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Sen. John McCain as a presidential candidate in 2008 directly and illegally propositioned Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, to donate to the McCain/Sarah Palin GOP ticket, according to documents released by Wikileaks.

Since the 2016 presidential election in Nov., Sen. McCain has accused Russia of hacking and meddling in U.S. politics and President Donald Trump’s successful campaign. But ironically it was McCain himself who sought Russia to interfere in the 2008 presidential campaign by asking the ambassador and Russian embassy for a campaign contribution.

 

 

At the time of McCain’s presidential campaign, however, Churkin and the Russian government fired off a terse letter and official statement to the senior U.S. senator’s request for thousands in cash to his campaign.

“We have received a letter from Senator John McCain requesting financial contribution to his Presidential campaign.

In this connection we would like to reiterate that Russian officials, the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations or the Russian Government do not finance political activity in foreign countries.”

Russian officials clearly understood that McCain’s request was not legal per U.S. law which forbids foreign governments from contributing money or assistance to presidential campaigns and U.S. presidential candidates from seeking foreign donations. Apparently McCain didn’t know this or simply ignored it before sending his Sept. 29th letter addressed directly and personally to Churkin at the Russian embassy on 67th Street in Manhattan.

McCain offered the Russians a chance to use any major credit card to donate $5,000 or even more. To be fair, McCain’s letter reads much like a normal campaign fundraising letter seeking contributions and likely would have gone unnoticed except that Churkin was compelled to release an official statement from the Russian government rebuking the request, which in part read:

Contributions to McCain-Palin Victory 2008 (“Victory 2008”) are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Victory 2008 allocates contributions to the Republican National Committee (“RNC”), the state parties’ federal accounts, and the McCain-Palin Compliance Fund (“Compliance Fund”) in conformity with federal limits. Unless a contribution would exceed federal limits or a contributor designates otherwise, Victory 2008 will divide contributions as follows:

For Individuals – The first $28,500 will go to the RNC, the next portion will be divided evenly between the Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania state parties’ federal accounts up to a maximum of $9,250 for each Committee, and the final $2,300 will go to the Compliance Fund.

 

 

President Trump plans to address a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28, his press secretary said Tuesday.

Newly inaugurated presidents often deliver this type of speech instead of a formal State of the Union address, giving them a full year instead of a few weeks to fully assess the state of the country.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday morning that he had invited Trump to address a joint session. Later in the day, Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer said the president had accepted that invitation.

“This will be an opportunity for the people and their representatives to hear directly from our new president about his vision and our shared agenda,” Ryan said Tuesday. “This is an ambitious agenda and rightly so. For too long, Washington has been too timid about addressing the big challenges facing our country. We want this to be a bold government. We want this to be a government of action. We want this to be a government of solutions. And a government unified not just by party but by a commitment to restore self-government and to get our country back on track.”

Ryan also said he had “very, very productive discussions” Monday with Trump and Vice President Pence about the governing agenda, including on health care, tax reform, military spending and border security.

“The president is eager to get moving on this agenda,” he said, “and so are we.”

 

 

During a lively discussion centered on fears that President Trump is "trying to undermine the media," MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski let slip the awesome unspoken truth that the media's "job" is to "actually control exactly what people think."

 

 
 

SCARBOROUGH: "Exactly. That is exactly what I hear. What Yamiche said is what I hear from all the Trump supporters that I talk to who were Trump voters and are still Trump supporters. They go, 'Yeah you guys are going crazy. He's doing -- what are you so surprised about? He is doing exactly what he said he is going to do.'"

 

BRZEZINSKI: "Well, I think that the dangerous, you know, edges here are that he is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts. And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job."

As grabien points out, the comment failed to raise any eyebrows from her co-panelists. Instead, her co-host, Joe Scarborough, said that Trump's media antagonism puts him on par with Mussolini and Lenin...

 

 

A former nursing assistant at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center will spend the next 25 years in prison for raping and sexually abusing female patients.

Adeladilew A. Mekonen pleaded guilty Friday morning for 28 different crimes, all involving sexual contact with female patients at the hospital. He’ll be sentenced next Wednesday, and the plea agreement is a 25-year prison sentence.

Nine women accused Mekonen of sex abuse, including two women aged 87 and 94.

Providence fired Mekonen after he was arrested in September.

Washington County authorities confirm that the suspect, Adeladilew Mekonen, told a detective that he came to the United States from Ethiopia in 2011.

 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 06:25

"Serial Bride" Married 10 Men in Green Card Scam

 

A notorious Bronx, NY serial bride apologized — to America — after a court appearance Wednesday, saying she could have “accidentally married a terrorist” and endangered the country.

“I apologize to the American people because I could have put them at risk,” Liana Barrientos, who wed 10 men over 11 years as part of a green-card scam.

“I could have let people stay in this country who could have killed us,” the 40-year-old Barrientos lamented.

“This is what I get because of my own selfishness and not doing my homework. I would have to live with that for the rest of my life.”

The mom said her biggest regrets were “disappointing my kids and that I could have brought bad people here who could kill. I could have let people stay in this country who could have bombed [New York] or anywhere else. That’s f—ed up.”

Barrientos copped to a plea deal in July 2016 in exchange for up to 18 months in an outpatient program treating substance abuse and mental illness.

If she fails out of the program, she could face up to four years behind bars.

“It was a stupid moment,” she said. “The father of my child was in jail, and getting $5,000 to $10,000 for 10 minutes [getting married] was better than stripping or selling drugs.”

Her marriage spree began in 1999, and she managed to tie the knot with six men before her first husband, Mohamed Gebril, filed for divorce in 2002. She wed five times in 2002 alone, authorities said.

There were so many weddings that Barrientos had trouble remembering the names of all of her husbands.

“I don’t remember marrying any of the men except for [Vakhtang] Dzneladze and Salle [Keita],” she told investigators in April 2015, referencing her seventh and 10th husbands.

At the height of the scam, she was married to eight men at once and by 2010 had filed for marriage licenses in a number of New York counties — including Westchester, Nassau, Rockland and Suffolk — by using variations of her name.

A few of the men were even from “red-flagged” countries suspected of harboring terrorists, including Egypt, Mali, Turkey, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Husband No. 8, Rashid Rajput, was shipped back to Pakistan in 2006 after allegedly making threats against the United States.

“He was quiet,” Barrientos said of Rajput on Wednesday. “I met him one or two times.

“I’ve learned my lesson, I would never do that again,” she added. “I can sleep good at night now. I have a clear conscience.”

 

 

An illegal alien faces rape and burglary charges after police say he sexually assaulted a woman.

Wilson, NC police were dispatched to the 1200 block of South Tarboro Street on Sunday regarding a sexual assault that had previously occurred, according to police.

When officers arrived, they spoke to a woman who said she had been sexually assaulted by a person known to her, police said.

After conducting an investigation, police arrested 28-year-old Bernardo Lopez of Wilson. He is charged with second-degree rape and first-degree burglary in connection to the incident, police said.

Lopez was booked into the Wilson County Detention Center a $100,000 bond.

 

 

The new secretary of Homeland Security has issued a set of memos calling for the agency to begin construction of a border wall. Efforts will be focused in El Paso, Texas, Tucson Arizona, and El Centro, California.

The order was issued through a memo sent by DHS Secretary John Kelly to his his various department heads. The memo, as well as others addressing the new priorities have been posted on the department’s website.

“DHS will immediately identify and allocate all sources of available funding for the planning, design, construction and maintenance of a wall, including the attendant lighting, technology (including sensors) as well as patrol and access roads, and develop requirements for total ownership costs of this project,” the document notes.

According to information released by DHS, the construction of the wall will take place in areas where the existing fencing is no longer effective. The agency has already identified funding to begin the immediate construction of the wall.

Secretary Kelly also called for a comprehensive study of border security to identify vulnerabilities and border security enhancement opportunities.

“This will include all aspects of the current border security environment including the availability of of federal and state resources to develop and implement an effective border security strategy that will achieve operational control of the border,” the memo notes.

The assessment is scheduled to be concluded within 180 days.

 

President Trump has directed his administration to enforce the nation’s immigration laws more aggressively, unleashing the full force of the federal government to find, arrest and deport those in the country illegally, regardless of whether they have committed serious crimes.

Documents released on Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security revealed the broad scope of the president’s ambitions: to publicize crimes by undocumented immigrants; strip such immigrants of privacy protections; enlist local police officers as enforcers; erect new detention facilities; discourage asylum seekers; and, ultimately, speed up deportations.

The new enforcement policies put into practice language that Mr. Trump used on the campaign trail, vastly expanding the definition of “criminal aliens” and warning that such unauthorized immigrants “routinely victimize Americans,” disregard the “rule of law and pose a threat” to people in communities across the United States.

 

 

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Ca.) angrily denounced members of the Trump administration as being ‘scumbags’ in an interview with Chris Hayes on MSNBC Tuesday.

“I just think the American people have better understand what’s going on,” she yelled, “this is a bunch of scumbags. That’s what they are. Who are all organized around making money.”

“Those are very strong words, congresswoman,” Hayes asked. “Who do you mean by that when you call them scumbags, who are you talking about.”

All of these people who are organized with these oil and gas interests that’s in the administration and friends of the president of the United States, this back-channelling that you see. These are all a bunch of scumbags, that’s what they are.

“Secretary of state,” Hayes asked for clarification, “you mean the secretary of state of the United States?”

Well I tell you this, Tillerson is there to get these sanctions lifted. I believe it, just watch him. He’s gonna continue to work on it. This is important for him. He was there because he negotiated the deal with Exxon, with Putin.

 

Rep. Waters is referring to the suspicions and outright accusations from many on the left that the Russians and Vladimir Putin have undue favor with this administration, leading many to believe that Trump has debts to Russia, or is being blackmailed. Republicans and Trump allies have vehemently denied the accusations and characterized them as growing from “fake news” conspiracy theories.

Rep. Waters was mocked by the right recently for attempting to criticize Trump but flubbing a geography detail that undermined her indignation. She’s also one of the few representatives who has been calling for Trump’s impeachment while fighting off her own accusations of corruption after being indicted for charity fraud. 

 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 05:45

200+ Rescued from San Jose Flood Waters

 

Rescuers chest-deep in water steered boats full of people, some with babies and pets, from a San Jose neighborhood inundated Tuesday by water from an overflowing creek.

Further north, farmers used tractors to shore up an endangered levee in California’s agricultural heartland, officials opened a spillway at the Don Pedro reservoir for the first time in 20 years, and a Sierra Nevada highway threatened to collapse after the latest downpours swelled waterways, leaving nearly half of the state under flood advisories.

In San Jose, at least 225 residents were taken to dry land and rinsed with soap and water to prevent them from being sickened by floodwaters from the Coyote Creek that had traveled through engine fuel, garbage, debris and over sewer lines, San Jose Fire Capt. Mitch Matlow said.

“I left for school to take my daughter to school and when I came back I see all this and what was going on,” flood victim Rosie Ruiz told the media.

Ruiz says the fast flooding took neighbors by surprise, surrounding dozens of homes with water thought to be contaminated with possible sewage.

Rescuers went door-to-door searching for people who needed to leave the neighborhood.

“Lots of people need to be taken out,” Matlow said. “They’re being taken out one apartment or house at a time.”

Only residents who could prove they had been cleaned of the floodwaters were allowed to board buses to shelters.

“The water started to seep in the driveway, and then it started to creep up into the front door. It kept getting worse and worse,” said Alex Hilario, who walked in knee-high water to get to his car and leave the area.

“We didn’t get a chance to get anything out,” Hilario added.

Bobby Lee, 15, said he was rescued with his brother and parents, who took clothes, electronics and some photos from their home in a neighborhood that ended up littered with submerged cars.

“This is like once-in-a-lifetime,” Lee said.

Earlier Tuesday, firefighters rescued five people stranded by flooding at a homeless camp along the same creek in San Jose.

Firefighters knocked on doors to tell residents to get out of their homes because the city does not have sirens or another emergency warning system, San Jose spokesman David Vossbrink said.

The rains were the latest produced by a series of storms generated by so-called atmospheric rivers that dump massive quantities of Pacific Ocean water on California after carrying it aloft from as far away as Hawaii.

In the Sierra Nevada mountain range, part of Highway 50, one of the main routes to Lake Tahoe, was in danger of collapsing after a roadway shoulder gave way following heavy storms, leaving a gaping hole about 40 feet long and 17 feet wide, Caltrans engineer Jarrett Woodruff said.

Crews opened one lane open Tuesday as Caltrans workers tried to fix the road failure after numerous mudslides blocked it for days at a time in recent weeks.

Heavy storms over the last two weeks caused parts of the shoulder and part of one lane on the four-lane highway give way.

In the San Joaquin Valley in California’s agricultural heartland, farmers used their tractors and other heavy equipment to help shore up an endangered levee along the San Joaquin River.

Some farmers took their tractors and other equipment to the levee to help shore it up, arriving to fill a big breach within half an hour of noticing the break, said alfalfa farmer Tony Coit.

“The farmers ran it like a boss,” he said, using soil from the levee itself to fill in the 30-foot-wide break until they could truck in large rocks for more substantial repairs.

Water began flowing from the Don Pedro reservoir on the Tuolumne River, for the first time in 20 years, said Calvin Curtin, a spokesman for the Turlock Irrigation District. A stretch of the river flowing through Modesto was just below flood stage, but officials warned small neighborhoods of mobile homes to be alert, and asked some owners to tow their trailers to higher ground. The relief flows from the reservoir are expected through Thursday.

The water level rose at Lake Oroville for the first time since authorities ordered an emergency evacuation of 188,000 people more than a week ago after a damaged spillway caused major flooding concerns.

The rains have saturated the once-drought stricken region and wreaked havoc for residents hit hard by the heavy rain. At least four people have died in the storms throughout the state in the last week.

A motorist in Northern California was swept into a creek Saturday during another in the series of storms and drowned inside her car, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Witnesses had seen the woman driving around signs blocking the road near Orland, Undersheriff Todd James of the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office told the newspaper.

The current storm system began to weaken Tuesday after dumping more than a half-inch of rain in the San Joaquin Valley, over an inch in San Francisco, and more than 5 inches in the mountains above Big Sur over the previous 24 hours, the National Weather Service reported.

Forecasters say more than 24 inches of rain have fallen in San Francisco since October as dry weather was expected to return to the region on Wednesday.

 

 

A banner reading "Refugees Welcome" was unfurled on the Statue of Liberty Tuesday afternoon.

The banner, approximately 20 feet by 3 feet, was spotted on the pedestal just before 1 p.m., affixed by nylon rope to the wall of the public observation deck at the base of the statue.

Rangers, alerted to its presence, immediately made their way to the location and conducted an assessment of the banner and how it was attached to the monument.

It was determined that the banner could be removed without damaging the pedestal, and Rangers began the process of removing it.

Officials remind the public that affixing a banner to the national monument is strictly prohibited, and an investigation is underway by the United States Park Police to identify suspects.

 

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