Dozens killed when Turkish cargo plane crashes into village.
FBI arrests wife of Pulse nightclub shooter.
Shootings in Miami MLK festival leave 8 injured.
Suspect in shooting in New Year’s Day Istanbul arrested.
Ten more detainees transferred out of Gitmo.
R.I.P. Eugene Cernan, 82, the last man to walk on the moon.
FBI Director Comey faces internal investigation over Clinton e-mails.
No more “wet foot/dry foot” for Cubans.
Et tu, Fiat Chrysler? EPA says they cheated on emissions like VW did.
C-Span interrupted by Russian TV hack.
Obama considers releasing Chelsea Manning early.
Trump gave his first press conference since July.
Six VW executives indicted in emissions-cheating scandal.
China aircraft carrier enters Taiwan Strait.
No more Gitmo releases to be sought under Obama.
Vote for your favorite Monopoly token.
Do the Russians have dirt on Trump? That seems to be the question not just of the day but of the year, both last year and this.
Now a report that contains unconfirmed reports about Russia and Trump is circulating. It has been rumored and used as a background source in various news outlets, and now it’s hitting the front pages.
Here’s the report from Buzzfeed:
A dossier making explosive — but unverified — allegations that the Russian government has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” President-elect Donald Trump for years and gained compromising information about him has been circulating among elected officials, intelligence agents, and journalists for weeks.
The dossier, which is a collection of memos written over a period of months, includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians. BuzzFeed News reporters in the US and Europe have been investigating various alleged facts in the dossier but have not verified or falsified them. CNN reported Tuesday that a two-page synopsis of the report was given to President Obama and Trump.
Now BuzzFeed News is publishing the full document so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.
The document was prepared for political opponents of Trump by a person who is understood to be a former British intelligence agent. It is not just unconfirmed: It includes some clear errors. The report misspells the name of one company, “Alpha Group,” throughout. It is Alfa Group. The report says the settlement of Barvikha, outside Moscow, is “reserved for the residences of the top leadership and their close associates.” It is not reserved for anyone, and it is also populated by the very wealthy.
The Trump administration’s transition team did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment. However, the president-elect’s attorney, Michael Cohen, told Mic that the allegations were absolutely false.
“It’s so ridiculous on so many levels,” he said. “Clearly, the person who created this did so from their imagination or did so hoping that the liberal media would run with this fake story for whatever rationale they might have.”
Unverified doesn’t mean it’s untrue. It just means that it hasn’t been corroborated. Raw data can have errors and still be accurate on the substance of the facts; a misspelling doesn’t mean the whole document is false. And it doesn’t make it “fake news.” Fake news is stuff that’s invented out of nothing — vide The Onion — versus unsubstantiated but verifiable news.
This could be — emphasis on could — very big news. But it’s also unverified and that means we must be cautious.
Intel chiefs presented Trump with evidence of Russian attempts to compromise him.
Taliban takes credit for bombings in Kabul.
Roof gets death penalty in Charleston church shooting.
Senate GOP delays four cabinet hearings.
Volkswagen to plead guilty in $4.3 billion deal.
Two officers killed in hunt for murder suspect in Orlando.
Sen. Booker to testify against AG nominee Sessions.
U.S. warship fires warning shots at Iranian boats.
North Korea says it can test-launch an ICBM any time.
Clemson upsets Alabama for the national title.
Six dead, traffic snarled in nasty weather in the West and Southeast.
Four soldiers killed in truck attack in Israel.
300 U.S. Marines return to Afghanistan opium region.
Queen Elizabeth II makes first public appearance after illness.
Your complete list of Golden Globe winners.
Former Iranian leader Rafsanjani dead at 82.
It’s time for my annual re-cap and prognostication for the past year and the year coming up. Let’s see how I did a year ago.
- Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States. I have no idea who she will beat; I don’t think the Republicans know, either, but she will win, and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it will be a decisive win. The GOP will blame everybody else and become even more cranky, self-injuring, and irresponsible.
- The Democrats down-ticket will do better than expected by taking back the Senate and narrowing their gap in the House. This will be achieved by the number of voters who will turn out to vote for them in order to hold off the GOP’s attempt to turn the country back over to the control of white Christian males.
Both of those were spot-on until sometime in the late evening of November 8. And I’m not the only one who blew that one.
- The economy will continue to improve; maybe this is the year the Dow will hit 19,000. The limiting factor will be how the rest of the world, mainly China, deals with their economic bubble. I think a lot of the economic news will be based on the outcome of the U.S. election and the reaction to it. If by some horrifying chance Donald Trump wins, all bets are off. Economists and world markets like stability and sanity, and turning the U.S. over to a guy who acts like a used car hustler crossed with a casino pit boss will not instill confidence.
I covered my ass on that one but I think it’s still true. By the way, the Dow did hit 19,000 in 2016.
- ISIS, which barely registered on the radar as an existential threat to the U.S. and the west a year ago, will be contained. There will not be a large American troop presence in Syria and Iraq thanks in part to the response by the countries that themselves are being invaded by ISIS. Finally.
- Refugees will still be pouring out of the Middle East, putting the strain on countries that have taken them in. It will be a test of both infrastructure and moral obligation, and some, such as Canada, will set the example of how to be humane.
I’ll give myself a gentleman’s C on the first one because ISIS is still in play and Syria is looking like the horror that war brings and we’re no closer to an end to it. As for the refugees, I underestimated the venality and xenophobia of some of the countries — including our own — in taking in the refugees.
- Maybe this will be the year that Fidel Castro finally takes a dirt nap.
Got that one right, finally.
- The Supreme Court will narrowly uphold affirmative action but leave room for gutting it later on. They will also narrowly rule against further restrictions on reproductive rights. And I am going out on a limb by predicting that President Obama will get to choose at least one more new justice for the Court, an appointment that will languish in the Senate until after the election.
I got that one right, including my out-on-a-limb one about President Obama having to pick a new justice for the court and the GOP sitting on it. I hate it when I’m right about something like that.
- Violence against our fellow citizens such as mass shootings will continue. The difference now is that we have become numb to them and in an election year expecting any meaningful change to the gun laws or the mindset is right up there with flying pigs over downtown Miami.
- Marriage equality will gain acceptance as it fades from the headlines, but the LGBTQ community’s next front will be anti-discrimination battles for jobs and housing. It’s not over yet, honey.
- We’re going to see more wild weather patterns but none of it will convince the hard-core deniers that it’s either really happening or that there’s anything we can do about it.
I’m sorry that those were right.
- The Tigers will not win the division in 2016. (Caution: reverse psychology at play.)
But the Cubs won the World Series so that makes up for it.
- On a personal level, this could be a break-out year for my writing and play production. I don’t say that every year.
One of my plays won a playwriting contest and I actually got a cash prize for it. It has been submitted for a full production at a theatre in Boca Raton in their 2017-2018 season. So that worked out.
Okay, predictions for 2017.
- I have no earthly idea what will happen with Trump in the White House. But I can say that for the first time in my life — and I will hit 65 this year — I am frightened both for myself and my country.
- At some point in 2017 elements of the electorate will realize that they got conned into voting for Trump and that they were played for fools. The backlash will begin when they find out he can’t follow through on his bullshit promises, and reach a peak when they find out that repealing Obamacare and deporting 11 million people effects them personally. When it happens, it will not be pretty.
- There will be a downturn in the economy thanks to the cyclical nature of economics and the instability in the market by the Twitter-In-Chief. He will, of course, blame it on Barack Obama.
- A year from now the Syrian civil war will still be dragging on. ISIS will still be a factor, and if Trump does what he says he will do with the Iran nuclear deal, expect to see them re-start their nuclear program. “Dr. Strangelove” will be seen by historians as a documentary.
- The refugee crisis will continue and fester once nativists and right-wing elements win majorities in western European countries.
- Our diplomatic thaw with Cuba will freeze as the attempts to end the blockade will not get through Congress. Only until Trump gets permission to open a casino in Varadero Beach will there be any progress.
- Violence against our fellow citizens will continue and take on a more xenophobic tone as the white supremacists think they are now in control. The attorney general will do nothing to put an end to it because, in his words, “they had it coming.”
- We will lose the requisite number of celebrities and friends as life goes on. 2016 was an especially painful year. As I always say, it’s important to cherish them while they are with us.
- The Tigers will finish second in their division.
- A year from today I will write this same post and review what I got right and what I didn’t. But stick around and see how I do on a daily basis.
Okay, your turn.
Incoming N.C. governor vows to repeal HB2.
President Obama pardons 78, shortens sentences for 153.
Russian ambassador to Turkey assassinated.
Nine killed in Berlin as truck plows into crowd.
Electoral college votes for Trump.
The real 2016 election is today.
Senators push to broaden hearings into Russian hacking.
More cold weather sweeps across upper portion of the U.S.
Massive 2013 oil spill in North Dakota still not cleaned up.
R.I.P. Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99, famous for being famous and the last of the Gabor sisters.
President Obama promises retaliation for Russian hacking.
Dylan Roof convicted on all counts in Charleston church murders.
A thousand Syrian civilians evacuated from Aleppo.
Heavy snow expected in the Midwest, Northeast.
R.I.P. Carl Sager, ESPN broadcaster.
Report: Putin personally involved in hack of U.S. election.
Video shows shelling in Aleppo and the end of the ceasefire.
Over a billion Yahoo customers had their data hacked in 2013.
North Carolina Republicans try to pull off banana republic attempt to cling to power.
Church-goer describes attack by gunman in South Carolina murder trial.
Rebels announce cease-fire deal in Aleppo.
Energy Department refuses to name names for Trump team.
Ohio bans abortions after 20 weeks; Kasich vetoes “heartbeat” bill.
“Pizzagate” gunman faces federal charges.
R.I.P. Alan Thicke, 69, sitcom star and songwriter.
Trump to name Exxon Mobil chief as Secretary of State.
Congressional leaders are on board with investigating Russia inquiry.
Report: Rick Perry for Secretary of Energy. (Oops)
Polar Vortex hits from upper Midwest to Northeast.
Golden Globe nominations are out.
Bombing near Cairo Christian cathedral kills 25.
ISIS retakes ancient city of Palmyra.
Alarming: Trump rejects findings of intelligence agencies on Russian hacking.
Fire injures 12 guests at Michigan ski resort.
The last Zika outbreak in Florida is over, for now.
South Korean parliament votes to impeach president.
Russia says Syria halted combat to evacuate civilians.
Final “Zika Zone” on Miami Beach to be lifted.
Winter storm in Michigan causes havoc including a deadly car pileup.
Aw: Trump fans on campus say they need “safe space.”
Italian PM Matteo Renzi resigns after losing referendum.
Two juveniles charged with arson in the Tennessee wildfires.
Fossil fuel ally Scott Pruitt to head E.P.A.
Carrier union boss gets death threats after Twitter attack by Trump.
Building inspector hadn’t been in Oakland warehouse firetrap in 30 years.
Dakota pipeline was denied after engineers gave approval.
Bob Dole lobbied Trump to contact Taiwan.
Libyan fighters declare victory against ISIS.
Court rulings cloud the fate of Michigan recount.
Trump fires Flynn Jr. for sharing fake news.
The North Carolina governor’s race is over and Roy Cooper, the Democrat, won.
Warehouse party fire probe could lead to murder charges.
Trump picks Dr. Ben Carson as HUD Secretary.
Massive Texas sinkhole takes 2 cars, kills deputy.
President Obama and Japanese prime minister to visit Pearl Harbor (video).
Army Corps denies Dakota pipeline access route.
Will North Carolina governor concede re-election loss this week?
Survivors describe escape from warehouse fire in Oakland; toll rises to 30.
Austrians reject far-right candidate for president.
Jury appears to be one vote shy of conviction in Charleston shooting case.