#TeleprompterTrump vs #UnscriptedTrump
August 21, 2017

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It occurred to me yesterday listening to both Trump defenders and Trump critics that there are in fact two Donald Trump’s: #TeleprompterTrump & #UnscriptedTrump. Trump’s friends/defenders… like Jerry Falwell Jr on “Meet the Press” yesterday… only see “#TeleprompterTrump”… the Trump that has his comments careful written out for him by a professional speech-writer that tends to say the right thing (most of the time) and earns kudos like “He sounded presidential today” (he’s president! Shouldn’t he sound “presidential” EVERY day?), and “#UnscriptedTrump”, caught in a candid moment by the Press anyplace other than the WH Press Briefing Room, who goes off script and says what he TRULY thinks/feels.

Last Monday, three days after neo-Nazi protests in Charlottesville left a female protester dead, Trump gave a speech… clearly read off a teleprompter… condemning “hate & violence” (though failing to even mention the words “White Supremacists” or “neo-Nazis”.) Trump explained he waited so long because he had to make sure he had all his facts straight before condemning neo-Nazi’s of being neo-Nazi’s (I can’t think of another time Trump waited “until he had all the facts” before rushing to Twitter to make a blanket condemnation.) In response to that criticism, Trump “went rogue” the very next day, condemning the violence “on both sides” and defending imaginary hoards of “very good people” who apparently didn’t realize the people they were marching with carrying Swastika flags and shouting, “Jews will not replace us!” were actually Nazi’s and White Supremacists. “Who knew?”

Every time I hear someone defending Trump, (unless they are a Nazi or White Supremacists) they ALWAYS cite “#TeleprompterTrump”. “He said the right thing!” said Charles Hurt of the “Washington Times” on Fox (natch), quoting #TeleprompterTrump (and his lesser known twin: #GhostTweeterTrump, where one of his speech writers is clearly tweeting “presidential” sounding messages from Trump’s twitter account) almost verbatim to suggest Trump is being unfairly criticized. Falwell praised Trump for “condemning Nazi’s and White Supremacists by name” when in fact Trump failed to even mention either group in his first comments three days after the riots, and then seemingly defending those same Nazi’s and White Supremacists the very next day. But all Falwell heard was the Trump he wanted to hear: #TeleprompterTrump. While the other side has critics citing #UnscriptedTrump, the Trump who attempts to answer questions on his own and ends up revealing EXACTLY what he thinks and how he truly feels (repeating talking points he read on Twitter by his his Alt-Right supporters the night before.)

I first noticed this effect right after Trump’s “State of the Union” address in February (not a true SotU because newly incoming prez’s don’t get one), when Trump read an hour long speech almost verbatim and the Media praised him as suddenly “sounding presidential” after 15 months of non-stop hate-mongering and childish remarks. But I became painfully aware of it last May when Bob Scheiffer (now on CNN) gushed how Trump “sounded presidential” when he stopped demonizing Muslims long enough to ask them for their help in rooting out terrorists.

Then there’s “#UnscriptedTrump”, the guy who is caught off guard, easily angered/offended by questions that he feels are critical of him, prompting him to lash out, spouting comebacks posted on twitter by his defenders (many of whom are the very people he gets in trouble for defending), or lame comebacks he thinks up himself on the spot (“Alt-Right? What about the Alt-Left???“) And it’s #UnscriptedTrump that is deserving of all the condemnation he is now receiving… on both the Left AND the Right. Long time Republican columnist and former Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan was asked yesterday by MtP’s Chuck Todd how Trump “regains his moral authority” after saying what he did this past week. Noonan rightly responded (to my surprise), “You can’t regain that which you never had.” I was in the process of muttering that EXACT sentiment under my breath when she said that. Even Mitt Romney peeked out of his son’s basement (the address he gave in 2012 so he could vote for himself in MA) long enough to condemn Trump’s “false equivalency” for assigning equal blame to both Nazi’s and those who protested them.

And THAT is why it is so hard for the two sides to see eye-to-eye. Trump’s supporters SO desperately want to believe in “Trump’s promise“… the fictitious “brilliant not-a-politician businessman who’ll save our country by making dispassionate decisions on what’s best for the nation, devoid of politics or personal gain.” But what they got instead was this boorish four-time bankrupt manchild who is nothing but an easily bruised ego in a bright red tie who tweets like a 14 year old girl, grousing about every slight, calling his critics “fake news”, making up ridiculous lies about “crowd size” at his inauguration, and insisting “millions of illegal aliens MUST have voted illegally” because it is unfathomable to him that more people actually liked Hillary or Obama.

#ToddlerTrump has done everything but stick his tongue out at the cameras… and I expect that very soon.
 


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August 21, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: General, myth busting, Partisanship, Politics, Racism, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Seems Obvious to Me

The Subtle “Implied Racism” of Trump’s Presidency
August 14, 2017

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“On many sides.” Three little words that speak volumes.

After a White Supremacist “Nazi sympathizer” plowed his car into a crowd of counter protesters, killing a young female counter-protester (two police officers were also killed in a helicopter crash patrolling the protest) and injuring dozens more, it was HOURS before Trump responded to the attack, and when he finally did, reading from a printed script (because teleprompters are bad and prove you’re stupid), appeared to blame “both sides” for the violence:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence… on many sides… on many sides.”

 

…never once using the terms “White Supremacists”, “Nazis”, “White Nationalists” or “terrorism”. Recall that all through the presidential campaign, Republicans roundly condemned President Obama for refusing to utter the words “Radical Islamic terrorism”? Trump himself repeatedly argued that “If you can’t say it, you can’t defeat it!” So what do we make of Trump’s inability/refusal to condemn Nazi’s and White Supremacists by name?

Does the tactic of plowing a car through a crowd of people sound vaguely familiar? That’s because that is the EXACT same tactic used by ISIS sympathizers across Europe over the past year to commit acts of terror. Is there ANY doubt that if the person driving the car in Charlottesville had been a Muslim, this would have been labeled a “terrorist attack” and condemned by Trump within minutes of it happening? So what’s different? You know, and so do I.

But it should comes as no surprise. Since the very day Trump announced he was running for president, his entire campaign & presidency has been peppered with subtle (and sometimes overt) acts of racism. As we all remember, Trump’s candidacy announcement included calling Mexicans “Drug dealers, criminals, rapists… and some… I assume are good people” (the qualifier tacked onto the end to avoid being overtly declared a racist.) And it was because of this (wildly overstated) rampant crime wave being committed by “illegals” that we needed to build “a wall” clear across our Southern border.

And so began the Trump campaign. And the racists swooned.

20 years ago, there was a lot less public tolerance of racism, and it remained mostly in the shadows. The election of the first black president started to provide racists with some cover, couching their overt racist hatred as merely being “political differences” with the Commander-in-Chief. They’d claim: “I don’t hate that Kenyan Muslim in the White House because he’s black! I simply have a legitimate difference of opinion on political issues!” For eight years, Trump stoked that racist hatred of Obama by championing the insane “birther” conspiracy theory that Obama was actually “born in Kenya” and therefore ineligible to be president of the United States… ergo, it was okay to hate him because his presidency was illegitimate.

I won’t go back down the “Birther” rabbit hole. You know the story: birth certificate, “long-form” birth certificate, newspaper birth announcements were “fakes”, Ted Cruz… who was ACTUALLY born in another country… was eligible because “his mother was an American”… unlike Obama’s mother who was born in Kansas. Never look for logic among illogical people.

Long before Trump became known as “the Birther Guy”, there was “The Central Park 5“. In 1989, a group of five black & Latino teenagers were accused of “assaulting and raping a white woman in Central Park.” Trump spent $85,000 of his own money taking out full-page ads in the four New York City daily papers, calling for the return of the death penalty for “muggers and murderers”, never mentioning the boys by name but everyone knew who he meant. 14 years later, the boys… now all grown up… were exonerated by DNA testing, yet Trump never apologized, citing the fact that “the police said they were guilty.”

Trump’s campaign rallies started to look like… well… maybe not “Klan rallies”, but unquestionably angry, with lots of shouting and peppered with violence. When protesters began showing up to condemn the racist dog-whistles Trump was sending out at every campaign event, his supporters grew violent, and rather than condemn the violence, Trump egged it on, saying things like “Throw the bum out,” “Get them out of here,” “Take his coat and throw him out in the cold,” and most famously, promising to pay the legal bills of anyone who might be sued for roughing up a protester.

That was his campaign. From birtherism, to demonizing Mexicans, “Black Lives Matter”, and Muslim Bans, Trump’s entire candidacy was catapulted by racists who heard a kindred spirit in Trump’s rhetoric… emboldened by how he’d “unapologetically” say exactly what they were feeling. For years they were made to feel embarrassed & ashamed for their primordial beliefs. Now they felt America had legitimized their beliefs by electing someone like Trump.

Trump’s first (and for a LONG time only) Congressional endorsement was Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama. A Deep South congressman with a troublesome civil rights record of his own, once calling the NAACP and ACLUun-American“, criticizing “The Voting Rights Act”, and most famously (supposedly) saying he once admired the Klan till he found out “they smoke pot.” In any case, despite his record, because of his loyalty, Sessions was Trump’s very first appointee… naming him Attorney General, which put him directly in charge of enforcing the very Voting Rights Act he once criticized.

During the campaign, Trump was endorsed by none other than “David Duke”, the openly racist former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klowns Klan turned politician turned RW Talk Radio host. When Trump was asked if he accepted the endorsement of Duke, he feigned having any knowledge of who Duke was and did not directly reject the endorsement (at first) fearing to offend like-minded racists who make up a large proportion of his base. It was only after repeated & prolonged criticism that Trump… weakly… finally rejected Duke’s endorsement THREE DAYS LATER. CNN reported:
 

“David Duke is a bad person, who [sic] I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years. Do you want me to do it again for the 12th time?” Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” – March 3, 2016

 

“A bad person”? Whoa there, Mr. Trump! Give a guy some warning before you go using language like that! “Who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years” twelve times? Just three days earlier, he denied even knowing who Duke was. Now suddenly he recalls disavowing him “12 times over the years”? Which is it?

Duke “took credit” for White Nationalists like himself helping get Trump elected, responding to Trump’s (muted & delayed) condemnation of the events hours earlier in Charlottesville by criticizing Trump’s criticism, telling/threatening Trump to “remember who got you elected”… clearly implying Trump owes his election to the very White Supremacists and neo-Nazis he just condemned (albeit half-heartedly, evenly distributing blame for the violence and murders equally between the protesters & counter-protesters alike.) Trump never used the words “White supremacists” or “neo-Nazis” in his scripted response to the deadly rampage in Charlottesville.

Trump’s favorite show “Fox & Freaks Friends” (we know based on the number of times he comments & tweets about them) declared that Trump’s “both sides are to blame” condemnation of the Charlottesville riots & murders “nailed it”, repeating his “both sides” criticism, suggesting the Klan marchers might have a legitimate grievance that deserves being listened to, and asserting Trump’s remarks were the perfect response to the neo-Nazi march the day before that killed three.

When Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort was forced to step down, Trump hired the editor of the most popular “Alt-Right” online publication and his biggest fan/defender… Steve Bannon of “Breitbart News”… to be his new campaign manager. Bannon has been described as one of the “foremost peddlers of White Supremacist themes and rhetoric” on the Internet. Trump was a fan of Bannon for taking up his “Birther” attack on President Obama and carrying it to new heights. Once the election was over, Trump appointed Bannon to be his “chief strategist”… the job once held by Karl Rove in the Bush-43 administration.

As mentioned above, Trump had already announced Jeff Sessions as his pick to be AG. Another of Trump’s disturbing political appointees was “Stephen Miller” to be an “advisor”. You might know Miller as the “White Power” hand-gesture guy (see photo inset at top.) Vanity Fair magazine did a disturbing expose of Miller last month, from his early days as an unliked political provocateur (all Conservatives are. They get off on making others angry/upset) in High School, rising to fame defending the 2012 Duke University Lacrosse Team members in their Rape trial (where three white players were accused of raping a black stripper, chasing her (and another stripper) down shouting “N*gg*r, N*gg*r, N*gg*r!”, to his appointment to the Trump White House (where he ended a royal defense of Trump, declaring “The powers of the president to protect our country are substantial and will not be questioned! ending with that awkward aforementioned hand gesture.) And two weeks ago when Trump tweeted that he intended to institute “means testing of immigrants to the United States”… a slap in the face to the “Give me your poor…” poem placed on the Statue of Liberty, Miller was quick (without pause) to point out that poem “was added later” and not part of the original statue (does that matter?) which he said was merely meant as a symbol of America’s “guidance” of the rest of the world (Bullcrap. Liberty’s torch is the light that guides the world’s “wretched refuse” to our shores.) Anti-immigrant white supremacists like Miller & Bannon love to rewrite history to fit their personal views. Why they continue to do so in the age of the Internet when confirmation is just a key-click away, is a mystery. Still, they persist.

Another Trump advisor, his deputy counter-terrorism advisor, Sebastian Gorka, made news when he attended the Trump’s Inaugural Ball wearing the honorary medal awarded his late father by Hungarian nationalist organization Vitezi Rend, who are “believed to have been complicit in the murder of some of the hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews toward the end of World War II.” Gorka claims to have “distanced himself” from any white-supremacist or Nazi ideology [ibid]. Yet still, these are the people drawn to Trump, and whom Trump himself is drawn to when staffing his White House.

This is the bubble Trump lives in.
 


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August 14, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Civil Rights, Crime, Guns & Violence, Racism, Right-wing Facism, Terrorism

All the circumstantial evidence points to one thing: Trump is broke
August 7, 2017

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(UPDATED: 9/20/17)

The key selling point of a “Donald Trump presidency” was that a “successful businessman” such as himself would know how to run the U.S. government efficiently. “I know all the best people”, he told adoring fans. “I’m worth $10 Billion dollars” he told the masses. And because of his success as a businessman, he supposedly would be able to run this massive “corporation” we now call The Federal Government (never mind the fact a government isn’t a corporation.) Trump claimed at the very start of his campaign that… because of his fantastic wealth… he “couldn’t be bought” and would only work in YOUR best interests, not those of the “Special Interests”. He would “take no money” from those same “Special Interests” and run a “self funded campaign using his own money to run for president. But in fact Trump did NOT self-finance his campaign. When he DID spend his own money on his campaign, it was only a loan where he charged his own campaign to pay him back. Even then, Trump wasn’t even the biggest donor to his own campaign. No “Special Interests”? He had multiple “SuperPACs” pouring money into his campaign as well, and as I posited two weeks ago, there is a trail of laundered Russian money leading to Trump’s back pocket like a trail of breadcrumbs. And despite all of Trump’s innuendo regarding money pouring into “The Clinton Foundation” and whether or not some of it was making its way to the Clinton campaign, Trump repeatedly refused/refuses to release his tax returns (no, this is not about Trump’s taxes) on the grounds he was “under audit” (which was NOT preventing him from from doing so) yet promising “as soon as the audit is over, I’ll release them.” But even after the election was over, Trump continued to refuse to release his taxes. And once he was sworn in and no longer under audit, he argued his taxes “no longer mattered”… “nobody cares except the sore losers”. Trump’s tax return for 2016… the year AFTER the one that was audited… the year he was running for president… was NEVER under audit, yet he never released that year either (nor were his tax returns for ANY other prior year.) To this day, we have never seen Donald Trump’s tax returns. Why? What doesn’t he want us to see? Then there is the question of “Emoluments” and whether Trump is using the presidency to make himself rich. Any time the subject of “money” comes up regarding Trump, it suggests he’s desperately trying to prevent his “true wealth” from becoming public knowledge. And the braggart & raging egomaniac that Trump is, does anyone think if he was even more fantastically rich than he has publicly claimed, that he wouldn’t be tweeting it from the rooftops? Of course he would! Trump’s entire shtick is that he is qualified purely due to being a business & financial success. So, what if it turns out he isn’t? After filing four bankruptcies, two divorces, being sued multiple times (settling his “Trump University” fraud case for $20 Million dollars rather than continue fighting), closing failed casinos, and a list of failed businesses longer than my arm, how does one suffer SO much failure and expense, and still be worth over $10 Billion dollars? Simple… he isn’t. He’s deep in debt and owes some very powerful people a lot of money.

…But he can’t admit it without being exposed as the lying Snake Oil salesman he is and disappointing his legions of “poorly educated” fans.

As I stated above, there is a troubling record of Russian money finding it’s way into Trump’s campaign coffers to the point I no longer have ANY doubt the Russian government… by way of well-connected Russian oligarchs… bankrolled the bulk of Donald Trump’s political campaign. From the Russian fertilizer magnate who paid 2-1/2 times the value for a Florida mansion belonging to Trump… sight unseen… just as Trump was being forced to pay a multi-million dollar judgement against him… only to have the property demolished without the new owner having ever visited it even once, and sold for a $60 million dollar loss… to the private computer server in the Trump Tower campaign headquarters with a dedicated hotline connection to a Russian bank, to millions in laundered Russian Mafia crime money poured into Manhattan real estate purchased from Trump (no questions asked)… Trump owes much of his wealth to (criminal) Russian investment.

But that’s just half the story.

Immediately after his inauguration, Trump doubled the membership fee to his “Mar-a-lago” Resort from $100,000/yr to $200,000/yr. The rich & powerful… those “Special Interests” Trump bemoaned… were buying up memberships hoping to hob-knob with The President himself. But Trump wasn’t about to divest himself of his prized resort in which the wealthy could rub elbows with the Commander-in-Chief himself if the price is right, nor did Trump set any rules against “unsolicited fraternization”. If you’ve got the bucks, you might just luck into a private meeting with The President of the United States. What percentage of Trump’s “regular Americans” do you think he’ll run into down there at that price?

Trump’s hotels around the world, in New York and in DC, the profits from those hotels still feed into Trump’s pocket. When wealthy Saudi’s came to DC, rather than stay in the same posh hotel they normally booked, this year they chose to stay in a Trump-owned hotel (I’ll give you three guesses why, and the second two don’t count.) Overseas, the paperwork and court cases holding up development of Trump hotels and golf courses are suddenly fast-tracked and shown preferential treatment over Trump’s competitors. The Founding Fathers called such gifts & favoritism “emoluments”, and they are illegal. Yet Trump has refused to sell off his holdings and divest himself from these conflicts of interest (and No, turning the “running” of the business over to his sons does NOT resolve those conflicts of interest or shield him from violating the Emoluments clause.)

We know that as a real estate mogul in NY, Trump had a history of not paying his workers/suppliers/vendors, and he suggested during the campaign that only dumb people pay taxes, so much of Trump’s wealth came from being a deadbeat… something he can no longer get away with as president of the United States.

I mentioned above that Trump only LOANED his own campaign money to finance it, but we also learned just last week that Trump blatantly overcharged the Secret Service to rent space in Trump Tower to provide security for his wife & son Barron while they lived in New York. To charge them anything at all to stay in a hotel HE OWNS when they are there purely to protect him & his family when in New York is bad enough, but to scam the American taxpayers to pay double the normal rent to do it? Does he REALLY need the money THAT bad?

Also breaking news last week, not only did Independent Council Bob Mueller impanel a Grand Jury to hear evidence connecting Trump to Russia, we also learned Mueller is “investigating Trump’s personal & business finances”… not just campaign finances as they may relate to the Russia investigation. Trump is reportedly very angry about this. Why would Mueller be investigating Trump’s “private” finances as part of his Russia investigation? Because, like me, Mueller also believes Trump’s businesses were used to launder Russian crime money into his presidential campaign.

Republicans have pined for a “CEO president” for 20 years. It was part of their sales pitch for Bush & Cheney in 2000 (touting their “CEO” credentials.) Bush had a string of disastrous business failures behind him (requiring bailouts from Daddy’s friends) while Cheney bilked the government for Billions as a government contractor. THAT was their record as “businessmen”. And one might think that the disastrous Bush/Cheney presidency would have soured Republicans on the idea of electing another “CEO President” promising to run the country “like a business”, but they did it again with Donald Trump. And once again we find another failed businessman who’s really good at scamming people, declaring bankruptcy and asking Uncle Sam for a bailout.

So look at the list of financial matters connected to the Trump campaign: He refused/refuses to release his taxes… the first to do so since Nixon. He charged his own campaign to reimburse him for all the money he loaned it, he over-charged the Secret Service rent to protect his own family in his own hotel, he also doubled the Mar-a-Lago Membership Fee, there is all the Emoluments/profiteering off his business interests that he refuses to divest himself from, there’s his four bankruptcies, two divorces and failed casinos, has bragged about paying no taxes (not just the wealthy, but people deep in debt also pay no taxes), legal judgements totaling MILLIONS against him, a string of failed business ventures including “Trump University”, which turned out to be one giant scam, and a Russian-cash expressway between the Kremlin and Trump’s real-estate holdings around the world. That blue “TRUMP” 707 he flew around in during the campaign is all that’s left of “Trump Airlines” that was born & died in the late 1990’s.

For a man supposedly worth $10 Billion dollars, he sure seems to be nickle & diming the Federal government while spending very little of his own money (as I write this, I’m noticing how Trump nor his Wife & son, have ever vacationed any place Trump didn’t already own (either Trump Tower in NYC or Mar-a-Lago in Florida).

Every time a Republican calls for “Running government like a business”, point out to them that businesses are NOT Democracies. They are “Dictatorships” or “Monarchies” run to turn a profit. Governments are services that SPEND money to provide those services. THAT is what we pay taxes for! Trump himself once said: “In government, every decision requires you to have a heart. In business, it’s the opposite. In fact, it may be better if you have no heart at all.” And this is whom they elected to run the largest public service on the planet.

Businesses are run to make a profit for the CEO and pay off shareholders. Who know who Donald thinks the CEO is. One wonders whom he thinks his “shareholders” are? Whom does he owe? Who OWNS HIM?

ADDENDUM: The day after I wrote this, “The Rachel Maddow Show” actually explored the question of all the money Trump is making off the presidency and its legality. RECOMMENDED VIEWING.

UPDATE 9/20/17: Reuters is reporting that the RNC is paying Don Jr’s personal legal bills, and Trump is using his Election & Re-election Campaign funds to pay for his own (and his family’s) legal bills in the Russia investigation. This helps explain why he launched his “reelection campaign” THE DAY HE TOOK OFFICE [ibid].

Trump raised $107 MILLION for his “pre-inaugural concert” (more than TWICE the $53M Obama raised for his 2009 star-studded even) and promised to donate the unused portion to charity. The Trump campaign wildly overpaid $25M on a handful of low budget events including one cover band, highschool marching bands and baton twirlers, then and kept the rest.

Trump DID keep his promise to *personally* donate $1 Million to victims of hurricane Harvey (which was split 12 ways), though it bears pointing out that for a man who claimed during the campaign to be worth over $10 Billion dollars, a donation of a mere $1 Milion amounts to 1/10,000th of his claimed total net worth… roughly equivalent to a person worth $550K (including home) and $50K salary) donating just $55.
 


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August 7, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Crime, Greed, Money, mystery, myth busting, Politics, rewriting history, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Scandals, Seems Obvious to Me

Is the firing of Priebus a backdoor attempt to fire Special Prosecutor Mueller?
July 31, 2017

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Last week was described as… not just the most chaotic of the young Trump Administration… but as capping off “the worst first six months of ANY administration” in the 241 year history of the United States (which, according to Trump, has been “the most successful first six months of any administration in history”… despite not having one single legislative accomplishment and Trump having gone back on nearly every major campaign promise.) “Worst six months” may be a bit of an exaggeration considering Abraham Lincoln’s first days were met with the entire Southern delegation seceding from the Union, but it’s gotta be right up there (Lincoln was a Republican by the way. Did you know that? Trump apparently didn’t until just last March.) For weeks, Trump has been publicly lambasting his “good friend” Attorney General Jeff Sessions for agreeing to accept the job of AG back in February only to recuse himself from having anything to do with the Russia investigation by March. Sessions was the first (and for a very long time only) Senator to endorse Donald Trump. He traveled around the country with him and repeated Trump’s slogan that Trump would “Make America Great Again.” His reward was to be appointed Attorney General (the first appointment of the Trump administration), an appointment Trump praised. But when a Special Prosecutor was appointed to investigate possible links between the Trump campaign & Russia, Sessions was forced to recuse himself 1) because he was part of the campaign, and 2) Had failed to reveal his OWN contacts with Russian officials during the campaign.

That confirmation was in February (with Sessions formally recusing himself on March 2nd.)

Now suddenly… 4-1/2 months later… Trump is grousing about Sessions accepting the job only to recuse himself just days later? Why now? As singer Glenn Fry once sang, “The heat is on.”

A flurry of very public criticisms (both on TV and on Twitter) of his “good friend” Sessions (Trump frequently whines about “loyalty”. He denies he asked Comey for it and demands it of his staff, but for Trump, “loyalty” is clearly a one-way street), it seemed pretty obvious Trump wanted Sessions to resign so he could replace him with someone who would fire Bob Mueller and quash the Russia investigation, but he couldn’t just fire Sessions without a better reason than “refusing to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.” Nothing improper about following the law. ANYONE Trump may have picked to be Attorney General… if they were connected to his campaign, they too would of had to recuse themselves (if you recall, both Chris Christie & Rudy Giuliani were also supposedly up for consideration for the job, and they too were part of the campaign and would of had to recuse themselves.)

Unable to fire Sessions, Trump tried to make Sessions quit, but Sessions (publicly) laughed it off (privately, Gingrich says Sessions is “very mad” at Trump.) So Trump is stuck with Sessions (and by extension, Mueller.)

In just the first six months, five SIX of Trump’s top level staffers have been fired (or forced to “quit”)…
 

Trump staff departures

 

(UPDATE 7/31/17: After just ten days, Spicer’s replacement, Anthony Scaramucci is out following a profanity laced tirade criticizing Priebus & Bannon.)
 

…with the latest being his Chief-of-Staff Reince Priebus last week just-appointed Communications Director Scaramucci. Priebus has always been in over his head in every job he’s had since he was still head of the RNC. He appeared on the Sunday talk shows regularly, embarrassing himself as he repeatedly tried (and failed) to sound clever and/or witty, with snarky responses about Democrats that always fell embarrassingly flat. But because of the Tea Party movement and a united Conservative front against Obama, the GOP Congress kept winning races in spite of him (though losing the presidency in 2012, and likely would have lost in 2016 as well had it not been for the last minute election chaos.) So it was probably only a matter of time before he was out as CoS, but the new Director of Communications, Tony Scaramucci, replacing Spicer, torpedoed Priebus, creating a vacancy.
 

And the wheels started to turn.
 

Trump picked acting NSA Director General John Kelly last week to be his new Chief of Staff (arguably a demotion), and suddenly, there’s a new “law enforcement” job opening in the Trump Administration. “Who do we get to fill it? Hmmmm. Ah! I know! How about the acting Attorney General who is preventing us from firing Mueller and shutting down the Russia investigation?”

Trump hasn’t done it yet, but you KNOW that’s what his puppet masters have in mind.

Members of Congress on BOTH sides of the aisle say that if Trump tries to replace Sessions with someone who might try to shutdown the Russia investigation, they say they’ll make him (pinky) swear that he won’t fire Mueller. Of course, you can always find an excuse after the fact. Accuse Mueller of being on a “Partisan Witch hunt”, accuse him of exceeding his authority, even claim “ethics violations”. Or just change the scope of his investigation, rendering him toothless. If they want Mueller gone, he’s gone.

So the red flag isn’t who gets picked to fill Sessions’ shoes, it’s whether or not Trump tries to appoint Sessions head of the NSA. After weeks of criticizing Sessions for “not being forthright” for failing to reveal in advance he’d recuse himself from anything relating to the Russia investigation, suddenly he may be just perfect to head up the most secretive security agency on the planet? (Before Bush-43, the joke was “NSA” stood for “No Such Agency” before Dubya confirmed their existence to rescue his butt from accusations of wiretapping Americans without a FISA warrant.)

If Trump even hints he may move Sessions to the NSA, know that there’s only ONE reason for doing so, and that’s so he can replace Sessions with someone not recused from intervening in the Russia investigation. Personally, I doubt Trump is THAT dumb, but his handlers (whomever they may be) might insist upon it. I’m certain Trump (and several members of his family) are huge blackmail risks and could be exposed as needed if Trump doesn’t do what they want. But with Trump’s massive ego and arrogant nature, he’s just as likely to do what he wants and dare his blackmailers to play their hand (and they will.)

The GOP Congress might let Trump get away with moving Sessions, and even approve a replacement who “swears to God, hope to die, Stick a needle in my eye” not to fire Mueller. But if he does, even a Republican-controlled Congress would not be able to ignore this gross obstruction of justice, and 6 to 8 months later (despite the midterms), Trump would be impeached, and depending on the mood of the electorate, out of office by the end of 2018.

But I doubt that will happen… not that quickly/obviously. I expect Trump will continue to grouse about Sessions, appoint someone else to the NSA, and wait for Sessions to quit (because despite his catch-phrase, reports are Trump really doesn’t like to fire people. Due to his desperate need to be adored… see: “I won the popular vote”… he prefers to bully people into quitting so he doesn’t look like the bad guy (yeah, I know that makes no sense.) By then, who knows where the Russia investigation will be? (In my not-so-humble opinion, Trump and those in his orbit are morons, too stupid to realize the Russians have been using & manipulating him for decades. There is ZERO doubt in my mind now that the Russian government and the Russian Mob (which are one & the same) literally bankrolled Trump’s presidential campaign (and much of his real estate empire via the buying & selling properties in Manhattan & Florida to Russian criminals/oligarchs/officials looking to launder millions in dirty money (see last week’s Op/Ed on the following the laundered money.) Or… just as likely… they knew and didn’t care as long as they got what they wanted out of it without concern for the consequence.)

And THAT is why Mueller is suddenly looking into Trump’s business dealings going back DECADES, and why only now Trump is complaining about Sessions’ inability to shutdown Mueller and the Russia investigations. The heat is on. Watch this space/vacancy.
 


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July 31, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: National Security, Politics, Right-wing Facism, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Scandals, Seems Obvious to Me

Self-Funded Campaign? Follow the money (launderers)
July 24, 2017

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Today/Monday, Trump’s wunderkind son-in-law and dumping ground for every boring job Trump doesn’t want to do, Jared Kushner, will be testifying before both the House & Senate Intelligence Committees behind closed doors, where they will grill him about his repeated interactions with representatives of the Russian government that he just kept forgetting to report on his “Security Clearance” application (until it was revealed by the so-called “fake” news… ie: “real” news.) Unfortunately, because of the National Security issues discussed, there will be no cameras and no reporters. But seriously, “because of the National Security issues”, Jared HIMSELF shouldn’t be allowed in the meeting because he would NEVER qualify for a “Top Secret” security clearance today knowing what we now know. First (as documented in my continually updated List of Trump/Russia Ties) he failed to reveal he joined Mike Flynn to meet with Russian Ambassador Kislyak… not once but TWICE. Then it was a meeting (along with another White House adviser) with “VEB“… a Russian “Bank” (actually, a money laundering operation) while it was under U.S. sanctions, and now most recently exposed, joining Don Jr to host a secret meeting IN Trump Tower with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya to (supposedly) discuss “Russian/American adoption”… a meeting both Kushner and Don Jr (and campaign manager Manafort) all just “forgot” to mention meeting when asked about having ever met with “any Russians.” THEN it was revealed they didn’t meet with just one person but in fact FIVE… two of whom are naturalized former Russian citizens: a former “Soviet” military intelligence officer who served in the late 80’s, and convicted Russian money launderer Irakly Kaveladze, whom was charged with laundering $1.4 Billion dollars between US & Russian banks (and what better way to “clean” your stolen money than to funnel it through the presidential campaign of a dimwit candidate who’s about as clever as a two-story outhouse?) The lawyer, Veselnitskaya, made her bones representing Denis Katsyv another Russian money launderer in 2013, who was convicted of laundering $230 million dollars and ended up paying “millions” in fines (a slap on the wrist.) And if you recall, early in the Trump (cough, gag) presidency, he fired Federal Prosecutor Preet Bharara (despite telling him to stay on) after he called to audit the records of “DeutscheBank” in NY… of whom Trump is their largest debtor owing HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS… for their involvement in (you guessed it) a $10 BILLION dollar Russian money laundering scheme. (More on DeutscheBank’s laundering of millions from Russian-owned national oil company Gazprom here.)

And there’s those words again: “money launderer“. In any discussion of Trump’s connections to Russia, the phrase “money launderer” keeps popping up like weeds on a Trump golf course. That and the words “sweetheart deal” are rarely far behind. From nearly the beginning of his campaign, Trump claimed to be “self-funding” his campaign in order to suggest he was “beholden to no Special Interest” and answered to nobody. Well, it is now well documented that Trump’s “self-funded campaign” was a HUUUGE lie (forgive the Trumpism). He wasn’t even the biggest donor to his campaign (and yes, he only “loaned” money to his campaign expecting to be paid back.) He charged his own campaign for the use of his hotels and private offices. He had a number of SuperPAC’s, and… I posit… received MILLIONS in financial assistance from the Russian government and Russian government connected oligarchs. So if running a “self funded campaign” means one is “not beholden to anyone”, then what does it mean when your entire presidential campaign was practically bankrolled by a hostile foreign government? And not just ANY government, but one that considers North Korea, Syria and Iran among their allies, has invaded several of their neighbors (Crimea, Georgia & Ukraine), and whom Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Joseph Dunford called “the greatest threat to U.S. security” on the planet? (Remember when Obama was president and Republicans tried to claim “Romney was right [about Russia being our greatest threat]” after they invaded Crimea? Where are those Republicans now? Fawning over Putin, that’s where.)

(ADDENDUM: In May, the Sessions Justice Department abruptly settled a lawsuit against Prevezon Holdings for a mere $6 Million. Prevezon stood accused of laundering millions in Russian crime money through real-estate investment in Manhattan. “Veselnitskaya represents the family of Pyotr Katsyv, the former vice governor of the Moscow region, whose son, Denis [mentioned above] owns the real-estate company Prevezon.”)

The possibility that the currently serving president actively & willingly accepted the support of an enemy of the United States (and threat to global security) in order to campaign for president, and that same hostile power may have even attempted to subvert our democracy to do it, is horrifying. AND not only does the acting president continue to deny/dismiss the evidence of those activities (and disparage those who collected it… our OWN intelligence agencies) but even actively seeks to REWARD Russia by promising to lift sanctions and return seized property for NOTHING in return… should be the biggest political scandal in American history (FAR bigger than even Watergate.) Of course, I know there are those of you out there repeating the Trump talking point: “These are the SAME intelligence agencies who told us Iraq had WMD’s!” No. That bullshit won’t fly here. This blog is subtitled “Recording history for those who seek to rewrite it” for a reason. You may remember someone named Valery Plame? An undercover CIA agent who was outed by Cheney because her husband (Amb Joe Wilson) dared inform them their claim Iraq had purchased 20,000 tons of yellowcake uranium never happened? The CIA repeatedly told the Bush Administration that “the ‘intelligence’ provided by untrustworthy Iraqi exiles was garbage” (remember “curveball”?) And the IAEA repeatedly told Bush “NO, Iraq does NOT have WMD’s!” Bush’s response was to ignore them and swap generals until he found people willing to tell him what he wanted to hear. So don’t go claiming “the intelligence agencies are unreliable” as your defense of why evidence of collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia can’t be trusted.

We have NEVER before seen a foreign adversary involve themselves in our election. Not only did they hack the DNC and steal the emails of Hillary’s campaign manager (which in the end was just revelations about some of the offensive crap pulled on Sanders, released to stir up discord among Democrats… which worked), but as we later discovered, they even attempted to hack the central voting servers (tabulators?) in 39 of 50 states. If that’s not a big deal to you, your patriotism and support for democracy is highly in question. But to think they MAY have done so with the support of the current occupant of the White House? There just are no words to describe just how… how… well, like I said, “no words”. “Appalling” just doesn’t cut it.

So when I hear others dismissing this story, making excuses, or people claiming to dislike Trump YET use Trump’s own talking points to dismiss the investigation, I just want to say, “What is WRONG with you???” Even most Republicans now agree Russia meddled in our election (both the House AND Senate voted to impose sanctions on Russia and Iran – ADDENDUM: Trump let the deadline on implementing those sanctions pass on October 1st.) Trump supporters laugh about Democrats’ “obsession” with Russia. “Russia! Russia! Russia!” they joke (ala “Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!”), with one Right-Wing cartoon depicting the GOP elephant talking about “Healthcare, economy and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” while the Democratic donkey (in a straight-jacket with crossed-eyes) ranting “Russia! Russia! Russia!” Funny, it wasn’t terribly long ago Democrats were the ones working on healthcare, jobs and the economy, yet blocked by UNPRECEDENTED GOP obstruction while Republicans ranted about “Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!” and “Kenya! Kenya! Kenya!” So give me a freakin’ break as you try to claim the moral high-ground. “Recording History for Those Who Seek to Rewrite It”, remember? That crap won’t fly here.

So, as Mark “Deep throat” Felt told Bob Woodward during Watergate, let’s “follow the money”…

The 2016 Presidential race made history as “the first Billion-dollar Campaign” in history where each of the top two nominees spent an estimated one Billion dollars to run for president (Trump about 1/3 less than Hillary’s $1.4B thanks to all the free air time & publicity he received from The Media he now so loves to hate.) I remember in 1992 when having Billionaire Ross Perot in the race resulted in the near-scandalous first “$100 Million dollar presidential race.”) Accusations of Perot trying “to buy the presidency” abound. Did you ever hear that ONCE in 2016?

But Trump isn’t as successful a businessman as he claimed… a fact we could confirm if he dared release his private & corporate tax returns… which he will NEVER do (despite once promising he would after his audit, then after winning.) In fact, after having filed for bankruptcy FOUR TIMES, the man who claimed to be worth “over Ten Billion dollars”, according to Forbes Magazine was estimated to only have assets in total worth of about $3.5 Billion… not too shabby, but that’s not LIQUID assets, and his campaign would have cost him nearly a third of his total NET worth… meaning a firesale of Trump assets just to pay for any “self-funded” campaign.

But in terms of LIQUID assets (cash, stocks, bonds, etc), Trump only had about $270 Million in the bank before he’d have to start selling off hotels just to pay the fuel bills on his aging 707. And as I already pointed out, he wasn’t even the biggest investor in his own campaign. So where did all that cash come from?

Well, I’m no accountant and I am NOT about to attempt an itemized audit of all the money spent on the Trump campaign, but we know (see my aforementioned “List”) he received hundreds of millions in bank loans from known Russian money launderers (DeutscheBank AND VEB), sold a $40million dollar property in Florida to a Russian fertilizer magnate (Dmitry Rybolovlev) sight-unseen for $95million (who never once visited the property before having it bulldozed after the election and resold at a $60million dollar loss), and now all these interactions with individual Russian money launderers behind closed doors. “Self-funded campaign” my ass.

I’m sure Trump’s loyal devotees… and likely Trump himself… think he is “carrying on the Reagan Legacy”. Considering that Reagan was a staunch anti-Communist who branded Russia “the Evil Empire” and stirred up the Cold War to levels not seen since The Cuban Missile Crisis, one can hardly imagine St. Ronnie’s reaction to the possibility that the man currently occupying his chair got there with the help of Russian intelligence subverting our democracy and millions in laundered cash from Russia, who then denies Russia’s involvement while advocating for a lifting of sanctions and a return of seized property to Russia in exchange for NOTHING… no consolations, agreements, treaties or prosecutions. If he weren’t already dead, that would surely have killed him.

(UPDATE: My thanks to “The Rachel Maddow Show” for pointing out on their 7/24/17 episode that back in October… before the election… the “CrowdStrike” Internet Security organization detected an unusual link between a computer server belonging to the Trump campaign and computer servers belonging to yet another Russian bank… “Alfa Bank”. According to CrowdStrike: “When the researchers pinged the server, they received error messages” meaning this was a near “dedicated connection” between the two computer servers. “Eighty-seven percent of the DNS lookups (by the Trump server) involved the two Alfa Bank servers.” As a PC tech in civilian life, I understand the lingo of computer networking and find this revelation damning… likely not a bigger story due to it’s complexity, but to me, it’s like finding a key to a Putin Love Nest in Trump’s desk drawer wrapped in a bow.)

This is a Constitutional crisis. Trump himself tweeted about his “complete power” to pardon anyone… even himself, and consulted his own lawyer about his power to pardon members of his staff, his family (think Kushner & Don Jr) and (yes) even himself (“Why?” Trump’s new Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci was asked repeatedly yesterday. “If [Trump] has done nothing wrong, why is he asking about his power to pardon himself?” “He’s done nothing wrong” was the repeated non-answer answer.) There’s a gray area here because the Constitution grants the president the power to pardon “anyone”, but does not specify whether he has the power to pardon himself. During Watergate, the question was raised whether Nixon might try to pardon himself and if that was even legal. After all, if a president can pardon himself (or anyone acting under his direction), he can commit any crime (or order others to do so) and just pardon himself/them after the fact. Legal scholars surmised at the time that this would probably not be legal because a “pardon” is an admission of guilt, which would instantly disqualify him from office. But such a case has NEVER (AFAIK) come before the Supreme Court (I contacted Senator Bernie Sanders about the need to pass a Constitutional Amendment forbidding it before Trump has a chance to put it to the test in front of his now-stacked Supreme Court. So far, no response.)

If you’re a partisan Trump supporter, there’s a “legitimate” question in your mind: Is Trump doing a good enough job that we should just ignore his possible crimes and subversion of democracy? “He’s doing a good job” (in THEIR opinion) “So, let him do the work of the people and just forget about how he got there!” They’d point to a record high stock market, falling unemployment, and an anti-immigration agenda they are foursquare in support of. Trump supporters only see the parts they like. A few weeks ago, my own father cited: “[Trump] stopped Ford [Motors] from leaving the country” in praise of him, but when I pointed out they only closed a plant in Mexico (they had already planed to do in 2015, but I digress) but announced they will be moving production of the Ford Focus to China, he wasn’t quite so pleased with him (the “good” news on the Ford move: no jobs lost because the same US plant will start making a different vehicle. Bad news: no jobs GAINED either by them doing it.)

Honestly, we just don’t know the effects of the Trump economy yet. Each President’s budget doesn’t go into effect until October (and I have little doubt Trump’s will be delayed – UPDATE: It was), so we are still coasting on the last Obama budget.

But even so, do we ignore crimes of this magnitude just because we like the job the criminal is doing? Ask yourself, is there ANY question in your mind that if the tables were turned and Hillary Clinton were in office now with a GOP Congress, that they’d ALREADY be drafting articles of impeachment with a FRACTION of the evidence we have against Donald Trump? Benghazi, private email server, the (widely debunked) sale of Uranium to Ukraine, something-something “Clinton Foundation”? You think these same Republicans would be arguing “Let it go! She’s doing a good job!” That doesn’t pass the Laugh Test.

Trump’s campaign was financed using millions in laundered Russian crime money. And the number of times the phrase “Russian money launder” and the name “Trump” appear in the same sentence is too frequent to just be a coincidence.

Update: “New Republic” magazine’s Craig Unger recently published his own investigation into the Russian Mob laundering crime money through Trump real estate… not just buying & selling, but in some cases operating out of offices in Trump Tower itself. (Brief video interview with Unger here.)
 


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July 24, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Tags: , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Crime, Election, mystery, National Security, Politics, Rants, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Scandals, Seems Obvious to Me

Critics Say Trump Jr Investigation is Evidence of a “Witch Hunt”. Nope, Same Hunt.
July 17, 2017

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I upset a number of readers back in 2014 when I argued that “Snowden is no hero“. Unlike GENUINE whistle-blowers who have my utmost respect, Edward Snowden didn’t see a wrong and attempt to right it, he sought out a job that would give him access to classified info, then stole that info en mas without having any idea if what he was stealing contained anything of social import, fled the country into the open arms of a nation hostile to the U.S., THEN read through everything he stole and decided ON HIS OWN what we deserved to know and what we didn’t. He even blackmailed the U.S. government by threatening to release even more classified documents if they came after him (so we don’t deserve to know what’s in a document unless he’s threatened?) Nothing Snowden did qualifies him as a “whistle-blower” or “hero” worthy of praise in my book.

Someone who agreed with me at the time was American reporter (working for The UK Guardian) Glenn Greenwald who was also a Bernie Sanders supporter like myself. Greenwald criticized Snowden’s actions when the story broke, but quickly changed his tune when Snowden picked HIM to be his inside man to tell his story. I’ve been critical of Greenwald’s “ethics for sale” ever since.

So it came as little surprise to me over the weekend when I heard Greenwald taking the side of critics of the Democrat’s investigation into Donald Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer back in June 2016, questioning if investigating Junior has anything to do with the original mission of “Whether or not the Russians [attempted to] hack our election?” To Greenwald, the investigation of Trump Jr has nothing to do with the original stated purpose of the investigation into alleged Russian hacking, and therefore does indeed make it appear to be a Democratic “witch hunt” just as Trump Jr. claims.

Wrong.

The point of the investigation has ALWAYS been whether or not the Russians meddled in the 2016 presidential campaign (and tangentially, whether or not anyone in the Trump campaign knowingly/willingly accepted that help.) And by that definition, the investigation into Don Jr’s meeting with a Russian lawyer promising him dirt on Clinton is absolutely still well within the focus of the investigation and NOT evidence of any “witch hunt.”

Which is really quite insane coming from Conservatives. I guess one must be over the age of 40 (Junior is 39) to remember the Clinton Presidency and the ceaseless parade of ever-changing investigations of Bill Clinton. The GOP demanded (and got) a Special Prosecutor named Ken Starr… originally hired to investigate whether or not then-Governor Bill Clinton was shown favoritism in a failed Arkansas real estate deal known as “Whitewater”. That SAME investigation morphed REPEATEDLY over time to include investigations of the White House Christmas card list (“were taxpayers footing the bill for all those stamps?”), the “Socks the Cat Fan Club” mailing list (ditto), Trooper-gate (did then-Governor Clinton use local cops to shuttle girlfriends in & out of the Governors’ Mansion?) and eventually the Lewinski Scandal (with plenty of other investigations in between.) Was any of that related to “Whitewater” (their original stated purpose?) Of course not. Was any of that as great a threat to the very foundation of our democracy as the Russian Meddling investigation being conducted today?

And now Conservatives think Democrats are on a “witch hunt”… or so says the man who questioned his predecessor’s place of birth for eight straight years to make the case he was not a legitimate president.

A number of news sources have published timelines of the Don Jr meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskya to question who knew what & when (please note that… unlike in the United States… NOTHING happens concerning Russian citizens conducting business in another country without the Russian government’s knowledge & approval) to demonstrate that members of Trump’s inner-circle… including the man himself… LIED about having no contact with Russian officials during the campaign. To that, I’d like to add a couple of details:

  • June 3, 2016: A friend of the Trump’s, a man named Rob Goldstone, a British publicist who managed the 2013 Miss Universe pageant for Trump (held in Moscow that year), sent an email to Don Jr telling him that the Russian government wanted to assist his father’s campaign by providing him with “high-level information” about Hillary Clinton:
     

    Goldstone Email to Don Jr.

     

    Rather than be alarmed that a (hostile) foreign government was attempting to aid his father’s campaign, and then notify the FBI, Don Jr. held on to the message and waited several days before responding:

  •  

  • On June 6th, 2016, angered by allegations that anyone in his father’s campaign might be “colluding with the Russians” (later their defense would morph into “Russian officials“), Don Jr. went on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to angrily denounce any allegations that anyone in his fathers campaign had been in contact with “the Russians” (again, still not yet using the “officials” qualifier.)
  •  

  • June 7, 2016, THE VERY NEXT DAY, Trump Jr responds to Goldstone’s email, asking him to set up the meeting with Russian lawyer Veselnitskya and that they could meet at Trump Tower in NYC. Don then emails his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and his fathers campaign manager Paul Manafort (who would later be forced to resign when it was revealed he had worked as a lobbyist on behalf of the Russian government) and invites them to join him in the meeting with the Russian lawyer promising dirt on Clinton provided by the Russian government. The inclusion of Manafort is a HUGE problem for the Trump campaign because Don Jr could rationalize that nether he nor Kushner (at the time) actually worked FOR the campaign and therefor what he told GMA (and everyone else) was not a “lie”, but Manafort’s presence destroys that defense.
  •  

  • According to Don Jr, the stated purpose of the meeting was “to discuss Russian/American adoption”… which Putin had suspended in retaliation for the “Magnitsky Act”. Even if that were true, the only way the adoption embargo would end is if that Act (which made Putin quite angry) were repealed, so really, Veselnitskya’s goal was to seek the repeal of “The Magnitsky Act”, not concern over International adoption.
     
    But for Don Jr… who now claims the meeting was just about “adoption”… that was NOT why HE excitedly agreed to the meeting. HIS focus was the promise of “dirt” on Hillary Clinton provided by the Russian government.
  •  

  • Same day, just hours later, Trump Sr. declares he’s going to give “a major speech” in the coming days regarding “all of the things that have taken place with the Clinton’s” that he felt sure his supporters would find “very informative.”
  •  

  • June 9th, 2016, the meeting takes place in Trump Tower (one floor below his father’s office). It quickly becomes apparent to Kushner & Manafort that Veselnitskya had “nothing” and left after “10 minutes”. Don Jr also left the meeting after coming to the same conclusion after 20 minutes. Remember at the the time, accusations were flying that Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC and the stolen Podesta emails that had appeared on a Russian website.) Don Jr. was clearly expecting salacious information revealed in those emails. The fact they produced “nothing” highlights the fact there was nothing highly controversial in those stolen emails to begin with the way many continue to insist.
  •  

  • As a result of this “nothing burger”, Trump Sr’s “major speech” regarding the Clinton campaign never takes place (if he didn’t know about the meeting, then what “very interesting” information did he think he was about to reveal and what happened to it?)

The investigation into the details of Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer… and now we know (no thanks to him) that the meeting also included Goldstone, a Russian/American lobbyist named “Rinat Akhmetshin”, a translator, and a yet-to-be-identified Russian security officer… continues.

Trump Sr. says his son just did “what anyone would have done in his situation” when offered “opposition research”. During the 2000 presidential campaign, just prior to the September debate, the Al Gore Campaign received a package in the mail containing stolen material from the Bush campaign. The Gore Campaign’s response was to call the FBI.

Maybe “excitedly agreeing to meet with a hostile foreign power in hopes of obtaining stolen property you believe will benefit your campaign” is what “anyone with the last name of Trump” might do, but it is definitely not what “anyone” would have done in his position.

And continuing to investigate Russian efforts to meddle in our (past and FUTURE) election(s), and the apparent willingness of people associated with the Trump campaign to support those efforts, is ENTIRELY the point of the Democratic investigation into Russian meddling. A single hack is barely a footnote in this investigation, and if all we did was restrict our focus into “who hacked the DNC”, we’d be ignoring the greatest threat to our democracy since the War of 1812.
 

Conservatives turn on Trump, pt2

 


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

Republicans Can’t Devise a Health Care Plan because they DON’T WANT a plan
July 10, 2017

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Two weeks ago, everyone was expecting the GOP to vote to repeal “ObamaCare” before the July 4th break (with no replacement) just so they could return home to “cheering crowds” to whom they could announce, “We did it! We got rid of ObamaCare!”

Everyone… except Me that is.

I don’t know what kind of fantasy world these people live in, but their efforts to repeal the ACA with no replacement was NOT received warmly… unless you count “torches” as a “warm” reception.

Instead, in town halls across the country, angry voters ridiculed “heartless” GOP efforts to take away their existing healthcare and replace it “later”… “someday soon”… with something really peachy keen. Something “better” than “ObamaCare”, cover “more people” and provide “more choices”. Oh, and it’ll be “cheaper” too!

“Just don’t ask us how.”

The reason why Republicans have yet to devise a health care plan that meets all those criteria (besides the fact it has no basis in reality) is because the very thing they are trying to do… create an entire system of government regulations over health care… is an anathema to everything they believe in. A blind man might be able to paint, and hell, even Beethoven was almost totally deaf when he wrote his last symphony, but there’s a reason you don’t hire a Creationist to teach Science Class, or someone who hates children to babysit your kids. Their heart just isn’t in it. It would be like asking an arsonist to think up ways to put out fires (and once they do, would it shock you to find half their “solutions” require gasoline?)

And there’s a reason you don’t ask Republicans to write bills to regulate an entire life & death industry like health care: Because their first instinct is to burn it to the ground, not find ways to put the fire out.

So in the end, you have Republicans divided between those who WANT to ensure every American has health care, and those who don’t want the government involved in ANY way, shape or form. So is it any wonder Republicans can’t agree on a way to “fix” healthcare?

And they never will, because there just is no middle ground between those two extremes. In the end, if Republicans in Congress DO finally vote on a “solution”, it will be to pawn the whole mess off on the states and let each one come up with their own solution… without ANY assistance from the Federal government. Not in the form of Regulations and (doubtfully) not in the form of financial assistance. In short, the only answer Republicans will be able to agree upon is to do nothing and dump the problem off on someone else (the states.)

And states with Republican governors and/or legislatures won’t want to get involved either, so they will abdicate THEIR power… in this case their state insurance regulatory boards… and just let their residents buy insurance from whatever state with the most lax insurance laws allows them to buy the cheapest, most worthless policies imaginable.

If your goal is to improve the health of every American and improve outcomes, then this plan will fail miserably. But if your plan is for every American to be able to afford a worthless policy (or go completely without if they so choose) that gives everyone a false sense of security at a very low rate, then the GOP plan will be a triumphant success!

A week ago on “Meet the Press”, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) said he wanted Republicans to devise a healthcare plan that moved “upper level” people off Medicare and onto “Private Insurance” because it would allow them to advance in their careers “without fear of losing their insurance” [because they’d make too much money to qualify for Medicare.] In Cassidy’s myopic Conservative view, he simply wants everyone off Medicare and sees it as a hindrance to occupational advancement. Meanwhile, Democrats like me wonder why EVERYONE isn’t guaranteed at least minimum basic coverage through Medicare? You can’t be “kicked off” just for making too much, so Cassidy’s odd concern for people worried about “making too much that may cost them their Medicare”, would no longer be a concern. Medicare is already an in-place and working health insurance program covering millions of Americans. No “new” government system would have to be devised if we just opened it up to everyone.

Think how much every American pays per year for Private Insurance? $5,000? $10,000 per family member? What if you didn’t have to buy private insurance at all (unless you want “Premium” care?) Would you be willing to pay an extra $99/month in taxes for guaranteed basic minimum coverage under Medicare if it meant eliminating those costly private insurance premiums? See any doctor you like (yes, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”) How much would you save? $400/month? $800? A $1,000?

And if you want “Premium” care, like “a private room” when you’re in the hospital, or “Specialists” to treat you when you get sick, you can buy a “supplemental” policy, keeping the insurance companies, medical billing agencies, etc all in business without destroying an entire industry and putting hundreds of thousands out of work?

If Senator Cassidy REALLY wants people to have something “guaranteed” that isn’t taken away just because they make too much money, maybe he needs to talk to some Democrats?

Another option: The Public Option. This is the simplest solution, where Medicare is allowed to compete with Private Insurance. Republicans complain of (Red) states where the people “only have ONE choice” of insurance provider. And without any competition, their rates skyrocket. Let Medicare compete with private insurance. Consumers are instantly given a second choice and private insurance must lower rates to compete. Problem solved.

Except for the fact Republicans DON’T WANT more people on a program they’ve been trying to kill since it’s inception. And private insurance would ALSO still have to accept people with “preexisting conditions” to ensure every person with PXC’s weren’t simply dumped off on Medicare. That’s a “regulation”, and Republicans HATE those! Ronald Reagan called Medicare “a foot in the door to Socialism”, and more recently, Ben “Sleepy” Carson and Sen. Rand Paul both equated guaranteed healthcare with “slavery [for physicians]” (yeah, don’t ask me to explain that.) Sarah Palin… who (shocker) had no clue what she was talking about… terrified the stupid by claiming that a public option would lead to “[government] death panels” (Medicare has been around since 1965. No “Death Panels”… unlike the PRIVATE insurance system we have now that denies thousands of claims daily.) A “Public Option” was part of the Democrats original healthcare plan in 2009. Democrats had exactly 60 senators (briefly. Just 24 working days), just enough to pass any legislation they wanted, except one “Democrat”… a disturbingly Conservative Democrat named Joe Liebermann (best remembered for being part of the Liebermann/McCain/Graham trio that pushed for war in Iraq and then continued to insist victory was always just around the corner for the remainder of the Bush presidency) declared that if The ACA included a “Public Option”, he’d vote with the Republicans to kill it. So the Public Option was stripped out (without a fight), rates went up for many poor Americans (because they could no longer get cheap worthless policies that covered nothing) and many Red state citizens were left with only one choice in their healthcare exchange. Republicans have been using every negative consequence of that decision as an excuse to kill off “ObamaCare” as a “failed” system.

But with the changes to health care Republicans are proposing, you will once again be able to get those cheap worthless policies whose greatest value is in the false sense of security they give you. And to keep rates low, insurance companies will once again be allowed to deny you coverage for a preexisting condition… because in Republican Land, survival of the insurance companies is more important than the survival of its citizens.

In 1994, during President Bill Clinton’s second State of the Union address, he announced his desire for Congress to create a National Healthcare System where every citizen was issued a government insurance card… similar to your Social Security card… that would entitle you to free (“taxpayer financed”) care in any hospital in the country. And Hillary Clinton would be in charge of developing this program. Democrats cheered. Republicans were horrified. A massive new taxpayer funded entitlement? But how to scare people into fearing “free” healthcare? The part about the magnetic strip on the back giving doctors access to all of your medical records was touted as an enormous security risk and/or privacy violation. “Just imagine what someone could DO with all that private information!” they cried. Of course, the technology in 1993 wasn’t advanced enough to fit all of your medical records on a tiny magnet strip that holds at most 256 characters worth of information. But critics started talking about “X-Rays and detailed medical records” all being stored on that tiny card. And “What if you lost it!” Gasp! All of your medical records GONE!

The hysteria reached epic proportions, and you just can’t reason with millions of hysterical irrational people who were being encouraged to be hysterical & irrational by Republicans in Congress. By the end of 1994, the hysteria helped bring about “The Gingrich Revolution” where Republicans seized control of the House of Representatives for the first time in over 40 years.) And with that, healthcare reform was dead.

Until a Democratic majority in the House and Democratic Super Majority in the Senate in 2009, unencumbered by Right Wing hysteria, made tackling it a very real possibility once again.

And now Republicans are in charge. But they don’t have a Super Majority in the Senate, so the only way they can change healthcare is if they do it through “Budget Reconciliation”… changing the existing law in such a way that it doesn’t cost any more money. And THAT only requires 50+1 votes. Yet so far, they can’t even do THAT because (as I pointed out), you can’t ask chronic Deregulators to write a host of new Regulations. Their natural instinct is to kill it.

…Or pass the buck off on the states and let them handle it… which is EXACTLY what I predict they will do (but not anytime soon.) To quote DNC Leader Tom Perez on “Meet the Press” yesterday, “You don’t fight a fire with only 5 gallons of gas.” [sic]
 


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July 10, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Healthcare, Money, myth busting, Partisanship, Party of Life, Right-Wing Insanity, Seems Obvious to Me

The (In)Complete (and Growing) List of Ridiculous Trump Superlatives
July 3, 2017

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(Last update: 11/13/17)
 
When I was in high school, I had a friend who just couldn’t resist making up outrageous lies about himself. Claims of sexual conquests with women we’d never met and near super-human feats of fighting off bad guys with ninja weaponry that always took place just out of the sight of friends or witnesses. And it didn’t matter how much he was ridiculed for his tall tales, he just couldn’t stop himself from telling them. Truthfully, I think it was part of some desperate need to be liked, to impress people, and convince others he was more interesting than he really was. Similarly, the 71 year old man/child currently occupying the White House suffers from this same affliction, making ridiculous boasts of near super-human insight & abilities that you’d expect more from a toddler desperate for the attention of Mommy & Daddy than from the “Commander-in-Chief” of the United States (not “Leader of the Free World”… that title now belongs to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.) Last March, when I couldn’t find a really comprehensive list of every known connection between the Trump Campaign and Russia that I could direct reality-challenged Trump-Supporters to, I started my own. I found myself in a similar situation a couple of weeks ago when Toddler-Trump made his latest absurd claim that he… with the “possible” exception of FDR… had been “the most productive president in American history” by this point in their administration. “What?”, I hear you asking. “Is that true?” No, it’s not true (as if I had to tell you.) Actually, in total, Trump actually comes in fifth… IF you count ALL legislation AND every Executive Order (remember those? Those unbearably “unconstitutional” acts of presidential abuse of power Trump accused Obama of?) as equal. It also helps when you don’t have an “obstruct everything in sight… even stuff they supported” opposition Party in control of Congress stopping you at every turn the way Republicans did to Obama (but I digress.) Like that insecure high-school buddy of mine whom had an almost pathological need to spin tall tales about himself with no connection to reality in a desperate bid to impress people, Trump likewise has this absurd childlike need to convince everyone he is the biggest, greatest, “most successful”, smartest person on the planet and we mere mortals are damn lucky to have him toiling for us in the salt mines of Mar-a-Lago, asking nothing in return… all the while making absurd claims about himself often refuted by documented history, facts, even audio tapes and photographic evidence to the contrary.

I noticed this ridiculous habit of his early on in his campaign, but HBO’s Bill Maher also mentioned it on his show RealTime a few moths ago, noting how Trump can’t simply be “good” at something, he must always be “the best. No one is greater than me” to the point of absurdity.

Trump’s very first public meeting of his full cabinet a couple of weeks ago became an embarrassing spectacle as each cabinet member (sans McMaster) took turns stroking Trump’s massive ego & kissing his ass, fawning over him like he just cured cancer in his spare time, telling him what an amazing man he is and what an honor it is to be serving in his administration. Feeding his narcissism the way the office-lackey tells the boss his butt-ugly new baby is the most adorable child they’ve ever seen in their lives.

I searched online for a single comprehensive list of every absurd Trump superlative but only found a few lists of some of his “greatest hits”. So, like my continually updated list of Trump/Russia ties [link under “Most Popular” on right], I’ve decided to start my own continually updated list of Ridiculous Trump Superlatives that I plan to update for as long as he remains in office (which, God Willing, won’t be long.) Note that I’m quite confident I’ll be updating this list often because… no matter how many times you warn him, Toddler-Trump just HAS to touch the hot stove. If Sarah Palin has proven anything: birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, and stupid people just gotta say stupid stuff in public. You might as well ask the wind to stop blowing.

So I scoured the Internet for ridiculous Trump claims of being “the best…” at something or “the most…” regarding himself or something that was impacted by his greatness. Here (in no particular order) is my Starter List of absurd Trump boasts (BTW, NONE of these boasts are true.) Try not to let your eyes roll out of your head:

  1. The incident that got me started on this list, Trump’s recent claim: Never has there been a president — with few exceptions, in the case of FDR he had a major Depression to handle — who’s passed more legislation, who’s done more things than what we’ve done.”June 12, 2017 (Trump has not had a single major legislative accomplishment since taking office despite having his own Party in control of Congress. No immigration bill, the wall still isn’t being been built, “ObamaCare” hasn’t been Replaced, ISIS hasn’t been defeated, China is still manipulating their currency, and on & on…)
  2.  

  3. Trump bragged of having the foresight to oppose the invasion of Iraq… even AFTER having been caught on tape SUPPORTING the war in an interview on Howard Stern’s radio show. Trump countered by claiming he had confided to Fox’s Sean Hannity… in private… that he had argued against the invasion of Iraq, citing an interview on Hannity’s radio show months AFTER the invasion as “proof”.
  4.  

  5. “Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” – Trump’s Facebook page, May 5, 2016
  6.  

  7. “I write a book called The Art of the Deal, the No. 1 selling business book of all time.” – Trump on the Don Lemon radio show, July 1, 2015
  8.  

  9. “I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life.” – Feb 16, 2017
  10.  

  11. “[P]riming the pump… Have you heard that expression used before? I haven’t heard it … I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good.” – Trump in an interview with The Economist, May 11, 2017 (I saw an old 1974 episode of Johnny Carson the other day where he joked about Nixon’s idea of “priming the pump” was to spike gas prices to distract from Watergate.)
  12.  

  13. [My building at 40 Wall Street] “is now the tallest building in Lower Manhattan.” – Trump calling in to WWOR Channel 9 News in NY making the false claim/brag just hours after the 9/11 attacks left nearly 3,000 people dead.
  14.  

  15. “Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.” – in a 2013 tweet.
  16.  

  17. “I Know Words, I Have The Best Words.” – Dec 30, 2015
  18.  

  19. “I’m, like, a smart person.” […] “I went to the Wharton School of Finance. I got very good marks. I was a good student. It’s the best business school in the world, as far as I’m concerned.” […] “Look, if I were a liberal Democrat, people would say I’m the super genius of all time. The super genius of all time.”
  20.  

  21. “We have a lot of smart people. I tell you what. One thing we’ve learned. We have, by far, the highest IQ of any cabinet ever.” – Jan 19, 2017
  22. (UPDATE: After Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly called Trump “an F***ing moron” in July (2017), Trump said “if it’s true” he’d challenge him to an IQ test and suggested he’d win. Like any toddler, Trump has a history of challenging people to IQ tests when he feels threatened.)
     

  23. “Just arrived in Italy for the G7. Trip has been very successful. We made and saved the USA many billions of dollars and millions of jobs.” — May 26, 2017.
  24.  

  25. Spicer: Trump’s “historic” speech to the leaders of more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations “was a historic turning point that people will be talking about for years to come” and “was met with nearly universal praise.” [The president] single-handedly united the civilized world in the fight against terrorism and extremism” and that his meetings at the Group of Seven summit in Sicily “were marked by outstanding success.”
  26.  

  27. “We’ve had ‘one of the most successful 13 weeks’ in history.” – Trump on his first 100 days. April 6, 2017
  28.  

  29. “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” – Nov 27, 2016 (No, no you didn’t.)
  30.  

  31. I’m the biggest developer in New York by far. There’s nobody even closer.” – Trump on the pilot episode of The Apprentice.
  32.  

  33. Trump in front of CIA memorial: [The inaugural crowd] “looked honestly like a million-and-a-half people. It went all the way back to the Washington Monument. [But instead of the crowds, the media showed] an empty field and it said we drew [only] 250,000 people. Now that’s not bad, but it’s a lie.”
    Sean Spicer the next day: “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe”.
  34.  

  35. “I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.” – Feb 16, 2017 (It wasn’t even the biggest Electoral College win since Obama. Only one-termers Poppy Bush and Carter received fewer EV’s.)
  36.  

  37. “Elijah Cummings was in my office and he said, ‘You will go down as one of the great presidents in the history of our country.’” (No. Actually, Cummings said “You could, IF you…”)
  38.  

  39. “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!” – May 18, 2017. (So says the man who challenged the legitimacy of his predecessor by questioning his place of birth for nine years.)
  40.  

  41. [The] “most unfairly treated politician in history.” (So the list goes Trump, Gandhi, Mandela, Lincoln. Got it.)
  42.  

  43. I would use the greatest minds. I know the best negotiators. I’m in New York — I know the good ones, the bad ones. I always say: ‘I know the ones people think are good.’ I know people you’ve never heard of that are better than all of them.” (He then appoints Ben “Sleepy” Carson… a surgeon… to head HUD, and Rick “Oops” Perry to head the very department (DoE) he once said we needed to get rid of… not knowing it was in charge of our Nuclear Weapons.)
  44.  

  45. “Hillary Clinton was the worst secretary of state in the history of the United States. Hillary was the worst. In the history of the United States there’s never been a secretary of state so bad as Hillary.
     
  46.  

  47. I’m the most militaristic person.” (Except for that time he avoided serving in Vietnam. And is being “the most militaristic” really a good thing?)
  48.  

  49. “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” (Often, Trump attributes divine favor for his talents.) Fact-check: He’s off to a bad start.
  50.  
    And most famously…
     

  51. “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” Trump’s doctor, Dr. Harold Bornstein in the statement released by Trump’s campaign. Dec 14, 2015
     
    Fat Trump

 
(In case you’re looking for it, I thought Trump had said, “Nobody will be a bigger defender/supporter of LGBTQ Rights than me”… or something along those lines, but he never did. At the RNC Convention, he only promised: “As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” [I guess “foreign” being the operable word here.] And in a tweet, stated: “Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.” And now that he’s in office, he (falsely) declares (part 1, part 2, part 3): After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow……” [cue 9 minute freak out as military wonders just what the Toddler-in-Chief “won’t allow”.] “….Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming…..” [4 more minutes] “….victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you”. Thank you? Seriously?)
 


 

Update #1: Found this video online of Trump claiming to be The Best at various things:
 


 

Claims made in the video:

  1. “No one can do it [the job of president] like me.”
  2.  

  3. “Nobody is stronger than me [as a candidate].”
  4.  

  5. “Nobody has better toys than I do.” (yeah, that’s what he said.)
  6.  

  7. “Nobody is bigger or better at the military than I am.” (Bigger?)
  8.  

  9. “Nobody loves the Bible more than I do.” (Sorry, Pope dude!)
  10.  

  11. “I will build a great wall . . . and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me.” – (China built a fairly “Great Wall”, too.)
  12.  

  13. “Nobody’s better to people with disabilities than me.” (yeah, we know how great you are towards the disabled.)
  14.  

  15. “Nobody is fighting for the veterans like I’m fighting for the veterans.” (In response to charges his veterans charity was a fraud.)
  16.  

  17. “There’s nobody who’s done so much for equality as I have.” – (Beyond his recent move to kick Transgender soldiers out of the military, on 8/31/17, Trump repealed a key component of the “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act” that requires corporations to report pay by race & gender, saving corporations a whopping $400/yr.)
  18.  

  19. “There’s nobody more pro-Israel than I am.”
  20.  

  21. “There is nobody more Conservative than me.”
  22.  

  23. “There is no one who respects women more than I do.” (Just ask Megan Kelly!)
  24.  

  25. “Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump.” (There’s just something about people who refer to themselves in the third person…)
  26.  

  27. “Nobody has ever had crowds like Trump has had.”
  28.  

  29. “There’s nobody that understands the horror of nuclear [sic] better than me.” (Nuclear what? Weapons? Power? And the Empire of Japan would like to have a talk with you.)
  30.  

  31. “Nobody understands it better than me. It’s called ‘devaluation’ [of Chinese currency].” (He says while glancing down at his notes.)
  32.  

  33. “The sale of the uranium that nobody knows what it means. ‘I’ know what it means!”
  34.  

  35. “Nobody knows more about trade than me.”
  36.  

  37. “Nobody knows the game better than me.”
  38.  

  39. “Nobody in the history of this country has known so much about infrastructure as Donald Trump.”
  40.  

  41. “I know the H1B. I know the H2B. Nobody knows it better than me.” (Types of work visas for hiring foreigners.)
  42.  

  43. “Nobody knows politicians better than I do.”
  44.  

  45. “Nobody knows more about taxes than I do.” (Especially how to avoid paying them.)
  46.  

  47. “Nobody knows more about debt than I do.” (Because he’s spent so much time in it?)
  48.  

  49. “Nobody knows the system better than me.”

 
…and many, MANY more to come I’m sure. Trump calls The Media “liars” because they keep calling him out on his lies… lies that he is dead certain are in fact the truth. That list may seem much shorter than you were expecting (and I might have missed a few), but… while a few are several years old… for the most part, it comes to about two outrageous boasts per month since he declared his candidacy 24-months ago.
 


 
Update #2: Trump announced at a “rally” in Youngstown, Ohio (7/26/17) that, “With the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that’s ever held this office.” Previously in March of this year, Trump said of Lincoln, “Great president. Most people don’t even know he was a Republican. Right? Does anyone know? A lot of people don’t know that.” I guess he’s never heard HIS OWN PARTY refer to themselves as “The Party of Lincoln” for the past 37 years? Once again, Trump is amazed to learn something every child knows, because he only now at the age on 71 has started paying attention and thinks he’s imparting rare wisdom among the masses (his ego assumes if he didn’t know, then most people don’t.) And considering his fan-base, he may be right.

Update #3: Trump falsely claims the head of the Boy Scouts called to praise him for his speech before the Boy Scout jamboree last week claiming he was told he gave “the greatest speech that was ever made to them.” Trump’s speech was widely ridiculed for making the speech political (30 seconds after he said he wouldn’t), ridiculing President Obama for not visiting their last event and bragging of his (fictional) political “successes”. While it is possible the Scouts are the ones lying about calling Trump (yeah, right), it is unlikely they told him he gave “the greatest speech ever.”

Update #4: Even a natural disaster can’t simply be bad in the age of Trump, it must be The biggest ever. It’s historic. There’s never been anything like it.” (presumably to heighten his handling of it.) Hurricane Harvey strikes the Texas coast as a Category-4 and dumps a massive amount of rain. For the record, 31 Cat-5 hurricanes have struck the U.S. since 1924.

Update #5: In July, during his very first trip to Europe as president, Trump boasted of the reception he received in Poland, declaring: “So I go to Poland and make a speech. Enemies of mine in the media, enemies of mine are saying it was the greatest speech ever made on foreign soil by a president.

Update #5b: (Not a Trump superlative, but a crucial addition to this list) White House spokesperson KellyAnn Conway goes on the Christian Broadcasting Network and tells televangelist Pat Robertson (with a straight face) that Trump’s greatest trait is “his humility.”

Update #6: Also related to the above, from Trump’s post-victory interview on 60 Minutes, Trump bragging to Leslie Stahl about how humble he is, declaring “I think I’m more humble than YOU can understand.”

Update #7: October 19, 2017, one day short of the one-month anniversary of Cat-4 Hurricane Maria hitting the island of Puerto Rico, 81% still without electricity. 30% still without clean drinking water, 5,000 people still living in shelters [ibid], a hospital ship (the USS Comfort) that wasn’t deployed until nearly a WEEK after the hurricane had passed (with 1,000 beds and only EIGHT patients), 48 “official” deaths (but with limited communications and no support teams reporting, the death toll is likely over 450)… Trump, when asked to grade his performance on responding to the disaster in Puerto Rico, gave himself a 10 out of 10. A Perfect Score. Meaning he thinks not only was there nothing he could have done better, but that it has been a huge success, That’s not just ridiculous, that’s a disconnect from reality.

Update #8: Following the deaths of four Special Ops soldiers massacred in a botched mission in Niger, Trump was criticized by the widow of Sgt LaDavid Johnson, claiming Trump told her “Your guy knew what he was getting into” and could not remember the name of her dead husband. Trump, on the defensive regarding his call to Johnson’s widow, insists he “knew LaDavid’s name and said it from the very beginning.” Trump denied to reporters that he had forgotten LaDavid’s name, stating: “[I have] one of the great memories of all time!” – October 25, 2017

Update #9: As his first trip to Asia draws to a close, Trump brags of his reception in Beijing: “It was red carpet like nobody, I think, has probably ever received. While hard to confirm, it does appear correct that Trump is the first American president China has literally rolled out the red carpet for. China knows how to play to Trump’s ego, and Trump couldn’t help but eat it up.
 

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July 3, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: General, myth busting, rewriting history, Right-Wing Insanity

Conway Admits Trump Told of Russian Hacking in JANUARY yet continued to deny. Pushed to ease sanctions.
June 26, 2017

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It was a bit like hearing someone mention in passing that “little green men” are advising Trump on foreign policy and thinking nothing of it. Yesterday/Sunday, the Trump administration allowed adviser KellyAnn Conway out of whatever box they’ve been hiding her in ever since she coined the term “Alternative facts” during “Meet the Press” last January, to repeat/defend Trump’s recent acknowledgement of reality the fact Russia DID indeed attempt to hack the 2016 election. Trump tweeted last week an accusation that Russian hacking took place “on Obama’s watch and yet he did nothing about it.” Ignoring for a moment the false charge that Obama “did nothing about it” (an extensive detailing of Obama’s response by the WaPo), the bigger news was that Trump seems to have finally acknowledged what he has denied ever since the election: that Russia DID indeed attempt to hack the U.S. presidential election. Trump has consistently denied this to be the case (yet never once ordering the FBI/CIA/NSA to look into it), rejecting the conclusion of SEVENTEEN (pdf) intelligence agencies and security firms ALL in agreement that without question, Vladimir Putin himself directed his intelligence/spy agencies to actively hack at least 21 state election servers during the 2016 election. So my ears perked up in astonishment when Conway let slip yesterday that Trump… while still president-elect… had been informed way back in JANUARY that Russia had attempted to hack our election AND that he called those actions “disgraceful”. So why… as recently as LAST WEEK… was Trump STILL dismissing claims of Russian hacking and pushing Congress to lift/ease sanctions on Russia imposed by the Obama Administration in retaliation for that meddling?

Here is the passing remark made by Conway during ABC’s ThisWeek that caused my eyes to bulge out of my head:
 

(:50 seconds)

 

WHAT??? Trump was not only informed of the hacking five months ago, but acknowledged it as both true and serious, yet not only continued to deny it, but even worked to REWARD them for it???

How is that not a scandal?

Ask yourself WHY would a president actively try to convince Americans that something “didn’t happen” that he himself already acknowledged months before to be true? Not only that, but then go on to actively try to reduce… or possibly lift entirely… sanctions that were imposed upon Russia as punishment for doing so?

Tell me again how the investigation into possible Trump/Russia collusion is “a witch hunt”?

I have continued to update my List of Trump’s Russia Ties since it was published last March. Since then, I have added more than TWENTY additional links (in addition to the more than dozen original links) between the Trump campaign and Russian officials/representatives. STILL, people ask “where’s the evidence of collusion?” (The next big line of defense to listen for: Right-Wingers are already arguing “collusion [a presidential candidate collaborating with a hostile foreign government to undermine our election] is not a crime.” Seriously. Think they’d be just as blase’ about it if it were Hillary? (I seem to remember Republicans making a big stink over All Gore accepting campaign contributions from Buddhist monks back in 2000.)

Defenders of Trump and/or Russia have little to no credibility. Present them with evidence, and their reaction is to simply dismiss it out-of-hand. But provide a link to a partisan hack with zero credibility defending Trump by citing something out of context, and THAT’S gospel. I group Russian-hacking deniers in the same crowd as Climate Change deniers. No amount of evidence is proof enough for them. Cranks with their own agenda talk about the ONE glacier that’s “growing” to distract from the 99 that are shrinking as some sort of “proof” that everything we’ve been told about Global Warming is some bizarre conspiracy to advance some insane agenda known only to them. “9/11 Truthers” continue to deny any evidence that contradicts what they’ve convinced themselves is true (the most sophisticated and massive conspiracy in history pulled off by the most inept administration in history just months into office) because it doesn’t comport with their reality. The only “truth” they trust is that which “confirms” what they already desperately want to believe (Fox built an entire network on that philosophy. And InfoWar’s Alex Jones is their light-bringer.)

James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence testified on May 8th that he “can’t comment” on whether or not he has seen evidence linking Trump to Russia because it “impacts an [active] investigation.” Before FBI Director James Comey was fired, he asked for more resources to investigate Trump’s Russian business ties and had started receiving briefings on those ties daily instead of just weekly. Trump had already previously fired two people with the power to investigate him: Preet Bharara, NY State Attorney in charge of investigating NYC/Wall Street financial crimes, and acting Attorney General Sally Yates… who informed Trump his National Security Director (Mike Flynn) lied about his ties to Turkey & Russia yet kept him on for more than three weeks afterwards anyway, before firing him when the Press started asking questions.

If Hillary Clinton had won the election and was accused of these same acts, is there ANY doubt Republicans would already be drafting Articles of Impeachment against her? At the Comey hearing last month, several Republicans used the event to question Comey about Hillary Clinton, her emails, and her husband having a private “chat” with then Attorney General Loretta Lynch. For Republicans, Trump publicly admitting to “obstruction of justice” on national TV, and now one of his own top advisors admitting that he actively sought to convince the American public that a charge HE HIMSELF knew to be true (Russian hacking) was instead “fake news” and has been actively trying to reduce/remove the sanctions imposed on Russia for doing so in spite of knowing the truth, isn’t a matter worthy of our concern. That’s beyond outrageous…

…It’s grounds for impeachment.
 


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June 26, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Crime, Election, mystery, myth busting, National Security, Partisanship, Politics, Rants, rewriting history, Right-wing Facism, Right-Wing Insanity, Scandals, Seems Obvious to Me

Wanna Understand Trump? Think Omerta
June 12, 2017

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Let’s imagine for a moment that Donald Trump is totally innocent and his campaign did not knowingly welcome or accept Russian assistance during the 2016 election, any other mature & conscientious president of the United States would want to know if reports that a hostile foreign government… one Trump has praised and repeatedly spoken of in favorable terms (even suggesting he’d revoke sanctions against them in exchange for NOTHING)… may or may not be true. One might want to know if that hostile foreign power attempted to subvert our election (even if it were in their favor.) But immature man-child Toddler Trump thinks ANY discussion of Russia is merely “sour grapes” by his opponents seeking to undermine his legitimacy. James Comey testified last week that Russia attempted “hundreds… perhaps even a thousand… but at least hundreds” of times to hack into election computers. This is not the simple stealing of private emails, folks, this is actively attempting to undermine our very democracy itself! And Donald Trump (and Republicans at large) don’t seem to care. As Comey also pointed out, “They will try this again! They will try in 2018 and 2020.” So WHY isn’t Trump concerned? I posit because he already knows the answer and KNOWS any closer investigation might lead back to him, so instead of calling for an investigation to reveal the truth (knowing he has nothing to fear), he repeatedly tries to shutdown that investigation.

Trump acts as though he’s “untouchable”… with all the confidence of a crooked mayor knowing he has the cops on his payroll. A Mob Boss that’s in control of the police dept. No need to worry about any investigation. He’ll just order them to drop it, and if they don’t, fire them and replace them until he finds someone who will (a few weeks ago we discussed Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” where he kept replacing his Attorney General until he found one who would fire the Special Prosecutor investigating him (Archie Cox.) Trump fired NY Attorney General Prett Bharara (who gave his first interview since Trump fired him on ABC’s “ThisWeek” yesterday where he clearly sided with Comey and questioned Trump’s veracity), the man in charge of investigating Trump’s New York business dealings. According to Bharara, then “president-elect” Trump called him “twice” to “shoot the breeze” (aka: letting him know he’s on Trump’s radar. A subtle form of intimidation)… something he felt was odd having never spoken to President Bush and only once to President Obama as he left office. Trump personally summoned Bharara to Trump Tower to ask if he was staying on, twice encouraging him to do so. Since Trump was only “president-elect” at the time, he chalked it up to his unfamiliarity with procedure, but when Trump called him a third time… this time as acting president… Bharara refused to return the call. Shortly after, he was fired.

Before Congress had approved Trump’s pick of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, the job was temporarily filled by the former Assistant AG Sally Yates… again at Trump’s insistence. Yates was fired the week before Sessions was confirmed when she started bringing up the fact she had warned the Trump campaign months before that Michael Flynn lied about his lobbying activity and was a potential blackmail risk, yet Trump hired him anyway. Session was approved a week later in a contentious vote that was anything but a sure thing (we could have been left without an Attorney General for weeks… possibly even months when he fired Yates.

Then came James Comey. Like Bharara & Yates before him, Trump had personally asked Comey to stay on and never hinted as to having any problem with his past work. Yet, suddenly, he was fired, and the excuse given (his mistreatment of Hillary), still doesn’t pass the Smell Test.

It is a rare day when Senator Lindsey Graham and I agree on anything, but yesterday on “Face the Nation”, he pointed out that Russian meddling does NOT necessarily mean Trump’s win wasn’t legitimate. He was absolutely correct in pointing out the two things are not mutually exclusive. It IS possible for Trump to have won fair & square AND for Russia to have attempted to meddle in our election. I often wonder what it would be like if the roles were reversed, if Hillary had won and there was a question that a country like Saudi Arabia may have attempted to hack the election in her favor? But instead of investigating the Saudi’s, Hillary praised them and proposed favorable legislation that benefited them. “Nothing suspicious there! No’siree, Bob!” And any suggestion otherwise is “a witch hunt” designed to sabotage her presidency. (Hell, even during Comey’s testimony, several Republican Senators grilled him regarding the investigation into Hillary’s emails, including one very confused John McCain calling it “a double standard” to have closed the investigation into Hillary’s emails with the question of Russian hacking still open (yeah, don’t bother trying to figure that one out.)

Comey testified last Thursday that he was so concerned about Trump’s “history of saying untruthful things”… later even going so far as to use the “L” Word several times… that he started taking contemporaneous notes after every encounter, and that he never felt the need to do so when working for Bush or Obama. That’s disturbing. The Head of the FBI expressing his concern that The President of the United States’ “history of “lying” was so concerning to him that he immediately felt… from their very first meeting… the need to not just to document their conversations, but immediately share what he was told with his colleagues in the Justice Department after each encounter.

A clearly confused Donald Trump accused Comey of lying under oath when he stated that Trump had suggested to him that he “drop the Flynn investigation”. Trump was asked whether he himself would ALSO testify “under oath”. “ONE HUNDRED PERCENT” Trump replied… “Not under oath” he immediately added. So, would he or wouldn’t he be willing to testify “under oath”? (You might remember that Bush & Cheney refused to testify “under oath” and only together not separately… assummedly to ensure they kept their stories straight.)

I’m still not entirely clear as to what Trump was trying to say in that clip. [ibid] The first time I heard it (and what prompted me to go back and record it) was him saying “Not under oath” after just saying he’d be willing to testify under oath “100%”. But after repeated viewings, Trump seems to be going back to Comey claiming he asked him for his “loyalty”… calling THAT “under oath… a pledge of allegiance? Who does that?” Trump… in a Palinesque moment… seemed to think the reporter was trying to “trick him” in some way. “How” is anyone’s guess. But chronically dumb Republicans (Palin, Bachmann, Perry, Carson, and now Trump) that are routinely embarrassed by their moronic statements become SO paranoid that they second-guess every question they are asked as some sort of “gotcha” question designed to make them look dumb. So they overthink their answer and inevitably end up sounding every bit the moron we know them to be. And (I suspect), such was the case here. I also think “Two Corinthians” Trump has no qualms against perjuring himself when it’s just “my word against yours” with no other witnesses but “God”.

So, back to Trump’s suspicious behavior.

I strive not to reveal details about myself as much as possible on this blog, but in this instance, I think it’s important to make an exception: I’m Italian. 3rd generation. The Mafia is very real, alive & well in the U.S. as well as Italy and not just the stuff of movies. Trump’s Mob ties are well documented. One can’t be in the Real Estate business in a major metropolitan area without dealing with Construction firms & Contractors linked to The Mob, and no one gets very far in the Real Estate Development business in New York (or Vegas, or Atlantic City, or Miami Beach, etc) unless they please The Mob. People often ask why the 58-story Trump Tower is constructed out of brick & concrete instead of steel & glass (roughly the maximum height for a concrete structure.) That’s because The Mob ain’t IN the “steel & glass” business. They’re in the “brick & mortar” business (“cement shoes” are easy to come by when you make your own cement). A close relationship formed, and the bigger & more powerful you are, the closer that relationship becomes. One might even begin to think that dealing with dictators like Putin or Kim Jong Un might be easy compared to working with the criminal underworld.

One thing you learn working with The Mafia are their techniques for staying out of trouble. There’s a reason they called John Gotti “The Teflon Don”. It’s because he knew how to make sure there was never any clear evidence linking him to any of The Mafia’s crimes. The word “Omerta” (oh-MARE-tah) is the Italian Mob word for “Code of Silence”. Keep your mouth shut and don’t cross The Don. We all know their famous use of innuendo from the movies: “You’se wants me to take cares of him, Boss?” They take pains not use words like “kill” or “shoot him” when giving orders, just in case someone’s listening in. “Ah ha! There! He gave the order himself to have someone murdered! Bust him!” Instead, it’s “take care of” someone as if they were their sweet old mother. How the person receiving that request reacts is totally up to them, or so we should believe. So Trump saying, “I hope you’ll drop this” and now hiding behind “I never ordered him to do anything” doesn’t pass the smell test. Trump is a hotel mogul. If he told the manager of one of his hotels, “I hope the Penthouse is ready when my friends come to visit tomorrow”, you can be DAMN-well sure that Penthouse will be immaculate by tomorrow. And if the manager simply took it as a “suggestion, not an order” (the way Trump is now implying) and does nothing, is there ANY question that manager would be out of a job the following day?

Another thing The Mob is known for: “Family is everything.” That’s why they’re known as Crime Families, because when you get right down to it, the only people they trust are “family”. There is NO outsider they completely trust, so their circle of most trusted advisers are members of their own family. Sound like anyone you know? Trump’s top advisors are his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared. And the more they feel the world around them is closing in on them as their paranoia grows, the more they turn to those close family members for support & advice as the only people in the world they trust. And if you want to keep your job, you’ll kiss the Don’s ring. “Loyalty is very important to me.” (The “Capisce?” at the end is implied.)

Once you realize that Trump views EVERYTHING through the prism of being a Mob-connected shady real estate developer, working with known criminals, making questionable business deals under the table, hiding your taxes and avoiding saying anything “directly” that might get him in trouble due to the paranoia that you’re under constant surveillance, his entire behavior to date starts to make sense.

So Trump ushered everyone else out of the room to talk to FBI Director Comey privately about Mike Flynn. Not even Attorney General Jeff Sessions and wunderkind Son-in-Law Jared Kushner were allowed to remain. Why? Comey describes them “lingering, reluctant to leave” after they were asked to do so by Trump. And this is understandable if you’ve spent as much time around Trump as they have and know that when he asks everyone to leave so he can speak to someone “in private”, it means he’s about to do something he probably shouldn’t and wants to make sure there are “no witnesses” who might contradict him later or otherwise testify against him… just the way a Mob Boss might do.

The mere fact Trump told everyone… even his AG… to leave the room before speaking to Comey suggests “consciousness of guilt”. He KNEW he was about to say or do something that might get him in trouble. As Bharara pointed out yesterday: Trump campaigned for days criticizing the fact former President Clinton met in private with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch onboard a private jet on the Phoenix airport tarmac (possibly to discuss the investigation into Hillary’s emails), so “he KNEW that a president discussing an open investigation with the person in charge was improper” (possibly even “criminal”), “so Trump can’t claim ignorance” (“hypocrisy” definitely, but not “ignorance”.)

After Comey went public with their conversation (which everyone from Trump on down is now calling Comey “a leaker” for doing), Trump later said Comey “better hope there are no recordings” of their private conversation, yet refuses to say if he himself made a recording of their conversation. I’ve always thought it very odd for Trump to question whether or not he himself might have made a recording of something that took place in the Oval Office. Wouldn’t he know? Why not just say, “I have proof! I recorded our conversation!” Instead, he’s suggesting (not “promising”) he may release something in the next few days that would be “very disappointing” to his accusers (the only thing that would “disappoint” us is if this just turned out to be yet another lie.) BTW: Comey releasing his own private notes of a conversation that was NOT classified is not “leaking”. If that were the case, simply speaking to any reporter would be a crime. Fortunately, we have a First Amendment (for now.)

If Trump has a recording that exonerates him, why would he hem & haw about releasing it, acting coy regarding its very existence? Reporters simply asked if he was insinuating he recorded their conversation and yet he won’t say. Remember what I said above about “Palinesque paranoia”? I believe Trump thinks he’s under surveillance and that someone else surreptitiously recorded their conversation. Remember when he falsely accused President Obama of secretly wiretapping him? I have NO doubt Trump believes the Oval Office is bugged and that “someone” must have recorded his private conversation with Comey. All he needs are “a few days” for his Justice Department, the Secret Service, private bodyguards or P.I.’s to dig up this fanciful recording that (in his paranoia) he is certain must exist yet can’t produce, believing it will fully exonerate him.

Or maybe he has good reason to believe “someone else” is bugging his office. Could it be that Trump has reason to believe the Russians have bugged the Oval Office? Might he have received subtle messages that suggest they overheard private conversations they could not possibly have known of otherwise? Maybe he thinks he just needs a few days to convince the Russians to turn over the tape of his conversation with Comey? And Trump doesn’t have to reveal where the recording came from once he releases it, he can just say he recorded it himself.

Another point is that The Italian Mob isn’t the only “Mafia” out there. What about The Russian Mob? Could it be we are looking at the wrong Russians? Just a thought.

(UPDATE 7/27/17: A member of the Russian Mob, Oleg Deripaska, paid Paul Manafort $7.5 Million to manage the attempted 2008 redevelopment of The Drake Hotel in NYC by Manafort and Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash.)
 


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June 12, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Crime, Election, mystery, National Security, Right-wing Facism, Scandals

Trump Says Paris Accord Too Tough. Staff Justifies Backing Out Because It Wasn’t Tough Enough
June 5, 2017

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During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly dismissed the very existence of Global Warming, even tweeting (and publicly declaring) that “global warming” was just something “made up by the Chinese” to gain an economic advantage as everyone else supposedly curbs their manufacturing while they ramp up their own. He also dismissed it as a money-making industry”. What kind of “successful businessman” belittles the greatest business opportunity since The Internet as “just a way for people to make money”??? It is difficult to quantify the mind-numbing stupidity of such a remark. The fact it’s held by the man who ran for president on his reputation as “a successful businessman” who would know how to negotiate a great deal for the American people, and is now running the most powerful nation of Earth, is horrifying.

The concept of “Global Warming” is not new. It’s not a recent concoction of the Chinese made up in the 1990’s. And just WHO does Trump think is getting rich off promoting this “hoax”? Scientists? WHO has more financial motive to convince you “Climate Change” isn’t real? Scientists making teacher’s wages, or the Trillion dollar fossil fuel industry? If the goal of China is to convince others Global Warming is real only to distract other nations’ economies, how come China is one of the biggest investors in Green Technology, imposing some of the most stringent environmental regulations in the world upon itself? The Shanghai MagLev is the fastest commuter train in the world, ferrying people at a mind-blowing 360Kph. That wasn’t Capitalism that did that. That was the largest Communist dictatorship on Earth.

Former Vice President Al Gore, in his famed 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth“, talked about his college professor back in the 1960’s first describing the infamous climate “hockey stick” graph projecting a rapid rise in average global temperatures over the coming century:
 

The hockey-stick graph

 
And that projection has been right on the money.

Seven years ago, I wrote an op/ed regarding how Conservatives like George Will would frequently cite false claims in the late 1970’s of “Global Cooling” and “the coming Ice Age” to justify ridiculing fears over “Global Warming” today. There were several flaws to this argument. First and foremost, there was almost NO science behind the claim. The consensus was simply “we’re due”. “It’s been over 10,000 years since the last Ice Age, and they occur roughly every 10,000 years”, so we’re past due. The same way California is “way overdue” for a massive Earthquake. Just because “we’re due” isn’t a scientific argument that compares to the MASSIVE amount of science to back up the evidence of man-made Climate Change we know to be true today. Second, what little science there was at the time, it WAS detecting changes in the climate even back then, except drawing the wrong conclusion: more particulate matter in the atmosphere isn’t “reflecting light” to result in a cooling of the planet, it’s trapping heat like a blanket and causing the Earth to warm. Right observation; wrong conclusion. Which leads to point #3: We know more about climate science today than we did 40 years ago.

So Trump has quite publicly taken the position of the Far Far Right… territory staked out by Evangelical End-Timers and tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorists… that Climate Change is either an invention of Lefty Liberal Scientists as a way to keep that sweet-sweet government funding flowing into their research coffers AND/OR a made-up invention of the Chinese to convince other countries to impose “job killing regulations” and waste Billions of dollars to hamper their industry while they… China & India… continue to pollute and gain an economic advantage. OF COURSE those are the people who can’t be trusted, and definitely NOT the Trillion-dollar fossil fuel industry and Rapture-pining Evangelical End-Timers who clearly have NO motivation to foster disbelief in Climate Change while assuring us all “we’ll be just fine” if we do absolutely nothing.

Except that it’s China & India who signed the Paris accord (as did Russia) and are imposing tight (almost draconian) environmental restrictions on themselves while investing Trillions to fight a problem Trump thinks they don’t believe is even real. China… which was globally shamed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics over their choking smog… is pledging to produce more Green energy by 2030 than the United States produces from ALL sources today. And India is pledging that by the same 2030 deadline, 100% of all vehicles produced in that country will be electric. And if you don’t think that’s a big deal, India’s “Tata Motors” is one of the largest auto makers in the world and owns “Jaguar” (taking them from near bankruptcy back to being a market leader today) and one of the largest producers of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the world (building more than even Germany.) Try to imagine if Ford or Chevy vowed to build nothing but electric cars in little over a decade from now. THAT’S how big a deal this is.

So Trump is justifying backing out of the Paris Climate Accord on the grounds it will stifle American industry because the restrictions are too tough, while he sends out members of his Administration… EPA Chief Scott Pruitt and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley out to argue that the Paris accord is “too weak” and “doesn’t do ENOUGH” to prevent climate change (so why bother doing anything, right?) The problem with that argument is obvious. Trump isn’t demanding tougher restrictions or saying he’ll only sign if pollution regulations set forth in the accord are stronger, so sending out his flying monkeys to dismiss the treaty as “too weak” doesn’t pass the laugh test.

Pruitt went on all three (if not more) of the major network news talk shows yesterday, citing on each and every one of them that famed NASA Climatologist James Hansen had called the Paris agreement “a fraud and a fake”… which is true, but only because he’s one of those saying it needs to be stronger… MUCH stronger… because the looming ecological disaster demands FAR more serious action. Meanwhile, Pruitt is citing Hansen as an excuse to do nothing (and I’d argue, using Hansen’s “fake and a fraud” criticism of the accord in such a way as to imply even NASA’s to Climatologist doesn’t believe in Global Warming… which isn’t close to true.)

Trump called the agreement “a bad deal”, but the Paris Accord was a “non-binding agreement” there is no such thing as a “bad” “non-binding agreement”. If it turns out to not work or even be harmful, you simply STOP COMPLYING. There is simply NO excuse for backing out of a “non-binding” agreement other than to placate those Evangelical End-Timers and Tinfoil hat wearing Conspiracy theorists whom support you.

Trump met with Al Gore twice to discuss environmental policy. The first time was as president-elect, meeting with the former VP at Trump Tower, and again recently to discuss the Paris Accord, where Gore said yesterday he strongly urged Trump to sign the agreement by appealing to his business sense as a way to create jobs. And we now know how THAT turned out. Trump met with Gore the way he met with Romney when he was interviewing candidates for Secretary of State. He had absolutely no intention of joining with them. He already had his mind made up before he ever called them. It’s theater. He just wants to give the appearance of having an open mind and making it look like he’s taking advice from political rivals. But it’s all just a game to Toddler Trump getting his rocks off, humiliating his rivals by making them grovel at his feet, as he soaks in the praise for his “apparent” non-partisan “businessman-like” managerial skills, only to then ignore everything he was told and make some asinine decision for reasons with no basis in reality.

Making the Paris agreement “binding” and tougher on China & India would NOT have convinced Trump to sign the accord, so he needn’t waste our time sending out staffers to whine about how “weak” the agreement was, as if to suggest THAT was the reason he didn’t sign. Michigan Congressman Tim Walberg summed it up best last week when he said we needn’t worry about Climate Change because “God will sort it out”. What if God’s “fix” is to simply render us extinct? The planet doesn’t NEED *US* to survive. If you believe in The Bible, it wouldn’t be the first time God wiped out the entire planet and started over again (see: Noah.)
 


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June 5, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Energy Independence, Environment, Global Warming, Jobs, myth busting, Rants, Right-wing Facism, Right-Wing Insanity

Why Did Trump Send Jared Instead of Flynn? (and a disturbing thought)
May 29, 2017

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The biggest news to break last week appears to be the fact that last December, then president-elect Trump directed his son-in-law Jared Kushner to meet with Russian Ambassadors Kislyak at Trump Tower in NYC, after which he arranged to meet with him in Moscow to establish “back channel communications with the Russian [I keep wanting to say “Soviet”] government.” And truth be told, in any other presidency, this wouldn’t be that big a deal. Incoming administrations try to open lines of communications with foreign governments all the time. But there are a number of things that are unusual about this particular contact to attract the Media’s attention: 1) Kushner did not disclose at least three contacts with Russia when applying for his National Security Clearance; 2) Kushner arranged for Trump’s communication go through the Russian security agency instead of our own; 3) The Russian Vnesheconombank Bank was also in attendance, and 4) This was just two months after Team Trump was informed that Russia was suspected of meddling in our election.

Conservative columnist for the NY Times, Kim Strassel compared president-elect Trump’s opening a back-channel with Russia to then candidate Obama sending an envoy (William Miller) to Iran to establish a back-channel of his own in 2008. (Hilariously, if you Google this exchange, the top two results are “Strassel schools stacked anti-Trump panel” and “Joy Reid schools NYT columnist.” Who won definitely depends on your political leanings.)

Both of them have solid points to make. Strassel is right that opening back-channel communications with a “hostile” nation isn’t new or prohibited. But Reid is right to ask why Trump sent his son-in-lawa 35 year old real estate mogul with no political experience… to Russia to establish a dialog with a nuclear superpower a mere two months after it was revealed they meddled in our election, agreeing to set up communications through The Kremlin instead of our own embassy? At the very least, he was naive and taken advantage of. At worst, it was a deliberate attempt to evade U.S. intelligence monitoring their communications.

Last Friday, the Washington Post reported that it was Kushner who requested the meeting with Russian Ambassador Kislyak in Moscow during their December 1st meeting at Trump Tower in NYC. But no one thinks Jared took it upon himself to meet with the Russians. He was doing someone’s bidding. Remember this meeting was kept secret (unlike Obama’s communication with Iran), only discovered via leak from someone inside the White House. Flynn was too high profile if you’re looking to do this in secret. “Who can we send?” Hmm.

The Post also reports Kislyak was “Taken aback” by Jared’s request… not to meet in Russia, but to meet in Russian government facilities instead of the U.S. Embassy where WE control the security & surveillance. This is unheard of.

Also in attendance at this meeting: the CEO of Russian state-owned Vnesheconombank. As mentioned last March (Update #5), VEB was under sanctions over their money laundering of Russian funds to bankroll the opposition in Ukraine (the plot thickens.)

But the REAL questions *I* have that no one seems to be asking is…

WHY JARED? And why now/then?

Trump had already named Michael Flynn as his National Security Advisor even AFTER acting AG Sally Yates revealed Flynn had LIED to Trump and his transition team about his connection & contacts with Russia & Turkey. If Trump didn’t trust Flynn enough to send him to Russia, he certainly never should have appointed him National Security Advisor. And if he DID trust Flynn, then why send his inexperienced son-in-law to establish a secret line of communication with a country that just violated our democracy? Seriously?

As previously mentioned, a month later, “Blackwater” founder “Eric Prince” attempted to establish a secret back-channel with Russia via the Saudi’s. Why would he need to do this if Kushner had already done so the month before… unless of course that wasn’t the purpose of Kushner’s visit?

Kushner himself, thinking he was fit for the task, already shows a ridiculous (and possibly dangerous) level of hubris (the same hubris we are seeing as Trump offloads a disturbing number of his duties onto Kushner and him not saying “No”, including holding meetings with other heads of state as Trump’s personal representative, speaking on behalf of the entire US government.) Former NSA/CIA Director General Michael Haden blasted Trump’s stupidity and Kuchner’s hubris in an interview on CNN yesterday, saying:
 

“What manner of ignorance, chaos, hubris, suspicion, contempt, would you have to have to think that doing this with the Russian ambassador was a good or appropriate idea?”

 

Jared… like Trump… is also the son of a wealthy real estate mogul who inherited his father’s business, so I’m sure Trump sees a lot of himself in Kushner (one disturbing thought is whether Ivanka does too?) But as Trump’s own sons… Eric & Lyle… er, Donald Jr demonstrate, it takes more than being born on third to get people to respect you, so I’m sure Jared is the son Donald never had. And because of this, I’m also sure Jared has the same wildly inflated ego of his father-in-law whom believes he’s capable of doing absolutely anything with perfect skill despite not having an iota of experience.

And perhaps that’s why Trump sent Jared instead of Flynn. If so, is that’s Trump’s basis for deciding who’s qualified to perform such extremely delicate missions of national security… whether or not he sees himself in them? (after all, he did ignore all the warnings about Flynn and picked him anyway because they shared their despise of Hillary Clinton.)

A mission such as establishing communications with a foreign government is tailor-made for the STATE Department, and at the time (December 1st/2nd) Trump was still in the throws of picking his “Secretary of State”. He had narrowed it down to three candidates: Moe, Larry & Curly… er, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. I actually thought Romney had a chance if Trump decided to pick Mitt as an olive branch to all the Conservatives who opposed his candidacy, but of course Trump’s inner toddler won out (as it always does) and we learn Trump was just playing with Romney, getting his rocks off watching him grovel.

Establishing communications with a foreign government is almost the definition of the State Department’s duties. So why not wait until he appointed a Secretary of State before attempting to establish diplomatic relations with Russia?

Not to start any conspiracy theories, but maybe it was because it wasn’t necessary? Maybe they ALREADY HAD an established relationship with Russia? And what if Putin saw the chaos as Trump floundered trying to pick someone to run the State Department… probably the most despised U.S. government agency in Russia after Hillary Clinton ran it and openly supported Putin’s opponent in their last election… and SUMMONED Trump to send someone to Russia for a little chat. Trump can’t go himself (would raise too many questions), so he sends his mini-me, wunder-kind Jared Kushner (a “private citizen” not yet employed as part of Trump’s staff) as his representative.

And next thing you know, barely a week later on December 10th, just days after Jared’s return from Russia, Trump was announcing he was picking former Exxon CEO (and Russian “Medal of Friendship” winner) Rex Tillerson to be his Secretary of State. “Who?” everyone asked. Trump made absolutely NO mention of Tillerson before his big announcement. He wasn’t even on Trump’s “short list”, and as far as anyone was aware, they had never even met. And now suddenly, Trump was appointing him “Secretary of State”? Tillerson already had a relationship with Putin and had done business in the country for decades. And since being appointed to head the most important agency in the Federal government (yes, more important than Defense), Tillerson has had no qualms with his boss’ proposed gutting of his entire Department.

It’s a terribly disturbing thought, and I know it flies in the face of my well-documented hatred of “Conspiracy Theories”, but it’s a nagging thought I just can’t shake, and a perfectly plausible suspicion that makes an awful lot of sense and answers a lot of questions that no one seems to be asking. So, I will: Did Russia “summon” Trump to send an envoy to Moscow? Did Trump send someone as unfit for such an important task as Jared because he was “a private citizen” not subject to many disclosure laws or security rules? And during that visit, did Russia hand-pick Tillerson to be Trump’s Secretary of State?

If… like I suspect… Russia practically bankrolled bankrupt-Trump’s “self funded” political campaign and now has enough dirt on him to send him to prison for a VERY long time, every foolish move this administration seemed to make during the transition starts to make sense. But now that Trump has the power of the presidency at his disposal, he thinks he can push back, even fire the man investigating him (Comey) to break the grip his buddy Vlad has over him. (Yeah, I despise conspiracies, but you must admit, this one has you thinking, doesn’t it?)
 
 

Cuts to Trump's 2017 budget

 

Trump 2017 budget increases

 


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May 29, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: mystery, National Security, Politics, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Scandals, Seems Obvious to Me