CNN Airs ‘Spy Cam’ Footage Of Trump Oval Office Meeting As If It’s Perfectly Acceptable

Over the weekend, CNN released ‘spy cam’ footage of a “fiery” meeting in the oval office and used it to report that an angry President Trump lashed out at his senior staff in an “expletive-laced” tirade over their “fumbling” of the Sessions recusal which he thought was premature and overshadowed his speech to Congress.   

Of course, while the mainstream media was all too eager to spread the word of more dysfunction in the Trump White House, no one seemed to care to ask the obvious question of why it is suddenly ok for CNN to be filming private, and potentially classified, meetings in the Oval Office.  Moreover, if it is somehow permissible to film potentially classified meetings, which we can’t imagine it is, we do wonder where all of CNN’s footage is of Obama’s oval office meetings?  We’re sure they “do not recall.”


Meanwhile, it’s painfully obvious that CNN completely fabricated the narrative around the meeting as their own ‘news’ anchor even admits that their “anonymous” sources were not aware of what the meeting was even about.  Moreover, since the meeting was ‘closed door’, it’s difficult to understand how CNN’s source could have possibly known Trump’s demeanor and/or whether he used “a lot of expletives”, as the story states, unless that source was actually in the meeting.

That said, here is the narrative that CNN linked to the meeting:  

President Donald Trump is extremely frustrated with his senior staff and communications team for allowing the firestorm surrounding Attorney General Jeff Sessions to steal his thunder in the wake of his address to Congress, sources tell CNN.


“Nobody has seen him that upset,” one source said, adding the feeling was the communications team allowed the Sessions news, which the administration deemed a nonstory, to overtake the narrative.


On Thursday, Sessions recused himself from any current or future investigations into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign after it was reported he had met with the Russian ambassador to the US, something he had previously failed to disclose.


In particular, the renewed focus on Russia is seen as a major letdown after Tuesday when top officials were riding high, congratulating one another on Trump’s speech to Congress.


“The staff fumbled,” Trump told the team for not being prepared when the Sessions story came out, according to another source.


When the President returned to the White House Thursday evening from a day trip to Virginia, there were “a lot of expletives.” The source said for more than a week Trump had been lamenting that his senior staff “just keep getting in their own way.”

Meanwhile, just a couple of hours after the Oval Office meeting, Trump tweeted his now infamous accusations that Obama ordered the tapping of his Trump Tower phone lines.

Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017

Is it legal for a sitting President to be “wire tapping” a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017

I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017

How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017


So, just to summarize, in the end, all CNN really revealed was that i) they have a spy cam setup to film the oval office and ii) Steve Bannon pointed his finger at someone. Yet another great piece of ‘fake news’ courtesy of CNN.

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In Russia, Women’s Day piles on the pressure for men

Tue, 2017-03-07

MOSCOW: In offices across Russia, the countdown to International Women’s Day is a whirl of last-minute meetings and dashes for gifts as men race to prepare festivities for their female colleagues.
“We’ve sent out loads of emails, we’ve analyzed the market, we’ve pooled ideas, and we’ve just got one more meeting ahead of the launch of Operation Women’s Day today,” confided Sergei Krakhmalyev, who works at Rosbank, a major Russian bank.
“This year we’ve decided not to spend money on gifts that are useless, shall we say, but to organize a buffet,” he said.
Krakhmalyev, who is in his 40s, works in a team of eight men and 35 women. He calculates that this year’s celebration will cost about 25,000 rubles ($430).
“It’s expensive,” he says, “but it’s a Soviet tradition that I think it’s important to keep up.”
A public holiday in the Soviet Union since 1965, March 8 is an opportunity for Russian men to “remember the importance of women” in society, he says.
International Women’s Day is also a public holiday, so office celebrations are held the day before.
This year’s events are expected to be relatively low-key in comparison to the oil-boom years, when many companies spared no expense.
“The company used to allocate a big budget for this holiday and took as many as 500 women out to a restaurant,” recalled Irina, who works in human resources at a major Russian company.
“That was before the 2008 economic crisis,” said Irina, 40, who asked not to disclose her surname. “Now the men have a whip-round to buy us flowers and chocolates.”
Nevertheless the holiday “cheers up the atmosphere in the team,” she said.
In Russia, it is also widely seen as a counterpart to the Day of the Defender of the Fatherland, on Feb. 23, which is nominally for those who served in the army but is considered the male equivalent.
In offices, this holiday is often an occasion for celebrations that take an unreconstructed approach to gender roles.
“This year we organized a fake army recruitment drive” for the defender holiday, Irina said. “We gave our colleagues a medical and some of us were dressed up as sexy nurses.”
“Now the men are under pressure. They have to try to do better than us, even if we know that’s impossible,” she added with a smile.
Some men, however, including Vitaly Konyayev, a project manager in the southern Russian city of Saratov, find it hard to get into the holiday spirit.
“This year my colleagues didn’t give me anything for Feb. 23, so they can whistle for a gift on March 8,” he said.
The March 8 holiday “only means something if you give flowers to a woman you love and respect — not those you are forced to rub along with at work,” he said.
He complained that he had to pay almost 1,000 rubles for a bunch of flowers for the holiday, which brings a bonanza for florists.
Flower prices often double ahead of the March 8 holiday — and orders double as well, said Florence Gervais d’Aldin, a French flower grower and importer who has worked in Russia for more than 20 years.
Her business, which specializes in scented roses, sells more than 8,000 roses on March 7 and 8, compared with her usual sales of 600 per day.
“It’s a day for mothers, for sweethearts, for colleagues, all together,” Gervais d’Aldin said, with its popularity “far higher” than that of St Valentine’s Day, on Feb. 14.
The stress of organizing a celebration for female counterparts starts early, with boys in elementary school expected to throw celebrations for the girls in their class.
Sasha Kuznetsov, 11, has put together a program of cakes, balloons, greeting cards and even a concert.
“I think this holiday should exist, but it shouldn’t be celebrated in such a pompous way,” he said.
“In any case, soon it will be pointless because women’s rights will be respected,” he added.
For foreigners working in Russia, the full-on approach is a culture shock, said Samuel, a French national working for Sberbank, the country’s biggest lender.
“Russians get used to this holiday from childhood, but for us, it’s always a bit strange,” he said.
He found himself designated a “volunteer” to organize this year’s celebrations, a role that he said requires “endless meetings and spreadsheets.” Last year, the party ended up costing more than 150,000 rubles.
“For my Russian colleagues, it’s a time to make a gesture,” he said. “Even if it is often corny and some things would make a French woman scream.”

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World marks Women’s Day with rights under attack

Tue, 2017-03-07

PARIS: No self-congratulations but calls to action will mark many celebrations of the 40th International Women’s Day on Wednesday, as the fight for equality faces new threats.
Murders of women in Latin America, anti-abortion movements in Europe, and machismo talk from men in power are among the growing concerns that have brought millions of women into the streets of world capitals these past few months to defend their rights.
“March 8 is not only to commemorate suffragettes and to celebrate successes from the past, but more to reflect on the present situation,” said Barbara Nowacka, a Polish politician and representative of the committee “Save Women.”
“There is still a lot to do concerning women’s role in the labor market, society, politics,” she told AFP ahead of the global day highlighting women’s rights started by the UN in 1977.
Some recent developments have feminists worried about such key issues as abortion rights, pay equity and gender-based violence.
In Nowacka’s own country, the ruling conservative party is trying to curtail laws on abortion rights, already among the most restrictive in Europe — one of several signs of rising anti-abortion movements across the continent.
These groups “are uniting, are very present on social media and have political weight,” said Christine Mauget, in charge of international matters at France’s Family Planning agency.
“In 2017, there is still a major problem of machismo,” Mauget added. “It is difficult to move things forward, but we try to prevent them from going backward.”
The worries about women’s rights in the face of sexist male attitudes were on display in the huge women’s marches following the inauguration of US President Donald Trump in late January.
Two million women took to the streets in cities around the globe, especially in Washington, where protesters in pink “pussy hats” voiced their opposition to Trump’s policies and his sometimes sexist and vulgar comments about women seen on videotape during the campaign.
Two days after those marches, Trump acted on his anti-abortion stance when, surrounded by male advisors, he signed a decree banning the financing of international charities that support abortions.
“The problem isn’t abortion but unwanted pregnancies,” said Mauget, calling for more extensive sex education to help prevent such circumstances.
When it comes to women’s pocketbooks, the long-running struggle for equal pay still has a way to go.
Worldwide, women earn on average 23 percent less than men. At that pace it would take 70 years to close the gap, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).
The statistics are also dire regarding violence against women.
According to the UN, about 35 percent of women around the world have been victims of physical or sexual violence. Some 200 million women and girls have been subjected to a form of genital mutilation and 700 million have been married before the age of 18.
All over Latin America in October the movement #NiUnaMenos (“Not one less”) rose up against “femicide” and abuse of women after the brutal murder in Argentina of a teenage girl who was drugged and gang raped.
Ariadna Estevez, a university researcher in Mexico, described the mass women’s movement as “a wake-up call” in the region.
For activists such as Nowacka, the message for women standing up for their rights is: “We feel anger, but we know we are not powerless.”

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Never too late: Elderly Indian women go to school for first time

Tue, 2017-03-07

PHANGANE, India: A little before 2 p.m. each day, when residents of Phangane village in India’s Maharashtra state usually take a quick nap in the heat of the day, elderly women in bright pink sarees head towards a colorful hut, clutching satchels and plastic bags.
Inside the hut, festooned with streamers and flowers, the women gingerly sit cross-legged on cotton rugs on the mud floor, and pull out slates, notebooks, chalk and pencils. Minutes later, a younger woman leads them in a prayer song before they begin reciting the Marathi alphabet after her.
The Aajibaichi Shala, or grandmothers’ school, is perhaps the only one in India for uneducated, elderly women. Set up by a charitable trust and Yogendra Bangar, a teacher at the village’s primary school, the school teaches the women to read and write, and basic arithmetic.
“These women did not have the opportunity to study when they were young,” said Bangar.
“It’s not as if they want to go to college or work in an office now. But they do want to be able to read and write, and sign their names, like everyone else in their families.”
Literacy levels in India have steadily risen over the past decades as the economy expanded and greater emphasis was placed on education. But women still lag behind men, particularly in rural areas, where girls are often not sent to class or are pulled out after primary school so they can work at home or in the fields.
While 79 percent of India’s rural men are literate, the rate for women is only 59 percent, according to official data.
Aajibaichi Shala was set up last year for women over 60 to mark the International Women’s Day on March 8. It was first run out of the home of the woman who was the sole teacher, 30-year-old Sheetal More.
The opening day was celebrated like a festival, with entire families accompanying the women to their first day of school, More said. Since then, classes have been moved to a purpose-built hut in her backyard, in the shade of a large mango tree.
“At first I was a bit nervous about teaching such elderly women. Even my mother-in-law comes to class,” said More, who has finished high school.
“But they are all so eager, and behave just like little children in class. Every other teacher teaches children; only I have the opportunity to teach elderly women,” she said.
There is little to distinguish Phangane from other villages in the western state, one of India’s wealthiest.
About 120 km (75 miles) from the bustling financial hub of Mumbai, the village of 70 families is a tidy enclave, with clean mud roads and brick homes divided by fences and gardens.
During the day, women go about their chores, cleaning, cooking and tending to the livestock and young grandchildren.
About 30 women aged 60 to 90 years attend classes for two hours in the afternoon, six days a week. In the past year, they have learned the Marathi alphabet, numbers and can write their names, Bangar said.
The women, including More, wear fuchsia sarees to class to replicate the experience of wearing a school uniform, he said.
“I like going to the school — I have learned to write my name and I have learned the alphabet,” said Kamal Keshav Tupange, 68, as she washed clothes on a slab of stone.
“My knees hurt, so I can’t sit on the floor for long; that’s the only problem. But I still go every day,” said Tupange, who was married at the age of 12 and had never been to school.
It is a similar story with most other elderly women in the village. Most did not go to school as children, and were married at a young age.
While the legal age for marriage for women in India is 18 years, nearly half the women are married earlier even now, according to the U.N.’s children’s agency, Unicef.

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Great Expectations (Not)

Via Howard Kunstler of,

Halloween’s coming super-early this year and it will be a shocking surprise to those currently busy looking for Russians behind every potted plant in Washington DC. First, accept the premise that your country has lost its mind.

This is what happens when societies (and individuals) can’t face the true quandaries of a particular moment in their history. All of their attention gets channeled into fantasy: spooks, sexual freakery, conspiracies, persecution narratives, savior fairy tales. It’s been quite a cavalcade of unreality for the past six months, with great entertainment value for connoisseurs of the bizarre — until you’re reminded that the fate of the nation is at stake.

The questions Americans might more profitably ask ourselves: can we continue living the way we do? And by what means? These matters of home economics have been sequestered in some forgotten storage unit of the collective mind for at least a year while a clock ticks in the time-bomb that sits on the national welcome mat. That bomb is made of financial plutonium and it’s getting ready to blow. When it does, all the distracting spookery and freakery will vaporize and the shell-shocked citizens will have a clear view of the bleak, toxic, devastated landscape they actually inhabit.

March 15 is when the temporary suspension of the national debt ceiling — engineered in a 2015 deal between Barack Obama and then House Speaker John Boehner — finally expires, meaning the government loses its authority to continue borrowing money. The chance that congress can pass a bill raising the debt ceiling to enable further borrowing is about the same as the chance that Xi Jinping will send every American household a dim sum breakfast next Sunday morning by FedEx. The US treasury will then be left with around $200 billion in walking-around money, at a burn rate of about $90 billion a month — meaning that that around June sometime the country won’t be able to pay invoices, issue salaries, send out entitlement checks, or do anything, really. It means pure government paralysis. It means no infrastructure spending jamboree, no “great” wall, no military shopping spree, none of the Great Expectations sewn into the golden fleece of Trumptopia.

Meanwhile, over the next few weeks, Janet Yellen and her crew of economic astrologasters at the Federal Reserve will have to put up or shut up vis-à-vis raising the interest rate on the basic overnight lending rate. The Las Vegas odds of it being raised currently stand at around 95 percent. So, they will be running that play around the time that the debt ceiling issue materializes into a live-action event. Of course, the Fed could welsh on its carefully-scripted previous hints and utterances and do nothing. But that option would probably extinguish the last remaining shreds of the Fed’s credibility, since they’ve been jive-talking about raising rates since they began “tapering” the QE bond-buying spree in the spring of 2013, i.e., a long time ago. The Fed’s credibility is synonymous with the dollar’s credibility. Look out below.

If those 95 percent odds are correct, the end of all that lovely cheap money will be the death of the Trumphoria stock market zoom as all algo hell breaks loose in Wall Street’s server farms and the trend is no longer anyone’s friend. Enter, stage left, the unintended consequences and diminishing returns of computer technology ripping apart the financial expectations of every banking official from Shanghai to 20th Street and Constitution Avenue. The American public will be left out in the parking lot with its head spinning.

So, enjoy the last few weeks of artificial Russia hysteria and LBGTQ bathroom neurosis. You’ll have other things to think about as the daffodils come peeping through the garden loam – like what to use for money to buy stuff if, perchance, the ATM machines go to lockdown, and anyway, after three days of that there won’t even be anything to buy (or steal)  at the local supermarket, given the fragility of our supply chains. I know this sounds a little extreme, like Zombie Apocalypse, but you won’t actually see any zombies around. They were just part of the perpetual freak show of the mind that is being shoved aside for the starker theatrics of reality.

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Oil Price, Sanctions Weigh On Russian Stocks, Moscow Unfazed

When Donald Trump won the presidential vote last year there was an outcry from his opponents due to his alleged close ties with the Russian government. Many believed that Trump would be quick to remove U.S. economic sanctions against Russia, thus stimulating economic growth in the country and making it more daring territorially. This has not happened and is unlikely to happen, as is becoming increasingly obvious. The sanctions have remained, and so have low oil prices, pressuring Russia’s growth and stock market. These two factors are seen…

Electricity Consumption Continues To Fall

Electricity sales in 2016 fell, the sixth year in the past ten in which America’s electricity users managed to do with less. Industrial firms made the sharpest cuts in their electricity usage. Their consumption fell in seven of the past ten years. The 1.3 percent drop in total consumption in 2016 looks small but it comes despite economic growth and lower real price of electricity. Okay, economic growth has not been robust and the real decline in price small, but electric sales always used to go up when the price of electricity declined and…

Trump’s Closest Advisers Spend Millions On Washington Real Estate

It’s not just the Obamas that are moving into swanky mansions across Washington D.C.. This last weekend saw two $12-million-plus homes sold in the D.C. area with realtors noting “Trump’s bringing people from outside a local market…and they’re coming from a much more expensive market.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is the buyer who shelled out $12.6 million for a nine-bedroom home overlooking Rock Creek Park.

As The Washington Business Journal’s Sara Gilmore reports, this is just the latest in the string of multimillion dollar home sales fueled by Trump administration officials.

Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs official, bought the house Feb. 14, according to real estate sources. Public records list the buyer as Rock Creek Drive Revocable Trust. Washingtonian reported in January that Mnuchin had a home under contract but the exact location wasn’t known.

The sale was followed three days later by the $12 million sale of a home at 9641 Georgetown Pike in Great Falls.

One sale at that level is rare for D.C. in any month, let alone two.

“Trump is certainly an outsider and he’s bringing people from outside a local market,” said Michael Rankin with Sotheby’s International Realty in D.C., “and they’re coming from a much more expensive market.”

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