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Professor Pigworth

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About Professor Pigworth

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    Beer Man
  1. I can answer those three questions for them. 1. It doesn't matter. 2. It doesn't matter. 3. I don't care.
  2. I've seen this movie before. They'll use this as motivation. Pats against the world is how they like it. They'll band together, refocus, reset and proceed to go on a tear.
  3. Oh, but the 13,500 lies are not really lies. Donald is a salesman at heart. So it's just good salesmanship. Salesmen use lots of hyperbole. But it's not the same as lying. Donald has never lied. Right, Sack?
  4. Whoops. So much for that crackpot conspiracy theory. Or could it be that Barr's hand-picked prosecutor was a never-Trumper all along? Meanwhile, Rudy G is over in Kiev still trying to work with the former discredited corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor to help manufacture dirt on the Bidens, which is precisely why Rudy and Donald were in hot water to begin with. Rudy is either incredibly brazen or incredibly desperate, or maybe both. Barr’s Hand-Picked Prosecutor Tells Inspector General He Can’t Back Right-Wing Theory That Russia Case Was U.S. Intelligence Setup The prosecutor hand-picked by Attorney General William P. Barr to scrutinize how U.S. agencies investigated President Trump’s 2016 campaign said he could not offer evidence to the Justice Department’s inspector general to support the suspicions of some conservatives that the case was a setup by American intelligence, people familiar with the matter said. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s office contacted U.S. Attorney John Durham, the prosecutor Barr personally tapped to lead a separate review of the 2016 probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, the people said. The inspector general also contacted several U.S. intelligence agencies. Among Horowitz’s questions: whether a Maltese professor who interacted with a Trump campaign adviser was actually a U.S. intelligence asset deployed to ensnare the campaign, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the inspector general’s findings have not been made public. But the intelligence agencies said the professor was not among their assets, the people said. And Durham informed Horowitz’s office that his investigation had not produced any evidence that might contradict the inspector general’s findings on that point. Spokespeople for the inspector general’s office, Durham and the Justice Department declined to comment. The previously unreported interaction with Durham is noted in a draft of Horowitz’s forthcoming report on the Russia investigation, which concludes that the FBI had adequate cause to launch its Russia investigation, people familiar with the matter said. Its public release is set for Monday. That could rebut conservatives’ doubts — which Barr has shared with associates in recent weeks — that Horowitz might be blessing the FBI’s Russia investigation prematurely and that Durham could potentially find more, particularly with regard to the Maltese professor. The draft, though, is not final. The inspector general has yet to release any conclusions, and The Washington Post has not reviewed Horowitz’s entire report, even in draft form. It is also unclear whether Durham has shared the entirety of his findings and evidence with the inspector general or merely answered a specific question. Trump and his allies have relentlessly criticized the FBI probe, which was taken over by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, as a “witch hunt” and pushed for investigations of those who launched it. They have been eagerly anticipating the release of Horowitz’s report in hopes the watchdog with a nonpartisan reputation might validate their attacks. Barr told CBS News in May that some of the facts he had learned about the Russia case “don’t hang together with the official explanations of what happened.” He declined to be more specific. In response to recent reports about Barr’s skepticism about the forthcoming inspector general report, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement that the watchdog’s investigation “is a credit to the Department of Justice.”“His excellent work has uncovered significant information that the American people will soon be able to read for themselves,” Kupec said. “Rather than speculating, people should read the report for themselves next week, watch the Inspector General’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and draw their own conclusions about these important matters.” Horowitz’s draft report concludes that political bias did not taint how top FBI officials running the investigation handled the case, people familiar with the matter said. But it details troubling misconduct that Trump and his allies are likely to emphasize as they criticize the bureau. In particular, Horowitz’s team found omissions in the FBI’s applications to renew warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, people familiar with the matter said. The applications relied at least in part on information provided by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who was hired to investigate Trump by an opposition research firm working for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Relying on a network of sources and subsources, Steele claimed he had information on connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. He passed that information to the FBI. When FBI agents interviewed one of Steele’s subsources, they found Steele’s information — which he had said was raw intelligence in need of further investigation — was not entirely reliable, people familiar with the matter said. And Horowitz determined in the draft of his report that the FBI failed to convey as much in some of the later applications to surveil Page, the people said. Those omissions, while significant, were apparently not so egregious as to convince Horowitz to conclude that the renewal applications should have been rejected. It would be unusual for the inspector general to sit in judgment over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s determinations, because his job is to review how the information was gathered and presented to the court, not whether the FISA court should have approved or rejected specific applications. Horowitz also found that a low-level FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, doctored an email that was used as part of the warrant application process — potentially significant misconduct that Durham is now exploring as a possible crime, people familiar with the matter said. Clinesmith, who has not responded to inquiries about the inspector general’s findings, is a familiar name to Republicans critical of the FBI. In a previous report on the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, Horowitz found that the lawyer sent messages suggesting a dislike of Trump, including one saying “Viva le resistance.” When questioned by the inspector general about such messages, Clinesmith said that many of them were jokes and that he did not let his political views affect his work. A draft of Horowitz’s report criticizes as careless another low-level FBI agent who had some involvement in the Russia probe, the people said, though the exact reasons for that remain unclear. Horowitz’s report addresses in detail the cause — referred to in law enforcement circles as “predication” — for opening the Russia investigation. The bureau did so after the Australian government passed to the United States a tip that George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign aide, had boasted about Russia having political dirt on Clinton. The boasts came before it was publicly known the Kremlin had hacked Democratic emails and stolen information that might be damaging to Clinton’s campaign. Papadopoulos had been told of the possible dirt by Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor. U.S. officials have long said that they were duty bound to follow up on what seemed to be an alarming tip. The standard for opening an investigation is low. FBI officials need only an “articulable factual basis” to believe there has been possible criminal activity or a threat to national security. U.S. officials suspect that Mifsud has ties to Russian intelligence. Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his interactions with Mifsud, has alleged, though, that he believes Mifsud is some type of Western intelligence asset and that he was set up. People familiar with the matter said Horowitz queried U.S. intelligence agencies to determine whether there was any truth to that claim and found no evidence Mifsud was a U.S. asset. He also reached out to Durham to see whether the prosecutor had found anything that might contradict that assessment, and Durham said he had no such evidence, people familiar with the matter said. Barr has seemed in recent months to take a keen interest in Mifsud, a shadowy figure who last surfaced two years ago for an interview with a reporter in Italy. The attorney general has had private meetings with foreign intelligence officials to ask for their assistance in the Durham investigation, and he has asked the Italian government, in particular, about their knowledge of the professor. Italian officials told him they had no involvement in the matter. It was not immediately clear whether Horowitz has examined possible ties between Mifsud and other Western governments outside the United States, though people familiar with the draft of his report said it does not lend credence to Papadopoulos’s allegation about the professor. Barr could formally object to any of Horowitz’s assertions — though he could not order the independent watchdog to change anything — as the draft of the inspector general’s report is being finalized. In recent weeks, witnesses have given Horowitz input on changes they feel are necessary. The Justice Department typically offers a written response and sometimes objects to the conclusions of its inspector general — though generally that occurs when the watchdog is alleging misconduct and the department feels it has to defend itself, rather than when the inspector general plans to clear the department or the FBI of wrongdoing. Barr also could decline to formally weigh in but publicly air his skepticism later, perhaps in a media interview. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/barrs-handpicked-prosecutor-tells-inspector-general-he-cant-back-right-wing-theory-that-russia-case-was-us-intelligence-setup/2019/12/04/17e084dc-16a9-11ea-9110-3b34ce1d92b1_story.html
  5. There's no putting lipstick on this pig. Of course, you'll try because that's what you do, but your Donald once again made a tremendous fool out of himself, because that's what he does. As for this article link you put up, it doesn't do what I think you think it does: it doesn't make your Donald look any better by relating what the context of the joke was. They were still laughing at Donald the clown. That hasn't changed. It doesn't matter what they were laughing at him about; it only matters that they were laughing at him and ridiculing him. These are shrewd, intelligent, seasoned, real statesmen who know that fake President Donald is in over his head and utterly incompetent. And Trudeau pointedly declined to apologize to Donald. What did you think of this below, later on in the article? Sort of makes you proud of your Donald, doesn't it? I think this helps to illustrate how little respect the world has for him. Business Insider’s Alexandra Ma previously wrote that Trump’s clout on the world stage was severely undermined at the NATO summit as Trudeau seemed to mock him, Macron publicly fact-checked his claims about the Islamic State terrorist group, and Johnson distanced himself from Trump for fear that he would jeopardize his chance in the UK general election this month.
  6. No way. History doesn't always repeat itself. Chances are it'll be wide left.
  7. Donald Trump is a clown in a business suit and long, bright red tie who wants to be taken seriously on the world stage and at home, but almost everything he does and says comes out wrong. I'm not sure if he isn't more clown sad than clown funny these days. Sure, he still gets laughs. He's still funny, though it's always an unintended funniness of course. But he should have retired and gone away to live in a clown retirement home with Koko, Clara, Bozo, Krusty and other has-been clowns years ago. This president-impersonation thing when clowning is his true calling doesn't suit him at all. Still, I have to admit that I'm looking forward to his next pratfall, and I know I don't have long to wait.
  8. Comedy gold. Just listen to yourself and how detached you are from reality and how much you are fully immersed in the fake Trump fairy cult world. If there wasn't something shady that needed to be hidden, then surely Donald wouldn't have gone to such lengths all this time to hide it. What's the old adage? If someone has something to hide, then they hide it. It's as simple as that. And you do like simple-minded platitudes and rhetoric, don't you? It's what attracted you to Donald in the first place.
  9. And a-way we go. Evidence for impeaching US President Donald Trump for misconduct in office is "overwhelming", according to the panel leading the impeachment inquiry. The president placed personal political interests "above the national interests of the United States", it states in a key report to House lawmakers. He tried over months to "solicit foreign interference" from Ukraine to help his 2020 re-election bid, it adds. The report is designed to lay out the case to remove Mr Trump from office. He denies any wrongdoing, and has described the inquiry as a witch-hunt. Before the draft report was released, the Republican president attacked the Democrat-led investigation as "very unpatriotic". Following publication, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the Democrats "utterly failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing" and that the report "reflects nothing more than their frustrations". Among formal impeachment charges expected to be considered are abuse of power, obstruction of justice and contempt of Congress. What does the report say? The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report was made public on Tuesday by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. It says the inquiry "uncovered a months-long effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election". "President Trump's scheme subverted US foreign policy toward Ukraine and undermined our national security in favour of two politically-motivated investigations that would help his presidential re-election campaign," it says. "The president demanded that the newly-elected Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, publicly announce investigations into a political rival that he apparently feared the most, former Vice-President Joe Biden, and into a discredited theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 presidential election." Evidence of misconduct is overwhelming "and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of Congress", the report says. Striking new details Anyone who listened to Adam Schiff's extended, extemporaneous closing statement at the impeachment hearings two weeks ago probably wouldn't be surprised by the summary of the Intelligence Committee report released on Tuesday. Buried within the pages of the 300-page document, however, were some striking new details. The telecommunications company AT&T provided committee investigators with Rudy Giuliani's mobile phone records - and those records shed new light on the timing and breadth the communications Donald Trump's personal lawyer had with the White House. Starting in April of this year, Giuliani had multiple phone conversations with numbers listed for the White House and, in particular, the Office of Management and Budget - the government agency ultimately responsible for putting a hold on the congressionally authorised US military aid to Ukraine. While the details of these communications aren't known, their simple existence undercuts the contention of some presidential defenders that Giuliani was operating independently of senior administration officials. Multiple witnesses, including US Ambassador to the EU Gordan Sondland, have testified that Giuliani was directing them, at the behest of the president, to pressure Ukrainian officials to open investigations that would be politically advantageous for Mr Trump. Now the line between Giuliani and the White House has become more certain. What happens next? The intelligence committee is expected to vote along party lines later on Tuesday to approve its report summing up the evidence against President Trump. The report will then be submitted to the House Judiciary Committee, which will start its own proceedings on Wednesday, hours before Mr Trump is due to return to Washington from the UK. The judiciary panel's hearings will being with four constitutional scholars, who will explain how impeachment works. The White House has refused to participate in the hearings, citing a lack of "fairness". Democrats are keen to hold a vote on impeachment before the end of the year, setting a potential trial in the Senate perhaps as early as January. Trump and impeachment A SIMPLE GUIDE: If you want a basic take, this one is for you GO DEEPER: Here is a 100, 300 and 800-word summary of the story WHAT IS IMPEACHMENT? A political process to remove a president VIEW FROM TRUMP COUNTRY: Reaction from a West Virginia town CONTEXT: Why Ukraine matters to the US FACT-CHECK: Is the whistleblower linked to the Democrats? What are Republicans saying? Before the draft report was made public, House Republicans released their own 123-page report that condemned the "unelected bureaucrats" who testified, saying they "fundamentally disagreed with President Trump's style, world view and decisions". The document accuses Democrats of "trying to undo the will of the American people" and argues that they have been trying to depose the president since his first day in office. "None of the Democrats' witnesses testified to having evidence of bribery, extortion, or any high crime or misdemeanours," it argues, in reference to the constitutional clause that permits the removal of a president. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff dismissed the Republican rebuttal, saying it was "intended for an audience of one", Mr Trump, and "ignores voluminous evidence "against him. In London, where is attending the 70th anniversary of defence alliance Nato, Mr Trump slammed Mr Schiff by name, calling him "a maniac", "a very sick man" and "a deranged human being". What is Trump accused of? Democrats say Mr Trump dangled two bargaining chips to Ukraine - $400m (£309m) of military aid that had already been allocated by Congress, and a White House meeting for Mr Zelensky - to obtain the investigations. They think this political pressure on a vulnerable US ally amounts to an abuse of power. The first investigation Mr Trump wanted from Ukraine was into Mr Biden, his main Democratic challenger, and his son Hunter. Hunter joined the board of a Ukrainian energy company when Joe Biden was US vice-president. The second Trump demand was that Ukraine try to corroborate a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the last US presidential election. This theory has been widely debunked, and US intelligence agencies are unanimous in saying Moscow was behind the hacking of Democratic Party emails in 2016. Ukrainian foreign minister Prystaiko dismissed allegations the country interfered in US election How does impeachment work? Impeachment is the first part - the charges - of a two-stage political process by which Congress can remove a president from office. If, following the hearings, the House of Representatives votes to pass articles of impeachment, the Senate is forced to hold a trial. A Senate vote requires a two-thirds majority to convict and remove the president - unlikely in this case, given that Mr Trump's party controls the chamber. Only two US presidents in history - Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson - have been impeached, but neither was convicted. President Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-50650216
  10. Almost just as funny is the fact that Donald's supporters think he's actually doing a fantastic job "standing up to" Macron and other world leaders by, in effect, farting or blowing raspberries at them. The reality is that Donald is simply once again making a laughingstock out of himself and his gullible supporters that he represents. Meanwhile, Donald's supporters never seem to be the slightest bit bothered by how blatantly their idol always --and I do mean always -- manages to do exactly what his sugar daddy Putin wants. Trump, when he thinks back on all the suckers he scammed throughout his life who either did business with him or who voted for him.
  11. The world is essentially headed toward a cliff and there is precious little time remaining to stop it from happening. Or, if you believe the oil and coal industries, their representatives and the anti-science president, Donald Trump, everything's swell and the massive danger looming is all just a hoax designed to deprive you, enlightened Donald supporters, of your hard-earned money. There's absolutely no chance that you got it wrong, right, Donald supporters? And there's every reason to expect that the millions of future unborn people will praise and thank you for thinking so highly of your short-term economic interests over the future of the earth. An image showing carbon dioxide emissions over the Earth A critical 12 months in the battle against rising temperatures begins in Madrid this week, as UN delegates gather for key talks. The 25th Conference of the Parties, or COP, will see negotiators from almost 200 countries in attendance. Ahead of the meeting the UN secretary general has warned that the world is at the point of no return. António Guterres said the global response to date has been "utterly inadequate". The conference takes place amid a welter of bad news on climate change in recent days. The World Meteorological Organisation announced that greenhouse gas concentrations reached their highest recorded level in 2018. The UN Environment Programme showed that there's a huge gap between the plans that governments currently have on the table to cut emissions and what's needed to keep under 1.5 C. Keeping to that guardrail will need a five-fold increase in the carbon cutting ambitions of countries. The UN Secretary General warned delegates ahead of the meeting "the point of no return was no longer over the horizon". "We simply have to stop digging and drilling and take advantage of the vast possibilities offered by renewable energy and nature-based solutions," Mr Guterres said. As well as demanding that the negotiators increase their level of carbon cutting ambition at this meeting, Mr Guterres announced that the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney will take on the role of UN Special Envoy on climate action and climate finance. Wasn't this meeting supposed to be in Chile? Yes, this annual event, the Conference of the Parties or COP was due to take place in the Chilean capital Santiago this year. It was cancelled by President Sebastián Piñera due to ongoing civil unrest in the country. COP25 CHILEAN PRESIDENCY After a brief flurry of diplomatic activity, Spain said they would step into the void and host the conference, with Chile still leading the diplomatic negotiations. The Spanish argue that it is critical to support a UN process that depends on global co-operation in the face of rising nationalism around the world. "COP25 will reaffirm that multilateralism is the best tool to solve global challenges such as climate change," said Spain's minister for the ecological transition Teresa Ribera. "Neither the UN nor the international community have let the climate agenda fall, despite the challenges to organise this event, because this is a vital moment to drive implementation and action. Spain immediately offered to organise the summit in record time. There is no turning back." What will this gathering achieve? The hope is that this meeting will concentrate the minds of international diplomats on the huge scale of the challenge. Governments have promised to update their climate pledges by 2020, when the COP will be held in Glasgow. But so far, despite the urgings of scientists, major improvements in pledges have been slow to materialise. Many nations have aspirations to carbon neutrality in the long term, but they have been slow to put specific short-term commitments on the table. "Some 70 countries have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050, this must be carried on at Madrid COP," said Sonam Wangdi, the Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group in UN climate change negotiations. "There must be an agreement among us all to do our fair share. If it doesn't happen in Madrid it could be too late for 2020 pledges." The hope for Madrid is that the meeting can avoid major bust ups and keep edging forward. It also has to overcome two possible banana skins - loss and damage, and carbon markets. What is loss and damage, and why is it important? This issue has dogged the negotiations for several years now, but the likelihood is that it will come to a head in Madrid. Loss and damage are the impacts that can't be prevented or adapted to by countries. Extreme weather events like Cyclone Kenneth in Mozambique are said to be examples of loss and damage, say campaigners Some experts consider "loss" to apply to the complete destruction of something such as human lives, habitats and species. "Damage" refers to something that can be repaired, such as roads or buildings. So the examples that are given are rising sea levels which can't be prevented, or storms that are connected to rising temperatures. Back in 2013, under pressure from developing countries, the climate talks set up a special forum to discuss loss and damage. In Madrid the delegates must decide how to progress. Poorer nations want the loss and damage to have teeth within the UN setup, and more importantly, funding. "Everybody has to recognise that there is a need and then there must be a funding window," said Sonam Wangdi from the LDCs. "Once you have that, where the funding comes from is secondary, right now there is no fund." Rich countries fear that the whole question is a way of tying them into paying out for sea level rise and storms for centuries ahead, because the bulk of the carbon in the atmosphere comes from fossil fuels used by the developed world. As the conference starts, 150 environmental groups including climate activists Naomi Klein and Lidy Nacpil have written to ministers calling for adequate funding for loss and damage. They say the combination of climate disasters and debt can prove toxic for developing nations. "The climate crisis has been causing death, despair and displacement in the global south," said Harjeet Singh from Action Aid. "This bullying of the countries hardest hit by climate change, by those that got rich from extracting and consuming fossil fuels, must end now." What about carbon markets - a load of hot air? Hot air is in fact one of the big concerns with the question of carbon markets. In the past richer countries have often paid for carbon reduction projects in poorer nations. The wealthy have then been able to count the carbon saved from these projects against their own emissions. These schemes were discredited amid accusations of fraud and "double counting" where both the poor and the rich countries counted the same emissions reduction as part of their plans. A wind farm in China built with funding from richer countries. The carbon credits created by projects like this are controversial Article six of the Paris agreement set out to reform these carbon markets, recognising that if they were transparent and effective they could really help to raise ambitions. Discussions on how the new arrangements would work were due to be completed in Katowice at the COP last year but they ran into real problems. Brazil resisted all attempts to curtail double counting. Other countries wanted to carry forward carbon credits from older schemes. Some also want to be able to sell or carry forward credits if they overachieve on their existing carbon cutting plans, which observers feel would encourage countries to set a low bar in terms of commitments. Experts often call these types of credits "hot air" as they are more an accounting exercise than a real reduction in carbon dioxide. The amount of "hot air" is huge, running into billions of tonnes of carbon. Experts fear that these could undermine the integrity of the Paris pact if they are allowed to continue. "We believe that these markets will have an impact but they must result in real reductions on the ground," said Sonam Wangdi from the LDCs. "The option is needed and the carbon market is one of the tools - but there needs to be environmental integrity and they need to be transparent and there needs to be real reductions there." Why does Madrid matter if the real deadline is 2020? Trying to get unanimous agreement between almost 200 countries on how to tackle climate change is a really big ask. The agreement that was struck in Paris in 2015 only came about after six long years of snail pace negotiations. It was the deal that diplomats had hoped to strike in the failed Copenhagen COP in 2009. So if the goal is that countries have new promises in place by the end of 2020, Madrid is an important snapshot of what can realistically be achieved. Countries often tend to hold back on their pledges until they see what others are likely to do. Madrid will give a sense of whether there is a willingness from some of the larger countries, like India, China and the EU, to show leadership. "After 30 years of advocacy and optimism, we see COP 25 as the last opportunity to take decisive action," said Ambassador Janine Felson from Belize, the deputy chair of the Alliance of Small Island States. "Anything short of a vastly greater commitment to emission reduction through new national plans that are consistent with our fight for a 1.5 degree world, greater momentum towards honouring outstanding 2020 climate finance commitments, a new climate finance goal suitable for achieving a 1.5 degree world and tangible support for disaster risk reduction and reconstruction in small island and developing states will signal a willingness to accept catastrophe." What about the US - will they play a role? This could be the last year in which a US team will play a part in the negotiations. On 4 November President Trump sent a formal letter to the UN, which has triggered the 12-month countdown to the US pullout. President Trump has kept a campaign promise to his supporters to pull out of the Paris pact The Americans are due to leave on 4 November 2020, one day after the next US presidential election and five days ahead of the critical COP26 in Glasgow. The US has been playing a more truculent role in recent negotiations, joining with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Russia to prevent the conference welcoming a key IPCC report on how the world can keep temperatures under 1.5 C this century. Over the past couple of years the US has also supported side events promoting coal and will likely continue to do so in the future. Even if they do withdraw completely next year, that will only be from the Paris agreement part of the negotiations. The US will still be party to the UN climate convention. It is unlikely they will stop sending teams to the conferences. What about Greta Thunberg - will she make it in time? Just a year ago, Greta Thunberg attended the Katowice COP as a relatively unknown Swedish student who was taking direct action in striking from school for the climate. A year later and she has become a global icon who can get a standing ovation from diplomats by calling out their hypocrisy on rising temperatures. Greta's dedication to the cause has been enhanced by her decision to cross the Atlantic in a yacht to attend the Santiago meeting. Now she is on another boat on her way back to Madrid. She is due to arrive a few days after the start. Her participation and her speech will likely make headlines around the world. Will the meeting give a voice to climate strikers and young people? Conferences like the COP are rooted in a traditional UN diplomatic that requires a unanimous agreement on steps forward. While environmental campaigners and others can observe, there is limited input from young people, school strikers and other voices. Nordic countries are attempting to do something different this year with ministers from Sweden, Finland and Iceland inviting five young people from different countries to take part in discussions with politicians and report back from COP25. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-50588128 Donald Trump, when asked whether he'll be attending the climate talks in Madrid designed to save the earth and help do some actual good in his otherwise amazingly selfish, shallow, money-centric life:
  12. Sondland, in sworn testimony: I can confirm there was definitely a quid pro quo and that the illegal shakedown of the Ukrainians was done at the direction of Donald Trump. What Sack hears: Donald is completely innocent and looks gorgeous with his shirt off.
  13. So, this once again confirms that Donald Trump released the Congressionally approved military aid to a desperate ally at war with Russia only after he was caught in the act. He did this in exchange for ginned-up dirt on his political opponent. That's a bribe. That's illegal. It's a violation of his oath of office. It's clear as day. It's an open-and-shut case. I'm sure that all of Donald's followers here who know right from wrong will join me in expressing their disappointment and disgust with what the mafia president has been getting up to. Trump Knew of Whistle-Blower Complaint When He Released Aid to Ukraine White House lawyers briefed President Trump in late August about the complaint, people familiar with the matter said. WASHINGTON — President Trump had already been briefed on a whistle-blower’s complaint about his dealings with Ukraine when he unfroze military aid for the country in September, according to two people familiar with the matter. Lawyers from the White House counsel’s office told Mr. Trump in late August about the complaint, explaining that they were trying to determine whether they were legally required to give it to Congress, the people said. The revelation could shed light on Mr. Trump’s thinking at two critical points under scrutiny by impeachment investigators: his decision in early September to release $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine and his denial to a key ambassador around the same time that there was a “quid pro quo” with Kyiv. Mr. Trump used the phrase before it had entered the public lexicon in the Ukraine affair. Mr. Trump faced bipartisan pressure from Congress when he released the aid. But the new timing detail shows that he was also aware at the time that the whistle-blower had accused him of wrongdoing in withholding the aid and in his broader campaign to pressure Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to conduct investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump’s re-election chances. The complaint from the whistle-blower, a C.I.A. officer who submitted it to the inspector general for the intelligence community in mid-August, put at the center of that pressure campaign a July 25 phone call between the presidents, which came at a time when Mr. Trump had already frozen the aid to the Ukrainian government. Mr. Trump asked that Mr. Zelensky “do us a favor,” then brought up the investigations he sought, alarming White House aides who conveyed their concerns to the whistle-blower. The White House declined to comment. The whistle-blower complaint, which would typically be submitted to lawmakers who have oversight of the intelligence agencies, first came to light as the subject of an administration tug of war. In late August, the inspector general for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, concluded that the administration needed to send it to Congress. But the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, and his deputy John A. Eisenberg disagreed. They decided that the administration could withhold from Congress the whistle-blower’s accusations because they were protected by executive privilege. The lawyers told Mr. Trump they planned to ask the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel to determine whether they had to disclose the complaint to lawmakers. A week later, the Office of Legal Counsel concluded that the administration did not have to hand over the complaint. It is unclear how much detail the lawyers provided Mr. Trump about the complaint. The New York Times reported in September that White House advisers — namely, Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Eisenberg — knew about the whistle-blower complaint in August. But the specifics of when and how Mr. Trump learned of it have not previously been reported. The whistle-blower, whose identity has not been made public, accused Mr. Trump of abusing his power by inviting a foreign power to interfere on his behalf in the 2020 election. He described the pressure campaign to get Mr. Zelensky to publicly commit to investigations of Democrats that could potentially benefit Mr. Trump and suggested that a temporary hold that the administration had placed on assistance to Ukraine, which is fighting a war against Russian proxy forces, might be related to the effort. New details also emerged on Tuesday about that decision to freeze the security assistance to Ukraine. An official from the White House budget office, Mark Sandy, testified that on July 12, he received an email from the office of the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, notifying him that Mr. Trump had directed that administration officials freeze Ukraine’s military aid. Mr. Trump had enthusiastically sought the investigations for much of the summer. But in early September, he told one of his top diplomats — Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, who helped carry out the shadow policy toward Ukraine — that he was not seeking “a quid pro quo” with the Ukrainian government by withholding the aid. Mr. Sondland said that when he called Mr. Trump to inquire about why the aid had been withheld, an irritated Mr. Trump insisted he was not seeking anything from the Ukrainians. But the president said that he wanted Mr. Zelensky “to do the right thing,” Mr. Sondland testified to Congress last week, suggesting that he was still seeking the investigations into Democrats that could help his political fortunes. There are discrepancies about whether Mr. Sondland spoke to the president on Sept. 7 or 9. The administration lifted the freeze on aid to Ukraine on Sept. 11, as lawmakers’ demands grew. Two days earlier, three Democratic-led House committees had opened an investigation into Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Only days after the president learned of the whistle-blower complaint, he spoke with Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, about the aid holdup. Mr. Johnson sought permission to tell Mr. Zelensky at an upcoming meeting in Ukraine that Mr. Trump had decided to release the security assistance, according to Mr. Johnson. Mr. Trump replied that he was not ready, Mr. Johnson said. He said he asked later on the call whether the aid was linked to some action that the president wanted the Ukrainians to take. “Without hesitation, President Trump immediately denied such an arrangement existed,” Mr. Johnson wrote in a letter this month to House Republicans. Mr. Trump erupted in anger and began cursing, he wrote. “‘No way,’” Mr. Trump said, according to Mr. Johnson. “‘I would never do that. Who told you that?’” The White House has kept a tight hold on details about the actions of Mr. Trump and his senior aides in the Ukraine affair. The president has refused to let top advisers testify in the impeachment inquiry, leaving a void that Republicans have exploited. They argue that the evidence that Democrats have gathered is insufficient because it contains few firsthand accounts linking the president to wrongdoing. But Democrats have not only the transcript of Mr. Trump’s July 25 call but also the testimony of Mr. Sondland, who said Mr. Trump directed him and other top administration officials to maintain pressure on Ukraine. Both Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Eisenberg, who briefed Mr. Trump in late August about the whistle-blower complaint, had been following up on other complaints by administration officials about the Ukraine matter since early July. Mr. Cipollone had suggested to Mr. Eisenberg in July that he tell Mr. Trump that White House staff members had raised concerns about a shadow Ukraine policy. Mr. Eisenberg, who does not typically brief Mr. Trump, never followed up on the suggestion. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/26/us/politics/trump-whistle-blower-complaint-ukraine.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage
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