Interesting & Important News & Analysis, November 30, 2019

If true, does this rise to the level of “smoking gun”? It may well. It sure doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t see how Joe Biden could ever justify it.

Yesterday, I wrote the following:

“The Burisma case was transferred to NABU, then shut down.” Focus on that: “… then shut down.” Why is that so important?

Joe Biden’s actions have been defended by the Democratic establishment as having been critical of insufficient action concerning corruption at Burisma.

Just how soon after the transfer was the investigation shut down?

On what basis was it shut down?

Was it shut down prematurely?

What follow-up did Joe Biden do after Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin’s termination in terms of evaluating whether investigations into corruption were being done?

If Joe Biden was concerned enough to threaten to withhold billions of dollars from Ukraine unless Shokin were fired and the investigation were ramped up concerning Burisma, Joe must have followed up; otherwise, it would appear Joe’s initial motive was satisfied by Shokin’s termination and the investigations shutdown. That would smack of using his office directly to benefit his son, Hunter, an utterly corrupt and clearly illegal act.

If Joe didn’t follow up, who did?

Where’s the documentation that the investigation of Burisma had been concluded after more aggressive and thorough work than Shokin had done and was pursuing?

Well, as if on cue, I find this:

The Ukrainian documents were shown, along with English translations of them. For example, from the NABU or National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine:

The data on the veiled transfer of funds for lobbying activities personally to J. Biden were obtained during the investigation. Money in the amount of over USD 900 thousand was transferred to the aforesaid Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, the resident company, with an indication of ‘Remuneration for consulting services’ as payment details.

The person was identified and interviewed as a witness in the course of the investigation, who has been personally engaged in holding transactions for laundering and legitimization of funds in favor of M. Zlochevsky and the Bidens. Investigators possess original copies of the payment instruments and engineering means, whereby the said bargains were performed.

Through making use of the political and economic leverages over new government authorities of Ukraine and intimidating them with the issue of granting financial assistance to Ukraine, Joe Biden has actively promoted the closing of the criminal cases against M. Zlochevsky and Burisma Group corporate executives.

Member of Ukraine’s Parliament Leaks Trove of Biden Financial Records

Look, Joe Biden and his supporters claim that Joe got Shokin fired because Shokin wasn’t investigating corruption, including at Burisma. However, it appears that almost immediately after, if not immediately after, Shokin was fired, the investigation into Burisma was terminated. Even the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) appears to have made that quite clear.

Derkach says:

Shokin [the man Joe Biden had fired] has repeatedly called upon the NABU director Sitnik in the criminal proceedings on Burisma case, but always got the run-arounds.

…and asks:

Why was the NABU in such a hurry to close the cases of Burisma, Zlochevskiy and Biden, and for whom did they collect personal data on Shokin?

Before noting that:

the moment when Shokin demanded from NABU to investigate facts of international corruption coincided with the arrival of US Vice President Joe Biden to Ukraine. And $ 1 billion of loan guarantees that the United States had to provide Ukraine depended on Biden.

This is why I said that Joe Biden’s actions do not pass the smell test.

I don’t know if Lindsey Graham (who then said “smell test”) or his people or other Republicans connected with them read my “smell test” statement. I’m an radical economic-democrat, and they might be loathe to give me credit because of that.

I didn’t even know “fast fashion” existed until this year. My jaw hit the floor when I learned of just how many items of clothing, how many tons of clothes, that have been barely worn, if at all, are simply thrown out in the trash. How long is it going to take before people put planet and the environment above total BS? I still wear the same clothes I wore in college, and I don’t care what anybody thinks about my “fashion.” Sure, I have to replace things that become rags, but I really mean rags. It’s what’s between your ears and in your heart that counts, not the worldly fashions you wear. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to good looking clothes at all. There’s an esthetic involved. Clothes can be meaningful art, but we must keep our priorities straight. First, don’t destroy the Earth.

Is Black Friday a dark day for the planet? This growing movement thinks so

Authorities have been trying “to bring discipline into the market, but every time that happens, the consequences become frightening so they back away,” said Michael Pettis, a finance professor at Peking University. “The longer you take to solve it, the more distorted the market becomes and the more painful the resolution becomes.”

China Financial Warning Signs Are Flashing Almost Everywhere

Are you ready to cave in concerning tariffs? I’m not.

… the Fed:

Issues Treasury securities and conducts auctions of these securities to raise funds for the federal government.

Where Federal Revenue Comes from and How It’s Spent

Why force the government to go into debt, to pay interest? Who benefits the most from the arrangement? It’s designed to suppress democracy to keep the bulk of the people from rising. It’s a holdover from outright slavery (as opposed to being masked behind wages and salaries). It’s designed and kept in place by those who wanted, and still want, others (including now automation) to do all the work (labor) while the designers skim off all the cream for themselves. It’s time to overturn the tables in the Temple again to establish a New World Order based upon radical economic-democracy.

This is directly the fault of US Russophobes.

China’s economic ties with Russia are deepening. Meanwhile, Europe remains Russia’s largest trading partner, lender and investor. An analysis of China’s ties with Russia, indicate that China seems to have become more of a competitor to the European Union on Russia’s market. Competition over investment and lending is more limited, but the situation could change rapidly with China and Russia giving clear signs of a stronger than ever strategic partnership.

How does China fare on the Russian market? Implications for the European Union

… the profile of the Conservative Party’s business donors has become very lopsided. The range of businesses that donate is shrinking while donors from finance dominate.
Hedge Fund City

This reflects the financialisation of the UK economy. Finance is the Conservative Party’s largest source of funds because it has become by far the UK’s biggest industry – but an industry that operates mostly in one corner of England. The City of London is the beating heart of international finance, while Canary Wharf is home for big banks and other financial institutions. And Mayfair has become Hedge Fund City.

… the policy agenda of hedge-fund owners and right-wing Tories is strikingly similar: tax cuts for the rich, dismantling of regulations and shredding of the welfare state. Johnson has temporarily backtracked on his proposals for substantial tax cuts for the rich because he needs to win an election and this is emphatically not a vote winner. But they will no doubt reappear if the Conservatives win an overall majority.

The Tories aren’t the party of business – just the London financial elite

Read the whole article.

I’ve known Jeremy Corbyn for 30 years. He is no antisemite. He has put his neck on the line hundreds of times in opposing racism, antisemitism, far right fascism, holocaust denial.

For the record the sudden loss of Jewish support for Labour came when Miliband was leader who the Jewish Chronicle described as ‘toxic’ for Jewish voters. MIliband is Jewish. It was his support for recognition of Palestine before negotiations that did for him, they said. Being Jewish was no shield against this hostility.

Ask me, who am I ‘safer’ with: a Johnson-led government with its record of the ‘hostile environment’, persecution of Windrush generation, and persistent antisemitic jibes from leading party members or this Labour Party, and I say, Labour every time.

I’m Jewish. I’m voting Labour.

How to Implement a Smart Building

The new behavioral science of risk taking in business

As a landlord or management firm, how do you stack up?

The City Public Advocate keeps a list of the worst landlords in NYC, which you can access online here. This has the Public Advocate’s list of the city’s 100 worst landlords; it also lets you search by building or landlord/management company name. If you’re considering a place that appears on this list, run away and don’t look back.

How to research a New York apartment building before you move in

Fascist Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is one of the worst “leaders” on the planet. He’s only in office because of the coup against Dilma Rousseff and the kangaroo court sentence against Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The sooner the People of Brazil get rid of Bolsonaro, the better.

Brazil’s president accuses actor DiCaprio of paying to burn the Amazon, offers no evidence

… the majority of studies in the US have found lower crime rates among immigrants compared to non-immigrants, contradicting the perception that immigration increases crime.

A 2019 study by The Marshall Project, an online journalism organisation which covers criminal justice, found no causal connection between immigration and crime in the United States.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson admits media is right about Trump’s lying: ‘He’s a full-blown BS artist’