Category Archives: Bay Area

Senate Committee Finds No Trump Russia Collusion | Feb 14 2019

NBC Ignores Own Exclusive: Senate Probe Found No Evidence of Collusion

|| NewsBusters.com

 

“According to an NBC News exclusive that first aired during the 10 o’clock hour of Tuesday morning’s MSNBC Live, both Republican and Democratic sources on the Senate Intelligence Committee admitted they had not found any direct evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Despite the fact the exclusive was filed by NBC News intelligence and national security reporter Ken Dilanian, NBC Nightly News hid it from viewers. Meanwhile, ABC’s World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News also turned a blind eye.

Instead of reporting on their massive breaking news story that drove a flood of reporting by other outlets, NBC Nightly News and anchor Lester Holt chose to hype DNA tests for dogs. [UPDATE: NBC skipped its own reporting again on Today.]

When the story first broke, a seemingly shocked Hallie Jackson came back from a commercial break to announce their discovery. “NBC News exclusive reporting on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Their investigation into Russian election interference and what they have and have not uncovered,” she said as she introduced Dilanian.

Wasting no time in getting to the heart of what his reporting discovered, Dilanian declared: “Hallie, after two years and after interviewing more than 200 witnesses, the Senate Intelligence Committee has not uncovered any direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Dilanian noted that committee chairman, Senate Richard Burr (R-NC), confirmed that finding to another network the other day, but he wanted to see what Democrats on the committee had to say. “[W]hat I’ve been doing since then is checking with my sources on the Democratic side to understand the full context of his remarks because that was essentially a partisan comment from one side, but this is a bipartisan investigation and what I found is that the Democrats don’t dispute that characterization.

….read more @ NewsBusters

 

Trump Demands Gavin Newsom Return $3.5 Billion for Canceled Bullet Train; Newsom: It’s ‘California’s Money’ Now

|| Breitbart

“President Donald Trump demanded Wednesday evening that the State of California return $3.5 billion in federal funds after Gov. Gavin Newsom canceled most of the state’s high-speed rail project, saying it was too expensive.

“California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars,” the president tweeted. “They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now. Whole project is a “green” disaster!”

Newsom devoted the opening portion of his first “State of the State” address Tuesday to attacking Trump and his policies on the border. Yet he then bowed to conservative criticism — and, arguably, to fiscal reality — by canceling the high-speed rail project championed by his predecessors.

The governor added that while the bullet train would no longer connect San Francisco and Los Angeles, as first envisioned, the state would still continue “phase one” of the project between the rural towns of Bakersfield and Merced. “I know that some critics will say this is a ‘train to nowhere,’” he said. “But that’s wrong and offensive.”

Newsom added that the state had to continue the project if it wanted to keep the federal funds it had taken: “I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding that was allocated to this project back to Donald Trump.”

The money was granted to California as part of President Barack Obama’s stimulus, which set aside “$8 billion in federal stimulus money to create 13 high-speed rail corridors,” the New York Times reported at the time.

Obama pressured states to take the cash — which Democrat-governed states eagerly did. But the Republican wave of 2010 brought new governors to office, and several rejected their state’s high-speed rail plans as costly and unnecessary.

California has already spent over $5 billion on the high-speed rail project — roughly the same amount that Trump had requested for the border wall.”

….read more @ Breitbart

 

Russia Investigation

Senate has uncovered no direct evidence of conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia

|| NBC News

“WASHINGTON — After two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.

But investigators disagree along party lines when it comes to the implications of a pattern of contacts they have documented between Trump associates and Russians — contacts that occurred before, during and after Russian intelligence operatives were seeking to help Donald Trump by leaking hacked Democratic emails and attacking his opponent, Hillary Clinton, on social media.

“If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in an interview with CBS News last week.

Burr was careful to note that more facts may yet be uncovered, but he also made clear that the investigation was nearing an end.

“We know we’re getting to the bottom of the barrel because there’re not new questions that we’re searching for answers to,” Burr said.

On Tuesday, Burr doubled down, telling NBC News, “There is no factual evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

Sen. Mark Warner, D.-Va., ranking member of the committee, told reporters in the Capitol Tuesday that he disagrees with the way Burr characterized the evidence about collusion, but he declined to offer his own assessment.

“I’m not going to get into any conclusions I have,” he said, before adding that “there’s never been a campaign in American history … that people affiliated with the campaign had as many ties with Russia as the Trump campaign did.”

Democratic Senate investigators who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity did not dispute Burr’s characterizations, but said they lacked context.

“We were never going to find a contract signed in blood saying, ‘Hey Vlad, we’re going to collude,'” one Democratic aide said.

The series of contacts between Trump’s associates, his campaign officials, his children and various Russians suggest a campaign willing to accept help from a foreign adversary, the Democrats say.

By many counts, Trump and his associates had more than 100 contacts with Russians before the January 2017 presidential inauguration.

Senate has found no direct evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia

|| NBC News

 

“WASHINGTON — After two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.

But investigators disagree along party lines when it comes to the implications of a pattern of contacts they have documented between Trump associates and Russians — contacts that occurred before, during and after Russian intelligence operatives were seeking to help Donald Trump by leaking hacked Democratic emails and attacking his opponent, Hillary Clinton, on social media.

“If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in an interview with CBS News last week.

Burr was careful to note that more facts may yet be uncovered, but he also made clear that the investigation was nearing an end.

“We know we’re getting to the bottom of the barrel because there’re not new questions that we’re searching for answers to,” Burr said.

On Tuesday, Burr doubled down, telling NBC News, “There is no factual evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

Sen. Mark Warner, D.-Va., ranking member of the committee, told reporters in the Capitol Tuesday that he disagrees with the way Burr characterized the evidence about collusion, but he declined to offer his own assessment.

“I’m not going to get into any conclusions I have,” he said, before adding that “there’s never been a campaign in American history … that people affiliated with the campaign had as many ties with Russia as the Trump campaign did.”

Democratic Senate investigators who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity did not dispute Burr’s characterizations, but said they lacked context.

“We were never going to find a contract signed in blood saying, ‘Hey Vlad, we’re going to collude,'” one Democratic aide said.

The series of contacts between Trump’s associates, his campaign officials, his children and various Russians suggest a campaign willing to accept help from a foreign adversary, the Democrats say.

By many counts, Trump and his associates had more than 100 contactswith Russians before the January 2017 presidential inauguration.”

….read more @ NBC News

 

Newsome says Goodbye to Moonbeams’ Train to Nowhere | Feb 12 2019

‘Let’s be real.’ Gavin Newsom says he’ll cut back on California’s high-speed rail plan

|| SacBee

“In a change to a project voters first approved with a $10 billion bond during the Schwarzenegger administration, Newsom said there “simply isn’t a path” to build high speed rail to connect the northern and southern parts of the state without more funding. The project as originally designed now is estimated to cost at least $77 billion.

Instead, he called for focus on a section linking the Central Valley cities of Merced and Bakersfield, which he said have long been neglected by lawmakers.

“The Valley may be known around the world for agriculture, but there is another story ready to be told. A story of a region hungry for investment, a workforce eager for more training and good jobs, Californians who deserve a fair share of our state’s prosperity,” he said. “The high speed rail project can be part of that.”

He promised more oversight and transparency for the project, and announced he is appointing his economic development director, Lenny Mendonca, to chair the High Speed Rail Authority. The larger rail project isn’t dead. Newsom said the state will still complete an environmental review for the proposed rail between San Francisco and Los Angeles and will continue work on regional projects in the north and the south of the state.

Newsom acknowledged critics who want the state to abandon the project entirely, but said he doesn’t want to waste the billions already spent on the project, nor does he want to return $3.5 billion the state has received in federal funding.”

….read more @ SacBee

 

Study: Ending All Legal Immigration for 40 Years Maintains U.S. Workforce

|| Breitbart

“The United States could suspend all legal immigration to the country for the next 40 years and maintain a workforce where there are still more than two U.S. workers for every one retiree, a new study finds.

The latest study by the Center for Immigration Studies’ Steven Camarota reveals that despite claims by the big business lobby, Wall St., and corporate executives that mass legal immigration is necessary to maintain a sizeable workforce, current legal immigration trends have little to no impact on the working-age population.

The workforce population is generally measured by the ratio showing the number of U.S. workers per every one retiree. Camerota’s research finds that if the U.S. implemented an immigration moratorium for the next 40 years, it would hardly have an impact on the number of workers per retirees.

For example, at current legal immigration levels where the U.S. imports more than 1.2 million legal immigrants a year — at the detriment of American workers’ job prospects and wages — the working-age population would decrease from 64.3 percent of the total population in 2017 to 59 percent in 2060.

Likewise, under a scenario where the U.S. halted all legal immigration, the working-age population would dip to about 56.7 percent of the total population by 2060 — only a 2.3 percent difference from projections where current mass legal immigration trends continue.

(Center for Immigration Studies)

 

The ratio of U.S. workers per retiree would be little changed if lawmakers halted legal immigration for 40 years. With current legal immigration levels, the U.S. is on track to have about 2.5 workers per retiree by 2060.

Should legal immigration be halted, the U.S. would have about 2.1 workers per retiree by 2060, a subtle difference in the working-age population.

At the same time, continuing current legal immigration levels for the next 40 years would dramatically increase the total U.S. population to an unprecedented 404.5 million by 2060. This would mean that in less than half a century, 80 million residents would be added to America’s population due to current legal immigration levels.

If the U.S. implemented an immigration moratorium for the next four decades, though, the U.S. population would stabilize at a healthy 329.2 million — an increase of only about four million residents.

….read more @ Breitbart

Doddering Sen Dianne Feinstein’s Incompetence on Full View in Senate Race | Sep 18 2018

Is Dianne Feinstein the Most Corrupt Senator in the United States?

|| PJMedia

“On top of her McCarthyite smear of Judge Kavanaugh, she’s closely tied to both Chinese and Russian operations in the United States.

To date, only one fairly obscure member of Congress has asked our intel people—in this case, the FBI–to look into the alarming case of a Chinese agent becoming her office manager and personal chauffeur. An excerpt from Rep. Jim Banks’ letter to FBI Director Wray:

It has recently come to light that U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the former chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, employed a staff member who was using his position to secretly report information to the Ministry of State Security in China. Given the type of information Senator Feinstein had access to and China’s position as a top foreign adversary of the United States, this revelation is alarming.

The Chinese agent is apparently working without annoyance in California. Feinstein is running for reelection. I wonder if he is planning to vote for her.

Banks asked for an investigation and a briefing. That was last month, and I haven’t seen anything since. Have you? Yet the “news” is chock-a-block with thousands of column inches on an unknown event alleged by an unknown woman who claims it happened when she and Judge Kavanaugh were in high school 35-40 years ago.

This is a good way to measure how little Chinese espionage matters to the nation’s law enforcers and opinion makers. Well, of course, and we all know why: nobody is accusing Trump of colluding with Beijing.

Funny world. So many things are backwards. We have apparently hard evidence of Chinese espionage in the office of the number one senator on the Senate Intelligence Committee—the FBI told her about it five years ago, and she did nothing (nor did the bureau)—but nobody seems concerned. Meanwhile, there is no evidence of any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, yet half the world constantly frets about “it.”

…Read more @ PJ Media

Anti-Gun Liberals in California Get Free Armed Security at Taxpayer Expense | Sep 10 2018

Taxpayers Funded ‘Unprecedented’ Armed Protection for Gun Control Sen. Kamala Harris

|| Breitbart

 

“An examination of expense reports reveal gun control Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) received taxpayer-funded armed protection from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 2017 and 2018 at events throughout the state.

NBC 4 reports that the protection was “unprecedented” in that it went beyond the security which the LAPD usually provides “for dignitaries and officials visiting LA.” Taxes from residents of Los Angeles funded armed security personnel to protect Harris not only in LA but in other cities throughout the state as well.

Taxpayers even paid for armed security to go with Harris to a party.

The protection lasted January 2017 through July 2018 and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) says he was not aware it was occurring.

Garcetti indicated former LAPD Chief Charles Beck put the special protection into place. LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein said, “Chief of Police Charlie Beck assigned a security detail for US Senator Kamala Harris shortly before she was sworn into office in 2017, based on a threat assessment he believed to be credible. Funding for the detail was provided by the Department budget.”

On November 22, 2015, Breitbart News reported that California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom spent millions of taxpayer dollars to surround himself with armed security while Mayor of San Francisco.”

….Read more at: Breitbart

Sen Dianne Feinstein had a Chinese Communist Spy on her Staff | Aug 02 2018

Feinstein had a Chinese spy connection she didn’t know about — her Chinese limo driver

|| SFGate

“A staffer in U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s San Francisco office was fired a few years back after being linked to Chinese spying in the Bay Area.

According to a Politico Magazine story on Silicon Valley espionage, the Feinstein staffer was suspected of providing political intelligence — but nothing classified — to his handlers, with one former intelligence official telling author Zach Dorfman that the suspected informant was “run” by officials based at the local Chinese Consulate.

A local source who knew about the incident confirmed to us that the FBI showed up at Feinstein’s office in Washington, D.C., about five years ago to alert the then-chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee that her driver was being investigated for possible Chinese spying.

Besides driving her around when she was in California, the staffer also served as gofer in her San Francisco office and as a liaison to the Asian American community, even attending Chinese Consulate functions for the senator.

According to our source, the intrigue started years earlier when the staffer took a trip to Asia to visit relatives and was befriended by someone who continued to stay in touch with him on subsequent visits.

That someone was connected with the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of State Security.

“He didn’t even know what was happening — that he was being recruited,” says our source. “He just thought it was some friend.”

The FBI apparently concluded the driver hadn’t revealed anything of substance.

“They interviewed him, and Dianne forced him to retire, and that was the end of it,” says our source.

“None of her staff ever knew what was going on,” the source added. “They just kept it quiet.”

…Read more @ SFGate

 

Question: Did Feinstein ‘collude’ with the Chinese Government or was she simply ‘asleep at the wheel?’

Either way, she needs to hang it up and retire. We can’t afford such incompetence from a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee employed a Chinese spy?

Youtube under fire by disgruntled Iranian activist | Apr 04 2018

YouTube Shooter ID’d as Iranian Azeri Vegan Activist Nasim Aghdam

|| Breitbart

“The shooter who took her own life after wounding four YouTube employees at the video hosting website’s San Bruno, California, offices on Tuesday has been identified as Nasim Aghdam in multiple reports, after being described as a “white woman in a headscarf” earlier in the day.

ABC News quotes law enforcement sources with the identification:

JUST IN: Two law enforcement sources say authorities have preliminarily identified the YouTube shooter as Nasim Aghdam, a woman with previous addresses in the Southern California cities of Riverside and San Diego. https://t.co/vmWDgKsXJc

— ABC News (@ABC) April 4, 2018

Aghdam, said to reside in Southern California, had a long history of animal rights activism, and was quoted by the Los Angeles Times at a protest of the U.S. Marine Corps’ use of pigs to demonstrate battlefield wounds in 2009. She ran a series of very similar websites espousing vegan views.

In one video post on video hosting service Dailymotion, she claims to be from Iran in an introduction to a mock appearance on America’s Got Talent.

“There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!” she declared on one of her websites, among one of many statements criticizing the company across her other websites and extensive social media presence, sometimes using the name Nasime Sabz Yeşil Nasim.

In a February Facebook post, for instance, she decried YouTube’s “hidden policy” of “discrimination” and “suppression of truth.”

.. ..

Her websites contain statements like, “Youtube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!” and images complaining about her revenue from her YouTube videos, implying YouTube had been diminishing her earnings:

Aghdam also appears to have maintained at least two Instagram accounts, frequently captioning her posts in her — presumably native — Persian language. She makes frequent reference to Iran and the Azeri ethnic group that resides primarily in Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan.”

…Continue reading more @ Breitbart.com

 

An hour of terror: ‘Active shooter at YouTube HQ’

The chaos and fear that have shaken America gripped one of Silicon Valley’s iconic companies

|| San Jose Mercury News

Police officers congregate in a parking lot near YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, Calif. on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, after a shooting took place. (Randy Vazquez/Bay Area News Group)

“SAN BRUNO — YouTube, where millions turn to watch news of the world unfold, became the subject of its own trending video feed Tuesday after its headquarters turned into a shooting ground for a woman who critically wounded an employee and injured two others in a courtyard before killing herself.

The shooter — a YouTuber who had recently ranted at the company for filtering her videos — called out “come at me or come and get me!” said senior software engineer Zach Vorhies, one of hundreds of employees who fled the building after witnesses described the sound of more than a dozen gunshots echoing through the building. Vorhies froze for a moment, he said, as he passed a man lying on his back with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to his torso.

And for the next hour, the chaos and terror of two words that have shaken America gripped one of Silicon Valley’s iconic companies: “Active shooter at YouTube HQ,” one employee tweeted. Immediately, panic spread throughout the tech campus and across social media, as YouTube employees barricaded themselves in offices and conferences rooms while others fled in a stampede that one employee described as sounding like the rumble of an earthquake.

“Heard shots and saw people running while at my desk,” employee Vadim Lavrusik tweeted at 12:57 p.m. “Now barricaded inside a room with coworkers.”

“I looked down and saw blood drips on the floor and stairs,” project manager Todd Sherman tweeted at 1:10 p.m. “Peeked around for threats and then we headed downstairs and out the front.”

On Tuesday night, a law enforcement source identified the shooter as Nasim Aghdam of the Southern California town of Menifee.

A law-enforcement source told the Bay Area News Group late Tuesday afternoon that the shooting may have been fueled by a domestic dispute and that the suspect was targeting a boyfriend, not others who were injured. But in an interview Tuesday night, her father Ismail Aghdam told this news organization his daughter was a vegan activist who was angry with YouTube because the company stopped paying for her content.

The source said the woman had no criminal history in San Mateo County. It’s not yet clear how she was able to pass through stringent lobby security.

In front of a phalanx of news media, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini described how three officers were met with a multitude of fleeing employees at the Cherry Avenue campus when they arrived within two minutes of the 12:46 p.m. emergency call.

“We have one subject who is deceased inside the building with a self-inflicted wound at this time, (who) we believe to be the shooter,” Barberini said within hours of the shooting.

The woman used a handgun, the chief said, but he would not confirm a motive.

He praised YouTube employees, some of whom stopped to care for a shooting victim at the front of the building while officers raced past to find to search for the shooter just before 1 p.m.”

….Continue reading more @ Mercury News

Feinstein linked to ‘fake’ Steele Dossier Scandal | Feb 13 2018

Intriguing Links Emerge In GOP Led Dossier Investigation

|| Daily Caller

“The Republican-led investigation into the infamous anti-Trump dossier has recently revealed several intriguing links between Christopher Steele, lawyers, lobbyists, Democratic politicians, a former State Department official, and a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin.

Most of the revelations come thanks to Sen. Chuck Grassley. The Iowa Republican released a letter in January that cited the names of several political operatives and lawyers who had not previously been linked to the dossier Steele wrote while on the payroll of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

And Thursday, a batch of text messages leaked to Fox News revealed that Steele used a back channel to communicate with Democratic Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum magnate who is allied with Putin, is party to several of the connections. The billionaire has also worked closely in the past with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Steele connections are being investigated by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Grassley chairs, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The implications of the contacts remain to be seen, but they are worth watching as the investigation into the dossier goes on.

Lobbyist back channel between Warner and Steele 

Adam Waldman, a Washington, D.C., lobbyist who works for Deripaska, emerged on the scene out of nowhere last week when Fox News published a batch of text messages he exchanged in 2017 with Warner.

Waldman first approached Warner in March 2017 seeking to discuss a possible extradition deal for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Waldman, who owns Endeavor Law Firm, also represented that he had ties to Steele as well as to Deripaska.

“Chris Steele asked me to call you,” Waldman wrote to Warner on March 17, 2017.

Warner attempted to set up a phone call with Steele and suggested that he wanted to keep the matter a secret from other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. But the negotiations appeared to end in May because Waldman said that Steele was reluctant to meet without a letter signed both by Warner and North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“Seems very weird that he won’t do a call. What wud a letter do to deal with his concerns,” Warner wrote in late April.

Waldman sent several text messages over the following weeks, but Warner did not reply.

Waldman’s relationship to Steele is odd because of his work for Deripaska as well as for Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. (RELATED: Steele’s Back Channel To Democratic Senator Was Lobbyist For Russia’s Foreign Minister)

Deripaska hired Waldman in 2009 to help him with a struggle over his visa, which the State Department revoked in 2006 because of alleged ties to Russian mobsters.

Waldman registered as a foreign agent in 2010 after signing on to work for Lavrov to help with the Deripaska visa problem. That relationship ended in May.

In his texts, Waldman suggested to Warner that he was in touch with the Justice Department regarding Deripaska.

“Deripaska is in London Monday-Thursday and I might be able to arrange a mtg w him too if you wish. I discussed it with him today and he seemed interested,” Waldman wrote.

He also suggested making Deripaska available for an interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee. Those talks later broke down because the committee declined to give Deripaska immunity.

Waldman has not responded to numerous requests for comment about his relationship to Steele.

A second Steele-Warner back channel?  

One name recently linked to the dossier is Daniel Jones, a former investigator for Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein when she chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Jones was named in the January letter that Grassley sent to Clinton campaign and DNC officials seeking communications with a list of people linked to the dossier. Jones, who worked for Feinstein until Dec. 2015, also appears to have links to Steele as well as to Warner.

In his text messages with Warner, Waldman wrote that “[Steele] said he will also speak w Dan Jones whom he says is talking to you.”

“I pointed out there is no privilege in that discussion although Dan is a good and very trustworthy guy,” he added later.

“I encouraged him to engage with you for the sake of the truth and of vindication of the dossier,” added Waldman.

“[Steele] said Dan Jones is coming to see you,” Waldman wrote later. “I suggest you explain to Dan why a call is the necessary first step rather than a letter from your perspective.”

Jones, who operates the Penn Quarter Group, a consulting firm, did not respond to a voice mail or private message on Twitter.”

….Continue reading @ Daily Caller