Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

"There's a Smell of Treason in the Air"

I'm away for the day, but here are some amazing analyses of what's happening in the Trump-Russian Scandals:




Michael Winship at Moyers & Company writes—

‘There’s a Smell of Treason in the Air’: 


 Monday’s hearing of the House Intelligence Committee was proof positive of the absolute need for both a special prosecutor and an independent, bipartisan commission with subpoena power to conduct a full investigation of the Trump campaign’s connections with Russian intelligence — as well as Russia’s multipronged attack on our elections and Trump’s business connections with that country’s oligarchs. And it’s proof more than ever that even if we get that prosecutor and inquiry, a free and independent press may be the only real way to ever get to the bottom of what ranking committee member Adam Schiff said may represent “one of the most shocking betrayals of our democracy in history.” [...] 

 And yet, as presidential historian Douglas Brinkley told The Washington Post, “There’s a smell of treason in the air. Imagine if J. Edgar Hoover or any other FBI director would have testified against a sitting president? It would have been a mind-boggling event.” But here we are, adrift in a Cloud Cuckoo Land of prevarication and incompetence in which little seems capable of boggling or driving our minds agog these days and where the truth shall not set you free but subject you to ridicule from the rabid trolls of the right. 

(Winship must have read the right wing troll, "Not Shakespeare." -- S.K.)





Charles M. Blow at The New York Times writes—


Birth of the biggest lie: 

 Individuals who were associated with the president of the United States’ winning campaign are under criminal investigation. That is an extraordinary sentence and one that no American can allow to be swallowed up by other news or dismissed by ideologues. 

 Depending on the outcome of this investigation, we could be facing a constitutional crisis. Oddly, it is likely that the reason Trump is even in the Oval Office is Comey’s original, extraordinarily inappropriate and unprecedented action. The Trump machinery then used that action to scare Americans about Clinton, in one of the most astonishing acts of deflection and hypocrisy in American history. [...] 

 The lie these people promoted about Clinton and shielded about Trump are two of the biggest lies ever told in this country in service of electoral advantage. No act of this presidency — good or bad, beneficial or detrimental — can ever be considered without first contextualizing that this presidency itself was conceived in deception and is being incubated under an extraordinary lie. The Trump presidency is a corruption that flows from corruption. It is damned by its own damned lies.



"There is more than circumstantial evidence now." Adam Schiff, (D-CA)






Schiff: 'There Is More Than Circumstantial Evidence Now'

“There is evidence that … is very much worthy of investigation” of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia, the Democratic vice chair of the House intelligence committee tells Meet the Press Daily.







Report: FBI evidence suggests Trump associates and Russians may have coordinated to sink Clinton

A bombshell report from CNN.

"The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, US officials told CNN. There are a lot of unanswered questions in this. Who were the Trump associates and Russian officials? How exactly did these different people communicate and possibly coordinate? 

Is CNN’s report even reliable, given that it cites anonymous US officials? But the report, if true, is big. According to CNN, the FBI is still reviewing the info, which “includes human intelligence, travel, business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings.” 

Some US officials warned CNN that it’s too early to draw any major conclusions from the information so far, because it’s largely circumstantial. Still, the officials reportedly told CNN that potential collusion between Trump associates and Russian officials is now a large focus of the FBI investigation."





Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, had plan to 'greatly benefit the Putin Government'



President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics.
The allegations, if true, would appear to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"A Promise Made is a Promise Kept" (Unless you're Donald Trump)



Let's look at some of those worthless Trump promises:






1)  Trump promised: "We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said in January. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us...Everybody’s got to be covered.”  BROKEN PROMISE

That's a promise Trump will not keep. Under his health care plan, the rich 1% will receive a massive tax break, and the poor and vulnerable will not be able to afford health care insurance. Also older Americans on Medicaid and Medicare will see a reduction in their services and an increase in premiums.




2)  Trump promised a big beautiful wall with a beautiful door to let the "good ones in," and Mexico is going to pay for it.   BROKEN PROMISE

Not only is Mexico not going to pay for it, but Trump's going to stick the US taxpayer with the billion dollar bill for building this improbable wall.



One of the central themes of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was to not only build a border wall, but to make Mexico pay for it. The claim didn’t just become an applause line for Trump on the campaign trail, it was a call-and-response rallying cry. But the Trump budget proposals revealed late Wednesday include $4.1 billion for the wall. Reuters reported that Trump was asking for $1.5 billion for the current fiscal year and another $2.6 billion for the 2018 budget year, which begins Oct. 1. The money will come from U.S. taxpayers and not Mexico, which has made it clear that it’s not paying for the wall.







3)  Trump promised to put America First for JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! BROKEN PROMISE



Look who’s looking for foreign workers: Trump Winery

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - A Virginia winery owned by President Donald Trump’s son has applied to hire foreign workers to pick grapes after the company was unable to find U.S. citizens who want the job. Trump Vineyard Estates, better known as Trump Winery, has asked to bring in 29 workers this season through the federal H-2A visa program, The Daily Progress reported. The Charlottesville-area winery is owned by Eric Trump, whose father has called on businesses to hire Americans.




4)  Trump promised that American steel would be used to build the Keystone XL pipeline:  BROKEN PROMISE



American steel unlikely to get Keystone boost despite Trump order


When U.S. President Donald Trump signed orders to revive two controversial energy pipeline projects this week, he pledged to require new pipelines to use American-made steel, a gesture to workers in the hard-hit industry who helped propel him to power. But U.S. steelmakers will receive negligible benefit from the multi-billion dollar Keystone XL project, one of the two projects Trump ordered to proceed, because they have limited ability to meet the stringent materials requirements for the TransCanada line. Economists said Trump's order has many loopholes to enforcement and could violate international trade law.


(Trump made that promise without bothering to find out if it was legal. Another instance of Trump's governing by the seat of his enormous pants (when they're not on fire.)

***************


What have we learned? 

We've learned that Trump's word is worthless and that he's a first class liar and deceiver. 

And now Trump and his administration are under an FBI investigation.

Remember when Trump and his surrogates said it would be impossible for Hillary Clinton to be president while she was under FBI investigation?

Where are Trump's supporters who howled like reptiles in heat "LOCK HER UP!" now that their hero and his team are under FBI investigation?



The FBI probe into Trump and Russia is huge news. Our political system isn’t ready for it.
We’re so used to reports on Trump’s Russia ties that it’s easy to lose sight of the enormity here: There is an official FBI investigation into a presidential campaign’s possible collusion with a hostile foreign power for the first time in US history. Seasoned national security reporters, like the New York Times’s Matt Rosenberg, can scarcely believe it:


Folks, let’s take a step back and absorb the fact that the FBI has confirmed there is an espionage investigation involving the White House




A corrupt man will lead a corrupt administration.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

THE FBI IS INVESTIGATING TRUMP RUSSIA TIES -- NYTimes Headline, March 21, 2017


UPDATE BELOW


NYTimes sub-headings:

"Comey's haunting news on Trump and Russia...possible election collusion..."

"Fresh News on Russia for Trump's Weary Defenders"

"FBI Confirms Inquiry On Trump Team Russia Ties

"The Untruths About Russia Are Escalating"

"GOP Responds By Changing The Subject"



David Leonhardt:

"The Ninth Week of Donald Trump's presidency began with the FBI director calling him a liar.




As Leonhardt writes, Comey didn't actually use the "L" word, but he did say that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.  (BTW, Leonhardt, who's been covering Trump since the beginning of his improbable campaign for the presidency, has no qualms about calling Trump what he is:  A LIAR. )


From now on, whatever comes out of Trump's mouth has to be considered a LIE, until proved otherwise. 


Trump's stupid, impetuous false Tweet about President Obama wiretapping Trump Tower got him in all this swampy trouble. Can we imagine the trouble the Liar in Chief will generate in the years to come?


Many Americans voted for Trump to "drain the swamp," and now Trump and his brand new administration are wallowing in a swamp of deceptions, lies, and possible treason.

How's that swamp draining working out for you, America?



UPDATE:




Mike Littwin of The Colorado Independent: 

Now that the FBI has officially called Trump a liar, what can possibly come next?'


"...the head of the FBI basically called the president a liar before a congressional committee. In modern terms, and maybe in any terms, that is unprecedented. Of course, Trump is a liar. Everyone knows he’s a liar, his hapless defenders most of all. But knowing it and hearing James Comey very publicly confirm it are two different things. 

In any other time, it would have been shocking to hear Comey’s testimony. But what was truly shocking was how unremarkable it all seemed. There were no gasps. There was no one—outside of combative Sean Spicer anyway—rushing to Trump’s defense. This is exactly what everyone expected Comey to say. And yet. And yet. When Comey wasn’t putting the absurdity of Trump’s wiretap accusation to rest, he was confirming the news that the FBI was, in fact, investigating whether anyone in the Trump campaign had colluded with the Russians to, well, undermine American democracy. 

And when Comey wasn’t deflecting questions about the investigation, Rep. Adam Schiff, a rare bright Democratic light, was making the circumstantial case for why the FBI should be investigating, finally asking this: “Is it possible that all of these events and reports are completely unrelated and nothing more than an entirely unhappy coincidence? Yes, it is possible. But it is also possible, maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected and not unrelated.” 

And when Schiff wasn’t hitting the Flynn-Sessions-Manafort-Stone-Page-Russia connection, we were hearing that, of course, the British were no more likely than Obama to have planted a bug in Trump Tower. It’s hard to imagine a worse day for a president. But what we can safely predict is that worse days are coming and that the pace, if the first two months are any indication, will only quicken."

Monday, March 20, 2017

Trump's Tweets About President Obama and Wiretapping?


Trump:   LIAR. LIAR. LIAR











FBI Director Comey (Kind of) Calls Trump a Liar and Says Trump-Russia Links Still Being Probed     The president can't tweet himself out of this predicament.



Donald Trump’s Approval Rating Is In The Toilet      He hits a new low: 37 percent, the worst in 72 years of polling for a young presidency.



Meanwhile, Trump goes golfing for the 9th time in 7 weeks:




Belly:  No Comment


"Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the US, President Obama spent the day playing golf," --Trump tweeted in October 2014. "Worse than Carter."





Trump said a year ago he’d be a very different kind of president. At an event in New Hampshire in Feb. 2016, while again complaining about Obama golfing, Trump declared that if he were in office,“I’d want to stay in the White House and work my ass off.” Soon after, he assured voters,“I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf.”

Trump is a Liar (and Nuts)



Trump shoots off his purdy little mouth all the time accusing the media of being fake news. 

That comes from a dude who, a few weeks ago, tweeted out, with absolutely no evidence to support it, the incredulous claim that the former POTUS, Barack Obama, committed a felony and had Trump's "wires tapped" at Trump Tower.  

THAT WAS FAKE NEWS.

About a week later, a supposed brilliant legal mind, Andrew Napolitano, a FAUX NOOZ legal analyst, alleged on the electric teevee machine that President Obama had bypassed US spy agencies and had British intelligence do the tapping of Trump's wires.  Trump had his press secretary, Sean Spicer, repeat that allegation and then he blamed FAUX NOOZ for suggesting it.  Blame-weasel.

THAT WAS FAKE NEWS

Trump has spread FAKE NEWS all around this country like so much horse manure, hoping something, anything, will grow from it in order to put some polish on his ridiculously turdy presidency. But this lie about a former president is disturbing because of the seriousness of the charge. Trump's and the GOP's refusal to acknowledge that the wiretapping claim is a lie will cause lasting damage to our democracy, as Josh Marshall writes in his editorial on this shameful, patently false assertion by Trump.

The truth is that Trump is a Liar.  Andrew Napolitano is merely a gullible fool.





Report Confirms Fox News’ Napolitano Repeated Russian Media For His British Intelligence Conspiracy Theory



The New York Times has confirmed that Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano sourced his false allegation that former President Barack Obama asked British intelligence to spy on President Donald Trump to a discredited former CIA analyst. This analyst, Larry C. Johnson, floated the conspiracy theory on the Russian state-sponsored news network RT on March 6, the week after Trump’s original accusation that Obama was responsible for an illegal wiretap.


PM Carpenter:


Something will have to give. Our plunge into squalid pettiness and international disgrace has even the straightest of journalists, such as the Washington Post's Dan Balz, penning unconcealed condemnations of the Trump administration's baseness — and its inevitable collision with decency. 


"A prudent president … would find ways to avoid needless controversy," writes Balz. "Not President Trump. He’s doing exactly the opposite, and the credibility gap continues to grow." 

Adds two NYT reporters: "Trump’s agenda [has been] subsumed by problems of his own making…. [I]t has … become clear that Mr. Trump [is] an agitator incapable of responding proportionately to any slight" — or intelligently, or maturely, addressing any national problem or international predicament. 

 In short, it would seem that our president is clinically unhinged — bats, bonkers. After 18 months of demonstrable instabilities on the campaign trail, he has, within only two months as president, further revealed himself to be a delusional, emotionally besotted Tricky Dick staggering his way down WH halls and murmuring to ghosts. 

Put even shorter: Donald J. Trump is nuts. 

And if something is to give, it'll almost have be the 25th Amendment — a true gift of historic proportions.



And this:


Trump:
"We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said in January. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us...Everybody’s got to be covered.” 


THAT WAS FAKE NEWS

 White House Admits Trump ‘Insurance For Everybody’ Guarantee Isn’t Going To Happen

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Funnies




Women Can Multi-Task.  Can you?






Saturday, March 18, 2017

R.I.P. Chuck Berry -- IMO The Greatest Rock and Roller







Chuck Berry dies at 90.

I am so sorry to hear this. With him goes a part of my youth and my rockin' and rollin' days. He is the true King of Rock & Roll. Everyone who came after him took something from him and made rock better and better.

I've been rocking to Chuck Berry since I was Sweet Little Sixteen!

Long live Rock & Roll! Bless you Chuck Berry. Farewell, and thanks for all the music!












 HAIL, HAIL ROCK AND ROLL! '

Saturday Night Funnies -- Impeachara

Beastly, Rude, Obnoxious

Trump was his usual beastly, rude, obnoxious self at yesterday's press briefing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, calling a German reporter's question "fake news," and refusing to shake Merkel's hand in a photo-op.  

Trump is a national and international embarrassment for the United States. Who are the people who still support this maniac? 

To repeat what was reported all over the news here and abroad:  There is no evidence that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the presidential campaign. None. Nada. This is the finding by a Republican House committee. The British did NOT engage in wiretapping Trump Tower as Sean Spicer falsely stated in his press briefing earlier this week, and the Trump administration had to apologize to Britain for repeating that lie.

Trump has embarrassed himself BIGLY with his foolish repetition of a rumor he read on some rabid right-wing fake news outlet, and in turn, embarrassed our country.

Who are the people who still support this out-of-control national embarrassment?










View image on Twitter

US reporters shocked when this German reporter asked : "Why do you keep saying things you know are not true?"










And now he's off for the 7th, 8th, I've lost count, weekend at his luxurious mansion to golf with his fellow billionaires at the American taxpayers' expense while collecting payment for the use of his Mar-a-Lago and pockets it.

Nice little racket you've got there Mr. Embarrassment. 





And finally this: