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TRICK OR TREAT: IMPEACHMENT HALLOWEEN ON HILL


BREAKING: House approves Trump impeachment procedures over GOP objections
The House passed a resolution on Thursday approving procedures for its impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, opening a new and public phase of the investigation.
The vote was largely along party lines and Republicans objected, alleging that the Democratic inquiry is a farce that has been improperly conducted behind closed doors. House Democrats are now expected to begin holding public hearings in the next few weeks to present testimony against Trump.
NBC News

Ferrari - Italia



Dice: con tutti i problemi che ci sono in giro per il mondo vai a parlare della Ferrari…

Ebbene sì: nonostante l'età, nonostante la residenza in America, il vostro redattore continua ad essere visceralmente collegato alla Ferrari, alle sue sconfitte, alle sue rare vittorie, alla meraviglia scultorea delle auto che riesce a produrre, all'incapacità dopo tanti anni di vincere un mondiale, nonostante le vagonate di quattrini impegnati nella squadra corse.

Come l'Italia anche la Ferrari soffre di una disfunzione erettile…

È riuscita a darsi un motore splendido, è riuscita a disegnare un corpo macchina che le consente di competere quasi alla pari con la Mercedes e le altre top cars, è riuscita ad allevare un pulcino di nome Charles che sta mettendo in gravi ambasce il driver numero uno della squadra…

È riuscita a inanellare pol positions una dietro l'altra…

Poi quando si tratta di portare grano al proprio mulino la squadra rivela la sua incontenibile natura italica, ovvero l'incapacità di fare strategia vincente e di attuarla con una tattica sistematica.

E si ammoscia.

Riferendoci anche soltanto all'ultimo gran premio a Città del Messico qualcuno può giustificare il fatto che un pit stop venga fatto in 6.50 secondi quando il giovane pilota Albon della Red bull veniva servito in1.93 secondi?

Si dirà che sono cose che succedono ma in Ferrari sono successe altre volte. Troppe volte.

Quei sei secondi hanno tagliato le gambe al giovane Charles.

Secondo noi la Ferrari è lo specchio di un'Italia fatta di eccezionali individui che con la loro arte e capacità professionale riescono a imporsi nell'arco dei secoli.

Quanto poi al fare squadra ne corre perché il nostro malsano individualismo riemerge in ogni critica situazione.

Alla vigilia del gran premio a Austin Texas che formalizzerà l'incredibile capacità di Louis Hamilton di vincere per la sesta volta il campionato mondiale di Formula 1, nonostante il nostro bartaliano "è tutto sbagliato ed è tutto da rifare", continuiamo a invocare… Forza Ferrari (il forza Italia c'è stato scippato da molto tempo).

Oscar
____________________________________________
Bravissimo! Un articolo che riassume con ironia fedele all'italica realtà i nostri fantastici potenziali inespressi!
Grazie
Patrizia B.
____________________________________________
Caro Oscar,
Da italiani amiamo visceralmente la Ferrari che, come il Parmigiano Reggiano, ci fa la migliore propaganda nel mondo. Ricordo che il Prevosto di Maranello suonava a stormo e di continuo le campane ad ogni premiazione di Schumacher nei continui gloriosi anni delle sue vittorie con la Rossa.
Adesso, in ogni Gran Premio ed ogni sosta delle Rosse al pit stop, ci affidiamo alla Madonna sperando che la ripartenza del pilota possa avvenire almeno in 3 secondi. E' il massimo che possiamo sperare, vedendo che le Frecce Argento ripartono sempre sotto i 3 sec. e qualcuno riesce a farlo anche in 1,5 sec.
Come tu dici, anche questo è Italia.
Un abbraccio
Aldo
_____________________________________________
e stai su Controcorrente,
un abbraccio
Angelo Saracini   
Atene Grecia

Tradire, meglio che morire

Image: Mazloum Abdi

By Richard Engel and Marc Smith NBC News

NORTHERN SYRIA — ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was betrayed by a member of his inner circle who helped lead American troops to his compound in Northern Syria.

The commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, Gen. Mazloum Abdi, gave NBC News a detailed account of how he spent months running a spy inside ISIS who followed al-Baghdadi as he moved from one safehouse to another, until he was finally trapped in a tunnel beneath one of them.


Abdi did not identify the source, but Kurdish intelligence officials described him as an Arab who had many relatives in ISIS.

Abdi said the informant’s main motivation was revenge.

“I think he was under a lot of pressure from his family,” the general said. “His relatives were subjected to harsh treatment by ISIS and he no longer believed in the future of ISIS. He wanted to take revenge on ISIS and al-Baghdadi himself.”

The spy was in a unique and extremely rare position to exact his revenge.

“He was, you could say, a security official,” the general said. “A personal security official for al-Baghdadi himself, in charge of al-Baghdadi’s movements. “

Part of the informant's job, Abdi said, was “securing the places” where al-Baghdadi would later hide.

This ISIS spy memorized the locations and layouts of al-Baghdadi’s safehouses and even stole samples of the world’s most wanted terrorist’s blood and clothing for DNA analysis, the general said.

None of that was easy.

“al-Baghdadi took his security precautions to the highest level,” Abdi said. “He never used high-tech communications at all. Any place he was in, was in a communications blackout, with exception of those who were directly responsible for his security, and that was a small group of people.”

After years on the run, al-Baghdadi had a relatively small household.

“His direct family, the children, his relatives, his siblings, they are formed a tight ring around him,” Abdi said. The ISIS leader only allowed a small group of outsiders to meet him. One of them was the spy.

Abdi declined to say when or how they first made contact with the ISIS informant, but he said in the last five months the relationship deepened and expanded dramatically. That coincided with al-Baghdadi's move from a hideout in eastern Syria to the Idlib province in western Syria, near the Turkish border.

“We confirmed that (al-Baghdadi) had been moved to Idlib in April of this year,” Abdi said.

Idlib was an unlikely place for the ISIS leader to hide. The province is largely controlled by other Islamist groups, including one linked to al-Qaeda that is often called the Al-Nusra Front. The group has, at times, fought against ISIS. Abdi said he was hiding among a pocket of supporters, in what was largely unfriendly territory.

“The idea that al-Baghdadi was in Idlib was completely unexpected,” Abdi said. “It was a surprise to everyone.”

Idlib is a large province with a varied terrain, including hills, canyons, olive groves, and several large towns and cities. Abdi said the spy’s meetings in Idlib were frequent but inconsistent. Kurdish intelligence officials said the spy could not approach the ISIS leader at will, but had to wait to be called for meetings. The face-to-face meetings — ostensibly to talk about security, movements, transportation and setting up future safehouses — would turn out to be critical.

È stata una densa domenica elettorale


Alberto Pasolini Zanelli

È stata una densa domenica elettorale, un po’ in tutti i continenti, con risultati contrastanti soprattutto sul piano programmatico e ideologico. Ma l’impressione diffusa in America è che il principale vincitore non sia uscito dalle urne in Argentina, Germania o Italia bensì da un tunnel in Irak. Quello di cui era rimasto prigioniero sul punto di essere catturato dagli americani. Tanto da decidere di togliersi la vita. Un tocco ulteriore di atrocità, il fatto che nello scoppio deciso da “papà” (colui che per diversi anni era stato, o almeno si era proclamato, reggitore di uno Stato Islamico conquistato nel più clamoroso e sanguinoso fra i capitoli della Primavera Araba) sono deceduti anche tre dei suoi figli che lo avevano accompagnato nella disperata fuga. Il suo nome era al Baghdadi.

Quello Stato, l’Isis, era scaduto da un pezzo sotto le pressioni militari di mezzo mondo, ma era durato con conseguenze tragiche per i suoi sudditi e nonostante che quello stesso mezzo mondo avesse cercato di distruggerlo, soprattutto con le pressioni militari. Ci si erano messi un po’ tutti, a cominciare dai “confinanti” sostenuti dall’America, inclusa la Turchia ma anche i dissidenti curdi, appoggiati da formazioni militari iraniane e, forse più efficacemente di tutti, dalla Russia.

Il simbolo della caduta di al Baghdadi e dell’Isis era stata la riconquista di Raqqa: l’autoproclamato presidente era dovuto fuggire. Negli anni successivi le strategie internazionali si erano modificate ed erano anzi venuti in primo piano gli scontri fra i “liberatori” che negli ultimi giorni si era soprattutto acceso fra curdi e turchi con la conseguenza sorprendente della decisione americana di ritirarsi dal conflitto. Che è durata un paio di giorni. Poi dalla Casa Bianca è partito l’ordine opposto. Aiutati, pare, sul piano logistico dalla Russia, i marines si sono buttati alla caccia di al Baghdadi. L’hanno scovato, gli si sono buttati addosso. Avevano l’ordine di ucciderlo. A lui, nella sua disperazione, non rimaneva che quel tunnel. Che, però, era bloccato e allora lui ha fatto saltare tutto, trascinando i suoi bambini verso la morte.

Trump non ha aspettato un minuto per proclamarsi vincitore e non senza qualche motivo. La vittoria lo ha abbracciato proprio in piena campagna elettorale e in mezzo alle crescenti difficoltà per confermarsi presidente e continuare a risiedere alla Casa Bianca. Particolarmente significativo e da lui subito sottolineato, è il paragone con una impresa molto simile condotta dal suo predecessore Barack Obama. Il vero leader di questo schieramento oltranzista e sanguinario, un ideologo senza cariche effettive, lo scovarono in una casetta in Afghanistan e lo uccisero. Era molto famoso, al punto che per scongiurare la possibilità di una sua “resurrezione”, anche solo propagandistica, ne buttarono il cadavere in mare da una nave. L’Isis era sepolta ma non morta, anche se ormai il suo territorio era ridotto a un pugno di deserto al confine fra la Siria e la Turchia e la caccia suoi killer da lungo non era più un compito urgente. Tranne, forse, per Donald Trump, l’unico che aveva da guadagnare da essere riportato al livello di Obama e da questo, come sperava, sarebbe risalito nelle simpatie (anche e soprattutto obbligatorie) del mondo e, cosa più importante e urgente, delle simpatie dei futuri elettori.

Fino a questo momento i sondaggi sulle intenzioni di voto hanno dato risultati alterni, indicando il margine di una leggera opinione ostile a Trump come persona, ma bilanciata dalla crescente divisione all’interno del Partito democratico, che ancor oggi ha più di venti candidati alla Casa Bianca divisi fra i “moderati” detti anche “continuisti” delle tradizioni e delle iniziative degli ultimi loro inquilini alla Casa Bianca, contrapposti alla compattezza (invidiabile anche se non interamente spontanea) in campo repubblicano. Le vicende recenti nel Medio Oriente hanno prima moltiplicato le critiche alla “linea” contraddittoria di questo presidente su cui incombe da molti mesi l’incubo dell’impeachment che però ha minime probabilità di successo, perché dovrebbe essere approvato, dopo un voto della Camera democratica, dal Senato tuttora repubblicano. In una rissa fra reggimenti di funzionari e di avvocati, i timori per Trump stavano già lentamente riducendosi. Adesso è arrivata la nuova tragedia in Medio Oriente, di cui l’uomo della Casa Bianca non ha esitato ad assumersi il pieno merito, a sentirsi a livello di Barack Obama in questo e continuando a definirsi superiore in quasi tutti gli altri campi. Terrorista che muore, statista che risorge?

Pasolini.zanelli@gmail.com

I russi dicono che gli americani non lo hanno ammazzato...Boh ?!


ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ‘not killed by US military’ Russia claims (Daily Star)

Russia said it has 'doubts' in Donald’s Trump’s claim that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died
Russia has attempted to cast doubts on Donald’s Trump’s claim that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died after being hunted through his compound in Syria by US special forces last night.
The US President announced on Twitter today that the caliphate leader died “whimpering and screaming” in a tunnel after detonating his suicide vest, which reportedly also killed three of his children.
However, Russian Major General Igor Konashenkov claimed there has been no airstrikes from the US or coalition forces in the Syrian city of Idlib — where the mission was said to have taken place — state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.
The Russian Ministry of Defence also claimed there had been “contradictory details” about the mission from other countries.
In a statement, it said: "The increase in the number of direct participants and countries allegedly taking part in this operation, each with completely contradictory details, raises legitimate questions and doubts about its reality and all the more in success.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told RIA Novosti to be guided by the MoD’s statement.
"The Defence Ministry said it all," he said.
Today at a White House press conference, Trump said Baghdadi was a "brutal killer who caused so much hardship and death".
Baghdadi "was vicious and violent and he died in a vicious and violent way screaming and crying," he said.
Trump added that Baghdadi "died like a dog, like a coward, the world is now a much safer place."
He said the terror leader’s body was "mutilated" by the blast but a DNA test had positively identified him.
According to Trump, 11 of Al-Baghdadi’s other children are understood to have survived the attack and were safe.
Al-Baghdadi first became active following the 2003 invasion of Iraq and was later held in US detention centres Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca along with other jihadi leaders.
He then joined Al-Qaeda in Iraq before branching off to create ISIS.

Baghdadi: lo ha fatto fuori Donald oppure era gia' morto?



Tutti i media si sono affrettati a pubblicare come buona la notizia dell'uccisione del leader dello ISIS. Sembra invece che il superterrorista si sia fatto saltare tempo fa. A chi credere? Un modo come un altro per distogliere l'attenzione del pubblico dalla slavina impeachment che si sta ingrossando ogni giorno di piu' sulla base delle testimonianze nelle varie hearings alla Camera.
_________________________________


Don’t take Trump’s bait on Baghdadi

Late on Saturday night, Donald Trump tweeted “Something very big has just happened!” Based on the media reports that have since surfaced, Trump is planning to announce on Sunday morning that he ordered a U.S. military operation that took out ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. That’s fascinating, considering that by most accounts, Baghdadi has already been dead for years.

We’ll see what Trump ends up spewing in the morning, and we’ll see if there’s any evidence to back up whatever rabbit-from-a-hat claims he’s about to make. By all accounts Baghdadi hasn’t been calling the shots within ISIS for years (part of why so many observers think he died awhile ago), and if he had been hiding out in northern Syria all this time, then he definitely hasn’t been calling the shots. Considering the huge number of ISIS prisoners who were recently set free by Trump’s suspect military moves, and this is a wash at best for America’s security.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter anyway. The media will spent the next thirty-six hours focused on the Baghdadi story, until it sees that no one outside Trump’s base gives a damn about the announcement of the death of a little-known ISIS leader who has already been out of commission for years, and then the media will go back to covering Trump’s impeachment.

Palmer Report » Analysis

737 Max: la gente ha paura




On September 12, Boeing started putting out 30-second videos in which employees tout its planes' safety, hoping to reassure travelers about the 737 MAX that's been grounded worldwide since two crashes that killed 346 people.
"Safety is at the core of our business. We have put hundreds of engineers to work to ensure that this airplane is 100 percent ready," says Jennifer Henderson, chief test pilot for the 737, in one of the clips.
"When the 737 MAX returns to service I will absolutely put my family on this airplane," she stressed.
But on a Facebook page for Boeing enthusiasts where the clip was posted, the response is negative.
"Well, I think she could not say it would be unsafe," one member quipped, as Boeing faces the Herculean task of trying to regain the confidence of civil aviation authorities and the public, seven months after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines MAX that killed 157 people.
That came after the downing of a Lion Air MAX in Indonesia in October 2018, killing 189, with the plane's MCAS anti-stall system being blamed in both accidents.
It's not known when the MAX will return to service. Boeing, which still has not submitted a modified version of the MCAS system to regulators, hopes it will be before the end of the year.
"The 737 Max is, for now, an 'airplane non grata' -- a plane passengers do not want to fly," said Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research Group in San Francisco.
"Travelers aren't merely scared of the 737 MAX, they're terrified of it."
- 'Irresponsible' -
Just 19 percent of business travelers and 14 percent of leisure travelers would willingly take the 737 MAX within six months of returning to the sky, according to an Atmosphere survey.
Nearly half of the 2,000 respondents said they would pay more to avoid the MAX.
Faced with this distrust, airlines are adapting.
"We will be transparent -- and communicate in advance -- with our customers who are booked to fly on a MAX aircraft, will rebook those who do not want to fly on a MAX at no charge, and for some time will not swap aircraft to a MAX if a change of aircraft is required," said a spokesperson at United Airlines, which owns 14 MAX aircraft.
American Airlines, which has 24 MAX planes, has said its company brass and employees will be the first to fly on the aircraft once it's cleared to return to the sky.
The MAX's setbacks have cast a shadow over a century of history at Boeing, a highlight of which was the success of its 747 jumbo jet, nicknamed the "Queen of the skies."
According to Harteveldt, half of business passengers and 55 percent of leisure passengers consider Boeing to be "irresponsible," "arrogant" and "unsafe."
Boeing's management has addressed the trust issue.
"We know that trust has been damaged over the last few months and we own that and we are working hard to re-earn that trust going forward," CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in August.
The trust may have been tested again on Friday, when it emerged that some potentially significant documents at Boeing were held back from investigators for months.
Boeing says it has conducted 1,447 flight test hours as of October 13 with the modified MCAS, and Muilenburg personally took part in two tests.
From late September to mid-October, the company also invited airline pilots to simulator training and information sessions in Miami, London, Istanbul, Shanghai and Singapore.
"Boeing has no choice but to get it right this time, however uncomfortable that may be for now," said Tracy Stewart, an editor at airfarewatchdog.com.
If Boeing can take comfort in anything, it may be that most travelers do not look up which jet they will fly when booking tickets.
Most commercial passengers are "worried about getting an aisle seat, and hoping the overhead bin will still have space for a carry on," said John Dekker of online travel agency Surf City Travel.
Some experts said one of the best ways for Boeing to regain credibility is to release a video explaining the changes to the 737 MAX to make it safer.
They must "make sure they have informed the consumer that it won't happen again... PERIOD!" said Dekker.

(AFP)

Minacce ai giornalisti off the record....?

White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway participates in a roundtable discussion on the opioid crisis on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. (Cliff Owen/AP)

By
Katie Shepherd (TWP)

One line in a 292-word Washington Examiner story sparked a heated seven-minute call on Wednesday from White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who took issue with a mention of her husband’s spat with President Trump — a complaint that led the president’s top aide to call the journalist a “non-reporting reporter” and warn “if you’re going to cover my personal life, then we’re welcome to do the same around here.”
On Thursday, the Examiner released the full audio of the call, calling it “aggressive” and “disparaging.
The paper’s unusual decision left other journalists debating the exchange, and Conway offering a staunch defense of her conduct. Conway emphasized the division between her personal life and professional life, suggesting that a man in her position would not have to answer for his wife’s differing political views.
“I’ve previously noted that it is unusual — especially in Washington and especially in Republican politics — for a man to gain newfound fame and power through his wife,” she said in a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday evening.
The story that drew Conway’s displeasure published on the Examiner’s site on Tuesday, reporting on rumors that Trump was considering her as White House chief of staff, which Trump has denied. The piece suggested she “has been in the middle of Trump’s barbs with her husband,” referring to a long-simmering feud between Conway’s boss, President Trump, and her husband, attorney George T. Conway III.
Understanding George Conway's criticism of President Trump

George T. Conway III, conservative lawyer and husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, is a frequent Trump critic.

On Wednesday morning, according to the Examiner’s account, Conway’s assistant called reporter Caitlin Yilek and asked to speak off the record. After Yilek agreed to those terms, Conway grabbed the phone.
In the audio later posted by the paper, Conway questioned why the reporter had included the line about her husband. “I just am wondering why on God’s earth you would need to mention anything about George Conway’s tweets in an article that talks about me as possibly being chief of staff,” she asked.
When the reporter argued that her husband’s feud with the president was “relevant context,” the president’s senior adviser took issue with the language used in the story.
“I’m not caught in the middle of anything except trying to understand somebody whose title is breaking news reporter, what that means,” Conway said during the phone call. Later, Conway asked: “What exactly are you an expert on that would qualify you to say, to characterize the way I feel?”
Near the end of the call, Conway made a comment that the Examiner later characterized as a threat that “the White House would delve into the personal lives of reporters if they wrote about her husband.”
“If you’re going to cover my personal life, then we’re welcome to do the same around here,” Conway said. “If it has nothing to do with my job — which it doesn’t, that’s obvious — then we’re either going to expect you to cover everybody’s personal life or we’re going to start covering them over here.”
When it published the audio on Thursday, the Examiner wrote that it made the decision because Conway had attempted to “mock” and “threaten” a reporter doing her job. The paper’s editor argued that while Conway’s assistant had requested an off-the-record conversation, Conway had made no such arrangement herself after picking up the line.
“Off the record conversations are agreed in good faith and in advance between people known to be participating,” Examiner editor in chief Hugo Gurdon said in a statement. “They are not, and never have been, blanket coverage to shield people who pull a bait and switch, peremptorily enter the conversation, and then spend ten minutes abusing, bullying and threatening a reporter. Other organizations may agree to be played for saps, but the Washington Examiner won’t.”
Conway, though, disputed the Examiner’s version of events.What I said on that call I’ve said publicly on-the-record before, including on TV, in speeches, in driveway gaggles with reporters,” Conway wrote in a lengthy statement. “I did NOT indicate the call was off-the-record, but the reporter certainly thought it was.”

Il patetico show dei deputati repubblicani



Circa 50 parlamentari repubblicani sono scesi nel sottosuolo di Capitol Hill ed hanno interrotto per ore i lavori delle tre commissioni che stavano conducendo l'interrogatorio di una collaboratrice della Casa Bianca.

La 'security room' e' un'aula nella quale non possono essere introdotti cellulari o altri apparati digitali di comunicazione.

L'aula e' isolata dal resto del mondo per impedire che possibili soffiate possano mettere a repentaglio i lavori e l'incolumita' di coloro che sono chiamati a rispondere alle domande dei commissari.

Le tre dozzine di deputati repubblicani che hanno inscenato questo show di protesta (accusando i democratici di 'linciaggio' del presidente Trump per l'avvio del procedimento di inchiesta che condurra' alla sentenza di impeachment) hanno agito contro le regole della Camera di cui fanno parte ed e' probabile che nei loro confronti scattino procedimenti di penalizzazione.

Nella storia del parlamento americano non si era mai verificato un episodio consimile di violazione delle norme di sicurezza del Campidoglio da parte di membri di una delle due Camere.

Se volevano attrarre l'attenzione dei media sul loro gesto di protesta i deputati repubblicani ci sono riusciti.

Ma non dovremo meravigliarci se, garantiti da un esempio di tale portata, potranno verificarsi negli Stati Uniti assalti e violenze contro rappresentanti delle istituzioni di segno democratico.

Il tutto per garantire la permanenza alla Casa Bianca del peggiore presidente nella storia di questa democrazia che ha ridotto l'immagine internazionale degli Stati Uniti ad un livello miserrimo.

Degli Americani oggi nessuno si fida piu'.

Testimonianza esplosiva

William B. Taylor, Jr., Ambassador of the United States to Ukraine.jpg
William B. Taylor, ambasciatore dimissionario in Ucraina, eroe decorato in Vietnam, 50 anni al servizio degli Stati Uniti come militare, diplomatico, membro del parlamento, collaboratore dei presidenti Bush e Obama.
La sua testimonianza si e' tenuta nel bunker sotterraneo di Capitol Hill, priva di qualsiasi contatto con l'esterno.
I partecipanti sono tenuti al massimo riserbo anche se qualcuno di loro ha definito la testimonianza di Taylor come 'esplosiva'.
La Casa Bianca ha definito questa testimonianza come un tassello della cospirazione contro Trump.
L'Ambasciatore Taylor, prima di rispondere alle domande dei membri del Congresso ha letto una memoria di 15 pagine.

________________________________________________________

By Dareh Gregorian

President Donald Trump has insisted there was no "quid pro quo" in his dealings with the Ukrainian government, and "no pressure" on Ukraine's president to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
But in his remarkable 15-page statement delivered to Congress on Tuesday, Trump's top diplomat to Ukraine painted a picture of both.
"I do not know how you would listen to today's testimony by the ambassador, Ambassador Taylor, and draw any other conclusion, except that the president abused his power and withheld foreign aid," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. "It's a direct line."
Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., referred to the testimony as "explosive."
Here are six of the statement's most astonishing scenes described in Taylor's testimony, which may become a milestone in the Democrats' impeachment inquiry:

1. Taylor details 'highly irregular' backchannel
Taylor, who was ambassador to Ukraine during the Bush administration, returned to service to replace Marie Yovanovitch, who was recalled from the position in May. Taylor said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured him at the time that the U.S. "policy of strong support for Ukraine would continue and that he would support me in defending that policy."

"But once I arrived in Kyiv, I discovered a weird combination of encouraging, confusing, and ultimately alarming circumstances," Taylor wrote in his statement.

"I found a confusing and unusual arrangement for making U.S. policy towards Ukraine. There appeared to be two channels of U.S. policy-making and implementation, one regular and one highly irregular."

The "irregular, informal channel" included then-Special Envoy Kurt Volker, European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

"The push to make President Zelenskiy publicly commit to investigations of Burisma and alleged interference in the 2016 election showed how the official foreign policy of the United States was undercut by the irregular efforts led by Giuliani," Taylor added later.

2. Taylor describes when he learned about the Ukraine aid hold
On July 10, Taylor said he was told by a Ukrainian official that Giuliani had informed him that a planned phone call between Trump and new Ukraine president Volodomyr Zelenskiy was "unlikely to happen." A week later, Taylor heard from an Office of Management and Budget staffer in a National Security Council conference call that a hold has been placed on Ukraine aid.

"All that the OMB staff person said was that the directive had come from the president to the chief of staff to OMB. In an instant, I realized that one of the key pillars of our strong support for Ukraine was threatened," Taylor wrote.

He said he later found out that in a meeting with Ukrainian officials and NSC staffers that Sondland "had connected 'investigations' with an Oval Office meeting for President Zelenskiy."

3. A Ukrainian official tells Taylor that Zelenskiy 'did not want to be used as a pawn'
As Taylor kept working to set up the call between the two leaders, he said "Sondland told me that he had recommended to President Zelenskiy that he use the phrase, 'I will no leave no stone unturned' with regard to 'investigations' when they speak."

A Ukrainian official told Taylor that Zelenskiy "did not want to be used as pawn in the U.S. re-election campaign," a concern Taylor passed on to Sondland and Volker.

Trump said he and Zelenskiy spoke five days later. "I received no readout of the call from the White House," Taylor said.

4. Taylor says it became clear to him that the aid freeze was tied to the Biden probe
Ukrainian officials found out about the hold on aid on Aug. 29, after an article appeared in Politico.

Lawmakers outraged after Trump compares impeachment inquiry to 'a lynching'

"It had still not occurred to me that the hold on security assistance could be related to the 'investigations.' That, however, would soon change," Taylor wrote.

In early September, Taylor said he spoke with an NSC official who described a conversation Sondland had with a Ukrainian official at an event in Poland. Sondland told the official "the security assistance money would not come until President Zelenskiy committed to pursue the Burisma investigation" — a reference to the company Hunter Biden was working for.

Taylor said he texted Sondland, who asked him to call. "During that phone call, Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelenskiy to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election," Taylor wrote.

"Ambassador Sondland also told me that he now recognized that he had made a mistake by earlier telling the Ukrainian officials to whom he spoke that a White House meeting with President Zelinskiy was dependent on a public announcement of investigations — in fact, Ambassador Sondland said, 'everything' was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance. He said that President Trump wanted President Zelenskiy 'in a public box' by making a public statement about ordering such an investigation."

5. Taylor says Trump officials denied a quid pro quo, while urging what appeared to be a quid pro quo
On September 7, the NSC official told Taylor about another disturbing conversation between Sondland and Trump.

"President Trump told Ambassador Sondlond that he was not asking for a 'quid pro quo.' But President Trump did insist that President Zelenskiy go to a microphone and say he is opening investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference, and President Zelenskiy should want to do this himself."

The next day, Taylor said he and Sondland spoke on the phone. According to Taylor, Sondland said he had told Zelenskiy and one of his top advisers "that, although this was not a quid pro quo, if President Zelenskiy did not 'clear things up in public,' we would be at a 'stalemate.'

"I understood a 'stalemate' to mean that Ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance. Ambassador Sondland said this conversation concluded with President Zelenskiy agreeing to make a public statement in an interview with CNN," Taylor wrote.

6. Taylor said Sondland told him it was just business as usual
Taylor said he objected to Trump's plans, telling Sondland it was "crazy" to hold up security assistance "for help with a political campaign."

The two spoke by phone on Sept. 8, and "Sondland tried to explain to me that President Trump is a businessman. When a businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something, he said, the businessman asks that person to pay before signing the check."

Taylor said "the Ukrainians did not 'owe' President Trump anything, and holding up security assistance for domestic political gain was 'crazy.'"

The hold on the aid was lifted on Sept. 11.


Dareh Gregorian



Rieccola.....! (Forse)

By Victor Skinner

At Hillary Clinton’s latest campaign stop in Oregon, the former first lady again refused to endorse any of the current Democrats running in the 2020 presidential primary, but she did highlight her experience with impeachment and essentially described herself as the ideal candidate to take on Trump in 2020.

Clinton and daughter Chelsea were at Portland’s Revolution Hall on Saturday to promote their new book about “gutsy women” when the moderator, local author Cheryl Strayed, brought up 2020, KGW8 reports.



“All that matters is that we win,” Clinton told Strayed. “I hate to be so, you know, simplistic about it. We have to nominate (cough) … the best …“You!” someone shouted from the audience, drawing a big smile and laugh from Clinton.  She didn’t disavow the idea.  “Oh, my. Well, thank you,” Clinton said. “I just feel so strongly that, look, I just want to say a little bit more about this, because what’s going on now with the impeachment inquiry is not a choice it was an obligation under the Constitution.”  The 71-year-old twice failed presidential candidate explained that it’s a “big challenge” to run a presidential campaign amid the political chaos in Washington, D.C., then laid out her experience in such a “really complicated political environment.”  Clinton touted her involvement building the case for impeachment against former President Richard Nixon and lectured about the founding fathers including constitutional protections against a president “who would try to curry favor with foreign powers.” Clinton contends impeachment may eventually sway Republicans in the House against Trump, and “if enough vote against him” it could spark a Republican rebellion in the Senate, as well. “I say all of that because it’s hard to know who’s going to be the best candidate to beat this president, assuming this president is still running,” she said. “I mean this is a really complicated political environment.” There’s lots of great Democrats running for president, Clinton claimed, “but at the end of the day, there are a lot of forecasters who are saying, ‘look, if the economy stays in good shape and he’s not impeached, or he’s impeached but not convicted, it’s going to be very, very hard’ (to defeat Trump) because of all the advantages he will have on … suppression and everything else.” The former secretary of state suggested Democrats “see who emerges” from the primary, but made it clear “we have to vet them … because believe me they make up stuff about you.”Clinton just last week alleged Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a “Russian asset” planted to sabotage the party.“You got to be in a position where the public and the press don’t fall for that again,” Clinton said, referring to fake news in the 2016 election. “So we need to vet our candidates by pushing them hard, that’s part of the process, so we see how people withstand what will be a brutal attack on them from the right, and the Russians and all their allies.“So that’s what we should be looking for,” she said, concluding her backhanded self-promotion.

The American Mirror

Lock Her Up.....La vergogna dei Media indipendenti americani


Hillary Clinton · Age
Venerdi il Dipartimento di Stato controllato da Donald Trump ha "dovuto' annunciare, sia pure sommessamente che, dopo quattro anni di indagine, "there never was any Hillary Clinton email scandal. No one ever intentionally did anything wrong with their email. It was never a scandal. It certainly wasn’t a Hillary Clinton scandal".

Il distratto lettore italiano probabilmente non ricorderà quello che accadde durante la campagna presidenziale del 2016.

Ma il cittadino americano di quelle accuse rivolte alla candidata Hillary Clinton sicuramente ne ha un ricordo sgradevole.

Basta rivedere le immagini televisive degli stadi nei quali il candidato Donald Trump aizzava decine di migliaia di fanatici sostenitori che godevano letteralmente nell'urlare "Lock her up", ovvero 'mandala in galera' rivolto alla Hillary.

Grazie alla collaborazione dei russi Donald Trump era riuscito a mettere le mani su un presunto scandalo di 30.000 e-mail inviate dai collaboratori della Clinton utilizzando un account privato anziché quello del Dipartimento di Stato.

Sembra che così avessero agito anche i predecessori della Clinton allo State Department, considerato che il sistema ufficiale del ministero non offriva sufficienti garanzie di immediatezza.

Certamente una incauta decisione da parte dei collaboratori della Clinton che molto probabilmente non era al corrente dell'uso improprio di questa e-mail privata.

Ma su questo presunto scandalo Donald Trump e la sua gang sono riusciti a montare uno tsunami psicologico che ha imbrattato notevolmente l'immagine della candidata Hillary Clinton.

Oggi si viene a sapere che lo scandalo non era scandalo, visto che le e-mail inviate non avevano alcun potenziale negativo.

E sono proprio i repubblicani che controllano il Dipartimento di Stato a doverlo ammettere oggi.

Resta da dire invece che in quei giorni sul presunto scandalo si misero a ricamare anche i media cosiddetti indipendenti che avrebbero dovuto invece usare non soltanto cautela ma anche provvedere a non seguire la marea emotiva scatenata dai repubblicani.

Responsabili di questa caduta di stile e di imparzialità giornalistica sono la Cnn, MSNBC, i giornaloni come il New York Times e il Washington post.

Se da parte di questi eccelsi titolari della comunicazione imparziale, si fosse utilizzato quello strumento di cui la cosiddetta stampa indipendente si ammanta, ovvero il giornalismo di indagine, certamente la tesi scandalistica repubblicana sarebbe stata contestata e svilita nei suoi contenuti.

Così non è stato invece e questo episodio si caratterizza come una macchia indelebile nella asserita e conclamata indipendenza della stampa americana.

Oscar
_______________________________________________

alepolca@iol.it

10:48 AM (1 hour ago)
to me
Un altro colpo alla credibilità dei grandi media dopo le armi di distruzione di massa in Iraq.
Con dispiacere
A. Politi
____________________________________________________

Un piano industriale in tre mosse per fare ripartire l’Italia


Piano industriale: tre mosse per il ritorno delle imprese in Italia
Articolo di Romano Prodi su Il Messaggero del 20 ottobre 2019
Per un periodo di anni, divenuto ormai così lungo da essere quasi eterno, abbiamo assistito all’esodo delle nostre imprese verso paesi con un livello salariale più basso.
Le principali destinazioni sono stati i nuovi membri dell’Unione Europea e gli altri paesi a noi vicini, dalla Polonia alla Romania, dall’Ungheria all’Albania fino a tutte le regioni dell’ex Jugoslavia. Ad essi si è aggiunto il trasferimento verso l’Asia, cominciando dalla Cina per passare dall’India, alla Thailandia e al Viet Nam.
Questo esodo ha soprattutto riguardato le aziende nelle quali il costo del lavoro era determinante e il livello tecnologico non particolarmente elevato. Era cioè una fuga dall’Italia e non un insediamento in un paese straniero per la conquista del mercato locale.
Le differenze salariali erano infatti così elevate da rendere impossibile la nostra competitività in tutti i settori nei quali non esisteva una barriera tecnologica o organizzativa.
Ricordo che quando scrissi il primo articolo di confronto dei costi industriali dopo la caduta del muro di Berlino, il titolo dell’articolo era “Uno, quattro, quaranta” perché da quaranta a uno era la differenza del salario orario fra i paesi europei più avanzati e la Cina e da quattro a uno il rapporto con i nuovi protagonisti europei.
Partendo da queste differenze le grandi imprese dell’Europa occidentale hanno trasferito verso i nuovi protagonisti europei le aziende subfornitrici o fasi particolari della produzione, in modo da aumentare la propria capacità concorrenziale. Uno dei punti di forza dell’aumento della produttività tedesca è stato quello di avere trasferito altrove, ma al proprio servizio, le produzioni più semplici.
Le cose si sono evolute nel tempo, anche se molte di queste differenze restano. I salari in Cina sono oggi tre volte inferiori ai nostri ma la produttività e l’innalzamento tecnologico dell’industria locale hanno fatto tali passi da gigante per cui il problema concorrenziale resta primario, anche se il mercato interno cinese sta diventando determinante per ogni impresa.
Più interessante è l’evoluzione della situazione europea, dove i salari dei nuovi paesi concorrenti sono continuamente aumentati e, negli ultimi mesi, hanno compiuto salti in avanti tali da cambiare i termini della concorrenza.
Spinto anche da motivi elettorali il salario minimo mensile polacco è ora nell’ordine dei 900 euro, mentre il gruppo Volkswagen ha di recente dovuto aumentare in modo massiccio le retribuzioni nelle sue filiali: è cresciuto del 12% il costo orario della Skoda nella Repubblica Ceca e del 18% il salario della fabbrica ungherese dove si produce il più elevato numero di motori per l’Audi.
Dai dati riportati dal Financial Times i costi orari sono cresciuti di oltre il 10% anche in Slovacchia, Romania e Bulgaria.
Il quadro concorrenziale sta quindi cambiando e, per le imprese italiane, si apre un nuovo orizzonte strategico.
Anche perché i salari non sono cresciuti negli ultimi dieci anni, il nostro costo orario è almeno del 30% inferiore rispetto alla Germania e agli altri paesi del nord Europa e si colloca a livelli nettamente concorrenziali rispetto alla Francia.
D’altra parte i pochi recenti casi di nuovi investimenti esteri localizzati in Italia (e messi in atto con le nostre capacità imprenditoriali e un’adeguata preparazione dei nuovi assunti) stanno dando risultati spettacolari: basta pensare al recente raddoppio della Lamborghini che produce oggi il livello di profitti più elevato nell’intero gruppo Volkswagen, che pure ha insediamenti in tutti i paesi del mondo.
È quindi ora di mettere in atto un progetto per il ritorno delle imprese in Italia e per aumentare l’arrivo di nuovi investimenti nel nostro paese: la dinamica dei cambiamenti in atto lo permette e la nostra futura sopravvivenza lo esige.
È chiaro che la via da seguire non è certo quella di comprimere i costi del lavoro ma di aumentare la nostra stagnante produttività con un’azione congiunta fra l’operatore pubblico e gli imprenditori privati.
Le direzioni da seguire sono chiare e provate.
In primo luogo è necessaria un’azione di emergenza verso una semplificazione della burocrazia e un comprensibile funzionamento della giustizia: quello che sta succedendo all’Ilva, un’azienda sotto la lente di tutti gli osservatori mondiali e vitale per il futuro della nostra industria, risulta del tutto incomprensibile.
In secondo luogo occorre apprestare una politica per gli investimenti pubblici e privati, attraverso lo spostamento di risorse verso le vecchie e nuove infrastrutture, dalle ferrovie fino all’intelligenza artificiale.
La terza, ma ancora più vitale direzione, è una nuova politica delle risorse umane. Non solo le scuole tecniche e le università ma un incentivo alle imprese per un elevamento del livello di tutti i partecipanti alla vita aziendale.
Capisco come l’attenzione della politica sia ora tutta concentrata sui delicati e necessari aggiustamenti del bilancio pubblico ma credo che sia ancora più importante interpretare i cambiamenti del mondo e preparare il nostro paese ad affrontarli. Non possiamo pensare che la nostra politica industriale possa limitarsi a cercare il pur necessario rimedio per le imprese che scappano.

Parolab Italians in DC





Interessante, ma deludente e apotropaica la risposta sulla fortuna e il merito.  

Grazie e ciao,

C