboratories."


----- 5 -----
Trump names Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma attorney general suing EPA on climate change, to head the EPA
The New York Times - December 8
By Chris Mooney, Brady Dennis and Steven Mufson

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/07/trump-names-scott-pruitt-oklahoma-attorney-general-suing-epa-on-climate-change-to-head-the-epa/?utm_term=.654b9d820425

President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday nominated Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of the oil and gas-intensive state of Oklahoma, to head the Environmental Protection Agency, a move signaling an assault on President Obama’s climate change and environmental legacy.

Pruitt has spent much of his energy as attorney general fighting the very agency he is being nominated to lead.

He is the third of Trump’s nominees who have key philosophical differences with the missions of the agencies they have been tapped to run. Ben Carson, named to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has expressed a deep aversion to the social safety net programs and fair housing initiatives that have been central to that agency’s activities. Betsy DeVos, named education secretary, has a passion for private school vouchers that critics say undercut the public school systems at the core of the government’s mission.


----- 6 -----
The Tide Is Turning Against the Oligarchs
Paul Craig Roberts
December 5, 2016

[The main point of posting this is to note the phrase "presstitute media" as the de-Nazified version of "lugenpresse," or "lying press."]

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/12/05/the-tide-is-turning-against-the-oligarchs-paul-craig-roberts/

The ruling oligarchy and their presstitute media have become desperate now that they are losing control over explanations and Americans’ minds. Thus, they charge independent Internet journalists such as myself with being Russian agents peddling fake news. Recent legislation in the House of Representatives, the list of 200 alleged Russian agents, and the attacks on president-elect Trump from within the US intelligence community make it clear that pressures on truthtellers are increasing.


----- 7 -----
Wall Street Wins Again as Trump Picks Bankers, Billionaires
Bloomberg.com - by Max Abelson
November 30, 2016 — 1:49 PM EST November 30, 2016 — 4:51 PM EST

Hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson was feeling happy Wednesday morning.

After Donald Trump ridiculed Wall Street on the campaign trail, the President-elect tapped former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive Steven Mnuchin to be his Treasury secretary and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross to lead the Commerce Department. Trump even met with Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn inside Trump Tower.

It would suit Tilson just fine if voters who backed Trump because he promised to rein in Wall Street are furious now that he’s surrounding himself with bankers and billionaires.

“I can take glee in that -- I think Donald Trump conned them,” said Tilson, who runs Kase Capital Management. “I worried that he was going to do crazy things that would blow the system up. So the fact that he’s appointing people from within the system is a good thing.”


----- 8 -----
Today, the FBI becomes the enemy of every computer user and every IT security professional worldwide
OpSec Monkey
December 1, 2016

[I wrote in against this rule change back in... late October?]

http://opsecmonkey.com/today-the-fbi-becomes-the-enemy-of-every-computer-user-and-every-it-security-professional-worldwide/

Today December 1, the United States FBI is granted new powers to intrude into any computer anywhere on the globe, instantly changing the FBI from a random law enforcement agency to a global adversary. Law enforcement agencies are expected to be met with open arms and treated as good guys. There’s not going to be any good guy treatment of the FBI here, and for good reason.

The U.S. FBI has been sort of a random law enforcement agency somewhere on the planet doing physical law enforcement work, kind of like the Bundespolizei in Germany would appear to an American, or the way the Policía Federal Argentina would appear to a European. Today, the FBI becomes a global adversary and enemy to every security-conscious computer user and to every IT security professional, similar to how the mass surveillance agencies are treated. The FBI has requested, and been granted, the lawful power (in the US) to intrude into any computer in the entire world. In 95% of the world, this makes the FBI no different from a Russian or Chinese criminal intruder, and it will be treated in the same way by people defending their systems; defending their homes.


----- 9 -----
Trump biographer: Stop overestimating him — he’s a cross between a junkie and a hungry chicken
David Ferguson - Raw Story
09 Dec 2016 at 16:40 ET

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/trump-biographer-says-stop-overestimating-him-hes-a-cross-between-a-junkie-and-a-hungry-chicken/

In a scathing editorial published Friday, The Truth About Trump author Michael D’Antonio said that critics who think President-elect Donald Trump will behave with more maturity and gravitas when he takes office are missing the point.

“The President-elect probably cannot control himself,” D’Antonio wrote in the New York Daily News. “I interviewed him for six hours when writing a biography, and I mean that literally.”

Trump’s habit of teeing off on average Americans on Twitter, D’Antonio said, is symptomatic of his bottomless desire for approval and attention and his inability to moderate his feelings when he feels that he is under attack.

“Long an advocate of responding ’10 times harder’ when his feelings are hurt — and they are very easily hurt — Trump has a tendency to strike with massive force without much concern for the size or vulnerability of the person in his sights,” D’Antonio said. “I suspect this is because the pain he feels when criticized doesn’t depend on the source. No matter who speaks out, he cannot bear disapproval.”

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

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