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  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Hurry up and wait ... and then, I need this done yesterday. Some shit never change.
    Yup...and it ends of costing 35-50% more because of contract mods where you had to keep people on so you would have their expertise once you get the go. So you end up paying high priced software engineers to do simple help desk stuff.

    Fucking madness.

    Leave a comment:


  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Hurry up and wait ... and then, I need this done yesterday. Some shit never change.

    Leave a comment:


  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    I just hope they'd quit dicking around and get this passed. It is totally screwing up a massive system upgrade for me which we desperately need.

    Been trying to get this done for almost 2 years and with a CR the funding hasn't been released. I have a vendor sitting there waiting and can't do new work.

    Freaking madness.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    GOP chairman: Defense bill to include renaming Confederate bases, but not Section 230 repeal

    Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said Wednesday that President Trump is prepared to accept language regarding a plan to remove Confederate names, monuments and symbols from U.S. military installations, adding that the mammoth defense bill does not include a repeal of a tech liability shield, referred to as Section 230, despite a veto threat.

    Inhofe said the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Congress hopes to send to Trump’s desk this month, includes language passed by the Senate in July that would set up a commission to form a plan on renaming bases honoring Confederate generals and instruct the Defense secretary to implement it.

    The senior Oklahoma senator, who previously told colleagues that he would attempt to change the language substantially, cast it as a victory because it would delay the stripping of commemorations to the Confederate States of America. House Democrats wanted a one-year deadline for renaming bases.

    “It hasn’t changed and, quite frankly, it’s a good thing that it is there because that language would stall that for about three years, it would appoint a commission that we would have a lot of participation in,” Inhofe said of the Senate-passed language included in the final version of the defense authorization bill.

    “I’m glad the language is there because that’s one way of stalling the closures and the shuffling around of the installations,” he said.

    Inhofe, who spoke to Trump on Monday, said the president is “fine with that.”

    “That doesn’t seem to be an issue with him. I think he’s fine with that because it’s a commission. It’s three years, so that’s better than the alternative,” Inhofe said.

    Inhofe added that he discussed Section 230 with the president. Pressed on what the president’s reaction was, Inhofe demurred but added that Trump “doesn’t like 230 and I don’t like 230.”

    “First of all 230 has nothing to do with the military. And I agree with his sentiments we ought to do away with 230 but you can’t do it in this bill. That’s not a part of the bill,” Inhofe told reporters.

    The senator spoke roughly 12 hours after Trump threatened to veto the NDAA if a repeal of 230 wasn’t included.

    “Section 230, which is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to 'Big Tech' (the only companies in America that have it - corporate welfare!), is a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity. Our Country can never be safe & secure if we allow it to stand,” Trump tweeted Tuesday night.

    In June, Trump declared that he would refuse to cooperate with efforts to rename military bases named after Confederate generals such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Hood in Texas.

    “The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars,” Trump tweeted. “Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations. Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!”

    Trump lauded the bases as “part of a Great American Heritage.”

    The Senate Armed Services Committee passed compromise language in June to form a commission to come up with a plan for renaming bases and to implement it after three years after negotiations between Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).

    Republicans on the Armed Services panel, including Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), supported the language.

    Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) strongly opposed the change in committee.
    ___________

    So Trump folds like a complete wuss on the Confederate names for bases, when he's repeatedly vowed that he wouldn't even consider it.

    And Inhofe clearly establishes that Section 230 doesn't have jack to do with the military.

    The plot thickens...

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by JRT View Post
    Remains to be seen if the NDAA may yet pass with a veto-proof majority, and if some Republicans might be growing weary of the tweeting/quacking of the lame duck POTUS Trump.


    If he doesn't get his way, Trump is threatening to nix this year's National Defense Authorization Act — a crucial piece of annual legislation that covers authorization for pay raises and other spending needs for the nation's military.

    ...
    Yeah this will be yet another litmus test for the Congressional members of Cult45.

    Leave a comment:


  • JRT
    replied
    Remains to be seen if the NDAA may yet pass with a veto-proof majority, and if some Republicans might be growing weary of the tweeting/quacking of the lame duck POTUS Trump.

    Originally posted by NPR

    Trump Threatening To Veto Defense Bill Unless Shield For Big Tech Is Scrapped

    02 December 2020
    by Jaclyn Diaz

    President Trump is threatening to veto a critical defense spending bill unless Congress agrees to repeal a liability shield for social media companies.

    The president tweeted late Tuesday that Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act is "a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity."

    Section 230 provides legal protection for technology companies over content from third parties and users. Trump referred to the provision as a "liability shielding gift" to "Big Tech."

    If he doesn't get his way, Trump is threatening to nix this year's National Defense Authorization Act — a crucial piece of annual legislation that covers authorization for pay raises and other spending needs for the nation's military.

    The veto threat is the latest move by the president in his war against social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter. He and other conservatives believe tech companies are biased against conservative political views — censoring posts they don't like. However, the social media platforms say they are only trying to stop the spread of false claims and disinformation.

    Trump previously threatened a veto of the NDAA in July because it included language renaming U.S. military installations honoring Confederate generals.

    Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, who have largely rejected a wholesale repeal of Section 230, have nonetheless proposed revisions, in part to modernize the policy, but no concrete legislative steps have been taken.

    Lawmakers on the NDAA conference committee are set to meet Wednesday over the legislation.

    This is the 60th year Congress has crafted an annual defense policy bill and it usually passes with overwhelming bipartisan, veto-proof majorities.

    .

    ...

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    commented on 's reply
    Pardoning Giuliani Would Put Trump in Legal Jeopardy
    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- If President Donald Trump wants to avoid federal criminal investigation once he’s out of office, here’s my free advice: Don’t pardon Rudy Giuliani.

    The New York Times reports that the two men have discussed whether the president should pardon his personal lawyer. But Trump owes Giuliani money for representing him, and pardoning someone to whom you owe money could easily be construed as a criminal act.

    Under federal law, it would be bribery to offer an official government act, like a pardon, in exchange for a debt, like the money Trump owes to Giuliani. An investigation would have to ensue. And as President Bill Clinton learned after pardoning financier Marc Rich, an investigation into a questionable pardon can be serious business.

    In response to the report, Giuliani’s spokesperson said that as a lawyer, Giuliani could not comment on any discussions he had with his client, the president. Attorney-client privilege is a real thing, yet it would not shield either Giuliani or Trump from criminal investigation if there were reason to think a criminal exchange had occurred. When a lawyer and a client together conspire to commit a criminal act, the attorney-client privilege evaporates. Evidence of their communication for criminal purposes could be subpoenaed and introduced in court.

    If no third party could testify and there are no tapes of their conversation, then the only direct evidence of a criminal bargain would be testimony by one of the two men. In this scenario, Trump could choose to remain silent and exercise his right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment.

    However, Giuliani could not plead the Fifth — not if he had already been given a blanket pardon for any criminal act he might have committed during the Trump administration.

    The right against self-incrimination only applies when a person’s testimony might put them in criminal jeopardy. A person with a blanket pardon covering some period of time doesn’t face criminal jeopardy for conduct occurring during that period of time. Giuliani could therefore in theory be compelled to testify against Trump, on pain of going to jail for contempt of court if he refused.

    The only escape hatch from this trap would be if Giuliani’s pardon were deemed to be invalid because it was obtained as part of a criminal act. No one knows for sure whether a criminally obtained pardon is constitutionally valid, because the issue hasn’t been litigated. But obviously, neither Trump nor Giuliani would want to go down this path.

    If he really felt he had to pardon Giuliani, Trump might ostentatiously pay Giuliani lots of money first, to prove the pardon wasn’t given in exchange for forgiving the lawyer’s perhaps $20,000 per day legal fees. But it would be tough for Trump to prove that he had definitively paid for all of the work Giuliani had done.

    The upshot is that just about the best way Trump could bring a criminal investigation on himself would be by pardoning Giuliani on his way out of the White House.

    Consider the pardon of Marc Rich on Bill Clinton’s last day in office. That led to George W. Bush’s attorney general, John Ashcroft, appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the pardon process. That prosecutor was — wait for it — James Comey. You just can’t make these things up.

    Most likely, President-elect Joe Biden’s Department of Justice would prefer not to investigate Trump on criminal charges. Biden’s attorney general, whoever it is, will be eager to reestablish the norm of nonpolitical criminal investigation and prosecution. Going after Trump would make it all but impossible to restore that norm.

    But a Giuliani pardon would look so corrupt that it would put huge pressure on the Department of Justice to bring in a special prosecutor to look into it. And because Trump would no longer be president, he would not be able to fire or intimidate that prosecutor.

    Comey’s investigation ultimately did not recommend criminal charges against Clinton, although congressional Republicans did pursue several investigations of their own. Whether or not Trump is afraid of Congress, he should be afraid of the appointment of a federal prosecutor.

    The final irony here is that if Giuliani were any kind of a responsible lawyer, he could not possibly ask Trump for a pardon — because doing so would be a disaster for his client. And if Trump brought it up, Giuliani should ethically tell him, as his lawyer, that any such pardon would jeopardize Trump. If Giuliani doesn’t tell the president not to pardon him, some other lawyer should.
    __________


  • TopHatter
    commented on 's reply
    Justice Department investigating potential bribery scheme to obtain pardon

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating a potentially criminal scheme involving paying a bribe to people either in or affiliated with the White House in exchange for an unknown person receiving a presidential pardon, according to court documents that were unsealed Tuesday.

    The court records, which were unsealed by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, say the DOJ investigation involves two people, whose names are redacted, who were improperly acting as lobbyists to secure the pardon for a person whose name is also redacted. The plot involved the person offering “a substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or reprieve of sentence.”

    It was not immediately clear for whom the pardon would be granted or where the bribe would be directed, and the documents provide no indication President Trump was aware of the plot.

    The disclosure, contained in a 20-page filing littered with redactions, comes amid reports that Trump is considering pardoning an array of associates in the waning days of his presidency.

    The new filing shows Chief Judge Beryl Howell was conducting a review in August of a request from federal prosecutors to examine documents that had been obtained from a search warrant as part of an investigation into the plot.

    The release shows investigators recovered more than 50 digital devices, including iPhones, iPads, laptops and computer drives, after a raid of unidentified offices. The prosecutors were requesting access to the devices on suspicion that they showed alleged criminal activity regarding the “secret lobbying scheme” for the unnamed person.

    The files indicate the devices contain communications between a defendant and an attorney, which are typically kept from prosecutors because they are considered privileged. However, such privilege is not applied when an exchange involves discussion of a crime, and Howell granted prosecutors access to the devices.

    "The political strategy to obtain a presidential pardon was 'parallel' to and distinct from [redacted]'s role as an attorney-advocate for [redacted name]," Howell wrote in her court order.

    The new documents do not include any names of the people involved or when the scheme was hatched. They do say the two people who were working to organize the agreement were acting as lobbyists to senior administration officials but did not comply with the Lobbying Disclosure Act’s registration requirement.

    It also appears prosecutors have not yet provided evidence to the judge regarding a direct payment but that the person seeking a pardon was doing so for protection regarding political contributions they’d made.
    No charges have yet been filed that indicate a person has been prosecuted over the alleged bribery.

    Speculation over possible grants of clemency in the waning days of Trump’s presidency reached a fever pitch last week when Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, his first national security adviser, who pleaded guilty to a charge of lying to federal investigators about his contacts with the top Russian diplomat in the United States. The charge was brought in connection with former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

    Allies of the president on Capitol Hill and in the media have pressed him in recent days to preemptively pardon an array of confidants, family members and even himself, floating claims that they could be targeted by politically motivated charges once Trump leaves office.
    ____________

    I'm shock, SHOCKED, that someone would try to bribe an honest and stalwart public servant like Donald Trump....who thinks that bribes are totally fine and should be allowed.

  • JRT
    replied
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  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by JRT View Post
    Originally posted by Eric_Arthur_Blair_aka_George_Orwell

    Doublethink: The act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct.

    According to Winston Smith, the protagonist of 1984, doublethink is, “To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself—that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word—doublethink—involved the use of doublethink.”

    Four examples of doublethink used throughout 1984 include the slogans: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength, and 2 + 2 = 5.

    .
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  • TopHatter
    replied
    Former top admiral alarmed by Pentagon purge says Trump still has time to do something 'really destructive'

    Mike Mullen, a retired Navy admiral and formerly the top US military officer, sounded the alarm Sunday over the recent Pentagon leadership purge, noting that there is still time for President Donald Trump and his team to do "something that's really destructive."

    "I'm actually very concerned about the Trump loyalists who have now gone to work in the Pentagon," Mullen, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during both the Bush and Obama administrations, told Chuck Todd Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

    Earlier this month, Trump fired his defense secretary. The next day, the chief of staff to the secretary of defense and the top civilian Pentagon policy and intelligence officials resigned.

    Those positions were filled by Trump loyalists, including retired Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, a former Fox News commentator who spread falsehoods about former President Barack Obama, writing on social media that Obama was a "terrorist."

    "There are some real Trump loyalists there now in charge," Mullen said. "It's pretty difficult to think that over the course of 50 or 60 days you can do something constructive, but you can do something that's really destructive."


    As observers questioned the reasons behind the moves at the Pentagon, the administration began taking steps to pull thousands of US troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    On November 17, acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, who arrived at the Pentagon only a week prior, announced that by the middle of January the troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq will be down to 2,500 each.

    "I just think we need to be very careful with that," Mullen said of the reductions.

    "I'd like everybody to come home as well," he continued. "There are still terrorists who would do us ill. I want to play, actually, the game on their turf, and not play it here. If we just come home, my fear is that they arrive here in the United States."

    "We've been through that before and I never want to see that happen again," he said.

    Retired Adm. William McRaven, the former head of US Special Operations Command and Navy SEAL who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid, said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that he was also "concerned" by changes at the Pentagon.

    He said that Trump had "taken out all the leadership in the Department of Defense" and replaced them with a new team, one lacking experience.


    "The new team, you know, maybe they're good folks, but they are inexperienced," he said. "And what they're trying to do, of course, is to push forward President Trump's agenda, particularly when it comes to Iraq and Afghanistan and drawing down the number of troops."

    "We can have reasonable policy discussions on how many people we ought to have in Iraq and Afghanistan," McRaven continued. "But what we don't want to do is we don't want to rush to failure. We don't want to pull everybody out of Afghanistan and risk putting the troops, you know, in greater harm's way."

    "We've got to be thoughtful, we've got to be methodical about how we draw down the number of troops in Afghanistan," he said. "But what it appears is that this new administration in the Department of Defense is really rushing to get a lot of Trump's agenda resolved before a President Biden comes in."

    Both Mullen and McRaven also raised concerns about the possibility of escalating tensions with Iran, which has been a serious issue at various points during Trump's presidency.
    ____________

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  • TopHatter
    commented on 's reply
    Federal Judge Advances Lawsuit Accusing Felix Sater of Laundering Loot Through Trump Properties

    A federal judge on Monday partially advanced a lawsuit accusing Russian mafia-tied businessman Felix Sater of laundering millions stolen from Kazakhstan’s BTA Bank through Trump Organization properties.

    “In this case, Kazakhstan’s largest city and a Kazakhstani bank seek to recover millions of dollars in stolen funds from those who allegedly helped the culprits launder them,” U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan summarized in a 25-page opinion dismissing only two counts of a five-count complaint. “Felix Sater—the alleged ringleader of the money-laundering operation—along with his associate Daniel Ridloff and several business entities they control, move to dismiss.”

    Like Sater, Ridloff was also formerly associated with the Trump Organization. The lawsuit stems from allegations of the systematic looting of Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty and its bank in 2009.

    “The Court emphasizes that the Kazakh entities will need to adduce evidence showing the Sater defendants’ deceptive conduct and their justifiable reliance on that conduct in significantly greater detail to meet their burdens of production and of proof as the case progresses,” Nathan wrote. “However, at this stage, the Court concludes that it is not clear on the face of the complaint that their claims are untimely, and so declines to dismiss any claims on that basis.”

    Almaty’s attorney Craig A. Wenner, from the firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment. Neither did Sater’s counsel Jill Levi, from the firm Todd & Levi, LLP.

    The ruling itself does not mention Trump or his properties, but the lawsuit that it advances accuses Sater of helping the Almaty mayor’s son Ilyas Khrapunov launder stolen funds in at least five schemes throughout the United States, including through Trump Soho.

    “Sater not only met with Ilyas Khrapunov in Trump Tower to discuss laundering the stolen funds, but he also personally arranged meetings between Ilyas and Donald J. Trump to discuss possible investments,” the first amended complaint against Sater states.

    According to the lawsuit, there was also a proposal to funnel money through Trump Tower Moscow, before that plan fell apart around the time of the 2016 presidential election.

    “Among other proposed investments, Sater conspired with Ilyas to invest the stolen funds to develop a Trump Tower project in Russia, which Sater has claimed would have been a ‘high-rise, high-end development that could make a significant amount of money,'” the lawsuit states.

    The plaintiffs do not accuse Trump of wrongdoing.

    “The knowing receipt of stolen funds in furtherance of a money-laundering scheme, in the circumstances of this case, amounts to a sufficiently close connection to support a claim for unjust enrichment,” the ruling states. “The Court therefore concludes that the Kazakh entities have stated such a claim.”

    Judge Nathan dismissed two counts of fraud and unlawful means conspiracy, but not others alleging unjust enrichment, conversion and money had and received.
    ___________

  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Originally posted by JRT View Post
    Looks like Trump is setting up the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to knock it down hard, and thereby hobble the incoming administration. Because he can.

    Note the timing, 19 January 2020....
    Coming so close to the Inauguration AFGE could stick a fork in the plan. Lawsuit filed and ties it up in courts. Biden comes in and rescinds with an EO.

    Leave a comment:


  • JRT
    replied
    Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Sure looks like Fox is now the propaganda arm of Trump, Inc. not that there was any doubt. Josef Goebbels would be proud of them and that journalist using the principles of propaganda he pioneered. Fortunately a slight majority of Americans haven't fallen for it.
    The red hat seems to be a mind control device that imposes Orwellian Doublethink.

    Originally posted by Eric_Arthur_Blair_aka_George_Orwell

    Doublethink: The act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct.

    According to Winston Smith, the protagonist of 1984, doublethink is, “To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself—that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word—doublethink—involved the use of doublethink.”

    Four examples of doublethink used throughout 1984 include the slogans: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength, and 2 + 2 = 5.

    .
    ...
    Last edited by JRT; 30 Nov 20,, 04:08.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

    Sure looks like Fox is now the propaganda arm of Trump, Inc. not that there was any doubt. Josef Goebbels would be proud of them and that journalist using the principles of propaganda he pioneered. Fortunately a slight majority of Americans haven't fallen for it.
    Fox has always been the propaganda arm of Donald Trump...but even Fox has its traitors to the cause:

    Fox News Host Pulls Apart Election Lies Trump Spouted On Network Hours Earlier

    Fox News host Eric Shawn on Sunday debunked election disinformation that President Donald Trump shared on the same network only hours earlier.

    Trump unloaded a stream of baseless claims about a rigged election in his first televised interview since the election to his devout Fox News ally Maria Bartiromo, who encouraged the allegations and allowed them to go largely unchallenged.

    But Fox weekend anchor Shawn pointed out on “America’s News Headquarters” that Trump’s campaign has failed to prove any of his accusations in court.

    “In fact, your government, election officials, experts and others ― many of them Republican, including Trump appointed officials ― say that the president’s claims are false and unsubstantiated,” he told viewers.


    He invited Axios political reporter Hans Nichols to help dismantle many of Trump’s claims, including that ballots counted after the initial tallies on election night were somehow fraudulent.

    “Every swing state that we’re talking about, and they did these massive dumps of votes,” Trump said. “And all of a sudden, I went from winning by a lot to losing by a little.”

    “Well, officials say these are not illegal dumps,” Shawn said. “That’s just the counting of the many mail-in ballots that are entered into the computer system.”

    Biden overtook Trump in several battleground states where Trump initially led on election night as absentee and mail-in ballots were counted in subsequent days, a standard and legitimate procedure.

    Trump also asserted that President-elect Joe Biden couldn’t possibly have received more votes than former President Barack Obama.

    “It seems that we have a president who, he can’t wrap his brain or mind around the fact, he can’t process the fact that someone who he thinks is so inferior to him won the election,” Shawn said.

    Trump’s allies at Fox News, including Bartiromo and prime-time opinion hosts, helped him amplify false claims of election fraud. But some members of the network’s hard news division pushed back and fact-checked the unsubstantiated assertions.

    Shawn participated in a similar segment two weeks ago after Bartiromo gave airtime to Trump lawyers who peddled conspiracy theories about voter fraud.

    Leave a comment:

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