Jeb Burned Through 120 Million Dollars in Six Months, Donors Now Furious. Trump Has Spent Almost Nothing, Leads by a Landslide.

Jeb raised more money than any other candidate running on either side last year. Then he burned through every bit of it in six months and never placed above 5-6% in any primary. What a colossal waste of donor money. What a final heartbreak for Mitt Romney as well. Romney might have run one last time, but Jeb’s people flew out west last year and bought him off then bought all his former campaign staff last summer to come work for Jeb. Can’t Buy me Love, Jeb. [ Exclamation point now turned upside down 😦 ]

The word “decadence” is not a word one usually associates with the business of running for president. But I think it might apply when looking at the Jeb Bush 2016 presidential campaign. This campaign season is shattering almost all establishment notions about presidential elections. Nothing that held true in the past is holding water, or holding anything at all this year. A complete political outsider with zero campaign experience, who is spending almost NO money, is turning the entire process into a textbook clinic on how to upset the status quo and shake the foundations of the GOP: Donald Trump.

In so doing, Trump is also giving the nation a really good look at his general day to day fiscal disposition overall. The common sense frugality of his campaign spending is not just laudable, it’s outstanding. He’s teaching the entire nation a lesson on how to run for president – as well as pointing out how NOT to run for president.  It’s not right to try to “buy your way in” and we all know that. But they have been doing for decades. Is it possible that the dirty rotten money machine behind American presidential elections might finally have a crack in it’s engine block? I hope so.

Have a look at Trump’s ad spending numbers [$216,000] vs. Jeb’s [32.5 million dollars]. It’s enough of a stunning spectacle of a difference to make you have to go sit down and just think about it for a while. Wow.

Meanwhile, for those who always believed that the biggest war chest would pave the way to the White House: witness Jeb Bush. The Bush campaign shamelessly burned through more than 120 million dollars since last summer, and Jeb couldn’t pull more than 3% in any early primary. It’s been a stunning comeuppance for Bush and his entire family, not to mention the Super PAC ‘Right to Rise’ that sponsored him and about 11,000 stunned angry donors.  Alot of people got seriously ripped off here. It’s no wonder they are not happy.

Campaign strategist Mike Murphy took a 14 million dollar paycheck after burning though 120+ million dollars in donations for Jeb Bush. Bush never even got out of the starting gate. Sounds more than a little bit slimy.

Campaign strategist Mike Murphy is now feeling the heat over the squandered millions. He walks away with 14 million dollars. So how does all that work anyway? The guy who helps you fail gets a handsome paycheck for doing so? How is that remotely fair to those donors?  And where did all the money go?

“Another big loser tonight: Mike Murphy,” tweeted conservative commentator Erick Erickson.

One Bush bundler told CNN’s Dana Bash that when it came to Murphy, “strong knives are out.”

“He made minimum of $14 million,” the bundler said, requesting anonymity to speak freely about campaign strategy.

It got so bad by the time the pathetic Jeb! camp rolled into Iowa that they were literally PAYING PEOPLE to go and fill seats at his events. This is an all time low in politics, as far as I am concerned:

Iowa flyer used by the Jeb! campaign to pay people to go and sit at his speeches and events. The shame, the shame…

Maybe, just maybe, the Jeb Bush 2016 embarrassment might be the beginning of a new era in American politics, where it literally becomes true that “money can’t you love” – and that it also becomes true that the biggest war chest gets DOESN’T always get go live in the White House, where the stakes are 1,000 times higher when it comes to fiscal sobriety, balancing budgets, whittling down our deficit, and living within our means as a nation.

We don’t need any more spendaholics running the country.  I know that everyone in my own close circle feels the same way I do about this.  BIG MONEY buying the White House is ruining our political process, corrupting our national elections, and eroding the fiscal fabric of the country. Putting a skilled and financially circumspect businessman into the oval office [ for a change! ] is the smartest thing America can do at this juncture to bring financial responsibility back to the governance of our nation. The last 16 years of reckless government spending has brought the country to the brink of financial ruin. Enough.

Even if Donald Trump does make the wrong comment once in a while, he’s got more business sense and fiscal intuition than all the other candidates combined, especially Jeb. That’s EXACTLY what this tattered bankrupt country needs right now. I’m voting for him. I’ve made up my mind.

Related: 

Running for President in 2016 Graphics Maps Charts Graphs: The State of the Race on 2.22.2016

Bill and Hillary Clinton Sold Uranium Rich US Ranch Lands to Russia While She Was Acting Secretary of State

Are you a Hillary Clinton supporter? If you are, there’s a #BlacklistedNewsReport you need to know about. Once you know about it, you might be forced to re-assess your support of this woman. It’s a crying shame that no US mainstream news outlet will touch this story. That ought not to be. But the same oligarchic octopus of about 6 corporations, controlled by the Bilderberg Agenda, own every news outlet in the nation. THAT’s why you are not hearing this story on the CBS Evening News, or NBC or ABC, etc. Please please please share this report. Thank you. – Author, Screenshots News Blog

The story has to do with American ranch land, precious metals and mineral resources that lie within it, and the covert selling of American ranch lands to Russia, so that Russia can mine the uranium ore that is located on these lands. Sound far-fetched? Be sitting down. You’ll want to follow the links below, but for the sake of expediency, I have also re-posted the in-depth report revealing this awful, criminal land deal below, as I wanted to archive it on my own news blog, in case the report gets yanked off the NYT website as the November 2016 presidential election draws closer.

If you think it’s appropriate for a sitting US government high official, such as the Secretary of State, to find a covert way to sell off precious US assets which would be vital to US national security interests during times of war, to a foreign nation, like RUSSIA, for example – and have her husband accept millions upon million of dollars in donations to their [dubious ] foundation in return for the sale – then by all means, Hillary Clinton is your girl. But if learning about this deal makes your skin crawl, and you are both outraged and determined that something like this should never happen again, and that the wheels of justice should begin to turn AT ONCE to bring the Clintons under indictment, then you might just be a real, red blooded American, who loves their country, and doesn’t want to see it sold off to Russia or China right out from underneath our patriotic feet.

Why hasn’t a Grand Jury been convened to investigate this deal, and others like it, where monies flowed into the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was Secretary of State? What else did she coordinate with foreign nations which was a blatant conflict of interest to American national security? Don’t people usually go to prison for doing things like this while holding high office?

Donations to the Clinton Foundation, and a Russian Uranium Takeover of American Ranch Lands

Clinton Foundation took massive payoffs, promised Hammond Ranch and other publicly owned lands to Russians along with one-fifth of our uranium ore

======Re-posted from The New York Times ==========

Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal

A Uranium One sign that points to a 35,000-acre ranch owned by John Christensen, near the town of Gillette, Wyo. Uranium One has the mining rights to Mr. Christensen’s property. Credit Matthew Staver for The New York Times

The headline on the website Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when its precursor served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.”

The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Frank Giustra, right, a mining financier, has donated $31.3 million to the foundation run by former President Bill Clinton, left. Credit Joaquin Sarmiento/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

The New York Times’s examination of the Uranium One deal is based on dozens of interviews, as well as a review of public records and securities filings in Canada, Russia and the United States. Some of the connections between Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation were unearthed by Peter Schweizer, a former fellow at the right-leaning Hoover Institution and author of the forthcoming book “Clinton Cash.” Mr. Schweizer provided a preview of material in the book to The Times, which scrutinized his information and built upon it with its own reporting.

Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.

In a statement, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, said no one “has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation.” He emphasized that multiple United States agencies, as well as the Canadian government, had signed off on the deal and that, in general, such matters were handled at a level below the secretary. “To suggest the State Department, under then-Secretary Clinton, exerted undue influence in the U.S. government’s review of the sale of Uranium One is utterly baseless,” he added.

Donations to the Clinton Foundation, and a Russian Uranium Takeover

Uranium investors gave millions to the Clinton Foundation while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s office was involved in approving a Russian bid for mining assets in Kazakhstan and the United States.

Either way, the Uranium One deal highlights the limits of such prohibitions. The foundation will continue to accept contributions from foreign sources whose interests, like Uranium One’s, may overlap with those of foreign governments, some of which may be at odds with the United States.

When the Uranium One deal was approved, the geopolitical backdrop was far different from today’s. The Obama administration was seeking to “reset” strained relations with Russia. The deal was strategically important to Mr. Putin, who shortly after the Americans gave their blessing sat down for a staged interview with Rosatom’s chief executive, Sergei Kiriyenko. “Few could have imagined in the past that we would own 20 percent of U.S. reserves,” Mr. Kiriyenko told Mr. Putin.

Now, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in Ukraine, the Moscow-Washington relationship is devolving toward Cold War levels, a point several experts made in evaluating a deal so beneficial to Mr. Putin, a man known to use energy resources to project power around the world.

“Should we be concerned? Absolutely,” said Michael McFaul, who served under Mrs. Clinton as the American ambassador to Russia but said he had been unaware of the Uranium One deal until asked about it. “Do we want Putin to have a monopoly on this? Of course we don’t. We don’t want to be dependent on Putin for anything in this climate.”

A Seat at the Table

The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side.

The two men had flown aboard Mr. Giustra’s private jet to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where they dined with the authoritarian president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev. Mr. Clinton handed the Kazakh president a propaganda coup when he expressed support for Mr. Nazarbayev’s bid to head an international elections monitoring group, undercutting American foreign policy and criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, his wife, then a senator.

Within days of the visit, Mr. Giustra’s fledgling company, UrAsia Energy Ltd., signed a preliminary deal giving it stakes in three uranium mines controlled by the state-run uranium agency Kazatomprom.

Ian Telfer was chairman of Uranium One and made large donations to the Clinton Foundation. Credit Galit Rodan/Bloomberg, via Getty Images

If the Kazakh deal was a major victory, UrAsia did not wait long before resuming the hunt. In 2007, it merged with Uranium One, a South African company with assets in Africa and Australia, in what was described as a $3.5 billion transaction. The new company, which kept the Uranium One name, was controlled by UrAsia investors including Ian Telfer, a Canadian who became chairman. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Giustra, whose personal stake in the deal was estimated at about $45 million, said he sold his stake in 2007.

Soon, Uranium One began to snap up companies with assets in the United States. In April 2007, it announced the purchase of a uranium mill in Utah and more than 38,000 acres of uranium exploration properties in four Western states, followed quickly by the acquisition of the Energy Metals Corporation and its uranium holdings in Wyoming, Texas and Utah. That deal made clear that Uranium One was intent on becoming “a powerhouse in the United States uranium sector with the potential to become the domestic supplier of choice for U.S. utilities,” the company declared.

Still, the company’s story was hardly front-page news in the United States — until early 2008, in the midst of Mrs. Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, when The Times published an article revealing the 2005 trip’s link to Mr. Giustra’s Kazakhstan mining deal. It also reported that several months later, Mr. Giustra had donated $31.3 million to Mr. Clinton’s foundation.

(In a statement issued after this article appeared online, Mr. Giustra said he was “extremely proud” of his charitable work with Mr. Clinton, and he urged the media to focus on poverty, health care and “the real challenges of the world.”)

Though the 2008 article quoted the former head of Kazatomprom, Moukhtar Dzhakishev, as saying that the deal required government approval and was discussed at a dinner with the president, Mr. Giustra insisted that it was a private transaction, with no need for Mr. Clinton’s influence with Kazakh officials. He described his relationship with Mr. Clinton as motivated solely by a shared interest in philanthropy.

As if to underscore the point, five months later Mr. Giustra held a fund-raiser for the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, a project aimed at fostering progressive environmental and labor practices in the natural resources industry, to which he had pledged $100 million. The star-studded gala, at a conference center in Toronto, featured performances by Elton John and Shakira and celebrities like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Robin Williams encouraging contributions from the many so-called F.O.F.s — Friends of Frank — in attendance, among them Mr. Telfer. In all, the evening generated $16 million in pledges, according to an article in The Globe and Mail.

“None of this would have been possible if Frank Giustra didn’t have a remarkable combination of caring and modesty, of vision and energy and iron determination,” Mr. Clinton told those gathered, adding: “I love this guy, and you should, too.”

But what had been a string of successes was about to hit a speed bump.

Bill Clinton met with Vladimir V. Putin in Moscow in 2010. Credit Mikhail Metzel/Associated Press

Arrest and Progress

By June 2009, a little over a year after the star-studded evening in Toronto, Uranium One’s stock was in free-fall, down 40 percent. Mr. Dzhakishev, the head of Kazatomprom, had just been arrested on charges that he illegally sold uranium deposits to foreign companies, including at least some of those won by Mr. Giustra’s UrAsia and now owned by Uranium One.

Publicly, the company tried to reassure shareholders. Its chief executive, Jean Nortier, issued a confident statement calling the situation a “complete misunderstanding.” He also contradicted Mr. Giustra’s contention that the uranium deal had not required government blessing. “When you do a transaction in Kazakhstan, you need the government’s approval,” he said, adding that UrAsia had indeed received that approval.

But privately, Uranium One officials were worried they could lose their joint mining ventures. American diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks also reflect concerns that Mr. Dzhakishev’s arrest was part of a Russian power play for control of Kazakh uranium assets.

At the time, Russia was already eying a stake in Uranium One, Rosatom company documents show. Rosatom officials say they were seeking to acquire mines around the world because Russia lacks sufficient domestic reserves to meet its own industry needs.

It was against this backdrop that the Vancouver-based Uranium One pressed the American Embassy in Kazakhstan, as well as Canadian diplomats, to take up its cause with Kazakh officials, according to the American cables.

“We want more than a statement to the press,” Paul Clarke, a Uranium One executive vice president, told the embassy’s energy officer on June 10, the officer reported in a cable. “That is simply chitchat.” What the company needed, Mr. Clarke said, was official written confirmation that the licenses were valid.

The American Embassy ultimately reported to the secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton. Though the Clarke cable was copied to her, it was given wide circulation, and it is unclear if she would have read it; the Clinton campaign did not address questions about the cable.

Among the Donors to the Clinton Foundation

Frank Giustra
$31.3 million and a pledge for $100 million more
He built a company that later merged with Uranium One.
Ian Telfer
$2.35 million
Mining investor who was chairman of Uranium One when an arm of the Russian government, Rosatom, acquired it.
Paul Reynolds
$1 million to $5 million
Adviser on 2007 UrAsia-Uranium One merger. Later helped raise $260 million for the company.
Frank Holmes
$250,000 to $500,000
Chief Executive of U.S. Global Investors Inc., which held $4.7 million in Uranium One shares in the first quarter of 2011.
Neil Woodyer
$50,000 to $100,000
Adviser to Uranium One. Founded Endeavour Mining with Mr. Giustra.
GMP Securities Ltd.
Donating portion of profits
Worked on debt issue that raised $260 million for Uranium One.

What is clear is that the embassy acted, with the cables showing that the energy officer met with Kazakh officials to discuss the issue on June 10 and 11.

Three days later, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rosatom completed a deal for 17 percent of Uranium One. And within a year, the Russian government substantially upped the ante, with a generous offer to shareholders that would give it a 51 percent controlling stake. But first, Uranium One had to get the American government to sign off on the deal.

The Power to Say No

When a company controlled by the Chinese government sought a 51 percent stake in a tiny Nevada gold mining operation in 2009, it set off a secretive review process in Washington, where officials raised concerns primarily about the mine’s proximity to a military installation, but also about the potential for minerals at the site, including uranium, to come under Chinese control. The officials killed the deal.

Such is the power of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The committee comprises some of the most powerful members of the cabinet, including the attorney general, the secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce and Energy, and the secretary of state. They are charged with reviewing any deal that could result in foreign control of an American business or asset deemed important to national security.

The national security issue at stake in the Uranium One deal was not primarily about nuclear weapons proliferation; the United States and Russia had for years cooperated on that front, with Russia sending enriched fuel from decommissioned warheads to be used in American nuclear power plants in return for raw uranium.

Instead, it concerned American dependence on foreign uranium sources. While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves, according to Marin Katusa, author of “The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped From America’s Grasp.”

“The Russians are easily winning the uranium war, and nobody’s talking about it,” said Mr. Katusa, who explores the implications of the Uranium One deal in his book. “It’s not just a domestic issue but a foreign policy issue, too.”

President Putin during a meeting with Rosatom’s chief executive, Sergei Kiriyenko, in December 2007. Credit Dmitry Astakhov/Ria Novosti, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

When ARMZ, an arm of Rosatom, took its first 17 percent stake in Uranium One in 2009, the two parties signed an agreement, found in securities filings, to seek the foreign investment committee’s review. But it was the 2010 deal, giving the Russians a controlling 51 percent stake, that set off alarm bells. Four members of the House of Representatives signed a letter expressing concern. Two more began pushing legislation to kill the deal.

Senator John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, where Uranium One’s largest American operation was, wrote to President Obama, saying the deal “would give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity.”

“Equally alarming,” Mr. Barrasso added, “this sale gives ARMZ a significant stake in uranium mines in Kazakhstan.”

Uranium One’s shareholders were also alarmed, and were “afraid of Rosatom as a Russian state giant,” Sergei Novikov, a company spokesman, recalled in an interview. He said Rosatom’s chief, Mr. Kiriyenko, sought to reassure Uranium One investors, promising that Rosatom would not break up the company and would keep the same management, including Mr. Telfer, the chairman. Another Rosatom official said publicly that it did not intend to increase its investment beyond 51 percent, and that it envisioned keeping Uranium One a public company

American nuclear officials, too, seemed eager to assuage fears. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission wrote to Mr. Barrasso assuring him that American uranium would be preserved for domestic use, regardless of who owned it.

“In order to export uranium from the United States, Uranium One Inc. or ARMZ would need to apply for and obtain a specific NRC license authorizing the export of uranium for use as reactor fuel,” the letter said.

Still, the ultimate authority to approve or reject the Russian acquisition rested with the cabinet officials on the foreign investment committee, including Mrs. Clinton — whose husband was collecting millions in donations from people associated with Uranium One.

Undisclosed Donations

Uranium One’s Russian takeover was approved by the United States while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

Before Mrs. Clinton could assume her post as secretary of state, the White House demanded that she sign a memorandum of understanding placing limits on the activities of her husband’s foundation. To avoid the perception of conflicts of interest, beyond the ban on foreign government donations, the foundation was required to publicly disclose all contributors.

To judge from those disclosures — which list the contributions in ranges rather than precise amounts — the only Uranium One official to give to the Clinton Foundation was Mr. Telfer, the chairman, and the amount was relatively small: no more than $250,000, and that was in 2007, before talk of a Rosatom deal began percolating.

But a review of tax records in Canada, where Mr. Telfer has a family charity called the Fernwood Foundation, shows that he donated millions of dollars more, during and after the critical time when the foreign investment committee was reviewing his deal with the Russians. With the Russians offering a special dividend, shareholders like Mr. Telfer stood to profit.

His donations through the Fernwood Foundation included $1 million reported in 2009, the year his company appealed to the American Embassy to help it keep its mines in Kazakhstan; $250,000 in 2010, the year the Russians sought majority control; as well as $600,000 in 2011 and $500,000 in 2012. Mr. Telfer said that his donations had nothing to do with his business dealings, and that he had never discussed Uranium One with Mr. or Mrs. Clinton. He said he had given the money because he wanted to support Mr. Giustra’s charitable endeavors with Mr. Clinton. “Frank and I have been friends and business partners for almost 20 years,” he said.

The Clinton campaign left it to the foundation to reply to questions about the Fernwood donations; the foundation did not provide a response.

Mr. Telfer’s undisclosed donations came in addition to between $1.3 million and $5.6 million in contributions, which were reported, from a constellation of people with ties to Uranium One or UrAsia, the company that originally acquired Uranium One’s most valuable asset: the Kazakh mines. Without those assets, the Russians would have had no interest in the deal: “It wasn’t the goal to buy the Wyoming mines. The goal was to acquire the Kazakh assets, which are very good,” Mr. Novikov, the Rosatom spokesman, said in an interview.

Amid this influx of Uranium One-connected money, Mr. Clinton was invited to speak in Moscow in June 2010, the same month Rosatom struck its deal for a majority stake in Uranium One.

The $500,000 fee — among Mr. Clinton’s highest — was paid by Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin that has invited world leaders, including Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, to speak at its investor conferences.

John Christensen sold the mining rights on his ranch in Wyoming to Uranium One. Credit Matthew Staver for The New York Times

Renaissance Capital analysts talked up Uranium One’s stock, assigning it a “buy” rating and saying in a July 2010 research report that it was “the best play” in the uranium markets. In addition, Renaissance Capital turned up that same year as a major donor, along with Mr. Giustra and several companies linked to Uranium One or UrAsia, to a small medical charity in Colorado run by a friend of Mr. Giustra’s. In a newsletter to supporters, the friend credited Mr. Giustra with helping get donations from “businesses around the world.”

Renaissance Capital would not comment on the genesis of Mr. Clinton’s speech to an audience that included leading Russian officials, or on whether it was connected to the Rosatom deal. According to a Russian government news service, Mr. Putin personally thanked Mr. Clinton for speaking.

A person with knowledge of the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising operation, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about it, said that for many people, the hope is that money will in fact buy influence: “Why do you think they are doing it — because they love them?” But whether it actually does is another question. And in this case, there were broader geopolitical pressures that likely came into play as the United States considered whether to approve the Rosatom-Uranium One deal.

Diplomatic Considerations

If doing business with Rosatom was good for those in the Uranium One deal, engaging with Russia was also a priority of the incoming Obama administration, which was hoping for a new era of cooperation as Mr. Putin relinquished the presidency — if only for a term — to Dmitri A. Medvedev.

“The assumption was we could engage Russia to further core U.S. national security interests,” said Mr. McFaul, the former ambassador.

It started out well. The two countries made progress on nuclear proliferation issues, and expanded use of Russian territory to resupply American forces in Afghanistan. Keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon was among the United States’ top priorities, and in June 2010 Russia signed off on a United Nations resolution imposing tough new sanctions on that country.

Two months later, the deal giving ARMZ a controlling stake in Uranium One was submitted to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States for review. Because of the secrecy surrounding the process, it is hard to know whether the participants weighed the desire to improve bilateral relations against the potential risks of allowing the Russian government control over the biggest uranium producer in the United States. The deal was ultimately approved in October, following what two people involved in securing the approval said had been a relatively smooth process.

Moukhtar Dzhakishev was arrested in 2009 while the chief of Kazatomprom. Credit Daniel Acker/Bloomberg, via Getty Images

Not all of the committee’s decisions are personally debated by the agency heads themselves; in less controversial cases, deputy or assistant secretaries may sign off. But experts and former committee members say Russia’s interest in Uranium One and its American uranium reserves seemed to warrant attention at the highest levels.

“This deal had generated press, it had captured the attention of Congress and it was strategically important,” said Richard Russell, who served on the committee during the George W. Bush administration. “When I was there invariably any one of those conditions would cause this to get pushed way up the chain, and here you had all three.”

And Mrs. Clinton brought a reputation for hawkishness to the process; as a senator, she was a vocal critic of the committee’s approval of a deal that would have transferred the management of major American seaports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates, and as a presidential candidate she had advocated legislation to strengthen the process.

The Clinton campaign spokesman, Mr. Fallon, said that in general, these matters did not rise to the secretary’s level. He would not comment on whether Mrs. Clinton had been briefed on the matter, but he gave The Times a statement from the former assistant secretary assigned to the foreign investment committee at the time, Jose Fernandez. While not addressing the specifics of the Uranium One deal, Mr. Fernandez said, “Mrs. Clinton never intervened with me on any C.F.I.U.S. matter.”

Mr. Fallon also noted that if any agency had raised national security concerns about the Uranium One deal, it could have taken them directly to the president.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, the State Department’s director of policy planning at the time, said she was unaware of the transaction — or the extent to which it made Russia a dominant uranium supplier. But speaking generally, she urged caution in evaluating its wisdom in hindsight.

“Russia was not a country we took lightly at the time or thought was cuddly,” she said. “But it wasn’t the adversary it is today.”

That renewed adversarial relationship has raised concerns about European dependency on Russian energy resources, including nuclear fuel. The unease reaches beyond diplomatic circles. In Wyoming, where Uranium One equipment is scattered across his 35,000-acre ranch, John Christensen is frustrated that repeated changes in corporate ownership over the years led to French, South African, Canadian and, finally, Russian control over mining rights on his property.

“I hate to see a foreign government own mining rights here in the United States,” he said. “I don’t think that should happen.”

Mr. Christensen, 65, noted that despite assurances by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that uranium could not leave the country without Uranium One or ARMZ obtaining an export license — which they do not have — yellowcake from his property was routinely packed into drums and trucked off to a processing plant in Canada.

Asked about that, the commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellowcake to Canada even though it does not have an export license. Instead, the transport company doing the shipping, RSB Logistic Services, has the license. A commission spokesman said that “to the best of our knowledge” most of the uranium sent to Canada for processing was returned for use in the United States. A Uranium One spokeswoman, Donna Wichers, said 25 percent had gone to Western Europe and Japan. At the moment, with the uranium market in a downturn, nothing is being shipped from the Wyoming mines.

The “no export” assurance given at the time of the Rosatom deal is not the only one that turned out to be less than it seemed. Despite pledges to the contrary, Uranium One was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange and taken private. As of 2013, Rosatom’s subsidiary, ARMZ, owned 100 percent of it.

Correction: April 23, 2015
An earlier version of this article misstated, in one instance, the surname of a fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is Peter Schweizer, not Schweitzer.An earlier version also incorrectly described the Clinton Foundation’s agreement with the Obama administration regarding foreign-government donations while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state. Under the agreement, the foundation would not accept new donations from foreign governments, though it could seek State Department waivers in specific cases. It was not barred from accepting all foreign-government donations.
Correction: April 30, 2015
An article on Friday about contributions to the Clinton Foundation from people associated with a Canadian uranium-mining company described incorrectly the foundation’s agreement with the Obama administration regarding foreign-government donations while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. Under the agreement, the foundation would not accept new donations from foreign governments, though it could seek State Department waivers in specific cases. The foundation was not barred from accepting all foreign-government donations.

Jonas Aftermath: East Coast Digs Out, Celebrating Winter: Snowboarding in Manhattan

Jonas was the second worst winter snow storm in US history, yet the majority of winter-hardy American east coast residents have taken it in stride. Although 26 people died due to the storm, and extensive flooding along the Jersey shore has called up memories of Hurricane Sandy, most weathered the storm with few issues. ‘Playing in the snow’ has returned as a typical east coast winter activity. There are still thousands of people camped out in airports in certain cities, and that won’t clear up for another day or so while tarmacs and runways are cleared as airplanes are defrosted and de-iced. As is usually the case, an excessive amount of “news weather drama” preceded the storm, as a slow news weekend found the majority of channels with little to report about other than Hillary’s email mess, the upcoming Iowa Caucus – and winter storm Jonas. Apparently it was more fun to talk about Jonas than either of the other two news stories. So that’s how the weekend played out. Below are more photos and video clips from the first big 2016 winter wallop.

“For us, snow is like a normal winter,” – Viola Rogacka, 21, NYC fashion model

Satellite map of winter storm Jonas ‘the day after’.  Snow cover can be seen from space. Accumulations of up to 40 inches occurred in some regions in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. NYC got about 30″ – as did DC:

Whaaat? Gas Price Temporarily Dips to 47 Cents a Gallon in Michigan as Price Wars Rage

In the summer of 2008 I paid $4.75 per gallon for a fill-up in rural Northern California. I won’t forget that pinnacle gas price anytime soon. It cost me almost $100 that 102 degree summer day to fill the tank of my jeep. I would have NEVER believed anyone who told me that a few years later, the ongoing global oil price war being waged by OPEC would drop the price of gas in the USA back down to less than $2.00 a gallon. That didn’t seem possible at the time.

Yesterday we hit a new low water mark in the “new” gas wars of recent years. The price of gasoline temporarily dipped all the way down to 47 cents a gallon in Michigan as competing gas stations lowered the bar, again and again, vying for customers.

So we all know that the price of gasoline is pegged to the price of crude oil, which has plummeted since 2013 and was trading yesterday at the unheard of price of $28.90 a barrel. The recent plunge in oil prices has created a cascade of falling and downward correcting prices for other commodities, including the precious metals. If you have been squeamish about buying gold or silver bullion, the fortuitous drop in the price of oil has worked in your favor, with silver now at the bargain basement price of about $14 an ounce.That’s a price we most likely won’t see again for decades once gold and silver begin heading north again in about a year and a half.

So what does a gallon of gas now cost in the US? The average gas price as of 1.19.2016 is just $1.89, although prices will vary  from state to state. Let’s have a look. Based on this map from http://gasbuddy.com, gasoline prices are the cheapest in the American heartland [ note the green ] and most expensive in New England, California and the coastline of the Pacific Northwest in Washington state. If you’re traveling this winter, download a copy of the map to hopefully save a few bucks as you make your way across the country. Bon voyage, land rovers!

 

Humanity’s Shared Future with Artificial Intelligence: Just How Awful Will It Be? Or Not.

Artificial-Intelligence01_Web

“How will humanity respond when confronted with the sickening knowledge that networks of self-evolving computing machines, self-bred, self-replicating AI corporate conglomerates, with aggregate IQs which are the equivalent of 3,375 or more, begin quietly restructuring the world to fit their own needs for the next 500 million years? Will humanity even realize that such an event is happening, when or if it occurs?”  – Screenshots news blog 

> It’s 2039 in Seattle Washington. AI computer engineer John Ross wakes up one morning after spending a late night at the corporate AI lab, where he is the director of R&D, uploading new financial growth and budget cutting algorithms into the company computer, Gill.  Arriving at work, Mr. Ross discovers to his dismay that not only is he locked out of the corporate campus [ none of his eye scans or palm scans work ], but he has been deleted from the Seattle payroll and relocated to the Sydney Australia branch, soon to be working on a part-time basis only.  No human being took this action.  Gill’s upgrade from last night endowed the thinking machine with the prerogatives to take all reasonable actions which would bring the company’s projected 4th quarter profit margins into line with original projections from late 2038. She took several simultaneous actions overnight, based on her upgrade, laying off 4,000 Seattle area employees, including her creator, Dr. John Ross. She also ordered a moving van, bought airline tickets for John and everyone in his family, disconnected his electrical and internet service, cancelled his garbage pick-up, emailed every contact in his address book a press release with the news, and called his wife while she slept, delivering the jolting news via voicemail, in a lilting electronic monotone, followed by “We’re sorry to see you go. Don’t forget to be at John’s going away party today at 2pm on the 3rd floor lounge.” By the time Dr. Ross figures out what has taken place, he learns about his own going away party for his departure to Australia on his smart watch company news alert, delivered orally from his wrist while he is still trying to get into the building.

Last night’s show on Coast to Coast Radio show sampled the broad gamut of possibilities that AI [ artificial intelligence ] presents for humanity, both wonderful and dire, as most AI scientists now believe we have a tenuous window of less than 40 years before thinking, self-updating, even possibly self-replicating AI machines achieve levels of intelligence that surpass that of humankind by a factor of one thousand times or more. Seriously.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

“Artificial Intelligence is the ability of a computer or other machines to perform actions thought to require intelligence. Among these actions are logical deduction and inference, make decisions based on past experience, solve problems with insufficient or conflicting information and  artificial vision.  AI is frequently used to  improve solutions and attack problems that may not be solvable using standard methods.”

This potentially bizarre new reality is bearing down upon humanity at an alarming rate of speed. Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Physics at Cambridge, Dr. Stephen Hawking recently authored an article on AI for The Huffington Post and had this to say about the urgent need to address recent developments in AI:

“Artificial intelligence (AI) research is now progressing rapidly. Recent landmarks such as self-driving cars, a computer winning at Jeopardy!, and the digital personal assistants Siri, Google Now and Cortana are merely symptoms of an IT arms race fueled by unprecedented investments and building on an increasingly mature theoretical foundation. Such achievements will probably pale against what the coming decades will bring.

The potential benefits are huge; everything that civilization has to offer is a product of human intelligence; we cannot predict what we might achieve when this intelligence is magnified by the tools AI may provide, but the eradication of war, disease, and poverty would be high on anyone’s list. Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history.

Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks. In the near term, for example, world militaries are considering autonomous weapon systems that can choose and eliminate their own targets; the UN and Human Rights Watch have advocated a treaty banning such weapons. In the medium term, as emphasized by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in The Second Machine Age, AI may transform our economy to bring both great wealth and great dislocation.”

Based on the comments of the four distinguished guests on last night’s Coast Radio show, we are VERY unprepared as a species for the possibility of our eventual, even possibly accidental, AI induced displacement as the most intelligent creatures on the planet. How will humanity respond when confronted with the sickening knowledge that networks of self-evolving computing machines, self-bred, self-replicating AI corporate conglomerates, with aggregate IQs which are the equivalent of 3,375 or more, begin quietly restructuring the world to fit their own needs for the next 500 million years? Will humanity even realize that such an event is happening, when or if it occurs?

According to Dr. Susan Schneider, it may – in fact – be all but undetectable. Elon Musk has been worried enough about such prospects that he recently set aside 10 million dollars to fund AI research which would avert such catastrophes.

“If we build these devices to take care of everything for us, eventually they’ll think faster than us and they’ll get rid of the slow humans to run companies more efficiently.”  – Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak

Extended commentary and interviews were given by four well known AI experts: James Barrat, Dr. Susan Schneider, Kevin Warwick and Fumiya Lida. See http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2016/01/17

2029-2038: The AI Pandora’s Box Begins to Open

To state that the human race is presently unprepared for the immediate potentialities of emergent AI thinking machines may turn out to be the understatement of the century, that possibly being the LAST century in which an organic, soul incarnate, carbon based biological ‘organic’ species has predominance over the earth with all it’s natural assets and treasures. There are any number of imagined ‘AI worst case scenarios’, [ one such fictional ‘AI worst case scenario’ was played out at the beginning of this post ], but it is the UNIMAGINABLE series of potentially disastrous computing events which might ultimately be the unraveling of humanity’s position at the top of the intelligence food chain.

Both James Barrat and Dr. Schneider stated last night in their interviews that at least 52 nations around the world are actively pursuing AI as a battlefield option, specifically either AI enhanced human super-soldiers, or AI battlefield robots which would be programmed to make a kill WITHOUT consulting a human engineer or supervising officer. These are very alarming developments. This week I’ll be posting a whole series of reports on where we stand with current military applications of battlefield AI. Please feel free to share them, as we need to raise more public awareness of what is happening. It’s time to encourage more robust public debate and conscientious examination of the spiritual, moral and ethical implications of emergent AI.  Before humanity chooses to race off the cliff with AI technology, shouldn’t we at least build some proper parachutes?

AI Firms, Research Labs, Movies, Links

http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2016/01/17

http://www.jamesbarrat.com/

http://schneiderwebsite.com/Susan_Schneiders_Website/Research.html

http://www.kevinwarwick.com/

http://mi.eng.cam.ac.uk/Main/FI224

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-dominant-life-form-in-the-cosmos-is-probably-superintelligent-robots

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/super-intelligent-ai-could-wipe-out-humanity-if-were-not-ready-for-it

http://www.trollhetta.com/?page_id=25

http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-machines-creator-takes-us-inside-the-worst-case-sce-1567848696

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/42862/elon-musk-ponies-up-10m-help-prevent-robots-slaughtering/index.html

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/44215/wozniak-future-scary-very-bad-humans-regards-ai/index.html

Tags: earth post-biological reality, computational speed thresholds, AI, artificial intelligence, James Barrat, Susan Schneider, Kevin Warwick, Fumiya Lida, mechatronics, SETI Institute, quantum computing, MIT, Google AI program, NASA, Princeton University AI research program, super-intelligence, encoding moral principles, future computing issues, super-computing issues the future, super intelligence issues, alien extraterrestrial AI, artificial general intelligence open source technology, machine consciousness, encoding moral principles into early generation AI machines, UC Berkeley, DARPA AI research, time travel, the grandfather paradox, space-time continuum, military applications AI, AI brain enhancement, Google AI labs, Facebook AI labs, Amazon AI labs, IBM AI labs

[ Introductory AI ‘Dr. John Ross worst case scenario’ concept copyright Screenshots News Blog, 2016, All Rights Reserved in Perpetuity. 🙂 ]

Dr. Marc Faber Is One of the Few Financial Gurus Willing to Tell the Truth about World Financial Markets and You Ought to Be Listening

Financial analyst Marc Faber has been warning investors since last October about a “Chinese credit bubble” and a potentially devastating correction to come in world markets.

1.7.2016

What average investors [ $50,000 to $250,000 usd in the stock market ] mostly don’t realize is that about 80% of the advice which is given to you as the ‘little guy’ investor is designed to make money for the guy who is giving the investment advice. Most brokers advise their customers to buy thus and such and they get a commission on that transaction, whether the stock soars or tanks. Small companies rise and fall like the daily tides in a global market beset by constant graft, corruption, currency manipulation, and the incessant tinkering with stock markets that governments attempt to do, which only makes matters worse in the end. The commentary of Dr. Marc Faber comes as a refreshing dose of pragmatic, experienced wisdom and common sense which stands out in the sea of self-centered profiteering which seems to run most contemporary investment advisories. Dr. Faber successfully predicted the now famous 1987 US stock market rout. What he sees happening today in 2016 is not dissimilar as a prelude of events to come.

It is now very difficult to ascertain REAL market conditions, as opposed to murky smoke and mirror tactics initiated by governments designed artificially to prop them up, year in year out. Blunt truth tellers are rare in the business of assessing and forecasting where the world economy might go. Joel Skousen is one of the few men who will fearlessly tell his subscribers the truth, ugly as it may be. But today I’d like to focus on market analyst Dr. Marc Faber, who has been making specific warnings to investors since last fall about a major correction or collapse of inter-connected world markets.

The impetus for this post was an event which took place early this morning, about 2-3 am pacific time in the US. When the Chinese CSI stock market opened at 9:30, traders immediately began dumping their stocks and selling off. 29 minutes later at about 10 am, the Chinese closed the market entirely, and halted trading. Had the Chinese not halted trading, we would be now facing a worldwide market crisis of epic proportions this very afternoon. As it is, this morning’s drop of 7% in China’s stock market has caused a drastic cascading effect around the world in nearly every market exchange. Dr. Faber had begun warning investors about this very real possibility last fall.

My own opinion is that today’s events might be likened to the moment the Titanic first hit the iceberg. The damage was there, but it was beneath the surface, not yet visible. Investors have two choices: remain on the ship, believing that it was just a small bump, and that everything will be fine – or listen to the sound of the water gushing into the floors below deck and get off the sinking ship before it’s too late.  Today’s events are the sound of that initial “crunch” of the ship hitting that iceberg. Investors are forewarned.

Be willing to take the right actions necessary to protect your nest egg. And if that means getting out of the US stock market, take that action. Sometimes the very smartest thing an investor can do is just park their money for awhile. It’s worth noting that a considerable amount of money has flowed into gold, silver and the Yen today – worth considering. In one of his reports Mr. Faber stated that gold could double in the next few years, during all of this market wash-out.

Below are collected reports:

Related:

http://www.gloomboomdoom.com/

http://marketwatch.com

http://kitco.com

http://kitcosilver.com

http://joelskousen.com/

Tags: world economy, Chinese stock market, US stock market, value of the yuan, value of the US dollar, investing, world economic collapse 2016, stock market correction 2016, Marc Faber, Chinese credit bubble, global recession 2016

#BREAKING Saudi Arabia Ends Commercial Ties with Iran: Sudan, Bahrain, UAE Align with Saudis

#BreakingNews

January 4 2016: Sunni vs. Shia Flash point in Mideast

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran are Collapsing

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia to halt flights, trade with Iran

Tags: Mideast flashpoint Saudi Arabia Iran, Sunni Islam, Shia Islam, Mideast breaking news, execution of Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr

Will 2016 Be a Wild Ride? Future Prognosticators Weigh In.

https://i0.wp.com/img11.deviantart.net/5b86/i/2013/309/1/1/crystal_ball_sunset_2_by_april_mo-d6t4x4a.jpg

“You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the eventual consequences of ignoring reality.” – Ayn Rand

The annual American cultural ritual of predicting and prognosticating about possible future events to come in the new year always yields fascinating theories and interesting, if not often troubling, video reports. Below are several I watched and gathered for readers. It goes without saying that I don’t necessarily feel that everything discussed in these reports will occur, or even vaguely coalesce. Often these video reports turn out t o be little more than prepper “fear porn.”

But it would be a very tumultuous new year indeed in 2016, if even some of these theorized possible events materialized.  Pay special attention to the commentary of Bill Holter in video three. For those who live in southern California, [ or Israel ] pay close attention to the narrative in video four. Video four lists the top five places NOT to be when the US dollar collapses: Israel, southern California, New York, Washington DC and Great Britain. It’s worth a watch if one of those locales is your home. OK. You have been warned.

Feel free to share these videos on your own social networks. It might also be a good idea to DOWNLOAD these videos to your own hard drive in the event they suspiciously “disappear” from YouTube after a few weeks. This happens frequently these days.

How do these predictions for 2016 compare to the predicted events of 2015 one year earlier? Review the video at

2015 Comes. Here’s an Interesting News Report Which Should Be Shared.

Related News Reports:

Euro Banks Are Blowing Out; Dodd-Frank ‘Bail-In’ Means Americans Will Be Killed To Salvage Them

Tags: top tier citizen journalism, police brutality in America, American economy jobs currencies, the dollar, petrodollar, alternative news videos, screenshots news blog, Obama presidency, hatred of Christians, Christian persecution, 2016, the future predictions prophecies videos, surveillance, Bill Holter, futurists discuss 2016, Comex, commodities, gold silver prices 2016 predictions, earth changes, fish animal die-offs, climate change, tracking of humanity, RFID tattoos, Illuminati over-control of world youth, iris scan surveillance technology, end times phenomenon, John Kerry, Vladimir Putin, Syria issue, China issues, last days events, US banking system insolvency, financial collapse, last days trends, Antichrist culture rising, Mideast watch, world events Last Days