HARPER: WHERE DID JEFF EPSTEIN GET HIS MONEY… REALLY?

Harp

 

In 2002 and 2003, long before Jeffrey Epstein's name became equated with The Lolita Express, St. Jeff's Island and a child sex ring that stretched from the U.S. Virgin Islands (sic) to Manhattan to Palm Beach to Arizona, Vanity Fair and New York Magazine made a valiant effort to unearth the source of Epstein's vast wealth.  They both came up with more questions than answers.  Yes, he managed the funds for Leslie Wexler, the Cleveland-based billionaire owner of Victoria's Secret.  Yes, he had shady dealings with Ponzi Schemers back in his early days in finance.  But nothing in any of those pretty deep digs into his finances have come close to accounting for the vast and still-unknown quantities of money he accumulated and their origins.

The mystery surrounding Epstein's financial career begs some questions:  Was his source of wealth kept so secret because he was a money front for some intelligence service?  Not the first case of such a story.  Recall Marc Rich, the Swiss-based metals trader who purportedly had strong ties to Israeli intelligence.  And more to the point, recall the case of the late Robert Maxwell, who was also believed to have been initially bankrolled by the Israeli secret services.  The one constant in Jeffrey Epstein's bizarre career has been the daughter of Maxwell, who was one of Epstein's early entry points into the world of New York glitz.

I make no claim to insider information about Epstein's wealth.  But the lack of documentation on Epstein's finances in the era of internet and hacking is noteworthy in itself.  If I am right, regardless of Attorney General Barr and the moves against President Trump's accusers, some of the President's friends like Sheldon Adelson can be expected to weigh in if I am even close to being right.  Stay tuned…

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57 Responses to HARPER: WHERE DID JEFF EPSTEIN GET HIS MONEY… REALLY?

  1. Avatar divadab says:

    Epstein did the dirty work for his “friends”, IMHO. Insider trading? No problem. Information gathering on the powerful? check! Brokering illegal/off-the-books deals (weapons, drugs, e.g)? I would be surprised if he did not. Hiding/moving secret monies around to further tax evasion? Highly likely.
    Epstein a very slick operator. Completely amoral. Very smart. And well connected.
    But his run is over and it will be very interesting who he betrays in order to save himself from prison. IMHO the best thing for him would be to spend the rest of his life in the general prison population.

  2. Avatar blue peacock says:

    Phil
    With rampant espionage, influence and information operations conducted by zionist & CCP entities out in the open, aided and abetted by a fifth column who are also out in the open, all going on for several decades under both political parties, my question is who are in positions of power focused on US national interests and protecting the Constitution of the United States?
    I don’t see how Trump who is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zionist & Saudi Barbaria, Inc will allow any kind of penetrative investigation. He’s already backing Acosta, who would have been easy to throw under the bus.

  3. Avatar Walrus says:

    Marc Rich was an acquaintance of a relative. Rich was an oil trader at Phillip Bros. He was also the first man to ask for a million dollar salary which was too much for the Board, despite their generous salary setting process. That is why he quit.
    Regarding intelligence operations. At the business level that Rich and my relative was working, the difference between good old commercial market research, competitor and customer information and “Government intelligence products” is extremely blurred. High level People talk about business conditions, the political landscape, who is sleeping with who, etc., etc. and what is likely to happen.

  4. Avatar casey says:

    Two questions come to mind: Why does this service-provider for our depraved pedo-elites have his tit yet again in the wringer? and, Who benefits?
    Reminds me of Wiener’s laptop, with its alleged “Insurance File.” Where did that go? Down the memory hole, that’s where. And the Dancing Israelis of Mossad arrested in NJ during 9/11. Where did they go? Back to Bibi-land.
    This is all over my head, but I suspect that since someone is willing to burn the service-provider, even if the fire burns down a lot of formerly useful service-providers, the ultimate target must be very valuable to whatever pedo-elite group is setting lighting the match.

  5. Avatar Petrel says:

    Herein a plausible film scenario:
    Our central character is a pedo, who organizes a supply chain of under-age-girls and hosts parties in his Manhattan – Florida – New Mexico homes, to whom he invites possible pedos as well as gliterati. Of course, all the bedrooms are equipped with cameras and some of his party guests end up paying him hush money.
    Forget the cover story of Hedge Funding. That island in the Bahamas is a plane ride away from a UK tax haven. Our character probably invests the hush money in plain old Blue Chips.
    In a second round of parties, his super wealthy “clients” come to consider the routine acceptable and pay him up-front for the youthful services.

  6. Avatar Flavius says:

    It strikes me that the indictment moves this case beyond political control. At the very least, there would be significant risks for Trump, Barr, or anybody else to move to dismiss this indictment on National Security grounds. Plus I would argue that NS considerations were already taken into account before the indictment was returned; and it is unlikely in the extreme that this indictment was returned without DoJ involvement and with the AG’s awareness.
    The attorneys and investigators in NY absolutely had to have all the materials that supported the 2008 so called scrapped 53 page indictment that had been prepared in Miami. It would be most interesting to know what charges were being contemplated at the time, whether they were limited to the sex trafficking, or whether they included racketeering, money laundering, and tax violations. It would be most unusual if Epstein wasn’t folding his sex trafficking expenses into his business.
    The 64,000 question is why did they not go forward in Florida with the case in 2008. There can be little question that the attorneys and agents in Florida who worked on this case had to be furious to see such little return on so much work. Furthermore, they had to be looking beyond Epstein for additional subjects – both within Epstein’s organization itself and among his clients. They were not naive about what they were looking at. A single plea with so many potential subjects walking? That’s not normal expectations in any law enforcement agency. The question is who specifically in Washington did Acosta engage in discussions to downgrade so much work to a couple of soliciting counts.
    Robert Mueller was Director of the FBI in 2008. I wonder whether he took a position on the handling of the case. By any standard this was a big deal Federal case that got magically transformed into a garden variety solicitation case. The only reason Epstein got time at all, such as it was, is that they crafted the charges to include a soliciting count that involved an underaged woman. That alone demonstrates that they knew what they were dealing with in Epstein and that even they couldn’t just let it go completely.

  7. Avatar different clue says:

    This had been my thinking as well. Epstein was paid his “percentage” of the vast sums he discretely increased for people through every kind of unethical and illegal money-growing operation, possibly including helping to launder hundreds of billions of drug dollars, klepted dollars, human trafficking dollars, etc. That kind of money doesn’t need to be “increased”, it just needs to be sanitized and de-odorized. Some percentage of the original illegal pile can be attrited and lost in the process of making the rest of the pile “legal” for all intents and purposes.
    The people he “could” betray might well be in a position to give him a bowl of polonium cornflakes for breakfast some day if they even THINK he MIGHT betray them. So he won’t save himself from prison by betraying them.
    If the Legal Enforcement System is serious about trying him and if-convicted, imprisoning him; the best he can hope for is to be a good boy and betray nobody, in hopes of being permitted to remain alive after reaching prison. He may betray certain “smaller” somebodies . . . like Slicky Bill Clinton . . . if certain “bigger” somebodies order him to do so in order to create the appearance of justice being spread around.
    Well, that’s how muh feelz about it, anyway.

  8. Avatar Roy G says:

    Excellent analysis, Phil. One clarification about Epstein’s black book, I assume you meant Michael Bloomberg instead of the 60s blues rock guitarist Michael Bloomfield?
    Please keep digging, I think there is a lot more to be dug up in this vein.

  9. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Epstein’s wealth may be a sham.
    Has anyone looked into the chain of title on the properties he is said to own? Liens, encumbrances, etc? No financial statements are available, nor tax returns.
    We only think that Epstein is wealthy because of a vague statement, a stipulation in the original trial.

  10. Avatar Jack says:

    Harper
    Do you have any opinion on why Epstein has been indicted now?
    I wonder if the 53 page indictment written up by the US Attorney in Florida which apparently included testimony from several underage girls and then abandoned by Acosta when he negotiated the plea deal will ever see the light of day? I also wonder when and what will show up in the sealed files from the defamation lawsuit that a court has ordered unsealed?
    My view is that while Epstein may go to trial in this case in the SDNY I doubt this leads to any further exposure of other powerful people who also may have been involved. And of course I also believe that no investigation will take place on his source of funds.

  11. Avatar BraveNewWorld says:

    “Jeffrey Epstein was Ehud Barak’s business partner as late as 2015”
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/jeffrey-epstein-was-ehud-baraks-business-partner-as-late-as-2015-report/
    Nothing surprising here for any one that follows the news in Israel.

  12. Avatar FkDahl says:

    His mansion in NYC was purchased – as far as public records go – for $10 from the Wexler family to his own LLC.

  13. Avatar Jack says:

    This LA Times story says the NY property was owned by Les Wexner and transferred to Epstein with him signing both sides of the deal. I’m curious if the DOJ is as curious as I am about his source of funds?
    https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-jeffrey-epstein-fortune-mystery-20190708-story.html

  14. Avatar Jack says:

    This article that interviews hedge fund manager Doug Kass mirrors my own inquiries.

    Kass was well-connected on Wall Street, where he’d worked for decades, so he began to ask around. “I went to my institutional brokers, to their trading desks and asked if they ever traded with him. I did it a few times until the date when he was arrested,” he recalls. “Not one institutional trading desk, primary or secondary, had ever traded with Epstein’s firm.”

    http://nymag.com/intelligencer/amp/2019/07/hedge-funders-have-some-thoughts-on-what-epstein-was-doing.html
    I suspect he did not even do what Doug speculates, that is invest in stock index or Treasury bonds. I’m more inclined to believe that his source of funds included both blackmail funds, as well as a recepient of funds from a foreign government for collecting kompromat. What I don’t get is how he could have done that for so long. The word must have got out that he ran a honey trap especially since he was dealing with movers & shakers. I suspect there’s much more than meets the eye. The question is why the sweetheart deal by Acosta and why the NYPD did not take him to task for not reporting regularly and why the indictment now? And of course why was he protected so much when he operated so openly? Why was he defended by people like Dershowitz who are in the media all the time and must know that it would be highly controversial with so many girls testifying to a jury? This was not a case of constitutional law but a case of child rape.
    The biggest question is how deep will the US Attorney SDNY go in their investigation? Will they be allowed even if they want to considering what happened with Acosta?

  15. Avatar Chiron says:

    Acosta said that he believed Epstein was working for some Intelligence agency, the arrest has reflected on Israeli politics where Nuttyahoo doesn’t have the majority and needs new elections, his main rival Ehud Barak is connected to Epstein and Les Wexner.
    If a British media magnate like Robert Maxwell was Israeli spy isn’t to far off from someone like Epstein also being a operative collecting dirt for blackmail against powerful people.

  16. Avatar optimax says:

    Acosta doesn’t seem to consider human trafficking an important problem in the world. As head of the Labor Department, good thing I’m retired, he proposed an 80% cut in the International Labor Affairs Bureau, which helps victims of human trafficking, sex slavery, child labor escape their hellish existence. His department also placed a moratorium on ILAB’s issueing special visas to victims of sex trafficking and extreme labor abuse.
    https://theintercept.com/2019/07/11/jeffrey-epstein-alex-acosta-labor-department-trafficking/?comments=1#comments

  17. Avatar catherine says:

    Two people I would most like to question:
    Wexler on why he gave Epstein the 55 million dollar NY mansion.
    ”But even the real-estate holdings have an air of mystery to them. Epstein purchased, or received, the Manhattan townhouse from Wexner around 1998. But there were no property records on the mansion’s transfer until 2011, when the company Wexner used to buy the place transferred it to an Epstein-owned company for $0. Epstein signed the document for both sides.”
    And Acosta on who told him Epstein belonged to intelligence.
    ‘Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers …

  18. Avatar optimax says:

    Business Insider on how Epstein made his fortune (secret but not worth a billion) and Wexner transferring the Manhattan mansion to Epstein for nuttin’.
    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-financier-jeffrey-epstein-made-his-fortune-2019-7

  19. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Jack,
    What I don’t get, if all the cloak and dagger is true, is why Epstein is still walking around wasting oxygen. Why not a boating accident years ago, when he was first arrested for the same things?
    How long can you blackmail powerful people until they decide to terminate the relationship? How long can you screw up with your outlandish lifestyle before the big time criminals you work for decide that you’ve become a liability?

  20. Avatar different clue says:

    Was that proposal made to advance the goal of “deconstructing the Administrative State”?

  21. Avatar Walrus says:

    I would have thought the Clintons were sufficient explanation.

  22. Avatar Jack says:

    Precisely!
    He didn’t make his money as a hedge fund manager. He couldn’t have run a blackmail operation of the rich & famous for very long. So, what are the sources of his funds? Is the DoJ interested in this question? They surely have the ability to find out. Which brings me back to a question: Why indict him now?

  23. Avatar blue peacock says:

    Jack,
    Indeed! There’s more than meets the eye here.
    I am very skeptical that anything “big” will come out of this. It wouldn’t surprise me the least bit if there’s another plea deal but it wouldn’t be the sweetheart deal that Acosta did. Acosta resigning will shut down questioning him by Congress as to who ordered him to do the non-prosecution plea deal. I think Trump wouldn’t want this investigation to go out of his control. And there are too many powerful people involved. At the end the day, let’s face it, the rule of law only applies to us plebes!
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7241155/Labor-Secretary-Alex-Acosta-RESIGNS-Jeffrey-Epstein-sweetheart-deal.html

  24. Avatar turcopolier says:

    BP
    Acosta might have been ordered as you put it but IMO it is more likely that he and the Florida state prosecutor were paid off.

  25. Avatar turcopolier says:

    jack
    “He couldn’t have run a blackmail operation of the rich & famous for very long.” Nah. This operation ran a long time.

  26. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Jack
    Pressure from investigative journalism.

  27. Avatar turcopolier says:

    jack
    Epstein was running a honey trap with billions of dollars in backing and an apparently deep well of money and government people who could be relied on to suppress investigation. The Acosta thing is a perfect example.

  28. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Sir,
    What would someone like you have done, when still with the DIA, if you had become aware of Epstein’s activities as you describe them?

  29. Avatar Fred says:

    Jack,
    Why indict him now? Lots of things didn’t work out in 2016 like some folks thought they would. Neither did the emoluments ploy, the 25th amendment ploy, Stormy D., Mueller, etc. Who is running the DOJ now? Not Grandma Lorretta, snoozy Jeff or whoever she who won the popular vote would have appointed. I hope folks haven’t forgotten bernie bro James Hodgkingon and I sure hope Mr. T has better security now than Jim Scalise had then. Of course we should all remember: Mr. Epstein is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Now if only the main stream media were all doing investigative journalism; or course if they were the lid would blow off right quick. I wonder what that would do to news ratings?

  30. Avatar Jack says:

    Sir
    I suppose that the endless supply of underage girls was too hard to resist and once in hard to get out. I’m surprised that he was not taken out by people with real means. I can see how blackmail was couched as money management and rationalized with no expectation of a return.
    Does your spidey sense lead you to believe that Comey’s daughter will pursue this case in depth and ensnare others including all the financial arrangements?

  31. Avatar catherine says:

    How to legally blackmail billionaires,
    Throw parties for the rich with young girls available,
    Sooner later someone will end up in a bedroom with a young girl….caught on video of course.
    Later the man is informed the girl was only 15.
    But it can be swept under the rug with an investment in Epstein’s “fund”.
    To sweeten it up for the ‘blackmailee’ his investment will be in treasury notes or another kind of safe, interest paying vehicle.
    Epstein will be given power of attorney to insure his control and receive a % of the interest.
    This way the blackmailee doesnt actually ‘lose” any money and Epstein makes money.
    Volia!…not really blackmail….no traceable payoffs to explain and Epstein’s money and income looks legit from management fee charged and taken from interest returns.

  32. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Jack,
    I wonder why no one ever blackmailed Epstein.
    Wealthy guy with high level connections playing with teenage girls and compulsively with weird sex toys. Loves to socialize. All that could be taken away by people who photographed the alleged parties on Lolita Island.
    The girls shook him down to the tune of $millions in settlements according to Dershowitz. The way their talking, it looks like more law suits for damages are in the pipe.
    The girls may come away the big winners. If this was an intel op, it may be the girls out foxed them all in the end.

  33. Avatar optimax says:

    Different Clue, I don’t know, could be it’s part of the presidents push to deregulate, but human trafficking and forced labor are odd things to weaken regulations on. Acosta proposes to cut out the NGOs that work to help the unfortunates and give grants to the governments to enforce the laws governing trafficking and labor. Don’t know whose laws, US, the other countries, UN?
    If a countries government can’t control, or won’t control, their own people, what good will giving them more money do besides fattening their wallets?
    wWord is Trump thought Acosta wasn’t deregulating fast enough. Yet, under Acosta Labor was second of agencies in money saved.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/acostas-record-at-labor-department-draws-white-house-scrutiny-11562856331

  34. Avatar Fred says:

    Regardless of where it came from it looks like Epstein had enough to shell out $350,000K just days after the Miami Herald story was published. Even NBC news is covering this now.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/jeffrey-epstein-tampered-witnesses-sent-350k-2-people-prosecutors-n1029381

  35. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Catherine,
    How about Epstein provided whatever it took to grease the wheels. Young girls just being one of many goods and services on the menu. Party goers weren’t necessarily black mailed. Rather, they enjoyed the party and wanted to continue to have access. So they gave Epstein insider trader tips. They may have directly paid for other goods and services.
    Epstein used the tips to make money for his investors and kept a percent of profits for himself. The investors, some shady, some outright criminal, some just trust fund dummies, enjoyed the nice rate of return that Epstein was able to achieve via the insider tips and the whole thing just snowballs along until the girls start talking; basically shaking Epstein down in the form of lawsuits.
    But I don’t think we can say that everyone who flew on Epstein’s jet was into the girls. Maybe some were just with Epstein because he had built a reputation as a guy who can get things done, who could make money and who had no ethics.

  36. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Phil,
    I have a problem with the blackmail theory.
    In order to blackmail targets/agents of influence with sex photos, Epstein would have to expose himself as well as the rest of his clients, indeed his whole operation – he and they’d be ruined. This because the provenance of the photos would be questioned and then it would be revealed that they came from sex parties that Epstein himself participated in. Therefore I see the threat of blackmail to be an empty bluff. I’m sure the targets would too for the most part. You blackmail me? No. I blackmail you!
    In fact that is more or less what has happened now; only the girls are the ones who revealed the goings on at Epstein’s residences, not the alleged agents of influence.
    If Epstein had not been hyper actively sexually involved with the girls himself and had sent the girls to secretly seduce the targets, then the blackmail could work.
    You can say that Mossad is never prosecuted in the US and therefore Epstein was confident he could act brashly and recklessly but look what has happened. Huge risk to take.
    It seems to me that Epstein is just a libertine hustler who may have occasionally sold intel to whomever. I’m sure that with Epstein everything is for sale for the right price.
    That said I defer to your – and Col Lang’s – considerable expertise. Just explaining my logical problem with the scenario.

  37. Avatar J says:

    Another Mossad investment besides their Epstein-Mossad Honey trap operation IMO is Sheldon Adelson’s coffers. While Adelson has money, his investments in both overseas endeavors as well as his Israeli IDF recruitment parties and fundraisers here in the U.S. are prime breeding grounds for Mossad recruitment of both the Parents and their military age kids.
    Adelson has stated he regretted serving in a U.S. Army uniform and would have swapped it for an Israeli one.

  38. Avatar Dan Berg says:

    Im afraid he wouldn’t last long in the general prison population.

  39. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Eric Newhill
    You don’t understand the power of an operation like this backed by this kind of money. The blackmailed can be used to suppress investigations and prosecution as in the case of Acosta.

  40. Avatar different clue says:

    If a feature of the Administrative State is that it writes regulations for its employees ( including its regulation-writers) to enforce, and one’s goal ( certainly Bannon’s stated goal) is to “deconstruct the Administrative State”; then one defunds-to-deconstruct every part of it within reach. If it is only part-way deconstructed down to a “stub”, there is always the chance that some future Administration may seek to “reconstruct the Administrative State” back up from the surviving stub. Whereas if one kills the stub as well, a whole new rebirth of a whole new Administrative State becomes more difficult to achieve.
    And so defunding-to-deconstruct all the regulations and Administrators involved in human-trafficking suppression and forced labor suppression would be considered as regretable-but-necessary sacrifices in achieving the great goal of “deconstructing the Administrative State.”
    I remember once either hearing or reading that in a Congressional Hearing, Mr. Mulvaney was asked about deep-defunding some area of government funded science and research and encouraging all the scientists involved to resign or retire as fast as possible . . . and his response was that ” this is how you drain the swamp”.
    Trump ran on permitting citizens to believe he meant “drain the pools of bribery and influence and corruption” when he said ” drain the swamp”. Maybe he permitted his own self to believe that is what he meant. But his action-taking people clearly meant to destroy as much Administrative governmental functioning as possible, and most of all to destroy government’s ability to gather and collect and interpret scientific data; most especially about processes which the TrumpAdmin wants to pretend don’t even exist, such as man-made carbon skydumping with its attendant man-made global warming and its man-made ocean acidation.
    Here is another example of TrumpAdmin efforts to destroy and abolish actual factual gathered data-sets in order to blind inquiry and analysis and destroy any hope of restoring sighted inquiry and analysis in the future. It is a paragraph taken from a Guardian article to let readers know the subject and tone of that article.
    “I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations” [Guardian (DL)]. From March, still germane: “At first, the distress flare of lost data came as a surge of defunct links on 21 January. The US National Strategy for the Arctic, the Implementation Plan for the Strategy, and the report on our progress all gone within a matter of minutes. As I watched more and more links turned red, I frantically combed the internet for archived versions of our country’s most important polar policies. I had no idea then that this disappearing act had just begun. Since January, the surge has transformed into a slow, incessant march of deleting datasets, webpages and policies about the Arctic.” • Awful. But the links are gone. How about the resources themselves?
    Here is a link to the article itself. And given that the TrumpAdmin is doing this, why would it hesitate to zero-fund efforts to suppress human-trafficking and forced-labor? Anyway, here is the link.
    https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/28/arctic-researcher-donald-trump-deleting-my-citations
    Now . . . the reason I haven’t been complaining about this sort of thing over and over until I become boring about it . . . is that I voted for Trump. And I knew I would be getting this sort of thing when I voted for Trump but I voted for Trump anyway. I did it to prevent Hillary from becoming President. I wanted to short-circuit the very real threat she would have presented of thermonuclear exchange with Russia.
    So am I an unhappy camper in the Age of Trump? Yes, I am an unhappy camper in the Age of Trump. But I would rather be an unhappy camper than be a cloud of radio-active ionized gas. And that’s what the election came to for me.
    The rising levels of hatred have been referrenced here from time to time. So let me just note that I Hate hate HATE the Catfood Democrats and their Catfood Clintonites and Catfood Obamazoids for making me vote for Trump. I will never forgive the Catfood Conspirators for giving me the forced choice of voting for Piratical Yeltsinization or Nuclear Annihilation.
    If I am the only person in America who feels this way, then my thoughts and feelings won’t matter to anyone but me. I hope that enough other people thinky-feel the same way as to lead to the eventual extermination of the Catfood Democrat Party from existence and its total enwipement from off the social and political map.

  41. Avatar catherine says:

    ”So they gave Epstein insider trader tips. They may have directly paid for other goods and services.”
    Except…Epstein did no trading on WS…..not a single record of him or his firm buying, selling, anything….(according to WSJ report)

  42. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Sir,
    You’re probably right. It will be interesting to see if the influence continues to play out, who is sacrificed, who goes down etc.
    If I had a moment of weakness under Epstein’s influence and he tried to blackmail me for money or to go against my country, I’d just play it cool for a while and then kill him. I guess most people don’t think that way.

  43. Avatar Barbara Ann says:

    I think you’ll find you are very far from being the only person in America who feels this way. Reading the Colonel’s latest post on the GND is gonna make you (and this Arctic researcher) feel a whole lot worse, I suspect.

  44. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Foreign Exchange?

  45. Avatar optimax says:

    Different clue,
    I respect your reason for voting for Trump. I could never vote for Hillary. I figured our only chance was to vote for the dope-smoking candidate who didn’t know where Aleppo was. And I did. Portlanders even gave me crap for not voting for the female Jabba-the-Hut.

  46. Avatar Fred says:

    DC,
    Trump has eliminated only a portion of the regulations enacted over the past few decades. Nothing prohibits the private sector or NGOs from creating databases of temperature readings and performing data analysis therein. Equally nothing in the constitution prevents the legislative branch from writing these regulations themselves and there is belief among many that administrative law is inherently unconstitutional.

  47. Avatar Mark Logan says:

    Catherine,
    Beg to quibble with the assertion this is legal. Blackmail is most definitely not legal. That a thing is exceptionally difficult to prosecute does not equate to legality.
    This particular sort of honey-trap, if that is indeed what Epstein was doing, would be really, really tough to prosecute. Someone who is willing to state under oath that they had sex with and underage girl to get back at their blackmailer would have to be found. Lotsa luck with that.
    The use of minors indicates the US government was not involved, but Acosta’s strange decision to let him off light on the one charge which prosecutors can practically use to take this sort of s-bag down indicates there may have been some sort of involvement.
    My WAG of a plausible path for that is Epstein might have sought to target some government people who could provide protection and if he did he could’ve probably managed to bag a few.

  48. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Mark Logan
    I agree that USIC would not use hundreds of poor minority girls to set up an elaborate honey trap. Maybe the odd whore here and there overseas but not like this. A Few government people? Hah! Hah!

  49. Avatar Mark Logan says:

    Whoops. Missed the proper location of the decimal point on that estimate by a mile. My bad!

  50. Avatar different clue says:

    I don’t know if Trump himself wants to eliminate every regulation which exists. I believe Bannon would like to. I think the sort of
    Axis-of-Koch personnel which Pence and Stephen Moore help bring into the Agencies and Departments would like to get rid of far more than have been gotten rid of so far.
    Extreme cost itself prohibits the private sector or NGOs from getting the actual temperature readings ( for example) from which databases may even be worked up to begin with. Only government-created and staffed and organized research groups ( under whatever name) can access the huge amounts of aggregated taxpayer revenues to create and maintain the networks of ocean-covering buoys and subsurface temperature-readers, satellite-sensers, etc. If one can zero those out under cover of “deconstructing the Administrative State”, then one can prevent data from even being gathered to begin with. Then one can sneer that “there are no data” to support concerns being raised. I remember the Reagan Administration de-funding acid-rain and forest-tree-growth studies to try and prevent the coming-into-existence of data on that subject.
    If nothing in the constitution prevents the legislative branch from writing these regulations themselves, is there anything in the constitution which prevents the legislative branch from legislating Administrative Agencies into existence to write these regulations to carry out and enforce the laws which the legislative branch authorizes the creation of these Administrative Agencies to conduct the carrying-out and enforcement of? Many people believe that these rules and regulations amount to administrative law and as such are inherently constitutional. Have they brought cases based on that concept to the court system? Now that they have a more Conservative Supreme Court than before, will they be trying to get such cases moved all the way up to that Court of Last Resort?
    In practical terms, the lack of detailed scientific knowledge and huge masses of relevantly detailed staff, laboratories, data-gatherers, etc. on the part of Congress does indeed effectively prevent Congress from doing this itself. So Congress passes a Clean Air Act and presumes that since Congress itself lacks the scientific expertise and staff and facilities to test-in-detail the effects of many thousands of separate chemicals, that they will authorize the creation and funding and staffing of an Agency full of enough experts to establish a meaningful information-dense basis on which to enforce the law and the purpose of the law.
    But if Conservative case-bringers were to get a Supreme Court ruling to establish that administrative law is inherently unconstitutional, then where does that leave us in practical survival terms? I like knowing that ” if it says aspirin on the label, it isn’t really arsenic in the bottle”. I like keeping the business community’s cancer-gas out of my air supply, the business community’s cancer-dust off of my food supply and the business community’s cancer-juice out of my water supply.
    If we don’t do all that through an Administrative State, then what sort of state do we do all that through? Congress itself? Really? The 500-and-some House Members and the 100 Senators are going to pass 60,000 separate laws relating to the handling of 60,000 separate chemicals?
    I remember several years ago in a totally different context that our host wrote that “some of you seem to think the Constitution really IS a suicide pact”. ( The context involved the invocation of Constitutional Niceties involved in using American law enforcement to arrest Anwar al Awlaki in the Tribal Mountains of Yemen and bring him back here for his Day in Court). Well . . . if the Supreme Court we now have decides to rule that administrative law is inherently unconstitutional, then the Constitution will indeed become a suicide pact as we all die together in an unregulated cauldron of bubbling unregulated cancer soup.

  51. Avatar different clue says:

    Well, I had thought of voting some kind of third party. But I ended up thinking that while voting third party would count once against Hillary, that voting for Trump would count twice against Hillary, both by reducing her total by one and raising his total by one . . . therefore creating a “spread of two” between them with just one vote.
    And it appears that just enough other people felt the same way here in Michigan to tip Michigan to Trump.
    And Michael Moore was right. It. Felt. Good.
    And it felt even more gooder to see the Hillary go down. And if Democrats ever complain to me about my choice, I just tell them:
    “if you had wanted me to vote Democrat, you would have nominated Sanders. You people threw the election to Trump the moment you coronated your Hillary.”

  52. Avatar Fred says:

    dc.
    “Extreme cost itself prohibits the private sector or NGOs from getting the actual temperature readings….”
    That is rather disingenous. You don’t need to own thermometers everywhere to get data that is published daily, often in real time. There were no weather satelites prior to the ’60s and yet some folks have used the magic of math to adjust historical records to show a trend; which brings up the question: When have the ‘settled science’ people released thier un-adjusted data so others could do their own data analysis?
    As to administrative law, is that the legislative branch delegating authority to a legislatively created judiciary – for administrative law only – with executive branch appointees running the departments? Where is that authority in the constitution? Who elected any of these administrative law writers? I sure didn’t see any of them run for office.
    Here’s a pair of examples of administrative law before the court and, to quote one:
    “the Court held that ALJs exercise “significant” authority, “comparable to that of a federal district court judge conducting a bench trial,” and thus are “Officers of the United States” who, under Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution, must be appointed by the President, “Courts of Law,” or “Heads of Departments” rather than SEC staff. ”
    The left will love Trump appointing administrative law judges for the next 6 years.
    https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/publications/litigation-news/top-stories/2018/sc-holds-alj-sec-appointment-procedure-unconstitutional/
    From your comments:
    “The 500-and-some House Members and the 100 Senators are going to pass 60,000 separate laws relating to the handling of 60,000 separate chemicals?”
    The short answer is yes and that should keep them busy enough to not pass some crap like they do now. Bloomberg quotes Justice Gorsuch on a recent case: “In his view, Congress can assign “essentially fact-finding responsibility” to the executive branch. But it can’t delegate “legislative power,” understood very roughly to mean the exercise of central policy-making judgment characterized by “unfettered discretion.”
    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-06-22/supreme-court-s-gundy-decision-should-worry-administrative-state
    i.e. the EPA finds the “facts” and reccomends a course of action. Congress has to decide what that is. I doubt they’ll be setting fleet fuel economy standards like the Obama administration did nor telling funeral directors that employees can dress in drag and to hell with the grieving family’s feelings:
    https://www.adflegal.org/detailspages/blog-details/allianceedge/2019/07/03/can-unelected-officials-rewrite-federal-law-this-supreme-court-case-will-tell-us

  53. Avatar different clue says:

    The huge costs involved prevent the private sector and/or NGOs from establishing networks of measuring devices all over millions of square miles of Arctic and SubArctic and Antarctic lands, as well as vast areas of other lands. Same for networks of measurement buoys and in-ocean thermometers and other measuring devices all over a hundred or so millions square miles of ocean. There is nothing disingenous about pointing out that basic fact.
    Now that we have the technological ability to actually gather actual data, why would we want to go back to doing without that ability? I would rather see us rely on actual data gatherable by current means than try to rely on extrapolationiary guesswork from little bits of data gathered from amateur backyard thermometers, for example.
    The question of who writes the rules and who enforces them based on what authority may well be settled in the courts, finally including the Supreme Court. If they all decide the way you say that Constitutional theory and interpretation say they will, then we will indeed be in a world of Congress solely and only writing the rules . . . which will be laws if signed into law.
    Teaching and Research Professor of Ecology Barry Commoner once suggested a simple way around this complexity-of-regulation problem. He suggested that various forms of pollution simply be legislated “zero tolerance.” And the costs to bussiness of meeting the final “zero tolerance” limit would of course be passed on to the consumer, who should of course have to bear all the costs of his/her consumption.
    Would that be better?

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