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2019-12-09 08:30 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 229 references
[Comments enabled]  

How come this hasn't been all over the news?

Earlier today, an indictment was unsealed against the CEO of an online payment processing company, and seven others, charging them with conspiring to make and conceal conduit and excessive campaign contributions, and related offenses, during the U.S. presidential election in 2016 and thereafter.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant Director in Charge Timothy R. Slater of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.

A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia indicted Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja, 48, of Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 7, 2019, along with George Nader, Roy Boulos, Rudy Dekermenjian, Mohammad “Moe” Diab, Rani El-Saadi, Stevan Hill and Thayne Whipple. The 53 count indictment charges Khawaja with two counts of conspiracy, three counts of making conduit contributions, three counts of causing excessive contributions, 13 counts of making false statements, 13 counts of causing false records to be filed, and one count of obstruction of a federal grand jury investigation. Nader is charged with conspiring with Khawaja to make conduit campaign contributions, and related offenses. Boulos, Dekermenjian, Diab, El-Saadi, Hill, and Whipple are charged with conspiring with Khawaja and each other to make conduit campaign contributions and conceal excessive contributions, and related offenses.

Who were they making contributions to?

Hillary Clinton.

$3.5 million worth.

Note that her name, or the name of the campaign, was not disclosed.

Note also that Nader is in federal custody on child pornography and child sexual exploitation charges.

Politico attempted, of course, to tie him to Trump, but the records are clear: It was Clinton's campaign that got the $3.5 million.

Care to talk with me again about election interference by foreigners?

Or shall we talk about the other Clinton, who also had a bunch of foreigners get in trouble for "donations" to his campaign.  Remember that?

Isn't it fascinating that while there's been a smattering of press here and there (the NY Post ran an article) what is utterly missing is the wall-to-wall coverage that is all things Trump.

Oh, and Nader apparently was trying to do all of this while reporting to a foreign official.

Election interference eh?  Uh, yeah -- who was doing that again?

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2019-12-08 10:34 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 157 references
[Comments enabled]  

Let me guess -- you'll come up with more bull**** excuses just as you did after Florida's Secretary of State gave driver licenses to Saudi Citizens who were here on non-immigrant visas before 9/11, and those were the ID used to board the planes.

This, I remind you, led tot he so-called "Real ID" act and insanity that followed it.  What should have happened instead of allowing that governor of the time (Bush) to run for President is that everyone involved from the Governor on down should have been charged as accessories before the fact to 3,000 murders, tried and thrown in prison for life.  Those people were neither lawful permanent residents or citizens and had no business being given a valid State ID.

But no!  We can't actually hold people accountable for outrageous actions that have no basis in reality and wind up getting people killed.

Now it's happened again and once again people are dead as a direct consequence:

Meanwhile, it's been revealed that al-Shamrani used a handgun in the shooting, which he purchased from a dealer in Pensacola. 

Non-citizens are prohibited from purchasing guns in the United States, unless they are equipped with a hunting license. 

According to NBC, al-Shamrani was equipped with such a license. 

The gun has been described as a Glock 45 9-millimeter handgun with an extended magazine. 

Mind explaining exactly what you would appropriately hunt in this State with a handgun?

So the FFL didn't break the law.  But, said FFL certainly could (and should) have found it damned odd that here comes a foreign national, he has a hunting license he bought and the state granted him but he wants to purchase a firearm that is inappropriate to hunt anything with -- except humans.  It's not illegal to hunt in this state with a pistol but it sure as hell isn't going to be your weapon of choice for taking game.

And, by the way, there's a 3-day rule here in Florida (and there has been for pistols forever); that is, you can't walk in and buy one unless you have a CWP; you walk in, they run you through NICS and then you come back in three business days to pick it up.  Which means if it was reported as suspicious there was time to interdict the transaction and this was clearly pre-meditated because you can't buy it and walk out the door with it.

Did said FFL report that transaction as suspicious?  You have to wonder because before 9/11 a flight simulator owner did report the towel-heads that were showing up with wads of cash and didn't want to know how to land aircraft.  He called the FBI which blew him off.  Was it illegal for said towel-heads to pay for simulator time in cash and not want to know how to land?  No, but it was damned suspicious.

I would like some records on that please.  Who was the FFL and did they report the transaction as legal -- but suspicious?

And if they did report it, who did they report it to and what was done with the report?

Uh huh.

Then there are reports that several other Saudis who were in his "class" are missing.  As in they disappeared.  Really?  So they somehow got off the base (which was locked down -- assuming they were present at the time) and now we have no idea where they are.  Gee, that's not suspicious, right?  I mean it's not like those other dudes were both uninvolved and more than happy to assist America in running to the ground what happened here, yes?

What are we going to do next?  Let them leave just like Bush let a bunch of Saudis leave after 9/11 and we were never able to talk with them again -- including, it later appeared, some of the people who owned and lived in the homes where the hijackers were known to have spent time.

Why do I expect we'll never get answers to those questions?

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2019-11-27 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 99 references
[Comments enabled]  

Uh huh.....

A Honduran construction worker who reportedly attempted to warn managers about unsafe conditions prior to being injured in last month's deadly partial collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans will be deported on Monday, his lawyers say.

So this guy is an illegal invader, he was working for a major US Company building a hotel, and he got caught and now is facing deportation.

His wife is also here in the US.  Is she also illegal?

They added that other undocumented immigrations are hesitant to talk with federal investigators about what happened for fear of deportation.

So he wasn't the only one on the jobsite.

In 2016, Ramirez Palma had been ordered to be deported and he lacks legal authorization to work in the United States. He filed for a stay of deportation early this year.

But Hard Rock's construction company hired him anyway and nobody has been indicted for doing so.

Nor, will I bet, anyone will be.

This only stops when we the people demand it stop and that those who employ these invaders either go to prison or are hanged.  You choose whether that's through formal, legitimate judicial process or not -- but what's clear is that these people are being employed and displacing Americans from good jobs for one reason and one reason only: They're cheaper.

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2019-11-23 08:00 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 243 references
[Comments enabled]  

Sweet Jesus....

Police officers who download videos captured by homeowners’ Ring doorbell cameras can keep them forever and share them with whomever they’d like without providing evidence of a crime, the Amazon-owned firm told a lawmaker this month.

More than 600 police forces across the country have entered into partnerships with the camera giant, allowing them to quickly request and download video recorded by Ring’s motion-detecting, Internet-connected cameras inside and around Americans’ homes.

You have to be out of your damned mind to allow this.

Further, there is no compliance monitoring to ensure that the cameras do not go beyond the boundaries of your property.  What you choose to do with fair notice and thus consent is up to you.  As soon as you set up what amounts to a literal dragnet in an entire community where you cannot go down a public street without being immediately subject to permanent archiving and sale of your image to others without your knowledge or consent you have entered a world of communist government control equally bad as what China is doing right now.

It is also explicitly illegal to collect personally identifiable information on persons under the age of 13 without their parent's consent.  Note that the child cannot give consent -- their parent(s) must -- and the "Neighbors" app is very likely to be found to implicate COPPA since it permits the distribution of said images.

Does this get there and who might be held responsible?  I don't know -- but the creep factor is extreme.

There's no need for this.

HomeDaemon's camera module can be set to archive on an "all the time basis" if you want.  Or it can be set up to only do so at night, or when the property is in "away" (nobody present) mode.  Or whatever you'd like.  It can also display that stream in real-time to your phone.  But none of that data ever goes up to a public cloud like Amazon; unless you explicitly configure saving it off-site by a means of your choosing and to a place of your choosing it doesn't happen, but that does not impede your ability to view in real time and grab clips if you'd like, including a retrospective configurable-time (default of 5 minutes) look-back.

This sort of "sharing" is outrageous; it can be under their policies and likely will be used to build a virtual "fence" around you that knows where you are, all the time, and exactly who you are.  Phones already do this to some degree, more or less, but attaching video imagery is a whole different game.  That I'm walking down a street is one thing -- that I'm doing so with a can of beer in my hand is another.  The more detail in the data and the better the correlation the less of what little privacy we have remaining will in fact be ours.

This crap must be stopped folks.

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2019-11-23 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 463 references
[Comments enabled]  

Gee, who raised hell about this?  Well, I did -- but didn't know the VP's son was "stealing" from the TALF program.

According to corporate and federal bank records, while Joe Biden was the vice president of the United States, an investment firm that was linked to Joe’s son, Hunter Biden, received over $130 million in federal bailout loans from a sweetheart program created by Barack Obama.  That money was routed through a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands.

The program was TALF, after TARP.  I raised a big stink about it at the time, noting that this was basically a bailout for a bunch of jackwads that had made bad loans, specifically for cars, and were getting butt-rammed.  They were "heads we win, tails the taxpayer loses" sort of deals where the funds were "lent" to the company to buy the assets at a huge discount but if they blew up and became worthless the funds didn't have to be repaid.

So the worst-case scenario was that the transaction was a zero for everyone except the taxpayer, who ate the entire amount.  At best, since these loan packages were frequently trading at 60-75 cents on the dollar at the time (and sometimes less) the windfall that the firm received was extreme; as much as $50 million or more might have been made on that $130 million "loan" for which the firm had no actual skin in the game.

Most of these packages worked out real well for the "investors."  Most of the people who got involved in them expected that to happen too, which is why many of them put the subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands where they could (and presumably did) fail to fully and fairly disclose their gains, both short and long term, they made on these portfolios -- and thus they also evaded taxes.

I note that since there was no actual at-risk interest in these funds (that is, the economic exposure in this "business" was zero due to the backstop) typical IRS "at risk" rules would mean these gains could have been exposed to much higher ordinary income rates, which provided a further incentive to cheat.

Oh, and Biden, if you recall, was a key advocate for this program and the bailouts in general.

In other words, he personally advocated as Vice-President for a program that his son's firm exploited and made a ****-ton of money on, then closed down the subsidiary involved which he just happened to file in the Cayman's where nobody can get their hands on the financial statements.

Federal Reserve records show Rosemont Capital was one of the companies that set up an offshore limited partnership, called “Rosemont TALF Investment Fund LP,” to participate in the TALF program.  Are you kidding me?  The fund was incorporated in the Cayman Islands on May 14, 2009, and dissolved on Nov. 14, 2014, according to corporate records in the British territory. The fund was managed by a Delaware-based subsidiary of Rosemont called “Rosemont TALF GP,” SEC records show.

Another investor in Rosemont’s TALF fund, called “Rosemont TALF Opportunities Fund II,” was also based in the Cayman Islands. Additional Rosemont TALF investors included two Greek shipping magnates, a California class action attorney, and a financial trust based in Liberia.

Yeah, this is just Ukraine, right?  Uh, no.

Yet exactly nobody has either gone to prison or been hung for this corruption.

You want this man as President after not just Ukranian inside dealing but this as well, when he actually delayed his resignation from the Senate as long as possible to make sure TARP passed?

I put "steal" in quotes only because this is exactly the sort of taxpayer robbery that myriad people engage in every day, and it's why people who are allegedly "serving the people" go to Congress for a few years and come out with tens of millions of dollars either then or shortly thereafter.  In this case who knows exactly how much Hunter Biden personally profited; we can't see that as the firm was conveniently located in the Caymans, but that he was involved, and that the Vice-President, his father, heavily lobbied for and supported the program is fact.

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