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Russian Hackers Blackmailing Liberal Groups

They are not sure that the hackers involved are state sponsored… But it seems likely the Russians are continuing to help the Chumph.

Russian Hackers Said to Seek Hush Money From Liberal Groups

Russian hackers are targeting U.S. progressive groups in a new wave of attacks, scouring the organizations’ emails for embarrassing details and attempting to extract hush money, according to two people familiar with probes being conducted by the FBI and private security firms.

At least a dozen groups have faced extortion attempts since the U.S. presidential election, said the people, who provided broad outlines of the campaign. The ransom demands are accompanied by samples of sensitive data in the hackers’ possession.

In one case, a non-profit group and a prominent liberal donor discussed how to use grant money to cover some costs for anti-Trump protesters. The identities were not disclosed, and it’s unclear if the protesters were paid.

At least some groups have paid the ransoms even though there is little guarantee the documents won’t be made public anyway. Demands have ranged from about $30,000 to $150,000, payable in untraceable bitcoins, according to one of the people familiar with the probe.

Cozy Bear

Attribution is notoriously difficult in a computer attack. The hackers have used some of the techniques that security experts consider hallmarks of Cozy Bear, one of the Russian government groups identified as behind last year’s attack on the Democratic National Committee during the presidential election and which is under continuing investigation. Cozy Bear has not been accused of using extortion in the past, though separating government and criminal actors in Russia can be murky as security experts say some people have a foot in both worlds.

The Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank with strong links to both the Clinton and Obama administrations, and Arabella Advisors, which guides liberal donors who want to invest in progressive causes, have been asked to pay ransoms, according to people familiar with the probes.

The Center for American Progress declined a pre-publication request for comment. “CAP has no evidence we have been hacked, no knowledge of it and no reason to believe it to be true. CAP has never been subject to ransom,” Allison Preiss, a spokeswoman for the center, said in a statement Monday morning.

It’s unclear whether Arabella is part of the same campaign as the other dozen groups, according to one of the people familiar with the probes, but the tactics and approach are similar.

If the Arabella attack came from a different group, multiple criminals could be lifting a page from Russia’s hacking of the 2016 campaign, attempting to leverage the reputational damage that could be inflicted on political organizations by exposing their secrets.

“Arabella Advisors was affected by cyber crime,” said Steve Sampson, a spokesman for the firm, which lists 150 employees operating in four offices. “All facts indicate this was financially motivated.’’…

The Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to comment when asked about the latest hacks. It is continuing to investigate Russia’s attempts to influence the election and any possible connections to Trump campaign aides. Russian officials have repeatedly denied any attempt to influence the election or any role in related computer break-ins.

“I would be cautious concluding that this has any sort of Russian government backing,” said John Hultquist, director of cyber espionage analysis at FireEye Inc., after the outline of the attacks was described to him. “Russian government hackers have aggressively targeted think tanks, and even masqueraded as ransomware operations, but it’s always possible it is just another shakedown.”

 

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Intelligence Report Alleges Secret Trump-Kremlin Meetings – Blackmail

The Buzzfeed News Service released a report yesterday, allegedly produced by a former British Intelligence officer on the Kremlin-Trump dealings. The report has not been corroborated (at least publicly) by US Intelligence agencies yet. While the report agrees in several areas with the US Intelligence reports, it goes further and makes several devastating accusations including that the FSB (New KGB) had used videos of Trump engaging in unusual sexual activities with groups of Russian prostitutes, and the Trump’s Attorney had met at least once secretly with the FSB to coordinate the release of leaks damaging to Clinton. It goes on to say that Trump’s staff was in frequent contact with the FSB in planning dis-information being planted in the America media.

It is important to note – no one has independently verified the new information in the report – and as such it could be fake.However, those researching the report have been unable to prove to this point any of the assertions made are false, either. US Intelligence felt that the report was significant enough they briefed President Obama on it.

The report does follow, and expand upon intelligence data already made public. As we know, some intelligence gathered by US Intelligence Agencies has not been made public.

The “errors” in the report seem to amount to nothing more than typos.

A full copy of the report is available here.

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These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia

A dossier, compiled by a person who has claimed to be a former British intelligence official, alleges Russia has compromising information on Trump. The allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors.

A dossier making explosive — but unverified — allegations that the Russian government has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” President-elect Donald Trump for years and gained compromising information about him has been circulating among elected officials, intelligence agents, and journalists for weeks.

The dossier, which is a collection of memos written over a period of months, includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians. BuzzFeed News reporters in the US and Europe have been investigating various alleged facts in the dossier but have not verified or falsified them. CNN reported Tuesday that a two-page synopsis of the report was given to President Obama and Trump.

Now BuzzFeed News is publishing the full document so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.

The document was prepared for political opponents of Trump by a person who is understood to be a former British intelligence agent. It is not just unconfirmed: It includes some clear errors. The report misspells the name of one company, “Alpha Group,” throughout. It is Alfa Group. The report says the settlement of Barvikha, outside Moscow, is “reserved for the residences of the top leadership and their close associates.” It is not reserved for anyone, and it is also populated by the very wealthy.

The Trump administration’s transition team did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment. However, the president-elect’s attorney, Michael Cohen, told Mic that the allegations were absolutely false.

“It’s so ridiculous on so many levels,” he said. “Clearly, the person who created this did so from their imagination or did so hoping that the liberal media would run with this fake story for whatever rationale they might have.”

And Trump shot back against the reports a short time later on Twitter.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2017 in Second American Revolution, The Clown Bus

 

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More Corruption and Thuggery – Trump Tries to Force Country to Use His Hotel

Want an appointment with the Chumph? Pay $1 million to his kids, or schedule a major event at his hotel. The Four Seasons is one of the best Hotels in DC with an absolutely “killer” chef. It isn’t for the weak of wallet, or faint of plastic though. Moving from the Four Seasons to the Trump Hotel is like moving from the Ritz to a Motel 6.

Conflict of interest, corruption, and profiteering is supposedly against the law.

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Four Seasons Banquet

Kuwait cancels event because of pressure to move to Trump hotel

The Embassy of Kuwait allegedly cancelled a contract with a Washington, D.C. hotel days after the presidential election, citing political pressure to hold its National Day celebration at the Trump International Hotel instead.

A source tells ThinkProgress that the Kuwaiti embassy, which has regularly held the event at the Four Seasons in Georgetown, abruptly canceled its reservation after members of the Trump Organization pressured the ambassador to hold the event at the hotel owned by the president-elect. The source, who has direct knowledge of the arrangements between the hotels and the embassy, spoke to ThinkProgress on the condition of anonymity because the individual was not authorized to speak publicly. ThinkProgress was also able to review documentary evidence confirming the source’s account.

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Chumph Motel 6 in DC

ThinkProgress reported late Monday that employees of the president-elect’s private business interests were ultimately successful in their campaign to pressure Kuwait into moving its National Day celebration to the Trump International Hotel from the Four Seasons, where the event has been held annually for years. According to an anonymous source with knowledge of the arrangements and documentary evidence reviewed by the news site, the decision to move the event to Trump’s hotel was a result of “political pressure” by the Trump Organization:

In the early fall, the Kuwaiti Embassy signed a contract with the Four Seasons. But after the election, members of the Trump Organization contacted the Ambassador of Kuwait, Salem Al-Sabah, and encouraged him to move his event to Trump’s D.C. hotel, the source said.

Kuwait has now signed a contract with the Trump International Hotel, the source said, adding that a representative with the embassy described the decision as political. Invitations to the event are typically sent out in January.

This comes after the Trump International Hotel hosted some 100 foreign diplomats for a reception in mid-November, according to The Washington Post. The Embassy of Bahrain also hosted a reception at Trump’s hotel on Dec. 7.

Aside from the obvious conflict of interest concerns these arrangements elicit, it may be a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Trump’s hotel inside D.C.’s historic Post Office Pavilion is actually owned by the federal government. A group of Democratic House lawmakers recently warned that Trump would breach his 60-year hotel lease with the federal government “the moment he takes office” unless he fully divests his interests in it.

 
 

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Couple Buys Car at Auction, Discovers it Was Stolen & Turns it in to Police…Gets arrested.

You buy a car at auction and have it towed home. When it arrives the Tow Truck Driver tells you the car is stolen because of the VIN Number. Being a good citizen, you call the Police, and turn the car over to the Police…For which they arrest you for car theft!

Clayton County, Georgia police officer  Grant Kidd (WSB-TV)

BUSTED: Georgia cop caught extorting couple wrongfully arrested after turning in stolen car

Clayton County, Georgia police officer was fired and placed under investigation after he was caught on an audio recording telling a local couple he could make their arrest “go away,” WSB-TV reported.

The recording by Michael and Michelle Pierce captures former Officer Grant Kidd telling the couple he knew someone in the local district attorney’s office that could help them with their case. For $1,500, he said — $1,000 up front — Kidd would act as a go-between to get the charges against them dismissed.

“You’ll never see him,” Kidd said of his unidentified contact. “You ain’t never going to talk to him.”

The Pierces were arrested and charged with stealing a car they had already turned in to police. According to WSB, the couple originally bought the Toyota Corolla for $1,700 at an auction. After paying for the car, however, a tow truck driver informed them that the vehicle’s identification number showed that it had been stolen.

The couple then notified police and turned the car in, only to get it back three days later when officials returned it. However, police once again impounded the car — with the Pierces’ consent — after a detective said it was wrongfully released to them.

A day later, however, they were arrested inside their thrift store and accused of stealing the car.

“They just threw the cuffs on me and put me in the back of the car,” Michelle Pierce said. “That was the worst thing.”

Shortly after their arrest, Kidd approached the couple and offered his help — for a price. The charges against the Pierces were later dismissed, while their attorney contacted District Attorney Tracy Lawson. Lawson then turned the investigation against Kidd over to federal officials.

Kidd’s former police chief, Michael Register, told WSB the recording captured “a conversation from my standpoint that just turns your stomach.”

Meanwhile, the couple is planning a civil suit.

“Instances such as this undermine public trust and confidence in our judicial system,” said Darryl Scott, who will represent them in the matter. “Their sense of security has been violated, and they did exactly what they were supposed to do by contacting law enforcement and it backfired.”

 

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2016 in American Greed, BlackLivesMatter

 

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The Not so Sting – At NPR

I watched this video, which is currently making the right wing outrage circuit – and I find it hard to be upset at the NPR executives.

They are telling the truth. The Tea Party is racist. The best thing that could happen is for NPR to be able to get off of the small subsidy provided by the Government. And quite frankly, I see no difference between the Republican Party today, and what the Republicans accuse the Muslim Brotherhood of.  Simply domestic terrorism versus the threat of foreign terrorism.

Indeed,  being a businessman who doesn’t like my time being wasted – I feel that NPR should sue Mr O’Keefe and Veritas for wasting their executives time. NPR is probably too chickenshit to do it – which is the problem in this country. The forces of fairness, progressivism, and any sort of intellectual honesty in this country aren’t smacking these right wing scumbags in the teeth with a 2 x 4 …

Yet. Although Wisconsin is becoming a shining beacon of hope.

Insofar as the Jewish owned or influenced media in this country, that is true. It isn’t an evil thing, or a bad thing – it is a minority which has been very successful at advancing their issues and supporting their ideas relative to Israel. You want to change that view to more pro-Islamic, or pro China, or pro anything – then you have to invest in American Media – whether through training and developing higher caliber news people and reporters, or by buying networks like Faux to propagandize whatever you want to sell as Murdoch did.

It’s one of the reasons Russia TV and Al Jazeera are now more trusted names worldwide than any of the American News media. Our Media is for sale to the highest bidder, often to say whatever they are paid to say, courtesy of Faux.

I think the folks quitting their jobs at NPR is utterly bullshit – and wish they would stand up to this type of sleazy blackmail.

 

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Of Pirates, Wisconsin Republican Governors, and Whack Jobs – Blackmail

Apparently the Wisconsin Governor is down to threatening to metaphorically kill hostages if he doesn’t get his way. Not much difference between Scott Walker and a Somali Pirate…

Somali Pirate...

Republican Scott Walker...One's a Thug on the High Seas, the Other on Land.

Wisconsin governor tells absent senators: Return or 1,500 get laid off

Gov. Scott Walker warned that Wisconsin could take steps Friday to lay off 1,500 state workers — unless 14 absent lawmakers return to the state Capitol.

The lawmakers fled to Illinois to prevent a quorum for voting on the state’s budget repair bill, which would limit collective bargaining to wages and require public workers, with the exception of police and firefighters, to cover more of their retirement plans and health care premiums.

Walker has said the measure is needed to get the state’s financial house in order.

He said Thursday night that the state would “have a legal and moral obligation to start forewarning people” of impending layoffs if the legislators did not return to the Capitol at once to vote on the measure. He warned the state could send layoff notices before the weekend.

The layoffs would take effect April 1, Walker said.

Well… If this scam fails – I guess Walker can try fellow Whack-job Warren Jeffs’ routine!

Free Me, or Face Doomsday: Warren Jeffs

What conservatives mean by alternate energy...

Polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs declares that doomsday is imminent in a rambling document he claims is a revelation from the Lord.

The nine-page copyrighted document promises deadly, catastrophic events if the self-proclaimed prophet is not released from jail in Texas, where he awaits trial.

“Let this nation know I am with my people, and shall sweep the wicked from the face of the Land of America,” it states.

Passages indicate that deadly storms and earthquakes can be expected “soon.”

Jeffs, 55, heads the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), a sect that practices polygamy and is based in an isolated border area of northern Arizona and southern Utah about 150 miles from Las Vegas.

The bizarre document, written and numbered in biblical style, is titled “A Warning to the Nation — A Petition to the President of the United States of America.”

His brother Lyle Jeffs and Vaughn Taylor, high-ranking members of the FLDS, signed off on the document as witnesses “to the word of the Lord” received and delivered by Warren Jeffs.

Various media outlets have reported that the document has been mailed to President Barack Obama, members of Congress and federal officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

 

 

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The Al Qaeda 7 Smear

If you notice who Faux News selected as the person “who did more to defend terrorists”…

You get the picture.

Also note that the comment from Eric Holder was from 6/13/2008 – 7 months before he became the AG.

This one is so foul, even Republicans are having heartburn with it –

Conservatives Turn Against Liz Cheney – As Bad As McCarthy

The backlash is growing against Liz Cheney after she demonized Department of Justice attorneys as terrorist sympathizers for their past legal work defending Gitmo detainees — and now it’s coming from within deeply conservative legal circles.

On Friday, the conservative blog Power Line put up a post titled, “An Attack That Goes Too Far.” Author Paul Mirengoff, called Cheney’s effort to brand DoJ officials the “Al Qaeda 7,” “vicious” and “unfounded” even if it was right to criticize defense lawyers for voluntarily doing work on behalf of Gitmo detainees.

Reached on the phone, Mirengoff offered an even sharper rebuke, contrasting what Cheney is doing to the anti-communist crusades launched by Sen. Joseph McCarthy and, in some respects, finding it worse. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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