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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 12th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


The Irith Jawetz report on Fareed Zakaria’s Global Public Square at CNN International show
of March 12, 2017.


First, Fareed spoke with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Was there any collaboration or serious communication between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s campaign last year? What does Russia think of claims that Moscow tried to alter the outcome of the U.S. presidential election? What does Vladimir Putin make of the first several weeks of the Trump administration? Fareed poses these questions and more to the longtime Kremlin aide.

Peskov denied any interfering in the US elections and any collaboration. Russia is being demonized, Russia has become a nightmare for the U.S. and the US is humiliating itself in the world.

It is impossible for a foreign country to interfere in an election process and Russia would not do it to any country, as it would not accept any country interfering in Russian elections.

What did all Trump’s people talk to the Russian Ambassador? It’s very common for an Ambassador to meet with the Administration people of the country they serve in to get a better understanding. They spoke about bilateral relations, trade, but definitely not about the election process.

President Putin always said he will respect whoever the American chose for President. Yes, he did like Trump’s approach better than Hillary Clinton’s since she had a very negative view of Russia and Trump said that although we have differences we have to talk to each other. However Putin would never interfere with the elections.

When will they meet? Not sure yet, if it does not happen before the Summer, then they will definitely meet at the next G20 meeting in Hamburg beginning of July.

What does President Putin think of President Trump: Too early to tell, but what he saw until now he thinks he is very pragmatic. We have to work together since there are so many problems in the world.

Will President Putin raise the question of the sanctions? No, since the US imposed those sanctions, Russia will not be the first to open discussions, it is up to the US to start.

What kind of a person is Putin? Putin is different than most politicians. He means what he says, he will never say more than he will be able to do. That’s why he is trustworthy, and has been in power for 17 years.

———————————

Then, Fareed spoke with Stephen Schwarzman, chair of the White House’s business advisory council and co-founder of private equity firm Blackstone. Fareed asks how Schwarzman got chosen for his role, whether he believes President Trump is open to criticism, whether there could be a U.S.-China trade war, and what could happen to GDP growth under a Trump administration.

He knows Trump for many years and when asked him to join his Administration he said no, but agreed to be his economic advisor. Trump asked him to form a group of businessmen whom he trusts and to lead that group and they have been advising Trump.

He said that 60% of Americans have not seen increase in disposable income for many years and are frustrated. The GDP will grow, the stock market has already been up 12-13% which is a good sign..

China: on Trade – US wants equivalence – fair trade – and China is accountable for half of the US Trade deficit. However, China wants a long term relationship with the U.S. but it has to be fair. As for Trump’s relations with China: “Some of Trump’s hyperbole on China will be dialed back” ( in his words). All in all Mr. Schwazmamn seemed very optimistic.

————————————


The last segment was a question: Which countries are the only ones that have a favorable view of President Trump?
1) Russia with 83% and
2) China with 54%.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 12th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

DECEMBER 7, 2016

We can’t wait 4 years: 800 climate scientists have united for immediate action.
The scientific community is in agreement: Climate change is real.

PARKER MOLLOY

from:  www.upworthy.com/we-cant-wait-4-y…

President-elect Donald Trump has a very complicated history with climate change.

He’s referred to the issue as a “hoax,” one of his advisers claims the president-elect plans to scrap NASA’s climate research, and Trump has even gone on record against the historic Paris climate agreement. At the same time, he’s acknowledged that climate change poses a threat to his golf courses, he met earlier this week to discuss the issue with Al Gore, and in an interview last month, he told the New York Times that he’s going into his presidency with an open mind on the topic.

In the hopes of convincing the president-elect to take the actions needed to save the planet, 800 scientists joined forces to send him an open letter.


Published in full at Scientific American, the letter outlines six clear steps these members of the scientific community hope to see from a Trump administration.

What Trump chooses to do, the authors of the letter warn, will determine whether his presidency will be “defined by denial and disaster, or acceptance and action.”

The group also launched a public petition urging Trump to take action on climate.


Misinformation and disbelief have the potential to lead to irreversible disaster. That’s why these scientists are urging action now. This can’t wait four years.


Dr. Geoffrey Supran, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University and MIT working on energy system planning, and Ploy Achakulwisut, a doctoral candidate in atmospheric science at Harvard, helped organize the effort behind the letter. For them, the message extends beyond Trump’s beliefs to the larger issue of climate change denial facing the country.

“As scientists and as citizens, Donald Trump’s anti-science climate denial scares us to the point that sitting on the sidelines is not an option,” Supran and Achakulwisut explain in a joint e-mail to Upworthy.

The letter comes less than a week after the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology tweeted out a link to a factually dubious article from a right-wing media outlet.

Citing Breitbart.com, the Congressional committee’s tweet refers to the roughly 97% of climate scientists who believe that climate change is real and manmade as “climate alarmists,” a term the site has used on other occasions and one that does not sit well with Supran and Achakulwisut.

Follow: Sci,Space,&Tech Cmte ? @HouseScience @BreitbartNews: Global Temperatures Plunge. Icy Silence from Climate Alarmists bit.ly/2gINZNf
9:12 PM – 1 Dec 2016

Photo published for Global Temperatures Plunge. Icy Silence from Climate Alarmists
Global Temperatures Plunge. Icy Silence from Climate Alarmists

Land temperatures have plummeted by 1 degree – the biggest and steepest fall on record. But the news has been greeted with an eerie silence.  breitbart.com

858 858 Retweets 1,144 1,144 likes< Seeing a Twitter account representing members of Congress responsible for crafting science policy promote false, anti-science views made Supran and Achakulwisut feel “angry, terrified, and more determined than ever to hold our leaders accountable,” calling the committee’s decision to share the article “a reckless abuse of power.”

Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University and director of the Earth System Science Center, shares a similar opinion about what it means that Congress would share such a reckless article.

“As a climate expert, I’m horrified at the ignorance and antipathy toward science that now pervades our highest levels of our government,” Mann, who also signed onto the letter, writes in an e-mail. His recent book, “The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy,” tackles this very challenge.

Atmospheric scientist Kait Parker of The Weather Channel even stepped in to ask both Breitbart and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee to stop using a video of her to promote misleading information.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 12th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The Forward, NewsBreaking News

Left-Wing Author A.B. Yehoshua Now Sees One-State Solution
Ben SalesDecember 20, 2016Leonardo Cendamo

Read more: forward.com/news/breaking-news/35…

(JTA) — For years, left-wing Israeli author A.B. Yehoshua has been fighting for a Palestinian state. For years, right-wing Israeli politician Naftali Bennett has been fighting against one.

But now they agree.


Speaking to Israel’s Army Radio on Monday, Yehoshua made a shocking shift after nearly 50 years of peace activism: “It doesn’t make sense to talk about two states.”


“This solution is made more and more difficult, more and more problematic, and after 50 years it has become even harder because of what’s happening on the ground,” Yehoshua said in an interview marking his 80th birthday. “The solution was made impossible first because of the huge settlements that now require evacuating 450,000 people, which is completely delusional.”

Instead, Yehoshua took a page from the playbook of the Jewish Home (HABAIT HAYEHUDI) party, the most hawkish in the Knesset. Bennett, the party’s chairman, vehemently opposes a two-state solution. He has pushed Israel to annex the portion of the West Bank that includes all Israeli settlements and some 100,000 Palestinians. Called Area C, the region makes up about 60 percent of West Bank land. Bennett’s plan would offer Israeli citizenship to Area C Palestinians.

Unlike Bennett, Yehoshua did not call for annexing the area. But he did suggest giving full or partial citizenship to the 100,000 Palestinians who live there.

Given that Jews who live in Area C already are full Israeli citizens, Yehoshua’s proposal ends up sounding a lot like Bennett’s.

“They conflict day and night with the settlers, and they suffer the issue of occupation in the hardest way,” Yehoshua said of Area C Palestinians. “I say to give them residency, like the [Arab] residents of Jerusalem … or even citizenship. That way, you upgrade their position. From the perspective of Israel’s demographics, there’s no problem.”

Yehoshua said his about-face “is not despair. It’s a specific solution to a substantial problem.” He said granting increased rights to Area C Palestinians means giving them benefits like unemployment insurance, Social Security and Israeli wages. Yehoshua sees it as an immediate improvement for some Palestinians, as long as a Palestinian state remains a distant aspiration.

Bennett responded on Twitter, claiming that “A.B. Yehoshua has adopted, in practice, the sovereignty plan I proposed in 2010.”

Read more: forward.com/news/breaking-news/35…

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 12th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

POLITICS

E.P.A. Head, Scott Pruitt, Stacks Agency With Climate Change Skeptics

By CORAL DAVENPORTMARCH 7, 2017

WASHINGTON — Days after the Senate confirmed him as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference and was asked about addressing a group that probably wanted to eliminate his agency.

“I think it’s justified,” he responded, to cheers. “I think people across the country look at the E.P.A. the way they look at the I.R.S.”

In the days since, Mr. Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general who built a career out of suing the agency he now leads, has moved to stock the top offices of the agency with like-minded conservatives — many of them skeptics of climate change and all of them intent on rolling back environmental regulations that they see as overly intrusive and harmful to business.

Mr. Pruitt has drawn heavily from the staff of his friend and fellow Oklahoma Republican, Senator James Inhofe, long known as Congress’s most prominent skeptic of climate science. A former Inhofe chief of staff, Ryan Jackson, will be Mr. Pruitt’s chief of staff. Another former Inhofe staff member, Byron Brown, will serve as Mr. Jackson’s deputy. Andrew Wheeler, a fossil fuel lobbyist and a former Inhofe chief of staff, is a finalist to be Mr. Pruitt’s deputy, although he requires confirmation to the position by the Senate.

——————

Incoming Emails say: E.P.A. Chief Was Arm in Arm With Industry FEB. 22, 2017
RECENT COMMENTS
March 9, 2017

And what people are these Scott Pruitt, the ones who also think the Earth is flat and the Sun revolves around it?
bb March 9, 2017

Scott Pruitt and his buddies are in bed with all those that are ruining the environment and the world. Money again trumps reality and…
SJM March 9, 2017

These are the Genuine Enemies of the American People and Humanity. To call themselves Christian is heresy. To call themselves leaders is…

To friends and critics, Mr. Pruitt seems intent on building an E.P.A. leadership that is fundamentally at odds with the career officials, scientists and employees who carry out the agency’s missions. That might be a recipe for strife and gridlock at the federal agency tasked to keep safe the nation’s clean air and water while safeguarding the planet’s future.

“He’s the most different kind of E.P.A. administrator that’s ever been,” said Steve J. Milloy, a member of the E.P.A. transition team who runs the website JunkScience.com, which aims to debunk climate change. “He’s not coming in thinking E.P.A. is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Quite the opposite.”

Gina McCarthy, who headed the E.P.A. under former President Barack Obama, said she too saw Mr. Pruitt as unique. “It’s fine to have differing opinions on how to meet the mission of the agency. Many Republican administrators have had that,” she said. “But here, for the first time, I see someone who has no commitment to the mission of the agency.”

———————–

Receive occasional updates and special offers for The New York Times’s products and services.

SEE SAMPLE PRIVACY POLICY
A pair of Trump campaigners from Washington State are also heading into senior positions at the E.P.A. Don Benton, a former Washington state senator who headed President Trump’s state campaign, will be the agency’s senior liaison with the White House. Douglas Ericksen, a current Washington state senator, is being considered as the regional administrator of the E.P.A.’s Pacific Northwest office.

As a state senator, Mr. Ericksen has been active in opposing efforts to pass a state-level climate change law taxing carbon pollution. Last month, he invited Tony Heller, a climate denialist who blogs under the pseudonym Steven Goddard, to address a Washington State Senate committee on the costs of climate change policy. Mr. Heller’s blog says “global warming is the biggest fraud in science history.”

“I think the reason both of these guys are being considered for this stuff is they were the only prominent elected officials in the state of Washington that were early supporters and organizers for Trump,” said Todd Donovan, a political scientist at Western Washington University. “No other state legislators were putting their necks out for Trump.”

Another transition official under consideration by Mr. Pruitt for a permanent position is David Kreutzer, a senior research fellow in energy economics and climate change at the conservative Heritage Foundation who has publicly praised the benefits of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That view stands in opposition to the broad scientific consensus that increased carbon dioxide traps heat and contributes to the dangerous warming of the planet.

The agency’s policy agenda is snapping into focus: Last week, Mr. Trump signed an executive order directing Mr. Pruitt to begin the legal process of dismantling a major Obama-era regulation aimed at increasing the federal government’s authority over rivers, streams and wetlands in order to prevent water pollution. Also last week, Mr. Pruitt ordered the agency to walk back a program on collecting data on methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas, from oil and gas wells.

This week, Mr. Trump is expected to sign an executive order directing Mr. Pruitt to begin the legal process of unwinding Mr. Obama’s E.P.A. regulations aimed at curbing planet-warming pollution from coal-fired power plants, and Mr. Pruitt is expected to announce plans to begin to weaken an Obama-era rule mandating higher fuel economy standards.

A draft White House budget blueprint proposes to slash the E.P.A. budget by about 24 percent, or $2 billion from its current level of $8.1 billion, and cut employee numbers by about 20 percent from its current staff of about 15,000.

Agency employees say morale has already been damaged. After working for years to draft climate change regulations under the Obama administration, many of those same career scientists and lawyers will be ordered to go back and undo them.

Ms. McCarthy, who oversaw the writing and execution of those major water and climate change regulations, said it would be difficult and time-consuming to reverse them, especially if Mr. Trump succeeds in greatly downsizing the agency.

“If you want to do these executive orders that require a whole rewrite of the rule, you have to get that right, legally,” she said. “It took years to do those rules. To now ask for those things to be undone with less staff and low morale — how are they going to do it?”

———————-

There is one area in which Mr. Pruitt has vowed to continue the traditional work of the E.P.A.: a longstanding program for sending funds to states to clean up “brownfields” — former industrial sites that have been contaminated by pollution. Although Mr. Trump’s budget blueprint would slash funds for that program, Mr. Pruitt pledged to a gathering of mayors in Washington last week that he would fight to save the program.

“With the White House and Congress I am communicating a message about brownfields,” he told mayors. “I want to hear from you about successes and communicate them.”

J. Christian Bollwage, the Democratic mayor of Elizabeth, N.J., a city that has been plagued with industrial pollution, said he was heartened to hear the pledge.

“I’ve never heard such a vociferous defense of providing brownfields grants,” he said. “He was explicit. He said he was going to take the defense of brownfields to the White House. I was impressed and hopeful.”

But, Mr. Bollwage added, “Coming from New Jersey, climate change is also a big issue. And I’m still worried about an administration that seems to think climate change is a hoax.”

Concern over Mr. Pruitt’s stewardship may not be long-lived. There is speculation that the E.P.A. chief already has his eyes on a different office.

Mr. Inhofe, 82, will complete his current Senate term in 2020. While he declined to speak of his retirement plans, Mr. Inhofe said of Mr. Pruitt, “I think he’d make a great senator.”

——————————————————-

The Opinion Pages | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

A Lesson Trump and the E.P.A. Should Heed
By WILLIAM D. RUCKELSHAUS, former EPA Head, NYT MARCH, 7, 2017

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 12th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Early Lead The Washington Post, March 11, 2017

Muhammad Ali’s son held up at D.C. airport after testifying about first detainment

By Marissa Payne March 10 at 7:44 PM

Muhammad Ali Jr. spoke to House Democrats at a congressional forum on immigration March 9, describing his detention by Customs and Border Patrol at a Florida airport last month and how he was questioned about his religion.
(Reuters)

A month after Muhammad Ali’s son and his mother, Ali’s second wife Khalilah Camacho-Ali, were detained in a Florida airport allegedly for their “Arabic-sounding names,” he says he was held up again, this time at Reagan National Airport on Friday March 11, 2017. He and his mother had come to Washington to lobby to end racial profiling, and he was trying to board a flight back to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

A lawyer for Ali, Chris Mancini, said that as the son of the former heavyweight champion was trying to board a Jet Blue flight, he was detained by Department of Homeland Security officials for about 20 to 25 minutes. According to comments Mancini made to the New York Daily News, they rejected his identification and repeatedly asked where he was from, before allowing the 44-year-old to board after he produced his U.S. passport.

“None of this was happening Wednesday,” Mancini said of the Alis’ trip to D.C. in remarks to the Associated Press. “Going to Washington obviously opened up a can of worms at DHS.”

The lawyer told the Daily News that “quite obviously” his client has “now been put on a different status,” possibly a watch list, that affects his ability to travel without being questioned.

“Upon arriving at the airline check-in counter, a call was made to confirm Mr. Ali’s identity with TSA officials. When Mr. Ali arrived at the checkpoint, his large jewelry alarmed the checkpoint scanner,” the Transportation Security Administration said in a statement Friday. “He received a targeted pat-down in the area of his jewelry to clear the alarm and was cleared to catch his flight.”

As it happened, Ali was sharing a flight with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), whose congressional district lies just south of Fort Lauderdale. She tweeted out a photo of the two of them and wrote, “Religiously profiling son of ‘The Greatest’ will not make us safe.”

—————–
D Wasserman Schultz ? @DWStweets Writes:
On way home on DOMESTIC FLIGHT Muhammad Ali Jr. detained AGAIN by @DHSgov. Religiously profiling son of ‘The Greatest’ will not make us safe
10:14 PM – 10 Mar 2017

3,370 Retweets 4,167 4,167 likes

—————-

Ali and his mother were in Washington to speak at a forum organized by Democratic lawmakers to discuss President Trump’s immigration policy, which many have criticized for introducing what’s been called a “Muslim ban.” In Trump’s latest executive order on the matter, signed on Monday, travelers from six Muslim-majority countries are prohibited from getting new visas to enter the United States. Although the measure is narrower than Trump’s previous executive order that banned even current visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries, this new order also has received pushback. On Tuesday, the state of Hawaii said it will ask a federal judge to block the new order.

[Trump wants to empower local police to enforce immigration law, raising fears of racial profiling]


“Somebody needs to turn this ‘humanity’ switch on because we’re not going to go back to Robert E. Lee,” Camacho-Ali told lawmakers on Thursday (via USA Today), referring to the Confederate Civil War general.

“I believe they were religiously and racially profiling me,” her son added. “It’s wrong and we’re here to start this law called ERPA, it’s Ending Racial Profiling Act.”

————–

The new legislation touted by Ali was introduced in the Senate last month under the modified name “End Racial and Religious Profiling Act” by Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.). If passed, the act would prohibit federal, state and local law enforcement officers, which would include Customs and Border Protection officers stationed at airports, from detaining or otherwise targeting anyone based on race, religion and several other personal characteristics.

“We must step into the ring and fight this thing and keep fighting it until it’s done because it will be done,” said Camacho-Ali, who was married to the legendary boxer from 1967 to 1977.

Customs and Border Protection denied detaining Ali and his mother at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., airport on Feb. 7 after the pair had flown in from Jamaica, where Camucho-Ali had delivered a speech for Black History Month.

“CBP does not discriminate based on religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation,” the agency said in an email to The Post last month. “We treat all travelers with respect and sensitivity. Integrity is our cornerstone. We are guided by the highest ethical and moral principles.”

CBP declined to give a reason Ali and his mother were detained for further screening, citing “privacy concerns.” Mancini, however, claimed the detention was directly related to Trump’s original executive order that was later replaced.

“[I]t’s crystal clear that this is directly linked to Trump’s efforts to ban Muslims from the United States,” Mancini told the Courier-Journal in Louisville, where the senior Ali was born and was buried in June.

“I felt just like I felt at my father’s funeral,” the younger Ali said Thursday of his roughly two-hour detention, during which he was allegedly asked about his religion twice. “I didn’t know what to think. I was just dumbfounded.”

Ali said CBP officers first asked him about his name and how he got it.

“I said obviously my mother and my father named me,” he told the panel at the forum called “Ali v. Trump: The Fight for American Values.”

He added: “I told them I was Muhammad Ali’s son, and I think they still didn’t believe me, so they took me into a room and asked me the questions again.”

Ali, whose mother by then had been allowed through customs, said he didn’t immediately connect his elongated detention to Trump’s executive order, but did later after further reflection.

“The reason God made us so different is so we can find something in common about each other and come together,” Ali said. “We need to step into the ring and join the fight for righteousness.”

—————————
Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, a.k.a. “mostly the fun stuff.” Follow @marissapayne

—————————-

Preet Bharara ? @PreetBharara
I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY (Southern Distriictbof New York State) will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.
March 12, 2017 9:29 PM – 11 Mar 2017

Trump asked most attorney generals to resign – those that honor themselves did not and preferred to be fired outright. That will be obvious – a dictatorship is in the making.
Trump says now he has asked Bharara to stay on as interim.

Preet Bharara, is among 46 US attorneys asked to quit but who declined to submit a letter of resignation.

 www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/…

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 11th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Russia’s Next Target?

Canada is an obvious target for clandestine Russian meddling, and it needs to be prepared for a combination of disinformation and old school military feints, writes former Canadian diplomat Scott Gilmore in Macleans.

“In a rules-based international system where your influence is measured by the size of your economy, your cultural soft-power, and your stature in multilateralism, Moscow has become an afterthought,” Gilmore says. “And, if Russia didn’t still have a Cold War nuclear arsenal, it would garner even less attention. So, losing the international game of chess, Putin is seeking to knock over the board itself — to discredit the multilateral world order, and destabilize the comparably strong western alliance.”

“Canada is a logical target. We are a G7 member, a strong supporter of NATO (if not a strong contributor), an advocate for a values-based international system, and a vocal critic of Moscow and its interference in other countries.”

— American vs Canadian Dream. Gilmore joined Fareed on last week’s show to discuss why he believes Canada has surpassed the United States as the land of opportunity.

— Fareed’s latest special, “The Most Powerful Man in the World,” takes an in-depth look at the rise and goals of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It premieres this Monday at 9 p.m. ET on CNN.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 11th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c.100), born Joseph ben Matityahu was a first-century Romano-Jewish scholar, historian and hagiographer, who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Roman Judea—to a father of priestly descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry.

He initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as head of Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67 CE to Roman forces led by Vespasian after the six-week siege of Jotapata. Josephus claimed the Jewish Messianic prophecies that initiated the First Roman-Jewish War made reference to Vespasian becoming Emperor of Rome. In response Vespasian decided to keep Josephus as a slave and interpreter. After Vespasian became Emperor in 69 CE, he granted Josephus his freedom, at which time Josephus assumed the emperor’s family name of Flavius.

Flavius Josephus fully defected to the Roman side and was granted Roman citizenship. He became an advisor and friend of Vespasian’s son Titus, serving as his translator when Titus led the Siege of Jerusalem. Since the siege proved ineffective at stopping the Jewish revolt, the city’s destruction and the looting and destruction of Herod’s Temple (Second Temple) soon followed.

Josephus recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the first century CE and the First Jewish–Roman War, including the Siege of Masada. His most important works were The Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94) The Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation (66–70). Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective for an ostensibly Roman audience. These works provide valuable insight into first century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity.

===================================

MARCH 10, 2017, THE ALGEMEINER

During Moscow Visit, Netanyahu Receives Special Gift From Putin — a Nearly 500-Year-Old Copy of Josephus’ The Jewish War.

by Barney Breen-Portnoy

Russian President Vladmir Putin presents Israeli Prime Minister with a nearly 500-year-old copy of Josephus’ The Jewish War in Moscow on Thursday. Photo: Screenshot.
Russian President Vladimir Putin presents Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu with a nearly 500-year-old copy of Josephus’ The Jewish War in Moscow on Thursday. Photo: Screenshot.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received a special gift from Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Moscow on Thursday — a nearly 500-year-old copy of Roman-Jewish historian Josephus’ book The Jewish War.

The copy given to Netanyahu at the Kremlin on Thursday was printed in Italy in 1526.

The Israeli prime minister said he was “moved” by Putin’s gesture.

MARCH 10, 2017 5:03 PM0
Report: Member of British Royal Family to Make First State Visit to Israel
 JNS.org – A member of the United Kingdom’s royal family is reportedly expected to visit Israel this year, in what would be…

The Jewish War is an account of the Great Revolt — the uprising of the Jews of the Judea Province against the Roman Empire in the first century CE.

“This is without a doubt an important book in the historical heritage of our people,” Netanyahu said. “This book greatly influenced my beloved father, Professor Benzion Netanyahu z”l, and I read it for the first time when I was 16.”

Netanyahu further stated that Putin’s gift would be handed over to the National Library of Israel.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 11th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


BARD COLLEGE – MBA in Sustainability program


Visiting Lecturer Positions – Fall 2017

Bard College’s low-residency MBA in Sustainability program, based in New York City, has openings for visiting lecturers to teach the following courses in the fall semester of 2017:

· Operations and Supply Chains
· Leading Change in Organizations

Please follow the link www.bard.edu/mba/program/courses/ to learn more about their content. Professors modify the existing syllabi for these courses to reflect their area of expertise.

Bard’s MBA program is one of a select group of programs globally that fully integrates sustainability into a business curriculum. Courses address core MBA material through a mission-driven lens, supporting students to master the business case for sustainability.
Faculty members teach during intensive weekend residencies held once a month in Manhattan. In addition, they teach an online evening session each week between the monthly residencies. The low-residency format allows flexibility in residential location.

MBA faculty members are expected to have earned a Ph.D., J.D., M.B.A., M.P.A., or equivalent degree. Successful candidates will have an established record of excellence in teaching.

For more information about Bard’s MBA program, visit the MBA website www.bard.edu/mba

To apply, send a cover letter, CV, and names and contact information for three references through Interfolio.com at: apply.interfolio.com/40456. Applications will be reviewed as received.

Bard College is an equal opportunity employer, and we welcome applications from those who contribute to our diversity.

Eban Goodstein
Director, Bard Center for Environmental Policy &
Director, Bard MBA in Sustainability
 www.bard.edu — www.bard.edu
845-758-7067
 ebangood at bard.edu

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 11th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


Exxon eyes Israel after Cyprus win

 www.globes.co.il/en/article-exxon…

9 Mar, 2017 14:09
Nati Yefet

After winning a Cypriot government tender, Exxon Mobile has expressed interest in bidding for Israeli natural gas tenders.

Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz met last week with senior executives from Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell during his visit to the US. The minister’s associates say that while Royal Dutch Shell will probably not take part in the new tender for oil and gas exploration licenses in Israeli waters, the Exxon Mobil executives came equipped with a great deal of relevant information, and expressed interest in the tender.

The reason is allegedly the announcement two days ago that Exxon had won a tender for oil and gas exploration in Block 10 in Cyprus as part of a consortium with Qatar Petroleum. A group composed of Italian company ENI and Total, and ENI by itself, won the concession for two other blocks in the tender.

In a fourth block already held by Total, the company asked the Cypriot government for permission to add ENI as a 50% partner in the license, because the block is located only six kilometers away from the Egyptian Zohr gas reservoir discovered by ENI. Total expects ENI’s extensive knowledge of the geology in the area to be of use in finding gas in Cyprus.

Steinitz’s associates say that since Exxon is starting to prepare for activity in a nearby area, the company believes that it is likely to prove worthwhile to develop parallel activity in Israel, and to use the same transportation infrastructure to export gas discovered in both countries to Europe.

Steinetz went to Europe early this week, and flew from there to New York and Houston for a week of meetings with energy concerns. In Rome, he met with his Italian counterpart, and held meetings in New York with the Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan investments banks, as well as with a group of private investors organized by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). In Houston, he took part in the CERAweek energy conference, and held meetings with energy companies.

Steinitz told “Globes,” I was surprised to see energy ministers and representatives of energy companies from all over the world congratulate us on the beginning of development in Leviathan, after years of delay. Almost everyone had assumed that Leviathan was a lost cause… especially given the global crisis in investments in oil and gas fields and the fact that some of the deep water projects of the Leviathan type have been canceled or postponed in various places around the world.


“In meetings with some of the world’s largest investment banks, they noted the change in Israel’s image in the energy market, from a place to be avoided into a responsible country attractive for energy investments in general, and private gas in particular. The plans we displayed for building an undersea pipeline to Turkey, and from Israel and Cyprus to Greece and Italy, aroused a surprising degree of interest.”

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Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News – www.globes-online.com – on March 9, 2017
and appears in many Israeli publications, i.e. The Jerusalem Post, March 10, 2017

SustainabiliTank, sorry for the Trump Administration’s definitive efforts to undo the Obama Administration’s great successes in decreasing the place of oil in the global energy markets,
sees now a decreasing importance of the EPA, Energy Policy, Environment Policy and Global Climate Change avoidance. But also a planed subservience of The State Department to the US oil Interests – the revival of the American Petroleum Institute (API) in the Governing of the USA.
Geting the present Israel Government interested in the cooperation in developing sea resources could perhaps take off some of the pressure in the political arena, though clearly inctreasing
pressure against the potential of an Iranian sea base on Syrian soil. All of this within Israel and US State Department attention.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 10th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Columbia Law School Climate Law Blog has posted a new item, ‘A Blow in the Fight
Against Climate Change: EPA Withdraws Oil and Gas Information Request’

By Michael Burger and Romany Webb

Less than a month after being sworn in as Administrator of the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt has already begun dismantling years of
work to curb greenhouse gas emissions. In one of his first official actions,
last Thursday, Administrator Pruitt withdrew a request that oil and gas
companies provide certain information needed to develop new methane regulations
for the industry. The request, which was issued last November, included an
operator survey seeking information on the number and types of equipment used at
onshore oil and gas facilities and a more detailed facility survey which sought
data on methane emissions from equipment leaks and other sources. The operator
survey was to be completed by 15,000 companies, while the facility survey was
sent to a representative sample of 4,650. Most hadn’t yet responded and now,
thanks to the withdrawal, won’t have to. As a result, EPA will remain largely
unaware of the companies’ methane emissions, making appropriate regulation of
them all but impossible. That’s bad news for anyone concerned about climate
change.

—————–

Those interested in the Global Environment and Climate Change will have thus to resort
to indeoendent means during these Trump years. An announcement of such developments
comes to us from Columbia University, New York, as well:

Columbia Law School Climate Law Blog has posted a new item, ‘Sabin Center and
New York State – StateAG.Org Launch Database of Environmental Actions Undertaken by State Attorneys General’

The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law has partnered with StateAG.org to
develop a database of actions undertaken by state attorneys general as they seek
to advance environmental law and policy objectives within their jurisdictions.

The State AG Environmental Action Database is intended as an easy-to-use and
organized legal resource for state attorneys general as they […]

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 10th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Paul Winter’s musical realm has long embraced the traditions of the world’s cultures, as well as the extraordinary voices of what he refers to as “the greater symphony of the Earth.” The saxophonist, bandleader and composer has recorded more than 40 albums, and won 7 Grammy Awards. His concert tours and recording expeditions have taken him to 52 countries and to wilderness areas on six continents, into which he has traveled on rafts, mules, dog sleds, horses, kayaks, sailboats, steamers, tug-boats and Land Rovers. With his music, he has found a means to connect people to a sense of place and promote relatedness to the larger community of life. His benefit concerts and various compositions have served the causes of environment and peace in a range of countries, including Russia, Brazil, Israel, Japan, and Spain.

Paul Winter Consort Launched in 1967 has became a forum for the whole range of musical genres Winter had come to love – from Bach to African music – including as well notable voices from the symphony of nature (as the whale, wolf, and eagle). Winter took the name from Elizabethan times and the house bands of Shakespearean Theatre, which adventurously blended woodwinds, strings and percussion—the same families of instruments he wanted to combine in his ‘contemporary’ consort — and allowed the players to embellish on the written parts.
With this group, Winter became one of the earliest exponent’s of world music.

The Consort recorded twelve albums for major labels during the 1960s and 1970s. Four albums for A & M were produced by Paul Stookey and Phil Ramone, and one for Epic, named Icarus that bridged small-combo jazz and world music. This was produced by Beatles mentor George Martin, who claimed in his autobiography it was ”the finest record I ever made.” Astronauts of Apollo 15 took the Consort’s album Road to the moon with them and named two craters after the songs “Ghost Beads” and “Icarus.”

In 1972, with cellist David Darling, Winter organized a new ensemble, while original band members Ralph Towner, Paul McCandless, Collin Walcott and Glen Moore launched their experimental jazz band Oregon.

Earth Music Genre

In 1968, hearing recordings of the songs of humpback whales further expanded Winter’s musical community. These sounds not only opened the door to the whole symphony of nature, but turned the saxophonist into an activist, affecting the course of his musical life. In 1975, Winter sailed aboard the Greenpeace V anti-whaling expedition for three days of playing saxophone to wild gray whales off the coast of Vancouver Island (Tofino). He was accompanied in this effort by Melville Gregory and Will Jackson, musicians attempting to “communicate” with the whales using various instruments and a Serge synthesizer. Photos of Winter and the whales [by Rex Weyler] appeared on wire services and in media around the world, helping the ultimate success of the mission against Soviet whalers. [AP Wire Service, 1975; “Warriors of the Rainbow”, Robt. Hunter 1978; “Greenpeace”, Rex Weyler, 2003; “Once Upon A Greenpeace”, Will Jackson, 2012]

In addition to combining elements of African, Asian, Latin, and Russian music with American jazz, Winter became one of the first to incorporate the voices of nature and wildlife into his compositions. Beguiled by the poignant vocalizations of whales and the haunting, bluesey communal celebration of a howling pack of wolves, Winter was inspired to explore ways to consort musically with these creatures. This led the way to Winter pioneering another new genre – his unique “earth music.” Described as “ecological jazz” by fans in Russia, “La Fusion Animal,” in Spain, and “earth jazz” in Japan, it interweaves classical, jazz and world music elements with voices from nature. The landmark album Common Ground in 1977 was Winter’s first endeavor to incorporate the voices of whale, eagle and wolf into his music.

As a part of Earth Music, Winter and his ensemble have honed their appreciation of resonance, and for making music in spaces of great reverberation. The Canyon album was recorded over four river-rafting and recording trips through the Grand Canyon. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, where Winter is artist-in-residence, shares a similar seven-second reverberation. Crestone and Prayer for the Wild Things were recorded in remote natural places with resonant acoustics; Miho: Journey to the Mountain was recorded in the acoustics of the Miho Museum designed by I.M. Pei.

In recognition of his musical and ecological work, Winter has received a Global 500 Award from the United Nations, the Joseph Wood Krutch Medal from the United States Humane Society, the Peace Abbey’s Courage of Conscience Award, the Spirit of the City Award presented at New York’s Cathedral of St John the Divine, and an honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Hartford, among others.

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Paul Winter and his musicians will cross to Israel from Jordan
and the two concerts mentioned are:

Thursday, March 16, 2017 – at the Jerusalem YMCA, at 20:00 or 8:00 PM

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 – at the auditorium of the Center for the Studies of the Dead Sea,
at the feet of the Mezadah (MASADA) Mountain, at 19:30 or 7:30 PM.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 9th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

This week I got an e-mail from the Sierra Club titled – CAN HIKING HEAL? This was in my mind when visiting with the SPNI headquarters in Tel Aviv.

We all now about the APPALACHIAN TRAIL that was completed in 1937 as a sponsored work during the Great Depression years – it took more than a decade of work,

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the Eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. The A.T. is about 2,200 miles long, though the exact length changes over time as parts are modified or rerouted. More than 2 million people are said to do at least one day-hike on the trail each year.

SPNI is the “Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel” – the counterpart of the American Sierra Club and they helped create THE ISRAEL TRAIL. Can this become a healing tool in the local political conflict? Will Arabs and Jews use this trail in harmony?

Given a map of this I.T. I decided to list its course.

Actually it was inaugurated in 1995, named Israel National Trail (INT) and stretches 620 mile. It starts at the Ussishkin House in the Upper Galilee – Named for Menachem Ussishkin, a Zionist leader from Russia, the house is an SPNI museum and starting point for hikes.

From there the trail goes south close to Kefar Giladi, Kiriath Schmone, Baram, Miron,towards the the Kineret Sea. Passes Tveria and bends westwards avoiding the West Bank and aiming rather towards Nazareth and Shfaram with their Israeli Arab citizenry. From there through Yagur and Druze Ussefia towards the Nediterranean Sea Shore at Ein Hod, Zichron Yaakov, Binjamina, Caesarea, Hadera, Netania, towards North of Tel Aviv where it turns inland towards Petach Tikva. from there South-East inside the 1967 borders Schoresh and Beit Zait without reaching Jerusalem. Rounding back South West outside the Southern part of the West Bank.
The trail reaches Beit Gobrin and rounding towards Arad. From here it changes direction southwards through the Negev and ends at a border crossing to Egypt south of Eilat.
Hopefully some day it will link with an extension into the Sinai Peninsula and its mountainous areas – a complete culture and nature trail.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 9th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


Iceland to Private Sector: You WILL Pay Women Fairly

March, 9, 2017

Iceland’s government is set to introduce legislation to parliament that will require all employers with more than 25 employees to obtain certification to prove they are offering equal pay regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality, the Associated Press reports.

“While other countries, and the U.S. state of Minnesota, have equal-salary certificate policies, Iceland is thought to be the first to make it mandatory for both private and public firms. The North Atlantic island nation, which has a population of about 330,000, wants to eradicate the gender pay gap by 2022,” AP says.

— Rich country progress flatlining. The trend of improving conditions for working women has flatlined within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in recent years, The Economist reports.

“In 2005, 60% of women were in the labor force; ten years later, this ratio had edged up only slightly to 63% (it was 80% for men in both years),” The Economist writes. Meanwhile, the gender wage gap “still around 15%, meaning women as a group earn 85% of what men do.”

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In New York City, New York, USA, the police arrested women leaders of the International Womens’ Day.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 8th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Summer School of Sustainability Science
Ecole d’été en science de la durabilité

THE GOVERNANCE OF SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS
LES SOCIO-ÉCOSYSTÈMES SOUS L’ANGLE DU POLITIQUE :
POUR UNE DISSECTION DU CONCEPT DE GOUVERNANCE

EXPLORING THE LAND-OCEAN CONTINUUM: COASTAL ZONES, RIVER DELTAS, ISLANDS AND WETLANDS
A LA DECOUVERTE DU CONTINUUM TERRE-OCEAN : COTES, DELTAS, ILES ET ZONES HUMIDES

Brest, Brittany, France, 2-7 July 2017
Brest, Bretagne, France, 2-7 juillet 2017

organized jointly by
organisé conjointement par

French Network of LTER Sites
Réseau des Zones Ateliers
Netherlands Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment
Ecole néerlandaise de recherche pour les sciences socio-économiques et naturelles de l’environnement

in partnership with
en collaboration avec

European University Institute of the Sea of Brest
Institut universitaire européen de la mer de Brest
HABITER Research Laboratory
Equipe d’accueil HABITER
School of Geometers and Topographers of Tours
Ecole supérieure des géomètres et topographes de Tours

The GOSES Summer School is specifically designed not only for doctoral candidates, but also for pre-docs, post-docs, junior and senior scholars, who wish to further explore the governance of socio-ecological systems, discuss cutting-edge research with peers and established scholars alike and develop specific skills such as presenting and discussing their own research, co-writing scientific articles and modeling socio-ecological systems. The language of instruction will be English.

Keywords

Social-Ecological Systems – Ecosystems – Environmental Regions – Governance – Scale – Local – Regional – Global – Sustainability – Integrated Approaches – Diagnostic Frameworks – Boundary Work – Participative Research – Coastal Zones – River Deltas – Islands – Wetlands – Fisheries – Parks – Landscapes – Food Systems – Irrigation Schemes – Aquifers – River Basins – Regional Seas – Oceans – Biodiversity – Endangered Species

Disciplines

Sustainability Science – Environmental Sciences – Ecology – Biology – Sociology – Political Science – International Relations – Management – Economics – Agronomics – Geography – Planning – Law – Philosophy – any discipline related to ecosystems, society, governance and sustainability

Pre-registration

If you are interested in attending, please pre-register to the GOSES Summer School using the link below. Actual inscriptions will be opened approximately three months before the event. Pre-registrations help us plan the event and ensure that all those who are interested in attending are informed as soon as more information is available and inscriptions are open. The deadline for pre-registration is 15 April 2017. Pre-registration must be submitted though the following link:

 enquete.univ-reims.fr/limesurvey/…

This Summer School is part of an Action Nationale de Formation (ANF) of the CNRS. Up to 10 scholarships to cover tuition, travel, board and accommodation will be available for CNRS staff members and up to 5 extra scholarships will be available for scholars affiliated to CNRS mixed research units (UMR). Moreover, at least 5 spots will be reserved for members of SENSE who confirm participation by 31 May 2017. At least 5 spots will be open to external participants. Inscriptions will be on a first come first serve basis, provided certain minimum requirements are met.

Contact:  goses-school at univ-reims.fr

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 8th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Ben Gurion died at 87 on December 1, 1973. Upon his final retirement he said that he will write his biography as a history of his time but he never finished that task. His wife Paula died four years before him and he said he felt like a half man.

Recently, in two separate places, were found the video and the audio tape of an interview by a British media person after his wife’s death. When the video and the audio were put together it became clear that excellent material was there for a documentary film on that amazing small but great man.

Ben Gurion was born October 16, 1886, as David Gruen in Plonsk – a basically small town in then Congress Poland that was part of the Tsarist Empire. The people there were dreaming about the Israel of old – in what was called Palestine. When Herzl came to town he was greeted as if the Messiah arrived.

David reached Palestine first time in 1915 and started out as an agricultural laborer. Jewish farmers came to check the muscles of the offerings.His personal development took time but eventually we see him sitting down with Adenauer, when against the will of many of his followers he accepted reparations for the Holocaust. Ben Gurion realized the young new State needs help and Germany provided training for 5,000 Israeli military personnel and scientists to start the nuclear sector.

Ben Gurion brought together philosopher-giants Hugo Bergman, Martin Buber and others, as the State he envisioned was not to be based on the military but on Judaism, humanism, and democracy. He said that the greatest Jew we had was Moshe (Moses)

Ben Gurion does not define himself as a Zionist and definitely not as a Socialist – he accepts plain Judaism as it appears in the Bible and promoted by the prophets.
It is just simple humanism that comes about from deep thinking or meditation.

He has studied Buddhism but finds greatness not in the thinking but in the doing -and realizing what one finds best in himself. The interviewer wanted to know about the “I” and if one has to rid himself of that “I?” Ben Gurion says to him that the “I” is not the question but the quality of the “I.” Is it an “I” of selfishness, or an “I” of humanity. Buddha was preaching 500 years before Christ and the Bible is not just about Jews.

The people that came to Palestine were looking for peace but to achieve this had to have the capability for wa,r and it was Hashomer active since 1870 that showed the way.

For Israel, with people from many different countries, the army was the best place to bring people together.

Asked if there are things he has done that he is sorry about. He said that you can never know you are not making mistakes – I did things I thought had to be done – so I was at peace with myself.

Asked that most countries that were created after WWII failed as democracies, can Israel continue to be democratic? He said that if the question is peace or territory – he is for peace. And here, though he has no doubt that old Israel gives his country the right for all the territory from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea – he was ready gladly to give up all those lands gained in the Six Days War in exchange for peace. He said then clearly – WE ARE PLEASED WITH THE 1967 BORDERS IN EXCHANGE FOR PEACE.

We want peace on the basis of the Status Quo pre-1967. And here the tape has a series of meetings Ben Gurion had with Musa Alami whom he knew for 40 years
when they represented the two main factions of the land. Now he received phone calls from Mussa Alami when on a trip in London. This part touched memories with me as well as in Buffalo, New York, at the State University I befriended an Alami from that family from the Old City in Jerusalem, and when I went to Jerusalem, but he could not go, after the end of the 1967 fighting, his parents and sister came to see me in the West Jerusalem to send with me some goodies for their son. No doubt, sane people can find ways to coexist

Asked what would he have done after 1967. Ben Gurion said, had he been asked he would have presented his views.

At 85 Ben Gurion was celebrated by the Knesset and the interviewer asked him if he was pleased with what he has done – to which he said it was not him – it was the Halutzim that had the vision. He knows only one person who has done everything by himself – that was Albert Einstein when he invented the theory of Relativity. Everybody else had to work with a group. I never guided Israel – The State does not exist yet!

Regarding his wife Paula, he said she was no zionist nor Socialist, she just followed him to Palestine. Later she said she was not the Prime-Minister’s wife – only the Wife of David Ben Gurion.

David said when the talk was about his age – I was reborn when I came to Israel from New York in 1919 followed by Paula – a new man – so, he was much younger.

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Musa Alami (May 3, 1897 – June 8, 1984) (Arabic: Müsa al-‘Al?mi) was a prominent Palestinian nationalist and politician. Due to Alami having represented Palestine at various Arab conferences, in the 1940s Alami was viewed by many as the leader of the Palestinian Arabs.

Alami was born in the Musrara district of Jerusalem, into a prominent family. His father was Mayor of Jerusalem Faidi al-Alami, his sister was married to Jamal al-Hussayni and he was the uncle of Serene Husseini Shahid.

He was first taught at the school of the American Colony and at the French Ecole des Freres in Jaffa. During World War I Alami worked at the censorship office in Damascus. Alami retained a positive view of the Ottoman empire; recalling that the Arabs regarded the Turks as partners rather than oppressors, and above all: Palestine was largely ruled by Palestinian officials. Alami claimed that “a greater degree of freedom and self-government existed in Palestine than in many Turkish provinces”.

Later he studied law at Cambridge University and was admitted to the Inner Temple and graduated with honors degree.

Upon his return to Jerusalem, Musa Alami worked for the legal department of the government of the British Mandate of Palestine and eventually became the private secretary of the High Commissioner General Arthur Grenfell Wauchope. In 1934, Alami participated in talks with the leaders of the Jewish community in Palestine David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Sharett. According to Ben-Gurion, he suggested that the Zionists could provide significant help developing the region, but according to Ben-Gurion, Alami replied that he would prefer waiting one hundred years and leaving the land backward, as long as the Palestinians could do the job themselves.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 7th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The week of Purim – Is Netanyahu now a link to Putin, is Trump just trying to help a friend in trouble or was it a warning call?

Netanyahu is being interrogated at his office in Jerusalem the fourth time on several counts of suspected corruption. These interrogations go on for 5 hours each time.

This Monday the phone rang during the questioning and it was a call from Trump. It was said to the public that Trump informs him that Iran or North Korea launched a new missile and Trump wants Israel’s help. Will be the Israeli Attorney General impressed?

In parallel, it was already known since Sunday that this Friday, Netanyahu will have lunch with Putin in Moscow. The topic of discussion will be the presence of Iranian units
on Syrian soil. Will Netanyahu and his wife stay in Moscow over the Sabbath? Then they could have the chance to read the Esther Megilla at the local Temple, as Ivanka Trump and her husband will probably be doing in Florida. May be even Trump.

But the New York Times has a different idea about what Trump had to say to Netanyahu.
Supposedly he wanted just to say cool it with that construction project on those hills.

Israel Cabinet Minister of Defense, who went to Washington sensing a hurt Netanyahu,
told Lebanon not to join the Iranian side and told the Cabinet that it would be a big mistake to take over another 2 million more Arabs as part of Israel’s citizenry, this just because it would cost billions to give them full rights. That neatly lines up with Trump.

We think rather – Trump might have given to Netanyahu some advice from Tillerson on gas pipelines and the gas market – something of interest to all involved

Have a nice flight and a good weekend!

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Throughout the centuries, Purim – which celebrates the miraculous salvation of the Jews and the thwarting of Haman’s genocidal plot – has traditionally symbolized the victory of the Jewish people over antisemitic tyranny. As such, Purim is a happy, carnival-like holiday.


The Fast of Esther

The day before Purim is a fast day known as the Fast of Esther, commemorating (inter alia) the fact that Queen Esther – the heroine of the Book of Esther – and the entire Persian Jewish community fasted (4:16) in advance of Queen Esther’s appeal for King Ahasuerus not to implement Haman’s genocidal plot. The fast will extend from before sunrise in the morning until sunset. Special prayers and scriptural readings are inserted into the synagogue service.

The Megilla
The pergament on which all of this was recorded.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 7th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

From FAREED ZAKARIA’S Daily Briefing for Tuesday March 7, 2017


“Eurodeterrent” is Going Mainstream

Some European officials are mulling something that until recently had seemed unthinkable – a European Union nuclear weapons program, writes Max Fisher in the New York Times.

“Analysts say that the talk, even if it never translates into action, demonstrates the growing sense in Europe that drastic steps may be necessary to protect the postwar order in the era of a Trump presidency, a resurgent Russia and the possibility of an alignment between the two,” Fisher writes. “Even proponents, who remain a minority, acknowledge enormous hurdles. But discussion of a so-called ‘Eurodeterrent’ has entered the mainstream…”

“Mist of Fear” in Turkey
Opposition voices in Turkey should be given the same kind of support that the West offered dissidents speaking up in the Soviet Union, suggests Timothy Garton Ash in The Guardian.

“To travel to Turkey today is to journey into darkness: tens of thousands of state employees and thousands of academics dismissed, more journalists locked up than in any other country, and a chilly mist of fear.”


China Eyeing Up America’s Backyard?

China is poised to step into the void being left by the Trump administration in America’s own backyard, writes Kevin Gallagher in Foreign Policy.

Latin American nations “are understandably wary of negotiating anything with a government that has denigrated them and called their citizens ‘bad hombres’ and worse,” Gallagher writes. “Enter China, which just days after the election released a new white paper calling Latin America and the Caribbean a ‘land of vitality and hope.’ The plan promises to implement earlier pledges of trade and investment, but without the U.S.-strings attached in terms of deregulation and name-calling.”

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 6th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Ten ways Donald Trump has already made America – and the world – great again.

He’s invigorated the left, revitalized journalism and sparked a great wave of local patriotism all across the world.

An Analysis by Chemi Shalev, an HAARETZ Correspondent.
The Haaretz, Israel, English edition – Monday, March 6, 2017

People complain that Donald Trump overstates his accomplishments. I beg to differ. Not everything is doom and gloom. In less than two months, Trump’s presidency has already sparked a profound and mostly positive revolution all across America, as well as the world. Here are the top 10 ways he’s done so.

1. He’s made people aware just how fragile and vulnerable America’s constitutional freedoms can be. Hitherto taken for granted, many Americans are increasingly appreciative of the Bill of Rights, Constitutional checks and balances, freedom of speech, protection of minorities etc. The more Trump seems blasé about such historical protections, the more people are galvanized to fight for their continued survival.

2. Trump has injected new life into the American left, recreating the kind of energy that helped propel Barack Obama to the White House in 2008. He’s resuscitated a resolve to resist and protest rarely seen since the days of the battle against the war in Vietnam.
Inspired by their disgust with Trump, millions of Americans have taken to the streets to voice their protests, thousands are flocking to town halls to spar with Republicans, and scores are choosing to volunteer, organize communities or contemplate a career in politics. After many years in which the right seemed to enjoy a monopoly on motivation and vitality, the tables seem to be turning.

3. Trump has shaken the Jewish community to its core, sparking an evolution that is too early to decipher. Feeling under threat, Jewish communities are coming together, while the Jewish establishment, with few exceptions, is under harsh scrutiny for what is perceived as its tepid response to what is also perceived as Trump’s complicity in the rising tide of anti-Semitism.
At the same time, Israel’s decision to align itself with Trump at a time when he is deeply unpopular with most Jews cannot but influence the future ties between the Jewish state and the largest Jewish diaspora. The jury is still out on where things will go, but the shake-up of the status quo was long overdue.

4. Trump is a catalyzer for solidarity and brotherhood. He has given many leftists, including this one, renewed respect and admiration for right-wing pundits and politicians who have bravely stayed true to their consciences and have continued to resist Trump, despite pressures to conform.
By the same token, Trump has brought together, at least momentarily, hitherto estranged Jewish groups from the right and the left, such as in their united response to the White House’s refusal to mention Jews in its Holocaust Day statement. And he’s definitely removed fences between Jewish and Muslim communities that share their fears and apprehensions and offer mutual support, as each becomes the target of attacks by haters. 

5. For the free press and for the journalistic profession, Trump has proven to be nothing less than a miracle worker. He’s given new glamor to investigative reporting just as it seemed to be losing its allure, as well as its funding. Trump has reawakened scores of hitherto lifeless and uninspired reporters who are now hungry for scoops and exposes and lusting for the one defining story that will bring Trump down and gain them immortality.
He’s recreated the great newspaper rivalries of yore, especially the New York Times and the Washington Post. And he’s certainly generated a great infusion of desperately needed financial relief to beleaguered news networks, whose ratings and advertising revenues have soared, as well as print and especially digital news organizations, which are collecting new subscriptions and benevolent monetary contributions like never before.

6. Trump has revitalized the careers of late night shows, hosts and comedians, including Saturday Night Live, Samantha Bee and The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, providing them with endless streams of solid material to bite into. 
Most satisfactorily, for this writer at least, Trump has saved Stephen Colbert from slowly suffocating in the previously unbearable nothingness of late night puff interviews. Millions of fans that have been mourning the demise of The Colbert Report have now been rewarded with a Lazarus-like comeback of Colbert’s biting humor and scathing sarcasm. Trump has restored their faith in humanity.

7. Trump has done wonders to generate new support for the much-maligned Affordable Care Act and renewed respect for its creator, Barack Obama. He’s definitely worked miracles in rehabilitating the image of past presidents, especially George W Bush. The 43rd president is now perceived, even by some of his strongest detractors, as a model of fairness, humility and judiciousness (compared to the present occupant of the White House, at least).
And while Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu hasn’t done himself any favors by slobbering over the new U.S. president, Trump’s magic touch is so powerful that even though they essentially promote the same policies and values, Netanyahu still seems far more polished and restrained today than he did only a few months ago.

8. Trump has exposed the American right wing’s most significant feature: rank hypocrisy. Moralistic Evangelicals suddenly cheer a pussy-grapping Chief Executive; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks holding up Supreme Court picks is abominable; Republican lawmakers see positive points in ObamaCare that should be preserved; Fox News, it turns out, is far less enthusiastic about dealing with questionable military operations like the one carried out in Yemen in late January than it was in obsessively dissecting Benghazi, even when everything had been said about it four times over.
And the granddaddy of them all, of course, is Vladimir Putin, the once reviled dictator heading the Evil Empire who is now revered in some conservative circles as an improved role model that combines the best of Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Andrew Jackson put together.

9. Trump has cured many people around the world of any inferiority complexes they may have had toward America by proving that the U.S. can be just as stupid, reactionary and retrograde as anyone else. In the future this could pave the way to healthier relations for the U.S., as people stop being jealous of American superiority and resentful of American exceptionalism.
Dictators and other supporters of repression will no longer be rankled by America’s presumptuous preaching on human rights and the rule of law. Under Trump, America no longer cares what other people do, as long as they don’t do it in or against America.

10. Finally, as a direct consequence, Trump has sparked a new wave of patriotism all across the globe as people come to appreciate what they have at home more than ever before. He’s enhanced the stature of politicians who were once considered average and increased respect for the hitherto undervalued boring and mediocre.
Trump has also done wonders to renew esteem for international institutions such as the United Nations and the European Union, as well as concern for their future. In fact, for many people, Trump is now like a moral beacon, only in reverse. The new global rule of thumb, which Trump has succeeded in instilling in an amazingly short time, is simple: If Trump’s against something, you know it’s good, and if he’s for something, you know it must be bad

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ALSO:

AMERICA’S POLITICAL REVIVAL

by Timothy Egan,
THE NEW YORK TIMES, Monday March 6, 2017, The Opinion Page

My friend Sam laughed when I told him I was going to spend my Saturday at a “Search for Meaning” festival at a Jesuit college in the heart of seriously secular Seattle. He assumed, as I did, that a bare handful of the usual search-for-meaning suspects would be straining minutiae while still clinging to the meaninglessness of it all.

But nooooo — all the keynote events at Seattle University were completely sold out. In the winter of the American soul, people thronged to hear advice on how to “live a life of significance and impact” and to “find meaning in times of change, challenge and chaos.”

I credit President Trump. Not because he seems any more evolved than the first earthworms now appearing in the cold soil of my garden. But because the threats to truth, civility, rational thought and brotherly love coming from the White House have prompted a huge counterreaction.

It’s early, but we may be experiencing a great awakening for the humane values that are under siege by a dark-side presidency. People are going inward, to find something bigger than Trump, and outward, to limit the damage he inflicts on the country.


Trump has been good — indirectly — for a free press, an independent judiciary, high school civics, grass-roots political activity, cautionary tales in literature and theater, and spirituality. You don’t know what you’ve got, as the song says, till it’s gone — or nearly so.

Face it: We have become a lazy, aging, fairly ignorant democracy. Even in the most turbulent election in modern history, about 90 million eligible voters didn’t bother to cast a ballot — the basic task of citizenship. Trump took his 46 percent of those who did vote, many of whom believe fake-moon-landing-level lies, and has tried to act like the earth moved, as he said on Tuesday. It did, but not in the ways that he meant it.

It would be immodest, even overtly Trumpian, to boast about the huge circulation gains at the not-failing New York Times, or the robust support for our competitors, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. But let’s just say having a man who told an average of four false or misleading statements a day for the first month of his presidency has been good for those the president calls enemies of the people.

It’s the same story at NPR, where the number of listeners reached new heights during and after Trump’s election. “These increases confirm that there is a real appetite for factual reporting,” said Jarl Mohn, NPR’s president and C.E.O., in a release last fall. No kidding, Sherlock.

A collateral benefit has gone to comedy. Laughter is one of the best weapons in dangerous times. Trump told his lap dog, Fox News, that “Saturday Night Live” was “a failing show, it’s not funny, Alec Baldwin’s a disaster.” In fact, “S.N.L.” has had some of its best ratings in nearly a quarter century. More Trump than Trump, Baldwin is anything but a disaster. And Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” has also taken off, since he took off the gloves.

The hottest book of the Trump era, George Orwell’s “1984,” is headed for Broadway. “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears,” Orwell wrote, with chilling prescience. Also sailing out of bookstores: Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here,” Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” and my personal favorite, Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America.”

Trump fright has produced a deep dive into history. Millions now know that “enemy of the people” was a Soviet-era threat used by Stalinist thugs. And “America First,” Trump’s governing theme, was a slogan of Nazi sympathizers in the United States just before World War II.

Which brings us to civics. One of the great failures of late has been the diminishment of this vital owner’s manual for citizenship. Only 23 percent of eighth graders scored at or above proficiency in civics in a survey last year. Almost two-thirds of adults cannot name all three branches of government.

But now students are clamoring to talk about government and politics. The kids are demanding that their teachers do something to prevent another generation of politically illiterate citizens from coming of age. They are also marching in the street, along with their parents, who have already pulled off one of the largest political demonstrations in American history.

As for the spiritual revival, the evidence is somewhat anecdotal. We know that Trump-induced stress has spiked. As a response, many people are looking for larger meaning in their lives — or at least a psychological shelter from the storm. In a way, this echoes the first of two earlier Great Awakenings.

In stepping on American values, Trump has prompted people to find out more about those values, and ultimately to defend them. The high to his low is an unexpected renaissance.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 6th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


FBI asked Justice Department to refute Trump’s wiretapping claim.

By Shimon Prokupecz and Jeremy Diamond, CNN, March 4, 2017

(CNN) The FBI asked the Justice Department on Saturday to refute President Donald Trump’s assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump’s phones last year, two sources with knowledge of the situation told CNN.

The FBI made the request because such wiretapping would be illegal, since the President cannot just order the eavesdropping of a U.S. citizen’s phones, the sources said. A court would have to approve any request to wiretap.

The sources would not say who was involved in the conversations between the FBI and DOJ or what role FBI Director James Comey might have played.

One of the sources said instead of the FBI saying something publicly about the allegations, it was felt it would be more appropriate to ask the Justice Department since the bureau as a policy does not confirm or deny investigations.

The source said it was also felt it would be more appropriate politically to handle this through the Justice Department since Justice officials are freer to talk about such matters with the White House. Before any possible rebuke, it would be expected some conversations with the White House would need to take place.

So far, the Justice Department has not said anything in reaction to Trump’s tweets on Saturday, in which he made the wiretapping allegations.

Asked about the FBI request, a Justice Department spokesman said he had no comment. The FBI refused comment as well.

The New York Times first reported that the FBI asked the Justice Department to refute Trump’s wiretapping claim.

Trump’s aides asked Congress on Sunday to look into whether the Obama administration abused its investigative powers during the 2016 election. The move comes a day after Trump posted a series of tweets alleging, without presenting any evidence, that Obama wiretapped his phones in Trump Tower in the weeks leading up to the November election.

“Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in the statement Sunday morning, which he also posted on Twitter. “President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016.

“Neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted,” Spicer added. He did not provide any further details on the President’s request to Congress.

While Spicer said “reports” prompted the call for a congressional investigation, the White House still has not provided any evidence to back up the President’s accusations. There are no publicly known credible reports to back up Trump’s claim that Obama ordered Trump’s phones be monitored.

Frustrated that the Russia stories have overshadowed a widely praised performance in his joint address to Congress on Tuesday, Trump angrily raised the wiretapping issue unprompted in conversations with friends and acquaintances at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend, two people who have spoken with him at his Palm Beach resort said on Sunday. The President didn’t specify what information he was basing his accusations upon, but told them he expected an investigation to prove him right.

Multiple former senior US officials have dismissed Trump’s allegations, however, calling them “nonsense” and “false.” Obama, through a spokesman, also rejected the claim that he ordered Trump’s phones tapped.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, a career intelligence official who had oversight of the US intelligence community in that role, said Sunday that Trump was not wiretapped by intelligence agencies nor did the FBI obtain a court order through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to monitor Trump’s phones.

“For the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI, there was no wiretap activity mounted against the President-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign,” Clapper said Sunday morning on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

—————————————————–

Also:


White House calls for probe of Trump’s unproved claims as Obama spy official denies wiretapping

Trump press secretary Sean Spicer referred to “potentially politically motivated investigations” without providing evidence. Former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, outright denied allegations that wiretaps were authorized against Donald Trump or his campaign during the Obama administration.

THE WASHINGTON POST
By Abby Phillip and Ellen Nakashima

FBI Director James B. Comey asked the Justice Department this weekend to issue a statement refuting President Trump’s claim that President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump’s phones before the election, according to U.S. officials, but the department did not do so.

Comey made the request Saturday after Trump accused Obama on Twitter of having his “ ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower.” The White House expanded on Trump’s comments Sunday with a call for a congressional probe of his allegations.

The revelation, first reported by the New York Times, underscores the fraught nature of the FBI’s high-profile investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. A key question fueling that inquiry is whether Trump associates colluded with Russian officials to help Trump win.

Neither Justice nor the FBI would comment Sunday.

The development came as Trump’s charge against Obama — leveled without any evidence — was being rebuffed both inside and outside of the executive branch. It drew a blunt, on-the-record denial by a top intelligence official who served in the Obama administration.

Speaking on NBC News on Sunday morning, former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. denied that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) wiretap was authorized against Trump or the campaign during his tenure.

“There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time as a candidate or against his campaign,” Clapper said on “Meet the Press,” adding that he would “absolutely” have been informed if the FBI had received a FISA warrant against either.

“I can deny it,” Clapper said emphatically.

In his claims early Saturday morning, the president tweeted that he “just found out” that Obama had “my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower” before the election. Trump compared the alleged action to “McCarthyism.”

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

By Sunday morning, the White House doubled down on Trump’s explosive tweet storm and called for the congressional probe.

[Trump, citing no evidence, accuses Obama of ‘Nixon/Watergate’ plot to wiretap Trump Tower]

Current and former government officials said such surveillance would not have been approved by any senior Justice official in the Obama administration. And Trump’s allegation raised hackles in the FBI leadership, implying as it did that the bureau may have acted illegally to wiretap a presidential candidate without probable cause that he was an “agent of a foreign power,” as the foreign intelligence surveillance law requires.

“This is Nixon/Watergate,” Trump tweeted Saturday.

A spokesman for Obama countered several hours later that the former president never authorized a wiretap of Trump or any other American citizen. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply false,” the spokesman said.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Sunday cited “reports” of “potentially politically motivated investigations” during the 2016 campaign, calling them “troubling.” But none of the media reports cited by the White House provides evidence of a politically motivated surveillance effort against Trump.

“President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016,” Spicer said. “Neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted,” the statement added.

10 reactions to Trump’s wiretapping allegations against Obama Play Video2:38
Former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. on March 5 denied that President Trump’s 2016 campaign was wiretapped while senators of both parties weighed in on the allegations. (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)
Congressional committees in both the House and the Senate are probing not just suspected Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 election but any contacts between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

Comey’s request is sure to raise eyebrows in light of his actions last year in the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.

In July he held a news conference — without telling the Justice Department what he would say — to announce that the bureau had concluded Clinton did not commit a prosecutable offense. Then, 11 days before the election, Comey wrote Congress despite warnings from senior Justice officials that doing so would violate department policy and said the FBI was examining new emails that had come to light. Nothing came of the bureau’s additional review, but Comey took heat for his actions, which Democrats say influenced the outcome of the election.

It is not clear why Comey, who is the senior-most law enforcement officer who has been overseeing the FBI investigation from its inception in the Obama administration, did not himself issue a statement to refute Trump’s claims. Nor is it clear to whom he made his request. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself last week from all investigative matters related to the Trump campaign and any potential Russia links. The acting deputy attorney general, Dana Boente, a career federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Virginia, is now overseeing the probe.

Trump’s tweets early Saturday may have been prompted by the comments of a conservative radio host, which were summarized in an article on the conservative website Breitbart. The Breitbart story circulated among Trump’s senior aides on Friday.

The White House’s escalation of Trump’s claims were kept at arm’s length by congressional Republicans appearing on Sunday morning news broadcasts.

When asked about Trump’s allegations, Senate Intelligence Committee member Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) declined to comment on the tweets but said he has “seen no evidence of the allegations.”

“Whether that’s a FISA court application or denial of that application or a re-submission of that application, that doesn’t mean that none of these things happened. It just means we haven’t seen that yet,” Cotton added, speaking on “Fox News Sunday.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he is not aware of evidence to back up the president’s claim. “I have no insight into exactly what he’s referring to,” he said on “Meet the Press.” “The president put that out there, and now the White House will have to answer for exactly what he was referring to.”

Obama’s allies were more blunt, denying flatly that the former president had ordered a wiretap of Trump’s campaign.

“This may come as a surprise to the current occupant of the Oval Office, but the president of the United States does not have the authority to unilaterally order the wiretapping of American citizens,” said former Obama White House press secretary Josh Earnest.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) told “Meet the Press” that Trump is “in trouble” and acting “beneath the dignity of the presidency.”

“The president’s in trouble if he falsely spread this kind of information,” Schumer said. “It shows this president doesn’t know how to conduct himself.”

Earnest added that Trump was attempting to distract from the controversy involving contacts between his campaign aides, including now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Russian officials.

“We know exactly why president Trump tweeted what he tweeted,” Earnest added. “Because there is one page in the Trump White House crisis management playbook, and that is simply to tweet or say something outrageous to distract from a scandal. And the bigger the scandal, the more outrageous the tweet.”

[The one big question Jeff Sessions still hasn’t answered]

But appearing on ABCs “This Week,” White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders repeatedly said that the president’s allegation was worth looking into.

“He’s asking that we get down to the bottom of this, let’s get the truth here, let’s find out,” Huckabee Sanders said. “I think the bigger story isn’t who reported it, but is it true. And I think the American people have a right to know if this happened, because if it did, again, this is the largest abuse of power that, I think, we have ever seen.”

Asked whether Trump truly believes Obama wiretapped him, Huckabee Sanders deflected.

“I would say that his tweet speaks for itself there,” she said.

Clapper’s comments referred only to whether Trump campaign officials had been wiretapped. But their conversations could also have been captured by routine surveillance of Russian diplomats or intelligence operatives.

U.S. monitoring of Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, for example, caught his conversations with Trump adviser Michael Flynn during the campaign. Flynn went on to become Trump’s national security adviser, but he was forced to resign last month after admitting that he had misled other senior Trump officials about the nature of those conversations.

The FBI and the National Security Agency also have obtained intercepted communications among Russians officials in which they refer to conversations with members of the Trump team, current and former U.S. officials have said.

On the broader question of apparent Russian interference in the 2016 election, Clapper urged congressional investigators to attempt to settle the issue, which he said has become a “distraction” in the political sphere.

The intelligence community found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government — at least until the end of the Obama administration, he said Sunday.

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“We had no evidence of such collusion,” he said on “Meet the Press.” But Clapper added a caveat: “This could have unfolded or become available in the time since I left government.”

Whether there was any collusion is a key question fueling a wide-ranging federal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

On Jan. 6, the U.S. spy agencies collectively released a report concluding that Russia carried out cyberhacks and other “active measures” with an intent to help Trump and harm the campaign and potential presidency of Hillary Clinton. The report, Clapper pointed out, included “no evidence” of collusion with the Trump campaign.

But the investigation by the FBI, the NSA and the CIA continues. The Senate and House intelligence committees also are conducting investigations.

Aaron Blake, Greg Jaffe, Robert Costa, Sari Horwitz, Greg Miller and Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report.

See what President Trump has been doing since taking office
The beginning of his term has featured controversial executive orders and frequent conflicts with the media.

Abby Phillip is a national political reporter covering the White House for The Washington Post. She can be reached at  abby.phillip at washpost.com. Follow @abbydphillip
Ellen Nakashima is a national security reporter for The Washington Post. She focuses on issues relating to intelligence, technology and civil liberties. Follow @nakashimae

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 5th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

As reported by Irith Jawetz from Vienna:


Fareed’s Take: He tackled the 54 billions Trump wants to spend on additional Military. He quoted General Petraeus who told him a few years ago that during the Gulf war he wished he had more Foreign Office people to advise him.


Why? Soldiers do not understand the problems of the Middle East, the difference between the Shiites and Sunis, the history, the culture, and a brave officer who knows how to fight is not enough to win a war.

The Military budget of the US is already huge. It is 9 times the size of the Russian Military budget and 3 times them size of China’s,

Then he interviewed two National Security Advisors. Tom Donillon who was under President Obama and denied the allegation of wiretapping. He also said that Trump has no idea how the system works. The President cannot order wiretapping without a court order. Presidents cannot just order wiretapping..As for Jeff Sessions he was right to recuse himself and should not resign. We have to wait for his new explanation which will come this week.

Stephen Hadley who was National Security Advisor under George W. Bush agreed with Donillon on the wiretapping..Presidents cannot just do it.. If the Obama Administration was really worried about ties to Russia they may have had a reason to do it, but until now there is no proof that it happened. He also said what the panel today said that Trump likes to distract. Whenever something does not go his way and he gets criticized, he tweets something outrageous and diverts from the issue. This now seems to be a general idea floating around.

As for Sessions – he did the right thing and should not resign until he clarifies his position in the coming days. Then we’ll see.

They both agree that: North Korea is the biggest crisis Trump will face now. President Clinton faced the Oklahoma bombing, President Bush 9/11, President Obama the financial crisis and Trump will face North Korea. However if he does not appear to be reliable and trustworthy there will be trouble.

On the idea that Trump’s immigration policy will be good for the economy, Fareed disputes it vehemently. The costs of more agents, building that wall and not having immigrants for menial work will cost more than it will save.

Then he talked about Canada which has now surpassed the USA and a Land of opportunities. In every poll Canada ranks before the US in welfare, economy, freedom, healthcare.

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