Wednesday, March 29, 2017

OPEN THREAD WEDNESDAY

MORE DISCLAIMERSHey field hands, it's hump day, and I am curious to know what's on your mind.

There is so much for us to talk about.

This Russia thing with Herr trump is not going away. His daughter has now moved down the hall in the White House, and she has become an official government employee

The investigation itself of the trump Russian ties is just a "mess", and that's a republican talking, not the Field Negro.

Meanwhile, Sean Spicer continues to show us all that he is way over his head, and our president needs to brush up on his history

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hair jokes and an uppity reporter.

Image result for bill o'reilly crAZY images    Today was a tough day for black women in America. It was so bad that even a certain former presidential candidate had to weigh in.

First, Bill O'Reilly tried to diss a sitting congresswoman from California by comparing her wig to  the iconic coif of the "hardest working man in show business". Needless to say that black folks did not feel good about it.

"O'Reilly was asked for his thoughts on Waters' comments. He instead discussed her appearance.
"I didn't hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig," he said, referencing the late soul singer.
While two of the Fox & Friends cohosts joined in on O'Reilly's comments, Ainsley Earnhardt cut in to say she had to defend Waters.

"You can't go after a woman's looks," she said. "I think she's very attractive."

O'Reilly replied, "I didn't say she wasn't attractive... I love James Brown, but it's the same hair."
He later went on to invite Waters, who has been in Congress since 1991, on his own show." [Source]

How is this for irony? Bill O'Reilly is a big supporter of Donald trump, and he is making fun of this woman's wig. Seriously?

He has been getting a lot of heat so he apologized later today. I honestly don't even know why he bothered. The "alleged" wife beater has a long history of saying racist and derogatory things towards blacks.

This might explain why he is so popular with the FOX VIEWS crowd.

"As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs," he said. "I said that again today on Fox & Friends calling her 'old school.' Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair which was dumb. I apologize."

Don't apologize Bill, you said exactly what you wanted to say, and you thought it was funny, as did millions of your fans.

Then there was April Ryan, who asked one too many questions of one Sean Spicer today, and it caused him to finally let his true feelings for the "uppity" black reporter, show.

"I'm sorry that disgusts you. You're shaking your head,” he said.

When Ryan pivoted to ask about Condoleezza Rice’s meeting with the president this week, Spicer responded by saying, “It.'s interesting that you ask those two questions back to back. On the one hand, you say, what are we doing to improve our image and here he is meeting somebody that hasn't been a big supporter.” He added, “It seems like you're hell bent on trying to make sure whatever image you want to tell about this White House stays.”'

As she protested, Spicer said, “I’m sorry, please stop shaking your head again.” '

To quote Ryan herself: "Lawd!!" 

Sadly, these folks are becoming a bit unhinged. I suspect that Sean will  let the n- word slip before this thing is over.

"I've been here for 20 years, since 1997, the second term of Bill Clinton,” Ryan told MSNBC’s Katy Tur afterwards. “We've never seen anything like this before. And my question was simple. How do you change the perception problem basically? I don't know verbatim what I said, but that was the impetus and the crux of my question. And it went off into this Russian dressing, no shaking my head or whatever.”

“'I understand what Sean is doing,” Ryan said, “Sean is being the White House press secretary talking about and trying to make this administration look better than what it does right now. Unfortunately, I was roadkill today.”'

Oh no my sister, you are "roadkill" every day.  You need to remember that fact when you are standing in the way of those republican men.

*Pic from yahoo.com

 







 


Monday, March 27, 2017

Russiagate, the timeline.

Image result for russia imagesDonald trump's Russia problem still looms over all of us like those in-laws who overstayed their welcome on Thanksgiving. 

So how did we get here?

Here is a good read from Mother Jones that might shed some light on that question.

The Field Negro education series continues.

" The Trump-Russia scandal—with all its bizarre and troubling twists and turns—has become a controversy that is defining the Trump presidency. The FBI recently disclosed that since July it has been conducting a counterintelligence investigation into possible coordination between Trump associates and Russia, as part of its probe of Moscow's meddling in the 2016 election. Citing "US officials," CNN reported that the bureau has gathered information suggesting coordination between Trump campaign officials and suspected Russian operatives. Each day seems to bring a new revelation—and a new Trump administration denial or deflection. It's tough to keep track of all the relevant events, pertinent ties, key statements, and unraveling claims. So we've compiled what we know so far into the timeline below, which covers Trump's 30-year history with Russia.  We will continue to update the timeline regularly as events unfold. (Click here to go directly to the most recent entry.) Please email us at scoop@motherjones.com if you have a tip or we've left anything out.

1986: Donald Trump is seated next to Russian Ambassador Yuri Dubinin at a lunch organized by Leonard Lauder, the son of cosmetics scion Este Lauder, who at the time is running her cosmetics business. "One thing led to another, and now I'm talking about building a large luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin" in partnership with the Soviet government, Trump later writes in his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal.

January 1987: Intourist, the Soviet agency for international tourism, expresses interest in meeting with Trump.

July 1987: Trump and his then-wife, Ivana, fly to Moscow to tour potential hotel sites. Trump spokesman Dan Klores later tells the Washington Post that during the trip, Trump "met with a lot of the economic and financial advisers in the Politburo" but did not see Mikhail Gorbachev, then the USSR's leader.

December 1, 1988: The Soviet Mission to the United Nations announces that Gorbachev is tentatively scheduled to tour Trump Tower while the Soviet leader is visiting New York and that Trump plans to show him a swimming pool inside a $19 million apartment.

December 7, 1988: Trump welcomes the wrong Gorbachev to New York—shaking hands with a renowned Gorbachev impersonator outside his hotel.

December 8, 1988: President Ronald Reagan invites Donald and Ivana Trump to a state dinner, where Trump meets the real Gorbachev. According to Trump's spokesman, the real estate mogul had a lengthy discussion with the Soviet president about economics and hotels.

January 1989: For $200,000, Trump signs a group of Soviet cyclists for the Albany-to-Atlantic City road race, dubbed the Tour de Trump, that will take place that May.

November 5, 1996: Media reports note that Trump is trying to partner with US tobacco company Brooke Group to build a hotel in Moscow.

January 23, 1997: Trump meets with Alexander Lebed, a retired Soviet general then running to be president of Russia, at Trump Tower. Trump says they discussed his plans to build "something major" in Moscow. Lebed reportedly expressed his support, joking that his only objection would be that "the highest skyscraper in the world cannot be built next to the Kremlin. We cannot allow anyone spitting from the roof of the skyscraper on the Kremlin."

2000: Michael Caputo, who later runs Trump's primary campaign in New York during the 2016 race, secures a PR contract with the Russian conglomerate Gazprom Media to burnish Russian President Vladimir Putin's image in the United States.

2005: Trump reportedly signs a development deal with Bayrock Group, a real estate firm founded by a former Soviet official from Kazakhstan, to develop a hotel in Moscow and agrees to partner on a hotel tower in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Trump works on the projects with Bayrock managing partner Felix Sater, a Russian American businessman. The New York Times will later publish a story revealing Sater's criminal record, which includes charges of racketeering and assault.

2007

September 19: Sater and the former Soviet official who founded Bayrock, Tevfik Arif, stand next to Trump at the launch party for Trump SoHo, a hotel-condominium project co-financed by Bayrock.

November 22:  Trump Vodka debuts in Russia, at the Moscow Millionaire's Fair. As part of its new marketing campaign, Trump Vodka also unveils an ad featuring Trump, tigers, the Kremlin, and Vladimir Lenin.

At the Millionaires' Fair, Trump meets Sergey Millian, an American citizen from Belarus who is the president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce in the USA (RACC). Subsequently, Millian later recounted, "We met at his office in New York, where he introduced me to his right-hand man—Michael Cohen. He is Trump's main lawyer, all contracts go through him. Subsequently, a contract was signed with me to promote one of their real estate projects in Russia and the CIS. You can say I was their exclusive broker." According to Millian, he helped Trump "study the Moscow market" for potential real estate investments.

December 17: The New York Times publishes a story about Felix Sater's controversial past, which includes prison time for stabbing a man with a margarita glass stem during a bar fight and a guilty plea in a Mafia-linked racketeering case. The article characterizes Sater as a Trump business associate who is promoting several potential projects in partnership with Trump.

December 19: In a deposition, Trump is asked about his plans to build a hotel in Moscow. He says, "It was a Trump International Hotel and Tower. It would be a nonexclusive deal, so it would not have precluded me from doing other deals in Moscow, which was very important to me."

2008

April: Trump announces he is partnering with Russian oligarch Pavel Fuks to license his name for luxury high-rises in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. But Fuks ultimately balks at Trump's price, which the Russian business newspaper Kommersant estimated could have been $200 million or more.

July: Billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch, buys a Palm Beach mansion owned by Trump for $95 million, despite Florida's crashing real estate market and an appraisal on the house for much less. Trump bought the property for $41.35 million four years earlier. Rybolovlev goes on to give conflicting explanations for why he bought the property.

September 15: Donald Trump Jr. speaks at a real estate conference in Manhattan, where he says "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets…We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."

Date unknown: Trump's team reportedly invites Sergei Millian to meet Trump at a horse race in Florida, where, according to Millian, they sit in Trump's private suite at the Gulfstream race track in Miami. "Trump team, they realized that we have a lot of connection with Russian investors. And they noticed that we bring a lot of investors from Russia," Millian told ABC News in a 2016 interview. "And they needed my assistance, yes, to sell properties and sell some of the assets to Russian investors." Millian says that following this meeting with Trump, he works as a broker for the Trump Hollywood condominium project in Miami, selling a "nice percentage" of the building's 200 units to Russian investors.

2010

May 10: Jody Kriss, a former finance director at Bayrock, files a lawsuit against the company. The suit alleges that Bayrock financed Trump SoHo with mysterious cash from Kazhakstan and Russia and calls the building "a Russian mob project." (The complaint notes that "there is no evidence that Trump took any part in" Bayrock's interactions with questionable Russian financing sources.)

Date unknown: Bayrock's Sater becomes a senior adviser to Trump, according to his LinkedIn profile. Though Trump later claims he would not recognize Sater, Sater has a Trump Organization email address, phone number, and business cards.

2013

May 29: Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star and the son of billionaire real estate developer Aras Agalarov, releases a music video for his song "Amor." In the video, he pursues Miss Universe 2012, Olivia Culpo, through dark, empty alleys with a flashlight. Following the video's release, representatives of Miss Universe, which Trump at the time owns, discuss with the Agalarovs holding the next pageant in Moscow. The Agalarovs persuade them to host Miss Universe at a concert hall they own on the outskirts of Moscow.

June 18: Following the Miss USA contest in Las Vegas, Trump announces that he will bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow.

He also wonders if Putin will attend the pageant, and if Putin might "become my new best friend?"

June 21: Vladimir Putin awards Rex Tillerson, now Trump's secretary of state, with Russia's Order of Friendship. As the CEO of Exxon Mobil, Tillerson had developed a long-standing relationship with the head of Russia's state-owned oil company, Rosneft, dating back to 1998.

October 17: In an interview with David Letterman, Trump says, "I've done a lot of business with the Russians," noting that he once met Putin.

November 5: In a deposition, Trump is asked about a 2007 New York Times story outlining the controversial past of Felix Sater. Trump replies that he barely knows Sater and would have trouble recognizing him if they were in the same room.

November 8: Trump, in Russia for the Miss Universe pageant, meets with more than a dozen of Russia's top businessmen at Nobu, a restaurant 15 minutes from the Kremlin. The group includes Herman Gref, the CEO of the state-controlled Sberbank PJSC, Russia's biggest bank. The meeting at Nobu is organized by Gref—who regularly meets with Putin—and Aras Agalarov, who owns the Nobu franchise in Moscow.

- According to a source connected to the Agalarovs, Putin asks his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, to call Trump in advance of the Miss Universe show to set up an in-person meeting for the Russian president and Trump. Peskov reportedly passes on the message and expresses Putin's admiration for Trump. Their plans to meet never come to fruition because of scheduling changes for both Trump and Putin.

November 9: Trump spends the morning shooting a music video with Emin Agalarov.
-The Miss Universe pageant takes place near Moscow. A notorious Russian mobster, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, attends the event as a VIP, strolling down the event's red carpet within minutes of Trump. At the time, Tokhtakhounov was under federal indictment in the United States for his alleged participation in an illegal gambling ring once run out of Trump Tower. Emin Agalarov performs two songs at the pageant.

- MSNBC's Thomas Roberts asks Trump if he has a relationship with Putin. Trump replies, "I do have a relationship and I can tell you that he's very interested in what we're doing here today."

November 12: Trump tells Real Estate Weekly that Miss Universe Russia provided a networking opportunity: "Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room," he says. The same day, two developers who helped build the luxury Trump SoHo hotel meet with the Agalarovs to discuss replicating the hotel in Moscow. Aras Agalarov, whose real estate company secured multiple contracts from the Kremlin and who once received a medal of honor from Putin, later claims he and Trump signed a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow following the pageant

2014

March 6: Trump gives a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference and boasts of getting a gift from Putin when he was in Russia for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. "You know, I was in Moscow a couple months ago, I own the Miss Universe pageant, and they treated me so great," Trump said. "Putin even sent me a present, beautiful present, with a beautiful note."

May 27: At a National Press Club luncheon, Trump says, "I was in Moscow recently and I spoke, indirectly and directlywith President Putin, who could not have been nicer."

2015

September 15: FBI special agent Adrian Hawkins contacts the Democratic National Committee, saying that one of its computer systems has been compromised by a cyberespionage group linked to the Russian government. He speaks to a help desk technician who does a quick check of the DNC systems for evidence of a cyber intrusion. In the next several weeks, Hawkins calls the DNC back repeatedly, but his calls are not returned, in part because the tech support contractor who took Hawkins' call does not know whether he is a real agent. The FBI does not dispatch an agent to visit the DNC in person and does not make efforts to contact more senior DNC officials.
 
September 21: On a conservative radio show, Trump says, "I was in Moscow not so long ago for an event that we had, a big event, and many of [Putin's] people were there…I was with the top-level people, both oligarchs and generals, and top-of-the-government people. I can't go further than that, but I will tell you that I met the top people, and the relationship was extraordinary."
 
September 29: Trump praises Putin during an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly: "I will tell you, in terms of leadership he is getting an 'A,' and our president is not doing so well."

November 10: At a Republican presidential primary debate, Trump says of Putin that he "got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates."

November 11: The Associated Press, Time, and other media outlets report that Trump and Putin were never in the same studio. Trump was interviewed in New York, and Putin was interviewed in Moscow.

December 10: Retired General Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency who was reportedly forced out in 2014, attends and is paid $30,000 to speak at Russia Today's 10th anniversary dinner in Moscow, where he is seated next to Putin.

December 17: Putin praises Trump in his year-end press conference, saying that he is "very talented" and that "he is an absolute leader of the presidential race, as we see it today. He says that he wants to move to another level relations, a deeper level of relations with Russia…How can we not welcome that? Of course, we welcome it." Trump calls the praise "a great honor" from "a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond." He adds, "I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other toward defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.

2016

February 17: At a rally in South Carolina, Trump says of Putin, "I have no relationship with him, other than that he called me a genius."

March 21: In an interview with the Washington Post, Trump identifies Carter Page as one of his foreign policy advisers.

March 30: Bloomberg Businessweek reports on Page's past advising of Gazprom, Russia's state-owned gas company. Page tells Bloomberg Businessweek that after Trump named him as an adviser, positive notes from his Russian contacts filled his inbox. "There's a lot of excitement in terms of the possibilities for creating a better situation" in terms of easing US sanctions on Russia, Page explained.

April 26: The Washington Post reports that Paul Manafort, then Trump's convention manager (who would later be promoted to campaign chairman), has long-standing ties to pro-Putin Ukrainian officials. Between 2007 and 2012, Manafort worked as a political consultant to Putin ally Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russia part. He helped Yanukovych remake his image following the Orange Revolution and mount a successful bid for the Ukrainian presidency.

April and May: The DNC's IT department contacts the FBI about unusual computer activity and hires cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike to investigate. In May, Crowdstrike determines that hackers affiliated with Russian intelligence infiltrated the DNC's network.

June 14: The Washington Post reports that Russian hackers penetrated the DNC's computer network.

June 15: Guccifer 2.0, an online persona that US intelligence officials link to Russia's military intelligence service, takes credit for the DNC hack and posts hacked DNC documents. Guccifer will go on to post additional hacked documents—from the DNC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and purportedly from the Clinton Foundation—at least nine more times in the months leading up to the election. (Some reports contest that the documents came from the Clinton Foundation itself.)

July 7: Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page criticizes US sanctions against Russia during a speech at the New Economic School in Moscow. Politico later reports that Page asked for and received permission from Trump's then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to speak at the Moscow event.

July 18: The Washington Post reports that the Trump campaign worked with members of the Republican Party platform committee in advance of the Republican National Convention to soften the platform's position related to Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. The platform reportedly included a provision that promised to provide arms to Ukraine in its fight against Russia, but Trump campaign staffers encouraged the committee to jettison this language.

- Trump surrogate Sen. Jeff Sessions meets with with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, on the sidelines of a Republican National Convention event put on by the conservative Heritage Foundation.

July 18-21: Trump campaign staffers Carter Page and J.D. Gordon, the campaign's director of national security, also meet with the Russian ambassador during the convention.

July 22: WikiLeaks publishes nearly 20,000 hacked DNC emails, in advance of the Democratic National Convention. Some of the emails indicate that DNC officials favored Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders.

July 24: Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign chairman, appears on ABC's This Week, where he is asked whether there are connections between the Trump campaign and the Putin regime. Manafort says, "No, there are not. And you know, there's no basis to it."

July 25: Trump tweets about the hacked DNC e-mails.

July 26: US intelligence agencies tell the White House they now have "high confidence" that the Russian government was behind the DNC hack. This is reported by media outlets but not publicly confirmed by intelligence agencies.

- In an interview with NBC News, Obama says hacks are being investigated by the FBI, but that "experts have attributed this to the Russians." He notes, "What we do know is that the Russians hack our systems. Not just government systems, but private systems. But you know, what the motives were in terms of the leaks, all that—I can't say directly. What I do know is that Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin."

July 27: Trump encourages Russia to hack Clinton's emails, saying during a news conference, "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you'll probably be rewarded mightily by our press." At the same event, he declares, "I never Putin. I don't know who Putin is."

July 31: On ABC's This Week, Trump again denies knowing Putin, saying, "I have no relationship with him." Trump also denies that his campaign played any role in getting the Republican Party to soften its platform on arming Ukraine.

- On Meet the Press, Manafort denies that he or anyone within the Trump campaign worked to change the platform.

Sen. Jeff Sessions defends Trump's efforts to cultivate a friendship with Russia during an appearance on CNN: "Donald Trump is right. We need to figure out a way to end this cycle of hostility that's putting this country at risk, costing us billions of dollars in defense, and creating hostilities."

Late July: The FBI launches a counterintelligence investigation into contacts between Trump associates and Russia. There is no public confirmation of this investigation at the time, but FBI Director James Comey later confirms the investigation in a March 2017 hearing before the House intelligence committee.

August 5: Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks, asked by the Washington Post about Carter Page's July speech in Moscow, downplays his role as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, saying he "does not speak for Mr. Trump or the campaign."

- Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone writes an article for Breitbart in which he denies that Russia was behind the DNC hack. He argues that Guccifer 2.0 has no ties to Russia.

August 6: NPR confirms the Trump campaign's involvement in encouraging the Republican Party to soften its platform's pro-Ukraine position on Russia's annexation of Crimea.

August 14: The New York Times reports that Ukraine's anti-corruption bureau has discovered Manafort's name on a list of "black accounts" compiled by ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a Putin ally. The tallies show undisclosed payments designated for Manafort totaling $12.7 million between 2007 and 2012, the years that Manafort worked for Yanukovych as a political consultant. (Manafort denies receiving any illicit payments.)

August 17: Trump receives his first classified intelligence briefing as the GOP nominee for president. He brings Michael Flynn with him to the meeting, which includes discussion of the intelligence community's assessment that Russia was interfering in the US election.

August 19: Manafort resigns from the Trump campaign.

August 29: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pens a letter to the FBI, asking the bureau to investigate the possibility of election-tampering by Russia in the upcoming presidential election. "I have recently become concerned that the threat of the Russian government tampering in our presidential election is more extensive than widely known," Reid writes. "The prospect of a hostile government actively seeking to undermine our free and fair elections represents one of the gravest threats to our democracy since the Cold War and it is critical for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to use every resource available to investigate this matter thoroughly."

August 29: Yahoo News reports that the FBI has found evidence that the state voter systems in Arizona and Illinois were breached by hackers possibly linked to the Russian government.

August 30: House Democrats send a letter to FBI Director James Comey calling on the bureau to investigate ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials and any impact these ties may have had on the hacking of the DNC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

September 5: The Washington Post reports that US intelligence agencies, including the FBI, are investigating possible plans by Russia to disrupt the presidential election.

- Putin and Obama have a tense meeting at the G20 summit in China, where they discuss Syria, Ukraine, and cybersecurity. In December, Obama will tell reporters that he confronted Putin about Russia's alleged interference in the election and told him to "cut it out."

September 7: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper suggests publicly for the first time that Russia may be responsible for the DNC hack, pointing to Obama's July statement that "experts have attributed this to the Russians." Clapper adds that "the Russians hack our systems all the time.
"
September 8: Trump responds to Clapper's comments in an interview with RT, the English language arm of a Russian state-controlled media conglomerate, casting doubt on whether Russian hackers were responsible for the DNC hack. "I think maybe the Democrats are putting that out," Trump says. "Who knows, but I think it's pretty unlikely."

Jeff Sessions meets with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in his Senate office. He is the only one of the Senate armed services committee's 26 members to meet with the ambassador in 2016. The meeting occurs days after Putin and Obama's tense G20 meeting.
September 22: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House intelligence committee, release a statement about Russia's interference in the US election. "Based on briefings we have received, we have concluded that the Russian intelligence agencies are making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election," they said"We believe that orders for the Russian intelligence agencies to conduct such actions could come only from the very senior levels of the Russian government."

September 23: Yahoo News reports that US intelligence officials are investigating whether Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page discussed the possible lifting of US sanctions on Russia and other topics during private communications with top Russian officials, including a Putin aide and the current executive chairman of Rosneft, who is on the Treasury Department's US sanctions list. Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller claims that Page "has no role" in the Trump campaign and says that "we are not aware of any of his activities, past or present."

September 25: In a CNN interview, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway denies that Page is affiliated with the Trump campaign. "He's certainly not part of the campaign that I'm running," she said.

In response to a question about Page's possible connections to Russian  Conway says, "If he's doing that, he's certainly not doing it with the permission or knowledge of the campaign," She adds, "He is certainly not authorized to do that."

September 26: Page takes a leave from the campaign.

- During the first presidential debate, Clinton brings up the allegations that Russia orchestrated the DNC hack. Trump responds: "I don't think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She's saying Russia, Russia, Russia. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?"

October 1: Roger Stone tweets: [Go to link]

October 7: US intelligence agencies issue a joint release saying they are "confident" the Russian government interfered in the US election, in part by directing the leaking of hacked emails belonging to political institutions like the DNC. This is the first official government confirmation that Russia orchestrated the hacking and leaks during the election.

-Late on Friday afternoon, a leaked video of Trump boasting of groping and kissing women without their consent is published by the Washington Post. Half an hour later, WikiLeaks begins to release several thousand hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

October 9: During the second presidential debate, Clinton accuses Trump of benefiting from Russian hacking and other interference in the election. Trump responds, "I don't know Putin. I think it would be great if we got along with Russia because we could fight ISIS together, as an example. But I don't know Putin."' [More here for the rest of the timeline all the way to March 24, 2017] 

Congrats to Mother Jones for doing a terrific job of journalism.

FOX VIEWS please take note.

*Pic from cnn.com

 






























 
 
 
 
 
 


















Sunday, March 26, 2017

Is there really a "Deep State V. Trump"?

MORE DISCLAIMERS I don't co-sign with everything that the author Paul Street said in the following article written for counterpunch, but I think that it is a must read for every serious thinker in America.

"In the 2016 presidential election cycle, two “populist” candidates running outside and against the nation’s reigning financial power centers launched remarkable insurgencies within the nation’s two dominant state-capitalist political organizations.   One of those contenders, Bernie Sanders, pushed Wall Street’s number one presidential aspirant, Hillary Clinton, much closer to possible defeat than probably he himself expected. After welcoming Sanders in as a token opponent to help Mrs. Clinton’s nomination as the Democrats’ presidential candidate seem at least partly contested, the Clinton campaign and its allies in the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had to resort to dirty tricks to make sure he didn’t steal their prize.

Sanders’ message of reducing economic inequality resonated with millions of voters.  In retrospect, this is less than surprising in a time when the top tenth of the upper U.S. One Percent owns as much as much wealth as the bottom U.S. 90 percent while half the nation’s population is either poor or near-poor (living at less than half the federal government’s notoriously inadequate poverty level).  A shocking 94 percent of the jobs created in the U.S. economy during the Obama years were part-time, contract, and/or temporary positions.

Sanders’ appeal proved potent enough to force Hillary to change her position on numerous issues, including her prior support for the arch-corporate-globalist Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In the end, however, the Bernie revolution came up short. He lacked an established organizational base to match up with the formidable Clinton machine and its allies in the Democratic Party. He did not possess the killer instinct required to deal that machine a fatal blow (as seen in his excessive willingness to provide Mrs. Clinton cover on her email scandal).  He made critical errors with critical Black voters. And he faced persistent media bias thanks in part to his self-identification as a “democratic socialist.”

The Frankenstein “Populist” Who Won

The other “populist” major party candidate was Donald Trump.  He was richly endowed at least when it came to killer instinct regarding his opponents – or, as he likes to call them, his “enemies.” With no small help from a corporate media that gave him absurd amounts of free public exposure (helping thereby to create a Frankenstein from which that media would later recoil), Trump defeated and indeed humiliated Wall Street’s chosen Republican contenders, including first and foremost Jeb Bush.

He did this by running outside the traditional Republican Wall Street formula that Bush followed and in ways that sparked consternation in Wall Street executive suites and in other “elite” outposts of concentrated wealth and power. He denounced globalist “free trade,” NAFTA, and the TPP. He claimed to speak for working class “forgotten Americans” abandoned by big globalist corporations. He said that “free trade” had cost untold masses of  working Americans their livelihoods. He said that the American political system was “broken” by big money special interests that undermine and distort democracy (something Trump said he knew all about because of his own history as a wealthy funder of politicians). Much of the country’s infrastructure was crumbling under the reign of those interests, he noted.

Along the way, Trump’s frothing promise to deport millions of illegal immigrants and build an anti-immigrant wall on the southern U.S. border troubled business interests who rely on cheap and compliant immigrant labor.  It also threatened Republican efforts to win over more Latino voters
Trump also articulated a protectionist “America First” foreign policy and trade vision that won him enemies in U.S. imperial establishment, which is intimately tied in to the nation’s globalist financial and corporate oligarchy. Adding the bipartisan imperial “national security elite” to those he irked, Trump criticized George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton for advancing costly, jihad-spreading regime-change fiascos in Iraq and Libya. He hinted that he’d drop U.S. support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and criticized Hillary and the foreign policy elite’s provocation of Moscow.

A Loose Cannon Bad for the National Brand

Beneath all this, Trump was something else the ruling class really doesn’t like – a loose cannon full of individualist chutzpah and bile. As Mike Lofgren noted in his important book The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government (2016) last summer, “His painfully visible erratic unpredictability and thirst for confrontation made him anything but the sort of team player who would give due consideration to the needs of the vested interests. Dividend drawers want a reliable caretaker to run their affairs, not an insult comedian juggling sticks of dynamite.”

And Trump threatened to ruin Brand America. It is longstanding bipartisan U.S. ruling class doctrine that the United States is the world’s great beacon and agent of democracy, human rights, justice, and freedom. American Reality has never matched the doctrine, of course, but it was especially difficult indeed to square those claims with a candidate like Trump, who openly exhibited racist, nativist, sexist, arch-authoritarian and even neo-fascist sentiments and values while openly praising torture.  “If our system of government is an oligarchy with a façade of democratic and constitutional process,” Lofgren wrote in the preface to his book’s paperback edition, “Trump would not only rip that façade away for the entire world to behold; he would take our system’s ugliest features and intensify them.”

The “dividend drawers” and the overlapping imperial elite prefer people like Obama. Beneath his carefully crafted people’s and “fresh” outsider imagery, he was in fact a well-vetted, Harvard Law-minted and establishment-vetted team player who understood very well that his job was to smoothly serve his Wall Street and Pentagon masters and keep populist and anti-war sentiments at bay while pretending to embrace them both for his own electoral advantage and for broader system-rebranding effect. The neoliberal, silver-tongued Obama was the empire’s sophisticated, fake-progressive, fake-constitutional, and multicultural new clothes.  He enjoyed and embraced the deceptive role.  He told the nation’s financial elite early on in his presidency that, as he remarked to the nation’s top 13 financial executives after he called them to the White House in the wake of the financial collapse they caused, “you guys have a public relations problem and I’m here to help.”

Trump, by contrast, threatened to remove the democratic, legal, post-racial, peaceful, and ethnically diverse, cloak in particularly glaring ways.  He harkened a crisis of legitimacy for the system’s false claims to represent noble and egalitarian ideals – something that promised to be bad for business at home and abroad.  A Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio presidency might have inflicted some of the same damage, to some degree, but not to anything like the same extent as Trump.  The Republican Party has trucked in racist, sexist, nativist, and militarist white nationalism and authoritarianism for more than half a century.  (The Bush family was no exception, to say the least).  Still, no serious Republican presidential contender in memory had gone as far as Trump in making these terrible tendencies so explicit and pronounced, with the effect enhanced by Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and 24/7 cable news.  Trump threatened to rip the last remaining shreds of civilizational legitimacy from the ever more apocalyptic and radically reactionary GOP." [More]

Thoughts?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

CAPTION SATURDAY.

Image result for health care obama laughing at trump meme

I need a caption for this pic.

Example: "Then he said the vote was close. Do you believe that?"


*Pic from twitter.com

Friday, March 24, 2017

Down goes trumpcare!

TWEET ME  "If you want to be ignored, speak the truth. If you want to be heard, speak bullshit and people will take notes. "
 
That quote above is from my friend, Danny Alvarez, who made a good run to become Philadelphia's District Attorney but lost to a more popular democrat. Philadelphia is regretting that now, because the man who beat him, Seth Williams, was recently charged with various crimes by Uncle Sam, and might be facing some serious jail time. But I digress.
 
I was thinking about that quote as I watched trumpcare flame out today. I must admit that I even drank the trump bullshit Kool-Aid. I really thought that Mr. Art of the deal would get it done. But alas, he was just blowing smoke like he always does. 
 
There has not been a whole lot of "winning" for trump these days. All those promises on the campaign trail are not panning out. There is no wall, no Muslim ban, and certainly no Obamacare repeal and replace. Now, in typical trump fashion, he is backing away and blaming others for his failures. His concession speech today was pathetic, and it made him come off as weak and delusional.
 
 He kept saying that the vote was close when they missed the mark by fifteen votes;  he  kept saying that Obamacare will implode and go away when there is no sign of that happening, and he whined that Obamacare would not go away in just 64 days, but he boasted on the campaign trial that he would do away with it immediately.   
 
And even with all of that, Paul Ryan was taking notes,
 
 "We came really close today but we came up short. ... This is a disappointing day for us." He said the president has "really been fantastic."
 
"Fantastic"?
 
Well trump can take solace in one thing: He clearly has a lot of bullshit left to give.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Learning the hard way that governing is tough.

Image result for trump health care images   Let's be honest, there is no way that republicans will let trumpcare go down tomorrow. They have way too much invested in getting rid of the healthcare plan named after the black man.

Still, the fact that they are having such a hard time getting the votes to support this dreadful plan (a plan it took them seven years to perfect) says all you need to know about the dysfunction among these right-wingnuts in Washington.

In one corner you have the real conservatives, and in the other corner you have the moderates. In the middle you have Paul Ryan and the trump White House, whose concern is not for the health of the American people, but rather the political optics of their dreadful trumpcare rollout.

Trump and Ryan just want a win at this point. Any win. Why? Because in case you have been living on another planet, these first 60 days or so have been absolutely horrible for team trump and the republicans.

And what's scary is this: As Chris Hayes stated earlier, the White House does not know what's in the health care plan and he does not care. He just wants a win. Details be damned. Details, by the way, which are serious, and which have serious consequences for the lives of real people.

"Kentucky GOP Rep. Thomas Massie said Thursday that the Trump administration had not convinced him to change his vote on the bill to replace Obamacare, and said that he hoped it would sink in the House.

“I am still very much opposed to the bill,” Massie said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Thursday. “I think it’s worse than Obamacare.” [Source]

Mr. Massie has changed his vote from No to HELL NO!

It's going to be a long night.

*Pic from abcnews.go.com




    





Wednesday, March 22, 2017

беспорядочный (Messy)

Image result for devin nunes image “When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.”    
~    
Will Rogers ~ 

Devin Nunes might be an idiot and possibly a criminal, but I have to give him credit, he is certainly a loyal soldier.  He gave it the old college try for the president and the republicans today. 

Team trump must have really thought that they were going to find a way out of the huge hole that they have dug for themselves in today. They had their man-- who is the head of the House Intelligence Committee-- make an incredibly stupid move by holding a press conference to tell the world about possibly classified intelligence information. Remarkably, he revealed these things from his "source" without telling it to his fellow members of the committee.

The ranking democratic member of that committee was not pleased, and he said that he had "grave concerns" about the actions taken by his republican colleague.

 If this was team trump's attempt  to muddy the waters and give him some wiggle room with his outrageous claim that former president Obama wiretapped his phone, it did not work. It was in no way exculpatory. In fact, it has drawn more scrutiny to their team and their actions leading up to, and right after the elections.

This Russian stink is not going away, and no matter how much trump and his team try to shift and dodge, they are not going to change the facts.

"I think the bottom line here is that ... President Trump, to some degree, is right that he did end up in some intelligence reports, and I don't think he knew about it," he told CNN, later clarifying that Trump is "not right" about the precise claim that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.
 
Schiff maintained that if Trump and his aides ended up in a lawfully compiled intelligence report, they were likely not the subjects of surveillance"
 
And there in lies the key: trump and his aides might have ended up in a lawfully compiled intelligence report. 
 
We can only imagine what those reports contained.   
 
*Pic from twitter.com
  



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday night.

TWEET MENo post tonight, folks.

I am out trying to learn a little Russian. Apparently it might be our first language in the near future

Monday, March 20, 2017

A president in crisis.

Image result for trump images  Today we learned a couple of things:

1. There is absolutely no evidence that former president Obama tapped Mr. trump's phone.

2. The FBI is investigation collusion between some of the folks on team trump and the Russians.

Let's think about this for a minute. The current president --and the people around him-- are being investigated by the FBI for colluding with a foreign government that is hostile to America.

Be careful when you "drain the swamp",  because you never know what you will find at the bottom of it.

"Highlights from Monday's testimony:
  • For the first time, Director Comey publicly confirmed the FBI is conducting an investigation into whether the Trump campaign "coordinated" with the Russian effort to influence the U.S. election.
  • Comey debunked the Trump Tower wiretapping allegation.
  • Comey noted that it is possible for people to collude with a foreign power without knowing it.
  • Adm. Rogers, the NSA director, dismissed the notion that Britain's GCHQ intelligence service spied on Trump at Obama's direction."
Tonight trump couldn't wait to get out of Washington and hit the campaign trail. Yes, the campaign trial. We are damn near 100 days into his presidency and Mr. Orange Hair is still in campaign mode.    

He was getting all kinds of campaign love tonight. But rather than address the growing crisis surrounding his presidency,  he chose this particular forum to rip Colin Kaepernick of all people.

“And you know, your San Francisco quarterback,”...... “I’m sure nobody ever heard of him. I’m just reporting the news. There was an article today — I love to report the news and then they said I made a mistake, right? I said, ‘No, the people reporting the news made a mistake if it’s wrong.’ But there was an article today, it was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that. I said if I remember that one I’m gonna report it to the people of the Kentucky. Because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag.” [Source]

Yes Donald, let's talk about an out of work quarterback while your administration goes to "hell in a handbasket." I am sure that your minions won't even notice.

*Pic from politicususa.com







Sunday, March 19, 2017

Mar-a-Lago once again.

Image result for trump obama trips cost image  Just look at the graph to your left of this post. Can you imagine if former president Obama spent damn near every weekend of his presidency jetting off to South Florida (and playing golf) on the taxpayer's dime? There would be cries for impeachment and FOX VIEWS would have two or three prime time shows dedicated to those trips.

Instead, even with his seventh straight weekend at a trump branded property---- which is costing us millions-- there is no outrage. Not from the "American people", or, for that matter, the American press.   

Trump was at Mar-a-Lago again this weekend, and that was three more million dollars of our money being spent so that this clown can work on his tan and do whatever he does to his hair.

Maybe he went down there to make sure that all the foreign workers working for him had their proper work permits.  I mean it would be kind of embarrassing if he is trying to crack down on foreign workers coming into this country if his own foreign workers were here illegally.

We honestly don't even know what he is doing down  there besides playing golf, since the White House seems to be giving us different readouts than what the pool reporters are getting.

Instead of cutting vital programs to the poor and elderly, you would think that he would cut back on his trips South and send some time in Washington where the voters sent him. Some of the vast amounts of money we are paying for these trips could go towards helping to alleviate some of the pain from the budget cuts that he is planning to make.

This is what Aaaron Rupar wrote for Think Progress:

"Trump’s repeated trips to Trump-branded properties aren’t just problematic because they embody how he’s profiting off the presidency and breaking campaign promises. They also represent Trump’s selective austerity when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars. 
 
As Quartz reported on Friday, after this weekend, Trump will have already spent about $16.5 million on trips to Mar-a-Lago. For that amount, Meals on Wheels could feed 5,967 seniors for a year and after school programs could feed 114,583 children for a year.
 
On Thursday, Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney defended the draconian cuts included in the Trump administration’s proposed budget by arguing that the federal government can’t ask “a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for” programs like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. But one wonders whether those struggling Americans would rather have public radio or dole out their share of the $3.3 million a self-proclaimed billionaire is spending each weekend to mingle with his ludicrously wealthy club members down in Florida."
 
Club memberships for which he has doubled the fees since becoming president. 
 
It looks like this president thing might work out just fine for Donald after all, regardless of what happens to the rest of us.
 
Knowing Donald, he wouldn't have it any other way.    
 
*Pic from politicususa.com