Manafort’s dodgy deals, Gates’ work and Papadopoulos’ emailing with Russian officials — reporters have dug into it all.

Embed from Getty Images

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, his protégé Rick Gates and the less well-known Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos have all faced scrutiny before Monday. Here are our favorite stories on them. 

The Quiet American, Slate, April 28, 2016

“Manafort has spent a career working on behalf of clients that the rest of his fellow lobbyists and strategists have deemed just below their not-so-high moral threshold. Manafort has consistently given his clients a patina of respectability that has allowed them to migrate into the mainstream of opinion, or close enough to the mainstream. He has a particular knack for taking autocrats and presenting them as defenders of democracy. If he could convince the respectable world that thugs like Savimbi and Marcos are friends of America, then why not do the same for Trump? One of his friends told me, ‘He wanted to do his thing on home turf. He wanted one last shot at the big prize.’”

Paul Manafort’s Wild and Lucrative Philippine Adventure, Politico, June 10, 2016

“POLITICO found that Manafort worked more closely than previously known with Marcos and his wife, Imelda, in Manila, where Manafort and his associates advised the couple on electoral strategy, and in Washington, where they worked to retain goodwill by tamping down concerns about the Marcos regime’s human rights record, theft of public resources, and ultimately their perpetration of a massive vote-rigging effort to try to stay in power in the Philippines’ 1986 presidential election.”

How Paul Manafort Tried to BS Me—and the World, Mother Jones, July 21, 2016

“Manafort, who for decades has been an adviser to warlords and autocratic thugs overseas, including a Ukrainian leader allied with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, had been spinning furiously; some might call it lying. He probably had not even had time to read the full story and discuss it with Trump. Yet he went straight into denial mode, claiming the Times had misquoted his candidate. But it hadn’t. (Manafort later tried this stunt with other reporters.)”

Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief, The New York Times, Aug. 14, 2016

“Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials.”

Manafort Tied to Undisclosed Foreign Lobbying, Associated Press, Aug. 17, 2016

“Donald Trump’s campaign chairman helped a pro-Russian governing party in Ukraine secretly route at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political party’s efforts to influence U.S. policy.”

Manafort’s Man in Kiev, Politico, Aug. 18, 2016

“All the while, Kilimnik has told people that he remains in touch with his old mentor. He told several people that he traveled to the United States and met with Manafort this spring. The trip and alleged meeting came at a time when Manafort was immersed in helping guide Trump’s campaign through the bitter Republican presidential primaries, and was trying to distance himself from his work in Ukraine.”

Washington Lobbyist And Trump Advisor Paul Manafort Owns Brownstone In Carroll Gardens, Pardon Me For Asking, Feb. 16, 2017

“According to ACRIS, The Federal Savings Bank provided funds of $5,300,000 on the property on January 17, 2017.  (The amount needs to be repaid by January 2018).  An additional mortgage of  $1,200,000 by The Federal Savings Bank was issued on the same day. Genesis Capital Master Fund II, LLC appears to have loaned another $303,750.”

Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Took Out $19 Million In Puzzling Real Estate Loans, The Intercept, Feb. 24, 2017

“The raw facts stand out for their strangeness. Since 2012, Manafort has taken out seven home equity loans worth approximately $19.2 million on three separate New York-area properties he owns through holding companies registered to him and his son-in-law Jeffrey Yohai, a real estate investor.”

Paul Manafort’s Puzzling New York Real Estate Purchases, WNYC, March 28, 2017

“Nine current and former law enforcement and real estate experts told WNYC that Manafort’s deals merit scrutiny. Some said the purchases follow a pattern used by money launderers: buying properties with all cash through shell companies, then using the properties to obtain ‘clean’ money through bank loans. In addition, given that Manafort is already under investigation for his foreign financial and political ties, his New York property transactions should also be reviewed, multiple experts said.”

Manafort Still Doing International Work, Politico, June 15, 2017

“One of the people, a lawyer involved in the discussions, said Manafort indicated that he could convince the Trump administration to support any resulting deal, because he’s remained in contact with Trump’s team, and that he played a role in helping to soften Trump’s tough campaign rhetoric on China.

‘He’s going around telling people that he’s still talking to the president and — even more than that — that he is helping to shape Trump’s foreign policy,’ said the lawyer involved in the discussions.”

How the Russia Investigation Entangled a Manafort Protégé, The New York Times, June 16, 2017

“As investigators examine Mr. Manafort’s financial and political dealings at home and abroad, they are likely to run into Mr. Gates wherever they look. During the pair’s heady days in Ukraine, it was Mr. Gates who flew to Moscow for meetings with associates of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch. His name appears on documents linked to shell companies that Mr. Manafort’s firm set up in Cyprus to receive payments from politicians and businesspeople in Eastern Europe.”

Trump Campaign Emails Show Aide’s Repeated Efforts to Set Up Russia Meetings, The Washington Post, Aug. 14, 2017

“The adviser, George Papadopoulos, offered to set up “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under President Trump,” telling them his Russian contacts welcomed the opportunity, according to internal campaign emails read to The Washington Post.”

These 13 Wire Transfers Are A Focus Of The FBI Probe Into Paul Manafort , BuzzFeedNews, Oct. 29, 2017

“The extent of Manafort’s suspicious transactions was so vast, said this former official, that law enforcement agents drafted a series of “intelligence reports” about Manafort’s financial dealings. Two law enforcement officials who worked on the case say that they found red flags in his banking records going back as far as 2004, and that the transactions in question totaled many millions of dollars.”

(Madison County, Mont.) Monday Search and Rescue Volunteers from Gallatin County assisted the Madison County Sheriff’s Office with an avalanche recovery on Imp Peak.  The avalanche killed 23-year-old year Inge Perkins of Bozeman, MT. Mr. Kennedy ended his own life after the incident, according to a statement from his family.

Preliminary investigation indicates that Saturday morning, Oct 7th, Ms. Perkins and 27-year-old Hayden Kennedy hiked 6 miles from the Upper Taylor Fork trailhead to the north couloir of Imp Peak. Near the bottom of the couloir around 10,000’, they triggered an avalanche while ascending on skis with skins. The avalanche was 1-2’ deep at the crown, approximately 150’ wide, and 300’ long. The slope where the avalanche released was 38-45° steep with a north-northeast aspect.  (Additional details from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center)  Ms. Perkins was recovered by Rescuers after a probe pole search around 11:15 AM Monday.  

Due to the remote location of the mountain, a helicopter was used to access the search area.  According to Madison County Sheriff Roger Thompson, Imp Peak is a rugged mountain with steep slopes that has received enough snow to create an early avalanche hazard.  Every year, outdoor enthusiasts are cautioned to be careful when exploring the backcountry in Montana since dangers like these exist throughout the fall, winter, and spring.   

 


 

Sept. 29, 2017
MainstreetMontana.com

From the Gallatin County Media Center

On Thursday, September 28, 2017, at approximately 6:25AM, the Gallatin County 911 Dispatch Center received a call from a citizen reporting a vehicle on its side in the ditch near 774 Reese Creek Road.  The caller stated the motor was cold and there was no one around the vehicle.

The Montana Highway Patrol responded to the scene of the accident.  Upon investigation, the driver was located away from the vehicle. The driver was deceased. The Trooper then requested a coroner to respond.

The Gallatin County Coroner’s Office identified the driver as 60-year-old Ellen Cerovski of Belgrade.  The cause and manner of death are under investigation.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be conducting a test of the Emergency Alert System nationwide this Wednesday.  The test will be carried on television and radio stations at 12:20 pm on Wednesday, September 27th here in Montana.  The test will not be transmitted over the NOAA Weather Radio System or by the Wireless Emergency Alert system on cellular phones.

More information on the Emergency Alert System can be obtained at https://www.readygallatin.com/public-warning/emergency-alert-system/.



Full FEMA release below:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in partnership with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on September 27, 2017, at 2:20 PM EDT.  If rescheduling is necessary, the alternate test date is October 4, 2017 at 2:20 PM EDT.

The EAS test will be broadcast through:

  • Radio broadcast stations;
  • Television broadcast stations;
  • Cable systems;
  • Wireline video systems;
  • Direct broadcast satellite service providers; and
  • Digital audio radio service providers.

The EAS test message will read as follows:

“This is a National Test of the Emergency Alert System.  This is only a test.  Broadcast and cable operators in your area have developed this system in voluntary cooperation with FEMA, the FCC and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency.  If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the alert tone. This concludes this National Test of the Emergency Alert System.”

The EAS test will address accessibility in the following ways:

  • The emergency test message will be transmitted in English and Spanish via audio and text so that individuals with disabilities and limited English proficiency will have options for reading the message.
  • In addition to the EAS visual message being displayed in a manner consistent with the FCC’s current rules (that is, at the top of the TV screen, or where it will not interfere with other visual messages), the message is required to be displayed in a size, color, contrast, location, and speed that is readily readable and understandable.
  • The FCC’s current rules require that the EAS message will not contain overlapping lines of EAS text, and will not extend beyond the viewable display.

An American Sign Language (ASL) video about this test can be found at this link: https://youtu.be/LkgPZun7vck.

 
 
Attachments area
 
Preview YouTube video FEMA Accessible Emergency Alert System IPAWS Test Message
 
 
FEMA Accessible Emergency Alert System IPAWS Test Message
 
 
 

 The New York Times and ProPublica have teamed up to investigate who is to blame for skyrocketing drug prices — and have turned up some surprising answers.

This story was co-published with The New York Times.

This much is clear: The public is angry about the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. Surveys have shown that high drug prices rank near the top of consumers’ health care concerns.

What’s not as clear is exactly why prices have been rising, and who is to blame.

For the last four months, The New York Times and ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative journalism organization, have teamed up to answer these questions, and to shed light on the games that are being played to keep prices high, often without consumers’ knowledge or consent. Katie reports from the health desk at The Times, and Charles is a senior reporter at ProPublica.

Our reporting journey has turned up some counterintuitive stories, like how insurance companies sometimes require patients to take brand-name drugs— and refuse to cover generic alternatives — even when that means patients have to pay more out of pocket.

Along the way, we’ve asked readers to share their stories about their struggles with high drug costs. We’ve heard from nearly 1,000 people.

In recent weeks, a few stories caught our eye. A woman in Texas, for example, told us that the company that manages her drug benefits, OptumRx, was going to start asking her to pay more out of pocket for Butrans, a painkilling patch that contains the drug buprenorphine. As a “lower cost alternative,” OptumRx, which is owned by UnitedHealth Group, suggested she try painkillers like OxyContin, even though they carry a higher risk of dependence.

A letter sent by OptumRx, a pharmacy benefit manager, to a member in Texas, suggesting she consider switching from the Butrans painkilling skin patch to drugs that carry a higher risk of abuse and dependence. (Letter obtained by ProPublica)

“The whole point of pain management is to take the least amount of medication possible to manage your pain, so that you always have somewhere to go when the pain increases or changes,” she wrote to us. “This is irresponsible and scary ‘cost management.’” She did not want to use her name, saying her employer prohibited her from identifying herself, but she allowed us to share OptumRx’s redacted letter.

Her pharmacy benefit manager, she wrote, is “effectively contributing to the ‘opioid crisis’ with its own policies.”

A spokesman for UnitedHealth, Matthew N. Wiggin, said it takes the crisis seriously and wants to ensure that people with chronic pain get the appropriate treatment.

We’ve closely followed the opioid crisis and efforts to hold various parties accountable, among them drug manufacturerspharmacies and emergency room doctors.

But these stories — about patients who believed their insurers were placing roadblocks in the way of less risky painkillers — felt new to us.

We followed up with several of the readers, and searched social media to see if other patients were talking about this.

Then we asked for documents: billing statements from insurers, denial letters, call logs and doctors’ records. In the case of our lead example, a woman named Alisa Erkes, she also agreed to sign a privacy waiver allowing her insurer, UnitedHealthcare, to comment on her case.

Charles enlisted ProPublica’s deputy data editor, Ryann Grochowski Jones, to analyze data from Medicare prescription drug plans. The results showed that insurers were indeed placing more barriers to drugs like Butrans and lidocaine patches than to cheaper generic opioids.

Insurers say that they are doing their part by placing limits on new prescriptions for addictive painkillers, and that they are also doing more to monitor doctors’ prescribing patterns and to catch abuse by patients. Several insurers said they had seen declines in monthly opioid prescriptions, a sign of progress.

But their behavior has infuriated many patients, who say they want to avoid taking opioids if possible. They argue that insurers are too focused on a drug’s cost, since many of the painkillers with a lower risk of addiction are more expensive.

Our project examining high drug costs is not over. We are already digging into other corners of the prescription drug world, hoping to shed light on more of the hidden forces that are keeping drug costs high. Stay tuned, as well, for more stories that were inspired by our readers.

Have you had trouble paying for prescription drugs? Tell us about it.