The Links Between The Men Behind Brexit & The Trump Campaign & Russia
Trump Lies About Russian Involvement...read on.
As Rachel Maddow would say: it is time for all good Americans to buckle-up and pay attention. The facts have been trickling out for quite some time about our 2016 election and while we have a long way to go to get all the facts out, it is painfully obvious that evil doers have been up to mischief for years, and the dots are beginning to align and come into focus. We are certainly well beyond viewing these reports as "fake news" or a hoax or a witch hunt. This week the NY Times reported that Donald Trump was informed prior to the inauguration that our intelligence community had proof of Russian meddling and Vladimir Putin's involvement. That means that our President has been lying to the American public the entire time he's been in office with each of his Tweets and speeches disparaging the so-called Mueller investigation or attempting to discredit our nation's intelligence community. Shameful. But for the 37% who still support Mr. Trump there is even more news for them to chew on and consider.
British journalist Carole Cadwalladr of The Guardian and The Observer has revealed how the data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica accessed the personal information of tens of millions of Facebook users to influence voters in favor of the Brexit and Donald Trump campaigns. Cadwalladr spoke with National Public Radio's Terry Gross this week and I caught the interview on Fresh Air while out watering our lawn and washing the driveway/sidewalk lights at our home here at High Point. Thanks to the magic of the internet machine you too can hear this interview or if you prefer, read the freaking text. It is shocking to say the least.
"There [are] absolute parallels and overlaps between what happened in Brexit and what happened in the Trump campaign," Cadwalladr told Terry Gross. "And that was one of the sort of very first things that alerted me when I first started looking at this 20 months ago was this very, very clear overlap of individuals."
"So Robert Mercer, he's the billionaire hedge fund owner who was the main donor of Trump's presidential campaign. He's also the one who bought Cambridge Analytica, the company that I first started investigating for its role in the referendum. And so that was a very clear link. Steve Bannon, of course, he was Trump's campaign manager. He was a vice president for Cambridge Analytica." Bet you had no idea Bannon opened a Breitbart Media office in London in 2012. Why would they do that given the financial constraints the fledgling conservative media venue was under?
I urge everyone who missed the interview to listen or read the text of the interview from links above and ask yourself: is it not suspicious that Russia was involved in both the Brexit vote and Trump's electoral college victory? Is it not pathetic that we have a President who intentionally abuses our nation's intelligence and law enforcement communities, conflates issues surrounding the Mueller Investigation, threatens to fire his Assistant Attorney General...now that we KNOW that he's known the truth since January 2017?
A President who is under investigation should not be permitted to nominate our next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. What exactly is it that Russians have on the Donald that cause him to favor Russian interests over American interests?
If you were watching the news, you noticed. Presidents Putin and Trump emerged from their 2-hour "secret summit" and enter the public press conference sporting dramatically different expressions and body language. As you can see from my collection of news photos that it looks as if the Donald has been spanked, much of the bluster and arrogance beaten out of him. Putin was smiling, standing tall & proud while Mr. Trump, shoulders slouched, eyes puffy, expression stoic, shows signs he's been defeated in their 2-hours of private "talks". He seemed to know that he dare not show any disrespect to President Putin...and no one has any evidence that this is not true. There was no one other than an interpreter present in these meetings who can testify as to the topics or discussion that transpired, though many suspect the Russians actually recorded the event. The media, and general public were outraged the way Trump bashed NATO the previous weekend, and deferred to Putin at every turn at their "secret summit". Even a handful of Republicans expressed concern - but already their voices have gone silent.
And, the chances are most folks in America did not notice or pay attention. The majority of Americans were not watching. Only a fraction of our adult population knows what the heck is going on - they have tuned-out and gradually have stopped following the news. Nearly 40% of registered voters skipped the 2016 election, and 66 percent of Facebook users get news there, according to a recent Pew Research study. Seriously, they get their news from social media??? Think about that. If you fall into that camp you're not alone - some 62 percent of American adults get their news from social media. Why is that? Is it because it's just so darned difficult to watch a regular news broadcast or read a newspaper? Can you name more than one member of Trump's cabinet? Do you even know the name of your representatives in Congress? Odds are you can't...or your neighbors can't. Have you any clue what the "Steele Dossier" is or what it's about? Have you bothered to read the indictments of the 12 Russians accused of meddling in our 2016 election? If not, why not Google it now - find a news source and sit down and read...it's only 29-pgs. (Ok, for those who do want to read the document but are concerned they may not be able to find it, here's a link to the Time magazine website - you can read it there.) These are dangerous times in America folks...you need to put the "smart phone" down and pick-up a paper...and read !
|What A Disgrace!
This week the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees conducted a joint grilling of FBI Agent Peter Strzok who has come under fire for sending anti-Trump texts during the early days of investigations. The right-wing conservative faction in the House is attempting obviously to discredit the Justice Department and the FBI fearing that the investigations are threatening to disrupt their "majority" status and weaken their grip on the White House & Congress. Unfortunately their attack-dog strategy has back-fired and has brought little more than shame to the Republican Party. Democratic strategists had to be the only folks happy with this regrettable display by members of the GOP who claim to be conducting their ongoing joint investigation into the DOJ's actions during the 2016 election. The Republicans are giving their voter base very few good reasons to re-elect any of them!
It was obvious the GOP members of these committees were not interested in learning anything, or about truth, or giving a 20+ year veteran of the FBI a fair opportunity to testify. Repeatedly the GOP rudely cut-off Mr. Strzok's responses during his 8+ hours of testimony. Louise & I watched most of it live - around 5 pm I was about to vomit having heard just about all I could take and went outdoors to tackle a few chores, then when appetite returned & tummy settled down we ate dinner and then resumed viewing the so-called "hearing". Mr. Strzok spent over 8-hrs testifying - and it was quite remarkable that he maintained a cool head during the hostile questions...which were quite repetitive as each Republican wanted to create a video clip for their next re-election campaign or local news coverage back home. While Republicans claimed Strzok was "biased" they could not produce any examples or explain how that so-called bias was manifested...the hearing had the same feel as a Trump campaign rally where he urges the audience to chant: "lock-her-up" in unison.
We saw certifiable wing-nut Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, accusing Strzok of lying under oath. Chair Trey Gowdy returned to his Benghazi hearing attack-dog form even though the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz basically gave Strzok a favorable assessment in his report 5-weeks ago. Gowdy claimed the text messages Strzok had send to co-workers represented bias...Strzok said his messages, while crude and regrettable in many ways, merely reflected his personal political opinions - of which all citizens are entitled to. I agree whole-heartedly. The Republicans are merely groping at straws as the Mueller Investigation continues to find evidence of wrongdoing.
Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan continued his infamous hyper critical, attack-style questioning displayed in the previously mentioned Benghazi/Clinton email investigation - which went on for 2-1/2 years and bought ZERO indictments but cost the American taxpayers $30 million*. Interesting how Jordan is now the subject of his own scandal - allegedly ignoring reports of inappropriate sexual advances at Ohio State Univ. where Jordan served as an assistant wrestling coach years ago.
The "Russian Investigation" has already lead to 32 indictments and secured five guilty pleas already...likely many, many more to come. Today the Justice Department announced indictments against 12 Russian nationals, just as The Donald is traveling to meet with his pal Putin. The 12 defendants are members of the GRU who are accused of engaging in a "sustained effort" to hack Democrats' emails and computer networks.
Thankfully there are quite a few Democrats on these committees and they largely performed well and brought a tiny bit of sanity to the hearing. Former Law Enforcement officer and relative newcomer to the US House, Val Demings (D-FL), and several others including Jamie Raskin (D-MD), David Cicilline (D-RI), Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) used their time wisely at the hearing...completely lambasting their GOP colleagues for not spending their time and resources on issues that most Americans are more concerned about like immigration reform, gun violence, and more. (Yes, the links above capture video clips of their questions/comments at the hearing thanks to YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Hw8oIsppWk)
This House Hearing farce is a sickening display of our political process...hopefully our citizens will take appropriate action this November and vote all Republicans out of office. It is a fate they deserve & earned.
Notes: Cost estimates of $30 million for the combined Benghazi & Clinton email investigations were compiled by conservative American Thinker magazine.
Little Kindness Makes A World Of Difference
Documentary films typically have a short run at our local movie theatre, so when we read that a new film about Fred Rogers, Won't You Be My Neighbor, was in town we figured we'd better not delay. So glad we followed our own sage instincts and saw the film - it's fabulous! In fact, we like it so much we think when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts votes for the next Oscar awards they can save a lot of time & energy and just give 'em all to Won't You Be My Neighbor. Best picture, best documentary, best direction, acting, sound, music, etc ... hands-down.
Boys & girls...it is a sensational film. Made us choke-up a bit & shed a tear, and enjoy many laughs & smiles. Loved the history of the program and how the film maker ridiculed political conservatives for they way they dissed Fred Rogers, PBS, and the program over the years. Like when Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade called Rogers: “This evil, evil man has ruined a generation of kids.” Such a negative comment. (Full quote is offered on a separate page - click here if you care to read it.) And how about the focus on learning to embrace, not resist, change. While kindness and empathy are in short supply today, it need not be that way, Mr. Rogers taught us. Ironic how a portion of the very 1st episode back in 1968 advocated peace & goodwill rather than intolerance and building walls and culture wars. It goes to show how timeless and spot-on the show really was....50-yrs ago!
It was also nice meeting Fred Rogers' wife and two sons who appeared in the documentary as well as seeing Susan Stamberg, former host of National Public Radio's All Things Considered. She's such a lovely woman - she retired too young. Fred Rogers died in 2003 at age 74.
coming up this winter: Tom Hanks to star in Mister Rogers bio-pic "You Are My Friend".
| ...Trump admits he paid hush money to a porn star...
Why is that not the end of this really terrible story and episode of shameful American politics??? Why is he still residing in the White House? Why has Mike Pence not taken over for the disgraced former reality TV host?
Republicans wanted to roast President Obama for relying on a teleprompter when making public speeches...they wanted to jail Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server...but they look the other way when it comes to the daily embarrassment that is Donald J. Trump. Hypocrites.
| ...he’s still the most popular Republican among Republican voters...
The reference is to the Donald..."still popular" among the GOP faithful even after all of his bluster, lies, demeaning comments, threats of trade wars, insults, and likely illegal activity. At least that's what was said in a recent USA Today article that attempted to bring some clarity to our political scene in America some 400+ days into the disastrous Trump Presidency. While reading this nonsense I couldn't help think about Garry Trudeau's excellent Doonesbury cartoon published just the day before:
|reprinted without permission - political cartoon published Sunday 04.22.18 in major media, globally. The vast majority of Republicans are proving they are little more than freaking hypocrites. If you'd like to share this viewpoint with others here's a direct link to an archive of: Doonesbury - Trudeau's award winning cartoon.|
Trump's Ill-Advised Tariffs Will Cost Americans Jobs
Hard to tell what the President's real intent is when his focus seems to be to simply "un-do" all the good things accomplished during the previous administration. Trump's campaign pledge to bring jobs back - particularly "coal jobs" has been proven countless times to be flawed logic...there are more US workers supporting solar power businesses than we have in businesses that produce US coal. The majority of solar jobs are non-manufacturing, focused on design, service and installation of clean energy systems that continue to sprout nationwide, so his tariff on solar panels makes no sense.
The Donald also threatens the world with trade wars with his steel & aluminum tariffs - even though the American consumer is the one who will pay higher prices for any product that uses steel or aluminum. His administration opposed the idea as have most everyone in Congress. When is this nonsense going to end??? Impeach Trump now!
In 497 days, President Trump has made 3,251 false or misleading claims
Uninformed American voters are the reason the world has to put up with Trump
Updated May 31, 2018
Originally posted by Mike on 11.08.17. Since then we have multiple current and or former Trump officials pleading guilty to crimes, and many more indicted - with over three dozen Trump officials testifying before Congressional and/or FBI investigative panels. Even his own personal lawyer ("fixer" Michael Cohen) is facing criminal investigations and multiple indictments. This may be the most shameful period of American politics since Watergate & easily equals the national disgrace caused by 8-yrs of George W. Bush (2 unfunded wars, 2 unfunded tax cuts, + unfunded Medicare drug benefits). Another fun fact...how many days has this creep spent at his golfing resort facilities since he's been in office? CNN reported recently that Trump has spent a portion of 25% of his days in office at one of the Trump branded properties. Let that sink in a moment. 36 trips to Mar-a-Lago, 40 trips to his NJ course and 23 trips to his Virginia course. I know it seems like an eternity but think back just a few years ago when the radical right-wing extremists hyperventilated in their trash talk on Fox News about President Obama's travel and his golf outings during his Presidency. Freaking hypocrites. Supporters of Trump need to be branded, ridiculed and depicted as outcasts by our communities.
Rachel Maddow Awarded Two Emmys
Detroit Free Press reports: "Rachel Maddow continues her hot streak, as “The Rachel Maddow Show” finished the third quarter as the highest-rated cable news show. Her show got 2.7 million total viewers, topping both Fox News and CNN in the time slot in overall viewers and adults aged 25 to 54. It marks the first quarter that an MSNBC show has ranked No. 1 for all of cable news. The numbers for “Maddow” represent a 75 percent increase over the third quarter in 2016."
"Rachel Maddow's efforts to bring attention to the Flint water crisis have earned her an Emmy. The MSNBC host took home the gold for outstanding news discussion and analysis at Thursday night's News and Documentary Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Maddow was one of the early voices in network cable news to bring Flint's contaminated water to national attention. Maddow's aggressive coverage of Flint reflects a style that has brought her to the top of the ratings heaps." That, and Rachel and her staff dwell on facts & truth unlike most Republicans and social conservatives.
"In July, she became the first non-Fox News host to grab the top ratings spot since October 2001 and the days of CNN's Larry King, according to the Associated Press. Maddow's show nabbed two Emmys total. It also was honored for outstanding live interview for an episode featuring a one-on-one with Kellyanne Conway, currently a White House counselor to President Donald Trump."
Growth That Began Under President Obama Continues
It is nearly a daily occurrence for the Donald or his spokespeople (Conway,
Huckabee-Sanders) to attempt to discredit or attack the previous
administration. Typically, facts tell a completely different story
like in the case of the economy & jobs. "We inherited a real mess,"
Trump says over and over. The fact is, what the Democrats inherited in
2009 was a government that had driven our economy into the ditch with 2
unfunded tax cuts, 2 unfunded wars, and unfunded Medicare drug benefits.
Republicans added nearly 10 trillion to our national debt and had the
audacity of blaming President Obama...now they're adding another trillion to
our nation's debt thanks to the Trump "tax cut".
See related story in Mike's "archive": Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Have A Ball!
Perhaps it's a simple form of escapism, but as the Trump administration proceeds on it's path to destroy life on Earth as we once knew it, the US Postal Service introduces some fun new postage stamps. "Have A Ball!" Forever Stamps - meaning, it will always be worth what it costs to send one 1st class item - even if you misplace it for decades. Louise picked-up a sheet of the new stamps the other day at our local post office....they feature balls used in baseball, basketball, football, golf, kickball, soccer, tennis and volleyball. For those of you who stopped mailing anything when you got your "smartphone" the postal service is where you go to send a letter or a package.
This information is being shared with the hope that a few folks who have clamored to "make America great again" will realize that we already are great. Some 30% of Americans who don't actually follow the news because they think it's all "fake" or a "hoax" but this item is actually true and can be verified. Try it out for yourself...first, write someone a letter - maybe a relative like your favorite Aunt who wonders if anyone still cares for her. Next, march right down to the local post office near you while we still have 'em and buy a freaking stamp! Step 3: attach stamp to letter and deposit same in mail slot or mailbox designed for out-going correspondence.
Louise said the clerk was excited to share her observation that a special coating was applied to selected areas of the stamps during the printing process which gives them a texture that mimics the feel of a baseball’s stitching, or a golf ball’s dimples. Cute. Best value on Earth for just 49¢
Sidebar: "So Mike...when are you going to get over it and stop with the Trump bashing?" Answer: never. The guy is a joke and dangerous; if he does not start World War 3 we'll be lucky. He needs to be removed from office - until that happens none of us can remain silent.
|If You Voted For
Him, You Share In The Blame
The New York Times published a full page ad recently to list the many lies
and inaccurate statements made by the Donald in just his first 6 months in
office. The ad, and companion news article, ignores the
previous years of nonsense that Trump uttered during his campaign for office.
The Times wanted to focus only upon those things the Donald has said or
Tweeted about since just January 20th of this year. Stuart Thompson, graphics designer for the
NY Times says: "We wanted to put
Trump's Lies in print...and I needed an entire page to do it."
It's worth reading.
Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had a complete, unprofessional meltdown yesterday (6/27/17) while addressing the White House press corps. Fortunately, the session was video recorded and documented. When asked to comment on the inaccurate work by a few CNN reporters & their resignations, Sarah said: "I don’t know if that response is good enough,” Sanders said Tuesday to the softball question tossed out by a Breitbart journalist. "It’s the barrage of fake news directed at the president that has garnered his frustration ... We have gone to a place where if the media can’t be trusted to report the news, then that’s a dangerous place for America." Seriously? Given the documented list of White House & Trump gaffes in their first six months of office Sarah's label "fake news" is highly misplaced & laughable. She referred to the pending Justice Department and Congressional investigations as "the Russia, Trump-hoax" and then promoted another shameful video investigation by defamed, disgraced faux-journalist James O'Keefe. (Remember his manufactured, inaccurate expose on ACORN...or his flawed attack on Planned Parenthood?) Yeah, right, Sarah...let's all dwell on the nonsense O'Keefe produces. And Barack Obama is actually a citizen of Kenya.
What's really rich is the actual news about some "really fake news" - another self-inflicted wound by the Donald reported by The Washington Post: "The framed copy of Time magazine was hung up in at least five of President Trump’s clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. This cover — dated March 1, 2009 — looks like an impressive memento from Trump’s pre-presidential career. To club members eating lunch, or golfers waiting for a pro-shop purchase, it seemed to be a signal that Trump had always been a man who mattered. Even when he was just a reality TV star, Trump was the kind of star who got a cover story in Time. But that wasn’t true. The Time cover is a fake. There was no March 1, 2009, issue of Time magazine. And there was no issue at all in 2009 that had Trump on the cover."
How is this all going to end?
posted 06.28.17, revised 06.29.17
The real fake news.
Actually, Donald, America has been losing coal jobs for nearly a century
Today the Donald made good on his campaign pledge to destroy the progress we've made in addressing climate & pollution issues in America over the past decade. Trump signed a sickening Exec Order while visiting the Environmental Protection Agency. He says he wants to curb the federal government's enforcement of climate regulations by putting American jobs above addressing climate change. Trouble is, as often is the case, the facts do not support the Donald's position - the nation's coal jobs began tanking in the 1920's. See chart above from the US Department of Labor. The Federal Mine Safety & Health Administration acknowledges employment in the coal mining industry peaked 94 years ago and has been on a steady decline ever since. In 1923, there were 862,536 coal miners working in the USA. Last year, there were only 81,484, a drop-off of 90 percent. (1) Meanwhile, good paying green energy jobs continue to grow - CNN reports over 209,000 Americans worked in a solar energy job in 2015. They include solar panel installers, designers, & engineers...more than any energy sector including oil & gas (2).
You're guilty, Donald, of pandering to the radical right-wing extremists...and it'll cost the nation.
So goes my faith in the American voters. Actually most of my disgust is aimed at the 42.1% of registered voters who stayed away from the polls on Nov. 8th. Pathetic. My anger also extends to the media particularly commercial TV who have shamelessly chased after every Trump "rally" broadcasted free of charge for over a year. The talking heads universally trashed the man but coverage fueled the racist, alt-right faction of our society. "Drain the swamp"? Laughable. Look at who he's appointed - largely political insiders, all, except for a handful of faithful cast of wing-nuts.
So now the Trump reality slime-show will be fodder for the next 4-yrs of Evening News and SNL skits. The Donald meanwhile calls the media coverage of his flawed presidential administration a "witch hunt". No, Mr. President, that would be the treatment Republicans who employed 4-yrs of shameful Benghazi investigations against Hillary Clinton. "Lock her up!" How rich is it now that news has leaked that Mike Pence used private email service while Indiana Governor? Freaking hypocrites.
|I tried the "blog" thing. 90% or
more of the "feedback" received was spam. Sifting thru the crud to find a
nugget or two became a chore...so after neglecting it for quite a while I nuked it.
Saved and archived are some of the previous articles I've written that folks responded
to...see the right hand column above. Mainly these articles will be about news,
politics, current events.
something on this pg was added or revised on 07.22.18