Jun 242017
 

When I first learned that Obama had known about Russian interference in our election to hurt Hillary Clinton and assist Putin’s Puppet, I felt very upset that he had not made it public, instead of deferring to Republican demands to keep it secret.  It made no sense to me, until now.

0624Obama-and-Putin

Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

The White House debated various options to punish Russia, but facing obstacles and potential risks, it ultimately failed to exact a heavy toll on the Kremlin for its election interference.

Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.

But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump…  [emphasis added]

From <Washington Post>

I urge you to click through and read this entire article.  It is a gold mine of information, and I have shared just part of the introduction.

Rachel Maddow summarized some of the highlights.

I would have included her interview with Ellen Nakashima, but MSNBC did not share it for embedding.

Now, let’s assume the probable fact that the Republican Reich, up to including Trump, were working hand in glove with Putin and the KGB to steal the election.  Add that projection (accusing opponents of their own crimes) is the Republicans’ favorite tactic to deflect attention from their own evil deeds.  So as soon as Russia’s handiwork started to surface, Trump regularly started accusing Obama and Hillary of fixing the election.  And in addition to his legitimate fears about a Russian response, Obama knew that revealing the truth would make Trump’s accusations appear accfdurate.  I have never seen anything so devious before.

RESIST!!

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Jun 152017
 

Please pardon my brevity  I have been a slave to Republicosis for most of the day and have had very little sleep.  The goal is to publish, dry up, and sleep as soon and as much as I can.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 6:47 (average 8:57).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): Trickle-Down Justice

 

While I agree with Van and reject trickle down justice, our support for civil rights cannot be to exclude all else. Absolute refusal to compromise breeds only extremists, like the Bernie or Bust Bot killer that wouldn’t even listen to Bernie.  RESIST!!

From The Rachel Maddow Show: Special counsel investigating Trump for obstruction: WaPo

Adam Entous, national security reporter for the Washington Post, talks with Rachel Maddow about breaking news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Donald Trump for possible obstruction of justice in the firing of James Comey.

 

Obstruction of Justice is clearly a great way to proceed against Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten. I don’t see how Mueller could reach any other conclusion. RESIST!!

From NY Times: …The latest charges reached farther than before into Michigan’s state government, affecting two cabinet-level officials in the administration of Gov. Rick Snyder and leaving open the possibility that the investigation would go higher still.

Nick Lyon, the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office, felonies that could lead to as much as 20 years in prison. Dr. Eden V. Wells, the chief medical executive for the department, was charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a peace officer, and could face up to seven years if convicted. They are among 15 current and former state and local officials facing criminal charges as a 17-month investigation into Flint’s tainted water supply continues.

The charges need to be more severe and need to include Snyder. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0615Cartoon

Today’s Republicans would arrest Ben for committing science.

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Will Trump Fire Mueller

 Posted by at 1:47 pm  Politics
Jun 132017
 

Special Prosecutor is doing something that makes him unsatisfactory to Donald Trump: his job.  And the more he does his job, the more that threatens to expose the many crimes committed by Trump and too many Republicans to count.  Trump has actually said that he is considering it.

0613TrumpMueller

The big news Monday night was that President Trump is apparently thinking about firing the special counsel in charge of the federal Russia investigation, Robert S. Mueller III.

The bigger news is that Trump actually needs to be talked out of this.

Newsmax chief executive and Trump confidant Christopher Ruddy took to PBS in an interview that aired Monday evening to say he thought Trump was "considering perhaps terminating" the recently appointed Mueller. Ruddy said this shortly after visiting the White House, it should be noted, which suggests that it didn’t come out of nowhere. And it seemed to be as much a warning as a trial balloon; even before that interview aired, Ruddy and others were warning Trump strongly against that course of action.

"It could trigger something well beyond anything they ever imagined," Ruddy told Politico. "I think firing Mueller could trigger an impeachment process. It could be very dangerous. I don’t think it’d be very smart at all."…

From <Washington Post>

I actually agree with Ruddey that it would not be very smart al all, and therein lies the danger.  Not very smart described Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten perfectly.

Rachel Maddow discussed the rules.

Lawrence O’Donnell had two segments.  In the first, he and his panel call it a tacit admission of guilt.

In the second, he examines possible Republican responses.

If he does one of two things will collapse.  We will lose either the Republican Reich or the United States of America.

RESIST!!

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Trump vs. Comey

 Posted by at 1:38 am  Politics
Jun 112017
 

The lonliest man in the world in a room full of people.

I don't know what people were waiting for most, James Comey's testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, or Trump's reaction to it.  Of course, to get the second, you must have the first.  They are part and parcel.

While James Comey was giving testimony under oath to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday 08 June 2017, Trump was speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, DC.  According to the Washington Post

"… just as Comey was wrapping up his public hearing, Trump recited Isaiah 1:17, which states: “Learn to do right, seek justice, defend the oppressed. Take up the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

Then the president added in his own words: “The entrenched interests and failed bitter voices in Washington will do everything in their power to try and stop us from this righteous cause, to try to stop all of you. They will lie, they will obstruct, they will spread their hatred and their prejudice, but we will not back down from doing what is right.”

“Because as the Bible tells us, we know the truth will prevail,” he added. “Nothing worth doing ever came easy. . . . We know how to fight better than anybody, and we never give up. We are winners, and we are going to fight.”

I am sorry, but when did Drumpf or a pseudo Christian ever heed the true meaning of scripture?  Righteous cause?  Drumpf was playing the audience like a maestro plays the violin, and they bought itlock, stock and barrel.

From The NY Times, these highlights from The Senate hearing:

‘Lies, plain and simple’

Mr. Comey said Mr. Trump lied to the American public when he said that the F.B.I. was in disarray and that agents had lost confidence in Mr. Comey.

“Those were lies, plain and simple,” Mr. Comey said in brief opening remarks.

Mr. Trump made that claim when he fired Mr. Comey last month. Mr. Comey said he was confused and concerned by Mr. Trump’s changing explanation for why he fired him.

‘We know how to fight,’ Trump says

Mr. Trump, appearing at a meeting of faith leaders and politicians in Washington as Mr. Comey testified across town, railed against the media and his political opponents.

“We know how to fight better than anybody and we never, ever give up — we are winners and we are going to fight,” he told hundreds of supporters at the annual Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Mr. Trump recited Isaiah 1:17, then continued by saying that “entrenched interests” in Washington “will lie, they will obstruct, they will spread their hatred and their prejudice, but we will not back down from doing what is right.”

“We know the truth will prevail,” he added. “Nothing worth doing ever came easy.”

A short time later, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, issued a statement denying Mr. Comey’s testimony that the president pressured him to drop his investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia. He also said Mr. Trump never demanded “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty” as Mr. Comey testified on Thursday.

“Contrary to numerous false press accounts leading up to today’s hearing, Mr. Comey has now finally confirmed publicly what he repeatedly told the president privately: The president was not under investigation as part of any probe into Russian interference,” Mr. Kasowitz’s statement said. “He also admitted that there is no evidence that a single vote changed as a result of any Russian interference.

Mr. Trump watched part of the hearings with the lawyer, and Mr. Kasowitz’s statements tracked closely with emails and talking points issued by the Republican National Committee, who think the former director hurt himself by acknowledging he leaked a memo detailing his private interactions with the president.

Click through for more highlights.  You can also read a transcript of the hearing at  NY TimesIt is decidedly faster than listening to the three plus hours of testimony, although the nuance of tone and body language is lost. 

Rachel Maddow provides some analysis of the day's proceedings.

So, who were the winners and losers after Comey's testimony?

The Hill I have provided the first "winner" and the first "loser".  Click through for the remaining winners and losers.  So Trump, who has the big L on the forehead now?  You do!

WINNERS
 
Former FBI Director James Comey
 
Comey rode into the Thursday hearing on a wave of positive press. He figures to go back to civilian life on the same high.
 
Comey’s seven-page opening statement was praised for its prose and will be remembered for its portrayal of excruciating personal interactions involving a president at war with his FBI director.
 

Comey’s reputation for being “politically savvy” will grow after he revealed that he engineered the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia by sharing his notes about conversations with Trump through an intermediary to The New York Times — for the express purpose of getting the counsel picked.
 
There will definitely be some blowback for Comey, who had criticized leaks while serving as FBI director. His admission of sharing the notes underlines his image as a Washington player — and perhaps not in a completely complimentary way.
 
Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz ripped Comey at a presser after the hearing, criticizing the leak as improper and insisting that Trump never asked for his loyalty.
 
Yet the bipartisan praise he won from senators on the Intelligence panel will make it more difficult for critics to tar him.
 
And Comey’s reputation as someone who looked out for an independent FBI is unlikely to be shaken.
 
LOSERS
 
President Trump
 
There was much to be relieved about after Thursday’s hearing if you were Trump or his staff.
 
The legal case against Trump didn’t grow from Comey’s testimony, which included no new bombshells.
 
There is still no evidence that Trump campaign officials colluded with Russia, and Comey would not say that the president sought to obstruct justice by asking him to “lift the cloud” over his administration and the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
 
Comey also said Trump was not under investigation while he was at the FBI, validating public remarks by the president.
 
Still, it’s never a good day when an FBI director accuses you of being a liar and defaming the federal law enforcement power.
 
Overall, it was another bad day in politics for Trump, who has had many of those in recent weeks.
 
The Comey drama and the Russian probe are badly hampering Trump’s ability to govern. The president’s job approval rating hit a new low this week and his agenda has stalled in Congress. 
 
Comey’s testimony will only thicken the “cloud” of controversy that Trump, according to the former FBI director, really wanted to see lifted.
 
Trump's reaction to Comey's testimony the following day as reported by Reuters:

President Donald Trump called James Comey a "leaker" on Friday, the day after his former FBI director accused him in a U.S. Senate hearing of lying and trying to quash an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. 

"Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication … and WOW, Comey is a leaker!" Trump tweeted in his first comments since Comey appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

If I had to sum up the activities in Washington in ten words or less, I think I'd use a headline from CNN:
James Comey just went nuclear on Donald Trump.
 
I am sure that when TomCat is up to it, he will provide more analysis of Comey's testimony and where he sees this circus going.
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May 202017
 

I had another night with very little sleep.  The humidity is extreme, and it will take time to get used to the noisy AC again.  Tomorrow it will reach 85°, and on Monday, the day of my Oncologist appointment, 90°.  The last time I was out of my building, I was bundled up with a heavy shirt, a sweater and my hoodie.  I also have a Prosthetist appointment on Thursday, so I’ll be a bit scarce next week.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 4:39).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Robert Mueller, the former F.B.I. director named to investigate the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia, will have broad discretion to prosecute any crimes he uncovers. But an equally important part of his mandate is lesser known: his duty to write a report on his findings.

In this respect, Mueller, as a special counsel designated by the Justice Department, differs from other federal prosecutors. Most U.S. Attorneys operate by a rule of put up or shut up—that is, they either bring criminal prosecutions or say nothing at all.

Click through for much more. That’s one report I can’t wait to read! RESIST!!

From NY Times: President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”

He bragged about it to his owners. How little the fool knew. He’s under far more investigation now than before. RESIST!!

From The Rachel Maddow Show: How might Donald Trump try to end the special investigation?

Rachel Maddow looks at some ways by which Donald Trump could try to get in the way of the Trump-Russia special investigation or eliminate it entirely.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all. Stay tuned. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0520Cartoon

Can science survive in the US?

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18 New Russian Contacts

 Posted by at 11:48 am  Politics
May 192017
 

Back in the old days, Pence put on his very best pseudo-Christian disguise and lied with pretended piety that there had been absolutely no contacts between the Trump Campaign and Russian operatives. It’s not so easy for him to tell that lie today, because example after example of both Russian contacts and Pence’s lies about them have surfaced. Jonathan Landay just reported eighteen new ones.

0519TrumpRussia

The previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record now being reviewed by FBI and congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Six of the previously undisclosed contacts described to Reuters were phone calls between Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, and Trump advisers, including Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, three current and former officials said.

Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak accelerated after the Nov. 8 vote as the two discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations, four current U.S. officials said…

From <Reuters>
Photo credit: politico

Rachel Maddow covered the story in two segments.In the first she sets up the background, as only she can, and expands on Pence’s lies.

In the second, she discusses the Russian contacts with Jonathan Landay.

One thing is clear.  As the noose around the Trump Residency (He NEVER was or will be President) tightens, replacing him with coconspirators like pseudo-Christian Pence or Lyin’ Ryan is moving America out of the frying pan and into the fire.

RESIST!! 

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