Tillerson and Clapper Rebuke Claims Russia Didn’t Interfere in Our Election.

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I still haven’t figured out why so many people who claim to hate Trump absolutely refuse to believe Russia meddled in the 2016 election. They demand “Proof!” that it really happened, and when you show them that proof, they dismiss it out of hand and use Trump’s own “fake news!” pejorative to justify their doubt. Still butthurt over what The Media allowed the Bush Administration to get away with, they cite things like “the same Media told us Saddam had WMD’s!” Well, actually, no, that was NOT the media consensus at the time… unless the only “news” you watched was Fox. And the fact the Media gave Trump so much free airtime while “failing” to be more critical of the DNC (Democratic National Committee) during the election is all evidence that we can’t trust “The Media”. So when “The Media” says “Russia meddled in our election”, it’s once bitten, twice shy.

Yet they happily quote absurd ranting raving conspiracy theorists like “Alex Jones”, who sees conspiracies everywhere and practically invented the term “false flag”, and makes his living making claims without evidence (or otherwise flies in the face of existing evidence), to “prove” their own machinations are correct.

It’s also incredibly stupid. When you have the Tweeter-in-Chief HIMSELF publicly admitting he did things his own staff tried to claim he didn’t do, does it make sense to continue to deny he did it? It’s not just the American media claiming Russia meddled in our election. This investigation has gone global. And unlike claims of “WMD’s”, they can actually DOCUMENT their claims with a papertrail. And of course, having Trump himself constantly contradicting his own staff because he just can’t resist tweeting at 3am doesn’t help.

The same people quick to believe “PizzaGate” is real and will actually ARGUE with you that the Clinton’s are connected to a child sex slave ring in the basement of a DC pizza parlor WITH NO BASEMENT, will demand to see Classified “Top Secret” level evidence before they’ll believe Russia actually meddled in our election (there is only so much “safe-for-public-consumption” information our intelligence agencies can safely release without revealing sources & methods. So if what they tell the public isn’t enough to convince you, you’re an idiot if you think that’s all the proof they’ve got.) Why is it so hard to believe Russia meddled in our election? Are they really so benign and worthy of trust? (ask Ukraine, Georgia & Crimea.) After all, why WOULD Putin want someone friendly to Russia in control of their greatest enemies’ government? And even AFTER trying yet again in France, attempting to install yet another White Nationalist critic of Sanctions & NATO elected president in that country, these people STILL deny Russia meddles in elections. I’m no supporter of Hillary, but when she coined the phrase “Clinton Derangement Syndrome”, she couldn’t have been more right. Somehow, for these people, admitting Trump’s win was illegitimate is the equivalent of (gack) defending Hillary Clinton or admitting she would have won, and that’s something they’ll NEVER do. They act like someone is telling them their life-saving kidney transplant was stolen, terrified that if they admit the truth, they’ll take the kidney back. They are the beneficiary of someone else’s crime, and they’d rather defend the criminal and ease their conscience over choosing to keep the kidney than admit the truth. Relax. You can admit Russia interfered in our election and Trump’s win was illegitimate without rewriting the history of Hillary’s loss. You can keep your stolen election.

Last Sunday on “Meet the Press”, Trump’s own Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, confirmed that Yes, Russia interfered in our election:
 

Tillerson confirms Russian meddling (:56)

 
Defenders of Donald Trump… including Trump himself… frequently (falsely) cite the testimony of the former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper as testifying that there is “No evidence” that Russia meddled in our election and/or that anyone in the Trump campaign “colluded” with the Russians during the campaign. Both claims are dead wrong. Not only did Clapper never say there is “no evidence” of Russian meddling, he only claimed at the time he (personally) had not seen evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, only that he hadn’t seen it (at the time).

Clapper was invited on to ABC’s “ThisWeek” last Sunday to clear the air as to what EXACTLY he meant by “hasn’t seen”? Was he indeed clearing Trump of any allegations of collusion with Russia during the election? Clapper, choosing his words carefully, rebukes any claim that there is “no” evidence linking the Trump Campaign to Russia, and that what he testified to in no way clears Trump of such accusations:
 

Clapper: My testimony doesn’t clear Trump (2:48)

 

Clapper went on to confirm the fact Russia did indeed meddle in the 2016 election:
 

Clapper: Recent rash of Russian cyberterrorism includes their hacking of our election (2:02)

 

So stop claiming Obama’s DNI James Clapper “cleared Trump” because Clapper himself says that’s not true. Even Donald Trump’s own Secretary of State admits Russia meddled in our election. It happened. Deal with it.
 


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May 17, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Crime, Election, myth busting, National Security, rewriting history, Right-Wing Insanity, Scandals

GOP Healthcare Plan Would Be Largest Shift in Income From Poor to Rich in History

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Last Tuesday night in his “Late Show” monologue, Stephen Colbert responded to Trump’s insulting treatment of fellow CBS reporter John Dickerson with an insulting rant of his own that… while censored… still has the Right in near hysterics, calling for Colbert to be fired over his “disgusting” treatment of the disabled-reporter-mocking pussy-grabber-in-chief. How disrespectful! And they call US “snowflakes”? Please.

So if I may go on a little rant of my own…

Last week, the House passed H.R.1628 – The American Health Care Act of 2017. It was the GOP’s third attempt to repeal The Affordable Care Act since Trump took office, and passed with only Republican votes (remember when passing a heath care bill with votes from only one Party was a “bad” thing?) It passed by only four votes (217-213 despite 20 Republicans voting against it.) Republicans cheered! Finally! They completed the first of five hurdles in their 7+ year crusade to repeal something THAT DOESN’T EXIST: “ObamaCare”… the pejorative euphemism for The Affordable Care Act that has convinced millions of gullible Republican voters that they are being forced to purchase an insurance policy from the government to enroll in some misfit insurance program run by the IRS. And that’s not by accident. The GOP has been drumming that very misconception into people’s minds since before the ACA became law. It’s why there are people who say they “hate ObamaCare” but “like The Affordable Care Act“.

But Republicans don’t DARE call it by its true name because “The Affordable Care Act” is actually quite popular (61% now say keep it vs 37% who say scrap it.) Under Trump, “ObamaCare” is actually more popular than TRUMP. And why? Because the more they hear about the GOP’s alternative plan, the less they like it. Most notably, the likely loss of coverage for tens of millions and the very real possibility of the return of denials over “preexisting conditions”.

But perhaps the most heinous and indefensible policies in the “American Health Care Act” passed by the House is that it CUTS $880,000,000,000 ($880 Billion) in Medicaid subsidies the ACA offered the states to help them pay for expanding the state-run program, and using it to offset the cost of a massive honking tax cut for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Part of the reason why “ObamaCare” failed to help as many Americans as it could have was because a huge swath of Republican governors refused to accept those Medicaid dollars “out of spite… er ‘principle'”, to help cover millions of the poorest Americans (Ironically, most of whom live in deep Red states in the South.)

The justification for cutting nearly $900 Billion in Medicaid subsides, according to Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus during Fox “news” Sunday yesterday was that they are simply eliminating “redundancy”… duplication of services covered by other agencies (which is nonsense.) When asked about concerns with the House bill, Priebus assured Andrea Mitchell that “the Senate bill will be better.” Which raises an interesting question: “If the House bill was inadequate, why was there such a rush to pass it… even before many House members even had a chance to read it? (another Republican complaint regarding passage of the ACA in 2009.) Wouldn’t it have made more sense to take your time and draft a single bill that was likely to pass BOTH houses without major changes ensuring easy passage? Instead, now, we have millions of Americans learning about this mess of a bill… NOT liking what they are hearing… waiting perhaps months before the Senate votes on a bill of their own (the earliest they could possibly vote is in a few weeks, but most say the Senate wants to write their own bill, which could take a while. Then wait for it to be scored by the CBO and debated. And Texas Senator Cornyn says they won’t vote for the bill until they can be sure they have “at least 51 votes”. Then add all the vacation days between now and then and I’m thinking… September by the earliest to complete “Step 2”?) Then comes the merging of the two bills into one (Step 3) where it is voted on again by both the House and Senate (Step 4) and then signed by Trump (Step 5). I figure it is possible “TrumpCare” could come up for a vote right in the middle of the 2018 midterm elections. We’ll see.
 

Seniors may pay more under AHCA

 
Fewer covered under AHCA

 

You KNOW a Republican bill is bad when even Fox isn’t buying it.

“Health & Human Services” Secretary Tom Price tried to argue during “Meet the Press” yesterday that a change that could result in pre-retirement seniors paying as much as FIVE TIMES more for health care, was actually a GOOD thing because the change would result in them having “more choices” than they do now (I’m assuming by adding DEATH to their list of options.)

As Salon Magazine pointed out last March, two taxes on the richest Americans to pay for the Medicare expansion in the ACA that TrumpCare eliminates is a $275 Billion dollar tax break for the richest 2% of Americans. If you earn less than $200,000/year, you will not see a single penny in tax cuts resulting in the elimination of those ACA tax increases. People who make between $500K & $1mil per year will see “a modest cut of about $4,700”, modest millionaires would get back around $54K/year, while the top 1/10th of 1% (those earning over $300 million/year) will get back around $7 Million dollars/year.

Republican Congressman Raul Labrador became the poster-boy for GOP cluelessness/heartlessness last week when he was caught on camera arguing to his constituents: “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care”. And it makes sense that he’d say this because it’s a Republican Talking Point that has been drummed into their heads for eight years. The argument is that “Emergency Rooms are required by law to provide care even if you can’t afford to pay. Ergo, no one dies due to an inability to afford health care.”

As the cook said to waitress Kelly Bundy, “You are one whopping moron!”

Let’s set aside for the moment that Emergency Room care is the most costly form of care there is and when patients can’t pay either the government pays or they swallow the cost. Forget that for now. Here are just a few scenarios off the top of my head where you could die from not having access to healthcare:

Scenario #1: Imagine a guy develops an infection (infected cut, steps on a nail, whatever) but he doesn’t have insurance, so he tries to treat it himself at home. But as time goes on, the infection gets worse & worse and eventually he has no choice but to be rushed to the hospital (assuming he hasn’t died in his sleep before then.) But he waited too long, the infection doesn’t respond to antibiotics, and he dies.

Scenario #2: You develop cancer. But you can’t afford treatment (chemo, radiation or both) so you never get treated. By the time you are so sick you are taken to the ER, the cancer has spread throughout your body and you die.

Scenario #3: You have diabetes and your kidney’s start to shutdown. You need dialysis but don’t have insurance and can’t afford to pay out of pocket. You never get treated and you die.

Scenario #4: You develop the flu. You can’t afford to go to the doctor so you try to treat it yourself at home using over-the-counter medicine. But it’s not the flu. It’s something worse. And by the time you get to the ER, there is nothing they can do.

Scenario #5: You develop the flu and try to treat it yourself. But you have small children. The baby catches your flu, develops a high fever and dies before you can get her to the hospital.

That’s just five scenarios off the top of my head where not having access to routine care could be deadly. Are you telling me no Republican is capable of envisioning a scenario where a person could get so sick even the ER can’t save them? Apparently, NO ONE WHO GOES TO THE E.R. EVER DIES IN GOP LAND (or Congressman Labradoodle’s world.) These people make me want to vomit.

When President Carter ran for reelection against Reagan in 1980, Reagan criticized Carter for allowing the National Debt to “balloon” to an ungodly “$800 Billion dollars” (Reagan then proceeded to more than TRIPLE 204 years worth of Debt to $2.5Trillion in just eight years.) The entire National Debt in 1980 was less than the size of the GOP’s proposed cut to Medicare over ten years or Trump’s proposed annual tax cut for the wealthy.

The GOP’s Health care bill would be the largest shift in income from the Poor up to the Richest Americans in U.S. history. Tell us again Trump voters how President Pussy-Grabber or lapdogs like Labrador are looking out for people like you?
 


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May 8, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Healthcare, Jobs, Money, myth busting, Party of Life, Right-wing Facism, Taxes

Trump Failures Demonstrating Why You Can’t Run Government Like a Business

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It was touted as his biggest selling point & greatest asset: Successful businessman. And if you think back to the Bush/Cheney Administration, they too referred to themselves as “the CEO presidency”… a failed Texas oilman with a string of failed business behind him that required repeated bailouts by his well-connected Daddy, and a running mate who struck it rich running one of the largest government contractors in the country (Halliburton)… to explain why they were the most qualified to run this country. And we all know how THAT turned out.

“Governments” are not “businesses”. They are not run for profit. They exist solely to provide their citizens with services. Services necessary to maintain a healthy stable society.

For example, to survive in a modern society, people need to work. That means building schools and hiring teachers to educate our children so they can do those jobs. It means building roads to get to work, and get to the stores to purchase the products people produce. If you don’t drive, it means providing buses, bus stops, bus drivers and bus stations. If you DO drive, it means providing places to obtain a drivers license, providing highway patrol officers to ensure public safety. It means traffic lights & road signs. It means providing police, and courts to prosecute criminals and settle disputes. It’s a Service, not a “business.” Meanwhile, if a private enterprise builds a road, that’s a huge expense they would have to charge you for to make their money back. If private industry built all of our infrastructure, every road would be a toll road, every bridge would be a toll bridge. The government owns every airport because we can’t have every airline building its own, and the air traffic controllers are all government employees because we can’t have controllers working for one particular airline giving takeoff/landing preference to whatever airline they happen to work for. And do we REALLY want a corporation… desperate to save money… cutting corners on police, fire fighters and Air Traffic Control… overworking already stressed out controllers using outdated equipment to land passenger jets filled with as many as 200, 300, even 400 passengers? (In many instances, this is ALREADY taking place as Republicans in Congress see no connection between defunding this vital service only to then fly home later that evening and then drive the rest of the way home on public roads.)

Trump is presently promising “The largest tax cut in history”… something EVERY Republican president since (and including) Reagan has promised. And when asked how the country can afford such massive tax cuts without exploding the Debt/Deficit, Trump’s answer is the same answer all of his Republican predecessors gave: “growth” would offset the cost. George HW Bush… while running for president against Reagan in 1980… called Reagan’s scheme: “Voodoo economics.” And he was right. Massive tax cuts do not create enough growth to offset their cost.

When Reagan slashed taxes in 1981, the Deficit exploded, unemployment continued to soar to 10.8% twenty-one months later, and he was finally forced to raise taxes eleven times to stop the bleeding. Bush-41 did the same thing (despite his own warnings) and he too ended up with rising unemployment and having to raise taxes to stop the exploding Deficit.

After him, Bill Clinton RAISED taxes on the wealthy in what Newt Gingrich called “the largest tax increase in history” that he was CERTAIN would send the country plunging into another Recession. Instead, by the end of his second term, we had balanced the budget (twice) and unemployment had fallen to just 3.9%.

Then Bush-43 told voters on the campaign trail that the fact we were taking in enough tax revenue to pay off the deficit, we were clearly taxing people too much (ergo, we will NEVER pay off the Debt under a Republican president because the moment revenue exceeds our expenses, they will use it to justify another tax cut.) “It’s not their money! It’s YOUR money!” Bush told cheering crowds. And when he became president, he passed another massive tax cut that he promised “would pay for itself with all the growth it would create.” Instead, the Deficit exploded, the global economy tanked, we went from a projected $250 Billion Surplus to a $1.4Trillion dollar Deficit, and sent unemployment soaring that would hit 10% before President Obama was able to pass his “stimulus”.

Like President Clinton, President Obama raised taxes too. The result? The Deficit was cut by 2/3rds, unemployment fell to just 4.6%, and the economy was creating over 200,000 jobs per month by the time he left office last January.

And now Trump is promising to Repeat the mistakes of the last three Republican presidents before him by slashing taxes once again, promising that the inevitable growth will offset the cost.

Republicans are ideologues. History be damned. If something “sounds right”, it MUST be true. Cutting taxes: Good. Raising taxes: Bad. Don’t bother looking back at the last three Republican presidencies where they did the exact same thing to disastrous results. And definitely don’t copy the last two Democratic presidents and their successful results as any kind of guide (Those who don’t learn from history… are Republicans.) If you are the CEO Of a corporation, cutting your tax burden increases your profits, and that’s a GOOD thing. But taxes to a corporation are AN EXPENSE. In government, taxes are your REVENUE. What kind of successful businessman thinks the path to success is to cut their revenue? Trump is thinking from the perspective of a business owner, and that “business success” translates into “economic success for the country.” It’s a bit like a dog worrying about what’s good for his ticks.

Businesses are not Democracies. They are Dictatorships, where one person… the “CEO”… makes all the decisions and does not have to answer to anyone. Trump is not used to having to answer to others before he’s permitted to do something. If they want something done, they just do it… well, maybe not themselves personally. Most CEO’s… like Donald Trump… typically “farm out” individual duties. They hire (as Trump himself put it) “the best people” to do individual jobs for them (such as putting Rick Perry in charge of our nukes, a befuddled former brain surgeon in charge of housing, and a lobbyist paid by Russia advising him on national security). Rarely does the CEO of a company do all the work themselves. In fact, during the campaign, Donald Trump Jr. told a reporter that his father would likely “outsource foreign AND domestic policy” to his VP. When asked the obvious follow-up, WTF will your DAD be doing then? He’d be busy “making America great again” was the reply (whatever in the hell THAT means.)

The problem is, the president can’t just hand off his duties to a subordinate. The VP does not have the authority to sign legislation or set policy. So when Trump said two weeks ago how surprised he was to learn how HARD the job of being president is, saying (quote) “I thought it would be easier” (someone owes Obama an apology then), the rest of us just shook our heads in disbelief. Meet the Press found several clips of Trump on the campaign trail saying how “easy” it would be to do so many of the things he was promising. And he really couldn’t figure out why things appeared to be so difficult for everyone else to do (clearly, those other presidents just didn’t posses his business acumen.) But now that he’s actually IN the job, he’s discovering that it’s actual work. And he can’t just hand off his responsibilities to his VP (or his advisor/son-in-law Jared). He must actually do the work himself (remember all the times Bush whined about how “hard” it was being president and all the “hard work” that goes into it?)

One hundred days in office, Trump has ZERO policy accomplishments. The ONLY campaign promise he can point to as having accomplished since becoming president is getting hard-right Conservative Judge Gorsuch onto the Supreme Court, and even THAT piddling “accomplishment” required breaking the rules (“the Nuclear Option”.) He criticized President Obama for his use of military force, yet in just his first 100 days, he has attacked Syria, dropped “The Mother Of All Bombs” on Afghanistan, and may be pushing the United States to the brink of nuclear war with South Korea.

“Repealing ObamaCare” AND covering “preexisting conditions” without a mandate was going to be easy-peasy-orange-squeezy, and he knew how to make Mexico pay for The Wall. I’m sure he believed the job of president was to be “CEO of the entire country” (aka king) and it was Congresses job to fulfill the president’s every wish (which makes it easier to understand why Conservative voters blame Obama exclusively for everything and leave the most obstructionist Congress in history blameless.) Suddenly, being president is “hard” once again, and running the country isn’t the same as running a corporation.

On the flip side, I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard Republicans pronounce “America is a Republic, not a Democracy!” They love saying that because in their diminutive home-schooled brains (as far as I can figure out), “Republics” should be run by “Republicans” while “Democracies” are run by Democrats. And you CAN’T just put Democrats in charge of a REPUBLIC, now can you? That’s when I remind them the former Soviet Union… the U.S.S.R.… the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics… was a “Republic”, as is the “Republic of China”. So what exactly is their point about American being a “Republic”? (I’ve never received a coherent answer to that one.)

So America isn’t a business. And Republics don’t require Republicans to lead them. Is there ANYTHING about government Republicans get right?

Throughout the campaign, Trump complained bitterly of “all of President Obama unconstitutional Executive Orders.” And I have NO doubt that Trump believed at that time that ALL “Executive Orders”, in and of themselves, were “unconstitutional”. Whoever was advising Trump (Twitter?) was likely telling him that President Obama was passing laws… laws that never went through Congress… in violation of the Constitution. And “on Day One” he would “repeal every one of Obama’s unconstitutional Executive Orders”, only to get into office and sign 31 Executive Orders of his own in just his first 100days. And why not? Signing Executive Orders where one person makes all the rules (not laws) without requiring the approval of Congress is the most “CEO-like” power bestowed upon the president. And because of that, expect to see A LOT more of it before Trump leaves office.

To quote Trump himself told The Associated Press two weeks ago: “Here, everything, pretty much everything you do in government involves heart, whereas in business most things don’t involve heart. In fact, in business you’re actually better off without it.

And 62 million Americans said, “Yes, we want a heartless corporate tycoon in charge of our government and making decisions that affect our lives, because THAT is how we’ll ‘Make America Great Again’.” People without heart… without empathy… are called “Sociopaths” and have no business running a public service. (pardon the pun.)
 


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May 1, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: General, Greed, Money, myth busting, Politics, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Seems Obvious to Me, Taxes

First 100 Days: Can We Say the Honeymoon Is Over If It Never Began?

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Last October, just ahead of the November election, Trump released a list of promises he intended to fulfill within his “first 100 days” if the voters just elected him president. He called his list: “Donald Trump’s Contract With The American Voter”… deliberately reminiscent of Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract On With America” that helped elect the first Republican Majority in the House in 40 years.

The significance of the “first 100 days” was invented by FDR, who pointed out that a president typically is never more popular than in the brief period when they first take office. And with a majority of the support of the American people behind them, they have the best chance of getting their agenda passed than at any other time in office. Over time, it became known as “the honeymoon phase” of any president. And as the saying goes, “It all goes downhill from there.” So if this was “The honeymoon”, what do you think the rest of the marriage will look like? Will we still be couple four years from now?

Donald Trump’s “honeymoon phase” comes to an end next Saturday, and with lots of questions being thrown at him about what he hopes to get done before then, he now calls the “first 100 days” benchmark: “ridiculous”… which it is. No question about it. But it’s HIS benchmark. During the campaign, Trump repeatedly said how “quickly” he’d get things done and how “simple” everything would be. He made a “Yuuuge” deal of all the things he would accomplish in his “first 100 days”… some achievements he promised “on day one” of his presidency, including “Repeal ObamaCare” (a law passed by Congress that requires an act of Congress to undo), and “designate China as a currency manipulator” (only to recently declare that China “is NOT a currency manipulator.”)
 

Trump Contract (front)

Trump Contract (back)

So let’s look at some of the things Trump believed he’d accomplish in just his first 100 days in office:

18 promises divided into three categories: “Clean up Corruption and Special Interests”, “Protect Workers”, and “Restore Security & Rule of Law”.

Right off the bat, promising to “Clean up Corruption and Special Interests” didn’t even make it past naming his cabinet/staff before even taking office. Trump appointed at least two lobbyists to serve in his administration (Trade Rep Lighthizer and most notoriously, Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign after only three weeks for lying about it), not to mention Paul Manafort… who was paid millions to lobby the Ukrainian government on behalf of Russia… was the first to RUN Trump’s campaign, and then appointed SIX former Goldman-Sachs executives to his Administration:
 

Goldman Sachs execs in Trump Admin

 

Six actions to fight corruption & Special Interests:

#1 (of 18): Propose term limits on Congress. This failed promise is striking because it required absolutely no effort on his part. He didn’t need to write a bill or even negotiate with members of Congress. All he had to do was say, “I want Congress to draft a Constitutional Amendment placing term limits on members of Congress.” His first Address before a Joint Session of Congress in February would have been the perfect place to bring it up. I searched and while I’ve found members of Congress (like Ted Cruz) bringing it up at CPAC, and Conservative columnists saying Trump is “on their side” on this issue, I can’t find one instance of him even bringing it up since taking office.

#2 Enact a “hiring freeze” on all Federal workers. He did this. It’s an incredibly stupid move Republicans just love and try all the time because they think it saves money, but the problems it creates ALWAYS ensures such a ban is temporary… and I do mean ALWAYS. Because the job of government is to serve the people, and the number of people needing to be served doesn’t stop growing just because you freeze the number of people serving them. Lines get longer, stacks of paperwork grow, and employees rack up more overtime pay… until finally there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Waiting rooms fill up and call centers become overwhelmed. And in the end, you end up having to hire more people anyway while all you’ve succeeded in doing is pissing off an awful lot of people for no reason. But congrats Donald, you got this one done!

#3 Require that two regulations are abolished for every one new regulation passed. No way to know if this is a promise “kept”. Trump has gleefully repealed “needless” regulations protecting public health (like allowing coal mines to dump poisonous coal ash loaded with mercury in our rivers & streams), but has yet to enact a single new regulation to mitigate the damage done by those repeals. Republican this regulations “destroy jobs” when in fact regulations actually do more to CREATE jobs since forcing compliance often means developing new technologies and hiring people to administrate those regulations and ensure they remain in compliance.

#4 A five year ban on anyone becoming a lobbyist after leaving the White House. President Obama enacted a “two year ban” on people becoming lobbyists when he took office in 2009, but Trump called Obama’s order (actually, one of those “unconstitutional Executive Orders” he promised to repeal “on day one”) “full of loopholes” and therefore needed to be replaced with a stronger order. But instead, Trump’s “five year” ban is actually full of more loopholes and is actually weaker than Obama’s ban.

#5 A lifetime ban on lobbying the White House on behalf of a foreign government. Of course, there was Flynn, who was already a paid lobbyist for Turkey serving as Trump’s National Security adviser, and as noted earlier, Manafort lobbying on behalf of Russia, but we should also consider Secretary of State Tillerson… the former CEO of Exxon who was working with Rosnef (Russia’s national oil company) on a project drill in the Kara Sea (northwest of Siberia)… as a foreign interest that has the presidents ear when setting U.S. policy. The very “conflict of interests” Trump’s “ban” was supposed to avert.

(Additional reading: “Trump Is Secretly Filling Government With Hundreds Of Lobbyists And Far-Right Conspiracy Theorists”.)

#6 A complete ban on foreign lobbyist raising money for U.S. elections. Other than the restrictions (aka: broken promises) mentioned above regarding becoming lobbyists or lobbying on behalf of a foreign government, Trump has proposed no new laws nor sign any executive orders prohibiting political candidates from raising money from foreign interests (and I personally suspect this is a rule Trump himself violated in spades while running for the White House as he made absurd business deals with foreign governments who paid him outrageous sums of money to earn his favor and fund his campaign.)
 

Seven actions to “Protect Workers”

#7 Announce his intention to renegotiate NAFTA. Good news! He did that… announced his intention to renegotiate NAFTA. He never had the power to do it on his own, and we tried to tell him he was making a promise he couldn’t possibly keep, but he DID declare his desire to “renegotiate NAFTA” on his third day in office, but the auto-makers screamed bloody murder and the vow was never heard from again. This is just one more instance where corporate interests win out over Trump’s policy agenda. Clearly, the idea behind “renegotiating NAFTA” was that it was costing us jobs (ala his feux “Carrier A/C” victory last December) and hurts American workers, but when corporations complain such a move would cost them money, corporate interests win out.

#8 Withdraw from the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). Well, you can’t “withdraw” from something we never joined (Obama wanted it but Hillary flipped to oppose it, so there wasn’t any point.) But Trump did indeed keep his promise to oppose the TPP. This is the only Trump policy promise I supported and am glad he kept.

#9 Designate China as a “currency manipulator”. As mentioned in the opening, this was one of Trump’s “Day One” promises. But it didn’t happen on “Day One”… or “Day 30″… or any other day for that matter. Instead, he declared that they WEREN’T in fact a “currency manipulator” at all. For years, it has been noted how China… being a Communist nation that owns every industry and all means of production… can arbitrarily set the value of their own currency to make they products artificially cheaper and undercut foreign competitors. Once again, Corporate America: 2, American Workers: zero.

#10 Direct officials to ID any & all trade abuses by foreign governments. On March 31st, Trump instructed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to begin that investigation, which we can only assume is ongoing. But if the two most obvious & glaring examples of unfair trade practices… China & NAFTA… didn’t make the cut, just hope much hope do we hold out for anything meaningful to come from this order?

#11 Lift restrictions on some of the dirtiest and potentially deadly forms of energy production in the U.S. And he did just that, first approving the construction of the ridiculous “Keystone XL” pipeline… with the stipulation it be made exclusively with “American-made steel”… until it was pointed out to him that nearly all the steal had already of been purchased (mostly from China) and they weren’t about to buy all new pipe just to fulfill his requirement (not to mention the fact 80% of the pipeline has already been built)… at which point Trump rescinded his “American steel only” requirement that he said was intended to create American jobs. Then he repealed numerous environmental regulations on the production of coal. Not fictitious “clean coal” where you increase coal production while still protecting the environment. NO. But instead a blanket “pollute all you want, we’ll learn to drink sludge and breath dirt if it means creating fewer jobs than building a new highway” deregulation that is going to cost thousands of lives, impair the health of millions more, and possibly cause irreparable harm to the planet. Oh, and while he was at it, DOW chemical “donated” $1-Million dollars to pay for Trump’s pathetic inauguration, and in exchange, the EPA approved a banned pesticide of their that was actually based on “nerve gas developed by Nazi Germany” [ibid] (I kid you not) and banned for making farm workers sick. Once again, Corporate America: 3, American Workers: zero.

#12 Lift the obstruction of projects like the Keystone XL. Covered above.

#13 Cancel billions in payments to the U.N. and use that money to pay for infrastructure. Perhaps “billions” over time, but Trump has promised to cut $500 Million in payments to the U.N. fund to fight Global Warming. Shocker I know. But when you believe Climate Change is “a Chinese hoax”, it’s easy to cut funding to fight it. As for using that saving to fund infrastructure projects like clean water”, Trump has made no such promise on what he intends to spend that savings on (if anything). Might I point out that the cost of ensuring “clean water” just went up exponentially by allowing coal mines to dump toxic ash/mercury in our rivers & streams. Funny how one bad decision always seems to make another one worse.
 

Five actions to “Restore security & rule of law”

#14 Cancel every unconstitutional Executive Action ordered by Obama. Republicans are such idiots. Arguably I could label this one true since NO EXECUTIVE ORDERS ARE “UNCONSTITUTIONAL”, so Trump failing to cancel all of Obama’s EO because none of them were “unconstitutional” would technically be true. When it comes to how the government operates, the president can dictate whatever policy they choose. They CAN’T impose “laws” that affect private industry or violate people’s rights (THAT would be “unconstitutional”), but requiring government contractors pay a higher minimum wage than the private sector is WELL within the presidents power. If “Executive Orders” of and by themselves were “unconstitutional”, Trump would be in big trouble having already signed twenty-five himself in just his first 90 days… that’s more than one every 4 days.

#15 Begin the process of replacing Scalia. He accomplished this too. It took Congress breaking with over 100 years of tradition and going “nuclear”… thus ensuring the Supreme Court will become filled with ideologues voted in straight down Party lines for generations to come (assuming we survive that long.)

#16 Cancel funding of sanctuary cities. This is currently in progress and may or may not be done by Saturday. This is another shortsighted moronic Republican touchstone (like the “hiring freeze”). Yesterday on ABC’s “ThisWeek“, Attorney General Sessions argued that “sanctuary cities” were basically crime infested rat holes that were making lives of the locals miserable, and if they didn’t stop, they’d lose all Federal funding. So one might ask the obvious question: If giving illegal immigrants “sanctuary” results in rising crime that strains city resources, why on Earth would they… no only do it… but fight to keep it that way??? Because Sessions is full of crap. Not only do most sanctuary cities have a LOWER crime rate (because more people are willing to call the cops to report crime if they don’t fear being found out they’re undocumented), but it frees up the police to concentrate on fighting REAL crime instead of wasting time (and money) deporting tax-paying mothers of disabled children.

#17 Begin deporting the “two million” violent criminals here illegally. Not really sure how to grade this one. We ALREADY deport anyone here illegally that is arrested in the commission of a crime. That’s not new. So to “start deporting two million undocumented criminals”… one must actively FIND them. And that would require a house-to-house search of literally tens of millions of homes… a WARRANTLESS search to be sure unless you plan to clog the courts obtaining tens of millions of search warrants either without Probable Cause or demonstrating it isn’t needed. And the first time The gub’mint… sans warrant… kicks in the door of some redneck while looking for “illegals”, someone is going to get killed.

#18 Trump’s “Muslim ban”. He tried (three times) and failed (three times) to get his unconstitutional “Muslim ban” passed. The most glaring thing about Trump’s Muslim ban was all the nations he DIDN’T include… countries from which actual terrorist attacks have been launched, but which had powerful business interests with the United States… including several with Trump branded hotels in them. Hmm. But as recent events have shown again & again, “country of origin” has almost NO bearing on how likely someone may be as the source of a terrorist attack (ISIS & alQaeda LOVE recruiting locals… already in the country and above suspicion… to carry out acts of domestic terrorism.) The terrorist attacks in Germany, Brussels and France (more on that last one next week as the French elections conclude) were all committed by either citizens or Muslims living in neighboring European nations. An arbitrary ban on people based on nothing but that countries’ primary religion would do almost NOTHING to fight terrorism. Trump briefly promised to give preferential treatment to “Christians” emigrating from those same nations, which would have been a clear violation of the “Establishment Clause” of the Constitution by showing preference for one religion over another. Trump wasn’t in office even a full month before he was issuing his own (truly) unconstitutional Executive Orders that would of had Republicans screeching like banshees if a Democrat had tried it (just imagine if President Bill Clinton had tried to ban all gun-toting white Christian extremists from crossing state lines after the Oklahoma City bombing? Now imagine if Obama had carved out an exception for Muslims?
 

So, Trump is 9, 8 & 2 on his “first 100 day” promises, and most all of the ones he kept, are horrid (“No Polluter Left Behind”). Getting Gorsuch passed required Congress to break the system in a way from which we might never recover, and most of his failures failed… not for lack of trying, but because wiser heads prevailed in obstructing him (like his “Muslim Ban”.)

What is most significant about this list is not how little he actually achieved, but how little he clearly understands about how government works, making promises to do things that were not within his power (like unilaterally repealing laws passed by Congress.) In Trump’s mind, he’s wildly popular (remember his bizarre claim of actually winning the popular vote?) and has the support of the American people on his side because we all want exactly what he wants, therefore, Congress can & will simply approve his every wish because that’s what the people want.

Only to find out it’s not even what a majority of REPUBLICANS want.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am THRILLED Trump failed at pushing through his “first 100 days” agenda. But despite his record of failure and turning out to be both a monster hypocrite and flip-flopper, 96% of those who voted for him still support him. One elderly Trump supporter who was disappointed to learn he was defunding her senior center said of him, “I give you TEN chances, and that was strike one.” TEN? Others still don’t care what a miserable failure he is so long as he “deports the Mexicans, builds the wall and bans the Muslims.” (He’s 0 for 3 on that by the way.)

Whether or not you see these as Trump “successes” depends upon whether you see defunding the EPA and deregulating polluters as “successes”. If you’re a neoconservative Luddite with less sense than God gave a brain-damaged hamster… like these guys:
 

Douchebag Mt. Rushmore

 

…then you probably think (pardon my French) that Trump is a brilliant man that is going to save the country. Former labor secretary Robert Reich put it best when he remarked how “JFK invited the most brilliant minds and Nobelist humanitarians to the White House, showcasing the best of America to uplift us and make it’s citizens proud.” Trump invites these three redneck douchebags to the Oval Office to take obnoxious snarky selfies beneath the portrait of a former First Lady.

Last week, in a stunning display of denial that is rapidly becoming Trump’s trademark (see: “Popular vote” above), he actually claimed: “No administration has accomplished more in their first 100 days” than he has… which of course isn’t CLOSE to being true. Trump’s most recognized promises… building a Mexican border wall and getting Mexico to pay for it, repealing ObamaCare, replacing ObamaCare with “something great that covers everyone”, and his “Muslim Ban”… ALL massive failures. He tried to take credit for excellent employment figures in the first two months of the year as the end of the Obama economy fades, but made excuses for the first sub-100K job creation total in seven years at the end of March. And that Stock Market rally that broke 20,000/21,000/22,000 after he took office is already back down close to 20K and falling.

For every Trump failure there’s a flip-flop. His promise to make Mexico pay for the wall? Now he’s threatening to shutdown the government if Congress doesn’t give him a $1-Billion dollar advance on starting construction for the wall he promisespinky-swear… to figure out a way to get Mexico to reimburse us for later. That promise of his to declare China a “currency manipulator”? Now he says “they aren’t.” Trump has more flip-flops than “accomplishments.”

If Trump does shutdown the government this week over a budget dispute, he would be the first president in U.S. history to do so in his first 100 days. Now THAT would be historic!

He already has the lowest approval rating of any president in their first 100 days. Woo-hoo! Trump’s “historic” presidency!
 


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April 24, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: General, myth busting, Partisanship, Politics, rewriting history, Right-Wing Insanity

Debunking This Syria Conspiracy Stupidity (and saying goodbye to the tinfoil hat brigade)

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Back when all my friends were going bonkers over “Star Wars” in the late 1970’s, I was obsessed with “Close Encounters of the Third Kind“. I even wanted to become a “ufologist” like Dr. J. Allen Hynek. I bought/read dozens of books and was absolutely convinced UFO’s and alien hijackings were real.

Then I grew up.

Once I started asking questions, the stories started to fall apart. Nothing stood up to scrutiny. Have I mentioned lately that I used to be a Republican? I stopped believing what Republicans were telling me for the same reason. Nothing I was told ever stood up to even the lightest of scrutiny (not to mention frequently steeped in racism and religious dogma.) Asking questions saved me (and my sanity.)

Anyone who has been following this blog for a while knows two things about me: 1) I DESPISE “conspiracy theories” (note my thorough debunking of “The Four Basic 9/11 Conspiracy Myths” written nearly ten years ago), and 2) I don’t suffer fools well. If you are going to attack me and demand (additional) “Proof!” that something I tell you is true, you had better be on firmer ground than I with “proof!” of your own at the ready. And if your idea of “legitimate trustworthy journalism” is a pro-Russian blogger in Minsk, while calling The New York Times and Washington Post “fake news”, your opinion carries all the weight of a mouse fart as far as I’m concerned.

The VERY ELECTION of Donald Trump seems to have birthed an entire legion of tinfoil hat wearing “Conspiracy Theory” paranoids. Hey, I get it. I supported Bernie, and the fact Cheetolini occupies the White House today still defies belief. But there was no “conspiracy” against Sanders and the Media didn’t decide the Primaries OR the General Election winners. The Super Delegates & Electoral College did. If you read some of the vitriol I see on my Facebook pageSTILLsix months after the election… towards Hillary Clinton, it’s difficult to understand how so many of these same Troglodytes foaming at the mouth over their hatred for Hillary could believe Trump needed “The Media’s” assistance to win, or how they made Hillary popular enough to defeat Bernie.

Like others have said: if you could reason with zealots, there wouldn’t BE any zealots.

And now, with this counter-attack on a Syrian airfield in response to their use of chemical weapons… and let’s not gloss over that detail as we grow numb to the words. Chem-i-cal Wea-pons“. Death by chemical weapons is beyond horrific… burning eyes & skin, choking to death as your lungs are scorched by acid, people/CHILDREN writhing in agony, vomiting blood till death is a welcome relief… the tinfoil hat wearing crowd… with all the expertise as a 9/11 armchair physicist… appear to be more than eager to defend Syrian President Assad… a brutal dictator (like his father before him) who has been bombing entire cities full of people who’ve dared oppose him for the last seven years… on the grounds that suddenly… after seven years of slaughtering 400,000 “of his own people”… are asking, “Why would he use chemical weapons on his own people? Especially when he was so close to winning?” Instead they seem incredibly quick & willing to believe that in fact their OWN country… the United States (admittedly no angels ourselves)… is actually framing poor innocent Assad. (Note, in the April 4th attack, not only did Syrian fighter jets drop chemical weapons, they also bombed grain silos with the goal of starving the rebels… whom we know aren’t simply “ISIS fighters”, but entire cities that include women & children.

Seriously? Okay, let’s pause for a moment and use some common sense here.

What is more likely?

a) A man who has been bombing & starving rebel critics of his administration for seven years and has all but turned Aleppo to dust saw an opportunity to wipe out his opponents once & for all after Trump & Tillerson gave him the “regime change is no longer our policy” greenlight, by using chemical weapons we KNOW he had as of 2014…

OR

b) Less than 24 hours after Trump referred to Assad’s presidency as “acknowledging [a] political realit[y]”, he then disguises American fighter jets as Syrian S22’s and orders them to fly in and drop chemical weapons we DON’T have on Syrian children in an attack that all but destroys the friendly relationship he was building with Putin making Trump look like a naive fool? And in a massive conspiracy not seen since Roswell, not a single pilot with a guilty conscience over dropping chemical weapons on children to come forward and say, “No, it wasn’t Syria. It was me.”

…because those are your options.

Some disbelievers claim this was a distraction from the salacious approval of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court via the “nuclear option”. Hardly. Republicans acting like Republicans isn’t a catastrophe worthy of committing secret war crimes by dropping chemical weapons on children that would result in the Trump Administration being tried in The Hague for War Crimes should the truth ever come out. The “risk/benefit” ratio is wildly off there.

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve bumped heads with these past few days demanding “Proof!”, then respond to me by posting links to unverifiable videos on YouTube that are impossible to verify and without attribution, or links to websites that look like they coded it in their mother’s basement, citing questionable sources, produced by people they know absolutely nothing about who could FAR more easily be producing complete fiction to cloud the evidence to protect the guilty. They simply accept these questionable sources as fact because they confirm what they already believe to be true. One of the most popular video “proofs” I repeatedly get are links to a “reporter” named “Eva Bartlett” “demolishing” critics that dare suggest Assad is the aggressor and the rebels are anything but devious terrorists. But Bartlett is NOT a “reporter”. She works for no news agency and isn’t on the ground in Syria. She’s a Canadian blogger that works for “Russia Today” and has dedicated herself to defending Assad (one popular video is of her responding to another Canadian reporter at a conference… hosted by the Syrian government and invited to speak at their behest… where she makes a number of claims, including a popular one among the pro-Assad crowd, that one girl… the same girl… can be seen being rescued in three separate videos. It’s not true of course [ibid], but as Mark Twain reminded us, “A lie makes it halfway around the world before the truth gets its shoes on.”

They are wildly untrusting of Western Media, yet readily accepting of what documented vicious tyrants like Assad & Putin tell them. I just don’t get that. Once you reach THAT level of mistrust of your own government, it’s time for you to go… another country or a padded cell. It’s your choice.

Now a bit of history…

Following the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979-80, our greatest enemy was Iran. And when the Reagan Administration took over in 1981, they decided “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, so they befriended Saddam Hussein (who had been at war with Iran for years.) And they gave (conventional) arms (and money) to Saddam (and… as we discovered later… to Iran too as part of the “Arms for Hostages” deal they secretly brokered). As the Iran/Iraq War escalated, Saddam used chemical weapons on Iran and we did nothing about it.

Then, at the very end of the Reagan Administration, Saddam used chemical weapons yet again… this time on his own people. Iraq has always been a nation of three violently opposite religious sects: The Shia, The Sunni’s and The Kurds. The Kurds despised Saddam and wanted him gone. And apparently the feeling was mutual as Saddam actually dispatched agents to assassinate Kurds that dare leave Iraq to live in London or Germany. Sounds completely counter-intuitive, right? Why would Saddam want to murder the people he hated for moving away? Because that’s just the kind of guy he was. He couldn’t make their lives miserable living abroad. He wanted them in Iraq where he could make them suffer.

In March of 1988, Saddam attacked the Kurdish occupied town of Halabja with chemical weapons. Again, we turned a blind eye (until Bush Jr used it as an excuse to invade Iraq in 2003.) “Why would he attack his own people” some of you might ask? (As you are asking of Assad today.) Because, as I already pointed out, they hated Saddam, launching attacks trying to assassinate him (and years later, a Kurdish ex-pat named Ahmed Chalibi would convince a gullible George W. Bush to take Saddam out for him by claiming the existence of “stockpiles of WMD’s” that no one had seen or could prove the existence of), and the feeling was mutual.

In 1990, President George Herbert Walker Bush’s “Ambassador to Iraq” was a woman named April Glaspie. That July, Saddam delivered a message to President Bush that he wished for “friendship” between Iraq and the United States, then… just one month later… invaded the neighboring kingdom of Kuwait. The month after that (September), Glaspie personally visited Saddam, shook his hand, and gave him the greenlight, telling him: “We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait.” [ibid] (Kuwait had been accused of “slant-drilling” on the Iraqi border to steal Iraqi oil, and Saddam… still an American ally at the time… they felt was well within his rights to attack Kuwait over it.)

But the war in Kuwait dragged on… and on… and on… into 1991. The Kuwati’s had hardly no military to speak of (nothing to compare to Saddam’s “fourth largest army on the face of the earth” after the U.S., China, and Russia) offered little in the way of resistance. Then, news of “atrocities” (same real, some fake) begin to reach the U.S. Media, literally embarrassing the Bush Administration into responding.

And by late February 1991, Saddam had been kicked out of Kuwait and was now our sworn enemy.

Are you noticing the parallels yet? In December, then President-elect Trump appeared to side with Russia over the Syrian conflict and stated his opposition for any further support of the rebels, leading to the fall of Aleppo before he even took office. The result was the ratcheting up of an already ongoing war, yet four months later, rebel forces continued to hang on and Assad’s frustration continued to grow. The second largest city in rebellion against Assad, Idlib, became the new rebel stronghold.

And just as Saddam was told we wouldn’t interfere in 1990, Trump & Tillerson told Assad on April 4th that “regime change in Syria” was going to be left “up to the Syrian people” and that we would just have to live with Assad’s presidency as a fact of life. Given the green light of a new American president… friendly with their ally Russia… promising a non-interventionist policy regarding Syria, a frustrated Assad… who had a history of using chemical weapons (map)… even against his own people… leapt at the chance to crush the rebellion once and for all.

And this is where the doubters ask for “proof!” despite the fact there is nothing unusual or out-of-character for him here. “Assad would be “crazy” they proclaim to do this now “when he’s so close to victory”. That’s quite an assumption there. “So close to victory?” Says who? The fighting has been going on for seven years, and Aleppo fell four months ago, yet Assad’s opponents continue to fight.

First off, this was an aerial bombing. And launched just hours after Trump said we wouldn’t pursue regime change in Syria. Russia freely admits that. Russia (and Assad’s) defense against the accusation that Syria dropped “chemical weapons” (a war crime that, if true,… that would not only land Assad in the Hague, but Putin as well for being complicit in that crime. Russia actually has officers stationed at that Syrian base from which those planes were launched) on the rebels is that the rebel warehouses they bombed… unbeknownst to them… contained huge caches of chemical weapons that filled the air when they were bombed (in self defense.) So: “attack by air and by Assad”… not in dispute. Confirmed by Russia. And the very next day, Assad launched a SECOND aerial attack upon “Khan Shaykhun” from the very airstrip Trump ordered bombed the day before. ISIS doesn’t have an air force. Neither do the rebels. And if bombing the rebels “less than 24-hours” after Trump & Tillerson made their non-interventionist remarks made “no sense” to you before, then why are Syria & Russia admitting they did indeed do just that… launch an aerial strike against the rebels just hours later? (And I remind you that Russia & Assad are claiming they DID NOT KNOW there were supposedly chemical weapons in those warehouses they bombed, so they can’t use their presence as an excuse for why then went after them that day.)

Second question: Is it possible they are telling the truth about the chemical weapons released in the attack as belonging to the rebels, only to aerosol when bombed and carried away by the smoke? There are a number of problems with that scenario: One, the dispersal area is just too large to have come from individual warehouses being blown up and having the chemicals either rain down or spread by smoke. If this were the case, the chemicals would have dispersed downwind of the areas targeted, not localized at the point of impact. Yet maps of the areas that suffered chemical exposure are all localized with almost no drift:
 

WMD affected areas, Idlib Syria
WMD affected areas, Idlib Syria

 

It is impossible to verify whether of not every location where chemical weapon exposure occurred had a hidden cache of chemical weapons within it, but (Two) try to imagine the extraordinary stroke of good (bad?) luck required of all those Syrian fighter pilots to have stuck SO many hidden caches of deadly (and apparently wildly unstable) chemical weapons spread across Idlib province. They freely admit they had no idea they were there, and yet somehow they just happened to locate a dozen such caches precisely where they bombed? Assad needs to stock up on lottery tickets before his luck runs out.

Three, “Transporting” such dangerous chemical weapons for miles across Idlib Province would be incredibly dangerous with a high risk of accidental exposure that could kill thousands should an accident occur. So if the rebels produced those weapons, they didn’t move them around. They would have had to of been made locally… or more precisely at the very site that was bombed. Why? What use are they to them there?

Four, the ability to make such weapons is not a common skill, and not something you learn quickly. This would mean a merry band of wandering minstrels chemical bomb makers traveling from town to town to make a cache of chemical weapons for storage “right there” and then moving on. That seems unlikely… not impossible, but highly improbable.

And five, now we must ask, “How did they intend to use them?” As I’ve already pointed out, they don’t have an air force, and transporting large quantities of the weapons by ground is too dangerous. You’re not going to use them locally and risk exposing your own people, so that pretty much leaves one option: suicide bomber. Drive to Damascus some 300-350KM (4 hours) away in a vehicle loaded with deadly chemicals, pray you don’t hit any bumps along the way or get stopped by the Syrian police, and blow yourself up when you arrive. Sounds doable. So we check…

Number of suicide bombings in Syria over the past seven years that involved chemical weapons? ZERO.

Defenders of Assad keep asking “Why now when he was so close to victory?” So then, couldn’t we ask: If the rebels were “so close to defeat”, why would they sit on these huge stockpiles of chemical weapons and not use them? That makes even less sense.

Another popular question: “I thought Assad gave up all his chemical weapons in 2014?” That’s a fair question. Problem is, we just don’t know. According to their ally Russia, Syria turned over 1,300 tons of chemical weapons to them claiming it was their entire stockpile. It was also the job of Russia to close down all of Syria’s chemical weapons production facilities. Russia admits they were only able to shutdown 21 of 23 facilities because two of them were in warzones they could not safely enter.

As I’ve pointed out in other op/eds recently, the seething out & out boiling vitriol I read from Hillary haters on a daily basis now almost defies comprehension. I mean, I’m no fan of the woman and didn’t vote for her last November, but you’d think Hillary personally dropped by their house and boiled their bunny just to hurt them personally. I seriously think there are a few million alarmingly immature people out there in desperate need of psychotherapy… emphasis on the word “psycho”… driven to irrationality by the 2016 election.

It is now “a given” and forlorn “fact” to them that “Hillary Clinton gave those chemical weapons to the rebels” when she was secretary of state. So you ask simple questions like “How?”, “Where did she get them (since we don’t make them)?” and “How did she transport them to the rebels in Syria?” Often what I get in return are unrelated links to claims of what an evil person she secretly is, links to unrelated & debunked clams she sold 20% of our uranium stockpiles to Russia (not true, and has nothing to do with WMD’s or Syria), and inevitably childish name calling.

They like to compare the “false claims Saddam had WMD’s” to these claims against Assad, but when I point to the fact that both Saddam and Assad used chemical weapons against “their own people” numerous times before, they don’t see a connection. And while Saddam was only “accused” of having WMD’s, we have evidence here in this very attack in Syria that they actually exist (Russia and Assad admit it, claiming they belonged to the rebels but do not deny their existence)… only their “ownership” is in dispute.

During “Meet the Press” yesterday, Trump’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley pointed out that Russia’s first reaction upon hearing the news of chemical weapons turning up in the attack was to defend Assad, not express horror or concern over victims of a chemical weapons attack. That seems quite disquieting in its own right. You hear civilians… including women and children… were exposed to chemical weapons, and your first reaction isn’t shock or questioning, but to defend someone THEY KNOW (remember, they admit to the bombing AND have troops stationed at that airfield) just dropped the bombs resulting in that chemical exposure? Lesson One in trying to convince people you’re not a cold-blooded killer: show a moment of sympathy for the exposed children and make a few calls before you rush to defend the bombers.

And on a personal note, people bashing “The Media” as “an enemy of the American people” is an anathema to the 1st Amendment and a greater threat to Democracy than anything these Conspiracy Theorists seem to think is actually going on.

People tend to not to ask questions about what they see/hear/read when that something tells them what they already want to believe to be true, is. Fox “news” has built an entire media empire on that very concept… and now I see people claiming to be “Progressives” doing it too. Fox viewers are repeatedly rated as the least well informed consumers of news in the country. Some polls have even shown that people who consume NO news at all are often better informed than Fox viewers because they come to a conclusion first, then look for a source to “confirm” it. And anyone who tells them differently is either “a liar”, “badly misinformed” because they don’t get their news from the “right” sources (like they do), or just don’t know what they’re talking about. “Facts be damned” and there’s no point in trying to present them with evidence to refute those beliefs.

And a greater question: In light of these recent brutal attacks, will Trump now recognize what the Refugees are fleeing from and show more sympathy towards letting them in? (If we go by Nikki Haley, that answer is “No”, calling for “even more” stringent background checks before even considering giving these people safe harbor. What have we become?)

Postscript: The past weeks insanity led me to do something I’ve never done before and delete nearly four dozen of my so-called “Facebook friends” who devolved into insult spewing, Conspiracy babbling, children. I just couldn’t take it any more. The head-pounding STUPIDITY was making my teeth hurt. But in return, I picked up about three dozen new “Facebook friends” and a couple hundred likes from people who agreed with me over the recent heightened level of insanity and coarseness of discourse. So to all my new friends, thank you and welcome.

Next weekend, M.R.S. will be on Easter hiatus, but I promise to return two weeks from now with more insights and history. See you then!
 


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April 10, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: fake scandals, Middle East, mystery, myth busting, National Security, Rants, Right-Wing Insanity, Seems Obvious to Me, Terrorism, War

GOP Leads in ‘Unprecedented’ Behavior re: SCOTUS Nomination

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You have to go back to 1991 for the last time a Supreme Court vacancy was filed when Democrats controlled both the House and Senate. The nominee was “Clarence Thomas“, and his nomination went down in history as one of the most controversial picks ever after a former subordinate of his at the EEoC, Law Professor Anita Hill, testified that she had been subjected to years of sexual harassment by her boss, Mr. Thomas. And while Democrats won the White House in 1992, Republicans have controlled either the House, the Senate, or both TEN of the last twelve congresses (27 of the last 31 years.) So it is only by an incredible stroke of luck that the Supreme Court doesn’t have more Conservatives on it that it already does. (Two weeks ago, my weekly Op/Ed was an acknowledgement that fighting the Gorsuch nomination… an even swap of one far-Right judge for another… was not worth distracting from the FAR more serious effort to investigate the Trump Administrations dealings with Russia during the campaign. I ended up DELETING that Op/Ed when I learned that Gorsuch endorsed the appointment of prominent voter suppression activist Hans von Spakovsky to the Federal Election Commission.) So right now, I couldn’t care less how “offended” Republicans are that Democrats might break with tradition and filibuster his nomination. Republicans are whining that “NO Supreme Court nominee has EVER been filibustered in the 200+ year history of our nation.” Yes, but that’s ONLY because the GOP controlled all of Congress when President Obama nominated Republican judge Merrick Garland (widely regarded another neutral vote like Kennedy) to fill the current vacancy (not that I’m shedding any tears over that lost nomination.) Don’t think for ONE moment they wouldn’t do EXACTLY what Democrats are now threatening to do now if THEY had been in the minority.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted exactly that during “Meet the Press” yesterday, claiming Democrats would likewise have held the SCOTUS seat open for 13 months if the roles had been reversed. Chuck Todd asked McConnell the obvious follow-up, “Do we now pass a rule: No Supreme Court nominations in even-numbered (election) years?” McConnell simply laughed and dismissed the question, but it is a valid point. If no president should be allowed to fill a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year where “the will of the voters” is about to be determined at the ballot-box, then you have JUST (in effect) made EVERY OTHER even numbered year “off limits” for appointing & filling Supreme Court vacancies. And other than the vote for President, just as many members of Congress are replaced every mid-term election. Don’t they too decide “the will of the voters”? It’s a legitimate question as a result of “unprecedented obstruction never before seen in our 200+ year history as a nation.” Sorry Republicans, you don’t now get to point fingers and accuse Democrats of extreme partisanship by doing something “never before done by either side of Congress.”

But Democrats requiring a 60 vote “Super Majority” before a vote can be held on a nominee wouldn’t be the only ones breaking with “200+ years of precedent”. Should the GOP decide to use “the nuclear option” and change the Senate Rules, that too would be “unprecedented”.

And it’s not as simple as Republicans simply saying, “We hereby pass a new rule that says it now takes only 51 votes for a SCOTUS nominee to be brought up for a vote.” No. Because changing the Senate Rules ALSO requires a “Super Majority”, so to honestly change a long standing rule against requiring a “Super Majority”, they would likewise need a “Super Majority”. Catch-22.

To get around this, Republican will have to creatively reinterpret Senate rules such as to claim that rendering SCOTUS nominations immune to the filibuster, they aren’t “changing” an existing rule. Noooo. They’re “creating a NEW rule.” Setting precedent. And THAT only requires FIFTY-ONE votes! Nothing funny going on there!

If that sounds a little smarmy to you, you’re not alone. The GOP absolutely does not have the high road on this, and for them to act like innocent victims who would simply be taking advantage of a clearly defined “right” they are entitled to if Democrats engage in “unprecedented” behavior, by my count, they’ll lead the “unprecedented” olympics two scuzzy deeds to one.
 


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April 3, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Civil Rights, myth busting, Party of Life, Politics, rewriting history, Right-Wing Hypocrisy

Trump Voters Are Discovering a Wish List is Not a Plan

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“TrumpCare” went down in flames last week. Trump’s promise to “repeal ObamaCare on Day One” fell a bit short (by 61 days if not indefinitely)… because what we’ve ALL known all along is that the GOP didn’t have a “secret” alternate plan ready to go like they’ve been suggesting for years. On the campaign trail, Trump offered less than nothing when it came to specifics, only that “his (secret) plan” to replace “ObamaCare” (which he called “bad insurance” when it’s not even insurance at all) wold be “better, cheaper and cover more people.” In the end, what we got was a hastily drawn up GOP wish list that… once scored by the GAO… covered 25 MILLION FEWER people and would result in costs skyrocking for the majority of the poor. Trump turned up the heat on this turkey of a bill and it came out exactly as you’d expect when you threaten to cook a turkey with a flamethrower.

But it recent weeks, we also saw his Muslim Ban “plan” go down in flames for the second time after being told his “revised” version was just as unconstitutional as the first, with Trump responding that he should have just “stuck with the first” (unconstitutional/illegal/prohibited) “plan.”

And before that, it was the recognition that he really had no “plan” to get Mexico to pay for that Wall of his, and just as critics had been warning all along, Trump wants the American Taxpayer to foot the bill until he can think of a way to force Mexico to reimburse us. And his big idea on that? To charge AMERICANS an import tax on good coming in from Mexico.

The only “secret plan” Trump hasn’t tried & failed to enact yet is his “plan” to defeat ISIS (in his first 30 days in office.) But don’t expect any miracles there either.

Just as when Trump miraculously discovered (and apparently no one else was aware of) that “Reforming health care is more complicated than anyone realized” (and by “anyone”, he means “himself”), Trump is repeatedly caught completely unprepared to make good on his promises. (Remember last January when Republicans were caught on tape panicking about having to come up with a “replacement” for ObamaCare after claiming to have a replacement after 7 years?) We (Democrats) decided to let him try doing it with ZERO support from the opposing party. But the bill wasn’t yanked at the last second because of “Democrats” (despite him blaming them), but because he couldn’t get enough REPUBLICANS to support his bill. And THAT opposition was split between those who wanted to make the bill better so it covered more people, and the Tea Party Anarchists that think covering anyone it a bad thing.

It should be clear to anyone paying attention at this point that Trump was under the impression he could legislate with GOP votes alone (despite not having anything close to a Super Majority.) He didn’t know because he didn’t (doesn’t?) understand how the legislative process works.

So blame Democrats. GOP can’t organize a two clown-car parade, but “blame Democrats.”

Remember President Obama’s first year when he had to repeatedly point out to Republicans the enormity of the shit-storm handed him by his predecessor, and Republicans ridiculed him as the “blamer-in-chief”? They’d say things like “Reagan never blamed Carter” (which isn’t true, but when did reality ever stop a Republican from saying something untrue?) How many times has Trump talked about how bad the economy is doing and how desperately we need to “create jobs” WHILE taking bows for a great February jobs-report after being in office for only 11-days when February started? And taking victory laps for “creating jobs” that were merely promised (many of which were in the planning stage for more than a year) but have yet to actually be created/filled?

If you believe “promises = plans” and in taking credit (or casting blame) for the work of others, then it all makes perfect sense.

But at some point, Trump is going to have to actually legislate, and if he is suddenly in danger of looking like a failure, he’ll reach out to Democrats looking for a lifeline in hopes they’ll bail him out. He’d sellout the GOP faster than Mexico sells out of Trump pinatas if he thought it would help him save face. But don’t take the bait Democrats. You’ll get played like a cat plays with a toy mouse as Trump lavishes himself with praise for “reaching across the isle” to “get things done” in his quest to “serve the American people.” But like the fable of the toad who gave a scorpion a ride across the river only to get stung so they both drowned, you knew who he was when you met him. A dangerous clown. A carnival barker whose loyalty lies only to himself. You rehabilitate him and he runs back to the GOP’s welcoming arms as he makes to them as well.

“Wish Lists” are not “plans” any more than believing one had “the largest inaugural crowd in history” makes that so as well. Like the rest of the GOP, Trump does not have any “plans” he drew up in the middle of the night while on the campaign trail. I’m not entirely convinced he’s ever written anything that couldn’t be expressed in a 140 character tweet. All he has are “things he wants to do”, and suffers from the child-like delusion that every problem has a “simple” solution (Tired? Nap. Hungry? Eat.) His “secret plan” to “fix healthcare” I assure you is every bit as well thought out as his “secret plan to defeat ISIS” both “quickly & completely” (ie: drop a bomb on them), or his unconstitutional “Muslim Ban” or his sure-fire “plan to make Mexico pay for his wall”, or bring back jobs (by building pipelines across the country and deregulating our environment within an inch of OUR lives.)
 


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March 27, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Healthcare, myth busting, Partisanship, Politics, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Right-Wing Insanity

The (In)Complete (and growing) List of Trump’s Russia Ties

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(LAST UPDATE: 5/25/17)
 
I‘ve stated more times than I dare count that I abhor Conspiracy Theories. Claims that “9/11 was an inside job” belong in the same rubbish bin as Sasquatch and Elvis sightings. But the evidence of links between the Trump campaign/White House and Russia (for whatever reason) are documented fact (often by photograph and peoples’ own admission) and continue to grow so fast, it is getting harder & harder to keep track of them all. So I’ve decided to start a list of people & events linking people connected to Trump (including the man himself) to Russia (and US/Russia policy.) I’m not positing “why” any of these people chose to come in contact with whatever Russian official/billionaire/oligarch for whatever reason, nor do i wish to draw any nefarious conclusions (not this post anyway) as to their goal. This is simply a list. Make of it what you will. It’s mere existence and length should raise eyebrows if not concern.
 

“I have no dealings with Russia. I have no deals in Russia because we’ve stayed away.” – Donald Trump on the campaign trail, January 11, 2017.

 

I keep hearing from so many Trumptonians who get a huge asinine belly laugh from any suggestion that Russia may be meddling in our Democracy (“My PopTart is stale! Blame Russia! Har! Har!”) Unless someone truly adores Russia and/or Putin, I can’t fathom for the life of me why anyone would rush to defend him/them, belittling any suggestion that Russia is anything but an innocent victim being targeted for character assassination by our “evil” Media. The closest I can fathom is some revulsion that… if true… it somehow benefits Hillary and/or could somehow miraculously make her president. I understand why you despise Hillary (okay, maybe not to your insane degree, but I did after-all write-in Bernie rather than vote for her), but this head-in-the-sand ridiculousness of dismissing evidence sight unseen that a dangerous & corrupt foreign power led by a brutal power-mad former KGB agent that has his critics locked up and/or murdered, may be… not just meddling but actually SHAPING U.S. policy to its detriment for their own personal gain… astounds me. After being accused of being a “traitor” during the eight years of the Bush Administration for not supporting his dangerous policies and corrupt government, I have no stomach for ridiculous borderline-traitorous fools who can’t set aside their hatred of Hillary… now extending to disdain for our own Free Press and First Amendment… long enough to examine mounting evidence that another country is manipulating the U.S. government from INSIDE the Oval Office!

I’m just curious what part of “the Russian thing” don’t they believe? Trump’s inexplicable fanboy love of Putin (even criticizing the U.S. to defend him)? The fact Trump appointed a man whom he had never met (Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson), someone who has had a friendly working relationship with Putin since 1999 and received Russia’s highest civilian honor, the “Medal of Friendship”, from Pootie himself… to be our Secretary of State… running a department whose primary job it is to aide/develop U.S. allies around the world and make life miserable for dictatorships like Russia/China/North Korea (and whose budget Trump now wants to cut by 37%), after not even being on Trump’s initial short list of nominees? And the list goes on (continued below.)

The List

Beside Russian “Medal of Friendship” winner Rex Tillerson mentioned above, we have:

Starting from the very beginning, Trump’s first campaign manager Paul Manafort, was forced to resign when it was discovered that he lied about having worked as a lobbyist on behalf of the Russian government in Ukraine and was paid millions of dollars at a time the United States was vociferously condemning Russia’s attempts to annex Ukraine. After his resignation, it was discovered that Manafort has also met with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Kiev-based operative with suspected ties to Russian intelligence, in April of that year (as well as at the Convention in July). Kilimnik revealed that Manafort was instrumental in… (next paragraph.)

(UPDATE 3/22/17: As early as 2005, Manifort was already offering his services on how he could “greatly benefit the Putin Government”. AP reports Manifort was paid “$10 Million dollars a year” through at least mid-2009.)

A Washington Post investigation revealed that the Trump campaign demanded the removal of any pro-Ukrainian plank from the GOP’s Convention platform. Former Trump campaign official J.D. Gorden said it was Trump himself (at the urging of Manafort) who personally demanded support for Ukraine be expunged from the GOP platform. Before the Convention, Republicans were VERY pro-Ukraine, with some even demanding we arm the Ukrainian rebels against Russian forces (particularly after Russia provided SAMs (Surface-to-Air-Missiles) to pro-Russian Ukrainian rebels who then shot down a Dutch passenger jet killing all 298 people on board. No explanation for Trump’s request was ever given. Instead, the Russians MAY have been assured that sanctions imposed upon them for these activities might be lifted under a Trump Administration.

In 2008, John McCain declared, “We’re all Georgians now” after Russia invaded the former Soviet nation of Georgia. In 2014, the GOP took the side of Ukraine after Russia annexed Crimea, even calling for the U.S. to arm the anti-Russian rebels. Now suddenly, we are chummy with Putin and Russia’s is behaving as if we might lift those sanctions on Russia.

And just who might have made such a suggestion to Russia? Trump’s first (and ever so brief) National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn, who twice denied any communication with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, actually met with the ambassador IN TRUMP TOWER (and we are to believe Trump himself wasn’t present? He denied knowing of the meeting and fired Flynn for “lying to him”.) Flynn met with the Russian ambassador the very same day President Obama announced new sanctions on Russia (after SEVENTEEN intelligence agencies found evidence they were behind the hacking of DNC & RNC servers). In addition, Flynn not only spoke to the Russian Ambassador, he actually flew to Moscow (ibid) the year before for “Russia Today’s” 10th anniversary celebration where he was literally seated at Putin’s right-hand-side (at the same table with 2012/2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein… make of that what you will):
 

RT 10th Anniversary Dinner
Flynn & Stein at Putin’s table at RT Anniversary Dinner 2015

(Update 3/17: State owned RT paid Flynn $33,750 to fly to Russia to attend this dinner. This does not include airfare for him and his son and accommodations at a 5-star hotel. There is no evidence Flynn sought an exemption from the U.S. military to accept what would be an illegal payment from a foreign entity.)
 

And Flynn didn’t meet the Russian ambassador alone. Traveling WITH Flynn to Trump Tower was Trump’s son-in-law and now “political adviser” Jared Kushner (ibid: NYT link) to join him in the meeting Flynn lied about (and when Flynn denied meeting Kislyak, Kushner never spoke up to set the record straight.)

More recently, we have the case of former Senator turned Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who volunteered during his confirmation hearing that he had not spoken to anyone in the Russian Government while he was associated with the Trump campaign. In fact, Sessions HAD indeed met with the Russian ambassador twice during that time. He first stated that his meeting Ambassador Kislyak was so brief and inconsequential, it simply slipped his mind (not a quote). And maybe it was a brief encounter or simply part of his duties as a member of the Armed Services Committee, but he could simply said he never met with anyone “on behalf of the Trump campaign” or “only as part of my duties as Senator”. But he didn’t. He simply denied having ever spoken to “anyone” working for Russia. And it IS interesting how many contacts Kislyak was making inside the Trump campaign. He was one busy bee.

Another Russian connection: Why did Trump try to appoint American oil industry consultant, real estate mogul and former reality TV star Carter Page from Merrill Lynch’s Moscow office to be a National Security Consultant to his campaign? Page not only criticized U.S. and NATO policy towards Russia, he did so from Moscow. The “Dixie Chicks” gotta be feeling the sting of that one.

In one of the more bizarre (and IMHO, significant) Trump/Russia connections was Trump’s sale of a $41 Million dollar Palm Beach mansion to Russian fertilizer magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev sight unseen for $95 Million dollars (nearly 2.5x its worth, and never once used) only to then have it bulldozed four days after the election to build a $60 Million dollar home to sell at a $40 Million dollar loss. The Trump campaign vehemently denies ever “meeting” Rybolovlev, yet this same billionaire appeared at multiple Trump campaign events AND the RNC Convention in Cleveland… yet they’ve “never met”? (I find this connection most intriguing because I believe Bankrupt Trump needed money to finance his “self-funded” campaign, and this highly dubious $100 Million dollar windfall came at just the right time.
 


 

(Addendum: Not only can Rybolovlev’s plane be seen at the same airport as Trump’s at multiple events, his yacht was also spotted docked near Trump’s biggest financial supporter and Breitbart News moneyman, Robert Mercer.)

Ever hear of Wilbur Ross before he was appointed to run of the Department of Commerce? Ross is a billionaire investor with close ties to Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg. Ross was the Vice-Chairman of “The Bank of (the nation of) Cyprus”, a now Russian-owned bank thanks to Ross and Rybolovlev, to which Trump owed $600 Million dollars. Ross’ Russian connection is a bit complicated (as is everything in the financial industry), so once again, I’ll let Rachel (who is quickly becoming the go-to source on the Trump/Russia nexus) pound out the details:
 


 

While no reported human or financial tie to Russia (yet), Trump’s Svengali, Steve Bannon, former head of Alt-Right racist conspiracy rag “Breitbart.com” who became Trump’s campaign manager and is now his Chief Political Strategist, is a self-described Leninist. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Bannon proudly claimed, “I’m a Leninist.” “Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Trump’s got his Putin man-crush. Bannon has Lenin.

Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman with Mafia connections and served time in jail for stabbing a man in the face with the stem of a margarita glass, approached Trump with a plan to license his name to build skyscrapers (including “a Trump tower on the site of an old pencil factory along the Moscow River”) across former Soviet-bloc nations, a few inside Russia, and in several U.S. cities with Trump’s name on them. The deal fell through but Trump and Sater remained friends. The Trump campaign denied knowing anything about Sater’s criminal past.

Also part of the Trump/Sater scam, Tevfik Arif, another Russian real-estate mogul who served a 17-year career in the Soviet Ministry of Commerce and Trade. In 2005, Trump entered into an agreement with Russian financial group “Bayrock” to build “Trump Tower Moscow”. The deal failed, but his partner, Arif, moved into Trump Tower NY and took office two floors below The Trump Organization.

Yet another Russian born real-estate mogul and business partner of Donald Trump is Alex Shnaider. It may or may not be significant that Shnaider’s father-in-law, Boris J. Birshtein, is close friends with one of the heads of the Russian Mob [ibid “Soviet Ministry”.].

You may remember that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus… though not tied to Russia himself, did violate ethics rules by personally requesting the FBI “knock down” any reports linking anyone in the Trump Administration to Russia. The FBI refused and the ethical breach was deemed nothing more than a “momentary” embarrassment for the Trump White House (on par with Kelly-Ann Conway endorsing Ivanka Trump’s wares during a TV interview while representing the President of the United States.)

Former British MI6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele was forced into hiding recently after publishing a dossier detailing a number of Trump/Russia ties as compiled by the British Secret Service. Steele finally surfaced two weeks ago after many of the accusations made in the dossier have since panned out:
 


 

Among things Steele points out: It was barely 3 weeks after Paul Manifort took over running the Trump campaign in March of 2016 that Trump started trashing NATO (an alliance of Western nations to defend against Soviet/Russian expansion/militarism.) Russia has despised NATO and sought to destroy it since it was formed over a half century ago.

(UPDATE #1: Not even 12 hours and we have our first update. Remember Trump’s pledge that the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines would be made exclusively using “American-made steel”? Well, scratch that. We have our first exemption and I’ll give you one guess who it benefits: 40% of the steel will now come from a Russian owned steel subsidiary operating in Canada.

(UPDATE #2: After refusing to resign, Trump fires Federal Prosecutor Preet Bharara, a 40 year career Federal prosecutor for Manhattan/Wall St whom Trump himself personally assured he’d be staying on (along with 45 other Federal prosecutors) who just happened to be investigating a multi-BILLION dollar money laundering scheme of Russian money through “DeutcheBank”. Trump owes DeutcheBank hundreds of millions of dollars… their single biggest debtor.)

(UPDATE #3: 3/20/17: Secretary of State Tillerson announces he will be skipping an announced NATO summit to visit Moscow instead.)

(UPDATE #4: 3/21/17: There is no question Russia was actively supporting Trump via a sophisticated online “bot” based propaganda campaign.)

…whether or not the Trump campaign actively participated is still being investigated.

(UPDATE #5: 3/27/17: It was revealed today that not only did Trump’s son-in-law and close WH adviser Jared Kushner meet with Russian Ambassador Kislyak twice with Michael Flynn, he… along with another unnamed “top WH adviser”… also met with executives of Russian state-owned development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB), a Russian bank under Western economic sanctions over Russia’s incursion into Ukraine. More details on VEB as the bank Putin uses to funnel billions into his personal projects and their connections to trump can be seen here.)

(UPDATE #6: 3/28/17: A USA Today investigation into the origins of Trump’s wealth find ties to at least TEN wealthy Russian businessmen with ties to the Russian mob & organized crime. This is made more significant by the fact Trump denied having “any dealings with Russia” during the campaign.)

(UPDATE #7: 4/4/17: Buzzfeed reports that the man Trump appointed as his “Foreign Policy adviser & Counter-terrorism expert”, Carter Page, was recruited as a Russian spy in 2013. Their confirming source? Carter Page. More detail here.)

(UPDATE #7b: 4/4/17: In the above revelation about Carter Page, we also learn that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner… whom Trump seems to have tasked with EVERYTHING from building his border wall to achieving peace in the Middle East… met with one of the spies who recruited Page… Evgeny Buryakov, an employee of Russian-owned Vnesheconombank in Manhattan… in April 2016 (one month before he was sentenced.). Vnesheconombank paid $45,000 for Burykov’s legal defense while his compatriots fled back to Russia. One wonders what vetting… IF ANY… the Trump transition team performed after appointing people like Page & Flynn to such high-level classified Intelligence positions within their administration. PS: Page is still there.)

(UPDATE #8: 4/4/17: The Washington Post has revealed that the UAE (United Arab Emirates) arranged a meeting in Seychelles between Erik Prince… founder/owner of “Blackwater“, the largest private mercenary army in the word that rose to infamy during the Bush Administration for corruption, violence and violations of International law… and an unidentified Russian “close to President Vladi­mir Putin”, to discuss the lifting of sanctions last January. Prince is an avid supporter of Trump, raised a quarter-million dollars for his campaign, and has many connections inside of the government including (now) his sister Betsy DeVos (whom Trump appointed his Secretary of Education.)

(UPDATE #9: 4/11/17: More on Carter Page. It was leaked to the Washington Post today that he was the subject of a FISA Warrant requested by the FBI for suspected communication with the Russians during the presidential campaign. This is significant for several reasons: 1) This is the first report that a member of the Trump campaign themselves were the subject of an investigation and not merely “overheard” as we listened in on the Russians, 2) because FISA warrants are not easy to get and, 3) as the WaPo points out, is “the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump campaign adviser was in touch with Russian agents.”

(UPDATE #10a: 4/13/17: “UK Intelligence” (GCHQ) reports that they first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents. This is the earliest recorded report of interactions between the Trump Campaign and people working on behalf of the Russian government… before the Primaries even began.)

(UPDATE #10b: 4/14/17: So concerned was the director of GCHQ, that he *personally* contacted the head of the CIA… John Brennan… in the Summer of 2016. And so concerned was Brennan, that he contacts “eight top members of Congress” to report those findings.)

(UPDATE #11: 4/25/17: Evidence emerging that Russia may be using the same hackers/strategy to hack the computers of French presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron. Macron’s opponent is White Nationalist Marine Le Pen, who has previously received millions from Russia, and has publicly met with Putin in Moscow to criticize French sanctions on Russia (just as Trump did.) Le Pen is virulently anti-immigrant and has been called “France’s Donald Trump.”)

(UPDATE #12a: 4/26/17: As noted in #11, Russian meddling extends well beyond the election of Trump and promoting Le Pen in France. There is also suspicion Russia aided “Brexit“, Great Britain’s vote to leave the European Union [also a goal of Le Pen], and MAY have helped Turkish dictator Erdogan… who ALSO wants Turkey out of NATO… to win a recent crucial vote to give him even more power, but also the ridiculous… yet well funded… “#CalExit” movement to have California succeed from the United States to becomes it’s own country… which opened it’s very first [fake] embassy in Moscow [no, I’m not kidding.])

(UPDATE #12b: 4/26/17: [ibid 12a link] Politico now reports that the more than half-million dollars paid to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to lobby on behalf of the Turkish government apparently did not come from the Turkish government but in fact Russia. Like the wealthy Russian Fertilizer Magnate mentioned in this report that bought a Trump mansion sight unseen for 2-1/2 times its cost, Russia uses wealthy Russian industrialists… made wealthy via being handed control of entire formerly Soviet industries… to funnel money to various political projects. And one of those wealthy industrialists… the head of the “Siberian Energy Group”… is the man who paid Flynn nearly $600,000 to lobby the U.S. on behalf of the Turkish government. Additional information here.)

(UPDATE #13: 5/7/17: While not directly connected to the 2016 race, Trump’s son Eric told a WBUR reporter in 2014 that Russia was behind a $100 Million loan so his father could build a new golf course when U.S. banks were reluctant to fund such a project following The Great Recession of ’08. This contradicts Trump’s denials on the campaign trail he had no business dealings with Russia. It also establishes an existing lucrative relationship between him and Russia.)

(UPDATE #14: 5/5/17: The Washington Post and The AP report that the Trump Transition Team themselves warned Mike Flynn that the U.S. government may be monitoring his contacts with Russia. THEY KNEW yet they hired him anyway. The Obama Administration was so concerned about the Trump Campaign’s coziness with Russia that they waited until just four hours before informing them of their intention to expel all Russian diplomats from the Russian embassy in retaliation for meddling in the election, because they feared “someone” inside the Trump transition team might warn Moscow of what was coming, giving them time to destroy any evidence [either of election meddling or connections to the Trump campaign.])

(UPDATE #15: 5/10/17: Donald Trump fires FBI Director James Comey one day after former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee that she had been investigating connections between the Trump Campaign, Trump’s business interests, and Russia, and one week after Comey testified he had inadvertently “overstated” the number of emails Hillary Clinton’s campaign advisor Huma Abadeen has forwarded to her husband Anthony Weiner in his infamous October 28th announcement he was reopening the investigation into her emails. Comey was not told in advance he was to be fired, only learning of his dismissal *while he was delivering a speech before FBI employees*. The New York Times reports that just days before his own firing, Comey requested additional resources to investigate possible Russian interference in our election. Last March, Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI was indeed investigating possible links between the Trump campaign and Russian government.)

(UPDATE #16: 5/16/17: In the midst of his controversial firing of FBI Director Comey, Trump invites Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Kislyak to the Oval Office where he (inadvertently?) revealed Top Secret “code-word level intelligence.” American media was banned from the meeting in the Oval Office, while Russian media… with their cameras and electronic equipment… were not.)
 

Trump revealed classified info to Russians

 
(UPDATE #17: 5/18/17: Reuters reports finding evidence of 18 additional instances of contacts between Russia and the Trump Campaign, including Putin’s “fixer”, a former Soviet “lawyer” named Medvedchuk.)

(UPDATE #18: 5/24/17: The lawyer Trump hired, Marc E. Kasowitz, to defend him against allegations of collusion with Russia is also the lead attorney in a federal civil lawsuit against “OJSC Sberbank”, which is majority-owned by the Russian government. Kasowitz is Trump’s longtime lawyer, who defended him in a failed libel case against the NYTimes, and against women claiming Trump sexually assaulted him (which was eventually settled), as well as assisting in the “Trump University” fraud case [ibid] which was also settled without admitting guilt.)

(UPDATE #19: 5/25/17: The NYTimes is reporting that in the Summer of 2016, American spies investigating possible Russian interference in our election caught Russian officials “discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers [Flynn & Manafort]“. The information “was considered credible enough for intelligence agencies to pass [along] to the F.B.I. […] and open a counterintelligence investigation.”
 
So our list now:

  • Trump
  • Tillerson
  • Manafort
  • Flynn
  • Kushner
  • Sessions
  • Page
  • Trump’s $100 Million dollar sweetheart deal selling a $40 Million dollar mansion to a Russian fertilizer billionaire who never even visited it only to later have it bulldozed for a $40 million dollar loss.
  • Ross
  • Bannon
  • Sater
  • Arif – multiple real estate deals including a failed attempt to build “Trump Tower Moscow” with Sater.
  • Shnaider
  • Priebus trying to bully the FBI into silencing reports linking Trump to Russia
  • The MI6/Steele Dossier.
  • Carving out an exemption for a Russian-owned pipeline manufacturer to provide pipe for the KXL and DAPL pipelines.
  • The firing of Federal Prosecutor Preet Bharara who was investigating Russian money laundering.
  • Blackwater’s Erik Prince
  • Trump’s personal lawyer Marc E. Kasowitz
  • …more?

And that’s the short list. I intend/expect to update this list frequently so bookmark it and return often. And if you know of any Trump/Russia contacts/associations I may have missed, I encourage you to please list them in the Comments.
 

Where there's smoke...

 


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March 13, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · One Comment - Add
Posted in: Crime, Election, mystery, myth busting, National Security, Politics, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Scandals

Trump is getting his intel from Right-Wing conspiracy theorists (and that should worry us all.)

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Right after the election, as the Returns continued to be counted and we learned Trump actually lost the Popular Vote by nearly “three million”, the president-elect declared that he would have won the Popular Vote too had it not been for THREE TO FIVE MILLION people voting illegally (supposedly all illegal immigrants) in support of Hillary Clinton. And his source for this insane claim? A FAR Right conspiracy radio show & website called InfoWars (which also claims, among other things, that the Newtown massacre was a hoax.) Remember, this is the same election where Right-Wing poll watchers said they’d be monitoring the polls for that very possibility. And yet somehow, as many as five million illegal immigrants snuck past their watchful eyes undetected. Many claims Trump made on the campaign trail (and continues to assert today)… like claims of ISIS being behind recent terrorist attacks in San Bernadino and a Miami nightclub… Trump gets from Right-Wing websites and Fox… while calling The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN “fake news”. And let’s not forget the biggest conspiracy theory of all… the one that launched Trump into politics: “Birtherism”… the idea Obama was actually born in Kenya and was part of a massive cover up that would come crashing down around him if only we could get a peek at his “long form birth certificate”.

Just over a week ago, The Boy King cited “chaos in Sweden. Sweden! Who would be believe this?” based on a slanted and questionable report he heard on Fox “news” regarding a supposed rise in violent crime since they allowed in Muslim refugees. On Friday, #ToddlerTrump asserted (again, without evidence) that he believed former President Obama is behind the public protests and efforts to sabotage his presidency (Trump’s massive ego refuses to believe he’s not just beloved but adored by the vast majority of American people… yet Obama commands enough popularity to mobilize tens of thousands through sheer will). This quickly evolved into his latest outrage Saturday claiming President Obama had tapped his phone in Trump Tower last December as part of his “witch hunt” to tie him to Russia. Trump’s source? The CIA that answers to him and is just a phone-call away? No. The NSA that answers to him and is just a phone-call away? No. The FBI that answers to him and is just a phone-call away? No. Of course not. This time, his trusted source was Right-Wing conspiracy “news” website Breitbart.com (whose former head, Bannon, he appointed to run his campaign and is now his Chief Strategist.) And just who was Breitbart’s source for the claim? Right-wing hate-talk radio conspiracy theorist Mark Levin.

And to put Trump’s “outrage” over this incredibly serious accusation into context, his very next tweet was to mock Arnold Schwarzenegger’s firing from “The Apprentice” for low ratings. The fact our government has been hijacked by a man-child with the attention span of a thirteen year old girl is bad enough. But he is getting his “intelligence” from Right-Wing conspiracy websites like “Breitbart” and “InfoWars”. Couple that with the fact he isn’t attending intelligence briefings on a regular basis, and it gets worse. Couple THAT with the fact he doesn’t bother to double-check these absurd claims with any of the multitude of intelligence agencies at his disposal before retweeting them (with all the weight and gravitas associated with being President of the United States), and it’s even more troubling still (like any Twitter-addicted 13 year old girl, he reads something and instantly retweets it, simply assuming what he reads is absolute fact because it comes from a source he trusts.)

Now ask yourself WHY he doesn’t bother to confirm anything he reads on the Internet before repeating it, and it becomes clear that it is because he doesn’t trust his own intelligence agencies… run by his own appointees. So just how much can we trust him to trust them when they try to warn him of an impending attack or how a newly announced policy/agenda of his might result in chaos/disaster/war?

In addition, just what credibility will Trump hold on the world stage? Will our allies believe a word this conspiracy theorist says should he ask for their help if & when he finally gets around to launching his “secret plan” to defeat ISIS (or needs their help in combating a new threat?) Will other countries enter into agreements with the United States knowing his promises are worth their weight in steam and likely to change the moment he reads something he doesn’t like on “Bob’s Conspiracy Bunker”?

But the next thing to watch out for… and we’re already seeing signs of this… is for him to start setting policy based on these absurd conspiracy theories.

BREAKING (as of this writing): FBI Director Comey asked Justice officials to refute Trump’s unproved wiretapping claim.

Tom Friedman of The New York Times predicted yesterday: “Expect an effort to take away his football… the nuclear football” as concern grows over Trump’s mental stability.

We still see news stories regarding the Trump Administration with the “First 100 Days” chyron. The first 100 days refers to the “Honeymoon” period during which a newly inaugurated president has the support of the majority of Americans to get their agenda passed. If THIS is Trump’s “honeymoon” phase, just what will the next 3-1/2 years look like?

The wheels are already coming off this clown car. The big concern is that when it does, he doesn’t take a hard right into the crowd and kill us all.
 


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March 6, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: myth busting, National Security, Politics, Rants, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Right-Wing Insanity, Scandals, Seems Obvious to Me

We All Know Why Trump is Demonizing the Press

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Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (who’s strategy of “let Trump be Trump” got him fired for failing to adequately respond to the “Access Hollywood” scandal) claimed during Fox “news” Sunday yesterday that Trump was right to whitewash the Press as “fake news” after getting it so wrong when “they” (Time Magazine) incorrectly claimed the bust of Martin Luther King had been removed from the Oval Office on Trump’s first day in office (it was there, just obstructed from view by a Secret Service agent and a door.) The story was quickly retracted within hours of being printed online when they discovered their mistake, but that didn’t stop the screaming Mimi’s supporting Trump from whining about “The biased Media” for days afterwards. But Donald Trump’s little temper tantrum towards “The Media” has nothing to do with a mistaken report back on January 21st that was quickly retracted. No. More than a month after his inauguration, and nearly four months since the election itself, Trumplethinskin is STILL stewing about the size (or lack thereof) of his election victory… which is being made all the more uncertain now that SEVENTEEN Intelligence Agencies (both civilian & military) have all confirmed that Russia directly meddled in our elections with the specific intent of helping Donald Trump win… a massive insult to Trump’s massive ego. So inside The Trump Bubble, the “fake news” has “falsely” reported that he lost the Popular vote, his inauguration crowds were smaller than Obama’s, he removed the bust of MLK, his White House is in disarray (following the Flynn resignation, his choice for Labor Secretary withdrawing and the courts knocking down his “Muslim Ban” not once, but twice) and now claims that Russia may have played a part in his victory (placing an asterisk forever next to his name.) He doesn’t have a satisfactory explanation, so all he can do is try to make you question the source and dismiss them as “fake news”.

During ABC’s “ThisWeek” yesterday, deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders cited the FBI as having declared the Russian hacking claim to be “B.S.” and therefore not worthy of an investigation.

I scoured the news feeds and found no evidence the FBI declared the Russian hacking claims to be “B.S.”. What she is likely referring to is a joint FBI & DHS report detailing what the Russians did and how, where the FBI criticized recent reports as “a restatement of already known public information.” That’s a FAR cry from dismissing the entire hacking claim as “B.S.” as she so eloquently put it and therefore unworthy of an investigation by a Special Prosecutor. My response was, “If the claims are all completely wrong, why not allow an investigation to clear your name and remove the cloud of illegitimacy hovering over Trump’s entire presidency?”

But let’s take a step back. As one of my readers pointed out: if the ENTIRE intelligence apparatus got something of this magnitude SO wrong, doesn’t that BEG for an investigation in the name of National Security? I mean, the last time the entire intelligence community got something this wrong, we went to war in Iraq over nonexistent “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” It would seem a matter of National Security to determine just how SO many private and public security agencies… most of whom provide intelligence reports directly to the president himself upon which he makes life & death decisions, could ALL be so wrong. (I’d like to point out at this point that our intelligence agencies did NOT get it wrong on Iraq… because they kept telling Bush that Saddam did NOT have WMD’s. So he kept firing/replacing the heads of the CIA/DIA and various Generals until he found people who’d tell him what he wanted to hear.)

Of course, the Trump Administration KNOWS it can’t allow an investigation they claim would vindicate him because deep in their hearts they know the reports are right. Trump and his minions are SO paranoid that everyone is out to get him that they believe a Special Prosecutor would likely manufacture false evidence to discredit his “massive” election victory (and who knows how deep he’s in this. It could even lead to his impeachment & conviction if it were discovered Trump was actually in contact with Russia during his campaign and knowingly colluded with them.) So all they can do is repeatedly attack the critics, accuse them of bias, and create an aire of mistrust regarding their intentions. If you can’t discredit the message, discredit the messenger.

Hey, it’s working for Climate Change deniers!
 


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February 27, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Election, myth busting, National Security, Partisanship, Politics, rewriting history, Right-Wing Insanity, Scandals

This is the Way Bad Presidencies END

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It was an amazing statement coming from a Conservative reporter. January 21, Trump had been in the White House for only 30 hours when his Press Secretary Sean Spicer called the White House Press Corp away from their families on a Saturday night for the very first Press Conference of the Trump Administration just to (angrily) accuse them of lying about the size of the crowd that attended his bosses inauguration the day before. The next day, on “Meet the Press”, Conservative radio host Hugh Hewlitt (a Trump supporter) compared the Trump White House to the Nixon Administration, saying that declaring war on the Press “is the way BAD presidencies END.” That was “Day 1”. Trump has since taken it up a notch. In a tweet (natch), Trump called the same Media that showered him with MILLIONS of dollars worth of free positive coverage for months during the campaign, “FAKE NEWS” (in ALL CAPS… natch because our new president is a 13-year old girl) and not (just) his enemy but an “enemy of the American people!” (exclamation point… again, because our new president is a 13-year old girl.) Just as Trump refused to believe reality when PHOTOGRAPHS proved his crowd were monumentally smaller than Obama’s and refuses to believe he lost the Popular Vote as well by citing (with no evidence) that “millions voted illegally for Hillary”… which if true, would be a serious threat to our democracy, yet he doesn’t feel compelled to call for an investigation that would prove it (yet will continue to sign legislation to battle this fictitious threat without regard for the consequence… or perhaps BECAUSE of them.) This is an Administration that has clearly lost touch with reality… not that it was ever really IN-touch with reality to begin with seeing as how this was a man whose first foray into politics was to claim he had “PROOF” Obama’s birth certificate wasn’t real (yet couldn’t produce it) launched his presidential campaign claiming crime by illegal immigrants was “out of control” (when it was actually down), that unemployment was up (when it was near 5% and falling), and that he opposed the Iraq War (even AFTER audio tape of him supporting the invasion surfaced.)

I was too young to remember the Nixon presidency in any detail. My earliest political memory was being the only kid in class that voted for Ford over Carter (I was very empathetic even back then). But I’ve watched “All the Presidents Men” enough times to know most of the details of how the Nixon Administration went into “crisis mode” and began attacking the Media for using “off-the-record sources” as Nixon created an “enemies list” of people & organizations he saw as “out to get him.” This is all sounding very familiar.

In response to Trump calling the Media “evil” and an “enemy of the American People”, John McCain remarked on yesterday’s “Meet the Press”: “That’s how dictatorships get started.”

Let me do you one better, John. Trump also reportedly suggested “activating the National Guard” last week to aid in his door-to-door search of illegal aliens living in the United States. That’s just shy of imposing MARTIAL LAW, and if Barack Obama had done it, the Teabaggers would be marching in the streets, armed to the teeth, calling him a “dictator” that was going to “round them up and throw then in FEMA camps”… oh wait, they DID do that, didn’t they? So you KNOW when Trump threatened to use the U.S. Military to patrol our streets, the teanuts were out in force to protest this un-American un-Constitutional dictator-wannabee? Right?

Of course not.

Trump isn’t just at war with The Media. He’s also at war with his own Intelligence Community. First it was the investigation (PDF) by NINE intelligence agencies all confirming that Russia actively meddled in our election with the explicit intent of helping Donald Trump win (to which Rush Limbaugh yesterday defiantly demanded “proof” that anything Russia did changed the outcome of the election… a safe meaningless challenge because nothing short of sliding into a parallel universe could anyone “prove” what the outcome “might have been” if only they hadn’t.) But now Trump is accusing the intelligence community of “leaking” unflattering details of what’s going on inside his administration. But some of the information “leaked”… like his testy phone call with the Prime Minister of Australia… isn’t exactly the kind of “classified information” the intelligence community concerns itself with.

Sometimes I think Trump lives by the credo from Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22”:

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you!”

 

Trump is living in a perfect bubble, surrounded by hand-picked Yes Men all telling him exactly what he wants to hear: “It’s not your fault! Everyone’s out to get you! The Democrats are just sore-LOSERS, and The Media is in bed with them! That’s why they said for months she was beating you in the polls (despite the fact she DID actually win the largest poll: the Election Day popular vote.) And your National Security Advisor Flynn didn’t commit a crime when he lied to your face about whether or not he may have committed TREASON” (and yes, it does indeed fit the definition of treason… someone who has pledged fealty to the United States “giving aid and comfort to our enemies”. Telling Russia not to worry about the sanctions because Trump will rescind them… certainly qualifies as “comforting” our enemies while undermining the sitting president.)

Saturday, Trump defends his Muslim ban by telling an audience: “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany. You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?” Nothing happened in Sweden the night before. One guess where he heard about those false claims of violence? You guessed it: Fox “news”… one of the NON-“fake news” outlets he omitted from his enemies list. Unsurprisingly, Fox “news” Sunday failed to mention anything about Sweden yesterday or Trump citing them as the source of his misinformation.

Meanwhile, we are currently at war without an official National Security Advisor (with two suggested replacements turning him down); even Republicans couldn’t defend his pick for Labor Secretary, Fast Food mogul Andy Puzder; a Federal Court halted Trump’s illegal & unconstitutional “Muslim Ban”… to which Trump told the judge “See you in court!” (duh, where else would you see him?)… only to lose on appeal as well, forcing the WH to announce they would write “an alternate plan” (because they clearly had no Plan-B); and our Commander-in-Chief was busy whining on Twitter about fashion retailer Nordstrom’s dropping his daughters clothing line… DURING HIS NATIONAL SECURITY BRIEFING (link). Doesn’t THAT make it easier to sleep at night!

Donald Trump doesn’t see “chaos in his administration” (but does see it everywhere else: Obama’s WH, Sweden, etc) because this IS his everyday life. Reality is whatever he decides it to be. Everyone adores him (just not The Media that helped get him elected), and he won the electoral vote by “historic margins” not seen since ReaganBush-41Bill ClintonBush-43Barack Obama… his own election.

He’s still whining about the size of his election victory, what mean thing Hollywood is saying about him now, the ratings of his former TV show, and his belief the Media is conspiring to keep from the public just how beloved he is.

Think of all the things Republicans attacked Barack Obama for that apparently they have no qualms with now that a Republican is in the White House: “the presidency is not an Entry Level position!”; the “perpetual campaign” they derided Obama for as he continued to hold rallies even after becoming president; all the golfing; the trips; “Illegal” Executive Orders by “King” Obama; claiming Obama had “an Enemies List” (like Nixon); claims Obama had contempt for the United States (Trump: “You think WE’RE so innocent?”); all as the 6’2″ Obama “bowed” before (5’2″) Asian leaders (rather than curtsy?) to shake their hands.

“Who’s gonna pay for the wall? YOU’RE gonna pay for the wall!… until Mexico reimburses us” by taxing *Americans* on the goods Mexico exports to the U.S.. “Completely repeal every last word of ObamaCare… except the parts we like about “no preexisting conditions” and “allowing kids up to 26 to stay on their parents insurance while they are trying to get through college.” (meanwhile, Rand Paul argued again yesterday on ABC’s “ThisWeek” (full video) that insurance companies SHOULD be allowed to deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions because they are too costly. Sorry infant born with birth defects against the mother’s will because we’ve outlawed abortion, your teenage rape-victim mother should have been more responsible.)

Now the $64 question: If this is how Trump reacts in the relative calm of simply getting his White House in order, how is he going to react in an actual crisis? One day that bubble he’s living in is going to burst and we’re going to be left to clean up the mess.
 


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February 20, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Civil Rights, Partisanship, Politics, Rants, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Right-Wing Insanity

(Hiatus)

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Sorry folks. I know I punked out last week following Super Bowl Sunday, but my father went in for Triple-Bypass surgery this week (he’s okay. Surgery was a success) so I’ve been a bit too distracted this week to write my regular weekly Op/Ed.

I hope to return to my regular duties next Monday. Sorry for the interruption. I had plenty to say this week too.

Thanks.
 


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February 13, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: General