Black Swan Down?

Will a Black Swan event drop Mikhail Khodorkovsky into the Kremlin? Lenin’s Second Coming or a False Dmitri?

The problem with Black Swan events is that they can happen anywhere and is being so obvious about pushing for regime change against an opponent who won’t back down, smart?





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Former GSA Official Indicted

“Senior executives set an example for everyone in an agency,” Miller said. “If they are cutting corners, fudging facts, or cheating even in small things, it sends a message that it’s okay to for everyone to do these things.”

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SERCO? Isn’t this the same company processing and storing our immigartion records? British?

After months of waiting, the Federal government responded to News 4’s request for information on an Affordable Care Act application processing center in Wentzville, Missouri.

In May 2014, employees at the Wentzville facility run by Serco complained to News 4 that they were sitting around with no work to do.

One employee told News 4 they passed the time by playing “Pictionary on a dry erase board. We played 20 questions.”

Employees at the plants in Kentucky and Arkansas, also hired to process the paper applications for the ACA, made the same claims…

…According to CMS records, from October 2013 through March of 2014, Serco processed 271,341 paper applications. That’s less than 5% of the anticipated workload.

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Does This Go For Every Government Agency?

‘The misconduct we’ve seen of too many facilities, with long wait times and veterans denied care, and folks cooking the books, is outrageous and inexcusable,’ Obama said, waking up the crowd’s enthusiasm.

‘We’re focused on this at the highest levels. We are going to get to the bottom of these problems, we are going to fix what is wrong.’

‘We are going to do right by you and we are going to do right by your families,’ he said, earning his only spontaneous hoots and shouts. ‘And that is a solemn pledge of commitment that I’m making to you here.’

The VA, he said, has been given ‘the authority to more quickly remove senior executives who don’t meet our high standards. If you engage in unethical practices or cover up a serious problem, you should be and will be fired.’

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DHS No.2 Still Under Investigation. But Not Criminal?

The new DHS Inspector General John Roth states in an interview appearing today in the Washington Post that the investigation of DHS’ No.2 Alejandro Mayorkas’ handling of requests to help push along visa applications at the behest of a well connected Washington insider is on going, that insider at the time, when Mayorkas headed up USCIS, was said to have been Terry McAuliffe who is now the Governor of Virginia.

However, IG Roth makes clear that the investigation is “non-criminal” in nature. He did not explain, nor did the Washington Post interviewer ask, how thorough is an investigation wherein the criminality or non-criminality is already determined.

“Before you arrived, the inspector general’s office was investigating whether Alejandro Mayorkas, who is now the No. 2 at DHS, improperly helped foreign investors obtain U.S. visas while serving as head of U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. Are you looking into that?

JR: During my confirmation, I was asked about that, because it made the media at that point, that there was in fact an investigation of him — a non-criminal investigation. I had committed in my hearing — I think on three separate occasions, or it might have been four — to continue that investigation, so that investigation is continuing, but I can’t talk about anything.”

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Putin’s Espionage Offensive Against France

Originally posted on The XX Committee:

One of the major themes of my work is how Russia, drawing on decades of rich experience with espionage, aggressively employs intelligence in what I term Special War to defeat, dissuade, and deter its enemies without fighting. As I’ve reported many times, Russian espionage against the West has been rising since the mid-2000’s and has returned to Cold War levels of effort and intensity — and in some cases, more so. In recent years, the Kremlin has endorsed aggressive espionage against a wide range of Western countries, members of NATO and the European Union (often both), to learn secrets and gain political advantage. This is simply what the Russians do, as Vladimir Putin, the former KGB officer, understands perfectly. Such things are well known to counterintelligence hands the world over, but are seldom discussed in public.

What this looks like up close has recently been exposed by the Parisian newsmagazine

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Potemkin Sanctions?

“Mr. Obama’s actions would not bar the targeted Russian banks or energy companies from doing business with Americans or seize their property. Rosneft, for instance, has major joint ventures with ExxonMobil that will still be permitted. But administration officials pointedly noted that such moves were still possible if Russia did not back down.

Craig Pirrong, a professor of finance at the University of Houston, said the current moves might not have that much impact because the affected companies could get American dollars elsewhere. “This will constrain to some degree the size of the capital pool that the sanctioned firms can access, but not nearly as much as could be,” he said.”

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