Monday, September 11, 2017

A Good American

If you haven't seen this documentary, it's on Netflix (Also YouTube)  now and is the true and highly compelling story of the government's failure to prevent the attacks of Nov. 11, 2001. Many will not be surprised by the facts of the case, but the audacity of our government to do the unthinkable to protect corporate profits still amazes.

Some of us knew it at the time and were labeled "unpatriotic" for crying foul. You really feel for these folks who tried to tell the truth. While the rest of us were "Good Germans", as it were, and went along with the charade of denial, this small group of noble beings were the true Good Americans.

We've all been hiding under the desk since November of 1963. Isn't it time we came out? Became "good Americans" ourselves?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Yet Another Astonishing Summary of the Week

September 5, 2017
By Joe Kloc     
North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un conducted a hydrogen bomb test; his ambassador called the test a "gift package" and said that "the U.S. will receive more gift packages" if it continues making "futile" threats of sanctions; and U.S. president Donald Trump, who once said he wanted to be "unpredictable" when dealing with nuclear weapons, tweeted that he was considering "stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea," including China, which accounts for 90 percent of North Korea's trade and which manufactures Trump-branded eyeglasses, shirts, ties, suits, mirrors, ceramic vases, wall decorations, kitchen items, and light fixtures, as well as dice for Trump: The Game. Russian president Vladimir Putin said that Trump was not his "bride," that "not all American presidents have reached the end of their term," and that it was "difficult to have a dialogue" with U.S. politicians who "confuse Austria and Australia." Trump nominated as his chief USDA scientist his former Iowa campaign manager, who is not a scientist; and a scientist reported that a government-approved pesticide had damaged 3.1 million acres of soybeans across the Midwest. Trump nominated as his head of NASA an Oklahoma congressman who does not believe in the findings of climate scientists; and a Category 5 hurricane approached the coast of Florida, less than a thousand miles from where a Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Texas a week earlier. Trump's nominee for drug czar was reported to have attempted, while serving as a U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania, to get expunged his friend's conviction for dealing cocaine; and trafficking of powder and crack cocaine was reported to be rising in western Pennsylvania. Trump's attorney general said that there was "nothing compassionate" about allowing immigrants who were brought to the United States as young children to remain in the country, and one of those immigrants was found to have drowned while trying to rescue victims of a flood in Texas. Trump was reported to be "crushed" after receiving the resignation of his director of Oval Office operations, who once punched a Latino man for calling Trump a racist; and the head of a Philadelphia police union referred to Black Lives Matter protesters as "rabid animals" and voiced his support for an officer who has shot two black men in the back on two separate occasions. A law professor found that, according to 37 of the 40 known dictionaries written between 1604 and 1806, the profits Trump receives from foreign leaders' visits to his hotels are a violation of the Constitution's emoluments clause, which a lawyer for Trump has said was written before such profits would be considered emoluments; another personal lawyer for Trump admitted to sending a letter during Trump's presidential campaign to the Kremlin asking for help building a Trump Tower in Moscow; and it was reported that Trump, who has referred to women's vaginas as "landmines" and who during his presidential campaign chastised his opponent for accepting money from Saudi Arabia because the country's citizens "treat women horribly," accepted from the government of Saudi Arabia a robe lined with cheetah fur, a robe lined with rabbit fur, a robe lined with white tiger fur, leather ammo belts and holsters, swords, daggers, boxes of gold-plated coins, a baseball cap, a painting of himself, and a painting of Saudi women.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Rise of Sadism?

August 28, 2017
By Joe Kloc     
From this week's Harper's Weekly:

Days before the Mexican government offered to send aid for the victims of a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall in eastern Texas and caused catastrophic flooding in up to 50 counties and drove an estimated 30,000 people from their homes, one-time pornographic-film extra and current U.S. president Donald Trump issued a pardon for Joe Arpaio, a former sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County who, during his 24-year tenure, held inmates in Korean War tents that reached temperatures of 141 degrees; referred to those tents as a "concentration camp" and the place "where all the Mexicans are"; called complaints from 
Latinos "civil rights crap"; said it costs more to "feed the dogs than it does the inmates," whom he fed rotten green bologna; ran on his office's website a "Mugshot of the Day" contest inviting visitors to vote for their favorite inmate images; shot footage of female inmates that could be viewed online; forced hundreds of inmates not yet convicted of any crime to march from one jail to another in pink underwear; oversaw guards who referred to Latino inmates as "wetbacks" and "Mexican bitches," strapped to a chair a paraplegic inmate and then tightened the restraints until his neck broke, and forced a female inmate to give birth in shackles; said he was the "first in the world" to put women in a "chain gang"; admitted that his counsel had hired a private agent to investigate the wife of a judge who ordered him to stop racially profiling Latinos, a ruling he was later found in contempt of court for ignoring; claimed that all people crossing the Mexican border had swine flu; said he was "doing something good" because the Latino community was "leaving town"; asked a Latino waitress if it was "safe" to drink a glass of iced tea she had given him; was found to have inadequately investigated or ignored hundreds of sex crimes; opened a rape investigation into a political opponent and investigated for child molestation a former Phoenix mayor who disagreed with his treatment of Latinos; oversaw deputies who threatened to arrest a reporter for viewing public records and forced a man's dog back into a burning house that they had set on fire; ran a jail with four times the suicide rate of county jails for Chicago or Miami; banned his inmates from drinking coffee and possessing pornographic magazines, and created an in-house radio station that broadcasted songs by Frank Sinatra; referred to his Italian-American bodyguards as his "mafia"; and chained together teenage inmates and forced them to bury the corpses of poor people. "More rain coming," tweeted Trump.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Not In Kansas Anymore, Toto

So just to check in : A reminder by an astute commenter in the NY Times recently pretty well answers the puzzlingly ubiquitous question of "How we got here", in the World of Trump. This didn't happen in a vacuum.

" sdavidc9 is a trusted commenter Cornwall 3 hours ago

Republicans have wanted to shred the modern safety net ever since FDR started putting it in place. They used to be scared enough of safety net supporters to elect those of their ilk who also wanted to do the safety net and get votes from safety net supporters, but now they have driven safety net supporters out of their party. National Romneycare was proposed by a Democrat and fought by all Republicans, including Romney when he ran for President.

Republicans have been lying for years, ever since they adopted voodoo economics as their own and enticed the segregationists away from the other party with the lies of code words and dog whistles. They support the rule of law with voter disenfranchisement, extreme gerrymandering, and the routine demonization of the other side.

They do not like Trump's style or his inclination to run them down and mock them, which they know may reappear at any time. They do not like his untrustworthiness and unpredictability. But they have little problem with most of his agenda. After all, government is the problem and he is getting rid of it; refusing to staff it is almost as good as drowning it in the bathtub."

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rick Perry: How Dumb Can You Get?

Rick Perry, Energy Secretary for the current Trump Administration, gets spoofed in phone call from Russian Comedy team posing at Kremlin Reps. You cannot make this stuff up!  Ship coal to Ukraine? How? Not to worry; Rick has you covered. Listen here.

Or copy and paste the following:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Again, To Summarize

VIVE LA FRANCE! Let us all celebrate the storming of the Bastille which occurred according to Donald Trump in 1917 and marked the beginning of WWI. Huh? Could he possibly be more of an insult to the French? I hope to god they laugh him out of town. And in case you missed just HOW DUMB this president is, here's his shockingly ignorant take on history aboard Air Force One on his way to Bastille Day celebrations. God help us.

From Harper's Weekly this week.  You Cannot Make This Stuff Up.

July 13, 2017
By Joe Kloc     

Donald Trump Jr., the eldest child of former vodka salesman and current U.S. president Donald Trump, was reported to have met during his father's campaign with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with alleged ties to the Kremlin who once referred to liberalism in the United States as a "fucking mental disorder." Donald Jr., who once said he prefers "Moscow over all cities in the world," issued a statement claiming that the meeting was "primarily" about "the adoption of Russian children." White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who previously said conversations between Russian officials and associates of the Trump campaign "never happened," told a journalist that "nobody said the word 'opposition research,'" and Donald Jr. tweeted that he went to the meeting with Veselnitskaya in order to "hear information about an opponent." White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said the meeting was a "big nothing burger," an ethics lawyer for the administration of former president George W. Bush said the meeting "borders on treason," and Donald Jr. hired as legal representation Alan Futerfas, a criminal attorney who has previously represented associates of the Gambino and Genovese crime families, which in the late 1970s sold Trump the overpriced concrete used to build Trump Tower, where the meeting between Donald Jr. and Veselnitskaya occurred. Donald Jr. learned from reporters that emails he had sent about the meeting would be published; issued a second statement claiming that the meeting was organized by "an acquaintance" from the Miss Universe pageant, which Trump once owned, along with the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants and a modeling agency accused by a former employee of practicing "modern-day slavery"; and then revealed that the acquaintance was Rob Goldstone, the agent of Emin Agalarov, an Azerbaijani pop star whose video for the song "In Another Life" featured Trump firing him and whose father is Aras Agalarov, a billionaire who owned the Moscow venue where Trump held his 2013 Miss Universe pageant and who once planned with Trump to build a Trump-branded tower in Russia, a project that according to Goldstone was led by Donald Jr. until it was canceled because "the economy tanked in Russia" as a result of U.S. sanctions, which Trump's former national-security adviser unlawfully discussed with the Russian ambassador while he was a member of Trump's transition team. Donald Jr. wrote that his father, who days before the meeting with Veselnitskaya had told the press he would soon announce incriminating information about his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, "knew nothing of the meeting"; and that during the meeting he received "no meaningful information" to help his father, who then did not announce any incriminating information about Clinton. Donald Jr. wrote of the meeting that Veselnitskaya's "true agenda" was to discuss the Magnitsky Act, a piece of U.S. legislation that imposed sanctions on 18 Russian officials believed to be responsible for the death of an accountant who uncovered a $230 million money-laundering scheme; that he "advised" Veselnitskaya that "her concerns were better addressed if and when" Trump "held public office"; and said that he had "no further contact" with Veselnitskaya, who continued after the meeting to represent Denis Katsyv, a Russian businessman who was charged in Manhattan with participating in the money-laundering scheme, until the case was settled out of court after Trump ascended to the presidency and fired the prosecutor. Veselnitskaya said that she never offered Donald Jr. any information on Clinton and denied that she worked for the Russian government, it was reported that U.S. prosecutors had evidence Veselnitskaya told a Moscow lawyer working to expose the money-laundering scheme that he would face consequences from Russia's intelligence agency if he continued his efforts, and a lawyer who claimed to have discovered new evidence of the money-laundering scheme said that his fall from the fourth-floor balcony of his Moscow home two months before Katsyv's case was settled was "no accident." Donald Jr. said that he wanted to be "transparent," then tweeted copies of his email exchanges with Goldstone, which revealed that Goldstone had offered to set up a meeting between Donald Jr. and a "Russian government attorney"; that the attorney would provide "information" to "incriminate Hillary Clinton," to which Donald Jr. replied "I love it"; that Goldstone said he would "send the names" of the people attending the meeting ahead of time to Donald Jr., who later claimed he "did not know" Veselnitskaya's name before the meeting; that Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who Donald Jr. had claimed attended the meeting without knowing what it was about, received the emails; and that Donald Jr. attended the meeting about two weeks before he said that the Clinton campaign's claims that the Democratic National Committee was hacked by Russia were "lies" that were "so phony" and "disgusting." Republican senator Orrin Hatch said Donald Jr. is a "nice young man," and Donald Jr. said he was "in the learning curve" when he accepted assistance in writing from the Russian government for his father's U.S. presidential campaign via an email exchange with Goldstone, who was a former judge for Miss USA and who once wrote that when an "idiotic child" falls into the hands of a 440-pound gorilla, he should be "shot." 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Teach a Pig to Sing?

"Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig."
Robert Heinlein

(Thanks to Gill for that one.)

I simply cannot process that Ivanka (with a head of hair that needed washing– a little stressed, Ivanka? In maybe just a wee bit over your head?) sat in for Daddy, right there between May and Xi at the table, while Daddy was canoodling with Putin. What can possibly be next??  And don't these two look chummy!  Note Putin's "thumbs up". Someone save us.

And there's this from BuzzFeed:

"Tillerson said that Melania Trump came in at the one-hour mark to try and get the meeting finished, but they all kept talking. Good times.
"Some experts downplayed the impact of not having a notetaker in the room."
I'm thinking a little time for Putin next to Melania (or Melanoma, as she's often called) was part of whatever 'deal' Trump made.  So now it's wife sharing on diplomatic jaunts?

And what must the other world leaders have thought, Trump essentially dissing them in favor of time with his bromance Putin? Just LOOK at the expression on Putin's face in the press photos of him and Trump. Smug, satisfied he has got what he wanted. Nothing like giving the rest of the world the old middle fingers, eh boys? Ah, the old days. When men were men. Or rather when boys were boys and NOT PRESIDENTS.
It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires.