Donald Trump’s grandfather Friedrich Trump ran a restaurant, bar, and brothel in British Columbia.
By Natalie Obiko Pearson | October 26, 2016 Photographs by Ben Nelms/Bloomberg
Buried in a ghost town in Canada’s subarctic are the roots of the family fortune that paved Donald Trump’s path to prominence.
The Trump family’s gold-rush story began when Fred, as he was known, left Germany at the age of 16 with little more than a suitcase. He headed to New York to work as a barber before venturing west in search of riches. Following stints in Seattle and now-defunct Monte Cristo, the gold fever carried him to Bennett, where he and partner Ernest Levin built the Arctic Restaurant, which touted itself as the best-equipped in town.
It was open around the clock with “private boxes for ladies and parties,” according to an advertisement in the Dec. 9, 1899 edition of the Bennett Sun newspaper. The boxes typically included a bed and scale for weighing gold dust used to pay for “services,” according to a three-generational biography by Gwenda Blair, who traced the origins of the Trump family’s wealth. Of course, in the rough-and-tumble frontier towns of that era, the Arctic’s business model built on food, booze and sex was common.
Clinton Aide’s Memo Details Ties Between Consulting Firm and Clinton Foundation
Doug Band spelled out his efforts to secure foundation donations from consulting client
The overlap between Hillary Clinton’s State Department, her family’s foundation, and a consulting firm run by members of her inner circle has reaped a windfall for all involved, steering tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton family and generating lucrative contracts for a consulting practice run by a close confidante, an internal memo reveals.
The 2011 memo, authored by Clinton confidante Doug Band, reveals for the first time the precise financial flows between the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Band’s firm Teneo Consulting, and the Clinton family’s private business endeavors.
The Band memo also provides additional details on the specific relationships between his consulting clients, which include multinational corporations and deep-pocketed foundations, and the Clinton family’s business and charitable efforts.
Band sent the memo to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, then the president of the left-wing Center for American Progress, in a November 2011 email.
Definition of Boodle, Boodle Boys and the Good Ole’ Boy Network
The Internet of Things will be worth trillions by 2025. China wants centralized control.
The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 25, 2016
By Robert M. McDowell and Gordon M. Goldstein
The future of the internet could be at stake at a conference beginning this week in Tunisia, where diplomats from more than 100 countries will debate United Nations jurisdiction over the web. What emerges from the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly will affect geopolitics and global economic growth, and possibly internet freedom for billions of users.
U.N. members will address cybercrime, privacy and the potential regulation of internet companies, applications and content. Most important, diplomats will discuss the emerging Internet of Things, which will soon connect tens of billions of devices and people to the global network.
A new navigational and addressing technology, Digital Object Architecture (DOA), could enable the real-time surveillance and tracking of each device and individual connected to the web. Some governments are advocating that DOA be the singular and mandatory addressing system for the Internet of Things. They also want this system to be centrally controlled by the U.N.’s International Telecommunication Union, which has contractual rights to the underlying intellectual property.
At the meeting in Tunisia, China is working to join the leadership of the global study group on DOA and the Internet of Things, which the U.N. projects <http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/wtsa16/Documents/WTSA16Infographic.pdf> will generate $6 trillion in global economic value by 2025.
Digital Object Architecture tracking tools could be integrated into industries ranging from aviation to pharmaceuticals.Such a system could also help governments mandate charges for any online financial transaction, such as through bank ATMs, credit-card payments, electronic money transfers or mobile banking. Such transaction taxes could upend the pace of investment and innovation in the internet space and distort global commerce.
The brewing conflict comes at a difficult moment. On Oct. 1, the Obama administration relinquished its legal oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), which manages the Domain Name System. The fight over Icann’s future ended a decadeslong bipartisan consensus on how to protect an open internet. U.S. policy makers should put the Icann fight behind them and work together to think strategically about the emerging geopolitics of the internet and restore bothunity and resolve to a fragmented American tech policy. At risk is the internet’s technical architecture and regulatory structure, which scores of nations seek to bring under foreign government and multilateral control.
These latest developments are part of a broader shift in the relationship between government and the internet. Countries like Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia are all pursuing a grand strategy to use international organizations, particularly the U.N., to control the digital future. The Tunisia conference is the latest in a series of efforts to expand the International Telecommunication Union’s mandate beyond its historical function of telecommunications coordination.
Today’s global fight over internet freedom started more than a decade ago. In 2003, China, Russia and other countries initiated a persistent and patient campaign to bring Icann under the control of the United Nations. In 2012 the U.S. led a coalition of 55 countries that refused to sign a global treaty negotiated in Dubai that would have expanded the U.N.’s reach and power to shape how key aspects of the internet operate.
While the U.S. and some of its internet allies rejected the Dubai power grab, 89 other countries voted for more U.N. influence, including an enlarged role in “international Internet governance and for ensuring the stability, security and continuity of the existing Internet and its future development.” That particular resolution<http://www.itu.int/en/wcit-12/documents/final-acts-wcit-12.pdf> was rammed through at 1:30 a.m. on the penultimate night of the conference—forcing the U.S. delegation, of which we were both members—to contest the conference’s legitimacy and boycott its result.
In 2015 a coalition comprised of China and 134 other countries submitted a manifesto to another U.N. meeting insisting that national governments—rather than NGOs, civil society, consumers or business innovators—should dictate the digital future. The bloc declared that “overall authority for Internet-related public policy issues is the sovereign right of States.”
In April Russia’s Vladimir Putin<http://topics.wsj.com/person/P/Vladimir-Putin/6409> and the leaders of China and India issued a joint communiqué proclaiming “the need to internationalize Internet governance” and enhance the role of the U.N. Momentum, energy and numbers are on their side. As is bureaucratic power: A Chinese government diplomat is today the secretary-general of the U.N.’s International Telecommunication Union.
The first iteration of the privatized internet was conceived and controlled by the nongovernmental global technical community, civil society and the private economy, which unleashed the greatest wave of innovation in world history. The internet of the future, in contrast, may be shaped by foreign governments and the U.N. if countries like Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and China achieve their strategic objective.
America must quickly move beyond the divisive argument about Icann and regain its internet-policy footing. Many more consequential battles over internet freedom loom—conflicts that will shape the digital future. It is time for the U.S. to unify again behind a bipartisan vision and common strategy to safeguard internet freedom for tomorrow.
Mr. McDowell, a former Republican commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. Mr. Goldstein, a Democrat, is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Purdue Pharma pays off pharmacy benefit managers [PBMs] responsible for ensuring favorable treatment for OxyContin with rebates they a greed to make the drug available without prior authorization and with low copayments.
the pharmacy benefits management model – their role in drug pricing – who tracks drug distribution?
In their contracts with drug makers, a PBM may classify a rebate they’ve negotiated as a type of fee, allowing them to keep it rather than pass it on to their clients, according to Linda Cahn, an attorney who advises health plans. This places the client at a big disadvantage because the contracts are proprietary, which makes it hard to know what the rebates really look like in the first place.
Similarly, contracts may also allow PBMs to loosely define what is considered a brand-name or generic drug. As a result, some may be incorrectly categorized, which means clients may not receive appropriate discounts. And the difference can be substantial. Cahn said average discounts for brand drugs range from 15 percent to 21 percent, and average discounts for generics run from 72 percent to 82 percent. “The PBMs play a labeling game,” she explained. “So the clients have no idea how much money they are leaving on the table.”
The largest PBM’s are Express Scripts, CVS Caremark and United Healthcare’s OptumRX — which collectively manage about 70 percent of the pharmacy benefits in the United States.
PBMs = Middle Men = Rebates Scam
$3 billion per year on pharmaceuticals.
these companies stand at the crossroads where lists of preferred medicines are compiled for health plans and prices for these drugs are negotiated. A key issue is the extent to which pharmacy benefits managers are transparent about rebates that are received and passed to clients.
Health Transformation Alliance wants to rewrite their contract with a PBM company to eliminate any undisclosed drug company rebate that a PBM might keep for themselves.
At the close of an election cycle that has seen more than $1 billion
spent on state and local races, one of the government’s top regulators delivered a stark warning: Law enforcement is stepping up efforts to protect public pension investments from being influenced by campaign cash, he said. With millions of teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public workers relying on those pensions for their retirement, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Andrew Ceresney said the threat of corruption must be taken seriously.
“If political contributions or improper payments to government officials play a role in the selection of investment professionals, the fairness of the process by which public contracts are awarded is undermined,” Ceresney told a gathering of current and former regulators in mid-October. “These practices, known as ‘pay-to-play,’ also distort the process by which professionals are selected and may result in pension funds receiving inferior services and paying higher fees, thereby harming retirees and the taxpaying residents of the states.”
Ceresney, who is head of the SEC’s division of enforcement, said his team is now working with other federal law enforcement agencies to do “all we can to shine light in this opaque area.” His warning spotlighted the fact that — six years after the SEC enacted its pay-to-play rule — financial executives have found ways around the strictures as they seek lucrative deals to manage portions of the nation’s $3 trillion public pension system.
Online Trackers Follow Our Digital Shadow By ‘Fingerprinting’ Browsers, Devices
how fingerprinting can follow you across devices
This is best seen if you think about you as a traveler with two different devices, let’s say your laptop and your mobile phone. What some website or tracker is going to observe is that there are two different devices over and over again connecting from the same networks, from the same set of IP addresses. … Over time, that allows this online tracker to put together a profile of the behavior of those two devices and infer statistically, with a very high degree of confidence, that this pattern of coincidences could not have happened by chance — it must be because these two devices belong to the same individuals. …
For the most part, these are very new and interesting technologies, but also creepy from a privacy perspective and more-or-less unregulated.
On the uses of online tracking The most obvious consequences are certainly going to be online ads that you see and targeted offers that you get. Occasionally, we know that websites have been experimenting with price discrimination based on your online activities and trying to infer if you’re a more affluent or less affluent type of consumer online. That’s not so widespread yet, but there are a few studies that have revealed that it does happen from time to time. …
Bill Clinton Era SEC Chair Tells Elizabeth Warren to Muzzle Herself
Arthur Levitt, Former Chair of the SEC, Promised to Be Wall Street’s Uncle, and Delivered
Yesterday, former SEC Chair Arthur Levitt penned an OpEd for the Wall Street Journal, effectively telling Senator Elizabeth Warren to stop criticizing Mary Jo White in public. White is the current Chair of the SEC that Senator Warren publicly asked President Obama to fire this month for her bad leadership.
Senator Warren is a genuine champion of the investing public and understands how the SEC has become a lapdog to Wall Street under White’s inept leadership. Levitt is part of the Bill Clinton machine that de-regulated Wall Street and turned it into a massive looting racket in the 1990s through today. It’s important to take note of Levitt’s effort to muzzle Warren in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Expect to see more of this coming from a lot more of Wall Street’s cronies.
Arthur Levitt was appointed as SEC Chair by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Levitt served until 2001, making him the longest serving SEC Chair. Levitt had previously been Sandy Weill’s business partner in a Wall Street brokerage firm. In 1998, when Weill wanted to create Citigroup by merging his Travelers Group, which owned an insurance company, brokerage firm and investment bank, with Citibank, an insured depository bank – an illegal merger at the time under the Glass-Steagall Act — Levitt and his other cronies in the Bill Clinton administration eagerly got the ball rolling.
WikiLeaks: Citigroup Exec Gave Obama Recommendation of Hillary for State, Eric Holder for DOJ
If there is any truth to the allegation that Russia is behind the hacking of emails being released by WikiLeaks, then the American public owes Russia a huge debt of gratitude. At a time when the American people are sharply focused on how the leader of the free world is chosen, WikiLeaks is giving us an unprecedented, historical opportunity to understand how corporate money in politics has corrupted everything we believe in as a democracy.
This week, for example, emails from WikiLeaks show that President Obama, using the email address of firstname.lastname@example.org, was communicating directly with Michael Froman of Citigroup in 2008, who fed Obama lists of recommended appointments to his cabinet. In an email from Froman dated October 6, 2008, with Froman using his Citigroup email address of email@example.com, Hillary Clinton shows up on Froman’s list for Secretary of State or head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In a separate list attached to the email, Eric Holder was recommended for U.S. Attorney General at the Department of Justice or as White House Counsel. (See the email and the attachments here.) In less than a month after Obama’s election as President on November 4, 2008, Obama had nominated Clinton to be his Secretary of State and Holder as his Attorney General. Despite the unprecedented corruption rooted out on Wall Street by regulators, Holder failed to prosecute any of Wall Street’s top executives for the crimes that led to the greatest financial crash since the Great Depression.
Froman had served as Chief of Staff to Robert Rubin when Rubin was Secretary of the Treasury in the Bill Clinton administration. Rubin led the effort to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, which barred investment banks and brokerage firms on Wall Street from merging with commercial banks that held FDIC insured deposits for savers. The Glass-Steagall Act had been in force since 1933, after Congress had conducted three years of hearings showing the recklessness and corruption of the major Wall Street banks. Rubin left the Treasury Department and promptly took a job at Citigroup, the primary beneficiary of the repeal in 1999. Over the next decade, as Citigroup was serially charged by its regulators for abusing the public trust, Rubin collected compensation of $126 million.
AT&T Is Spying on Americans for Profit, New Documents Reveal
Kenneth Lipp10.25.16 5:13 AM ET
The telecom giant is doing NSA-style work for law enforcement—without a warrant—and earning millions of dollars a year from taxpayers.
Special cooperation with the government to conduct surveillance dates back to at least 2003, when AT&T ordered technician Mark Klein to help the National Security Agency install a bug directly into its main San Francisco internet exchange point, Room 641A. The company invented a programming language to mine its own records for surveillance, and in 2007 came under fire for handing these mined records over to the FBI. That same year Hemisphere was born.
Hemisphere is a secretive program run by AT&T that searches trillions of call records and analyzes cellular data to determine where a target is located, with whom he speaks, and potentially why.
Hemisphere isn’t a “partnership” but rather a product AT&T developed, marketed, and sold at a cost of millions of dollars per year to taxpayers. No warrant is required to make use of the company’s massive trove of data, according to AT&T documents, only a promise from law enforcement to not disclose Hemisphere if an investigation using it becomes public.
While telecommunications companies are legally obligated to hand over records, AT&T appears to have gone much further to make the enterprise profitable, according to ACLU technology policy analyst Christopher Soghoian.
“Companies have to give this data to law enforcement upon request, if they have it. AT&T doesn’t have to data-mine its database to help police come up with new numbers to investigate,” Soghoian said.
AT&T has a unique power to extract information from its metadata because it retains so much of it. The company owns more than three-quarters of U.S. landline switches, and the second largest share of the nation’s wireless infrastructure and cellphone towers, behind Verizon. AT&T retains its cell tower data going back to July 2008, longer than other providers. Verizon holds records for a year and Sprint for 18 months, according to a 2011 retention schedule obtained by The Daily Beast.
By 2013, it was deployed to three DEA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Investigative Support Centers, according to the Times. Today, Hemisphere is used in at least 28 of these intelligence centers across the country, documents show. The centers are staffed by federal agents as well as local law enforcement; one center is the Los Angeles Regional Criminal Information Clearinghouse, where Merritt’s number was sent for analysis.
Analysis is done by AT&T employees on behalf of law enforcement clients through these intelligence centers, but performed at another location in the area. At no point does law enforcement directly access AT&T’s data.
A statement of work from 2014 shows how hush-hush AT&T wants to keep Hemisphere.
“The Government agency agrees not to use the data as evidence in any judicial or administrative proceedings unless there is no other available and admissible probative evidence,” it says.
Sheriff and police departments pay from $100,000 to upward of $1 million a year or more for Hemisphere access. Harris County, Texas, home to Houston, made its inaugural payment to AT&T of $77,924 in 2007, according to a contract reviewed by The Daily Beast. Four years later, the county’s Hemisphere bill had increased more than tenfold to $940,000.
“Did you see that movie Field of Dreams?” Soghoian asked. “It’s like that line, ‘if you build it, they will come.’ Once a company creates a huge surveillance apparatus like this and provides it to law enforcement, they then have to provide it whenever the government asks. They’ve developed this massive program and of course they’re going to sell it to as many people as possible.”
AT&T documents state law enforcement doesn’t need a search warrant to use Hemisphere, just an administrative subpoena, which does not require probable cause. The DEA was granted administrative subpoena power in 1970.